Special Issue "Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Legume Nodules: Metabolism and Regulatory Mechanisms"


A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 January 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Lam-Son Phan Tran
Signaling Pathway Research Unit, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, 230-0045, Japan
Website: http://www.csrs.riken.jp/en/labs/spru/index.html
E-Mail: tran@psc.riken.jp
Phone: +81 45 503 9593
Fax: +81 45 503 9591
Interests: plants; abiotic stress; hormones; transcription factors; gene identification and analysis; gene regulatory network; signal transduction

Guest Editor
Dr. Saad Sulieman
Signaling Pathway Research Unit, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, 230-0045, Japan
E-Mail: s.sulieman@psc.riken.jp
Interests: plant-microbe interactions; legumes; N2 fixation; abiotic stress; plant metabolism; plant adaptations; functional genomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is important biological process in the development of sustainable agriculture by which the atmospheric nitrogen (N2) is converted to ammonia with the aid of a key enzyme called nitrogenase. It is achieved by bacteria inside the cells of de novo formed organs, the nodules, which usually develop on roots of various leguminous plants. This process is resulted from the complex interaction between the host plant and rhizobia (used as a colloquial reference to Rhizobium, Bradyrhizobium, Sinorhizobium and Mesorhizobium). This mutualistic relationship is beneficial for both symbiotic partners; the host plant provides the rhizobia with carbon and a source of energy for growth and functions while the rhizobia fix atmospheric N2 and provide the plant with a source of reduced nitrogen in the form of ammonium. To increase knowledge of this vital process of particular importance in sustainable agriculture, major emphasis should be laid on the nodule metabolism and various regulatory pathways. This special issue aims to cover, but not limited to, (i) identification and functional analyses of the genes responsible in rhizobia and legumes, (ii) the physiological and biochemical bases of legume-rhizobia communication, and (iii) the signal transduction pathways responsible for the finely orchestrated induction of the symbiosis-specific genes involved in nodule establishment, development and functioning. A highlighted awareness of such knowledge remains a key element in designing strategies to enhance the productivity of legume crops by genetic engineering for higher performance.

Dr. Lam-Son Phan Tran
Dr. Saad Sulieman
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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  • nitrogen fixation
  • legume
  • symbiosis
  • nitrogenase
  • nodule
  • carbon metabolism
  • nitrogen metabolism
  • oxygen supply
  • translocation

Published Papers (6 papers)

by  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7380-7397; doi:10.3390/ijms15057380
Received: 17 February 2014; in revised form: 25 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
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by , , , , , ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 6031-6045; doi:10.3390/ijms15046031
Received: 2 February 2014; in revised form: 7 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
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by , , , , , , ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(3), 4464-4480; doi:10.3390/ijms15034464
Received: 27 January 2014; in revised form: 4 March 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 13 March 2014
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by , , , , , ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(3), 3660-3670; doi:10.3390/ijms15033660
Received: 27 January 2014; in revised form: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 28 February 2014
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by ,  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(1), 1466-1480; doi:10.3390/ijms15011466
Received: 19 November 2013; in revised form: 15 January 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
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by  and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(12), 23711-23735; doi:10.3390/ijms141223711
Received: 7 October 2013; in revised form: 14 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 5 December 2013
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Symbiotic activity of pea (Pisum sativum) after Nod factors application under field conditions
Anna Siczek1, Jerzy Lipiec1*, Jerzy Wielbo2 and Dominika Kidaj2

Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 201, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
Department of Genetics and Microbiology, M. Curie-Skłodowska University, Akademicka 19 st, 20-033 Lublin, Poland. Email: lipiec@ipan.lublin.pl
: Growth and symbiotic activity of legumes are mediated by Nod factors (LCO, lipo-chitooligosaccharides). To assess the effects of Nod factors application on symbiotic activity of pea two-year field experiment was conducted on a Haplic Luvisol. Nod factors were isolated from Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae strain GR09. Then pea seeds were treated with the Nod factors (260 nM solution) or water (control) before planting. Symbiotic activity was evaluated by measurements of nitrogenase activity (acetylene reduction assay) and seed and protein yield. Nod factors generally improved pea yield and nitrogenase activity parameters in 2012 but not in 2013. The research showed that pea symbiotic activity in  response to Nod factor can be mediated by weather conditions.

Type of Paper: Article
Effect of nitrate on nodule and root growth of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.)
Akinori Saito 1, Sayuri Tanabata 1, Takanari Tanabata 2, Seiya Tajima 1, Shinji Ishikawa 1, Norikuni Ohtake 1, Kuni Sueyoshi 1 and Takuji Ohyama *,1

1 Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata University, Japan
2 Centeeer for Sustainable Resource Science, RIKEN, Japan; Email: ohyama@agr.niigata-u.ac.jp
It is well known that combined nitrogen, especially nitrate, strongly inhibits nodule growth and nitrogen fixation of soybean plants. Our group published that the addition of 5mM nitrate in culture solution rapidly depressed nodule growth and nitrogen fixation activity and the effect was reversible (Journal of Experimental Botany vol. 54, pp1379-1388, 2003). We measured the effect of 5mM nitrate supply on nodule growth and the primary and lateral root growth for 16 hours under light or dark conditions. We took a photograph of the nodulated root by a digital camera with 1 hour interval, and measured the size of nodules with the special computer software, which we developed. Under light conditions nodule growth was depressed at about 5 hours after nitrate addition. Under dark conditions, nodule growth rate was almost a half of that under light conditions, and nodule growth was additively depressed with 5 mM nitrate addition. The extending growth of primary root showed the similar trends to light/dark conditions and 5 mM nitrate supply. On the other hand, the extending growth of lateral roots was promoted by 5 mM nitrate addition both under light and dark conditions, although the growth rate under dark conditions was about a half of that under light conditions.

Type of Paper: Article
Salt stress effects on photosynthetic related parameters in Casuarina glauca
Batista-Santos P1, Graça I1,5, Semedo J3, Dias AP4, Lidon F5, Leitão E1, Alves P1, Scotti P3, Pais I3, Lopes E1, Ramalho JC1 and Ribeiro AI1,2*

Tropical Research Institute, Oeiras, Portugal. *aribeiro@itqb.unl.pt
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Univ. Nova de Lisboa, Oeiras, Portugal
Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, Oeiras, Portugal.
Centro de Estudos Florestais, DRAT, Inst. Sup. Agronomia, Univ. Técnica Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Univ. Nova de Lisboa, Monte de Caparica, Portugal
Casuarina glauca belongs to the group of actinorhizal plants that establish N2-fixing root-nodule symbiosis with actinomycetes of the genus Frankia. It is commonly found in the saline soils of the coastal zones and is widely used to recover marginal soils and to prevent desertification. The nature of its recalcitrance to extreme environments is largely unknown and the extent of Frankia contribution to stress tolerance remains unclear. In this context, we are presently evaluating to which extent is C. glauca able to cope with salt stress and what is the relationship of such ability with the symbiotic capacity. This paper reports on the analysis of the impact of salt in the photosynthetic pathway of symbiotic and non-symbiotic C. glauca through the evaluation of the following paramenters:  relative water content (RWC), leaf gas exchanges and fluorescence of chlorophyll a parameters, as well as thylakoid electron transport rates, RuBisCo activity and photosynthetic pigments.

Last update: 4 November 2013

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