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Gene. 2005 Jan 31;345(2):191-7. Epub 2005 Jan 1.

Expression of a xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase gene, Mt-XTH1, from Medicago truncatula is induced systemically in mycorrhizal roots.

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Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases (XTH) are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis and transglycosylation of xyloglucan polymers in plant cell walls. Previously, we isolated a cDNA from mycorrhizal roots of Medicago truncatula that is predicted to encode an XTH [van Buuren, M.L., Maldonado-Mendoza, I.E., Trieu, A.T., Blaylock, L.A., Harrison, M.J., 1999. Novel genes induced during an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis between M. truncatula and G. versiforme. Mol. Plant-Microb. Interact. 12, 171-181.]. Here, we identified the corresponding XTH gene, designated Mt-XTH1. The Mt-XTH1 gene contains four exons separated by three introns and resides on a 15-kb Xba1 fragment adjacent to a second XTH gene designated Mt-XTH2. Mt-XTH2 shares the same exon-intron structure as Mt-XTH1. Exons 2, 3 and 4 and introns 1 and 2 are identical to Mt-XTH1, while exon 1 and intron 3 are divergent, both in sequence and in length. Mt-XTH1 is induced following colonization of the roots by AM fungi but does not respond to changes in phosphate status. Analysis of transgenic roots expressing an Mt-XTH1 promoterColon, two colonsuidA fusion revealed that the Mt-XTH1 promoter directs expression in cells throughout the root system with significantly higher levels of activity in mycorrhizal roots. Mt-XTH1 expression is elevated not only in the regions of the roots colonized by the fungus, but also at sites distal to the infected regions. These expression patterns are consistent with activation in response to a systemic signal.

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