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J Bacteriol. 1989 Sep;171(9):4583-8.

Immunogold localization of the NodC and NodA proteins of Rhizobium meliloti.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996-0810.


Monospecific, polyclonal antibodies to the nodC and nodA gene products of Rhizobium meliloti were used in combination with immunogold labeling and transmission electron microscopy to localize the NodC and NodA proteins in cultures of R. meliloti. Both NodC and NodA were detected in the cytoplasm and cell envelope in thin sections of free-living rhizobia treated with luteolin, a known inducer of nod gene expression; however, only NodC was detected on cell surfaces when immunolabeling was performed with intact induced cells. In view of biochemical data characterizing NodC as an outer membrane protein with a large extracellular domain, the pattern of immunolabeling on thin sections suggests that NodC is produced on free cytoplasmic ribosomes prior to assembly in the membrane. The pattern of NodA labeling on thin sections is consistent with biochemical data detecting NodA in both soluble and membrane fractions of NodA-overexpressing strains of R. meliloti.

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