Rhizobia of Native Fabaceae – Final Report

Final Report on the Australian Flora Foundation funded project:

M. L. Reed and A. A. Salter
School of Biological Sciences
Macquarie University NSW 2109

As reported in October 1988, we found in the nodules of Daviesia corymbosa rhizobial bacteroids with a spiral structure, which has never been reported before. Bacteria were isolated from these nodules arid a survey of their infectivity conducted. Comparisons were made with three well described strains of rhizobia. Each of the strains has been infected into chickpea, peanut, soybean and Daviesia.

Aseptic Daviesia seedlings proved very difficult to produce but a procedure involving scarification with sulphuric acid and sterilisation with hypochlorite was perfected.

This work is being undertaken part-time by Mr. Salter for his M.Sc. thesis. During 1989 his job responsibilities at the Ryde School of Horticulture increased considerably so progress on the rhizobia project has been slow. It will not be possible to complete the thesis by December 1989, but we hope to publish the first description of spiral bacteroids in the Journal of Experimental Botany by the end of this year. Acknowledgement of the Flora Foundation grant will be made.