Provenance of rhizobial symbionts is similar for invasive and noninvasive acacias introduced to California
FEMS microbiology ecology
Plant-soil interactions can be important drivers of biological invasions. In particular, the symbiotic relationship between legumes and nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria (i.e. rhizobia) may be influential in invasion success. Legumes, including Australian acacias, have been introduced into novel ranges around the world. Our goal was to examine the acacia-rhizobia symbiosis to determine whether cointroduction of non-native mutualists plays a role in invasiveness of introduced legumes. To determine whether acacias were introduced abroad concurrently with native symbionts, we selected four species introduced to California (two invasive and two noninvasive in the region) and identified rhizobial strains associating with each species in their native and novel ranges. We amplified three genes to examine phylogenetic placement (16S rRNA) and provenance (nifD and nodC) of rhizobia associating with acacias in California and Australia. We found that all Acacia species, regardless of invasive status, are associating with rhizobia of Australian origin in their introduced ranges, indicating that concurrent acacia-rhizobia introductions have occurred for all species tested. Our results suggest that cointroduction of rhizobial symbionts may be involved in the establishment of non-native acacias in their introduced ranges, but do not contribute to the differential invasiveness of Acacia species introduced abroad.
National Science Foundation
invasive, mutualism: nitrogen-fixation, nifD, nodC, rhizobia
Metha M. Klock, Hector G. Urbina, Luke G. Barrett, Peter H. Thrall, and Kyle E. Harms. "Provenance of rhizobial symbionts is similar for invasive and noninvasive acacias introduced to California" FEMS microbiology ecology (2022). https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiac138