Cultivation of hitherto-uncultured bacteria belonging to the Verrucomicrobia subdivision 1 from the potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) rhizosphere

U.N. da Rocha, F.D. Andreote, J.L. Azevedo, J.D. van Elsas, L.S. van Overbeek

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    45 Citations (Scopus)


    The role of dominant bacterial groups in the plant rhizosphere, e.g., those belonging to the phyla Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia, has, so far, not been elucidated, and this is mainly due to the lack of culturable representatives. This study aimed to isolate hitherto-uncultured bacteria from the potato rhizosphere by a combination of cultivation approaches. An agar medium low in carbon availability (oligotrophic agar medium) and either amended with potato root exudates or catalase or left unamended was used with the aim to improve the culturability of bacteria from the potato rhizosphere. The colony forming unit numbers based on colonies and microcolonies were compared with microscopically determined fluorescence-stained cell numbers. Taxonomical diversity of the colonies was compared with that of library clones made from rhizosphere DNA, on the basis of 16S rRNA gene comparisons. The oligotrophic media amended or not with catalase or rhizosphere extract recovered up to 33.6% of the total bacterial numbers, at least seven times more than the recovery observed on R2A. Four hitherto-uncultured Verrucomicrobia subdivision 1 representatives were recovered on agar, but representatives of this group were not found in the clone library. The use of oligotrophic medium and its modifications enabled the growth of colony numbers, exceeding those on classical agar media. Also, it led to the isolation of hitherto-uncultured bacteria from the potato rhizosphere. Further improvement in cultivation will certainly result in the recovery of other as-yet-unexplored bacteria from the rhizosphere, making these groups accessible for further investigation, e.g., with respect to their possible interactions with plants.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)326-339
    JournalJournal of Soils and Sediments
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • 16s ribosomal-rna
    • soil bacteria
    • community structure
    • sequence data
    • pure culture
    • diversity
    • culturability
    • growth
    • genes
    • electrophoresis


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