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Plant Cell Environ. 2018 Jun 25. doi: 10.1111/pce.13388. [Epub ahead of print]

MtMOT1.2 is responsible for molybdate supply to Medicago truncatula nodules.

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Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (UPM-INIA). Campus de Montegancedo, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad de Córdoba, Campus de Rabanales, Córdoba, Spain.
Noble Research Institute, LCC, Ardmore, Oklahoma, 73401, USA.
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto de Ciencias Agrarias, Madrid, Spain.
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica, Alimentaría y de Biosistemas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain.


Symbiotic nitrogen fixation in legume root nodules requires a steady supply of molybdenum for synthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase. This nutrient has to be provided by the host plant from the soil, crossing several symplastically disconnected compartments through molybdate transporters, including members of the MOT1 family. Medicago truncatula Molybdate Transporter (MtMOT) 1.2 is a Medicago truncatula MOT1 family member located in the endodermal cells in roots and nodules. Immunolocalization of a tagged MtMOT1.2 indicates that it is associated to the plasma membrane and to intracellular membrane systems, where it would be transporting molybdate towards the cytosol, as indicated in yeast transport assays. Loss-of-function mot1.2-1 mutant showed reduced growth compared with wild-type plants when nitrogen fixation was required but not when nitrogen was provided as nitrate. While no effect on molybdenum-dependent nitrate reductase activity was observed, nitrogenase activity was severely affected, explaining the observed difference of growth depending on nitrogen source. This phenotype was the result of molybdate not reaching the nitrogen-fixing nodules, since genetic complementation with a wild-type MtMOT1.2 gene or molybdate-fortification of the nutrient solution, both restored wild-type levels of growth and nitrogenase activity. These results support a model in which MtMOT1.2 would mediate molybdate delivery by the vasculature into the nodules.


legume; plant nutrition; rhizobia; symbiotic nitrogen fixation


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