1887

Abstract

Beta-proteobacteria belonging to the genus have been described from various environments. Many strains can interact with a range of hosts, including humans and plants, forming neutral, beneficial or detrimental associations. In the frame of this study, we investigated the genomic properties of 52 bacterial strains of the genus , isolated from healthy roots of with the intent of identifying traits important for effective plant-growth promotion. Based on single-strain inoculation bioassays with , performed in a gnotobiotic system, we distinguished seven robust plant-growth promoting strains from strains with no significant effects on plant-growth. We showed that the genomes of the two groups differed prominently in protein families linked to sensing and transport of organic acids, production of phytohormones, as well as resistance and production of compounds with antimicrobial properties. In a second step, we compared the genomes of the tested isolates with those of plant pathogens and free-living strains of the genus sourced from public repositories. Our pan-genomics comparison revealed features correlated with commensal and pathogenic lifestyle. We showed that commensals and pathogens differ mostly in their ability to use plant-derived lipids and in the type of secretion-systems being present. Most free-living strains did not harbour any secretion-systems. Overall, our data indicate that strains undergo extensive adaptations to their particular lifestyle by horizontal uptake of novel genetic information and loss of unnecessary genes.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Award GU1423/3-1)
    • Principle Award Recipient: CarolineGutjahr
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Award SCHL446/38-1)
    • Principle Award Recipient: MichaelSchloter
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2021-12-10
2022-01-28
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