Fehmida Bibi, Eu Jin Chung, Ajmal Khan, Che Ok Jeon and Young Ryun Chung
Division of Applied Life Science (BK 21), Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Center, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Republic of Korea.
During a study of endophytic bacteria from coastal dune plants, a bacterial strain, designated YC6881T, was isolated from the root of Rosa rugosa collected from the coastal dune areas of Namhae Island, Korea. The bacterium was found to be Gram-staining-negative, motile, halophilic and heterotrophic with a single polar flagellum. Strain YC6881T grew at temperatures of 4–37 °C (optimum, 28–32 °C), at pH 6.0–9.0 (optimum, pH 7.0–8.0), and at NaCl concentrations in the range of 0–7.5% (w/v) (optimum, 4–5% NaCl). Strain YC6881T was catalase- and oxidase-positive and negative for nitrate reduction. According to phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequences, strain YC6881T belonged to the genus Rhizobium and showed the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of 96.9% to Rhizobium rosettiformans, followed by Rhizobium borbori (96.3%), Rhizobium radiobacter (96.1%), Rhizobium daejeonense (95.9%), Rhizobium larrymoorei (95.6%) and Rhizobium giardinii (95.4%). Phylogenetic analysis of strain YC6881T by recA, atpD, glnII and 16S–23S intergenic spacer (IGS) sequences all confirmed the phylogenetic arrangements obtained by using 16S rRNA gene sequences. Cross-nodulation tests showed that strain YC6881T was a symbiotic bacterium that nodulated Vigna unguiculata and Pisum sativum. The major components of the cellular fatty acids were C18:1ω7c (53.7%), C19:0 cyclo ω8c (12.6%) and C12:0 (8.1%). The DNA G+C content was 52.8 mol%. Phenotypic and physiological tests with respect to carbon source utilization, antibiotic resistance, growth conditions, phylogenetic analyses of housekeeping genes recA, atpD and glnII, and fatty acid composition could be used to discriminate strain YC6881T from other species of the genus Rhizobium in the same sublineage. Based on the results obtained in this study, strain YC6881T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Rhizobium, for which the name Rhizobium halophytocola sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is YC6881T (=KACC 13775T=DSM 21600T).