The Effects of Natural and Hybrid Lectins on the Legume-Rhizobium Interactions

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The effects of hybrid lectins—full-sized pea Pisum sativum lectin (PSL) with the carbohydrate-binding region of white melilot Melilotus albus lectin or wild licorice Astragalus glycyphyllos lectin substituted for the corresponding PSL region (PSL/MAL and PSL/AGL, correspondingly)—on the legume-rhizobium symbiosis were studied. The treatment of the Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae in the alfalfa (Medicago sativa) rhizosphere with PSL induced formation of uninfected pseudonodules on its roots, whereas the treatment of the bacteria from Astragalus cicer nodules with PSL/AGL rendered these bacteria able to form infective nodules on alfalfa roots. This ability is associated with expanded and unusual carbohydrate-binding properties (combined specificity for Gal and Glc) of this hybrid protein as compared with the natural legume lectins.

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