Reduction of phytate by down-regulation of Arabidopsis thaliana MIPS and IPK1 genes alters susceptibility to beet cyst nematodes

in Nematology
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Phytates are mixed cationic salts of phytic acid formed by sequential phosphorylation of myo-inositol. Phytate is a phosphorus storage molecule essential for cellular and hormonal signalling in plants but exhibits anti-nutrient properties in animals. Low phytate plants have reduced basal resistance towards microbial pathogens and reduced tolerance to environmental stresses resulting in compromised yields. We report that three mutant lines of Arabidopsis thaliana, each with altered expression of myo-inositol-3-phosphate synthase (MIPS) isoforms, show altered susceptibility towards infection by the beet cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii. Disruption of MIPS2 accompanied by increased MIPS1 expression results in reduced cyst nematode infection. Lack of MIPS3 resulted in a higher proportion of second-stage juveniles in the early phase of infection, suggesting delayed nematode development on mips3 mutants. Reduction in total phytate by down-regulation of the inositol polyphosphate kinase gene (IPK1) resulted in higher susceptibility to cyst nematode infection but a reduced average size of adult females. However, specific down-regulation of MIPS gene expression reduces susceptibility as myo-inositol is required to feed into the myo-inositol oxygenase pathway, which has an important role in development of the cyst nematode feeding site.

Reduction of phytate by down-regulation of Arabidopsis thaliana MIPS and IPK1 genes alters susceptibility to beet cyst nematodes

in Nematology



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    Schematic representation of phytate synthesis. Glucose-6-phoshate is converted to myo-inositol phosphate in a rate limiting reaction catalysed by myo-inositol phosphate synthase (MIPS). Myo-inositol goes through a series of phosphorylation steps to yield phytate. The last step of phytate synthesis is catalysed by inositol polyphosphatasekinase (IPK1).

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    Rate of infection and development of Heterodera schachtii on low phytate mutant Arabidopsis compared to wild-type Col-0 and salicylic-acid-deficient NahG transgenic plants. Number of second-stage juveniles (J2), third-stage juveniles (J3) and fourth-stage juvenile females (J4) of H. schachtii were counted at 14 dpi. Asterisks indicate significant difference in number of nematodes of each developmental stage compared to the wild-type Col-0 plants, using Mann-Whitney U non-parametric test (P<0.05; ∗∗P0.01, ∗∗∗P<0.005 and ∗∗∗∗P<0.001). Significant differences between total numbers of nematodes are denoted by different letters (P<0.001).

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    Number and size of Heterodera schachtii females 28 dpi of low phytate mutant Arabidopsis plants. A: Number of H. schachtii females per plant relative to wild-type (wt) Col-0 (100%); B: Mean size of female H. schachtii that developed on each genotype. The mutant and transgenic plants were compared to the wild-type, using Mann-Whitney U non-parametric test. (P0.05; ∗∗∗P0.005); C: Representative female H. schachtii individuals on wild-type Col-0 and ipk1 mutant Arabidopsis plants at 28 dpi. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

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    Root growth characterisation of ipk1, NahG and wild-type col Arabidopsis plants on the plate-based phenotypic analysis platform. A: Mean length of primary roots in ipk1, NahG and wild-type col at stage 1.04. Letters indicate significant differences (P0.05); B: Mean number of lateral roots in ipk1, NahG and wild-type col at stage 1.04, letters indicate significant differences (P0.05).


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