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Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. Leguminous plants, such as peas and soybeans, enter into a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria called rhizobia. For years it has been the accepted wisdom that Nodulation (Nod) factors secreted by rhizobia enable them to infect a legume and initiate formation of nodules on the host plant's roots. Within these nodules, the bacteria convert free nitrogen to ammonia, which the plant uses for its growth. Giraud et al. provide evidence that overturns this orthodoxy. They determined that the genomes of two strains of legume-nodulating rhizobia do not contain genes that are necessary for the synthesis of Nod factors. This means that these bacteria must have an alternative way of initiating the dialogue that results in legume nodulation.
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