The specific interaction between rhizobia and their hosts requires many genes that influence both early and late steps in symbiosis. Three new genes, designated (protein secretion) and were identified adjacent to the mutation in a cosmid carrying the genomic DNA of bv. TA1. The genes share significant homology to the genes encoding ABC transporter proteins PrtDE from and AprDE from which export the proteases in these bacteria. PrsD shows at least five potential transmembrane hydrophobic regions and a large hydrophilic domain containing an ATP/GTP binding cassette. has only one potential transmembrane hydrophobic domain in the N-terminal part and is proposed to function as an accessory factor in the transport system. ORF3, like PrtF and AprF, has a typical N-terminal signal sequence but has no homology to these proteins. The insertion of a kanamycin resistance cassette into the gene of the bv. TA1 wild-type strain created a mutant which produced a normal amount of exopolysaccharide but was not effective in the nodulation of clover plants.


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