American Society for Microbiology
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The evolution of microbial magnetoreception (or magnetotaxis) is of great interest in the fields of microbiology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, geomicrobiology, and geochemistry. Current genomic data from magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), the only prokaryotes known to be capable of sensing the Earth’s geomagnetic field, suggests an ancient origin of magnetotaxis in the domain Bacteria. Vertical inheritance, followed by multiple independent magnetosome gene cluster loss, is considered to be one of the major forces that drove the evolution of magnetotaxis at or above the class or phylum level, although the evolutionary trajectories at lower taxonomic ranks (e.g., within the class level) remain largely unstudied. Here we report the isolation, cultivation, and sequencing of a novel magnetotactic spirillum belonging to the genus Terasakiella (Terasakiella sp. strain SH-1) within the class Alphaproteobacteria. The complete genome sequence of Terasakiella sp. strain SH-1 revealed an unexpected duplication event of magnetosome genes within the mamAB operon, a group of genes essential for magnetosome biomineralization and magnetotaxis. Intriguingly, further comparative genomic analysis suggests that the duplication of mamAB genes is a common feature in the genomes of alphaproteobacterial MTB. Taken together, with the additional finding that gene duplication appears to have also occurred in some magnetotactic members of the Deltaproteobacteria, our results indicate that gene duplication plays an important role in the evolution of magnetotaxis in the Alphaproteobacteria and perhaps the domain Bacteria.
Terasakiella; Evolution; Gene duplication; Genomes; Magnetosome gene cluster; Magnetotactic bacteria; Magnetrotaxis; Pure cultivation
Genetics and Genomics
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Bazylinski, D. A.,
Magnetosome Gene Duplication as an Important Driver in the Evolution of Magnetotaxis in the Alphaproteobacteria.
American Society for Microbiology.