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Publications in peer reviewed journals

4 Publications found
  • Global diversity and inferred ecophysiology of microorganisms with the potential for dissimilatory sulfate/sulfite reduction.

    Diao M, Dyksma S, Koeksoy E, Ngugi DK, Anantharaman K, Loy A, Pester M
    2023 - FEMS Microbiol Rev, fuad058


    Sulfate/sulfite-reducing microorganisms (SRM) are ubiquitous in nature, driving the global sulfur cycle. A hallmark of SRM is the dissimilatory sulfite reductase encoded by the genes dsrAB. Based on analysis of 950 mainly metagenome-derived dsrAB-carrying genomes, we redefine the global diversity of microorganisms with the potential for dissimilatory sulfate/sulfite reduction and uncover genetic repertoires that challenge earlier generalizations regarding their mode of energy metabolism. We show: (i) 19 out of 23 bacterial and 2 out of 4 archaeal phyla harbor uncharacterized SRM, (ii) four phyla including the Desulfobacterota harbor microorganisms with the genetic potential to switch between sulfate/sulfite reduction and sulfur oxidation, and (iii) the combination as well as presence/absence of different dsrAB-types, dsrL-types and dsrD provides guidance on the inferred direction of dissimilatory sulfur metabolism. We further provide an updated dsrAB database including >60% taxonomically resolved, uncultured family-level lineages and recommendations on existing dsrAB-targeted primers for environmental surveys. Our work summarizes insights into the inferred ecophysiology of newly discovered SRM, puts SRM diversity into context of the major recent changes in bacterial and archaeal taxonomy, and provides an up-to-date framework to study SRM in a global context.

  • Ecophysiology and interactions of a taurine-respiring bacterium in the mouse gut.

    Ye H, Borusak S, Eberl C, Krasenbrink J, Weiss AS, Chen SC, Hanson BT, Hausmann B, Herbold CW, Pristner M, Zwirzitz B, Warth B, Pjevac P, Schleheck D, Stecher B, Loy A
    2023 - Nat Commun, 1: 5533


    Taurine-respiring gut bacteria produce HS with ambivalent impact on host health. We report the isolation and ecophysiological characterization of a taurine-respiring mouse gut bacterium. Taurinivorans muris strain LT0009 represents a new widespread species that differs from the human gut sulfidogen Bilophila wadsworthia in its sulfur metabolism pathways and host distribution. T. muris specializes in taurine respiration in vivo, seemingly unaffected by mouse diet and genotype, but is dependent on other bacteria for release of taurine from bile acids. Colonization of T. muris in gnotobiotic mice increased deconjugation of taurine-conjugated bile acids and transcriptional activity of a sulfur metabolism gene-encoding prophage in other commensals, and slightly decreased the abundance of Salmonella enterica, which showed reduced expression of galactonate catabolism genes. Re-analysis of metagenome data from a previous study further suggested that T. muris can contribute to protection against pathogens by the commensal mouse gut microbiota. Together, we show the realized physiological niche of a key murine gut sulfidogen and its interactions with selected gut microbiota members.

  • Taurine as a key intermediate for host-symbiont interaction in the tropical sponge Ianthella basta.

    Moeller FU, Herbold CW, Schintlmeister A, Mooshammer M, Motti C, Glasl B, Kitzinger K, Behnam F, Watzka M, Schweder T, Albertsen M, Richter A, Webster NS, Wagner M
    2023 - ISME J, in press
    sponge Ianthella basta microbiome


    Marine sponges are critical components of marine benthic fauna assemblages, where their filter-feeding and reef-building capabilities provide bentho-pelagic coupling and crucial habitat. As potentially the oldest representation of a metazoan-microbe symbiosis, they also harbor dense, diverse, and species-specific communities of microbes, which are increasingly recognized for their contributions to dissolved organic matter (DOM) processing. Recent omics-based studies of marine sponge microbiomes have proposed numerous pathways of dissolved metabolite exchange between the host and symbionts within the context of the surrounding environment, but few studies have sought to experimentally interrogate these pathways. By using a combination of metaproteogenomics and laboratory incubations coupled with isotope-based functional assays, we showed that the dominant gammaproteobacterial symbiont, 'Candidatus Taurinisymbion ianthellae', residing in the marine sponge, Ianthella basta, expresses a pathway for the import and dissimilation of taurine, a ubiquitously occurring sulfonate metabolite in marine sponges. 'Candidatus Taurinisymbion ianthellae' incorporates taurine-derived carbon and nitrogen while, at the same time, oxidizing the dissimilated sulfite into sulfate for export. Furthermore, we found that taurine-derived ammonia is exported by the symbiont for immediate oxidation by the dominant ammonia-oxidizing thaumarchaeal symbiont, 'Candidatus Nitrosospongia ianthellae'. Metaproteogenomic analyses also suggest that 'Candidatus Taurinisymbion ianthellae' imports DMSP and possesses both pathways for DMSP demethylation and cleavage, enabling it to use this compound as a carbon and sulfur source for biomass, as well as for energy conservation. These results highlight the important role of biogenic sulfur compounds in the interplay between Ianthella basta and its microbial symbionts.

  • Cable bacteria with electric connection to oxygen attract flocks of diverse bacteria.

    Bjerg JJ, Lustermans JJM, Marshall IPG, Mueller AJ, Brokjær S, Thorup CA, Tataru P, Schmid M, Wagner M, Nielsen LP, Schramm A
    2023 - Nat Commun, 1: 1614
    Cable bacteria


    Cable bacteria are centimeter-long filamentous bacteria that conduct electrons via internal wires, thus coupling sulfide oxidation in deeper, anoxic sediment with oxygen reduction in surface sediment. This activity induces geochemical changes in the sediment, and other bacterial groups appear to benefit from the electrical connection to oxygen. Here, we report that diverse bacteria swim in a tight flock around the anoxic part of oxygen-respiring cable bacteria and disperse immediately when the connection to oxygen is disrupted (by cutting the cable bacteria with a laser). Raman microscopy shows that flocking bacteria are more oxidized when closer to the cable bacteria, but physical contact seems to be rare and brief, which suggests potential transfer of electrons via unidentified soluble intermediates. Metagenomic analysis indicates that most of the flocking bacteria appear to be aerobes, including organotrophs, sulfide oxidizers, and possibly iron oxidizers, which might transfer electrons to cable bacteria for respiration. The association and close interaction with such diverse partners might explain how oxygen via cable bacteria can affect microbial communities and processes far into anoxic environments.

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