Adaptations and evolution of a heritable leaf nodule symbiosis between Dioscorea sansibarensis and Orrella dioscoreae.
ABSTRACT: Various plant species establish intimate symbioses with bacteria within their aerial organs. The bacteria are contained within nodules or glands often present in distinctive patterns on the leaves in what is commonly referred to as leaf nodule symbiosis. We describe here a highly specific symbiosis between a wild yam species from Madagascar, Dioscorea sansibarensis and bacteria of the species Orrella dioscoreae. Using whole-genome sequencing of plastids and bacteria from wild-collected samples, we show phylogenetic patterns consistent with a dominant vertical mode of transmission of the symbionts. Unique so far among leaf nodule symbioses, the bacteria can be cultured and are amenable to comparative transcriptomics, revealing a potential role in complementing the host's arsenal of secondary metabolites. We propose a recent establishment of a vertical mode of transmission in this symbiosis which, together with a large effective population size explains the cultivability and apparent lack of genome reductive evolution in O. dioscoreae. We leverage these unique features to reveal pathways and functions under positive selection in these specialized endophytes, highlighting the candidate mechanisms enabling a permanent association in the phyllosphere.
Project description:Bacteria of the genus Burkholderia establish an obligate symbiosis with plant species of the Rubiaceae and Primulaceae families. The bacteria, housed within the leaves, are transmitted hereditarily and have not yet been cultured. We have sequenced and compared the genomes of eight bacterial leaf nodule symbionts of the Rubiaceae plant family. All of the genomes exhibit features consistent with genome erosion. Genes potentially involved in the biosynthesis of kirkamide, an insecticidal C7N aminocyclitol, are conserved in most Rubiaceae symbionts. However, some have partially lost the kirkamide pathway due to genome erosion and are unable to synthesize the compound. Kirkamide synthesis is therefore not responsible for the obligate nature of the symbiosis. More importantly, we find evidence of intra-clade horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events affecting genes of the secondary metabolism. This indicates that substantial gene flow can occur at the early stages following host restriction in leaf nodule symbioses. We propose that host-switching events and plasmid conjugative transfers could have promoted these HGTs. This genomic analysis of leaf nodule symbionts gives, for the first time, new insights in the genome evolution of obligate symbionts in their early stages of the association with plants.
Project description:This study investigated endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacteria isolated from two species of yam (water yam, Dioscorea alata L.; lesser yam, Dioscorea esculenta L.) grown in nutrient-poor alkaline soil conditions on Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan. Two bacterial strains of the genus Rhizobium, S-93T and S-62, were isolated. The phylogenetic tree, based on the almost-complete 16S rRNA gene sequences (1476?bp for each strain), placed them in a distinct clade, with Rhizobium miluonense CCBAU 41251T, Rhizobium hainanense I66T, Rhizobium multihospitium HAMBI 2975T, Rhizobium freirei PRF 81T and Rhizobium tropici CIAT 899T being their closest species. Their bacterial fatty acid profile, with major components of C19?:?0 cyclo ?8c and summed feature 8, as well as other phenotypic characteristics and DNA G+C content (59.65?mol%) indicated that the novel strains belong to the genus Rhizobium. Pairwise average nucleotide identity analyses separated the novel strains from their most closely related species with similarity values of 90.5, 88.9, 88.5, 84.5 and 84.4?% for R. multihospitium HAMBI 2975T, R. tropici CIAT 899T, R. hainanense CCBAU 57015T, R. miluonense HAMBI 2971T and R. freirei PRF 81T, respectively; digital DNA-DNA hybridization values were in the range of 26-42?%. Considering the phenotypic characteristics as well as the genomic data, it is suggested that strains S-93T and S-62 represent a new species, for which the name Rhizobium dioscoreae is proposed. The type strain is S-93T (=NRIC 0988T=NBRC 114257T=DSM 110498T).
