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Soil Type and Maize Cultivar Affect the Genetic Diversity of Maize Root–Associated Burkholderia cepacia Populations

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Burkholderia cepacia populations associated with the Zea mays root system were investigated to assess the influence of soil type, maize cultivar, and root localization on the degree of their genetic diversity. A total of 180 B. cepacia isolates were identified by restriction analysis of the amplified 16S rDNA (ARDRA technique). The genetic diversity among B. cepacia isolates was analyzed by the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique, using the 10-mer primer AP5. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) method was applied to estimate the variance components for the RAPD patterns. The results indicated that, among the factors studied, the soil was clearly the dominant one in affecting the genetic diversity of maize root–associated B. cepacia populations. In fact, the percentage of variation among populations was significantly higher between B. cepacia populations recovered from maize planted in different soils than between B. cepacia populations isolated from different maize cultivars and from distinct root compartments such as rhizoplane and rhizosphere. The analysis of the genetic relationships among B. cepacia isolates resulted in dendrograms showing bacterial populations with frequent recombinations and a nonclonal genetic structure. The dendrograms were also in agreement with the AMOVA results. We were able to group strains obtained from distinct soils on the basis of their origin, confirming that soil type had the major effect on the degree of genetic diversity of the maize root–associated B. cepacia populations analyzed. On the other hand, strains isolated from distinct root compartments exhibited a random distribution which confirmed that the rhizosphere and rhizoplane populations analyzed did not significantly differ in their genetic structure.

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Received: 22 January 1999; Accepted: 7 April 1999

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Dalmastri, C., Chiarini, L., Cantale, C. et al. Soil Type and Maize Cultivar Affect the Genetic Diversity of Maize Root–Associated Burkholderia cepacia Populations. Microb Ecol 38, 273–284 (1999).

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