Pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophs in the Rhizobiales are widespread in the environment, and many Methylobacterium species associated with plants produce plant growth-promoting substances. To gain insights into the life style at the phyllosphere and the genetic bases of plant growth promotion, we determined and analyzed the complete genome sequence of Methylobacterium oryzae CBMB20T, a strain isolated from rice stem. The genome consists of a 6.29-Mb chromosome and four plasmids, designated as pMOCI to pMOC4. Among the 6,274 coding sequences in the chromosome, the bacterium has, besides most of the genes for the central metabolism, all of the essential genes for the assimilation and dissimilation of methanol that are either located in methylotrophy islands or dispersed. M. oryzae is equipped with several kinds of genes for adaptation to plant surfaces such as defense against UV radiation, oxidative stress, desiccation, or nutrient deficiency, as well as high proportion of genes related to motility and signaling. Moreover, it has an array of genes involved in metabolic pathways that may contribute to promotion of plant growth; they include auxin biosynthesis, cytokine biosynthesis, vitamin B12biosynthesis, urea metabolism, biosorption of heavy metals or decrease of metal toxicity, pyrroloquinoline quinone biosynthesis, 1 -aminocyclopropane-1 -carboxylate deamination, phosphate solubilization, and thiosulfate oxidation. Through the genome analysis of M. oryzae, we provide information on the full gene complement of M. oryzae that resides in the aerial parts of plants and enhances plant growth. The plant-associated lifestyle of M. oryzae pertaining to methylotrophy and plant growth promotion, and its potential as a candidate for a bioinoculant targeted to the phyllosphere and focused on phytostimulation are illuminated.
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© 2014 Kwak et al.
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