A nodule-specific protein secretory pathway required for nitrogen-fixing symbiosis

Dong Wang, Joel Griffitts, Colby Starker, Elena Fedorova, Erik Limpens, Sergey Ivanov, Ton Bisseling, Sharon Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


The nitrogen-fixing symbiosis between Sinorhizobium meliloti and its leguminous host plant Medicago truncatula occurs in a specialized root organ called the nodule. Bacteria that are released into plant cells are surrounded by a unique plant membrane compartment termed a symbiosome. We found that in the symbiosis-defective dnf1 mutant of M. truncatula, bacteroid and symbiosome development are blocked. We identified the DNF1 gene as encoding a subunit of a signal peptidase complex that is highly expressed in nodules. By analyzing data from whole-genome expression analysis, we propose that correct symbiosome development in M. truncatula requires the orderly secretion of protein constituents through coordinated up-regulation of a nodule-specific pathway exemplified by DNF1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1126-1129
Number of pages4
Issue number5969
StatePublished - Feb 26 2010


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