1887

Abstract

The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of the Gram-negative legume symbiont biovar 3841 contains several unique modifications, including the addition of a 27-hydroxyoctacosanoic acid (27OHC28 : 0), also termed the very long chain fatty acid (VLCFA), attached at the 2′ position of lipid A. A transposon mutant that lacks expression of two putative 3-oxo-acyl [acyl-carrier protein] synthase II genes, and , from the VLCFA biosynthetic cluster, was isolated and characterized. MS indicated that the lipid A of the mutant lacked the VLCFA modification, and sodium deoxycholate (DOC)-PAGE of the LPS indicated further structural alterations. The mutant was characteristically sensitive to several stresses that would be experienced in the soil environment, such as desiccation and osmotic stresses. An increase in the excretion of neutral surface polysaccharide was observed in the mutant. This mutant was also altered in its attachment to solid surfaces, and was non-motile, with most of the mutant cells lacking flagella. Despite the pleiotropic effects of the mutation, these mutants were still able to nodulate legumes and fix atmospheric nitrogen. This report emphasizes that a structurally intact VLCFA-containing lipid A is critical to cellular traits that are important for survival in the rhizosphere.

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2009-09-01
2019-10-15
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