Research Article

Changes in nematode antigens recognized by monoclonal antibodies during early infections of soya beans with the cyst nematode Heterodera glycines

H. J. Atkinsona1 and P. D. Harrisa1 p1

a1 Department of Pure and Applied Biology, The University, Leeds LS2 9JT


The invasion and establishment of Heterodera glycines has been studied for 0–120 h after addition to host roots using a synchronized infection system. A high degree of synchrony in development was noted, with juvenile nematodes reaching their feeding sites adjacent to the root endodermis and discharging their subventral pharyngeal glands by 24 h post-invasion (p.i.). The moult to the 3rd-stage juvenile occurred approximately 89 h after entry to the root. Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) whose tissue specificities had already been defined by immuno-cytochemistry, it was found that MAbs recognizing intestinal lipid droplets and granules showed a major increase in reactivity 18–24 h p.i. before declining by 39 h p.i. In contrast, the reactivity of two MAbs recognizing adult cuticle increased significantly only after 89 h p.i., following the second moult. MAbs to the two subventral pharyngeal gland cells showed a variety of patterns of changing reactivity during the experiment. One increased within 24 h of invasion before declining whereas a second fell without any initial rise. Two further MAbs specific for the subventral glands initially declined but showed a secondary increase in reactivity after 72 h and could be detected in adult females. This pattern was also seen in a MAb specific for the dorsal pharyngeal gland cell. These changes are discussed in the context of events taking place following invasion, with particular reference to the initiation and maintenance of a feeding syncytium by the developing nematode.

(Accepted November 19 1988)

Key words

  • Heterodera glycines;
  • nematode antigens;
  • soya beans;
  • invasion;
  • establishment


p1 Department of Biochemistry, The University of Bath.