Molecular Methods for Research on Actinorhiza


Actinorhizal root nodules result from the interaction between a nitrogen-fixing actinomycete from the genus Frankia and roots of dicotyledonous trees and shrubs belonging to 25 genera within 8 plant families. Most actinorhizal plants can reach high rates of nitrogen fixation comparable to those found in root nodule symbiosis of the legumes. As a consequence, these trees are able to grow in poor and disturbed soils and are important elements in plant communities worldwide. While the basic knowledge of these symbiotic associations is still poorly understood, actinorhizal symbioses emerged recently as original systems to explore developmental strategies to form nitrogen-fixing nodules. Many tools have been developed in recent years to explore the interaction between Frankia and actinorhizal plants including molecular biology, biochemistry, and genomics. However, technical difficulties are often encountered to explore these symbiotic interactions, mainly linked to the woody nature of the plant species and to the lack of genetic tools for their bacterial symbionts. In this chapter, we report an inventory of the main recent molecular tools and techniques developed for studying actinorhizae.


Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

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Methods in Rhizosphere Biology Research



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