Diversity and numbers of root-nodule bacteria (rhizobia) in Polish soils

Stefan Martyniuk, Jadwiga Oroń, Maria Martyniuk


Using a sand pouch-plant infection method, populations of several species of root-nodule bacteria (rhizobia) were enumerated in eighty soils collected throughout Poland. Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae (symbionts of pea, faba bean, vetch) and R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii (symbionts of clover) were detected in 77 and 76 soils, respectively. Most of these soils contained moderate and high numbers of these species of the rhizobia. Symbionts of beans, R. leguminosarum bv. phaseoli, were assessed in 76 soils; of this number 15 soils had no detectable populations of bean rhizobia and in 40 soils high or moderate numbers of these bacteria were found. Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus), root-nodule bacteria of lupine and serradella, were absent in 19 soils, out of 80 tested, and 34 soils were colonised by high or moderate populations of bradyrhizobia. Sinorhizobium meliloti, rhizobia nodulating alfalfa, were sparse in the examined soils; with 56 soil containing no detectable numbers of S. meliloti and only 6 soils harbouring high or moderate populations of this species. The estimated numbers of the rhizobia in the studied soils were also related to some physical and chemical properties of these soils.


rhizobia; number; soil; legumes; soil properties

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