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Expression of Genes Encoding Late Nodulins Characterized by a Putative Signal Peptide and Conserved Cysteine Residues Is Reduced in Ineffective Pea Nodules

February 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  2
Pages  129 - 137

Takashi Kato , 1 Kazuya Kawashima , 1 Masami Miwa , 1 Yoshifumi Mimura , 1 Masanori Tamaoki , 1 Hiroshi Kouchi , 2 and Norio Suganuma 1

1Department of Life Science, Aichi University of Education, Kariya, Aichi 448-8542, Japan; 2Department of Plant Physiology, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan

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Accepted 27 October 2001.

Five nodulin genes, PsN1, PsN6, PsN314, PsN335, and PsN466, with reduced expression in ineffective nodules on the pea (Pisum sativum) mutant E135 (sym13) were characterized. They encode small polypeptides containing a putative signal peptide and conserved cysteine residues and show homology to the nodulins PsENOD3/14 and PsNOD6. For each gene, multiple bands were detected by genomic Southern analysis. Northern analysis showed that all five genes were expressed exclusively in nodules and that their temporal expression patterns were similar to that of the leghemoglobin (Lb) gene during nodule development. Their transcripts were localized predominantly from the interzone II--III to the distal part of nitrogen-fixing zone III in effective nodules, resembling the Lb gene. However, transcripts in ineffective E135 nodules were localized in narrower regions than those in the effective nodules. These results indicate that these nodulins are abundant in pea nodules and that their successive expression during nodule development is associated with nitrogen-fixing activity.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society