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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-072X
    Keywords: Bradyrhizobium ; Electron microscopy ; Mutants ; Nitrogen fixation ; Nodulation ; Soybean ; Symbiosis ; Transposon Tn5
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The genome of the slow-growing Bradyrhizobium japonicum (strain 110) was mutagenized with transposon Tn5. A total of 1623 kanamycin/streptomycin resistant derivatives were screened in soybean infection tests for nodulation (Nod) and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (Fix). In this report we describe 14 strains possessing a stable, reproducible Nod+Fix- phenotype. These strains were also grown under microaerobic culture conditions to test them for free-living nitrogen fixation activity (Nif). In addition to strains having reduced Fix and Nif activities, there were also strains that had reduced symbiotic Fix activity but were Nif+ ex planta. Analysis of the genomic structure revealed that the majority of the strains had a single Tn5 insertion without any further apparent physical alteration. A few strains had additional insertions (by Tn5 or IS50), or a deletion, or had cointegrated part of the vector used for Tn5 mutagenesis. One of the insertions was found in a known nif gene (nifD) whereas all other mutations seem to affect different, hitherto unknown genes or operons. Several mutant strains had an altered nodulation phenotype, inducing numerous, small, widely distributed nodules. Light and electron microscopy revealed that most of these mutants were defective in different stages of bacteroid development and/or bacteroid persistence. The protein patterns of the mutants were inspected by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis after labelling microaerobic cultures with l-(35S)methionine. Of particular interest were mutants lacking a group of proteins the synthesis of which was known to be under oxygen control. Such strains can be regarded as potential regulatory mutants.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-072X
    Keywords: Bradyrhizobium ; Gene cloning ; Heme ; Marker exchange mutagenesis ; Nitrogen fixation ; Respiration ; Symbiosis
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Random and site-directed Tn5-induced mutagenesis of Bradyrhizobium japonicum yielded two mutations, one in strain 2960 and the other in strain 2606::Tn5-20, which mapped close to each other but in separate genes. The corresponding wild-type genes were cloned, and their approximate location on the cloned DNA was determined. Mutant 2960 was Fix- and formed green nodules on soybean, whereas strain 2606::Tn5-20 had ca. 4% of wild-type Fix activity and formed white nodules. Cytochrome oxidase assays (Nadi tests) showed a negative reaction with both mutants, indicating a functional deficiency of cytochrome c or its terminal oxidase or both. However, the mutants grew well under aerobic conditions on minimal media with different carbon sources. Furthermore, mutant 2960 had a reduced activity in hydrogen uptake, was unable to grow anaerobically with nitrate as the terminal electron acceptor and 2960-infected soybean nodules contained little, if any, functional leghemoglobin. Southern blot analysis showed that a B. japonicum heme biosynthesis mutant [strain LO505: O'Brian MR, Kirshbom PM, Maier RJ (1987) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 84: 8390–8393] had its mutation close to the Tn5 insertion site of our mutant 2606::Tn5-20. This finding, combined with the observed phenotypes, suggested that the genes affected in mutants 2960 and 2606::Tn5-20 were involved in some steps of heme biosynthesis thus explaining the pleiotropic respiratory deficiencies of the mutants. Similar to strain LO505, the mutant 2606::Tn5-20 (but not 2960) was defective in the activity of protoporphyrinogen IX oxidase which catalyzes the penultimate step in the heme biosynthesis pathway. This suggests that one of the two cloned genes may code for this enzyme.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-2048
    Keywords: Bradyrhizobium ; Electron microscopy ; Glycine (root nodules) ; High-pressure freezing ; Ultrastructure
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract High-pressure freezing of chemically untreated nodules of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), in sharp contrast to chemical fixation and prefixation, appears to preserve the ultrastructure close to the native state. This is supported by the observation that the peribacteroid membrane of high-pressure-frozen samples is tightly wrapped around the bacteroids, a finding that is fully consistent with the current views on the physiology of oxygen and metabolite transport between plant cytosol and bacteroids. In soybean root nodules, the plant tissue and the enclosed bacteria are so dissimilar that conventional aldehyde-fixation procedures are unable to preserve the overall native ultrastructure. This was demonstrated by high-pressure freezing of nodules that had been pre-fixed in glutaraldehyde at various buffer molalities: no buffer strength tested preserved all ultrastructural aspects that could be seen after high-pressure freezing of chemically untreated nodules.
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