Gibberellin controls the nodulation signaling pathway in Lotus japonicus

Plant J. 2009 Apr;58(2):183-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03774.x. Epub 2008 Dec 2.


Root nodule formation is regulated by several plant hormones, but the details of the regulation of the nodulation signaling pathway are largely unknown. In this study, the role of gibberellin (GA) in the control of root nodule symbiosis was investigated at the physiological and genetic levels in Lotus japonicus. Exogenous application of biologically active GA, GA(3), inhibited the formation of infection threads and nodules, which was counteracted by the application of a biosynthesis inhibitor of GA, Uniconazole P. Nod factor-induced root hair deformation was severely blocked in the presence of GA, which was phenocopied by nsp2 mutants. The number of spontaneous nodules triggered by the gain-of-function mutation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase (CCaMK) or the lotus histidine kinase 1 (LHK1) was decreased upon the addition of GA; moreover, the overexpression of the gain-of-function mutation of L. japonicus, SLEEPY1, a positive regulator of GA signaling, resulted in a reduced nodule number, without other aspects of root development being affected. These results indicate that higher GA signaling levels specifically inhibit the nodulation signaling pathway. Nod factor-dependent induction of NSP2 and NIN was inhibited by exogenous GA. Furthermore, the cytokinin-dependent induction of NIN was suppressed by GA. From these results, we conclude that GA inhibits the nodulation signaling pathway downstream of cytokinin, possibly at NSP2, which is required for Nod factor-dependent NIN expression. These results clarify the roles of GA in the nodulation signaling pathway, and in relation to the cytokinin signaling pathway for nodulation in L. japonicus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Gibberellins / metabolism*
  • Gibberellins / pharmacology
  • Lotus / drug effects
  • Lotus / genetics
  • Lotus / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Root Nodules, Plant / drug effects
  • Root Nodules, Plant / genetics
  • Root Nodules, Plant / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Triazoles / pharmacology


  • Gibberellins
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • Triazoles
  • uniconazole-P