Symbiosis & Evolution
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Chang Fu TIAN

Chang Fu TIAN | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

One day, I was looking for the full-text resource of one paper using Google.

By chance, I clicked a link with the title of that paper.

Then, I was directed to

"Rhizobium Research" curated by IvanOresnik.

"Plant-Microbe Symbioses" curated by Jean-Michel Ané.

... ...

It was amazing that you could get related papers recommended by experts in the field! It is also very helpful if you had missed some interesting publications occasionally.

... ...

In 2013, Peter Young made his "rhizobium blog" available through Scoop.it! Although this blog is not updated very often, his insightful opinions on various topics in the field are very educative. 

... ...

The interactive interface of Scoop.it makes it easy to follow and to discuss a paper/topic. It is worth a try.

 

 

Chang-Fu TIAN

 

PhD. Associate Professor 
State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology,

Rhizobium Research Center,
College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

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Multiple steps control immunity during the intracellular accommodation of rhizobia

Multiple steps control immunity during the intracellular accommodation of rhizobia | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

Medicago truncatula belongs to the legume family and forms symbiotic associations with nitrogen fixing bacteria, the rhizobia. During these interactions, the plants develop root nodules in which bacteria invade the plant cells and fix nitrogen for the benefit of the plant. Despite massive infection, legume nodules do not develop visible defence reactions, suggesting a special immune status of these organs. Some factors influencing rhizobium maintenance within the plant cells have been previously identified, such as the M. truncatula NCR peptides whose toxic effects are reduced by the bacterial protein BacA. In addition, DNF2, SymCRK, and RSD are M. truncatula genes required to avoid rhizobial death within the symbiotic cells. DNF2 and SymCRK are essential to prevent defence-like reactions in nodules after bacteria internalization into the symbiotic cells. Herein, we used a combination of genetics, histology and molecular biology approaches to investigate the relationship between the factors preventing bacterial death in the nodule cells. We show that the RSD gene is also required to repress plant defences in nodules. Upon inoculation with the bacA mutant, defence responses are observed only in the dnf2 mutant and not in the symCRK and rsd mutants. In addition, our data suggest that lack of nitrogen fixation by the bacterial partner triggers bacterial death in nodule cells after bacteroid differentiation. Together our data indicate that, after internalization, at least four independent mechanisms prevent bacterial death in the plant cell. These mechanisms involve successively: DNF2, BacA, SymCRK/RSD and bacterial ability to fix nitrogen.

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A novel intracellular nitrogen-fixing symbiosis made by Ustilago maydis and Bacillus spp.

A novel intracellular nitrogen-fixing symbiosis made by Ustilago maydis and Bacillus spp. | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
We observed that the maize pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis grew in nitrogen (N)-free media at a rate similar to that observed in media containing ammonium nitrate, suggesting that it was able to fix atmospheric N2. Because only prokaryotic organisms have the capacity to reduce N2, we entertained the possibility that U. maydis was associated with an intracellular bacterium.
The presence of nitrogenase in the fungus was analyzed by acetylene reduction, and capacity to fix N2 by use of 15N2. Presence of an intracellular N2-fixing bacterium was analyzed by PCR amplification of bacterial 16S rRNA and nifH genes, and by microscopic observations.
Nitrogenase activity and 15N incorporation into the cells proved that U. maydis fixed N2. Light and electron microscopy, and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments revealed the presence of intracellular bacteria related to Bacillus pumilus, as evidenced by sequencing of the PCR-amplified fragments.
These observations reveal for the first time the existence of an endosymbiotic N2-fixing association involving a fungus and a bacterium.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Nitric oxide: a multifaceted regulator of the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis

