Molecular, genetic, and biochemical studies are demonstrating an increasingly important role of peptide signaling in nematode parasitism of plants. To date, the majority of nematode-secreted peptides identified share similarity with plant CLAVATA3/ESR (CLE) peptides, but bioinformatics analyses of nematode genomes have revealed sequences homologous to other classes of plant peptide hormones that may be utilized by these pests. Extracellular host receptors for secreted nematode peptides are beginning to be identified and their roles in parasitism elucidated. Here, we outline recent advances from studies of biologically active nematode-secreted peptides that function as molecular mimics of endogenous plant peptides to promote parasitism. Several strategies are being used to exploit this information to provide new targets for engineering nematode resistance.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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