USDA Nodulation Data in GRIN

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USDA Nodulation Data in GRIN

Joe Kirkbride
USDA Nodulation Data in GRIN


Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr. and John H. Wiersema


After discussions with the Directorate of the International Legume Database and Information Service (ILDIS), a single field was created in their database for rhizobial nodulation data in 1986. Input of nodulation data into the ILDIS database had three phases: 1) entering the nodulation data from Allen and Allen (1981) with each datum referenced to that work, 2) reviewing and entering literature reporting legume nodulation published after 1979, and 3) examining and verifying the original references cited by Allen and Allen (1981) and attaching those references to the data in the ILDIS database. In 1986, Mrs. Ethel K. Allen and the University of Wisconsin Press gave their permission for the nodulation data in the Allens’ book to be incorporated into the ILDIS database, and this phase was completed in 1990. The third phase was completed in early 2001. The second phase is complete up to the present, and current literature is being monitored for new data. The ILDIS Directorate gave their permission for us to use the nodulation data in the ILDIS database.

The USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) contains information on the USDA germplasm holdings. The ILDIS nodulation data are now incorporated into GRIN, and GRIN data are available via the World Wide Web. GRIN was selected to host the data because it could be made available on the WWW and to facilitate it being updated by USDA personnel. An access web page for the nodulation data is now available on the GRIN web site:

Interested users are requested to try out the web page and send reactions and opinions of the overall interface, ease of use, data available, and the formatting of reported data.

The Introductory matters, including explanations of how to use the search page for the rhizobial nodulation data are not yet available. Hopefully they will be linked to this web page in the coming months via a subject bar down the right-hand side of the page. The default is to obtain all types of nodulation data (positive and negative root nodulation and positive stem nodulation); if one type or another is not desired, then uncheck the box(es) for that type(s). Queries can be made based on the traditional legume classification of Polhill, genus, species, infraspecific taxon, or by geographical unit (country or state/province). Geographical queries will be effective only for those taxa for which country/state distribution data exist in GRIN. Currently about 3,500 of the 4,700 accepted taxa, represented by 6,650 nodulation reports in GRIN, also have distribution data. The geographical queries can be either for the actual taxa with nodulation reports of a geographical unit or for the genera of a geographic unit with nodulation reports anywhere in the world.

 For example if the GRIN nodulation data is queried for the genus Anadenanthera, a web page is returned with seven taxa listed for which nodulation reports exist. Two are accepted species, A. colubrina and A. peregina, three are infraspecific taxa, A. colubrina var. cebil, A. colubrina var. colubrina, and A. peregina var. falcata, and two taxa are synonyms, A. falcata and A. macrocarpa.

If a user clicks on a taxon name, the GRIN taxonomy page for that name will be displayed, which includes Pohill’s subfamilial classification, place of original publication, infraspecific taxa, common names, economic uses, distribution, references, synonyms, links to other databases, and links to images. Following the taxon name in square brackets are symbols indicating the class(es) of nodulation report(s) known for the taxon, R+, R–, S+, positive and negative root nodulation reports and positive stem nodulation reports, respectively. If a user clicks on a symbol, the complete bibliographic reference will be displayed.

Clicking on the abbreviated journal citation, for example Pesq. Agropecu. Brasil., will open a window with the complete journal name, Pesquisas agropecuaria Brasiliera, Rio de Janeiro.

The first users to contact us have already sent us 54 new nodulation reports. We hope that interested persons will access the USDA nodulation data and send us their comments at [hidden email] before we finalize the web presentation.

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