Diversity of Rhizobium-Phaseolus vulgaris symbiosis: overview and perspectives

Plant and Soil (Impact Factor: 3.24). 04/2003; 252(1):11-23. DOI: 10.1023/A:1024199013926

ABSTRACT Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) has become a cosmopolitan crop, but was originally domesticated in the Americas and has been grown in Latin America for several thousand years. Consequently an enormous diversity of bean nodulating bacteria have developed and in the centers of origin the predominant species in bean nodules is R. etli. In some areas of Latin America, inoculation, which normally promotes nodulation and nitrogen fixation is hampered by the prevalence of native strains. Many other species in addition to R. etli have been found in bean nodules in regions where bean has been introduced. Some of these species such as R. leguminosarum bv. phaseoli, R. gallicum bv. phaseoli and R. giardinii bv. phaseoli might have arisen by acquiring the phaseoli plasmid from R. etli. Others, like R. tropici, are well adapted to acid soils and high temperatures and are good inoculants for bean under these conditions. The large number of rhizobia species capable of nodulating bean supports that bean is a promiscuous host and a diversity of bean-rhizobia interactions exists. Large ranges of dinitrogen fixing capabilities have been documented among bean cultivars and commercial beans have the lowest values among legume crops. Knowledge on bean symbiosis is still incipient but could help to improve bean biological nitrogen fixation.

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