Bathyarchaeia are widespread in various anoxic ecosystems and are considered one of the most abundant microbial groups on the earth. There are only a few reports of laboratory cultivation of Bathyarchaeia, and none of the representatives of this class has been isolated in pure culture. Here, we report a sustainable cultivation of the Bathyarchaeia archaeon (strain M17CTs) enriched from anaerobic sediment of a coastal lake. The cells of strain M17CTs were small non-motile cocci, 0.4–0.7 μm in diameter. The cytoplasmic membrane was surrounded by an S-layer and covered with an outermost electron-dense sheath. Strain M17CTs is strictly anaerobic mesophile. It grows at 10–45°C (optimum 37°C), at pH 6.0–10.0 (optimum 8.0), and at NaCl concentrations of 0–60 g l−1 (optimum 20 g l−1). Growth occurred in the presence of methoxylated aromatic compounds (3,4-dimethoxybenzoate and vanillate) together with complex proteinaceous substrates. Dimethyl sulfoxide and nitrate stimulated growth. The phylogenomic analysis placed strain M17CTs to BIN-L-1 genus-level lineage from the BA1 family-level lineage and B26-1 order-level lineage (former subgroup-8) within the class Bathyarchaeia. The complete genome of strain M17CTs had a size of 2.15 Mb with a DNA G + C content of 38.1%. Based on phylogenomic position and phenotypic and genomic properties, we propose to assign strain M17CTs to a new species of a novel genus Bathyarchaeum tardum gen. nov., sp. nov. within the class Bathyarchaeia. This is the first sustainably cultivated representative of Bathyarchaeia. We propose under SeqCode the complete genome sequence of strain M17CTs (CP122380) as a nomenclatural type of Bathyarchaeum tardum, which should be considered as a type for the genus Bathyarchaeum, which is proposed as a type for the family Bathyarchaeaceae, order Bathyarchaeales, and of the class Bathyarchaeia.
‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ (stolbur phytoplasma) is associated with rubbery taproot disease (RTD) of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), while Macrophomina phaseolina is considered the most important root rot pathogen of this plant in Serbia. The high prevalence of M. phaseolina root rot reported on sugar beet in Serbia, unmatched elsewhere in the world, coupled with the notorious tendency of RTD-affected sugar beet to rot, has prompted research into the relationship between the two diseases. This study investigates the correlation between the occurrence of sugar beet RTD and the presence of root rot fungal pathogens in a semi-field ‘Ca. P. solani’ transmission experiment with the cixiid vector Reptalus quinquecostatus (Dufour), in addition to naturally infected sugar beet in the open field. Our results showed that: (i) Reptalus quinquecostatus transmitted ‘Ca. P. solani’ to sugar beet which induced typical RTD root symptoms; (ii) Macrophomina phaseolina root rot was exclusively present in ‘Ca. P. solani’-infected sugar beet in both the semi-field experiment and naturally infected sugar beet; and that (iii) even under environmental conditions favorable to the pathogen, M. phaseolina did not infect sugar beet, unless the plants had been previously infected with phytoplasma.
Huanglongbing (HLB) is a global devastating citrus disease that is mainly caused by “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas). It is mostly transmitted by the insect Asian citrus psyllid (ACP, Diaphorina citri) in a persistent and proliferative manner. CLas traverses multiple barriers to complete an infection cycle and is likely involved in multiple interactions with D. citri. However, the protein–protein interactions between CLas and D. citri are largely unknown. Here, we report on a vitellogenin-like protein (Vg_VWD) in D. citri that interacts with a CLas flagellum (flaA) protein. We found that Vg_VWD was upregulated in CLas-infected D. citri. Silencing of Vg_VWD in D. citri via RNAi silencing significantly increased the CLas titer, suggesting that Vg_VWD plays an important role in the CLas–D. citri interaction. Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression assays indicated that Vg_VWD inhibits BAX- and INF1-triggered necrosis and suppresses the callose deposition induced by flaA in Nicotiana benthamiana. These findings provide new insights into the molecular interaction between CLas and D. citri.
