Salt tolerance of a Sinorhizobium meliloti strain isolated from dry lands: growth capacity and protein profile changes
The rhizobia present in a single arid region Tunisian soil that nodulate Medicago laciniata and Medicago truncatula were compared. All isolates, 40 from each host, were Sinorhizobium meliloti based on 16S rRNA polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) patterns and subsequent confirmation by sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA genes in four representatives from each host species. There was no apparent relationship between Medicago host species of isolation and the nodulating rhizobial genome as determined by repetitive extragenic palandromic PCR. The isolates of M. laciniata were distinguished from those of M. truncatula present in the same soil by variation in PCR-RFLP of nifDK, indicating that this dissimilarity is originally genetic and not geographic. While forming effective symbioses with their own respective isolates, both M. laciniata and M. truncatula formed ineffective true nodules, nodule-like structures, or no nodules at all in cross-inoculation tests, as confirmed by the histological observations.