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LECTURE PRESENTATIONS

For BROCK BIOLOGY OF MICROORGANISMS, THIRTEENTH EDITION


Michael T. Madigan, John M. Martinko, David A. Stahl, David P. Clark

Chapter 5
Microbial Symbioses
Lectures by
John Zamora
Middle Tennessee State University

© 2012 Pearson Education, Inc.


I. Plants as Microbial Habitats
• 5.1 The Legume–Root Nodule Symbiosis
• 5.2 Agrobacterium and Crown Gall Disease
• 5.3 Mycorrhizae

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5.1 The Legume–Root Nodule Symbiosis
• The mutalistic relationship between
leguminous plants and nitrogen-fixing
bacteria is one of the most important
symbioses known
• Examples of legumes include soybeans,
clover, alfalfa, beans, and peas
• Rhizobia are the best-known nitrogen-fixing
bacteria engaging in these symbioses

Animation: Root Nodule Bacteria and Symbioses with Legumes

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• Infection of legume roots by nitrogen-fixing
bacteria leads to the formation of root
nodules that fix nitrogen (Figure 25.7)
– Leads to significant increases in combined
nitrogen in soil
• Nodulated legumes grow well in areas where
other plants would not (Figure 25.8)

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Figure 25.7

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Figure 25.8

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The Legume–Root Nodule Symbiosis
• Nitrogen-fixing bacteria need O2 to generate
energy for N2 fixation, but nitrogenases are
inactivated by O2
• In the nodule, O2 levels are controlled by the
O2-binding protein leghemoglobin

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Figure 25.9
Leghaemoglobin
• Cross-inoculation group
– Group of related legumes that can be infected
by a particular species of rhizobia

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• Critical steps in root nodule formation

– Step 1: Recognition and attachment of bacterium


to root hairs
– Step 2: Excretion of nod factors by the bacterium
– Step 3: Bacterial invasion of the root hair
– Step 4: Travel to the main root via the infection
thread
– Step 5: Formation of bacteroid state within plant
cells
– Step 6: Continued plant and bacterial division,
forming the mature root nodule
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Root hair Recognition and attachment
(rhicadhesin-mediated)

Rhizobial cell

Excretion of nod factors


by bacterium causing
root hair curling

Invasion. Rhizobia penetrate


root hair and multiply
within an “infection thread”

Bacteria in infection
thread grow toward
root cell
Infection thread
Invaded plant cells
and those nearby are
stimulated to divide
Formation of
bacteroid state within
plant root cells

Soil
Nodules Continued plant and
bacterial cell division
leads to nodules
Bacteroids
• Bacterial nod genes direct the steps in
nodulation
• nodABC gene encodes proteins that produce
oligosaccharides called nod factors

• Nod factors
– Induce root hair curling
– Trigger plant cell division

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Mechanism of Invasion and form nodules of Rhizobium
• A few legume species form nodules on their stems

Stem nodules on Sesbania rostrata

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5.2 Agrobacterium and Crown Gall
Disease
• Agrobacterium tumefaciens forms a parasitic
symbiosis with plants, causing crown gall
disease
• Crown galls are plant tumors induced by
A. tumefaciens cells harboring a large
plasmid, the Ti (tumor induction) plasmid

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Figure 25.18

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Figure 25.19

T–DNA
Transmissibility
genes

Oncogenes Opine
vir synthesis
genes Opine
(encode catabolism
virulence genes
factors)

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• To initiate tumor formation, A. tumefaciens
cells must attach to the wound site on the
plant
• Attached cells synthesize cellulose microfibrils
and transfer a portion of the Ti plasmid to
plant cells
• DNA transfer is mediated by vir-encoded
proteins

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• The Ti plasmid has been used in the genetic
engineering of plants

© 2012 Pearson Education, Inc.