Recognition of the appropriate legume and nodule induction are controlled by common (nod) and host-specific nodulation (hsn) genes in Rhizobium. The nod and hsn genes are activated by the product of the regulatory nodD in conjunction with specific flavonoids excreted by the plant. Differences in the flavonoid specificity of the NodD proteins occur between different Rhizobium species, or between strains of a given species or even within one strain containing several copies of the nodD gene. Accordingly, the nodD gene controls the host-specific expression of nod and hsn genes. In addition, the nodulation genes are under not only positive but also negative regulation which is mediated by a nod-specific repressor protein. This dual control is required for optimal nodulation of the plant host. Further steps in nodule development are again controlled by the infecting Rhizobium. It was found that at least four different classes of Rhizobium fix genes are involved directly or indirectly in the expression of late nodulin genes, finally leading to the establishment of nitrogen-fixing symbiosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology