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Mol Gen Genet. 1996 Apr 24;251(1):44-51.

Rhizobium nodulation protein NodA is a host-specific determinant of the transfer of fatty acids in Nod factor biosynthesis.

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Leiden University, Clusius Laboratory, The Netherlands.


In the biosynthesis of lipochitin oligosaccharides (LCOs) the Rhizobium nodulation protein NodA plays an essential role in the transfer of an acyl chain to the chitin oligosaccharide acceptor molecule. The presence of nodA in the nodABCIJ operon makes genetic studies difficult to interpret. In order to be able to investigate the biological and biochemical functions of NodA, we have constructed a test system in which the nodA, nodB and nodC genes are separately present on different plasmids. Efficient nodulation was only obtained if nodC was present on a low-copy-number vector. Our results confirm the notion that nodA of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae is essential for nodulation on Vicia. Surprisingly, replacement of R. l. by viciae nodA by that of Bradyrhizobium sp. ANU289 results in a nodulation-minus phenotype on Vicia. Further analysis revealed that the Bradyrhizobium sp. ANU289 NodA is active in the biosynthesis of LCOs, but is unable to direct the transfer of the R. l. by, viciae nodFE-dependent multi-unsaturated fatty acid to the chitin oligosaccharide acceptor. These results lead to the conclusion that the original notion that nodA is a common nod gene should be revised.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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