Strain CCMM B554, also known as FSM-MA, is a soil dwelling and nodule forming, nitrogen-fixing bacterium isolated from the nodules of the legume Medicago arborea L. in the Maamora Forest, Morocco. The strain forms effective nitrogen fixing nodules on species of the Medicago, Melilotus and Trigonella genera and is exceptional because it is a highly effective symbiotic partner of the two most widely used accessions, A17 and R108, of the model legume Medicago truncatula Gaertn. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence, multilocus sequence and average nucleotide identity analyses, FSM-MA is identified as a new Ensifer meliloti strain. The genome is 6,70 Mbp and is comprised of the chromosome (3,64 Mbp) harboring 3574 predicted genes and two megaplasmids, pSymA (1,42 Mbp) and pSymB (1,64 Mbp) with respectively 1481 and 1595 predicted genes. The average GC content of the genome is 61.93%. The FSM-MA genome structure is highly similar and co-linear to other E. meliloti strains in the chromosome and the pSymB megaplasmid while, in contrast, it shows high variability in the pSymA plasmid. The large number of strain-specific sequences in pSymA as well as strain-specific genes on pSymB involved in the biosynthesis of the lipopolysaccharide and capsular polysaccharide surface polysaccharides may encode novel symbiotic functions explaining the high symbiotic performance of FSM-MA.
Journal: Standards in genomic sciences