KOLMAN Maria De Los Angeles
Sucrose in bloom-forming cyanobacteria: loss and gain of genes involved in its biosynthesis
KOLMAN, MA; SALERNO, G
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2016 vol. 18 p. 439 - 449
Bloom-forming cyanobacteria are widely distributed in freshwater ecosystems. To cope with salinity fluctuations, cyanobacteria synthesize compatible solutes, such as sucrose, to maintain the intracellular osmotic balance. The screening of cyanobacterial genomes revealed that homologs to sucrose-metabolism related genes only occur in few bloom-forming strains, mostly belonging to Nostocales and Stigonematales orders. Remarkably, among Chroococcales and Oscillatoriales strains, homologs were only found in M. aeruginosa PCC 7806 and Leptolyngbya boryana PCC 6306, suggesting a massive loss of sucrose metabolism in bloom-forming strains of these orders. After a complete functional characterization of sucrose genes in M. aeruginosa PCC 7806, we showed that sucrose metabolism depends on the expression of a gene cluster that defines a transcriptional unit, unique among all sucrose-containing cyanobacteria. It was also demonstrated that the expression of the encoding genes of sucrose-related proteins is stimulated by salt. In view of its ancestral origin in cyanobacteria, the fact that most bloom-forming strains lack sucrose metabolism indicates that the genes involved might have been lost during evolution. However, in a particular strain, like M. aeruginosa PCC 7806, sucrose-synthesis genes were probably regained by horizontal gene transfer, which could be hypothesized as a response to salinity fluctuations.