SUMMARY: Root-nodule bacteria (rhizobia) isolated in pure culture from legumes indigenous to south-western Australia were examined for cultural and infective characters. All isolated strains had cultural characters consistent with the slow-growing bacteria of the lupin or soybean type. None of the strains nodulated peas, clover or medic, but hosts from the other four recognized cross-inoculation groups were nodulated. and formed a natural grouping on the basis of susceptibility to nodulation by the native strains. Within the narrower host range of the genus it was found that and grouped together on susceptibility to nodulation. whereas and were not nodulated by any of the sample strains. The use of this geographically isolated sample of rhizobia has further demonstrated the weakness of the present scheme of classification of the nodule bacteria, which is based on the infective character of the bacteria. A taxonomic system based on Adansonian principles could be applied to the classification of the rhizobia, and a procedure for attempting this is outlined.


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