New research results have significantly revised our understanding of the rhizobium-legume infection process. For example, Nod factors (NFs), previously thought to be absolutely essential for this symbiosis, were shown to be dispensable under particular conditions. Similarly, an NF receptor, previously considered to be solely involved in symbiosis, was shown to function during plant pathogen infections. Indeed, there is a growing realization that plant innate immunity is a crucial component in the establishment and maintenance of symbiosis. We review here the factors involved in the suppression of plant immunity during rhizobium-legume symbiosis, and we attempt to place this information into context with the most recent and sometimes surprising research results.
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