Phototrophic gemmatimonadetes: A new "Purple" branch on the bacterial tree of life

Yonghui Zeng*, Michal Koblížek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Photosynthesis first emerged in prokaryotes over three billion years ago and represents one of the most fundamental biological processes on Earth. So far, species capable of performing (bacterio)chlorophyll-based phototrophy have been reported in seven bacterial phyla, i.e., Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Chlorobi, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Gemmatimonadetes. Here we review the discovery, physiology, genomic characteristics, environmental distribution, and possible evolutionary origin of the bacterium Gemmatimonas phototrophica strain AP64, so far the only phototrophic member of the phylum Gemmatimonadetes. This organism was isolated from a freshwater lake in the Gobi Desert, North China in 2011. It contains fully functional type-2 photosynthetic reaction centers, but they seem to only serve as an auxiliary energy source. Its photosynthesis genes are located in a 42.3 kb long photosynthesis gene cluster which appear to originate from an ancient horizontal gene transfer from a purple phototrophic bacterium. A survey of biomarker genes of phototrophic Gemmatimonadetes bacteria (PGB) in public environmental genomics databases suggests that PGB are widely distributed in diverse environments, including air, river waters/sediment, estuarine waters, lake waters, biofilms, plant surfaces, intertidal sediments, soils, springs, and wastewater treatment plants, but none from marine waters or sediment. PGB make up roughly 0.4-11.9 % of whole phototrophic microbial communities in these habitats. The discovery of PGB presents a strong evidence that genes for anoxygenic phototrophy can be transferred between distant bacterial phyla, providing new insights into the evolution of bacterial photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModern Topics in the Phototrophic Prokaryotes : Environmental and Applied Aspects
EditorsPatrick C. Hallenbeck
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
Publication date2017
Pages163-192
ISBN (Print)9783319462592
ISBN (Electronic)9783319462615
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

bacterium
photosynthesis
photoautotrophy
gene
genomics
estuarine sediment
gene transfer
prokaryote
biological processes
sediment
lake water
physiology
biofilm
river water
biomarker
cyanobacterium
microbial community
chlorophyll
desert
water

Cite this

Zeng, Y., & Koblížek, M. (2017). Phototrophic gemmatimonadetes: A new "Purple" branch on the bacterial tree of life. In P. C. Hallenbeck (Ed.), Modern Topics in the Phototrophic Prokaryotes: Environmental and Applied Aspects (pp. 163-192). Springer Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46261-5_5
Zeng, Yonghui ; Koblížek, Michal. / Phototrophic gemmatimonadetes : A new "Purple" branch on the bacterial tree of life. Modern Topics in the Phototrophic Prokaryotes: Environmental and Applied Aspects. editor / Patrick C. Hallenbeck. Springer Publishing Company, 2017. pp. 163-192
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abstract = "Photosynthesis first emerged in prokaryotes over three billion years ago and represents one of the most fundamental biological processes on Earth. So far, species capable of performing (bacterio)chlorophyll-based phototrophy have been reported in seven bacterial phyla, i.e., Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Chlorobi, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Gemmatimonadetes. Here we review the discovery, physiology, genomic characteristics, environmental distribution, and possible evolutionary origin of the bacterium Gemmatimonas phototrophica strain AP64, so far the only phototrophic member of the phylum Gemmatimonadetes. This organism was isolated from a freshwater lake in the Gobi Desert, North China in 2011. It contains fully functional type-2 photosynthetic reaction centers, but they seem to only serve as an auxiliary energy source. Its photosynthesis genes are located in a 42.3 kb long photosynthesis gene cluster which appear to originate from an ancient horizontal gene transfer from a purple phototrophic bacterium. A survey of biomarker genes of phototrophic Gemmatimonadetes bacteria (PGB) in public environmental genomics databases suggests that PGB are widely distributed in diverse environments, including air, river waters/sediment, estuarine waters, lake waters, biofilms, plant surfaces, intertidal sediments, soils, springs, and wastewater treatment plants, but none from marine waters or sediment. PGB make up roughly 0.4-11.9 {\%} of whole phototrophic microbial communities in these habitats. The discovery of PGB presents a strong evidence that genes for anoxygenic phototrophy can be transferred between distant bacterial phyla, providing new insights into the evolution of bacterial photosynthesis.",
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Zeng, Y & Koblížek, M 2017, Phototrophic gemmatimonadetes: A new "Purple" branch on the bacterial tree of life. in P C. Hallenbeck (ed.), Modern Topics in the Phototrophic Prokaryotes: Environmental and Applied Aspects. Springer Publishing Company, pp. 163-192. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46261-5_5

Phototrophic gemmatimonadetes : A new "Purple" branch on the bacterial tree of life. / Zeng, Yonghui; Koblížek, Michal.

Modern Topics in the Phototrophic Prokaryotes: Environmental and Applied Aspects. ed. / Patrick C. Hallenbeck. Springer Publishing Company, 2017. p. 163-192.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

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AB - Photosynthesis first emerged in prokaryotes over three billion years ago and represents one of the most fundamental biological processes on Earth. So far, species capable of performing (bacterio)chlorophyll-based phototrophy have been reported in seven bacterial phyla, i.e., Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Chlorobi, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Gemmatimonadetes. Here we review the discovery, physiology, genomic characteristics, environmental distribution, and possible evolutionary origin of the bacterium Gemmatimonas phototrophica strain AP64, so far the only phototrophic member of the phylum Gemmatimonadetes. This organism was isolated from a freshwater lake in the Gobi Desert, North China in 2011. It contains fully functional type-2 photosynthetic reaction centers, but they seem to only serve as an auxiliary energy source. Its photosynthesis genes are located in a 42.3 kb long photosynthesis gene cluster which appear to originate from an ancient horizontal gene transfer from a purple phototrophic bacterium. A survey of biomarker genes of phototrophic Gemmatimonadetes bacteria (PGB) in public environmental genomics databases suggests that PGB are widely distributed in diverse environments, including air, river waters/sediment, estuarine waters, lake waters, biofilms, plant surfaces, intertidal sediments, soils, springs, and wastewater treatment plants, but none from marine waters or sediment. PGB make up roughly 0.4-11.9 % of whole phototrophic microbial communities in these habitats. The discovery of PGB presents a strong evidence that genes for anoxygenic phototrophy can be transferred between distant bacterial phyla, providing new insights into the evolution of bacterial photosynthesis.

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DO - 10.1007/978-3-319-46261-5_5

M3 - Book chapter

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SN - 9783319462592

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BT - Modern Topics in the Phototrophic Prokaryotes

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PB - Springer Publishing Company

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Zeng Y, Koblížek M. Phototrophic gemmatimonadetes: A new "Purple" branch on the bacterial tree of life. In C. Hallenbeck P, editor, Modern Topics in the Phototrophic Prokaryotes: Environmental and Applied Aspects. Springer Publishing Company. 2017. p. 163-192 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46261-5_5