Expression of the CLE-RS3 gene suppresses root nodulation in Lotus japonicus
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- Nishida, H., Handa, Y., Tanaka, S. et al. J Plant Res (2016) 129: 909. doi:10.1007/s10265-016-0842-z
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Cell-to-cell communication, principally mediated by short- or long-range mobile signals, is involved in many plant developmental processes. In root nodule symbiosis, a mutual relationship between leguminous plants and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, the mechanism for the autoregulation of nodulation (AON) plays a key role in preventing the production of an excess number of nodules. AON is based on long-distance cell-to-cell communication between roots and shoots. In Lotus japonicus, two CLAVATA3/ESR-related (CLE) peptides, encoded by CLE-ROOT SIGNAL 1 (CLE-RS1) and -RS2, act as putative root-derived signals that transmit signals inhibiting further nodule development through interaction with a shoot-acting receptor-like kinase HYPERNODULATION ABERRANT ROOT FORMATION 1 (HAR1). Here, an in silico search and subsequent expression analyses enabled us to identify two new L. japonicusCLE genes that are potentially involved in nodulation, designated as CLE-RS3 and LjCLE40. Time-course expression patterns showed that CLE-RS1/2/3 and LjCLE40 expression is induced during nodulation with different activation patterns. Furthermore, constitutive expression of CLE-RS3 significantly suppressed nodule formation in a HAR1-dependent manner. TOO MUCH LOVE, a root-acting regulator of AON, is also required for the CLE-RS3 action. These results suggest that CLE-RS3 is a new component of AON in L. japonicus that may act as a potential root-derived signal through interaction with HAR1. Because CLE-RS2, CLE-RS3 and LjCLE40 are located in tandem in the genome and their expression is induced not only by rhizobial infection but also by nitrate, these genes may have duplicated from a common gene.