1887

Abstract

Rhizobium tropici CIAT 899 is a facultative symbiotic diazotroph able to deal with stressful concentrations of metals. Nevertheless the molecular mechanisms involved in metal tolerance have not been elucidated. Copper (Cu) is a metal component essential for the heme-copper respiratory oxidases and enzymes that catalyse redox reactions, however, it is highly toxic when intracellular trace concentrations are surpassed. In this study, we report that R. tropici CIAT 899 is more tolerant to Cu than other Rhizobium and Sinorhizobium species. Through Tn5 random mutagenesis we identify a R. tropici mutant strain with a severe reduction in Cu tolerance. The Tn5 insertion disrupted the gene RTCIAT899_CH17575, encoding a putative heavy metal efflux P1B-1-type ATPase designated as copA. Phaseolus vulgaris plants inoculated with the copA::Tn5 mutant in the presence of toxic Cu concentrations showed a drastic reduction in plant and nodule dry weight, as well as nitrogenase activity. Nodules induced by the copA::Tn5 mutant present an increase in H2O2 concentration, lipoperoxidation and accumulate 40-fold more Cu than nodules formed by the wild-type strain. The copA::Tn5 mutant complemented with the copA gene recovered the wild-type symbiotic phenotypes. Therefore, the copA gene is essential for R. tropici CIAT 899 to survive in copper-rich environments in both free life and symbiosis with P. vulgaris plants.

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/content/journal/micro/10.1099/mic.0.000803
2019-05-14
2020-02-24
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