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Parniske, Martin (2018): Uptake of bacteria into living plant cells, the unifying and distinct feature of the nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbiosis. In: Current Opinion in Plant Biology, Vol. 44: pp. 164-174
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Abstract

Despite the presence of complex microbiota on the surfaces of all plants, the uptake of bacteria into plant cells and the subsequent accommodation in a membrane-enclosed compartment is restricted to the nitrogen-fixing root nodule and the Gunnera-Nostoc symbiosis. The plant cell wall and the outward-directed turgor pressure are major constraints for bacterial uptake because localised lysis of the cell wall endangers the integrity of the protoplast. Host cell integrity is consistently maintained by turgescent neighbours, connected via apoplastic polymers that seal a bacteria-containing extracellular compartment prior to localized cell wall lysis. Its unifying and almost exclusive phylogenetic distribution pinpoints the ability to take up bacteria into living plant cells as a key step during the evolution of the nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbiosis.