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The whole genome sequenced rhizobacterium FZB42 (Chen et al., 2007) and other plant-associated Bacillus strains either designated as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens or Bacillus subtilis are used commercially to promote growth and health of crop plants. Previous investigations revealed that the strains represent an own ecotype related to B. amyloliquefaciens, however its exact taxonomic position remains elusive (Reva et al., 2004). Here we have demonstrated ability to colonize Arabidopsis roots for a group of Bacillus strains, closely related to FZB42. According to their phenotypic traits the strains were similar to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens DSM 7T, but differed considerably in DNA sequences of the genes encoding 16S rRNA, gyrase subunit A (gyrA), and histidine kinase (cheA) from the type strain. Phylogenetic analysis performed with partial 16S rRNA, gyrA, and cheA sequences revealed that plant-associated Bacillus strains including FZB42 form a lineage, which can be discriminated from the cluster of strains closely related to B. amyloliquefaciens DSM 7T. DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH) performed with genomic DNAs from DSM 7T and FZB42 yielded 63.7 to 71.2 % homology. As complementary approach, we used several genomic methods, as direct whole genome comparison, digital DDH, and microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (M-CGH). Plant-associated strains were discriminated from DSM 7T and B. subtilis type strain by their different potential to synthesize non-ribosomally lipopeptides and polyketides. According to the differences found in marker gene sequences and the whole genomes, we propose the two B. amyloliquefaciens subspecies, 'plantarum' for their plant-associated, and 'amyloliquefaciens', for their non-plant associated representatives. This is in line with results of DDH, MCGH, and the MALDI TOF mass spectrometry of cellular components which are justifying that both ecovars represent two different subspecies.
Bakteriengenetik, Institut für Biologie, Humboldt Universität Berlin;
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology
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