Overexpression of the arginine decarboxylase gene promotes the symbiotic interaction Medicago truncatula-Sinorhizobium meliloti and induces the accumulation of proline and spermine in nodules under salt stress conditions

Javier Hidalgo-Castellanos, Ana Sofia Duque, Alvaro Burgueño, José A. Herrera-Cervera, Pedro Fevereiro, Miguel López-Gómez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Legumes have the capacity to fix nitrogen in symbiosis with soil bacteria known as rhizobia by the formation of root nodules. However, nitrogen fixation is highly sensitive to soil salinity with a concomitant reduction of the plant yield and soil fertilization. Polycationic aliphatic amines known as polyamines (PAs) have been shown to be involved in the response to a variety of stresses in plants including soil salinity. Therefore, the generation of transgenic plants overexpressing genes involved in PA biosynthesis have been proposed as a promising tool to improve salt stress tolerance in plants. In this work we tested whether the modulation of PAs in transgenic Medicago truncatula plants was advantageous for the symbiotic interaction with Sinorhizobium meliloti under salt stress conditions, when compared to wild type plants. Consequently, we characterized the symbiotic response to salt stress of the homozygous M. truncatula plant line L-108, constitutively expressing the oat adc gene, coding for the PA biosynthetic enzyme arginine decarboxylase, involved in PAs biosynthesis. In a nodulation kinetic assay, nodule number incremented in L-108 plants under salt stress. In addition, these plants at vegetative stage showed higher nitrogenase and nodule biomass and, under salt stress, accumulated proline (Pro) and spermine (Spm) in nodules, while in wt plants, the accumulation of glutamic acid (Glu), γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) and 1-aminocyclopropane carboxylic acid (ACC) (the ethylene (ET) precursor) were the metabolites involved in the salt stress response. Therefore, overexpression of oat adc gene favours the symbiotic interaction between plants of M. truncatula L-108 and S. meliloti under salt stress and the accumulation of Pro and Spm, seems to be the molecules involved in salt stress tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153034
JournalJournal Of Plant Physiology
Volume241
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Medicago truncatula
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Polyamines
  • Salt stress
  • Symbiosis

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