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Title: Lateral Gene Transfer Dynamics in the Ancient Bacterial Genus Streptomyces

Abstract

Lateral gene transfer (LGT) profoundly shapes the evolution of bacterial lineages. LGT across disparate phylogenetic groups and genome content diversity between related organisms suggest a model of bacterial evolution that views LGT as rampant and promiscuous. It has even driven the argument that species concepts and tree-based phylogenetics cannot be applied to bacteria. For this paper, we show that acquisition and retention of genes through LGT are surprisingly rare in the ubiquitous and biomedically important bacterial genusStreptomyces. Using a molecular clock, we estimate that theStreptomycesbacteria are ~380 million years old, indicating that this bacterial genus is as ancient as land vertebrates. Calibrating LGT rate to this geologic time span, we find that on average only 10 genes per million years were acquired and subsequently maintained. Over that same time span,Streptomycesaccumulated thousands of point mutations. By explicitly incorporating evolutionary timescale into our analyses, we provide a dramatically different view on the dynamics of LGT and its impact on bacterial evolution.Tree-based phylogenetics and the use of species as units of diversity lie at the foundation of modern biology. In bacteria, these pillars of evolutionary theory have been called into question due to the observation of thousands of lateral gene transfer (LGT) eventsmore » within and between lineages. Here, we show that acquisition and retention of genes through LGT are exceedingly rare in the bacterial genusStreptomyces, with merely one gene acquired inStreptomyceslineages every 100,000 years. These findings stand in contrast to the current assumption of rampant genetic exchange, which has become the dominant hypothesis used to explain bacterial diversity. Our results support a more nuanced understanding of genetic exchange, with LGT impacting evolution over short timescales but playing a significant role over long timescales. Deeper understanding of LGT provides new insight into the evolutionary history of life on Earth, as the vast majority of this history is microbial.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Dept. of Bacteriology and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Institutes of Health (NIH); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1427704
Grant/Contract Number:
FC02-07ER64494; AC02-05CH11231; T32 GM007215; DEB-0747002; MCB-0702025; U19 Al109673
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
mBio (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: mBio (Online); Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-7511
Publisher:
American Society for Microbiology
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; antibiotics; evolutionary genomics; horizontal gene transfer; molecular clock; species concepts

