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Induction of Chalcone Synthase Expression by Rhizobia and Nod factors in Root Hairs and Roots

April 1997 , Volume 10 , Number  3
Pages  388 - 393

Andrea Krause , Vo T. T. Lan , and William J. Broughton

L. B. M. P. S., Université de Genève, 1, ch. de l'Impératrice, 1292 Chambésy, Genève, Switzerland

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Accepted 14 January 1997.

Chalcone synthase (CHS) of Vigna unguiculata is encoded by a gene family that is abundantly transcribed in leaves and nodules. Inoculation with Rhizobium sp. NGR234, which nodulates V. unguiculata, or with NGRΔnodABC, a mutant deficient in Nod factor production, induced rapid accumulation of CHS mRNAs in roots and root hairs. As both Nod+ and Nod- bacteria provoke responses, induction of CHS gene expression may involve symbiotic or defense responses. Four days after inoculation with the wild-type Rhizobium sp., the transcript levels increased in roots but decreased in root hairs. Use of a region unique to the 5′ end of a specific CHS gene (VuCHS1) showed that increases of transcript levels in root hairs 24 h after inoculation with both rhizobia were specific to this gene. Transcripts of this gene in roots were only detectable 4 days after treatment with NGR234. It is possible therefore that accumulation of VuCHS1 follows the infection pathway of rhizobia entering legume roots. Purified Nod factors induced accumulation of transcripts, showing that they might be part of the signal transduction pathway leading to CHS expression.

Additional keyword: symbiosis.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society