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Phase Variation and Genomic Architecture Changes in Azospirillum

Abstract : The plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium Azospirillum lipoferum 4B generates in vitro at high frequency a stable nonswimming phase variant designated 4VI, which is distinguishable from the wild type by the differential absorption of dyes. The frequency of variants generated by a recA mutant of A. lipoferum 4B was increased up to 10-fold. The pleiotropic modifications characteristic of the phase variant are well documented, but the molecular processes involved are unknown. Here, the objective was to assess whether genomic rearrangements take place during phase variation of strain 4B. The random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiles of strains 4B and 4VI differed. RAPD fragments observed only with the wild type were cloned, and three cosmids carrying the corresponding fragments were isolated. The three cosmids hybridized with a 750-kb plasmid and pulse-field gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that this replicon was missing in the 4VI genome. The same rearrangements took place during phase variation of 4BrecA. Large-scale genomic rearrangements during phase variation were demonstrated for two additional strains. In Azospirillum brasilense WN1, generation of stable variants was correlated with the disappearance of a replicon of 260 kb. For Azospirillum irakense KBC1, the variant was not stable and coincided with the formation of a new replicon whereas the revertant recovered the parental genomic architecture. This study shows large-scale genomic rearrangements in Azospirillum strains and correlates them with phase variation.
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Contributor : Christine Delorme Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 10:18:26 AM
Last modification on : Friday, May 7, 2021 - 10:58:08 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-00112563, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 251839



Ludovic Vial, Céline Lavire, Patrick Mavingui, Didier Blaha, Jacqueline Haurat, et al.. Phase Variation and Genomic Architecture Changes in Azospirillum. Journal of Bacteriology, American Society for Microbiology, 2006, 188 (15), pp.5364-5373. ⟨hal-00112563⟩



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