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A Proteomic Network for Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation Efficiency in Bradyrhizobium elkanii

Cooper, Bret, Campbell, Kimberly B., Beard, Hunter S., Garrett, Wesley M., Mowery, Joseph, Bauchan, Gary R., Elia, Patrick
Molecular plant-microbe interactions 2018 v.31 no.3 pp. 334-343
Bradyrhizobium elkanii, adenosine triphosphate, ammonia, bacterial proteins, dicarboxylic acids, glutamine, mass spectrometry, models, nitrogen, nitrogen fixation, nitrogenase, peptides, proteome, proteomics, root nodules, soybeans, transporters, ureides
Rhizobia colonize legumes and reduce N₂ to NH₃ in root nodules. The current model is that symbiotic rhizobia bacteroids avoid assimilating this NH₃. Instead, host legume cells form glutamine from NH₃, and the nitrogen is returned to the bacteroid as dicarboxylates, peptides, and amino acids. In soybean cells surrounding bacteroids, glutamine also is converted to ureides. One problem for soybean cultivation is inefficiency in symbiotic N₂ fixation, the biochemical basis of which is unknown. Here, the proteomes of bacteroids of Bradyrhizobium elkanii USDA76 isolated from N₂ fixation-efficient Peking and -inefficient Williams 82 soybean nodules were analyzed by mass spectrometry. Nearly half of the encoded bacterial proteins were quantified. Efficient bacteroids produced greater amounts of enzymes to form Nod factors and had increased amounts of signaling proteins, transporters, and enzymes needed to generate ATP to power nitrogenase and to acquire resources. Parallel investigation of nodule proteins revealed that Peking had no significantly greater accumulation of enzymes needed to assimilate NH₃ than Williams 82. Instead, efficient bacteroids had increased amounts of enzymes to produce amino acids, including glutamine, and to form ureide precursors. These results support a model for efficient symbiotic N₂ fixation in soybean where the bacteroid assimilates NH₃ for itself.