The role of histone modifications for transcriptional reprogramming of giant cells induced by root knot nematode infection in rice
Insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between plants and pathogens is of great importance for integrated crop protection. In this project we focus on rice, one of the most important crops worldwide, and a well-studied monocot model plant. One of the most damaging nematodes attacking rice is the sedentary root knot nematode Meloidogyne graminicola, which induces the formation of specialized feeding structures, called giant cells, inside the root tissue. The proteins around which the DNA is wound in the cellular nucleus are called histones. Changes to their structure has an impact on the activity of the genes. In this project, we will analyze the genome-wide extent of modifications to the histones during the development of giant cells. The impact of histone modifications on the expression patterns of specific target genes will be investigated. This project will provide fundamental and pioneering data on the role of histone modifications during giant cell development.