AbstractThe order Holosporales (Alphaproteobacteria) encompasses obligate intracellular bacterial symbionts of diverse Eukaryotes. These bacteria have highly streamlined genomes and can have negative fitness effects on the host. Herein, we present a comparative analysis of the first genome sequences of ‘Ca. Hepatincola porcellionum’, a facultative symbiont occurring extracellularly in the midgut glands of terrestrial isopods. Using a combination of long-read and short-read sequencing, we obtained the complete circular genomes of two Hepatincola strains and an additional metagenome-assembled draft genome. Phylogenomic analysis validated its phylogenetic position as an early-branching family-level clade relative to all other established Holosporales families associated with protists. A 16S rRNA gene survey revealed that this new family encompasses diverse bacteria associated with both marine and terrestrial host species, which expands the host range of Holosporales bacteria from protists to several phyla of the Ecdysozoa (Arthropoda and Priapulida). Hepatincola has a highly streamlined genome with reduced metabolic and biosynthetic capacities as well as a large repertoire of transmembrane transporters. This suggests that this symbiont is rather a nutrient scavenger than a nutrient provider for the host, likely benefitting from a nutrient-rich environment to import all necessary metabolites and precursors. Hepatincola further possesses a different set of bacterial secretion systems compared to protist-associated Holosporales, suggesting different host-symbiont interactions depending on the host organism.
Understanding vector dispersal capacity is key to assessing the risk of spread of vector borne pathogens. For flying vectors, flight performance is associated with primary and secondary pathogen spread. However, because pathogens induce changes in vector physiology, pathogen status in the vector may impact vector dispersal. In this work, by using flight mills, we assessed the flight performance of Bactericera cockerellithat were infected or not by the plant pathogenic bacterium ‘CandidatusLiberibacter solanacearum’ (CLso), the causal agent of potato zebra chip disease and vein greening in tomato. Bactericera cockerelliperformed short and long-distance flights, but CLso infection status affected the propensity to engage in long flights. CLso-free insects engaged in long flights significantly more often (57%) compared to CLso infected insects (25%). Average distance dispersed for long flyers was 185.33 m for CLso-free insects and 122.99 m for insects infected with CLso. However, distance dispersed was not statistically different by pathogen status of the vector. Maximal flight capacity recorded was 980 m. Overall, our data suggest that CLso reduces the propensity to engage in long distance flights. Our results can be utilized to fine-tune strategies to mitigate CLso establishment in new areas.
AbstractThiovulum spp. (Campylobacterota) are large sulfur bacteria that form veil-like structures in aquatic environments. The sulfidic Movile Cave (Romania), sealed from the atmosphere for ~5 million years, has several aqueous chambers, some with low atmospheric O2 (~7%). The cave’s surface-water microbial community is dominated by bacteria we identified as Thiovulum. We show that this strain, and others from subsurface environments, are phylogenetically distinct from marine Thiovulum. We assembled a closed genome of the Movile strain and confirmed its metabolism using RNAseq. We compared the genome of this strain and one we assembled from public data from the sulfidic Frasassi caves to four marine genomes, including Candidatus Thiovulum karukerense and Ca. T. imperiosus, whose genomes we sequenced. Despite great spatial and temporal separation, the genomes of the Movile and Frasassi Thiovulum were highly similar, differing greatly from the very diverse marine strains. We concluded that cave Thiovulum represent a new species, named here Candidatus Thiovulum stygium. Based on their genomes, cave Thiovulum can switch between aerobic and anaerobic sulfide oxidation using O2 and NO3- as electron acceptors, the latter likely via dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonia. Thus, Thiovulum is likely important to both S and N cycles in sulfidic caves. Electron microscopy analysis suggests that at least some of the short peritrichous structures typical of Thiovulum are type IV pili, for which genes were found in all strains. These pili may play a role in veil formation, by connecting adjacent cells, and in the motility of these exceptionally fast swimmers.
Anaerobic ammon ium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria oxidize ammonium and reduce nitrite, producing N2, and could play a major role in energy-optimized wastewater treatment. However, sensitivity to various environmental conditions and slow growth currently hinder their wide application. Here, we attempted to determine online the effect of environmental stresses on anammox bacteria by using an overnight batch activity test with whole cells, in which anammox activity was calculated by quantifying N2 production via headspace-pressure monitoring. A planktonic mixed culture dominated by “Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis” strain CSTR1 was cultivated in a 30-L semi-continuous stirring tank reactor. In overnight resting-cell anammox activity tests, oxygen caused strong inhibition of anammox activity, which was reversed by sodium sulfite (30 µM). The tested antibiotics sulfamethoxazole, kanamycin, and ciprofloxacin elicited their effect on a dose-dependent manner; however, strain CSTR1 was highly resistant to sulfamethoxazole. Anammox activity was improved by activated carbon and Fe2O3. Protein expression analysis from resting cells after anammox activity stimulation revealed that NapC/NirT family cytochrome c (KsCSTR_12840), hydrazine synthase, hydrazine dehydrogenase, hydroxylamine oxidase, and nitrate:nitrite oxidoreductase were upregulated, while a putative hydroxylamine oxidoreductase HAO (KsCSTR_49490) was downregulated. These findings contribute to the growing knowledge on anammox bacteria physiology, eventually leading to the control of anammox bacteria growth and activity in real-world application.
• Sulfite additions can reverse oxygen inhibition of the anammox process
• Anammox activity was improved by activated carbon and ferric oxide
• Sulfamethoxazole marginally affected anammox activity