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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 1999 Aug;2(4):305-11.

Genealogy of legume-Rhizobium symbioses.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes Supérieures (LBMPS), Université de Genève, 1 ch. de l'Impératrice, 1292, Chambésy/Genève, Switzerland.


Accumulating evidence suggests that lateral transfer of nodulation capacity is an important driving force in symbiotic evolution. As a consequence, many distantly related soil bacteria have acquired the capacity to invade plants and fix nitrogen within them. In addition to these proteins required for bacteroid development and nitrogen fixation, core symbiotic competence seems to require flavonoids, NodD proteins, lipochitooligosaccharidic Nod-factors, extra-cellular polysaccharides, as well as various exported proteins. Plants respond to different levels and combinations of these substances in species specific ways. After contact has been initiated by flavonoids and NodD proteins, constant signal exchange fine-tunes these symbiotic demands, especially to overcome defence reactions.

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