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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 1997 Sep;10(7):891-902.

Characterization of two plasmid-borne lps beta loci of Rhizobium etli required for lipopolysaccharide synthesis and for optimal interaction with plants.

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Departamento de Genética Molecular, Centro de Investigación sobre Fijación de Nitrógeno, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuemavaca, Morelos, México.


In Rhizobium etli CFN42, both the symbiotic plasmid (pd) and plasmid b (pb) are required for effective bean nodulation. This is due to the presence on pb of a region (lps beta) involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis. We report here the genetic array and functional features of this plasmid-borne region. The sequence analysis of a 3,595-bp fragment revealed the presence of a transcriptional unit integrated by two open reading frames (lps beta 1 and lps beta 2) essential for LPS biosynthesis and symblosis. The lps beta 1 encodes a putative 193 amino acid polypeptide that shows strong homology with glucosyl-1P and galactosyl-1P transferases. The deduced amino acid sequence of the protein encoded by lps beta 2 was very similar to that of proteins involved in surface polysaccharide biosynthesis, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa WpbM, Bordetella pertussis BpIL, and Yersinia enterocolitica TrsG. DNA sequences homologous to lps beta 1 and lps beta 2 of R. etli CFN42 were consistently found in functionally equivalent plasmids of R. etli, R. leguminosarum bv. viciae, and R. leguminosarum hv. trifolii strains, but not in R. meliloti, R. loti, R. tropici, R. fredii, Bradyrhizobium, Azorhizobium, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Even though Rhizobium and Agrobacterium do not share lps beta sequences, their presence is required for crown-gall tumor induction by R. etli transconjugants carrying the Ti plasmid.

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