Diversity in Type III Secreting Systems (T3SSs) in Legume-Rhizobium Symbiosis

  • M. Senthilkumar
  • K. Swarnalakshmi
  • K. Annapurna


During nodule development, at least three sets of signals are exchanged between a legume host and its rhizobial partner. Apart from flavonoid and nod boxes, the third set of products are proteins exported by the type three secretion system (T3SS), which are necessary for continued infection thread development. The presence of active T3SS and its control of nodulation have been observed in Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA110, Sinorhizobium fredii USDA257, Rhizobium sp. NGR234. However, the absence of active T3SS in the genomes of Rhizobium leguminosarum and Sinorhizobium meliloti argues against these effectors being modulators of nodulation. It is likely that alternative modulators exist, such as surface polysaccharides, which have similar or complementary roles to those proposed for effector proteins. Whether a secretion system facilitates symbiosis depends on both the legume and the bacterium, similar to what is seen in plant-pathogen interaction.


T3SS Legume-rhizobium symbiosis Nodulation Effectors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Senthilkumar
    • 1
  • K. Swarnalakshmi
    • 2
  • K. Annapurna
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Basic SciencesICAR-Indian Institute of Pulses ResearchKanpurIndia
  2. 2.Division of MicrobiologyICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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