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ISME J. 2013 Feb;7(2):448-51. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.112. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

Global abundance of microbial rhodopsins.

Author information

1
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.

Abstract

Photochemical reaction centers and rhodopsins are the only phototrophic mechanisms known to have evolved on Earth. The minimal cost of bearing a rhodopsin-based phototrophic mechanism in comparison to maintaining a photochemical reaction center suggests that rhodopsin is the more abundant of the two. We tested this hypothesis by conducting a global abundance calculation of phototrophic mechanisms from 116 marine and terrestrial microbial metagenomes. On average, 48% of the cells from which these metagenomes were generated harbored a rhodopsin gene, exceeding the reaction center abundance by threefold. Evidence from metatranscriptomic data suggests that this genomic potential is realized to a substantial extent, at least for the small-sized (>0.8 μm) of microbial fractions.

PMID:
23051692
PMCID:
PMC3554412
DOI:
10.1038/ismej.2012.112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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