Forward Genetic Characterization of Medicago truncatula Tnt1 Insertion Mutants Defective in Nodule Development and Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation

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Legumes are unique plants because they form special structures “nodules”, via symbiotic relationships with rhizobial bacteria present in the soil. Once rhizobia mature inside nodules, they fix atmospheric nitrogen providing a source of bioavailable nitrogen to the plant. To discover novel genetic components involved in the legume-rhizobia symbiosis by using forward genetic screening, we have isolated Medicago truncatula Tnt1 insertion mutants in the R108 ecotype, which are defective in nodule development and symbiotic nitrogen fixation in response to Sinorhizobium meliloti. Out of three mutants NF11044, NF11217 and NF8324, one of the mutants showed brown nodules and Fix- phenotype that is ... continued below

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xii, 112 pages : color illustrations

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Kadel, Khem L. May 2015.

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  • Kadel, Khem L.

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Legumes are unique plants because they form special structures “nodules”, via symbiotic relationships with rhizobial bacteria present in the soil. Once rhizobia mature inside nodules, they fix atmospheric nitrogen providing a source of bioavailable nitrogen to the plant. To discover novel genetic components involved in the legume-rhizobia symbiosis by using forward genetic screening, we have isolated Medicago truncatula Tnt1 insertion mutants in the R108 ecotype, which are defective in nodule development and symbiotic nitrogen fixation in response to Sinorhizobium meliloti. Out of three mutants NF11044, NF11217 and NF8324, one of the mutants showed brown nodules and Fix- phenotype that is defective in symbiotic nitrogen fixation. The other two mutants showed white nodules and Fix- phenotype, also indicator of defects in symbiotic nitrogen fixation. To identify the underlying mutation causing the phenotype, we have developed molecular genetic markers by obtaining genomic sequences flanking the Tnt1 insertions by TAIL-PCR and Illumina sequencing. To carry out co-segregation analysis, back-crossed BC1F2 segregating populations were obtained. These are being phenotyped, genotyped and analyzed for co-segregation of the phenotype with the Tnt1 genetic markers. Back-crossing also has the effect of reducing the Tnt1 insertions, which are not linked to the nodulation defective phenotypes. Out of the three mutants, NF8324 harbors exactly the same insertion as in the rsd-1 Tnt1 mutant NF11265. The defect in NF11217 is caused by a Tnt1 insertion in the previously described PLC gene; the site of this insertion is close to that found in a different mutant, NF0217. For mutant NF11044, we developed linkage markers that place the defective locus on chromosome 7. To further characterize co-segregation in NF11044, a mapping population has been created by crossing the mutant with other ecotypes: A17 and A20. We tested mutants and wild type plants with linkage marker A20 X NF11044 BC1F2 that segregates 3:1(wild type: mutant). The recombination frequency ratio is similar as compared to back-crosses to ecotype R108. However, we did not observe mutant phenotypes in the A17 X NF11044 BC1F2 population. Future identification of the defective gene and functional characterization of it once it is identified will be carried out to better understand the mechanism of nodule organogenesis and symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

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xii, 112 pages : color illustrations

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  • May 2015

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  • Feb. 9, 2016, 4:37 p.m.

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  • Feb. 20, 2017, 11:48 a.m.

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Kadel, Khem L. Forward Genetic Characterization of Medicago truncatula Tnt1 Insertion Mutants Defective in Nodule Development and Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation, thesis, May 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801877/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .