Competitiveness and effectiveness of strains of Rhizobium phaseoli isolated from the sonoran desert

K. L. Josephson, I. L. Pepper

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Abstract

Four strains of Rhizobium phaseoli were examined for N2 fixation effectiveness and for competitiveness for nodule occupancy by utilizing strain-specific fluorescent antibodies. Competition studies in Leonard jars held in a growth chamber showed strain KIM-5 (a cool season isolate from Kimberly, Idaho) consistently occupied the majority of nodules on bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cv. Kentucky Wonder, when applied as a mixed inoculant with desert strains (K-1, 36 or 90). Competitiveness of KIM-5 was relatively independent of cell numbers as shown by the high recovery of KIM-5 from nodules, even when extensively outnumbered in the inoculant. KIM-5 out-competed the desert strains regardless of whether they were ineffective (strains 36 and 90) or highly effective (K-1). Although KIM-5 was more competitive than K-l, no difference in infectiveness (as shown by nodule mass) or effectiveness (as shown by % N, total plant N, C2H2 reduction and total plant weight) was observed. In YEM broth, strain K-l showed increasing growth rates when the temperature was increased from 27° to 35°C, and was viable at 40°C. These data indicate K-1 to be an unusually heat-tolerant strain. Growth rates of KIM-5 were constant from 27° to 35°C and the organism was not viable at 40°C. Both strains produced acid in a defined broth medium. The effectiveness of KIM-5 and K-l was also evaluated under field conditions using single strain inoculants with two cultivars of pinto beans (P. vulgaris L.) ev. Mexicali 80 and Delicias 71. Inoculation with K-1 resulted in yield increases with both cultivars over uninoculated plants, whereas there was little difference between KIM-5 inoculated and uninoculated plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-655
Number of pages5
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Soil Science

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