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Development and Application of a Multilocus Sequence Analysis Method for the Identification of Genotypes Within Genus Bradyrhizobium and for Establishing Nodule Occupancy of Soybean (Glycine max L. Merr)

March 2012 , Volume 25 , Number  3
Pages  321 - 330

Peter van Berkum,1 Patrick Elia,1 Qijian Song,1 and Bertrand D. Eardly2

1Soybean Genomics and Improvement Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705, U.S.A., and 2Penn State Berks College, Berks Campus, P.O. Box 7009 Reading, PA 19610, U.S.A.

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Accepted 1 November 2011.

A multilocus sequence typing (MLST) method based on allelic variation of seven chromosomal loci was developed for characterizing genotypes (GT) within the genus Bradyrhizobium. With the method, 29 distinct multilocus GT were identified among 190 culture collection soybean strains. The occupancy of 347 nodules taken from uninoculated field-grown soybean plants also was determined. The bacteroid GT were either the same as or were closely related to GT identified among strains in the culture collection. Double-nodule occupancy estimates of 2.9% were much lower than values published based on serology. Of the 347 nodules examined, 337 and 10 were occupied by Bradyrhizobium japonicum and B. elkanii, respectively. The collection strains within the species B. japonicum and B. elkaniialso were compared with Bradyrhizobium cultures from other legumes. In many cases, the observed GT varied more according to their geographic origin than by their trap hosts of isolation. In other cases, there were no apparent relationships with either the legume or geographic source. The MLST method that was developed should be a useful tool in determining the influence of geographic location, temperature, season, soil type, and host plant cultivar on the distribution of GT of Bradyrhizobium spp.

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2012.