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Regulation of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Legume Root Nodules

Departamento de Ciencias Vegetales, Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 306-22, Chile
Department of Crop Science, Section for Plant Nutrition and Crop Physiology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Goettingen, Carl-Sprengel-Weg 1, 37075 Goettingen, Germany
Centro de Mejoramiento Genético y Fenómica Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad de Talca, Talca 3460000, Chile
Departamento de Producción Agrícola, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad de Talca, Campus Talca, Talca 3460000, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(9), 333;
Received: 4 August 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 4 September 2019 / Published: 6 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen-Fixing Plants )
In most legume nodules, the di-nitrogen (N2)-fixing rhizobia are present as organelle-like structures inside their root host cells. Many processes operate and interact within the symbiotic relationship between plants and nodules, including nitrogen (N)/carbon (C) metabolisms, oxygen flow through nodules, oxidative stress, and phosphorous (P) levels. These processes, which influence the regulation of N2 fixation and are finely tuned on a whole-plant basis, are extensively reviewed in this paper. The carbonic anhydrase (CA)-phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC)-malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is a key pathway inside nodules involved in this regulation, and malate seems to play a crucial role in many aspects of symbiotic N2 fixation control. How legumes specifically sense N-status and how this stimulates all of the regulatory factors are key issues for understanding N2 fixation regulation on a whole-plant basis. This must be thoroughly studied in the future since there is no unifying theory that explains all of the aspects involved in regulating N2 fixation rates to date. Finally, high-throughput functional genomics and molecular tools (i.e., miRNAs) are currently very valuable for the identification of many regulatory elements that are good candidates for accurately dissecting the particular N2 fixation control mechanisms associated with physiological responses to abiotic stresses. In combination with existing information, utilizing these abundant genetic molecular tools will enable us to identify the specific mechanisms underlying the regulation of N2 fixation. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen fixation regulation; legume nodule; carbon metabolism; nitrogen metabolism; oxygen supply nitrogen fixation regulation; legume nodule; carbon metabolism; nitrogen metabolism; oxygen supply
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schwember, A.R.; Schulze, J.; del Pozo, A.; Cabeza, R.A. Regulation of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Legume Root Nodules. Plants 2019, 8, 333.

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