Biopurification systems (BPS) are used on farms to control pollution by treating pesticide-contaminated water. It is assumed that mobile genetic elements (MGEs) carrying genes coding for enzymes involved in degradation might contribute to the degradation of pesticides. Therefore, the composition and shifts of MGEs, in particular, of IncP-1 plasmids carried by BPS bacterial communities exposed to various pesticides, were monitored over the course of an agricultural season. PCR amplification of total community DNA using primers targeting genes specific to different plasmid groups combined with Southern blot hybridization indicated a high abundance of plasmids belonging to IncP-1, IncP-7, IncP-9, IncQ, and IncW, while IncU and IncN plasmids were less abundant or not detected. Furthermore, the integrase genes of class 1 and 2 integrons (intI1, intI2) and genes encoding resistance to sulfonamides (sul1, sul2) and streptomycin (aadA) were detected and seasonality was revealed. Amplicon pyrosequencing of the IncP-1 trfA gene coding for the replication initiation protein revealed high IncP-1 plasmid diversity and an increase in the abundance of IncP-1? and a decrease in the abundance of IncP-1? over time. The data of the chemical analysis showed increasing concentrations of various pesticides over the course of the agricultural season. As an increase in the relative abundances of bacteria carrying IncP-1? plasmids also occurred, this might point to a role of these plasmids in the degradation of many different pesticides.
A mix of oligonucleotide probes was used to hybridize soil metagenomic DNA from a fosmid clone library spotted on high density membranes. The pooled radio-labeled probes were designed to target genes encoding glycoside hydrolases GH18, dehalogenases, bacterial laccases and mobile genetic elements (integrases from integrons and insertion sequences). Positive hybridizing spots were affiliated to the corresponding clones in the library and the metagenomic inserts were sequenced. After assembly and annotation, new coding DNA sequences related to genes of interest were identified with low protein similarity against the closest hits in databases. This work highlights the sensitivity of DNA/DNA hybridization techniques as an effective and complementary way to recover novel genes from large metagenomic clone libraries. This study also supports that some of the identified catabolic genes might be associated with horizontal transfer events.
IncP-1, IncP-7 and IncP-9 plasmids often carry genes encoding enzymes involved in the degradation of man-made and natural contaminants, thus contributing to bacterial survival in polluted environments. However, the lack of suitable molecular tools often limits the detection of these plasmids in the environment. In this study, PCR followed by Southern blot hybridization detected the presence of plasmid-specific sequences in total community (TC-) DNA or fosmid DNA from samples originating from different environments and geographic regions. A novel primer system targeting IncP-9 plasmids was developed and applied along with established primers for IncP-1 and IncP-7. Screening TC-DNA from biopurification systems (BPS) which are used on farms for the purification of pesticide-contaminated water revealed high abundances of IncP-1 plasmids belonging to different subgroups as well as IncP-7 and IncP-9. The novel IncP-9 primer-system targeting the rep gene of nine IncP-9 subgroups allowed the detection of a high diversity of IncP-9 plasmid specific sequences in environments with different sources of pollution. Thus polluted sites are "hot spots" of plasmids potentially carrying catabolic genes.
Mobile genetic elements (MGEs) are considered as key players in the adaptation of bacteria to degrade organic xenobiotic recalcitrant compounds such as pesticides. We examined the prevalence and abundance of IncP-1 plasmids and IS1071, two MGEs that are frequently linked with organic xenobiotic degradation, in laboratory and field ecosystems with and without pesticide pollution history. The ecosystems included on-farm biopurification systems (BPS) processing pesticide-contaminated wastewater and soil. Comparison of IncP-1/IS1071 prevalence between pesticide-treated and nontreated soil and BPS microcosms suggested that both IncP-1 and IS1071 proliferated as a response to pesticide treatment. The increased prevalence of IncP-1 plasmids and IS1071-specific sequences in treated systems was accompanied by an increase in the capacity to mineralize the applied pesticides. Both elements were also encountered in high abundance in field BPS ecosystems that were in operation at farmyards and that showed the capacity to degrade/mineralize a wide range of chlorinated aromatics and pesticides. In contrast, IS1071 and especially IncP-1, MGE were less abundant in field ecosystems without pesticide history although some of them still showed a high IS1071 abundance. Our data suggest that MGE-containing organisms were enriched in pesticide-contaminated environments like BPS where they might contribute to spreading of catabolic genes and to pathway assembly.
Pantoea agglomerans is a common soil bacterium used in the biocontrol of fungi and bacteria but is also an opportunistic human pathogen. It has been described extensively in this context, but knowledge of bacteriophages infecting this species is limited. Bacteriophages LIMEzero and LIMElight of P. agglomerans are lytic phages, isolated from soil samples, belonging to the Podoviridae and are the first Pantoea phages of this family to be described. The double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) genomes (43,032 bp and 44,546 bp, respectively) encode 57 and 55 open reading frames (ORFs). Based on the presence of an RNA polymerase in their genomes and their overall genome architecture, these phages should be classified in the subfamily of the Autographivirinae, within the genus of the "phiKMV-like viruses." Phylogenetic analysis of all the sequenced members of the Autographivirinae supports the classification of phages LIMElight and LIMEzero as members of the "phiKMV-like viruses" and corroborates the subdivision into the different genera. These data expand the knowledge of Pantoea phages and illustrate the wide host diversity of phages within the "phiKMV-like viruses."
The bacterium Dickeya solani, an aggressive biovar 3 variant of Dickeya dianthicola, causes rotting and blackleg in potato. To control this pathogen using bacteriophage therapy, we isolated and characterized two closely related and specific bacteriophages, vB_DsoM_LIMEstone1 and vB_DsoM_LIMEstone2. The LIMEstone phages have a T4-related genome organization and share DNA similarity with Salmonella phage ViI. Microbiological and molecular characterization of the phages deemed them suitable and promising for use in phage therapy. The phages reduced disease incidence and severity on potato tubers in laboratory assays. In addition, in a field trial of potato tubers, when infected with Dickeya solani, the experimental phage treatment resulted in a higher yield. These results form the basis for the development of a bacteriophage-based biocontrol of potato plants and tubers as an alternative for the use of antibiotics.
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