[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our current understanding of the taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of
cellular organisms, especially the bacteria and archaea, is mostly based upon
studies of sequences of the small- subunit rRNAs (ssu-rRNAs). To address the
limitation of ssu-rRNA as a phylogenetic marker, such as copy number variation
among organisms and complications introduced by horizontal gene transfer,
convergent evolution, or evolution rate variations, we have identified protein-
coding gene families as alternative Phylogenetic and Phylogenetic Ecology
markers (PhyEco). Current nucleotide sequence similarity based Operational
Taxonomic Unit (OTU) classification methods are not readily applicable to amino
acid sequences of PhyEco markers. We report here the development of TreeOTU, a
phylogenetic tree structure based OTU classification method that takes into
account of differences in rates of evolution between taxa and between genes.
OTU sets built by TreeOTU are more faithful to phylogenetic tree structures
than sequence clustering (non phylogenetic) methods for ssu-rRNAs. OTUs built
from phylogenetic trees of protein coding PhyEco markers are comparable to our
current taxonomic classification at different levels. With the included OTU
comparing tools, the TreeOTU is robust in phylogenetic referencing with
different phylogenetic markers and trees.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microorganisms in the subsurface represent a substantial but poorly understood component of the Earth's biosphere. Subsurface environments are complex and difficult to characterize; thus, their microbiota have remained as a 'dark matter' of the carbon and other biogeochemical cycles. Here we deeply sequence two sediment-hosted microbial communities from an aquifer adjacent to the Colorado River, CO, USA. No single organism represents more than ~1% of either community. Remarkably, many bacteria and archaea in these communities are novel at the phylum level or belong to phyla lacking a sequenced representative. The dominant organism in deeper sediment, RBG-1, is a member of a new phylum. On the basis of its reconstructed complete genome, RBG-1 is metabolically versatile. Its wide respiration-based repertoire may enable it to respond to the fluctuating redox environment close to the water table. We document extraordinary microbial novelty and the importance of previously unknown lineages in sediment biogeochemical transformations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the astonishing rate that genomic and metagenomic sequence data sets are accumulating, there are many reasons to constrain the data analyses. One approach to such constrained analyses is to focus on select subsets of gene families that are particularly well suited for the tasks at hand. Such gene families have generally been referred to as "marker" genes. We are particularly interested in identifying and using such marker genes for phylogenetic and phylogeny-driven ecological studies of microbes and their communities (e.g., construction of species trees, phylogenetic based assignment of metagenomic sequence reads to taxonomic groups, phylogeny-based assessment of alpha- and beta-diversity of microbial communities from metagenomic data). We therefore refer to these as PhyEco (for phylogenetic and phylogenetic ecology) markers. The dual use of these PhyEco markers means that we needed to develop and apply a set of somewhat novel criteria for identification of the best candidates for such markers. The criteria we focused on included universality across the taxa of interest, ability to be used to produce robust phylogenetic trees that reflect as much as possible the evolution of the species from which the genes come, and low variation in copy number across taxa. We describe here an automated protocol for identifying potential PhyEco markers from a set of complete genome sequences. The protocol combines rapid searching, clustering and phylogenetic tree building algorithms to generate protein families that meet the criteria listed above. We report here the identification of PhyEco markers for different taxonomic levels including 40 for "all bacteria and archaea", 114 for "all bacteria (greatly expanding on the ∼30 commonly used), and 100 s to 1000 s for some of the individual phyla of bacteria. This new list of PhyEco markers should allow much more detailed automated phylogenetic and phylogenetic ecology analyses of these groups than possible previously.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e77033. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cyanobacterial phylum encompasses oxygenic photosynthetic prokaryotes of a great breadth of morphologies and ecologies; they play key roles in global carbon and nitrogen cycles. The chloroplasts of all photosynthetic eukaryotes can trace their ancestry to cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria also attract considerable interest as platforms for "green" biotechnology and biofuels. To explore the molecular basis of their different phenotypes and biochemical capabilities, we sequenced the genomes of 54 phylogenetically and phenotypically diverse cyanobacterial strains. Comparison of cyanobacterial genomes reveals the molecular basis for many aspects of cyanobacterial ecophysiological diversity, as well as the convergence of complex morphologies without the acquisition of novel proteins. This phylum-wide study highlights the benefits of diversity-driven genome sequencing, identifying more than 21,000 cyanobacterial proteins with no detectable similarity to known proteins, and foregrounds the diversity of light-harvesting proteins and gene clusters for secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Additionally, our results provide insight into the distribution of genes of cyanobacterial origin in eukaryotic nuclear genomes. Moreover, this study doubles both the amount and the phylogenetic diversity of cyanobacterial genome sequence data. Given the exponentially growing number of sequenced genomes, this diversity-driven study demonstrates the perspective gained by comparing disparate yet related genomes in a phylum-wide context and the insights that are gained from it.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2012; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: New computational resources are needed to manage the increasing volume of biological data from genome sequencing projects. One fundamental challenge is the ability to maintain a complete and current catalog of protein diversity. We developed a new approach for the identification of protein families that focuses on the rapid discovery of homologous protein sequences. RESULTS: We implemented fully automated and high-throughput procedures to de novo cluster proteins into families based upon global alignment similarity. Our approach employs an iterative clustering strategy in which homologs of known families are sifted out of the search for new families. The resulting reduction in computational complexity enables us to rapidly identify novel protein families found in new genomes and to perform efficient, automated updates that keep pace with genome sequencing. We refer to protein families identified through this approach as "Sifting Families," or SFams. Our analysis of ~10.5 million protein sequences from 2,928 genomes identified 436,360 SFams, many of which are not represented in other protein family databases. We validated the quality of SFam clustering through statistical as well as network topology--based analyses. CONCLUSIONS: We describe the rapid identification of SFams and demonstrate how they can be used to annotate genomes and metagenomes. The SFam database catalogs protein-family quality metrics, multiple sequence alignments, hidden Markov models, and phylogenetic trees. Our source code and database are publicly available and will be subject to frequent updates (http://edhar.genomecenter.ucdavis.edu/sifting_families/).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) is one of the most important aquaculture species in the world, representing the crustacean lineage which possesses the greatest species diversity among marine invertebrates. Yet, we barely know anything about their genomic structure. To understand the organization and evolution of the P. monodon genome, a fosmid library consisting of 288,000 colonies and was constructed, equivalent to 5.3-fold coverage of the 2.17 Gb genome. Approximately 11.1 Mb of fosmid end sequences (FESs) from 20,926 non-redundant reads representing 0.45% of the P. monodon genome were obtained for repetitive and protein-coding sequence analyses.
We found that microsatellite sequences were highly abundant in the P. monodon genome, comprising 8.3% of the total length. The density and the average length of microsatellites were evidently higher in comparison to those of other taxa. AT-rich microsatellite motifs, especially poly (AT) and poly (AAT), were the most abundant. High abundance of microsatellite sequences were also found in the transcribed regions. Furthermore, via self-BlastN analysis we identified 103 novel repetitive element families which were categorized into four groups, i.e., 33 WSSV-like repeats, 14 retrotransposons, 5 gene-like repeats, and 51 unannotated repeats. Overall, various types of repeats comprise 51.18% of the P. monodon genome in length. Approximately 7.4% of the FESs contained protein-coding sequences, and the Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein (IAP) gene and the Innexin 3 gene homologues appear to be present in high abundance in the P. monodon genome.
The redundancy of various repeat types in the P. monodon genome illustrates its highly repetitive nature. In particular, long and dense microsatellite sequences as well as abundant WSSV-like sequences highlight the uniqueness of genome organization of penaeid shrimp from those of other taxa. These results provide substantial improvement to our current knowledge not only for shrimp but also for marine crustaceans of large genome size.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most of our knowledge about the ancient evolutionary history of organisms has been derived from data associated with specific known organisms (i.e., organisms that we can study directly such as plants, metazoans, and culturable microbes). Recently, however, a new source of data for such studies has arrived: DNA sequence data generated directly from environmental samples. Such metagenomic data has enormous potential in a variety of areas including, as we argue here, in studies of very early events in the evolution of gene families and of species.
We designed and implemented new methods for analyzing metagenomic data and used them to search the Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) expedition data set for novel lineages in three gene families commonly used in phylogenetic studies of known and unknown organisms: small subunit rRNA and the recA and rpoB superfamilies. Though the methods available could not accurately identify very deeply branched ss-rRNAs (largely due to difficulties in making robust sequence alignments for novel rRNA fragments), our analysis revealed the existence of multiple novel branches in the recA and rpoB gene families. Analysis of available sequence data likely from the same genomes as these novel recA and rpoB homologs was then used to further characterize the possible organismal source of the novel sequences.
