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A Rice Calcium- and Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Restores Nodulation to a Legume Mutant

May 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  5
Pages  495 - 501

Olivier Godfroy , Frédéric Debellé , Ton Timmers , and Charles Rosenberg

Laboratoire des Interactions Plantes-Microorganismes INRA-CNRS, BP52627, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan Cedex, France

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Accepted 12 January 2006.

The Medicago truncatula DMI3 gene encodes a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) that is necessary for the establishment of both rhizobial and mycorrhizal symbioses. The two symbiotic signaling pathways diverge downstream of DMI3; therefore, it has been proposed that legumes have evolved a particular form of CCaMK, acting like a switch able both to discriminate between rhizobial and mycorrhizal calcium signatures and to trigger the appropriate downstream signaling pathway. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether a CCaMK gene from a nonlegume species was able to restore the rhizobial symbiotic properties of a M. truncatula dmi3 mutant. Our results show that a CCaMK gene from rice can restore nodule formation, indicating that CCaMKs from nonlegumes can interpret the calcium signature elicited by rhizobial Nod factors and activate the appropriate downstream target. The nodules did not contain bacteria, which suggests that DMI3 is also involved in the control of the infection process.

Additional keywords: rhizobium, symbiosis.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society