1887

Abstract

A novel group of nitrogen-fixing plant-associated species has emerged in the last few years. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if these species possess an -acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) quorum-sensing (QS) cell–cell signalling system, and whether it is important for nitrogen fixation and other phenotypic features in . It was determined that , and other members of this species cluster, contain at least one highly conserved system, designated BraI/R, which produces and responds to -dodecanoyl-3-oxo-homoserine lactone (C12-3-oxo-AHL). The BraI/R AHL QS is not involved in the regulation of nitrogen fixation or in several other important phenotypes, indicating that it may not be a global regulatory system. The BraI/R system is similar to LasI/R of and, as with , there is a repressor gene, , between the genes. normally synthesizes very low levels of C12-3-oxo-AHL, but the situation dramatically changes when RsaL is missing since an mutant displays a marked increase in AHL production. This unique stringent regulation indicates that RsaL could be an on/off switch for AHL QS in and the ability to produce very high levels of AHL also questions the role of this molecule in the novel group of . The presence of a well-conserved and distinct AHL QS system among all the diazotrophic is a further indication that they are closely related, and that this system might play an important and conserved role in the lifestyle of this novel group of bacterial species.

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2008-07-01
2019-10-21
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