The establishment of a nitrogen-fixing root nodule on legumes requires the induction of mitotic activity of cortical cells leading to the formation of the nodule primordium and the infection process by which the bacteria enter this primordium. Several genes are up-regulated during these processes, among them ENOD40. Here it is shown, by using gene-specific knock-down of the two Medicago truncatula ENOD40 genes, that both genes are involved in nodule initiation. Further, during nodule development, both genes are essential for bacteroid development.

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