Plant degradation: a nematode expansin acting on plants

Ling Qin, Urszula Kudla, Erwin H A Roze, Aska Goverse, Herman Popeijus, Jeroen Nieuwland, Hein Overmars, John T Jones, Arjen Schots, Geert Smant, Jaap Bakker, Johannes Helder

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Expansin proteins, which have so far been identified only in plants, rapidly induce extension of plant cell walls by weakening the non-covalent interactions that help to maintain their integrity. Here we show that an animal, the plant-parasitic roundworm Globodera rostochiensis, can also produce a functional expansin, which it uses to loosen cell walls when invading its host plant. As this nematode is known to be able to disrupt covalent bonds in plant cell walls, its accompanying ability to loosen non-covalent bonds challenges the prevailing view that animals are genetically poorly equipped to degrade plant cell walls.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)30
    Issue number6969
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


    • Animals
    • Cell Wall
    • Gene Expression Regulation
    • In Situ Hybridization
    • Molecular Sequence Data
    • Nematoda
    • Plant Cells
    • Plant Proteins
    • Plants
    • Protein Structure, Tertiary
    • RNA, Messenger


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