April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence of Marinobacter sp. LQ44, a haloalkaliphilic phenol-degrading bacterium isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent

Marinobacter sp. strain LQ44, an alkaliphile and moderate halophile from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent on the East Pacific Rise, is a novel phenol-degrading bacterium that is capable of utilizing phenol as sole carbon and energy sources. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of strain LQ44, which consists of 4,435,564?bp with a circular chromosome, 4164 protein-coding genes, 3 rRNA operons and 50 tRNAs. Genome analysis revealed that strain LQ44 may degrade phenol via meta-cleavage pathway. The LQ44 genome contains multiple genes involved in pH adaptation and osmotic adjustment. Genes related to hydrocarbon degradation, aerobic denitrification and potential industrial important enzymes were also identified from the genome. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a genome sequence of a haloalkaliphilic phenol-degrading bacterium, which will provide insights into the survival of this bacterium under salt-alkali conditions and the potential for biotechnological applications.

April 21, 2020  |  

Marinitoga lauensis sp. nov., a novel deep-sea hydrothermal vent thermophilic anaerobic heterotroph with a prophage.

A novel moderately thermophilic, heterotrophic anaerobe, designated strain LG1T, was isolated from the Mariner deep-sea hydrothermal vent field along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center and Valu Fa Ridge. Cells of strain LG1T were motile rods, occurring singly or in pairs, 0.6µm in width and 1.2µm in length. The strain LG1T grew between 40 and 70°C (optimum 50-55°C), at a pH between 5 and 8 (optimum pH 6.5) and with 7.5-50gL-1 NaCl (optimum 30gL-1). Sulfur, cystine and thiosulfate were reduced to sulfide, and cell yield was improved in the presence of cystine. Strain LG1T was an organotroph able to use a variety of organic compounds. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons indicated that strain LG1T was affiliated to the genus Marinitoga within the order Petrotogales. It shared 95.34-96.31% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with strains of other Marinitoga species, and is most closely related to Marinitoga okinawensis. Genome analysis revealed the presence of a prophage sharing high sequence homology with the viruses MPV1, MCV1 and MCV2 hosted by Marinitoga strains. Based on the data from the phylogenetic analyses and the physiological properties of the novel isolate, we propose that strain LG1T is a representative of a novel species, for which the name Marinitoga lauensis sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is LG1T (=DSM 106824=JCM 32613).Copyright © 2019 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

April 21, 2020  |  

A First Study of the Virulence Potential of a Bacillus subtilis Isolate From Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent.

Bacillus subtilis is the best studied Gram-positive bacterium, primarily as a model of cell differentiation and industrial exploitation. To date, little is known about the virulence of B. subtilis. In this study, we examined the virulence potential of a B. subtilis strain (G7) isolated from the Iheya North hydrothermal field of Okinawa Trough. G7 is aerobic, motile, endospore-forming, and requires NaCl for growth. The genome of G7 is composed of one circular chromosome of 4,216,133 base pairs with an average GC content of 43.72%. G7 contains 4,416 coding genes, 27.5% of which could not be annotated, and the remaining 72.5% were annotated with known or predicted functions in 25 different COG categories. Ten sets of 23S, 5S, and 16S ribosomal RNA operons, 86 tRNA and 14 sRNA genes, 50 tandem repeats, 41 mini-satellites, one microsatellite, and 42 transposons were identified in G7. Comparing to the genome of the B. subtilis wild type strain NCIB 3610T, G7 genome contains many genomic translocations, inversions, and insertions, and twice the amount of genomic Islands (GIs), with 42.5% of GI genes encoding hypothetical proteins. G7 possesses abundant putative virulence genes associated with adhesion, invasion, dissemination, anti-phagocytosis, and intracellular survival. Experimental studies showed that G7 was able to cause mortality in fish and mice following intramuscular/intraperitoneal injection, resist the killing effect of serum complement, and replicate in mouse macrophages and fish peripheral blood leukocytes. Taken together, our study indicates that G7 is a B. subtilis isolate with unique genetic features and can be lethal to vertebrate animals once being introduced into the animals by artificial means. These results provide the first insight into the potential harmfulness of deep-sea B. subtilis.

April 21, 2020  |  

Adaptive Strategies in a Poly-Extreme Environment: Differentiation of Vegetative Cells in Serratia ureilytica and Resistance to Extreme Conditions.

Poly-extreme terrestrial habitats are often used as analogs to extra-terrestrial environments. Understanding the adaptive strategies allowing bacteria to thrive and survive under these conditions could help in our quest for extra-terrestrial planets suitable for life and understanding how life evolved in the harsh early earth conditions. A prime example of such a survival strategy is the modification of vegetative cells into resistant resting structures. These differentiated cells are often observed in response to harsh environmental conditions. The environmental strain (strain Lr5/4) belonging to Serratia ureilytica was isolated from a geothermal spring in Lirima, Atacama Desert, Chile. The Atacama Desert is the driest habitat on Earth and furthermore, due to its high altitude, it is exposed to an increased amount of UV radiation. The geothermal spring from which the strain was isolated is oligotrophic and the temperature of 54°C exceeds mesophilic conditions (15 to 45°C). Although the vegetative cells were tolerant to various environmental insults (desiccation, extreme pH, glycerol), a modified cell type was formed in response to nutrient deprivation, UV radiation and thermal shock. Scanning (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) analyses of vegetative cells and the modified cell structures were performed. In SEM, a change toward a circular shape with reduced size was observed. These circular cells possessed what appears as extra coating layers under TEM. The resistance of the modified cells was also investigated, they were resistant to wet heat, UV radiation and desiccation, while vegetative cells did not withstand any of those conditions. A phylogenomic analysis was undertaken to investigate the presence of known genes involved in dormancy in other bacterial clades. Genes related to spore-formation in Myxococcus and Firmicutes were found in S. ureilytica Lr5/4 genome; however, these genes were not enough for a full sporulation pathway that resembles either group. Although, the molecular pathway of cell differentiation in S. ureilytica Lr5/4 is not fully defined, the identified genes may contribute to the modified phenotype in the Serratia genus. Here, we show that a modified cell structure can occur as a response to extremity in a species that was previously not known to deploy this strategy. This strategy may be widely spread in bacteria, but only expressed under poly-extreme environmental conditions.

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