Journal of Biological Chemistry
Rhizobium etli CE3 bacteroids were isolated from Phaseolus vulgaris root nodules. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from the bacteroids was purified and compared with the LPS from laboratory-cultured R. etli CE3and from cultures grown in the presence of anthocyanin. Comparisons were made of the O-chain polysaccharide, the core oligosaccharide, and the lipid A. Although LPS from CE3 bacteria and bacteroids are structurally similar, it was found that bacteroid LPS had specific modifications to both the O-chain polysaccharide and lipid A portions of their LPS. Cultures grown with anthocyanin contained modifications only to the O-chain polysaccharide. The changes to the O-chain polysaccharide consisted of the addition of a single methyl group to the 2-position of a fucosyl residue in one of the five O-chain trisaccharide repeat units.This same change occurred for bacteria grown in the presence of anthocyanin. This methylation change correlated with the inability of bacteroid LPS and LPS from anthocyanin-containing cultures to bind the monoclonal antibody JIM28. The coreoligosaccharide region of bacteroid LPS and from anthocyanin grown cultures was identical to that of LPS from normal laboratory-cultured CE3. The lipid A from bacteroids consisted exclusively of a tetraacylated species compared with the presence of both tetra-and pentaacylated lipid A from laboratory cultures. Growth in the presence of anthocyanin did not affect the lipid A structure. Purified bacteroids that could resume growth were also found to be more sensitive to the cationic peptides, poly-L-lysine, polymyxin-B, and melittin.