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The role of hopanoids in fortifying rhizobia against a changing climate

Tookmanian, Elise M. and Belin, Brittany J. and Saenz, James P. and Newman, Dianne K. (2021) The role of hopanoids in fortifying rhizobia against a changing climate. Environmental Microbiology, 23 (6). pp. 2906-2918. ISSN 1462-2912. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.15594.

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Bacteria are a globally sustainable source of fixed nitrogen, which is essential for life and crucial for modern agriculture. Many nitrogen-fixing bacteria are agriculturally important, including bacteria known as rhizobia that participate in growth-promoting symbioses with legume plants throughout the world. To be effective symbionts, rhizobia must overcome multiple environmental challenges: from surviving in the soil, to transitioning to the plant environment, to maintaining high metabolic activity within root nodules. Climate change threatens to exacerbate these challenges, especially through fluctuations in soil water potential. Understanding how rhizobia cope with environmental stress is crucial for maintaining agricultural yields in the coming century. The bacterial outer membrane is the first line of defence against physical and chemical environmental stresses, and lipids play a crucial role in determining the robustness of the outer membrane. In particular, structural remodelling of lipid A and sterol-analogues known as hopanoids are instrumental in stress acclimation. Here, we discuss how the unique outer membrane lipid composition of rhizobia may underpin their resilience in the face of increasing osmotic stress expected due to climate change, illustrating the importance of studying microbial membranes and highlighting potential avenues towards more sustainable soil additives.

Item Type:Article
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Newman, Dianne K.0000-0003-1647-1918
Alternate Title:Hopanoids fortify rhizobia against climate change
Additional Information:© 2021 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Issue Online: 29 June 2021; Version of Record online: 28 May 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 14 May 2021; Manuscript accepted: 11 May 2021; Manuscript revised: 09 May 2021; Manuscript received: 15 April 2021. The authors thank Ian Booth, Avi Flamholz and Darcy McRose for constructive feedback on the manuscript. This research was supported by a NSF graduate research fellowship Foundation (E.T.), NASA (NNX16AL96G to D.K.N.), Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund postdoctoral fellowship (B.J.B.), NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99GM126141 to B.J.B.), a German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF grant (to J.S., project 03Z22EN12), and a VW Foundation ‘Life’ grant (to J.S., project 93090).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)03Z22EN12
Volkswagen Foundation93090
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210518-093548632
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Official Citation:Tookmanian, E.M., Belin, B.J., Sáenz, J.P. and Newman, D.K. (2021), The role of hopanoids in fortifying rhizobia against a changing climate. Environ Microbiol, 23: 2906-2918.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109170
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 May 2021 18:37
Last Modified:08 Jul 2021 17:15

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