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Competitive Nodulation Blocking of cv. Afghanistan Pea Is Related to High Levels of Nodulation Factors Made by Some Strains of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae

January 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  1
Pages  60 - 68

Bridget Hogg , 1 Andrea E. Davies , 1 Karen E. Wilson , 1 Ton Bisseling , 2 and J. Allan Downie 1

1John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH U.K.; 2Agricultural University, Dreijenlaan 3, 6703 HA Wageningen, The Netherlands

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Accepted 19 September 2001.

Cultivar Afghanistan peas are resistant to nodulation by many strains of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae but are nodulated by strain TOM, which carries the host specificity gene nodX. Some strains that lack nodX can inhibit nodulation of cv. Afghanistan by strain TOM. We present evidence that this “competitive nodulation-blocking” (Cnb) phenotype may result from high levels of Nod factors inhibiting nodulation of cv. Afghanistan peas. The TOM nod gene region (including nodX) is cloned on pIJ1095, and strains (including TOM itself) carrying pIJ1095 nodulate cv. Afghanistan peas very poorly but can nodulate other varieties normally. The presence of pIJ1095, which causes increased levels of Nod factor production, correlates with Cnb. Nodulation of cv. Afghanistan by TOM is also inhibited by a cloned nodD gene that increases nod gene expression and Nod factor production. Nodulation of cv. Afghanistan can be stimulated if nodD on pIJ1095 is mutated, thus severely reducing the level of Nod factor produced. Repression of nod gene expression by nolR eliminates the Cnb phenotype and can stimulate nodulation of cv. Afghanistan. Addition of Nod factors to cv. Afghanistan roots strongly inhibits nodulation. The Cnb+ strains and added Nod factors inhibit infection thread initiation by strain TOM. The sym2A allele determines resistance of cv. Afghanistan to nodulation by strains of R. leguminosarum bv. viciae lacking nodX. We tested whether sym2A is involved in Cnb by using a pea line carrying the sym2A region introgressed from cv. Afghanistan; nodulation in the introgressed line was inhibited by Cnb+ strains. Therefore, the sym2A region has an effect on Cnb, although another locus (or loci) may contribute to the stronger Cnb seen in cv. Afghanistan.

Additional keywords: lipo-chitin-oligosaccharide , symbiosis.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society