Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Stealth Nod Factor Recognition

Sci. Signal.  24 Sep 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 294, pp. ec233
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004743

Legumes’ symbiotic interaction with nitrogen-fixing bacteria supplies the plant with nitrogen. Many important crop plants, however, cannot establish these symbioses and, thus, agriculture depends on externally applied fertilizers. It was surprising, then, that Liang et al. found that several nonleguminous plants—including Arabidopsis, tomato, and corn—were able to respond to the same Nod factors that initiate the microbial symbiosis in soybean.

Y. Liang, Y. Cao, K. Tanaka, S. Thibivilliers, J. Wan, J. Choi, C. h. Kang, J. Qiu, G. Stacey, Nonlegumes respond to rhizobial Nod factors by suppressing the innate immune response. Science 341, 1384–1387 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]