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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2018 Mar;41(2):113-121. doi: 10.1016/j.syapm.2017.09.008. Epub 2017 Dec 21.

Rhizobium laguerreae is the main nitrogen-fixing symbiont of cultivated lentil (Lens culinaris) in Morocco.

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Microbiology and Molecular Biology Unit, Plant and Microbial Biotechnology, Biodiversity and Environment Center, Faculty of Sciences, University Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco.
Molecular Biology and Cellular Laboratory, Life Sciences Faculty, Department of Microbiology, University Mentouri I, Ain El Bye, Constantine, Algeria.
IRD, Cirad, University of Montpellier, IPME, 34394 Montpellier, France. Electronic address:


Genetic diversity and population structure of 268 Lens culinaris symbiotic rhizobia collected from 40 cultivated fields in the main lentil production regions in Morocco were estimated. Three chromosomal housekeeping genes (recA, glnII and atpD) and one common symbiotic gene (nodC) were sequenced and analyzed in order to identify the local symbionts of lentil. The molecular phylogeny of the concatenated housekeeping genes clustered more than 95% of the isolates in one main clade together with Rhizobium laguerreae species. R. laguerreae represents the main symbiont of cultivated lentil in Morocco and, for the first time, a large sample of individuals is obtained for this species. There is a significant and high genetic differentiation of bacterial populations among the four regions for their symbiotic gene, and much lower for their housekeeping genes. The reasons why R. laguerreae is so frequently recovered in our study is discussed.


Lens culinaris; Population structure; Recombination; Rhizobium laguerreae

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