Plant and Soil

, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 85–95 | Cite as

Frankia in the rhizosphere of nonhost plants: A comparison with root-associated N2-fixing Enterobacter, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas

  • R. Rönkkö
  • A. Smolander
  • E. -L. Nurmiaho-Lassila
  • K. Haahtela
Research Article


Bacterial growth in the rhizosphere and resulting changes in plant growth parameters were studied in small aseptic seedlings of birch (Betula pendula and B. pubescens) and grasses (Poa pratensis and Festuca rubra). The seedlings were inoculated with three Frankia strains (Ai1a and Ag5b isolated from native Alnus root nodules and Ai17 from a root nodule induced by soil originating from a Betula pendula stand), and three associative N2-fixing bacteria (Enterobacter agglomerans, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas sp., isolated from grass roots). Microscopic observations showed that all the Frankia strains were able to colonize and grow on the root surface of the plants tested without addition of an exogenous carbon source. No net growth of the associative N2-fixers was observed in the rhizosphere, although inoculum viable counts were maintained over the experimental period. Changes in both the biomass and morphology of plant seedlings in response to bacterial inoculation were recorded, which were more dependent on the plant species than on the bacterial strain.

Key words

Actinorhiza Betula pendula Betula pubescens birch Enterobacter agglomerans Festuca rubra Frankia Klebsiella pneumoniae nitrogen fixation Poa pratensis Pseudomonas sp. rhizosphere root 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Rönkkö
    • 1
  • A. Smolander
    • 3
  • E. -L. Nurmiaho-Lassila
    • 2
  • K. Haahtela
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General MicrobiologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsingin yliopistoFinland
  2. 2.Department of Electron MicroscopyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsingin yliopistoFinland
  3. 3.Department of Forest EcologyFinnish Forest Research InstituteVantaaFinland

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