Rhizobium (genus)

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Rhizobium radiobacter - crown gall symptoms on Elaeagnus pungens (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Florida Division of Plant Industry Archive, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Source: IPM Images
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Rhizobium (Frank 1889)

The species of this genus are Gram-negative bacteria which mainly colonize roots, form root nodules and fix nitrogen. The genus also includes some important tumour-forming species which cause crown gall diseases.

The taxonomy of the genus is still unresolved, especially how it relates to the genus Agrobacterium (type species Agrobacterium tumefaciens). The genus Rhizobium has taxonomic priority over Agrobacterium and evidence has been provided that A. tumefaciens has been described earlier as Rhizobium radiobacter. However, A. tumefaciens has been declared a conserved name and is still used by some authors.

The type species is Rhizobium leguminosarum.

Some strains are beneficial antagonists, see Rhizobium (antagonists).

Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: