Remodeling of the plant cell cytoskeleton precedes symbiotic entry of nitrogen-fixing bacteria within the host plant roots. Here we identify a Lotus japonicus gene encoding a predicted ACTIN-RELATED PROTEIN COMPONENT1 (ARPC1) as essential for rhizobial infection but not for arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis. In other organisms ARPC1 constitutes a subunit of the ARP2/3 complex, the major nucleator of Y-branched actin filaments. The L. japonicus arpc1 mutant showed a distorted trichome phenotype and was defective in epidermal infection thread formation, producing mostly empty nodules. A few partially colonized nodules that did form in arpc1 contained abnormal infections. Together with previously described L. japonicus Nckassociated protein1 and 121F-specific p53 inducible RNA mutants, which are also impaired in the accommodation of rhizobia, our data indicate that ARPC1 and, by inference a suppressor of cAMP receptor/WASP-family verpolin homologous protein-ARP2/3 pathway, must have been coopted during evolution of nitrogen-fixing symbiosis to specifically mediate bacterial entry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science