Microbial influence on gene-for-gene interactions in legume-Rhizobium symbioses

Michael J. Sadowsky, Perry B. Cregan, Francisco Rodriguez-Quinones, Harold H. Keyser

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Recent advances in our understanding of the molecular genetics of legume-Rhizobium symbioses have indicated that relatively few bacterial genes are required for nodulation. While some of these genes are functionally similar and shared among microsymbionts nodulating genetically diverse legumes, others appear to encode host-specific nodulation (hsn) functions which allow for nodulation of plants within a given legume genus. More recently, genotype-specific nodulation (GSN) determinants have been identified in R. leguminosarum bv. viceae strain TOM and in B. japonicum strain USDA 110. GSN determinants refer to those bacterial sequences that allow for nodulation of specific plant genotypes within a given legume species. In contrast to the avr loci of several plant pathogens, rhizobia host-range determinants (hsn and GSN) have been shown to positively affect nodulation. That is, the introduction of exogenous hsn and GSN loci extends host-range. Since GSN loci have been reported to interact with single host plant alleles, it suggests that gene-for-gene interactions occur in rhizobial-legume symbioses and contribute to nodulation specificity at the host genotype level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990


  • avirulence loci
  • genotype-specific nodulation
  • host-bacterial interactions
  • molecular biology
  • nodulation restriction
  • rhizobia/bradyrhizobia


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