Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Front. Plant Sci. 9:1600.


Copyright 2018 Libault.

Open access

doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01600


Transcriptomic approaches revealed thousands of genes differentially or specifically expressed during nodulation, a biological process resulting from the symbiosis between leguminous plant roots and rhizobia, atmospheric nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria. Ultimately, nodulation will lead to the development of a new root organ, the nodule. Through functional genomic studies, plant transcriptomes have been used by scientists to reveal plant genes potentially controlling nodulation. However, it is important to acknowledge that the physiology, transcriptomic programs, and biochemical properties of the plant cells involved in nodulation are continuously regulated. They also differ between the different cell-types composing the nodules. To generate a more accurate picture of the transcriptome, epigenome, proteome, and metabolome of the cells infected by rhizobia and cells composing the nodule, there is a need to implement plant single-cell and single cell-types strategies and methods. Accessing such information would allow a better understanding of the infection of plant cells by rhizobia and will help understanding the complex interactions existing between rhizobia and the plant cells. In this mini-review, we are reporting the current knowledge on legume nodulation gained by plant scientists at the level of single cell-types, and provide perspectives on single cell/single cell-type approaches when applied to legume nodulation.