Microbial Ecology

, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 329–338 | Cite as

Genetic Diversity Patterns and Functional Traits of Bradyrhizobium Strains Associated with Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq. in Caribbean Islands and Amazonian Forest (French Guiana)

  • Christine Le Roux
  • Félix Muller
  • Jean-Marc Bouvet
  • Bernard Dreyfus
  • Gilles Béna
  • Antoine Galiana
  • Amadou M. Bâ
Plant Microbe Interactions


Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq. is a legume tree native to the Caribbean islands and South America growing as a dominant species in swamp forests. To analyze (i) the genetic diversity and (ii) the symbiotic properties of its associated nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria, root nodules were collected from P. officinalis distributed in 16 forest sites of the Caribbean islands and French Guiana. The sequencing of the 16S-23S ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer region (ITS) showed that all bacteria belonged to the Bradyrhizobium genus. Bacteria isolated from insular zones showed very close sequence homologies with Bradyrhizobium genospecies V belonging to the Bradyrhizobium japonicum super-clade. By contrast, bacteria isolated from continental region displayed a larger genetic diversity and belonged to B. elkanii super-clade. Two strains from Puerto Rico and one from French Guiana were not related to any known sequence and could be defined as a new genospecies. Inoculation experiments did not show any host specificity of the Bradyrhizobium strains tested in terms of infectivity. However, homologous Bradyrhizobium sp. strain-P. officinalis provenance associations were more efficient in terms of nodule production, N acquisition, and growth than heterologous ones. The dominant status of P. officinalis in the islands may explain the lower bacterial diversity compared to that found in the continent where P. officinalis is associated with other leguminous tree species. The specificity in efficiency found between Bradyrhizobium strains and host tree provenances could be due to a coevolution process between both partners and needs to be taken in consideration in the framework of rehabilitation plantation programs.


Internal Transcribe Spacer Shoot Height Caribbean Island Legume Tree Bradyrhizobium Strain 
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We would like to thank the French Ministry MEDD (Ministère de L’Ecologie et du Développement Durable) for the financial support to implement the Pterocarpus officinalis project. This work was financially supported by the Guadeloupe Archipelago Region and the Social European Fund. We are very grateful to colleagues from the University of Antilles-Guyane, especially A. Rousteau and A. Mitchell, as well as E. Rivera-Ocasio from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras for his assistance in the collection of biological samples, and to A. Vaillant and M. Poitel from CIRAD for their technical assistance in the laboratory. We thank H. Sanguin from CIRAD for his assistance in the use of mothur software and L. Dedieu from Cirad for her careful and critical reading of our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Le Roux
    • 1
  • Félix Muller
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jean-Marc Bouvet
    • 3
  • Bernard Dreyfus
    • 4
  • Gilles Béna
    • 4
  • Antoine Galiana
    • 1
  • Amadou M. Bâ
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.“Laboratoire des Symbioses Tropicales et Méditerranéennes,” UMR LSTMCIRADMontpellier cedex 5France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Biologie et Physiologie Végétales, UFR des Sciences Exactes et NaturellesUniversité des Antilles et de la GuyanePointe-à-PitreFrance
  3. 3.“Genetic Diversity and Breeding of Forest Tree Species,” UMR AGAP, CIRADMontpellier cedex, 5France
  4. 4.“Laboratoire des Symbioses Tropicales et Méditerranéennes,” UMR LSTMIRDMontpellier cedex 5France

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