Widespread known and novel phosphonate utilization pathways in marine bacteria revealed by functional screening and metagenomic analyses

Martinex, Asuncion, Tyson, Gene W. and DeLong, Edward F. (2009) Widespread known and novel phosphonate utilization pathways in marine bacteria revealed by functional screening and metagenomic analyses. Environmental Microbiology, 12 1: 222-238. doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.02062.x

Author Martinex, Asuncion
Tyson, Gene W.
DeLong, Edward F.
Title Widespread known and novel phosphonate utilization pathways in marine bacteria revealed by functional screening and metagenomic analyses
Journal name Environmental Microbiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1462-2912
Publication date 2009
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.02062.x
Volume 12
Issue 1
Start page 222
End page 238
Total pages 17
Editor David A Stahl
Kenneth N Timmis
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
Abstract Phosphonates (Pn), compounds with a direct C–P bond instead of the more common C–O–P ester bond, constitute a significant fraction of marine dissolved organic phosphorus and recent evidence suggests that they may be an alternative source of P for marine microorganisms. To further characterize the microorganisms and pathways involved in Pn utilization, we screened bacterioplankton genomic libraries for their ability to complement an Escherichia coli strain unable to use Pns as a P source. Using this approach we identified a phosphonatase pathway as well as a novel pair of genes that allowed utilization of 2-aminoethylphosphonate (2-AEPn) as the sole P source. These pathways are present in diverse bacteria common in marine plankton including representatives of Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes and Cyanobacteria. Analysis of metagenomic databases for Pn utilization genes revealed that they are widespread and abundant among marine bacteria, suggesting that Pn metabolism is likely to play an important role in P-depleted surface waters, as well as in the more P-rich deep-water column.
Keyword phosphonate unilization
metagenomic analyses
putative taxonomic
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