Special Issue "Genetic Evolution of Root Nodule Symbioses"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2020.
Interests: plant; evolution; root nodule symbioses; arbuscular mycorrhiza
The evolution of nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbioses comprises the evolution of the microsymbiont, the host, as well as their co-evolution. The development of competing microsymbiont signals controlling host specificity, lipochito-oligosaccharides and effector proteins offers a plethora of evolutionary diversity. Experimental evolution of a pathogenic bacterium into a compatible symbiont could be demonstrated.
In the last two years, phylogenomic results have changed our views of the evolution of root nodule symbioses. The scattered occurrence of root nodule symbioses was previously explained by the assumption that the ancestor of Fagales, Fabales, Rosales, and Cucurbitales had acquired a predisposition based on which a root nodule symbiosis could, and in several cases did, evolve, sometimes with rhizobia and sometimes with Frankia strains—in short, the scattered distribution was explained by independent gains, and it was unclear whether the common ancestor was symbiotic. Now the preponderance of evidence supports a model where the common ancestor was symbiotic—although not necessarily capable of forming nodules—but the symbiotic capacity was subsequently lost in most lineages. Thus, the hypothesis of independent gains has been replaced by the hypothesis of independent losses. However, there are still a lot of open questions which should be answered based on newly available genome sequences and genomic tools: What are the signaling molecules used by Frankia strains? What is the basis for symbiotic efficiency—the adaptation of a particular microsymbiont to a particular host is an ongoing evolutionary process, but what are the molecular players? What are the reasons for the loss of the symbiosis in the majority of lineages? The forthcoming Special Issue aims to present a platform for the discussion of these new developments in root nodule symbioses.
Prof. Dr. Katharina Pawlowski
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Biological nitrogen fixation
- Root nodules
- Actinorhizal plants
- Type III secretion systems
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.