Project description:Nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbioses (RNS) occur in two major forms-Actinorhiza and legume-rhizobium symbiosis-which differ in bacterial partner, intracellular infection pattern, and morphogenesis. The phylogenetic restriction of nodulation to eurosid angiosperms indicates a common and recent evolutionary invention, but the molecular steps involved are still obscure. In legumes, at least seven genes-including the symbiosis receptor-kinase gene SYMRK-are essential for the interaction with rhizobia bacteria and for the Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (AM) symbiosis with phosphate-acquiring fungi, which is widespread in occurrence and believed to date back to the earliest land plants. We show that SYMRK is also required for Actinorhiza symbiosis of the cucurbit Datisca glomerata with actinobacteria of the genus Frankia, revealing a common genetic basis for both forms of RNS. We found that SYMRK exists in at least three different structural versions, of which the shorter forms from rice and tomato are sufficient for AM, but not for functional endosymbiosis with bacteria in the legume Lotus japonicus. Our data support the idea that SYMRK sequence evolution was involved in the recruitment of a pre-existing signalling network from AM, paving the way for the evolution of intracellular root symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Project description:Plants within the Nitrogen-fixing Clade (NFC) of Angiosperms form root nodule symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Actinorhizal plants (in Cucurbitales, Fagales, Rosales) form symbioses with the actinobacteria Frankia while legumes (Fabales) form symbioses with proteobacterial rhizobia. Flavonoids, secondary metabolites of the phenylpropanoid pathway, have been shown to play major roles in legume root nodule symbioses: as signal molecules that in turn trigger rhizobial nodulation initiation signals and acting as polar auxin transport inhibitors, enabling a key step in nodule organogenesis. To explore a potentially broader role for flavonoids in root nodule symbioses across the NFC, we combined metabolomic and transcriptomic analyses of roots and nodules of the actinorhizal host Datisca glomerata and legumes of the genus Medicago. Patterns of biosynthetic pathways were inferred from flavonoid metabolite profiles and phenylpropanoid gene expression patterns in the two hosts to identify similarities and differences. Similar classes of flavonoids were represented in both hosts, and an increase in flavonoids generally in the nodules was observed, with differences in flavonoids prominent in each host. While both hosts produced derivatives of naringenin, the metabolite profile in D. glomerata indicated an emphasis on the pinocembrin biosynthetic pathway, and an abundance of flavonols with potential roles in symbiosis. Additionally, the gene expression profile indicated a decrease in expression in the lignin/monolignol pathway. In Medicago sativa, by contrast, isoflavonoids were highly abundant featuring more diverse and derived isoflavonoids than D. glomerata. Gene expression patterns supported these differences in metabolic pathways, especially evident in a difference in expression of cinnamic acid 4-hydroxylase (C4H), which was expressed at substantially lower levels in D. glomerata than in a Medicago truncatula transcriptome where it was highly expressed. C4H is a major rate-limiting step in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis that separates the pinocembrin pathway from the lignin/monolignol and naringenin-based flavonoid branches. Shikimate O-hydroxycinnamoyltransferase, the link between flavonoid biosynthesis and the lignin/monolignol pathway, was also expressed at much lower levels in D. glomerata than in M. truncatula. Our results indicate (a) a likely major role for flavonoids in actinorhizal nodules, and (b) differences in metabolic flux in flavonoid and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis between the different hosts in symbiosis.
Project description:Actinorhizal root nodule symbioses are very diverse, and the symbiosis of Datisca glomerata has previously been shown to have many unusual aspects. In order to gain molecular information on the infection mechanism, nodule development and nodule metabolism, we compared the transcriptomes of D. glomerata roots and nodules. Root and nodule libraries representing the 3'-ends of cDNAs were subjected to high-throughput parallel 454 sequencing. To identify the corresponding genes and to improve the assembly, Illumina sequencing of the nodule transcriptome was performed as well. The evaluation revealed 406 differentially regulated genes, 295 of which (72.7%) could be assigned a function based on homology. Analysis of the nodule transcriptome showed that genes encoding components of the common symbiosis signaling pathway were present in nodules of D. glomerata, which in combination with the previously established function of SymRK in D. glomerata nodulation suggests that this pathway is also active in actinorhizal Cucurbitales. Furthermore, comparison of the D. glomerata nodule transcriptome with nodule transcriptomes from actinorhizal Fagales revealed a new subgroup of nodule-specific defensins that might play a role specific to actinorhizal symbioses. The D. glomerata members of this defensin subgroup contain an acidic C-terminal domain that was never found in plant defensins before.
Project description:Legumes form symbiotic associations with either nitrogen-fixing bacteria or arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Formation of these two symbioses is regulated by a common set of signalling components that act downstream of recognition of rhizobia or mycorrhizae by host plants. Central to these pathways is the calcium and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK)-IPD3 complex which initiates nodule organogenesis following calcium oscillations in the host nucleus. However, downstream signalling events are not fully understood. Here we show that Medicago truncatula DELLA proteins, which are the central regulators of gibberellic acid signalling, positively regulate rhizobial symbiosis. Rhizobia colonization is impaired in della mutants and we provide evidence that DELLAs can promote CCaMK-IPD3 complex formation and increase the phosphorylation state of IPD3. DELLAs can also interact with NSP2-NSP1 and enhance the expression of Nod-factor-inducible genes in protoplasts. We show that DELLA is able to bridge a protein complex containing IPD3 and NSP2. Our results suggest a transcriptional framework for regulation of root nodule symbiosis.
