The aquatic budding bacterium Blastobacter denitrificans is a nitrogen-fixing symbiont of Aeschynomene indica

Peter Van Berkum, Bertrand D. Eardly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Blastobacter spp. are freshwater bacteria that form rosette structures by cellular attachment to a common base. Comparative analyses of ribosomal 16S rRNA gene and internally transcribed spacer region sequences indicated that B. denitrificans is a member of the α-subdivision of Proteobacteria. Among the α-Proteobacteria, B. denitrificans was related to a cluster of genera, including Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Afipia felis, Nitrobacter hamburgensis, and Bradyrhizobium spp. Although the precise phylogenetic relationships among these genera could not be established with a high degree of confidence, the sequences of B. denitrificans and several bradyrhizobial isolates from nodules of Aeschynomene indica were almost identical. Bradyrhizobia are bacteria that form nitrogen-fixing symbioses with legumes, including soybeans (Glycine max) and members of the genus Aeschynomene. From symbiotic infectiveness tests we demonstrated that the type strain for B. denitrificans, IFAM 1005, was capable of forming an effective nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with A. indica. Not only do these results reveal a previously unknown ecological adaptation of a relatively obscure aquatic bacterium, but they also demonstrate how evidence gathered from molecular systematic analyses can sometimes provide clues for predicting ecological behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1132-1136
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume68
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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