Lotus SHAGGY‐like kinase 1 is required to suppress nodulation in Lotus japonicus
Glycogen synthase kinase/SHAGGY‐like kinases (SKs) are a highly conserved family of signaling proteins that participate in many developmental, cell‐differentiation, and metabolic signaling pathways in plants and animals. Here, we investigate the involvement of SKs in legume nodulation, a process requiring the integration of multiple signaling pathways. We describe a group of SKs in the model legume Lotus japonicus (LSKs), two of which respond to inoculation with the symbiotic nitrogen‐fixing bacterium Mesorhizobium loti. RNAi knock‐down plants and an insertion mutant for one of these genes, LSK1, display increased nodulation. Ηairy‐root lines overexpressing LSK1 form only marginally fewer mature nodules compared with controls. The expression levels of genes involved in the autoregulation of nodulation (AON) mechanism are affected in LSK1 knock‐down plants at low nitrate levels, both at early and late stages of nodulation. At higher levels of nitrate, these same plants show the opposite expression pattern of AON‐related genes and lose the hypernodulation phenotype. Our findings reveal an additional role for the versatile SK gene family in integrating the signaling pathways governing legume nodulation, and pave the way for further study of their functions in legumes.
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