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  1. Summary

    Establishment of symbiosis between plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi depends on fungal chitooligosaccharides (COs) and lipo‐chitooligosaccharides (LCOs). The latter are also produced by nitrogen‐fixing rhizobia to induce nodules on leguminous roots. However, host enzymes regulating structure and levels of these signals remain largely unknown.

    Here, we analyzed the expression of a β‐N‐acetylhexosaminidase gene ofMedicago truncatula(MtHEXO2) and biochemically characterized the enzyme. Mutant analysis was performed to study the role ofMtHEXO2during symbiosis.

    We found that expression ofMtHEXO2is associated with AM symbiosis and nodulation.MtHEXO2expression in the rhizodermis was upregulated in response to applied chitotetraose, chitoheptaose, and LCOs.M. truncatulamutants deficient in symbiotic signaling did not show induction ofMtHEXO2. Subcellular localization analysis indicated that MtHEXO2 is an extracellular protein. Biochemical analysis showed that recombinant MtHEXO2 does not cleave LCOs but can degrade COs intoN‐acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc).Hexo2mutants exhibited reduced colonization by AM fungi; however, nodulation was not affected inhexo2mutants.

    In conclusion, we identified an enzyme, which inactivates COs and promotes the AM symbiosis. We hypothesize that GlcNAc produced by MtHEXO2 may function as a secondary symbiotic signal.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  2. ABSTRACT

    Many astrophysical environments, from star clusters and globular clusters to the discs of active galactic nuclei, are characterized by frequent interactions between stars and the compact objects that they leave behind. Here, using a suite of 3D hydrodynamics simulations, we explore the outcome of close interactions between $1\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ stars and binary black holes (BBHs) in the gravitational wave regime, resulting in a tidal disruption event (TDE) or a pure scattering, focusing on the accretion rates, the back reaction on the BH binary orbital parameters, and the increase in the binary BH effective spin. We find that TDEs can make a significant impact on the binary orbit, which is often different from that of a pure scattering. Binaries experiencing a prograde (retrograde) TDE tend to be widened (hardened) by up to $\simeq 20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. Initially circular binaries become more eccentric by $\lesssim 10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ by a prograde or retrograde TDE, whereas the eccentricity of initially eccentric binaries increases (decreases) by a retrograde (prograde) TDE by $\lesssim 5{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. Overall, a single TDE can generally result in changes of the gravitational-wave-driven merger time-scale by order unity. The accretion rates of both black holes are very highly super-Eddington, showing modulations (preferentially for retrograde TDEs) on a time-scale of the orbital period, which can be a characteristic feature of BBH-driven TDEs. Prograde TDEs result in the effective spin parameter χ to vary by ≲0.02, while χ ≳ −0.005 for retrograde TDEs.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT

    The discs of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) have emerged as rich environments for the production and capture of stars and the compact objects that they leave behind. These stars produce long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) at their deaths, while frequent interactions among compact objects form binary neutron stars and neutron star–black hole binaries, leading to short GRBs upon their merger. Predicting the properties of these transients as they emerge from the dense environments of AGN discs is key to their proper identification and to better constrain the star and compact object population in AGN discs. Some of these transients would appear unusual because they take place in much higher densities than the interstellar medium. Others, which are the subject of this paper, would additionally be modified by radiation diffusion, since they are generated within optically thick regions of the accretion discs. Here, we compute the GRB afterglow light curves for diffused GRB sources for a representative variety of central black hole masses and disc locations. We find that the radiation from radio to ultraviolet and soft X-rays can be strongly suppressed by synchrotron self-absorption in the dense medium of the AGN disc. In addition, photon diffusion can significantly delay the emergence of the emission peak, turning a beamed, fast transient into a slow, isotropic, and dimmer one. These would appear as broad-band correlated AGN variability with a dominance at the higher frequencies. Their properties can constrain both the stellar populations within AGN discs and the disc structure.

