Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2005
Publication Date: 6/5/2005
Citation: Ivashuta, S., Vandenbosch, K.A., Vance, C.P., Retzel, E., Harrison, M.J., Gantt, J.S. 2005. Using RNA interference to identify genes involved in root and symbiotic development in Medicago truncatula. 2005 Model Legume Congress, June 5-9, 2005, Pacific Grove, California. Paper No. S53, p. 64. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The plant root system develops and functions in a complex environment that includes biotic and abiotic components. Plants respond to their environment through the use of numerous signaling pathways. In addition to general root functions such as water and nutrient uptake from the soil, legume roots form symbiotic interactions with bacterial and fungal microsymbionts. While several important symbiosis-related genes have been identified recently in legumes, they probably represent just a fraction of genes involved in sophisticated developmental processes that underlie successful symbiotic interactions. We are pursuing the use of a systematic approach to discover genes that are involved in root development and symbiosis. To this end, we have established a robust and efficient system for large-scale RNA interference (RNAi)-based functional gene analysis in transgenic Medicago truncatula roots. The efficacy of the system has been tested using reporter genes and genes with a known function. We have used RNAi to study the function of nearly 300 genes, most of which are involved in signal transduction events, and plan to do similar studies on an additional 1,200 genes. These genes are being selected based on their predicted function and expression profile. Examining composite plants for root and symbiotic developmental phenotypes has identified several novel genes that are important in these processes. Our data demonstrate that RNAi-based suppression of gene expression in transgenic roots provides a fast and powerful approach for functional gene analysis in M. truncatula. While we have chosen to study root and symbiotic development, this system should be useful to study additional aspects of legume root biology.