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  |  

Genomic and Functional Characterization of the Endophytic Bacillus subtilis 7PJ-16 Strain, a Potential Biocontrol Agent of Mulberry Fruit Sclerotiniose.

Bacillus sp. 7PJ-16, an endophytic bacterium isolated from a healthy mulberry stem and previously identified as Bacillus tequilensis 7PJ-16, exhibits strong antifungal activity and has the capacity to promote plant growth. This strain was studied for its effectiveness as a biocontrol agent to reduce mulberry fruit sclerotiniose in the field and as a growth-promoting agent for mulberry in the greenhouse. In field studies, the cell suspension and supernatant of strain 7PJ-16 exhibited biocontrol efficacy and the lowest disease incidence was reduced down to only 0.80%. In greenhouse experiments, the cell suspension (1.0?×?106 and 1.0?×?105 CFU/mL) and the cell-free supernatant (100-fold and 1000-fold dilution) stimulated mulberry seed germination and promoted mulberry seedling growth. In addition, to accurately identify the 7PJ-16 strain and further explore the mechanisms of its antifungal and growth-promoting properties, the complete genome of this strain was sequenced and annotated. The 7PJ-16 genome is comprised of two circular plasmids and a 4,209,045-bp circular chromosome, containing 4492 protein-coding genes and 116 RNA genes. This strain was ultimately designed as Bacillus subtilis based on core genome sequence analyses using a phylogenomic approach. In this genome, we identified a series of gene clusters that function in the synthesis of non-ribosomal peptides (surfactin, fengycin, bacillibactin, and bacilysin) as well as the ribosome-dependent synthesis of tasA and bacteriocins (subtilin, subtilosin A), which are responsible for the biosynthesis of numerous antimicrobial metabolites. Additionally, several genes with function that promote plant growth, such as indole-3-acetic acid biosynthesis, the production of volatile substances, and siderophores synthesis, were also identified. The information described in this study has established a good foundation for understanding the beneficial interactions between endophytes and host plants, and facilitates the further application of B. subtilis 7PJ-16 as an agricultural biofertilizer and biocontrol agent.


April 21, 2020  |  

Diversity of phytobeneficial traits revealed by whole-genome analysis of worldwide-isolated phenazine-producing Pseudomonas spp.

Plant-beneficial Pseudomonas spp. competitively colonize the rhizosphere and display plant-growth promotion and/or disease-suppression activities. Some strains within the P. fluorescens species complex produce phenazine derivatives, such as phenazine-1-carboxylic acid. These antimicrobial compounds are broadly inhibitory to numerous soil-dwelling plant pathogens and play a role in the ecological competence of phenazine-producing Pseudomonas spp. We assembled a collection encompassing 63 strains representative of the worldwide diversity of plant-beneficial phenazine-producing Pseudomonas spp. In this study, we report the sequencing of 58 complete genomes using PacBio RS II sequencing technology. Distributed among four subgroups within the P. fluorescens species complex, the diversity of our collection is reflected by the large pangenome which accounts for 25 413 protein-coding genes. We identified genes and clusters encoding for numerous phytobeneficial traits, including antibiotics, siderophores and cyclic lipopeptides biosynthesis, some of which were previously unknown in these microorganisms. Finally, we gained insight into the evolutionary history of the phenazine biosynthetic operon. Given its diverse genomic context, it is likely that this operon was relocated several times during Pseudomonas evolution. Our findings acknowledge the tremendous diversity of plant-beneficial phenazine-producing Pseudomonas spp., paving the way for comparative analyses to identify new genetic determinants involved in biocontrol, plant-growth promotion and rhizosphere competence. © 2018 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Antimicrobial, plant growth-promoting and genomic properties of the peanut endophyte Bacillus velezensis LDO2.

Peanut suffer from a number of fungal and bacterial pathogens, while plant endophytes were considered excellent candidates as biocontrol agents. In this study, the peanut endophytic bacterium LDO2 was evaluated for the potential of peanut pathogens inhibition and growth-promotion, and the genetic mechanisms were explored by genome mining. Strain LDO2 significantly inhibited the growth of peanut pathogenic fungi and pathogenic bacteria, and specifically, it showed pronounced inhibition on mycelia growth of Aspergillus flavus mycelia and caused mycelial deformity. Gene clusters responsible for antifungal metabolites (fengycin, surfactin, bacilysin) and antibacterial metabolites (butirosin, bacillaene, difficidin, macrolactin, surfactin, bacilysin) were identified. Strain LDO2 also exhibited several growth-promoting related features including phosphate solubilization, siderophore production and growth promotion of peanut root. Genes associated with plant growth promotion were also identified and analyzed, as well as genes related to secreted proteins. These findings suggested that this peanut endophyte could be a potential biocontrol agent in peanut production and a source of antimicrobial compounds for further exploitation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Petunia-and Arabidopsis-Specific Root Microbiota Responses to Phosphate Supplementation

Phosphorus (P) is a limiting element for plant growth. Several root microbes, including arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), have the capacity to improve plant nutrition and their abundance is known to depend on P fertility. However, how complex root-associated bacterial and fungal communities respond to various levels of P supplementation remains ill-defined. Here we investigated the responses of the root-associated bacteria and fungi to varying levels of P supply using 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer amplicon sequencing. We grew Petunia, which forms symbiosis with AMF, and the nonmycorrhizal model species Arabidopsis as a control in a soil that is limiting in plant-available P and we then supplemented the plants with complete fertilizer solutions that varied only in their phosphate concentrations. We searched for microbes, whose abundances varied by P fertilization, tested whether a core microbiota responding to the P treatments could be identified and asked whether bacterial and fungal co-occurrence patterns change in response to the varying P levels. Root microbiota composition varied substantially in response to the varying P application. A core microbiota was not identified as different bacterial and fungal groups responded to low-P conditions in Arabidopsis and Petunia. Microbes with P-dependent abundance patterns included Mortierellomycotina in Arabidopsis, while in Petunia, they included AMF and their symbiotic endobacteria. Of note, the P-dependent root colonization by AMF was reliably quantified by sequencing. The fact that the root microbiotas of the two plant species responded differently to low-P conditions suggests that plant species specificity would need to be considered for the eventual development of microbial products that improve plant P nutrition.


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.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence of Caulobacter flavus RHGG3T, a type species of the genus Caulobacter with plant growth-promoting traits and heavy metal resistance.

Caulobacter flavus RHGG3T, a novel type species in the genus Caulobacter, originally isolated from rhizosphere soil of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), has the ability to improve the growth of watermelon seedling and tolerate heavy metals. In vitro, C. flavus RHGG3T was able to solubilize phosphate (80.56 mg L-1), produce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) (11.58 mg L-1) and was resistant to multiple heavy metals (copper, zinc, cadmium, cobalt and lead). Inoculating watermelon with this strain increased shoot and root length by 22.1% and 43.7%, respectively, and the total number of lateral roots by 55.9% compared to non-inoculated watermelon. In this study, we present the complete genome sequence of C. flavus RHGG3T, which was comprised of a single circular chromosome of 5,659,202 bp with a G?+?C content of 69.25%. An annotation analysis revealed that the C. flavus RHGG3T genome contained 5172 coding DNA sequences, 9 rRNA and 55 tRNA genes. Genes related to plant growth promotion (PGP), such as those associated with phosphate solubilization, nitrogen fixation, IAA, phenazine, volatile compounds, spermidine and cobalamin synthesis, were found in the C. flavus RHGG3T genome. Some genes responsible for heavy metal tolerance were also identified. The genome sequence of strain RHGG3T reported here provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the promotion of plant growth and the resistance to heavy metals in C. flavus. This study will be valuable for further exploration of the biotechnological applications of strain RHGG3T in agriculture.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Paenibacillus polymyxa YC0136, a plant growth–promoting rhizobacterium isolated from tobacco rhizosphere.

Paenibacillus polymyxa strain YC0136 is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium with antimicrobial activity, which was isolated from tobacco rhizosphere. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of P. polymyxa YC0136. Several genes with antifungal and antibacterial activity were discovered. Copyright © 2017 Liu et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Identification of putative coffee rust mycoparasites using single molecule DNA sequencing of infected pustules.

The interaction of crop pests with their natural enemies is a fundament to their control. Natural enemies of fungal pathogens of crops are poorly known relative to those of insect pests despite the diversity of fungal pathogens and their economic importance. Currently, many regions across Latin America are experiencing unprecedented epidemics of coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix). Identification of natural enemies of coffee rust could aid in developing management strategies or in pinpointing species that could be used for biocontrol. Here we characterize fungal communities associated with coffee rust lesions by single molecule DNA sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA barcodes from leaf discs (˜28 mm(2)) containing rust lesions and control discs with no rust lesions. The leaf disc communities were hyper-diverse in fungi, with up to 57 taxa per control disc, and the diversity was only slightly reduced in rust-infected discs. However, geography had a greater influence on the fungal community than whether the disk was infected by coffee rust. Through comparisons between control and rust-infected leaf discs, as well as taxonomic criteria, we identified 15 putative mycoparasitic fungi. These fungi are concentrated in fungal family Cordycipitaceae and order Tremellales. These data emphasize the complexity of fungal diversity of unknown ecological function within a leaf that might influence plant disease epidemics or lead to the development of species for biocontrol of fungal disease. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Petrimonas sp. strain IBARAKI, assembled from the metagenome data of a culture containing Dehalococcoides spp.

