Roots of soybean, Glycine max cv. Kent L. Merr., plants susceptible to the soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines Ichinohe, were inoculated and allowed to develop feeding sites (syncytia) for 8 days. Root samples enriched in syncytial cells were collected using laser capture microdissection (LCM). RNA was extracted and used to make a cDNA library and expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were produced and used for a Gene Ontology (GO) analysis. RT-PCR results indicated enhanced expression of an aquaporin (GmPIP2,2), alpha-tubulin (GmTubA1), beta-tubulin (GmTubB4) and several other genes in syncytium-enriched samples as compared to samples extracted from whole roots. While RT-PCR data showed increased transcript levels of GmPIP2,2 from LCM tissue enriched in syncytial cells, in situ hybridization showed prominent GmPIP2,2 hybridization to RNA in the parenchymal cells tightly juxtaposed to the syncytium. Immunolocalization indicated stronger alpha-tubulin signal within the syncytium as compared to surrounding tissue. However, alpha-tubulin labeling appeared diffuse or clumped. Thus, LCM allowed for the isolation of tissue enriched for syncytial cells, providing material suitable for a variety of molecular analyses.
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