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Wenxin Chen

Wenxin Chen, Chinese soil microbiologist (Liuyang County, Hunan Province 23 September 1926 – Beijing 07 October 2021)

Authored over 80 papers


The world’s largest rhizobia resource bank and database

One of the two most important rhizobia classification laboratories in the world

A set of scientific classification and identification of rhizobia technical methods and data processing procedures


Proved the diversity of the symbiosis relationship between rhizobia and legumes (one plant can coexist with a variety of rhizobia)

Revealed the biogeographical characteristics of rhizobia and related genomic differences

Revealed the difference in the effectiveness of symbiosis between close-source strains and different plant varieties (required to screen strains for crop varieties)

Discovered that rhizobia adapts to symbiotic interactions and other environmental conditions with genes unique to system branches

With C.F. Tian, Y.J. Zhou, Y.M. Zhang, Q.Q. Li, Y.Z. Zhang, D.F. Li, S. Wang et al. Comparative genome of rhizobia nodulating soybean suggests extensive recruitment of lineage-specific genes in adaptations. Proceed. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109(22):8629-34, 2012

Found that mixed planting between gramineous plants and legumes both interacting each other to achieve high yield, overcoming the nitrogen inhibition or barrier



Mesorhizobium 2005 with Jarvis, Van Berkum, Nour, Fernandez, Cleyet-Marel & Gillis

Nakamurella 2004 with Tao, Yue, Chen et al.


About 70


Invited to write the rhizobia part of the Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology (1998)

Genus Wenxinia Ying, Wang, Dai, Yang, Liu & Liu 2007 (Bacteria)