2010-3: Characterizing the Mimicry of Plant Peptides by Effectors from... Heterodera glycines Score: Very Good

2010-3: Characterizing the Mimicry of Plant Peptides by Effectors from the
Soybean Cyst Nematode, Heterodera glycines
Score: Very Good
Briefly summarize objectives and approaches
1. Retesting of HgPECs parasitism-specific activation and effector-like expression
a. 29 HgPECs found to be differentially expressed during parasitic stages from whole-nematode
b. In-situ hybridisations of HgPECs on preparasitic and parasitic stages of H. glycines
c. Candidates will be prioritised depending on:
i. Presence of secretion signal peptide
ii. Absence of transmembrane domain
iii. Plant homologs with functions that could contribute to host cell reprogramming
d. Looking for:
i. Transcription confirmed to be upregulated at the onset of parasitism
ii. Transcripts localised primarily in esophageal gland cells
e. Localisation will be comfirmed by HgPEC:GFP fusion transiently expressed in onion
epidermal cells.
2. Testing HgPECs contribution to parasitism
a. Effect of stably-expressed HgPECs on Arabidopsis morphology and susceptibility to H.
b. SiRNA lines will also be tested for susceptibility
3. Test whether HgPECs functionally mimic host proteins
a. Stably-expressed HgPECs will be crossed to HgPEC-homolog mutant lines
b. Progeny observed for rescue of mutant phenotype
4. Discovering HgPEC-interacting proteins
a. Y2H and Y1H activator assays with HgPEC as bait and cDNA library as preys
b. Results verified by immunoprecipitation
Analyse strengths of the scientific merit of the proposal
Logical progression of the scientific methods used.
Firm foundations of prior research to base proposal on
Analyse weaknesses of the scientific merit of the proposal
Objective 3. The stably expressing HgPEC lines will have functional alleles of HgPEC homologs,
therefore there will always be rescue of the mutant phenotype.
o Would need to backcross to mutant parent perhaps multiple times and then use markers to
identify F2 expressing the HgPEC but homozygous for mutant HgPEC-homologue.
Objective 4: Instead of using a cDNA library, would it not be more efficient to identify interactors of
the HgPEC homologues and use these instead?
Analyse strengths and weaknesses of broader impacts
Work could indeed be the basis for resistance against H. glycines in the future, though the broadness or
durability is questionable until results from objective 3 are obtained.
The two or three undergraduates do not seem to be included in the finding justification, but do seem to be
in the budget.
Research is to be presented at appropriate meetings, however no money has been allocated for travel.
Provide a couple summary sentences about your overall thoughts on the
proposal, why it was particularly strong, or if you didn’t score an excellent,
a main reason or two that kept you from scoring it higher.
A very good proposal. The background seems solid and there is a logical progression through the objectives
to reach the end goal and question the hypothesis. Only major comment would be that I am unsure whether
the amount of experiments that they wish to perform are feasible within their budget. Minor details are that
perhaps objective 3 hasn’t been thought out fully and objective 4 is not quite optimised.