Nitric oxide: a multifaceted regulator of the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
The specific interaction between legumes and Rhizobium-type bacteria leads to the establishment of a symbiotic relationship characterized by the formation of new differentiated organs named nodules, which provide a niche for bacterial nitrogen (N2) fixation. In the nodules, bacteria differentiate into bacteroids with the ability to fix atmospheric N2 via nitrogenase activity. As nitrogenase is strongly inhibited by oxygen, N2 fixation is made possible by the microaerophilic conditions prevailing in the nodules. Increasing evidence has shown the presence of NO during symbiosis, from early interaction steps between the plant and the bacterial partners to N2-fixing and senescence steps in mature nodules. Both the plant and the bacterial partners participate in NO synthesis. NO was found to be required for the optimal establishment of the symbiotic interaction. Transcriptomic analysis at an early stage of the symbiosis showed that NO is potentially involved in the repression of plant defence reactions, favouring the establishment of the plant–microbe interaction. In mature nodules, NO was shown to inhibit N2 fixation, but it was also demonstrated to have a regulatory role in nitrogen metabolism, to play a beneficial metabolic function for the maintenance of the energy status under hypoxic conditions, and to trigger nodule senescence. The present review provides an overview of NO sources and multifaceted effects from the early steps of the interaction to the senescence of the nodule, and presents several approaches which appear to be particularly promising in deciphering the roles of NO in N2-fixing symbioses.

Via Jean-Michel Ané, Christophe Jacquet
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Impact of the ahas transgene for herbicides resistance on biological nitrogen fixation and yield of soybean

Impact of the ahas transgene for herbicides resistance on biological nitrogen fixation and yield of soybean | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Studies on the effects of transgenes in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] and the associated use of specific herbicides on biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) are still few, although it is important to ensure minimal impacts on benefits provided by the root-nodule symbiosis. Cultivance CV127 transgenic soybean is a cultivar containing the ahas gene, which confers resistance to herbicides of the imidazolinone group. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of the ahas transgene and of imidazolinone herbicide on BNF parameters and soybean yield. A large-scale set of field experiments was conducted, for three cropping seasons, at nine sites in Brazil, with a total of 20 trials. The experiment was designed as a completely randomized block with four replicates and the following treatments: (T1) near isogenic transgenic soybean (Cultivance CV127) + herbicide of the imidazolinone group (imazapyr); (T2) near isogenic transgenic soybean + conventional herbicides; and (T3) parental conventional soybean (Conquista) + conventional herbicides; in addition, two commercial cultivars were included, Monsoy 8001 (M-SOY 8001) (T4), and Coodetec 217 (CD 217) (T5). At the R2 growth stage, plants were collected and BNF parameters evaluated. In general, there were no effects on BNF parameters due to the transgenic trait or associated with the specific herbicide. Similarly, at the final harvest, no grain-yield effects were detected related to the ahas gene or to the specific herbicide. However, clear effects on BNF and grain yield were attributed to location and cropping season.

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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, March 7, 2015 12:53 PM

Expected but... good to check.

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ITIS, a bioinformatics tool for accurate identification of transposon insertion sites using next-generation sequencing data

ITIS, a bioinformatics tool for accurate identification of transposon insertion sites using next-generation sequencing data | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Background
Transposable elements constitute an important part of the genome and are essential in adaptive mechanisms. Transposition events associated with phenotypic changes occur naturally or are induced in insertional mutant populations. Transposon mutagenesis results in multiple random insertions and recovery of most/all the insertions is critical for forward genetics study. Using genome next-generation sequencing data and appropriate bioinformatics tool, it is plausible to accurately identify transposon insertion sites, which could provide candidate causal mutations for desired phenotypes for further functional validation.

Results
We developed a novel bioinformatics tool, ITIS (Identification of Transposon Insertion Sites), for localizing transposon insertion sites within a genome. It takes next-generation genome re-sequencing data (NGS data), transposon sequence, and reference genome sequence as input, and generates a list of highly reliable candidate insertion sites as well as zygosity information of each insertion. Using a simulated dataset and a case study based on an insertional mutant line from Medicago truncatula, we showed that ITIS performed better in terms of sensitivity and specificity than other similar algorithms such as RelocaTE, RetroSeq, TEMP and TIF. With the case study data, we demonstrated the efficiency of ITIS by validating the presence and zygosity of predicted insertion sites of the Tnt1 transposon within a complex plant system, M. truncatula.

Conclusion
This study showed that ITIS is a robust and powerful tool for forward genetic studies in identifying transposable element insertions causing phenotypes. ITIS is suitable in various systems such as cell culture, bacteria, yeast, insect, mammal and plant.

