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Planta. 2011 Nov;234(5):1073-81. doi: 10.1007/s00425-011-1516-7. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

Strigolactones promote nodulation in pea.

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School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, TAS, 7001, Australia.


Strigolactones are recently defined plant hormones with roles in mycorrhizal symbiosis and shoot and root architecture. Their potential role in controlling nodulation, the related symbiosis between legumes and Rhizobium bacteria, was explored using the strigolactone-deficient rms1 mutant in pea (Pisum sativum L.). This work indicates that endogenous strigolactones are positive regulators of nodulation in pea, required for optimal nodule number but not for nodule formation per se. rms1 mutant root exudates and root tissue are almost completely deficient in strigolactones, and rms1 mutant plants have approximately 40% fewer nodules than wild-type plants. Treatment with the synthetic strigolactone GR24 elevated nodule number in wild-type pea plants and also elevated nodule number in rms1 mutant plants to a level similar to that seen in untreated wild-type plants. Grafting studies revealed that nodule number and strigolactone levels in root tissue of rms1 roots were unaffected by grafting to wild-type scions indicating that strigolactones in the root, but not shoot-derived factors, regulate nodule number and provide the first direct evidence that the shoot does not make a major contribution to root strigolactone levels.

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