Plant and Soil

, Volume 162, Issue 2, pp 229–239 | Cite as

Nodulation patterns of actinorhizal plants in the family rosaceae

  • Steven J. Kohls
  • Jyothi Thimmapuram
  • Cindy A. Buschena
  • Mark W. Paschke
  • Jeffrey O. Dawson
Research Articles


Patterns of nodulation, growth, andFrankia — host specificity have not been well characterized for the actinorhizal genera in the family Rosaceae because of the scarcity ofFrankia isolates from these taxa. Furthermore, the few isolates available from actinorhizal Rosaceae have consistently failed to nodulate plants from the host genus. In a series of experiments, species of rosaceousDryas, Cowania, Cercocarpus, Fallugia, andPurshia were inoculated withFrankia isolates, crushedDryas actinorhizae, and neoglacial soils to ascertain whether any of these inocula would effectively induce nodulation. Neoglacial soils from Alaska and Canada nodulated not only the localDryas drummondii, but alsoCercocarpus betuloides, Cowania mexicana andPurshia tridentata from distant and ecologically diverse locales as well as nonrosaceous, actinorhizal species ofAlnus, Elaeagnus, Myrica, andShepherdia. But of eightFrankia isolates, including two fromPurshia tridentata and one fromCowania mexicana, none were able to induce nodulation onPurshia orCowania species. Globular, actinorhizae-like nodules incapable of acetylene reduction were produced onC. betuloides inoculated withFrankia isolates. Crushed nodule suspensions fromDryas drummondii nodulated rosaceousCowania, Dryas andPurshia, as well as non-rosaceousElaeagnus, Myrica, andShepherdia species. Nodules produced by inoculation ofCowania mexicana andPurshia tridentata with crushed, dried nodule suspensions fromDryas drummondii reduced acetylene to ethylene, indicating nitrogenase activity for these nodulated plants. These data suggest that a similar microsymbiont infects the actinorhizal genera in the family Rosaceae.

Key words

Frankia nitrogen fixation symbioses 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven J. Kohls
    • 1
  • Jyothi Thimmapuram
    • 2
  • Cindy A. Buschena
    • 3
  • Mark W. Paschke
    • 4
  • Jeffrey O. Dawson
    • 5
  1. 1.College of Natural ResourcesUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of ForestryUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.College of Natural ResourcesSt. PaulUSA
  4. 4.Department of Range ScienceColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  5. 5.Department of ForestryUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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