The marine bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens secures external ammonium by rapid buildup of intracellular nitrogen stocks.
ABSTRACT: Reduced nitrogen species are key nutrients for biological productivity in the oceans. Ammonium is often present in low and growth-limiting concentrations, albeit peaks occur during collapse of algal blooms or via input from deep sea upwelling and riverine inflow. Autotrophic phytoplankton exploit ammonium peaks by storing nitrogen intracellularly. In contrast, the strategy of heterotrophic bacterioplankton to acquire ammonium is less well understood. This study revealed the marine bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens DSM 17395, a Roseobacter group member, to have already depleted the external ammonium when only ?? of the ultimately attained biomass is formed. This was paralleled by a three-fold increase in cellular nitrogen levels and rapid buildup of various nitrogen-containing intracellular metabolites (and enzymes for their biosynthesis) and biopolymers (DNA, RNA and proteins). Moreover, nitrogen-rich cells secreted potential RTX proteins and the antibiotic tropodithietic acid, perhaps to competitively secure pulses of external ammonium and to protect themselves from predation. This complex response may ensure growing cells and their descendants exclusive provision with internal nitrogen stocks. This nutritional strategy appears prevalent also in other roseobacters from distant geographical provenances and could provide a new perspective on the distribution of reduced nitrogen in marine environments, i.e. temporary accumulation in bacterioplankton cells.
Project description:Growth energetics and metabolic efficiency contribute to the lifestyle and habitat imprint of microorganisms. Roseobacters constitute one of the most abundant and successful marine bacterioplankton groups. Here, we reflect on the energetics and metabolic efficiency of Phaeobacter inhibens DSM 17395, a versatile heterotrophic roseobacter. Fourteen different substrates (five sugars and nine amino acids) and their degradation pathways were assessed for energetic efficiencies based on catabolic ATP yields, calculated from net formed ATP and reducing equivalents. The latter were converted into ATP by employing the most divergent coupling ratios (i.e., ions per ATP) currently known for F1Fo ATP synthases in heterotrophic bacteria. The catabolic ATP yields of the pathways studied in P. inhibens differed ?3-fold. The actual free energy costs for ATP synthesis were estimated at 81.6 kJ per mol ATP (3.3 ions per ATP) or 104.2 kJ per mol ATP (4.3 ions per ATP), yielding an average thermodynamic efficiency of ?37.7% or ?29.5%, respectively. Growth performance (rates, yields) and carbon assimilation efficiency were determined for P. inhibens growing in process-controlled bioreactors with 10 different single substrates (Glc, Man, N-acetylglucosamine [Nag], Phe, Trp, His, Lys, Thr, Val, or Leu) and with 2 defined substrate mixtures. The efficiencies of carbon assimilation into biomass ranged from ?28% to 61%, with His/Trp and Thr/Leu yielding the lowest and highest levels. These efficiencies correlated with catabolic and ATP yields only to some extent. Substrate-specific metabolic demands and/or functions, as well as the compositions of the substrate mixtures, apparently affected the energetic costs of growth. These include energetic burdens associated with, e.g., slow growth, stress, and/or the production of tropodithietic acid.IMPORTANCE Heterotrophic members of the bacterioplankton serve the marine ecosystem by transforming organic matter, an activity that is governed by the bacterial growth efficiencies (BGEs) obtained under given environmental conditions. In marine ecology, the concept of BGE refers to the carbon assimilation efficiency within natural communities. The marine bacterium studied here, Phaeobacter inhibens DSM 17395, is a copiotrophic representative of the globally abundant Roseobacter group, and the 15 catabolic pathways investigated are widespread among these marine heterotrophs. Combining pathway-specific catabolic ATP yields with in-depth quantitative physiological data could (i) provide a new baseline for the study of growth energetics and efficiency in further Roseobacter group members and other copiotrophic marine bacteria in productive coastal ecosystems and (ii) contribute to a better understanding of the factors controlling BGE (including the additional energetic burden arising from widespread secondary-metabolite formation) based on laboratory studies with pure cultures.
