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J Bacteriol. 1989 Jul;171(7):3961-7.

Lipopolysaccharide mutants of Rhizobium meliloti are not defective in symbiosis.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


Mutants of Rhizobium meliloti selected primarily for bacteriophage resistance fall into 13 groups. Mutants in the four best-characterized groups (class A, lpsB, lpsC, and class D), which map to the rhizobial chromosome, appear to affect lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as judged by the reactivity with monoclonal antibodies and behavior on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels of extracted LPS. Mutations in all 13 groups, in an otherwise wild-type genetic background, are Fix+ on alfalfa. This suggests that LPS does not play a major role in symbiosis. Mutations in lpsB, however, are Fix- in one particular genetic background, evidently because of the cumulative effect of several independent background mutations. In addition, an auxotrophic mutation evidently equivalent to Escherichia coli carAB is Fix- on alfalfa.

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