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Genome-Wide Transcript Analysis of Bradyrhizobium japonicum Bacteroids in Soybean Root Nodules

November 2007 , Volume 20 , Number  11
Pages  1,353 - 1,363

Gabriella Pessi , 1 Christian H. Ahrens , 2 Hubert Rehrauer , 2 Andrea Lindemann , 1 Felix Hauser , 1 Hans-Martin Fischer , 1 and Hauke Hennecke 1

1Institute of Microbiology, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland; 2Functional Genomics Center Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland

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Accepted 29 June 2007.

The transcriptome of endosymbiotic Bradyrhizobium japonicum bacteroids was assessed, using RNA extracted from determinate soybean root nodules. Results were compared with the transcript profiles of B. japonicum cells grown in either aerobic or microaerobic culture. Microoxia is a known trigger for the induction of symbiotically relevant genes. In fact, one third of the genes induced in bacteroids at day 21 after inoculation are congruent with those up-regulated in culture by a decreased oxygen concentration. The other induced genes, however, may be regulated by cues other than oxygen limitation. Both groups of genes provide a rich source for the possible discovery of novel functions related to symbiosis. Samples taken at different timepoints in nodule development have led to the distinction of genes expressed early and late in bacteroids. The experimental approach applied here is also useful for B. japonicum mutant analyses. As an example, we compared the transcriptome of wild-type bacteroids with that of bacteroids formed by a mutant defective in the RNA polymerase transcription factor σ54. This led to a collection of hitherto unrecognized B. japonicum genes potentially transcribed in planta in a σ54-dependent manner.

Additional keywords:GeneChip, nitrogen fixation, RpoN.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society