Alero Olaoba Chelsey Wik Microbe Wiki Prof. Angela Hahn December 16, 2013
About Collimonas Fungivorans Collimonas fungivorans is found to be interesting due to its antifungal abilities. The microbe belongs to the kingdom of Bacteria, phylum of Proteobacteria, class of Betaproteobacteria, order of Burkholderiales, family of Oxalobacteraceae, genus of Collimonas and species of fungivorans (GBIF, 2013). When cultured, C. fungivorans are flagellated with pilli and their morphology was found to be gram negative with bacillus (rod) shapes and they survive in slightly acidic aerobic environments. For a microbe to be gram negative means that they do not retain the violet-purple color during the gram staining process but in turn are counterstained a reddish color. This means that it has a cell wall with a thin layer of petidoglycan. They grow within the temperatures of 1-20 o C. The word “fungivorans” can be broken down into two; “fungus” and “vorans”. Fungus is a Latin term that means mushrooms while vorans means eating ((Zhang et al., 2011 & de Boer et al., 2004).
Collimonas is a genus best known for its ability to breakdown chitin. Chitin is a main component located in the cell wall of fungus and it is the exoskeleton of most arthropod and insects. The Collimonas genus also survives by feeding on the hyphae of fungi. The hyphae are the branching structure of fungi that contains most of its vegetative growth. This microbe slows down the growth of a fungus. This is important because it may possibly hold the key as to why C. fungivorans have such an effect on the activities of fungus. It has recently been discovered that bacterial chitinase activities has many similarities with anti-fungal activities. This information may possibly be the next stepping stone in explaining the phenomenon (de Boer et al., 2004).
Studies have revealed that mycophagous activity occurs within the bacteria of the genus Collimonas. The possible explanation offered behind this phenotype characteristic is that this is possibly an adaption to life due to conditions when resources are scarce. When various soil fungi were co-inoculated with the Ter331 strain of C. fungivorans the results revealed slow fungal growth. In some further experiments, C. fungivorans were exposed to nutrient poor plates of Aspergillus niger fungi. The results showed once again that the growth of the fungi was inhibited and the bacterial biomass increased drastically. This suggests that the microbe C. fungivorans can potentially be used in an antibacterial compound that is used for fungal infections (Mela et al., 2008 & Fritsche et al., 2008). During the course of experimenting and testing on this species, scientists also discovered that Collimonas fungivorans fights against tomato foot root rot in tomato plants through competition of nutrients rather than the most noted activity of the bacteria attaching to fungal hyphae. Tomato foot root rot (TFRR) is a tomato plant disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum. An experiment using visualization studies shows that C. fungivorans only reside on fungal hyphae during harsh conditions. This means that the bacteria species is as pathogenic to TFRR as the fungus species. Under a biocontrol state, the authors: Kamilova et al. hypothesized that C. fungivorans are the main pathogens of TFRR through a system of nutrient and niche competition instead of its reputed mycophagous characteristic. The mycophagous properties of this microbe could have been a result of evolutionary changes or adaptation with the strive to survive harsh conditions (Kamilova et al., 2007). The interesting fact of the bacterial microbe C. fungivorans is its mycophagous abilities with fungi as well as its potential to hydrolyze Chitin.
de Boer W, Leveau JH, Kowalchuk GA, Klein Gunnewiek PJ, Abeln EC, Figge MJ, Sjollema K, Janse JD, van Veen JA. 2004. Collimonas fungivorans gen. nov., sp. nov., a chitinolytic soil bacterium with the ability to grow on living fungal hyphae. 54(3): 857- 64. http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/content/54/3/857.full.pdf
Kamilova F., Leveau JH., Lugtenberg B. 2007. Collimonas fungivorans, an unpredicted in vitro but efficient in vivobiocontrol agent for the suppression of tomato foot and root rot. Environmental Microbiology 9(6): 1597-1603. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1462-2920.2007.01263.x/full
Fritsche K, Boer WD, Gerards S, Vandenberg M, Vanveen JA, Leveau JHJ. 2008. Identification and characterization of genes underlying chitinolysis in Collimonas fungivorans Ter331. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 66(1): 123–135
Zhang de C, Redzic M, Schinner F, Margesin R. 2011. Glaciimonas Immobilis gen. nov., sp. nov., a member of the family Oxalobacteraceae isolated from alpine glacier cryoconite. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiolog 61:2186-2190 http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/content/61/9/2186.full.pdf+html
Mela F, Fritsche K, Boersma H, Van Elsas JD, Bartels D, Meyer F, DeBoer W, VanVeen JA, Leveau JHJ. 2008. Comparative genomics of the pIPO2/pSB102 family of environmental plasmids: sequence, evolution, and ecology of pTer331 isolated from Collimonas fungivorans Ter331. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 66(1): 45–62 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00472.x/pdf
Fritsche K, Boer WD, Gerards S, Vandenberg M, Vanveen JA, Leveau JHJ. 2008. Identification and characterization of genes underlying chitinolysis in Collimonas fungivorans Ter331. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 66(1): 123–135. DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00547.x
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility: GBIF Backbone Taxonomy, 2013-07-01 Accessed via http://www.gbif.org/species/3219883 on 2013-12-15