Symbiotic Regulatory Genes Controlling Nodule Development In Pisum Sativum L.
Analyses of natural variation and the use of mutagenesis and molecular-biological approaches have revealed 50 symbiotic regulatory genes in pea (Pisum sativum L.). Studies of genomic synteny using model legumes, such as Medicago truncatula Gaertn. and Lotus japonicus (Regel) K. Larsen, have identified the sequences of 15 symbiotic regulatory genes in pea. These genes encode receptor kinases, an ion channel, a calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, transcription factors, a metal transporter, and an enzyme. This review summarizes and describes mutant alleles, their phenotypic manifestations, and the functions of all identified symbiotic regulatory genes in pea. Some examples of gene interactions are also given. In the review, all mutant alleles in genes with identified sequences are designated and still-unidentified symbiotic regulatory genes of great interest are considered. The identification of these genes will help elucidate additional components involved in infection thread growth, nodule primordium development, bacteroid differentiation and maintenance, and the autoregulation of nodulation. The significance of symbiotic mutants of pea as extremely fruitful genetic models for studying nodule development and for comparative cell biology studies of legume nodules is clearly demonstrated. Finally, it is noted that many more sequences of symbiotic regulatory genes remain to be identified. Transcriptomics approaches and genome-wide sequencing could help address this challenge.