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Genetic variation in populations of two Mediterranean annual pasture legumes (Biserrula pelecinus L. and Ornithopus compressus L.) and associated rhizobia

Loi, A., Howieson, J.G., Cocks, P.S. and Carr, S.J. (1999) Genetic variation in populations of two Mediterranean annual pasture legumes (Biserrula pelecinus L. and Ornithopus compressus L.) and associated rhizobia. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 50 (3). p. 303.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/A98058
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Abstract

Genetic variation between and within populations of Biserrula pelecinus L. (biserrula) and Ornithopus compressus L. (yellow serradella) and associated rhizobia was studied using germplasm collected from sites in central-eastern and south-eastern Sardinia (Italy). Pods and root-nodule bacteria were collected on diagonal transects at each site. Plants were characterised in nursery rows and the rhizobia were isolated and tested for their effectiveness. Thirteen morphological traits were recorded and the results were analysed using cluster analysis.
Genetic and phenotypic variation of rhizobia were assessed using DNA analysis (PCR, RAPDs) and effectiveness indices, respectively. Genetic variation based on morphological traits was found between and within sites for both species. Pod characteristics and flowering time were the most important traits assisting in discriminating between accessions. Flowering time varied more in serradella than in biserrula, particularly at Cantoniera Cannas. Although all rhizobial strains nodulated all accessions of biserrula, great variability in capacity to fix nitrogen was evident between and within sites. Distinct PCR amplification profiles were generated for individual rhizobial strains, which confirmed the phenotypic variability (effectiveness indices) of the strains. No relationship was found between host and rhizobia variation.

The results are discussed in terms of (a) genetic differences for each species within and between sites; (b) differences in behaviour in respect to genetic variation between biserrula, serradella, and other Mediterranean annual legumes; and (c) spatial variability and symbiotic effectiveness of rhizobia.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Rhizobium Studies
Publisher: CSIRO
Copyright: © CSIRO 1999
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/18030
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