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Regulation of exopolysaccharide production in Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae WSM710 involves exoR

Reeve, W.G., Dilworth, M.J., Tiwari, R.P.ORCID: 0000-0003-3354-770X and Glenn, A.R. (1997) Regulation of exopolysaccharide production in Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae WSM710 involves exoR. Microbiology, 143 (6). pp. 1951-1958.

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A mildly acid-sensitive mutant of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae WSM710 (WR6-35) produced colonies which were more mucoid in phenotype than the wild-type. Strain WR6-35 contained a single copy of Tn5 and the observed mucoid phenotype, acid sensitivity and Tn5-induced kanamycin resistance were 100% co-transducible using phage RL38. WR6-35 produced threefold more exopolysaccharide (EPS) than the wild-type in minimal medium devoid of a nitrogen source. EPS produced by the mutant and the wild-type was identical as determined by proton NMR spectra. An EcoRI rhizobial fragment containing Tn5 and flanking rhizobial sequences was cloned from the mutant, restriction mapped and sequenced. There was extensive similarity between the ORF disrupted by Tn5 in R. leguminosarum bv. viciae WR6-35 and the exoR gene of Rhizobium (Sinorhizobium) meliloti Rm1021 (71.3% identity over 892 bp). At the protein level there was 70% identity and 93.3% similarity over 267 amino acids with the ExoR protein of R. meliloti Rm1021. Hydrophilicity profiles of the two proteins from these two rhizobia are superimposable. This gene in R. leguminosarum bv. viciae was thus designated exoR. The data suggest that Tn5 has disrupted a regulatory gene encoding a protein that negatively modulates EPS biosynthesis in R. leguminosarum bv. viciae WSM710. Despite earlier suggestions that EPS production and acid tolerance might be positively correlated, disruption of exoR in either R. leguminosarum bv. viciae or R. meliloti and its associated overproduction of EPS does not result in a more acid-tolerant phenotype than the wild-type when cultures are screened on conventional laboratory agar.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Rhizobium Studies
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology
Copyright: (c) 1997 SGM
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