This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Cellular Elucidation of Mode of Defense Responses in Cotton Roots in response to Rotylenchulus reniformis Infections




Jeffrey, Ross

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Entomology and Plant Pathology


The hypersensitive response is an important mechanism of plant innate immunity which has been studied for decades. It is the immune response whereby a host plant R genes will recognize a specific effector gene from a pathogen and respond by programmed cell death within a small as possible perimeter of the infection site, thus preventing spread of biotrophic pathogens. In this study, we investigate if this reaction occurs as a result of nematode infection. Rotylenchulus reniformis, the Reniform nematode, is a semi-endoparasitic nematode posing a great threat to many breeds of cotton. In this study, a new method of examining cellular reactions to underground threats is developed. Utilizing the autofluorescence of the plant parasitic nematode, the confocal microscope can be used to investigate the behavior of these nematodes. In this study, we look at the stability of the autofluorescence expressed by the Reniform nematode and how carious cotton breeds react to the infection of said Reniform nematodes. Using root staining and confocal co-imaging, the cotton root cellular responses to infection are visualized.