Garcia SL, McMahon KD, Martinez-Garcia M, Srivastava A, Sczyrba A, Stepanauskas R, Grossart HP, Woyke T, Warnecke F
ISME J 7 (1) 137-147 [2013-01-00; online 2012-07-19]
Actinobacteria within the acI lineage are often numerically dominating in freshwater ecosystems, where they can account for >50% of total bacteria in the surface water. However, they remain uncultured to date. We thus set out to use single-cell genomics to gain insights into their genetic make-up, with the aim of learning about their physiology and ecological niche. A representative from the highly abundant acI-B1 group was selected for shotgun genomic sequencing. We obtained a draft genomic sequence in 75 larger contigs (sum=1.16 Mb), with an unusually low genomic G+C mol% (∼42%). Actinobacteria core gene analysis suggests an almost complete genome recovery. We found that the acI-B1 cell had a small genome, with a rather low percentage of genes having no predicted functions (∼15%) as compared with other cultured and genome-sequenced microbial species. Our metabolic reconstruction hints at a facultative aerobe microorganism with many transporters and enzymes for pentoses utilization (for example, xylose). We also found an actinorhodopsin gene that may contribute to energy conservation under unfavorable conditions. This project reveals the metabolic potential of a member of the global abundant freshwater Actinobacteria.