Production of organic molecules is largely depending on fossil fuels. A sustainable alternative would be the synthesis of these compounds from CO2 and a cheap energy source, such as H2, CH4, NH3, CO, sulfur compounds or iron(II). Volcanic and geothermal areas are rich in CO2 and reduced inorganic gasses and therefore habitats where novel chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms for the synthesis of organic compounds could be discovered. Here we describe “Candidatus Hydrogenisulfobacillus filiaventi” R50 gen. nov., sp. nov., a thermoacidophilic, autotrophic H2-oxidizing microorganism, that fixed CO2 and excreted no less than 0.54 mol organic carbon per mole fixed CO2. Extensive metabolomics and NMR analyses revealed that Val, Ala and Ile are the most dominant form of excreted organic carbon while the aromatic amino acids Tyr and Phe, and Glu and Lys were present at much lower concentrations. In addition to these proteinogenic amino acids, the excreted carbon consisted of homoserine lactone, homoserine and an unidentified amino acid. The biological role of the excretion remains uncertain. In the laboratory, we noticed the production under high growth rates (0.034 h−1, doubling time of 20 h) in combination with O2-limitation, which will most likely not occur in the natural habitat of this strain. Nevertheless, this large production of extracellular organic molecules from CO2 may open possibilities to use chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms for the sustainable production of important biomolecules.
Cable bacteria are centimeters-long filamentous bacteria that oxidize sulfide in anoxic sediment layers and reduce oxygen at the oxic-anoxic interface, connecting these reactions via electron transport. The ubiquitous cable bacteria have a major impact on sediment geochemistry and microbial communities. This includes diverse bacteria swimming around cable bacteria as dense flocks in the anoxic zone, where the cable bacteria act as chemotactic attractant. We hypothesized that flocking only appears when cable bacteria are highly abundant and active. We set out to discern the timing and drivers of flocking over 81 days in an enrichment culture of the freshwater cable bacterium Candidatus Electronema aureum GS by measuring sediment microprofiles of pH, oxygen, and electric potential as a proxy of cable bacteria activity. Cable bacterial relative abundance was quantified by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, and microscopy observations to determine presence of flocking. Flocking was always observed at some cable bacteria, irrespective of overall cable bacteria rRNA abundance, activity, or sediment pH. Diverse cell morphologies of flockers were observed, suggesting that flocking is not restricted to a specific, single bacterial associate. This, coupled with their consistent presence supports a common mechanism of interaction, likely interspecies electron transfer via electron shuttles. Flocking appears exclusively linked to the electron conducting activity of the individual cable bacteria.
Terrestrial hydrothermal springs and aquifers are excellent sites to study microbial biogeography because of their high physicochemical heterogeneity across relatively limited geographic regions. In this study, we performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing and metagenomic analyses of the microbial diversity of 11 different geothermal aquifers and springs across the tectonically active Biga Peninsula (Turkey). Across geothermal settings ranging in temperature from 43 to 79°C, one of the most highly represented groups in both 16S rRNA gene and metagenomic datasets was affiliated with the uncultivated phylum “Candidatus Bipolaricaulota” (former “Ca. Acetothermia” and OP1 division). The highest relative abundance of “Ca. Bipolaricaulota” was observed in a 68°C geothermal brine sediment, where it dominated the microbial community, representing 91% of all detectable 16S rRNA genes. Correlation analysis of “Ca. Bipolaricaulota” operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with physicochemical parameters indicated that salinity was the strongest environmental factor measured associated with the distribution of this novel group in geothermal fluids. Correspondingly, analysis of 23 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) revealed two distinct groups of “Ca. Bipolaricaulota” MAGs based on the differences in carbon metabolism: one group encoding the bacterial Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (WLP) for H2 dependent CO2 fixation is selected for at lower salinities, and a second heterotrophic clade that lacks the WLP that was selected for under hypersaline conditions in the geothermal brine sediment. In conclusion, our results highlight that the biogeography of “Ca. Bipolaricaulota” taxa is strongly correlated with salinity in hydrothermal ecosystems, which coincides with key differences in carbon acquisition strategies. The exceptionally high relative abundance of apparently heterotrophic representatives of this novel candidate Phylum in geothermal brine sediment observed here may help to guide future enrichment experiments to obtain representatives in pure culture.
Endosymbionts play crucial roles in various physiological activities within insect hosts. The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is an important vector for Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), a fatal pathogenic bacterial agent causing the disease Huanglongbing in the citrus industry. This study combines high-throughput sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA amplicons to explore how CLas affects the bacterial community in different color morphs (blue, gray), genders, and tissues (cuticle, gut, mycetome, Malpighian tubule, ovary, and testis) of ACP. We found that there was no significant differences in the bacterial community diversity and CLas acquired ratio between the different color morphs and genders of ACP adults. However, acquiring CLas could promote the adult bacterial community’s diversity and richness more than in the uninfected condition. The presence of CLas could increase the Wolbachia and unclassified_Enterobacteriaceae proportions more than in the uninfected condition. The bacterial community diversity in the CLas infected tissues of ovary and cuticle, was lower than the uninfected condition, but the richness of all tissues was not different between the infected and uninfected conditions. CLas could also change the bacterial structure in different tissues and make the bacterial relationship network simpler than it is in an uninfected condition. Furthermore, we used quantitative real-time PCR to assess the dynamic changes of Wolbachia in CLas uninfected and infected color morphs and tissues of ACP. The results showed that Wolbachia titers were significantly higher in CLas infected adults than in uninfected adults. In different tissues, the Wolbachia titers in the testis, ovary, and Malpighian tubule were higher than their uninfected counterparts. Our results provide essential knowledge for understanding the symbionts of the ACP and how CLas affects the bacterial community of the ACP.
Dichloromethane (DCM; CH2Cl2) is a widespread pollutant with anthropogenic and natural sources. Anaerobic DCM-dechlorinating bacteria use the Wood–Ljungdahl pathway, yet dechlorination reaction mechanisms remain unclear and the enzyme(s) responsible for carbon-chlorine bond cleavage have not been definitively identified. Of the three bacterial taxa known to carry out anaerobic dechlorination of DCM, ‘Candidatus Formimonas warabiya’ strain DCMF is the only organism that can also ferment non-chlorinated substrates, including quaternary amines (i.e., choline and glycine betaine) and methanol. Strain DCMF is present within enrichment culture DFE, which was derived from an organochlorine-contaminated aquifer. We utilized the metabolic versatility of strain DCMF to carry out comparative metaproteomics of cultures grown with DCM or glycine betaine. This revealed differential abundance of numerous proteins, including a methyltransferase gene cluster (the mec cassette) that was significantly more abundant during DCM degradation, as well as highly conserved amongst anaerobic DCM-degrading bacteria. This lends strong support to its involvement in DCM dechlorination. A putative glycine betaine methyltransferase was also discovered, adding to the limited knowledge about the fate of this widespread osmolyte in anoxic subsurface environments. Furthermore, the metagenome of enrichment culture DFE was assembled, resulting in five high quality and two low quality draft metagenome-assembled genomes. Metaproteogenomic analysis did not reveal any genes or proteins for utilization of DCM or glycine betaine in the cohabiting bacteria, supporting the previously held idea that they persist via necromass utilization.
Huanglongbing (HLB), the current major threat for Citrus species, is caused by intracellular alphaproteobacteria of the genus Candidatus Liberibacter (CaL), with CaL asiaticus (CLas) being the most prevalent species. This bacterium inhabits phloem cells and is transmitted by the psyllid Diaphorina citri. A gene encoding a putative serralysin-like metalloprotease (CLIBASIA_01345) was identified in the CLas genome. The expression levels of this gene were found to be higher in citrus leaves than in psyllids, suggesting a function for this protease in adaptation to the plant environment. Here, we study the putative role of CLas-serralysin (Las1345) as virulence factor. We first assayed whether Las1345 could be secreted by two different surrogate bacteria, Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae A34 (A34) and Serratia marcescens. The protein was detected only in the cellular fraction of A34 and S. marcescens expressing Las1345, and increased protease activity of those bacteria by 2.55 and 4.25-fold, respectively. In contrast, Las1345 expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves did not show protease activity nor alterations in the cell membrane, suggesting that Las1345 do not function as a protease in the plant cell. Las1345 expression negatively regulated cell motility, exopolysaccharide production, and biofilm formation in Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc). This bacterial phenotype was correlated with reduced growth and survival on leaf surfaces as well as reduced disease symptoms in N. benthamiana and Arabidopsis. These results support a model where Las1345 could modify extracellular components to adapt bacterial shape and appendages to the phloem environment, thus contributing to virulence.