Sparkle (Lee & La Rue, 1992). In Trifolium repens roots, ethylene inhibits cortical cell division, a process that is indispensable for nodule primordia formation (Goodlass & Smith, 1979). To obviate some of the inhibitory effects of ethylene in nodule formation, development and function, some rhizobial strains utilize different mechanisms for lowering ethylene levels such as the production of the GSK458 price enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase; this enzyme is responsible
for the cleavage of ACC (the immediate precursor of ethylene in plants) to ammonia and α-ketobutyrate (Honma & Shimomura, 1978), contributing to increase the competitiveness of the strains because of advantages in the processes of nodule formation and occupancy selleck compound (Ma et al., 2003b, 2004). Other rhizobial strains lower ethylene levels by producing the compound rhizobitoxine, an inhibitor of the plant enzyme ACC synthase (Sugawara et al., 2006). The prevalence of ACC deaminase genes in rhizobia has been studied primarily in Rhizobium spp. (Ma et al., 2003a; Duan et al., 2009). In these studies, many Rhizobium spp. have been found to possess an acdS gene and produce ACC deaminase under free-living conditions. For example, in a rhizobia collection of isolates from Saskatchewan (Canada), 27 Rhizobium isolates possessed an acdS gene and were able to produce
ACC deaminase, thus, showing that acdS genes are present throughout Rhizobium isolates (Duan et al., 2009). On the other hand, notwithstanding reports documenting the presence of ACC deaminase in Mesorhizobium spp., not much is known about the environmental distribution of acdS genes in this bacterial genus. The first report on acdS gene presence in Mesorhizobium was obtained following the complete sequencing of Mesorhizobium sp. MAFF303099 (Kaneko et al., 2000). Subsequently, the presence of an acdS
gene in the symbiosis island of Mesorhizobium loti R7A was also reported (Sullivan et al., 2002). However, when Mesorhizobium sp. MAFF303099 and Mesorhizobium ciceri UPM Ca-7 were tested for ACC deaminase activity and the presence of an acdS gene, no activity was detected and the acdS gene was not found in M. ciceri (Ma et al., 2003b). Recently, the genome sequences of Mesorhizobium Phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase opportunistum WSM2075T (Lucas et al., 2011a), Mesorhizobium australicum WSM2073T (Lucas et al., 2011b), and Mesorhizobium ciceri bv. biserrulae WSM1271 (Lucas et al., 2011c), revealed the presence of an acdS gene in these strains. In some strains of Mesorhizobium, the production of ACC deaminase has been shown to be an important mechanism to promote nodule formation. When compared to the wild-type strain, Mesorhizobium sp. MAFF303099 acdS knockout mutant has a decreased ability to form and occupy nodules, losing both its effectiveness and competitiveness (Uchiumi et al., 2004).