Tiny photosynthetic microorganisms that form the picoplankton (between 0.3 and 3 µm in diameter) are at the base of the food web in many marine ecosystems, and their adaptability to environmental change hinges on standing genetic variation. Although the genomic and phenotypic diversity of the bacterial component of the oceans has been intensively studied, little is known about the genomic and phenotypic diversity within each of the diverse eukaryotic species present. We report the level of genomic diversity in a natural population of Ostreococcus tauri (Chlorophyta, Mamiellophyceae), the smallest photosynthetic eukaryote. Contrary to the expectations of clonal evolution or cryptic species, the spectrum of genomic polymorphism observed suggests a large panmictic population (an effective population size of 1.2 × 10(7)) with pervasive evidence of sexual reproduction. De novo assemblies of low-coverage chromosomes reveal two large candidate mating-type loci with suppressed recombination, whose origin may pre-date the speciation events in the class Mamiellophyceae. This high genetic diversity is associated with large phenotypic differences between strains. Strikingly, resistance of isolates to large double-stranded DNA viruses, which abound in their natural environment, is positively correlated with the size of a single hypervariable chromosome, which contains 44 to 156 kb of strain-specific sequences. Our findings highlight the role of viruses in shaping genome diversity in marine picoeukaryotes.
Adaptive radiation by waves of gene transfer leads to fine-scale resource partitioning in marine microbes.
Adaptive radiations are important drivers of niche filling, since they rapidly adapt a single clade of organisms to ecological opportunities. Although thought to be common for animals and plants, adaptive radiations have remained difficult to document for microbes in the wild. Here we describe a recent adaptive radiation leading to fine-scale ecophysiological differentiation in the degradation of an algal glycan in a clade of closely related marine bacteria. Horizontal gene transfer is the primary driver in the diversification of the pathway leading to several ecophysiologically differentiated Vibrionaceae populations adapted to different physical forms of alginate. Pathway architecture is predictive of function and ecology, underscoring that horizontal gene transfer without extensive regulatory changes can rapidly assemble fully functional pathways in microbes.
Genomic, physiologic, and proteomic insights into metabolic versatility in Roseobacter clade bacteria isolated from deep-sea water.
Roseobacter clade bacteria are ubiquitous in marine environments and now thought to be significant contributors to carbon and sulfur cycling. However, only a few strains of roseobacters have been isolated from the deep-sea water column and have not been thoroughly investigated. Here, we present the complete genomes of phylogentically closed related Thiobacimonas profunda JLT2016 and Pelagibaca abyssi JLT2014 isolated from deep-sea water of the Southeastern Pacific. The genome sequences showed that the two deep-sea roseobacters carry genes for versatile metabolisms with functional capabilities such as ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase-mediated carbon fixation and inorganic sulfur oxidation. Physiological and biochemical analysis showed that T. profunda JLT2016 was capable of autotrophy, heterotrophy, and mixotrophy accompanied by the production of exopolysaccharide. Heterotrophic carbon fixation via anaplerotic reactions contributed minimally to bacterial biomass. Comparative proteomics experiments showed a significantly up-regulated carbon fixation and inorganic sulfur oxidation associated proteins under chemolithotrophic conditions compared to heterotrophic conditions. Collectively, rosebacters show a high metabolic flexibility, suggesting a considerable capacity for adaptation to the marine environment.
Marivivens sp. JLT3646 (CGMCC 1.15778), belonging to the phylum Alphaproteobacteria, was isolated from seawater, Kueishan Islet, offshore northeast of Taiwan. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of Marivivens sp. JLT3646, which contains a circular 2,978,145 bp chromosome with 56.2% G + C content, and one circular plasmid which is 169,066 bp in length. The genome data suggested that Marivivens sp. JLT3646 has the potential to degrade aromatic monomers, which might provide insight into biotechnological applications and facilitate the investigation of environmental bioremediation.