Large freshwater phages with the potential to augment aerobic methane oxidation.
ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that phages with unusually large genomes are common across various microbiomes, but little is known about their genetic inventories or potential ecosystem impacts. In the present study, we reconstructed large phage genomes from freshwater lakes known to contain bacteria that oxidize methane. Of manually curated genomes, 22 (18 are complete), ranging from 159?kilobase (kb) to 527?kb in length, were found to encode the pmoC gene, an enzymatically critical subunit of the particulate methane monooxygenase, the predominant methane oxidation catalyst in nature. The phage-associated PmoC sequences show high similarity to (>90%), and affiliate phylogenetically with, those of coexisting bacterial methanotrophs, including members of Methyloparacoccus, Methylocystis and Methylobacter spp. In addition, pmoC-phage abundance patterns correlate with those of the coexisting bacterial methanotrophs, supporting host-phage relationships. Future work is needed to determine whether phage-associated PmoC has similar functions to additional copies of PmoC encoded in bacterial genomes, thus contributing to growth on methane. Transcriptomics data from Lake Rotsee (Switzerland) showed that some phage-associated pmoC genes were highly expressed in situ and, of interest, that the most rapidly growing methanotroph was infected by three pmoC-phages. Thus, augmentation of bacterial methane oxidation by pmoC-phages during infection could modulate the efflux of this potent greenhouse gas into the environment.
Project description:Copper membrane monooxygenases (CuMMOs) oxidize ammonia, methane and some short-chain alkanes and alkenes. They are encoded by three genes, usually in an operon of xmoCAB. We aligned xmo operons from 66 microbial genomes, including members of the Alpha-, Beta-, and Gamma-proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, Thaumarchaeota and the candidate phylum NC10. Phylogenetic and compositional analyses were used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the enzyme and detect potential lateral gene transfer (LGT) events. The phylogenetic analyses showed at least 10 clusters corresponding to a combination of substrate specificity and bacterial taxonomy, but with no overriding structure based on either function or taxonomy alone. Adaptation of the enzyme to preferentially oxidize either ammonia or methane has occurred more than once. Individual phylogenies of all three genes, xmoA, xmoB and xmoC, closely matched, indicating that this operon evolved or was consistently transferred as a unit, with the possible exception of the methane monooxygenase operons in Verrucomicrobia, where the pmoB gene has a distinct phylogeny from pmoA and pmoC. Compositional analyses indicated that some clusters of xmoCAB operons (for example, the pmoCAB in gammaproteobacterial methanotrophs and the amoCAB in betaproteobacterial nitrifiers) were compositionally very different from their genomes, possibly indicating recent lateral transfer of these operons. The combined phylogenetic and compositional analyses support the hypothesis that an ancestor of the nitrifying bacterium Nitrosococcus was the donor of methane monooxygenase (pMMO) to both the alphaproteobacterial and gammaproteobacterial methanotrophs, but that before this event the gammaproteobacterial methanotrophs originally possessed another CuMMO (Pxm), which has since been lost in many species.
Project description:Bacteriophages typically have small genomes1 and depend on their bacterial hosts for replication2. Here we sequenced DNA from diverse ecosystems and found hundreds of phage genomes with lengths of more than 200 kilobases (kb), including a genome of 735 kb, which is-to our knowledge-the largest phage genome to be described to date. Thirty-five genomes were manually curated to completion (circular and no gaps). Expanded genetic repertoires include diverse and previously undescribed CRISPR-Cas systems, transfer RNAs (tRNAs), tRNA synthetases, tRNA-modification enzymes, translation-initiation and elongation factors, and ribosomal proteins. The CRISPR-Cas systems of phages have the capacity to silence host transcription factors and translational genes, potentially as part of a larger interaction network that intercepts translation to redirect biosynthesis to phage-encoded functions. In addition, some phages may repurpose bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems to eliminate competing phages. We phylogenetically define the major clades of huge phages from human and other animal microbiomes, as well as from oceans, lakes, sediments, soils and the built environment. We conclude that the large gene inventories of huge phages reflect a conserved biological strategy, and that the phages are distributed across a broad bacterial host range and across Earth's ecosystems.
Project description:Terrestrial methane seeps and rice paddy fields are important ecosystems in the methane cycle. Methanotrophic bacteria in these ecosystems play a key role in reducing methane emission into the atmosphere. Here, we describe three novel methanotrophs, designated BRS-K6, GFS-K6 and AK-K6, which were recovered from three different habitats in contrasting geographic regions and ecosystems: waterlogged rice-field soil and methane seep pond sediments from Bangladesh; and warm spring sediments from Armenia. All isolates had a temperature range for growth of 8-35 °C (optimal 25-28 °C) and a pH range of 5.0-7.5 (optimal 6.4-7.0). 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that they were new gammaproteobacterial methanotrophs, which form a separate clade in the family Methylococcaceae. They fell into a cluster with thermotolerant and mesophilic growth tendency, comprising the genera Methylocaldum-Methylococcus-Methyloparacoccus-Methylogaea. So far, growth below 15 °C of methanotrophs from this cluster has not been reported. The strains possessed type I intracytoplasmic membranes. The genes pmoA, mxaF, cbbL, nifH were detected, but no mmoX gene was found. Each strain probably represents a novel species either belonging to the same novel genus or each may even represent separate genera. These isolates extend our knowledge of methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria and their physiology and adaptation to different ecosystems.
Project description:We report the genetic organisation of six prophages present in the genome of Lactococcus lactis IL1403. The three larger prophages (36-42 kb), belong to the already described P335 group of temperate phages, whereas the three smaller ones (13-15 kb) are most probably satellites relying on helper phage(s) for multiplication. These data give a new insight into the genetic structure of lactococcal phage populations. P335 temperate phages have variable genomes, sharing homology over only 10-33% of their length. In contrast, virulent phages have highly similar genomes sharing homology over >90% of their length. Further analysis of genetic structure in all known groups of phages active on other bacterial hosts such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, MYCOBACTERIUM: and Streptococcus thermophilus confirmed the existence of two types of genetic structure related to the phage way of life. This might reflect different intensities of horizontal DNA exchange: low among purely virulent phages and high among temperate phages and their lytic homologues. We suggest that the constraints on genetic exchange among purely virulent phages reflect their optimal genetic organisation, adapted to a more specialised and extreme form of parasitism than temperate/lytic phages.
Project description:Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas contributing to about 20% of global warming. Its mitigation is conducted by methane oxidizing bacteria that act as a biofilter using methane as their energy and carbon source. Since their first discovery in 1906, methanotrophs have been studied using a complementary array of methods. One of the most used molecular methods involves PCR amplification of the functional gene marker for the diagnostic of copper and iron containing particulate methane monooxygenase. To investigate the diversity of methanotrophs and to extend their possible molecular detection, we designed a new set of degenerate methane monooxygenase primers to target an 850 nucleotide long sequence stretch from pmoC to pmoA. The primers were based on all available full genomic pmoCAB operons. The newly designed primers were tested on various pure cultures, enrichment cultures and environmental samples using PCR. The results demonstrated that this primer set has the ability to correctly amplify the about 850 nucleotide long pmoCA product from Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia and the NC10 phyla methanotrophs. The new primer set will thus be a valuable tool to screen ecosystems and can be applied in conjunction with previously used pmoA primers to extend the diversity of currently known methane-oxidizing bacteria.
Project description:The genomes of six Listeria bacteriophages were sequenced and analyzed. Phages A006, A500, B025, P35, and P40 are members of the Siphoviridae and contain double-stranded DNA genomes of between 35.6 kb and 42.7 kb. Phage B054 is a unique myovirus and features a 48.2-kb genome. Phage B025 features 3' overlapping single-stranded genome ends, whereas the other viruses contain collections of terminally redundant, circularly permuted DNA molecules. Phages P35 and P40 have a broad host range and lack lysogeny functions, correlating with their virulent lifestyle. Phages A500, A006, and B025 integrate into bacterial tRNA genes, whereas B054 targets the 3' end of translation elongation factor gene tsf. This is the first reported case of phage integration into such an evolutionarily conserved genetic element. Peptide fingerprinting of viral proteins revealed that both A118 and A500 utilize +1 and -1 programmed translational frameshifting for generating major capsid and tail shaft proteins with C termini of different lengths. In both cases, the unusual +1 frameshift at the 3' ends of the tsh coding sequences is induced by overlapping proline codons and cis-acting shifty stops. Although Listeria phage genomes feature a conserved organization, they also show extensive mosaicism within the genome building blocks. Of particular interest is B025, which harbors a collection of modules and sequences with relatedness not only to other Listeria phages but also to viruses infecting other members of the Firmicutes. In conclusion, our results yield insights into the composition and diversity of Listeria phages and provide new information on their function, genome adaptation, and evolution.
