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Accumulation of Lipochitin Oligosaccharides and NodD-Activating Compounds in an Efficient Plant-Rhizobium Nodulation Assay

July 2004 , Volume 17 , Number  7
Pages  816 - 823

Teun Tak , Paulina C. van Spronsen , Jan W. Kijne , Anton A. N. van Brussel , and Kees J. M. Boot

Institute of Biology Leiden, Clusius Laboratory, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 64, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands

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Accepted 14 February 2004.

During legume plant-Rhizobium spp. interactions, leading to the formation of nitrogen-fixing root nodules, the two ma-or determinants of host plant-specificity are plant-produced nod gene inducers (NodD protein activating compounds) and bacterial lipochitin oligosaccharides (LCOs or Nod factors). In a time course, we describe the accumulation of LCOs in an efficient nodulation assay with Vicia sativa subsp. nigra and Rhizobium leguminosarum, in connection with the presence of NodD-activating compounds in the exudate of V. sativa roots. Relatively small amounts of both LCOs and NodD-activating compounds were found to be required for initiation of nodulation during the first days after inoculation. A strong increase in the amount of NodRlv-V[18:4, Ac] LCOs preceded root infection and nodule primordium formation. In contrast to the situation with non-nodulating rhizobia and nonmitogenic LCOs, the amount of NodD-activating compounds in the culture medium remained small after addition of nodulating rhizobia or mitogenic LCOs. Furthermore, addition of nodulating rhizobia or mitogenic LCOs resulted in nearly complete inhibition of root hair formation and elongation, whereas nonmitogenic LCOs stimulated root hair growth. Retention of NodD-activating compounds in the root may inhibit root hair growth.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society