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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2001 Jul;24(2):245-51.

Novel endophytes of rice form a taxonomically distinct subgroup of Serratia marcescens.

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Max-Planck-lnstitute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Group Symbiosis Research, Marburg, Germany.


Six endophytic strains isolated from surface-sterilized rice roots and stems of different rice varieties grown in the Philippines were characterized. They were analyzed by physiological and biochemical tests, SDS-PAGE of whole-cell protein patterns, DNA-DNA hybridization and 16S rDNA sequencing. SDS-PAGE of whole-cell patterns showed that the six isolates fell into two subgroups which were similar but not identical in protein patterns to S. marcescens. The phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences of two representative strains IRBG 500 and IRBG 501 indicated that they were closely related to S. marcescens (more than 99% identity). Physiological and biochemical tests corroborated that the isolates were highly related to each other and to S. marcescens. In cluster analysis, all six isolates were clustered together at 93% similarity level and grouped closely with Serratia marcescens at 86% similarity level. DNA-DNA hybridization studies revealed that the isolates shared high similarity levels with S. marcescens (> or =86% DNA-DNA binding), indicating they belong to the same species. However, the isolates differed in several biochemical characteristics from the type strain. They produce urease and utilize urea and L(+) sorbose as a substrate, which is different from all known Serratia reference strains. These results suggest that the six endophytic isolates represent a novel, non-pigmented subgroup of S. marcescens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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