Aarhus Universitets segl

Single-cell genomics reveals a diverse metabolic potential of uncultivated Desulfatiglans-related Deltaproteobacteria widely distributed in marine sediment

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Desulfatiglans-related organisms comprise one of the most abundant deltaproteobacterial lineages in marine sediments where they occur throughout the sediment column in a gradient of increasing sulfate and organic carbon limitation with depth. Characterized Desulfatiglans isolates are dissimilatory sulfate reducers able to grow by degrading aromatic hydrocarbons. The ecophysiology of environmental Desulfatiglans-populations is poorly understood, however possibly utilization of aromatic compounds may explain their predominance in marine subsurface sediments. We sequenced and analyzed 7 Desulfatiglans-related single-cell genomes (SAGs) from Aarhus Bay sediments to characterize their metabolic potential with regard to aromatic compound degradation and energy metabolism. The average genome assembly size was 1.3 Mbp and completeness estimates ranged between 20-50%. Five of the SAGs (group 1) originated from the sulfate-rich surface part of the sediment while two (group 2) originated from sulfate-depleted subsurface sediment. Based on 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing group 2 SAGs represent the more frequent types of Desulfatiglans-populations in Aarhus Bay sediments. Genes indicative of aromatic compound degradation could be identified in both groups, but the two groups were metabolically distinct with regard to energy conservation. Group 1 SAGs carry a full set of genes for dissimilatory sulfate reduction, whereas the group 2 SAGs lacked any genetic evidence for sulfate reduction. The latter may be due to incompleteness of the SAGs, but as alternative energy metabolisms group 2 SAGs carry the genetic potential for growth by acetogenesis and fermentation. Group 1 SAGs encoded reductive dehalogenase genes, allowing them to access organohalides and possibly conserve energy by their reduction. Both groups possess sulfatases unlike their cultured relatives allowing them to utilize sulfate esters as source of organic carbon and sulfate. In conclusion, the uncultivated marine Desulfatiglans populations are metabolically diverse, likely reflecting different strategies for coping with energy and sulfate limitation in the subsurface seabed.
TidsskriftFrontiers in Microbiology
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 3 sep. 2018

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