2020 Volume 35 Issue 1
Vigna is a genus of legumes cultivated in specific areas of tropical countries. Species in this genus are important crops worldwide. Vigna species are of great agronomic interest in Venezuela because Vigna beans are an excellent alternative to other legumes. However, this type of crop has some cultivation issues due to sensitivity to acidic soils, high temperatures, and salinity stress, which are common in Venezuela. Vigna species establish symbioses mainly with Bradyrhizobium and Ensifer, and Vigna-rhizobia interactions have been examined in Asia, Africa, and America. However, the identities of the rhizobia associated with V. radiata and V. unguiculata in Venezuela remain unknown. In the present study, we isolated Venezuelan symbiotic rhizobia associated with Vigna species from soils with contrasting agroecosystems or from fields in Venezuela. Several types of soils were used for bacterial isolation and nodules were sampled from environments characterized by abiotic stressors, such as high temperatures, high concentrations of NaCl, and acidic or alkaline pH. Venezuelan Vigna-rhizobia were mainly fast-growing. Sequencing of several housekeeping genes showed that in contrast to other continents, Venezuelan Vigna species were nodulated by rhizobia genus including Burkholderia, containing bacteria from several new phylogenetic lineages within the genus Bradyrhizobium. Some Rhizobium and Bradyrhizobium isolates were tolerant of high salinity and Al toxicity. The stress tolerance of strains was dependent on the type of rhizobia, soil origin, and cultivation history. An isolate classified as R. phaseoli showed the highest plant biomass, nitrogen fixation, and excellent abiotic stress response, suggesting a novel promising inoculant for Vigna cultivation in Venezuela.