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Triarabinosylation is required for nodulation‐suppressive CLE peptides to systemically inhibit nodulation in Pisum sativum

Hastwell, April H., Corcilius, Leo, Williams, James T., Gresshoff, Peter M., Payne, Richard J., Ferguson, Brett J.
Plant, cell and environment 2019 v.42 no.1 pp. 188-197
Pisum sativum, autoregulation, bacteria, bioinformatics, genes, glycosylation, hydroxylation, hydroxyproline, mutants, nitrogen fixation, nodulation, peas, pentosyltransferases, peptides, petioles, root nodules, soybeans
Legumes form root nodules to house beneficial nitrogen‐fixing rhizobia bacteria. However, nodulation is resource demanding; hence, legumes evolved a systemic signalling mechanism called autoregulation of nodulation (AON) to control nodule numbers. AON begins with the production of CLE peptides in the root, which are predicted to be glycosylated, transported to the shoot, and perceived. We synthesized variants of nodulation‐suppressing CLE peptides to test their activity using petiole feeding to introduce CLE peptides into the shoot. Hydroxylated, monoarabinosylated, and triarabinosylated variants of soybean GmRIC1a and GmRIC2a were chemically synthesized and fed into recipient Pisum sativum (pea) plants, which were used due to the availability of key AON pathway mutants unavailable in soybean. Triarabinosylated GmRIC1a and GmRIC2a suppressed nodulation of wild‐type pea, whereas no other peptide variant tested had this ability. Suppression also occurred in the supernodulating hydroxyproline O‐arabinosyltransferase mutant, Psnod3, but not in the supernodulating receptor mutants, Pssym29, and to some extent, Pssym28. During our study, bioinformatic resources for pea became available and our analyses identified 40 CLE peptide‐encoding genes, including orthologues of nodulation‐suppressive CLE peptides. Collectively, we demonstrated that soybean nodulation‐suppressive CLE peptides can function interspecifically in the AON pathway of pea and require arabinosylation for their activity.