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Salicylic acid is an important signalling molecule in plant-microbe defence and symbiosis. We analysed the transcriptional responses of the nitrogen fixing plant symbiont, Rhizobium leguminosarum bv viciae 3841 to salicylic acid. Two MFS-type multicomponent efflux systems were induced in response to salicylic acid, rmrAB and the hitherto undescribed system salRAB. Based on sequence similarity salA and salB encode a membrane fusion and inner membrane protein respectively. salAB are positively regulated by the LysR regulator SalR. Disruption of salA significantly increased the sensitivity of the mutant to salicylic acid, while disruption of rmrA did not. A salA/rmrA double mutation did not have increased sensitivity relative to the salA mutant. Pea plants nodulated by salA or rmrA strains did not have altered nodule number or nitrogen fixation rates, consistent with weak expression of salA in the rhizosphere and in nodule bacteria. However, BLAST analysis revealed seventeen putative efflux systems in Rlv3841 and several of these were highly differentially expressed during rhizosphere colonisation, host infection and bacteroid differentiation. This suggests they have an integral role in symbiosis with host plants.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0103647

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

2014

Volume

9

Keywords

Anti-Bacterial Agents, Bacterial Proteins, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Membrane Transport Proteins, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Nitrogen Fixation, Operon, Peas, Rhizobium leguminosarum, Root Nodules, Plant, Salicylic Acid, Symbiosis, Transcription, Genetic, Transcriptional Activation