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J Bacteriol. 2003 Dec;185(24):7266-72.

Legume symbiotic nitrogen fixation by beta-proteobacteria is widespread in nature.

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  • 1Laboratory of Microbiology, Department of Seafood Science, National Kaohsiung Institute of Marine Technology, Kaohsiung City 811, Taiwan.

Abstract

Following the initial discovery of two legume-nodulating Burkholderia strains (L. Moulin, A. Munive, B. Dreyfus, and C. Boivin-Masson, Nature 411:948-950, 2001), we identified as nitrogen-fixing legume symbionts at least 50 different strains of Burkholderia caribensis and Ralstonia taiwanensis, all belonging to the beta-subclass of proteobacteria, thus extending the phylogenetic diversity of the rhizobia. R. taiwanensis was found to represent 93% of the Mimosa isolates in Taiwan, indicating that beta-proteobacteria can be the specific symbionts of a legume. The nod genes of rhizobial beta-proteobacteria (beta-rhizobia) are very similar to those of rhizobia from the alpha-subclass (alpha-rhizobia), strongly supporting the hypothesis of the unique origin of common nod genes. The beta-rhizobial nod genes are located on a 0.5-Mb plasmid, together with the nifH gene, in R. taiwanensis and Burkholderia phymatum. Phylogenetic analysis of available nodA gene sequences clustered beta-rhizobial sequences in two nodA lineages intertwined with alpha-rhizobial sequences. On the other hand, the beta-rhizobia were grouped with free-living nitrogen-fixing beta-proteobacteria on the basis of the nifH phylogenetic tree. These findings suggest that beta-rhizobia evolved from diazotrophs through multiple lateral nod gene transfers.

PMID:
14645288
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC296247
Free PMC Article

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