Project description:Ensifer (Sinorhizobium) medicae is an effective nitrogen fixing microsymbiont of a diverse range of annual Medicago (medic) species. Strain WSM419 is an aerobic, motile, non-spore forming, Gram-negative rod isolated from a M. murex root nodule collected in Sardinia, Italy in 1981. WSM419 was manufactured commercially in Australia as an inoculant for annual medics during 1985 to 1993 due to its nitrogen fixation, saprophytic competence and acid tolerance properties. Here we describe the basic features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence, and annotation. This is the first report of a complete genome sequence for a microsymbiont of the group of annual medic species adapted to acid soils. We reveal that its genome size is 6,817,576 bp encoding 6,518 protein-coding genes and 81 RNA only encoding genes. The genome contains a chromosome of size 3,781,904 bp and 3 plasmids of size 1,570,951 bp, 1,245,408 bp and 219,313 bp. The smallest plasmid is a feature unique to this medic microsymbiont.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Sinorhizobium meliloti and S. medicae are symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacteria in root nodules of forage legume alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). In Morocco, alfalfa is usually grown in marginal soils of arid and semi-arid regions frequently affected by drought, extremes of temperature and soil pH, soil salinity and heavy metals, which affect biological nitrogen fixing ability of rhizobia and productivity of the host. This study examines phenotypic diversity for tolerance to the above stresses and genotypic diversity at Repetitive Extragenic Pallindromic DNA regions of Sinorhizobium nodulating alfalfa, sampled from marginal soils of arid and semi-arid regions of Morocco. RESULTS: RsaI digestion of PCR amplified 16S rDNA of the 157 sampled isolates, assigned 136 isolates as S. meliloti and the rest as S. medicae. Further phenotyping of these alfalfa rhizobia for tolerance to the environmental stresses revealed a large degree of variation: 55.41%, 82.16%, 57.96% and 3.18% of the total isolates were tolerant to NaCl (>513 mM), water stress (-1.5 MPa), high temperature (40 degrees C) and low pH (3.5), respectively. Sixty-seven isolates of S. meliloti and thirteen isolates of S. medicae that were tolerant to salinity were also tolerant to water stress. Most of the isolates of the two species showed tolerance to heavy metals (Cd, Mn and Zn) and antibiotics (chloramphenicol, spectinomycin, streptomycin and tetracycline). The phenotypic clusters observed by the cluster analysis clearly showed adaptations of the S. meliloti and S. medicae strains to the multiple stresses. Genotyping with rep-PCR revealed higher genetic diversity within these phenotypic clusters and classified all the 157 isolates into 148 genotypes. No relationship between genotypic profiles and the phenotypes was observed. The Analysis of Molecular Variance revealed that largest proportion of significant (P < 0.01) genetic variation was distributed within regions (89%) than among regions (11%). CONCLUSION: High degree of phenotypic and genotypic diversity is present in S. meliloti and S. medicae populations from marginal soils affected by salt and drought, in arid and semi-arid regions of Morocco. Some of the tolerant strains have a potential for exploitation in salt and drought affected areas for biological nitrogen fixation in alfalfa.
Project description:We investigated the genomic diversity of a local population of the symbiotic bacterium Sinorhizobium medicae, isolated from the roots of wild Medicago lupulina plants, in order to assess genomic diversity, to identify genomic regions influenced by duplication, deletion or strong selection, and to explore the composition of the pan-genome. Partial genome sequences of 12 isolates were obtained by Roche 454 shotgun sequencing (average 5.3 Mb per isolate) and compared with the published sequence of S. medicae WSM 419. Homologous recombination appears to have less impact on the polymorphism patterns of the chromosome than on the chromid pSMED01 and megaplasmid pSMED02. Moreover, pSMED02 is a hot spot of insertions and deletions. The whole chromosome is characterized by low sequence polymorphism, consistent with the high density of housekeeping genes. Similarly, the level of polymorphism of symbiosis genes (low) and of genes involved in polysaccharide synthesis (high) may reflect different selection. Finally, some isolates carry genes that may confer adaptations that S. medicae WSM 419 lacks, including homologues of genes encoding rhizobitoxine synthesis, iron uptake, response to autoinducer-2, and synthesis of distinct polysaccharides. The presence or absence of these genes was confirmed by PCR in each of these 12 isolates and a further 27 isolates from the same population. All isolates had rhizobitoxine genes, while the other genes were co-distributed, suggesting that they may be on the same mobile element. These results are discussed in relation to the ecology of Medicago symbionts and in the perspective of population genomics studies.
