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Mechanism of Infection Thread Elongation in Root Hairs of Medicago truncatula and Dynamic Interplay with Associated Rhizobial Colonization

Abstract : In temperate legumes, endosymbiotic nitrogen-fixing rhizobia gain access to inner root tissues via a specialized transcellular apoplastic compartment known as the infection thread (IT). To study IT development in living root hairs, a protocol has been established for Medicago truncatula that allows confocal microscopic observations of the intracellular dynamics associated with IT growth. Fluorescent labeling of both the IT envelope (AtPIP2;1-green fluorescent protein) and the host endoplasmic reticulum (green fluorescent protein-HDEL) has revealed that IT growth is a fundamentally discontinuous process and that the variable rate of root hair invagination is reflected in changes in the host cell cytoarchitecture. The concomitant use of fluorescently labeled Sinorhizobium meliloti has further revealed that a bacteria-free zone is frequently present at the growing tip of the IT, thus indicating that bacterial contact is not essential for thread progression. Finally, these in vivo studies have shown that gaps within the bacterial file are a common feature during the early stages of IT development, and that segments of the file are able to slide collectively down the thread. Taken together, these observations lead us to propose that (1) IT growth involves a host-driven cellular mechanism analogous to that described for intracellular infection by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; (2) the non-regular growth of the thread is a consequence of the rate-limiting colonization by the infecting rhizobia; and (3) bacterial colonization involves a combination of bacterial cell division and sliding movement within the extracellular matrix of the apoplastic compartment.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 1:30:37 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 6:30:43 PM

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Joëlle Fournier, Ton Timmers, Bjorn Sieberer, Alain Jauneau, Mireille Chabaud, et al.. Mechanism of Infection Thread Elongation in Root Hairs of Medicago truncatula and Dynamic Interplay with Associated Rhizobial Colonization. Plant Physiology, Oxford University Press ; American Society of Plant Biologists, 2008, 148, pp.1985-1995. ⟨10.1104/pp.108.125674⟩. ⟨hal-02659112⟩

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