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Inoculation- and Nitrate-Induced CLE Peptides of Soybean Control NARK-Dependent Nodule Formation

May 2011 , Volume 24 , Number  5
Pages  606 - 618

Dugald E. Reid, Brett J. Ferguson, and Peter M. Gresshoff

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research, John Hines Building, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia


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Accepted 29 December 2010.

Systemic autoregulation of nodulation in legumes involves a root-derived signal (Q) that is perceived by a CLAVATA1-like leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase (e.g. GmNARK). Perception of Q triggers the production of a shoot-derived inhibitor that prevents further nodule development. We have identified three candidate CLE peptide-encoding genes (GmRIC1, GmRIC2, and GmNIC1) in soybean (Glycine max) that respond to Bradyrhizobium japonicum inoculation or nitrate treatment. Ectopic overexpression of all three CLE peptide genes in transgenic roots inhibited nodulation in a GmNARK-dependent manner. The peptides share a high degree of amino acid similarity in a 12-amino-acid C-terminal domain, deemed to represent the functional ligand of GmNARK. GmRIC1 was expressed early (12 h) in response to Bradyrhizobium-sp.-produced nodulation factor while GmRIC2 was induced later (48 to 72 h) but was more persistent during later nodule development. Neither GmRIC1 nor GmRIC2 were induced by nitrate. In contrast, GmNIC1 was strongly induced by nitrate (2 mM) treatment but not by Bradyrhizobium sp. inoculation and, unlike the other two GmCLE peptides, functioned locally to inhibit nodulation. Grafting demonstrated a requirement for root GmNARK activity for nitrate regulation of nodulation whereas Bradyrhizobium sp.-induced regulation was contingent on GmNARK function in the shoot.



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