Background: During the interaction between rhizobia and leguminous plants the two partners engage in a molecular conversation that leads to reciprocal recognition and ensures the beginning of a successful symbiotic integration. In host plants, intracellular Ca2+ changes are an integral part of the signalling mechanism. In rhizobia it is not yet known whether Ca2+ can act as a transducer of symbiotic signals. Results: A plasmid encoding the bioluminescent Ca2+ probe aequorin was introduced into Mesorhizobium loti USDA 3147T strain to investigate whether a Ca2+ response is activated in rhizobia upon perception of plant root exudates. We find that M. loti cells respond to environmental and symbiotic cues through transient elevations in intracellular free Ca2+ concentration. Only root exudates from the homologous host Lotus japonicus induce Ca2+ signalling and downstream activation of nodulation genes. The extracellular Ca2+ chelator EGTA inhibits both transient intracellular Ca2+ increase and inducible nod gene expression, while not affecting the expression of other genes, either constitutively expressed or inducible. Conclusion: These findings indicate a newly described early event in the molecular dialogue between plants and rhizobia and highlight the use of aequorin-expressing bacterial strains as a promising novel approach for research in legume symbiosis.

Evidence for calcium-mediated perception of plant symbiotic signals in aequorin-expressing Mesorhizobium loti

MOSCATIELLO, ROBERTO;ALBERGHINI, SARA;SQUARTINI, ANDREA;MARIANI, PAOLINA;NAVAZIO, LORELLA
2009

Abstract

Background: During the interaction between rhizobia and leguminous plants the two partners engage in a molecular conversation that leads to reciprocal recognition and ensures the beginning of a successful symbiotic integration. In host plants, intracellular Ca2+ changes are an integral part of the signalling mechanism. In rhizobia it is not yet known whether Ca2+ can act as a transducer of symbiotic signals. Results: A plasmid encoding the bioluminescent Ca2+ probe aequorin was introduced into Mesorhizobium loti USDA 3147T strain to investigate whether a Ca2+ response is activated in rhizobia upon perception of plant root exudates. We find that M. loti cells respond to environmental and symbiotic cues through transient elevations in intracellular free Ca2+ concentration. Only root exudates from the homologous host Lotus japonicus induce Ca2+ signalling and downstream activation of nodulation genes. The extracellular Ca2+ chelator EGTA inhibits both transient intracellular Ca2+ increase and inducible nod gene expression, while not affecting the expression of other genes, either constitutively expressed or inducible. Conclusion: These findings indicate a newly described early event in the molecular dialogue between plants and rhizobia and highlight the use of aequorin-expressing bacterial strains as a promising novel approach for research in legume symbiosis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2445556
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