Symbiotic implications of type III protein secretion machinery in Rhizobium

Mol Microbiol. 1998 Jun;28(6):1381-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.1998.00920.x.


The symbiotic plasmid of Rhizobium sp. NGR234 carries a cluster of genes that encodes components of a bacterial type III secretion system (TTSS). In both animal and plant pathogens, the TTSS is an essential component of pathogenicity. Here, we show that secretion of at least two proteins (y4xL and NolX) is controlled by the TTSS of NGR234 and occurs after the induction with flavonoids. Polar mutations in two TTSS genes, rhcN and the nod-box controlled regulator of transcription y4xl, block the secretion of both proteins and strongly affect the ability of NGR234 to nodulate a variety of tropical legumes including Pachyrhizus tuberosus and Tephrosia vogelii.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Fabaceae / microbiology*
  • Fabaceae / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Models, Genetic
  • Multigene Family
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Rhizobium / genetics*
  • Rhizobium / metabolism*
  • Rhizobium / pathogenicity
  • Symbiosis*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • NolX protein, Rhizobium fredii