[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arbuscular mycorrhiza and the rhizobia-legume symbiosis are two major root endosymbioses that facilitate plant nutrition. In Lotus japonicus, two symbiotic cation channels, CASTOR and POLLUX, are indispensable for the induction of nuclear calcium spiking, one of the earliest plant responses to symbiotic partner recognition. During recent evolution, a single amino acid substitution in DOES NOT MAKE INFECTIONS1 (DMI1), the POLLUX putative ortholog in the closely related Medicago truncatula, rendered the channel solo sufficient for symbiosis; castor, pollux, and castor pollux double mutants of L. japonicus were rescued by DMI1 alone, while both Lj-CASTOR and Lj-POLLUX were required for rescuing a dmi1 mutant of M. truncatula. Experimental replacement of the critical serine by an alanine in the selectivity filter of Lj-POLLUX conferred a symbiotic performance indistinguishable from DMI1. Electrophysiological characterization of DMI1 and Lj-CASTOR (wild-type and mutants) by planar lipid bilayer experiments combined with calcium imaging in Human Embryonic Kidney-293 cells expressing DMI1 (the wild type and mutants) suggest that the serine-to-alanine substitution conferred reduced conductance with a long open state to DMI1 and improved its efficiency in mediating calcium oscillations. We propose that this single amino acid replacement in the selectivity filter made DMI1 solo sufficient for symbiosis, thus explaining the selective advantage of this allele at the mechanistic level.
The Plant Cell 06/2012; 24(6):2528-45. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of the Oryza sativa calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase OsCCaMK genotype (dominant homozygous [D], heterozygous [H], recessive homozygous [R]) on rice root-associated bacteria, including endophytes and epiphytes, were examined by using a Tos17 rice mutant line under paddy and upland field conditions. Roots were sampled at the flowering stage and were subjected to clone library analyses. The relative abundance of Alphaproteobacteria was noticeably decreased in R plants under both paddy and upland conditions (0.8% and 3.0%, respectively) relative to those in D plants (10.3% and 17.4%, respectively). Population shifts of the Sphingomonadales and Rhizobiales were mainly responsible for this low abundance in R plants. The abundance of Anaerolineae (Chloroflexi) and Clostridia (Firmicutes) was increased in R plants under paddy conditions. The abundance of a subpopulation of Actinobacteria (Saccharothrix spp. and unclassified Actinosynnemataceae) was increased in R plants under upland conditions. Principal coordinate analysis revealed unidirectional community shifts in relation to OsCCaMK gene dosage under both conditions. In addition, shoot length, tiller number, and plant weight decreased as the OsCCaMK gene dosage decreased under upland conditions. These results suggest significant impacts of OsCCaMK on both the diversity of root-associated bacteria and rice plant growth under both paddy and upland field conditions.
Applied and environmental microbiology 07/2011; 77(13):4399-405. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The majority of land plants acquire soil nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, not only through the root surface but also through arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Soybean is the most important leguminous crop in the world. We found 16 ammonium transporter genes in the soybean genome, five of which are AM inducible. Among them, promoter-reporter analysis indicated that the most abundantly transcribed gene, GmAMT4.1, showed specific expression in arbusculated cortical cells. Moreover, the GmAMT4.1-green fluorescent protein fusion was localized on the branch domain of periarbuscular membranes but not on the trunk region, indicating that active ammonium transfer occurs around the arbuscule branches.
Plant and Cell Physiology 09/2010; 51(9):1411-5. · 4.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In legumes, Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) is a component of the common symbiosis genes that are required for both root nodule (RN) and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) symbioses and is thought to be a decoder of Ca(2+) spiking, one of the earliest cellular responses to microbial signals. A gain-of-function mutation of CCaMK has been shown to induce spontaneous nodulation without rhizobia, but the significance of CCaMK activation in bacterial and/or fungal infection processes is not fully understood. Here we show that a gain-of-function CCaMK(T265D) suppresses loss-of-function mutations of common symbiosis genes required for the generation of Ca(2+) spiking, not only for nodule organogenesis but also for successful infection of rhizobia and AM fungi, demonstrating that the common symbiosis genes upstream of Ca(2+) spiking are required solely to activate CCaMK. In RN symbiosis, however, CCaMK(T265D) induced nodule organogenesis, but not rhizobial infection, on Nod factor receptor (NFRs) mutants. We propose a model of symbiotic signaling in host legume plants, in which CCaMK plays a key role in the coordinated induction of infection thread formation and nodule organogenesis.
The Plant Journal 07/2010; 63(1):141-54. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi inhabit the root cortical cells of most plants and obtain photosynthates from the host plants while they transfer mineral nutrients from the soil to the hosts. In this review, we first summarize recent progress regarding signal molecules involved in the recognition of each symbiont, the signaling pathways in the host plants, and the characteristics of AM-inducible nutrient transporters, which were elucidated mainly using model legumes. Then, we summarize studies on the colonization by AM fungi of lower plants and of the roots of major crops. There are not only "AM-responsive" crops like maize, sorghum, and soybean but also "AM-nonresponsive" ones like wheat, barley, and rice. Finally, we mention the worldwide problems of limited and biased agricultural resources and discuss future directions as to how we can make use of AM symbiosis for improving crop production and establishing sustainable agriculture.
International review of cell and molecular biology 01/2010; 281:1-48. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endosymbiotic infection of legume plants by Rhizobium bacteria is initiated through infection threads (ITs) which are initiated within and penetrate from root hairs and deliver the endosymbionts into nodule cells. Despite recent progress in understanding the mutual recognition and early symbiotic signaling cascades in host legumes, the molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial infection processes and successive nodule organogenesis are still poorly understood. We isolated a novel symbiotic mutant of Lotus japonicus, cerberus, which shows defects in IT formation and nodule organogenesis. Map-based cloning of the causal gene allowed us to identify the CERBERUS gene, which encodes a novel protein containing a U-box domain and WD-40 repeats. CERBERUS expression was detected in the roots and nodules, and was enhanced after inoculation of Mesorhizobium loti. Strong expression was detected in developing nodule primordia and the infected zone of mature nodules. In cerberus mutants, Rhizobium colonized curled root hair tips, but hardly penetrated into root hair cells. The occasional ITs that were formed inside the root hair cells were mostly arrested within the epidermal cell layer. Nodule organogenesis was aborted prematurely, resulting in the formation of a large number of small bumps which contained no endosymbiotic bacteria. These phenotypic and genetic analyses, together with comparisons with other legume mutants with defects in IT formation, indicate that CERBERUS plays a critical role in the very early steps of IT formation as well as in growth and differentiation of nodules.
The Plant Journal 07/2009; 60(1):168-80. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The initiation of intracellular infection of legume roots by symbiotic rhizobia bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi is preceded by the induction of calcium signatures in and around the nucleus of root epidermal cells. Although a calcium and calmodulin-dependent kinase (CCaMK) is a key mediator of symbiotic root responses, the decoding of the calcium signal and the molecular events downstream are only poorly understood. Here, we characterize Lotus japonicus cyclops mutants on which microbial infection was severely inhibited. In contrast, nodule organogenesis was initiated in response to rhizobia, but arrested prematurely. This arrest was overcome when a deregulated CCaMK mutant version was introduced into cyclops mutants, conferring the development of full-sized, spontaneous nodules. Because cyclops mutants block symbiotic infection but are competent for nodule development, they reveal a bifurcation of signal transduction downstream of CCaMK. We identified CYCLOPS by positional cloning. CYCLOPS carries a functional nuclear localization signal and a predicted coiled-coil domain. We observed colocalization and physical interaction between CCaMK and CYCLOPS in plant and yeast cell nuclei in the absence of symbiotic stimulation. Importantly, CYCLOPS is a phosphorylation substrate of CCaMK in vitro. Cyclops mutants of rice were impaired in AM, and rice CYCLOPS could restore symbiosis in Lotus cyclops mutants, indicating a functional conservation across angiosperms. Our results suggest that CYCLOPS forms an ancient, preassembled signal transduction complex with CCaMK that is specifically required for infection, whereas organogenesis likely requires additional yet-to-be identified CCaMK interactors or substrates.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 105(51):20540-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knowledge about signaling in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses is currently restricted to the common symbiosis (SYM) signaling pathway discovered in legumes. This pathway includes calcium as a second messenger and regulates both AM and rhizobial symbioses. Both monocotyledons and dicotyledons form symbiotic associations with AM fungi, and although they differ markedly in the organization of their root systems, the morphology of colonization is similar. To identify and dissect AM-specific signaling in rice (Oryza sativa), we developed molecular phenotyping tools based on gene expression patterns that monitor various steps of AM colonization. These tools were used to distinguish common SYM-dependent and -independent signaling by examining rice mutants of selected putative legume signaling orthologs predicted to be perturbed both upstream (CASTOR and POLLUX) and downstream (CCAMK and CYCLOPS) of the central, calcium-spiking signal. All four mutants displayed impaired AM interactions and altered AM-specific gene expression patterns, therefore demonstrating functional conservation of SYM signaling between distant plant species. In addition, differential gene expression patterns in the mutants provided evidence for AM-specific but SYM-independent signaling in rice and furthermore for unexpected deviations from the SYM pathway downstream of calcium spiking.