Of the novel recA and rpoB homologs identified in the metagenomic data, some likely come from uncharacterized viruses while others may represent ancient paralogs not yet seen in any cultured organism. A third possibility is that some come from novel cellular lineages that are only distantly related to any organisms for which sequence data is currently available. If there exist any major, but so-far-undiscovered, deeply branching lineages in the tree of life, we suggest that methods such as those described herein currently offer the best way to search for them.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e18011. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While the bulk of the finished microbial genomes sequenced to date are derived from cultured bacterial and archaeal representatives, the vast majority of microorganisms elude current culturing attempts, severely limiting the ability to recover complete or even partial genomes from these environmental species. Single cell genomics is a novel culture-independent approach, which enables access to the genetic material of an individual cell. No single cell genome has to our knowledge been closed and finished to date. Here we report the completed genome from an uncultured single cell of Candidatus Sulcia muelleri DMIN. Digital PCR on single symbiont cells isolated from the bacteriome of the green sharpshooter Draeculacephala minerva bacteriome allowed us to assess that this bacteria is polyploid with genome copies ranging from approximately 200-900 per cell, making it a most suitable target for single cell finishing efforts. For single cell shotgun sequencing, an individual Sulcia cell was isolated and whole genome amplified by multiple displacement amplification (MDA). Sanger-based finishing methods allowed us to close the genome. To verify the correctness of our single cell genome and exclude MDA-derived artifacts, we independently shotgun sequenced and assembled the Sulcia genome from pooled bacteriomes using a metagenomic approach, yielding a nearly identical genome. Four variations we detected appear to be genuine biological differences between the two samples. Comparison of the single cell genome with bacteriome metagenomic sequence data detected two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), indicating extremely low genetic diversity within a Sulcia population. This study demonstrates the power of single cell genomics to generate a complete, high quality, non-composite reference genome within an environmental sample, which can be used for population genetic analyzes.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(4):e10314. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hydrothermal vent clam Calyptogena magnifica (Bivalvia: Mollusca) is a member of the Vesicomyidae. Species within this family form symbioses with chemosynthetic Gammaproteobacteria. They exist in environments such as hydrothermal vents and cold seeps and have a rudimentary gut and feeding groove, indicating a large dependence on their endosymbionts for nutrition. The C. magnifica symbiont, Candidatus Ruthia magnifica, was the first intracellular sulfur-oxidizing endosymbiont to have its genome sequenced (Newton et al. 2007). Here we expand upon the original report and provide additional details complying with the emerging MIGS/MIMS standards. The complete genome exposed the genetic blueprint of the metabolic capabilities of the symbiont. Genes which were predicted to encode the proteins required for all the metabolic pathways typical of free-living chemoautotrophs were detected in the symbiont genome. These include major pathways including carbon fixation, sulfur oxidation, nitrogen assimilation, as well as amino acid and cofactor/vitamin biosynthesis. This genome sequence is invaluable in the study of these enigmatic associations and provides insights into the origin and evolution of autotrophic endosymbiosis.
Standards in Genomic Sciences 01/2010; 3(2):163-73. · 2.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequencing of bacterial and archaeal genomes has revolutionized our understanding of the many roles played by microorganisms. There are now nearly 1,000 completed bacterial and archaeal genomes available, most of which were chosen for sequencing on the basis of their physiology. As a result, the perspective provided by the currently available genomes is limited by a highly biased phylogenetic distribution. To explore the value added by choosing microbial genomes for sequencing on the basis of their evolutionary relationships, we have sequenced and analysed the genomes of 56 culturable species of Bacteria and Archaea selected to maximize phylogenetic coverage. Analysis of these genomes demonstrated pronounced benefits (compared to an equivalent set of genomes randomly selected from the existing database) in diverse areas including the reconstruction of phylogenetic history, the discovery of new protein families and biological properties, and the prediction of functions for known genes from other organisms. Our results strongly support the need for systematic 'phylogenomic' efforts to compile a phylogeny-driven 'Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea' in order to derive maximum knowledge from existing microbial genome data as well as from genome sequences to come.