Inga (Caesalpinioideae) is the type genus of the Ingeae tribe in the mimosoid clade. It comprises about 300 species, all trees or treelets, and has an exclusively neotropical distribution, with Brazil as its main center of diversity. In this study, we analyzed the diversity of 40 strains of rhizobia isolated from root nodules collected from ten species of Inga belonging to different types of vegetation in Brazil. Sequences of their housekeeping genes (dnaK, recA, rpoB, gyrB and glnII), 16S rRNA genes, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions, as well as their symbiosis-essential genes (nodC and nifH) were used to characterize them genetically. The ability of the rhizobia to form nodules on Inga spp., and on the promiscuous legume siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) was also evaluated. A multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) combined with an analysis of the ITS region showed that the isolates were distributed into four main groups (A-D) within the large genus Bradyrhizobium. Analysis of the nodC and nifH genes showed that the isolates formed a separate branch from all described species of Bradyrhizobium, except for B. ingae. Most of the tested isolates formed nodules on siratro and all isolates tested nodulated Inga spp. Our results suggest a unique co-evolutionary history of Bradyrhizobium and Inga and demonstrate the existence of potential new species of microsymbionts nodulating this important and representative genus of leguminous tree from the Caesalpinioideae mimosoid clade.
- Mimosoid clade
- Symbiotic genes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology