Structure and function of the symbiosis partners of the lung lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria L. Hoffm.) analyzed by metaproteomics.
ABSTRACT Environmental proteomics, also referred to as metaproteomics, is an emerging technology to study the structure and function of microbial communities. Here, we applied semi-quantitative label-free proteomics using one-dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with LC-MS/MS and normalized spectral counting together with fluorescence in situ hybridization and confocal laser scanning microscopy to characterize the metaproteome of the lung lichen symbiosis Lobaria pulmonaria. In addition to the myco- and photobiont, L. pulmonaria harbors proteins from a highly diverse prokaryotic community, which is dominated by Proteobacteria and including also Archaea. While fungal proteins are most dominant (75.4% of all assigned spectra), about the same amount of spectra were assigned to prokaryotic proteins (10%) and to the green algal photobiont (9%). While the latter proteins were found to be mainly associated with energy and carbohydrate metabolism, a major proportion of fungal and bacterial proteins appeared to be involved in PTMs and protein turnover and other diverse functions.