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Arch Microbiol. 2008 Jul;190(1):67-77. doi: 10.1007/s00203-008-0365-7. Epub 2008 Apr 16.

Introduction of a novel pathway for IAA biosynthesis to rhizobia alters vetch root nodule development.

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Institute of Genetics and Biophysics, CNR, via P. Castellino 111, 80131, Naples, Italy.


We introduced into Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae LPR1105 a new pathway for the biosynthesis of the auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), under the control of a stationary phase-activated promoter active both in free-living bacteria and bacteroids. The newly introduced genes are the iaaM gene from Pseudomonas savastanoi and the tms2 gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Free-living bacteria harbouring the promoter-iaaMtms2 construct release into the growth medium 14-fold more IAA than the wild-type parental strain. This IAA overproducing R. l. viciae, the RD20 strain, elicits the development of vetch root nodules containing up to 60-fold more IAA than nodules infected by the wild-type strain LPR1105. Vetch root nodules derived from RD20 are fewer in number per plant, heavier in terms of dry weight and show an enlarged and more active meristem. A significant increase in acetylene reduction activity was measured in nodules elicited in vetch by RD20.

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