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A Dual Role of Amino Acids from Sesbania rostrata Seed Exudates in the Chemotaxis Response of Azorhizobium caulinodans ORS571

Liu, Xiaolin, Xie, Zhihong, Wang, Yixuan, Sun, Yu, Dang, Xiaoxiao, Sun, Haishuan
Molecular plant-microbe interactions 2019 v.32 no.9 pp. 1134-1147
Azorhizobium caulinodans, Sesbania rostrata, arginine, aspartic acid, bacteria, biofilm, chemoattractants, chemoreceptors, chemotaxis, gene expression, genes, histidine, host plants, legumes, mutants, plant exudates, receptors, roots, stems
Azorhizobium caulinodans ORS571 can induce nodule formation on the roots and the stems of its host legume, Sesbania rostrata. Plant exudates are essential in the dialogue between microbes and their host plant and, in particular, amino acids can play an important role in the chemotactic response of bacteria. Histidine, arginine, and aspartate, which are the three most abundant amino acids present in S. rostrata seed exudates, behave as chemoattractants toward A. caulinodans. A position-specific-iterated BLAST analysis of the methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs) (chemoreceptors) in the genome of A. caulinodans was performed. Among the 43 MCP homologs, two MCPs harboring a dCache domain were selected as possible cognate amino acid MCPs. After analysis of relative gene expression levels and construction of a gene-deleted mutant strain, one of them, AZC_0821 designed as TlpH, was confirmed to be responsible for the chemotactic response to the three amino acids. In addition, it was found that these three amino acids can also influence chemotaxis of A. caulinodans independently of the chemosensory receptors, by being involved in the increase of the expression level of several che and fla genes involved in the chemotaxis pathway and flagella synthesis. Thus, the contribution of amino acids present in seed exudates is directly related to the role as chemoattractants and indirectly related to the role in the regulation of expression of key genes involved in chemotaxis and motility. This “dual role” is likely to influence the formation of biofilms by A. caulinodans and the host root colonization properties of this bacterium.