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Genomes of Planktonic Acidimicrobiales: Widening Horizons for Marine Actinobacteria by Metagenomics

Mizuno, Carolina Megumi, Rodriguez-Valera, Francisco, Ghai, Rohit
mBio 2015 v.6 no.1 pp. e02083-14
Acidimicrobiales, aquatic habitat, carbon, carbon monoxide, chlorophyll, data collection, energy, euphotic zone, freshwater, genome, glyoxylate cycle, marine environment, metagenomics, microorganisms, oceans, oxidation, rhodopsin
The genomes of four novel marine Actinobacteria have been assembled from large metagenomic data sets derived from the Mediterranean deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM). These are the first marine representatives belonging to the order Acidimicrobiales and only the second group of planktonic marine Actinobacteria to be described. Their streamlined genomes and photoheterotrophic lifestyle suggest that they are planktonic, free-living microbes. A novel rhodopsin clade, acidirhodopsins, related to freshwater actinorhodopsins, was found in these organisms. Their genomes suggest a capacity to assimilate C2 compounds, some using the glyoxylate bypass and others with the ethylmalonyl-coenzyme A (CoA) pathway. They are also able to derive energy from dimethylsulfopropionate (DMSP), sulfonate, and carbon monoxide oxidation, all commonly available in the marine habitat. These organisms appear to be prevalent in the deep photic zone at or around the DCM. The presence of sister clades to the marine Acidimicrobiales in freshwater aquatic habitats provides a new example of marine-freshwater transitions with potential evolutionary insights.