Mj-col-5, isolated from the plant parasitic nematode Meloidogyne javanica, has a longer carboxy-terminus than other members of the Caenorhabditis elegans COL-6 subfamily of cuticle collagen, including an extra tyrosine residue, and may form altered nonreducible cross-linkages. By semiquantitative determination at different life stages, Mj-col-5 transcript was shown to be more abundant in eggs than in juveniles/young females and adult females. To characterize further this gene's contribution to the changing cuticle of the nematode, we expressed a fusion protein containing a nonconserved 58-amino-acid sequence from the putative Mj-col-5 gene product and raised rabbit antiserum against the fusion protein. The antiserum detected a strongly reacting band (36 kDa, designated MJE36) on western blots of M. javanica eggs extracted with β-mercaptoethanol. MJE36 was sensitive to collagenase and was not detected on western blots of extracts from M. javanica second-stage juveniles or adult females. A band of the same molecular size was detected in Meloidogyne incognita egg extracts but not in those of Heterodera avenae. Immunoblot indicated that MJE36 is not present in egg shells of M. javanica.

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