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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2000 Dec;3(6):613-7.

Hanging by a thread: invasion of legume plants by rhizobia.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Connecticut, Stoors, CT 06269, USA.


Nitrogen-fixing nodules on plants such as alfalfa, pea and vetch arise from the root inner cortex and grow via a persistent meristem. Thus, these nodules are defined as indeterminate. The formation of functional indeterminate nodules requires that symbiotic bacteria, collectively called rhizobia, gain access to the interior of roots and root nodules via infection threads. Recent work has begun to elucidate the important functions of the root cell cytoskeleton in infection thread formation. It has also recently become apparent that rhizobial Nod factors and rhizobial exopolysaccharides play key roles in the initiation and elongation of infection threads.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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