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Submarine hydrothermal vents are model systems for the Archaean Earth environment, and some sites maintain conditions that may have favored the formation and evolution of cellular life. Vents are typified by rapid fluctuations in temperature and redox potential that impose a strong selective pressure on resident microbial communities. Nautilia profundicola strain Am-H is a moderately thermophilic, deeply-branching Epsilonproteobacterium found free-living at hydrothermal vents and is a member of the microbial mass on the dorsal surface of vent polychaete, Alvinella pompejana. Analysis of the 1.7-Mbp genome of N. profundicola uncovered adaptations to the vent environment--some unique and some shared with other Epsilonproteobacterial genomes. The major findings included: (1) a diverse suite of hydrogenases coupled to a relatively simple electron transport chain, (2) numerous stress response systems, (3) a novel predicted nitrate assimilation pathway with hydroxylamine as a key intermediate, and (4) a gene (rgy) encoding the hallmark protein for hyperthermophilic growth, reverse gyrase. Additional experiments indicated that expression of rgy in strain Am-H was induced over 100-fold with a 20 degrees C increase above the optimal growth temperature of this bacterium and that closely related rgy genes are present and expressed in bacterial communities residing in geographically distinct thermophilic environments. N. profundicola, therefore, is a model Epsilonproteobacterium that contains all the genes necessary for life in the extreme conditions widely believed to reflect those in the Archaean biosphere--anaerobic, sulfur, H2- and CO2-rich, with fluctuating redox potentials and temperatures. In addition, reverse gyrase appears to be an important and common adaptation for mesophiles and moderate thermophiles that inhabit ecological niches characterized by rapid and frequent temperature fluctuations and, as such, can no longer be considered a unique feature of hyperthermophiles.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to enrich the phylogenetic diversity represented in the available sequenced bacterial genomes and as part of an "Assembling the Tree of Life" project, we determined the genome sequence of Thermomicrobium roseum DSM 5159. T. roseum DSM 5159 is a red-pigmented, rod-shaped, Gram-negative extreme thermophile isolated from a hot spring that possesses both an atypical cell wall composition and an unusual cell membrane that is composed entirely of long-chain 1,2-diols. Its genome is composed of two circular DNA elements, one of 2,006,217 bp (referred to as the chromosome) and one of 919,596 bp (referred to as the megaplasmid). Strikingly, though few standard housekeeping genes are found on the megaplasmid, it does encode a complete system for chemotaxis including both chemosensory components and an entire flagellar apparatus. This is the first known example of a complete flagellar system being encoded on a plasmid and suggests a straightforward means for lateral transfer of flagellum-based motility. Phylogenomic analyses support the recent rRNA-based analyses that led to T. roseum being removed from the phylum Thermomicrobia and assigned to the phylum Chloroflexi. Because T. roseum is a deep-branching member of this phylum, analysis of its genome provides insights into the evolution of the Chloroflexi. In addition, even though this species is not photosynthetic, analysis of the genome provides some insight into the origins of photosynthesis in the Chloroflexi. Metabolic pathway reconstructions and experimental studies revealed new aspects of the biology of this species. For example, we present evidence that T. roseum oxidizes CO aerobically, making it the first thermophile known to do so. In addition, we propose that glycosylation of its carotenoids plays a crucial role in the adaptation of the cell membrane to this bacterium's thermophilic lifestyle. Analyses of published metagenomic sequences from two hot springs similar to the one from which this strain was isolated, show that close relatives of T. roseum DSM 5159 are present but have some key differences from the strain sequenced.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(1):e4207. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Comparative analysis of small-subunit ribosomal RNA (ss-rRNA) gene sequences forms the basis for much of what we know about the phylogenetic diversity of both cultured and uncultured microorganisms. As sequencing costs continue to decline and throughput increases, sequences of ss-rRNA genes are being obtained at an ever-increasing rate. This increasing flow of data has opened many new windows into microbial diversity and evolution, and at the same time has created significant methodological challenges. Those processes which commonly require time-consuming human intervention, such as the preparation of multiple sequence alignments, simply cannot keep up with the flood of incoming data. Fully automated methods of analysis are needed. Notably, existing automated methods avoid one or more steps that, though computationally costly or difficult, we consider to be important. In particular, we regard both the building of multiple sequence alignments and the performance of high quality phylogenetic analysis to be necessary. We describe here our fully-automated ss-rRNA taxonomy and alignment pipeline (STAP). It generates both high-quality multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and thus can be used for multiple purposes including phylogenetically-based taxonomic assignments and analysis of species diversity in environmental samples. The pipeline combines publicly-available packages (PHYML, BLASTN and CLUSTALW) with our automatic alignment, masking, and tree-parsing programs. Most importantly, this automated process yields results comparable to those achievable by manual analysis, yet offers speed and capacity that are unattainable by manual efforts.
PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(7):e2566. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The horizontal transfer of genes by mobile genetic elements such as plasmids and phages can accelerate genome diversification of Vibrio spp., affecting their physiology, pathogenicity, and ecological character. In this study, sequence analysis of three plasmids from Vibrio spp. previously isolated from salt marsh sediment revealed the remarkable diversity of these elements. Plasmids p0908 (81.4 kb), p23023 (52.5 kb), and p09022 (31.0 kb) had a predicted 99, 64, and 32 protein-coding sequences and G+C contents of 49.2%, 44.7%, and 42.4%, respectively. A phylogenetic tree based on concatenation of the host 16S rRNA and rpoA nucleotide sequences indicated p23023 and p09022 were isolated from strains most closely related to V. mediterranei and V. campbellii, respectively, while the host of p0908 forms a clade with V. fluvialis and V. furnissii. Many predicted proteins had amino acid identities to proteins of previously characterized phages and plasmids (24 to 94%). Predicted proteins with similarity to chromosomally encoded proteins included RecA, a nucleoid-associated protein (NdpA), a type IV helicase (UvrD), and multiple hypothetical proteins. Plasmid p0908 had striking similarity to enterobacteria phage P1, sharing genetic organization and amino acid identity for 23 predicted proteins. This study provides evidence of genetic exchange between Vibrio plasmids, phages, and chromosomes among diverse Vibrio spp.
Applied and environmental microbiology 01/2008; 73(23):7703-10. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The world's oceans contain a complex mixture of micro-organisms that are for the most part, uncharacterized both genetically and biochemically. We report here a metagenomic study of the marine planktonic microbiota in which surface (mostly marine) water samples were analyzed as part of the Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling expedition. These samples, collected across a several-thousand km transect from the North Atlantic through the Panama Canal and ending in the South Pacific yielded an extensive dataset consisting of 7.7 million sequencing reads (6.3 billion bp). Though a few major microbial clades dominate the planktonic marine niche, the dataset contains great diversity with 85% of the assembled sequence and 57% of the unassembled data being unique at a 98% sequence identity cutoff. Using the metadata associated with each sample and sequencing library, we developed new comparative genomic and assembly methods. One comparative genomic method, termed "fragment recruitment," addressed questions of genome structure, evolution, and taxonomic or phylogenetic diversity, as well as the biochemical diversity of genes and gene families. A second method, termed "extreme assembly," made possible the assembly and reconstruction of large segments of abundant but clearly nonclonal organisms. Within all abundant populations analyzed, we found extensive intra-ribotype diversity in several forms: (1) extensive sequence variation within orthologous regions throughout a given genome; despite coverage of individual ribotypes approaching 500-fold, most individual sequencing reads are unique; (2) numerous changes in gene content some with direct adaptive implications; and (3) hypervariable genomic islands that are too variable to assemble. The intra-ribotype diversity is organized into genetically isolated populations that have overlapping but independent distributions, implying distinct environmental preference. We present novel methods for measuring the genomic similarity between metagenomic samples and show how they may be grouped into several community types. Specific functional adaptations can be identified both within individual ribotypes and across the entire community, including proteorhodopsin spectral tuning and the presence or absence of the phosphate-binding gene PstS.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The world's oceans contain a complex mixture of micro-organisms that are for the most part, uncharacterized both genetically and biochemically. We report here a metagenomic study of the marine planktonic microbiota in which surface (mostly marine) water samples were analyzed as part of the Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling expedition. These samples, collected across a several-thousand km transect from the North Atlantic through the Panama Canal and ending in the South Pacific yielded an extensive dataset consisting of 7.7 million sequencing reads (6.3 billion bp). Though a few major microbial clades dominate the planktonic marine niche, the dataset contains great diversity with 85% of the assembled sequence and 57% of the unassembled data being unique at a 98% sequence identity cutoff. Using the metadata associated with each sample and sequencing library, we developed new comparative genomic and assembly methods. One comparative genomic method, termed “fragment recruitment,” addressed questions of genome structure, evolution, and taxonomic or phylogenetic diversity, as well as the biochemical diversity of genes and gene families. A second method, termed “extreme assembly,” made possible the assembly and reconstruction of large segments of abundant but clearly nonclonal organisms. Within all abundant populations analyzed, we found extensive intra-ribotype diversity in several forms: (1) extensive sequence variation within orthologous regions throughout a given genome; despite coverage of individual ribotypes approaching 500-fold, most individual sequencing reads are unique; (2) numerous changes in gene content some with direct adaptive implications; and (3) hypervariable genomic islands that are too variable to assemble. The intra-ribotype diversity is organized into genetically isolated populations that have overlapping but independent distributions, implying distinct environmental preference. We present novel methods for measuring the genomic similarity between metagenomic samples and show how they may be grouped into several community types. Specific functional adaptations can be identified both within individual ribotypes and across the entire community, including proteorhodopsin spectral tuning and the presence or absence of the phosphate-binding gene PstS.