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Phenotypic and molecular characterization of chickpea rhizobia isolated from different areas of Tunisia

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Several phenotypic markers were used in this study to determine the biodiversity of rhizobial strains nodulating Cicer arietinum L. in various areas of Tunisia. They include symbiotic traits, the use of 21 biochemical substrates, and tolerance to salinity and pH. In addition, restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) of PCR-amplified 16S rDNA were compared with those of reference strains. Numeric analysis of the phenotypic characteristics showed that the 48 strains studied fell into three distinct groups. This heterogeneity was highly supported by the RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA genes, and two ribotypes were identified. Chickpea rhizobia isolated from Tunisian soils are both phenotypically and genetically diverse. Results showed that 40 and 8 isolates were assigned, respectively, to Mesorhizobium ciceri and Mesorhizobium mediterraneum.

Keywords: Cicer arietinum; Mesorhizobium ciceri; Mesorhizobium mediterraneum; diversité génétique; genetic diversity; polymerase chain reaction – restriction fragment length polymorphism; réaction en chaîne de polymérase – polymorphisme des longueurs de fragments de restriction

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2007

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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