Aims: To describe the structure of nodules of Vachellia (Acacia) jacquemontii, and to characterise the rhizobia that occupy them.
Methods: Light and electron microscopy were used to analyse nodules. Rhizobia were characterised using their 16S rRNA, housekeeping and symbiosis-related gene sequences.
Results: Nodules of V. jacquemontii were typical of all other described mimosoid legumes. All 73 of the isolates were strains of Ensifer, and concatenated phylogenetic analysis of their housekeeping genes (rrs, recA, atpD, glnII and dnaK) suggested that they are novel, forming separate lineages close to E. saheli. The phylogenies of the symbiosis-essential genes nodA and nifH were inconsistent with the housekeeping phylogenies. The nodA sequences of most isolates were close to that of E. arboris HAMBI 1552T, but the nifH gene was found to be related to that of E. kostiensis HAMBI 1489T. All the tested Ensifer strains, except for AJ24, were found to be capable of nodulating other species of Vachellia as well as native Indian Mimosa and Prosopis spp.
Conclusions: Stressful conditions caused by the alkaline soil of the Thar Desert have resulted in V. jacquemontii being nodulated by diverse and promiscuous Ensifer species that are capable of nodulating other native members of the tribe Mimoseae.
- Multi Locus Sequence Analysis (MLSA)
- Thar Desert
- Vachellia (Acacia) jacquemontii