Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 Nov;79(22):6868-73. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01635-13. Epub 2013 Aug 30.

Genome sequence analysis indicates that the model eukaryote Nematostella vectensis harbors bacterial consorts.

Author information

1
N. I. Vavilov Institute of General Genetics RAS, Moscow, Russia.

Abstract

Analysis of the genome sequence of the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, reveals many genes whose products are phylogenetically closer to proteins encoded by bacteria or bacteriophages than to any metazoan homologs. One explanation for such sequence affinities could be that these genes have been horizontally transferred from bacteria to the Nematostella lineage. We show, however, that bacterium-like and phage-like genes sequenced by the N. vectensis genome project tend to cluster on separate scaffolds, which typically do not include eukaryotic genes and differ from the latter in their GC contents. Moreover, most of the bacterium-like genes in N. vectensis either lack introns or the introns annotated in such genes are false predictions that, when translated, often restore the missing portions of their predicted protein products. In a freshwater cnidarian, Hydra, for which a proteobacterial endosymbiont is known, these gene features have been used to delineate the DNA of that endosymbiont sampled by the genome sequencing project. We predict that a large fraction of bacterium-like genes identified in the N. vectensis genome similarly are drawn from the contemporary bacterial consorts of the starlet sea anemone. These uncharacterized bacteria associated with N. vectensis are a proteobacterium and a representative of the phylum Bacteroidetes, each represented in the database by an apparently random sample of informational and operational genes. A substantial portion of a putative bacteriophage genome was also detected, which would be especially unlikely to have been transferred to a eukaryote.

PMID:
23995941
PMCID:
PMC3811558
DOI:
10.1128/AEM.01635-13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center