September 21, 2019  |  

Chromulinavorax destructans, a pathogenic TM6 bacterium with an unusual replication strategy targeting protist mitochondrion

Authors: Deeg, Christoph M and Zimmer, Matthias M and George, Emma and Husnik, Filip and Keeling, Patrick J and Suttle, Curtis A

Most of the diversity of microbial life is not available in culture, and as such we lack even a fundamental understanding of the biological diversity of several branches on the tree of life. One branch that is highly underrepresented is the candidate phylum TM6, also known as the Dependentiae. Their biology is known only from reduced genomes recovered from metagenomes around the world and two isolates infecting amoebae, all suggest that they live highly host-associated lifestyles as parasites or symbionts. Chromulinavorax destructans is an isolate from the TM6/Dependentiae that infects and lyses the abundant heterotrophic flagellate, Spumella elongata. Chromulinavorax destructans is characterized by a high degree of reduction and specialization for infection, so much so it was discovered in a screen for giant viruses. Its 1.2 Mb genome shows no metabolic potential and C. destructans instead relies on extensive transporter system to import nutrients, and even energy in the form of ATP from the host. Accordingly, it replicates in a viral-like fashion, while extensively reorganizing and expanding the host mitochondrion. 44% of proteins contain signal sequences for secretion, which includes many proteins of unknown function as well as 98 copies of ankyrin-repeat domain proteins, known effectors of host modulation, suggesting the presence of an extensive host-manipulation apparatus.

Journal: BioRxiv
DOI: 10.1101/379388
Year: 2018

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