[Plant-education] Growing Rhizobium in a lab

Jon Monroe monroejd at jmu.edu
Thu Jan 5 14:27:42 EST 2006


Hi Mohit,

I used to work on legume root nodules so I'll try to answer your 
question.  Rhizobia have two major lifestyles, free living in soil (or a 
culture flask), and as an intracellular symbiont in root nodules of 
legumes.  In the free living state they have cell walls and are easy to 
grow.  During root nodule development Rhizobia differentiate in various 
ways - they become larger and sometimes branched, express a number of 
different genes associated with N2 fixation, and apparently lose the 
ability to dedifferentiate and reproduce! (I didn't know that when I 
started this response).  Some strains do grow slowly (e.g. 
Bradyrhizobium, also referred to as the "slow growers"), but they do 
grow in culture.

Hope this helps.

Jon


schouse at gmail.com wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> Is it possible to culture rhizobium bacteria in a lab bioreactor? I've
> read somewhere that these bacteria lack a cell wall and cannot be
> easily cultured?
> 
> Regards,
> Mohit.
> 
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-- 
---------------------------------
  Jonathan Monroe, Professor
  Department of Biology, MSC 7801
  James Madison University
  Harrisonburg, VA 22801
  office: 304 Burruss Hall
  phone: 540-568-6649
  fax: 540-568-3333
  e-mail: monroejd at jmu.edu
  http://www.jmu.edu/biology/
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