Project description:Phaeobacter inhibens DSM 17395, a model organism for marine Roseobacter group, was studied for its response to its own antimicrobial compound tropodithietic acid (TDA). TDA biosynthesis is encoded on the largest extrachromosomal element of P. inhibens, the 262 kb plasmid, whose curation leads to an increased growth and biomass yield. In this study, the plasmid-cured strain was compared to the wild-type strain and to transposon mutants lacking single genes of the TDA biosynthesis. The data show that the growth inhibition of the wild-type strain can be mainly attributed to the TDA produced by P. inhibens itself. Oxygen uptake rates remained constant in all strains but the growth rate dropped in the wild-type which supports the recently proposed mode of TDA action. Metabolome analysis showed no metabolic alterations that could be attributed directly to TDA. Taken together, the growth of P. inhibens is limited by its own antibacterial compound due to a partial destruction of the proton gradient which leads to a higher energetic demand. The universal presence of TDA biosynthesis in genome-sequenced isolates of the genus Phaeobacter shows that there must be a high benefit of TDA for P. inhibens in its ecological niche despite the drawback on its metabolism.
Project description:Strain T5(T) is the type strain of the species Phaeobacter inhibens Martens et al. 2006, a secondary metabolite producing bacterium affiliated to the Roseobacter clade. Strain T5(T) was isolated from a water sample taken at the German Wadden Sea, southern North Sea. Here we describe the complete genome sequence and annotation of this bacterium with a special focus on the secondary metabolism and compare it with the genomes of the Phaeobacter inhibens strains DSM 17395 and DSM 24588 (2.10), selected because of the close phylogenetic relationship based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences of these three strains. The genome of strain T5(T) comprises 4,130,897 bp with 3.923 protein-coding genes and shows high similarities in genetic and genomic characteristics compared to P. inhibens DSM 17395 and DSM 24588 (2.10). Besides the chromosome, strain T5(T) possesses four plasmids, three of which show a high similarity to the plasmids of the strains DSM 17395 and DSM 24588 (2.10). Analysis of the fourth plasmid suggested horizontal gene transfer. Most of the genes on this plasmid are not present in the strains DSM 17395 and DSM 24588 (2.10) including a nitrous oxide reductase, which allows strain T5(T) a facultative anaerobic lifestyle. The G+C content was calculated from the genome sequence and differs significantly from the previously published value, thus warranting an emendation of the species description.
Project description:Since genome analysis did not allow unambiguous reconstruction of transport, catabolism, and substrate-specific regulation for several important carbohydrates in Phaeobacter inhibens DSM 17395, proteomic and metabolomic analyses of N-acetylglucosamine-, mannitol-, sucrose-, glucose-, and xylose-grown cells were carried out to close this knowledge gap. These carbohydrates can pass through the outer membrane via porins identified in the outer membrane fraction. For transport across the cytoplasmic membrane, carbohydrate-specific ABC transport systems were identified. Their coding genes mostly colocalize with the respective "catabolic" and "regulatory" genes. The degradation of N-acetylglucosamine proceeds via N-acetylglucosamine-6-phosphate and glucosamine-6-phosphate directly to fructose-6-phosphate; two of the three enzymes involved were newly predicted and identified. Mannitol is catabolized via fructose, sucrose via fructose and glucose, glucose via glucose-6-phosphate, and xylose via xylulose-5-phosphate. Of the 30 proteins predicted to be involved in uptake, regulation, and degradation, 28 were identified by proteomics and 19 were assigned to their respective functions for the first time. The peripheral degradation pathways feed into the Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway, which is connected to the lower branch of the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) pathway. The enzyme constituents of these pathways displayed higher abundances in P. inhibens DSM 17395 cells grown with any of the five carbohydrates tested than in succinate-grown cells. Conversely, gluconeogenesis is turned on during succinate utilization. While tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle proteins remained mainly unchanged, the abundance profiles of their metabolites reflected the differing growth rates achieved with the different substrates tested. Homologs of the 74 genes involved in the reconstructed catabolic pathways and central metabolism are present in various Roseobacter clade members.
Project description:Phaeobacter gallaeciensis, a member of the abundant marine Roseobacter clade, is known to be an effective colonizer of biotic and abiotic marine surfaces. Production of the antibiotic tropodithietic acid (TDA) makes P. gallaeciensis a strong antagonist of many bacteria, including fish and mollusc pathogens. In addition to TDA, several other secondary metabolites are produced, allowing the mutualistic bacterium to also act as an opportunistic pathogen. Here we provide the manually annotated genome sequences of the P. gallaeciensis strains DSM 17395 and 2.10, isolated at the Atlantic coast of north western Spain and near Sydney, Australia, respectively. Despite their isolation sites from the two different hemispheres, the genome comparison demonstrated a surprisingly high level of synteny (only 3% nucleotide dissimilarity and 88% and 93% shared genes). Minor differences in the genomes result from horizontal gene transfer and phage infection. Comparison of the P. gallaeciensis genomes with those of other roseobacters revealed unique genomic traits, including the production of iron-scavenging siderophores. Experiments supported the predicted capacity of both strains to grow on various algal osmolytes. Transposon mutagenesis was used to expand the current knowledge on the TDA biosynthesis pathway in strain DSM 17395. This first comparative genomic analysis of finished genomes of two closely related strains belonging to one species of the Roseobacter clade revealed features that provide competitive advantages and facilitate surface attachment and interaction with eukaryotic hosts.
