Dent corn Andisol at the Hokkaido University Shizunai Livestock Experimental Farm actively emits nitrous oxide (N2O). In order to screen for culturable and active N2O emitters with high N2O emission potential, soft gel medium containing excess KNO3 was inoculated with soil suspensions from farm soil samples collected at different land managements. Dominant bacterial colonies were searched for among 20 of the actively N2O-emitting cultures from post-harvest soil and 19 from pre-tilled soil, and all isolates were subjected to the culture-based N2O emission assay. Ten active N2O-emitting bacteria, four from post-harvest soil and six from pre-tilled soil, out of 156 isolates were identified as genus Pseudomonas by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. These N2O emitters showed clear responses to NO3− within a neutral pH range (5.5–6.7), and accelerated N2O production with 1.5–15 mM sucrose supplementation, suggesting the production of N2O during the denitrification process. However, the negative responses of 6 active N2O emitters, 3 from post-harvest soil and 3 from pre-tilled soil, out of the 10 isolates in the acetylene-blocking assay suggest that these 6 N2O emitters are incomplete denitrifiers that have lost their N2O reductase (N2OR) activity. Although the PCR assay for the denitrification-associated genes, narG and nirK/S, was positive in all 10 Pseudomonas isolates, those negative in the acetylene-blocking assay were nosZ-negative. Therefore, these results imply that the high N2O emission potential of dent corn Andisol is partly attributed to saprophytic, nosZ gene-missing pseudomonad denitrifiers.
An effective medium designated phosphate separately autoclaved Reasoner’s 2A supplemented with cycloheximide and tobramycin (PSR2A-C/T) has been developed for the isolation of Flavobacterium and Chryseobacterium strains from the plant rhizosphere. It consists of Reasoner’s 2A agar (R2A) prepared by autoclaving phosphate and agar separately and supplementing with 50 mg L−1 cycloheximide and 1 mg L−1 tobramycin. A comparison was made among the following nine media: PSR2A-C/T, PSR2A-C/T supplemented with NaCl, R2A agar, R2A agar supplemented with cycloheximide and tobramycin, 1/4-strength tryptic soy agar (TSA), 1/10-strength TSA, soil-extract agar, Schaedler anaerobe agar (SAA), and SAA supplemented with gramicidin, for the recovery of Flavobacterium and Chryseobacterium strains from the Welsh onion rhizosphere. Flavobacterium strains were only isolated on PSR2A-C/T, and the recovery rate of Chryseobacterium strains was higher from PSR2A-C/T than from the eight other media. In order to confirm the effectiveness of PSR2A-C/T, bacteria were isolated from onion rhizosphere soil with this medium. Flavobacterium and Chryseobacterium strains were successfully isolated from this sample at a similar rate to that from the Welsh onion rhizosphere.
Over the past few decades, anammox bacteria have been recognized as key players that contribute significantly to the release of large amounts of nitrogen in the global marine nitrogen cycle. In the present study, the diversity, community composition, and abundance of anammox bacteria from the sediments of four diverse regions in the north marginal seas in China were determined via clone library construction and a quantitative PCR analysis. The clone libraries retrieved by the 16S rRNA gene and Hzo gene markers indicated that “Candidatus Scalindua” was the predominant group throughout the sites examined. The 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed exceptional diversity by identifying two potential novel anammox clades, as evidenced by the high sequence similarities between these two clades and known anammox genera, and their unique phylogenetic positions with high bootstrap values. However, their potential roles in the anammox reaction need to be validated. Six novel members of Planctomycetes, divergent from the known genera of anammox bacteria, were also detected. A phylogenetic analysis by Hzo protein sequences revealed the existence of two known genera, i.e., “Candidatus Jettenia” and “Candidatus Anammoxoglobus”, which are rarely captured from marine sediments. Among all ecological parameters investigated, the distribution patterns and composition of anammox bacteria were found to be influenced by salinity, total organic matter, and temperature. The abundance of the anammox bacterial 16S rRNA gene from the sites examined ranged between 3.95×105 and 9.21×105 copies g−1 wet sediment and positively correlated with the median size of the sediment sample.
Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) is a leguminous crop widely used as green manure and a cover crop in Japan. It exhibits strong weed-suppressing activity, high resistance to insect pests, and the ability to fix nitrogen through symbiotic interactions with soil bacteria known as rhizobia. Few studies have investigated the rhizobia that form nodules on hairy vetch in Japan, and the biological resources available for selecting high nitrogen-fixing rhizobia are limited. In the present study, we isolated 110 hairy vetch rhizobia from 13 different areas in Japan. Based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences, 73% of the isolates were identified as Rhizobium leguminosarum. A comparative analysis of nodC and 16S rRNA gene phylogenies revealed that several isolates possessed congruent nodC sequences despite having divergent 16S rRNA gene sequences, suggesting that the horizontal transfer of nod genes occurred during the evolution of rhizobia. Inoculation tests showed that isolates closely related to R. leguminosarum had better plant growth-promoting effects than other strains, thereby providing a promising agricultural resource for inoculating crops.
