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Legume-rhizobia signal exchange: promiscuity and environmental effects

By  and Mario Andrade Lira Junior and Mario Andrade Lira Junior


Although signal exchange between legumes and their rhizobia is among the best-known examples of this biological process, most of the more characterized data comes from just a few legume species and environmental stresses. Although a relative wealth of information is available for some model legumes and some of the major pulses such as soybean, little is known about tropical legumes. This relative disparity in current knowledge is also apparent in the research on the effects of environmental stress on signal exchange; cool-climate stresses, such as low-soil temperature, comprise a relatively large body of research, whereas high-temperature stresses and drought are not nearly as well understood. Both tropical legumes and their environmental stress-induced effects are increasingly important due to global population growth (the demand for protein), climate change (increasing temperatures and more extreme climate behavior), and urbanization (and thus heavy metals). This knowledge gap for both legumes and their environmental stresses is compounded because whereas most temperate legume-rhizobia symbioses are relatively specific and cultivated under relatively stable environments, the converse is true for tropical legumes, which tend to be promiscuous and grow in highly variable conditions. This review will clarify some of this missing information and highlight fields in which further research would benefit our current knowledge

Topics: Salinity, soil acidity, soil temperature, Tropical legumes, broad spectrum, Microbiology, QR1-502
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00945
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