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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1982 Sep;44(3):583-8.

Quantitative study of nodulation competitiveness in Rhizobium strains.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Microbiologie des Sols, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Boite Vaguemestre 1540, 21034 Dijon Cedex, France.


We compared the nodulation competitiveness of three strains of Rhizobium leguminosarum by counting the number of nodules formed on faba bean plants after the application at sowing time of different concentrations of the strains to soils already containing Rhizobium strains of the same species. A relationship of type y = ax was found to exist between the ratio of the nodules formed by the applied inoculum strain to the nodules formed by the soil strains and the ratio of Rhizobium cells in the inoculum to the cells in the soil. This relationship was also confirmed in another competition experiment in which two R. meliloti strains of identical competitiveness were mixed in various proportions. The relationship can also be applied to the majority of results reported in the literature. Should it prove to be more widely applicable, it could be used to estimate the relative competitiveness of Rhizobium strains and thus predict the performance of an inoculum in a given soil.

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