This study was undertaken to examine the effects of water activity (aw) on the viability of actinobacterial isolates from a fed-batch composting (FBC) process by comparing culturability and stainability with 5-cyano-2,3-ditoryl tetrazolium chloride (CTC). The FBC reactor as the source of these bacteria was operated with the daily loading of household biowaste for 70 d. During this period of composting, aw in the reactor decreased linearly with time and reached approximately 0.95 at the end of operation. The plate counts of aerobic chemoorganotrophic bacteria were 3.2-fold higher than CTC-positive (CTC+) counts on average at the fully acclimated stage (after 7 weeks of operation), in which Actinobacteria predominated, as shown by lipoquinone profiling and cultivation methods. When the actinobacterial isolates from the FBC process were grown under aw stress, no significant differences were observed in culturability among the cultures, whereas CTC stainability decreased with reductions in aw levels. A cDNA microarray-based transcriptomic analysis of a representative isolate showed that many of the genes involved in cellular metabolism and genetic information processing were down-regulated by aw stress. This result was fully supported by a proteomic analysis. The results of the present study suggest that, in low aw mature compost, the metabolic activity of the community with Actinobacteria predominating is temporarily reduced to a level that hardly reacts with CTC; however, these bacteria are easily recoverable by exposure to a high aw culture medium. This may be a plausible reason why acclimated FBC reactors in which Actinobacteria predominate yields higher plate counts than CTC+ counts.
Buchnera aphidicola is the primary endosymbiont of aphids with which it maintains an obligate mutualistic symbiotic relationship. Insects also maintain facultative symbiotic relationships with secondary symbionts, and Serratia symbiotica is the most common in aphids. The presence of both symbionts in aphids of the subfamily Lachninae has been widely studied by our group. We examined two closely related aphids, Cinara tujafilina and C. cedri in the present study. Even though both B. aphidicola strains have similar genome sizes and gene contents, the genomes of the two S. symbiotica strains were markedly different. The SCc strain has the smallest genome known for this species, while SCt possesses a larger genome in an intermediate stage between the facultative S. symbiotica of Acyrthosiphon pisum (SAp) and the co-obligate S. symbiotica SCc.Aphids are vulnerable to high temperatures. Previous studies indicated that S. symbiotica SAp confers resistance to heat-shock stress. In order to clarify whether S. symbiotica strains from genus Cinara also play a role in heat stress protection, we performed a quantitative determination of the consortium Buchnera/Serratia from two geographically close populations, each of which belonged to the Cinara species examined, over two years in natural environments. We found no variation in the consortium from our C. cedri population, but a positive correlation between both endosymbiont densities and average daily temperatures in the C. tujafilina population. Even though S. symbiotica SCt may retain some protective role against heat stress, this does not appear to be due to the release of protective metabolites by cell lysis.
Diverse phytophagous heteropteran insects, commonly known as stinkbugs, are associated with specific gut symbiotic bacteria, which have been found in midgut cryptic spaces. Recent studies have revealed that members of the stinkbug families Coreidae and Alydidae of the superfamily Coreoidea are consistently associated with a specific group of the betaproteobacterial genus Burkholderia, called the “stinkbug-associated beneficial and environmental (SBE)” group, and horizontally acquire specific symbionts from the environment every generation. However, the symbiotic system of another coreoid family, Stenocephalidae remains undetermined. We herein investigated four species of the stenocephalid genus Dicranocephalus. Examinations via fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed the typical arrangement and ultrastructures of midgut crypts and gut symbionts. Cloning and molecular phylogenetic analyses of bacterial genes showed that the midgut crypts of all species are colonized by Burkholderia strains, which were further assigned to different subgroups of the genus Burkholderia. In addition to the SBE-group Burkholderia, a number of stenocephalid symbionts belonged to a novel clade containing B. sordidicola and B. udeis, suggesting a specific symbiont clade for the Stenocephalidae. The symbiotic systems of stenocephalid bugs may provide a unique opportunity to study the ongoing evolution of symbiont associations in the stinkbug-Burkholderia interaction.
The plant growth-promoting fungus (PGPF), Penicillium simplicissimum GP17-2 (GP17-2), induces systemic resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst) in Arabidopsis thaliana. The molecular mechanisms underlying induced systemic resistance (ISR) by GP17-2 were investigated in the present study. Microscopic observations revealed that stomatal reopening by Pst was restricted by elicitation with the culture filtrate (CF) from GP17-2. A gene expression analysis of MYB44, which enhances abscisic acid signaling and consequently closes stomata, revealed that the gene was activated by CF. CF-elicited myb44 mutant plants failed to restrict stomatal reopening and showed lower resistance to Pst than wild-type plants. These results indicate that stomatal resistance by GP17-2 is mediated by the gene activation of MYB44. We herein revealed that the MYB44-mediated prevention of penetration through the stomata is one of the components responsible for GP17-2-elicited ISR.