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Susana Agra Rama's curator insight, March 6, 2015 1:42 PM

It´ll be very usefull for my Mycrobiology students.

Asela Wijeratne's curator insight, March 17, 7:45 AM

It´ll be very usefull for my Mycrobiology students.

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Adhesion as a weapon in microbial competition

Adhesion as a weapon in microbial competition | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Microbes attach to surfaces and form dense communities known as biofilms, which are central to how microbes live and influence humans. The key defining feature of biofilms is adhesion, whereby cells attach to one another and to surfaces, via attachment factors and extracellular polymers. While adhesion is known to be important for the initial stages of biofilm formation, its function within biofilm communities has not been studied. Here we utilise an individual-based model of microbial groups to study the evolution of adhesion. While adhering to a surface can enable cells to remain in a biofilm, consideration of within-biofilm competition reveals a potential cost to adhesion: immobility. Highly adhesive cells that are resistant to movement face being buried and starved at the base of the biofilm. However, we find that when growth occurs at the base of a biofilm, adhesion allows cells to capture substratum territory and force less adhesive, competing cells out of the system. This process may be particularly important when cells grow on a host epithelial surface. We test the predictions of our model using the enteric pathogen Vibrio cholerae, which produces an extracellular matrix important for biofilm formation. Flow cell experiments indicate that matrix-secreting cells are highly adhesive and form expanding clusters that remove non-secreting cells from the population, as predicted by our simulations. Our study shows how simple physical properties, such as adhesion, can be critical to understanding evolution and competition within microbial communities.

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Transport processes of the legume symbiosome membrane

Transport processes of the legume symbiosome membrane | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
The symbiosome membrane (SM) is a physical barrier between the host plant and nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the legume:rhizobia symbiosis, and represents a regulated interface for the movement of solutes between the symbionts that is under plant control. The primary nutrient exchange across the SM is the transport of a carbon energy source from plant to bacteroid in exchange for fixed nitrogen. At a biochemical level two channels have been implicated in movement of fixed nitrogen across the SM and a uniporter that transports monovalent dicarboxylate ions has been characterized that would transport fixed carbon. The aquaporin NOD26 may provide a channel for ammonia, but the genes encoding the other transporters have not been identified. Transport of several other solutes, including calcium and potassium, have been demonstrated in isolated symbiosomes, and genes encoding transport systems for the movement of iron, nitrate, sulfate, and zinc in nodules have been identified. However, definitively matching transport activities with these genes has proved difficult and many further transport processes are expected on the SM to facilitate the movement of nutrients between the symbionts. Recently, work detailing the SM proteome in soybean has been completed, contributing significantly to the database of known SM proteins. This represents a valuable resource for the identification of transporter protein candidates, some of which may correspond to transport processes previously described, or to novel transport systems in the symbiosis. Putative transporters identified from the proteome include homologs of transporters of sulfate, calcium, peptides, and various metal ions. Here we review current knowledge of transport processes of the SM and discuss the requirements for additional transport routes of other nutrients exchanged in the symbiosis, with a focus on transport systems identified through the soybean SM proteome.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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Well done
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Shoot-derived cytokinins systemically regulate root nodulation : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group

Shoot-derived cytokinins systemically regulate root nodulation : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Legumes establish symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia) in root nodules to obtain nitrogen. Legumes control nodule number through long-distance communication between roots and shoots, maintaining the proper symbiotic balance. Rhizobial infection triggers the production of mobile CLE-RS1/2 peptides in Lotus japonicus roots; the perception of the signal by receptor kinase HAR1 in shoots presumably induces the production of an unidentified shoot-derived inhibitor (SDI) that translocates to roots and blocks further nodule development. Here we show that, CLE-RS1/2-HAR1 signalling activates the production of shoot-derived cytokinins, which have an SDI-like capacity to systemically suppress nodulation. In addition, we show that LjIPT3 is involved in nodulation-related cytokinin production in shoots. The expression of LjIPT3 is activated in an HAR1-dependent manner. We further demonstrate shoot-to-root long-distance transport of cytokinin in L. japonicus seedlings. These findings add essential components to our understanding of how legumes control nodulation to balance nutritional requirements and energy status.

Via Ryohei Thomas Nakano
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The cryptic role of biodiversity in the emergence of host–microbial mutualisms

The cryptic role of biodiversity in the emergence of host–microbial mutualisms | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

The persistence of mutualisms in host-microbial – or holobiont – systems is difficult to explain because microbial mutualists, who bear the costs of providing benefits to their host, are always prone to being competitively displaced by non-mutualist ‘cheater’ species. This disruptive effect of competition is expected to be particularly strong when the benefits provided by the mutualists entail costs such as reduced competitive ability. Using a metacommunity model, we show that competition between multiple cheaters within the host's microbiome, when combined with the spatial structure of host–microbial interactions, can have a constructive rather than a disruptive effect by allowing the emergence and maintenance of mutualistic microorganisms within the host. These results indicate that many of the microorganisms inhabiting a host's microbiome, including those that would otherwise be considered opportunistic or even potential pathogens, play a cryptic yet critical role in promoting the health and persistence of the holobiont across spatial scales.


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A Thaumatin-Like Protein, Rj4, Controls Nodule Symbiotic Specificity in Soybean

A Thaumatin-Like Protein, Rj4, Controls Nodule Symbiotic Specificity in Soybean | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

Soybeans exhibit a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with soil bacteria of the genera Bradyrhizobium and Ensifer/Sinorhizobium in a unique organ, the root nodule. It is well known that nodulation of soybean is controlled by several host genes referred to as Rj (rj) genes. Among these genes, a dominant allele, Rj4, restricts nodulation with specific bacterial strains such as B. elkanii USDA61 and B. japonicum Is-34. These incompatible strains fail to invade the host epidermal cells as revealed by observations using DsRed-labeled bacteria. Here, we describe the molecular identification of the Rj4 gene by using map-based cloning with several mapping populations. The Rj4 gene encoded a thaumatin-like protein (TLP) that belongs to pathogenesis-related (PR) protein family 5. In rj4/rj4 genotype soybeans and wild soybeans, we found six missense mutations and two consecutive amino acid deletions in the rj4 gene as compared with the Rj4 allele. We also found, using hairy root transformation, that the rj4/rj4 genotype soybeans were fully complemented by the expression of the Rj4 gene. Whereas the expression of many TLPs and other PR proteins is induced by biotic/abiotic stress, Rj4 gene expression appears to be constitutive in roots including root nodules.


Via Christophe Jacquet
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Curr. Biol.: Type III secretion system (2014)

Curr. Biol.: Type III secretion system (2014) | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

The type III secretion system (T3SS) is a membrane-embedded nanomachine found in several Gram-negative bacteria. Upon contact between bacteria and host cells, the syringe-like T3SS transfers proteins termed effectors from the bacterial cytosol to the cytoplasm or the plasma membrane of a single target cell. This is a major difference from secretion systems that merely release molecules into the extracellular milieu, where they act on potentially distant target cells expressing the relevant surface receptors. The syringe architecture is conserved at the structural and functional level and supports injection into a great variety of hosts and tissues. However, the pool of effectors is species specific and determines the outcome of the interaction, via modulation of target-cell function.

 

Andrea Puhar & Philippe J. Sansonetti


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Transcriptomic analysis of Sinorhizobium meliloti and Medicago truncatula symbiosis using nitrogen fixation deficient nodules

Transcriptomic analysis of Sinorhizobium meliloti and Medicago truncatula symbiosis using nitrogen fixation deficient nodules | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
The bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti interacts symbiotically with legume plant hosts such as Medicago truncatula to form nitrogen-fixing root nodules. During symbiosis, plant and bacterial cells differentiate in a coordinated manner, resulting in specialized plant cells that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Both plant and bacterial genes are required at each developmental stage of symbiosis. We analyzed gene expression in nodules formed by wild type bacteria on six plant mutants with defects in nitrogen fixation (dnf). We observed differential expression of 482 S. meliloti genes with functions in cell envelope homeostasis, cell division, stress response, energy metabolism and nitrogen fixation. We simultaneously analyzed gene expression in M. truncatula and observed differential regulation of host processes that may trigger bacteroid differentiation and control bacterial infection. Our analyses of developmentally arrested plant mutants indicate that plants use distinct means to control bacterial infection during early and late symbiotic stages.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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Nat. Commun.: Bacterial killing via a type IV secretion system (2015)

