Original Paper

Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 180, Issue 6, pp 444-454

First online:

Diverse Mesorhizobium plurifarium populations native to Mexican soils

  • En Tao WangAffiliated withDepartamento de Microbiología, Instituto Politécnico NacionalCentro de Investigación sobre Fijación de Nitrógeno, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México Email author 
  • , Feng Ling KanAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, China Agricultural University
  • , Zhi Yuan TanAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular Genetics, South China Agricultural University
  • , Ivonne ToledoAffiliated withCentro de Investigación sobre Fijación de Nitrógeno, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México
  • , Wen Xin ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, China Agricultural University
  • , Esperanza Martínez-RomeroAffiliated withCentro de Investigación sobre Fijación de Nitrógeno, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México

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Abstract

Forty-six Mesorhizobium strains associated with the leguminous plants Leucaena leucocephala and Sesbania herbacea in an uncultivated Mexican field were characterized using a polyphasic approach. The strains were identified as Mesorhizobium plurifarium based upon the close relationships with the reference strains for this species in PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses, sequencing of 16S rRNA genes, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, and DNA-DNA hybridization. Although the strains isolated from both plants formed the same group in multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and cross-nodulations were observed in the laboratory, different electrophoretic types were obtained from the two plants grown in natural soils, indicating the existence of a preferable association between the plants and the rhizobia. The M. plurifarium strains from Mexico and the reference strains from Africa and Brazil formed different phenotypic clusters in a numerical taxonomy. The Mexican strains did not grow at 37 °C and were sensitive to salty-alkaline conditions, while the reference strains from Africa and Brazil grew at 42 °C and were more resistant to salty-alkaline conditions. These results demonstrate that both the plants and environmental factors affected the evolution of rhizobia and that the Mexican strains had adapted to the neutral soils and the cool climate where they were isolated.

Keywords

Mesorhizobium plurifarium Leucaena Sesbania Phylogeny Diversity