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Proteome Analysis of Differentially Displayed Proteins As a Tool for the Investigation of Symbiosis

September 2000 , Volume 13 , Number  9
Pages  995 - 1,009

Siria H. A. Natera , Nelson Guerreiro , and Michael A. Djordjevic

Plant-Microbe Interaction Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, P.O. Box 475, Canberra City, Australia, 2601

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Accepted 12 May 2000.

Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis was used to identify differentially displayed proteins expressed during the symbiotic interaction between the bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti strain 1021 and the legume Melilotus alba (white sweetclover). Our aim was to characterize novel symbiosis proteins and to determine how the two symbiotic partners alter their respective metabolisms as part of the interaction, by identifying gene products that are differentially present between the symbiotic and non-symbiotic states. Proteome maps from control M. alba roots, wild-type nodules, cultured S. meliloti, and S. meliloti bacteroids were generated and compared. Over 250 proteins were induced or up-regulated in the nodule, compared with the root, and over 350 proteins were down-regulated in the bacteroid form of the rhizobia, compared with cultured cells. N-terminal amino acid sequencing and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry peptide mass fingerprint analysis, in conjunction with data base searching, were used to assign putative identity to nearly 100 nodule, bacterial, and bacteroid proteins. These included the previously identified nodule proteins leghemoglobin and NifH as well as proteins involved in carbon and nitrogen metabolism in S. meliloti. Bacteroid cells showed down-regulation of several proteins involved in nitrogen acquisition, including glutamine synthetase, urease, a urea-amide binding protein, and a PII isoform, indicating that the bacteroids were nitrogen proficient. The down-regulation of several enzymes involved in polyhydroxybutyrate synthesis and a cell division protein was also observed. This work shows that proteome analysis will be a useful strategy to link sequence information and functional genomics.

Additional keywords: differential protein display, nodulin.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society