Genomic instability in Rhizobium phaseoli

J Bacteriol. 1988 Mar;170(3):1191-6. doi: 10.1128/jb.170.3.1191-1196.1988.


Experience from different laboratories indicates that Rhizobium strains can generate variability in regard to some phenotypic characteristics such as colony morphology or symbiotic properties. On the other hand, several reports suggest that under certain stress conditions or genetic manipulations Rhizobium cells can present genomic rearrangements. In search of frequent genomic rearrangements, we analyzed three Rhizobium strains under laboratory conditions that are not considered to cause stress in bacterial populations. DNAs from direct descendants of a single cell were analyzed in regard to the hybridization patterns obtained, using as probes different recombinant plasmids or cosmids; while most of the probes utilized did not show differences in the hybridization patterns, some of them revealed the occurrence of frequent genomic rearrangements. The implications and possible biological significance of these observations are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Mutation*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Rhizobium / genetics*


  • DNA, Bacterial