The Plant Cell 12/2008; 20(11):2989-3005. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years a number of legume genes involved in root nodule (RN) symbiosis have been identified in the model legumes, Lotus japonicus (Lotus) and Medicago truncatula. Among them, a distinct set of genes has been categorized as a common symbiosis pathway (CSP), because they are also essential for another mutual interaction, the arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) symbiosis, which is evolutionarily older than the RN symbiosis and is widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Based on the concept that the legume RN symbiosis has evolved from the ancient AM symbiosis, one issue is whether the CSP is functionally conserved between non-nodulating plants, such as rice, and nodulating legumes. We identified three rice CSP gene orthologs, OsCASTOR, OsPOLLUX and OsCCaMK, and demonstrated the indispensable roles of OsPOLLUX and OsCCaMK in rice AM symbiosis. Interestingly, molecular transfection of either OsCASTOR or OsCCaMK could fully complement symbiosis defects in the corresponding Lotus mutant lines for both the AM and RN symbioses. Our results not only provide a conserved genetic basis for the AM symbiosis between rice and Lotus, but also indicate that the core of the CSP has been well conserved during the evolution of RN symbiosis. Through evolution, CASTOR and CCaMK have remained as the molecular basis for the maintenance of CSP functions in the two symbiosis systems.
Plant and Cell Physiology 11/2008; 49(11):1659-71. · 4.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To better understand the molecular responses of plants to arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, we analyzed the differential gene expression patterns of Lotus japonicus, a model legume, with the aid of a large-scale cDNA macroarray. Experiments were carried out considering the effects of contaminating microorganisms in the soil inoculants. When the colonization by AM fungi, i.e. Glomus mosseae and Gigaspora margarita, was well established, four cysteine protease genes were induced. In situ hybridization revealed that these cysteine protease genes were specifically expressed in arbuscule-containing inner cortical cells of AM roots. On the other hand, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis-related genes for phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), chalcone synthase, etc. were repressed in the later stage, although they were moderately up-regulated on the initial association with the AM fungus. Real-time RT-PCR experiments supported the array experiments. To further confirm the characteristic expression, a PAL promoter was fused with a reporter gene and introduced into L. japonicus, and then the transformants were grown with a commercial inoculum of G. mosseae. The reporter activity was augmented throughout the roots due to the presence of contaminating microorganisms in the inoculum. Interestingly, G. mosseae only colonized where the reporter activity was low. Comparison of the transcriptome profiles of AM roots and nitrogen-fixing root nodules formed with Mesorhizobium loti indicated that the PAL genes and other phenylpropanoid biosynthesis-related genes were similarly repressed in the two organs.
DNA Research 07/2007; 14(3):117-33. · 4.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of molecular tools for the analysis of the plant genetic contribution to rhizobial and mycorrhizal symbiosis has provided major advances in our understanding of plant-microbe interactions, and several key symbiotic genes have been identified and characterized. In order to increase the efficiency of genetic analysis in the model legume Lotus japonicus, we present here a selection of improved genetic tools. The two genetic linkage maps previously developed from an interspecific cross between L. japonicus Gifu and L. filicaulis, and an intraspecific cross between the two ecotypes L. japonicus Gifu and L. japonicus MG-20, were aligned through a set of anchor markers. Regions of linkage groups, where genetic resolution is obtained preferentially using one or the other parental combination, are highlighted. Additional genetic resolution and stabilized mapping populations were obtained in recombinant inbred lines derived by a single seed descent from the two populations. For faster mapping of new loci, a selection of reliable markers spread over the chromosome arms provides a common framework for more efficient identification of new alleles and new symbiotic loci among uncharacterized mutant lines. Combining resources from the Lotus community, map positions of a large collection of symbiotic loci are provided together with alleles and closely linked molecular markers. Altogether, this establishes a common genetic resource for Lotus spp. A web-based version will enable this resource to be curated and updated regularly.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We isolated a recessive symbiotic mutant of Lotus japonicus that defines a genetic locus, LOT1 (for low nodulation and trichome distortion). The nodule number per plant of the mutant was about one-fifth of that of the wild type. The lot1 mutant showed a moderate dwarf phenotype and distorted trichomes, but its root hairs showed no apparent differences to those of the wild type. Infection thread formation after inoculation of Mesorhizobium loti was repressed in lot1 compared to that in the wild type. The nodule primordia of lot1 did not result in any aborted nodule-like structure, all nodules becoming mature and exhibiting high nitrogen fixation activity. The mutant was normally colonized by mycorrhizal fungi. lot1 also showed higher sensitivity to nitrate than the wild type. The grown-up seedlings of lot1 were insensitive to any ethylene treatments with regard to nodulation, although the mutant showed normal triple response on germination. It