AbstractThe bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) causes citrus Huanglongbing disease. Our understanding of the pathogenicity and biology of this microorganism remains limited because CLas has not yet been cultivated in artificial media. Its genome is relatively small and encodes approximately 1136 proteins, of which 415 have unknown functions. Here, we use a high-throughput yeast-two-hybrid (Y2H) screen to identify interactions between CLas proteins, thus providing insights into their potential functions. We identify 4245 interactions between 542 proteins, after screening 916 bait and 936 prey proteins. The false positive rate of the Y2H assay is estimated to be 2.9%. Pull-down assays for nine protein-protein interactions (PPIs) likely involved in flagellar function support the robustness of the Y2H results. The average number of PPIs per node in the CLas interactome is 15.6, which is higher than the numbers previously reported for interactomes of free-living bacteria, suggesting that CLas genome reduction has been accompanied by increased protein multi-functionality. We propose potential functions for 171 uncharacterized proteins, based on the PPI results, guilt-by-association analyses, and comparison with data from other bacterial species. We identify 40 hub-node proteins, including quinone oxidoreductase and LysR, which are known to protect other bacteria against oxidative stress and might be important for CLas survival in the phloem. We expect our PPI database to facilitate research on CLas biology and pathogenicity mechanisms.
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.
AbstractAnaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) carry out anaerobic oxidation of methane, thus playing a crucial role in the methane cycle. Previous genomic evidence indicates that multi-heme c-type cytochromes (MHCs) may facilitate the extracellular electron transfer (EET) from ANME to different electron sinks. Here, we provide experimental evidence supporting cytochrome-mediated EET for the reduction of metals and electrodes by ‘Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens’, an ANME acclimated to nitrate reduction. Ferrous iron-targeted fluorescent assays, metatranscriptomics, and single-cell imaging suggest that ‘Ca. M. nitroreducens’ uses surface-localized redox-active cytochromes for metal reduction. Electrochemical and Raman spectroscopic analyses also support the involvement of c-type cytochrome-mediated EET for electrode reduction. Furthermore, several genes encoding menaquinone cytochrome type-c oxidoreductases and extracellular MHCs are differentially expressed when different electron acceptors are used.
AbstractTaurine-respiring gut bacteria produce H2S with ambivalent impact on host health. We report the isolation and ecophysiological characterization of a taurine-respiring mouse gut bacterium. Taurinivorans muris strain LT0009 represents a new widespread species that differs from the human gut sulfidogen Bilophila wadsworthia in its sulfur metabolism pathways and host distribution. T. muris specializes in taurine respiration in vivo, seemingly unaffected by mouse diet and genotype, but is dependent on other bacteria for release of taurine from bile acids. Colonization of T. muris in gnotobiotic mice increased deconjugation of taurine-conjugated bile acids and transcriptional activity of a sulfur metabolism gene-encoding prophage in other commensals, and slightly decreased the abundance of Salmonella enterica, which showed reduced expression of galactonate catabolism genes. Re-analysis of metagenome data from a previous study further suggested that T. muris can contribute to protection against pathogens by the commensal mouse gut microbiota. Together, we show the realized physiological niche of a key murine gut sulfidogen and its interactions with selected gut microbiota members.
AbstractMicrobes in marine sediments play crucial roles in global carbon and nutrient cycling. However, our understanding of microbial diversity and physiology on the ocean floor is limited. Here, we use phylogenomic analyses of thousands of metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from coastal and deep-sea sediments to identify 55 MAGs that are phylogenetically distinct from previously described bacterial phyla. We propose that these MAGs belong to 4 novel bacterial phyla (Blakebacterota, Orphanbacterota, Arandabacterota, and Joyebacterota) and a previously proposed phylum (AABM5-125-24), all of them within the FCB superphylum. Comparison of their rRNA genes with public databases reveals that these phyla are globally distributed in different habitats, including marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environments. Genomic analyses suggest these organisms are capable of mediating key steps in sedimentary biogeochemistry, including anaerobic degradation of polysaccharides and proteins, and respiration of sulfur and nitrogen. Interestingly, these genomes code for an unusually high proportion (~9% on average, up to 20% per genome) of protein families lacking representatives in public databases. Genes encoding hundreds of these protein families colocalize with genes predicted to be involved in sulfur reduction, nitrogen cycling, energy conservation, and degradation of organic compounds. Our findings advance our understanding of bacterial diversity, the ecological roles of these bacteria, and potential links between novel gene families and metabolic processes in the oceans.
