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Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate accumulation in bacterial consortia from different environments

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The aim of the present study was to examine soil samples from various vegetation zones in terms of physicochemical properties, microbial communities, and isolation and identification (by polymerase chain reaction and transmission electron microscopy) of bacteria producing poly-β-hydroxybutyrates (PHBs). Soil samples were analysed originating from zones with heterogeneous environmental conditions from the Romanian Carpathian Mountains (mountain zone with alpine meadow, karstic zone with limestone meadow, hill zone with xerophilous meadow, and flood plain zone with hygrophilic meadow). Different bacterial groups involved in the nitrogen cycle (aerobic mesophilic heterotrophs, ammonifiers, denitrifiers, nitrifiers, and free nitrogen-fixing bacteria from Azotobacter genus) were analysed. Soil biological quality was assessed by the bacterial indicator of soil quality, which varied between 4.3 and 4.7. A colony polymerase chain reaction technique was used for screening PHB producers. With different primers, specific bands were obtained in all the soil samples. Some wild types of Azotobacter species were isolated from the 4 studied sites. Biodegradable polymers of PHB were assessed by negative staining in transmission electron microscopy. The maximum PHB granules density was obtained in the strains isolated from the xerophilous meadow (10–18 granules/cell), which was the most stressful environment from all the studied sites, as the physicochemical and microbiological tests proved.

Keywords: Azotobacter vinelandii; PCR sur colonie; bactérie diazotrophes; colony PCR; diazotroph bacteria; microscopie électronique à transmisson; poly-β-hydroxybutyrates; transmission electron microscopy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Babeş Bolyai University, Faculty of Biology and Geology, Department of Experimental Biology, Institute of Technology, 1 M.Kogalniceanu Str, Cluj-Napoca, 400084, Romania. 2: Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Bio-Nano-Sciences, Molecular Biology Center, 42 Treboniu Laurean Str, Cluj-Napoca, 400271, Romania.

Publication date: 2012-05-16

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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