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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2014 May;37(3):177-85. doi: 10.1016/j.syapm.2013.09.008. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

The endemic Genista versicolor from Sierra Nevada National Park in Spain is nodulated by putative new Bradyrhizobium species and a novel symbiovar (sierranevadense).

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiología del Suelo y Sistemas Simbióticos, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Granada, Spain.
  • 2Departamento de Microbiología y Genética, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.
  • 3Departamento de Microbiología y Genética, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain. Electronic address:


Genista versicolor is an endemic legume from Sierra Nevada National Park which constitutes one of the UNESCO-recognized Biosphere Reserves. In the present study, a collection of strains nodulating this legume was analysed in characteristic soils of this ecosystem. Most strains nodulating G. versicolor belonged to rrs group I within the genus Bradyrhizobium and only one strain, named GV137, belonged to rrs group II from which only a single species, B. retamae, has been described in Europe to date. Strain GV137, and some strains from rrs group I, belonged to putative new species of Bradyrhizobium, although most strains from group I belonged to B. canariense, according to the ITS fragment and atpD gene analysis. This result contrasted with those obtained in Genista tinctoria in Northeast Europe whose endosymbionts were identified as B. japonicum. The analysis of the symbiotic nodC and nifH genes carried by G. versicolor-nodulating strains showed that most of them belonged to symbiovar genistearum, as did those isolated from G. tinctoria. Nevertheless, strain GV137, belonging to rrs group II, formed a divergent lineage that constituted a novel symbiovar within the genus Bradyrhizobium for which the name sierranevadense is proposed. This finding showed that the Genisteae are not restrictive legumes only nodulated by symbiovar genistearum, since Genista is a promiscuous legume nodulated by at least two symbiovars of Bradyrhizobium, as occurs in Retama species.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier GmbH.


Biodiversity; Bradyrhizobium; Genista; Phylogeny; Rhizobia; Symbiovar

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