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Harnessing Rhizobia to Improve Heavy-Metal Phytoremediation by Legumes

1
Department of Biology, University of Florence, Via Madonna del Piano 6, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
2
Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Analysis, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, 02-096 Warsaw, Poland
3
Department of Bacterial Genetics, Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, 02-096 Warsaw, Poland
4
Department of Agri-food Production and Environmental Science, University of Florence, 50144 Florence, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2018, 9(11), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9110542
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Bacterial Metal Resistance)
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Abstract

Rhizobia are bacteria that can form symbiotic associations with plants of the Fabaceae family, during which they reduce atmospheric di-nitrogen to ammonia. The symbiosis between rhizobia and leguminous plants is a fundamental contributor to nitrogen cycling in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Rhizobial microsymbionts are a major reason why legumes can colonize marginal lands and nitrogen-deficient soils. Several leguminous species have been found in metal-contaminated areas, and they often harbor metal-tolerant rhizobia. In recent years, there have been numerous efforts and discoveries related to the genetic determinants of metal resistance by rhizobia, and on the effectiveness of such rhizobia to increase the metal tolerance of host plants. Here, we review the main findings on the metal resistance of rhizobia: the physiological role, evolution, and genetic determinants, and the potential to use native and genetically-manipulated rhizobia as inoculants for legumes in phytoremediation practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil bioremediation; heavy-metals; serpentine soils; serpentine vegetation; genome manipulation; cis-hybrid strains soil bioremediation; heavy-metals; serpentine soils; serpentine vegetation; genome manipulation; cis-hybrid strains
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Fagorzi, C.; Checcucci, A.; DiCenzo, G.C.; Debiec-Andrzejewska, K.; Dziewit, L.; Pini, F.; Mengoni, A. Harnessing Rhizobia to Improve Heavy-Metal Phytoremediation by Legumes. Genes 2018, 9, 542.

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