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Ecotype diversification of an abundant Roseobacter lineage

Sun, Ying, Zhang, Yao, Hollibaugh, James T., Luo, Haiwei
Environmental microbiology 2017 v.19 no.4 pp. 1625-1638
Roseobacter, ammonium, cytochromes, ecotypes, energy, iron, metabolism, nitrogen, oceans, operon, phosphates, phosphorus, phylotype, rhodopsin, ribosomal RNA, taurine, urea, Antarctic region
The Roseobacter DC5‐80‐3 cluster (also known as the RCA clade) is among the most abundant bacterial lineages in temperate and polar oceans. Previous studies revealed two phylotypes within this cluster that are distinctly distributed in the Antarctic and other ocean provinces. Here, we report a nearly complete genome co‐assembly of three closely related single cells co‐occurring in the Antarctic, and compare it to the available genomes of the other phylotype from ocean regions where iron is more accessible but phosphorus and nitrogen are less. The Antarctic phylotype exclusively contains an operon structure consisting of a dicitrate transporter fecBCDE and an upstream regulator likely for iron uptake, whereas the other phylotype consistently carry a high‐affinity phosphate pst transporter and the phoB‐phoR regulatory system, a high‐affinity ammonium amtB transporter, urea and taurine utilization systems. Moreover, the Antarctic phylotype uses proteorhodopsin to acquire light, whereas the other uses bacteriochlorophyll‐a and the sulfur‐oxidizing sox cluster for energy acquisition. This is potentially an iron‐saving strategy for the Antarctic phylotype because only the latter two pathways have iron‐requiring cytochromes. Therefore, the two DC5‐80‐3 phylotypes, while diverging by only 1.1% in their 16S rRNA genes, have evolved systematic differences in metabolism to support their distinct ecologies.