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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Apr;7(4):312-20. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2091. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Symbiotic use of pathogenic strategies: rhizobial protein secretion systems.

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LBMPS, University of Geneva, 30, quai Ernest-Ansermet - Sciences III, CH-1211 Genève 4, Geneva, Switzerland.


Rhizobia - a diverse group of soil bacteria - induce the formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules on the roots of legumes. Nodulation begins when the roots initiate a molecular dialogue with compatible rhizobia in the soil. Most rhizobia reply by secreting lipochitooligosaccharidic nodulation factors that enable entry into the legume. A molecular exchange continues, which, in compatible interactions, permits rhizobia to invade root cortical cells, differentiate into bacteroids and fix nitrogen. Rhizobia also use additional molecular signals, such as secreted proteins or surface polysaccharides. One group of proteins secreted by rhizobia have homologues in bacterial pathogens and may have been co-opted by rhizobia for symbiotic purposes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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