TODAY IN OUR LAB: Duffyella gerundensis
Duffyella gerundensis, a bacterium with a knack for making a home on pome fruit trees, is a bit of a scientific celebrity. This cosmopolitan epiphyte, originally isolated from pear leaves in La Tallada d’Empordà, Spain, has been making waves in the scientific community for its unique characteristics and potential applications.
Firstly, let’s talk about its name. Duffyella gerundensis is named after Dr. Brion Duffy, a pioneer in Erwinia amylovora research. The species name, gerundensis, is a nod to Gerunda, the Latin name for the city of Girona in Spain, where the first strains were originally isolated. So, it’s a bacterium with a bit of a historical and geographical flair!
In terms of its physical characteristics, D. gerundensis is a Gram-negative, motile bacterium that forms circular colonies. It’s a bit of a social butterfly, or rather, a social bacterium, forming a strongly supported basal lineage to the Pantoea/Tatumella/Rosenbergiella/Phaseolibacter lineage. It’s also a facultative anaerobe, meaning it can survive with or without oxygen, making it quite the adaptable little organism.
But what really sets D. gerundensis apart is its potential applications. For instance, it has been found to produce a novel di-D-fructofuranose 1,2′:2,3′-dianhydride hydrolase (DFA-IIIase), which has been applied to burdock root to improve nutrition. This enzyme is bifunctional, having the ability to hydrolyze DFA-III and also exhibit the same catalytic ability as inulin fructotransferase (IFTase) to inulin. So, not only is D. gerundensis a bit of a jet-setter, it’s also a potential game-changer in the world of nutrition!
In conclusion, Duffyella gerundensis is a bacterium that’s as versatile as it is fascinating. Whether it’s making a home on pome fruit trees, contributing to the improvement of nutrition, or just being named after a pioneer in the field, it’s clear that D. gerundensis is a bacterium that knows how to make a name for itself!