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Evidence for a plant associated natural habitat of Cronobacter spp


Schmid, M; Iversen, C; Gontia, I; Stephan, R; Hofmann, A; Hartmann, A; Jha, B; Eberl, L; Riedel, K; Lehner, A (2009). Evidence for a plant associated natural habitat of Cronobacter spp. Research in Microbiology, 160(8):608-614.

Abstract

Cronobacter (Enterobacter sakazakii) species are responsible for rare cases of necrotizing enterocolitis and bacteraemia in infants as well as cases of meningitis with high case fatality rates in neonates and immunocompromised infants. Some physiological features, such as the production of a yellow pigment, the formation of a gum-like extracellular polysaccharide and the ability to persist in a desiccated state, suggest an environmental niche for these organisms. To date, the natural habitat of Cronobacter spp. remains unknown. In this report, the isolation and characterization of two Cronobacter sakazakii strains from plant roots is described. Also, the root colonization behaviour of Cronobacter strains originating from clinical and plant sources is assessed. The nine strains investigated showed features often found in plant-associated and rhizosphere microorganisms, including solubilisation of mineral phosphate and production of indole acetic acid. Siderophore production was observed for all except one strain. In addition, the capability to endophytically colonize tomato and maize roots was demonstrated for several strains, either by fluorescence in situ hybridization, using fluorescently labelled oligonucleotide probes, or by using strains tagged with green fluorescent protein and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The results provide evidence that plants may be the natural habitat of Cronobacter spp.

Cronobacter (Enterobacter sakazakii) species are responsible for rare cases of necrotizing enterocolitis and bacteraemia in infants as well as cases of meningitis with high case fatality rates in neonates and immunocompromised infants. Some physiological features, such as the production of a yellow pigment, the formation of a gum-like extracellular polysaccharide and the ability to persist in a desiccated state, suggest an environmental niche for these organisms. To date, the natural habitat of Cronobacter spp. remains unknown. In this report, the isolation and characterization of two Cronobacter sakazakii strains from plant roots is described. Also, the root colonization behaviour of Cronobacter strains originating from clinical and plant sources is assessed. The nine strains investigated showed features often found in plant-associated and rhizosphere microorganisms, including solubilisation of mineral phosphate and production of indole acetic acid. Siderophore production was observed for all except one strain. In addition, the capability to endophytically colonize tomato and maize roots was demonstrated for several strains, either by fluorescence in situ hybridization, using fluorescently labelled oligonucleotide probes, or by using strains tagged with green fluorescent protein and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The results provide evidence that plants may be the natural habitat of Cronobacter spp.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Food Safety and Hygiene
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
580 Plants (Botany)
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:12 Jan 2010 15:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:38
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0923-2508
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.resmic.2009.08.013
PubMed ID:19748571
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-25698

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