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Genetic diversity patterns and functional traits of bradyrhizobium strains associated with Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq. in Caribbean Islands and Amazonian Forest (French Guiana)

Le Roux C., Muller F., Bouvet J.M., Dreyfus B., Béna G., Galiana A., Bâ A.M.. 2014. Microbial Ecology, 68 (2) : p. 329-338.

DOI: 10.1007/s00248-014-0392-7

Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq. is a legume tree native to the Caribbean islands and South America growing as a dominant species in swamp forests. To analyze (i) the genetic diversity and (ii) the symbiotic properties of its associated nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria, root nodules were collected from P. officinalis distributed in 16 forest sites of the Caribbean islands and French Guiana. The sequencing of the 16S-23S ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer region (ITS) showed that all bacteria belonged to the Bradyrhizobium genus. Bacteria isolated from insular zones showed very close sequence homologies with Bradyrhizobium genospecies V belonging to the Bradyrhizobium japonicum super-clade. By contrast, bacteria isolated from continental region displayed a larger genetic diversity and belonged to B. elkanii super-clade. Two strains from Puerto Rico and one from French Guiana were not related to any known sequence and could be defined as a new genospecies. Inoculation experiments did not show any host specificity of the Bradyrhizobium strains tested in terms of infectivity. However, homologous Bradyrhizobium sp. strain-P. officinalis provenance associations were more efficient in terms of nodule production, N acquisition, and growth than heterologous ones. The dominant status of P. officinalis in the islands may explain the lower bacterial diversity compared to that found in the continent where P. officinalis is associated with other leguminous tree species. The specificity in efficiency found between Bradyrhizobium strains and host tree provenances could be due to a coevolution process between both partners and needs to be taken in consideration in the framework of rehabilitation plantation programs.

Mots-clés : pterocarpus; bradyrhizobium; interactions biologiques; variation génétique; Évolution; symbiose; aptitude à coloniser; mycorhizé à vésicule et arbuscule; reconstitution forestière; sol marécageux; forêt tropicale humide; porto rico; guyane française; caraïbes; antilles françaises; guadeloupe; martinique; dominique; amazonie; france; pterocarpus officinalis

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