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Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01177

Argonaute Proteins: why are they so important for the legume-rhizobia symbiosis?

 Oswaldo Valdés-López1*,  Damien Formey2*,  Mariel C. Arellano1, Maria del Rocio Reyero-Saavedra1,  Tadeo F. Fernandez Göbel3 and Maria del Socorro Sánchez-Correa1
  • 1Faculty of Higher Education Iztacala, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
  • 2Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
  • 3Institute of Physiology and Plant Genetic Resources (INTA), Argentina

Unlike most other land plants, legumes can fulfill their nitrogen needs through the establishment of symbioses with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria (rhizobia). Through this symbiosis, fixed-nitrogen is incorporated into the food chain. Because of this ecological relevance, the genetic mechanisms underlying the establishment of the legume-rhizobia symbiosis have been extensively studied over the past decades. During this time, different types of regulators of this symbiosis have been discovered and characterized. A growing number of studies have demonstrated the participation of different types of small RNAs, including microRNAs, in the different stages of this symbiosis. The involvement of small RNAs also indicates that Argonaute (AGO) proteins participate in the regulation of the legume-rhizobia symbiosis. However, despite this obvious role, the relevance of AGO proteins in the legume-rhizobia symbiosis has been overlooked and under-studied. Here, we discuss and hypothesize the likely participation of AGO proteins in the regulation of the different steps which enable the establishment of the legume-rhizobia symbiosis. We also briefly review and discuss whether rhizobial symbiosis induces DNA damages in the legume host. Understanding the different levels of legume-rhizobia symbiosis regulation could lead to the development of improved nitrogen fixation efficiency to enhance sustainable agriculture, thereby reducing dependence on inorganic fertilizers.

Keywords: Argonaute Proteins, legumes, Symbiosis, MicroRNAs, small RNAs

Received: 24 May 2019; Accepted: 28 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Valdés-López, Formey, Arellano, Reyero-Saavedra, Fernandez Göbel and Sánchez-Correa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Oswaldo Valdés-López, Faculty of Higher Education Iztacala, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Tlalnepantla, 54090, Mexico, oswaldo_valdesl@yahoo.com.mx
Prof. Damien Formey, Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca, 62210, Morelos, Mexico, formey@ccg.unam.mx