The Identification, Location and Manipulation of Genes in Rhizobium

  • John E. Beringer


The importance of nitrogen fixation by rhizobia in legume root nodules has been recognized for a long time and has led to the establishment of inoculation industries in many countries. However, despite the extensive use of Rhizobium strains in agriculture since the beginning of this century, the strains in use are ‘wild-type’ isolates and no genetically-manipulated strains are presently available. This is partly due to the fact that Rhizobium genetic studies have only flourished over the last few years. A much more important impediment has been a lack of understanding of the specific attributes of Rhizobium strains which are required. These involve properties such as competitiveness, efficiency of fixation and an ability to become established in particular soil conditions. Attempts to understand the genetic basis of these properties, so that improved strains can be constructed by genetic means, have only just started. The aim of this brief review is to summarize our present knowledge of Rhizobium genetics and indicate the methods that are available to produce improved strains in the future.


Nitrogen Fixation Rhizobium Strain Rhizobium Leguminosarum Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation Rhizobium Species 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John E. Beringer
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil Microbiology DepartmentRothamsted Experimental StationHarpendenUK

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