Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Bacteriol. 2001 Jan;183(1):214-20.

Methylotrophic Methylobacterium bacteria nodulate and fix nitrogen in symbiosis with legumes.

Author information

  • 1LSTM, UMR 113 IRD/INRA/AGRO-M/CIRAD, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


Rhizobia described so far belong to three distinct phylogenetic branches within the alpha-2 subclass of Proteobacteria. Here we report the discovery of a fourth rhizobial branch involving bacteria of the Methylobacterium genus. Rhizobia isolated from Crotalaria legumes were assigned to a new species, "Methylobacterium nodulans," within the Methylobacterium genus on the basis of 16S ribosomal DNA analyses. We demonstrated that these rhizobia facultatively grow on methanol, which is a characteristic of Methylobacterium spp. but a unique feature among rhizobia. Genes encoding two key enzymes of methylotrophy and nodulation, the mxaF gene, encoding the alpha subunit of the methanol dehydrogenase, and the nodA gene, encoding an acyltransferase involved in Nod factor biosynthesis, were sequenced for the type strain, ORS2060. Plant tests and nodA amplification assays showed that "M. nodulans" is the only nodulating Methylobacterium sp. identified so far. Phylogenetic sequence analysis showed that "M. nodulans" NodA is closely related to Bradyrhizobium NodA, suggesting that this gene was acquired by horizontal gene transfer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center