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Investigating and promoting new local legume symbioses for development in west african and mediterranean countries

De Lajudie P., Neyra M., Galiana A., Nzoué A., Sy A., Molouba F., Chaintreuil C., Moulin L., Le Roux C., Domergue O., Jourand P., Dreyfus B., Houngnandan P., Zoubeirou A.M., Yattara I., Sacko O., Atallah T., Zakhia F., Mars M., Mahdhi M., Jeder H., Filali-Maltouf A., Mohamed S.H.. 2009. In : Association marocaine de biotechnologie microbienne et. International Congress "Microbial Biotechnology for Development" = Congrès international "biotechnologie microbienne au service du développement" (MICROBIOD 1), Marrakech, Maroc, 02-05 November 2009. Marrakech. : MICROBIONA., p. 47-48. Congrès international "biotechnologie microbienne au service du développement", 2009-11-02/2009-11-05, Marrakech (Maroc).

In the context of climate change, increasing earth population and burst of energy cost, legumes should contribute more to both food security and sustainable management of natural resources (water, soils) in the next years. A collaborative work with research groups in several developing countries during the past 20 years focused on investigation and sampling of local wild legumes (herbs, shrubs and trees) having environmental/agronomic/forestry potential in West Africa and in the Mediterranean region. New symbiotic systems were discovered, resulting in new models for fundamental research, and new applications. This is, for one part, due to their associated microsymbionts, often belonging to unexpected bacterial groups with original physiological / metabolic properties i.e. photosynthesis, freeliving nitrogen fixation, methylothrophy, tolerance to extreme environmental conditions (salinity, aridity, heavy metals, hydrocarbon breakdown), stem nodulation, beneficial associations with non-legume plants (cereals). This may account for their wider adaptation to a variety of plant species and ecological habitats than previously thought, opening new insights for the domestication of these " multipurpose rhizobia ". Indeed new arable soils are required wordwide, often from degraded lands, affected by aridity, salinity, mining activities, pollution. Rhizobia may thus participate as tools Several examples picked up from our diversity investigations over recent years will be presented to illustrate either success stories of beneficial use of these new symbioses or reasonably good perspectives of application of research in different aspects, soil fertility regeneration/maintenance, food crop production optimization (i.e. green manure, nematode control, associated cultures), sustainable environmental management. Federated farmer organizations at the local, regional and national levels are active collaborative partners in research and dissemination of results to their end user members (small farmers, NGOs, foresters agronomists and cattle breeders, industrials...).

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