Article

Molecular evolution of glutamine synthetase II: Phylogenetic evidence of a non-endosymbiotic gene transfer event early in plant evolution

Clark University, Biology Department, Worcester, MA 01610, USA.
BMC Evolutionary Biology (Impact Factor: 3.41). 06/2010; 10:198. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-198
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glutamine synthetase (GS) is essential for ammonium assimilation and the biosynthesis of glutamine. The three GS gene families (GSI, GSII, and GSIII) are represented in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. In this study, we examined the evolutionary relationship of GSII from eubacterial and eukaryotic lineages and present robust phylogenetic evidence that GSII was transferred from gamma-Proteobacteria (Eubacteria) to the Chloroplastida.
GSII sequences were isolated from four species of green algae (Trebouxiophyceae), and additional green algal (Chlorophyceae and Prasinophytae) and streptophyte (Charales, Desmidiales, Bryophyta, Marchantiophyta, Lycopodiophyta and Tracheophyta) sequences were obtained from public databases. In Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses, eubacterial (GSIIB) and eukaryotic (GSIIE) GSII sequences formed distinct clades. Both GSIIB and GSIIE were found in chlorophytes and early-diverging streptophytes. The GSIIB enzymes from these groups formed a well-supported sister clade with the gamma-Proteobacteria, providing evidence that GSIIB in the Chloroplastida arose by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Bayesian relaxed molecular clock analyses suggest that GSIIB and GSIIE coexisted for an extended period of time but it is unclear whether the proposed HGT happened prior to or after the divergence of the primary endosymbiotic lineages (the Archaeplastida). However, GSIIB genes have not been identified in glaucophytes or red algae, favoring the hypothesis that GSIIB was gained after the divergence of the primary endosymbiotic lineages. Duplicate copies of the GSIIB gene were present in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Volvox carteri f. nagariensis, and Physcomitrella patens. Both GSIIB proteins in C. reinhardtii and V. carteri f. nagariensis had N-terminal transit sequences, indicating they are targeted to the chloroplast or mitochondrion. In contrast, GSIIB proteins of P. patens lacked transit sequences, suggesting a cytosolic function. GSIIB sequences were absent in vascular plants where the duplication of GSIIE replaced the function of GSIIB.
Phylogenetic evidence suggests GSIIB in Chloroplastida evolved by HGT, possibly after the divergence of the primary endosymbiotic lineages. Thus while multiple GS isoenzymes are common among members of the Chloroplastida, the isoenzymes may have evolved via different evolutionary processes. The acquisition of essential enzymes by HGT may provide rapid changes in biochemical capacity and therefore be favored by natural selection.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Aurélien Tartar, Jul 06, 2015
1 Follower
 · 
126 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Nitrogen assimilation is a highly regulated process requiring metabolic coordination of enzymes and pathways in the cytosol, chloroplast, and mitochondria. Previous studies of prasinophyte genomes revealed that genes encoding nitrate and ammonium transporters have a complex evolutionary history involving both vertical and horizontal transmission. Here we examine the evolutionary history of well-conserved nitrogen-assimilating enzymes to determine if a similar complex history is observed. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that genes encoding glutamine synthetase (GS) III in the prasinophytes evolved by horizontal gene transfer from a member of the heterokonts. In contrast, genes encoding GSIIE, a canonical vascular plant and green algal enzyme, were found in the Micromonas genomes but have been lost from Ostreococcus. Phylogenetic analyses placed the Micromonas GSIIs in a larger chlorophyte/vascular plant clade; a similar topology was observed for ferredoxin-dependent nitrite reductase (Fd-NiR), indicating the genes encoding GSII and Fd-NiR in these prasinophytes evolved via vertical transmission. Our results show that genes encoding the nitrogen-assimilating enzymes in Micromonas and Ostreococcus have been differentially lost and as well as recruited from different evolutionary lineages, suggesting that the regulation of nitrogen assimilation in prasinophytes will differ from other green algae.
