Abundant toxin-related genes in the genomes of beneficial symbionts from deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussels

Sayavedra, Lizbeth, Kleiner, Manuel, Ponnudurai, Ruby, Wetzel, Silke, Pelletier, Eric, Barbe, Valerie, Satoh, Nori, Shoguchi, Eiichi, Fink, Dennis, Breusing, Corinna, Reusch, Thorsten B.H., Rosenstiel, Philip, Schilhabel, Markus B., Becher, Dörte, Schweder, Thomas, Markert, Stephanie, Dubilier, Nicole and Petersen, Jillian M. (2015) Abundant toxin-related genes in the genomes of beneficial symbionts from deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussels eLife, 4 . pp. 1-39. DOI 10.7554/eLife.07966.

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Abstract

Bathymodiolus mussels live in symbiosis with intracellular sulfur-oxidizing (SOX) bacteria that provide them with nutrition. We sequenced the SOX symbiont genomes from two Bathymodiolus species. Comparison of these symbiont genomes with those of their closest relatives revealed that the symbionts have undergone genome rearrangements, and up to 35% of their genes may have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Many of the genes specific to the symbionts were homologs of virulence genes. We discovered an abundant and diverse array of genes similar to insecticidal toxins of nematode and aphid symbionts, and toxins of pathogens such as Yersinia and Vibrio. Transcriptomics and proteomics revealed that the SOX symbionts express the toxin-related genes (TRGs) in their hosts. We hypothesize that the symbionts use these TRGs in beneficial interactions with their host, including protection against parasites. This would explain why a mutualistic symbiont would contain such a remarkable 'arsenal' of TRGs

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000373850100001
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.7554/eLife.07966
ISSN: 2050-084X
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2015 10:54
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:49
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/29700

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