Genomic and physiological characterization of Novosphingobium terrae sp. nov., an alphaproteobacterium isolated from Cerrado soil containing a megasized chromid (4 tweets)

A novel bacterial strain, designated GeG2T, was isolated from soils of native Cerrado, a highly biodiverse savanna-like Brazilian biome. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis of strain GeG2T revealed high sequence identity (100%) to the alphaproteobacterium Novosphingobium rosa, however, comparisons with N. rosa DSM7285T showed several distinctive features, prompting a full characterization of the new strain in terms of growth, morphology, biochemistry and, ultimately, its genome. GeG2T cells were Gram-stain negative bacilli, facultatively anaerobic, motile, positive for catalase and oxidase activities and for starch hydrolysis. Strain GeG2T presented planktonic-sessile dimorphism and cell aggregates surrounded by extracellular matrix and nanometric spherical structures were observed in liquid cultures, suggesting the production of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). Whole genome assembly revealed four circular replicons: a 4.1 Mb chromosome, a 2.7 Mb extrachromosomal megareplicon and two plasmids (212.7 and 68.6 kb). The megareplicon contains few core genes and plasmid-type replication/maintenance systems, consistent with its classification as a chromid. Genome annotation shows a vast repertoire of carbohydrate active enzymes and genes involved in the degradation of aromatic compounds, highlighting the biotechnological potential of the new isolate obtained from Cerrado soils, especially regarding EPS production and biodegradation of recalcitrant compounds. Chemotaxonomic features, including polar lipid and fatty acid profiles, as well as physiological, molecular and whole genome comparisons showed significant differences between strain GeG2T and a N. rosa, clearly indicating that it represents a novel species, for which the name Novosphingobium terrae is proposed. The type strain is GeG2T (=CBMAI 2313T =CBAS 753T).

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