The Lotus japonicus NPF3.1 Is a Nodule-Induced Gene That Plays a Positive Role in Nodule Functioning

Ylenia Vittozzi, Marcin Nadzieja, Alessandra Rogato, Simona Radutoiu, Vladimir Totev Valkov*, Maurizio Chiurazzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Nitrogen-fixing nodules are new organs formed on legume roots as a result of the beneficial interaction with the soil bacteria, rhizobia. Proteins of the nitrate transporter 1/peptide transporter family (NPF) are largely represented in the subcategory of nodule-induced transporters identified in mature nodules. The role of nitrate as a signal/nutrient regulating nodule functioning has been recently highlighted in the literature, and NPFs may play a central role in both the permissive and inhibitory pathways controlling N2-fixation efficiency. In this study, we present the characterization of the Lotus japonicus LjNPF3.1 gene. LjNPF3.1 is upregulated in mature nodules. Promoter studies show transcriptional activation confined to the cortical region of both roots and nodules. Under symbiotic conditions, Ljnpf3.1-knockout mutant’s display reduced shoot development and anthocyanin accumulation as a result of nutrient deprivation. Altogether, LjNPF3.1 plays a role in maximizing the beneficial outcome of the root nodule symbiosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number688187
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • insertion mutants
  • Lotus japonicus
  • N-fixation
  • nitrate transport
  • nodule


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