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Abstract Detail

Plant Symbiont Biology

Fujishige, N.A. [1], Lum, M.R. [1], De Hoff, P.L. [2], Hirsch, Ann M. [3].

The common nod genes are required for mature biofilm formation in Sinorhizobium meliloti.

In the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, Gram-negative rhizobia (both alpha- and beta-proteobacteria) provide fixed nitrogen to their host, and the legume host in turn supplies carbon compounds to the bacteria. Our recent studies focus on legume root colonization by rhizobia because it is such an important step in the establishment of an interaction that culminates in nodule formation and nitrogen fixation. As a means of quantitatively assessing attachment with the goal of studying root colonization in situ, we developed conditions for analyzing the ability of Sinorhizobium meliloti to produce biofilms not only on roots, but also on abiotic surfaces, including glass, sand, plastic (polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride), and soil. We reasoned that factors involved in attachment to abiotic surfaces are likely to be used in the attachment of rhizobia to legume root cells. One of our most significant findings is that the common nod genes, which are essential for nodule formation, are critical for biofilm formation both on roots and abiotic surfaces. In contrast, the host specific nod genes are not required for biofilm formation nor are the nitrogen fixation genes. We will also describe the effects of mutations in other cell surface components on biofilm formation. Lastly, biofilm formation appears to be important for other nitrogen-fixing bacteria besides the alpha-rhizobia, and in the former, appears to rely on factors that are independent of nod genes.

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1 - UCLA, Department of MCD Biology
2 - UCLA, Molecular Biology Institute
3 - UCLA, Department of MCD Biology and Molecular Biology Institute, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1606, USA

nodulation genes
nitrogen fixation.

Presentation Type: ASPB Minisymposium
Session: M16
Location: Continental C/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 11:05 AM
Number: M16002
Abstract ID:674

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