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VIEW ARTICLE   |    DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-4-332

A Lipopolysaccharide Mutant of Bradyrhizobium japonicum that Uncouples Plant from Bacterial Differentiation. Gary Stacey. Center for Legume Research, Department of Microbiology and Graduate Program of Ecology, University of Tennessee TN 37996-0845. Jae-Seong So(1,2), L. Evans Roth(1,3), Bhagya Lakshmi S. K.(4), and Russell W. Carlson(4). (1)Center for Legume Research, (2)Department of Microbiology and Graduate Program of Ecology, (3)Department of Zoology, University of Tennessee TN 37996-0845; (4)Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, The University of Georgia, Athens 30602 U.S.A. MPMI 4:332-340. Accepted 6 March 1991. Copyright 1991 The American Phytopathological Society.

The Tn5-containing fragment from a non-nodulating mutant of Bradyrhizobium japonicum, strain ML142, was introduced into B. japonicum strain 61A101c by marker exchange to construct strain JS314. Strain JS314 failed to nodulate several soybean varieties tested. However, on a few varieties nodulelike structures were induced to a frequency of 54% of the plants inoculated. The ultrastructure of these nodules was studied in detail by light and electron microscopy. The nodules were devoid of internal bacteria, possessed central vascular tissue (unlike the lateral vascular tissue of a normal nodule), and exhibited localized cell death of epidermal cells. Study of the cell surface polysaccharides of strain JS314 revealed that the exopolysaccharide of this strain was identical to that of the wild type. However, the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of strain JS314 showed gross differences from that isolated from the wild-type strain. Specifically, the LPS of strain JS314 appeared to lack the high molecular weight LPS I form, strongly suggesting that the LPS lacks the O-chain. Glycosyl-composition analysis showed that the LPS of mutant JS314 lacked 2,3-di-O-methylrhamnose, 3-O-methylrhamnose, fucose, and quinovosamine. These results indicate that LPS I in B. japonicum is essential for bacterial infection of soybean, but is not required to initiate plant cortical cell division, an early plant response to infection.

Additional Keywords: nitrogen fixation, Rhizobium.