The Role of Plant Peptides in Symbiotic Interactions

  • Virginie Mortier
  • Ulrike MathesiusEmail author
  • Sofie Goormachtig
Part of the Signaling and Communication in Plants book series (SIGCOMM, volume 16)


Plants form symbioses with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia that cause the formation of root nodules. Plant peptides of the CLAVATA3/embryo-surrounding region (CLE), early nodulin 40 (ENOD40), rapid alkalinization factor (RALF), devil1 (DVL1)/rotundifolia4 (ROT4), and nodule-specific cysteine-rich (NCR) families have been implicated in all stages of nodulation. While CLE peptides have roles in controlling the proliferation of nodule cell divisions locally and systemically, ENOD40 peptides act locally in nodule initiation. RALF and DLV1-related peptides play a role in bacterial infection thread formation, while the large family of NCR proteins is nodule specific and controls bacteroid differentiation in mature nodules. Interestingly, parasitic nematodes, which induce feeding structures in host roots that involve similar induction of cell division and differentiation as nodules, are the only organisms known to encode CLE peptides outside the plant kingdom. While rhizobia induce the expression of CLE peptides by the host, parasitic nematodes directly inject CLE peptides into developing feeding cells, mimicking the host peptides.


Root Hair Shoot Apical Meristem Nodule Development Infection Thread Nodule Organogenesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginie Mortier
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ulrike Mathesius
    • 3
    Email author
  • Sofie Goormachtig
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Systems BiologyVIBGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Plant Biotechnology and GeneticsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Plant Science, Research School of BiologyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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