Recent applications of biotechnological approaches to elucidate the biology of plant-nematode interactions.
Plant-parasitic nematodes are a major threat to food security. The most economically important species have remarkable abilities to manipulate host physiology and immunity. This review highlights recent applications of biotechnological approaches to elucidate the underlying biology on both sides of the interaction. Their obligate biotrophic nature has hindered the development of simple nematode transformation protocols. Instead, transient or stable expression of the effector (native or tagged) in planta has been instrumental in elucidating the biology of plant-nematode interactions. Recent progress in the development of functional genetics tools 'in nematoda' promises further advances. Finally, we discuss how effector research has uncovered novel protein translocation routes in plant cells and may reveal additional unknown biological processes in the future.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/S006397/1)