Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1186/s12864-016-2992-8
Title (Primary) Transcriptome analysis in oak uncovers a strong impact of endogenous rhythmic growth on the interaction with plant-parasitic nematodes
Author Maboreke, H.R.; Feldhahn, L.; Bönn, M.; Tarkka, M.T.; Buscot, F.; Herrmann, S.; Menzel, R.; Ruess, L.
Source Titel BMC Genomics
Year 2016
Department BZF; BOOEK; iDiv
Volume 17
Page From art. 627
Language englisch
Keywords Plant-parasitic nematode – Oak rhythmic growth – Ectomycorrhiza – Systemic response – Defence – Transcriptomic profile
UFZ wide themes RU1


Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.), an important forest tree in temperate ecosystems, displays an endogenous rhythmic growth pattern, characterized by alternating shoot and root growth flushes paralleled by oscillations in carbon allocation to below- and aboveground tissues. However, these common plant traits so far have largely been neglected as a determining factor for the outcome of plant biotic interactions. This study investigates the response of oak to migratory root-parasitic nematodes in relation to rhythmic growth, and how this plant-nematode interaction is modulated by an ectomycorrhizal symbiont. Oaks roots were inoculated with the nematode Pratylenchus penetrans solely and in combination with the fungus Piloderma croceum, and the systemic impact on oak plants was assessed by RNA transcriptomic profiles in leaves.


The response of oaks to the plant-parasitic nematode was strongest during shoot flush, with a 16-fold increase in the number of differentially expressed genes as compared to root flush. Multi-layered defence mechanisms were induced at shoot flush, comprising upregulation of reactive oxygen species formation, hormone signalling (e.g. jasmonic acid synthesis), and proteins involved in the shikimate pathway. In contrast during root flush production of glycerolipids involved in signalling cascades was repressed, suggesting that P. penetrans actively suppressed host defence. With the presence of the mycorrhizal symbiont, the gene expression pattern was vice versa with a distinctly stronger effect of P. penetrans at root flush, including attenuated defence, cell and carbon metabolism, likely a response to the enhanced carbon sink strength in roots induced by the presence of both, nematode and fungus. Meanwhile at shoot flush, when nutrients are retained in aboveground tissue, oak defence reactions, such as altered photosynthesis and sugar pathways, diminished.


The results highlight that gene response patterns of plants to biotic interactions, both negative (i.e. plant-parasitic nematodes) and beneficial (i.e. mycorrhiza), are largely modulated by endogenous rhythmic growth, and that such plant traits should be considered as an important driver of these relationships in future studies.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Maboreke, H.R., Feldhahn, L., Bönn, M., Tarkka, M.T., Buscot, F., Herrmann, S., Menzel, R., Ruess, L. (2016):
Transcriptome analysis in oak uncovers a strong impact of endogenous rhythmic growth on the interaction with plant-parasitic nematodes
BMC Genomics 17 , art. 627 10.1186/s12864-016-2992-8