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Sinorhizobium fredii strain USDA257 on TY agar (clean).JPG
Sinorhizobium fredii strain USDA257 on an agar plate.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Alphaproteobacteria
Order: Rhizobiales
Family: Rhizobiaceae
Genus: Sinorhizobium/Ensifer
Chen et al. 1988/Casida 1982
Type species
Sinorhizobium fredii/Ensifer adhaerens

Sinorhizobium/Ensifer is a genus of nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia), three of which (Sinorhizobium meliloti,[19][20] Sinorhizobium medicae[21] and Sinorhizobium fredii[22][23]) have been sequenced.


Sinorhizobium is a combination of Medieval Latin sino, -a (which means "China"), Greek rhizo, -a (which means "root"), and New Latin bios (which means "life"). Thus the full name means "a bacterium living in a root in China".[1][11]

Ensifer is from the New Latin term ensifer, which means "sword-bearing" or "sword-bearer".[7]

Proper Name[edit]

The name Ensifer was published in 1982 and the name Sinorhizobium was published in 1988. By the rules of the Bacteriological Code (1990 Revision) of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP), the older name (Ensifer) has priority.[24] In response to a request that the single extant species of Ensifer (Ensifer adhaerens) be moved to Sinorhizobium, a special ICSP subcommittee was formed to evaluate the request. It was ultimately ruled that Ensifer retained priority and that all Sinorhizobium species be transferred to the genus Ensifer.[25][26] However, both terms continue to be used in published scientific literature, with Sinorhizobium being the more common.[27]

Deprecated Species[edit]

Two species have been described which have since been reclassified into existing species: Sinorhizobium morelense (now Ensifer adhaerens)[24][28] and Sinorhizobium xinjiangense (now Sinorhizobium fredii[29][30]—though there is some dissent[17][31]).


The currently accepted taxonomy is based on the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN) [1][2] and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)[32] and the phylogeny is based on 16S rRNA-based LTP release 106 by The All-Species Living Tree Project [33]

Ensifer mexicanus Lloret et al. 2011

Sinorhizobium terangae De Lajudie et al. 1994

Sinorhizobium saheli De Lajudie et al. 1994

Sinorhizobium kostiensis Nick et al. 1999

Sinorhizobium kummerowiae Wei et al. 2002

Sinorhizobium fredii (Scholla and Elkan 1984) Chen et al. 1988[34]

Sinorhizobium americanum corrig. Toledo et al. 2004

Sinorhizobium arboris Nick et al. 1999

Ensifer garamanticus Merabet et al. 2010

Sinorhizobium meliloti (Dangeard 1926) De Lajudie et al. 1994

Ensifer numidicus Merabet et al. 2010

Ensifer adhaerens Casida 1982[34]


