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Winter diversity and expression of proteorhodopsin genes in a polar ocean

AutorNguyen, D.; Maranger, R.; Balagué, Vanessa ; Coll-Lladó, Montserrat ; Lovejoy, Connie; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos
Fecha de publicaciónfeb-2015
EditorInternational Society for Microbial Ecology
CitaciónISME Journal - International Society for Microbial Ecology 9: 1835-1845 (2015)
ResumenMixotrophy is a valuable functional trait used by microbes when environmental conditions vary broadly or resources are limited. In the sunlit waters of the ocean, photoheterotrophy, a form of mixotrophy, is often mediated by proteorhodopsin (PR), a seven helices transmembrane protein binding the retinal chromophore. Altogether, they allow bacteria to capture photic energy for sensory and proton gradient formation cell functions. The seasonal occurrence and diversity of the gene coding for PR in cold oligotrophic polar oceans is not known and PR expression has not yet been reported. Here we show that PR is widely distributed among bacterial taxa, and that PR expression decreased markedly during the winter months in the Arctic Ocean. Gammaproteobacteria- like PR sequences were always dominant. However, within the second most common affiliation, there was a transition from Flavobacteria-like PR in early winter to Alphaproteobacteria- like PR in late winter. The phylogenetic shifts followed carbon dynamics, where patterns in expression were consistent with community succession, as identified by DNA community fingerprinting. Although genes for PR were always present, the trend in decreasing transcripts from January to February suggested reduced functional utility of PR during winter. Under winter darkness, sustained expression suggests that PR may continue to be useful for non-ATP forming functions, such as environmental sensing or small solute transport. The persistence of PR expression in winter among some bacterial groups may offer a competitive advantage, where its multifunctionality enhances microbial survival under harsh polar conditions
Descripción11 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, supplementary information accompanies this paper on The ISME Journal website http://www.nature.com/ismej/journal/v9/n8/suppinfo/ismej20151s1.html?url=/ismej/journal/v9/n8/full/ismej20151a.html
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2015.1
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