For legume plants, a new route from shoot to root

19 septiembre 2014

Legume plants regulate their symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria by using cytokinins—signaling molecules that are transmitted through the plant structure from leaves into the roots to control the number of bacteria-holding nodules in the roots. Legumes, an important plant family which includes lentils, soybeans, and peanuts, have the ability to prosper in nitrogen-poor soil environments thanks to an ingenious adaptation: they develop a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, allowing the bacteria to infect them within special structures known as nodules that are located along their roots.