Plant Pathol J > Volume 28(4); 2012 > Article
The Plant Pathology Journal 2012;28(4):409-417.
DOI:    Published online December 31, 2012.
Identification and Characterization of Expansins from Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Nematoda: Aphelenchoididae)
Dae Weon Lee, Jong Bok Seo, Jae Soon Kang, Sang Hyun Koh, Si Hyeock Lee, Young Ho Koh
We identified two novel expansin (EXP) genes in the expressed sequence tag database of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, designated as Bx-EXPB2 and -EXPB3. Novel Bx-EXPBs encoded 150 amino acids and their similarities in coding sequence were 70.7?84.0% to the previously reported EXPB1 of B. xylophilus. Bx-EXPB2 and Bx-EXPB3 were clustered with Bx-EXPB1 and Bm- EXPB1, respectively, forming the independent phylogeny with other nematode EXPs. All identified Bx-EXPBs contained the signal peptide and were only expressed during the propagative stage, suggesting that they are secreted to facilitate nematode migration through hosts by loosening cell walls during infection. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that the relative accumulation of Bx-EXPB3 mRNAs was the highest among the three Bx-EXPs examined and the order of mRNA accumulation was as follows: Bx-EXPB3 > Bx- EXPB2 >> Bx-EXPB1. Homology modeling of Bx- EXPBs showed that the structurally optimum template was EXLX1 protein of Bacillus subtilis, whichshared residues essential for catalytic activity with Bx-EXPB1 and Bx-EXPB2 except for Bx-EXPB3. Taken together, Bx-EXPB1 and Bx-EXPB2 may be involved migration through plant tissues and play a role in pathogenesis.
Key Words: Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, expansin, homology protein modeling, pathogenicity, pine wilt disease

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