skip to main content

Title: Metatranscriptomic identification of polyamine‐transforming bacterioplankton in the Gulf of Mexico

The importance of short‐chained aliphatic polyamines (PAs) to bacterioplankton‐mediated carbon and nitrogen cycles has been repeatedly proposed. However, bacterial taxa and genes involved in the transformations of different PA compounds and their potential spatial variations remain unclear. This study collected surface bacterioplankton from nearshore, offshore, and open ocean stations in the Gulf of Mexico and examined how metatranscriptomes responded to additions of three single PA model compounds (i.e. putrescine, spermidine, or spermine). Our data showed an overrepresentation of genes affiliated with γ‐glutamylation and spermidine cleavage pathways in metatranscriptomes received PA amendments and the expression level of each pathway varied among different PA compounds and sampling locations. PA‐transforming taxa were affiliated withActinobacteria,Bacteroidetes,Cyanobacteria,Planctomycetes, andProteobacteriaand their relative importance was also compound and location specific. These findings suggest that PAs are transformed via multiple pathways and by a diversity of marine bacterioplankton in the Gulf of Mexico. The relative importance of different PA transforming pathways and composition of functional microbial communities may be regulated by nutrient status of local environments.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Environmental Microbiology Reports
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 258-266
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Analyses of gene expression of subsurface bacteria and archaea provide insights into their physiological adaptations to in situ subsurface conditions. We examined patterns of expressed genes in hydrothermally heated subseafloor sediments with distinct geochemical and thermal regimes in Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California, Mexico. RNA recovery and cell counts declined with sediment depth, however, we obtained metatranscriptomes from eight sites at depths spanning between 0.8 and 101.9 m below seafloor. We describe the metabolic potential of sediment microorganisms, and discuss expressed genes involved in tRNA, mRNA, and rRNA modifications that enable physiological flexibility of bacteria and archaea in the hydrothermal subsurface. Microbial taxa in hydrothermally influenced settings like Guaymas Basin may particularly depend on these catalytic RNA functions since they modulate the activity of cells under elevated temperatures and steep geochemical gradients. Expressed genes for DNA repair, protein maintenance and circadian rhythm were also identified. The concerted interaction of many of these genes may be crucial for microorganisms to survive and to thrive in the Guaymas Basin subsurface biosphere.

    more » « less
  2. Differential polyadenylation sites (PAs) critically regulate gene expression, but their cell type–specific usage and spatial distribution in the brain have not been systematically characterized. Here, we present Infernape, which infers and quantifies PA usage from single-cell and spatial transcriptomic data and show its application in the mouse brain. Infernape uncovers alternative intronic PAs and 3′-UTR lengthening during cortical neurogenesis. Progenitor–neuron comparisons in the excitatory and inhibitory neuron lineages show overlapping PA changes in embryonic brains, suggesting that the neural proliferation–differentiation axis plays a prominent role. In the adult mouse brain, we uncover cell type–specific PAs and visualize such events using spatial transcriptomic data. Over two dozen neurodevelopmental disorder–associated genes such asCsnk2a1andMecp2show differential PAs during brain development. This study presents Infernape to identify PAs from scRNA-seq and spatial data, and highlights the role of alternative PAs in neuronal gene regulation.

