Evolutionary genetic relationships among 146 bean-nodulating Rhizobium strains, including 94 field isolates from three localities in Colombia and 36 strains from Mexico, were examined by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of a PCR-amplified 260-bp segment of the 16S rRNA gene. Seventy-five electrophoretic types (ETs), corresponding to multilocus enzyme genotypes, were identified, including a genotypically diverse group of 18 ETs in Colombia that is strongly differentiated from the ETs of R. etli, which occur in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. Most strains of the distinctive Colombian ETs carried the same 16S rRNA allele as did strains of R. etli, but, surprisingly, 17 isolates of two of these ETs had the allele that is characteristic of R. leguminosarum, and strains of two other divergent groups of ETs were also polymorphic for the two alleles. No fully satisfactory explanation for the occurrence of the R. leguminosarum 16S rRNA allele in three distantly related groups of strains is available, but horizontal transfer and recombination of the gene, in whole or in part, would seem to be more plausible than convergence in nucleotide sequence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology