Nod factor receptor complex phosphorylates GmGEF2 to stimulate ROP signaling during nodulation

Jin Peng Gao, Peng Xu, Mingxing Wang, Xiaowei Zhang, Jun Yang, Yun Zhou, Jeremy D. Murray, Chun Peng Song, Ertao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The establishment of the symbiotic interaction between rhizobia and legumes involves the Nod factor signaling pathway. Nod factor recognition occurs through two plant receptors, NFR1 and NFR5. However, the signal transduction mechanisms downstream of NFR1-NFR5-mediated Nod factor perception remain largely unknown. Here, we report that a small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase), GmROP9, and a guanine nucleotide exchange factor, GmGEF2, are involved in the soybean-rhizobium symbiosis. We show that GmNFR1α phosphorylates GmGEF2a at its N-terminal S86, which stimulates guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-to-GTP exchange to activate GmROP9 and that the active form of GmROP9 can associate with both GmNFR1α and GmNFR5α. We further show that a scaffold protein, GmRACK1, interacts with active GmROP9 and contributes to root nodule symbiosis. Collectively, our results highlight the symbiotic role of GmROP9-GmRACK1 and support the hypothesis that rhizobial signals promote the formation of a protein complex comprising GmNFR1, GmNFR5, GmROP9, and GmRACK1 for symbiotic signal transduction in soybean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3538-3550.e5
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number16
StatePublished - 23 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • nodulation
  • small GTPase
  • soybean
  • symbiosis signaling pathway


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