Plant Science

Symbiont Sensing

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Science  29 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6042, pp. 501
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6042.501-b

When symbiotic bacteria infect the roots of legumes, complex mutual signaling pathways regulate the interaction and developmental responses that lead to a nitrogen-fixing nodule on the plant root. Nitrogen fixation by the bacteria provides a usable nitrogen source to the plants, whereas the plant provides a carbon source for the bacteria. The plant receptor LYK3 is critical for the infection process. Haney et al., observing LYK3 labeled with a fluorescent tag, showed that LYK3 is associated with the plasma membrane, where it has some mobility in uninfected root hairs. Inoculation with symbiotic bacteria altered the mobility of LYK3 within the plant root hairs so that in many cells, LYK3 became localized into puncta and colocalized with another protein, FLOT4, which is required for infection. These changes in the cellular location of receptors probably regulate the infection process.

Plant Cell 23, 10.1105/tpc.111.086389 (2011).

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