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The Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar trifolii ANU794 Induces Novel Developmental Responses on the Subterranean Clover Cultivar Woogenellup

May 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  5
Pages  471 - 479

Angela Carmen Morris and Michael Anthony Djordjevic

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research, Genomic Interactions Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, GPO Box 475, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601 Australia

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Accepted 09 January 2006.

The clover-nodulating Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii ANU794 initiates normal root-nodule development with abnormally low efficiency on the Trifolium subterraneum cv. Woogenellup. The cellular and developmental responses of Woogenellup roots to the site- and dose-defined inoculation of green fluorescent protein (gfp)-labeled cells of ANU843 (nodulation proficient) and ANU794 was investigated using light, fluorescence, and confocal microscopy. Strain ANU794-gfp induced three primordia types and four developmental responses at the inoculation site: true or aberrant nodules (on 5 and 25% of plants, respectively), hybrid structures (20% of plants), or lateral roots (50% of plants). The novel hybrid structures possessed nodule and lateral root-like features and unusual vascular patterning. Strain ANU794-gfp induces lateral root formation by stimulating pericycle cell divisions at all nearby protoxylem poles. Only true nodules induced by ANU794-gfp contained intracellular bacteria. In contrast, strain ANU843-gfp induced nodules only and lateral root formation was suppressed at spot inoculation sites. Primordium types were distinguishable by the emission spectrum characteristics of phenolic UV-absorbing and fluorescent compounds that accumulate in primordium cells. Hybrid primordia contained (at least) two fluorescent cell populations, suggesting that they are chimeric. The results suggest that ANU794 may produce both nodule- and lateral root-generating signals simultaneously.

Additional keywords: cultivar specificity, flavonoids, founder cells, Nod factor, nonheme chloroperoxidase, stem cells.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society