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Some 2013 papers

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

2013 has gone, and this blog seems to have missed most of it.  To make amends, here are a few rather randomly chosen papers from the past year.  You may have missed some of them.  For all I know, you may have written some of them.  They are not the most important papers of the year, but they are in the general area of rhizobial diversity and evolution.  There are dozens of others I could equally well have chosen – maybe I will add some more over the next few days.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to add them as comments on this post.

Friesen, M. L., & Heath, K. D. (2013). One hundred years of solitude: integrating single‐strain inoculations with community perspectives in the legume–rhizobium symbiosis. New Phytologist 198, 7-9.

Maren Friesen and Katy Heath respond to criticisms by Toby Kiers et al.

Ling, J., Zheng, H., Katzianer, D. S., Wang, H., Zhong, Z., & Zhu, J. (2013). Applying Reversible Mutations of Nodulation and Nitrogen-Fixation Genes to Study Social Cheating in Rhizobium etli-Legume Interaction. PloS one, 8(7), e70138.

An experimental contribution to the discussion of cheating in the rhizobium-legume symbiosis.

Takahara, M., Magori, S., Soyano, T., Okamoto, S., Yoshida, C., Yano, K., … & Kawaguchi, M. (2013). TOO MUCH LOVE, a Novel Kelch Repeat-Containing F-box Protein, Functions in the Long-Distance Regulation of the Legume–Rhizobium Symbiosis. Plant and Cell Physiology, 54(4), 433-447.

The name is irresistible, isn’t it?  The work actually concerns regulation of nodulation by the plant, which is clearly part of the cheating/sanctioning story.

Sánchez-Cañizares, C., & Palacios, J. (2013). Construction of a marker system for the evaluation of competitiveness for legume nodulation in Rhizobium strains. Journal of microbiological methods, 92(3), 246-249.

A technique for marking strains with gusA or celB, which could be useful for investigating genes that affect competitiveness.

Vanderlinde, E. M., Hynes, M. F., & Yost, C. K. (2013). Homoserine catabolism by Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 requires a plasmid‐borne gene cluster that also affects competitiveness for nodulation. Environmental Microbiology. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12196

Many R. leguminosarum symbiovar viciae strains can utilise homoserine, which is present in pea root exudate.  Genes for homoserine utilisation are identified and characterised.

Rashid, M., Gonzalez, J., Young, J. P. W., & Wink, M. (2013). Rhizobium leguminosarum is the symbiont of lentils in the Middle East and Europe but not in Bangladesh. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1574-6941.12190

I am an author on this one, but the real work was done by Harun-or Rashid.  He showed that lentils in Turkey, Syria and Germany were nodulated by “ordinary” R. leguminosarum sv. viciae, but the situation is very different in Bangladesh, where several new species are involved.

Nangul, A., Moot, D. J., Brown, D., & Ridgway, H. J. (2013). Nodule occupancy by Rhizobium leguminosarum strain WSM1325 following inoculation of four annual Trifolium species in Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 56(3), 215-223.

A New Zealand group applied commercial inoculant of R. leguminosarum WSM1325 to four clover species in the field.  They did not recover any WSM1325 from nodules – hardly surprising, since they showed that most of the live cells in the inoculant were contaminants.  They did, however, recover dozens of different R. leguminosarum genotypes from these New Zealand soils (where clovers are not native), and found that one clover species had a distinctly different strain preference from the others.

Saïdi, S., Ramírez-Bahena, M. H., Santillana, N., Zúñiga, D., Álvarez-Martínez, E., Peix, A., … & Velázquez, E. (2013). Rhizobium laguerreae sp. nov. nodulates Vicia faba in several continents. International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.052191-0

A new species in the R. leguminosarum species complex, named after the late Gisèle Laguerre (see my post).

Andres, J., Arsène-Ploetze, F., Barbe, V., Brochier-Armanet, C., Cleiss-Arnold, J., Coppée, J. Y., … & Bertin, P. N. (2013). Life in an arsenic-containing gold mine: genome and physiology of the autotrophic arsenite-oxidizing bacterium Rhizobium sp. NT-26. Genome biology and evolution, 5(5), 934-953.

This is probably an Agrobacterium rather than a Rhizobium, but even with a complete genome sequence its exact phylogenetic position was ambiguous – which sheds an interesting light on the unreliability of “phylogenetic markers” in the face of widespread recombination.  It does not seem to have Nod or Ti genes.


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