Molecular Module GmPTF1a/b-GmNPLa Regulates Rhizobia Infection and Nodule Formation in Soybean
Published:22 Mar.2024    Source:New Phytologist

Nodulation begins with the initiation of infection threads (ITs) in root hairs. Though mutual recognition and early symbiotic signaling cascades in legumes are well understood, molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial infection processes and successive nodule organogenesis remain largely unexplored.

We functionally investigated a novel pectate lyase enzyme, GmNPLa, and its transcriptional regulator GmPTF1a/b in soybean (Glycine max), where their regulatory roles in IT development and nodule formation were elucidated through investigation of gene expression patterns, bioinformatics analysis, biochemical verification of genetic interactions, and observation of phenotypic impacts in transgenic soybean plants.
GmNPLa was specifically induced by rhizobium inoculation in root hairs. Manipulation of GmNPLa produced remarkable effects on IT and nodule formation. GmPTF1a/b displayed similar expression patterns as GmNPLa, and manipulation of GmPTF1a/b also severely influenced nodulation traits. LI soybeans with low nodulation phenotypes were nearly restored to HI nodulation level by complementation of GmNPLa and/or GmPTF1a. Further genetic and biochemical analysis demonstrated that GmPTF1a can bind to the E-box motif to activate transcription of GmNPLa, and thereby facilitate nodulation.