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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A HU-like gene mutation in Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae affects the expression of nodulation genes.

NodD is the major regulator of nod genes expression in rhizobia. Previously, a HU-like protein in Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae has been identified to bind specifically with nod promoters and be involved in in vitro nodD transcription, but its in vivo function remained unknown. In this work we have cloned and sequenced the R. leguminosarum bv. viciae gene, named hurL, for this HU-like protein. Using the E. coli-expressed HurL proteins, we proved that HurL had high affinity to several nod promoters and showed a stimulation effect on in vitro nodD transcription at appropriate concentration. The R. leguminosarum bv. viciae hurL gene was mutated by insertion of a kanamycin resistance cassette. The obtained hurL mutant strain M704 exhibited poor growth under free-living conditions and failed to induce nodules on Pisum sativum cv. Frisson and Vicia hirsuta. Further studies of NodD production and nod genes-lacZ fusions expression in the hurL mutant revealed that inactivation of hurL led to severe impairment in the nodD expression, repression in the inducible expression of nodA and nodF, and slight enhancement in the expression of px2, a gene identified earlier in this lab. These results suggested that hurL might be required for maintaining the normal expression of nod genes in R. leguminosarum bv. viciae.[1]


  1. A HU-like gene mutation in Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae affects the expression of nodulation genes. Li, Q., Feng, J., Hu, H.L., Chen, X.C., Li, F.Q., Hong, G.F. Mol. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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