Author(s): Jargeat P, Cosseau C, Olah B, Jauneau A, Bonfante P,
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Abstract "Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum" is an endocellular beta-proteobacterium present in the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Gigaspora margarita. We established a protocol to isolate "Ca. Glomeribacter gigasporarum" from its host which allowed us to carry out morphological, physiological, and genomic investigations on purified bacteria. They are rod shaped, with a cell wall typical of gram-negative bacteria and a cytoplasm rich in ribosomes, and they present no flagella or pili. Isolated bacteria could not be grown in any of the 19 culture media tested, but they could be kept alive for up to 4 weeks. PCR-based investigations of purified DNA from isolated bacteria did not confirm the presence of all genes previously assigned to "Ca. Glomeribacter gigasporarum." In particular, the presence of nif genes could not be detected. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analyses allowed us to estimate the genome size of "Ca. Glomeribacter gigasporarum" to approximately 1.4 Mb with a ca. 750-kb chromosome and a 600- to 650-kb plasmid. This is the smallest genome known for a beta-proteobacterium. Such small genome sizes are typically found in endocellular bacteria living permanently in their host. Altogether, our data suggest that "Ca. Glomeribacter gigasporarum" is an ancient obligate endocellular bacterium of the AM fungus G. margarita.
This article was published in J Bacteriol
and referenced in Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Research