N-Acetylglutamic acid: an extracellular nod signal of Rhizobium trifolii ANU843 that induces root hair branching and nodule-like primordia in white clover roots

Philip-Hollingsworth, S.; Hollingsworth, R.I.; Dazzo, F.B.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 266(25): 16854-16858

1991


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 1885611
Accession: 040767194

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Abstract
An extracellular metabolite purified from Rhizobium trifolii ANU843 was established as N-acetylglutamic acid (GluNAc) by 1H NMR and Fourier transform IR spectroscopy, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of its methylated product, and organic synthesis. TLC analyses indicated that extracellular accumulation of GluNAc by R. trifolii ANU843 grown in defined BIII culture medium was dependent on induction of its bacterial nodulation (nod) genes and the positive regulatory gene nodD on its symbiotic plasmid. 1H NMR analyses showed less GluNAc in fractionated culture supernatants of nodL and nodM mutant derivatives of R. trifolii ANU843. GluNAc induced three morphological responses on axenic roots of white clover seedlings: (i) root hair branching; (ii) tip swelling followed by resumed elongation of root hairs; and (iii) a slight increase in foci of cortical cell divisions, which developed into nodule-like primordia. These biological activities of extracellular GluNAc from R. trifolii ANU843 were confirmed with authentic standards of GluNAc. These results indicate that extracellular accumulation of N-acetylglutamic acid is linked to flavone-dependent metabolism involving nodD, nodL, and nodM in R. trifolii ANU843. This constitutes the first report on the structure of a nod-dependent extracellular signal from R. trifolii that can affect root hair and nodule development in white clover and whose biological activity on this host has been confirmed with authentic standards.