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J Appl Microbiol. 2003;94(6):1079-86.

Taxonomic positioning of two biological control agents for plant diseases as Lysobacter enzymogenes based on phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA, fatty acid composition and phenotypic characteristics.

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1
Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA.

Abstract

AIMS:

To taxonomically position two bacterial strains conferring biological control activity towards plant diseases.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Key phenotypic characteristics, including gliding motility and a high percentage of G + C content, indicated biocontrol strains N4-7 and C3 were essentially identical to those described for Lysobacter enzymogenes. Cellular fatty acid analysis confirmed a close relatedness of strains N4-7 and C3 to L. enzymogenes and a more distant relatedness to L. antibioticus. The 16S rDNA phylogenetic analysis revealed a distinct Lysobacter clade that included both strains within the gamma-proteobacteria.

CONCLUSIONS:

The combined taxonomic methods provide clear evidence that N4-7 and C3 should be grouped as strains of L. enzymogenes and not Stenotrophomonas maltophilia or a novel taxon. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA formed a Lysobacter clade that included several other environmentally diverse bacterial strains obtained from databases and confirmed relatedness of strains N4-7 and C3 to L. enzymogenes.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Inclusion of N4-7 and C3 as strains of L. enzymogenes is among the first description of members of this genus as biocontrol agents of plant diseases. These results suggest that members of the Lysobacter group might provide a new source as plant-associated microbes that display biocontrol activity.

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