NBS-LRR-WRKY genes and protease inhibitors (PIs) seem essential for cowpea resistance to root-knot nematode

Ribeiro, Daiane Gonzaga, et al. “NBS-LRR-WRKY genes and protease inhibitors (PIs) seem essential for cowpea resistance to root-knot nematode.” Journal of Proteomics 261 (2022): 104575. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2022.104575


Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) is a legume of great economic importance, however it is highly affected by nematodes. The present work aimed to identify proteins and genes involved in nematode resistance by proteomic and transcriptomic analysis. Plants of a genotype resistant (CE31) to root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) were collected 12 days after inoculation with Meloidogyne incognita and the total proteins and RNA were extracted from the root samples. Shotgun proteomic analysis was performed using an Orbitrap Elite mass spectrometer and the construction and sequencing of cDNA libraries were carried out in a Hi-Seq 2000 sequencing system. The proteomic and transcriptomic analyses revealed key processes involved in cowpea defense and some interesting candidates were further analyzed by RT-qPCR. Proteins and genes involved in essential biological processes were differentially accumulated such as, regulation of transcription, cell wall stiffening and microtubule-based process. However, the main defense strategies of Vigna unguiculata seem to be focused on the interaction of NBS-LRR and WRKY genes for the activation of R genes, production of protease inhibitors and maintenance of actin cytoskeleton. These are key processes that can culminate in the suppression of giant cell formation and consequently in the development of Meloidogyne incognita.