Three bacterial strains (WSM1283, WSM1284, WSM1497) isolated from B. pelecinus growing in Morocco, Italy and Greece respectively were studied to determine their taxonomic position. A polyphasic approach, which included morphological and physiological characteristics, plasmid profiles, symbiotic performance and 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used. The genetic distances were calculated using Kimura II parameter (Kimura 1980). For the diversification study, root nodule bacteria were isolated from B. pelecinus from a trial field in 2000 and RAPD-PCR using the primer RPOl was used as described by Richardson et al (1995) to investigate the genetic variation among the new isolates.
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