Plant phenology and genetic variability in root and nodule development strongly influence genetic structuring of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae populations nodulating pea
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- • The symbiotic relationships between legumes and their nitrogen (N2)-fixing bacterial partners (rhizobia) vary in effectiveness to promote plant growth according to both bacterial and legume genotype. To assess the selective effect of host plant on its microsymbionts, the influence of the pea (Pisum sativum) genotype on the relative nodulation success of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae (Rlv) genotypes from the soil populations during plant development has been investigated.
- • Five pea lines were chosen for their genetic variability in root and nodule development. Genetic structure and diversity of Rlv populations sampled from nodules were estimated by molecular typing with a marker of the genomic background (rDNA intergenic spacer) and a nodulation gene marker (nodD region).
- • Differences were found among Rlv populations related to pea genetic background but also to modification of plant development caused by single gene mutation. The growth stage of the host plant also influenced structuring of populations. A particular nodulation genotype formed the majority of nodules during the reproductive stage.
- • Overall, modification in root and nodule development appears to strongly influence the capacity of particular rhizobial genotypes to form nodules.