Transcripts for two genes expressed early in alfalfa nodule development (MsENOD40 and MsENOD2) are found in mycorrhizal roots, but not in noncolonized roots or in roots infected with the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. These same two early nodulin genes are expressed in uninoculated roots upon application of the cytokinin 6-benzylaminopurine. Correlated with the expression of the two early nodulin genes, we found that mycorrhizal roots contain higher levels of trans-zeatin riboside than nonmycorrhizal roots. These data suggest that there may be conservation of signal transduction pathways between the two symbioses-nitrogen-fixing nodules and phosphate-acquiring mycorrhizae.
Fujishige, Nancy A. et al.“Expression of early nodulin genes in alfalfa mycorrhizae indicates that signal transduction pathways used in forming arbuscular mycorrhizae and Rhizobium-induced nodules may be conserved.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 94,10 (1997): 5467-72.