J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2019, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (4): 463-477.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12711

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A member of the ALOG gene family has a novel role in regulating nodulation in Lotus japonicus

Yawen Lei1†, Shihao Su1,2†, Liang He1, Xiaohe Hu1 and Da Luo1*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (WPI-ITbM), Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601, Japan

    ?These authors contributed equally to this work.

    Email: Da Luo (luoda@mail.sysu.edu.cn)
  • Received:2018-05-30 Accepted:2018-08-19 Online:2018-08-21 Published:2019-04-01


Legumes can control the number of symbiotic nodules that form on their roots, thus balancing nitrogen assimilation and energy consumption. Two major pathways participate in nodulation: the Nod factor (NF) signaling pathway which involves recognition of rhizobial bacteria by root cells and promotion of nodulation, and the autoregulation of nodulation (AON) pathway which involves long-distance negative feedback between roots and shoots. Although a handful of genes have a clear role in the maintenance of nodule number, additional unknown factors may also be involved in this process. Here, we identify a novel function for a Lotus japonicus ALOG (Arabidopsis LSH1 and Oryza G1) family member, LjALOG1, involved in positively regulating nodulation. LjALOG1 expression increased substantially after inoculation with rhizobia, with high levels of expression in whole nodule primordia and in the base of developing nodules. The ljalog1 mutants, which have an insertion of the LORE1 retroelement in LjALOG1, had significantly fewer nodules compared with wild type, along with increased expression of LjCLE-RS1 (L. japonicus CLE Root Signal 1), which encodes a nodulation suppressor in the AON pathway. In summary, our findings identified a novel factor that participates in controlling nodulation, possibly by suppressing the AON pathway.

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