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Phenotypic, genotypic, and symbiotic diversities in strains nodulating clover in different soils in Spain

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Trifolium species are the most common legumes present in wild Spanish soils; however, there are no studies to date on the diversity of rhizobia nodulating clover in Spain. Twenty strains from different Spanish soils with acidic, neutral, and basic pH were selected to study their genotypic, phenotypic, and symbiotic features. The results showed that the isolates were genotypically diverse, displaying 12 different DNA fingerprint patterns and also 14 different plasmid profiles. Although they have 16S rRNA gene sequences that are nearly identical to that of the type strain of Rhizobium leguminosarum, their recA and atpD gene sequences were phylogenetically divergent from those of R. leguminosarum reference strains, and phenotypic divergence as well as different host ranges were also found. Although most of them nodulated both Trifolium and Phaseolus, only 5 strains were also able to nodulate Pisum. The results of the effectiveness analysis showed a high variability in the symbiotic characteristics of our strains and suggested that Pisum is the more restrictive host of this group. Interestingly, some of the Trifolium isolates showed an ability to promote growth of Pisum in the absence of nodulation.

Les espèces de Trifolium sont les légumineuses les plus fréquentes des sols sauvages de l’Espagne. À ce jour, il n’existe cependant aucune étude de la diversité des rhizobiums des nodules du trèfle en Espagne. Vingt souches provenant de différents échantillons de sols de pH acides, neutre ou basiques, en Espagne, ont été sélectionnées afin d’étudier leurs caractéristiques génotypiques, phénotypiques et symbiotiques. Les résultats ont montré que les isolats étaient diversifiés d’un point de vue génotypique, montrant 12 patrons caractéristiques d’ADN et 14 profils différents de plasmides. Quoique les séquences du gène de l’ARNr 16S aient été à peu près identiques à celle de la souche Rhizobium leguminosarum, les séquences des gènes recA et atpD étaient divergentes d’un point de vue phylogénique de celles des souches de référence de R. leguminosarum. Des divergences phénotypiques et de diversité d’hôtes ont aussi été trouvées. Même si la plupart d’entre elles formaient des nodules sur Trifolium et Phaseolus, seules 5 souches pouvaient former des nodules sur Pisum. Les résultats d’analyses d’efficacité ont montré une grande variabilité quant aux caractéristiques symbiotiques des souches et ont suggéré que Pisum soit l’hôte le plus restrictif de ce groupe. Étonnamment, quelques isolats provenant de Trifolium pouvaient promouvoir la croissance de Pisum sans former de nodules.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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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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