Molecular Characterization of a Soybean Cyst Nematode (Heterodera glycines) Homolog of unc-87


  • Benjamin F. Matthews
  • Kristina L. Pilitt
  • Vincent Klink


gene expression, heterodera glycines, in situ hybridization, soybean cyst nematode, unc-87


In Caenorhabditis elegans the unc-87 gene encodes a protein that binds to actin at the I band and is important in nematodes for maintenance of the body-wall muscle. Caenorhabditis elegans mutant phenotypes of unc-87 exhibit severe paralysis in larvae and limp paralysis in the adult. We cloned and characterized a full-length cDNA representing a Heterodera glycines homolog of the unc-87 gene from C. elegans that encodes a protein that contains a region of seven repeats similar to CLIK-23 from C-elegans and has 81% amino acid identity with that of C. elegans unc-87 variant A. In the EST database clones labeled "unc-87'' encode mainly the 3' portion of unc-87, while clones labeled "calponin homolog OV9M'' contain mainly DNA sequence representing the 5' and middle transcribed regions of unc-87. A 1770 nucleotide cDNA encoding H. glycines unc-87 was cloned and encodes a predicted UNC-87 protein product of 375 amino acids. The expression of unc-87 was determined using RT-PCR and, in comparison to its expression in eggs, unc-87 was expressed 6-fold higher in J2 juveniles and 20-fold and 13-fold (P = 0.05) higher in nematodes 15 and 30 days after inoculation, respectively. In situ hybridization patterns confirmed the expression patterns observed with RT-PCR.