Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 370, Issue 1–2, pp 235–249 | Cite as

Establishment and survival of the South African legume Lessertia spp. and rhizobia in Western Australian agricultural systems

  • Macarena GerdingEmail author
  • John Gregory Howieson
  • Graham William O’Hara
  • Daniel Real
  • Lambert Bräu
Regular Article

Abstract

Background and aims

The South African herbaceous legume species Lessertia capitata, L. diffusa, L. excisa L. incana and L. herbacea were introduced to Australia to assess plant establishment and survival, as well as the saprophytic ability of their root nodule bacteria (RNB).

Methods

Five Lessertia spp., were inoculated with selected RNB strains and were sown in five different agroclimatic areas of the Western Australian wheat-belt during 2007 and 2008. Plant population and summer survival were evaluated in situ. Soil samples and nodules from host plants were also taken from each site. The re-isolated rhizobia were RPO1-PCR fingerprinted and their partial dnaK and nodA genes were sequenced to confirm their identity.

Results

Plants achieved only poor establishment followed by weak summer survival. More than 83 % of the rhizobia re-isolated from Lessertia did not correlate with the original inoculants’ fingerprints, and were identified as Rhizobium leguminosarum. The nodA sequences of the naturalised strains were also clustered with R. leguminosarum sequences, thus eliminating the likelihood of lateral gene transference from Mesorhizobium and suggesting a competition problem with indigenous rhizobia.

Conclusion

The stressful soil conditions and high numbers of resident R. leguminosarum strains in Western Australian soils, and their ability to rapidly nodulate Lessertia spp. but not fix nitrogen are likely to preclude the adoption of Lessertia as an agricultural legume in this region.

Keywords

Mesorhizobium Lessertia spp. Nodulation Selection Symbiotic nitrogen fixation 

Abbreviations

WSM

Western soil microbiology

OD

Optical density

½ LA

Half Lupin Agar

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Mrs. Regina Carr (Centre for Rhizobium studies, Murdoch University) for technical assistance.

