Rhizobium leguminosarum genes required for expression and transfer of host specific nodulation

Plant Mol Biol. 1989 Jan;12(1):19-29. doi: 10.1007/BF00017444.


The contributions of various nod genes from Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viceae to host-specific nodulation have been assessed by transferring specific genes and groups of genes to R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii and testing the levels of nodulation on Pisum sativum (peas) and Vicia hirsuta. Many of the nod genes are important in determination of host-specificity; the nodE gene plays a key (but not essential) role and the efficiency of transfer of host specific nodulation increased with additional genes such that nodFE < nodFEL < nodFELMN. In addition the nodD gene was shown to play an important role in host-specific nodulation of peas and Vicia whilst other genes in the nodABCIJ gene region also appeared to be important. In a reciprocal series of experiments involving nod genes cloned from R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii it was found that the nodD gene enabled bv. viciae to nodulate Trifolium pratense (red clover) but the nodFEL gene region did not. The bv. trifolii nodD or nodFEL genes did significantly increase nodulation of Trifolium subterraneum (sub-clover) by R. leguminosarum bv. viciae. It is concluded that host specificity determinants are encoded by several different nod genes.