Genomic analysis of a bacterial strain isolated from the Lonar Lake

-By Kranti Karande

Bacterial isolates of the Rhodococcus genus are widely recognized as being capable of catabolizing a wide variety of aliphatic, aromatic and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Taxonomically genus Rhodococcus belongs to the Nocardiaceae family under phylum Actinobacteria. The tremendous catabolic diversity and remarkable biotransformation ability of genus Rhodococcus is mainly due to the existence of a diverse array of catabolic genes reported for several enzymatic groups such as monooxygenase, dioxygenase, and hydroxylases.

This study identified the genome sequencing data and the draft genome of the Rhodococcus rhodochrous strain originally isolated from Lonar Lake sediments located in Maharashtra province of India. The strain was identified as Rhodococcus rhodochrous based on the mass spectra of the cell extracts of overnight grown pure cultures and DNA sequencing results.

Specific gene and gene groups responsible for catabolism of various compounds have been identified and assigned to the respective compound. Total 39 genes were assigned to subsystem category ‘Stress response’ and the analysis of the genes for this subsystem category revealed the presence of specific genes. The presence of these specific genes implied that the isolate has the ability to synthesize and uptake ‘Glycine betaine (N,N,N-trimethylglycine)’ which may be the main osmolyte synthesized by this bacterium under osmotic stress conditions usually present in the soda lake environment. 

The genomic data reported in this publication will pave the way for further study of the different catabolic genes implicated in hydrocarbon metabolism in this bacterium.

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7058525/