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Assessment of the genetic diversity of Frankia microsymbionts of Elaeagnus angustifolia L. plants growing in a Tunisian date-palm oasis by analysis of PCR amplified nifD-K intergenic spacer

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Diversity of Frankia microsymbionts of non-native Elaeagnus angustifolia L. plants spontaneously growing in a Tunisian desertic retreat area, the date-palm oasis of Tozeur, was investigated by polymerase chain reaction – restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) and PCR-sequencing techniques targeting the nifD-K intergenic spacer. Three PCR–RFLP haplotypes (I, II, and III) were detected among collected nodules. Haplotype I was detected at all five sampling sites and dominated the other haplotypes present at these sites. This haplotype was also exhibited by strain BMG5.10, which was isolated by a plant-capturing assay in 1998 from soil collected in the same locality, qualifying it to be the most competitive haplotype in the edapho-climatic condition of the studied desertic date-palm oasis. nifD-K sequences of the three haplotypes formed a closely related phylogenetic subgroup. These results suggest that Frankia variability is constrained by severe edapho-climatic conditions of retreated desert in Tunisian area.

Keywords: EIG nifD-K; Elaeagnus; Frankia; IGS nifD-K; Tunisia; Tunisie; date-palm oasis; oasis de palmiers

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-03-01

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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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