References

  1. Allen ON, Allen EK (1981) The Leguminosae: a source book of characteristics, uses and nodulation. The University of Wisconsin Press, Wisconsin, p 812Google Scholar
  2. Anderson PML, Hoffmann MT (2007) The impacts of sustained heavy grazing on plant diversity and composition in lowland and upland habitats across the Kamiesberg mountain range in the Succulent Karoo, South Africa. J Arid Environ 70:686–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aouani ME, Mhamdi R, Jebara M, Amarger N (2001) Characterization of rhizobia nodulating chickpea in Tunisia. Agronomie 21:577–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balkwill MJ, Balkwill K (1999) The genus Lessertia DC. (Fabaceae-Galegeae) in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). S Afr J Bot 65:339–356Google Scholar
  5. Ballard RA, Sheperd BR, Charman N (2003) Nodulation and growth of pasture legumes with naturalised soil rhizobia. 3. Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.). Aust J Exp Agric 43:135–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Breebaart L (2003) Feeding selection in three grazing systems in the Nama Karoo. In: Conservation farming project. National Botanical Institute, South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  7. Broughton WJ, Perret X (1999) Genealogy of legume-Rhizobium symbiosis. Curr Opin Plant Biol 2:305–311PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cocks PS (2001) Ecology of herbaceous perennial legumes: a review of characteristics that may provide management options for the control of salinity and waterlogging in dryland cropping systems. Aust J Agric Res 52:137–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dear BS, Ewing MA (2008) The search for new pasture plants to achieve more sustainable production systems in southern Australia. Aust J Exp Agric 48:387–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dear BS, Moore GA, Hughes SJ (2003) Adaptation and potential contribution of temperate perennial legumes to the southern Australian wheatbelt: a review. Aust J Exp Agric 43:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dilworth MJ, Howieson JG, Reeve WG, Tiwari RP, Glenn AR (2001) Acid tolerance in legume root nodule bacteria and selecting for it. Aust J Exp Agric 41:435–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gerding M, O'Hara GW, Bräu L, Nandasena KG, Howieson JG (2012) Diverse Mesorhizobium spp. with unique nodA nodulating the South African legume species of the genus Lessertia. Plant Soil 359:385–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Graham PH (2008) Ecology of the root-nodule bacteria of legumes. In: Dilworth MJ, James EK, Sprent JI, Newton WE (eds) Nitrogen-fixing Leguminous Symbioses. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 23–58Google Scholar
  14. Han S-Z, Wang E-T, Chen WX (2005) Diverse bacteria isolated from root nodules of Phaseolus vulgaris and species within the genera Campylotropis and Cassia grown in China. Syst Appl Microbiol 28:265–276PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Han LL, Wang ET, Han TX, Liu J, Sui XH, Chen WF, Chen WX (2009) Unique community structure and biogeography of soybean rhizobia in the saline-alkaline soils of Xinjiang, China. Plant Soil 324:291–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harvey WH (1862) Leguminosae. In: Harvey WH, Sonder OW (eds) Flora Capensis: systematic description of the plants of the Cape Colony, Caffraria and Port Natal. Vol. 2. Hodges, Smith and Co, Dublin, pp 1–285Google Scholar
  17. Haukka K, Lindström K, Young JPW (1998) Three phylogenetic groups of nodA and nifH Genes in Sinorhizobium and Mesorhizobium isolates from leguminous trees growing in Africa and Latin America. Appl Environ Microbiol 64:419–426PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Herridge D (2008) Inoculation technology for legumes. In: Dilworth MJ, James EK, Sprent JI, Newton WE (eds) Nitrogen-fixing Leguminous Symbioses. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 77–115Google Scholar
  19. Hill MJ (1996) Potential adaptation zones for temperate pasture species as constrained by climate: a knowledge-based logical modelling approach. Aust J Agric Res 47:1095–1117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hirsch AM, Lum MR, Downie JA (2001) What makes the Rhizobia-Legume symbiosis so special? update on rhizobia-Legume symbiosis. Plant Physiol 127:1484–1492PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoffmann T (1996a) Nama Karoo biome. In: Low AB, Robelo AG (eds) Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoffmann T (1996b) Succulent Karoo biome. In: Low AB, Robelo AG (eds) Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  23. Howieson JG (1995) Characteristics of an ideotype acid tolerant pasture legume symbiosis in Mediterranean agriculture. Plant Soil 171:71–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Howieson J, Ballard R (2004) Optimising the legume symbiosis in stressful and competitive environments within southern Australia–some contemporay thoughts. Soil Biol Biochem 36:1261–1273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Howieson JG, Ewing MA, D'Antuono MF (1988) Selection for acid tolerance in Rhizobium meliloti. Plant Soil 105:179–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Howieson JG, Loi A, Carr SJ (1995) Biserrula pelecinus L.—a legume pasture species with potential for acid, duplex soils which is nodulated by unique root-nodule bacteria. Aust J Agric Res 46:997–1009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Howieson JG, O'Hara GW, Carr SJ (2000) Changing roles for legumes in Mediterranean agriculture: developments from an Australian perspective. Field Crop Res 65:107–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Howieson JG, Yates RJ, Foster KJ, Real D, Besier RB (2008) Prospects for the future use of legumes. In: Dilworth MJ, James EK, Sprent JI, Newton WE (eds) Nitrogen-fixing Leguminous Symbioses. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 363–393Google Scholar
