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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2014 Mar;37(2):121-8. doi: 10.1016/j.syapm.2013.08.002. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Near-full length sequencing of 16S rDNA and RFLP indicates that Rhizobium etli is the dominant species nodulating Egyptian winter Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.).

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Environmental Biotechnology Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications, New Borg El-Arab, Alexandria, Egypt. Electronic address:
Department of Agricultural Microbiology, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt.
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA; Biotechnology Institute, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA.


Egyptian winter Berseem clover (EWBC) is one of the main important forage legume crops in Egypt that is used for animal feeding in winter and it occupies about 2.5 million feddans (Feddan=4200m(2)) in winter agricultural rotation systems. Forty-eight rhizobial isolates that nodulated this legume host from different geographical regions within Egypt were isolated. RFLP analyses of 16S rDNA (1.5kb) and whole ribosomal DNA (5kb), the sequencing of 16S rDNA, and the sequencing of nodC, nifH and house keeping genes were used to identify these isolates. The RFLP analysis of 16S rDNA (1.5kb) among 15 representative strains with three enzymes generated two genotypes. The largest genotype was similar to Rhizobium etli CFN42T (93.33%) except for strain 902 that failed to re-nodulate EWBC. RFLP analysis of complete ribosomal DNA (5kb) produced five genotypes. The majority of tested strains shared the genotype with R. etli CFN42T (53.33%). Only one strain (1002) shared the genotype with Rhizobium leguminosarum sv. trifolii 3023. The other four strains were comprised of two unique genotypes. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences revealed that seven representative strains could be divided into two genetic clusters sharing the ancestral clad with R. etli CFN42T. A phylogenetic tree based on nodC gene sequence confirmed that all the examined strains shared the genetic lineage with R. leguminosarum sv. trifolii WSM1325. The phylogenetic trees of house keeping genes are supported strongly the identification of majority of strains as a novel symbiovar of R. etli with new lineages.


16S rDNA and complete rDNA; Clover symbionts; Egyptian soils; Genetic diversity; Symbiotic genes

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