The identity and ecophysiology of a group of uncultured protein-hydrolyzing epiphytic rods attached to filamentous bacteria in activated sludge from nutrient removal plants were investigated by using the full-cycle rRNA approach combined with microautoradiography and histochemical staining. The epiphytic group consists of three closely related clusters, each containing 11 to 16 clones. The closest related cultured isolate is the type strain
(ATCC 27775) (<87% similarity) in the family
of the phylum
. Oligonucleotide probes at different hierarchical levels were designed for each cluster and used for ecophysiological studies. All three clusters behaved similarly in their physiology and were specialized in protein hydrolysis and used amino acids as energy and carbon sources. They were not involved in denitrification. No storage of polyphosphate and polyhydroxyalkanoates was found. They all colonized probe-defined filamentous bacteria belonging to the phyla
, and candidate phylum TM7, with the exception of cluster 1, which did not colonize TM7 filaments. The three epiphytic clusters were all widespread in domestic and industrial wastewater treatment plants with or without biological phosphorus removal, constituting, in total, up to 9% of the bacterial biovolume. A new genus, “
Epiflobacter,” is proposed for this epiphytic group in activated-sludge treatment plants, where it presumably plays an important role in protein degradation.
During a survey in 2003, safflower plants (Carthamus tinctorius) with phyllody symptoms were observed in production fields in several districts of Fars and Yazd provinces in Iran. Affected plants showed floral virescence, phyllody, proliferation of axillary buds, and little leaf symptoms. Incidence of the disease was less than 10%. Direct and nested PCR assays were used to verify association of phytoplasma with the disease. Total DNA was extracted from fresh, fine roots of eight phyllody-affected safflower plants and one symptomless plant. With phytoplasma universal primer pair P1/P7 (5′-AAGAGTTTGATCCTGGCTCAGGATT-3′/5′-CGTCCTTCATCGGCTCTT-3′), target DNA fragments of approximately 1.8 kb were amplified by direct PCR from phyllody-affected plants and Iranian cabbage yellows (ICY) phytoplasma used as a positive control. Reamplification of P1/P7 products with 16S rRNA gene primer pair R16F2n/R16R2 (5′-GAAACGACTGCTAAGACTGG-3′/5′-TGACGGGCGGTGTGTACAAACCCCG-3′) yielded fragments of the expected size (1.2 kb) from all eight diseased plants and the ICY-positive control. No products were amplified from the symptomless plant by either assay. R16F2n/R16R2 products were subjected to restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis by separate digestion with AluI, HaeIII, HhaI, HinfI, HpaII, MseI, RsaI, Sau3AI, or TaqI endonuclease. Comparison of resulting RFLP patterns with published patterns of other phytoplasmas (2) tentatively identified safflower phyllody (SP) phytoplasma as a member of clover proliferation group 16SrVI, subgroup C. HhaI digests also differentiated SP from ICY phytoplasma, a previously reported subgroup 16SrVI-A strain (3). After sequencing of the 16S rDNA fragment (GenBank Accession No. DQ88948), a BLAST search determined that SP phytoplasma shared closest homology with 16SrVI group members (‘Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii’) and related strains (4). Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences revealed SP phytoplasma to be most similar (99.7%) to brinjal little leaf (BLL) phytoplasma (GenBank Accession No. X83431). Analysis of putative restriction sites in 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that SP and BLL shared identical restriction profiles and that both differed from the ‘Ca. Phytoplasma trifolii’ reference strain (GenBank Accession No. AY390261) because of the absence of a single HhaI site and the presence of an additional MseI site. Although safflower phyllody disease has been previously reported in Israel, the associated phytoplasma was classified as a strain of the aster yellows subgroup 16SrI-B (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of safflower as a host of a ‘Ca. Phytoplasma trifolii’-related strain. References: (1) M. Klein. Plant Dis. Rep. 54:735, 1970. (2) I.-M. Lee et al. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 54:1037, 2004. (3) M. Salehi et al. Plant Dis. 91:625, 2007. (4) K. Wang and C. Hiruki, Phytopathology 91:546, 2001.
Citrus huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening), is a highly destructive disease that has been spreading in both Florida and Brazil. Its psyllid vector, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, has spread to Texas and Mexico, thus threatening the future of citrus production elsewhere in mainland North America. Even though sensitive diagnostic methods have been developed for detection of the causal organisms, Candidatus Liberibacter spp., the pathogen cannot be detected consistently in plants until symptoms develop, presumably because of low titer and uneven distribution of the causal bacteria in nonsymptomatic tissues. In the present study, TaqMan based real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction methodology was developed for detection of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ in D. citri. Over 1,200 samples of psyllid adults and nymphs, collected from various locations in Florida, from visually healthy and HLB symptomatic trees at different times of the year were analyzed to monitor the incidence and spread of HLB. The results showed that spread of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ in an area may be detected one to several years before the development of HLB symptoms in plants. The study suggests that discount garden centers and retail nurseries may have played a significant role in the widespread distribution of psyllids and plants carrying HLB pathogens in Florida.
Many microorganisms live in anaerobic environments. Most of these microorganisms have not yet been cultivated. Here, we present, from a metagenomic analysis of an anaerobic digester of a municipal wastewater treatment plant, a reconstruction of the complete genome of a bacterium belonging to the WWE1 candidate division. In silico proteome analysis indicated that this bacterium might derive most of its carbon and energy from the fermentation of amino acids, and hence, it was provisionally classified as “
Cloacamonas acidaminovorans.” “
Cloacamonas acidaminovorans” is probably a syntrophic bacterium that is present in many anaerobic digesters. This report highlights how environmental sequence data might provide genomic and functional information about a new bacterial clade whose members are involved in anaerobic digestion.