AbstractThe Terrestrial Miscellaneous Euryarchaeota Group has been identified in various environments, and the single genome investigated thus far suggests that these archaea are anaerobic sulfite reducers. We assemble 35 new genomes from this group that, based on genome analysis, appear to possess aerobic and facultative anaerobic lifestyles and may oxidise rather than reduce sulfite. We propose naming this order (representing 16 genera) “Lutacidiplasmatales” due to their occurrence in various acidic environments and placement within the phylum Thermoplasmatota. Phylum-level analysis reveals that Thermoplasmatota evolution had been punctuated by several periods of high levels of novel gene family acquisition. Several essential metabolisms, such as aerobic respiration and acid tolerance, were likely acquired independently by divergent lineages through convergent evolution rather than inherited from a common ancestor. Ultimately, this study describes the terrestrially prevalent Lutacidiciplasmatales and highlights convergent evolution as an important driving force in the evolution of archaeal lineages.
AbstractTrace metals have been an important ingredient for life throughout Earth’s history. Here, we describe the genome-guided cultivation of a member of the elusive archaeal lineage Caldarchaeales (syn. Aigarchaeota), Wolframiiraptor gerlachensis, and its growth dependence on tungsten. A metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) of W. gerlachensis encodes putative tungsten membrane transport systems, as well as pathways for anaerobic oxidation of sugars probably mediated by tungsten-dependent ferredoxin oxidoreductases that are expressed during growth. Catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in-situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (nanoSIMS) show that W. gerlachensis preferentially assimilates xylose. Phylogenetic analyses of 78 high-quality Wolframiiraptoraceae MAGs from terrestrial and marine hydrothermal systems suggest that tungsten-associated enzymes were present in the last common ancestor of extant Wolframiiraptoraceae. Our observations imply a crucial role for tungsten-dependent metabolism in the origin and evolution of this lineage, and hint at a relic metabolic dependence on this trace metal in early anaerobic thermophiles.
AbstractMembers of the bacterial genusRickettsiawere originally identified as causative agents of vector-borne diseases in mammals. However, manyRickettsiaspecies are arthropod symbionts and close relatives of ‘CandidatusMegaira’, which are symbiotic associates of microeukaryotes. Here, we clarify the evolutionary relationships between these organisms by assembling 26 genomes ofRickettsiaspecies from understudied groups, including the Torix group, and two genomes of ‘Ca. Megaira’ from various insects and microeukaryotes. Our analyses of the new genomes, in comparison with previously described ones, indicate that the accessory genome diversity and broad host range of TorixRickettsiaare comparable to those of all otherRickettsiacombined. Therefore, the Torix clade may play unrecognized roles in invertebrate biology and physiology. We argue this clade should be given its own genus status, for which we propose the name ‘CandidatusTisiphia’.
AbstractIntracellular pathogens are challenged with limited space and resources while replicating in a single host cell. Mechanisms for direct invasion of neighboring host cells have been discovered in cell culture, but we lack an understanding of how bacteria directly spread between host cells in vivo. Here, we describe the discovery of intracellular bacteria that use filamentation for spreading between the intestinal epithelial cells of a natural host, the rhabditid nematode Oscheius tipulae. The bacteria, which belong to the new species Bordetella atropi, can infect the nematodes following a fecal-oral route, and reduce host life span and fecundity. Filamentation requires UDP-glucose biosynthesis and sensing, a highly conserved pathway that is used by other bacteria to detect rich conditions and inhibit cell division. Our results indicate that B. atropi uses a pathway that normally regulates bacterial cell size to trigger filamentation inside host cells, thus facilitating cell-to-cell dissemination.