Growth of Tobacco Protoplasts Stimulated by Synthetic Lipo-Chitooligosaccharides

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Science  11 Aug 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5225, pp. 841-843
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5225.841


Nodulation (Nod) factors are lipo-chitooligosaccharides (LCOs) secreted by rhizobia to trigger the early steps of nodule organogenesis in leguminous plants. A method to synthesize LCOs in vitro was developed. Synthetic LCOs alleviated the requirement for auxin and cytokinin to sustain growth of cultured tobacco protoplasts. LCOs containing C18:1 trans—fatty acyl substituents were more effective than those containing cis—fatty acids in promoting cell division as well as in activating an auxin-responsive promoter and the expression of a gene implicated in auxin action. These data indicate that LCOs redirect plant growth also in nonlegumes by activating developmental pathways also targeted by phytohormones.