Project description:Only species belonging to the Fabid clade, limited to four classes and ten families of Angiosperms, are able to form nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbioses (RNS) with soil bacteria. This concerns plants of the legume family (Fabaceae) and Parasponia (Cannabaceae) associated with the Gram-negative proteobacteria collectively called rhizobia and actinorhizal plants associated with the Gram-positive actinomycetes of the genus Frankia. Calcium and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) is a key component of the common signaling pathway leading to both rhizobial and arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses (AM) and plays a central role in cross-signaling between root nodule organogenesis and infection processes. Here, we show that CCaMK is also needed for successful actinorhiza formation and interaction with AM fungi in the actinorhizal tree Casuarina glauca and is also able to restore both nodulation and AM symbioses in a Medicago truncatula ccamk mutant. Besides, we expressed auto-active CgCCaMK lacking the auto-inhibitory/CaM domain in two actinorhizal species: C. glauca (Casuarinaceae), which develops an intracellular infection pathway, and Discaria trinervis (Rhamnaceae) which is characterized by an ancestral intercellular infection mechanism. In both species, we found induction of nodulation independent of Frankia similar to response to the activation of CCaMK in the rhizobia-legume symbiosis and conclude that the regulation of actinorhiza organogenesis is conserved regardless of the infection mode. It has been suggested that rhizobial and actinorhizal symbioses originated from a common ancestor with several independent evolutionary origins. Our findings are consistent with the recruitment of a similar genetic pathway governing rhizobial and Frankia nodule organogenesis.
Project description:Leguminous plants can enter into root nodule symbioses with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria known as rhizobia. An intriguing but still poorly understood property of the symbiosis is its host specificity, which is controlled at multiple levels involving both rhizobial and host genes. It is widely believed that the host specificity is determined by specific recognition of bacterially derived Nod factors by the cognate host receptor(s). Here we describe the positional cloning of two soybean genes Rj2 and Rfg1 that restrict nodulation with specific strains of Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Sinorhizobium fredii, respectively. We show that Rj2 and Rfg1 are allelic genes encoding a member of the Toll-interleukin receptor/nucleotide-binding site/leucine-rich repeat (TIR-NBS-LRR) class of plant resistance (R) proteins. The involvement of host R genes in the control of genotype-specific infection and nodulation reveals a common recognition mechanism underlying symbiotic and pathogenic host-bacteria interactions and suggests the existence of their cognate avirulence genes derived from rhizobia. This study suggests that establishment of a root nodule symbiosis requires the evasion of plant immune responses triggered by rhizobial effectors.
Project description:Genus Frankia is comprised primarily of nitrogen-fixing actinobacteria that form root nodule symbioses with a group of hosts known as the actinorhizal plants. These plants are evolutionarily closely related to the legumes that are nodulated by the rhizobia. Both host groups utilize homologs of nodulation genes for root-nodule symbiosis, derived from common plant ancestors. The corresponding endosymbionts, Frankia and the rhizobia, however, are distantly related groups of bacteria, leading to questions about their symbiotic mechanisms and evolutionary history. To date, a stable system of electrotransformation has been lacking in Frankia despite numerous attempts by research groups worldwide. We have identified type IV methyl-directed restriction systems, highly-expressed in a range of actinobacteria, as a likely barrier to Frankia transformation. Here we report the successful electrotransformation of the model strain F. alni ACN14a with an unmethylated, broad host-range replicating plasmid, expressing chloramphenicol-resistance for selection and GFP as a marker of gene expression. This system circumvented the type IV restriction barrier and allowed the stable maintenance of the plasmid. During nitrogen limitation, Frankia differentiates into two cell types: the vegetative hyphae and nitrogen-fixing vesicles. When the expression of egfp under the control of the nif gene cluster promoter was localized using fluorescence imaging, the expression of nitrogen fixation in nitrogen-limited culture was localized in Frankia vesicles but not in hyphae. The ability to separate gene expression patterns between Frankia hyphae and vesicles will enable deeper comparisons of molecular signaling and metabolic exchange between Frankia-actinorhizal and rhizobia-legume symbioses to be made, and may broaden potential applications in agriculture. Further downstream applications are possible, including gene knock-outs and complementation, to open up a range of experiments in Frankia and its symbioses. Additionally, in the transcriptome of F. alni ACN14a, type IV restriction enzymes were highly expressed in nitrogen-replete culture but their expression strongly decreased during symbiosis. The down-regulation of type IV restriction enzymes in symbiosis suggests that horizontal gene transfer may occur more frequently inside the nodule, with possible new implications for the evolution of Frankia.
Project description:In legumes, Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) is a component of the common symbiosis genes that are required for both root nodule (RN) and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) symbioses and is thought to be a decoder of Ca(2+) spiking, one of the earliest cellular responses to microbial signals. A gain-of-function mutation of CCaMK has been shown to induce spontaneous nodulation without rhizobia, but the significance of CCaMK activation in bacterial and/or fungal infection processes is not fully understood. Here we show that a gain-of-function CCaMK(T265D) suppresses loss-of-function mutations of common symbiosis genes required for the generation of Ca(2+) spiking, not only for nodule organogenesis but also for successful infection of rhizobia and AM fungi, demonstrating that the common symbiosis genes upstream of Ca(2+) spiking are required solely to activate CCaMK. In RN symbiosis, however, CCaMK(T265D) induced nodule organogenesis, but not rhizobial infection, on Nod factor receptor (NFRs) mutants. We propose a model of symbiotic signaling in host legume plants, in which CCaMK plays a key role in the coordinated induction of infection thread formation and nodule organogenesis.