A genetic and chemical perspective on symbiotic recruitment of cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc into the host plant Blasia pusilla L

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Abstract

Liverwort Blasia pusilla L. recruits soil nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria of genus Nostoc as symbiotic partners. In this work we compared Nostoc community composition inside the plants and in the soil around them from two distant locations in Northern Norway. STRR fingerprinting and 16S rDNA phylogeny reconstruction showed a remarkable local diversity among isolates assigned to several Nostoc clades. An extensive web of negative allelopathic interactions was recorded at an agricultural site, but not at the undisturbed natural site. The cell extracts of the cyanobacteria did not show antimicrobial activities, but four isolates were shown to be cytotoxic to human cells. The secondary metabolite profiles of the isolates were mapped by MALDI-TOF MS, and the most prominent ions were further analyzed by Q-TOF for MS/MS aided identification. Symbiotic isolates produced a great variety of small peptide-like substances, most of which lack any record in the databases. Among identified compounds we found microcystin and nodularin variants toxic to eukaryotic cells. Microcystin producing chemotypes were dominating as symbiotic recruits but not in the free-living community. In addition, we were able to identify several novel aeruginosins and banyaside-like compounds, as well as nostocyclopeptides and nosperin.

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Liaimer, A., Jensen, J. B., & Dittmann, E. (2016). A genetic and chemical perspective on symbiotic recruitment of cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc into the host plant Blasia pusilla L. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7(NOV). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.01693

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