|Van Berkum, Peter|
Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2006
Publication Date: 8/15/2006
Citation: Van Berkum, P.B., Beyhaut, E., Tlusty, B., Graham, P.H. 2006. Rhizobium giardinii is the microsymbiont of illinois bundleflower (desmanthus illinoensis (michx) macmillan in midwestern prairies. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 52:903-907.
Interpretive Summary: Soil bacteria known as rhizobia form a symbiosis with legume crops such as soybean and alfalfa. In symbiosis, these rhizobia extract nitrogen gas from the atmosphere and convert it into a form that the plants use for growth. This results in efficient crop production since growers need not apply fertilizer, which saves money and prevents pollution of the environment. Management of the symbiosis is at sowing by inoculation of the seeds with rhizobia using precise formulations of the bacteria. Illinois bundleflower is a native American legume species that could be developed into a new crop. In this work, the rhizobia of Illinois bundleflower were isolated from Midwestern Prairy soils and were identified as close relatives of the rhizobial species Rhizobium giardinii, previously isolated in France from bean plants. These results are important to the inoculum industry and to scientists wishing to introduce this legume as a new crop. Also, this result is of interest to the Minnesota Department of Transportation with their goal to preserve the Midwestern Prairies.
Technical Abstract: Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis (Michx) Macmillan) has potential as a grain and forage legume for the American Midwest. Inoculant-quality rhizobia for this legume have been identified but not previously characterized. Rhizobia trapped from 20 soils in the natural range of Illinois bundleflower belonged overwhelmingly to the species Rhizobium giardinii, only the second time this species has been recovered from legumes, and raising questions on the biogeography and spread of Midwestern prairie rhizobia.