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Braz. j. med. biol. res ; 48(8): 683-690, 08/2015. tab, graf
Article in English | LILACS | ID: lil-753056


NifA is the transcriptional activator of the nif genes in Proteobacteria. It is usually regulated by nitrogen and oxygen, allowing biological nitrogen fixation to occur under appropriate conditions. NifA proteins have a typical three-domain structure, including a regulatory N-terminal GAF domain, which is involved in control by fixed nitrogen and not strictly required for activity, a catalytic AAA+ central domain, which catalyzes open complex formation, and a C-terminal domain involved in DNA-binding. In Herbaspirillum seropedicae, a β-proteobacterium capable of colonizing Graminae of agricultural importance, NifA regulation by ammonium involves its N-terminal GAF domain and the signal transduction protein GlnK. When the GAF domain is removed, the protein can still activate nif genes transcription; however, ammonium regulation is lost. In this work, we generated eight constructs resulting in point mutations in H. seropedicae NifA and analyzed their effect on nifH transcription in Escherichia coli and H. seropedicae. Mutations K22V, T160E, M161V, L172R, and A215D resulted in inactive proteins. Mutations Q216I and S220I produced partially active proteins with activity control similar to wild-type NifA. However, mutation G25E, located in the GAF domain, resulted in an active protein that did not require GlnK for activity and was partially sensitive to ammonium. This suggested that G25E may affect the negative interaction between the N-terminal GAF domain and the catalytic central domain under high ammonium concentrations, thus rendering the protein constitutively active, or that G25E could lead to a conformational change comparable with that when GlnK interacts with the GAF domain.

Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Escherichia coli/genetics , Herbaspirillum/genetics , Transcription Factors/genetics , Bacterial Proteins/chemistry , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial , Herbaspirillum/metabolism , Nitrogen Fixation/genetics , Point Mutation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Transcription Factors/chemistry
Braz. j. med. biol. res ; 44(3): 182-185, Mar. 2011. ilus, tab
Article in English | LILACS | ID: lil-576068


Herbaspirillum seropedicae is an endophytic diazotrophic bacterium, which associates with important agricultural plants. In the present study, we have investigated the attachment to and internal colonization of Phaseolus vulgaris roots by the H. seropedicae wild-type strain SMR1 and by a strain of H. seropedicae expressing a red fluorescent protein (DsRed) to track the bacterium in the plant tissues. Two-day-old P. vulgaris roots were incubated at 30°C for 15 min with 6 x 10(8) CFU/mL H. seropedicae SMR1 or RAM4. Three days after inoculation, 4 x 10(4) cells of endophytic H. seropedicae SMR1 were recovered per gram of fresh root, and 9 days after inoculation the number of endophytes increased to 4 x 10(6) CFU/g. The identity of the recovered bacteria was confirmed by amplification and sequencing of the 16SrRNA gene. Furthermore, confocal microscopy of P. vulgaris roots inoculated with H. seropedicae RAM4 showed that the bacterial cells were attached to the root surface 15 min after inoculation; fluorescent bacteria were visible in the internal tissues after 24 h and were found in the central cylinder after 72 h, showing that H. seropedicae RAM4 is capable of colonizing the roots of the dicotyledon P. vulgaris. Determination of dry weight of common bean inoculated with H. seropedicae SMR1 suggested that this bacterium has a negative effect on the growth of P. vulgaris.

Herbaspirillum/growth & development , Phaseolus/microbiology , Plant Roots/microbiology , Colony Count, Microbial , Herbaspirillum/genetics , Microscopy, Confocal , Microscopy, Fluorescence
An. acad. bras. ciênc ; 80(4): 749-761, Dec. 2008. ilus, graf, tab
Article in English | LILACS | ID: lil-497117


This work aimed to evaluate density of associative diazotrophic bacteria populations in soil and grass root samples from heavy metal contaminated sites, and to characterize isolates from these populations, both, phenotypically (Zinc, Cadmium and NaCl tolerance in vitro, and protein profiles) and genotypically (16S rDNA sequencing), as compared to type strains of known diazotrophic species. Densities were evaluated by using NFb, Fam and JNFb media, commonly used for enrichment cultures of diazotrophic bacteria. Bacterial densities found in soil and grass root samples from contaminated sites were similar to those reported for agricultural soils. Azospirillum spp. isolates from contaminated sites and type strains from non-contaminated sites varied substantially in their in vitro tolerance to Zn+2 and Cd+2, being Cd+2 more toxic than Zn+2. Among the most tolerant isolates (UFLA 1S, 1R, S181, S34 and S22), some (1R, S34 and S22) were more tolerant to heavy metals than rhizobia from tropical and temperate soils. The majority of the isolates tolerant to heavy metals were also tolerant to salt stress as indicated by their ability to grow in solid medium supplemented with 30 g L-1 NaCl. Five isolates exhibited high dissimilarity in protein profiles, and the 16S rDNA sequence analysis of two of them revealed new sequences for Azospirillum.

Objetivou-se avaliar a densidade de populações de bactérias diazotróficas associativas em amostras de solos e de raízes de gramíneas oriundas de sítios contaminados com metais pesados, e caracterizar isolados destas populações através da análise fenotípica (tolerância aos metais pesados zinco e cádmio e à NaCl in vitro, perfis protéicos), e genotípica (seqüenciamento de 16S rDNA), comparados às estirpes tipo das mesmas espécies. As densidades foram avaliadas nos meios NFb, Fam e LGI, comumente utilizados para culturas de enriquecimento de populações de bactérias diazotróficas associativas. As densidades encontradas em amostras de solo e raiz de sítios contaminados foram semelhantes àquelas relatadas na literatura para solos agrícolas. Isolados de Azospirillum spp. de solos contaminados e estirpes tipo oriundas de solos não contaminados variaram substancialmente com relação à tolerância a Zn+2 e Cd+2, sendo que Cd+2 mais tóxico que Zn+2. Dentre os isolados mais tolerantes (UFLA 1S, 1R, S181, S34, e S22), alguns(1R, S34 e S22) foram mais tolerantes a metais pesados que rizóbios isolados de solos de áreas tropicais e temperadas. A maioria dos isolados mais tolerantes a metais pesados também foi tolerante ao estresse salino, o que foi indicado por seu crescimento em meio sólido suplementado com 30 g L-1 de NaCl in vitro. Cinco isolados apresentaram alta dissimilaridade em perfis protéicos e o seqüenciamento do gene 16S rDNA em dois deles revelou que apresentam novas seqüências de Azospirillum.

Azospirillum/drug effects , Burkholderia/drug effects , Herbaspirillum/drug effects , Metals, Heavy/toxicity , Plant Roots/microbiology , Poaceae/microbiology , Soil Microbiology , Azospirillum/genetics , Azospirillum/growth & development , Burkholderia/genetics , Burkholderia/growth & development , Colony Count, Microbial , DNA, Bacterial/genetics , Drug Resistance, Bacterial/genetics , Genotype , Herbaspirillum/genetics , Herbaspirillum/growth & development , Metals, Heavy/analysis , Phenotype , /genetics