  29. Lambers H (2003) Dryland salinity: a key environmental issue in southern Australia. Plant Soil 257:v–viiCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liu J, Wang ET, Chen WX (2005) Diverse rhizobia associated with woody legumes Wisteria sinensis, Cercis racemosa and Amorpha fruticosa grown in the temperate zone of China. Syst Appl Microbiol 28:465–477PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lock JM, Schrire BD (2005) Tribe Galegae. In: Lewis G, Schrire BD, Mackinder B, Lock JM (eds) Legumes of the world. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, pp 475–487Google Scholar
  32. Loi A, Howieson JG, Nutt BJ, Carr SJ (2005) A second generation of annual pasture legumes and their potential for inclusion in Mediterranean-type farming systems. Aust J Exp Agric 45:289–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. López-Lara IM, Blok-Tip L, Quinto C, Garcia M, Stacey G, Bloemberg GV, Lamers GEM, Lugtenberg BJJ, Thomas-Oates JE, Spaink HP (1996) NodZ of Bradyrhizobium extends the nodulation host range of Rhizobium by adding a fucosyl residue to nodulation signals. Mol Microbiol 21:397–408PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Masson-Boivin C, Giraud E, Perret X, Batut J (2009) Establishing nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with legumes: how many rhizobium recipes? Trends Microbiol 17:458–466PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McKenzie N, Jacquier D, Isbell R, Brown K (2004) Australian soils and landscapes: an illustrated compendium. CSIRO publishingGoogle Scholar
  36. McVaugh R (1968) Report of the committee for spermatophyta. Taxon 17:85–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nkonki T (2004) Lessertia DC. National Herbarium, Pretoria. http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantklm/lessertia.htm. Accessed 04 January 2010
  38. O'Hara GW, Yates RJ, Howieson JG (2002) Selection of strains of root nodule bacteria to improve inoculant performance and increase legume productivity in stressful environments. In: Herridge D (ed) Inoculants and nitrogen fixation of legumes in Vietnam. ACIAR Proceedings, pp 72–80Google Scholar
  39. Pannell DJ, Ewing MA (2004) Managing secondary dryland salinity: options and challenges. Agric Water Manag 80:41–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Perret X, Staehelin C, Broughton WJ (2000) Molecular basis of symbiotic promiscuity. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 64:180–201PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pueppke SG, Broughton WJ (1999) Rhizobium sp. strain NGR234 and R. fredii USDA257 share exceptionally broad, nested host ranges. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 12:293–318PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Richardson AE, Viccars LA, Watson JM, Gibson AH (1995) Differentiation of Rhizobium strains using the polymerase chain reaction with random and directed primers. Soil Biol Biochem 27:515–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Robelo AG (1996) Fynbos biome. In: Low AB, Robelo AG (eds) Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  44. Sanderson MJ, Liston A (1995) Molecular phylogenetic sistematics of Galegeae, with special reference to Astragalus. In: Crisp MD, Doyle JJ (eds) Advances in Legume systematics. Part 7: phylogeny. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, pp 331–344Google Scholar
  45. Slattery JF, Pearce DJ, Slattery WJ (2004) Effects of resident rhizobial communities and soil type on the effective nodulation of pulse legumes. Soil Biol Biochem 36:1339–1346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sprent JI, Odee DW, Dakora FD (2010) African legumes: a vital but under-utilized resource. J Exp Bot 61:1257–1265PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stępkowski T, Czaplińska M, Miedzinska K, Moulin L (2003) The variable part of the dnaK gene as an alternative marker for phylogenetic studies of rhizobia and related alpha proteobacteria. Syst Appl Microbiol 26:483–494PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tamura K, Dudley J, Nei M, Kumar S (2007) Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis (MEGA) software version 4.0. Mol Biol Evol 24:1596–1599PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Vekemans X (2002) AFLP-SURV version 1.0. Distributed by the author. Laboratoire de Genétique et Ecologie Vegétale, Université Libre de Bruxelles, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  50. Ward PR (2006) Predicting the impact of perennial phases on average leakage from farming systems in south-western Australia. Aust J Agric Res 57:269–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Yates RJ, Howieson JG, Reeve WG, Nandasena KG, Law IJ, Bräu L, Ardley JK, Nistelberger HM, Real D, O'Hara GW (2007) Lotononis angolensis forms nitrogen fixing, lupinoid nodules with phylogenetically unique, fast-growing, pink-pigmented bacteria, which do not nodulate L. bainesii or L. listii. Soil Biol Biochem 39:1680–1688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yates RJ, Howieson JG, Reeve WG, O'Hara GW (2011) A re-appraisal of the biology and terminology describing rhizobial strain success in nodule occupancy of legumes in agriculture. Plant Soil 348:255–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zahran HH (1999) Rhizobium-legume symbiosis and nitrogen fixation under severe conditions and in an arid climate. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 63:968–989PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Macarena Gerding
    • 1
    Email author
  • John Gregory Howieson
    • 2
  • Graham William O’Hara
    • 2
  • Daniel Real
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Lambert Bräu
    • 6
  1. 1.Facultad de AgronomíaUniversidad de ConcepciónChillánChile
  2. 2.Centre for Rhizobium StudiesMurdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Agriculture and Food Western AustraliaSouth PerthAustralia
  4. 4.Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research CentreThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  5. 5.School of Plant BiologyThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  6. 6.School of Life and Environmental SciencesDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

Personalised recommendations