Microbial Ecology

, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 542–555 | Cite as

Burkholderia sp. Induces Functional Nodules on the South African Invasive Legume Dipogon lignosus (Phaseoleae) in New Zealand Soils

  • Wendy Y. Y. Liu
  • Hayley J. Ridgway
  • Trevor K. James
  • Euan K. James
  • Wen-Ming Chen
  • Janet I. Sprent
  • J. Peter W. Young
  • Mitchell Andrews
Plant Microbe Interactions


The South African invasive legume Dipogon lignosus (Phaseoleae) produces nodules with both determinate and indeterminate characteristics in New Zealand (NZ) soils. Ten bacterial isolates produced functional nodules on D. lignosus. The 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences identified one isolate as Bradyrhizobium sp., one isolate as Rhizobium sp. and eight isolates as Burkholderia sp. The Bradyrhizobium sp. and Rhizobium sp. 16S rRNA sequences were identical to those of strains previously isolated from crop plants and may have originated from inocula used on crops. Both 16S rRNA and DNA recombinase A (recA) gene sequences placed the eight Burkholderia isolates separate from previously described Burkholderia rhizobial species. However, the isolates showed a very close relationship to Burkholderia rhizobial strains isolated from South African plants with respect to their nitrogenase iron protein (nifH), N-acyltransferase nodulation protein A (nodA) and N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase nodulation protein C (nodC) gene sequences. Gene sequences and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) PCR and repetitive element palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) banding patterns indicated that the eight Burkholderia isolates separated into five clones of one strain and three of another. One strain was tested and shown to produce functional nodules on a range of South African plants previously reported to be nodulated by Burkholderia tuberum STM678T which was isolated from the Cape Region. Thus, evidence is strong that the Burkholderia strains isolated here originated in South Africa and were somehow transported with the plants from their native habitat to NZ. It is possible that the strains are of a new species capable of nodulating legumes.


Rhizobium Burkholderia Acetylene Reduction Assay Cape Floristic Region Functional Nodule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



WYYL was financially supported by a Lincoln University doctoral scholarship.

Supplementary material

248_2014_427_Fig6_ESM.gif (98 kb)
Fig. S1

Agarose gel electrophoresis of ERIC-PCR and rep-PCR fingerprinting patterns from genomic DNA of Burkholderia sp. isolates recovered from the nodules of Dipogon lignosus and the Burkholderia phytofirmans-type strain. Lanes 1 and 20, 1-kb plus DNA ladder (Invitrogen, Australia); lanes 2-10, ERIC-PCR fingerprinting patterns; lanes 11-19, rep-PCR fingerprinting patterns. Isolates are indicated at the top of each lane (GIF 97 kb)

248_2014_427_MOESM1_ESM.tif (12.7 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12956 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Y. Y. Liu
    • 1
  • Hayley J. Ridgway
    • 1
  • Trevor K. James
    • 2
  • Euan K. James
    • 3
  • Wen-Ming Chen
    • 4
  • Janet I. Sprent
    • 5
  • J. Peter W. Young
    • 6
  • Mitchell Andrews
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Agriculture and Life SciencesLincoln UniversityLincolnNew Zealand
  2. 2.AgResearch LimitedHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.The James Hutton InstituteDundeeUK
  4. 4.Laboratory of Microbiology, Department of Seafood ScienceNational Kaohsiung Marine UniversityKaohsiung CityTaiwan
  5. 5.College of Life SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK
  6. 6.Department of BiologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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