Mass spectrometry characterization of endophytic bacterium Curtobacterium sp strain ER1/6 isolated from Citrus sinensis
The bacteria of the genus Curtobacterium are usually seen as plant pathogen, but some species have been identified as endophytes of different crops and could as such present a potential for disease control and plant growth promotion. We have therefore applied the desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging (DESI-MSI) in the direct analysis of living Curtobacterium sp. strain ER1/6 colonies to map the surface metabolites, and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) for characterization of these compounds. Several colony-associated metabolites were detected. The ESI-MS/MS showed characteristic fragmentations for phospholipids including the classes of glycerophosphocholine, glycerophosphoglycerol, and glycerophosphoinositol as well as several fatty acids. Although a secure identification was not obtained, many other metabolites were also detected for this bacteria species. Principal component analysis showed that fatty acids were discriminatory for Curtobacterium sp. ER1/6 during inoculation on periwinkle wilt (PW) medium, whereas phospholipids characterize the bacterium when grown on the tryptic soy agar (TSA) medium.