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

D. Wang, J. Griffitts, C. Starker, E. Fedorova, E.H.M. Limpens, S.E. Ivanov, T. Bisseling, S. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

206 Citations (Scopus)


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
Pages (from-to)1126-1129
Issue number5969
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • signal peptidase activity
  • medicago-truncatula
  • root-nodules
  • endoplasmic-reticulum
  • gene-expression
  • membrane
  • fixation
  • mutants
  • define
  • plant


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