Journal of General Plant Pathology

, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 232–242 | Cite as

RNAi of esophageal gland-specific gene Mi-msp-1 alters early stage infection behaviour of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita

  • Sonam Chaudhary
  • Tushar K. Dutta
  • Tagginahalli N. Shivakumara
  • Uma RaoEmail author


Root-knot nematodes are economically important plant pathogens that cause considerable damage to agricultural crops worldwide. They secrete a range of effector proteins from their specialized gland cells to modify host cell physiology to favour parasitism of the host tissue. A deeper understanding of the roles of effectors in nematode parasitism is necessary to unravel the mysteries of plant–nematode interactions. Herein, mRNAs of Mi-msp-1 (or Mi-vap-1), a gene encoding venom allergen-like effector protein, was localized to the subventral esophageal glands of Meloidogyne incognita. Mi-msp-1 was highly transcribed in the pre- and post-parasitic juveniles of M. incognita, suggesting the association of this effector gene during early stage infection behaviour of nematode. The targeted knockdown of Mi-msp-1 using in vitro RNAi rendered the nematode less successful in penetrating the tomato root. Silencing of Mi-msp-1 also interfered with the development and reproduction of M. incognita in adzuki bean. Intriguingly, induced suppression of Mi-msp-1 significantly altered the transcription of cell-wall-modifying enzymes (CWMEs, effectors involved in early parasitic process) and vice versa in M. incognita, indicating a possible interaction among msp-1 and CWMEs during the early stage of nematode–plant interaction. Our results showed that Mi-msp-1 could be a potential target/choke point for developing anti-nematode strategies.


VAP In situ hybridization qRT-PCR CWMEs DsRNA Infection 



Ph.D. student SC acknowledges her co-advisor Dr. Vishakha Raina, School of Biotechnology, KIIT, Bhubaneswar, India.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10327_2019_837_MOESM1_ESM.docx (503 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 502 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Phytopathological Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonam Chaudhary
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tushar K. Dutta
    • 1
  • Tagginahalli N. Shivakumara
    • 1
  • Uma Rao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of NematologyICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.School of BiotechnologyKalinga Institute of Industrial TechnologyBhubaneswarIndia

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