Microbial communities recurrently establish metabolic associations resulting in increased fitness and ability to perform complex tasks, such as xenobiotic degradation. In a previous study, we have described a sulfonamide-degrading consortium consisting of a novel low-abundant actinobacterium, named strain GP, and Achromobacter denitrificans PR1. However, we found that strain GP was unable to grow independently and could not be further purified.
Previous studies suggested that strain GP might represent a new putative species within the Leucobacter genus (16S rRNA gene similarity < 97%). In this study, we found that average nucleotide identity (ANI) with other Leucobacter spp. ranged between 76.8 and 82.1%, further corroborating the affiliation of strain GP to a new provisional species. The average amino acid identity (AAI) and percentage of conserved genes (POCP) values were near the lower edge of the genus delimitation thresholds (65 and 55%, respectively). Phylogenetic analysis of core genes between strain GP and Leucobacter spp. corroborated these findings. Comparative genomic analysis indicates that strain GP may have lost genes related to tetrapyrrole biosynthesis and thiol transporters, both crucial for the correct assembly of cytochromes and aerobic growth. However, supplying exogenous heme and catalase was insufficient to abolish the dependent phenotype. The actinobacterium harbors at least two copies of a novel genetic element containing a sulfonamide monooxygenase (sadA) flanked by a single IS1380 family transposase. Additionally, two homologs of sadB (4-aminophenol monooxygenase) were identified in the metagenome-assembled draft genome of strain GP, but these were not located in the vicinity of sadA nor of mobile or integrative elements.
Comparative genomics of the genus Leucobacter suggested the absence of some genes encoding for important metabolic traits in strain GP. Nevertheless, although media and culture conditions were tailored to supply its potential metabolic needs, these conditions were insufficient to isolate the PR1-dependent actinobacterium further. This study gives important insights regarding strain GP metabolism; however, gene expression and functional studies are necessary to characterize and further isolate strain GP. Based on our data, we propose to classify strain GP in a provisional new species within the genus Leucobacter, ‘Candidatus Leucobacter sulfamidivorax‘.
Heritable symbionts are common in terrestrial arthropods and often provide beneficial services to hosts. Unlike obligate, nutritional symbionts that largely persist under strict host control within specialized host cells, heritable facultative symbionts exhibit large variation in within-host lifestyles and services rendered with many retaining the capacity to transition among roles. One enigmatic symbiont, Candidatus Fukatsuia symbiotica, frequently infects aphids with reported roles ranging from pathogen, defensive symbiont, mutualism exploiter and nutritional co-obligate symbiont. Here we used an in vitro culture-assisted protocol to sequence the genome of a facultative strain of Fukatsuia from pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum). Phylogenetic and genomic comparisons indicate that Fukatsuia is an aerobic heterotroph, which together with Regiella insecticola and Hamiltonella defensa form a clade of heritable facultative symbionts within the Yersiniaceae (Enterobacteriales). These three heritable facultative symbionts largely share overlapping inventories of genes associated with housekeeping functions, metabolism, and nutrient acquisition, while varying in complements of mobile DNA. One unusual feature of Fukatsuia is its strong tendency to occur as a co-infection with H. defensa. However, the overall similarity of gene inventories among aphid heritable facultative symbionts suggest that metabolic complementarity is not the basis for co-infection, unless playing out on a H. defensa strain-specific basis. We also compared the pea aphid Fukatsuia with a strain from the aphid Cinara confinis (Lachninae) where it is reported to have transitioned to co-obligate status to support decaying Buchnera function. Overall the two genomes are very similar with no clear genomic signatures consistent with such a transition, which suggests co-obligate status in C. confinis was a recent event.
Nitrosocosmicus franklandus” C13 is an ammonia-oxidizing archaeon (AOA) isolated from soil. Its complete genome is 2.84 Mb and possesses predicted AOA metabolic pathways for energy generation and carbon dioxide fixation but no typical surface layer (S-layer) proteins, only one ammonium transporter, and divergent A-type ATP synthase genes.
‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ is endemic in Europe and infects a wide range of weeds and cultivated plants. Phytoplasmas are prokaryotic plant pathogens that colonize the sieve elements of their host plant, causing severe alterations in phloem function and impairment of assimilate translocation. Typical symptoms of infected plants include yellowing of leaves or shoots, leaf curling, and general stunting, but the molecular mechanisms underlying most of the reported changes remain largely enigmatic. To infer a possible involvement of Fe in the host-phytoplasma interaction, we investigated the effects of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ infection on tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Micro-Tom) grown under different Fe regimes.
Both phytoplasma infection and Fe starvation led to the development of chlorotic leaves and altered thylakoid organization. In infected plants, Fe accumulated in phloem tissue, altering the local distribution of Fe. In infected plants, Fe starvation had additive effects on chlorophyll content and leaf chlorosis, suggesting that the two conditions affected the phenotypic readout via separate routes. To gain insights into the transcriptional response to phytoplasma infection, or Fe deficiency, transcriptome profiling was performed on midrib-enriched leaves. RNA-seq analysis revealed that both stress conditions altered the expression of a large (> 800) subset of common genes involved in photosynthetic light reactions, porphyrin / chlorophyll metabolism, and in flowering control. In Fe-deficient plants, phytoplasma infection perturbed the Fe deficiency response in roots, possibly by interference with the synthesis or transport of a promotive signal transmitted from the leaves to the roots.
‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ infection changes the Fe distribution in tomato leaves, affects the photosynthetic machinery and perturbs the orchestration of root-mediated transport processes by compromising shoot-to-root communication.
Sponges represent ecologically important models to understand the evolution of symbiotic interactions of metazoans with microbial symbionts.
are commonly found in sponges, but their potential adaptations to a host-associated lifestyle are largely unknown. Here, we present three novel sponge-associated thaumarchaeal species and compare their genomic and predicted functional features with those of closely related free-living counterparts. We found different degrees of specialization of these thaumarchaeal species to the sponge environment that is reflected in their host distribution and their predicted molecular and metabolic properties. Our results indicate that
may have reached different stages of evolutionary adaptation in their symbiosis with sponges.