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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2003 Apr;16(4):335-41.

Rhizobium-lnduced calcium spiking in Lotus japonicus.

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Department of Botany and Agricultural Biochemistry, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0086, USA.


Legumes and rhizobium bacteria form a symbiosis that results in the development of nitrogen-fixing nodules on the root of the host plant. The earliest plant developmental changes are triggered by bacterially produced nodulation (Nod) factors. Within minutes of exposure to Nod factors, sharp oscillations in cytoplasmic calcium levels (calcium spiking) occur in epidermal cells of several closely related legumes. We found that Lotus japonicus, a legume that follows an alternate developmental pathway, responds to both its bacterial partner and to the purified bacterial signal with calcium spiking. Thus, calcium spiking is not restricted to a particular pathway of nodule development and may be a general component of the response of host legumes to their bacterial partner. Using Nod factor-induced calcium spiking as a tool to identify mutants blocked early in the response to Nod factor, we show that the L. japonicus Ljsym22-1 mutant but not the Ljsym30 mutant fails to respond to Nod factor with calcium spiking.

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