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Characterization of two new Chromobacterium species isolated from cranberry galls in Massachusetts

Kory O'Hara-Hanley: Midwestern University

<div>Despite their importance in maintaining the cranberry bog ecosystems of southeastern Massachusetts, the microbiota of wetland bogs have been largely uncharacterized. These bogs are the source of a number of newly-described bacterial species, including <em>Chromobacterium</em> spp. The genus <em>Chromobacterium</em> has been associated with septicemia in mammals, and control of insect pests, but it’s role in maintaining wetlands soils microbial populations is unknown. The genus has quickly expanded in recent years, giving rise to the possibility of more undiscovered species. As a first step in understanding the role of <em>Chromobacterium</em> in wetlands soils, we report here two previously uncharacterized bacterial isolates from wild cranberry bogs placed within the genus <em>Chromobacterium</em> (b-proteobacteria) based on 16S rRNA sequence comparison, fatty acid methyl ester composition, and metabolic profile. However, each isolate was determined to be a new species based on the complete genomic sequences and phenotypic characterization. Both isolates produce the antioxidant pigment pyomelanin, and contain multiple genes that confer antibiotic resistance against aminoglycosides, b-lactams, as well as antibiotic exclusion by low outer membrane permeability and ABC-type efflux pumps. Taken together these results suggest that these new bacterial species are well-adapted to soils with robust microbial populations.</div>