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.
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.
AbstractAnaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) bacteria are a group of extraordinary bacteria exerting a major impact on the global nitrogen cycle. Their phylogenetic breadth and diversity, however, are not well constrained. Here we describe a new, deep-branching family in the order of Candidatus Brocadiales, Candidatus Bathyanammoxibiaceae, members of which have genes encoding the key enzymes of the anammox metabolism. In marine sediment cores from the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR), the presence of Ca. Bathyanammoxibiaceae was confined within the nitrate-ammonium transition zones with the counter gradients of nitrate and ammonium, coinciding with the predicted occurrence of the anammox process. Ca. Bathyanammoxibiaceae genomes encode the core genetic machinery for the anammox metabolism, including hydrazine synthase for converting nitric oxide and ammonium to hydrazine, and hydrazine dehydrogenase for hydrazine oxidation to dinitrogen gas, and hydroxylamine oxidoreductase for nitrite reduction to nitric oxide. Their occurrences assessed by genomes and 16S rRNA gene sequencings surveys indicate that they are present in both marine and terrestrial environments. By introducing the anammox potential of Ca. Bathyanammoxibiaceae and charactering their ideal niche in marine sediments, our findings suggest that the diversity and abundance of anammox bacteria may be higher than previously thought, and provide important insights on cultivating them in the future to not only assess their biogeochemical impacts but also constrain the emergence and evolutionary history of this functional guild on Earth.