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ARC Centre of Excellence

for Integrative Legume


Research

How
Legumes
Make
Nodules

Lisette Pregelj – Education and


Outreach Manager

www.cilr.uq.edu.au
Legume Nodules
• Legume nodules are
special plant organs
that house nitrogen-
fixing bacteria
called Rhizobium
• Nodules form on
Legume roots
• Nodules can also
form on stems in
some species

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Vascular Bundles

Nodule Cortex

Sclerenchyma
Rhizobium Filled
Cells
>25,000 per cell Nodule Cross-Section

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Nodule Formation
1. Rhizobia attracted to
root

2. Rhizobia attach to
root hairs

3. Root hair curling

4. Infection thread
formation
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Nodule Formation
5. Root cortical cell
division

6. Rhizobia invade
cortical cells

7. The nodule grows

8. Fully functional
nodule

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1: Rhizobia attracted to root

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1. Rhizobia attracted to root
• Legume roots exude
flavonoids
(Soybean exudes the
isoflavone genistein)
• Rhizobia are attracted
to flavonoids

Petri dish Bacteria turn


contains a blue when a
bacterial lawn reporter gene
is switched
on by plant
exudates
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2. Rhizobia attach to root hairs

Rhizobia

Root Hair

10 mm

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2. Rhizobia attach to root hairs

Deformed root
hairs
Curled root
hair

Vascular
bundle

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3. Root hair curling

50 mm

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4. Rhizobia infect root hair
Root Hair Root Hair Curling Infection Thread

Rhizobia Infection Pocket

Legume Root
Vascular Bundle

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4. Rhizobia infect root hair

50 mm

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5. Root cortical cells divide

100 mm

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5. Root cortical cells divide

100 mm
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6. Rhizobia invade cortical cells

50 mm
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7. The nodule grows

2-4 mm
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8. Fully functional nodule
root nodule

Rhizobia (green
marker)

100 mm
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Nodulation Timeline

Roots Inoculation 1-2 days post 4 dpi


(day 0) inoculation (dpi)

4-6 dpi 10 dpi 3 weeks pi

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Chemical Signals
• Nodulation involved chemical signals
• Released by both the Legume plant and the
Rhizobium bacteria

Flavones

Nod Factors

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Flavones and Isoflavones
• Released by Legume roots
• Signal Rhizobia in the soil that a Legume is
present and ready to nodulate
• Soybean releases Genistein, an isoflavone

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Flavones and Isoflavones

Flavonoids in

Root tip and

Thickened root

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Nod Factors
• Rhizobia in response to
flavones release Nod
factors
• Nod factors are sugars
with specific signalling
functions
• Nod factors signal to a
legume that Rhizobia
are present in the soil
and ready to live in
nodules

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Nod Factors
• Each Rhizobum species releases unique Nod factors
• All Nod factors have a concerved backbone
• Difference is in the decorations (R1 R2 R3 R4 R5) and
number (n) of sugar repeats

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Nod Factor Receptors
• Each legume species has receptors
specific to a unique Nod factor
• Therefore each legume species
nodulates with its own Rhizobium
• Soybean -Bradyrhizobium japonicum
• Lotus – Mesorhizobium loti
• General – Rhizobium NGR234

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CILR

• University of
Queensland
• Australian National
University
• University of
Melbourne
• University of
Newcastle

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www.cilr.uq.edu.au
CILR
ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative
Legume Research

Contact Us
HQ: University of Queensland
Tel: 3365 3550
Email: director.CILR@uq.edu.au
lisette.pregelj@uq.edu.au

Visit Our Website!


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www.cilr.uq.edu.au
Picture and Diagram Credits
• Uli Mathesius
• Mark Kinkema
• Peter Gresshoff
• Dana Hoffmann
• Michael Sheahan
• Sureeporn (Ning) Nontachaiyapoom
• Paul Scott
• Brett Ferguson

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Model sekresi flavonoid dari akar kedelai dan
simbiosis antara legum dan B. japonicum

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