Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 109, Issue 12, pp 1605–1614

Wide distribution range of rhizobial symbionts associated with pantropical sea-dispersed legumes

  • Masaru Bamba
  • Sayuri Nakata
  • Seishiro Aoki
  • Koji Takayama
  • Juan Núñez-Farfán
  • Motomi Ito
  • Masaki Miya
  • Tadashi Kajita
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10482-016-0761-y

Cite this article as:
Bamba, M., Nakata, S., Aoki, S. et al. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (2016) 109: 1605. doi:10.1007/s10482-016-0761-y


To understand the geographic distributions of rhizobia that associated with widely distributed wild legumes, 66 nodules obtained from 41 individuals including three sea-dispersed legumes (Vigna marina, Vigna luteola, and Canavalia rosea) distributed across the tropical and subtropical coastal regions of the world were studied. Partial sequences of 16S rRNA and nodC genes extracted from the nodules showed that only Bradyrhizobium and Sinorhizobium were associated with the pantropical legumes, and some of the symbiont strains were widely distributed over the Pacific. Horizontal gene transfer of nodulation genes were observed within the Bradyrhizobium and Sinorhizobium lineages. BLAST searches in GenBank also identified records of these strains from various legumes across the world, including crop species. However, one of the rhizobial strains was not found in GenBank, which implies the strain may have adapted to the littoral environment. Our results suggested that some rhizobia, which associate with the widespread sea-dispersed legume, distribute across a broad geographic range. By establishing symbiotic relationships with widely distributed rhizobia, the pantropical legumes may also be able to extend their range much further than other legume species.


Pantropical plants with sea-drifted seeds Rhizobia biogeography Sea dispersal 

Supplementary material

10482_2016_761_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (803 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 804 kb)
10482_2016_761_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (180 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 181 kb)
10482_2016_761_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (130 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 130 kb)
10482_2016_761_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (586 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (PDF 587 kb)
10482_2016_761_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (12 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (PDF 13 kb)
10482_2016_761_MOESM6_ESM.pdf (244 kb)
Supplementary material 6 (PDF 244 kb)

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
  • 15H05232
  • 19370032
  • 26660057
  • 18370038
Fujiwara Natural History Foundation
    MEXT TOBITATE! Young Ambassador Program 2014

      Copyright information

      © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

      Authors and Affiliations

      1. 1.Department of Biology, Graduate School of ScienceChiba UniversityChiba-shiJapan
      2. 2.Department of General Systems Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciencesthe University of TokyoMeguro-kuJapan
      3. 3.Museum of Natural and Environmental History, ShizuokaShizuoka-shiJapan
      4. 4.Laboratorio de Genética Ecológica y Evolución, Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Instituto de EcologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxicoMéxico
      5. 5.Natural History Museum & InstituteChiba-shiJapan
      6. 6.Iriomote Station, Tropical Biosphere Research CenterUniversity of the RyukyusYaeyama-gunJapan
      7. 7.Jumonji Junior and Senior High SchoolToshima-kuJapan

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