Nodule formation in soybeans by exopolysaccharide mutants of Rhizobium fredii USDA 191

J Gen Microbiol. 1990 Jan;136(1):105-13. doi: 10.1099/00221287-136-1-105.


Production of exopolysaccharides by Rhizobium has been linked with efficient invasion and nodulation of leguminous plant roots by the bacteria. Exopolysaccharide-deficient (exo) mutants of Rhizobium fredii USDA 191 were isolated following Tn5-insertion mutagenesis. Five phenotypically unique exo mutants were investigated for exopolysaccharide synthesis and their ability to nodulate soybeans. The exopolysaccharides produced by these mutants were analysed for polysaccharide composition by column chromatography and thin-layer chromatography. Two mutants designed exo-3 and exo-5 were deficient in both neutral glucan and exopolysaccharide synthesis, but each induced some functional nodules on Glycine max (Peking). The remaining three mutants (exo-1, exo-2 and exo-4) synthesized neutral glucans at levels higher or lower than those in wild-type and exhibited partial exopolysaccharide deficiencies. The data imply that neither exopolysaccharides nor neutral glucans are essential for the induction of determinate nodules by R. fredii.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Mutation
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Rhizobium / isolation & purification
  • Rhizobium / metabolism
  • Rhizobium / physiology*
  • Soybeans / microbiology*
  • Soybeans / ultrastructure
  • Symbiosis / physiology*


  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial