Date of this Version
2019 by the authors
Phytohormones regulate the mutualistic symbiotic interaction between legumes and rhizobia, nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria, notably by controlling the formation of the infection thread in the root hair (RH). At the cellular level, the formation of the infection thread is promoted by the translocation of plasma membrane microdomains at the tip of the RH. We hypothesize that phytohormones regulate the translocation of plasma membrane microdomains to regulate infection thread formation. Accordingly, we treated with hormone and hormone inhibitors transgenic soybean roots expressing fusions between the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and GmFWL1 or GmFLOT2/4, two microdomain-associated proteins translocated at the tip of the soybean RH in response to rhizobia. Auxin and cytokinin treatments are suffcient to trigger or inhibit the translocation of GmFWL1 and GmFLOT2/4 to the RH tip independently of the presence of rhizobia, respectively. Unexpectedly, the application of salicylic acid, a phytohormone regulating the plant defense system, also promotes the translocation of GmFWL1 and GmFLOT2/4 to the RH tip regardless of the presence of rhizobia. These results suggest that phytohormones are playing a central role in controlling the early stages of rhizobia infection by regulating the translocation of plasma membrane microdomains. They also support the concept of crosstalk of phytohormones to control nodulation.