During the establishment of the legume-Rhizobium symbiosis, plant roots release flavonoids which are perceived by rhizobial bacteria. This perception leads to the induction of rhizobial nod genes which encode proteins required for the synthesis of Nodulation (Nod) factors. Nod factors are secreted by rhizobia and upon their detection act as signalling molecules to the host plant (Oldroyd and Downie 2006, 2008). Nod factors are essential for nodulation and are important mediators of host-range specificity.
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