Variation of clonal, mesquite-associated rhizobial and bradyrhizobial populations from surface and deep soils by symbiotic gene region restriction fragment length polymorphism and plasmid profile analysis

TitleVariation of clonal, mesquite-associated rhizobial and bradyrhizobial populations from surface and deep soils by symbiotic gene region restriction fragment length polymorphism and plasmid profile analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsThomas P.M, Golly K.F, Zyskind J.W, Virginia R.A
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume60
Pagination1146-1153
Date Published1994
Accession NumberJRN00182
Call Number00644
Keywordsarticle, articles, bradyrhizobia, genetics,bradyrhizobia, genetics,rhizobia, journal, journals, plasmid profile analysis, Prosopis,bradyrhizobia, Prosopis,rhizobia, rhizobia, root,Prosopis rhizobia, soil,bradyrhizobia, soil,rhizobia
Abstract

Genetic characteristics of 14 Rhizobium and 9 Bradyrhizobium mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)-nodulating strains isolated from surface (0- to 0.5-m) and deep (4- to 6-m) rooting zones were determined in order to examine the hypothesis that surface- and deep-soil symbiont populations were related but had become genetically distinct during adaptation to contrasting soil conditions. To examine genetic diversity, Southern blots of PstI-digested genomic DNA were sequentially hybridized with the nodDABC region of Rhizobium meliloti, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nifHDK region encoding nitrogenase structural genes, and the chomosome-localized ndvB region of R. meliloti. Plasmid profile and host plant nodulation assays were also made. Isolates from mesquite nodulated beans and cowpeas but not alfalfa, clover, or soybeans. Mesquite was nodulated by diverse species of symbionts (R. meliloti, Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. phaseoli, and Parasponia bradyrhizobia). There were no differences within the groups of mesquite-associated rhizobia or bradyrhizobia in cross-inoculation response. The ndvB hybridization results showed the greatest genetic diversity among rhizobial strains. The pattern of ndvB-hybridizing fragments suggested that surface and deep strains were clonally related, but groups of related strains from each soil depth could be distinguished. Less variation was found with nifHDK and nodDABC probes. Large plasmids (>1,500 kb) were observed in all rhizobia and some bradyrhizobia. Profiles of plasmids of less than 1,000 kb were related to the soil depth and the genus of the symbiont. We suggest that interacting selection pressures for symbiotic competence and free-living survival, coupled with soil conditions that restrict genetic exchange between surface and deep-soil populations, led to the observed patterns of genetic diversity.

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