Soybeans inoculated with root zone soils of Canadian native legumes harbour diverse and novel Bradyrhizobium spp. that possess agricultural potential.

Eden S.P. Bromfield, Sylvie Cloutier, James T. Tambong, Thu Van Tran Thi (2017). Soybeans inoculated with root zone soils of Canadian native legumes harbour diverse and novel Bradyrhizobium spp. that possess agricultural potential. Systematic and Applied Microbiology, Volume 40, Issue 7, 440-447.

Abstract

An assessment was made of the evolutionary relationships of soybean nodulating bacteria associated with legumes native to eastern Canada to identify potential new sources of soybean inoculant strains. Short season soybeans were used to selectively trap bacteria from root zone soils of four native legume species. Screening of more than 800 bacterial isolates from soybean root nodules by analysis of recA gene sequences followed by analyses of selected genotypes using six core and two symbiosis (nodC and nifH) gene sequences permitted identification of diverse taxa that included eight novel and four named Bradyrhizobium species as well as lineages attributed to the genera Afipia and Tardiphaga. Plant tests showed that symbionts related to four named species as well as a novel Bradyrhizobium lineage were highly efficient with regard to nitrogen fixation on soybeans relative to an inoculant strain. A new symbiovar (sv. septentrionalis) is proposed based on a group of four novel Bradyrhizobium spp. that possess distinctive nodC and nifH gene sequences and symbiotic characteristics. Evidence is provided for horizontal transfer of sv. septentrionalis symbiosis genes between novel Bradyrhizobium spp., a process that rendered recipient bacteria ineffective on soybeans. Diverse lineages of non-symbiotic and symbiotic Bradyrhizobium spp. co-occured within monophyletic clusters in a phylogenetic tree of concatenated core genes, suggesting that loss and/or gain of symbiosis genes has occurred in the evolutionary history of the bacterial genus. Our data suggest that symbiont populations associated with legumes native to eastern Canada harbour elite strains of Bradyrhizobium for soybean inoculation.

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