A protein complex required for polar growth of rhizobial infection threads.
During root nodule symbiosis, intracellular accommodation of rhizobia by legumes is a prerequisite for nitrogen fixation. For many legumes, rhizobial colonization initiates in root hairs through transcellular infection threads. In Medicago truncatula, VAPYRIN (VPY) and a putative E3 ligase LUMPY INFECTIONS (LIN) are required for infection thread development but their cellular and molecular roles are obscure. Here we show that LIN and its homolog LIN-LIKE interact with VPY and VPY-LIKE in a subcellular complex localized to puncta both at the tip of the growing infection thread and at the nuclear periphery in root hairs and that the punctate accumulation of VPY is positively regulated by LIN. We also show that an otherwise nuclear and cytoplasmic exocyst subunit, EXO70H4, systematically co-localizes with VPY and LIN during rhizobial infection. Genetic analysis shows that defective rhizobial infection in exo70h4 is similar to that in vpy and lin. Our results indicate that VPY, LIN and EXO70H4 are part of the symbiosis-specific machinery required for polar growth of infection threads.