Root-knot nematodes (RKN) are obligate parasites of roots able to infest more than 3000 plant species. Among them and because of its ubiquitous distribution, Meloidogyne incognita
is possibly the most damaging crop pathogen in the world. Although the genome sequences of the free-living species Caenorhabditis elegans
, and its sister species C. briggsae
, are available, very little is known about the other members of the phylum Nematoda at the genomic level. Particularly, parasitic nematodes, which constitute half of the earth’s nematodes, remain poorly explored.
The sequencing project of the RKN M. incognita
genome is led by INRA Sophia-Antipolis
with the support of the INRA Toulouse bioinformatic platform
. Sequencing and assembly of the sequence were made by Genoscope
, the French National Sequencing Center. This project has been supported by scientific community involved in research on RKN worldwide, and a restricted international consortium has performed manual annotation of the genome. A first version of the M. incognita
genome sequence has been published (Abad et al. 2008
Nature Biotechnology). The sequencing project of the two sibling species M. arenaria
and M. javanica
together with a deeper coverage of the M. incognita
genome is currently under way.
The sequencing project was led by INRA Sophia Antipolis (P. Abad) with the bioinformatic support of the INRA Toulouse bioinformatic platform (J. Gouzy). The sequencing and the assembling of the sequence were made by Genoscope, the French National Sequencing Center.
Meloidogyne incognita sequencing results
The results of the genome sequencing project of M. incognita are published in the review Nature Biotechnology. Abad et al. (2008)
Genome sequence of the metazoan plant-parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita, 26 (8) 909-915.
Plant-parasitic nematodes are major agricultural pests worldwide and novel approaches to control them are sorely needed. We report the draft genome sequence of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita, a biotrophic parasite of many crops, including tomato, cotton and coffee. Most of the assembled sequence of this asexually reproducing nematode, totaling 86 Mb, exists in pairs of homologous but divergent segments. This suggests that ancient allelic regions in M. incognita are evolving toward effective haploidy, permitting new mechanisms of adaptation. The number and diversity of plant cell wall–degrading enzymes in M. incognita is unprecedented in any animal for which a genome sequence is available, and may derive from multiple horizontal gene transfers from bacterial sources. Our results provide insights into the adaptations required by metazoans to successfully parasitize immunocompetent plants, and open the way for discovering new antiparasitic strategies.