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Holscher D.,Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Research Group | Holscher D.,University of Kassel | Dhakshinamoorthy S.,Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement | Alexandrov T.,University of Bremen | And 27 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

The global yield of bananas - one of the most important food crops - is severely hampered by parasites, such as nematodes, which cause yield losses up to 75%. Plant-nematode interactions of two banana cultivars differing in susceptibility to Radopholus similis were investigated by combining the conventional and spatially resolved analytical techniques 1H NMR spectroscopy, matrixfree UV-laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometric imaging, and Raman microspectroscopy. This innovative combination of analytical techniques was applied to isolate, identify, and locate the bananaspecific type of phytoalexins, phenylphenalenones, in the R. similiscaused lesions of the plants. The striking antinematode activity of the phenylphenalenone anigorufone, its ingestion by the nematode, and its subsequent localization in lipid droplets within the nematode is reported. The importance of varying local concentrations of these specialized metabolites in infected plant tissues, their involvement in the plant's defense system, and derived strategies for improving banana resistance are highlighted.

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