Rhizobia Research Program

  • Improvement of the South African Rhizobium Culture Collection (SARCC) data base. This involves purification and viability testing; maintenance of Rhizobium cultures and adding new strains to the culture collection; Characterization of rhizobial strains from the SARCC after screening them for potential nodulation and nitrogen fixation in their respective legume host.

    For more information on the South African Rhizobium Culture Collection (SARCC), please visit the following website: http://www.wdcm.nig.ac.jp/CCINFO/CCINFO.xml?968


  • Quality improvement research project on the Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis): Isolation and characterization of Rhizobia from root nodules of Rooibos tea growing at different localities in South Africa; Nodulation and nitrogen fixation trials both in the glasshouse and under field conditions


  • Screening and characterization of rhizobia involved in nodulation and nitrogen fixation of indigenous forage legumes in South Africa. Molecular techniques such as PCR amplification and sequencing of the 16S r RNA and the nod genes are employed as the major tools


  • Screening of rhizobia for the production of siderophores, low molecular weight proteins used by many strains of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria as plant growth promoting substances (bio fertilizers) and as biocontrol agents


  • Study of nodulation competitiveness of commercial and indigenous rhizobial strains by means of the gusA reporter gene markers

Personnel and their expertise

Ahmed.pngDr Ahmed Idris Hassen
Ph.D. (Microbiologist and Plant Pathologist)
Email: HassenA@arc.agric.za
Francina.pngFrancina Lebogang Phalane
M.Sc. (Microbiologist)
Email: Phalanef@arc.agric.za

N2 Fixation Trial

Rhizobium strain XBD2 forming large
and pink nodules on the roots of
Vigna unguiculata (left)

Inoculated plants with Rhizobium strain
XBD2 looked green and bigger as a
result of effective nitrogen fixation (left)

Inoculating Rhizobia

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