Physiological potential and evolutionary trajectories of syntrophic sulfate-reducing bacterial partners of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea

Abstract

Sulfate-coupled anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is performed by multicellular consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) in obligate syntrophic partnership with sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Diverse ANME and SRB clades co-associate but the physiological basis for their adaptation and diversification is not well understood. In this work, we used comparative metagenomics and phylogenetics to investigate the metabolic adaptation among the 4 main syntrophic SRB clades (HotSeep-1, Seep-SRB2, Seep-SRB1a, and Seep-SRB1g) and identified features associated with their syntrophic lifestyle that distinguish them from their non-syntrophic evolutionary neighbors in the phylum Desulfobacterota. We show that the protein complexes involved in direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) from ANME to the SRB outer membrane are conserved between the syntrophic lineages. In contrast, the proteins involved in electron transfer within the SRB inner membrane differ between clades, indicative of convergent evolution in the adaptation to a syntrophic lifestyle. Our analysis suggests that in most cases, this adaptation likely occurred after the acquisition of the DIET complexes in an ancestral clade and involve horizontal gene transfers within pathways for electron transfer (CbcBA) and biofilm formation (Pel). We also provide evidence for unique adaptations within syntrophic SRB clades, which vary depending on the archaeal partner. Among the most widespread syntrophic SRB, Seep-SRB1a, subclades that specifically partner ANME-2a are missing the cobalamin synthesis pathway, suggestive of nutritional dependency on its partner, while closely related Seep-SRB1a partners of ANME-2c lack nutritional auxotrophies. Our work provides insight into the features associated with DIET-based syntrophy and the adaptation of SRB towards it.

Description

Keywords

physiological potential, evolutionary trajectories, syntrophic sulfate-reducing bacteria, anaerobic methanotrophic archaea, archaea

Citation

Murali R, Yu H, Speth DR, Wu F, Metcalfe KS, Cre ́mière A, et al. (2023) Physiological potential and evolutionary trajectories of syntrophic sulfate-reducing bacterial partners of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea. PLoS Biol 21(9): e3002292. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pbio.3002292
Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.