Comparative genomics and mutational analysis reveals a novel XoxF-utilizing methylotroph in the Roseobacter group isolated from the marine environment

Alexandra M. Howat, John Vollmers, Martin Taubert, Carolina Grob, Joanna L. Dixon, Jonathan D. Todd, Yin Chen, Anne-Kristin Kaster, J. C. Murrell

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The Roseobacter group comprises a significant group of marine bacteria which are involved in global carbon and sulfur cycles. Some members are methylotrophs, using one-carbon compounds as a carbon and energy source. It has recently been shown that methylotrophs generally require a rare earth element when using the methanol dehydrogenase enzyme XoxF for growth on methanol. Addition of lanthanum to methanol enrichments of coastal seawater facilitated the isolation of a novel methylotroph in the Roseobacter group: Marinibacterium anthonyi strain La 6. Mutation of xoxF5 revealed the essential nature of this gene during growth on methanol and ethanol. Physiological characterization demonstrated the metabolic versatility of this strain. Genome sequencing revealed that strain La 6 has the largest genome of all Roseobacter group members sequenced to date, at 7.18 Mbp. Multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) showed that whilst it displays the highest core gene sequence similarity with subgroup 1 of the Roseobacter group, it shares very little of its pangenome, suggesting unique genetic adaptations. This research revealed that the addition of lanthanides to isolation procedures was key to cultivating novel XoxF-utilizing methylotrophs from the marine environment, whilst genome sequencing and MLSA provided insights into their potential genetic adaptations and relationship to the wider community.
Original languageEnglish
Article number766
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2018

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