Nat. Commun.: Bacterial killing via a type IV secretion system (2015) | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150306/ncomms7453/full/ncomms7453.html?WT.ec_id=NCOMMS-20150311

 

Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are multiprotein complexes that transport effector proteins and protein–DNA complexes through bacterial membranes to the extracellular milieu or directly into the cytoplasm of other cells. Many bacteria of the family Xanthomonadaceae, which occupy diverse environmental niches, carry a T4SS with unknown function but with several characteristics that distinguishes it from other T4SSs. Here we show that the Xanthomonas citri T4SS provides these cells the capacity to kill other Gram-negative bacterial species in a contact-dependent manner. The secretion of one type IV bacterial effector protein is shown to require a conserved C-terminal domain and its bacteriolytic activity is neutralized by a cognate immunity protein whose 3D structure is similar to peptidoglycan hydrolase inhibitors. This is the first demonstration of the involvement of a T4SS in bacterial killing and points to this special class of T4SS as a mediator of both antagonistic and cooperative interbacterial interactions.

 

Diorge P. Souza, Gabriel U. Oka, Cristina E. Alvarez-Martinez, Alexandre W. Bisson-Filho, German Dunger, Lise Hobeika, Nayara S. Cavalcante, Marcos C. Alegria, Leandro R.S. Barbosa, Roberto K. Salinas, Cristiane R. Guzzo & Chuck S. Farah


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Long-term non-invasive and continuous measurements of legume nodule activity - Cabeza

Long-term non-invasive and continuous measurements of legume nodule activity - Cabeza | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is a process of considerable economic, ecological and scientific interest. The central enzyme nitrogenase reduces H+ alongside N2, and the evolving H2 allows a continuous and non-invasive in vivo measurement of nitrogenase activity. The objective of this study was to show that an elaborated set-up providing such measurements for periods as long as several weeks will produce specific insight into the nodule activity's dependence on environmental conditions and genotype features. A system was developed that allows the air-proof separation of a root/nodule and a shoot compartment. H2 evolution in the root/nodule compartment can be monitored continuously. Nutrient solution composition, temperature, CO2 concentration and humidity around the shoots can concomitantly be maintained and manipulated. Medicago truncatula plants showed vigorous growth in the system when relying on nitrogen fixation. The set-up was able to provide specific insights into nitrogen fixation. For example, nodule activity depended on the temperature in their surroundings, but not on temperature or light around shoots. Increased temperature around the nodules was able to induce higher nodule activity in darkness versus light around shoots for a period of as long as 8 h. Conditions that affected the N demand of the shoots (ammonium application, Mg or P depletion, super numeric nodules) induced consistent and complex daily rhythms in nodule activity. It was shown that long-term continuous measurements of nodule activity could be useful for revealing special features in mutants and could be of importance when synchronizing nodule harvests for complex analysis of their metabolic status.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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Housing helpful invaders: the evolutionary and molecular architecture underlying plant root-mutualist microbe interactions

Housing helpful invaders: the evolutionary and molecular architecture underlying plant root-mutualist microbe interactions | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Plant root rhizosphere interactions with mutualistic microbes are diverse and numerous, having evolved over time in response to selective pressures on plants to attain anchorage and nutrients. These relationships can be considered to be formed through a combination of architectural connections: molecular architecture interactions that control root–microbe perception and regulate the balance between host and symbiont and developmental architecture interactions that enable the microbes to be ‘housed’ in the root and enable the exchange of compounds. Recent findings that help to understand the common architecture that exists between nodulation and mycorrhizal interactions, and how this architecture could be re-tuned to develop new symbioses, are discussed here.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, March 5, 2015 12:22 PM

Right on my current research interests... very interesting review.

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Fertilizer response in soybeans

Fertilizer response in soybeans | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Soybeans remove significant amounts of nutrients per bushel of grain harvested. Nutrient uptake in soybeans early in the season is relatively small. However, as they grow and develop, the daily rate of nutrient uptake increases. Soybeans need an adequate nutrient supply at each developmental stage for optimum growth. High-yielding soybeans remove substantial nutrients from the soil. This should be taken into account in an overall nutrient management plan.

