Phylogenomic analysis of Candidatus ‘Izimaplasma’ species: free-living representatives from a Tenericutes clade found in methane seeps

Connor T. Skennerton, Mohamed Haroon, Ariane Briegel, Jian Shi, Grant J. Jensen, Gene W. Tyson, Victoria J. Orphan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tenericutes are a unique class of bacteria that lack a cell wall and are typically parasites or commensals of eukaryotic hosts. Environmental 16S rDNA surveys have identified a number of tenericute clades in diverse environments, introducing the possibility that these Tenericutes may represent non-host-associated, free-living microorganisms. Metagenomic sequencing of deep-sea methane seep sediments resulted in the assembly of two genomes from a Tenericutes-affiliated clade currently known as 'NB1-n' (SILVA taxonomy) or 'RF3' (Greengenes taxonomy). Metabolic reconstruction revealed that, like cultured members of the Mollicutes, these 'NB1-n' representatives lack a tricarboxylic acid cycle and instead use anaerobic fermentation of simple sugars for substrate level phosphorylation. Notably, the genomes also contained a number of unique metabolic features including hydrogenases and a simplified electron transport chain containing an RNF complex, cytochrome bd oxidase and complex I. On the basis of the metabolic potential predicted from the annotated genomes, we devised an anaerobic enrichment media that stimulated the growth of these Tenericutes at 10 °C, resulting in a mixed culture where these organisms represented ∼60% of the total cells by targeted fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Visual identification by FISH confirmed these organisms were not directly associated with Eukaryotes and electron cryomicroscopy of cells in the enrichment culture confirmed an ultrastructure consistent with the defining phenotypic property of Tenericutes, with a single membrane and no cell wall. On the basis of their unique gene content, phylogenetic placement and ultrastructure, we propose these organisms represent a novel class within the Tenericutes, and suggest the names Candidatus 'Izimaplasma sp. HR1' and Candidatus 'Izimaplasma sp. HR2' for the two genome representatives.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2679-2692
Number of pages14
JournalThe ISME Journal
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 8 2016

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