Soil bacterial community structures in terraced rice fields and abandoned lands in a hilly and mountainous area were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequences. The DGGE band patterns of each soil were similar. Based on pyrosequencing data, the richness and diversity of bacterial species were slightly higher in paddy fields than in other soils. A beta-diversity analysis clearly indicated that the bacterial community structure in paddy fields differed from those in non-paddy field lands and crop fields that had not been used as a paddy field. These results may reflect the history of land use.
Soil and rhizosphere environments were examined in order to determine the identity and relative abundance of bacteria that catabolize d- and l-amino acids as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen. All substrates were readily catabolized by bacteria from both environments, with most d-amino acids giving similar CFU counts to their l-amino acid counterparts. CFU count ratios between l- and d-amino acids typically ranged between 2 and 1. Isolates were phylogenetically typed in order to determine the identity of d-amino acid catabolizers. Actinobacteria, specifically the Arthrobacter genus, were abundant along with members of the α- and β-Proteobacteria classes.
A genome analysis of Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes KF707, a PCBs degrader and metal-resistant soil microorganism, revealed the presence of two novel gene clusters named che2 and che3, which were predicted to be involved in chemotaxis-like pathways, in addition to a che1 gene cluster. We herein report that the histidine kinase coding genes, cheA2 and cheA3, have no role in swimming or chemotaxis in P. pseudoalcaligenes KF707, in contrast to cheA1. However, the cheA1 and cheA2 genes were both necessary for cell swarming, whereas the cheA3 gene product had a negative effect on the optimal swarming phenotype of KF707 cells.
Virophages are parasites of giant viruses that infect eukaryotic organisms and may affect the ecology of inland water ecosystems. Despite the potential ecological impact, limited information is available on the distribution, diversity, and hosts of virophages in ecosystems. Metagenomics revealed that virophages were widely distributed in inland waters with various environmental characteristics including salinity and nutrient availability. A novel virophage population was overrepresented in a planktonic microbial community of the Tibetan mountain lake, Lake Qinghai. Our study identified coccolithophores and coccolithovirus-like phycodnaviruses in the same community, which may serve as eukaryotic and viral hosts of the virophage population, respectively.
We recently reported that a close relationship exists between alkane carbon-chain length, cell growth, and translocation frequency in Rhodococcus. In the present study, we examined the regulation of the spatial arrangement of cells in aqueous-alkane two phase cultures. An analysis of the effects of minerals on cell localization revealed that changes in the concentration of MgSO4 in two phase cultures containing n-dodecane (C12) altered cell localization from translocation to adhesion and vice versa. Our results indicate that the spatial arrangement of cells in two phase culture systems is controlled through the regulation of MgSO4 concentrations.
Temporal variabilities in the genetic patterns and antibiotic resistance profiles of enterococci were monitored over a 7-month period. Enterococcus faecalis isolates (103 strains) collected from feces showed only one genetic pattern and antibiotic resistance profile within 0 d and 30 d. In contrast, after 60 d and 90 d, the genetic patterns and antibiotic resistance profiles of all E. faecalis isolates (8 strains) clearly differed within 30 d. These results indicate that the genetic patterns and antibiotic resistance profiles of E. faecalis in human feces changed to completely dissimilar patterns between 1 and 2 months.
The root diameters as well as colonization and diversity of the root-associating fungi of Vaccinium oldhamii Miq. were investigated in order to obtain information on their mycorrhizal properties. The distal regions of roots had typical hair roots with diameters of less than 100 μm. Ericoid mycorrhizal fungi (ErMF) and dark septate endophytes (DSE) were frequently observed in the roots. Ascomycetes, particularly helotialean fungi, appeared to be dominant among the endophytic fungi of V. oldhamii roots. Furthermore, Rhizoscyphus ericae (Read) Zhuang & Korf and Oidiodendron maius Barron known as ErMF were detected more frequently than other fungal species.
The biological flux and lifetime of methanol in anoxic marine sediments are largely unknown. We herein reported, for the first time, quantitative methanol removal rates in subsurface sediments. Anaerobic incubation experiments with radiotracers showed high rates of microbial methanol consumption. Notably, methanol oxidation to CO2 surpassed methanol assimilation and methanogenesis from CO2/H2 and methanol. Nevertheless, a significant decrease in methanol was not observed after the incubation, and this was attributed to the microbial production of methanol in parallel with its consumption. These results suggest that microbial reactions play an important role in the sources and sinks of methanol in subseafloor sediments.
We investigated the in situ gene expression profile of sulfur-turf microbial mats dominated by an uncultured large sausage-shaped Aquificae bacterium, a key metabolic player in sulfur-turfs in sulfidic hot springs. A reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed that the genes responsible for sulfide, sulfite, and thiosulfate oxidation and carbon fixation via the reductive TCA cycle were continuously expressed in sulfur-turf mats taken at different sampling points, seasons, and years. These results suggest that the uncultured large sausage-shaped bacterium has the ability to grow chemolithoautotrophically and plays key roles as a primary producer in the sulfidic hot spring ecosystem in situ.