Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Bacteriol. 2003 Dec;185(24):7266-72.

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

Author information

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


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.

[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