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Friday, July 19, 2019

Heterogeneous composition of key metabolic gene clusters in a vent mussel symbiont population.

Chemosynthetic symbiosis is one of the successful systems for adapting to a wide range of habitats including extreme environments, and the metabolic capabilities of symbionts enable host organisms to expand their habitat ranges. However, our understanding of the adaptive strategies that enable symbiotic organisms to expand their habitats is still fragmentary. Here, we report that a single-ribotype endosymbiont population in an individual of the host vent mussel, Bathymodiolus septemdierum has heterogeneous genomes with regard to the composition of key metabolic gene clusters for hydrogen oxidation and nitrate reduction. The host individual harbours heterogeneous symbiont subpopulations that either possess or lack…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Variable genetic architectures produce virtually identical molecules in bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants.

Small molecules produced by Actinobacteria have played a prominent role in both drug discovery and organic chemistry. As part of a larger study of the actinobacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants, we discovered a small family of three previously unreported piperazic acid-containing cyclic depsipeptides, gerumycins A-C. The gerumycins are slightly smaller versions of dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide that selectively inhibits a common fungal pathogen, Escovopsis. We had previously identified this molecule from a Pseudonocardia associated with Apterostigma dentigerum, and now we report the molecule from an associate of the more highly derived ant Trachymyrmex cornetzi. The three previously unidentified compounds, gerumycins…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Integrating DNA methylation and gene expression data in the development of the soybean-Bradyrhizobium N2-fixing symbiosis.

Very little is known about the role of epigenetics in the differentiation of a bacterium from the free-living to the symbiotic state. Here genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation changes between these states is described using the model of symbiosis between soybean and its root nodule-forming, nitrogen-fixing symbiont, Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens. PacBio resequencing of the B. diazoefficiens genome from both states revealed 43,061 sites recognized by five motifs with the potential to be methylated genome-wide. Of those sites, 3276 changed methylation states in 2921 genes or 35.5% of all genes in the genome. Over 10% of the methylation changes occurred within the…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Winding paths to simplicity: genome evolution in facultative insect symbionts.

Symbiosis between organisms is an important driving force in evolution. Among the diverse relationships described, extensive progress has been made in insect-bacteria symbiosis, which improved our understanding of the genome evolution in host-associated bacteria. Particularly, investigations on several obligate mutualists have pushed the limits of what we know about the minimal genomes for sustaining cellular life. To bridge the gap between those obligate symbionts with extremely reduced genomes and their non-host-restricted ancestors, this review focuses on the recent progress in genome characterization of facultative insect symbionts. Notable cases representing various types and stages of host associations, including those from multiple…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The composite 259-kb plasmid of Martelella mediterranea DSM 17316(T)-a natural replicon with functional RepABC modules from Rhodobacteraceae and Rhizobiaceae.

A multipartite genome organization with a chromosome and many extrachromosomal replicons (ECRs) is characteristic for Alphaproteobacteria. The best investigated ECRs of terrestrial rhizobia are the symbiotic plasmids for legume root nodulation and the tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. RepABC plasmids represent the most abundant alphaproteobacterial replicon type. The currently known homologous replication modules of rhizobia and Rhodobacteraceae are phylogenetically distinct. In this study, we surveyed type-strain genomes from the One Thousand Microbial Genomes (KMG-I) project and identified a roseobacter-specific RepABC-type operon in the draft genome of the marine rhizobium Martelella mediterranea DSM 17316(T). PacBio genome sequencing demonstrated the presence…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Herbivorous turtle ants obtain essential nutrients from a conserved nitrogen-recycling gut microbiome.

Nitrogen acquisition is a major challenge for herbivorous animals, and the repeated origins of herbivory across the ants have raised expectations that nutritional symbionts have shaped their diversification. Direct evidence for N provisioning by internally housed symbionts is rare in animals; among the ants, it has been documented for just one lineage. In this study we dissect functional contributions by bacteria from a conserved, multi-partite gut symbiosis in herbivorous Cephalotes ants through in vivo experiments, metagenomics, and in vitro assays. Gut bacteria recycle urea, and likely uric acid, using recycled N to synthesize essential amino acids that are acquired by…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Male-killing toxin in a bacterial symbiont of Drosophila.

