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Can J Microbiol. 2013 Jun;59(6):399-406. doi: 10.1139/cjm-2013-0158. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

Characterization and genus identification of rhizobial symbionts from Caragana arborescens in western Canada.

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Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada.


Naturally occurring nitrogen-fixing symbionts from root nodules of caragana (Caragana arborescens) growing in central Saskatchewan were isolated following surface sterilization of caragana root nodules and squashing and spreading of the contents on yeast extract - mannitol medium. The symbiotic nature of the strains was confirmed following inoculation onto surface-sterilized C. arborescens seed in a gnotobiotic Leonard jar system. The Rhizobium isolates from C. arborescens root nodules were intermediate in generation time (g) (mean g of 5 isolates was 6.41 h) compared with the fast growers, Rhizobium leguminosarum NRG457 (g: 4.44 h), Rhizobium tropici 899 (g: 3.19 h), and Sinorhizobium meliloti BALSAC (g: 3.45 h), but they were faster than the slow-growing Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA 110 (g: 13.86 h) and similar to Mesorhizobium amorphae (g: 7.76 h). Nitrogen derived from fixation by measuring changes in δ(15)N natural abundance in plant tissue confirmed the effectiveness of the strains; approximately 80% N2 from fixation. Strain identification was carried out by determining the sequences of 3 genes: 16S rRNA-encoding genes, cpn60, and recA. This analysis determined that the symbiotic partner of Canadian C. arborescens belongs to the genus Mesorhizobium and seems more related to M. loti than to previously described caragana symbionts like M. caraganae. This is the first report of Mesorhizobium sp. nodulating C. arborescens in western Canada.

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