Summary: An improved ELISA technique using a new type of enzyme-conjugate - the antibody being linked to β-galactosidase by using a heterobifunctional reagent, -succinimidyl-3-(2-pyridy1dithio)propionate (SPDP), containing two reactive groups directed towards different functional sites - has been further improved by fine purification of the antibodies. The ELISA was applied in studies of competition among strains of in three environments: a rhizosphere, a liquid medium and in soil. The strain origin of nodules formed by strain mixtures of different relative composition was investigated, including a study of double strain occupancy. Strain 7612 was found to compete successfully with strain 285 for nodulation. No double strain occupancy occurred. Strain 7612 also competed successfully with strain 285 in soil, but strain 285 dominated when grown together with strain 7612 in a liquid medium in a fermenter.


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