Shedding light on cell compartmentation in the candidate phylum Poribacteria by high resolution visualisation and transcriptional profiling

Martin T. Jahn, Sebastian M. Markert, Tae Woo Ryu, Timothy Ravasi, Christian Stigloher, Ute Hentschel, Lucas Moitinho-Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Assigning functions to uncultivated environmental microorganisms continues to be a challenging endeavour. Here, we present a new microscopy protocol for fluorescence in situ hybridisation-correlative light and electron microscopy (FISH-CLEM) that enabled, to our knowledge for the first time, the identification of single cells within their complex microenvironment at electron microscopy resolution. Members of the candidate phylum Poribacteria, common and uncultivated symbionts of marine sponges, were used towards this goal. Cellular 3D reconstructions revealed bipolar, spherical granules of low electron density, which likely represent carbon reserves. Poribacterial activity profiles were retrieved from prokaryotic enriched sponge metatranscriptomes using simulation-based optimised mapping. We observed high transcriptional activity for proteins related to bacterial microcompartments (BMC) and we resolved their subcellular localisation by combining FISH-CLEM with immunohistochemistry (IHC) on ultra-thin sponge tissue sections. In terms of functional relevance, we propose that the BMC-A region may be involved in 1,2-propanediol degradation. The FISH-IHC-CLEM approach was proven an effective toolkit to combine -omics approaches with functional studies and it should be widely applicable in environmental microbiology.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 31 2016

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