A Novel Rhizobium sp. Chiba-1 Strain Exhibits a Host Range for Nodule Symbiosis in Lotus Species

Microbes Environ. 2023;38(4):ME23056. doi: 10.1264/jsme2.ME23056.


Rhizobia are soil bacteria that induce the formation of nodules in the roots of leguminous plants for mutualistic establishment. Although the symbiotic mechanism between Lotus japonicus and its major symbiotic rhizobia, Mesorhizobium loti, has been extensively characterized, our understanding of symbiotic mechanisms, such as host specificity and host ranges, remains limited. In the present study, we isolated a novel Rhizobium strain capable of forming nodules on L. burttii from agricultural soil at Iwate prefecture in Japan. We conducted genomic and host range ana-lyses of various Lotus species. The results obtained revealed that the novel isolated Rhizobium sp. Chiba-1 was closely related to R. leguminosarum and had a wide host range that induced nodule development, including L. burttii and several L. japonicus wild-type accessions. However, L. japonicus Gifu exhibited an incompatible nodule phenotype. We also identified the formation of an epidermal infection threads that was dependent on the Lotus species and independent of nodule organ development. In conclusion, this newly isolated Rhizobium strain displays a distinct nodulation phenotype from Lotus species, and the results obtained herein provide novel insights into the functional mechanisms underlying host specificity and host ranges.

Keywords: Lotus species; host range; host specificity; rhizobium; symbiotic nodulation.

MeSH terms

  • Host Specificity / genetics
  • Lotus* / microbiology
  • Plant Roots / microbiology
  • Rhizobium* / genetics
  • Root Nodules, Plant / microbiology
  • Soil
  • Symbiosis / genetics


  • Soil