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Isolation, characterization, genomic sequencing, and GFP-marked insertional mutagenesis of a high-performance nitrogen-fixing bacterium, Kosakonia radicincitans GXGL-4A and visualization of bacterial colonization on cucumber roots

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Abstract

A gram-negative bacterium GXGL-4A was originally isolated from maize roots. It displayed nitrogen-fixing (NF) ability under nitrogen-free culture condition, and had a significant promotion effect on cucumber growth in the pot inoculation test. The preliminary physiological and biochemical traits of GXGL-4A were characterized. Furthermore, a phylogenetic tree was constructed based on 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences of genetically related species. To determine the taxonomic status of GXGL-4A and further utilize its nitrogen-fixing potential, genome sequence was obtained using PacBio RS II technology. The analyses of average nucleotide identity based on BLAST+ (ANIb) and correlation indexes of tetra-nucleotide signatures (Tetra) showed that the NF isolate GXGL-4A is closely related to the Kosakonia radicincitans type strain DSM 16656. Therefore, the isolate GXGL-4A was eventually classified into the species of Kosakonia radicincitans and designated K. radicincitans GXGL-4A. A high consistency in composition and gene arrangement of nitrogen-fixing gene cluster I (nif cluster I) was found between K. radicincitans GXGL-4A and other Kosakonia NF strains. The mutants tagged with green fluorescence protein (GFP) were obtained by transposon Tn5 mutagenesis, and then, the colonization of gfp-marked K. radicincitans GXGL-4A cells on cucumber seedling root were observed under fluorescence microscopy. The preferential sites of the labeled GXGL-4A cell population were the lateral root junctions, the differentiation zone, and the elongation zone. All these results should benefit for the deep exploration of nitrogen fixation mechanism of K. radicincitans GXGL-4A and will definitely facilitate the genetic modification process of this NF bacterium in sustainable agriculture.

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Acknowledgments

This work has been supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2015CB755702) and the National Training Program of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Undergraduates (No. IPP13125).

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Correspondence to Yunpeng Chen.

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Sun, S., Chen, Y., Cheng, J. et al. Isolation, characterization, genomic sequencing, and GFP-marked insertional mutagenesis of a high-performance nitrogen-fixing bacterium, Kosakonia radicincitans GXGL-4A and visualization of bacterial colonization on cucumber roots. Folia Microbiol 63, 789–802 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12223-018-0608-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12223-018-0608-1

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