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Open Access Research article

Genomic insights into the versatility of the plant growth-promoting bacterium Azospirillum amazonense

Fernando H Sant'Anna1, Luiz GP Almeida2, Ricardo Cecagno1, Luciano A Reolon1, Franciele M Siqueira1, Maicon RS Machado1, Ana TR Vasconcelos2 and Irene S Schrank13*

Author Affiliations

1 Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, Campus do Vale, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

2 Laboratório Nacional de Computação Científica (LNCC), Petrópolis, RJ, Brazil

3 Departamento de Biologia Molecular e Biotecnologia - Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, Campus do Vale, RS, Brazil

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BMC Genomics 2011, 12:409  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-409

Published: 12 August 2011

Abstract

Background

The species Azospirillum amazonense belongs to a well-known genus of plant growth-promoting bacteria. This bacterium is found in association with several crops of economic importance; however, there is a lack of information on its physiology. In this work, we present a comprehensive analysis of the genomic features of this species.

Results

Genes of A. amazonense related to nitrogen/carbon metabolism, energy production, phytohormone production, transport, quorum sensing, antibiotic resistance, chemotaxis/motility and bacteriophytochrome biosynthesis were identified. Noteworthy genes were the nitrogen fixation genes and the nitrilase gene, which could be directly implicated in plant growth promotion, and the carbon fixation genes, which had previously been poorly investigated in this genus. One important finding was that some A. amazonense genes, like the nitrogenase genes and RubisCO genes, were closer phylogenetically to Rhizobiales members than to species of its own order.

Conclusion

The species A. amazonense presents a versatile repertoire of genes crucial for its plant-associated lifestyle.