Bacterial cells can vary greatly in size, from a few hundred nanometers to hundreds of micrometers in diameter. Filamentous cable bacteria also display substantial size differences, with filament diameters ranging from 0.4 to 8 µm. We analyzed the genomes of cable bacterium filaments from 11 coastal environments of which the resulting 23 new genomes represent 10 novel species-level clades of
Electrothrix and two clades that putatively represent novel genus-level diversity. Fluorescence
hybridization with a species-level probe showed that large-sized cable bacteria belong to a novel species with the proposed name
. Electrothrix gigas. Comparative genome analysis suggests genes that play a role in the construction or functioning of large cable bacteria cells: the genomes of
. Electrothrix gigas encode a novel actin-like protein as well as a species-specific gene cluster encoding four putative pilin proteins and a putative type II secretion platform protein, which are not present in other cable bacteria. The novel actin-like protein was also found in a number of other giant bacteria, suggesting there could be a genetic basis for large cell size. This actin-like protein (denoted big bacteria protein, Bbp) may have a function analogous to other actin proteins in cell structure or intracellular transport. We contend that Bbp may help overcome the challenges of diffusion limitation and/or morphological complexity presented by the large cells of
. Electrothrix gigas and other giant bacteria.
In this study, we substantially expand the known diversity of marine cable bacteria and describe cable bacteria with a large diameter as a novel species with the proposed name
Electrothrix gigas. In the genomes of this species, we identified a gene that encodes a novel actin-like protein [denoted big bacteria protein (Bbp)]. The
gene was also found in a number of other giant bacteria, predominantly affiliated to Desulfobacterota and Gammaproteobacteria, indicating that there may be a genetic basis for large cell size. Thus far, mostly structural adaptations of giant bacteria, vacuoles, and other inclusions or organelles have been observed, which are employed to overcome nutrient diffusion limitation in their environment. In analogy to other actin proteins, Bbp could fulfill a structural role in the cell or potentially facilitate intracellular transport.
British Columbia (BC) is the lead producer of sweet cherries in Canada with more than 2,000 ha in production and a farm gate value of over CAD$100 million annually. Since 2010, an outbreak of little cherry disease caused by Little cherry virus 1 (LChV1) and Little cherry virus 2 (LChV2), as well as X-disease (XD) caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni’ has caused significant economic losses in neighboring Washington State (WA), USA. LChV1 and LChV2 have long been known to occur in BC (Theilmann et al. 2002); however, ‘Ca. P. pruni’ has not yet been reported in BC. Due to its geographical proximity to WA State, the BC cherry industry expressed significant concerns about the possible presence of the phytoplasma in cherry orchards. Accordingly, the main objective of this study was to survey cherry orchards to determine whether ‘Ca. P. pruni’ was present in symptomatic trees in BC. A total of 118 samples of leaves and fruit stems from individual symptomatic trees were collected prior to harvest from nine cherry orchards and one nectarine orchard in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys in BC. Characteristic symptoms included small and misshapen fruit with poor color development. Samples were submitted to AGNEMA, LLC (Pasco, WA) for testing using qPCR TaqMan assays for LChV1 (Katsiani et al. 2018), LChV2 (Shires et al. 2022) and ‘Ca. P. pruni’ (Kogej et al. 2020). Test results showed 21 samples (17.8%) from three cherry orchards positive for LChV2 and 2 samples (1.7%) from one cherry orchard positive for ‘Ca. P. pruni’. In order to confirm the identification of ‘Ca. P. pruni’, part of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene was amplified by nested PCR using the P1/P7 followed by R16F2n/R2 primer sets (Gundersen and Lee 1996) and Sanger sequenced. BC-XD-Pa-1 (GenBank Acc. No. OR539920) and BC-XD-Pa-2 (OR537699) were identical to one another and showed 99.92% identity to the ‘Ca. P. pruni’ reference strain CX-95 (JQ044397). Analysis using iPhyClassifier (Zhou et al. 2009) indicated that they were 16SrIII-A strains. Interestingly, the two partial 16S sequences showed 100% nucleotide identity to strain 10324 (MH810016) and others from WA. For additional confirmation, partial secA (Hodgetts et al. 2008) and secY (Lee et al. 2010) translocases were amplified and sequenced. As with the 16S sequences, secY sequences (OR542980, OR542981) showed 99.92% nucleotide identity to strain CX-95 (JQ268249), and 100% to strain 10324 (MH810035). The secA sequences (OR542978, OR542979) had nucleotide identities of 99.77% to strain CX (MW547067), and 100% to the Green Valley strain from California (EU168733). Accordingly, ‘Ca. P. Pruni’ was confirmed to be present in sweet cherry samples from BC. ‘Ca. P. Pruni’-related strains have been previously reported to occur in Canada in commercial poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) (Arocha-Rosete et al. 2021). To our knowledge, this is the first report of ‘Ca. P. Pruni’ in sweet cherry in Canada. Due to the important economic value of sweet cherries in BC, these findings are highly significant and represent the first steps towards the development of a surveillance system for early detection of XD, and consequent implementation of management strategies, including vector control. As required by federal and provincial regulations, cherry trees infected with LChV2 and ‘Ca. P. Pruni’ found in the survey were removed by the growers.
Autophagy plays an important role against pathogen infection in many organisms; however, little has been done with regard to vector-borne plant and animal pathogens, that sometimes replicate and cause deleterious effects in their vectors.
Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) is a fastidious gram-negative phloem-restricted plant pathogen and vectored by the carrot psyllid,
. The plant disease caused by this bacterium is called carrot yellows and has recently gained much importance due to worldwide excessive economical losses. Here, we demonstrate that calcium ATPase, cytosolic calcium, and most importantly Beclin-1 have a role in regulating autophagy and its association with Liberibacter inside the psyllid. The presence of CLso generates reactive oxygen species and induces the expression of detoxification enzymes in the psyllid midguts, a main site for bacteria transmission. CLso also induces the expression of both sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+pump (SERCA) and 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (ITPR) in midguts, resulting in high levels of calcium in the cellular cytosol. Silencing these genes individually disrupted the calcium levels in the cytosol and resulted in direct effects on autophagy and subsequently on Liberibacter persistence and transmission. Inhibiting Beclin1-phosphorylation through different calcium-induced kinases altered the expression of autophagy and CLso titers and persistence. Based on our results obtained from the midgut, we suggest the existence of a direct correlation between cytosolic calcium levels, autophagy, and CLso persistence and transmission by the carrot psyllid.
Plant diseases caused by vector-borne Liberibacter species are responsible for the most important economic losses in many agricultural sectors. Preventing these diseases relies mostly on chemical sprays against the insect vectors. Knowledge-based interference with the bacteria-vector interaction remains a promising approach as a sustainable solution. For unravelling how Liberibacter exploits molecular pathways in its insect vector for transmission, here, we show that the bacterium manipulates calcium levels on both sides of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, resulting in manipulating autophagy. Silencing genes associated with these pathways disrupted the calcium levels in the cytosol and resulted in direct effects on autophagy and Liberibacter transmission. These results demonstrate major pathways that could be exploited for manipulating and controlling the disease transmission.
AbstractPhotosynthesis is a fundamental biogeochemical process, thought to be restricted to a few bacterial and eukaryotic phyla. However, understanding the origin and evolution of phototrophic organisms can be impeded and biased by the difficulties of cultivation. Here, we analyzed metagenomic datasets and found potential photosynthetic abilities encoded in the genomes of uncultivated bacteria within the phylum Myxococcota. A putative photosynthesis gene cluster encoding a type-II reaction center appears in at least six Myxococcota families from three classes, suggesting vertical inheritance of these genes from an early common ancestor, with multiple independent losses in other lineages. Analysis of metatranscriptomic datasets indicate that the putative myxococcotal photosynthesis genes are actively expressed in various natural environments. Furthermore, heterologous expression of myxococcotal pigment biosynthesis genes in a purple bacterium supports that the genes can drive photosynthetic processes. Given that predatory abilities are thought to be widespread across Myxococcota, our results suggest the intriguing possibility of a chimeric lifestyle (combining predatory and photosynthetic abilities) in members of this phylum.
Highly purified cultures of alkaliphilic aceticlastic methanogens were collected for the first time using methanogenic enrichments with acetate from a soda lake and a terrestrial mud volcano. The cells of two strains were non-motile rods forming filaments. The mud volcano strain M04Ac was alkalitolerant, with the pH range for growth from 7.5 to 10.0 (optimum at 9.0), while the soda lake strain Mx was an obligate alkaliphile growing in the pH range 7.7–10.2 (optimum 9.3–9.5) in the presence of optimally 0.2–0.3 M total Na+. Genomes of both strains encoded all enzymes required for aceticlastic methanogenesis and different mechanisms of (halo)alkaline adaptations, including ectoine biosynthesis, which is the first evidence for the formation of this osmoprotectant in archaea. According to 16S rRNA gene phylogeny, the strains possessed 98.3–98.9% sequence identity and belonged to the obligately aceticlastic genus Methanothrix with M. harundinaceae as the most closely related species. However, a more advanced phylogenomic reconstruction based on 122 conserved single-copy archaeal protein-coding marker genes clearly indicated a polyphyletic origin of the species included in the genus Methanothrix. We propose to reclassify Methanothrix harrundinacea (type strain 8AcT) into a new genus, Methanocrinis gen. nov., with the type species Methanocrinis harrundinaceus comb. nov. We also propose under SeqCode the complete genome sequences of strain MxTs (GCA_029167045.1) and strain M04AcTs (GCA_029167205.1) as nomenclatural types of Methanocrinis natronophilus sp. nov. and Methanocrinis alkalitolerans sp. nov., respectively, which represent other species of the novel genus. This work demonstrates that the low energy aceticlastic methanogenesis may function at extreme conditions present in (halo)alkaline habitats.
