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Plant Cell. 2012 Nov;24(11):4498-510. doi: 10.1105/tpc.112.103747. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

NODULE ROOT and COCHLEATA maintain nodule development and are legume orthologs of Arabidopsis BLADE-ON-PETIOLE genes.

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  • 1Institut des Sciences du Végétal, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 91198 Gif sur Yvette cedex, France.


During their symbiotic interaction with rhizobia, legume plants develop symbiosis-specific organs on their roots, called nodules, that house nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The molecular mechanisms governing the identity and maintenance of these organs are unknown. Using Medicago truncatula nodule root (noot) mutants and pea (Pisum sativum) cochleata (coch) mutants, which are characterized by the abnormal development of roots from the nodule, we identified the NOOT and COCH genes as being necessary for the robust maintenance of nodule identity throughout the nodule developmental program. NOOT and COCH are Arabidopsis thaliana BLADE-ON-PETIOLE orthologs, and we have shown that their functions in leaf and flower development are conserved in M. truncatula and pea. The identification of these two genes defines a clade in the BTB/POZ-ankyrin domain proteins that shares conserved functions in eudicot organ development and suggests that NOOT and COCH were recruited to repress root identity in the legume symbiotic organ.

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