Activity and Differential Induction of Chitinase Isozymes in Soybean Cultivars Resistant or Susceptible to Root-knot Nematodes


  • J. Qtu
  • J. Hallmann
  • N. Kokalis-Burelle
  • D. B. Weaver
  • R. Rodriguez-Kabana
  • S. Tuzun


Host physiological events in relation to infestation by parasitic nematodes are not well documented. Soybean plant responses to Meloidogyne incognita infestation were compared to resistant (Bryan) and susceptible (Brim) cultivars at 0, 1, 3, 10, 20, and 34 days after infestation (DAI). The resistant cultivar had higher chitinase activity than the susceptible cultivar at every sample time beginning at 3 DAI. Results from isoelectric focusing gel electrophoresis analyses indicated that three acidic chitinase isozymes with isoelectric points (pIs) of 4.8, 4.4, and 4.2 accumulated to a greater extent in the resistant compared to the susceptible cultivar following challenge. SDS-PAGE analysis of root proteins revealed that two proteins with molecular weights of approximately 31 and 46 kD accumulated more rapidly and to a higher level in the resistant than in the susceptible cultivar. Additionally, three major protein bands (33, 22, and 20 kD) with chitinase activity were detected with a modified SDS-PAGE analysis in which glycolchitin was added into the gel matrix. These results indicate that higher chitinase activity and early induction of specific chitinase isozymes may be associated with resistance to root-knot nematode in soybean. Key words: chitinase, Glycine max, isozymes, Meloidogyne incognita, nematode, pathogenesis-related protein, resistance, soybean.