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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Dec;63(12):4748-58.

Genetic diversity of rhizobial symbionts isolated from legume species within the genera Astragalus, Oxytropis, and Onobrychis.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Microbiologie des Sols, Centre de Microbiologie du Sol et de L'Environnement, INRA, Dijon, France.


The genetic diversity of 44 rhizobial isolates from Astragalus, Oxytropis, and Onobrychis spp. originating from different geographic locations was evaluated by mapped restriction site polymorphism (MRSP) analysis of 16S rRNA genes and by PCR DNA fingerprinting with repetitive sequences (REP-PCR). A comparison of tree topologies of reference strains constructed with data obtained by MRSP and by 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses showed that the topologies were in good agreement, indicating that the MSRP approach results in reasonable estimates of rhizobial phylogeny. The isolates were distributed into 14 distinct 16S rRNA gene types clustering into three major groups which corresponded with three of the genera within the legume symbionts. Most of the isolates were within the genus Mesorhizobium. Five were identified with different genomic species nodulating Lotus spp. and Cicer arietinum. Three Astragalus isolates were classified as Bradyrhizobium, one being similar to Bradyrhizobium elkanii and another being similar to Bradyrhizobium japonicum. Six of the isolates were related to species within the genus Rhizobium. Two were similar to Rhizobium leguminosarum, and the remainder were identified as Rhizobium gallicum. DNA fingerprinting by REP-PCR revealed a high level of diversity within single 16S ribosomal DNA types. The 44 isolates were distributed into 34 REP groups. Rhizobial classification at the genus and probably also the species levels was independent of geographic origin and host plant affinity.

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