In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, quorum sensing (QS) regulates the production of secondary metabolites, many of which are antimicrobials that impact on polymicrobial community composition. Consequently, quenching QS modulates the environmental impact of P. aeruginosa. To identify bacteria capable of inactivating the QS signal molecule 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone (PQS), a minimal medium containing PQS as the sole carbon source was used to enrich a Malaysian rainforest soil sample. This yielded an Achromobacter xylosoxidans strain (Q19) that inactivated PQS, yielding a new fluorescent compound (I-PQS) confirmed as PQS-derived using deuterated PQS. The I-PQS structure was elucidated using mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as 2-heptyl-2-hydroxy-1,2-dihydroquinoline-3,4-dione (HHQD). Achromobacter xylosoxidans Q19 oxidized PQS congeners with alkyl chains ranging from C1 to C5 and also N-methyl PQS, yielding the corresponding 2-hydroxy-1,2-dihydroquinoline-3,4-diones, but was unable to inactivate the PQS precursor HHQ. This indicates that the hydroxyl group at position 3 in PQS is essential and that A. xylosoxidans inactivates PQS via a pathway involving the incorporation of oxygen at C2 of the heterocyclic ring. The conversion of PQS to HHQD also occurred on incubation with 12/17 A. xylosoxidans strains recovered from cystic fibrosis patients, with P. aeruginosa and with Arthrobacter, suggesting that formation of hydroxylated PQS may be a common mechanism of inactivation.
Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 produces intracellular gas vesicles to enable upward flotation in water columns. It also uses flagellar rotation to swim through liquid and swarm across semi-solid surfaces. Flotation and motility can be co-regulated with production of a β-lactam antibiotic (carbapenem carboxylate) and a linear tripyrrole red antibiotic, prodigiosin. Production of gas vesicles, carbapenem and prodigiosin antibiotics, and motility are controlled by master transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulators, including the SmaI/SmaR-based quorum sensing system and the mRNA binding protein, RsmA. Recently, the ribose operon repressor, RbsR, was also defined as a pleiotropic regulator of flotation and virulence factor elaboration in this strain. Here, we report the discovery of a new global regulator (FloR; a DeoR family transcription factor) that modulates flotation through control of gas vesicle morphogenesis. The floR mutation is highly pleiotropic, down-regulating production of gas vesicles, carbapenem and prodigiosin antibiotics, and infection in Caenorhabditis elegans, but up-regulating flagellar motility. Detailed proteomic analysis using TMT peptide labelling and LC-MS/MS revealed that FloR is a physiological master regulator that operates through subordinate pleiotropic regulators including Rap, RpoS, RsmA, PigU, PstS and PigT.
Plant pathogens secrete effector proteins to manipulate the host and facilitate infection. Cognate hosts trigger strong defence responses upon detection of these effectors. Consequently, pathogens and hosts undergo rapid coevolutionary arms races driven by adaptive evolution of effectors and receptors. Because of their high rate of turnover, most effectors are thought to be species-specific and the evolutionary trajectories are poorly understood. Here, we investigate the necrosis-inducing protein 1 (NIP1) effector in the multihost pathogen genus Rhynchosporium. We retraced the evolutionary history of the NIP1 locus using whole-genome assemblies of 146 strains covering four closely related species. NIP1 orthologues were present in all species but the locus consistently segregated presence-absence polymorphisms suggesting long-term balancing selection. We also identified previously unknown paralogues of NIP1 that were shared among multiple species and showed substantial copy-number variation within R. commune. The NIP1A paralogue was under significant positive selection suggesting that NIP1A is the dominant effector variant coevolving with host immune receptors. Consistent with this prediction, we found that copy number variation at NIP1A had a stronger effect on virulence than NIP1B. Our analyses unravelled the origins and diversification mechanisms of a pathogen effector family shedding light on how pathogens gain adaptive genetic variation.
The Island of Borneo is a major biodiversity hotspot, and in the Malaysian state of Sabah, ultramafic soils are extensive and home to more than 31 endemic nickel hyperaccumulator plants. The aim of this study was to characterize the structure and the diversity of the rhizosphere bacterial communities of several of these nickel hyperaccumulator plants and factors that affect these bacterial communities in Sabah. The most abundant phyla were Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Actinobacteria. At family level, Burkholderiaceae and Xanthobacteraceae (Proteobacteria phylum) were the most abundant families in the hyperaccumulator rhizospheres. Redundancy analysis based on soil chemical analyses and relative abundances of the major bacterial phyla showed that abiotic factors of the studied sites drove the bacterial diversity. For all R. aff. bengalensis rhizosphere soil samples, irrespective of studied site, the bacterial diversity was similar. Moreover, the Saprospiraceae family showed a high representativeness in the R. aff. bengalensis rhizosphere soils and was linked with the nickel availability in soils. The ability of R. aff. bengalensis to concentrate nickel in its rhizosphere appears to be the major factor driving the rhizobacterial community diversity unlike for other hyperaccumulator species.
Terpios hoshinota is an aggressive, space-competing sponge that kills various stony corals. Outbreaks of this species have led to intense damage to coral reefs in many locations. Here, the first large-scale 16S rRNA gene survey across three oceans revealed that bacteria related to the taxa Prochloron, Endozoicomonas, SAR116, Ruegeria, and unclassified Proteobacteria were prevalent in T. hoshinota. A Prochloron-related bacterium was the most dominant and prevalent cyanobacterium in T. hoshinota. The complete genome of this uncultivated cyanobacterium and pigment analysis demonstrated that it has phycobiliproteins and lacks chlorophyll b, which is inconsistent with the definition of Prochloron. Furthermore, the cyanobacterium was phylogenetically distinct from Prochloron, strongly suggesting that it should be a sister taxon to Prochloron. Therefore, we proposed this symbiotic cyanobacterium as a novel species under the new genus Candidatus Paraprochloron terpiosi. Comparative genomic analyses revealed that 'Paraprochloron' and Prochloron exhibit distinct genomic features and DNA replication machinery. We also characterized the metabolic potentials of 'Paraprochloron terpiosi' in carbon and nitrogen cycling and propose a model for interactions between it and T. hoshinota. This study builds a foundation for the study of the T. hoshinota microbiome and paves the way for better understanding of ecosystems involving this coral-killing sponge.
Proteome changes can be used as an instrument to measure the effects of climate change, predict the possible future state of an ecosystem and the direction in which is headed. In this study, proteomic and GO functional enrichment analysis of six Pseudogymnoascus spp. isolated from various global biogeographical regions were carried out to determine their response to heat stress. In total, 2,122 proteins were identified with high confidence. Comparative quantitative analysis showed that changes in proteome profiles varied greatly between isolates from different biogeographical regions. Although the identities of the proteins that changed varied between the different regions, the functions they governed were similar. Gene Ontology analysis showed enrichment of proteins involved in multiple protective mechanisms, including the modulation of protein homeostasis, regulation of energy production, and activation of DNA damage and repair pathways. Our proteomic analysis did not show any clear relationship between protein changes and the strains' biogeographical origins. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.