Long-Term Transcriptional Activity at Zero Growth of a Cosmopolitan Rare Biosphere Member

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2019
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Hausmann, Bela
Pelikan, Claus
Rattei, Thomas
Loy, Alexander
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mBio. 2019, 10(1), e02189-18. eISSN 2150-7511. Available under: doi: 10.1128/mBio.02189-18
Zusammenfassung

Microbial diversity in the environment is mainly concealed within the rare biosphere (all species with <0.1% relative abundance). While dormancy explains a low-abundance state very well, the mechanisms leading to rare but active microorganisms remain elusive. We used environmental systems biology to genomically and transcriptionally characterize “Candidatus Desulfosporosinus infrequens,” a low-abundance sulfate-reducing microorganism cosmopolitan to freshwater wetlands, where it contributes to cryptic sulfur cycling. We obtained its near-complete genome by metagenomics of acidic peat soil. In addition, we analyzed anoxic peat soil incubated under in situ-like conditions for 50 days by Desulfosporosinus-targeted qPCR and metatranscriptomics. The Desulfosporosinus population stayed at a constant low abundance under all incubation conditions, averaging 1.2 × 106 16S rRNA gene copies per cm³ soil. In contrast, transcriptional activity of “Ca. Desulfosporosinus infrequens” increased at day 36 by 56- to 188-fold when minor amendments of acetate, propionate, lactate, or butyrate were provided with sulfate, compared to the no-substrate-control. Overall transcriptional activity was driven by expression of genes encoding ribosomal proteins, energy metabolism, and stress response but not by expression of genes encoding cell growth-associated processes. Since our results did not support growth of these highly active microorganisms in terms of biomass increase or cell division, they had to invest their sole energy for maintenance, most likely counterbalancing acidic pH conditions. This finding explains how a rare biosphere member can contribute to a biogeochemically relevant process while remaining in a zero-growth state over a period of 50 days.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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cryptic sulfur cycle, growth arrest, keystone species, maintenance, metatranscriptome, peatland
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ISO 690HAUSMANN, Bela, Claus PELIKAN, Thomas RATTEI, Alexander LOY, Michael PESTER, 2019. Long-Term Transcriptional Activity at Zero Growth of a Cosmopolitan Rare Biosphere Member. In: mBio. 2019, 10(1), e02189-18. eISSN 2150-7511. Available under: doi: 10.1128/mBio.02189-18
BibTex
@article{Hausmann2019LongT-45587,
  year={2019},
  doi={10.1128/mBio.02189-18},
  title={Long-Term Transcriptional Activity at Zero Growth of a Cosmopolitan Rare Biosphere Member},
  number={1},
  volume={10},
  journal={mBio},
  author={Hausmann, Bela and Pelikan, Claus and Rattei, Thomas and Loy, Alexander and Pester, Michael},
  note={Article Number: e02189-18}
}
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