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Plants 2018, 7(4), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7040085

Functions of Flavonoids in Plant–Nematode Interactions

1
Division of Plant Sciences, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra 2601, Australia
2
Division of Biomedical Science and Biochemistry, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra 2601, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract

Most land plants can become infected by plant parasitic nematodes in the field. Plant parasitic nematodes can be free-living or endoparasitic, and they usually infect plant roots. Most damaging are endoparasites, which form feeding sites inside plant roots that damage the root system and redirect nutrients towards the parasite. This process involves developmental changes to the root in parallel with the induction of defense responses. Plant flavonoids are secondary metabolites that have roles in both root development and plant defense responses against a range of microorganisms. Here, we review our current knowledge of the roles of flavonoids in the interactions between plants and plant parasitic nematodes. Flavonoids are induced during nematode infection in plant roots, and more highly so in resistant compared with susceptible plant cultivars, but many of their functions remain unclear. Flavonoids have been shown to alter feeding site development to some extent, but so far have not been found to be essential for root–parasite interactions. However, they likely contribute to chemotactic attraction or repulsion of nematodes towards or away from roots and might help in the general plant defense against nematodes. Certain flavonoids have also been associated with functions in nematode reproduction, although the mechanism remains unknown. Much remains to be examined in this area, especially under field conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: auxin; chemotaxis; flavonoid; gall; motility; nematode; syncytia auxin; chemotaxis; flavonoid; gall; motility; nematode; syncytia
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Chin, S.; Behm, C.A.; Mathesius, U. Functions of Flavonoids in Plant–Nematode Interactions. Plants 2018, 7, 85.

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