Root-knot nematodes (RKN) (Meloidogyne spp) cause considerable losses in banana (Musa sp.). Castañeda et al. investigate the root transcriptome in Musa acuminata during compatible interactions with M. incognita, showing that the significant modulation of host genes during infection are indicative of defence responses involving reactive oxygen species (ROS) and jasmonic acid (JA) / ethylene (ET) signalling.
Concomitant host gene expression alterations are correlated with auxin metabolism, cell wall modification and the development of specialised giant cells that constitute the nutritive source for the nematode. The presented data increases understanding of the compatible interaction and will aid genetic improvement measures for the development of resistance to RKN.
This paper is part of the Annals of Botany Special Issue on Plant Immunity. It will be free access till June 2017 and after April 2018.