Symbiosis Receptor Kinase (SYMRK), a member of the Nod factor signaling pathway, is indispensible for both nodule organogenesis and intracellular colonization of symbionts in rhizobia-legume symbiosis. Here, we show that the intracellular kinase domain of a SYMRK (SYMRK-kd) but not its inactive or full-length version leads to hyperactivation of the nodule organogenic program in Medicago truncatula TR25 (symrk knockout mutant) in the absence of rhizobia. Spontaneous nodulation in TR25/SYMRK-kd was 6-fold higher than rhizobia-induced nodulation in TR25/SYMRK roots. The merged clusters of spontaneous nodules indicated that TR25 roots in the presence of SYMRK-kd have overcome the control over both nodule numbers and their spatial position. In the presence of rhizobia, SYMRK-kd could rescue the epidermal infection processes in TR25, but colonization of symbionts in the nodule interior was significantly compromised. In summary, ligand-independent deregulated activation of SYMRK hyperactivates nodule organogenesis in the absence of rhizobia, but its ectodomain is required for proper symbiont colonization.
Via Christophe Jacquet