Detection of putative secreted proteins in the plant-parasitic nematode Heterodera schachtii.

Parasitol Res. 2006 Apr;98(5):414-24. Epub 2005 Dec 28.


The beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii is an important pathogen worldwide, but its molecular characterization has been limited to studying individual genes of interest. We undertook a high-throughput genomic approach and drastically increased the number of available sequences for this parasite. A total of 2,662 expressed sequence tags were grouped into 1,212 clusters representing a nonredundant catalog of H. schachtii genes. Implementing a bioinformatic workflow, we identified 50 sequences coding for candidate secreted proteins. All of these contain a putative signal peptide required for entry into the secretory pathway and lack any transmembrane domain. Included are previously postulated cell-wall-degrading enzymes and other parasitism-related genes. Moreover, we provide the first report of an arabinogalactan endo-1,4-beta-galactosidase enzyme (EC in animals. As sequence data increase at a rapid rate, developing high-throughput genomic screening is a necessity. The in silico approach described here is an effective way to identify putative secreted proteins and prioritize candidates for further studies.


Vanholme B, Mitreva M, Van Criekinge W, Logghe M, Bird D, McCarter JP, Gheysen G.

Institute Authors

Makedonka Mitreva, Ph.D.