The REL3-mediated TAS3 ta-siRNA pathway integrates auxin and ethylene signaling to regulate nodulation in Lotus japonicus
- The ta-siRNA pathway is required for lateral organ development, including leaf patterning, flower differentiation and lateral root growth. Legumes can develop novel lateral root organs – nodules – resulting from symbiotic interactions with rhizobia. However, ta-siRNA regulation in nodule formation remains unknown. To explore ta-siRNA regulation in nodule formation, we investigated the roles of REL3, a key component of TAS3 ta-siRNA biogenesis, during nodulation in Lotus japonicus.
- We characterized the symbiotic phenotypes of the TAS3 ta-siRNA defective rel3 mutant, and analyzed the responses of the rel3 mutant to auxin and ethylene in order to gain insight into TAS3 ta-siRNA regulation of nodulation.
- The rel3 mutant produced fewer pink nitrogen-fixing nodules, with substantially decreased infection frequency and nodule initiation. Moreover, the rel3 mutant was more resistant than wild-type to 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA) in root growth, and exhibited insensitivity to auxins but greater sensitivity to auxin transport inhibitors during nodulation. Furthermore, the rel3 mutant has enhanced root-specific ethylene sensitivity and altered responses to ethylene during nodulation; the low-nodulating phenotype of the rel3 mutant can be restored by ethylene synthesis inhibitor L-α-(2-aminoethoxyvinyl)-glycine (AVG) or action inhibitor Ag+.
- The REL3-mediated TAS3 ta-siRNA pathway regulates nodulation by integrating ethylene and auxin signaling.