We compared the formation of nodules on the primary roots of a soybean cultivar (Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Bragg) and a supernodulating mutant derivative, nts382. Inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA 110 at different times after seed imbibition showed that the roots acquired full susceptibility to infection only between 3 and 4 days postgermination. When the plants were inoculated with serial dilutions of a bacterial suspension, the number of nodules formed in the initially susceptible region of the roots was linearly dependent on the logarithm of the inoculum dose until an optimum dose was reached. At least 10-fold-lower doses were required to induce half-maximal nodulation responses on nts382 than on the wild type. However, at optimal doses, about six times as many nodules formed in the initially susceptible region of the roots in nts382. Since there was no appreciable difference in the apparent rates of nodule emergence, the increased efficiency of nodule initiation in the supernodulating mutant could have resulted from a lower threshold of response to bacterial symbiotic signals. Two inoculations (24 h apart) of G. max cv. Bragg revealed that there was a host-mediated regulatory response that suppressed nodulation in younger portions of the primary roots, as reported previously for other soybean cultivar-Bradyrhizobium combinations. Similar experiments with nts382 revealed a comparable suppressive response, but this response was not as pronounced as it was in the wild type. This and other results suggest that there are additional control mechanisms for nodulation that are different from the systemic autoregulatory control of nodulation altered in supernodulating mutants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology