Affordable Access

Two genes that regulate exopolysaccharide production in Rhizobium meliloti.

  • H J Zhan
  • J A Leigh
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1990


We describe a new Rhizobium meliloti gene, exoX, that regulates the synthesis of the exopolysaccharide, succinoglycan, exoX resembled the psi gene of R. leguminosarum bv. phaseoli and the exoX gene of Rhizobium sp. strain NGR234 in its ability to inhibit exopolysaccharide synthesis when present in multiple copies, exoX did not appear to regulate the expression of exoP. The effect of exoX was counterbalanced by another R. meliloti gene, exoF. exoF is equivalent to Rhizobium sp. strain NGR234 exoY and resembles R. leguminosarum bv. phaseoli pss2 in its mutant phenotype and in portions of its deduced amino acid sequence. The effect of exoF on the succinoglycan-inhibiting activity of exoX depended on the relative copy numbers of the two genes. exoX-lacZ fusions manifested threefold-higher beta-galactosidase activities in exoF backgrounds than in the wild-type background. exoX mutants produced increased levels of succinoglycan. However, the exoF gene was required for succinoglycan synthesis even in an exoX mutant background. exoF did not affect the expression of exoP. Strains containing multicopy exoX formed non-nitrogen-fixing nodules on alfalfa that resembled nodules formed by exo mutants defective in succinoglycan synthesis. exoX mutants formed nitrogen-fixing nodules, indicating that, if the inhibition of succinoglycan synthesis within the nodule is necessary for nitrogen fixation, then exoX is not required for this inhibition. We present indirect evidence that succinoglycan synthesis within the nodule is not necessary for bacteroid function.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times