Comparative genomics on cultivated and uncultivated, freshwater and marine Candidatus Manganitrophaceae species implies their worldwide reach in manganese chemolithoautotrophy

Yu et al. (2021).
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AbstractChemolithoautotrophic manganese oxidation has long been theorized, but only recently demonstrated in a bacterial co-culture. The majority member of the co-culture, Candidatus Manganitrophus noduliformans, is a distinct but not yet isolated lineage in the phylum Nitrospirota (Nitrospirae). Here, we established two additional MnCO3-oxidizing cultures using inocula from Santa Barbara (USA) and Boetsap (South Africa). Both cultures were dominated by strains of a new species, designated Candidatus Manganitrophus morganii. The next abundant members differed in the available cultures, suggesting that while Ca. Manganitrophus species have not been isolated in pure culture, they may not require a specific syntrophic relationship with another species. Phylogeny of cultivated Ca. Manganitrophus and related metagenome-assembled genomes revealed a coherent taxonomic family, Candidatus Manganitrophaceae, from both freshwater and marine environments and distributed globally. Comparative genomic analyses support this family being Mn(II)-oxidizing chemolithoautotrophs. Among the 895 shared genes were a subset of those hypothesized for Mn(II) oxidation (Cyc2 and PCC_1) and oxygen reduction (TO_1 and TO_2) that could facilitate Mn(II) lithotrophy. An unusual, plausibly reverse Complex 1 containing 2 additional pumping subunits was also shared by the family, as were genes for the reverse TCA carbon fixation cycle, which could enable Mn(II) autotrophy. All members of the family lacked genes for nitrification found in Nitrospira species. The results suggest that Ca. Manganitrophaceae share a core set of candidate genes for the newly discovered manganese dependent chemolithoautotrophic lifestyle, and likely have a broad, global distribution.ImportanceManganese (Mn) is an abundant redox-active metal that cycled in many of Earth’s biomes. While diverse bacteria and archaea have been demonstrated to respire Mn(III/IV), only recently have bacteria been implicated in Mn(II) oxidation dependent growth. Here, two new Mn(II)-oxidizing enrichment cultures originated from two continents and hemispheres were examined. By comparing the community composition of the enrichments and performing phylogenomic analysis on the abundant Nitrospirota therein, new insights are gleaned on cell interactions, taxonomy, and machineries that may underlie Mn(II)-based lithotrophy and autotrophy.
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