Improved Characterization of Nod Factors and Genetically Based Variation in LysM Receptor Domains Identify Amino Acids Expendable for Nod Factor Recognition in Lotus spp.

Anita S. Bek, Jørgen Sauer, Mikkel B. Thygesen, Jens Øllgaard Duus, Bent O. Petersen, Søren Thirup, Euan James, Knud J. Jensen, Jens Stougaard, Simona Radutoiu

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Formation of functional nodules is a complex process depending on host-microsymbiont compatibility in all developmental stages. This report uses the contrasting symbiotic phenotypes of Lotus japonicus and L. pedunculatus, inoculated with Mesorhizobium loti or the Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lotus), to investigate the role of Nod factor structure and Nod factor receptors (NFR) for rhizobial recognition, infection thread progression, and bacterial persistence within nodule cells. A key contribution was the use of 800 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry for Nod factor analysis. The Nod factor decorations at the nonreducing end differ between Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lotus) and M. loti, and the NFR1/NFR5 extracellular regions of L. pedunculatus and L. japonicus were found to vary in amino acid composition. Genetic transformation experiments using chimeric and wild-type receptors showed that both receptor variants recognize the structurally different Nod factors but the later symbiotic phenotype remained unchanged. These results highlight the importance of additional checkpoints during nitrogen-fixing symbiosis and define several amino acids in the LysM domains as expendable for perception of the two differentially carbamoylated Nod factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Plant - Microbe Interactions
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)58-66
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • genetic variation
  • nitrogen fixation
  • nod factor recognition
  • Bradyrhizobium infection bacterial disease, infectious disease
  • Mesorhizobium loti infection bacterial disease, infectious disease
  • Dicotyledones Angiospermae Spermatophyta Plantae (Angiosperms, Dicots, Plants, Spermatophytes, Vascular Plants) - Leguminosae [26260] Lotus japonicus species host Lotus pedunculatus species host
  • Gram-Negative Aerobic Rods and Cocci Eubacteria Bacteria Microorganisms (Bacteria, Eubacteria, Microorganisms) - Rhizobiaceae [06509] Bradyrhizobium genus pathogen Mesorhizobium loti species pathogen
  • gene
  • LysM receptor
  • nod factor receptor
  • 03504, Genetics - Plant
  • 03509, Genetics - Population genetics
  • 31000, Physiology and biochemistry of bacteria
  • 36001, Medical and clinical microbiology - General and methods
  • 54504, Phytopathology - Diseases caused by bacteria
  • Population Studies
  • HPLC laboratory techniques, chromatographic techniques
  • nod factor analysis laboratory techniques
  • quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry laboratory techniques, spectrum analysis techniques
  • Infection
  • Methods and Techniques
  • Population Genetics


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