Genotypic Characterization of Bradyrhizobium Strains Nodulating Endemic Woody Legumes of the Canary Islands by PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis of Genes Encoding 16S rRNA (16S rDNA) and 16S-23S rDNA Intergenic Spacers, Repetitive Extragenic Palindromic PCR Genomic Fingerprinting, and Partial 16S rDNA Sequencing


American Society for Microbiology


We present a phylogenetic analysis of nine strains of symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria isolated from nodules of tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus) and other endemic woody legumes of the Canary Islands, Spain. These and several reference strains were characterized genotypically at different levels of taxonomic resolution by computer-assisted analysis of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphisms (PCR-RFLPs), 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer (IGS) RFLPs, and repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) genomic fingerprints with BOX, ERIC, and REP primers. Cluster analysis of 16S rDNA restriction patterns with four tetrameric endonucleases grouped the Canarian isolates with the two reference strains, Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA 110spc4 and Bradyrhizobium sp. strain (Centrosema) CIAT 3101, resolving three genotypes within these bradyrhizobia. In the analysis of IGS RFLPs with three enzymes, six groups were found, whereas rep-PCR fingerprinting revealed an even greater genotypic diversity, with only two of the Canarian strains having similar fingerprints. Furthermore, we show that IGS RFLPs and even very dissimilar rep-PCR fingerprints can be clustered into phylogenetically sound groupings by combining them with 16S rDNA RFLPs in computer-assisted cluster analysis of electrophoretic patterns. The DNA sequence analysis of a highly variable 264-bp segment of the 16S rRNA genes of these strains was found to be consistent with the fingerprint-based classification. Three different DNA sequences were obtained, one of which was not previously described, and all belonged to the B. japonicum/Rhodopseudomonas rDNA cluster. Nodulation assays revealed that none of the Canarian isolates nodulated Glycine max or Leucaena leucocephala, but all nodulated Acacia pendula, C. proliferus, Macroptilium atropurpureum, and Vigna unguiculata.

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