Medicago LINC Complexes Function in Nuclear Morphology, Nuclear Movement, and Root Nodule Symbiosis

Nuclear movement is involved in cellular and developmental processes across eukaryotic life, often driven by Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes, which bridge the nuclear envelope (NE) via the interaction of Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne-1 Homology (KASH) and Sad1/UNC-84 (SUN) proteins. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) LINC complexes are involved in nuclear movement and positioning in several cell types. Observations since the 1950s have described targeted nuclear movement and positioning during symbiosis initiation between legumes and rhizobia, but it has not been established whether these movements are functional or incidental. Here, we identify and characterize LINC complexes in the model legume Medicago truncatula. We show that LINC complex characteristics such as NE localization, dependence of KASH proteins on SUN protein binding for NE enrichment, and direct SUN-KASH binding are conserved between plant species. Using a SUN dominant-negative strategy, we demonstrate that LINC complexes are necessary for proper nuclear shaping and movement in Medicago root hairs, and are important for infection thread initiation and nodulation.

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