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Cell. 2019 Oct 17;179(3):703-712.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.08.054. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Peptidoglycan Production by an Insect-Bacterial Mosaic.

Author information

1
Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA.
2
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
3
Coxiella Pathogenesis Section, Laboratory of Bacteriology, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA.
4
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.
5
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
6
Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA. Electronic address: john.mccutcheon@umontana.edu.

Abstract

Peptidoglycan (PG) is a defining feature of bacteria, involved in cell division, shape, and integrity. We previously reported that several genes related to PG biosynthesis were horizontally transferred from bacteria to the nuclear genome of mealybugs. Mealybugs are notable for containing a nested bacteria-within-bacterium endosymbiotic structure in specialized insect cells, where one bacterium, Moranella, lives in the cytoplasm of another bacterium, Tremblaya. Here we show that horizontally transferred genes on the mealybug genome work together with genes retained on the Moranella genome to produce a PG layer exclusively at the Moranella cell periphery. Furthermore, we show that an insect protein encoded by a horizontally transferred gene of bacterial origin is transported into the Moranella cytoplasm. These results provide a striking parallel to the genetic and biochemical mosaicism found in organelles, and prove that multiple horizontally transferred genes can become integrated into a functional pathway distributed between animal and bacterial endosymbiont genomes.

PMID:
31587897
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2019.08.054
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