    more » « less
  3. Protected areas (PAs) play an important role in conserving biodiversity and providing ecosystem services, yet their effectiveness is undermined by funding shortfalls. Using lions (Panthera leo) as a proxy for PA health, we assessed available funding relative to budget requirements for PAs in Africa’s savannahs. We compiled a dataset of 2015 funding for 282 state-owned PAs with lions. We applied three methods to estimate the minimum funding required for effective conservation of lions, and calculated deficits. We estimated minimum required funding as $978/km2per year based on the cost of effectively managing lions in nine reserves by the African Parks Network; $1,271/km2based on modeled costs of managing lions at ≥50% carrying capacity across diverse conditions in 115 PAs; and $2,030/km2based on Packer et al.’s [Packer et al. (2013)Ecol Lett16:635–641] cost of managing lions in 22 unfenced PAs. PAs with lions require a total of $1.2 to $2.4 billion annually, or ∼$1,000 to 2,000/km2, yet received only $381 million annually, or a median of $200/km2. Ninety-six percent of range countries had funding deficits in at least one PA, with 88 to 94% of PAs with lions funded insufficiently. In funding-deficit PAs, available funding satisfied just 10 to 20% of PA requirements on average, and deficits total $0.9 to $2.1 billion. African governments and the international community need to increase the funding available for management by three to six times if PAs are to effectively conserve lions and other species and provide vital ecological and economic benefits to neighboring communities.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Cycloalkanes are abundant and toxic compounds in subsurface petroleum reservoirs and their fate is important to ecosystems impacted by natural oil seeps and spills. This study focuses on the microbial metabolism of methylcyclohexane (MCH) and methylcyclopentane (MCP) in the deep Gulf of Mexico. MCH and MCP are often abundant cycloalkanes observed in petroleum and will dissolve into the water column when introduced at the seafloor via a spill or natural seep. We conducted incubations with deep Gulf of Mexico (GOM) seawater amended with MCH and MCP at four stations. Within incubations with active respiration of MCH and MCP, we found that a novel genus of bacteria belonging to thePorticoccaceaefamily (Candidatus Reddybacter) dominated the microbial community. Using metagenome‐assembled genomes, we reconstructed the central metabolism ofCandidatus Reddybacter, identifying a novel clade of the particulate hydrocarbon monooxygenase (pmo) that may play a central role in MCH and MCP metabolism. Through comparative analysis of 174 genomes, we parsed the taxonomy of thePorticoccaceaefamily and found evidence suggesting the acquisition ofpmoand other genes related to the degradation of cyclic and branched hydrophobic compounds were likely key events in the ecology and evolution of this group of organisms.

    more » « less
  5. Dubilier, Nicole (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT In the ocean surface layer and cell culture, the polyamine transport protein PotD of SAR11 bacteria is often one of the most abundant proteins detected. Polyamines are organic cations at seawater pH produced by all living organisms and are thought to be an important component of dissolved organic matter (DOM) produced in planktonic ecosystems. We hypothesized that SAR11 cells uptake and metabolize multiple polyamines and use them as sources of carbon and nitrogen. Metabolic footprinting and fingerprinting were used to measure the uptake of five polyamine compounds (putrescine, cadaverine, agmatine, norspermidine, and spermidine) in two SAR11 strains that represent the majority of SAR11 cells in the surface ocean environment, “ Candidatus Pelagibacter” strain HTCC7211 and “ Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique” strain HTCC1062. Both strains took up all five polyamines and concentrated them to micromolar or millimolar intracellular concentrations. Both strains could use most of the polyamines to meet their nitrogen requirements, but polyamines did not fully substitute for their requirements of glycine (or related compounds) or pyruvate (or related compounds). Our data suggest that potABCD transports all five polyamines and that spermidine synthase, speE, is reversible, catalyzing the breakdown of spermidine and norspermidine, in addition to its usual biosynthetic role. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that enzyme multifunctionality enables streamlined cells in planktonic ecosystems to increase the range of DOM compounds they metabolize. IMPORTANCE Genome streamlining in SAR11 bacterioplankton has resulted in a small repertoire of genes, yet paradoxically, they consume a substantial fraction of primary production in the oceans. Enzyme multifunctionality, referring to enzymes that are adapted to have broader substrate and catalytic range than canonically defined, is hypothesized to be an adaptation that increases the range of organic compounds metabolized by cells in environments where selection favors genome minimization. We provide experimental support for this hypothesis by demonstrating that SAR11 cells take up and metabolize multiple polyamine compounds and propose that a small set of multifunctional enzymes catalyze this metabolism. We report that polyamine uptake rates can exceed metabolic rates, resulting in both high intracellular concentrations of these nitrogen-rich compounds (in comparison to native polyamine levels) and an increase in cell size. 
    more » « less