Garau, Giovanni and Yates, Ron J. and Deiana, Pietrino and Howieson, John G. (2009) Novel strains of nodulating Burkholderia have a role in nitrogen fixation with papilionoid herbaceous legumes adapted to acid, infertile soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 41 (1), p. 125-134. ISSN 0038-0717. Article.
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We investigated the taxonomic position and symbiotic capabilities of two root-nodule bacterial strains isolated from the South African herbaceous, papilionoid legume Rhynchosia ferulifolia. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of the two strains was determined along with intragenic sequences of nodA and nifH, together with their symbiotic capabilities when inoculated onto the papilionoid legumes R. ferulifolia, Rhynchosia caribaea, Rhynchosia minima and Macroptilium atropurpureum (Siratro). Burkholderia phymatum STM815T, Cupriavidus taiwanensis LMG 19424T and root-nodule bacteria isolated from R. minima and Rhynchosia totta were included in the study. Root-nodule bacteria isolated from R. ferulifolia, WSM3937 and WSM3930, belong to the genus Burkholderia and are most closely related to Burkholderia terricola (98.8% similarity). The phylogenetic analysis of nodA and nifH revealed substantial similarity of the novel strains with Burkholderia tuberum STM678T, a β-rhizobium also originated from South Africa, and only a distant relationship with South American Mimosa-nodulating β-rhizobia. R. ferulifolia was effectively nodulated only by Burkholderia sp. WSM3937 and WSM3930 and not by bradyrhizobia isolated from Rhynchosia minima and Rhynchosia totta or STM815 and LMG 19924. Nodules induced by the novel strains were determinate and hosted well organized symbiosomes within infected cells. In this study we describe a new symbiotic N-fixing relationship between Burkholderia sp. and the South African legume R. ferulifolia. This is the first report of N-fixation between β-rhizobia and an herbaceous, papilionoid legume from which the strains were originally isolated. The level of N-fixation in this symbiosis approached that achieved by effectively nodulated Medicago sativa and suggests that the β-rhizobia may have a role in N-fixation in agricultural systems.
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