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VIEW ARTICLE   |    DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-6-764

Biological Activity of Rhizobium sp. NGR234 Nod-factors on Macroptilium atropurpureum. B. Relic. L.B.M.P.S., Université de Genève, 1 ch. de l'Impératrice, 1292 Chambésy, Genève, Switzerland. F. Talmont,(2) J. Kopcinska,(3) W. Golinowski,(3) J.-C. Promé,(2) and W. J. Broughton(1). (1)L.B.M.P.S., Université de Genève, 1 ch. de l'Impératrice, 1292 Chambésy, Genève, Switzerland; (2)Centre de Recherches de Biochimie et de Génétique Cellulaire, CNRS LP8201, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France; (3)Botany Department, Plant Biology Institute, Agricultural University, Rakowiecka 26/30, 02-528 Warsaw, Poland.. MPMI 6:764-774. Accepted 8 October 1993. Copyright 1993 The American Phytopathological Society.

The broad host range of Rhizobium sp. NGR234 is based mainly on its ability to secrete a family of lipo-oligosaccharide Nod factors. To monitor Nod-factor purification, we used the small seeded legume Macroptilium atropurpureum, which responds evenly and consistently to Nod factors. At concentrations between ≅10¯11 M and 10¯9 M, this response takes the form of deformation of the root hairs. Higher concentrations (≅10¯9 to 10¯7 M), provoked profound "shepherd's crook" type curling of the root hairs. Similar concentrations of Nod factors of Bradyrhizobium japonicum, Rhizobium leguminosarum, and R. meliloti also provoked marked curling of the root hairs, but the latter two species are unable to nodulate Macroptilium. On the other hand, plant hormones, hormone-like substances, inhibitors of hormone action, as well as substituents of Nod factors were without effect in this bioassay. We thus conclude that only Nod factors are capable of inducing shepherd's crook type curling of Macroptilium root hairs. Perturbations in the auxin-cytokinin balance induced "pseudo" nodulation on M. atropurpureum, as did NodNGR factors at concentrations between 10¯7 and 10¯6 M. Concomitant inoculation of Macroptilium with a NodABC¯ mutant of NGR234 and sulfated NodNGR factors (NodNGR[S]) gave rise to plants that slowly greened, showing that the NodNGR factors permitted entry of the Nod¯ mutant into the roots.

Additional Keywords: auxin transport inhibitors, cytokinins, nitrogen fixation, nodules.