Analysis of the Pseudoalteromonas tunicata genome reveals properties of a surface-associated life style in the marine environment

Thomas, Torsten, Evans, Flavia F., Schleheck, David, Mai-Prochnow, Anne, Burke, Catherine, Penesyan, Anahit, Dalisay, Doralyn S., Stelzer-Braid, Sacha, Saunders, Neil, Johnson, Justin, Ferriera, Steve, Kjelleberg, Staffan and Egan, Suhelen (2008) Analysis of the Pseudoalteromonas tunicata genome reveals properties of a surface-associated life style in the marine environment. PLoS One, 3 9: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003252


Author Thomas, Torsten
Evans, Flavia F.
Schleheck, David
Mai-Prochnow, Anne
Burke, Catherine
Penesyan, Anahit
Dalisay, Doralyn S.
Stelzer-Braid, Sacha
Saunders, Neil
Johnson, Justin
Ferriera, Steve
Kjelleberg, Staffan
Egan, Suhelen
Title Analysis of the Pseudoalteromonas tunicata genome reveals properties of a surface-associated life style in the marine environment
Formatted title
Analysis of the Pseudoalteromonas tunicata genome reveals properties of a surface-associated life style in the marine environment 
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2008-09-24
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0003252
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 3
Issue 9
Total pages 11
Place of publication San Francisco, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Subject 1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
2700 Medicine
Formatted abstract
Background: Colonisation of sessile eukaryotic host surfaces (e.g. invertebrates and seaweeds) by bacteria is common in the marine environment and is expected to create significant inter-species competition and other interactions. The bacterium Pseudoalteromonas tunicata is a successful competitor on marine surfaces owing primarily to its ability to produce a number of inhibitory molecules. As such P. tunicata has become a model organism for the studies into processes of surface colonisation and eukaryotic host-bacteria interactions.

Methodology/Principal Findings: To gain a broader understanding into the adaptation to a surface-associated life-style, we have sequenced and analysed the genome of P. tunicata and compared it to the genomes of closely related strains. We found that the P. tunicata genome contains several genes and gene clusters that are involved in the production of inhibitory compounds against surface competitors and secondary colonisers. Features of P. tunicata's oxidative stress response, iron scavenging and nutrient acquisition show that the organism is well adapted to high-density communities on surfaces. Variation of the P. tunicata genome is suggested by several landmarks of genetic rearrangements and mobile genetic elements (e.g. transposons, CRISPRs, phage). Surface attachment is likely to be mediated by curli, novel pili, a number of extracellular polymers and potentially other unexpected cell surface proteins. The P. tunicata genome also shows a utilisation pattern of extracellular polymers that would avoid a degradation of its recognised hosts, while potentially causing detrimental effects on other host types. In addition, the prevalence of recognised virulence genes suggests that P. tunicata has the potential for pathogenic interactions.

Conclusions/Significance: The genome analysis has revealed several physiological features that would provide P. tunciata with competitive advantage against other members of the surface-associated community. We have also identified properties that could mediate interactions with surfaces other than its currently recognised hosts. This together with the detection of known virulence genes leads to the hypothesis that P. tunicata maintains a carefully regulated balance between beneficial and detrimental interactions with a range of host surfaces. 
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article e3252.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
 
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