MtENOD11 gene activation during rhizobial infection and mycorrhizal arbuscule development requires a common AT-rich-containing regulatory sequence

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2005 Dec;18(12):1269-76. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-18-1269.


The MtENOD11 gene from the model legume Medicago truncatula is transcriptionally activated both in response to Sinorhizobium meliloti Nod factors and throughout infection of root tissues by the nitrogen-fixing microsymbiont. To identify the regulatory sequences involved in symbiosis-related MtENOD11 expression, a series of promoter deletions driving the beta-glucuronidase reporter gene were analyzed in transgenic M. truncatula roots. These studies have revealed that distinct regulatory regions are involved in infection-related MtENOD11 expression compared with preinfection (Nod factor-mediated) expression. In particular, the 257-bp promoter sequence immediately upstream from the start codon is sufficient for infection-related expression, but is unable to drive gene transcription in response to the Nod factor elicitor. This truncated promoter is also sufficient to confer MtENOD11 expression during both the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) association and the parasitic interaction with root-knot nematodes. Site-directed mutagenesis further showed that a previously identified nodule-specific AT-rich motif is required for high-level MtENOD11 expression during S. meliloti infection as well as during AM colonization. However, mutation of this motif does not affect gene expression associated with nematode-feeding sites. Taken together, these results suggest a close link between regulatory mechanisms controlling transcriptional early nodulin gene activation during both rhizobial and AM root endosymbioses.

MeSH terms

  • AT Rich Sequence / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Medicago truncatula / genetics*
  • Medicago truncatula / microbiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycorrhizae / physiology*
  • Nematoda
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics*
  • Sinorhizobium meliloti / metabolism
  • Symbiosis
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • ENOD11 protein, Medicago truncatula
  • Plant Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ297721