Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Proceedings and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference 2011: From Genomes to Integration and Delivery

Open Access Poster presentation

Transformed Hairy Roots of the actinorhizal shrub Discaria trinervis: a valuable tool for studying actinorhizal symbiosis in the context of intercellular infection

Leandro Imanishi1, Alice Vayssières2, Claudine Franche2*, Didier Bogusz2, Luis Wall1 and Sergio Svistoonoff2

Author Affiliations

1 Programa Interacciones Biológicas, Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes R. Sáenz Peña 352, B1876BXD Bernal, Argentina

2 Groupe Rhizogenèse, Unité Mixte de Recherche Diversité Adaptation et Développement des Plantes (DIADE), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), 911 avenue Agropolis, BP 5045, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 7):P85  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S7-P85

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1753-6561/5/S7/P85


Published:13 September 2011

© 2011 Imanishi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background

Nitrogen is a major limiting factor of plant growth in many ecosystems. Root nodule symbiosis (RNS) is one of the most efficient adaptations allowing plants to cope with nitrogen deficiency by establishing a symbiotic association with diazotrophic bacteria able to produce ammonium from atmospheric nitrogen. Nevertheless RNS is restricted to two groups of plants: legumes and Parasponia (Celtidaceae), that interact with a group of gram-negative proteobacteria collectively called rhizobia, and actinorhizal plants, a group of 220 species, mostly shrubs and trees distributed in the orders Fagales, Cucurbitales and Rosales, that interact with gram-positive actinomycetes of the genus Frankia[1]. All these plants belong to the Rosid I clade, suggesting a common origin for the ability to establish RNS [2].

In recent decades a strong research effort focused on model legumes lead to the identification of key molecular actors involved in nodulation, including the bacterial signalling molecules, the Nod factors and several genes involved in the symbiotic signalling pathways [3]. Much less is known in non model legumes and actinorhizal plants, particularly in species that are not infected like model legumes through root hairs but show more ancestral infection mechanisms like crack entry or intercellular infection. Yet important cues regarding the diversity and evolution of RNS are being found precisely in these more primitive non-model systems [4,5].

Among infection mechanisms leading to root nodule symbiosis, the intercellular infection pathway is probably the most ancestral but also one of the least characterized [6,7] . Intercellular infection has been described in Discaria trinervis, an actinorhizal shrub belonging to the Rosales order [8]. To decipher the molecular mechanisms underlying intercellular infection with Frankia, we set up an efficient genetic transformation protocol for D. trinervis based on A. rhizogenes.

Methods

We analyzed the susceptibility of D. trinervis to two strains of A. rhizogenes: A4RS, and ARqua1; both strains contained a pHKN29 plasmid with a 35S::GFP fusion [9]. The classic in-vitro inoculation was compared to an ex-vitro method reported to be successful in several plant species [10]. The functionality of the symbiosis was tested on composite plants by performing nodulation tests and acetylene reduction assays. Using this technique, we introduced the promoter of MtEnod11, a nodulin gene from M. truncatula widely used as a marker for early infection-related symbiotic events in model legumes [11].

Results

Transgenic roots showing strong levels of GFP were obtained for all treatments. The ex-vitro method using Arqua1 was the best compromise to obtain a good co-transformation efficiency while minimizing the impact on root system architecture. Co-transformed roots were specifically and efficiently nodulated with Frankia and the resulting nodules were undistinguishable from non-transgenic nodules in terms of developmental timing, anatomy, nitrogen fixation and feedback control by nitrogen. The expression of reporter genes such as GUS and GFP could be easily detected within transgenic D. trinervis root systems. The promoter of MtEnod11 retained its symbiotic activation in transgenic D. trinervis nodules. Similar results were obtained in C. glauca[12].

Conclusions

These findings open new avenues to study the genetic mechanisms of intercellular root invasion and single cell infection, allowing detailed characterization of genes involved in D. trinervis nodulation and a better understanding of the most ancestral infection pathways leading to RNS. In addition, because D. trinervis belongs to the Rosales order, evolutionary comparisons can be made with plants belonging to the same clade but unable to nodulate (most Rosaceae), or with Parasponia sp., the only non-legume able to enter RNS with rhizobia. The transformed roots in D. trinervis with appropriate reporter genes would be a powerful tool to explore signaling mechanisms in symbioses with this ancestral infection mode [13] .

References

  1. Vessey JK, Pawlowski K, Bergman B: Root-based N 2-fixing symbioses: legumes, actinorhizal plants, Parasponia sp. and cycads.

    Plant Soil 2005, 266:205-230. Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  2. Soltis DE, Soltis PS, Morgan DR, Swensen SM, Mullin BC, Dowd JM, Martin PG: Chloroplast gene sequence data suggest a single origin of the predisposition for symbiotic nitrogen fixation in angiosperms.

    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A 1995, 92:2647-2651. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL

  3. Kouchi H, Imaizumi-Anraku H, Hayashi M, Hakoyama T, Nakagawa T, Umehara Y, Suganuma N, Kawaguchi M: How many peas in a pod? Legume genes responsible for mutualistic symbioses underground.

    Plant Cell Physiol 2010, 51:1381-1397. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL

  4. Giraud E, Moulin L, Vallenet D, Barbe V, Cytryn E, Avarre JC, Jaubert M, Simon D, Cartieaux F, Prin Y: Legumes symbioses: absence of Nod genes in photosynthetic bradyrhizobia.

    Science 2007, 316:1307-1312. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  5. Op den Camp R, Streng A, De Mita S, Cao Q, Polone E, Liu W, Ammiraju JSS, Kudrna D, Wing R, Untergasser A, Bisseling T, Geurts R: LysM-type mycorrhizal receptor recruited for rhizobium symbiosis in nonlegume Parasponia.

    Science 2011, 331:909-912. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  6. Sprent JI: Evolving ideas of legume evolution and diversity: a taxonomic perspective on the occurrence of nodulation.

    New Phytol 2007, 174:11-25. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  7. Wall : The Actinorhizal Symbiosis.

    J. Plant Growth Regul 2000, 19:167-182. PubMed Abstract OpenURL

  8. Valverde C, Wall LG: Time course of nodule development in the Discaria trinervis (Rhamnaceae)-Frankia symbiosis.

    New Phytol 1999, 141:345-354. Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  9. Kumagai H, Kouchi H: Gene silencing by expression of hairpin RNA in Lotus japonicus roots and root nodules.

    Mol. Plant Microbe Interact 2003, 16:663-668. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  10. Collier R, Fuchs B, Walter N, Kevin Lutke W, Taylor CG: Ex vitro composite plants: an inexpensive, rapid method for root biology.

    Plant J 2005, 43:449-457. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  11. Journet EP, El-Gachtouli N, Vernoud V, de Billy F, Pichon M, Dedieu A, Arnould C, Morandi D, Barker DG, Gianinazzi-Pearson V: Medicago truncatula ENOD11: a novel RPRP-encoding early nodulin gene expressed during mycorrhization in arbuscule-containing cells.

    Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact 2001, 14:737-748. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  12. Svistoonoff S, Sy M-O, Diagne N, Barker DG, Bogusz D, Franche C: Infection-specific activation of the medicago truncatula Enod11 early nodulin gene Promoter During actinorhizal root nodulation.

    Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact 2010, 23:740-747. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  13. Imanishi L, Vayssières A, Bogusz D, Franche C, Wall LG, Svistoonoff S: Transformed Hairy Roots of Discaria trinervis: A valuable tool for studying actinorhizal symbiosis in the context of intercellular infection.

    Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2011, in press. OpenURL