    Journal of Molecular Evolution 12/2014; 80(1). DOI:10.1007/s00239-014-9659-3 · 1.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Glutamine synthetase (GS) is encoded by three distinct gene families (GSI, GSII, and GSIII) that are broadly distributed among the three domains of life. Previous studies established that GSII and GSIII isoenzymes were expressed in diatoms; however, less is known about the distribution and evolution of the gene families in other chromalveolate lineages. Thus, GSII cDNA sequences were isolated from three cryptophytes (Guillardia theta D. R. A. Hill et Wetherbee, Cryptomonas phaseolus Skuja, and Pyrenomonas helgolandii Santore), and GSIII was sequenced from G. theta. Red algal GSII sequences were obtained from Bangia atropurpurea (Mertens ex Roth) C. Agardh; Compsopogon caeruleus (Balbis ex C. Agardh) Mont.; Flintiella sanguinaria F. D. Ott and Porphyridium aerugineum Geitler; Rhodella violacea (Kornmann) Wehrmeyer and Dixoniella grisea (Geitler) J. L. Scott, S. T. Broadwater, B. D. Saunders, J. P. Thomas et P. W. Gabrielson; and Stylonema alsidii (Zanardini) K. M. Drew. In Bayesian inference and maximum-likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses, chromalveolate GSII sequences formed a weakly supported clade that nested among sequences from glaucophytes, red algae, green algae, and plants. Red algal GSII sequences formed two distinct clades. The largest clade contained representatives from the Cyanidiophytina and Rhodophytina and grouped with plants and green algae. The smaller clade (C. caeruleus, Porphyra yezoensis, and S. alsidii) nested within the chromalveolates, although its placement was unresolved. Chromalveolate GSIII sequences formed a well-supported clade in Bayesian and ML phylogenies, and mitochondrial transit peptides were identified in many of the sequences. There was strong support for a stramenopile-haptophyte-cryptophyte GSIII clade in which the cryptophyte sequence diverged from the deepest node. Overall, the evolutionary history of the GS gene families within the algae is complex with evidence for the presence of orthologous and paralogous sequences, ancient and recent gene duplications, gene losses and replacements, and the potential for both endosymbiotic and lateral gene transfers.
    Journal of Phycology 05/2012; 48(3):768-783. DOI:10.1111/j.1529-8817.2012.01169.x · 2.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Metagenomic data sets were generated from samples collected along a coastal to open ocean transect between Southern California Bight and California Current waters during a seasonal upwelling event, providing an opportunity to examine the impact of episodic pulses of cold nutrient-rich water into surface ocean microbial communities. The data set consists of ~5.8 million predicted proteins across seven sites, from three different size classes: 0.1–0.8, 0.8–3.0 and 3.0–200.0 μm. Taxonomic and metabolic analyses suggest that sequences from the 0.1–0.8 μm size class correlated with their position along the upwelling mosaic. However, taxonomic profiles of bacteria from the larger size classes (0.8–200 μm) were less constrained by habitat and characterized by an increase in Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Flavobacteria and double-stranded DNA viral sequences. Functional annotation of transmembrane proteins indicate that sites comprised of organisms with small genomes have an enrichment of transporters with substrate specificities for amino acids, iron and cadmium, whereas organisms with larger genomes have a higher percentage of transporters for ammonium and potassium. Eukaryotic-type glutamine synthetase (GS) II proteins were identified and taxonomically classified as viral, most closely related to the GSII in Mimivirus, suggesting that marine Mimivirus-like particles may have played a role in the transfer of GSII gene functions. Additionally, a Planctomycete bloom was sampled from one upwelling site providing a rare opportunity to assess the genomic composition of a marine Planctomycete population. The significant correlations observed between genomic properties, community structure and nutrient availability provide insights into habitat-driven dynamics among oligotrophic versus upwelled marine waters adjoining each other spatially.Keywords: marine; metagenomics; upwelling; California Current
    The ISME Journal 01/2012; 6(7):1403-1414. DOI:10.1038/ismej.2011.201 · 9.27 Impact Factor