J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (12): 1880-1895.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12999

Special Issue: Development Crop yield Nitrogen uptake and utilization Nutrition and stress Grain quality

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The nodulation and nyctinastic leaf movement is orchestrated by clock gene LHY in Medicago truncatula

Yiming Kong1, Lu Han1, Xiu Liu1, Hongfeng Wang1,2, Lizhu Wen1, Xiaolin Yu1, Xiaodong Xu3, Fanjiang Kong2, Chunxiang Fu4, Kirankumar S. Mysore5, Jiangqi Wen5 and Chuanen Zhou1*   

  1. 1The Key Laboratory of Plant Development and Environmental Adaptation Biology, Ministry of Education, School of Life Science, Shandong University, Qingdao 266237, China
    2School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    3Key Laboratory of Plant Stress Biology, School of Life Sciences, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, China
    4Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Energy Genetics, Key Laboratory of Biofuels, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266101, China
    5Noble Research Institute, LLC, Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA

    Email: Chuanen Zhou (czhou@sdu.edu.cn)
  • Received:2020-02-29 Accepted:2020-07-27 Online:2020-07-30 Published:2020-12-01


As sessile organisms, plants perceive, respond, and adapt to the environmental changes for optimal growth and survival. The plant growth and fitness are enhanced by circadian clocks through coordination of numerous biological events. In legume species, nitrogen‐fixing root nodules were developed as the plant organs specialized for symbiotic transfer of nitrogen between microsymbiont and host. Here, we report that the endogenous circadian rhythm in nodules is regulated by MtLHY in legume species Medicago truncatula. Loss of function of MtLHY leads to a reduction in the number of nodules formed, resulting in a diminished ability to assimilate nitrogen. The operation of the 24‐h rhythm in shoot is further influenced by the availability of nitrogen produced by the nodules, leading to the irregulated nyctinastic leaf movement and reduced biomass in mtlhy mutants. These data shed new light on the roles of MtLHY in the orchestration of circadian oscillator in nodules and shoots, which provides a mechanistic link between nodulation, nitrogen assimilation, and clock function.

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