Research abstract

Article abstract

Nature Biotechnology 26, 909 - 915 (2008)
Published online: 27 July 2008 | doi:10.1038/nbt.1482

Genome sequence of the metazoan plant-parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita

Pierre Abad1,2,3, Jérôme Gouzy4, Jean-Marc Aury5,6,7, Philippe Castagnone-Sereno1,2,3, Etienne G J Danchin1,2,3, Emeline Deleury1,2,3, Laetitia Perfus-Barbeoch1,2,3, Véronique Anthouard5,6,7, François Artiguenave5,6,7, Vivian C Blok8, Marie-Cécile Caillaud1,2,3, Pedro M Coutinho9, Corinne Dasilva5,6,7, Francesca De Luca10, Florence Deau1,2,3, Magali Esquibet11, Timothé Flutre12, Jared V Goldstone13, Noureddine Hamamouch14, Tarek Hewezi15, Olivier Jaillon5,6,7, Claire Jubin5,6,7, Paola Leonetti10, Marc Magliano1,2,3, Tom R Maier15, Gabriel V Markov16,17, Paul McVeigh18, Graziano Pesole19,20, Julie Poulain5,6,7, Marc Robinson-Rechavi21,22, Erika Sallet23,24, Béatrice Ségurens5,6,7, Delphine Steinbach12, Tom Tytgat25, Edgardo Ugarte5,6,7, Cyril van Ghelder1,2,3, Pasqua Veronico10, Thomas J Baum15, Mark Blaxter26, Teresa Bleve-Zacheo10, Eric L Davis14, Jonathan J Ewbank27, Bruno Favery1,2,3, Eric Grenier11, Bernard Henrissat9, John T Jones8, Vincent Laudet16, Aaron G Maule18, Hadi Quesneville12, Marie-Noëlle Rosso1,2,3, Thomas Schiex24, Geert Smant25, Jean Weissenbach5,6,7 & Patrick Wincker5,6,7

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Plant-parasitic nematodes are major agricultural pests worldwide and novel approaches to control them are sorely needed. We report the draft genome sequence of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita, a biotrophic parasite of many crops, including tomato, cotton and coffee. Most of the assembled sequence of this asexually reproducing nematode, totaling 86 Mb, exists in pairs of homologous but divergent segments. This suggests that ancient allelic regions in M. incognita are evolving toward effective haploidy, permitting new mechanisms of adaptation. The number and diversity of plant cell wall–degrading enzymes in M. incognita is unprecedented in any animal for which a genome sequence is available, and may derive from multiple horizontal gene transfers from bacterial sources. Our results provide insights into the adaptations required by metazoans to successfully parasitize immunocompetent plants, and open the way for discovering new antiparasitic strategies.

  1. INRA, UMR 1301, 400 route des Chappes, F-06903 Sophia-Antipolis, France.
  2. CNRS, UMR 6243, 400 route des Chappes, F-06903 Sophia-Antipolis, France.
  3. UNSA, UMR 1301, 400 route des Chappes, F-06903 Sophia-Antipolis, France.
  4. Laboratoire Interactions Plantes Micro-organismes, UMR441/2594, INRA/CNRS, Chemin de Borde Rouge, BP 52627, F-31320 Castanet Tolosan, France.
  5. Genoscope (CEA), 2 rue Gaston Crémieux, CP5706, F-91057 Evry, France.
  6. CNRS, UMR 8030, 2 rue Gaston Crémieux, CP5706, F-91057 Evry, France.
  7. Université d'Evry, F-91057 Evry, France.
  8. Plant Pathology Programme, SCRI, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, UK.
  9. CNRS, UMR 6098 CNRS and Universités d'Aix-Marseille I & II, Case 932, 163 Av. de Luminy, F-13288 Marseille, France.
  10. Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via G. Amendola 165/a, 70126 Bari, Italy.
  11. INRA, Agrocampus Rennes, Univ. Rennes I, UMR1099 BiO3P, Domaine de la Motte, F-35653 Le Rheu Cedex, France.
  12. INRA, UR1164 Unité de Recherche en Génomique et Informatique (URGI), 523 place des terrasses de l'Agora, F-91034 Evry, France.
  13. Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Co-op Building, MS #16, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA.
  14. Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, 840 Method Road, Unit 4, Box 7903 Raleigh, North Carolina 27607, USA.
  15. Department of Plant Pathology, Iowa State University, 351 Bessey Hall, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.
  16. Université de Lyon, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Molecular Zoology team, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, CNRS, INRA, Institut Fédératif 128 Biosciences Gerland, Lyon Sud, 46 allée d'Italie, F-69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France.
  17. USM 501, Evolution des Régulations Endocriniennes, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 7 rue Cuvier, F-75005 Paris, France.
  18. Biomolecular Processes: Parasitology, School of Biological Sciences, Medical Biology Centre, 97 Lisburn Road, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK.
  19. Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare "E. Quagliariello", University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy.
  20. Istituto Tecnologie Biomediche, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via G. Amendola, 122/D, 70126 Bari, Italy.
  21. Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, UNIL-Sorge, Le Biophore, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
  22. Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, quartier sorge, Bâtiment Genopode, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
  23. Plateforme Bioinformatique du Génopole Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, GIS Toulouse Genopole, 24 Chemin de Borde Rouge, BP 52627, F-31320 Castanet Tolosan, France.
  24. Unité de Biométrie et d'Intelligence Artificielle UR875, INRA, Chemin de Borde Rouge, BP 52627, F-31320 Castanet Tolosan, France.
  25. Laboratory of Nematology, Wageningen University, Binnenhaven 5, 6709PD Wageningen, The Netherlands.
  26. Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh, Kings Buildings, Ashworth Laboratories, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK.
  27. INSERM/CNRS/Université de la Méditerranée, Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, 163 av. de Luminy, Case 906, F-13288, Marseille cedex 09, France.

Correspondence to: Pierre Abad1,2,3 e-mail:


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