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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2002 Aug;15(8):834-9.

High-affinity nod factor binding site from Phaseolus vulgaris cell suspension cultures.

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  • 1Signaux et Messages Cellulaires chez les Végétaux, UMR CNRS-UPS 5546, Pĵle de Biotechnologie Végétale, Castanet-Tolosan, France.


The lipo-chitooligosaccharidic Nod factors produced by rhizobia are key molecules in the establishment of symbiosis with legumes and probably are recognized by the host plant via specific receptors. Here, we report on the presence of a binding site in cell cultures of Phaseolus vulgaris displaying a high affinity for Nod factors from Rhizobium tropici (NodRt-V) (Me, S, C18:1), a symbiont of this legume. The binding site shares common properties with NFBS2, a Nod-factor binding site previously characterised in Medicago varia, in terms of affinity, preferential plasma-membrane location, and sensitivity to proteases and lysine reactive reagents. However, the bean site poorly recognizes the Nod factors produced by Sinorhizobium meliloti, the symbiont of Medicago. The study of selectivity toward the Nod factors reveals that the length and degree of unsaturation of the acyl chain and the length of the oligosaccharidic moiety are important determinants of high affinity binding to the bean site; whereas, the N-methyl and O-sulfuryl groups play a minor role. Thus, the common characteristics of P. vulgaris and M. varia Nod-factor binding sites suggest that they probably correspond to structurally related proteins, but their different selectivity suggests that they may be involved in a differential perception system for Nod factors in legumes.

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