NFP, a LysM protein controlling Nod factor perception, also intervenes in Medicago truncatula resistance to pathogens
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- Plant LysM proteins control the perception of microbial-derived N-acetylglucosamine compounds for the establishment of symbiosis or activation of plant immunity. This raises questions about how plants, and notably legumes, can differentiate friends and foes using similar molecular actors and whether any receptors can intervene in both symbiosis and resistance.
- To study this question, nfp and lyk3 LysM-receptor like kinase mutants of Medicago truncatula that are affected in the early steps of nodulation, were analysed following inoculation with Aphanomyces euteiches, a root oomycete. The role of NFP in this interaction was further analysed by overexpression of NFP and by transcriptome analyses.
- nfp, but not lyk3, mutants were significantly more susceptible than wildtype plants to A. euteiches, whereas NFP overexpression increased resistance. Transcriptome analyses on A. euteiches inoculation showed that mutation in the NFP gene led to significant changes in the expression of c. 500 genes, notably involved in cell dynamic processes previously associated with resistance to pathogen penetration. nfp mutants also showed an increased susceptibility to the fungus Colletotrichum trifolii.
- These results demonstrate that NFP intervenes in M. truncatula immunity, suggesting an unsuspected role for NFP in the perception of pathogenic signals.