Transcriptome comparison of the wild type strain Azoarcus sp. BH72 with that of nifLA knockout strain under nitrogen fixing condition
ABSTRACT: Azoarcus sp. BH72 is known to express nitrogenase genes endophytically in rice seedlings in gnotobiotic culture. Availability of fixed nitrogen is one of the important signals regulating the transcription of nitrogenase genes and hence nitrogen fixing activity. NifA is the essential transcription activator of nif genes. RNA isolated from the nifA knockout mutant of strain BH72 was compared with the transcriptome of wild type under nitrogen fixing condition using a global genome wide microarray approach and the differences in the gene expression profile were monitered. RNA isolated from wild type strain BH72 and nifLA mutant strain BHLAO grown respectively under microaerobic nitrogen fixing condition with glutamate as poor nitrogen source was used for two color whole genome microarray approach
Project description:Model endophyte Azoarcus sp. BH72 is known to contribute fixed nitrogen to its host Kallar grass by nitrogen fixation and also expresses nitrogenase genes endophytically in rice seedlings in gnotobiotic culture. Availability of fixed nitrogen is one of the important signals regulating the transcription of nitrogenase genes and hence nitrogen fixing activity. Therefore, we analysed global transcription in response to differences in the nitrogen source. Transcription profiles of cells grown microaerobically (0.6% oxygen) on minimal medium with nitrogen (N2-fixing) versus ammonium (combined nitrogen) were compared using a genome-wide microarray approach and differences in the gene expression profile were monitored. RNA from cells grown on nitrogen-free synthetic medium under nitrogen fixation (experiment) and combined nitrogen source as ammonium chloride (control) was used for two-color whole-genome microarray approach.
Project description:Azoarcus sp. BH72 is able to communicate via cell density-dependent gene regulation. Here, the impact of cell-free conditioned culture supernatants, obtained from stationary phase Azoarcus wild type cultures, on gene expression was investigated determining changes in transcript profiles when early exponential aerobic cultures were incubated with cell-free culture supernatants for one and four hours. Bacterial communication via quorum sensing (QS) is involved in the regulation of several cellular mechanisms such as metabolic processes, microbe-host interactions or biofilm formation. The nitrogen-fixing model endophyte of grasses Azoarcus sp. strain BH72 shows density-dependent gene regulation in the absence of common hydrophobic autoinducers for pilA encoding the structural protein of type IV pili that are essential for plant colonization. Here, we used a transcriptomic approach to identify target genes differentially regulated under QS conditions in conditioned supernatants in comparison to standard growth conditions. Analysis used RNA from the early exponential growth phase as control samples for comparison to the quorum-sensing condition samples taken at one hour and four hours after incubation with cell-free culture supernatants.
Project description:Low oxygen tensions are often encountered in flooded soils of rice fields by root-associated, strictly respiratory, beta proteobacterium, Azoarcus sp. BH72 which fixes nitrogen only under microaerobic condition. In this study, genome wide oligonucleotide microarrays were used compare the global transcription profile of Azoarcus sp. BH72 under microaerobic condition with cells grown under aerobic condition, both with ammonia as sole nitrogen source. The outcome of this study will provide a better insight about the establishment of this endophyte in the microaerobic environment, probably prevailing inside of the rice root niche . RNA from cells grown under microaerobic condition with 0.3% oxygen (experiment) and aerobic condition with 21% oxygen (control), respectively was used for two color whole genome microarray approach.
