2015 Volume 30 Issue 4 Pages 310-320
Sinorhizobium sp. BL3 forms symbiotic interactions with mung bean (Vigna radiata) and contains lrpL-acdS genes, which encode the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase enzyme that cleaves ACC, a precursor of plant ethylene synthesis. Since ethylene interferes with nodule formation in some legumes and plays a role in senescence in plant cells, BL3-enhancing ACC deaminase activity (BL3+) and defective mutant (BL3−) strains were constructed in order to investigate the effects of this enzyme on symbiosis and nodule senescence. Nodulation competitiveness was weaker in BL3− than in the wild-type, but was stronger in BL3+. The inoculation of BL3− into mung bean resulted in less plant growth, a lower nodule dry weight, and smaller nodule number than those in the wild-type, whereas the inoculation of BL3+ had no marked effects. However, similar nitrogenase activity was observed with all treatments; it was strongly detected 3 weeks after the inoculation and gradually declined with time, indicating senescence. The rate of plant nodulation by BL3+ increased in a time-dependent manner. Nodules occupied by BL3− formed smaller symbiosomes, and bacteroid degradation was more prominent than that in the wild-type 7 weeks after the inoculation. Changes in biochemical molecules during nodulation were tracked by Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) microspectroscopy, and the results obtained confirmed that aging processes differed in nodules occupied by BL3 and BL3−. This is the first study to show the possible role of ACC deaminase activity in senescence in determinate nodules. Our results suggest that an increase in ACC deaminase activity in this strain does not extend the lifespan of nodules, whereas the lack of this activity may accelerate nodule senescence.