Molecular Biology of Stem Nodulation

  • R. P. Legocki
  • A. A. Szalay
Part of the Plant Gene Research book series (GENE)


Due to the agricultural importance of legumes and their symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, the term “Rhizobium-legume symbiosis” has become almost synonymous with the term “root nodule symbiosis”. Recent studies, however, have shown that nodulation and symbiotic nitrogen fixation also occur on the stem of some legumes, including Aeschynomene and Sesbania. Upon association with specific Rhizobium strains, generally referred to as “stem rhizobia”, the Aeschynomene and Sesbania plants can form nodules on either roots or stems, or both (Yatazawa and Yoshida, 1979; Dreyfus and Ommergues, 1981; Eaglesham and Szalay, 1983). Unlike the formation of root nodules, stem nodulation in Aeschynomene is not significantly inhibited at increased concentrations of applied nitrogen, whereas the efficiency of nitrogen fixation in stem nodules is comparable to that of soybean root nodules (Legocki et al., 1983 a). These observations, along with the fact that repeated inoculations of Aeschynomene plants with stem Rhizobium result in an increased number of nodules (up to 450 per plant, Legocki et al., 1983 a), have recently led to an intensive research of the stem nodule symbiosis.


Nitrogen Fixation Root Nodule Rhizobium Strain Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation Infection Thread 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. P. Legocki
    • 1
  • A. A. Szalay
    • 1
  1. 1.Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant ResearchCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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