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Proteorhodopsin phototrophy promotes survival of marine bacteria during starvation
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
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2010 (English)In: PLoS biology, ISSN 1544-9173, E-ISSN 1545-7885, Vol. 8, e1000358Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Proteorhodopsins are globally abundant photoproteins found in bacteria in the photic zone of the ocean. Although their function as proton pumps with energy-yielding potential has been demonstrated, the ecological role of proteorhodopsins remains largely unexplored. Here, we report the presence and function of proteorhodopsin in a member of the widespread genus Vibrio, uncovered through whole-genome analysis. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the Vibrio strain AND4 obtained proteorhodopsin through lateral gene transfer, which could have modified the ecology of this marine bacterium. We demonstrate an increased long-term survival of AND4 when starved in seawater exposed to light rather than held in darkness. Furthermore, mutational analysis provides the first direct evidence, to our knowledge, linking the proteorhodopsin gene and its biological function in marine bacteria. Thus, proteorhodopsin phototrophy confers a fitness advantage to marine bacteria, representing a novel mechanism for bacterioplankton to endure frequent periods of resource deprivation at the ocean’s surface.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library Science , 2010. Vol. 8, e1000358
Keyword [en]
planktonic bacteria, flavobacteria, expression, proteins, archaea, growth, vibrio, genes, ocean, sar11
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43185DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000358ISI: 000278125500011PubMedID: 20436956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-43185DiVA: diva2:412349
Available from: 2011-04-22 Created: 2011-04-22 Last updated: 2015-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Lindell, KristofferMilton, Debra L
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Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology)Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR)
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