  1. ^ a b c Euzéby JP. "Sinorhizobium". List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN) [1]. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  2. ^ a b Euzéby JP. "Ensifer". List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN) [2]. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  3. ^ Balkwill DL. (2005). "Ensifer Casida 1982, 343VP". In Brenner DJ, Krieg NR, Garrity GM, Staley JT, Boone DR, De Vos P, Goodfellow M, Rainey FA, Schleifer K-H.. Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Volume Two: The Proteobacteria, Part C: The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteobacteria. New York, New York: Springer. pp. 354–361. doi:10.1007/0-387-29298-5_87. ISBN 978-0-387-24145-6. 
  4. ^ Kuykendall LD, Hashem FM, Wang ET. (2005). "Sinorhizobium Chen, Yan and Li 1988b, 396VP emend. de Lajudie, Willems, Pot, Dewettinck, Maestrojuan, Neyra, Collins, Dreyfus, Kersters and Gillis 1994, 732". In Brenner DJ, Krieg NR, Garrity GM, Staley JT, Boone DR, De Vos P, Goodfellow M, Rainey FA, Schleifer K-H.. Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Volume Two: The Proteobacteria, Part C: The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteobacteria. New York, New York: Springer. pp. 358–361. doi:10.1007/0-387-29298-5_88. ISBN 978-0-387-24145-6. 
  5. ^ a b Ogasawara M, Suzuki T, Mutoh I, Annapurna K, Arora NK, Nishimura Y, Maheshwari DK. (2003). "Sinorhizobium indiaense sp. nov. and Sinorhizobium abri sp. nov. isolated from tropical legumes, Sesbania rostrata and Abrus precatorius, respectively". Symbiosis 34 (1): 53–68. 
  6. ^ a b Because no type strains have been submitted to international culture collections, these are not currently recognized as valid species.
  7. ^ a b Casida LE (1982). "Ensifer adhaerens gen. nov., sp. nov.: A Bacterial Predator of Bacteria in Soil". Int J Syst Bacteriol 32 (3): 339–345. doi:10.1099/00207713-32-3-339. 
  8. ^ Toledo I, Lloret L, Martínez-Romero E. (2003). "Sinorhizobium americanus sp. nov., a new Sinorhizobium species nodulating native Acacia spp. in Mexico". Syst Appl Microbiol 26 (1): 54–64. doi:10.1078/072320203322337317. PMID 12747410. 
  9. ^ a b Nick G, de Lajudie P, Eardly BD, Suomalainen S, Paulin L, Zhang X, Gillis M, Lindström K (1999). "Sinorhizobium arboris sp. nov. and Sinorhizobium kostiense sp. nov., isolated from leguminous trees in Sudan and Kenya". Int J Syst Bacteriol 49 (Pt. 4): 1359–1368. doi:10.1099/00207713-49-4-1359. PMID 10555313. 
  10. ^ Rincón-Rosales R, Lloret L, Ponce E, Martínez-Romero E. (2009). "Rhizobia with different symbiotic efficiencies nodulate Acaciella angustissima in Mexico, including Sinorhizobium chiapanecum sp. nov. which has common symbiotic genes with Sinorhizobium mexicanum". Syst Appl Microbiol 67 (1): 103–117. doi:10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00590.x. PMC 2784085. PMID 19120461. 
  11. ^ a b Chen WX, Yan GH, Li JL. (1988). "Numerical taxonomic study of fast-growing soybean rhizobia and a proposal that Rhizobium fredii be assigned to Sinorhizobium gen. nov". Int J Syst Bacteriol 38 (4): 392–397. doi:10.1099/00207713-38-4-392. 
  12. ^ a b Merabet C, Martens M, Mahdhi M, Zakhia F, Sy A, Le Roux C, Domergue O, Coopman R, Bekki A, Mars M, Willems A, de Lajudie P. (2009). "Multi Locus Sequence Analysis of root nodule isolates from Lotus arabicus (Senegal), Lotus creticus, Argyrolobium uniflorum and Medicago sativa (Tunisia) and description of Ensifer numidicus sp. nov. and Ensifer garamanticus sp. nov" (PDF). Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 60 (Pt 3): 1–33. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.012088-0. PMID 19656922. 
  13. ^ Wei GH, Wang ET, Tan ZY, Zhu ME, Chen WX. (2002). "Rhizobium indigoferae sp. nov. and Sinorhizobium kummerowiae sp. nov., respectively isolated from Indigofera spp. and Kummerowia stipulacea". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 52 (Pt. 6): 2231–2239. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.02030-0. PMID 12508892. 
  14. ^ Rome S, Fernandez MP, Brunel B, Normand P, Cleyet-Marel JC. (1996). "Sinorhizobium medicae sp. nov., isolated from annual Medicago spp". Int J Syst Bacteriol 46 (4): 972–980. doi:10.1099/00207713-46-4-972. PMID 8863426. 
  15. ^ a b c de Lajudie P, Willems A, Pot B, Dewettinck D, Maestrojuan G, Neyra M, Collins MD, Dreyfus B, Kersters K, Gillis M. (1994). "Polyphasic Taxonomy of Rhizobia: Emendation of the Genus Sinorhizobium and Description of Sinorhizobium meliloti comb. nov., Sinorhizobium saheli sp. nov., and Sinorhizobium teranga sp. nov". Int J Syst Bacteriol 44 (4): 715–733. doi:10.1099/00207713-44-4-715. 
  16. ^ Lloret L, Ormeño-Orrillo E, Rincón R, Martínez-Romero J, Rogel-Hernández MA, Martínez-Romero E. (2007). "Ensifer mexicanus sp. nov. a new species nodulating Acacia angustissima (Mill.) Kuntze in Mexico". FEMS Microbiology Ecology 30 (4): 280–290. doi:10.1016/j.syapm.2006.12.002. PMID 17293074. 
  17. ^ a b c Wang YC, Wang F, Hou BC, Wang ET, Chen WF, Sui XH, Chen WX, Li Y, Zhang YB. (2013). "Proposal of Ensifer psoraleae sp. nov., Ensifer sesbaniae sp. nov., Ensifer morelense comb. nov. and Ensifer americanum comb. nov.". Syst Appl Microbiol. 36 (7): 467–73. doi:10.1016/j.syapm.2013.05.001. PMID 23759600. 