Citation Formats

McDonald, Bradon R., and Currie, Cameron R. Lateral Gene Transfer Dynamics in the Ancient Bacterial Genus Streptomyces. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1128/mBio.00644-17.
McDonald, Bradon R., & Currie, Cameron R. Lateral Gene Transfer Dynamics in the Ancient Bacterial Genus Streptomyces. United States. doi:10.1128/mBio.00644-17.
McDonald, Bradon R., and Currie, Cameron R. Tue . "Lateral Gene Transfer Dynamics in the Ancient Bacterial Genus Streptomyces". United States. doi:10.1128/mBio.00644-17. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1427704.
@article{osti_1427704,
title = {Lateral Gene Transfer Dynamics in the Ancient Bacterial Genus Streptomyces},
author = {McDonald, Bradon R. and Currie, Cameron R.},
abstractNote = {Lateral gene transfer (LGT) profoundly shapes the evolution of bacterial lineages. LGT across disparate phylogenetic groups and genome content diversity between related organisms suggest a model of bacterial evolution that views LGT as rampant and promiscuous. It has even driven the argument that species concepts and tree-based phylogenetics cannot be applied to bacteria. For this paper, we show that acquisition and retention of genes through LGT are surprisingly rare in the ubiquitous and biomedically important bacterial genusStreptomyces. Using a molecular clock, we estimate that theStreptomycesbacteria are ~380 million years old, indicating that this bacterial genus is as ancient as land vertebrates. Calibrating LGT rate to this geologic time span, we find that on average only 10 genes per million years were acquired and subsequently maintained. Over that same time span,Streptomycesaccumulated thousands of point mutations. By explicitly incorporating evolutionary timescale into our analyses, we provide a dramatically different view on the dynamics of LGT and its impact on bacterial evolution.Tree-based phylogenetics and the use of species as units of diversity lie at the foundation of modern biology. In bacteria, these pillars of evolutionary theory have been called into question due to the observation of thousands of lateral gene transfer (LGT) events within and between lineages. Here, we show that acquisition and retention of genes through LGT are exceedingly rare in the bacterial genusStreptomyces, with merely one gene acquired inStreptomyceslineages every 100,000 years. These findings stand in contrast to the current assumption of rampant genetic exchange, which has become the dominant hypothesis used to explain bacterial diversity. Our results support a more nuanced understanding of genetic exchange, with LGT impacting evolution over short timescales but playing a significant role over long timescales. Deeper understanding of LGT provides new insight into the evolutionary history of life on Earth, as the vast majority of this history is microbial.},
doi = {10.1128/mBio.00644-17},
journal = {mBio (Online)},
number = 3,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jun 06 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Jun 06 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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Cited by: 2works
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  • We show that Streptomyces biogeography in soils across North America is influenced by the regional diversification of microorganisms due to dispersal limitation and genetic drift. Streptomyces spp. form desiccation-resistant spores, which can be dispersed on the wind, allowing for a strong test of whether dispersal limitation governs patterns of terrestrial microbial diversity. We employed an approach that has high sensitivity for determining the effects of genetic drift. Specifically, we examined the genetic diversity and phylogeography of physiologically similar Streptomyces strains isolated from geographically distributed yet ecologically similar habitats. We found that Streptomyces beta diversity scales with geographic distance and bothmore » beta diversity and phylogenetic diversity manifest in a latitudinal diversity gradient. This pattern of Streptomyces biogeography resembles patterns seen for diverse species of plants and animals, and we therefore evaluated these data in the context of ecological and evolutionary hypotheses proposed to explain latitudinal diversity gradients. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that niche conservatism limits dispersal, and historical patterns of glaciation have limited the time for speciation in higher-latitude sites. Most notably, higher-latitude sites have lower phylogenetic diversity, higher phylogenetic clustering, and evidence of range expansion from lower latitudes. In addition, patterns of beta diversity partition with respect to the glacial history of sites. Furthermore, the data support the hypothesis that extant patterns of Streptomyces biogeography have been driven by historical patterns of glaciation and are the result of demographic range expansion, dispersal limitation, and regional diversification due to drift.« less
  • Terpenoids are the largest and most structurally diverse family of natural products found in nature, yet their presence in bacteria is underappreciated. The carbon skeletons of terpenoids are generated through carbocation-dependent cyclization cascades catalyzed by terpene synthases (TSs). Type I and type II TSs initiate cyclization via diphosphate ionization and protonation, respectively, and protein structures of both types are known. Most plant diterpene synthases (DTSs) possess three alpha-helical domains (alpha beta gamma), which are thought to have arisen from the fusion of discrete, ancestral bacterial type I TSs (alpha) and type II TSs (beta gamma). Type II DTSs of bacterialmore » origin, of which there are no structurally characterized members, are a missing piece in the structural evolution of TSs. Here, we report the first crystal structure of a type II DTS from bacteria. PtnaT2 from Streptomyces platensis CB00739 was verified as an ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase involved in the biosynthesis of platensimycin and platencin. The crystal structure of PtmT2 was solved at a resolution of 1.80 angstrom, and docking studies suggest the catalytically active conformation of geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP). Site-directed mutagenesis confirmed residues involved in binding the diphosphate moiety of GGPP and identified DxxxxE as a potential Mg2+-binding motif for type II DTSs of bacterial origin. Finally, both the shape and physicochemical properties of the active sites are responsible for determining specific catalytic outcomes of TSs. The structure of PtmT2 fundamentally advances the knowledge of bacterial TSs, their mechanisms, and their role in the evolution of TSs.« less
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  • Many photosynthetic bacteria have peripheral light-harvesting (LH) antenna complexes that increase the efficiency of light energy capture. The purple nonsulfur photosynthetic bacteriumRhodopseudomonas palustrisproduces different types of LH complexes under high light intensities (LH2 complex) and low light intensities (LH3 and LH4 complexes). There are multiplepucBAoperons that encode the α and β peptides that make up these complexes. But, low-resolution structures, amino acid similarities between the complexes, and a lack of transcription analysis have made it difficult to determine the contributions of differentpucBAoperons to the composition and function of different LH complexes. It was also unclear how much diversity of LHmore » complexes exists inR. palustrisand affiliated strains. To address this, we undertook an integrative genomics approach using 20 sequenced strains. Gene content analysis revealed that even closely related strains have differences in theirpucBAgene content. Transcriptome analyses of the strains grown under high light and low light revealed that the patterns of expression of thepucBAoperons varied among strains grown under the same conditions. We also found that one set of LH2 complex proteins compensated for the lack of an LH4 complex under low light intensities but not under extremely low light intensities, indicating that there is functional redundancy between some of the LH complexes under certain light intensities. The variation observed in LH gene composition and expression inRhodopseudomonasstrains likely reflects how they have evolved to adapt to light conditions in specific soil and water microenvironments. ImportanceRhodopseudomonas palustrisis a phototrophic purple nonsulfur bacterium that adapts its photosystem to allow growth at a range of light intensities. It does this by adjusting the amount and composition of peripheral light-harvesting (LH) antenna complexes that it synthesizes.Rhodopseudomonasstrains are notable for containing numerous sets of light-harvesting genes. We determined the diversity of LH complexes and their transcript levels during growth under high and low light intensities in 20 sequenced genomes of strains related to the speciesRhodopseudomonas palustris. Finally, the data obtained are a resource for investigators with interests as wide-ranging as the biophysics of photosynthesis, the ecology of phototrophic bacteria, and the use of photosynthetic bacteria for biotechnology applications.« less