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Phenotypic variation in Acidovorax radicis N35 influences plant growth promotion.

FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 79, 751-762 (2012)
DOI
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Acidovorax radicis N35, isolated from surface-sterilized wheat roots (Triticum aestivum), showed irreversible phenotypic variation in nutrient broth, resulting in a differing colony morphology. In addition to the wild-type form (rough colony type), a phenotypic variant form (smooth colony type) appeared at a frequency of 3.2 × 10(-3) per cell per generation on NB agar plates. In contrast to the N35 wild type, the variant N35v showed almost no cell aggregation and had lost its flagella and swarming ability. After inoculation, only the wild-type N35 significantly promoted the growth of soil-grown barley plants. After co-inoculation of axenically grown barley seedlings with differentially fluorescently labeled N35 and N35v cells, decreased competitive endophytic root colonization in the phenotypic variant N35v was observed using confocal laser scanning microscopy. In addition, 454 pyrosequencing of both phenotypes revealed almost identical genomic sequences. The only stable difference noted in the sequence of the phenotype variant N35v was a 16-nucleotide deletion identified in a gene encoding the mismatch repair protein MutL. The deletion resulted in a frameshift that revealed a new stop codon resulting in a truncated MutL protein missing a functional MutL C-terminal domain. The mutation was consistent in all investigated phenotype variant cultures and might be responsible for the observed phenotypic variation in A. radicis N35.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords competitive colonization; MutL; pyrosequencing
Reviewing status