Identification of the rhizobial symbiont of Astragalus glombiformis in Eastern Morocco as Mesorhizobium camelthorni

Guerrouj, Kamal; Pérez-Valera, Eduardo; Chahboune, Rajaa; Abdelmoumen, Hanaa; Bedmar, Eulogio; Idrissi, Mustapha
August 2013
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek;Aug2013, Vol. 104 Issue 2, p187
Academic Journal
Astragalus gombiformis is a desert symbiotic nitrogen-fixing legume of great nutritional value as fodder for camels and goats. However, there are no data published on the rhizobial bacteria that nodulate this wild legume in northern Africa. Thirty-four rhizobial bacteria were isolated from root nodules of A. gombifomis grown in sandy soils of the South-Eastern of Morocco. Twenty-five isolates were able to renodulate their original host and possessed a nodC gene copy. The phenotypic and genotypic characterizations carried out illustrated the diversity of the isolates. Phenotypic analysis showed that isolates used a great number of carbohydrates as sole carbon source. However, although they were isolated from arid sandy soils, the isolates do not tolerate drought stress applied in vitro. The phenotypic diversity corresponded mainly to the diversity in the use of some carbohydrates. The genetic analysis as assessed by repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) showed that the isolates clustered into 3 groups at a similarity coefficient of 81 %. The nearly-complete 16S rRNA gene sequence from a representative strain of each PCR-group showed they were closely related to members of the genus Mesorhizobium of the family Phyllobactericeae within the Alphaproteobacteria. Sequencing of the housekeeping genes atpD, glnII and recA, and their concatenated phylogenetic analysis, showed they are closely related to Mesorhizobium camelthorni. Sequencing of the symbiotic nodC gene from each strain revealed they had 83.53 % identity with the nodC sequence of the type strain M. camelthorni CCNWXJ 40-4


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