Project description:The endophytic diazotroph Azoarcus sp. strain BH72 is capable of infecting rice roots and of expressing the nitrogenase (nif) genes there. In order to study the genetic background for nitrogen fixation in strain BH72, the structural genes of nitrogenase (nifHDK) were cloned and sequenced. The sequence analysis revealed an unusual gene organization: downstream of nifHDK, a ferredoxin gene (fdxN; 59% amino acid sequence identity to R. capsulatus FdxN) and open reading frames showing 52 and 36% amino acid sequence identity to nifY of Pseudomonas stutzeri A15 and ORF1 of Azotobacter vinelandii were located. Northern blot analysis, reverse transcriptase PCR and primer extension analysis revealed that these six genes are located on one transcript transcribed from a sigma(54)-type promoter. Shorter transcripts sequentially missing genes of the 3' part of the full-length mRNA were more abundantly detected. Mutational analyses suggested that FdxN is an important but not the essential electron donor for dinitrogenase reductase. An in-frame deletion of fdxN resulted in reduced growth rates (59% +/- 9%) and nitrogenase activities (81%) in nitrogen-fixing pure cultures in comparison to the wild type. Nitrogenase activity was fully complemented in an fdxN mutant which carried a nifH promoter-driven fdxN gene in trans. Also, in coculture with the ascomycete Acremonium alternatum, where strain BH72 develops intracytoplasmic membrane stacks, the nitrogenase activity in the fdxN deletion mutant was decreased to 56% of the wild-type level. Surprisingly, the fdxN deletion also had an effect on the rapid "switch-off" of nitrogenase activity in response to ammonium. Wild-type strain BH72 and the deletion mutant complemented with fdxN in trans showed a rapid reversible inactivation of acetylene reduction, while the deletion mutant did not cease to reduce acetylene. In concordance with the hypothesis that changes in the redox state of NifH or electron flux towards nitrogenase may be involved in the mechanism of physiological nitrogenase switch-off, our results suggest that the ferredoxin may be a component involved in this process.
Project description:Endophytic colonization is a very complex process which is not yet completely understood. Molecules exuded by the plants may act as signals which influence the ability of the microbe to colonize the host or survive in the rhizosphere. Here we investigated whether root exudates of the host might play a role in initiating the endophyte-rice interaction. The whole genome microarray approach was used to investigate the response of the diazotrophic model endophyte, Azoarcus sp. strain BH72, to exudates of O. sativa cv. Nipponbare in order to identify differentially regulated genes. Azoarcus sp. strain BH72 was grown in the presence or absence of root exudates of Oryza sativa cv. Nipponbare for two different time points, and differences in the gene expression profile were monitored. RNA from cells grown on synthetic medium for 1 and 4 hours respectively in presence (experiment) and absence (control) of exudates was used for two color whole genome microarray approach.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The model endophyte Azoarcus sp. strain BH72 is known to contribute fixed nitrogen to its host Kallar grass and also expresses nitrogenase genes endophytically in rice seedlings. Availability of nitrogen is a signal regulating the transcription of nitrogenase genes. Therefore, we analysed global transcription in response to differences in the nitrogen source. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A DNA microarray, comprising 70-mer oligonucleotides representing 3989 open reading frames of the genome of strain BH72, was used for transcriptome studies. Transcription profiles of cells grown microaerobically on N2 versus ammonium were compared. Expression of 7.2% of the genes was significantly up-regulated, and 5.8% down-regulated upon N2 fixation, respectively. A parallel genome-wide prediction of ?(54)-type promoter elements mapped to the upstream region of 38 sequences of which 36 were modulated under the N2 response. In addition to modulation of genes related to N2 fixation, the expressions of gene clusters that might be related to plant-microbe interaction and of several transcription factors were significantly enhanced. While comparing under N2-fixation conditions the transcriptome of wild type with a nifLA(-) insertion mutant, NifA being the essential transcriptional activator for nif genes, 24.5% of the genome was found to be affected in expression. A genome-wide prediction of 29 NifA binding sequences matched to 25 of the target genes whose expression was differential during microarray analysis, some of which were putatively negatively regulated by NifA. For selected genes, differential expression was corroborated by real time RT-PCR studies. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggest that life under conditions of nitrogen fixation is an important part of the lifestyle of strain BH72 in roots, as a wide range of genes far beyond the nif regulon is modulated. Moreover, the NifA regulon in strain BH72 appears to encompass a wider range of cellular functions beyond the regulation of nif genes.
