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Rhizobia Modulate Root-Hair-Specific Expression of Extensin Genes

January 1997 , Volume 10 , Number  1
Pages  95 - 101

Ivana Arsenijevic-Maksimovic , William J. Broughton , and Andrea Krause

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

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Accepted 30 October 1996.

Three cDNAs (ext3, ext127, and ext26), originally isolated by differential screening from a root-hair cDNA library of Vigna unguiculata, were found to encode extensin-like cell wall proteins. Transcripts homologous to these cDNAs were only detected in root hairs where mRNA levels decreased 1 day after inoculation with rhizobia. This coincided with the onset of root-hair deformation, the first morphological step in the Rhizobium-legume interaction. Decreases in transcript levels following inoculation with wild-type Rhizobium sp. NGR234 were more pronounced than with NGRΔnodABC, a mutant deficient in Nod-factor production. Inoculation with a rhizobial strain carrying a mutation in a gene encoding a transcriptional activator for nod genes (NGRΔnodD1) did not repress mRNA levels, indicating that a second nodulation signal may be present that is nodD dependent. Application of purified NodNGR factors only affected transcript levels of ext3. The genomic locus of the gene homologous to ext26 (Ext26G) was cloned. In the 5′ flanking region, several potential TATA boxes and CAP signals were identified. Part of the promoter region shares homology with the Pisum sativum seed lectin promoter and the Nicotiana tabacum nitrate reductase promoter region. Nonetheless, the function of these homologous regions in gene regulation is unknown.

Additional keyword: symbiosis.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society