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Natural Variation in Host-Specific Nodulation of Pea Is Associated with a Haplotype of the SYM37 LysM-Type Receptor-Like Kinase

    Authors and Affiliations
    • Ronghui Li1 2
    • Maggie R. Knox2
    • Anne Edwards2
    • Bridget Hogg2
    • T. H. Noel Ellis2
    • Gehong Wei1
    • J. Allan Downie2

      Published Online:

      Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, which nodulates pea and vetch, makes a mixture of secreted nodulation signals (Nod factors) carrying either a C18:4 or a C18:1 N-linked acyl chain. Mutation of nodE blocks the formation of the C18:4 acyl chain, and nodE mutants, which produce only C18:1-containing Nod factors, are less efficient at nodulating pea. However, there is significant natural variation in the levels of nodulation of different pea cultivars by a nodE mutant of R. leguminosarum bv. viciae. Using recombinant inbred lines from two pea cultivars, one which nodulated relatively well and one very poorly by the nodE mutant, we mapped the nodE-dependent nodulation phenotype to a locus on pea linkage group I. This was close to Sym37 and PsK1, predicted to encode LysM-domain Nod-factor receptor-like proteins; the Sym2 locus that confers Nod-factor-specific nodulation is also in this region. We confirmed the map location using an introgression line carrying this region. Our data indicate that the nodE-dependent nodulation is not determined by the Sym2 locus. We identified several pea lines that are nodulated very poorly by the R. leguminosarum bv. viciae nodE mutant, sequenced the DNA of the predicted LysM-receptor domains of Sym37 and PsK1, and compared the sequences with those derived from pea cultivars that were relatively well nodulated by the nodE mutant. This revealed that one haplotype (encoding six conserved polymorphisms) of Sym37 is associated with very poor nodulation by the nodE mutant. There was no such correlation with polymorphisms at the PsK1 locus. We conclude that the natural variation in nodE-dependent nodulation in pea is most probably determined by the Sym37 haplotype.