A NIN-LIKE PROTEIN mediates nitrate-induced control of root nodule symbiosis in Lotus japonicus

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  • A NIN-LIKE PROTEIN mediates nitrate-induced control of root nodule symbiosis in <italic>Lotus japonicus</italic>

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Legumes and rhizobia establish symbiosis in root nodules. To balance the gains and costs associated with the symbiosis, plants have developed two strategies for adapting to nitrogen availability in the soil: plants can regulate nodule number and/or stop the development or function of nodules. Although the former is accounted for by autoregulation of nodulation, a form of systemic long-range signaling, the latter strategy remains largely enigmatic. Here, we show that the <jats:italic>Lotus japonicus NITRATE UNRESPONSIVE SYMBIOSIS 1</jats:italic> (<jats:italic>NRSYM1</jats:italic>) gene encoding a NIN-LIKE PROTEIN transcription factor acts as a key regulator in the nitrate-induced pleiotropic control of root nodule symbiosis. NRSYM1 accumulates in the nucleus in response to nitrate and directly regulates the production of CLE-RS2, a root-derived mobile peptide that acts as a negative regulator of nodule number. Our data provide the genetic basis for how plants respond to the nitrogen environment and control symbiosis to achieve proper plant growth.</jats:p>

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