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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 1988 Apr;1(4):161-8.

Identification of a nodD-dependent locus in the Rhizobium strain NGR234 activated by phenolic factors secreted by soybeans and other legumes.

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Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra.


Transfer of the strain NGR234nodD 1 gene into the narrow host range R. trifolii strain ANU843 on either a 6.7-kb HindIII or 17-kb XhoI fragment broadens the host range of this bacterium to include the tropical legumes Vigna unguiculata, Glycine ussuriensis, Leucaena leucocephala, and siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum). Contrary to previous data (Bassam et al. 1986), mutagenesis of the 17-kb XhoI fragment with a mini-Mu lac transposon (Mu dII1734) showed that a functional nodD 1 gene was essential for extended host range. Gene expression studies using both Mu dII1734 fusions and a promoter-cloning vector indicated that several loci, including the nodD 1 gene, are constitutively expressed. No evidence was found for regulation of the strain NGR234 nodD 1 gene by its product. Another locus nod-81, was induced only in the presence of exudates from various plant species, including soybean (Glycine max). Whereas the expression of nod-81 was dependent on the presence of a functional nodD 1 gene product, a regulatory nod-box DNA sequence was not detected 5' to this gene by using available oligonucleotide hybridization probes. The nod-81 locus was induced by genistein, daidzein, naringenin, and coumestrol from both cotyledon and root tissue of freshly germinated soybean seedlings. A broad spectrum of commercially available phenolic compounds stimulated induction of the nod-81 locus, including some that antagonize nod gene induction in other Rhizobium species. The nodD 1 gene product from strain NGR234 was shown to determine the spectrum of compounds that induce nod-81 expression.

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