Regulation of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Legume Root Nodules
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16527
In most legume nodules, the di-nitrogen (N2)-fixing rhizobia are present as organelle-like structures inside their root host cells. Many processes operate and interact within the symbiotic relationship between plants and nodules, including nitrogen (N)/carbon (C) metabolisms, oxygen flow through nodules, oxidative stress, and phosphorous (P) levels. These processes, which influence the regulation of N2 fixation and are finely tuned on a whole-plant basis, are extensively reviewed in this paper. The carbonic anhydrase (CA)-phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC)-malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is a key pathway inside nodules involved in this regulation, and malate seems to play a crucial role in many aspects of symbiotic N2 fixation control. How legumes specifically sense N-status and how this stimulates all of the regulatory factors are key issues for understanding N2 fixation regulation on a whole-plant basis. This must be thoroughly studied in the future since there is no unifying theory that explains all of the aspects involved in regulating N2 fixation rates to date. Finally, high-throughput functional genomics and molecular tools (i.e., miRNAs) are currently very valuable for the identification of many regulatory elements that are good candidates for accurately dissecting the particular N2 fixation control mechanisms associated with physiological responses to abiotic stresses. In combination with existing information, utilizing these abundant genetic molecular tools will enable us to identify the specific mechanisms underlying the regulation of N2 fixation.