Genetic diversity of indigenous common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) rhizobia in two Brazilian ecosystems
Grange, L. | Hungria, M.
Although rhizobia for common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are established in most Brazilian soils, understanding of their genetic diversity is very poor. This study characterized bean strains from two contrasting ecosystems in Brazil, the Northeast Region, with a semi-arid climate and neutral soils and the South Region, with a humid subtropical climate and acid soils. Seedlings of the cultivars Negro Argel and Apore were used to trap 243 rhizobial isolates from 12 out of 14 sites. An analysis of ERIC-PCR products revealed enormous variability, with 81% of the isolates representing unique strains considering a level of 70% of similarity. In general, there was no effect of either the bean cultivar, or the ecosystem on rhizobial diversity. One-hundred and one strains showing genetic relatedness (ERIC-PCR) less than 70% were further analyzed using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the 16 S rDNA cleaved with five restriction enzymes. Twenty-five different profile combinations were obtained. Rhizobium etli was the predominant species, with 73 strains showing similar RFLP profiles, while 12 other strains differed only by the profile with one restriction enzyme. Fifty strains were submitted to sequencing of a 16 S rDNA fragment, and 34 clustered with R. etli, including strains with RFLP-PCR profiles similar to those species or differing by one restriction enzyme. However, other strains differing by one or two enzymes were genetically distant from R. etli and two strains with identical profiles showed higher similarity to Sinorhizobium fredii. Other strains showed higher similarity of bases with R. tropici, R. leguminosarum and Mesorhizobium plurifarium, but some strains were quite dissimilar and may represent new species. Great variability was also verified among the sequenced strains in relation to the ability to grow in YMA at 40 °C, in LB, to synthesize melanin in vitro, as well as in symbiotic performance, including differences in relation to the described species, e.g. many R. etli strains were able to grow in LB and in YMA at 40°C, and not all R. tropici were able to nodulate Leucaena.Show more [+] Less [-]