[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dynamics of reductive genome evolution for eukaryotes living inside other eukaryotic cells are poorly understood compared to well-studied model systems involving obligate intracellular bacteria. Here we present 8.5 Mb of sequence from the genome of the microsporidian Trachipleistophora hominis, isolated from an HIV/AIDS patient, which is an outgroup to the smaller compacted-genome species that primarily inform ideas of evolutionary mode for these enormously successful obligate intracellular parasites. Our data provide detailed information on the gene content, genome architecture and intergenic regions of a larger microsporidian genome, while comparative analyses allowed us to infer genomic features and metabolism of the common ancestor of the species investigated. Gene length reduction and massive loss of metabolic capacity in the common ancestor was accompanied by the evolution of novel microsporidian-specific protein families, whose conservation among microsporidians, against a background of reductive evolution, suggests they may have important functions in their parasitic lifestyle. The ancestor had already lost many metabolic pathways but retained glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway to provide cytosolic ATP and reduced coenzymes, and it had a minimal mitochondrion (mitosome) making Fe-S clusters but not ATP. It possessed bacterial-like nucleotide transport proteins as a key innovation for stealing host-generated ATP, the machinery for RNAi, key elements of the early secretory pathway, canonical eukaryotic as well as microsporidian-specific regulatory elements, a diversity of repetitive and transposable elements, and relatively low average gene density. Microsporidian genome evolution thus appears to have proceeded in at least two major steps: an ancestral remodelling of the proteome upon transition to intracellular parasitism that involved reduction but also selective expansion, followed by a secondary compaction of genome architecture in some, but not all, lineages.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low nutrient and energy availability has led to the evolution of numerous strategies for overcoming these limitations, of which symbiotic associations represent a key mechanism. Particularly striking are the associations between chemosynthetic bacteria and marine animals that thrive in nutrient-poor environments such as the deep sea because the symbionts allow their hosts to grow on inorganic energy and carbon sources such as sulfide and CO(2). Remarkably little is known about the physiological strategies that enable chemosynthetic symbioses to colonize oligotrophic environments. In this study, we used metaproteomics and metabolomics to investigate the intricate network of metabolic interactions in the chemosynthetic association between Olavius algarvensis, a gutless marine worm, and its bacterial symbionts. We propose previously undescribed pathways for coping with energy and nutrient limitation, some of which may be widespread in both free-living and symbiotic bacteria. These pathways include (i) a pathway for symbiont assimilation of the host waste products acetate, propionate, succinate and malate; (ii) the potential use of carbon monoxide as an energy source, a substrate previously not known to play a role in marine invertebrate symbioses; (iii) the potential use of hydrogen as an energy source; (iv) the strong expression of high-affinity uptake transporters; and (v) as yet undescribed energy-efficient steps in CO(2) fixation and sulfate reduction. The high expression of proteins involved in pathways for energy and carbon uptake and conservation in the O. algarvensis symbiosis indicates that the oligotrophic nature of its environment exerted a strong selective pressure in shaping these associations.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2012; 109(19):E1173-82. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The two closely related deep-sea tubeworms Riftia pachyptila and Tevnia jerichonana both rely exclusively on a single species of sulfide-oxidizing endosymbiotic bacteria for their nutrition. They do, however, thrive in markedly different geochemical conditions. A detailed proteogenomic comparison of the endosymbionts coupled with an in situ characterization of the geochemical environment was performed to investigate their roles and expression profiles in the two respective hosts. The metagenomes indicated that the endosymbionts are genotypically highly homogeneous. Gene sequences coding for enzymes of selected key metabolic functions were found to be 99.9% identical. On the proteomic level, the symbionts showed very consistent metabolic profiles, despite distinctly different geochemical conditions at the plume level of the respective hosts. Only a few minor variations were observed in the expression of symbiont enzymes involved in sulfur metabolism, carbon fixation and in the response to oxidative stress. Although these changes correspond to the prevailing environmental situation experienced by each host, our data strongly suggest that the two tubeworm species are able to effectively attenuate differences in habitat conditions, and thus to provide their symbionts with similar micro-environments.
The ISME Journal 10/2011; 6(4):766-76. · 8.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Riftia pachyptila, the giant deep-sea tube worm, inhabits hydrothermal vents in the Eastern Pacific ocean. The worms are nourished by a dense population of chemoautotrophic bacterial endosymbionts. Using the energy derived from sulfide oxidation, the symbionts fix CO(2) and produce organic carbon, which provides the nutrition of the host. Although the endosymbionts have never been cultured, cultivation-independent techniques based on density gradient centrifugation and the sequencing of their (meta-) genome enabled a detailed physiological examination on the proteomic level. In this study, the Riftia symbionts' soluble proteome map was extended to a total of 493 identified proteins, which allowed for an explicit description of vital metabolic processes such as the energy-generating sulfide oxidation pathway or the Calvin cycle, which seems to involve a reversible pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase. Furthermore, the proteomic view supports the hypothesis that the symbiont uses nitrate as an alternative electron acceptor. Finally, the membrane-associated proteome of the Riftia symbiont was selectively enriched and analyzed. As a result, 275 additional proteins were identified, most of which have putative functions in electron transfer, transport processes, secretion, signal transduction and other cell surface-related functions. Integrating this information into complex pathway models a comprehensive survey of the symbiotic physiology was established.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The psychrophilic model bacterium Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis is characterized by remarkably fast growth rates under low-temperature conditions in a range from 5°C to 20°C. In this study the proteome of cellular compartments, the cytoplasm and periplasm, of P. haloplanktis strain TAC125 was analyzed under exponential growth conditions at a permissive temperature of 16°C. By means of two-dimensional protein gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, a first inventory of the most abundant cytoplasmic and periplasmic proteins expressed in a peptone-supplemented minimal medium was established. By this approach major enzymes of the amino acid catabolism of this marine bacterium could be functionally deduced. The cytoplasmic proteome showed a predominance of amino acid degradation pathways and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes but also the protein synthesis machinery. Furthermore, high levels of cold acclimation and oxidative stress proteins could be detected at this moderate growth temperature. The periplasmic proteome was characterized by a significant abundance of transporters, especially of highly expressed putative TonB-dependent receptors. This high capacity for protein synthesis, efficient amino acid utilization, and substrate transport may contribute to the fast growth rates of the copiotrophic bacterium P. haloplanktis in its natural environments.
Applied and environmental microbiology 02/2011; 77(4):1276-83. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the life of marine microorganisms under their particular environmental conditions. Genome sequencing combined with the techniques of functional genomics, especially proteome analyses, now open up revolutionary insights into the adaptation strategies marine organisms have evolved in response to the challenges of their habitat. This report summarizes the first approaches and state-of-the-art in the field of proteome analysis of marine bacteria. This includes, amongst others, proteomics on culturable, free-living marine bacteria and on uncultivable bacteria living in symbiosis with higher organisms. Finally, new approaches to determine the metaproteome of uncultured microbial consortia from marine habitats are discussed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The bacterial endosymbiont of the deep-sea tube worm Riftia pachyptila has never been successfully cultivated outside its host. In the absence of cultivation data, we have taken a proteomic approach based on the metagenome sequence to study the metabolism of this peculiar microorganism in detail. As one result, we found that three major sulfide oxidation proteins constitute approximately 12% of the total cytosolic proteome, which highlights the essential role of these enzymes for the symbiont's energy metabolism. Unexpectedly, the symbiont uses the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle in addition to the previously identified Calvin cycle for CO2 fixation.