Root and stem nodule bacteria of legumes

Michael J Sadowsky, Peter H. Graham, Masayuki Sugawara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Rhizobia are nitrogen-fixing bacteria that form root and sometimes stem nodules on leguminous plants and belong to many genera of alpha- and beta-proteobacteria. Formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules is dependent upon the exchange of a series of molecular signals between rhizobia and their host legumes. Within the nodules, rhizobia convert atmospheric dinitrogen gas into ammonia, and this fixed nitrogen is subsequently assimilated by the host plant resulting in improved plant growth and productively, even under N-limiting environmental conditions. While this has obvious importance for agricultural productivity, it also influences the global N cycle, is ecologically beneficial, and reduces the use of our limited fossil fuel resources. Because of the practical benefits of nodulation and nitrogen fixation, the rhizobia have been extensively studied, particularly with respect to the genetic basis for their symbiotic interactions, their host specificity, and nitrogen-fixation potential. In this chapter, we review the accumulated studies about the ecology, genetics, and application of root and stem bacteria of legumes and their importance to plant growth and productivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Prokaryotes
Subtitle of host publicationProkaryotic Biology and Symbiotic Associations
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783642301940
ISBN (Print)3642301932, 9783642301933
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.


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