Host-parasite tissue adhesion by a secreted type of β-1,4-glucanase in the parasitic plant Phtheirospermum japonicum.

Ken-Ichi Kurotani, Takanori Wakatake, Yasunori Ichihashi, Koji Okayasu, Yu Sawai, Satoshi Ogawa, Songkui Cui, Takamasa Suzuki, Ken Shirasu, Michitaka Notaguchi

Tissue adhesion between plant species occurs both naturally and artificially. Parasitic plants establish intimate relationship with host plants by adhering tissues at roots or stems. Plant grafting, on the other hand, is a widely used technique in agriculture to adhere tissues of two stems. Here we found that the model Orobanchaceae parasitic plant Phtheirospermum japonicum can be grafted on to interfamily species. To understand molecular basis of tissue adhesion between distant plant species, we conducted comparative transcriptome analyses on both infection and grafting by P. japonicum on Arabidopsis. Despite different organs, we identified the shared gene expression profile, where cell proliferation- and cell wall modification-related genes are up-regulated. Among genes commonly induced in tissue adhesion between distant species, we showed a gene encoding a secreted type of β-1,4-glucanase plays an important role for plant parasitism. Our data provide insights into the molecular commonality between parasitism and grafting in plants.