American Society for Microbiology
Journal of Bacteriology
Two Rhizobium phaseoli mutants, isolated previously by Tn5 mutagenesis, elicited infection threads which ceased development prematurely, usually within root hairs. These infection threads were wide, globular, and otherwise altered in morphology, compared with normal infection threads. Anatomy and division of the root cortical cells during initial stages of nodule morphogenesis appeared normal. However, later nodule differentiation deviated considerably from normal development, and release of bacteria from infection threads was not observed. In tryptone-yeast extract medium the mutants sedimented during growth in shaken cultures and formed rough colonies on agar. Electrophoresis of washed cultures solubilized in dodecyl sulfate revealed that the major carbohydrate band was absent from the mutants. The behavior of this carbohydrate in phenol-water extraction and gel chromatography, its apparent ketodeoxyoctonate content, and its susceptibility to mild acid hydrolysis suggested that it was a lipopolysaccharide. From the results of genetic crosses or reversion analysis, the defect in synthesizing this carbohydrate material and the defect in infection could be attributed to a single mutation in each mutant.