Isolation and characterization of Burkholderia cenocepacia CR318, a phosphate solubilizing bacterium promoting corn growth
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Plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria benefit crop health and growth through various mechanisms including phosphate and potassium solubilisation, and antimicrobial activity. Previously, we sequenced the genome of bacterial strain Burkholderia cenocepacia CR318, which was isolated from the roots of the starch corn (Zea mays L.) in London, Ontario, Canada. In this work, the species identity of this isolate is confirmed by recA phylogeny and in silico DNA-DNA hybridization (isDDH), and its plant-growth promoting characteristics are described. B. cenocepacia CR318 exhibited strong activity of inorganic phosphate and potassium solubilization. It significantly promoted the growth of corn plants and roots by solubilizing inorganic tricalcium phosphate under greenhouse conditions. Functional analysis of the complete B. cenocepacia CR318 genome revealed genes associated with phosphate metabolism such as pstSCAB encoding a high affinity inorganic phosphate-specific transporter, and the pqqABCDE gene cluster involved in the biosynthesis of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), which is a required cofactor for quinoprotein glucose dehydrogenase (Gdh). However, it appears that B. cenocepacia CR318 lacks the quinoprotein Gdh which can produce gluconic acid to solubilize inorganic phosphate. Overall, these findings provide an important step in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the plant growth promotion trait of B. cenocepacia CR318.
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