Review: Nitrogen sensing in legumes ($)

picture2As a consequence of their ability to fix nitrogen in symbiosis with bacteria, legumes make key contributions to ecosystems and provide protein-rich foods for humans and other animals. Recent years have uncovered the nature of the signals involved in the cross-kingdom dialogues that occur between plant and bacteria and the systemic signals that optimize nodule activities. Murray et al. review nitrogen sensors and signals, as well as nitrate sensing through transceptors, peptide signals for N status in nodulation, and the contributions of hormones to nodule formation. Future research questions include the effect of N status on signaling between plant and bacteria and the influence of carbon / nitrogen imbalance on nodule activity. J. Exp. Bot.  10.1093/jxb/erw405