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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 May;73(10):3254-64. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

Diversification of lupine Bradyrhizobium strains: evidence from nodulation gene trees.

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Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Noskowskiego 12/14, 61 704 Poznań, Poland.


Bradyrhizobium strains isolated in Europe from Genisteae and serradella legumes form a distinct lineage, designated clade II, on nodulation gene trees. Clade II bradyrhizobia appear to prevail also in the soils of Western Australia and South Africa following probably accidental introduction with seeds of their lupine and serradella hosts. Given this potential for dispersal, we investigated Bradyrhizobium isolates originating from a range of native New World lupines, based on phylogenetic analyses of nodulation (nodA, nodZ, noeI) and housekeeping (atpD, dnaK, glnII, recA) genes. The housekeeping gene trees revealed considerable diversity among lupine bradyrhizobia, with most isolates placed in the Bradyrhizobium japonicum lineage, while some European strains were closely related to Bradyrhizobium canariense. The nodA gene tree resolved seven strongly supported groups (clades I to VII) that correlated with strain geographical origins and to some extent with major Lupinus clades. All European strains were placed in clade II, whereas only a minority of New World strains was placed in this clade. This work, as well as our previous studies, suggests that clade II diversified predominately in the Old World, possibly in the Mediterranean. Most New World isolates formed subclade III.2, nested in a large "pantropical" clade III, which appears to be New World in origin, although it also includes strains originating from nonlupine legumes. Trees generated using nodZ and noeI gene sequences accorded well with the nodA tree, but evidence is presented that the noeI gene may not be required for nodulation of lupine and that loss of this gene is occurring.

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