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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2014 Jul;89(1):181-97. doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12348. Epub 2014 May 22.

Genomic differentiation among two strains of the PS1 clade isolated from geographically separated marine habitats.

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Red Sea Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.


Using dilution-to-extinction cultivation, we isolated a strain affiliated with the PS1 clade from surface waters of the Red Sea. Strain RS24 represents the second isolate of this group of marine Alphaproteobacteria after IMCC14465 that was isolated from the East (Japan) Sea. The PS1 clade is a sister group to the OCS116 clade, together forming a putatively novel order closely related to Rhizobiales. While most genomic features and most of the genetic content are conserved between RS24 and IMCC14465, their average nucleotide identity (ANI) is < 81%, suggesting two distinct species of the PS1 clade. Next to encoding two different variants of proteorhodopsin genes, they also harbor several unique genomic islands that contain genes related to degradation of aromatic compounds in IMCC14465 and in polymer degradation in RS24, possibly reflecting the physicochemical differences in the environment they were isolated from. No clear differences in abundance of the genomic content of either strain could be found in fragment recruitment analyses using different metagenomic datasets, in which both genomes were detectable albeit as minor part of the communities. The comparative genomic analysis of both isolates of the PS1 clade and the fragment recruitment analysis provide first insights into the ecology of this group.


Alphaproteobacteria; OCS116 clade; PS1 clade; Red Sea; dilution-to-extinction; proteorhodopsin

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