Rhizobium leguminosarum CFN42 Genetic Regions Encoding Lipopolysaccharide Structures Essential for Complete Nodule Development on Bean Plants

Document Type




Format of Original

8 p.

Publication Date



American Society for Microbiology

Source Publication

Journal of Bacteriology

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Original Item ID



Eight symbiotic mutants defective in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) synthesis were isolated from Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseoli CFN42. These eight strains elicited small white nodules lacking infected cells when inoculated onto bean plants. The mutants had undetectable or greatly diminished amounts of the complete LPS (LPS I), whereas amounts of an LPS lacking the O antigen (LPS II) greatly increased. Apparent LPS bands that migrated between LPS I and LPS II on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels were detected in extracts of some of the mutants. The mutant strains were complemented to wild-type LPS I content and antigenicity by DNA from a cosmid library of the wild-type genome. Most of the mutations were clustered in two genetic regions; one mutation was located in a third region. Strains complemented by DNA from two of these regions produced healthy nitrogen-fixing nodules. Strains complemented to wild-type LPS content by the other genetic region induced nodules that exhibited little or no nitrogenase activity, although nodule development was obviously enhanced by the presence of this DNA. The results support the idea that complete LPS structures, in normal amounts, are necessary for infection thread development in bean plants.


Published version. Journal of Bacteriology, Vol. 171, No. 1 (January 1989): 8-15. DOI. © 1989 American Society for Microbiology. Used with permission.