Nodules induced by burkholderia on Lebeckia ambigua Credits: John Howieson and Wayne Reeve.
Root Nodulating Bacteria (RNB) are soil inhabiting bacteria that form symbioses with legumes after infection of root hairs. The GEBA-RNB initiative at the JGI aims to sequence 100 RNB strains isolated from various locations around the world. This project will support the systematic sequence-based studies and understanding of the biogeographical effects on species evolution as well as the mechanisms of symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) by RNB. The latter is a significant asset for world agricultural productivity, farming economy and environmental sustainability. SNF reduces energy consumption required to produce nitrogenous fertilizer, saving $US 6.8 billion per year. SNF significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to intensive agriculture practice using artificial N-input. SNF benefits the environment (reduces dry-land salinity, increases soil fertility, and prevents waterway eutrophication). Root endosymbioses promote carbon sequestration. Shared genetic mechanisms between fungal and bacterial root endosymbioses exist and a detailed understanding of endosymbionts will be beneficial to drive bioenergy development from trees.
The GEBA-RNB project is based on collaboration between JGI and an international consortium from 15 countries coordinated by Wayne Reeve from Murdoch University, Australia.
Nitrogen fixation by burkholderia on lebeckia ambigua (centre pot) Credits: John Howieson and Wayne Reeve.
PIs: Nikos Kyrpidis, JGI; Wayne Reeve, University of Perth, Australia