AbstractMarine bacterial lineages associated with algal blooms, such as the Roseobacter clade, have been well characterized in ecological and genomic contexts, yet such lineages have rarely been explored in freshwater blooms. This study performed phenotypic and genomic analyses of an alphaproteobacterial lineage ‘Candidatus Phycosocius’ (denoted the CaP clade), one of the few lineages ubiquitously associated with freshwater algal blooms, and described a novel species: ‘Ca. Phycosocius spiralis.’ Phylogenomic analyses indicated that the CaP clade is a deeply branching lineage in the Caulobacterales. Pangenome analyses revealed characteristic features of the CaP clade: aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis and essential vitamin B auxotrophy. Genome size varies widely among members of the CaP clade (2.5–3.7 Mb), likely a result of independent genome reductions at each lineage. This includes a loss of tight adherence pilus genes (tad) in ‘Ca. P. spiralis’ that may reflect its adoption of a unique spiral cell shape and corkscrew-like burrowing activity at the algal surface. Notably, quorum sensing (QS) proteins showed incongruent phylogenies, suggesting that horizontal transfers of QS genes and QS-involved interactions with specific algal partners might drive CaP clade diversification. This study elucidates the ecophysiology and evolution of proteobacteria associated with freshwater algal blooms.
Phycosocius bacilliformis” is an alphaproteobacterial ectosymbiont of the hydrocarbon-producing green alga
. We sequenced the whole genome of “
P. bacilliformis” BOTRYCO-2, isolated from a two-membered culture with
. The genome contains approximately 3.3 Mb, with an average G+C content of 56.91% and 3,125 predicted protein-coding genes.