From Intracellular Bacteria to Differentiated Bacteroids: Transcriptome and Metabolome Analysis in Aeschynomene Nodules Using the Bradyrhizobium sp. Strain ORS285 bclA Mutant.
ABSTRACT: Soil bacteria called rhizobia trigger the formation of root nodules on legume plants. The rhizobia infect these symbiotic organs and adopt an intracellular lifestyle within the nodule cells, where they differentiate into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Several legume lineages force their symbionts into an extreme cellular differentiation, comprising cell enlargement and genome endoreduplication. The antimicrobial peptide transporter BclA is a major determinant of this process in Bradyrhizobium sp. strain ORS285, a symbiont of Aeschynomene spp. In the absence of BclA, the bacteria proceed until the intracellular infection of nodule cells, but they cannot differentiate into enlarged polyploid and functional bacteroids. Thus, the bclA nodule bacteria constitute an intermediate stage between the free-living soil bacteria and the nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Metabolomics on whole nodules of Aeschynomene afraspera and Aeschynomene indica infected with the wild type or the bclA mutant revealed 47 metabolites that differentially accumulated concomitantly with bacteroid differentiation. Bacterial transcriptome analysis of these nodules demonstrated that the intracellular settling of the rhizobia in the symbiotic nodule cells is accompanied by a first transcriptome switch involving several hundred upregulated and downregulated genes and a second switch accompanying the bacteroid differentiation, involving fewer genes but ones that are expressed to extremely elevated levels. The transcriptomes further suggested a dynamic role for oxygen and redox regulation of gene expression during nodule formation and a nonsymbiotic function of BclA. Together, our data uncover the metabolic and gene expression changes that accompany the transition from intracellular bacteria into differentiated nitrogen-fixing bacteroids.IMPORTANCE Legume-rhizobium symbiosis is a major ecological process, fueling the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle with reduced nitrogen. It also represents a promising strategy to reduce the use of chemical nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture, thereby improving its sustainability. This interaction leads to the intracellular accommodation of rhizobia within plant cells of symbiotic organs, where they differentiate into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. In specific legume clades, this differentiation process requires the bacterial transporter BclA to counteract antimicrobial peptides produced by the host. Transcriptome analysis of Bradyrhizobium wild-type and bclA mutant bacteria in culture and in symbiosis with Aeschynomene host plants dissected the bacterial transcriptional response in distinct phases and highlighted functions of the transporter in the free-living stage of the bacterial life cycle.
Project description:During the legume-rhizobium symbiosis, free-living soil bacteria known as rhizobia trigger the formation of root nodules. The rhizobia infect these organs and adopt an intracellular lifestyle within the symbiotic nodule cells where they become nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Several legume lineages enforce their symbionts into an extreme cellular differentiation, comprising cell enlargement and genome endoreduplication. The antimicrobial peptide transporter BclA is a major determinant of this differentiation process in Bradyrhizobium sp. ORS285, a symbiont of Aeschynomene spp.. In the absence of BclA, Bradyrhizobium sp. ORS285 proceeds until the intracellular infection of nodule cells but the bacteria cannot differentiate into enlarged polyploid bacteroids and fix nitrogen. The nodule bacteria of the bclA mutant constitute thus an intermediate stage between the free-living soil bacteria and the intracellular nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Metabolomics on whole nodules of Aeschynomene afraspera and Aeschynomene indica infected with the ORS285 wild type or the bclA mutant revealed 47 metabolites that differentially accumulated concomitantly with bacteroid differentiation. Bacterial transcriptome analysis of these nodules discriminated nodule-induced genes that are specific to differentiated and nitrogen-fixing bacteroids and others that are activated in the host microenvironment irrespective of bacterial differentiation and nitrogen fixation. These analyses demonstrated that the intracellular settling of the rhizobia in the symbiotic nodule cells is accompanied with a first transcriptome switch involving several hundreds of upregulated and downregulated genes and a second switch accompanying the bacteroid differentiation, involving less genes but that are expressed to extremely elevated levels. The transcriptomes further highlighted the dynamics of oxygen and redox regulation of gene expression during nodule formation and we discovered that bclA represses the expression of non-ribosomal peptide synthetase gene clusters suggesting a non-symbiotic function of BclA. Together, our data uncover the metabolic and gene expression changes that accompany the transition from intracellular bacteria into differentiated nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Overall design: 3 conditions with 3 replicates each for each condition are analyzed. Two nodule bacteria conditions are considered : one from A. indica nodules and from A. afraspera nodules, as well as a culture reference in rich medium
