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Plant Cell Physiol. 2009 Jan;50(1):67-77. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcn194. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

Nod factor/nitrate-induced CLE genes that drive HAR1-mediated systemic regulation of nodulation.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Host legumes control root nodule numbers by sensing external and internal cues. A major external cue is soil nitrate, whereas a feedback regulatory system in which earlier formed nodules suppress further nodulation through shoot-root communication is an important internal cue. The latter is known as autoregulation of nodulation (AUT), and is believed to consist of two long-distance signals: a root-derived signal that is generated in infected roots and transmitted to the shoot; and a shoot-derived signal that systemically inhibits nodulation. In Lotus japonicus, the leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase, HYPERNODULATION ABERRANT ROOT FORMATION 1 (HAR1), mediates AUT and nitrate inhibition of nodulation, and is hypothesized to recognize the root-derived signal. Here we identify L. japonicus CLE-Root Signal 1 (LjCLE-RS1) and LjCLE-RS2 as strong candidates for the root-derived signal. A hairy root transformation study shows that overexpressing LjCLE-RS1 and -RS2 inhibits nodulation systemically and, furthermore, that the systemic suppression depends on HAR1. Moreover, LjCLE-RS2 expression is strongly up-regulated in roots by nitrate addition. Based on these findings, we propose a simple model for AUT and nitrate inhibition of nodulation mediated by LjCLE-RS1, -RS2 peptides and the HAR1 receptor-like kinase.

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