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Advances in the Identification of Novel Factors Required in Soybean Nodulation, a Process Critical to Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security

Journal: Journal of Plant Biology & Soil Health (Vol.1, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ; ;

Page : 1-6

Keywords : Legume; Nodule; Nitrogen-fixation; Rhizobia; Transcriptome; RNA-seq;

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Nodulation is a process of organogenesis that results from a symbiotic relationship between legume plants and soil-dwelling, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, called rhizobia. The rhizobia are housed in newly formed structures on the host roots, called nodules. Within nodules, the rhizobia fix atmospheric N2 into useable forms of nitrogen for the plant. This process is highly important to agriculture, as nitrogen is critical for plant growth and development and is typically the main component of fertilizers. Although fertilizers are effective, they are expensive and often pollute, making biological alternatives, such as legume nodulation, attractive for use in agriculture. Nodulation is regulated by the auto regulation of nodulation (AON) pathway, which enables the host plant to balance its needs between nitrogen acquisition and energy expenditure. Current research is elucidating the nodule development and AON signalling networks. Recent technological advances, such as RNA-sequencing, are revolutionizing the discovery of genes that are critical to nodulation. The discovery of such genes not only enhances our knowledge of the nodulation signalling network, but may help to underpin future work to isolate superior legume crops via modern breeding and engineering practices. Here, recent advances using the cutting-edge technique of RNA sequencing to identify new nodulation genes in soybean are discussed.

Last modified: 2015-06-23 15:25:30