Meloidogyne javanica chorismate mutase 1 alters plant cell development

Elizabeth A. Doyle, Kris N. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Root-knot nematodes are obligate plant parasites that alter plant cell growth and development by inducing the formation of giant cells for feeding. Nematodes inject secretions from their esophageal glands through their stylet and into plant cells to induce giant cell formation. Meloidogyne javanica chorismate mutase 1 (MjCM-1) is one such esophageal gland protein likely to be secreted from the nematode as giant cells form. MjCM-1 has two domains, an N-terminal chorismate mutase (CM) domain and a C-terminal region of unknown function. It is the N-terminal CM domain of the protein that is the predominant form produced in root-knot nematodes. Transgenic expression of MjCM-1 in soybean hairy roots results in a phenotype of reduced and aborted lateral roots. Histological studies demonstrate the absence of vascular tissue in hairy roots expressing MjCM-1. The phenotype of MjCM-1 expressed at low levels can be rescued by the addition of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indicating MjCM-1 overexpression reduces IAA biosynthesis. We propose MjCM-1 lowers IAA by causing a competition for chorismate, resulting in an alteration of chorismate-derived metabolites and, ultimately, in plant cell development. Therefore, we hypothesize that MjCM-1 is involved in allowing nematodes to establish a parasitic relationship with the host plant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Auxin
  • Hormones
  • Pathogen
  • Phenolic
  • Salicylic acid
  • Shikimate pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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