The root exudates of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and mungbean (Vigna radiata) induced the Tsr (thick and short roots) factor production in Rhizobium meliloti. The factor caused a 30-40% reduction of root length in alfalfa seedlings. Pea root exudate had no Tsr induction activity. The flavonoid naringenin could replace the roots in inducing Tsr production. Naringenin-induced Tsr factor caused 70% shortening of main roots. The Tsr inducing property of naringenin was specific since quercetin and syringaldehyde had no such effect.
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