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Department of Biology
Institute for Plant Science and Microbiology
    Division BEE  >  Biodiversity & Ecology  >  Vol.6 >  Article 5.3

Biodiversity & Ecology

 Food security    Research article    Open Access 

Diversity of wild herbaceous legumes in Southern Africa, their associated root nodule bacteria, and insect pests


Flora Pule-Meulenberg*, Motshwari Obopile, Percy Chimwamurombe, Nkosilathi Bernard, Maitumelo Losologolo, Thomas Hurek, Abhijit Sarkar, Utlwang Batlang, Samodimo Ngwako, Ute Schmiedel, Leevi Nanyeni, Gloria Mashungwa, Nelson Tselaesele, Barbara Reinhold-Hurek

Article first published online: 24 April 2018

DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00332

*Corresponding author contact: fpmeulenberg@buan.ac.bw; flora.pule@gmail.com

Biodiversity & Ecology  (Biodivers. Ecol.)

Climate change and adaptive land management in southern Africa - assessments, changes, challenges, and solutions,
edited by Rasmus Revermann, Kristin M. Krewenka, Ute Schmiedel, Jane M. Olwoch, Jörg Helmschrot & Norbert Jürgens
Volume 6, pages 257-264, April 2018
  PDF  (1.1 MB)

English

Abstract: Climate change models predict that most parts of southern Africa including Botswana and Namibia will experience severe water stress and temperature increases as a result of climate change. Wild drought-tolerant nitrogen-fi xing plants with heat-tolerant bacterial symbionts might be a source for mitigation, nutrient-rich grazing grounds, and soil fertility. Herbaceous legumes may be developed into forage plants that are resilient to climate change eff ects. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to assess the diversity of wild herbaceous legumes in the north-western and eastern parts of Botswana, northern parts of Namibia, and Northern Cape of South Africa. They were assessed for nodulation and insect damage, root nodule bacteria were isolated, and some were identifi ed and authenticated on their homologous hosts. In Namibia, rhizosphere bacteria were isolated and characterised. For the fi rst time, it was shown that a wide range of wild legumes in the study area were nodulated. Common plant species included, amongst others, Chamaecrista bieinsis (Stey.) Lock, Chamaecrista absus (L.) Irwin and Barneby, Zornia glochidata DC, and several Crotalaria and Indigofera species. The jewel beetle Sphenoptera sp. damaged over 90% of the Indigofera sp. In Lecheng. The bacteria isolated were typical plant growth?promoting bacteria mostly belonging to the Bacillus and Brevibacillus genera, with fewer rhizobial species. Such bacteria may be valuable inoculants for pulses and cereals, respectively. Taken together, the results of this study highlight the potential for herbaceous legumes in mitigating climate change eff ects through the use of inoculants as biofertiliser and through use in intercropping that modulates pest infestation, leading to low usage of chemical pesticides.

Portuguese

Resumo: Os modelos de alterações climáticas prevêem que a maior parte do Sul de África, incluindo o Botswana e a Namíbia, irá sofrer stress hídrico e um aumento da temperatura severos. Plantas silvestres fi xadoras de azoto e tolerantes à seca, com bactérias simbiontes tolerantes ao calor, poderão ser uma fonte de mitigação para campos de pastagem ricos em nutrientes e fertilidade do solo. Leguminosas herbáceas poderão ser desenvolvidas em plantas forrageiras que são resilientes aos efeitos das alterações climáticas. Assim, o propósito do estudo foi avaliar a diversidade de leguminosas herbáceas silvestres no Noroeste e Nordeste do Botswana, Norte da Namíbia e Cabo Norte da África do Sul. Foram avaliadas quanto à nodulação, danos por insectos e bactérias dos nódulos radiculares foram isoladas, algumas identifi cadas e autenticadas nos seus hospedeiros homólogos. Na Namíbia, bactérias da rizosfera foram isoladas e caracterizadas. Pela primeira vez, foi demonstrado que uma grande variedade de legumes silvestres estava nodulada na área de estudo. As espécies de plantas comuns incluiram, entre outras, Chamaecrista bieinsis (Stey.) Lock, Chamaecrista absus (L.) Irwin e Barneby, Zornia glochidata DC., bem como diversas espécies de Crotalaria e Indigofera. O besouro Sphenoptera sp. danifi cou mais de 90% de Indigofera sp. em Lecheng. As bactérias isoladas eram bactérias típicas promotoras de crescimento vegetal, maioritariamente pertencentes aos géneros Bacillus e Brevibacillus, com menos espécies de rizóbios. Tais bactérias podem ser inoculantes valiosos para legumes e cereais, respectivamente. No geral, os resultados deste estudo destacam o potencial das leguminosas herbáceas na mitigação dos efeitos das alterações climáticas através do uso de inoculantes como biofertilizantes e de culturas alternadas, as quais modulam a infestação por pragas, levando a um menor uso de pesticidas químicos.

Suggested citation:
Pule-Meulenberg, F., Obopile, M., Chimwamurombe, P., Bernard, N., Losologolo, M., Hurek, T., Sarkar, A., Batlang, U., Ngwako, S., Schmiedel, U., Nanyeni, L., Mashungwa, G., Tselaesele, N. & Reinhold-Hurek, B. (2018) Diversity of wild herbaceous legumes in Southern Africa, their associated root nodule bacteria, and insect pests In: Climate change and adaptive land management in southern Africa – assessments, changes, challenges, and solutions (ed. by Revermann, R., Krewenka, K.M., Schmiedel, U., Olwoch, J.M., Helmschrot, J. & Jürgens, N.), pp. 257-264, Biodiversity & Ecology, 6, Klaus Hess Publishers, Göttingen & Windhoek. doi:10.7809/b-e.00332