Nitrogen-fixing Klebsiella and Enterobacter strains isolated from several plants were assayed for fimbriae and for adhesion to plant roots in vitro. All eight Klebsiella strains formed type 3 fimbriae, and five strains also formed type 1 fimbriae; all 21 Enterobacter strains had type 1 fimbriae. Three strains of Klebsiella carrying either type 1, type 3, or no fimbriae were used as model organisms in developing an in vitro adhesion test. Adhesion was assayed with bacterial cells labeled with [3H]leucine. Fifteen N2-fixing strains and the three model strains were compared for adhesion to the roots of seven grasses and five cereals. Type 3-fimbriated Klebsiella strains adhered better than the other strains, and type 3 fimbriae appeared to be major adhesins for the Klebsiella strains. Although variations between plants were observed, no host specificity for bacterial adhesion was found
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