Comprehensive genomic analyses of the OM43 clade including a novel species from Red Sea indicate ecotype differentiation among marine methylotrophs

Francy M. Jimenez Infante, David Ngugi, Manikandan Vinu, Intikhab Alam, Allan Kamau, Jochen Blom, Vladimir B. Bajic, Ulrich Stingl

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23 Scopus citations


The OM43 clade within the family Methylophilaceae of Betaproteobacteria represents a group of methylotrophs playing important roles in the metabolism of C1 compounds in marine environments and other aquatic environments around the globe. Using dilution-to-extinction cultivation techniques, we successfully isolated a novel species of this clade (designated here as MBRS-H7) from the ultra-oligotrophic open ocean waters of the central Red Sea. Phylogenomic analyses indicate that MBRS-H7 is a novel species, which forms a distinct cluster together with isolate KB13 from Hawaii (H-RS cluster) that is separate from that represented by strain HTCC2181 (from the Oregon coast). Phylogenetic analyses using the robust 16S–23S internal transcribed spacer revealed a potential ecotype separation of the marine OM43 clade members, which was further confirmed by metagenomic fragment recruitment analyses that showed trends of higher abundance in low chlorophyll and/or high temperature provinces for the H-RS cluster, but a preference for colder, highly productive waters for the HTCC2181 cluster. This potential environmentally driven niche differentiation is also reflected in the metabolic gene inventories, which in the case of H-RS include those conferring resistance to high levels of UV irradiation, temperature, and salinity. Interestingly, we also found different energy conservation modules between these OM43 subclades, namely the existence of the NADH:quinone oxidoreductase NUO system in the H-RS and the non-homologous NQR system in HTCC2181, which might have implications on their overall energetic yields.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1226
Number of pages12
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 11 2015

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KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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