Project description:Legumes harbor in their symbiotic nodule organs nitrogen fixing rhizobium bacteria called bacteroids. Some legumes produce Nodule-specific Cysteine-Rich (NCR) peptides in the nodule cells to control the intracellular bacterial population. NCR peptides have antimicrobial activity and drive bacteroids toward terminal differentiation. Other legumes do not produce NCR peptides and their bacteroids are not differentiated. Bradyrhizobia, infecting NCR-producing Aeschynomene plants, require the peptide uptake transporter BclA to cope with the NCR peptides as well as a specific peptidoglycan-modifying DD-carboxypeptidase, DD-CPase1. We show that Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens strain USDA110 forms undifferentiated bacteroids in NCR-lacking soybean nodules. Unexpectedly, in Aeschynomene afraspera nodules the nitrogen fixing USDA110 bacteroids are hardly differentiated despite the fact that this host produces NCR peptides, suggesting that USDA110 is insensitive to the host peptide effectors and that nitrogen fixation can be uncoupled from differentiation. In agreement with the absence of bacteroid differentiation, USDA110 does not require its bclA gene for nitrogen fixing symbiosis with these two host plants. Furthermore, we show that the BclA and DD-CPase1 act independently in the NCR-induced morphological differentiation of bacteroids. Our results suggest that BclA is required to protect the rhizobia against the NCR stress but not to induce the terminal differentiation pathway.
Project description:Biological nitrogen fixation in rhizobium-legume symbioses is of major importance for sustainable agricultural practices. To establish a mutualistic relationship with their plant host, rhizobia transition from free-living bacteria in soil to growth down infection threads inside plant roots and finally differentiate into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. We reconstructed a genome-scale metabolic model for Rhizobium leguminosarum and integrated the model with transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and gene essentiality data to investigate nutrient uptake and metabolic fluxes characteristic of these different lifestyles. Synthesis of leucine, polyphosphate, and AICAR is predicted to be important in the rhizosphere, while <i>myo-</i>inositol catabolism is active in undifferentiated nodule bacteria in agreement with experimental evidence. The model indicates that bacteroids utilize xylose and glycolate in addition to dicarboxylates, which could explain previously described gene expression patterns. Histidine is predicted to be actively synthesized in bacteroids, consistent with transcriptome and proteome data for several rhizobial species. These results provide the basis for targeted experimental investigation of metabolic processes specific to the different stages of the rhizobium-legume symbioses. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> Rhizobia are soil bacteria that induce nodule formation on plant roots and differentiate into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. A detailed understanding of this complex symbiosis is essential for advancing ongoing efforts to engineer novel symbioses with cereal crops for sustainable agriculture. Here, we reconstruct and validate a genome-scale metabolic model for Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. <i>viciae</i> 3841. By integrating the model with various experimental data sets specific to different stages of symbiosis formation, we elucidate the metabolic characteristics of rhizosphere bacteria, undifferentiated bacteria inside root nodules, and nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Our model predicts metabolic flux patterns for these three distinct lifestyles, thus providing a framework for the interpretation of genome-scale experimental data sets and identifying targets for future experimental studies.
Project description:The legume-rhizobium symbiosis is a major supplier of fixed nitrogen in the biosphere and constitutes a key step of the nitrogen biogeochemical cycle. In some legume species belonging to the Inverted Repeat Lacking Clade (IRLC) and the Dalbergioids, the differentiation of rhizobia into intracellular nitrogen-fixing bacteroids is terminal and involves pronounced cell enlargement and genome endoreduplication, in addition to a strong loss of viability. In the Medicago truncatula-Sinorhizobium spp. system, the extent of bacteroid differentiation correlates with the level of symbiotic efficiency. Here, we used different physiological measurements to compare the symbiotic efficiency of photosynthetic bradyrhizobia in different Aeschynomene spp. (Dalbergioids) hosts inducing different bacteroid morphotypes associated with increasing ploidy levels. The strongly differentiated spherical bacteroids were more efficient than the less strongly differentiated elongated ones, providing a higher mass gain to their hosts. However, symbiotic efficiency is not solely correlated with the extent of bacteroid differentiation especially in spherical bacteroid-inducing plants, suggesting the existence of other factors controlling symbiotic efficiency.
