TheMedicago TruncatulaCRE1 Cytokinin Receptor Regulates Lateral Root Development And Early Symbiotic Interaction WithSinorhizobium Meliloti
Legumes develop different types of lateral organs from their primary root, lateral roots and nodules, the latter depending on a symbiotic interaction with Sinorhizobium meliloti. Phytohormones have been shown to function in the control of these organogeneses. However, related signaling pathways have not been identified in legumes. We cloned and characterized the expression of Medicago truncatula genes encoding members of cytokinin signaling pathways. RNA interference of the cytokinin receptor homolog Cytokinin Response1 (Mt CRE1) led to cytokinin-insensitive roots, which showed an increased number of lateral roots and a strong reduction in nodulation. Both the progression of S. meliloti infection and nodule primordia formation were affected. We also identified two cytokinin signaling response regulator genes, Mt RR1 and Mt RR4, which are induced early during the symbiotic interaction. Induction of these genes by S. meliloti infection is altered in mutants affected in the Nod factor signaling pathway; conversely, cytokinin regulation of the early nodulin Nodule Inception1 (Mt NIN) depends on Mt CRE1. Hence, cytokinin signaling mediated by a single receptor, Mt CRE1, leads to an opposite control of symbiotic nodule and lateral root organogenesis. Mt NIN, Mt RR1, and Mt RR4 define a common pathway activated during early S. meliloti interaction, allowing crosstalk between plant cytokinins and bacterial Nod factors signals.