A 40-bushel-per-acre soybean crop removes approximately 30 pounds of phosphorus and 50 pounds of potassium with the grain.  The stover has an additional 10 pounds of phosphorus and 40 pounds of potassium which is either returned to the soil or utilized as feed.  Nitrogen is supplied to soybeans mainly by nitrogen fixation, and fertilizer nitrogen application is not recommended if the plants are well nodulated. Soybeans are high in protein, which contains lots of nitrogen.  The beans remove 130 pounds of nitrogen per acre, and 44 pounds with the stover. Soybeans use all the nitrogen they can fix, plus nitrogen from the pool of available nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen fertilizer application to soybean seldom results in any yield benefit, and efforts should focus on proper inoculation.

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The structure and activity of nodulation-suppressing CLE peptide hormones of legumes

The structure and activity of nodulation-suppressing CLE peptide hormones of legumes | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Legumes form a highly-regulated symbiotic relationship with specific soil bacteria known as rhizobia. This interaction results in the de novo formation of root organs called nodules, in which the rhizobia fix atmospheric di-nitrogen (N2) for the plant. Molecular mechanisms that regulate the nodulation process include the systemic ‘autoregulation of nodulation’ and the local nitrogen-regulation of nodulation pathways. Both pathways are mediated by novel peptide hormones called CLAVATA/ESR-related (CLE) peptides that act to suppress nodulation via negative feedback loops. The mature peptides are 12–13 amino acids in length and are post-translationally modified from the C-terminus of tripartite-domain prepropeptides. Structural redundancy between the prepropeptides exists; however, variations in external stimuli, timing of expression, tissue specificity and presence or absence of key functional domains enables them to act in a specific manner. To date, nodulation-regulating CLE peptides have been identified in Glycine max (L.) Merr., Medicago truncatula Gaertn., Lotus japonicus (Regel) K.Larsen and Phaseolus vulgaris L. One of the L. japonicus peptides, called LjCLE-RS2, has been structurally characterised and found to be an arabinosylated glycopeptide. All of the known nodulation CLE peptides act via an orthologous leucine rich repeat (LRR) receptor kinase. Perception of the peptide results in the production of a novel, unidentified inhibitor signal that acts to suppress further nodulation events. Here, we contrast and compare the various nodulation-suppressing CLE peptides of legumes.

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Interpreting 16S metagenomic data without clustering to achieve sub-OTU resolution

Interpreting 16S metagenomic data without clustering to achieve sub-OTU resolution | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
The standard approach to analyzing 16S tag sequence data, which relies on clustering reads by sequence similarity into Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs), underexploits the accuracy of modern sequencing technology. We present a clustering-free approach to multi-sample Illumina data sets that can identify independent bacterial subpopulations regardless of the similarity of their 16S tag sequences. Using published data from a longitudinal time-series study of human tongue microbiota, we are able to resolve within standard 97% similarity OTUs up to 20 distinct subpopulations, all ecologically distinct but with 16S tags differing by as little as one nucleotide (99.2% similarity). A comparative analysis of oral communities of two cohabiting individuals reveals that most such subpopulations are shared between the two communities at 100% sequence identity, and that dynamical similarity between subpopulations in one host is strongly predictive of dynamical similarity between the same subpopulations in the other host. Our method can also be applied to samples collected in cross-sectional studies and can be used with the 454 sequencing platform. We discuss how the sub-OTU resolution of our approach can provide new insight into factors shaping community assembly.

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Cysteine protease and cystatin expression and activity during soybean nodule development and senescence

