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Title: Genomic, metabolic and phenotypic variability shapes ecological differentiation and intraspecies interactions of Alteromonas macleodii
Authors: Koch, Hanna
Germscheid, Nora
Freese, Heike M.
Noriega-Ortega, Beatriz
Lücking, Dominik
Berger, Martine
Qiu, Galaxy
Marzinelli, Ezequiel Miguel
Campbell, Alexandra H.
Steinberg, Peter David
Overmann, Jörg
Dittmar, Thorsten
Simon, Meinhard
Wietz, Matthias
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Koch, H., Germscheid, N., Freese, H. M., Noriega-Ortega, B., Lücking, D., Berger, M., . . . Wietz, M. (2020). Genomic, metabolic and phenotypic variability shapes ecological differentiation and intraspecies interactions of Alteromonas macleodii. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 809-. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-57526-5
Journal: Scientific Reports 
Abstract: Ecological differentiation between strains of bacterial species is shaped by genomic and metabolic variability. However, connecting genotypes to ecological niches remains a major challenge. Here, we linked bacterial geno- and phenotypes by contextualizing pangenomic, exometabolomic and physiological evidence in twelve strains of the marine bacterium Alteromonas macleodii, illuminating adaptive strategies of carbon metabolism, microbial interactions, cellular communication and iron acquisition. In A. macleodii strain MIT1002, secretion of amino acids and the unique capacity for phenol degradation may promote associations with Prochlorococcus cyanobacteria. Strain 83-1 and three novel Pacific isolates, featuring clonal genomes despite originating from distant locations, have profound abilities for algal polysaccharide utilization but without detrimental implications for Ecklonia macroalgae. Degradation of toluene and xylene, mediated via a plasmid syntenic to terrestrial Pseudomonas, was unique to strain EZ55. Benzoate degradation by strain EC673 related to a chromosomal gene cluster shared with the plasmid of A. mediterranea EC615, underlining that mobile genetic elements drive adaptations. Furthermore, we revealed strain-specific production of siderophores and homoserine lactones, with implications for nutrient acquisition and cellular communication. Phenotypic variability corresponded to different competitiveness in co-culture and geographic distribution, indicating linkages between intraspecific diversity, microbial interactions and biogeography. The finding of “ecological microdiversity” helps understanding the widespread occurrence of A. macleodii and contributes to the interpretation of bacterial niche specialization, population ecology and biogeochemical roles.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-57526-5
Research Centres: Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering 
Rights: © 2020 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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