Endophytic bacteria reside within plant hosts without having pathogenic effects, and various endophytes have been found to functionally benefit plant disease suppressive ability. In this study, the influence of banana plant stress on the endophytic bacterial communities, which was achieved by infection with the wilt pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, was examined by cultivation-independent denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of 16S ribosomal DNA directly amplified from plant tissue DNA. Community analysis clearly demonstrated increased bacterial diversity in pathogen-infected plantlets compared to that in control plantlets. By sequencing, bands most similar to species of Bacillus and Pseudomonas showed high density in the pathogen-treated pattern. In vitro screening of the isolates for antagonistic activity against Fusarium wilt pathogen acquired three strains of endophytic bacteria which were found to match those species that obviously increased in the pathogen infection process; moreover, the most inhibitive strain could also interiorly colonize plantlets and perform antagonism. The evidence obtained from this work showed that antagonistic endophytic bacteria could be induced by the appearance of a host fungal pathogen and further be an ideal biological control agent to use in banana Fusarium wilt disease protection.
Bacteria were isolated from the root nodules of Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper, grown in an arsenic-contaminated field and the strain was selected by its nodulation ability as well as better arsenic tolerant capacity compared to others. The selected strain was identified as Rhizobium by 16S rDNA sequencing and designated as VMA301. Phylogenetic analysis of the gene sequences showed its close relatedness with Sinorhizobium fredii. LC50 value of arsenate for the bacteria as determined by flow cytometry was found to be 2.8 mM and arsenic uptake was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry as 0.048 mg g-1 biomass. The high amount of arsenic was toxic to the cell, which changed the morphology of the bacteria to an elongated shape. Presence of a transcriptional regulatory gene (ArsR) of the ars genetic system was confirmed by amplification and sequencing. The symbiotic property of the isolate was also confirmed by amplification and sequencing of the NodC gene. These results indicate that the isolated Rhizobium bacteria may exert dual roles in the environment, arsenic bioremediation from the soil as well as increase of soil fertility through nitrogen fixation.
Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis are pus-forming bacteria that trigger inflammation in acne. The present study was conducted to evaluate the antimicrobial activities of Jeju medicinal plants against these etiologic agents of acne vulgaris. Ethanol extracts of Jeju plants were tested for antimicrobial activities by disc diffusion and broth dilution methods. The results from the disc diffusion assays revealed that four medicinal plants, Mollugo pentaphylla, Angelica anomala, Matteuccia orientalis, and Orixa japonica inhibited the growth of both pathogens. Among these, A. anomala had strong inhibitory effects. Its MIC values were 15.6 μg/ml and 125 μg/ml against P. acnes and S. epidermidis, respectively. The cytotoxic effects of the four extracts were determined by colorimetric MTT assays using two animal cell lines: human dermal fibroblasts and HaCaT cells. Although the M. orientalis root extract had moderate cytotoxicity in HaCaT cells at 200 μg/ml, most extracts exhibited low cytotoxicity at 200 μg/ml in both cell lines. In addition, the extracts reduced the P. acnes-induced secretion of interleukin-8 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in THP-1 cells, an indication of their anti-inflammatory effects. Based on these results, we suggest that M. pentaphylla, A. anomala, M. orientalis, and O. japonica are attractive acne-mitigating candidates for topical application.
The symbiotic plasmid (pSym) of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 4S5, which carries Tn5-mob, was successfully transferred into Agrobacterium tumefaciens A136 by using a conjugation method. The resulting transconjugants induced the development of ineffective nitrogen-fixing nodules on the roots of white clover seedlings. Depending on the manner in which the pSym was retained, the transconjugants were divided into two groups of strains, Afp and Afcs. pSym was retained as a plasmid in the Afp strains but was integrated into the int gene encoding a phage-related integrase on the linear chromosome of A. tumefaciens A136 in strain Afcs1 (one of the Afcs strains) to form a symbiosis island. Conjugation was performed between strain Afcs1 and R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii H1 (a pSym-cured derivative of wild-type strain 4S), and the Rhizobium H1tr strains were screened as transconjugants. Eighteen of the H1tr strains induced effective nitrogen-fixing nodules on the roots of the host plants. pSym was transferred into all of the transconjugants, except for strain H1tr1, at the same size as pSym of strain 4S5. In strain H1tr1, pSym was integrated into the chromosome as a symbiosis island. These data suggest that pSym can exist among Rhizobium and Agrobacterium strains both as a plasmid and as a symbiosis island with transposon mediation.