Project description:Host compatible rhizobia induce the formation of legume root nodules, symbiotic organs within which intracellular bacteria are present in plant-derived membrane compartments termed symbiosomes. In Medicago truncatula nodules, the Sinorhizobium microsymbionts undergo an irreversible differentiation process leading to the development of elongated polyploid noncultivable nitrogen fixing bacteroids that convert atmospheric dinitrogen into ammonia. This terminal differentiation is directed by the host plant and involves hundreds of nodule specific cysteine-rich peptides (NCRs). Except for certain in vitro activities of cationic peptides, the functional roles of individual NCR peptides in planta are not known. In this study, we demonstrate that the inability of M. truncatula dnf7 mutants to fix nitrogen is due to inactivation of a single NCR peptide, NCR169. In the absence of NCR169, bacterial differentiation was impaired and was associated with early senescence of the symbiotic cells. Introduction of the NCR169 gene into the dnf7-2/NCR169 deletion mutant restored symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Replacement of any of the cysteine residues in the NCR169 peptide with serine rendered it incapable of complementation, demonstrating an absolute requirement for all cysteines in planta. NCR169 was induced in the cell layers in which bacteroid elongation was most pronounced, and high expression persisted throughout the nitrogen-fixing nodule zone. Our results provide evidence for an essential role of NCR169 in the differentiation and persistence of nitrogen fixing bacteroids in M. truncatula.
Project description:Legume plants can form root organs called nodules where they house intracellular symbiotic rhizobium bacteria. Within nodule cells, rhizobia differentiate into bacteroids, which fix nitrogen for the benefit of the plant. Depending on the combination of host plants and rhizobial strains, the output of rhizobium-legume interactions varies from nonfixing associations to symbioses that are highly beneficial for the plant. <i>Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens</i> USDA110 was isolated as a soybean symbiont, but it can also establish a functional symbiotic interaction with <i>Aeschynomene afraspera</i> In contrast to soybean, <i>A. afraspera</i> triggers terminal bacteroid differentiation, a process involving bacterial cell elongation, polyploidy, and increased membrane permeability, leading to a loss of bacterial viability while plants increase their symbiotic benefit. A combination of plant metabolomics, bacterial proteomics, and transcriptomics along with cytological analyses were used to study the physiology of USDA110 bacteroids in these two host plants. We show that USDA110 establishes a poorly efficient symbiosis with <i>A. afraspera</i> despite the full activation of the bacterial symbiotic program. We found molecular signatures of high levels of stress in <i>A. afraspera</i> bacteroids, whereas those of terminal bacteroid differentiation were only partially activated. Finally, we show that in <i>A. afraspera</i>, USDA110 bacteroids undergo atypical terminal differentiation hallmarked by the disconnection of the canonical features of this process. This study pinpoints how a rhizobium strain can adapt its physiology to a new host and cope with terminal differentiation when it did not coevolve with such a host.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Legume-rhizobium symbiosis is a major ecological process in the nitrogen cycle, responsible for the main input of fixed nitrogen into the biosphere. The efficiency of this symbiosis relies on the coevolution of the partners. Some, but not all, legume plants optimize their return on investment in the symbiosis by imposing on their microsymbionts a terminal differentiation program that increases their symbiotic efficiency but imposes a high level of stress and drastically reduces their viability. We combined multi-omics with physiological analyses to show that the symbiotic couple formed by <i>Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens</i> USDA110 and <i>Aeschynomene afraspera</i>, in which the host and symbiont did not evolve together, is functional but displays a low symbiotic efficiency associated with a disconnection of terminal bacteroid differentiation features.
Project description:Agromonas oligotrophica (Bradyrhizobium oligotrophicum) S58(T) is a nitrogen-fixing oligotrophic bacterium isolated from paddy field soil that is able to grow in extra-low-nutrient environments. Here, the complete genome sequence of S58 was determined. The S58 genome was found to comprise a circular chromosome of 8,264,165 bp with an average GC content of 65.1% lacking nodABC genes and the typical symbiosis island. The genome showed a high level of similarity to the genomes of Bradyrhizobium sp. ORS278 and Bradyrhizobium sp. BTAi1, including nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis gene clusters, which nodulate an aquatic legume plant, Aeschynomene indica, in a Nod factor-independent manner. Although nonsymbiotic (brady)rhizobia are significant components of rhizobial populations in soil, we found that most genes important for nodule development (ndv) and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (nif and fix) with A. indica were well conserved between the ORS278 and S58 genomes. Therefore, we performed inoculation experiments with five A. oligotrophica strains (S58, S42, S55, S72, and S80). Surprisingly, all five strains of A. oligotrophica formed effective nitrogen-fixing nodules on the roots and/or stems of A. indica, with differentiated bacteroids. Nonsymbiotic (brady)rhizobia are known to be significant components of rhizobial populations without a symbiosis island or symbiotic plasmids in soil, but the present results indicate that soil-dwelling A. oligotrophica generally possesses the ability to establish symbiosis with A. indica. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that Nod factor-independent symbiosis with A. indica is a common trait of nodABC- and symbiosis island-lacking strains within the members of the photosynthetic Bradyrhizobium clade, including A. oligotrophica.
