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Arabidopsis thaliana and Pisum sativum models demonstrate that root colonization is an intrinsic trait of Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria

Vidal Quist, Jose, O'Sullivan, Louise Anne, Desert, Annaëlle, Fivian-Hughes, Amanda S., Millet, Coralie, Jones, Thomas Hefin ORCID:, Weightman, Andrew John ORCID:, Rogers, Hilary Joan ORCID:, Berry, Colin ORCID: and Mahenthiralingam, Eshwar ORCID: 2014. Arabidopsis thaliana and Pisum sativum models demonstrate that root colonization is an intrinsic trait of Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria. Microbiology 160 (2) , pp. 373-384. 10.1099/mic.0.074351-0

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Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria possess biotechnologically useful properties that contrast with their opportunistic pathogenicity. The rhizosphere fitness of Bcc bacteria is central to their biocontrol and bioremediation activities. However, it is not known whether this differs between species or between environmental and clinical strains. We investigated the ability of 26 Bcc strains representing nine different species to colonize the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana and Pisum sativum (pea). Viable counts, scanning electron microscopy and bioluminescence imaging were used to assess root colonization, with Bcc bacteria achieving mean (±sem) levels of 2.49±0.23×106 and 5.16±1.87×106 c.f.u. per centimetre of root on the A. thaliana and P. sativum models, respectively. The A. thaliana rhizocompetence model was able to reveal loss of colonization phenotypes in Burkholderia vietnamiensis G4 transposon mutants that had only previously been observed in competition experiments on the P. sativum model. Different Bcc species colonized each plant model at different rates, and no statistical difference in root colonization was observed between isolates of clinical or environmental origin. Loss of the virulence-associated third chromosomal replicon (>1 Mb DNA) did not alter Bcc root colonization on A. thaliana. In summary, Bcc bacteria possess intrinsic root colonization abilities irrespective of their species or source. As Bcc rhizocompetence does not require their third chromosomal replicon, the possibility of using synthetic biology approaches to engineer virulence-attenuated biotechnological strains is tractable.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology
ISSN: 1350-0872
Date of Acceptance: 9 December 2013
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2022 08:59

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