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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Feb;64(2):419-26.

Three phylogenetic groups of nodA and nifH genes in Sinorhizobium and Mesorhizobium isolates from leguminous trees growing in Africa and Latin America.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of York, United Kingdom. Kaisa.Haukka@Helsinki.Fi

Abstract

The diversity and phylogeny of nodA and nifH genes were studied by using 52 rhizobial isolates from Acacia senegal, Prosopis chilensis, and related leguminous trees growing in Africa and Latin America. All of the strains had similar host ranges and belonged to the genera Sinorhizobium and Mesorhizobium, as previously determined by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The restriction patterns and a sequence analysis of the nodA and nifH genes divided the strains into the following three distinct groups: sinorhizobia from Africa, sinorhizobia from Latin America, and mesorhizobia from both regions. In a phylogenetic tree also containing previously published sequences, the nodA genes of our rhizobia formed a branch of their own, but within the branch no correlation between symbiotic genes and host trees was apparent. Within the large group of African sinorhizobia, similar symbiotic gene types were found in different chromosomal backgrounds, suggesting that transfer of symbiotic genes has occurred across species boundaries. Most strains had plasmids, and the presence of plasmid-borne nifH was demonstrated by hybridization for some examples. The nodA and nifH genes of Sinorhizobium teranga ORS1009T grouped with the nodA and nifH genes of the other African sinorhizobia, but Sinorhizobium saheli ORS609T had a totally different nodA sequence, although it was closely related based on the 16S rRNA gene and nifH data. This might be because this S. saheli strain was originally isolated from Sesbania sp., which belongs to a different cross-nodulation group than Acacia and Prosopis spp. The factors that appear to have influenced the evolution of rhizobial symbiotic genes vary in importance at different taxonomic levels.

PMID:
9464375
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC106060
Free PMC Article

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