Colutea arborescensis nodulated by diverse rhizobia in Eastern Morocco

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Eighteen isolates of rhizobia isolated from root nodules of Colutea arborescens (Bladder senna) grown in different soils of the eastern area of Morocco were characterized by phenotypic and genomic analyses. All the isolates characterized were fast growers. This is may be due to the isolation procedures used. The phenotypic, symbiotic and cultural characteristics analyzed allowed the description of a wide physiological diversity among tested isolates. The results obtained suggest that the phenotype of these rhizobia might have convergent evolved to adapt the local conditions. The genetic characterization consisted in an analysis of the rep-PCR fingerprints and the PCR-based RFLP of the 16S rDNA patterns. The 16S rDNA of six isolates representing the main ribotypes obtained by the PCR-based RFLP was sequenced. A large diversity was observed among these rhizobia, and they were classified as different species of the genera Rhizobium, Sinorhizobium and Mesorhizobium. The nodC gene was also sequenced, and the results confirmed the three lineages corresponding to the three genera. The results of the sequencing of nodC and 16S rDNA genes suggest that the nodulation genes and chromosome might have co-evolved among these bacteria.

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