Endosymbiosis In Statu Nascendi: Close Phylogenetic RelationshipBetween Obligately Endosymbiotic and Obligately Free-LivingPolynucleobacter Strains (Betaproteobacteria)
Description: Bacterial strains affiliated to the phylogenetically shallowsubcluster C (PnecC) of the 28 Polynucleobacter cluster, which ischaracterized by a minimal 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of approx.98.5 percent, have been reported to occur as obligate endosymbionts of 30ciliates (Euplotes spp.), as well as to occur as free-living cells in thepelagic zone of freshwater habitats. We investigated if these two groupsof closely related bacteria represent 32 strains fundamentally differingin lifestyle, or if they simply represent different stages of afacultative endosymbiotic lifestyle. The phylogenetic analysis of 16SrRNA gene and 16S34 23S ITS sequences of five endosymbiont strains fromtwo different Euplotes species and 40 pure culture strains demonstratedhost-species-specific clustering of the endosymbiont 36 sequences withinthe PnecC subcluster. The sequences of the endosymbionts showedcharacteristics indicating an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle.Cultivation experiments 38 revealed fundamental differences inphysiological adaptations, and determination of the genome sizesindicated a slight size reduction in endosymbiotic strains. We concludethat the 40 two groups of PnecC bacteria represent obligately free-livingand obligately endosymbiotic strains, respectively, and do not representdifferent stages of the same complex lifecycle. 42 These closely relatedstrains occupy completely separated ecological niches. To our bestknowledge, this is the closest phylogenetic relationship between obligateendosymbionts and 44 obligately free-living bacteria everrevealed.
Date: July 21, 2006
Creator: Vannini, Claudia; Pockl, Matthias; Petroni, Giulio; Wu, Qinglong; Lang, Elke; Stackebrandt, Erko et al.
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