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Title: Global biogeography and ecological implications of cobamide-producing prokaryotes

Cobamides, a class of essential coenzymes synthesized only by a subset of prokaryotes, are model nutrients in microbial interaction studies and play significant roles in global ecosystems. Yet, their spatial patterns and functional roles remain poorly understood. Herein, we present an in-depth examination of cobamide-producing microorganisms, drawn from a comprehensive analysis of 2862 marine and 2979 soil metagenomic samples. A total of 1934 nonredundant metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) potentially capable of producing cobamides de novo were identified. The cobamide-producing MAGs are taxonomically diverse but habitat specific. They constituted only a fraction of all the recovered MAGs, with the majority of MAGs being potential cobamide users. By mapping the distribution of cobamide producers in marine and soil environments, distinct latitudinal gradients were observed: the marine environment showed peak abundance at the equator, whereas soil environments peaked at mid-latitudes. Importantly, significant and positive links between the abundance of cobamide producers and the diversity and functions of microbial communities were observed, as well as their promotional roles in essential biogeochemical cycles. These associations were more pronounced in marine samples than in soil samples, which suggests a heightened propensity for microorganisms to engage in cobamide sharing in fluid environments relative to the more spatially restricted soil environment. These findings shed light on the global patterns and potential ecological roles of cobamide-producing microorganisms in marine and soil ecosystems, enhancing our understanding of large-scale microbial interactions.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The ISME Journal
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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