The plant-growth-promoting actinobacteria of the genus Nocardia induces root nodule formation in Casuarina glauca.

Academic Article


  • Actinorhizal plants form a symbiotic association with the nitrogen-fixing actinobacteria Frankia. These plants have important economic and ecological benefits including land reclamation, soil stabilization, and reforestation. Recently, many non-Frankia actinobacteria have been isolated from actinorhizal root nodules suggesting that they might contribute to nodulation. Two Nocardia strains, BMG51109 and BMG111209, were isolated from Casuarina glauca nodules, and they induced root nodule-like structures in original host plant promoting seedling growth. The formed root nodule-like structures lacked a nodular root at the apex, were not capable of reducing nitrogen and had their cortical cells occupied with rod-shaped Nocardiae cells. Both Nocardia strains induced root hair deformation on the host plant. BMG111209 strain induced the expression of the ProCgNin:Gus gene, a plant gene involved in the early steps of the infection process and nodulation development. Nocardia strain BMG51109 produced three types of auxins (Indole-3-acetic acid [IAA], Indole-3-Byturic Acid [IBA] and Phenyl Acetic Acid [PAA]), while Nocardia BMG111209 only produced IAA. Analysis of the Nocardia genomes identified several important predicted biosynthetic gene clusters for plant phytohormones, secondary metabolites, and novel natural products. Co-infection studies showed that Nocardia strain BMG51109 plays a role as a "helper bacteria" promoting an earlier onset of nodulation. This study raises many questions on the ecological significance and functionality of Nocardia bacteria in actinorhizal symbioses.
  • Authors

  • Ghodhbane-Gtari, Faten
  • Nouioui, Imen
  • Hezbri, Karima
  • Lundstedt, Emily
  • D'Angelo, Timothy
  • McNutt, Zakkary
  • Laplaze, Laurent
  • Gherbi, Hassen
  • Vaissayre, Virginie
  • Svistoonoff, Sergio
  • Ahmed, Hela Ben
  • Boudabous, Abdelatif
  • Tisa, Louis
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 2019
  • Keywords

  • Actinorhizal symbiosis
  • Auxins
  • Fagales
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Nocardia
  • Non-Frankia actinobacteria
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant infectivity
  • Plant-growth-promotion
  • Root Nodules, Plant
  • Symbiosis
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 30203358
  • Start Page

  • 75
  • End Page

  • 90
  • Volume

  • 112
  • Issue

  • 1