Project description:The particulate methane monooxygenase gene clusters, pmoCAB, from two representative type II methanotrophs of the alpha-Proteobacteria, Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b and Methylocystis sp. strain M, have been cloned and sequenced. Primer extension experiments revealed that the pmo cluster is probably transcribed from a single transcriptional start site located 300 bp upstream of the start of the first gene, pmoC, for Methylocystis sp. strain M. Immediately upstream of the putative start site, consensus sequences for sigma(70) promoters were identified, suggesting that these pmo genes are recognized by sigma(70) and negatively regulated under low-copper conditions. The pmo genes were cloned in several overlapping fragments, since parts of these genes appeared to be toxic to the Escherichia coli host. Methanotrophs contain two virtually identical copies of pmo genes, and it was necessary to use Southern blotting and probing with pmo gene fragments in order to differentiate between the two pmoCAB clusters in both methanotrophs. The complete DNA sequence of one copy of pmo genes from each organism is reported here. The gene sequences are 84% similar to each other and 75% similar to that of a type I methanotroph of the gamma-Proteobacteria, Methylococcus capsulatus Bath. The derived proteins PmoC and PmoA are predicted to be highly hydrophobic and consist mainly of transmembrane-spanning regions, whereas PmoB has only two putative transmembrane-spanning helices. Hybridization experiments showed that there are two copies of pmoC in both M. trichosporium OB3b and Methylocystis sp. strain M, and not three copies as found in M. capsulatus Bath.
Project description:In this work, we isolated and characterized 14 bacteriophages that infect Rhizobium etli. They were obtained from rhizosphere soil of bean plants from agricultural lands in Mexico using an enrichment method. The host range of these phages was narrow but variable within a collection of 48 R. etli strains. We obtained the complete genome sequence of nine phages. Four phages were resistant to several restriction enzymes and in vivo cloning, probably due to nucleotide modifications. The genome size of the sequenced phages varied from 43 kb to 115 kb, with a median size of ? 45 to 50 kb. A large proportion of open reading frames of these phage genomes (65 to 70%) consisted of hypothetical and orphan genes. The remainder encoded proteins needed for phage morphogenesis and DNA synthesis and processing, among other functions, and a minor percentage represented genes of bacterial origin. We classified these phages into four genomic types on the basis of their genomic similarity, gene content, and host range. Since there are no reports of similar sequences, we propose that these bacteriophages correspond to novel species.
Project description:The complete nucleotide sequences of two large, low-copy-number plasmids of 229.6 kb (pBSC2-1) and 143.5 kb (pBSC2-2) were determined during assembly of the whole-genome shotgun sequences of the methane-oxidizing bacterium Methylocystis sp. strain SC2. The physical existence of the two plasmids in strain SC2 was confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis followed by Southern hybridization. Both plasmids have a conserved replication module of the repABC system and carry genes involved in their faithful maintenance and conjugation. In addition, they contain genes that might be involved in essential metabolic processes. These include several heavy metal resistance genes and copper transport genes in pBSC2-1 and a complete nitrous oxide reductase operon and a pmoC singleton in pBSC2-2, the latter encoding the PmoC subunit of particulate methane monooxygenase.
Project description:Two bacteriophages, RPP1 and RLP1, infecting members of the marine Roseobacter clade were isolated from seawater. Their linear genomes are 74.7 and 74.6 kb and encode 91 and 92 coding DNA sequences, respectively. Around 30% of these are homologous to genes found in Enterobacter phage N4. Comparative genomics of these two new Roseobacter phages and 23 other sequenced N4-like phages (three infecting members of the Roseobacter lineage and 20 infecting other Gammaproteobacteria) revealed that N4-like phages share a core genome of 14 genes responsible for control of gene expression, replication and virion proteins. Phylogenetic analysis of these genes placed the five N4-like roseophages (RN4) into a distinct subclade. Analysis of the RN4 phage genomes revealed they share a further 19 genes of which nine are found exclusively in RN4 phages and four appear to have been acquired from their bacterial hosts. Proteomic analysis of the RPP1 and RLP1 virions identified a second structural module present in the RN4 phages similar to that found in the Pseudomonas N4-like phage LIT1. Searches of various metagenomic databases, including the GOS database, using CDS sequences from RPP1 suggests these phages are widely distributed in marine environments in particular in the open ocean environment.