Cyanophage A-1(L) Adsorbs to Lipopolysaccharides of Anabaena sp. Strain PCC 7120 via the Tail Protein Lipopolysaccharide-Interacting Protein (ORF36).
ABSTRACT: Ecological functions of cyanophages in aquatic environments depend on their interactions with cyanobacterial hosts. The first step of phage-host interaction involves adsorption to the cell surface. We report that adsorption of a cyanophage, A-1(L), to the outer membrane of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 is based on the binding of a tail protein, ORF36, to the O antigen of lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Removal of O antigen by gene inactivation abolished infection by A-1(L); consistently, preincubation of the cyanophage with extracted Anabaena LPS partially blocked infection. In contrast, inactivation of major outer membrane protein genes in Anabaena or addition of Synechocystis LPS showed no effect on infection. ORF35 and ORF36 are two predicted tail proteins of A-1(L). Antibodies against either ORF35 or ORF36 strongly inhibited infection. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed a specific interaction between ORF36 and the LPS of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. These findings indicate that ORF35 and ORF36 are probably both required for adsorption of A-1(L) to the cell surface, but ORF36 specifically binds to the O antigen of LPS.IMPORTANCE Cyanophages play an important role in regulating the dynamics of cyanobacterial communities in aquatic environments. Hitherto, the mechanisms for cyanophage infection have been barely investigated. In this study, the first cyanophage tail protein that binds to the receptor (LPS) on cell surface was identified and shown to be essential for the A-1(L) infection of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. The protein-LPS interaction may represent an important route for adsorption of cyanophages to their hosts.
Project description:Fox- mutants of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 are unable to fix dinitrogen in the presence of oxygen. A fragment of the DNA of Anabaena sp. was cloned by complementation of a spontaneous Fox-, cyanophage-resistant mutant, R56, and characterized. Random insertion of transposon Tn5 delimited the complementing DNA to a 0.6-kb portion of the cloned fragment. Sequencing of this region and flanking DNA showed one complete open reading frame (ORF) similar to the gene rfbP (undecaprenyl-phosphate galactosephosphotransferase) and two partial ORFs similar to genes rfbD (GDP-D-mannose dehydratase) and rfbZ (first mannosyl transferase), all of which are active in the synthesis of the O antigen unit of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. In a transposon (Tn5-1087b)-induced, Fox-, cyanophage-resistant mutant, B14, the transposon was found within the same rfbP-like ORF. The three ORFs were insertionally inactivated with the omega cassette (P. Prentki and H. M. Krisch, Gene 29:303-313, 1984) or with Tn5::omega. Only the insertions in the rfbZ- and rfbP-like ORFs led to resistance to cyanophages A-1(L) and A-4(L) and to a Fox- phenotype. Electrophoretic analysis showed that interruption of the rfbZ- and rfbP-like ORFs resulted in a change in or loss of the characteristic pattern of the lengths of the LPS, whereas interruption of the rfbD-like ORF merely changed the distribution of the lengths of the LPS to one with a greater prevalence of low molecular weights. According to electron microscopy, interruption of the rfbP-like ORF may have led to aberrant deposition of the layers of the heterocyst envelope, resulting in increased leakage of oxygen into the heterocyst. The results suggest that modified LPS may prevent cyanophage infection of Anabaena sp. vegetative cells and the formation of a functional heterocyst envelope.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Here we present the first genomic characterization of viruses infecting Nostoc, a genus of ecologically important cyanobacteria that are widespread in freshwater. Cyanophages A-1 and N-1 were isolated in the 1970s and infect Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7210 but remained genomically uncharacterized. Their 68,304- and 64,960-bp genomes are strikingly different from those of other sequenced cyanophages. Many putative genes that code for proteins with known functions are similar to those found in filamentous cyanobacteria, showing a long evolutionary history in their host. Cyanophage N-1 encodes a CRISPR array that is transcribed during infection and is similar to the DR5 family of CRISPRs commonly found in cyanobacteria. The presence of a host-related CRISPR array in a cyanophage suggests that the phage can transfer the CRISPR among related cyanobacteria and thereby provide resistance to infection with competing phages. Both viruses also encode a distinct DNA polymerase B that is closely related to those found in plasmids of Cyanothece sp. strain PCC 7424, Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120, and Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413. These polymerases form a distinct evolutionary group that is more closely related to DNA polymerases of proteobacteria than to those of other viruses. This suggests that the polymerase was acquired from a proteobacterium by an ancestral virus and transferred to the cyanobacterial plasmid. Many other open reading frames are similar to a prophage-like element in the genome of Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7524. The Nostoc cyanophages reveal a history of gene transfers between filamentous cyanobacteria and their viruses that have helped to forge the evolutionary trajectory of this previously unrecognized group of phages. IMPORTANCE:Filamentous cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Nostoc are widespread and ecologically important in freshwater, yet little is known about the genomic content of their viruses. Here we report the first genomic analysis of cyanophages infecting filamentous freshwater cyanobacteria, revealing that their gene content is unlike that of other cyanophages. In addition to sharing many gene homologues with freshwater cyanobacteria, cyanophage N-1 encodes a CRISPR array and expresses it upon infection. Also, both viruses contain a DNA polymerase B-encoding gene with high similarity to genes found in proteobacterial plasmids of filamentous cyanobacteria. The observation that phages can acquire CRISPRs from their hosts suggests that phages can also move them among hosts, thereby conferring resistance to competing phages. The presence in these cyanophages of CRISPR and DNA polymerase B sequences, as well as a suite of other host-related genes, illustrates the long and complex evolutionary history of these viruses and their hosts.
Project description:As an adaptation to the daily light-dark (diel) cycle, cyanobacteria exhibit diurnal rhythms of gene expression and cell cycle. The light-dark cycle also affects the life cycle of viruses (cyanophages) that infect the unicellular picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus, which are the major primary producers in the oceans. For example, the adsorption of some cyanophages to the host cells depends on light, and the burst sizes of cyanophages are positively correlated to the length of light exposure during infection. Recent metatranscriptomic studies revealed transcriptional rhythms of field cyanophage populations. However, the underlying mechanism remains to be determined, as cyanophage laboratory cultures have not been shown to exhibit diurnal transcriptional rhythms. Here, we studied variation in infection patterns and gene expression of Prochlorococcus phages in laboratory culture conditions as a function of light. We found three distinct diel-dependent life history traits in dark conditions (diel traits): no adsorption (cyanophage P-HM2), adsorption but no replication (cyanophage P-SSM2), and replication (cyanophage P-SSP7). Under light-dark cycles, each cyanophage exhibited rhythmic transcript abundance, and cyanophages P-HM2 and P-SSM2 also exhibited rhythmic adsorption patterns. Finally, we show evidence to link the diurnal transcriptional rhythm of cyanophages to the photosynthetic activity of the host, thus providing a mechanistic explanation for the field observations of cyanophage transcriptional rhythms. Our study identifies that cultured viruses can exhibit diurnal rhythms during infection, which might impact cyanophage population-level dynamics in the oceans.
Project description:Three new Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 genes encoding group 2 alternative sigma factors have been cloned and characterized. Insertional inactivation of sigD, sigE, and sigF genes did not affect growth on nitrate under standard laboratory conditions but did transiently impair the abilities of sigD and sigE mutant strains to establish diazotrophic growth. A sigD sigE double mutant, though proficient in growth on nitrate and still able to differentiate into distinct proheterocysts, was unable to grow diazotrophically due to extensive fragmentation of filaments upon nitrogen deprivation. This double mutant could be complemented by wild-type copies of sigD or sigE, indicating some degree of functional redundancy that can partially mask phenotypes of single gene mutants. However, the sigE gene was required for lysogenic development of the temperate cyanophage A-4L. Several other combinations of double mutations, especially sigE sigF, caused a transient defect in establishing diazotrophic growth, manifested as a strong and prolonged bleaching response to nitrogen deprivation. We found no evidence for developmental regulation of the sigma factor genes. luxAB reporter fusions with sigD, sigE, and sigF all showed slightly reduced expression after induction of heterocyst development by nitrogen stepdown. Phylogenetic analysis of cyanobacterial group 2 sigma factor sequences revealed that they fall into several subgroups. Three morphologically and physiologically distant strains, Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002, and Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 each contain representatives of four subgroups. Unlike unicellular strains, Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 has three additional group 2 sigma factors that cluster in subgroup 2.5b, which is perhaps specific for filamentous or heterocystous cyanobacteria.
Project description:To elucidate the biosynthetic pathways of carotenoids, especially myxol 2'-glycosides, in cyanobacteria, Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 (also known as Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120) and Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 deletion mutants lacking selected proposed carotenoid biosynthesis enzymes and GDP-fucose synthase (WcaG), which is required for myxol 2'-fucoside production, were analyzed. The carotenoids in these mutants were identified using high-performance liquid chromatography, field desorption mass spectrometry, and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance. The wcaG (all4826) deletion mutant of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 produced myxol 2'-rhamnoside and 4-ketomyxol 2'-rhamnoside as polar carotenoids instead of the myxol 2'-fucoside and 4-ketomyxol 2'-fucoside produced by the wild type. Deletion of the corresponding gene in Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 (sll1213; 79% amino acid sequence identity with the Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 gene product) produced free myxol instead of the myxol 2'-dimethyl-fucoside produced by the wild type. Free myxol might correspond to the unknown component observed previously in the same mutant (H. E. Mohamed, A. M. L. van de Meene, R. W. Roberson, and W. F. J. Vermaas, J. Bacteriol. 187:6883-6892, 2005). These results indicate that in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, but not in Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803, rhamnose can be substituted for fucose in myxol glycoside. The beta-carotene hydroxylase orthologue (CrtR, Alr4009) of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 catalyzed the transformation of deoxymyxol and deoxymyxol 2'-fucoside to myxol and myxol 2'-fucoside, respectively, but not the beta-carotene-to-zeaxanthin reaction, whereas CrtR from Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 catalyzed both reactions. Thus, the substrate specificities or substrate availabilities of both fucosyltransferase and CrtR were different in these species. The biosynthetic pathways of carotenoids in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 are discussed.
