In the present work we analyzed the taxonomic status of several Rhizobium strains isolated from Trifolium alexandrinum L. nodules in Egypt. The 16S rRNA genes of these strains were identical to those of Rhizobium bangladeshense BLR175T and Rhizobium binae BLR195T. However, the analyses of recA and atpD genes split the strains into two clusters. Cluster II strains are identified as R. bangladeshense with >98% similarity values in both genes. The cluster I strains are phylogenetically related to Rhizobium etli CFN42T and R. bangladeshense BLR175T, but with less than 94% similarity values in recA and atpD genes. DNA-DNA hybridization analysis showed 42% and 48% average relatedness between the strain 1010T from cluster I with respect to R. bangladeshense BLR175T and R. etli CFN42T, respectively. Phenotypic characteristics of cluster I strains also differed from those of their closest related Rhizobium species. Analysis of the nodC gene showed that the strains belong to two groups within the symbiovar trifolii which was identified in Egypt linked to the species R. bangladeshense. Based on the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics, the group I strains belong to a new species for which the name Rhizobium aegyptiacum sp. nov. (sv. trifolii) is proposed, with strain 1010T being designated as the type strain (= USDA 7124T = LMG 29296T = CECT 9098T).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported, in part, by funds from MINECO (Central Spanish Government) and by STDF project 1268 (Science Technology Development Fund) at the Academy of Scientific Research, Egypt , and the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station . We thank Dr. Aidan Parte for his help with the naming of this species.
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- Rhizobium aegyptiacum
- Rhizobium blangladeshense
- Symbiovar trifolii
- Trifolium alexandrinum