Several lineages of symbiotic bacteria in insects selfishly manipulate host reproduction to spread in a population 1 , often by distorting host sex ratios. Spiroplasma poulsonii2,3 is a helical and motile, Gram-positive symbiotic bacterium that resides in a wide range of Drosophila species 4 . A notable feature of S. poulsonii is male killing, whereby the sons of infected female hosts are selectively killed during development1,2. Although male killing caused by S. poulsonii has been studied since the 1950s, its underlying mechanism is unknown. Here we identify an S. poulsonii protein, designated Spaid, whose expression induces male killing. Overexpression of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome sequence of Serratia nematodiphila DSM 21420T, a symbiotic bacterium from entomopathogenic nematode.

Serratia nematodiphila DSM 21420(T) (=CGMCC 1.6853(T), DZ0503SBS1(T)), isolated from the intestine of Heterorhabditidoides chongmingensis, has been known to have symbiotic-pathogenic life cycle, on the multilateral relationships with entomopathogenic nematode and insect pest. In order to better understanding of this rare feature in Serratia species, we present here the genome sequence of S. nematodiphila DSM 21420(T) with the significance of first genome sequence in this species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gut symbionts from distinct hosts exhibit genotoxic activity via divergent colibactin biosynthetic pathways.

Secondary metabolites produced by nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) or polyketide synthase (PKS) pathways are chemical mediators of microbial interactions in diverse environments. However, little is known about their distribution, evolution, and functional roles in bacterial symbionts associated with animals. A prominent example is “colibactin”, a largely unknown family of secondary metabolites produced by Escherichia coli via a hybrid NRPS-PKS biosynthetic pathway, inflicting DNA damage upon eukaryotic cells and contributing to colorectal cancer and tumor formation in the mammalian gut. Thus far, homologs of this pathway have only been found in closely related Enterobacteriaceae, while a divergent variant of this gene…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists.

To elucidate the genetic bases of mycorrhizal lifestyle evolution, we sequenced new fungal genomes, including 13 ectomycorrhizal (ECM), orchid (ORM) and ericoid (ERM) species, and five saprotrophs, which we analyzed along with other fungal genomes. Ectomycorrhizal fungi have a reduced complement of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (PCWDEs), as compared to their ancestral wood decayers. Nevertheless, they have retained a unique array of PCWDEs, thus suggesting that they possess diverse abilities to decompose lignocellulose. Similar functional categories of nonorthologous genes are induced in symbiosis. Of induced genes, 7-38% are orphan genes, including genes that encode secreted effector-like proteins. Convergent…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The genome of Dendrobium officinale illuminates the biology of the important traditional Chinese orchid herb.

Dendrobium officinale Kimura et Migo is a traditional Chinese orchid herb that has both ornamental value and a broad range of therapeutic effects. Here, we report the first de novo assembled 1.35 Gb genome sequences for D. officinale by combining the second-generation Illumina Hiseq 2000 and third-generation PacBio sequencing technologies. We found that orchids have a complete inflorescence gene set and have some specific inflorescence genes. We observed gene expansion in gene families related to fungus symbiosis and drought resistance. We analyzed biosynthesis pathways of medicinal components of D. officinale and found extensive duplication of SPS and SuSy genes, which are related…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Active site and laminarin binding in glycoside hydrolase family 55.

The Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CAZy) database indicates that glycoside hydrolase family 55 (GH55) contains both endo- and exo-ß-1,3-glucanases. The founding structure in the GH55 is PcLam55A from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Ishida, T., Fushinobu, S., Kawai, R., Kitaoka, M., Igarashi, K., and Samejima, M. (2009) Crystal structure of glycoside hydrolase family 55 ß-1,3-glucanase from the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium. J. Biol. Chem. 284, 10100-10109). Here, we present high resolution crystal structures of bacterial SacteLam55A from the highly cellulolytic Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E with bound substrates and product. These structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, implicate Glu-502 as the catalytic…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome expansion via lineage splitting and genome reduction in the cicada endosymbiont Hodgkinia.

Comparative genomics from mitochondria, plastids, and mutualistic endosymbiotic bacteria has shown that the stable establishment of a bacterium in a host cell results in genome reduction. Although many highly reduced genomes from endosymbiotic bacteria are stable in gene content and genome structure, organelle genomes are sometimes characterized by dramatic structural diversity. Previous results from Candidatus Hodgkinia cicadicola, an endosymbiont of cicadas, revealed that some lineages of this bacterium had split into two new cytologically distinct yet genetically interdependent species. It was hypothesized that the long life cycle of cicadas in part enabled this unusual lineage-splitting event. Here we test this…

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