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J Mol Biol. 1993 Jan 20;229(2):570-6.

Nucleotide sequence and characterization of Rhizobium meliloti nodulation competitiveness genes nfe.

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Departamento de MicrobiologĂ­a CSIC, Granada, Spain.


Rhizobium meliloti large plasmid pRmeGR4b carries the nodulation competitiveness locus nfe responsible for the nodulation efficiency and competitive ability of strain GR4 on alfalfa roots. We report here the nucleotide sequence and characterization of a 3345 base-pair DNA section of the nfe region. Sequence analysis revealed four open reading frames (ORFs), two of them with rightward polarity, termed nfe1 and nfe2, are preceded by functional nif consensus sequences and NifA-binding motifs. An additional, NifA-independent, transcriptional start site for nfe1 was also found. Two other ORFs with leftward polarity, designated ORFA and ORFB, were identified upstream from nfe1 and nfe2 but no nif consensus sequences were found. However, expression of ORFA might be indirectly coupled to the NifA-NtrA regulatory network. The gene products of nfe1 and nfe2 were identified using in vitro transcription/translation and bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase/promoter system, respectively. A high degree of homology between the amino terminal domain of Nfe1 and the nifH gene product was found. In addition, nfe1 shows homology with the upstream non-coding DNA region of the fixABCX operon. Furthermore, the putative ORFB encoded protein contains a helix-turn-helix motif that resembles the DNA-binding consensus sequence proposed for many prokaryotic regulatory proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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