Deakin University

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Functional genomic analysis of systemic cell division regulation in legumes

conference contribution
posted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by P M Gresshoff, A Indrasumunar, A Miyahara, S Nontachaiyapoom, B Biswas, Y-H Lin, M-H Lin, D Reid, Damien CallahanDamien Callahan, R Capon, Q Zhang, H Zhang, T Hirani, B Kobe, A Men, P Scott, A Kereszt, M Miyagi, D Li, P-K Chan, U Roessner, M A Djordjevic, M Kinkema, B Ferguson
Legumes develop root nodules from pluripotent stem cells in the root
pericycle in response to mitogenic activation by a decorated chitin-like
nodulation factor synthesized in Rhizobium bacteria. The soybean genes encoding the receptor for such signals were cloned using map-based cloning approaches. Pluripotent cells in the root pericycle and the outer or inner cortex undergo repeated cell divisions to initiate a composite nodule primordium that develops to a functional nitrogen-fixing nodule. The process itself is autoregulated, leading to the characteristic nodulation of the upper root system. Autoregulation of nodulation (AON) in all legumes is controlled in part by a leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase gene (GmNARK). Mutations of GmNARK, and its other legume orthologues, result in abundant nodulation caused by the loss of a yet-undefined negative nodulation repressor system. AON receptor kinases are involved in perception of a long distance, root-derived signal, to negatively control nodule proliferation. GmNARK and LjHAR1 are expressed in phloem parenchyma. GmNARK kinase domain interacts with Kinase Associated Protein Phosphatase (KAPP). NARK gene expression did not mirror biological NARK activity in nodulation control, as q-RT-PCR in soybean revealed high NARK expression in roots, root tips, leaves, petioles, stems and hypocotyls, while shoot and root apical meristems were devoid of NARK RNA. High through-put transcript analysis in soybean leaf and root indicated that major genes involved in JA synthesis or response are preferentially down-regulated in leaf but not root of wild type, but not NARK mutants, suggesting that AON signaling may in part be controlled by events relating to hormone metabolism. Ethylene and abscisic acid insensitive mutants of L. japonicus are described. Nodulation in legumes has significance to global economies and ecologies, as the nitrogen input into the biosphere allows food, feed and biofuel production without the inherent costs associated with nitrogen fertilization [1]. Nodulation involves the production of a new organ capable of nitrogen fixation [2] and as such is an excellent system to study plant – microbe interaction, plant development, long distance signaling and functional genomics of stem cell proliferation [3, 4]. Concerted international effort over the last 20 years, using a combination of induced mutagenesis followed by gene discovery (forward genetics), and molecular/biochemical approaches revealed a complex developmental pathway that ‘loans’ genetic programs from various sources and orchestrates these into a novel contribution. We report our laboratory’s contribution to the present analysis in the field.



International Symposium on Induced Mutations in Plants (2008 : Vienna, Austria)


Induced Plant Mutations in the Genomics Era


399 - 402


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Vienna, Austria

Place of publication

Rome, Italy

Start date


End date








Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2009, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Q Shu

Title of proceedings

Induced Plant Mutations in the Genomics Era. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome

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