Rhizobium-initiated rice growth inhibition caused by nitric oxide accumulation

Francine M Perrine-Walker, Elena Gartner, Charles H Hocart, Anke Becker, Barry G Rolfe
Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions: MPMI 2007, 20 (3): 283-92
Isolates of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii (the clover root-nodule endosymbiont) from the Nile River delta have been found to infect rice roots and colonize the intercellular spaces of the rice roots. Some of these isolates inhibit rice seedling growth but one in particular, R4, has been found in rice roots which develop and grow normally. We present evidence that the induced growth inhibition is due to a toxic accumulation of nitric oxide (NO), from the reduction of nitrate, and suggest that the reason that R4 does not inhibit rice root growth is because it is capable of completing the reduction of NO through to nitrogen gas. Thus, strain R4 is a candidate for engineering into a future biological nitrogen fixation system within these roots.

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