An Enigma of the Leghemoglobin Genes

  • Jong Seob Lee
  • Desh Pal S. Verma
Part of the Genetic Engineering book series (GEPM, volume 6)


The symbiotic association of soil bacteria, Rhizobium spp. with legume plants results in the development of specialized structures called root nodules, in which atmospheric nitrogen is enzymatically converted into ammonium. A characteristic of nitrogen-fixing legume nodules is the presence of a red pigment, the monomeric hemoprotein leghemoglobin. A similar protein has recently been found in nitrogen-fixing nodules developed in plants which are not legumes (1). The strict correlation of this molecule with symbiotic nitrogen fixation process and its occurrence in both legumes and non-legumes raises some fundamental questions about the evolution of this group of genes.


Globin Gene EcoRI Fragment Nodule Development Globin Locus Ineffective Nodule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jong Seob Lee
    • 1
  • Desh Pal S. Verma
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory Biology DepartmentMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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