Root hair deformation activity of nodulation factor and their fate on Vicia sativa.

R. Heidstra, R. Geurts, H. Franssen, H.P. Spaink, A. van Kammen, T. Bisseling

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We used a semiquantitative root hair deformation assay for Vicia sativa (vetch) to study the activity of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv viciae nodulation (Nod) factors. Five to 10 min of Nod factor-root interaction appears to be sufficient to induce root hair deformation. The first deformation is visible within 1 h, and after 3 h about 80% of the root hairs in a small susceptible zone of the root are deformed. This zone encompasses root hairs that have almost reached their maximal size. The Nod factor accumulates preferentially to epidermal cells of the young part of the root, but is not restricted to the susceptible zone. In the interaction with roots, the glucosamine backbone of Nod factors is shortened, presumably by chitinases. NodRlv-IV(C18:4,Ac) is more stable than NodRlv-V(C18:4,Ac). No correlation was found between Nod factor degradation and susceptibility. Degradation occurs both in the susceptible zone and in the mature zone. Moreover, degradation is not affected by NH4NO3 and is similar in vetch and in the nonhost alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-797
JournalPlant Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 1994

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