Project description:The photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris is one of just a few prokaryotes described so far that has vnf and anf genes for alternative vanadium cofactor (V) and iron cofactor (Fe) nitrogenases in addition to nif genes for a molybdenum cofactor (Mo) nitrogenase. Transcriptome data indicated that the 32 genes in the nif gene cluster, but not the anf or vnf genes, were induced in wild-type and Mo nitrogenase-expressing strains grown under nitrogen-fixing conditions in Mo-containing medium. Strains that were unable to express a functional Mo nitrogenase due to mutations in Mo nitrogenase structural genes synthesized functional V and Fe nitrogenases and expressed vnf and anf genes in nitrogen-fixing growth media that contained Mo and V at concentrations far in excess of those that repress alternative nitrogenase gene expression in other bacteria. Thus, not only does R. palustris have multiple enzymatic options for nitrogen fixation, but in contrast to reports on other nitrogen-fixing bacteria, the expression of its alternative nitrogenases is not repressed by transition metals. Between 95 and 295 genes that are not directly associated with nitrogenase synthesis and assembly were induced under nitrogen-fixing conditions, depending on which nitrogenase was being used by R. palustris. Genes for nitrogen acquisition were expressed at particularly high levels during alternative nitrogenase-dependent growth. This suggests that alternative nitrogenase-expressing cells are relatively starved for nitrogen and raises the possibility that fixed nitrogen availability may be the primary signal that controls the synthesis of the V and Fe nitrogenases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Biological nitrogen fixation is highly controlled at the transcriptional level by regulatory networks that respond to the availability of fixed nitrogen. In many diazotrophs, addition of excess ammonium in the growth medium results in immediate repression of nif gene transcription. Although the regulatory cascades that control the transcription of the nif genes in proteobacteria have been well investigated, there are limited data on the kinetics of ammonium-dependent repression of nitrogen fixation. RESULTS: Here we report a global transcriptional profiling analysis of nitrogen fixation and ammonium repression in Pseudomonas stutzeri A1501, a root-associated and nitrogen-fixing bacterium. A total of 166 genes, including those coding for the global nitrogen regulation (Ntr) and Nif-specific regulatory proteins, were upregulated under nitrogen fixation conditions but rapidly downregulated as early as 10 min after ammonium shock. Among these nitrogen fixation-inducible genes, 95 have orthologs in each of Azoarcus sp. BH72 and Azotobacter vinelandii AvoP. In particular, a 49-kb expression island containing nif and other associated genes was markedly downregulated by ammonium shock. Further functional characterization of pnfA, a new NifA-sigma54-dependent gene chromosomally linked to nifHDK, is reported. This gene encodes a protein product with an amino acid sequence similar to that of five hypothetical proteins found only in diazotrophic strains. No noticeable differences in the transcription of nifHDK were detected between the wild type strain and pnfA mutant. However, the mutant strain exhibited a significant decrease in nitrogenase activity under microaerobic conditions and lost its ability to use nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor for the support of nitrogen fixation under anaerobic conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Based on our results, we conclude that transcriptional regulation of nif gene expression in A1501 is mediated by the nif-specific and ntr gene regulatory systems. Furthermore, microarray and mutational analyses revealed that many genes of unknown function may play some essential roles in controlling the expression or activity of nitrogenase. The findings presented here establish the foundation for further studies on the physiological function of nitrogen fixation-inducible genes.
Project description:The multicellular communities of microorganisms known as biofilms are of high significance in agricultural setting, yet it is largely unknown about the biofilm formed by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Here we report the biofilm formation by Pseudomonas stutzeri A1501, a free-living rhizospheric bacterium, capable of fixing nitrogen under microaerobic and nitrogen-limiting conditions. P. stutzeri A1501 tended to form biofilm in minimal media, especially under nitrogen depletion condition. Under such growth condition, the biofilms formed at the air-liquid interface (termed as pellicles) and the colony biofilms on agar plates exhibited nitrogenase activity in air. The two kinds of biofilms both contained large ovoid shape 'cells' that were multiple living bacteria embedded in a sac of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs). We proposed to name such large 'cells' as A1501 cyst. Our results suggest that the EPS, especially exopolysaccharides enabled the encased bacteria to fix nitrogen while grown under aerobic condition. The formation of A1501 cysts was reversible in response to the changes of carbon or nitrogen source status. A1501 cyst formation depended on nitrogen-limiting signaling and the presence of sufficient carbon sources, yet was independent of an active nitrogenase. The pellicles formed by Azospirillum brasilense, another free-living nitrogen-fixing rhizobacterium, which also exhibited nitrogenase activity and contained the large EPS-encapsuled A1501 cyst-like 'cells'. Our data imply that free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria could convert the easy-used carbon sources to exopolysaccharides in order to enable nitrogen fixation in a natural aerobic environment.