Washington, Jan 16: Soil bacteria azospirillum quit the sea for land much later than speculated by scientists.
Igor Jouline, joint faculty professor of microbiology at Oak Ridge National Lab’s (ORNL) Institute for Computational Sciences, performed a genome sequence analysis of azospirillum.
The analysis indicates the shift may have occurred only 400 million years ago, rather than approximately two billion years earlier, as originally thought.
“Because these bacteria colonize roots of grasses and improve their growth and development, they might be important for bioenergy research,” Jouline said.
Jouline conducted the research with mircrobiologists Kristin Wuichet and Leonid Sukharnikov, molecular biologist Gladys Alexandre and Kirill Borziak, graduate student of genome science at the the ORNL.
Azospirillum is currently used as a biofertilizer for grasses and some other plants. Commercial fertilizers containing the bacteria are available worldwide.
-Indo-Asian News Service