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Plant Cell Physiol. 2012 Oct;53(10):1751-67. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcs120. Epub 2012 Aug 31.

A Phaseolus vulgaris NADPH oxidase gene is required for root infection by Rhizobia.

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Departamento de Biología Molecular de Plantas, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, Apartado Postal 510-3, Cuernavaca, Morelos 62271, México.


Plant NADPH oxidases [respiratory burst oxidase homologs (RBOHs)] have emerged as key players in the regulation of plant-pathogen interactions. Nonetheless, their role in mutualistic associations, such as the rhizobia-legume symbiosis, is poorly understood. In this work, nine members of the Phaseolus vulgaris Rboh gene family were identified. The transcript of one of these, PvRbohB, accumulated abundantly in shoots, roots and nodules. PvRbohB promoter activity was detected in meristematic regions of P. vulgaris roots, as well as during infection thread (IT) progression and nodule development. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated PvRbohB down-regulation in transgenic roots reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lateral root density, and greatly impaired nodulation. Microscopy analysis revealed that progression of the ITs was impeded at the base of root hairs in PvRbohB-RNAi roots. Furthermore, the few nodules that formed in PvRbohB-down-regulated roots displayed abnormally wide ITs and reduced nitrogen fixation. These findings indicate that this common bean NADPH oxidase is crucial for successful rhizobial colonization and probably maintains proper IT growth and shape.

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