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Mol Plant. 2009 May;2(3):487-99. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssp009. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

A novel ABA insensitive mutant of Lotus japonicus with a wilty phenotype displays unaltered nodulation regulation.

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ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.


An ABA insensitive mutant, Beyma, was isolated in Lotus japonicus MG-20 from an EMS mutagenesis population using root growth inhibition to applied ABA as the screening criterion. (The name 'Beyma' was taken from the Australian Aboriginal language, Wagiman, beyma, meaning 'drying up'.) The stable mutant that segregates as a dominant Mendelian mutation is insensitive to ABA induced inhibition of germination, vegetative growth, stomatal opening, as well as nodulation. Tissue ABA levels were normal, suggesting a sensitivity rather than biosynthesis mutation. It is slow-growing (50-70% of wild-type MG-20) and has a near-constitutive wilty phenotype associated with its inability to regulate stomatal opening. Whilst showing a wide range of ABA insensitive phenotypes, Beyma did not show alteration of nodule number control, as, in the absence of added ABA, the number and patterning (but not size) of nodules formed in the mutant were similar to that of MG-20. Split root experiments on MG-20 showed that application of ABA on one side of the root inhibited nodulation locally but not systemically. We propose that ABA is not involved directly in systemic autoregulation of nodulation (AON).

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