Adaptive radiation by waves of gene transfer leads to fine-scale resource partitioning in marine microbes.

TitleAdaptive radiation by waves of gene transfer leads to fine-scale resource partitioning in marine microbes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHehemann J-H, Arevalo P, Datta MS, Yu X, Corzett CH, Henschel A, Preheim SP, Timberlake S, Alm EJ, Polz MF
JournalNat Commun
Volume7
Pagination12860
Date Published2016
ISSN2041-1723
Abstract

Adaptive radiations are important drivers of niche filling, since they rapidly adapt a single clade of organisms to ecological opportunities. Although thought to be common for animals and plants, adaptive radiations have remained difficult to document for microbes in the wild. Here we describe a recent adaptive radiation leading to fine-scale ecophysiological differentiation in the degradation of an algal glycan in a clade of closely related marine bacteria. Horizontal gene transfer is the primary driver in the diversification of the pathway leading to several ecophysiologically differentiated Vibrionaceae populations adapted to different physical forms of alginate. Pathway architecture is predictive of function and ecology, underscoring that horizontal gene transfer without extensive regulatory changes can rapidly assemble fully functional pathways in microbes.

DOI10.1038/ncomms12860
Alternate JournalNat Commun
PubMed ID27653556