The present review discusses the phylogenomic diversity of root nitrogen-fixing bacteria associated to wild legumes under North African soils. The genus Ensifer is a dominant rhizobium lineage nodulating the majority of the wild legumes, followed by the genus Rhizobium and Mesorhizobium. In addition, to the known rhizobial genera, two new Microvirga and Phyllobacterium genera were described as real nodulating and nitrogen-fixing microsymbiotes from Lupinus spp. The promising rhizobia related to nitrogen fixation efficiency in association with some legumes are shared. Phylogenetic studies are contributing greatly to our knowledge of relationships on both sides of the plant-bacteria nodulation symbiosis. Multiple origins of nodulation (perhaps even within the legume family) appear likely. However, all nodulating flowering plants are more closely related than previously suspected, suggesting that the predisposition to nodulate might have arisen only once. The origins of nodulation, and the extent to which developmental programs are conserved in nodules, remain unclear, but an improved understanding of the relationships between nodulin genes is providing some clues.
Part of the book: Nitrogen Fixation