Seed World

Legumes Control Infection of Nodules by Both Symbiotic and Endophytic Bacteria

Researchers in Denmark demonstrate that when legume plants are exposed to mixed bacterial communities, they selectively regulate access and accommodation of bacteria occupying a specialized environmental niche — the root nodule.
Maintaining populations of highly competitive symbionts in the soil, and ensuring predominant occupancy by effective nitrogen fixing bacteria, represent a major challenge that limits legume cultivation. The study shows that genetic resources available for the model legumes, in combination with co-inoculation strategies, provide a reliable framework for identifying the genetic mechanisms operating behind this compatibility at the plant root interface, thus allowing developments to further address this challenge in a targeted manner.
These results can be used in future studies to select beneficial microbes with enhanced colonization and maintenance ability inside plant hosts, and it provides a solid basis and platform for identification and selection of beneficial endophytic bacteria and highly efficient nitrogen-fixing rhizobia to be used as biofertilizers in sustainable agriculture.
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