American Society for Microbiology
Journal of Bacteriology
Rhizobium phaseoli CE106, CE110, and CE115, originally derived by transposon mutagenesis (Noel et al., J. Bacteriol. 158:149-155, 1984), induced the formation of uninfected root nodule-like swellings on bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Bacteria densely colonized the root surface, and root hair curling and initiation of root cortical-cell divisions occurred normally in mutant-inoculated seedlings, although no infection threads formed. The nodules were ineffective, lacked leghemoglobin, and were anatomically distinct from normal nodules. Ultrastructural specialization for ureide synthesis, characteristic of legumes that form determinate nodules, was absent. Colony morphology of the mutant strains on agar plates was less mucoid than that of the wild type, and under some cultural conditions, the mutants did not react with Cellufluor, a fluorescent stain for β-linked polysaccharide. These observations suggest that the genetic lesions in these mutants may be related to extracellular polysaccharide synthesis.