Symbiotic efficiency of Cupriavidus necator strains tolerant to zinc, cadmium, copper and lead.
The objective of this work was to evaluate the tolerance of Cupriavidus necator strains to zinc, cadmium, copper and lead, as well as to determine the symbiotic efficiency of the most tolerant ones in legume species suited for use in revegetation. Tolerance was evaluated in LB medium supplemented with 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10, 12.5 and 15 mmol L-1 of ZnSO4.7H2O, CdSO4.8H2O, CuSO4.5H2O and PbCl2, respectively, in comparison to a control without metal. The symbiotic efficiency of the four C. necator most metal-tolerant strains (UFLA02-71, UFLA02-73, UFLA01-659 and UFLA01-663) was determined, and these strains were inoculated in the species: Leucaena leucocephala, Enterolobium contortisiliquum, Acacia mangium, Mimosa caesalpiniifolia, M. pudica, M. pigra and M. acutistipula. Leucaena leucocephala, M. pudica and M. caesalpiniifolia and the strains UFLA02-71 and UFLA01-659, which presented the high symbiotic efficiency, were evaluated in pots with soil. UFLA02-71 provided increments of 870% in shoot dry matter of M. caesalpiniifolia, and UFLA01-659 provided 885% in M. pudica and 924% in L. leucocephala. These strains should be assessed for potential use in programs to restore degraded areas, since they showed high efficiency in nitrogen fixation and were competitive with indigenous rhizobia populations, besides being highly tolerant to heavy metals.