is conceivable that a nodulation-specific ethylene signaling pathway is constitutively activated in the mutant. Grafting experiments with lot1 and wild-type seedlings suggested that the root genotype mainly determines the low nodulation phenotype of the mutant, while the trichome distortion is regulated by the shoot genotype. Grafting of har1-4 shoots to lot1 roots resulted in an intermediate nodule number, i.e. more than that of lot1 and less than that of har1-4. Putative double mutants of lot1 and har1 also showed intermediate nodulation. Thus, it was indicated that LOT1 is involved in a distinct signal transduction pathway independent of HAR1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Lotus japonicus sen1 mutant forms ineffective nodules in which development is arrested at the stage of bacterial differentiation into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Here, we used cDNA macroarray systems to compare gene expression in ineffective nodules induced on the sen1 mutant with gene expression in wild-type nodules, in order to identify the host plant genes that are involved in nitrogen fixation. Macroarray analysis coupled with Northern blot analysis revealed that the expression of 18 genes was significantly enhanced in ineffective sen1 nodules, whereas the expression of 30 genes was repressed. Many of the enhanced genes encoded hydrolase enzymes, such as cysteine proteinase and asparaginase, that might function in the early senescence of sen1 nodules. By contrast, the repressed genes encoded nodulins, enzymes that are involved in carbon and nitrogen metabolism, membrane transporters, enzymes involved in phytohormone metabolism and secondary metabolism, and regulatory proteins. These proteins might have a role in the establishment of nitrogen fixation. In addition, we discovered two novel genes that encoded glutamate-rich proteins and were localized in the vascular bundles of the nodules. The expression of these genes was repressed in the ineffective nodules, which had lower levels of nitrogenase activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A full-length cDNA for squalene synthase was isolated from Lotus japonicus, a model leguminous plant. The transcript was abundant in roots, symbiotic root nodules, and shoots, in that order. In situ hybridization revealed that the mRNA level is high in expanding root cells but low in dividing root tip ones. The transcript is also abundant in vascular bundles and the basal portions of mature nodules. L. japonicus squalene synthase has an unusual Asp residue near the active site, where mammalian enzymes have Gln, and replacement of the Gln by Glu has been reported to cause severe inactivation. Site-directed mutagenesis of the L. japonicus enzyme and assaying in vitro showed that this Asp residue can be substituted by not only Gln but also Glu, suggesting that the local structure of plant squalene synthases is different from that of mammalian enzymes.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2003; 1626(1-3):97-101. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylases (PEPCs), one form of which in each legume species plays a central role in the carbon metabolism in symbiotic root nodules, are activated through phosphorylation of a conserved residue by a specific protein kinase (PEPC-PK). We characterized the cDNAs for two PEPC isoforms of Lotus japonicus, an amide-translocating legume that forms determinate nodules. One gene encodes a nodule-enhanced form, which is more closely related to the PEPCs in amide-type indeterminate nodules than those in ureide-type determinate nodules. The other gene is expressed in shoots and roots at a low level. Both forms have the putative phosphorylation site, Ser11. We also isolated a cDNA and the corresponding genomic DNA for PEPC-PK of L. japonicus. The recombinant PEPC-PK protein expressed in Escherichia coli phosphorylated recombinant maize C4-form PEPC efficiently in vitro. The level of mRNA for PEPC-PK was high in root nodules, and those in shoots and roots were also significant. In situ hybridization revealed that the expression patterns of the transcripts for PEPC and PEPC-PK were similar in mature root nodules, but were different in emerging nodules. When L. japonicus seedlings were subjected to prolonged darkness and subsequent illumination, the activity of PEPC-PK and the mRNA levels of both PEPC and PEPC-PK in nodules decreased and then recovered, suggesting that they are regulated according to the amounts of photosynthates transported from shoots.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesorhizobium loti and Rhizobium etli are microsymbionts of the Lotus and Phaseolus spp., respectively, and secrete essentially the same Nod factors. Lotus japonicus efficiently formed root nodules with R. etli CE3, irrespective of the presence or absence of a flavonoid-independent transcription activator nodD gene. On a nitrogen-free medium, however, the host plant inoculated with R. etli showed a severe nitrogen deficiency symptom. Initially, the nodules formed with R. etli were pale pink and leghemoglobin mRNA was detectable at significant levels. Nevertheless, the nodules became greenish with time. Acetylene-reduction activity of nodules formed with R. etli was comparable with that formed by M. loti 3 weeks postinoculation, but thereafter it decreased rapidly. The nodules formed with R. etli contained much more starch granules than those formed with M. loti. R. etli developed into bacteroids in the L. japonicus nodules, although the density of bacteroids in the infected cells was lower than that in the nodules formed with M. loti. The nodules formed with R. etli were of the early senescence type, in that membrane structures were drastically disintegrated in the infected cells of the greenish nodules. Thus, L. japonicus started and then ceased a symbiotic relationship with R. etli at the final stage.