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Plant Signal Behav. 2008 May;3(5):298-300.

Boron dependent membrane glycoproteins in symbiosome development and nodule organogenesis: A model for a common role of boron in organogenesis.

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  • 1Departamento de Biología; Facultad de Ciencias; Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Madrid, Spain.


During the last two decades, we have analyzed the roles of boron (B) in the development of the legume-rhizobia symbiosis and nodule organogenesis. As in other plant tissues, B is needed for the maintenance of nodule cell wall structure. Moreover, several symbiotic events including rhizobial infection, nodule cell invasion and symbiosome development that involve membrane related functions (i.e., vesicle targeting, secretion, or cell surface interactions) are affected by B deficiency. Using anti-rhamnogalacturonan II (anti-RGII) antiserum and immunological techniques, we recently described membrane glycoproteins (RGII-glycoproteins) developmentally regulated in Pisum sativum nodules, which are not detected by the antibody in B-deficient nodules. RGII-glycoproteins appeared related with development processes involving extensive membrane synthesis, like symbiosome maturation or cell growth, both of them negatively affected by B deficiency. Here, we suggest that, besides maintaining cell wall structure, B is both stabilizing components of the membrane glycocalyx and promoting interactions between cell surfaces glycoconjugates that are important during the establishment of the symbiosis and during nodule development. Moreover, we hypothesize that B is playing a similar role during plant or animal embryogenesis and development.


RGII glycoproteins; boron; cell surface interactions; cell to cell communication; embryogenesis; membrane synthesis; nodule development; organogenesis; symbiosome maturation

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