April 21, 2020  |  

Investigating the role of exudates in recruiting Streptomyces bacteria to the Arabidopsis thaliana root microbiome

Arabidopsis thaliana has a diverse but consistent root microbiome, recruited in part by the release of fixed carbon in root exudates. Here we focussed on the recruitment of Streptomyces bacteria, which are well established plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria and which have been proposed to be recruited to A. thaliana roots by the release of salicylic acid. We generated high quality genome sequences for eight Streptomyces endophyte strains and showed that although some strains do enhance plant growth, they are not attracted to, and do not feed on, salicyclic acid. We used 13CO2 DNA-stable isotope probing to determine which bacteria are fed by the plants in the rhizo- and endosphere and found that streptomycetes did not feed on root exudates in vivo, despite the fact that they can use exudate as sole carbon and nitrogen sources in vitro. We confirmed increased root colonisation by streptomycetes in plants that constitutively produce salicylic acid, but these plants exhibited a pleiotropic phenotype of early senescence and weak growth. We propose that streptomycetes are attracted to the rhizosphere by root exudates but can be outcompeted for this food source by more abundant proteobacteria and most likely feed off unlabelled complex organic matter.


April 21, 2020  |  

Plantibacter flavus, Curtobacterium herbarum, Paenibacillus taichungensis, and Rhizobium selenitireducens Endophytes Provide Host-Specific Growth Promotion of Arabidopsis thaliana, Basil, Lettuce, and Bok Choy Plants.

A collection of bacterial endophytes isolated from stem tissues of plants growing in soils highly contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons were screened for plant growth-promoting capabilities. Twenty-seven endophytic isolates significantly improved the growth of Arabidopsis thaliana plants in comparison to that of uninoculated control plants. The five most beneficial isolates, one strain each of Curtobacterium herbarum, Paenibacillus taichungensis, and Rhizobium selenitireducens and two strains of Plantibacter flavus were further examined for growth promotion in Arabidopsis, lettuce, basil, and bok choy plants. Host-specific plant growth promotion was observed when plants were inoculated with the five bacterial strains. P. flavus strain M251 increased the total biomass and total root length of Arabidopsis plants by 4.7 and 5.8 times, respectively, over that of control plants and improved lettuce and basil root growth, while P. flavus strain M259 promoted Arabidopsis shoot and root growth, lettuce and basil root growth, and bok choy shoot growth. A genome comparison between P. flavus strains M251 and M259 showed that both genomes contain up to 70 actinobacterial putative plant-associated genes and genes involved in known plant-beneficial pathways, such as those for auxin and cytokinin biosynthesis and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase production. This study provides evidence of direct plant growth promotion by Plantibacter flavusIMPORTANCE The discovery of new plant growth-promoting bacteria is necessary for the continued development of biofertilizers, which are environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternatives to conventional chemical fertilizers. Biofertilizer effects on plant growth can be inconsistent due to the complexity of plant-microbe interactions, as the same bacteria can be beneficial to the growth of some plant species and neutral or detrimental to others. We examined a set of bacterial endophytes isolated from plants growing in a unique petroleum-contaminated environment to discover plant growth-promoting bacteria. We show that strains of Plantibacter flavus exhibit strain-specific plant growth-promoting effects on four different plant species.Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequence of Achromobacter spanius UQ283, a Soilborne Isolate Exhibiting Plant Growth-Promoting Properties.

Achromobacter spanius UQ283 is a soilborne bacterium found to exhibit plant growth-promoting and disease-suppressing attributes in several plant species. Accordingly, we used long-read sequencing to determine its complete genome sequence. The assembled genome will aid in understanding the multifaceted interactions between plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, pathogens, and plants. Copyright © 2019 Wass et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequencing of Bacillus velezensis WRN014, and Comparison with Genome Sequences of other Bacillus velezensis Strains.

