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A plant chitinase controls cortical infection thread progression and nitrogen-fixing symbiosis

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  • Anna Malolepszy
  • ,
  • Simon Kelly
  • Kasper Kildegaard Sørensen, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Euan Kevin James, Environmental and Biochemical Science Group, Enhancing Crop Productivity and Utillisation Theme, The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, United Kingdom
  • ,
  • Christina Kalisch
  • ,
  • Zoltan Bozsoki
  • ,
  • Michael Panting
  • Stig U Andersen
  • Shusei Sato, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Kisarazu, Chiba, Japan
  • ,
  • Ke Tao
  • Dorthe Bødker Jensen
  • Maria Vinther
  • Noor de Jong
  • Lene Heegaard Madsen
  • Yosuke Umehara, Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Tsukuba, Japan.
  • ,
  • Kira Gysel
  • Mette U Berentsen
  • ,
  • Michael Blaise
  • ,
  • Knud Jørgen Jensen, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Mikkel B Thygesen, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Niels Sandal
  • Kasper Røjkjær Andersen
  • Simona Radutoiu

Morphogens provide positional information and their concentration is key to the organized development of multicellular organisms. Nitrogen-fixing root nodules are unique organs induced by Nod factor-producing bacteria. Localized production of Nod factors establishes a developmental field within the root where plant cells are reprogrammed to form infection threads and primordia. We found that regulation of Nod factor levels by Lotus japonicus is required for the formation of nitrogen-fixing organs, determining the fate of this induced developmental program. Our analysis of plant and bacterial mutants shows that a host chitinase modulates Nod factor levels possibly in a structure-dependent manner. In Lotus, this is required for maintaining Nod factor signalling in parallel with the elongation of infection threads within the nodule cortex, while root hair infection and primordia formation are not influenced. Our study shows that infected nodules require balanced levels of Nod factors for completing their transition to functional, nitrogen-fixing organs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38874
JournaleLife
Volume7
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
ISSN2050-084X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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