Lagunas, B et al. (2019) Regulation of Resource Partitioning Coordinates Nitrogen and Rhizobia Responses and Autoregulation of Nodulation in Medicago truncatula. Molecular Plant. 12 833-846
Lagunas, B; Achom, M; Bonyadi-Pour, R; Pardal, AJ; Richmond, BL; Sergaki, C; Vazquez, S; Schafer, P; Ott, S; Hammond, J; Gifford, ML (2019) Regulation of Resource Partitioning Coordinates Nitrogen and Rhizobia Responses and Autoregulation of Nodulation in Medicago truncatula. Molecular Plant. 12 833-846
Understanding how plants respond to nitrogen in their environment is crucial for determining how they use it and how the nitrogen use affects other processes related to plant growth and development. Under nitrogen limitation the activity and affinity of uptake systems is increased in roots, and lateral root formation is regulated in order to adapt to low nitrogen levels and scavenge from the soil. Plants in the legume family can form associations with rhizobial nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and this association is tightly regulated by nitrogen levels. The effect of nitrogen on nodulation has been extensively investigated, but the effects of nodulation on plant nitrogen responses remain largely unclear. In this study, we integrated molecular and phenotypic data in the legume Medicago truncatula and determined that genes controlling nitrogen influx are differently expressed depending on whether plants are mock or rhizobia inoculated. We found that a functional autoregulation of nodulation pathway is required for roots to perceive, take up, and mobilize nitrogen as well as for normal root development. Our results together revealed that autoregulation of nodulation, root development, and the location of nitrogen are processes balanced by the whole plant system as part of a resource-partitioning mechanism.