Horizontal Gene Transfer from Bacteria Has Enabled the Plant-Parasitic Nematode Globodera pallida to Feed on Host-Derived Sucrose

Etienne G J Danchin, Elena A. Guzeeva, Sophie Mantelin, Adokiye Berepiki, John T. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The evolution of plant-parasitic nematodes (PPN) is unusual in that these organisms have acquired a range of genes from bacteria via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). The proteins encoded by most of these genes are involved in metabolism of various components of the plant cell wall during invasion of the host. Recent genome sequencing projects for PPN have shown that Glycosyl Hydrolase Family 32 (GH32) sequences are present in several PPN species. These sequences are absent from almost all other animals. Here, we show that the GH32 sequences from an economically important cyst nematode species, Globodera pallida are functional invertases, are expressed during feeding and are restricted in expression to the nematode digestive system. These data are consistent with a role in metabolizing host-derived sucrose. In addition, a detailed phylogenetic analysis shows that the GH32 sequences from PPN and those present in some insect species have distinct bacterial origins and do not therefore derive from a gene present in the last common ancestor of ecdysozoan species. HGT has therefore played at least two critical roles in the evolution of PPN, enabling both invasion of the host and feeding on the main translocation carbohydrate of the plant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1579
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Adaptive evolution
  • Horizontal gene transfer
  • Invertase
  • Plant-parasitic nematode

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