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Plant Physiol. 1995 Aug;108(4):1519-1525.

Rhizobial Nodulation Factors Stimulate Mycorrhizal Colonization of Nodulating and Nonnodulating Soybeans.

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Botanisches Institut der Universitat Basel, Hebelstrasse 1, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland (Z.-P.X., C.S., H.V., A.W., R.V.-L., T.B.).


Legumes form tripartite symbiotic associations with noduleinducing rhizobia and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Co-inoculation of soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) roots with Bradyrhizobium japonicum 61-A-101 considerably enhanced colonization by the mycorrhizal fungus Glomus mosseae. A similar stimulatory effect on mycorrhizal colonization was also observed in nonnodulating soybean mutants when inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum and in wild-type soybean plants when inoculated with ineffective rhizobial strains, indicating that a functional rhizobial symbiosis is not necessary for enhanced mycorrhiza formation. Inoculation with the mutant Rhizobium sp. NGR[delta]nodABC, unable to produce nodulation (Nod) factors, did not show any effect on mycorrhiza. Highly purified Nod factors also increased the degree of mycorrhizal colonization. Nod factors from Rhizobium sp. NGR234 differed in their potential to promote fungal colonization. The acetylated factor NodNGR-V (MeFuc, Ac), added at concentrations as low as 10-9 M, was active, whereas the sulfated factor, NodNGR-V (MeFuc, S), was inactive. Several soybean flavonoids known to accumulate in response to the acetylated Nod factor showed a similar promoting effect on mycorrhiza. These results suggest that plant flavonoids mediate the Nod factor-induced stimulation of mycorrhizal colonization in soybean roots.

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