Round Table Seminar: Kathrin Wippel, Long Lab - Stanford University, Bacterial genes affecting the efficiency of root nodule symbiosis.

Event Dates: August 20, 2014 - 4:00pm

Legumes benefit from the symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria under nitrogen-limiting conditions. The bacteria enter the plant through root hairs and trigger the formation of nodules in which they proliferate, differentiate, and finally fix atmospheric nitrogen.
To establish an effective interaction, gene regulation needs to be continuously controlled in both host and symbiont. The stringent response (SR) is one regulatory mechanism bacteria employ to adapt to changing environmental conditions by modifying RNA polymerase promoter specificity.
I am investigating the relevance of the SR for the symbiosis between the α-proteobacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti and its host Medicago sativa, and will show in my talk that the RNA polymerase-binding protein DksA plays an important role in nodulation.