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Environ Microbiol. 2004 Sep;6(9):903-10.

Different SAR86 subgroups harbour divergent proteorhodopsins.

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Department of Biology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.


Proteorhodopsins (PRs), bacterial photoactive proton pumps, were originally detected in the uncultured marine gamma-proteobacterial SAR86 group. PRs are now known to occur in both the gamma and alpha marine proteobacterial lineages. Recent environmental shotgun sequence analysis in the Sargasso Sea has added yet more diversity, and a potentially broader taxonomic distribution, to the PR family. Much remains to be learned, however, about within-taxon PR variability and the broader organismal distribution of different PR types. We report here genomic analyses of large genome fragments from different subgroups of the SAR86 lineage, recovered from naturally occurring bacterioplankton populations in coastal Red Sea and open ocean Pacific waters. Sequence comparisons were performed on large bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) bearing both rRNA and PR genes, derived from different SAR86 subgroups. Our analyses indicated the presence of different PR sequence types within the same SAR86 rRNA subgroup. The data suggested that the distribution of particular PR types does not necessarily parallel the phylogenetic relationship inferred from highly conserved genes such as rRNA. Further analyses of the genomic regions flanking PR also revealed a potential pathway for the biosynthesis of retinal, the PR chromophore that is required to generate the functionally active photoprotein. Finally, comparison of our results with recently reported Sargasso Sea environmental shotgun sequence assemblies demonstrated the utility of BAC clones for interpreting environmental shotgun sequence data, much of which is represented in short contigs that have an overall low depth of coverage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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