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Rhizobium etli Mutant Modulates Carbon and Nitrogen Metabolism in Phaseolus vulgaris Nodules

July 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  7
Pages  728 - 733

Sonia Silvente , Lourdes Blanco , Alberto Camas , José-Luis Ortega , Mario Ramírez , and Miguel Lara-Flores

Centro de Investigación sobre Fijación de Nitrógeno, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 565-A, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México

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Accepted 22 March 2002.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the biochemical events in root nodules which lead to increased yield when bean is inoculated with a Rhizobium etli mutant (CFN037) having increased respiratory capacity. CFN037-inoculated plants had 22% more nitrogen (N) than did wild-type (CE3)-inoculated plants. Root nodule enzymes involved in nodule carbon and nitrogen assimilation as well as in ureides and amides synthesis were assessed in plants inoculated with CFN037 and the CE3. Our results show that the xylem ureides content was lower while that of amino acids was higher in CFN037- compared with CE3-inoculated plants. Supporting these results, enzymes involved in ureide synthesis were reduced while activity of aspartate aminotransferase, glutamate synthase, sucrose synthase, and glucose-6-P dehydrogenase were increased in CFN037- induced nodules. Glutamate synthase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase transcripts were detected early in the development of nodules induced by CFN037 compared with CE3. However, plants inoculated with strain CE3-vhb, which express the Vitreoscilla sp. hemoglobin and also displays increased respiratory capacity, did not have altered ureide transport in N2-fixing plants. The data suggest that inoculation with special selected mutant strains of R. etli can modulate nodule N assimilation and N transport compounds.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society