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Studies of rhizobial competitiveness for nodulation in soybean using a non-destructive split-root system

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Seville, Avda, Reina Mercedes 6, 41012-Sevilla, Spain

Special Issues: Plant probiotic bacteria: solutions to feed the World

Split-root systems (SRS) constitute an appropriate methodology for studying the relevance of both local and systemic mechanisms that participate in the control of rhizobia-legume symbioses. In fact, this kind of approach allowed to demonstrate the autoregulation of nodulation (AON) systemic response in soybean in the 1980s. In SRS, the plant main root is cut and two lateral roots that emerge from the seedlings after root-tip removal are confined into separate compartments. After several days of growth, these plants have two separate roots that can be inoculated with the same or with different bacteria, at the same or at different times. In this work, we have used a non-destructive SRS to study two different competitiveness relations between rhizobial strains in soybean roots. One of them is the competition for nodulation between two soybean-nodulating rhizobia: the slow-grower Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA110 and the fast-grower Sinorhizobium fredii HH103. The second is the competitive blocking of S. fredii 257DH4 nodulation in the American soybean Osumi by Sinorhizobium fredii USDA257, which is unable to nodulate American soybeans. Our results showed that the competitiveness relationships studied in this work are mitigated or even avoided when the competitive strains are spatially separated in different compartments containing half-roots from the same plant, suggesting that competitive relations are more related to local plant responses. In our opinion, split-root systems are an appropriate approach to further study competitive relations among rhizobial strains.
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Copyright Info: © 2017, José-María Vinardell, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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