Rapid phosphoproteomic and transcriptomic changes in the rhizobia-legume symbiosis

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Sep;11(9):724-44. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M112.019208. Epub 2012 Jun 8.


Symbiotic associations between legumes and rhizobia usually commence with the perception of bacterial lipochitooligosaccharides, known as Nod factors (NF), which triggers rapid cellular and molecular responses in host plants. We report here deep untargeted tandem mass spectrometry-based measurements of rapid NF-induced changes in the phosphorylation status of 13,506 phosphosites in 7739 proteins from the model legume Medicago truncatula. To place these phosphorylation changes within a biological context, quantitative phosphoproteomic and RNA measurements in wild-type plants were compared with those observed in mutants, one defective in NF perception (nfp) and one defective in downstream signal transduction events (dmi3). Our study quantified the early phosphorylation and transcription dynamics that are specifically associated with NF-signaling, confirmed a dmi3-mediated feedback loop in the pathway, and suggested "cryptic" NF-signaling pathways, some of them being also involved in the response to symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Medicago truncatula / genetics
  • Medicago truncatula / metabolism*
  • Medicago truncatula / microbiology*
  • Mycorrhizae / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rhizobium / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Sinorhizobium meliloti / genetics
  • Sinorhizobium meliloti / metabolism*
  • Symbiosis*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Transcriptome


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • lipid-linked oligosaccharides