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Sunday, July 7, 2019

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…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Spontaneous chloroplast mutants mostly occur by replication slippage and show a biased pattern in the plastome of Oenothera.

Spontaneous plastome mutants have been used as a research tool since the beginning of genetics. However, technical restrictions have severely limited their contributions to research in physiology and molecular biology. Here, we used full plastome sequencing to systematically characterize a collection of 51 spontaneous chloroplast mutants in Oenothera (evening primrose). Most mutants carry only a single mutation. Unexpectedly, the vast majority of mutations do not represent single nucleotide polymorphisms but are insertions/deletions originating from DNA replication slippage events. Only very few mutations appear to be caused by imprecise double-strand break repair, nucleotide misincorporation during replication, or incorrect nucleotide excision repair…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Modular traits of the Rhizobiales root microbiota and their evolutionary relationship with symbiotic Rhizobia.

Rhizobia are a paraphyletic group of soil-borne bacteria that induce nodule organogenesis in legume roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen for plant growth. In non-leguminous plants, species from the Rhizobiales order define a core lineage of the plant microbiota, suggesting additional functional interactions with plant hosts. In this work, genome analyses of 1,314 Rhizobiales isolates along with amplicon studies of the root microbiota reveal the evolutionary history of nitrogen-fixing symbiosis in this bacterial order. Key symbiosis genes were acquired multiple times, and the most recent common ancestor could colonize roots of a broad host range. In addition, root growth promotion is…

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