Project description:The symbiosis between rhizobial bacteria and legume plants has served as a model for investigating the genetics of nitrogen fixation and the evolution of facultative mutualism. We used deep sequence coverage (>100×) to characterize genomic diversity at the nucleotide level among 12 Sinorhizobium medicae and 32 S. meliloti strains. Although these species are closely related and share host plants, based on the ratio of shared polymorphisms to fixed differences we found that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between these species was confined almost exclusively to plasmid genes. Three multi-genic regions that show the strongest evidence of HGT harbor genes directly involved in establishing or maintaining the mutualism with host plants. In both species, nucleotide diversity is 1.5-2.5 times greater on the plasmids than chromosomes. Interestingly, nucleotide diversity in S. meliloti but not S. medicae is highly structured along the chromosome - with mean diversity (?(?)) on one half of the chromosome five times greater than mean diversity on the other half. Based on the ratio of plasmid to chromosome diversity, this appears to be due to severely reduced diversity on the chromosome half with less diversity, which is consistent with extensive hitchhiking along with a selective sweep. Frequency-spectrum based tests identified 82 genes with a signature of adaptive evolution in one species or another but none of the genes were identified in both species. Based upon available functional information, several genes identified as targets of selection are likely to alter the symbiosis with the host plant, making them attractive targets for further functional characterization.
Project description:We investigated the genetic diversity and symbiotic efficiency of 223 Sinorhizobium sp. isolates sampled from a single Mediterranean soil and trapped with four Medicago truncatula lines. DNA molecular polymorphism was estimated by capillary electrophoresis-single-stranded conformation polymorphism and restriction fragment length polymorphism on five loci (IGS(NOD), typA, virB11, avhB11, and the 16S rRNA gene). More than 90% of the rhizobia isolated belonged to the Sinorhizobium medicae species (others belonged to Sinorhizobium meliloti), with different proportions of the two species among the four M. truncatula lines. The S. meliloti population was more diverse than that of S. medicae, and significant genetic differentiation among bacterial populations was detected. Single inoculations performed in tubes with each bacterial genotype and each plant line showed significant bacterium-plant line interactions for nodulation and N(2) fixation levels. Competition experiments within each species highlighted either strong or weak competition among genotypes within S. medicae and S. meliloti, respectively. Interspecies competition experiments showed S. meliloti to be more competitive than S. medicae for nodulation. Although not highly divergent at a nucleotide level, isolates collected from this single soil sample displayed wide polymorphism for both nodulation and N(2) fixation. Each M. truncatula line might influence Sinorhizobium soil population diversity differently via its symbiotic preferences. Our data suggested that the two species did not evolve similarly, with S. meliloti showing polymorphism and variable selective pressures and S. medicae showing traces of a recent demographic expansion. Strain effectiveness might have played a role in the species and genotype proportions, but in conjunction with strain adaptation to environmental factors.
Project description:The experiment aims to analyze the effect of inoculation with Sinorhizobium medicae MD4 of on the transcriptome of the Medicago truncatula roots of N-limited plants. We divided the roots systems into two parts; one of them was supplied with nutrient solution with mineral N (0.5 mM for N-limited plants) whereas the non-N treated part was kept in nutrient solution without mineral N. All roots were inoculated 48h after initiation of the N treatments. We collected the roots the non-N treated side of the split roots system and we isolated total RNA for RNAseq analysis. Root transcriptomes were analyze before inoculation, at 1 and 2 days post-inoculation.