Rhizobium etli type strain CFN42 contains six plasmids. We analyzed the distribution of genetic markers from some of these plasmids in bean-nodulating strains belonging to different species (Rhizobium etli, Rhizobium gallicum, Rhizobium giardinii, Rhizobium leguminosarum, and Sinorhizobium fredii). Our results indicate that independent of geographic origin, R. etli strains usually share not only the pSym plasmid but also other plasmids containing symbiosis-related genes, with a similar organization. In contrast, strains belonging to other bean-nodulating species seem to have acquired only the pSym plasmid from R. etli
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