EpicPCR-Directed Cultivation of a Candidatus Saccharibacteria Symbiont Reveals a Type IV Pili-dependent Epibiotic Lifestyle

Xie et al. (2021).
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AbstractCandidate phyla radiations (CPR), accounting for a major microbial supergroup with remarkably small genomes and reduced sizes, are widely distributed yet mostly uncultured. Limited culture and its obligate reliance upon other bacteria hindered investigation of their lifestyles. In this work we isolated a CPR bacterium, TM7i, with its host Leucobacter aridocollis J1, by combination of Emulsion, Paired Isolation and Concatenation PCR (epicPCR) detection and filtrate co-culture. Genomic profiling of TM7 genomes and microscopic investigation of TM7i-J1 symbiosis suggest the conservation of type IV pili and a pili-dependent lifestyle of TM7. Further, we observed twitching motility of TM7i mediated by pili and its role played in the interaction with its host. Our results shed a light on the lifestyle about this enigmatic bacterial radiation, which may also be adopted by other CPR organisms. The epicPCR-directed isolation method underlines high efficiency of CPR bacteria isolation and thus may be used in other symbiotic or epibiotic microorganisms.
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