Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Robyn Hillam


Nitrogen is an essential ingredient of all proteins, and, as such, is required by all forms of life. An inadequate supply of nitrogen for agriculture is therefore a contributing factor to global food shortages. In order to meet world food demands, research to increase useable nitrogen supplies for agriculture is becoming an urgent priority. This project, which combines the techniques of serology and nitrogen fixation research, provides an important contribution to this goal. This project expanded present knowledge of the rhizobia isolated from the native legumes of South Dakota. This study was initiated to serologically identify and characterize the rhizobia from the following native legumes: Astragalus flexuosus, Astragalus crassicarpus, Glycyrrhiza lepidota, Petalostemon purpureum, and a wild legume recently introduced to the South Dakota prairies, Astragalus cicer. Since strains of Rhizobium trifolii, Rhizobium meliloti, Rhizobium leguminosarum and Rhizobium phaseoli from cultivated legumes, as well as Agrobacterium tumefaciens, have been serologically characterized, they were included, for comparison purposes. This study was directed toward obtaining results that would further expand the existing knowledge of the native legumes of South Dakota. The ability to serologically characterize rhizobia would be a potentially useful tool to quickly test native legumes on range/pastureland. This would enable the determination of both the possible presence and then subsequently identify the bacterial member of the successful rhizobiumlegume symbiosis. Such a technique could eventually be applied to the reclamation of waste land. Further applications of this study also include the acquisition of information about the serological relationships among the rhizobia from native legumes and those rhizobia from cultivated legumes. This information on the serological relationships of both groups could ultimately be used to improve the current classification scheme of the Rhizobiaceae.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Legumes -- South Dakota.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University