  18. ^ Li QQ, Tao Wang ET, Chang YL, Zhang YZ, Zhang YM, Sui XH, Chen WF, Chen WX. (2010). "Ensifer (Sinorhizobium) sojae sp. nov., isolated from root nodules of Glycine max grown in saline-alkaline soils in Hebei province of China". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 49 (8): 1359–1368. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.025049-0. PMID 20851917. 
  19. ^ Galibert F, Finan TM, Long SR, Puhler A, Abola P, Ampe F, Barloy-Hubler F, Barnett MJ, Becker A, Boistard P, Bothe G, Boutry M, Bowser L, Buhrmester J, Cadieu E, Capela D, Chain P, Cowie A, Davis RW, Dreano S, Federspiel NA, Fisher RF, Gloux S, Godrie T, Goffeau A, Golding B, Gouzy J, Gurjal M, Hernandez-Lucas I, Hong A, Huizar L, Hyman RW, Jones T, Kahn D, Kahn ML, Kalman S, Keating DH, Kiss E, Komp C, Lelaure V, Masuy D, Palm C, Peck MC, Pohl TM, Portetelle D, Purnelle B, Ramsperger U, Surzycki R, Thebault P, Vandenbol M, Vorholter FJ, Weidner S, Wells DH, Wong K, Yeh KC, Batut J. (2001). "The composite genome of the legume symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti". Science 293 (5530): 668–672. doi:10.1126/science.1060966. PMID 11474104. 
  20. ^ "NCBI Genome Page for Sinorhizobium meliloti". National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [3]. 
  21. ^ "NCBI Genome Page for Sinorhizobium medicae". National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [4]. 
  22. ^ Schmeisser C, Liesegang H, Krysciak D, Bakkou N, Le Quéré A, Wollherr A, Heinemeyer I, Morgenstern B, Pommerening-Röser A, Flores M, Palacios R, Brenner S, Gottschalk G, Schmitz RA, Broughton WJ, Perret X, Strittmatter AW, Streit WR. (2009). "Rhizobium sp. Strain NGR234 possesses a remarkable number of secretion systems". Appl Environ Microbiol. 75 (12): 4035–45. doi:10.1128/AEM.00515-09. PMC 2698369. PMID 19376903. 
  23. ^ "NCBI Genome Page for Sinorhizobium fredii". National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [5]. 
  24. ^ a b Young JM. (2003). "The genus name Ensifer Casida 1982 takes priority over Sinorhizobium Chen et al. 1988, and Sinorhizobium morelense Wang et al. 2002 is a later synonym of Ensifer adhaerens Casida 1982. Is the combination Sinorhizobium adhaerens (Casida 1982) Willems et al. 2003 legitimate? Request for an Opinion". Int J Syst Bacteriol 53 (6): 2107–2110. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.02665-0. 
  25. ^ Lindström K, Martínez-Romero ME. (2002). "International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Agrobacterium and Rhizobium. Minutes of the meeting, 4 July 2001, Hamilton, Canada" (PDF). Int J Syst Bacteriol 52 (6): 2337. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.02524-0. 
  26. ^ Judicial Commission of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (2008). "The genus name Sinorhizobium Chen et al. 1988 is a later synonym of Ensifer Casida 1982 and is not conserved over the latter genus name, and the species name Sinorhizobium adhaerens is not validly published. Opinion 84". Int J Syst Bacteriol 58 (Pt 8): 1973. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.2008/005991-0. PMID 18676490. 
  27. ^ Young JPW. (February 9, 2013). "Rhizobium: Writing about bacteria and their genomes". WordPress. 
  28. ^ Wang ET, Tan ZY, Willems A, Fernández-López M, Reinhold-Hurek B, Martínez-Romero E. (2002). "Sinorhizobium morelense sp. nov., a Leucaena leucocephala-associated bacterium that is highly resistant to multiple antibiotics". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 52 (Pt. 5): 1687–1693. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.01954-0. PMID 12361275. 
  29. ^ Peng GX, Tan ZY, Wang ET, Reinhold-Hurek B, Chen WF, Chen WX. (2002). "Identification of isolates from soybean nodules in Xinjiang Region as Sinorhizobium xinjiangense and genetic differentiation of S. xinjiangense from Sinorhizobium fredii". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 52 (Pt. 2): 457–462. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.01921-0. PMID 11931157. 
  30. ^ Martens M, Dawyndt P, Coopman R, Gillis M, De Vos P, Willems A. (2008). "Advantages of multilocus sequence analysis for taxonomic studies: a case study using 10 housekeeping genes in the genus Ensifer (including former Sinorhizobium)". Int J Syst Bacteriol 58 (Pt 1): 200–214. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65392-0. PMID 18175710. 
  31. ^ Martens M, Delaere D, Coopman R, De Vos P, Gillis M, Willems A. (2007). "Multilocus sequence analysis of Ensifer and related taxa". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 57 (Pt 3): 489–503. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.64344-0. PMID 17329774. 
  32. ^ "Sinorhizobium/Ensifer group". National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) taxonomy database [6]. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  33. ^ All-Species Living Tree Project."16S rRNA-based LTP release 106 (full tree)" (PDF). Silva Comprehensive Ribosomal RNA Database [7]. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  34. ^ a b These are the type species for the genus, depending on which genus name is preferred.