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Evidence for polyploidy in the globally important diazotroph Trichodesmium

Evidence for polyploidy in the globally important diazotroph Trichodesmium
Evidence for polyploidy in the globally important diazotroph Trichodesmium
Polyploidy is a well-described trait in some prokaryotic organisms; however, it is unusual in marine microbes from oligotrophic environments, which typically display a tendency towards genome streamlining. The biogeochemically significant diazotrophic cyanobacterium Trichodesmium is a potential exception. With a relatively large genome and a comparatively high proportion of non-protein-coding DNA, Trichodesmium appears to allocate relatively more resources to genetic material than closely related organisms and microbes within the same environment. Through simultaneous analysis of gene abundance and direct cell counts, we show for the first time that Trichodesmium spp. can also be highly polyploid, containing as many as 100 genome copies per cell in field-collected samples and >600 copies per cell in laboratory cultures. These findings have implications for the widespread use of the abundance of the nifH gene (encoding a subunit of the N2-fixing enzyme nitrogenase) as an approach for quantifying the abundance and distribution of marine diazotrophs. Moreover, polyploidy may combine with the unusual genomic characteristics of this genus both in reflecting evolutionary dynamics and influencing phenotypic plasticity and ecological resilience.
Trichodesmium, cyanobacteria, polyploidy, nifH, nitrogenase, diazotroph
0378-1097
Sargent, Elizabeth C.
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Hitchcock, Andrew
aeca86f3-e8cf-47d1-9338-e82630fb868e
Johansson, Andreas
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Langlois, Rebecca
f3ac6c56-a53a-404a-8a0f-f84be5e8669b
Moore, Mark
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LaRoche, Julie
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Poulton, Alex
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Bibby, Thomas S.
e04ea079-dd90-4ead-9840-00882de27ebd
Sargent, Elizabeth C.
0ae4123e-9306-4452-a158-33a3f2cceed7
Hitchcock, Andrew
aeca86f3-e8cf-47d1-9338-e82630fb868e
Johansson, Andreas
6f1d2706-0ea8-48cb-b0a8-d2b93242ce0e
Langlois, Rebecca
f3ac6c56-a53a-404a-8a0f-f84be5e8669b
Moore, Mark
7ec80b7b-bedc-4dd5-8924-0f5d01927b12
LaRoche, Julie
21d1685a-3dbd-4ccd-9ae4-e968c8792297
Poulton, Alex
14bf64a7-d617-4913-b882-e8495543e717
Bibby, Thomas S.
e04ea079-dd90-4ead-9840-00882de27ebd

Sargent, Elizabeth C., Hitchcock, Andrew, Johansson, Andreas, Langlois, Rebecca, Moore, Mark, LaRoche, Julie, Poulton, Alex and Bibby, Thomas S. (2016) Evidence for polyploidy in the globally important diazotroph Trichodesmium. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 363 (21), [fnw244]. (doi:10.1093/femsle/fnw244).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Polyploidy is a well-described trait in some prokaryotic organisms; however, it is unusual in marine microbes from oligotrophic environments, which typically display a tendency towards genome streamlining. The biogeochemically significant diazotrophic cyanobacterium Trichodesmium is a potential exception. With a relatively large genome and a comparatively high proportion of non-protein-coding DNA, Trichodesmium appears to allocate relatively more resources to genetic material than closely related organisms and microbes within the same environment. Through simultaneous analysis of gene abundance and direct cell counts, we show for the first time that Trichodesmium spp. can also be highly polyploid, containing as many as 100 genome copies per cell in field-collected samples and >600 copies per cell in laboratory cultures. These findings have implications for the widespread use of the abundance of the nifH gene (encoding a subunit of the N2-fixing enzyme nitrogenase) as an approach for quantifying the abundance and distribution of marine diazotrophs. Moreover, polyploidy may combine with the unusual genomic characteristics of this genus both in reflecting evolutionary dynamics and influencing phenotypic plasticity and ecological resilience.

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Sargent__Ploidy_2016_Accepted_Draft.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 19 October 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 October 2016
Published date: November 2016
Keywords: Trichodesmium, cyanobacteria, polyploidy, nifH, nitrogenase, diazotroph
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Biogeochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 403123
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/403123
ISSN: 0378-1097
PURE UUID: ab52fd00-7dc1-4fcd-a7dc-9f149db7c752
ORCID for Mark Moore: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9541-6046

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Date deposited: 24 Nov 2016 14:21
Last modified: 10 Jan 2022 05:34

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Contributors

Author: Elizabeth C. Sargent
Author: Andrew Hitchcock
Author: Andreas Johansson
Author: Rebecca Langlois
Author: Mark Moore ORCID iD
Author: Julie LaRoche
Author: Alex Poulton
Author: Thomas S. Bibby

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