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Competitive abilities of common field isolates and a commercial strain of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii for clover nodule occupancy

Denton, M., Reeve, W.G., Howieson, J.G. and Coventry, D.R. (2003) Competitive abilities of common field isolates and a commercial strain of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii for clover nodule occupancy. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 35 (8). pp. 1039-1048.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0038-0717(03)00146-9
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Abstract

We previously reported that commercial Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii inoculants failed to outcompete naturalized strains for nodule occupation of clover sown into an alkaline soil [Aust. J. Agric. Res. 53 (2002) 1019]. Two field isolates that dominated nodule occupancy at the field site were labeled with a PnifH-gusA marker. Marked strains were chosen on the basis that they were equally competitive and fixed similar amounts of nitrogen in comparison to their parental strain. The minitransposon insertions were cloned and sequence analysis revealed that neither lesion disrupted the integrity of any known gene. The marked strains were then used to follow nodule occupancy of Trifolium alexandrinum in competition against the commercial inoculant TA1 under a range of experimental conditions. In co-inoculation experiments in sand–vermiculite, TA1 outcompeted each marked field isolate for nodule occupancy. However, using TA1-inoculated seed sown into alkaline soil containing a marked field strain, it was demonstrated that by increasing the cell number of marked rhizobia in the soil and reducing the cell number of the commercial inoculant, the proportion of nodules occupied by TA1 was reduced. These studies indicate that the ability of the field isolates to dominate nodule occupancy in the alkaline field soils was most likely caused by poor commercial inoculant survival providing the advantage for naturalized soil rhizobia to initiate nodulation.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Rhizobium Studies
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Copyright: 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/16892
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