The evolutionary ecology of rhizobia: multiple facets of competition before, during, and after symbiosis with legumes

Liana T. Burghardt, George C. diCenzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rhizobial bacteria have complex lifestyles that involve growth and survival in bulk soil, plant rhizospheres and rhizoplanes, legume infection threads, and mature and senescing legume nodules. In nature, rhizobia coexist and compete with many other rhizobial strains and species to form host associations. We review recent work defining competitive interactions across these environments. We highlight the use of sophisticated measurement tools and sequencing technologies to examine competition mechanisms in planta, and highlight environments (e.g. soil and senescing nodules) where we still know exceedingly little. We argue that moving toward an explicitly ecological framework (types of competition, resources, and genetic differentiation) will clarify the evolutionary ecology of these foundational organisms and open doors for engineering sustainable, beneficial associations with hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102281
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Volume72
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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