Author(s): MacRae JD, Smit J
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Abstract Caulobacters are generally assumed to be found only in environments of low organic content; however, we readily isolated strains from a variety of sewage treatment system designs and locations, and 33 distinct strains were characterized. Most were morphologically similar, having the crescent-shaped cell body, short stalk, and hexagonally packed, paracrystalline surface (S) layer characteristic of several Caulobacter crescentus laboratory strains. Upon closer examination, they were distinguishable on the basis of protein band profiles on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, gross colony characteristics, or holdfast composition or by DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis with flagellin and S-layer gene probes. Most of the isolates contained one or more high-molecular-weight plasmids and were resistant to a number of antibiotics, characteristics generally not shared with caulobacters isolated from other sources. Six of the 33 strains were retained because they did not fit the typical isolate profile; these strains are overrepresented in our collection compared with their relative proportion in wastewater treatment systems. By colony hybridization and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, all of these and one typical isolate showed less homology than the others to the surface array gene of a laboratory strain (C. crescentus CB15), and three hybridized less strongly with the flagellin gene from the same strain. In sum, although the strains were distinguishable, caulobacters from the wastewater treatment systems we examined were relatively homogenous, were similar to characterized laboratory strains, and, with exceptions, could probably be reliably detected as a group by gene probes derived from C. crescentus strains.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Advances in Recycling & Waste Management