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ISME J. 2016 Dec;10(12):2907-2917. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2016.69. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

A genomic comparison of 13 symbiotic Vibrio fischeri isolates from the perspective of their host source and colonization behavior.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Abstract

Newly hatched Euprymna scolopes squid obtain their specific light-organ symbionts from an array of Vibrio (Allivibrio) fischeri strains present in their environment. Two genetically distinct populations of this squid species have been identified, one in Kaneohe Bay (KB), and another in Maunaloa Bay (MB), Oahu. We asked whether symbionts isolated from squid in each of these populations outcompete isolates from the other population in mixed-infection experiments. No relationship was found between a strain's host source (KB or MB) and its ability to competitively colonize KB or MB juveniles in a mixed inoculum. Instead, two colonization behaviors were identified among the 11 KB and MB strains tested: a 'dominant' outcome, in which one strain outcompetes the other for colonization, and a 'sharing' outcome, in which two strains co-colonize the squid. A genome-level comparison of these and other V. fischeri strains suggested that the core genomic structure of this species is both syntenous and highly conserved over time and geographical distance. We also identified ~250 Kb of sequence, encoding 194 dispersed orfs, that was specific to those strains that expressed the dominant colonization behavior. Taken together, the results indicate a link between the genome content of V. fischeri strains and their colonization behavior when initiating a light-organ symbiosis.

PMID:
27128997
PMCID:
PMC5148191
[Available on 2017-12-01]
DOI:
10.1038/ismej.2016.69
[PubMed - in process]
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