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Identification of grass-associated and toluene-degrading diazotrophs, Azoarcus spp., by analyses of partial 16S ribosomal DNA sequences.

ABSTRACT: The genus Azoarcus includes nitrogen-fixing, grass-associated strains as well as denitrying toluene degraders. In order to identify and group members of the genus Azoarcus, phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequences of 16S rRNA genes (16S rDNAs) is proposed. 16S rRNA-targeted PCR using specific primers to exclude amplification in the majority of other members of the beta subclass of the class Proteobacteria was combined with direct sequencing of the PCR products. Tree inference from comparisons of 446-bp rDNA fragments yielded similar results for the three known Azoarcus spp. sequences and for analysis of the complete 16S rDNA sequence. These three species formed a phylogenetically coherent group with representatives of two other Azoarcus species which were subjected to 16S rRNA sequencing in this study. This group was related to Rhodocyclus purpureus and Thauera selenatis. New isolates and also sequences of so far uncultured bacteria from roots of Kallar grass were assigned to the genus Azoarcus as well. Also, strains degrading monoaromatic hydrocarbons anaerobically in the presence of nitrate clustered within this genus, albeit not with grass-associated isolates. All representative members of the five species harboring rhizospheric bacteria were able to form N2O from nitrate and showed anaerobic growth on malic acid with nitrate but not on toluene. In order to visualize different Azoarcus spp. by whole-cell in situ hybridizations, we generated 16S rRNA-targeted, fluorescent probes by in vitro transcription directly from PCR products which spanned the variable region V2. Hybridization was species specific for Azoarcus communis and Azoarcus indigens.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

PROVIDER: S-EPMC167497 | BioStudies | 1995-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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