Plant and Soil

, Volume 423, Issue 1–2, pp 411–428 | Cite as

Soil characteristics determine the rhizobia in association with different species of Mimosa in central Brazil

  • Raquel de Castro Pires
  • Fábio Bueno dos Reis JuniorEmail author
  • Jerri Edson Zilli
  • Doreen Fischer
  • Andreas Hofmann
  • Euan Kevin James
  • Marcelo Fragomeni SimonEmail author
Regular Article


Background and aims

To evaluate the influence of soil type on the symbiosis between Mimosa spp. and rhizobia.


A greenhouse experiment was carried out with trap plants using seeds of six species of Mimosa and soils from three different locations in central Brazil: Posse, Brasília and Cavalcante. Plant dry biomass and number of nodules were measured after four months. Symbiotic bacteria were isolated from nodules and their molecular identification was performed. Three housekeeping genes (16S rRNA, recA and gyrB) plus the nodC and nifH symbiotic genes were used to determine the identity of the symbionts and to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among the isolated nitrogen-fixing bacteria.


Rhizobia from the Betaproteobacterial genus Paraburkholderia (former Burkholderia) and the Alphaproteobacterial genus Rhizobium were isolated from different species of Mimosa. As in previous studies, the phylogenies of their symbiosis-essential genes, nodC and nifH, were broadly congruent with their core housekeeping genes (16S rRNA, recA and gyrB), which suggests limited or no horizontal gene transfer. Edaphic factors such as pH and fertility influenced the occurrence of these unrelated rhizobial types in the nodules on these Mimosa spp.


Mimosa species have the ability to associate with different types of rhizobia (α- and β-proteobacteria), suggesting low specificity between host and bacterium in experimental conditions. Soil factors such as pH, nitrogen and fertility seem to favour the predominance of certain types of rhizobia, thus influencing the establishment of symbiotic relationships.


Biological nitrogen fixation Cerrado Host-specificity Nodulation Rhizobia β-rhizobia 



We thank managers and authorities for permission to collect in areas under their care, and Aécio Amaral, Alessandra Fidelis, Lucas Rolim, Clodoaldo Alves de Souza, for field and laboratory assistance. Authors also acknowledge Ieda de Carvalho Mendes and Marco Pessoa Filho (Embrapa Cerrados) for revising and giving suggestions on the manuscript. RCP was supported by a Master’s scholarship from the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), EKJ was funded by the CAPES/CNPq Ciência sem Fronteiras program, and MFS was supported by a CNPq productivity fellowship. This research was partially financed by Embrapa ( and INCT - Plant-Growth Promoting Microorganisms for Agricultural Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility (CNPq 465133/2014-4, Fundação Araucária-STI, CAPES).

Supplementary material

11104_2017_3521_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (326 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 326 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel de Castro Pires
    • 1
  • Fábio Bueno dos Reis Junior
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jerri Edson Zilli
    • 3
  • Doreen Fischer
    • 3
  • Andreas Hofmann
    • 3
  • Euan Kevin James
    • 4
  • Marcelo Fragomeni Simon
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de BotânicaUniversidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário Darcy RibeiroBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Embrapa CerradosPlanaltinaBrazil
  3. 3.Embrapa AgrobiologiaSeropédicaBrazil
  4. 4.The James Hutton InstituteDundeeUK
  5. 5.Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e BiotecnologiaBrasíliaBrazil

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