Project description:To examine Alr3614 influence on the expression of Anabaena sp. PCC 7120, we have used customized microarrays to identify genes potentially regulated by this short DNA-binding protein. We compared the expression of an Alr3614-deletion strain with an Alr3614-complementation strain. Overall design: The Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 cultures incubated under optimal conditions before cell harvest and two different experiments were performed for each strain.
Project description:Marine cyanobacteria perform roughly a quarter of global carbon fixation, and cyanophages that infect them liberate some of this carbon during infection and cell lysis. Studies of the cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus MED4 and its associated cyanophage P-SSP7 have revealed complex gene expression dynamics once infection has begun, but the initial cyanophage-host interactions remain poorly understood. Here, we used single particle cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) to investigate cyanophage-host interactions in this model system, based on 170 cyanophage-to-host adsorption events. Subtomogram classification and averaging revealed three main conformations characterized by different angles between the phage tail and the cell surface. Namely, phage tails were (i) parallel to, (ii) ~45 degrees to, or (iii) perpendicular to the cell surface. Furthermore, different conformations of phage tail fibers correlated with the aforementioned orientations of the tails. We also observed density beyond the tail tip in vertically-oriented phages that had penetrated the cell wall, capturing the final stage of adsorption. Together, our data provide a quantitative characterization of the orientation of phages as they adsorb onto cells, and suggest that cyanophages that abut their cellular targets are only transiently in the "perpendicular" orientation required for successful infection.
Project description:Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 is a filamentous cyanobacterium commonly used as a model organism for studying cyanobacterial cell differentiation and nitrogen fixation. For many decades, this cyanobacterium was considered an obligate photo-lithoautotroph. We now discovered that this strain is also capable of mixotrophic, photo-organoheterotrophic, and chemo-organoheterotrophic growth if high concentrations of fructose (at least 50 mM and up to 200 mM) are supplied. Glucose, a substrate used by some facultatively organoheterotrophic cyanobacteria, is not effective in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. The gtr gene from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 encoding a glucose carrier was introduced into Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Surprisingly, the new strain containing the gtr gene did not grow on glucose but was very sensitive to glucose, with a 5 mM concentration being lethal, whereas the wild-type strain tolerated 200 mM glucose. The Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 strain containing gtr can grow mixotrophically and photo-organoheterotrophically, but not chemo-organoheterotrophically with fructose. Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 contains five respiratory chains ending in five different respiratory terminal oxidases. One of these enzymes is a mitochondrial-type cytochrome c oxidase. As in almost all cyanobacteria, this enzyme is encoded by three adjacent genes called coxBAC1. When this locus was disrupted, the cells lost the capability for chemo-organoheterotrophic growth.
Project description:The changes in the expression of sigma factor genes during dehydration in terrestrial Nostoc HK-01 and aquatic Anabaena PCC 7120 were determined. The expression of the sigJ gene in terrestrial Nostoc HK-01, which is homologous to sigJ (alr0277) in aquatic Anabaena PCC 7120, was significantly induced in the mid-stage of dehydration. We constructed a higher-expressing transformant of the sigJ gene (HE0277) in Anabaena PCC 7120, and the transformant acquired desiccation tolerance. The results of Anabaena oligonucleotide microarray experiments showed that a comparatively large number of genes relating to polysaccharide biosynthesis were upregulated in the HE0277 cells. The extracellular polysaccharide released into the culture medium of the HE0277 cells was as much as 3.2-fold more than that released by the control cells. This strongly suggests that the group 3 sigma factor gene sigJ is fundamental and conducive to desiccation tolerance in these cyanobacteria.
Project description:Genes for two subunits of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase, biotin carboxylase and biotin carboxyl carrier protein, have been cloned from Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. The two proteins are 181 and 447 amino acids long and show 40 and 57% identity to the corresponding Escherichia coli proteins, respectively. The sequence of the biotinylation site in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 is MetLysLeu, not the MetLysMet found in other sequences of biotin-dependent carboxylases. The amino acid sequence of biotin carboxylase is also very similar (32 to 47% identity) to the sequence of the biotin carboxylase domain of other biotin-dependent carboxylases. Genes for these two subunits of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase are not linked in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, contrary to the situation in E. coli, in which they are in one operon.