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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 1996 Sep;9(7):574-83.

Cooperative action of lipo-chitin nodulation signals on the induction of the early nodulin, ENOD2, in soybean roots.

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Dept. of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996-0845, USA.


Various lipo-chitin molecules were tested for their ability to induce the expression of the early nodulin, ENOD2, in Glycine soja roots. When inoculated separately onto G. soja roots, LCO-V (C18:1 delta 11,Mefuc), LCO-V (C18:1 delta 9,Mefuc), LCO-V (C16:0,Mefuc), and LCO-IV (C16:0) were unable to induce ENOD2 expression, even though these compounds had previously been shown to induce root hair curling, the formation of nodule-like primordia, and induction of the early nodulin, ENOD40. ENOD2 expression, however, was induced when any two of these molecules were inoculated in combination. Thus, the lipo-chitin nodulation signals appear to act cooperatively to induce ENOD2 expression. B. japonicum strains USDA110 and USDA135 and B. elkanii strain USDA61, all symbionts of soybean, were found to produce at least two distinct nod signals ([i.e., NodBj-V[C18:1,Mefuc] and NodBj-V[C16:0,Mefuc]). These two compounds were mixed in various ratios and tested for their ability to induce ENOD2 expression. The results indicate that the former compound must be present in equivalent or excess amount in order to obtain maximum ENOD2 expression. Additional nonspecific LCOs (e.g., LCO-IV[C16:2 delta 2,9; SO3]), incapable of inducing root hair curling or cortical cell division, were tested in combination with the four active LCOs listed above. It was found that any combination of one active LCO with a nonspecific LCO was sufficient to induce ENOD2 mRNA expression. The ENOD2 mRNA expression pattern detected by in situ hybridization closely resembled that found in bacterial-induced nodules with expression detected in cortical cells between primary and secondary meristems and around the vascular strands. These data demonstrate that the cooperative action of at least two LCO nodulation signals leads to a greater progression of nodule ontogeny as demonstrated by the expression of ENOD2, a marker gene for the differentiation of nodule parenchyma.

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