Bradyrhizobium Altum SP. Nov., Bradyrhizobium Oropedii SP. Nov. And Bradyrhizobium Acaciae SP. Nov. From South Africa Show Locally Restricted and Pantropical Noda Phylogeographic Patterns

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Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution




Africa is known for its rich legume diversity with a significant number of endemic species originating in South Africa. Many of these legumes associate with rhizobial symbionts of the genus Bradyrhizobium, of which most represent new species. Yet, none of the Bradyrhizobium species from South Africa have been described. In this study, phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences of fourteen strains isolated in southern Africa from root nodules of diverse legumes (i.e., from the tribes Crotalarieae, Acacieae, Genisteae, Phaseoleae and Cassieae) revealed that they belong to the Bradyrhizobium elkanii supergroup. The taxonomic position and possible novelty of these strains were further interrogated using genealogical concordance of five housekeeping genes (atpD, dnaK, glnII, gyrB and rpoB). These phylogenies consistently recovered four monophyletic groups and one singleton within Bradyrhizobium. Of these groups, two were conspecific with Bradyrhizobium brasilense UFLA 03-321T and Bradyrhizobium ivorense CI-1BT, while the remaining three represented novel taxa. Their existence was further supported with genome data, as well as metabolic and physiological traits. Analysis of nodA gene sequences further showed that the evolution of these bacteria likely involved adapting to local legume hosts and environmental conditions through the acquisition, via horizontal gene transfer, of optimal symbiotic loci. We accordingly propose the following names Bradyrhizobium acaciae sp. nov. 10BBT (SARCC 730T = LMG 31409T), Bradyrhizobium oropedii sp. nov. Pear76T (SARCC 731T = LMG 31408T), and Bradyrhizobium altum sp. nov. Pear77T (SARCC 754T = LMG 31407T) to accommodate three novel species, all of which are symbionts of legumes in South Africa.


Bradyrhizobium elkanii supergroup; Nodulation; Phylogenomics; Phylogeography; Species hypotheses


Biochemistry | Evolution

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