Transient expression of a luciferase mRNA in plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes by electroporation

Thanuja Thekke-Veetil, Nancy K. McCoppin, Leslie L. Domier, M. R. Hajimorad, Kris N. Lambert, Hyoun Sub Lim, Glen L. Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite their economic significance in agricultural cropping systems, a lack of suitable molecular tools for manipulating gene expression has hindered progress in the functional genomics of plant parasitic nematodes (PPN). Obligate sexual reproduction and the obligate nature of PPN-host interactions further complicate the development of in vivo gene delivery and expression systems in these pests. Methods such as microinjection and microprojectile bombardment have been developed for introducing gene constructs into the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. However, these procedures can be laborious and inefficient. Electroporation has been used extensively to introduce macromolecules, including single-stranded RNAs, into eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. The technique has also been used for the delivery of DNA and double-stranded RNA constructs into nematodes by whole-animal electroporation. Here, we describe methods for the expression of a nematode-optimized NanoLuc luciferase mRNA in the form of in vitro transcripts following whole-animal electroporation of Heterodera glycines, Meloidogyne incognita, and C. elegans. The ability to transiently express single-stranded RNA constructs in economically important PPN provides a rapid means to evaluate nematode and/or foreign genes for their biological significance and potential role in nematode management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111489
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Bioluminescence
  • Electroporation
  • Luciferase
  • Method
  • Molecular biology
  • Plant parasitic nematode
  • Reporter gene
  • Transient gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Parasitology


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