quantification of acidity tolerance in the laboratory may be the first step in rhizobial strain selection for the amazon region. the present method evaluated rhizobia in petri dishes with yma medium at ph 6.5 (control) and 4.5, using scores of 1.0 (sensitive, "no visible" growth) to 4.0 (tolerant, maximum growth). growth evaluations were done at 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 day periods. this method permits preliminary selection of root nodule bacteria from amazonian soils with statistical precision. among the 31 rhizobia strains initially tested, the inpa strains 048, 078, and 671 presented scores of 4.0 at both phs after 9 days of growth. strain analyses using a less rigorous criterion (growth scores higher than 3.0) included in this highly tolerant group the inpa strains 511, 565, 576, 632, 649, and 658, which grew on the most diluted zone (zone 4) after 9 days. tolerant strains still must be tested for nitrogen fixation effectiveness, competitiveness for nodule sites, and soil persistence before their recommendation as inoculants.