Marine picocyanobacteria belonging to Synechococcus are major contributors to the global carbon cycle, however the genomic information of its cold-adapted members has been lacking to date. To fill this void the genome of a cold-adapted planktonic cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. CS-601 (SynAce01) has been sequenced. The genome of the strain contains a single chromosome of approximately 2.75 MBp and GC content of 63.92%. Gene prediction yielded 2984 protein coding sequences and 44 tRNA genes. The genome contained evidence of horizontal gene transfer events during its evolution. CS-601 appears as a transport generalist with some specific adaptation to an oligotrophic marine environment. It has a broad repertoire of transporters of both inorganic and organic nutrients to survive in inhospitable environments. The cold adaptation of the strain exhibited characteristics of a psychrotroph rather than psychrophile. Its salt adaptation strategy is likely to rely on the uptake and synthesis of osmolytes, like glycerol or glycine betaine. Overall, the genome reveals two distinct patterns of adaptation to the inhospitable environment of Antarctica. Adaptation to an oligotrophic marine environment is likely due to an abundance of genes, probably acquired horizontally, that are associated with increased transport of nutrients, osmolytes, and light harvesting. On the other hand, adaptations to low temperatures are likely due to prolonged evolutionary changes.
Journal: International journal of molecular sciences