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Protocol for the transient, dsRNA based silencing of putative pathogenicity factors from root knot nematodes

Plant parasitic nematodes have been, so far, refractory to transformation or mutagenesis. The functional analysis of nematode genes relies on the development of reverse genetic tools adapted to these obligate parasites. Here, we describe the application of RNA interference (RNAi) to the rootknot nematode Meloidogyne incognita for the knock-down of two genes expressed in the subventral esophageal glands of the nematode and potentially involved in parasitism, the calreticulin (Mi-crt) and the polygalacturonase (Mi-pg-1) genes. Incubation in 1% resorcinol for 4h induced doublestranded RNA uptake through the alimentary track of the nematodes and led to up to 92% depletion of Mi-crt transcripts. Timecourse analysis of the silencing showed different temporal patterns for Mi-crt and Mi-pg-1. The silencing of Mi-crt was optimal 20h after soaking, whereas the silencing of Mi-pg-1 was optimal 44 h after soaking. For the two genes, the silencing effect was highly time-limited, since no transcript depletion was detectable 68 h after soaking.

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