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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 40(12)

Overexpression of miR160 affects root growth and nitrogen-fixing nodule number in Medicago truncatula

Pilar Bustos-Sanmamed A , Guohong Mao B , Ying Deng B , Morgane Elouet A , Ghazanfar Abbas Khan A , Jérémie Bazin A C , Marie Turner D , Senthil Subramanian D , Oliver Yu B , Martin Crespi A E and Christine Lelandais-Brière A C

A Institut des Sciences du Végétal (ISV), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Gif sur Yvette F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.
B Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St Louis, MO 63132, USA.
C Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, F-75205 Paris Cedex 13, France.
D Department of Plant Science, Department of Biology and Microbiology, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA.
E Corresponding author. Email: crespi@isv.cnrs-gif.fr
This paper originates from a presentation at the ‘VI International Conference on Legume Genetics and Genomics (ICLGG)’ Hyderabad, India, 2–7 October 2012.

Functional Plant Biology 40(12) 1208-1220 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP13123
Submitted: 1 May 2013  Accepted: 21 August 2013   Published: 7 October 2013


 
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Abstract

Auxin action is mediated by a complex signalling pathway involving transcription factors of the auxin response factor (ARF) family. In Arabidopsis, microRNA160 (miR160) negatively regulates three ARF genes (ARF10/ARF16/ARF17) and therefore controls several developmental processes, including primary and lateral root growth. Here, we analysed the role of miR160 in root development and nodulation in Medicago truncatula Gaertn. Bioinformatic analyses identified two main mtr-miR160 variants (mtr-miR160abde and mtr-miR160c) and 17 predicted ARF targets. The miR160-dependent cleavage of four predicted targets in roots was confirmed by analysis of parallel analysis of RNA ends (PARE) data and RACE-PCR experiments. Promoter-GUS analyses for mtr-miR160d and mtr-miR160c genes revealed overlapping but distinct expression profiles during root and nodule development. In addition, the early miR160 activation in roots during symbiotic interaction was not observed in mutants of the nodulation signalling or autoregulation pathways. Composite plants that overexpressed mtr-miR160a under two different promoters exhibited distinct defects in root growth and nodulation: the p35S:miR160a construct led to reduced root length associated to a severe disorganisation of the RAM, whereas pCsVMV:miR160a roots showed gravitropism defects and lower nodule numbers. Our results suggest that a regulatory loop involving miR160/ARFs governs root and nodule organogenesis in M. truncatula.

Additional keywords: auxin, legume, miRNA, root development, symbiotic nodulation.


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