Molecular Characterization of Symbiotic Bacteria Associated with the Pasture Legume Ornithopus sp. Native to Portugal
Serradela, Ornithopus sp., is an annual pasture legume characterized by its ability to tolerate stress conditions, such as drought, and saline and infertile soils (Ovalle et al., 2006), thus being a good candidate to rehabilitate land quality and improve soil structure. This legume establishes symbiotic associations with Bradyrhizobium spp. (Safronova et al., 2004), a slow-growing bacterium, that enters dormancy faster and survives desiccation better than other rhizobial species. This study aimed to identify rhizobial diversity associated with leguminous plants from the genus Ornithopus, using serradela nodules collected in five different locations in Portugal.