Chemotaxis of Rhizobium spp. to a Glycoprotein Produced by Birdsfoot Trefoil Roots

Science  22 Apr 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4288, pp. 434-436
DOI: 10.1126/science.196.4288.434


Rhizobium spp. show chemotaxis to plant root exudates. A glycoprotein has been isolated from the root exudates of birdsfoot trefoil, Lotus corniculatus, which, at micromolar concentrations, attracts six strains of rhizobia. This glycoprotein has been given the trivial name trefoil chemotactin and contains approximately twice as much protein as carbohydrate. Gel filtration of trefoil chemotactin on a Bio-Gel A-1.5m column gave a molecular weight of approximately 60,000. Trefoil chemotactin represents a new class of chemoattractants for bacteria.