Nodules play an important role in fixing atmospheric nitrogen for soybean growth. Premature senescence of nodules can negatively impact on nitrogen availability for plant growth and as such we need a better understanding of nodule development and senescence. Cysteine proteases are known to play a role in nodule senescence, but knowledge is still fragmented regarding the function their inhibitors (cystatins) during the development and senescence of soybean nodules. This study provides the first data with regard to cystatin expression during nodule development combined with biochemical characterization of their inhibition strength.ResultsSeventy nine non-redundant cysteine protease gene sequences with homology to papain, belonging to different subfamilies, and several legumain-like cysteine proteases (vacuole processing enzymes) were identified from the soybean genome assembly with eighteen of these cysteine proteases actively transcribed during nodule development and senescence. In addition, nineteen non-redundant cystatins similar to oryzacystatin-I and belonging to cystatin subgroups A and C, were identified from the soybean genome assembly with seven actively transcribed in nodules. Most cystatins had preferential affinity to cathepsin L-like cysteine proteases. Transcription of cystatins Glyma05g28250, Glyma15g12211, Glyma15g36180 particularly increased during onset of senescence, possibly regulating proteolysis when nodules senesce and undergo programmed cell death. Both actively transcribed and non-actively transcribed nodule cystatins inhibited cathepsin-L- and B-like activities in different age nodules and they also inhibited papain and cathepsin-L activity when expressed and purified from bacterial cells.ConclusionsOverlap in activities and specificities of actively and non-actively transcribed cystatins raises the question if non-transcribed cystatins provide a reservoir for response to particular environments. This data might be applicable to the development of strategies to extend the active life span of nodules or prevent environmentally induced senescence.


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Horizontal genome transfer as an asexual path to the formation of new species : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Horizontal genome transfer as an asexual path to the formation of new species : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it
Allopolyploidization, the combination of the genomes from two different species, has been a major source of evolutionary innovation and a driver of speciation and environmental adaptation. In plants, it has also contributed greatly to crop domestication, as the superior properties of many modern crop plants were conferred by ancient allopolyploidization events. It is generally thought that allopolyploidization occurred through hybridization events between species, accompanied or followed by genome duplication. Although many allopolyploids arose from closely related species (congeners), there are also allopolyploid species that were formed from more distantly related progenitor species belonging to different genera or even different tribes. Here we have examined the possibility that allopolyploidization can also occur by asexual mechanisms. We show that upon grafting[mdash]a mechanism of plant-plant interaction that is widespread in nature[mdash]entire nuclear genomes can be transferred between plant cells. We provide direct evidence for this process resulting in speciation by creating a new allopolyploid plant species from a herbaceous species and a woody species in the nightshade family. The new species is fertile and produces fertile progeny. Our data highlight natural grafting as a potential asexual mechanism of speciation and also provide a method for the generation of novel allopolyploid crop species.

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De novo assembly of soybean wild relatives for pan-genome analysis of diversity and agronomic traits : Nature Biotechnology : Nature Publishing Group

De novo assembly of soybean wild relatives for pan-genome analysis of diversity and agronomic traits : Nature Biotechnology : Nature Publishing Group | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

Wild relatives of crops are an important source of genetic diversity for agriculture, but their gene repertoire remains largely unexplored. We report the establishment and analysis of a pan-genome ofGlycine soja, the wild relative of cultivated soybean Glycine max, by sequencing and de novoassembly of seven phylogenetically and geographically representative accessions. Intergenomic comparisons identified lineage-specific genes and genes with copy number variation or large-effect mutations, some of which show evidence of positive selection and may contribute to variation of agronomic traits such as biotic resistance, seed composition, flowering and maturity time, organ size and final biomass. Approximately 80% of the pan-genome was present in all seven accessions (core), whereas the rest was dispensable and exhibited greater variation than the core genome, perhaps reflecting a role in adaptation to diverse environments. This work will facilitate the harnessing of untapped genetic diversity from wild soybean for enhancement of elite cultivars.

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Rescooped by Chang Fu Tian from Effectors and Plant Immunity
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Cell Host Microbes: Convergent Targeting of a Common Host Protein-Network by Pathogen Effectors from Three Kingdoms of Life (2014)

Cell Host Microbes: Convergent Targeting of a Common Host Protein-Network by Pathogen Effectors from Three Kingdoms of Life (2014) | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

While conceptual principles governing plant immunity are becoming clear, its systems-level organization and the evolutionary dynamic of the host-pathogen interface are still obscure. We generated a systematic protein-protein interaction network of virulence effectors from the ascomycete pathogen Golovinomyces orontii and Arabidopsis thaliana host proteins. We combined this data set with corresponding data for the eubacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis. The resulting network identifies host proteins onto which intraspecies and interspecies pathogen effectors converge. Phenotyping of 124 Arabidopsis effector-interactor mutants revealed a correlation between intraspecies and interspecies convergence and several altered immune response phenotypes. Several effectors and the most heavily targeted host protein colocalized in subnuclear foci. Products of adaptively selected Arabidopsis genes are enriched for interactions with effector targets. Our data suggest the existence of a molecular host-pathogen interface that is conserved across Arabidopsis accessions, while evolutionary adaptation occurs in the immediate network neighborhood of effector targets.

