Query: NC_012560:1564500 Azotobacter vinelandii DJ, complete genome Lineage: Azotobacter vinelandii; Azotobacter; Pseudomonadaceae; Pseudomonadales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This organism was first isolated from the soil in Vineland, New Jersey, although it is found worldwide. It is a large obligate aerobe that has one of the highest respiratory rates of any organism. Azotobacter vinelandii also produces a number of unusual nitrogenases which allow it to fix atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, a compound it can then use as a nitrogen source. It protects the oxygen-sensitive nitrogenase enzymes through its high respiratory rate, which sequesters the nitrogenase complexes in an anoxic environment. This organism has a number of unusual characteristics. Under extreme environmental conditions, the cell will produce a cyst that is resistant to dessication and is surrounded by two capsular polysaccharide layers. This organism produces two industrially important polysaccharides, poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) and alginate. PHB is a thermoplastic biopolymer, and alginate is used in the food industry. Alginate is also used by the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to infect the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.
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General Information: This strain is a biovar 1 nopaline-producing strain originally isolated from a cherry tree tumor. Strains of Agrobacterium are classified in three biovars based on their utilisation of different carbohydrates and other biochemical tests. The differences between biovars are determined by genes on the single circle of chromosomal DNA. Biovar differences are not particularly relevant to the pathogenicity of A. tumefaciens, except in one respect: biovar 3 is found worldwide as the pathogen of gravevines. This species causes crown gall disease of a wide range of dicotyledonous (broad-leaved) plants, especially members of the rose family such as apple, pear, peach, cherry, almond, raspberry and roses. Because of the way that it infects other organisms, this bacterium has been used as a tool in plant breeding. Any desired genes, such as insecticidal toxin genes or herbicide-resistance genes, can be engineered into the bacterial DNA, and then inserted into the plant genome. This process shortens the conventional plant breeding process, and allows entirely new (non-plant) genes to be engineered into crops.