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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2011 Jun;76(3):463-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01063.x. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Diversity of endophytic bacteria within nodules of the Sphaerophysa salsula in different regions of Loess Plateau in China.

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College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Agriculture, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.


A total of 115 endophytic bacteria were isolated from root nodules of the wild legume Sphaerophysa salsula grown in two ecological regions of Loess Plateau in China. The genetic diversity and phylogeny of the strains were revealed by restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR. Their symbiotic capacity was checked by nodulation tests and analysis of nifH gene sequence. This is the first systematic study on endophytic bacteria associated with S. salsula root nodules. Fifty of the strains found were symbiotic bacteria belonging to eight putative species in the genera Mesorhizobium, Rhizobium and Sinorhizobium, harboring similar nifH genes; Mesorhizobium gobiense was the main group and 65 strains were nonsymbiotic bacteria related to 17 species in the genera Paracoccus, Sphingomonas, Inquilinus, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Streptomyces, Paenibacillus, Brevibacillus, Staphylococcus, Lysinibacillus and Bacillus, which were universally coexistent with symbiotic bacteria in the nodules. Differing from other similar studies, the present study is the first time that symbiotic and nonsymbiotic bacteria have been simultaneously isolated from the same root nodules, offering the possibility to accurately reveal the correlation between these two kinds of bacteria. These results provide valuable information about the interactions among the symbiotic bacteria, nonsymbiotic bacteria and their habitats.

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