Albertsen, Mads


Publications (11)

Closed genomes uncover a saltwater species of<i>Candidatus</i>Electronema and shed new light on the boundary between marine and freshwater cable bacteria

Citation
Sereika et al. [posted content, 2022]
Names
Ca. Electrothrix laxa Ca. Electrothrix Ca. Electronema halotolerans Ca. Electronema aureum Ca. Electronema
Abstract
AbstractCable bacteria of theDesulfobulbaceaefamily are centimeter-long filamentous bacteria, which are capable of conducting long-distance electron transfer. Currently, all cable bacteria are classified into two candidate genera:CandidatusElectronema, typically found in freshwater environments, andCandidatusElectrothrix, typically found in saltwater environments. This taxonomic framework is based on both 16S rRNA gene sequences and metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) phylogenies. However, most of the currently available MAGs are highly fragmented, incomplete, and thus likely miss key genes essential for deciphering the physiology of cable bacteria. To address this, we performed Nanopore long read (total 162.4 Gbp) and Illumina short read (total 148.3 Gbp) shotgun sequencing of selected environmental samples and a single-strain enrichment ofCa. Electronema aureum. We recovered multiple cable bacteria MAGs, including two circular and one single-contig. Phylogenomic analysis, also confirmed by 16S rRNA gene-based phylogeny, classified one circular MAG and the single-contig MAG as novel species of cable bacteria, which we propose to nameCa. Electronema halotolerans andCa. Electrothrix laxa, respectively. TheCa. Electronema halotolerans, despite belonging to the previously recognized freshwater genus of cable bacteria, was retrieved from brackish-water sediment. Metabolic predictions showed several adaptations to a high salinity environment, similar to the “saltwater”Ca. Electrothrix species, indicating howCa. Electronema halotolerans may be the evolutionary link between marine and freshwater cable bacteria lineages.

Characterization of the First “ Candidatus Nitrotoga” Isolate Reveals Metabolic Versatility and Separate Evolution of Widespread Nitrite-Oxidizing Bacteria

Citation
Kitzinger et al. (2018). mBio 9 (4)
Names
Ca. Nitrotoga fabula Ca. Nitrotoga
Subjects
Microbiology Virology
Abstract
ABSTRACT Nitrification is a key process of the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle and of biological wastewater treatment. The second step, nitrite oxidation to nitrate, is catalyzed by phylogenetically diverse, chemolithoautotrophic nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). Uncultured NOB from the genus “ Candidatus Nitrotoga” are widespread in natural and engineered ecosystems. Knowledge about their biology is sparse, because no genomic information and no pure “ Ca . Nitrotoga” culture was available. Here we obtained the first “ Ca . Nitrotoga” isolate from activated sludge. This organism, “ Candidatus Nitrotoga fabula,” prefers higher temperatures (&gt;20°C; optimum, 24 to 28°C) than previous “ Ca . Nitrotoga” enrichments, which were described as cold-adapted NOB. “ Ca . Nitrotoga fabula” also showed an unusually high tolerance to nitrite (activity at 30 mM NO 2 − ) and nitrate (up to 25 mM NO 3 − ). Nitrite oxidation followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with an apparent K m ( K m (app) ) of ~89 µM nitrite and a V max of ~28 µmol of nitrite per mg of protein per h. Key metabolic pathways of “ Ca . Nitrotoga fabula” were reconstructed from the closed genome. “ Ca . Nitrotoga fabula” possesses a new type of periplasmic nitrite oxidoreductase belonging to a lineage of mostly uncharacterized proteins. This novel enzyme indicates (i) separate evolution of nitrite oxidation in “ Ca . Nitrotoga” and other NOB, (ii) the possible existence of phylogenetically diverse, unrecognized NOB, and (iii) together with new metagenomic data, the potential existence of nitrite-oxidizing archaea. For carbon fixation, “ Ca . Nitrotoga fabula” uses the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle. It also carries genes encoding complete pathways for hydrogen and sulfite oxidation, suggesting that alternative energy metabolisms enable “ Ca . Nitrotoga fabula” to survive nitrite depletion and colonize new niches. IMPORTANCE Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) are major players in the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle and critical for wastewater treatment. However, most NOB remain uncultured, and their biology is poorly understood. Here, we obtained the first isolate from the environmentally widespread NOB genus “ Candidatus Nitrotoga” and performed a detailed physiological and genomic characterization of this organism (“ Candidatus Nitrotoga fabula”). Differences between key phenotypic properties of “ Ca . Nitrotoga fabula” and those of previously enriched “ Ca . Nitrotoga” members reveal an unexpectedly broad range of physiological adaptations in this genus. Moreover, genes encoding components of energy metabolisms outside nitrification suggest that “ Ca . Nitrotoga” are ecologically more flexible than previously anticipated. The identification of a novel nitrite-oxidizing enzyme in “ Ca . Nitrotoga fabula” expands our picture of the evolutionary history of nitrification and might lead to discoveries of novel nitrite oxidizers. Altogether, this study provides urgently needed insights into the biology of understudied but environmentally and biotechnologically important microorganisms.

Cultivation and characterization of Candidatus Nitrosocosmicus exaquare, an ammonia-oxidizing archaeon from a municipal wastewater treatment system

Citation
Sauder et al. (2017). The ISME Journal 11 (5)
Names
Ca. Nitrosocosmicus exaquare
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics Microbiology
Abstract
AbstractThaumarchaeota have been detected in several industrial and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), despite the fact that ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are thought to be adapted to low ammonia environments. However, the activity, physiology and metabolism of WWTP-associated AOA remain poorly understood. We report the cultivation and complete genome sequence of Candidatus Nitrosocosmicus exaquare, a novel AOA representative from a municipal WWTP in Guelph, Ontario (Canada). In enrichment culture, Ca. N. exaquare oxidizes ammonia to nitrite stoichiometrically, is mesophilic, and tolerates at least 15 mm of ammonium chloride or sodium nitrite. Microautoradiography (MAR) for enrichment cultures demonstrates that Ca. N. exaquare assimilates bicarbonate in association with ammonia oxidation. However, despite using inorganic carbon, the ammonia-oxidizing activity of Ca. N. exaquare is greatly stimulated in enrichment culture by the addition of organic compounds, especially malate and succinate. Ca. N. exaquare cells are coccoid with a diameter of ~1–2 μm. Phylogenetically, Ca. N. exaquare belongs to the Nitrososphaera sister cluster within the Group I.1b Thaumarchaeota, a lineage which includes most other reported AOA sequences from municipal and industrial WWTPs. The 2.99 Mbp genome of Ca. N. exaquare encodes pathways for ammonia oxidation, bicarbonate fixation, and urea transport and breakdown. In addition, this genome encodes several key genes for dealing with oxidative stress, including peroxidase and catalase. Incubations of WWTP biofilm demonstrate partial inhibition of ammonia-oxidizing activity by 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide (PTIO), suggesting that Ca. N. exaquare-like AOA may contribute to nitrification in situ. However, CARD-FISH-MAR showed no incorporation of bicarbonate by detected Thaumarchaeaota, suggesting that detected AOA may incorporate non-bicarbonate carbon sources or rely on an alternative and yet unknown metabolism.