• Acacia ;
  • nod factor;
  • Prosopis ;
  • salt stress;
  • symbiosis


Ensifer (Sinorhizobium) arboris is a symbiont of salt-tolerant leguminous trees in the genera Acacia and Prosopis that are utilized in the prevention of soil erosion and desertification and in phytoremediation of salinized soil. Signalling between the plant and the rhizobia is essential for the formation of effective symbiosis that increases the success of reclaiming saline sites. We assessed the effect of salt stress on the growth and the production of lipochitooligosaccharide signalling molecules (LCOs) of S. arboris HAMBI 2361, an LCO-overproducing derivative of the S. arboris type strain HAMBI 1552. The strain tolerated NaCl up to 750 mM. To obtain both qualitative and quantitative information on the LCO production under salt stress, we devised a method where LCOs were differentially labelled by stable isotopes of nitrogen, 14N and 15N, and analysed by mass spectrometry. Under control conditions, the strain produced altogether 27 structural LCO variants. In 380 mM NaCl, 13 LCO variants were produced in detectable amounts, and six of these were reliably quantified, ranging from one-tenth to one-third of the non-stressed one.