AbstractPlant pathogens can alter the behavior of their insect vectors as well as their survival and reproduction. The African psyllid, Trioza erytreae, is one of the vectors of Huanglongbing, a citrus disease caused mainly by “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas). The purpose of this study was to characterize the effects of CLas on the psyllid, T. erytreae using Citrus volkamerina plants as the study system. The study focused more specifically on the CLas effects prior to and after its acquisition by the psyllid T. erytreae. Our results did not support the hypothesis that CLas effects psyllid probing behavior prior to acquisition; few differences were observed between uninfected T. erytrea feeding on CLas‐infected versus control plants. On the other hand, compared to psyllids that had completed their development on control plants, the ones that had completed their development on a CLas‐infected plant exhibited changes in their behavior (greater velocity), physiology (smaller mass) and biochemistry (lower water and lipid content). Altogether, our results confirm the existence of a marked postacquisition effect on the vector locomotor behavior and a minor preacquisition effect of CLas on the vector behavior, which can be partially explained by physiological and biochemical changes.
AbstractHuanglongbing (HLB, or citrus greening disease) affects all citrus varieties world-wide. In the USA, Asia, and South America the causal agent is “CandidatusLiberibacter asiaticus” (CLas), a phloem-limited, uncultured, alphaproteobacterium. The hemipteran insect vector,Diaphorina citri(Asian citrus psyllid) acquires and transmitsCLas in a circulative, propagative manner. In addition toCLas,D. citrihosts multiple symbiotic bacteria includingWolbachia(wDi). InD. citri, wDi has been sequenced and studied but specific roles inD. citribiology are unknown. Using well established quantitative PCR methods we measuredCLas titer inD. citricollected from four groves in central Florida with distinct HLB management strategies and tested whetherCLas and wDi titer were correlated in a sub-set of these insects. Grove site had the largest effect onCLas titer. Sex had no effect onCLas titer, while higher wDi titer was correlated withCLas-uninfected insects. Our results suggest that more directed follow-up research is necessary and important to clarify whether field management tactics influenceCLas titer inD. citriand to better understand gene-by-environment interactions amongD. citri, wDi andCLas. Now that millions of trees in Florida have been treated with injectable formulations of oxytetracycline, which is likely to decrease bacterial populations inD. citri, this study may represent the last biologically meaningful snapshot of grove-level vector-pathogen ecology in the state during the HLB epidemic.
Phytoplasmas are phloem-limited plant pathogens, such as sugarcane white leaf (SCWL) phytoplasma, which are responsible for heavy economic losses to the sugarcane industry. Characterization of phytoplasmas has been limited because they cannot be cultured in vitro. However, with the advent of genome sequencing, different aspects of phytoplasmas are being investigated. In this study, we developed a DNA enrichment method for sugarcane white leaf (SCWL) phytoplasma, evaluated the effect of DNA enrichment via Illumina sequencing technologies, and utilized Illumina and Nanopore sequencing technologies to obtain the complete genome sequence of the “Candidatus Phytoplasma sacchari” isolate SCWL1 that is associated with sugarcane white leaf in China. Illumina sequencing analysis elucidated that only 1.21% of the sequencing reads from total leaf DNA were mapped to the SCWL1 genome, whereas 40.97% of the sequencing reads from the enriched DNA were mapped to the SCWL1 genome. The genome of isolate SCWL1 consists of a 538,951 bp and 2976 bp long circular chromosome and plasmid, respectively. We identified 459 protein-encoding genes, 2 complete 5S-23S-16S rRNA gene operons, 27 tRNA genes, and an incomplete potential mobile unit (PMU) in the circular chromosome. Phylogenetic analyses and average nucleotide identity (ANI) and digital DNA–DNA hybridization (dDDH) values based on the sequenced genome revealed that SCWL phytoplasma and sugarcane grassy shoot (SCGS) phytoplasma belonged to the same phytoplasma species. This study provides a genomic DNA enrichment method for phytoplasma sequencing. Moreover, we report the first complete genome of a “Ca. Phytoplasma sacchari” isolate, thus contributing to future studies on the evolutionary relationships and pathogenic mechanisms of “Ca. Phytoplasma sacchari” isolates.