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The exopolysaccharide of Rhizobium sp. YAS34 is not necessary for biofilm formation on Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus roots but contributes to root colonization

Abstract : Microbial exopolysaccharides (EPSs) play key roles in plant–microbe interactions, such as biofilm formation on plant roots and legume nodulation by rhizobia. Here, we focused on the function of an EPS produced by Rhizobium sp. YAS34 in the colonization and biofilm formation on non-legume plant roots (Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus). Using random transposon mutagenesis, we isolated an EPS-deficient mutant of strain YAS34 impaired in a glycosyltransferase gene (gta). Wild type and mutant strains were tagged with a plasmid-born GFP and, for the first time, the EPS produced by the wild-type strain was seen in the rhizosphere using selective carbohydrate probing with a fluorescent lectin and confocal laser-scanning microscopy. We show for the fist time that Rhizobium forms biofilms on roots of non-legumes, independently of the EPS synthesis. When produced by strain YAS34 wild type, EPS is targeted at specific parts of the plant root system. Nutrient fluctuations, root exudates and bacterial growth phase can account for such a production pattern. The EPS synthesis in Rhizobium sp. YAS34 is not essential for biofilm formation on roots, but is critical to colonization of the basal part of the root system and increasing the stability of root-adhering soil. Thus, in Rhizobium sp. YAS34 and non-legume interactions, microbial EPS is implicated in root–soil interface, root colonization, but not in biofilm formation
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Catherine Santaella, Mathieu Schué, Odile Berge, Thierry Heulin, Wafa Achouak. The exopolysaccharide of Rhizobium sp. YAS34 is not necessary for biofilm formation on Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus roots but contributes to root colonization. Environmental Microbiology, Society for Applied Microbiology and Wiley-Blackwell, 2008, 10 (8), pp.2150-2163. ⟨10.1111/j.1462-2920.2008.01650.x⟩. ⟨hal-02667540⟩

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