Fifty rhizobial isolates from root nodules of , a small leguminous plant native to Mexico, were identified as on the basis of the results of PCR-RFLP and RFLP analyses of small-subunit rRNA genes, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and DNA-DNA homology. They are, however, a restricted group of lineages with low genetic diversity within the species. The isolates from differed from the strains that originated from bean plants () in the size and replicator region of the symbiotic plasmid and in symbiotic-plasmid-borne traits such as gene sequence and organization, melanin production and host specificity. A new biovar, bv. mimosae, is proposed within to encompass isolates obtained from . The strains from common bean plants have been designated previously as bv. phaseoli. Strains of both biovars could nodulate , but only those of bv. mimosae could form nitrogen-fixing nodules on .


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