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Arch Microbiol. 2013 Nov;195(10-11):717-26. doi: 10.1007/s00203-013-0922-6. Epub 2013 Sep 15.

Stress resistance and C1 metabolism involved in plant colonization of a methanotroph Methylosinus sp. B4S.

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Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-Oiwake, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan.


Methanotrophs are widespread and have been isolated from various environments including the phyllosphere. In this study, we characterized the plant colonization by Methylosinus sp. B4S, an α-proteobacterial methanotroph isolated from plant leaf. The gfp-tagged Methylosinus sp. B4S cells were observed to colonize Arabidopsis leaf surfaces by forming aggregates. We cloned and sequenced the general stress response genes, phyR, nepR and ecfG, from Methylosinus sp. B4S. In vitro analysis showed that the phyR expression level was increased after heat shock challenge, and phyR was shown to be involved in resistance to heat shock and UV light. In the phyllospheric condition, the gene expression level of phyR as well as mmoX and mxaF was found to be relatively high, compared with methane-grown liquid cultures. The phyR-deletion strain as well as the wild-type strain inoculated on Arabidopsis leaves proliferated at the initial phase and then gradually decreased during plant colonization. These results have shed light firstly on the importance of general stress resistance and C1 metabolism in methanotroph living in the phyllosphere.

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