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PLoS Biol. 2005 Aug;3(8):e273. Epub 2005 Jul 19.

New insights into metabolic properties of marine bacteria encoding proteorhodopsins.

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1
Department of Biology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

Abstract

Proteorhodopsin phototrophy was recently discovered in oceanic surface waters. In an effort to characterize uncultured proteorhodopsin-exploiting bacteria, large-insert bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries from the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea were analyzed. Fifty-five BACs carried diverse proteorhodopsin genes, and we confirmed the function of five. We calculate that proteorhodopsin-exploiting bacteria account for 13% of microorganisms in the photic zone. We further show that some proteorhodopsin-containing bacteria possess a retinal biosynthetic pathway and a reverse sulfite reductase operon, employed by prokaryotes oxidizing sulfur compounds. Thus, these novel phototrophs are an unexpectedly large and metabolically diverse component of the marine microbial surface water.

PMID:
16008504
PMCID:
PMC1175822
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.0030273
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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