     
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  4. Nod factors secreted by nitrogen-fixing rhizobia are lipo-chitooligosaccharidic signals required for establishment of the nodule symbiosis with legumes. InMedicago truncatula, the Nod factor hydrolase 1 (MtNFH1) was found to cleave Nod factors ofSinorhizobium meliloti. Here, we report that the class V chitinase MtCHIT5b ofM. truncatulaexpressed inEscherichia colican release lipodisaccharides from Nod factors. Analysis ofM. truncatulamutant plants indicated that MtCHIT5b, together with MtNFH1, degradesS. melilotiNod factors in the rhizosphere.MtCHIT5bexpression was induced by treatment of roots with purified Nod factors or inoculation with rhizobia. MtCHIT5b with a fluorescent tag was detected in the infection pocket of root hairs. Nodulation of aMtCHIT5bknockout mutant was not significantly altered whereas overexpression ofMtCHIT5bresulted in fewer nodules. Reduced nodulation was observed whenMtCHIT5bandMtNFH1were simultaneously silenced in RNA interference experiments. Overall, this study shows that nodule formation ofM. truncatulais regulated by a second Nod factor cleaving hydrolase in addition to MtNFH1.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    The association of GRB170817A with a binary neutron star (BNS) merger has revealed that BNSs produce at least a fraction of short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs). As gravitational wave (GW) detectors push their horizons, it is important to assess coupled electromagnetic (EM)/GW probabilities and maximize observational prospects. Here, we perform BNS population synthesis calculations with the code mobse, seeding the binaries in galaxies at three representative redshifts, $z$ = 0.01, 0.1, and 1 of the Illustris TNG50 simulation. The binaries are evolved and their locations numerically tracked in the host galactic potentials until merger. Adopting the microphysics parameters of GRB170817A, we numerically compute the broad-band light curves of jets from BNS mergers, with the afterglow brightness dependent on the local medium density at the merger site. We perform Monte Carlo simulations of the resulting EM population assuming either a random viewing angle with respect to the jet, or a jet aligned with the orbital angular momentum of the binary, which biases the viewing angle probability for GW-triggered events. We find a gamma-ray detection probability of $\sim\!2{{\rm per\ cent}},10{{\rm per\ cent}},\mathrm{and}\ 40{{\rm per\ cent}}$ for BNSs at $z$ = 1, 0.1, and 0.01, respectively, for the random case, rising to $\sim\!75{{\rm per\ cent}}$ for the $z$ = 0.01, GW-triggered aligned case. Afterglow detection probabilities of GW-triggered BNS mergers vary in the range of $\sim \! 0.3 \!-\! 0.5{{\rm per\ cent}}$, with higher values for aligned jets, and are comparable across the high- and low-energy bands, unlike gamma-ray-triggered events (cosmological SGRBs) which are significantly brighter at higher energies. We further quantify observational biases with respect to host galaxy masses.

     
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  6. Abstract The disks of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) may be important sites of binary black hole (BBH) mergers. Here we show via numerical experiments with the high-accuracy, high-precision code SpaceHub that broken symmetry in dynamical encounters in AGN disks can lead to asymmetry between prograde and retrograde BBH mergers. The direction of the hardening asymmetry depends on the initial binary semimajor axis. Under the assumption that the spin of the BHs becomes aligned with the angular momentum of the disk on a short timescale compared with the encounter timescale, an asymmetric distribution of mass-weighted projected spin χ eff is predicted in LIGO–Virgo detections of BBH mergers from AGN disks. In particular, this model predicts that positive χ eff BBH mergers are most likely for encounters with massive tertiaries in migration traps at radial distances ≳500–600 gravitational radii. 
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  7. ABSTRACT

    Exoplanetary observations reveal that the occurrence rate of hot Jupiters is correlated with star clustering. In star clusters, interactions between planetary systems and close flyby stars can significantly change the architecture of primordially coplanar, circular planetary systems. Flybys can impact hot Jupiter formation via activation of high-eccentricity excitation mechanisms such as the Zeipel–Lidov–Kozai (ZLK) effect and planet–planet scattering. Previous studies have shown that, for a two-planet system, close flybys, especially at high incidence angles, can efficiently activate the ZLK mechanism, thus triggering high-eccentricity tidal migration and ultimately form hot Jupiters. Here, we extend our previous study with a multiplanet (triple) system. We perform high-precision, high-accuracy few-body simulations of stellar flybys and subsequent planetary migration within the perturbed planetary systems using the code spacehub. Our simulations demonstrate that a single close flyby on a multiplanet system can activate secular chaos and ultimately lead to hot Jupiter formation via high-eccentricity migration. We find that the hot Jupiter formation rate per system increases with both the size of the planetary system and the mass of the outer planet, and we quantify the relative formation fractions for a range of parameters. Hot Jupiters formed via secular chaos are expected to be accompanied by massive companions with very long periods. Our study further shows that flyby-induced secular chaos is preferred in low-density clusters where multiplanet systems are more likely to survive, and that it contributes a significant fraction of hot Jupiter formation in star clusters compared to the flyby-induced ZLK mechanism.

     
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  8. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT In dense star clusters, such as globular and open clusters, dynamical interactions between stars and black holes (BHs) can be extremely frequent, leading to various astrophysical transients. Close encounters between a star and a stellar mass BH make it possible for the star to be tidally disrupted by the BH. Due to the relative low mass of the BH and the small cross-section of the tidal disruption event (TDE) for cases with high penetration, disruptions caused by close encounters are usually partial disruptions. The existence of the remnant stellar core and its non-negligible mass compared to the stellar mass BH alters the accretion process significantly. We study this problem with SPH simulations using the code Phantom, with the inclusion of radiation pressure, which is important for small mass BHs. Additionally, we develop a new, more general method of computing the fallback rate which does not rely on any approximation. Our study shows that the powerlaw slope of the fallback rate has a strong dependence on the mass of the BH in the stellar mass BH regime. Furthermore, in this regime, self-gravity of the fallback stream and local instabilities become more significant, and cause the disrupted material to collapse into small clumps before returning to the BH. This results in an abrupt increase of the fallback rate, which can significantly deviate from a powerlaw. Our results will help in the identification of TDEs by stellar mass BHs in dense clusters. 
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