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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2003 Jan;53(Pt 1):121-4.

'Candidatus glomeribacter gigasporarum' gen. nov., sp. nov., an endosymbiont of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

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Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante (Sezione di Torino) del CNR and Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale dell'Università di Torino, Viale Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are obligate endosymbionts that colonize the roots of almost 80 % of land plants. The present paper describes morphological and molecular data on a bacterial endosymbiont living in the cytoplasm of dormant or germinating spores and symbiotic mycelia of the fungal species Gigaspora margarita, Scutellospora persica and Scutellospora castanea. PCR amplification of almost the entire 16S rRNA gene of the Gigaspora margarita BEG 34 endosymbiont, using universal bacterial primers, and subsequent sequence analysis demonstrated that this organism occupies a very distinct phylogenetic position within the beta-Proteobacteria, with the genera Burkholderia, Pandoraea and Ralstonia as its closest neighbours. Primers specific to the 16S rDNA of the endosymbiotic bacteria of BEG 34 allowed amplification of spore DNA from endosymbionts of Gigaspora margarita, Gigaspora decipiens, S. persica and S. castanea, but not from the Gigaspora gigantea endosymbiont (which was morphologically different) or from the cytoplasm of Gigaspora rosea (which did not contain endosymbiotic bacteria). These specific primers were successfully used as a probe for the in-situ hybridization of endobacteria in Gigaspora margarita spores. The overall rod-shaped morphology of the Gigaspora margarita, Gigaspora decipiens, S. persica and S. castanea endosymbionts was similar, and amplification and sequence analysis of the almost-complete 16S rRNA genes of several Gigaspora margarita, S. persica and S. castanea endosymbionts revealed over 98% sequence similarity. These morphological and genomic characteristics were used to assign the endosymbionts of these three species (five isolates) of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as 'Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum' gen. nov., sp. nov.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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