Duplication of symbiotic lysin motif receptors predates the evolution of nitrogen-fixing nodule symbiosis

Luuk Rutten, Kana Miyata, Yuda Purwana Roswanjaya, Rik Huisman, Fengjiao Bu, Marijke Hartog, Sidney Linders, Robin van Velzen, Arjan van Zeijl, Ton Bisseling, Wouter Kohlen, R. Geurts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Rhizobium nitrogen-fixing nodule symbiosis occurs in two taxonomic lineages: legumes (Fabaceae) and the genus Parasponia (Cannabaceae). Both symbioses are initiated upon the perception of rhizobium-secreted lipochitooligosaccharides (LCOs), called Nod factors. Studies in the model legumes Lotus japonicus and Medicago truncatula showed that rhizobium LCOs are perceived by a heteromeric receptor complex of distinct Lys motif (LysM)-type transmembrane receptors named NOD FACTOR RECEPTOR1 (LjNFR1) and LjNFR5 (L. japonicus) and LYSM DOMAIN CONTAINING RECEPTOR KINASE3 (MtLYK3)-NOD FACTOR PERCEPTION (MtNFP; M. truncatula). Recent phylogenomic comparative analyses indicated that the nodulation traits of legumes, Parasponia spp., as well as so-called actinorhizal plants that establish a symbiosis with diazotrophic Frankia spp. bacteria share an evolutionary origin about 110 million years ago. However, the evolutionary trajectory of LysM-type LCO receptors remains elusive. By conducting phylogenetic analysis, transcomplementation studies, and CRISPR-Cas9 mutagenesis in Parasponia andersonii, we obtained insight into the origin of LCO receptors essential for nodulation. We identified four LysM-type receptors controlling nodulation in P. andersonii: PanLYK1, PanLYK3, PanNFP1, and PanNFP2. These genes evolved from ancient duplication events predating and coinciding with the origin of nodulation. Phylogenetic and functional analyses associated the occurrence of a functional NFP2-orthologous receptor to LCO-driven nodulation. Legumes and Parasponia spp. use orthologous LysM-type receptors to perceive rhizobium LCOs, suggesting a shared evolutionary origin of LCO-driven nodulation. Furthermore, we found that both PanLYK1 and PanLYK3 are essential for intracellular arbuscule formation of mutualistic endomycorrhizal fungi. PanLYK3 also acts as a chitin oligomer receptor essential for innate immune signaling, demonstrating functional analogy to CHITIN ELECITOR RECEPTOR KINASE-type receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1004-1023
Number of pages20
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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