Paludisphaera soli sp. nov., a new member of the family Isosphaeraceae isolated from high altitude soil in the Western Himalaya; a possible bio-control against exotic invasive Prosopis juliflora

Meesha Sharma, Rishabh Kaushik, Ch. asikala, Ch. V. Ramana, Maharaj K. Pandit


Planctomycetes represent a unique phylum of the domain bacteria, which have intrigued the scientific community with their unusual properties like internal compartmentalisation and the absence of peptidoglycan in their cell wall due to which they were mis-classified as ‘floating fungus’ in the last century (1). Here, we describe a novel strain of Planctomycetes designated as JC670T, which was isolated from a high altitude soil sample (~2900m m a.s.l) in the Western Himalayas and represents the first report of a Planctomycetes from this region (2). Colonies of the strain were observed to be light pink coloured with spherical to oval shaped cells that exhibit budding and have crateriform structures all over the cell surface (2, 3). Cells were found to grow well at pH 7.0 and pH 8.0 and could tolerate up to 2% NaCl (w/v). MK6 was the only respiratory quinone identified and the major fatty acids identified were C18:19c, C18:0 and C16:0, and phosphatidylcholine, two unidentified phospholipids and six unidentified lipids were identified as the polar lipids. Polyamines like putrescine and sym-homospermidine were also detected. The draft genome of this strain is 7.97 Mb, with GC content of 70.4 mol%. Based on phylogenetic analyses with the sequences of ninety-two core genes, low dDDH value (20.6%), low gANI (76.8%) and low AAI (69.1%) (Auch et al. 2010) results along with differential chemotaxonomic and physiological properties, strain JC670T (= KCTC 72850T = NBRC 114339T) was recognised as the type strain of a new species of the genus Paludisphaera, for which the name Paludisphaera soli sp. nov. was proposed and accepted. Moreover, based on microcosm experiments (unpublished data), we suggest that this isolate can act as a putative biocontrol agent as exhibited by its negative impact on the seedlings of a global invasive plant Prosopis juliflora.

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