Plant and Soil

, Volume 374, Issue 1–2, pp 915–924 | Cite as

Effects of temperature on competition and relative dominance of Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Bradyrhizobium elkanii in the process of soybean nodulation

  • Yuta Suzuki
  • Dinesh Adhikari
  • Kazuhito Itoh
  • Kousuke Suyama
Regular Article


Background and aims

Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Bradyrhizobium elkanii dominated soybean nodules in temperate and subtropical regions in Nepal, respectively, in our previous study. The aims of this study were to reveal the effects of temperature on the nodulation dominancy of B. japonicum and B. elkanii and to clarify the relationship between the effects of temperature and the climate-dependent distribution of Bradyrhizobium species.


A laboratory competition experiment was conducted between B. japonicum and B. elkanii strains isolated from the same temperate location in Nepal. A mixture of each strain was inoculated into sterilized vermiculite with or without soybean seeds, and inoculated samples were incubated at 33/27 (day/night) and 23/17 °C. Relative populations in the non-rhizosphere, rhizosphere, and nodules were determined by competitive PCR using specific primers for each strain at 0, 1, 2, and 4 weeks after inoculation.


Both separately inoculated B. japonicum and B. elkanii strains formed nodules at both temperatures. Under competitive conditions, B. japonicum strains dominated at low temperature; however, at high temperature, both strains achieved co-nodulation in 1 week, with B. elkanii dominating after 2 weeks. The relative populations of both strains were similar in the non-rhizosphere and rhizosphere at low temperature, but B. elkanii strains dominated in these regions at high temperature.


The domination of B. japonicum strains in nodules at the low temperature appeared to be due to preferential infection, while the domination of B. elkanii strains at high temperature appeared to be due to the higher population of B. elkanii in the non-rhizosphere and rhizosphere, in addition to its domination in nodules after co-nodulation. The effects of temperature on the competition between B. japonicum and B. elkanii strains were remarkable and corresponded with the distribution of bradyrhizobial species in Nepal.


Bradyrhizobium elkanii Bradyrhizobium japonicum Co-nodulation Competitiveness Rhizosphere Temperature 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuta Suzuki
    • 1
  • Dinesh Adhikari
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kazuhito Itoh
    • 1
  • Kousuke Suyama
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Life and Environmental ScienceShimane UniversityMatsueJapan
  2. 2.Nepal Agricultural Research CouncilKathmanduNepal

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