Molecular analyses of the distribution and function of diazotrophic rhizobia and methanotrophs in the tissues and rhizosphere of non-leguminous plants

Tadakatsu Yoneyama, Junko Terakado-Tonooka, Zhihua Bao, Kiwamu Minamisawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) by plants and its bacterial associations represent an important natural system for capturing atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) and processing it into a reactive form of nitrogen through enzymatic reduction. The study of BNF in non-leguminous plants has been difficult compared to nodule-localized BNF in leguminous plants because of the diverse sites of N2 fixation in non-leguminous plants. Identification of the involved N2-fixing bacteria has also been difficult because the major nitrogen fixers were often lost during isolation attempts. The past 20 years of molecular analyses has led to the identification of N2 fixation sites and active nitrogen fixers in tissues and the rhizosphere of non-leguminous plants. Here, we examined BNF hotspots in six reported non-leguminous plants. Novel rhizobia and methanotrophs were found to be abundantly present in the free-living state at sites where carbon and energy sources were predominantly available. In the carbon-rich apoplasts of plant tissues, rhizobia such as Bradyrhizobium spp. microaerobically fix N2. In paddy rice fields, methane molecules generated under anoxia are oxidized by xylem aerenchyma-transported oxygen with the simultaneous fixation of N2 by methane-oxidizing methanotrophs. We discuss the effective functions of the rhizobia and methanotrophs in non-legumes for the acquisition of fixed nitrogen in addition to research perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number408
JournalPlants
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct

Keywords

  • Biological nitrogen fixation
  • Endophytic diazotrophs
  • Methanotrophs
  • Non-leguminous plants
  • Rhizobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

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