Project description:To circumvent the paucity of nitrogen sources in the soil Legume plants evolved a symbiotic interaction with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria called rhizobia. During symbiosis, legumes form root organs called nodules, where bacteria are housed intracellularly and become active nitrogen fixers known as bacteroids. Depending on their host plant, bacteroids can adopt different morphotypes, being either unmodified (U), elongated (E) or spherical (S). E- and S-typr bacteroids undergo a terminal differentiation leading to irreversible morphological changes and DNA endoreduplication. Previous studies suggest that differentiated bacteroids display an increased symbiotic efficiency (E>U & S>U). In this study, we used a combination of Aeschynomene species inducing E- and S-type bacteroids in symbiosis with Bradyrhizobium sp. ORS285 to show that S- performed better than E-type bacteroids. Thus, we performed a transcriptomic analysis on E- and S-type bacteroids to identify the bacterial functions involved in each bacteroid type. Overall design: 3 conditions with 3 replicates each for each condition are analyzed. Two bacteroid conditions are compared : S-type bacteroids from A. indica nodules and E-type bacteroids from A. afraspera nodules, as well as a culture reference in rich medium
Project description:Lotus japonicus, a model legume, develops an efficient, nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with Mesorhizobium loti that promotes plant growth. Lotus japonicus also forms functional nodules with Rhizobium sp. NGR234 and R. etli. Yet, in a plant defence-like reaction, nodules induced by R. etli quickly degenerate, thus limiting plant growth. In contrast, nodules containing NGR234 are long-lasting. It was found that NGR234 initiates nodule formation in a similar way to M. loti MAFF303099, but that the nodules which develop on eleven L. japonicus ecotypes are less efficient in fixing nitrogen. Detailed examination of nodulation of L. japonicus cultivar MG-20 revealed that symbiosomes formed four weeks after inoculation by NGR234 are enlarged in comparison with MAFF303099 and contain multiple bacteroids. Nevertheless, nodules formed by NGR234 fix sufficient nitrogen to avoid rejection by the plant. With time, these nodules develop into fully efficient organs containing bacteroids tightly enclosed in symbiosome membranes, just like those formed by M. loti MAFF303099. This work demonstrates the usefulness of using the well-characterized micro-symbiont NGR234 to study symbiotic signal exchange in the later stages of rhizobia-legume symbioses, especially given the large range of bacterial (NGR234) and plant (L. japonicus) mutants that are available.
Project description:We investigated the presence of endophytic rhizobia within the roots of the wetland wild rice Oryza breviligulata, which is the ancestor of the African cultivated rice Oryza glaberrima. This primitive rice species grows in the same wetland sites as Aeschynomene sensitiva, an aquatic stem-nodulated legume associated with photosynthetic strains of Bradyrhizobium. Twenty endophytic and aquatic isolates were obtained at three different sites in West Africa (Senegal and Guinea) from nodal roots of O. breviligulata and surrounding water by using A. sensitiva as a trap legume. Most endophytic and aquatic isolates were photosynthetic and belonged to the same phylogenetic Bradyrhizobium/Blastobacter subgroup as the typical photosynthetic Bradyrhizobium strains previously isolated from Aeschynomene stem nodules. Nitrogen-fixing activity, measured by acetylene reduction, was detected in rice plants inoculated with endophytic isolates. A 20% increase in the shoot growth and grain yield of O. breviligulata grown in a greenhouse was also observed upon inoculation with one endophytic strain and one Aeschynomene photosynthetic strain. The photosynthetic Bradyrhizobium sp. strain ORS278 extensively colonized the root surface, followed by intercellular, and rarely intracellular, bacterial invasion of the rice roots, which was determined with a lacZ-tagged mutant of ORS278. The discovery that photosynthetic Bradyrhizobium strains, which are usually known to induce nitrogen-fixing nodules on stems of the legume Aeschynomene, are also natural true endophytes of the primitive rice O. breviligulata could significantly enhance cultivated rice production.