Phylogenetic diversity and plant growth-promoting activities of rhizobia nodulating fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) cultivated in different agroclimatic regions of India

Mitesh Khairnar, Ashwini Hagir, Krupa Parmar, Riyazali Zafarali Sayyed, Euan K. James, Praveen Rahi (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
134 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.), is an extensively cultivated legume crop used as a herb, spice, and traditional medicine in India. The symbiotic efficiency and plant growth-promoting potential of fenugreek rhizobia depend on the symbiont strain and environmental factors. We isolated 176 root-nodulating bacteria from fenugreek cultivated in different agroclimatic regions of India. MALDI-TOF MS-based identification and phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA and five housekeeping genes classified the fenugreek-rhizobia as Ensifer (Sinorhizobium) meliloti. However, the strains represent separate sub-lineages of E. meliloti, distinct from all reported sub-lineages across the globe. We also observed the spatial distribution of fenugreek rhizobia, as the three sub-lineages of E. meliloti recorded during this study were specific to their respective agroclimatic regions. According to the symbiotic gene (nodC and nifH) phylogenies, all three sub-lineages of E. meliloti harboured symbiotic genes similar to symbiovar meliloti; as with the housekeeping genes, these also revealed a spatial distribution for different clades of sv. meliloti. The strains could nodulate fenugreek plants and they showed plant growth-promoting potential. Significant differences were found in the plant growth parameters in response to inoculation with the various strains, suggesting strain-level differences. This study demonstrates that fenugreek rhizobia in India are diverse and spatially distributed in different agro-climatic regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfiac014
Number of pages13
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume98
Issue number2
Early online date10 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Ensifer (Sinorhizobium) meliloti
  • MALDI-TOF MS
  • agroclimatic regions
  • fenugreek
  • phylogenetic analyses
  • symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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