Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Ectopic expression of AtPAD4 broadens resistance of soybean to soybean cyst and root-knot nematodes

Reham M Youssef13, Margaret H MacDonald1, Eric P Brewer1, Gary R Bauchan1, Kyung-Hwan Kim2 and Benjamin F Matthews1*

Author Affiliations

1 USDA-ARS, Soybean Genomic and Improvement Laboratory, 10300 Baltimore Ave, Bldg 006, Beltsville, MD, 20705, USA

2 Cell and Genetics Division, National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Rural Development Administration, Suwon, 441-100, South Korea

3 Plant Protection Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Fayoum University, Fayoum, Egypt

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Plant Biology 2013, 13:67  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-67

Published: 25 April 2013



The gene encoding PAD4 (PHYTOALEXIN-DEFICIENT4) is required in Arabidopsis for expression of several genes involved in the defense response to Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola. AtPAD4 (Arabidopsis thaliana PAD4) encodes a lipase-like protein that plays a regulatory role mediating salicylic acid signaling.


We expressed the gene encoding AtPAD4 in soybean roots of composite plants to test the ability of AtPAD4 to deter plant parasitic nematode development. The transformed roots were challenged with two different plant parasitic nematode genera represented by soybean cyst nematode (SCN; Heterodera glycines) and root-knot nematode (RKN; Meloidogyne incognita). Expression of AtPAD4 in soybean roots decreased the number of mature SCN females 35 days after inoculation by 68 percent. Similarly, soybean roots expressing AtPAD4 exhibited 77 percent fewer galls when challenged with RKN.


Our experiments show that AtPAD4 can be used in an economically important crop, soybean, to provide a measure of resistance to two different genera of nematodes.

Arabidopsis; Phytoalexin-deficient4; AtPAD4; Soybean; Nematodes; Salicylic acid; Plant defense