Impact Factor

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Plant Sci., 30 April 2013 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2013.00120

Comparative genome analysis of Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN reveals a wide spectrum of endophytic lifestyles based on interaction strategies with host plants

Birgit Mitter1*, Alexandra Petric1†, Maria W. Shin2, Patrick S. G. Chain2, Lena Hauberg-Lotte3, Barbara Reinhold-Hurek3, Jerzy Nowak4 and Angela Sessitsch1
  • 1Department of Health and Environment, Bioresources Unit, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Tulln, Austria
  • 2Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA, USA
  • 3General Microbiology, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 4Department of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN is a naturally occurring plant-associated bacterial endophyte that effectively colonizes a wide range of plants and stimulates their growth and vitality. Here we analyze whole genomes, of PsJN and of eight other endophytic bacteria. This study illustrates that a wide spectrum of endophytic life styles exists. Although we postulate the existence of typical endophytic traits, no unique gene cluster could be exclusively linked to the endophytic lifestyle. Furthermore, our study revealed a high genetic diversity among bacterial endophytes as reflected in their genotypic and phenotypic features. B. phytofirmans PsJN is in many aspects outstanding among the selected endophytes. It has the biggest genome consisting of two chromosomes and one plasmid, well-equipped with genes for the degradation of complex organic compounds and detoxification, e.g., 24 glutathione-S-transferase (GST) genes. Furthermore, strain PsJN has a high number of cell surface signaling and secretion systems and harbors the 3-OH-PAME quorum-sensing system that coordinates the switch of free-living to the symbiotic lifestyle in the plant-pathogen R. solanacearum. The ability of B. phytofirmans PsJN to successfully colonize such a wide variety of plant species might be based on its large genome harboring a broad range of physiological functions.

Keywords: Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN, endophyte, plant-microbe interaction, comparative genomics, PGPR

Citation: Mitter B, Petric A, Shin MW, Chain PSG, Hauberg-Lotte L, Reinhold-Hurek B, Nowak J and Sessitsch A (2013) Comparative genome analysis of Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN reveals a wide spectrum of endophytic lifestyles based on interaction strategies with host plants. Front. Plant Sci. 4:120. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00120

Received: 01 February 2013; Accepted: 16 April 2013;
Published online: 30 April 2013.

Edited by:

Mohammad Miransari, Sharif University of Technology, Iran

Reviewed by:

Gabriele Berg, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Thomas Ledger, Universidad Adolfo Ibanez, Chile
Prabhat N. Jha, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India

Copyright © 2013 Mitter, Petric, Shin, Chain, Hauberg-Lotte, Reinhold-Hurek, Nowak and Sessitsch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Birgit Mitter, Bioresources Unit, Austrian Institute of Technology Gmbh, Konrad-Lorenz-Strasse 24, 3430 Tulln, Austria. e-mail: birgit.mitter@ait.ac.at

These authors have contributed equally to this work.