Polz Lab
Submitted by Ed Carlevale on July 10, 2019 - 3:40pm
TitleEvolution of a Vegetarian Vibrio: Metabolic Specialization of Vibrio breoganii to Macroalgal Substrates.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsCorzett CH, Elsherbini J, Chien DM, Hehemann J-H, Henschel A, Preheim SP, Yu X, Alm EJ, Polz MF
Secondary TitleJ Bacteriol
Date Published2018 Aug 01

While most are considered generalists that thrive on diverse substrates, including animal-derived material, we show that has specialized for the consumption of marine macroalga-derived substrates. Genomic and physiological comparisons of with other isolates revealed the ability to degrade alginate, laminarin, and additional glycans present in algal cell walls. Moreover, the widely conserved ability to hydrolyze animal-derived polymers, including chitin and glycogen, was lost, along with the ability to efficiently grow on a variety of amino acids. Ecological data showing associations with particulate algal material but not zooplankton further support this shift in niche preference, and the loss of motility appears to reflect a sessile macroalga-associated lifestyle. Together, these findings indicate that algal polysaccharides have become a major source of carbon and energy in , and these ecophysiological adaptations may facilitate transient commensal associations with marine invertebrates that feed on algae. Vibrios are often considered animal specialists or generalists. Here, we show that has undergone massive genomic changes to become specialized on algal carbohydrates. Accompanying genomic changes include massive gene import and loss. These vibrios may help us better understand how algal biomass is degraded in the environment and may serve as a blueprint on how to optimize the conversion of algae to biofuels.

Alternate JournalJ. Bacteriol.
PubMed ID29632094
PubMed Central IDPMC6040190
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