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The roots of leguminous plants associate with bacteria of the Rhizobium genus to generate a highly specialized
structure, the nitrogen-fixing nodule.
Bacterial cells in the nodule fix the atmospheric nitrogen and produce ammonium that is assimilated by the plant, in
return, the plant supplies carbon compounds derived from photosynthesis, for the bacteria maintenance.

Many genes from both organisms are required for the establishment and optimal function of this symbiosis.
The Rhizobium genome is structured in two types of replicons, the chromosome and several large plasmids. As a
general rule, most of the genes involved in the symbiotic processes are plasmid borne and this plasmid is therefore
referred to as the symbiotic plasmid or pSym.

6.530,234 bp of the complete Rhizobium etli CFN42 genome has been
determined

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