Transport systems are crucial in many plant processes, including plant-microbe interactions. Nodule formation and function in legumes involve the expression and regulation of multiple transport proteins, and many are still uncharacterized, particularly for nitrogen transport. Amino acids originating from the nitrogen-fixing process are an essential form of nitrogen for legumes. This work evaluates the role of MtN21 (henceforth MtUMAMIT14), a putative transport system from the MtN21/EamA-like/UMAMIT family, in nodule formation and nitrogen fixation in Medicago truncatula. To dissect this transporter's role, we assessed the expression of MtUMAMIT14 using GUS staining, localized the corresponding protein in M. truncatula root and tobacco leaf cells, and investigated two independent MtUMAMIT14 mutant lines. Our results indicate that MtUMAMIT14 is localized in endosomal structures and is expressed in both the infection zone and interzone of nodules. Comparison of mutant and wild-type M. truncatula indicates MtUMAMIT14, the expression of which is dependent on the presence of NIN, DNF1, and DNF2, plays a role in nodule formation and nitrogen-fixation. While the function of the transporter is still unclear, our results connect root nodule nitrogen fixation in legumes with the UMAMIT family.
© 2023. The Author(s).