 

Ralf Weßling, Petra Epple, Stefan Altmann,Yijian He, Li Yang, Stefan R. Henz, Nathan McDonald, Kristin Wiley, Kai Christian Bader, Christine Glaßer, M. Shahid Mukhtar, Sabine Haigis, Lila Ghamsari, Amber E. Stephens, Joseph R. Ecker, Marc Vidal, Jonathan D.G. Jones,Klaus F.X. Mayer, Emiel Ver Loren van Themaat, Detlef Weigel, Paul Schulze-Lefert, Jeffery L. Dangl, Ralph Panstruga, and Pascal Braun


Via Nicolas Denancé
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CP's curator insight, September 12, 2014 4:04 AM

add your insight...

Suayib Üstün's comment, September 12, 2014 4:45 AM
HopBF1 is HopZ4!
Suayib Üstün's curator insight, September 12, 2014 5:14 AM

HopBF1 is HopZ4...

Rescooped by Chang Fu Tian from Plant immunity and legume symbiosis
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Fate map of Medicago truncatula root nodules

Fate map of Medicago truncatula root nodules | Symbiosis & Evolution | Scoop.it

Legume root nodules are induced by N-fixing rhizobium bacteria that are hosted in an intracellular manner. These nodules are formed by reprogramming differentiated root cells. The model legume Medicago truncatula forms indeterminate nodules with a meristem at their apex. This organ grows by the activity of the meristem that adds cells to the different nodule tissues. In Medicago sativa it has been shown that the nodule meristem is derived from the root middle cortex. During nodule initiation, inner cortical cells and pericycle cells are also mitotically activated. However, whether and how these cells contribute to the mature nodule has not been studied. Here, we produce a nodule fate map that precisely describes the origin of the different nodule tissues based on sequential longitudinal sections and on the use of marker genes that allow the distinction of cells originating from different root tissues. We show that nodule meristem originates from the third cortical layer, while several cell layers of the base of the nodule are directly formed from cells of the inner cortical layers, root endodermis and pericycle. The latter two differentiate into the uninfected tissues that are located at the base of the mature nodule, whereas the cells derived from the inner cortical cell layers form about eight cell layers of infected cells. This nodule fate map has then been used to re-analyse several mutant nodule phenotypes. This showed, among other things, that intracellular release of rhizobia in primordium cells and meristem daughter cells are regulated in a different manner.


Via Christophe Jacquet
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Scooped by Chang Fu Tian
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Transient Hypermutagenesis Accelerates the Evolution of Legume Endosymbionts following Horizontal Gene Transfer

Horizontal gene transfer has an extraordinary impact on microbe evolution and diversification, by allowing exploration of new niches such as higher organisms. This is the case for rhizobia, a group of phylogenetically diverse bacteria that form a nitrogen-fixing symbiotic relationship with most leguminous plants. While these arose through horizontal transfer of symbiotic plasmids, this in itself is usually unproductive, and full expression of the acquired traits needs subsequent remodeling of the genome to ensure the ecological success of the transfer. Here we uncover a mechanism that accelerates the evolution of a soil bacterium into a legume symbiont. We show that key symbiotic genes are co-transferred with genes encoding stress-responsive error-prone DNA polymerases that transiently elevate the mutation rate in the recipient genome. This burst in genetic diversity accelerates the symbiotic evolution process under selection pressure from the host plant. A more widespread involvement of plasmid mutagenesis cassettes in rhizobium evolution is supported by their overrepresentation in rhizobia-containing lineages. Our findings provide evidence for the role of environment-induced mutagenesis in the acquisition of a complex lifestyle trait and predict that co-transfer of complex phenotypic traits with mutagenesis determinants might help successful horizontal gene transfer.

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