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Medicago truncatula ERN Transcription Factors: Regulatory Interplay with NSP1/NSP2 GRAS Factors and Expression Dynamics throughout Rhizobial Infection

Abstract : Rhizobial nodulation factors (NFs) activate a specific signaling pathway in Medicago truncatula root hairs that involves the complex interplay of Nodulation Signaling Pathway1 (NSP1)/NSP2 GRAS and Ethylene Response Factor Required for Nodulation1 (ERN1) transcription factors (TFs) to achieve full ENOD11 transcription. ERN1 acts as a direct transcriptional regulator of ENOD11 through the activation of the NF-responsive "NF box." Here, we show that NSP1, when combined with NSP2, can act as a strong positive regulator of ERN1 and ENOD11 transcription. Although ERN1 and NSP1/NSP2 both activate ENOD11, two separate promoter regions are involved that regulate expression during consecutive symbiotic stages. Our findings indicate that ERN1 is required to activate NF-elicited ENOD11 expression exclusively during early preinfection,while NSP1/NSP2 mediates ENOD11 expression during subsequent rhizobial-infection. The relative contributions of ERN1 and the closely related ERN2 to the rhizobial symbiosis were then evaluated by comparing their regulation and in vivo dynamics. ERN1 and ERN2 exhibit expression profiles compatible with roles during NF signaling and subsequent infection. However, differences in expression levels and spatiotemporal profiles suggest specialized functions for these two TFs, ERN1 being involved in stages preceding and accompanying infection thread progression while ERN2 is only involved in certain stages of infection. By cross complementation, we show that ERN2, when expressed under the control of the ERN1 promoter, can restore both NF-elicited ENOD11 expression and nodule formation in an ern1 mutant background. This indicates that ERN1 and ERN2 possess similar biological activities and that functional diversification of these closely related TFs relies primarily on changes in tissue-specific expression patterns.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03082950
Contributor : Fernanda de Carvalho-Niebel <>
Submitted on : Friday, December 18, 2020 - 6:27:46 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 3:01:53 AM

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Marion Cerri, Lisa Frances, Tom Laloum, Marie-Christine Auriac, Andréas Niebel, et al.. Medicago truncatula ERN Transcription Factors: Regulatory Interplay with NSP1/NSP2 GRAS Factors and Expression Dynamics throughout Rhizobial Infection. Plant Physiology, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2012, 160 (4), pp.2155-2172. ⟨10.1104/pp.112.203190⟩. ⟨hal-03082950⟩

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