The complete genome sequence of Petrimonas sp. strain IBARAKI in a Dehalococcoides-containing culture was determined using the PacBio RS II platform. The genome is a single circular chromosome of 3,693,233 nucleotides (nt), with a GC content of 44%. This is the first genome sequence of a Petrimonas species. Copyright © 2018 Ikegami et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

A community-based culture collection for targeting novel plant growth-promoting bacteria from the sugarcane microbiome.

The soil-plant ecosystem harbors an immense microbial diversity that challenges investigative approaches to study traits underlying plant-microbe association. Studies solely based on culture-dependent techniques have overlooked most microbial diversity. Here we describe the concomitant use of culture-dependent and -independent techniques to target plant-beneficial microbial groups from the sugarcane microbiome. The community-based culture collection (CBC) approach was used to access microbes from roots and stalks. The CBC recovered 399 unique bacteria representing 15.9% of the rhizosphere core microbiome and 61.6-65.3% of the endophytic core microbiomes of stalks. By cross-referencing the CBC (culture-dependent) with the sugarcane microbiome profile (culture-independent), we designed a synthetic community comprised of naturally occurring highly abundant bacterial groups from roots and stalks, most of which has been poorly explored so far. We then used maize as a model to probe the abundance-based synthetic inoculant. We show that when inoculated in maize plants, members of the synthetic community efficiently colonize plant organs, displace the natural microbiota and dominate at 53.9% of the rhizosphere microbial abundance. As a result, inoculated plants increased biomass by 3.4-fold as compared to uninoculated plants. The results demonstrate that abundance-based synthetic inoculants can be successfully applied to recover beneficial plant microbes from plant microbiota.


September 22, 2019  |  

The microbiome of the leaf surface of Arabidopsis protects against a fungal pathogen.

We have explored the importance of the phyllosphere microbiome in plant resistance in the cuticle mutants bdg (BODYGUARD) or lacs2.3 (LONG CHAIN FATTY ACID SYNTHASE 2) that are strongly resistant to the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea. The study includes infection of plants under sterile conditions, 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing of the phyllosphere microbiome, and isolation and high coverage sequencing of bacteria from the phyllosphere. When inoculated under sterile conditions bdg became as susceptible as wild-type (WT) plants whereas lacs2.3 mutants retained the resistance. Adding washes of its phyllosphere microbiome could restore the resistance of bdg mutants, whereas the resistance of lacs2.3 results from endogenous mechanisms. The phyllosphere microbiome showed distinct populations in WT plants compared to cuticle mutants. One species identified as Pseudomonas sp isolated from the microbiome of bdg provided resistance to B. cinerea on Arabidopsis thaliana as well as on apple fruits. No direct activity was observed against B. cinerea and the action of the bacterium required the plant. Thus, microbes present on the plant surface contribute to the resistance to B. cinerea. These results open new perspectives on the function of the leaf microbiome in the protection of plants.© 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome and secretome analysis of Pochonia chlamydosporia provide new insight into egg-parasitic mechanisms.

Pochonia chlamydosporia infects eggs and females of economically important plant-parasitic nematodes. The fungal isolates parasitizing different nematodes are genetically distinct. To understand their intraspecific genetic differentiation, parasitic mechanisms, and adaptive evolution, we assembled seven putative chromosomes of P. chlamydosporia strain 170 isolated from root-knot nematode eggs (~44?Mb, including 7.19% of transposable elements) and compared them with the genome of the strain 123 (~41?Mb) isolated from cereal cyst nematode. We focus on secretomes of the fungus, which play important roles in pathogenicity and fungus-host/environment interactions, and identified 1,750 secreted proteins, with a high proportion of carboxypeptidases, subtilisins, and chitinases. We analyzed the phylogenies of these genes and predicted new pathogenic molecules. By comparative transcriptome analysis, we found that secreted proteins involved in responses to nutrient stress are mainly comprised of proteases and glycoside hydrolases. Moreover, 32 secreted proteins undergoing positive selection and 71 duplicated gene pairs encoding secreted proteins are identified. Two duplicated pairs encoding secreted glycosyl hydrolases (GH30), which may be related to fungal endophytic process and lost in many insect-pathogenic fungi but exist in nematophagous fungi, are putatively acquired from bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. The results help understanding genetic origins and evolution of parasitism-related genes.


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