Sinorhizobium fredii is a fast-growing rhizobial species that can establish a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with a wide range of legume species including soybeans (Glycine max). In soybeans, this interaction shows a high level of specificity such that particular S. fredii strains nodulate only a limited set of plant genotypes. Here we report the identification of a dominant gene in soybeans that restricts nodulation with S. fredii USDA193. Genetic mapping in an F2 population revealed co-segregation of the underlying locus with the previously cloned Rfg1 gene. The Rfg1 allele encodes a member of the Toll-interleukin receptor/nucleotide-binding site/leucine-rich repeat class of plant resistance proteins that restricts nodulation by S. fredii strains USDA257 and USDA205, and an allelic variant of this gene also restricts nodulation by Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA122. By means of complementation tests and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knockouts, we demonstrate that the Rfg1 allele also is responsible for resistance to nodulation by S. fredii USDA193. Therefore, the Rfg1 allele likely provides broad-spectrum resistance to nodulation by many S. fredii and B. japonicum strains in soybeans.

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Published in Frontiers in Plant Science, v. 8, 1548, p. 1-9.

© 2017 Fan, Liu, Lyu, Wang, Yang and Zhu.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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This work was supported by the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board to HZ and by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 31271751) to SL and YF. YF and SL received support from the Shandong Provincial Education Association of China to study at University of Kentucky.