Project description:Phaeobacter inhibens 2.10 is an effective biofilm former and colonizer of marine surfaces and has the ability to outcompete other microbiota. During biofilm dispersal P. inhibens 2.10 produces heritable phenotypic variants, including those that have a reduced ability to inhibit the co-occurring bacterium Pseudoalteromonas tunicata. However, the genetic changes that underpin the phenotypic variation and what the ecological consequences are for variants within the population are unclear. To answer these questions we sequenced the genomes of strain NCV12a1, a biofilm variant of P. inhibens 2.10 with reduced inhibitory activity and the P. inhibens 2.10 WT parental strain. Genome wide analysis revealed point mutations in genes involved in synthesis of the antibacterial compound tropodithietic acid (TDA) and indirectly in extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) production. However, confocal laser scanning microscopy analyses found little differences in biofilm growth between P. inhibens 2.10 WT (parental) and NCV12a1. P. inhibens NCV12a1 was also not outcompeted in co-cultured biofilms with P. tunicata, despite its reduced inhibitory activity, rather these biofilms were thicker than those produced when the WT strain was co-cultured with P. tunicata. Notably, dispersal populations from biofilms of P. inhibens NCV12a1 had a higher proportion of WT-like morphotypes when co-cultured with P. tunicata. These observations may explain why the otherwise non-inhibiting variant persists in the presence of a natural competitor, adding to our understanding of the relative importance of genetic diversification in microbial biofilms.
Project description:The probiotic bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens strain S4Sm, isolated from the inner shell surface of a healthy oyster, secretes the antibiotic tropodithietic acid (TDA), is an excellent biofilm former, and increases oyster larvae survival when challenged with bacterial pathogens. In this study, we investigated the specific roles of TDA secretion and biofilm formation in the probiotic activity of S4Sm.Mutations in clpX (ATP-dependent ATPase) and exoP (an exopolysaccharide biosynthesis gene) were created by insertional mutagenesis using homologous recombination. Mutation of clpX resulted in the loss of TDA production, no decline in biofilm formation, and loss of the ability to inhibit the growth of Vibrio tubiashii and Vibrio anguillarum in co-colonization experiments. Mutation of exoP resulted in a ~60% decline in biofilm formation, no decline in TDA production, and delayed inhibitory activity towards Vibrio pathogens in co-colonization experiments. Both clpX and exoP mutants exhibited reduced ability to protect oyster larvae from death when challenged by Vibrio tubiashii. Complementation of the clpX and exoP mutations restored the wild type phenotype. We also found that pre-colonization of surfaces by S4Sm was critical for this bacterium to inhibit pathogen colonization and growth.Our observations demonstrate that probiotic activity by P. inhibens S4Sm involves contributions from both biofilm formation and the production of the antibiotic TDA. Further, probiotic activity also requires colonization of surfaces by S4Sm prior to the introduction of the pathogen.
Project description:For a detailed investigation of the degradation of lysine in Phaeobacter inhibens DSM 17395, stable isotope experiments with uniformly 13C labeled L-lysine were carried out with lysine adapted cells and the metabolites were analyzed using GC/MS and HPLC/MS. A non-targeted stable isotope analysis was used which compares labeled and not labeled samples to determine the Mass Isotopomer Distribution not only for known metabolites but for all labeled compounds in our GC/MS analysis. We show that P. inhibens uses at least two parallel pathways for the first degradation steps of lysine. Further investigations identified L-pipecolate as an L-lysine degradation intermediate in P. inhibens. The analysis of HPLC/MS data as well as the labeling data of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates show that L-lysine is not only catabolized directly to acetyl-CoA but also via the ethylmalonyl-CoA-pathway, leading to entry points into the TCA cycle via acetyl-CoA, succinyl-CoA, and malate. Altogether the presented data give a detailed insight into the catabolization of L-lysine following the fate of 13C labeled carbon via several ways into the TCA cycle.