Author(s): Moreira FM, Haukka K, Young JP
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Abstract Tropical forests have a high diversity of plant species; are they associated with a correspondingly rich microbial flora? We addressed this question by examining the symbiotic rhizobium bacteria that nodulate a diverse pool of forest legume species in Brazil. The 44 strains studied had been isolated from 29 legume tree species representing 13 tribes including all three subfamilies of the Leguminosae, and were chosen to represent major groups from a larger sample that had previously been characterized by SDS-PAGE of total proteins. Partial 16S rRNA gene sequence was determined, corresponding to positions 44-303 in the Escherichia coli sequence. Fifteen sequences were found, including six novel ones. However, all but one of them could be assigned to a genus because they grouped closely with sequences from previously described rhizobial species. Fast-growing strains had sequences similar to Rhizobium spp., Sinorhizobium spp. or Mesorhizobium spp., while the slow-growing strains had sequences similar to Bradyrhizobium spp. One strain with an intermediate growth rate had a unique sequence which indicated that the strain might belong to the genus Azorhizobium. Although the strains showed a variety of sequences, it was surprising that these strains isolated from taxonomically very diverse host plants in previously unexplored environments were mostly very similar to strains described previously, largely from agricultural systems.
This article was published in Mol Ecol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology