Discovery of unique new species of marine bacteria in a deep-sea cold seep

Blue fuzzy bacteria concept

Researchers have discovered a new strain of bacteria that lives in the deep sea. Poriferisphaera heterotrophs, which is unique to the nascent partitioning model and plays an important role in nitrogen assimilation. Bacteria also live symbiotically with phages that facilitate nitrogen metabolism. (artist concept)

Researchers have discovered a new type of marine bacteria that reproduces through a unique budding process and releases viruses to facilitate nitrogen metabolism.

Researchers have isolated a new strain of marine bacteria with unique properties from the ocean floor.

The study recently published in the journal eLifeand has been hailed by the editors as a major contribution to our understanding of physiological processes within the deep sea Planctomycetes bacteria. It highlights unique traits, including its unique way of cell division, that distinguish it as the only known one classify In the category visisveray Bacteria that use a distinct model of division.

And he provides what the editors also say is compelling evidence that the new species engages extensively in nitrogen assimilation and survives with chronic disease. virus (phage) that facilitates nitrogen metabolism. The cycling of nitrogen by bacteria is an essential process that releases nitrogen into nucleic acids. Amino acidsand proteins – the building blocks of life.

Until recently, most research was about Planctomycetes “The Bacteriophage family has focused on strains found in freshwater and shallow ocean environments, due to logistical difficulties associated with sampling and cultivating deep-sea strains,” says lead author Riquan Cheng, research associate at the Institute of Oceanography, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Beijing, China, and the National Marine Science and Technology Laboratory, Qingdao, China. “Most Planctomycetes The bacteria have been isolated using nutritionally poor growth media, so we wanted to see if using a nutrient-rich medium would make it possible to grow and characterize members of this poorly understood family.

Poriferisphaera is a heterotroph

new bacteria, Poriferisphaera is a heterotrophThey were observed using a transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Abbreviations: cm, outer membrane; pi, cytoplasm. R, ribosome. N, nuclear. ICM, cytoplasmic membrane; PI, Peribella. Credit: Requan Cheng

To isolate the new bacteria, the team took sediment samples from a deep-sea cold seep Planctomycetes Bacteria are known to be present, so encourage their growth by supplementing the standard growth medium with the antibiotic rifampicin and nitrogen sources. They grew these enriched bacteria on agar and further evaluated individual colonies by genetic sequencing.

Among the bacteria, they identified a strain called ZRK32 that grows faster than others and seems most likely to be a member of the genus. porifrysfera. To confirm this, the team compared the genetic similarities between this strain and other members of the group porifrysfera Gender and found that it can be distinguished from porificifera corsica, The only other type that has a valid post name. This suggests that ZRK32 is a new species, which the team proposes to name Poriferisphaera is a heterotroph.

To learn more about this new species, the team studied its growth and how it reproduces. And they found it, unlike others Planctomycetes family members, Poriferisphaera is a heterotroph It grows best in nutrient-rich media and multiplies through the mechanism of budding, whereby parent cells create growth buds that develop into daughter cells.

as Planctomycetes This family of bacteria is known to play an important role in the nitrogen cycle, and the team next explored whether this was also the case. Poriferisphaera heterotrophs. To test this, they looked at the effects of different nitrogen-containing substances — nitrates, ammonia and nitrogen dioxide — on human health Poriferisphaera heterotrophs growth. They found that adding nitrogen in the form of nitrate or ammonia increased growth, while adding it in the form of nitrite inhibited growth.

They also discovered that adding nitrates or ammonia caused the new strain of bacteria to be released, a type of virus that infects bacteria. Phages are widely distributed across the oceans and can regulate nitrogen metabolism in their host bacteria. These phages – called phage-ZRK32 – were able to increase the growth of… Poriferisphaera heterotrophs and other marine bacteria significantly by facilitating nitrogen metabolism. Although the team’s genetic analysis suggests… Poriferisphaera heterotrophs It contains all the genes needed for nitrate and ammonia metabolism, and chronic infection with this bacterium may help improve nitrogen metabolism.

“Our analyzes indicate that strain ZRK32 is a new species, which grows better in nutrient-rich media and releases phages in the presence of nitrogen,” concludes lead author Zhaomin Sun, Professor at the Institute of Oceanography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Laboratory of Marine Science and Technology. “These ZRK32 phages are chronic phages Which lives inside its host without killing it. Our findings provide new insight into nitrogen metabolism in PlanctomyceteBacteria and a suitable model to study interactions between them Planctomycetes and viruses.”

Reference: “Physiological and metabolic insights into the first cultured anaerobic representative of the deep sea Planctomycetes Bacteria,” by Riquan Zheng, Zhong Wang, Rui Liu, Ruining Cai, and Zhaomen Sun, Aug. 28, 2023, Available here. eLife.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.89874.1

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