Bacillus velezensis strain WRN014 was isolated from banana fields in Hainan, China. Bacillus velezensis is an important member of the plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) which can enhance plant growth and control soil-borne disease. The complete genome of Bacillus velezensis WRN014 was sequenced by combining Illumina Hiseq 2500 system and Pacific Biosciences SMRT high-throughput sequencing technologies. Then, the genome of Bacillus velezensis WRN014, together with 45 other completed genome sequences of the Bacillus velezensis strains, were comparatively studied. The genome of Bacillus velezensis WRN014 was 4,063,541bp in length and contained 4,062 coding sequences, 9 genomic islands and 13 gene clusters. The results of comparative genomic analysis provide evidence that (i) The 46 Bacillus velezensis strains formed 2 obviously closely related clades in phylogenetic trees. (ii) The pangenome in this study is open and is increasing with the addition of new sequenced genomes. (iii) Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) revealed local diversification of the 46 Bacillus velezensis genomes. Surprisingly, SNPs were not evenly distributed throughout the whole genome. (iv) Analysis of gene clusters revealed that rich gene clusters spread over Bacillus velezensis strains and some gene clusters are conserved in different strains. This study reveals that the strain WRN014 and other Bacillus velezensis strains have potential to be used as PGPR and biopesticide.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genetic, structural, and functional diversity of low and high-affinity siderophores in strains of nitrogen fixing Azotobacter chroococcum.

To increase iron (Fe) bioavailability in surface soils, microbes secrete siderophores, chelators with widely varying Fe affinities. Strains of the soil bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum (AC), plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria used as agricultural inoculants, require high Fe concentrations for aerobic respiration and nitrogen fixation. Recently, A. chroococcum str. NCIMB 8003 was shown to synthesize three siderophore classes: (1) vibrioferrin, a low-affinity a-hydroxy carboxylate (pFe = 18.4), (2) amphibactins, high-affinity tris-hydroxamates, and (3) crochelin A, a high-affinity siderophore with mixed Fe-chelating groups (pFe = 23.9). The relevance and specific functions of these siderophores in AC strains remain unclear. We analyzed the genome and siderophores of a second AC strain, A. chroococcum str. B3, and found that it also produces vibrioferrin and amphibactins, but not crochelin A. Genome comparisons indicate that vibrioferrin production is a vertically inherited, conserved strategy for Fe uptake in A. chroococcum and other species of Azotobacter. Amphibactin and crochelin biosynthesis reflects a more complex evolutionary history, shaped by vertical gene transfer, gene gain and loss through recombination at a genomic hotspot. We found conserved patterns of low vs. high-affinity siderophore production across strains: the low-affinity vibrioferrin was produced by mildly Fe limited cultures. As cells became more severely Fe starved, vibrioferrin production decreased in favor of high-affinity amphibactins (str. B3, NCIMB 8003) and crochelin A (str. NCIMB 8003). Our results show the evolution of low and high-affinity siderophore families and conserved patterns for their production in response to Fe bioavailability in a common soil diazotroph.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic Characterization of a Newly Isolated Rhizobacteria Sphingomonas panacis Reveals Plant Growth Promoting Effect to Rice

This article reports the full genome sequence of Sphingomonas panacis DCY99T (=KCTC 42347T =JCM30806T), which is a Gram-negative rod-shaped, non-spore forming, motile bacterium isolated from rusty ginseng root in South Korea. A draft genome of S. panacis DCY99T and a single circular plasmid were generated using the PacBio platform. Antagonistic activity experiment showed S. panacis DCY99T has the plant growth promoting effect. Thus, the genome sequence of S. panacis DCY99T may contribute to biotechnological application of the genus Sphingomonas in agriculture.


April 21, 2020  |  

Closing the Yield Gap for Cannabis: A Meta-Analysis of Factors Determining Cannabis Yield.

Until recently, the commercial production of Cannabis sativa was restricted to varieties that yielded high-quality fiber while producing low levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In the last few years, a number of jurisdictions have legalized the production of medical and/or recreational cannabis with higher levels of THC, and other jurisdictions seem poised to follow suit. Consequently, demand for industrial-scale production of high yield cannabis with consistent cannabinoid profiles is expected to increase. In this paper we highlight that currently, projected annual production of cannabis is based largely on facility size, not yield per square meter. This meta-analysis of cannabis yields reported in scientific literature aimed to identify the main factors contributing to cannabis yield per plant, per square meter, and per W of lighting electricity. In line with previous research we found that variety, plant density, light intensity and fertilization influence cannabis yield and cannabinoid content; we also identified pot size, light type and duration of the flowering period as predictors of yield and THC accumulation. We provide insight into the critical role of light intensity, quality, and photoperiod in determining cannabis yields, with particular focus on the potential for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to improve growth and reduce energy requirements. We propose that the vast amount of genomics data currently available for cannabis can be used to better understand the effect of genotype on yield. Finally, we describe diversification that is likely to emerge in cannabis growing systems and examine the potential role of plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) for growth promotion, regulation of cannabinoid biosynthesis, and biocontrol.


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