AbstractTo verify the parasitic lifestyle ofCandidatusPatescibacteria in the enrichment cultures derived from a methanogenic bioreactor, we applied multifaceted approaches combining cultivation, microscopy, metatranscriptomic, and protein structure prediction analyses. Cultivation experiments with the addition of exogenous methanogenic archaea with acetate, amino acids, and nucleoside monophosphates and 16S rRNA gene sequencing confirmed the increase in the relative abundance ofCa. Patescibacteria and methanogens. The predominantCa. Patescibacteria wereCa. Yanofskybacteria and 32-520 lineages (to which belongs to classCa. Paceibacteria) and positive linear relationships (r2≥ 0.70) between the relative abundance ofCa. Yanofskybacteria andMethanothrix, suggesting that the tendency of the growth rate is similar to that of the host. By fluorescencein situhybridization (FISH) observations, the FISH signals ofMethanothrixandMethanospirillumcells withCa. Yanofskybacteria and with 32-520 lineages, respectively, were significantly lower than those of the methanogens withoutCa. Patescibacteria, suggesting their parasitic interaction. The TEM and SEM observations also support parasitism in that the cell walls and plugs of these methanogens associated with submicron cells were often deformed. In particular, someMethanothrix-like filamentous cells were dented where the submicron cells were attached. Metatranscriptomic and protein structure prediction analyses identified highly expressed secreted genes from the genomes ofCa. Yanofskybacteria and 32-520, and these genes contain adhesion-related domains to the host cells. Considering the results through the combination of microscopic observations, gene expression, and computational protein modeling, we propose that the interactions betweenCa. Yanofskybacteria and 32-520 belonging to classCa. Paceibacteria and methanogenic archaea are parasitism.
One highly diverse phylogenetic group of Bacteria,
. Patescibacteria, remains poorly understood, but, from the few cultured representatives and metagenomic investigations, they are thought to live symbiotically or parasitically with other bacteria or even with eukarya.