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Title: Single-cell genomics reveal metabolic strategies for microbial growth and survival in an oligotrophic aquifer

Bacteria from the genus Pedobacter are a major component of microbial assemblages at Hanford Site and have been shown to significantly change in abundance in response to the subsurface intrusion of Columbia River water. Here we employed single cell genomics techniques to shed light on the physiological niche of these microorganisms. Analysis of four Pedobacter single amplified genomes (SAGs) from Hanford Site sediments revealed a chemoheterotrophic lifestyle, with the potential to exist under both aerobic and microaerophilic conditions via expression of both aa3­-type and cbb3-type cytochrome c oxidases. These SAGs encoded a wide-range of both intra-and extra­-cellular carbohydrate-active enzymes, potentially enabling the degradation of recalcitrant substrates such as xylan and chitin, and the utilization of more labile sugars such as mannose and fucose. Coupled to these enzymes, a diversity of transporters and sugar-binding molecules were involved in the uptake of carbon from the extracellular local environment. The SAGs were enriched in TonB-dependent receptors (TBDRs), which play a key role in uptake of substrates resulting from degradation of recalcitrant carbon. CRISPR-Cas mechanisms for resisting viral infections were identified in all SAGs. These data demonstrate the potential mechanisms utilized for persistence by heterotrophic microorganisms in a carbon-limited aquifer, and hint at potentialmore » linkages between observed Pedobacter abundance shifts within the 300 Area subsurface and biogeochemical shifts associated with Columbia River water intrusion.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Microbiology, 160(Pt. 2):362-372
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
single-cell genomics; metabolic strategies; microbial growth