Research objectives and content
The Rhizobium-legume symbiosis results in the formation of a new plant organ, the nitrogen-fixing root nodule. Nodule development is triggered by the Rhizobium lipochitooligosaccharide Nod factors. These bacterial signals induce likely more than one signalling pathway in the host plant roots. One of them results in the activation of the chalcone synthase (chs) gene that is at present the earliest gene induced by the Nod factor. The biological significance of chs activation in relation to nodulation is unknown. We will investigate the expression of chs under different conditions (Nod factors, plant hormones, wild type and mutant bacteria) in parallel to that of the early nodulins and cell cycle genes. These studies would clarify the relationship between chs activation and symbiotic signalling. The Nod factor-responsive chs cDNA will be identified and its corresponding genomic clone will be isolated. Promoter analysis described in the project might serve as basis for the identification of upstream elements required for the activation of Nod factor-responsive genes. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
During my PhD Thesis I have acquired experience in standard techniques in microbiology and molecular genetics of bacteria. My postdoctoral stay at ISV would be very beneficial for my scientific formation because my training in molecular genetics would be expanded to higher organisms, as the plant partner of the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis. In addition, I would acquire expertise on techniques focused in RNA, promoter analyses and cloning and expression of eucariotic genes.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)