Format of Original
American Society for Microbiology
Journal of Bacteriology
Original Item ID
PubMed Central, PMCID: PMC208476
Two mutant derivatives of Rhizobium leguminosarum ANU843 defective in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were isolated. The LPS of both mutants lacked O antigen and some sugar residues of the LPS core oligosaccharides. Genetic regions previously cloned from another Rhizobium leguminosarum wild-type isolate, strain CFN42, were used to complement these mutants. One mutant was complemented to give LPS that was apparently identical to the LPS of strain ANU843 in antigenicity, electrophoretic mobility, and sugar composition. The other mutant was complemented by a second CFN42 lps genetic region. In this case the resulting LPS contained O-antigen sugars characteristic of donor strain CFN42 and reacted weakly with antiserum against CFN42 cells, but did not react detectably with antiserum against ANU843 cells. Therefore, one of the CFN42 lps genetic regions specifies a function that is conserved between the two R. leguminosarum wild-type isolates, whereas the other region, at least in part, specifies a strain-specific LPS structure. Transfer of these two genetic regions into wild-type strains derived from R. leguminosarum ANU843 and 128C53 gave results consistent with this conclusion. The mutants derived from strain ANU843 elicited incompletely developed clover nodules that exhibited low bacterial populations and very low nitrogenase activity. Both mutants elicited normally developed, nitrogen-fixing clover nodules when they carried CFN42 lps DNA that permitted synthesis of O-antigen-containing LPS, regardless of whether the O antigen was the one originally made by strain ANU843.