Bridging genomics and field research: draft genome sequence of Bacillus thuringiensis CR71, an endophytic bacterium that promotes plant growth and fruit yield in Cucumis sativus L.3 Biotech. 2020 May; 10(5):220.3B
Here we report the draft genome sequence of bacterial strain CR71, consisting of a single chromosome with 5,914,775 base pairs (bp), 34.7% G + C content, and 5733 protein-coding genes. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the CR71 strain is affiliated with Bacillus thuringiensis species, with an average nucleotide identity > 96% and genome to genome distance > 70%. The genome of B. thuringiensis strain CR71 contains genes potentially involved in a wide variety of both plant pathogen-antagonistic and plant-growth-promoting activities, such as biofilm production; acetoin, butanediol, and indoleacetic acid (IAA) synthesis; production of quorum-sensing molecules; synthesis of toxins and lytic enzymes; and promotion of tolerance to oxidative, metal, and salt stress. Additionally, antiSMASH analysis revealed a potential synthesis of siderophores and peptide antibiotics. To confirm the in silico data, strain CR71 was inoculated into cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L.) in a field trial, in which we observed an increase in stem thickness, as well as shoot fresh weight and length. Importantly, compared to un-inoculated control plants, plants inoculated with strain CR71 increased the size/weight ratio of cucumber fruits (34.99%), biovolume index (16.8%), and total fruit yield (34.97%). In conclusion, genome analysis of strain CR71 confirmed multifactorial plant-beneficial mechanisms and the potential of CR71 as an agricultural bio-inoculant.