Enod40, a gene expressed during nodule organogenesis, codes for a non-translatable RNA involved in plant growth

Martin D. Crespi, Edouard Jurkevitch, Maryse Poiret, Yves D'Aubenton-Carafa, György Petrovics, Eva Kondorosi, Adam Kondorosi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Rhizobium meliloti can interact symbiotically with Medicago plants, thereby inducing root nodules. However, certain Medicago plants can form nodules spontaneously, in the absence of rhizobia. A differential screening was performed using spontaneous nodule versus root cDNAs from Medicago sativa ssp. varia. Transcripts of a differentially expressed clone, Msenod40, were detected in all differentiating cells of nodule primordia and spontaneous nodules, but were absent in fully differentiated cells. Msenod40 showed homology to a soybean early nodulin gene, Gmenod40, although no significant open reading frame (ORF) or coding capacity was found in the Medicago sequence. Furthermore, in the sequences of cDNAs and a genomic clone (Mtenod40) isolated from Medicago truncatula, a species containing a unique copy of this gene, no ORFs were found either. In vitro translation of purified Mtenod40 transcripts did not reveal any protein product. Evaluation of the RNA secondary structure indicated that both Msenod40 and Gmenod40 transcripts showed a high degree of stability, a property shared with known non-coding RNAs. The Mtenod40 RNA was localized in the cytoplasm of cells in the nodule primordium. Infection with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains bearing antisense constructs of Mtenod40 arrested callus growth of Medicago explants, while overexpressing Mtenod40 embryos developed into teratomas. These data suggest that the enod40 genes might have a role in plant development, acting as 'riboregulators', a novel class of untranslated RNAs associated with growth control and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5099-5112
Number of pages14
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Differentiation-related RNA
  • Early nodulin
  • Medicago
  • Plant riboregulator
  • Spontaneous nodules


Dive into the research topics of 'Enod40, a gene expressed during nodule organogenesis, codes for a non-translatable RNA involved in plant growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this