Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Goldilocks principle in biology -- fine-tuning the 'just right' signal load

15.10.2018

In the fairy tale "Goldilock and the Three Bears", the girl Goldilock goes to the bears' house where she finds three bowls of porridge, but only one has the "just right" temperature, and in the same way within biology, you can find the "just right" conditions - called the Goldilocks principle. This is precisely what an international research team has done by demonstrating that in order to get the "just right" amount of signalling for symbiosis in the roots of legumes, a specific enzyme called chitinase (CHIT5) must be present.

Trying to transfer to other types of plants.


The concentrations of Nod factor are controlled by CHIT5 and this is important for establishing functional symbiosis (red nodules) versus defect symbiosis (white nodules).

Credit: Kasper Røjkjær Andersen, Simon Kelly and Simona Radutoiu.

Usage Restrictions: Image may be used only to illustrate the research described in the accompanying release.

More specifically, in their new studies, the researchers found that the chitinase CHIT5 present in legume roots is required for Nod factor hydrolysis and functional symbiosis. Their work reveals a new and crucial role of the legume host in modulating levels of specific rhizobial Nod factor morphogens during cortical infection to ensure functional symbiosis.

Morphogens are key signals for organized development in multicellular organisms. The crucial role of self-produced morphogens like retinoic acid or transformation growth factor-beta during embryo development has been long demonstrated.

Molecules of microbial nature have also been shown to induce a morphogenetic response in symbiotic eukaryotic hosts, and recently gained an increased attention following the increased focus on microbiome studies. The nitrogen-fixing root nodules are lateral organs induced by a microbial morphogen. In their new studies, the researchers reveal for the first time that a developmental switch in the legume plant is ensured by the host-controlled modulation of microbial morphogen, Nod factor.

Deepening our understanding of Nod factor signalling

Nod factors have been known for decades as signalling molecules produced by rhizobia to trigger and enable dinitrogen-fixing symbiosis. In addition to their signalling capacity, Nod factors have been considered morphogens based on their effect on host developmental programmes; nodule organogenesis and infection thread formation. The researchers have found that the model legume Lotus japonicus modulates the levels of the Nod factor morphogen via CHIT5 to control colonisation of nodule primordia.

chit5 mutants display an unbalanced symbiotic signalling reminiscent of what is seen in developmental arrest at an early primordia stage. We believe that our work provides the basis for a novel layer of symbiosis research, enabling a deeper understanding of Nod factor signalling during cortical infection with direct consequences for the switch to nitrogen-fixing status.

This knowledge becomes especially essential in the context of the research group's current ambitious engineering projects aiming at transferring the nitrogen fixation ability to non-legumes, which could potentially have great agricultural importance.

###

The results have just been published in the international journal eLife:

"A plant chitinase controls cortical infection thread progression and nitrogen-fixing symbiosis"

Anna Malolepszy*, Simon Kelly*, Kasper Kildegaard Sørensen, Euan Kevin James, Christina Kalisch, Zoltan Bozsoki, Michael Panting, Stig U Andersen, Shusei Sato, Ke Tao, Dorthe Bødker Jensen, Maria Vinther, Noor de Jong, Lene Heegaard Madsen, Yosuke Umehara, Kira Gysel, Mette U Berentsen, Michael Blaise, Knud Jørgen Jensen, Mikkel B Thygesen, Niels Sandal, Kasper Røjkjær Andersen, and Simona Radutoiu.

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.38874

For further information, please contact

Associate Professor Simona Radutoiu
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Aarhus University, Denmark
radutoiu@mbg.au.dk - +45 87155498

Media Contact

Associate Professor Simona Radutoiu
radutoiu@mbg.au.dk
45-87-15-54-98

 @aarhusuni

http://www.au.dk 

Associate Professor Simona Radutoiu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://mbg.au.dk/en/news-and-events/news-item/artikel/goldilocks-principle-in-biology-fine-tuning-the-just-right-signal-load/
http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.38874

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Giving a chip about masa
18.07.2019 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Global farming trends threaten food security
11.07.2019 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heat flow through single molecules detected

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Heat transport through single molecules

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Welcome Committee for Comets

19.07.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>