Genome sequence of the clover-nodulating Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain SRDI943
© The Author(s) 2013
Published: 20 December 2013
Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii SRDI943 (strain syn. V2-2) is an aerobic, motile, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming rod that was isolated from a root nodule of Trifolium michelianum Savi cv. Paradana that had been grown in soil collected from a mixed pasture in Victoria, Australia. This isolate was found to have a broad clover host range but was sub-optimal for nitrogen fixation with T. subterraneum (fixing 20–54% of reference inoculant strain WSM1325) and was found to be totally ineffective with the clover species T. polymorphum and T. pratense. Here we describe the features of R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain SRDI943, together with genome sequence information and annotation. The 7,412,387 bp high-quality-draft genome is arranged into 5 scaffolds of 5 contigs, contains 7,317 protein-coding genes and 89 RNA-only encoding genes, and is one of 100 rhizobial genomes sequenced as part of the DOE Joint Genome Institute 2010 Genomic Encyclopedia for Bacteria and Archaea-Root Nodule Bacteria (GEBA-RNB) project.
The availability of usable nitrogen (N) is vital for productivity in agricultural systems that are N-deficient . It can be supplied exogenously in the form of industrially synthesized fertilizers. However, this practice is expensive since fertilizer manufacture depends on the availability of fossil fuels that are burnt to support the industrial process of chemical N-fixation. A far more economical practice is to supply plant-available N to farming systems by exploiting the process of biological N-fixation that occurs in a symbiotic relationship between legumes and their rhizobial microsymbionts . In this specific association, atmospheric inert dinitrogen gas is converted into bioavailable N to support legume growth.
Pasture legumes, including the clovers that comprise the Trifolium genus, are major contributors of biologically fixed nitrogen (N2) to mixed farming systems throughout the world [3,4]. In Australia, soils with a history of growing Trifolium spp. have developed large and symbiotically diverse populations of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii (R. l. trifolii) that are able to infect and nodulate a range of clover species. The N2-fixation capacity of the symbioses established by different combinations of clover hosts (Trifolium spp.) and strains of R. l. trifolii can vary from 10 to 130% when compared to an effective host-strain combination [5–8].
R. l. trifolii strain SRDI943 (syn. V2-2 ) was isolated from a nodule recovered from the roots of the annual clover Trifolium michelianum Savi cv. Paradana that had been inoculated with soil collected from under a mixed pasture at Walpeup, Victoria, Australia and grown in N deficient media for four weeks after inoculation, in the greenhouse . SRDI943 forms an effective symbiosis with T. purpureum but sub-optimal N2-fixation symbiosis with T. subterraneum cv. Campeda and Clare (∼24 and 54% respectively of that with strain WSM1325 [9,11]). Here we present a preliminary description of the general features for R. l. trifolii strain SRDI943 together with its genome sequence and annotation.
Classification and general features
Classification and general features of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii SRDI943 according to the MIGS recommendations 
Species Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii
Soil, root nodule, on host
Free living, symbiotic
Soil collection date
Compatibility of SRDI943 with eleven Trifolium genotypes for nodulation (Nod) and N2-Fixation (Fix)
T. glanduliferum Boiss.
T. michelianum Savi.
T. purpureum Loisel
T. resupinatum L.
T. subterraneum L.
T. subterraneum L.
T. vesiculosum Savi.
T. fragiferum L.
T. polymorphum Poir
T. pratense L.
T. repens L.
Genome sequencing and annotation information
Genome project history
Genome sequencing project information for Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain SRDI943.
Improved high-quality draft
2× Illumina libraries; Std short PE & CLIP long PE
Illumina HiSeq 2000
Velvet 1.1.05, phrap SPS-4.24, Allpaths version 39750
Gene calling methods
Prodigal 1.4, GenePRIMP
NCBI project ID
Symbiotic N2 fixation, agriculture
Growth conditions and DNA isolation
R. l. trifolii strain SRDI943 was cultured to mid logarithmic phase in 60 ml of TY rich media  on a gyratory shaker at 28°C. DNA was isolated from the cells using a CTAB (Cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide) bacterial genomic DNA isolation method .
Genome sequencing and assembly
The genome of R. l. trifolii strain SRDI943 was sequenced at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) using an Illumina sequencing platform. An Illumina short-insert paired-end (PE) library with an average insert size of 270 bp produced 18,764,470 reads and an Illumina CLIP long-insert paired-end (PE) library with an average insert size of 9,482 bp produced 18,761,080 reads totaling 5,629 Mb of Illumina data for this genome. All general aspects of library construction and sequencing performed at the JGI can be found at the DOE JGI user homepage . The initial draft assembly contained 5 contigs in 5 scaffolds. The initial draft data was assembled with Allpaths, version 39750. The Allpaths consensus was computationally shredded into 10 Kb overlapping fake reads (shreds). Illumina sequencing data were assembled with Velvet, version 1.1.05 , and the consensus sequences were computationally shredded into 1.5 kb overlapping fake reads (shreds). The Allpaths consensus shreds, the Illumina VELVET consensus shreds and a sub-set of the Illumina CLIP paired-end reads were integrated using parallel phrap, version SPS - 4.24 (High Performance Software, LLC). The software Consed [37–39] was used in the following finishing process. The estimated genome size is 7.4 Mb and the final assembly is based on 5,629 Mb of Illumina draft data which provides an average of 761× coverage of the genome.
Genes were identified using Prodigal  as part of the DOE-JGI annotation pipeline  annotation pipeline, followed by a round of manual curation using the JGI GenePRIMP pipeline . The predicted CDSs were translated and used to search the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) non-redundant database, UniProt, TIGRFam, Pfam, PRIAM, KEGG, COG, and InterPro databases. These data sources were combined to ascribe a product description for each predicted protein. Non-coding genes and miscellaneous features were predicted using tRNAscan-SE , RNAMMer , Rfam , TMHMM , and SignalP . Additional gene prediction analyses and functional annotation were performed within the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG-ER) platform [35,48].
Genome Statistics for Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii SRDI943
% of Total
Genome size (bp)
DNA coding region (bp)
DNA G+C content (bp)
Number of scaffolds
Number of contigs
Genes with function prediction
Genes assigned to COGs
Genes assigned Pfam domains
Genes with signal peptides
Genes with transmembrane proteins
Number of protein coding genes of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii SRDI943 associated with the general COG functional categories.
Translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis
RNA processing and modification
Replication, recombination and repair
Chromatin structure and dynamics
Cell cycle control, mitosis and meiosis
Signal transduction mechanisms
Cell wall/membrane biogenesis
Intracellular trafficking and secretion
Posttranslational modification, protein turnover, chaperones
Energy production conversion
Carbohydrate transport and metabolism
Amino acid transport metabolism
Nucleotide transport and metabolism
Coenzyme transport and metabolism
Lipid transport and metabolism
Inorganic ion transport and metabolism
Secondary metabolite biosynthesis, transport and catabolism
General function prediction only
Not in COGS
This work was performed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research Program, and by the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory under contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344, and Los Alamos National Laboratory under contract No. DE-AC02-06NA25396. We gratefully acknowledge the funding received from the Murdoch University Strategic Research Fund through the Crop and Plant Research Institute (CaPRI), the Centre for Rhizobium Studies (CRS) at Murdoch University and the GRDC National Rhizobium Program (UMU00032). The authors would like to thank the Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Wheat Improvement (ACCWI) and SuperSeed Technologies (SST) for financially supporting Mohamed Ninawi’s PhD project.
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