Competitiveness of Rhizobium sp. [Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) Dewit] strains and their genetically marked derivatives


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Abstract

The competitiveness of wild-type strains of Rhizobium sp. (Leucaena) and their genetically marked double mutants was examined in mixed infection experiments in the greenhouse. Antibiotic resistance markers were selected for use in strain identification, but these genetic markers apparently lowered both competitiveness and effectiveness, except in the case of strain DS 144/2 where the genetically marked derivative was evidently superior to the wild-type parent strain in effectiveness. Four wild-type strains and their genetically marked derivatives were carefully evaluated using double reciprocal pairs, the results of which nevertheless allowed the formulation of some conclusions. Strains DS 65 and DS 78 were more competitive than strain DS 144/2; only strain DS 78 was more competitive than DS 158; and strains DS 158 and DS 65 were equally competitive. There was no correlation between nodule number and competitiveness. Shoot dry weight and nitrogen mass, as well as nitrogenase activity, decreased with some strain mixtures indicating that relatively ineffective symbioses had formed, as compared with single-strain inoculations using symbiotically competent strains.

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