Preferential association of endophytic bradyrhizobia with different rice cultivars and its implications for rice endophyte evolution

Pongdet Piromyou, Teerana Greetatorn, Kamonluck Teamtisong, Takashi Okubo, Ryo Shinoda, Achara Nuntakij, Panlada Tittabutr, Nantakorn Boonkerd, Kiwamu Minamisawa, Neung Teaumroong

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Plant colonization by bradyrhizobia is found not only in leguminous plants but also in nonleguminous species such as rice. To understand the evolution of the endophytic symbiosis of bradyrhizobia, the effect of the ecosystems of rice plantations on their associations was investigated. Samples were collected from various rice (Oryza sativa) tissues and crop rotational systems. The rice endophytic bradyrhizobia were isolated on the basis of oligotrophic properties, selective medium, and nodulation on siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum). Six bradyrhizobial strains were obtained exclusively from rice grown in a crop rotational system. The isolates were separated into photosynthetic bradyrhizobia (PB) and nonphotosynthetic bradyrhizobia (non-PB). Thai bradyrhizobial strains promoted rice growth of Thai rice cultivars better than the Japanese bradyrhizobial strains. This implies that the rice cultivars possess characteristics that govern rice-bacterium associations. To examine whether leguminous plants in a rice plantation system support the persistence of rice endophytic bradyrhizobia, isolates were tested for legume nodulation. All PB strains formed symbioses with Aeschynomene indica and Aeschynomene evenia. On the other hand, non-PB strains were able to nodulate Aeschynomene americana, Vigna radiata, and M. atropurpureum but unable to nodulate either A. indica or A. evenia. Interestingly, the nodABC genes of all of these bradyrhizobial strains seem to exhibit low levels of similarity to those of Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens USDA110 and Bradyrhizobium sp. strain ORS285. From these results, we discuss the evolution of the plant-bradyrhizobium association, including nonlegumes, in terms of photosynthetic lifestyle and nod-independent interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3049-3061
Number of pages13
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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