Freiburg researchers clarify an evolutionary step within the symbiosis between crops and nitrogen-fixing micro organism.
What would it not be like to supply fertilizer in your individual basement? Leguminous crops, like peas, beans, and varied species of clover, acquire the natural nitrogen they want for his or her development from symbiotic soil micro organism through specialised buildings of their roots. A group led by the cell biologist Prof. Dr. Thomas Ott from the College of Freiburg’s School of Biology has now detected an element within the root cells that the crops want for the preliminary contact with these so-called root-associated micro organism, which dwell within the soil. They found a protein discovered solely in legumes referred to as symbiotic formin 1 (SYFO1) and demonstrated the important function it performs in symbiosis.
Along with the molecular biologist Prof. Dr. Robert Grosse College of Freiburg’s School of Drugs and the evolutionary biologist Dr. Pierre-Marc Delaux from the Laboratoire de Recherche en Sciences Végétales (LRSV) in Toulouse/France, the group revealed their leads to the journal Present Biology.
When a root nodule bacterium encounters the roots of a leguminous plant within the soil, the SYFO1 protein causes the tiny hairs of the basis to vary the course of their development. They thus wrap themselves across the potential symbiotic accomplice. Thanks to those bacterial helpers, legumes don’t want any nitrogenous fertilizer, in distinction to different crops. “If we understood exactly how the symbiosis comes into being, we might give crop crops again this particular property they’ve misplaced in the midst of evolution,” says Ott.
Each he and Grosse are members of the Cluster of Excellence CIBSS – Centre for Integrative Organic Signalling Research. Ott’s analysis at CIBSS includes finding out the spatial group of the signaling paths that allow the symbiotic relationship with symbiotic micro organism within the first place. Grosse, however, focuses in his work in Freiburg on the cytoskeleton of animal cells. “In our collaboration, which was made attainable by CIBSS, we had been capable of contribute our experience in several areas of specialization in the absolute best means,” says Ott.
The group demonstrated within the legume Medicago truncatula (barrel medic) that the basis hairs of crops by which the gene for SYFO1 has been switched off are virtually now not able to wrapping themselves across the micro organism. In additional research, the researchers found that the protein binds to actin, a element of the cytoskeleton, and on the identical time to the cell wall exterior the cells, thus altering the course of its development: As a substitute of rising straight, the tiny hairs now change their course and type a loop across the bacterium.
“SYFO1 constitutes a particular progressive step within the evolution of the crops,” explains Ott. “Whereas formin proteins are current in lots of types in cells and work together with actin, this particular sort solely responds to symbiotic alerts from the micro organism.”
Reference: “Formin-mediated bridging of cell wall, plasma membrane, and cytoskeleton in symbiotic infections of Medicago truncatula” by Pengbo Liang, Clara Schmitz, Beatrice Lace, Franck Anicet Ditengou, Chao Su, Eija Schulze, Julian Knerr, Robert Grosse and Jean Kell, 29 April 2021, Present Biology.