Wagner, Michael


Publications (21)

Genomic insights into diverse bacterial taxa that degrade extracellular DNA in marine sediments

Citation
Wasmund et al. (2021). Nature Microbiology 6 (7)
Names
Ca. Izemoplasmatales Ca. Izemoplasma Ca. Izemoplasma acidinucleici
Subjects
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Cell Biology Genetics Immunology Microbiology Microbiology (medical)
Abstract
AbstractExtracellular DNA is a major macromolecule in global element cycles, and is a particularly crucial phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon source for microorganisms in the seafloor. Nevertheless, the identities, ecophysiology and genetic features of DNA-foraging microorganisms in marine sediments are largely unknown. Here, we combined microcosm experiments, DNA stable isotope probing (SIP), single-cell SIP using nano-scale secondary isotope mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and genome-centric metagenomics to study microbial catabolism of DNA and its subcomponents in marine sediments. 13C-DNA added to sediment microcosms was largely degraded within 10 d and mineralized to 13CO2. SIP probing of DNA revealed diverse ‘Candidatus Izemoplasma’, Lutibacter, Shewanella and Fusibacteraceae incorporated DNA-derived 13C-carbon. NanoSIMS confirmed incorporation of 13C into individual bacterial cells of Fusibacteraceae sorted from microcosms. Genomes of the 13C-labelled taxa all encoded enzymatic repertoires for catabolism of DNA or subcomponents of DNA. Comparative genomics indicated that diverse ‘Candidatus Izemoplasmatales’ (former Tenericutes) are exceptional because they encode multiple (up to five) predicted extracellular nucleases and are probably specialized DNA-degraders. Analyses of additional sediment metagenomes revealed extracellular nuclease genes are prevalent among Bacteroidota at diverse sites. Together, our results reveal the identities and functional properties of microorganisms that may contribute to the key ecosystem function of degrading and recycling DNA in the seabed.

Proposal to reclassify the proteobacterial classes Deltaproteobacteria and Oligoflexia, and the phylum Thermodesulfobacteria into four phyla reflecting major functional capabilities

Citation
Waite et al. (2020). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 70 (11)
Names
Ca. Adiutrix Ca. Adiutricaceae Ca. Magnetomoraceae Ca. Magnetomorum Ca. Desulfobacterota Ca. Desulfofervidia Ca. Desulfofervidus Ca. Desulfofervidaceae Ca. Desulfofervidales
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Abstract
The class Deltaproteobacteria comprises an ecologically and metabolically diverse group of bacteria best known for dissimilatory sulphate reduction and predatory behaviour. Although this lineage is the fourth described class of the phylum Proteobacteria , it rarely affiliates with other proteobacterial classes and is frequently not recovered as a monophyletic unit in phylogenetic analyses. Indeed, one branch of the class Deltaproteobacteria encompassing Bdellovibrio-like predators was recently reclassified into a separate proteobacterial class, the Oligoflexia . Here we systematically explore the phylogeny of taxa currently assigned to these classes using 120 conserved single-copy marker genes as well as rRNA genes. The overwhelming majority of markers reject the inclusion of the classes Deltaproteobacteria and Oligoflexia in the phylum Proteobacteria . Instead, the great majority of currently recognized members of the class Deltaproteobacteria are better classified into four novel phylum-level lineages. We propose the names Desulfobacterota phyl. nov. and Myxococcota phyl. nov. for two of these phyla, based on the oldest validly published names in each lineage, and retain the placeholder name SAR324 for the third phylum pending formal description of type material. Members of the class Oligoflexia represent a separate phylum for which we propose the name Bdellovibrionota phyl. nov. based on priority in the literature and general recognition of the genus Bdellovibrio. Desulfobacterota phyl. nov. includes the taxa previously classified in the phylum Thermodesulfobacteria , and these reclassifications imply that the ability of sulphate reduction was vertically inherited in the Thermodesulfobacteria rather than laterally acquired as previously inferred. Our analysis also indicates the independent acquisition of predatory behaviour in the phyla Myxococcota and Bdellovibrionota, which is consistent with their distinct modes of action. This work represents a stable reclassification of one of the most taxonomically challenging areas of the bacterial tree and provides a robust framework for future ecological and systematic studies.

Membrane Lipid Composition of the Moderately Thermophilic Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaeon “ Candidatus Nitrosotenuis uzonensis” at Different Growth Temperatures

Citation
Bale et al. (2019). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 85 (20)
Names
Ca. Nitrosotenuis uzonensis
Subjects
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Biotechnology Ecology Food Science
Abstract
For Thaumarchaeota , the ratio of their glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids depends on growth temperature, a premise that forms the basis of the widely applied TEX 86 paleotemperature proxy. A thorough understanding of which GDGTs are produced by which Thaumarchaeota and what the effect of temperature is on their GDGT composition is essential for constraining the TEX 86 proxy. “ Ca . Nitrosotenuis uzonensis” is a moderately thermophilic thaumarchaeote enriched from a thermal spring, setting it apart in its environmental niche from the other marine mesophilic members of its order. Indeed, we found that the GDGT composition of “ Ca . Nitrosotenuis uzonensis” cultures was distinct from those of other members of its order and was more similar to those of other thermophilic, terrestrial Thaumarchaeota . This suggests that while phylogeny has a strong influence on GDGT distribution, the environmental niche that a thaumarchaeote inhabits also shapes its GDGT composition.

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 (>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 genomic analysis ofCandidatusNitrosocaldus islandicus, a novel obligately thermophilic ammonia-oxidizingThaumarchaeon

Citation
Daebeler et al. [posted content, 2017]
Names
Ca. Nitrosocaldus islandicus
Abstract
AbstractAmmonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) within the phylumThaumarchaeaare the only known aerobic ammonia oxidizers in geothermal environments. Although molecular data indicate the presence of phylogenetically diverse AOA from theNitrosocaldusclade, group 1.1b and group 1.1aThaumarchaeain terrestrial high-temperature habitats, only one enrichment culture of an AOA thriving above 50 °C has been reported and functionally analyzed. In this study, we physiologically and genomically characterized a novelThaumarchaeonfrom the deep-branchingNitrosocaldaceaefamily of which we have obtained a high (∼85 %) enrichment from biofilm of an Icelandic hot spring (73 °C). This AOA, which we provisionally refer to as “CandidatusNitrosocaldus islandicus”, is an obligately thermophilic, aerobic chemolithoautotrophic ammonia oxidizer, which stoichiometrically converts ammonia to nitrite at temperatures between 50 °C and 70 °C.Ca.N. islandicus encodes the expected repertoire of enzymes proposed to be required for archaeal ammonia oxidation, but unexpectedly lacks anirKgene and also possesses no identifiable other enzyme for nitric oxide (NO) generation. Nevertheless, ammonia oxidation by this AOA appears to be NO-dependent asCa.N. islandicus is, like all other tested AOA, inhibited by the addition of an NO scavenger. Furthermore, comparative genomics revealed thatCa.N. islandicus has the potential for aromatic amino acid fermentation as its genome encodes an indolepyruvate oxidoreductase(iorAB)as well as a type 3b hydrogenase, which are not present in any other sequenced AOA. A further surprising genomic feature of this thermophilic ammonia oxidizer is the absence of DNA polymerase D genes - one of the predominant replicative DNA polymerases in all other ammonia-oxidizingThaumarchaea.Collectively, our findings suggest that metabolic versatility and DNA replication might differ substantially between obligately thermophilic and other AOA.

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.