Ecogenomic characterization of widespread, closely-related SAR11 clades of the freshwater genus "Candidatus Fonsibacter" and proposal of Ca. Fonsibacter lacus sp. nov.
Tsementzi D•, Rodriguez-R LM•, Ruiz-Perez CA, Meziti A, Hatt JK, Konstantinidis KT. • Equal contribution.
Sys App Micro 42(4):495-505. 2019.
The ubiquitous alpha-proteobacteria of the order “Candidatus Pelagibacterales” (SAR11) are highly abundant in aquatic environments, and among them, members of the monophyletic lineage LD12 (also known as SAR11 clade IIIb) are specifically found in lacustrine ecosystems. Clade IIIb bacteria are some of the most prominent members of freshwater environments, but little is known about their biology due to the lack of genome representatives. Only recently, the first non-marine isolate was cultured and described as “Candidatus Fonsibacter ubiquis”. Here, we expand the collection of freshwater IIIb representatives and describe a new IIIb species of the genus “Ca. Fonsibacter”. Specifically, we assembled a collection of 67 freshwater metagenomic datasets from the interconnected lakes of the Chattahoochee River basin (GA, USA) and obtained nearly complete metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) representing 5 distinct IIIb subclades, roughly equivalent to species based on genomic standards, including the previously described “Ca. F. ubiquis”. Genomic comparisons between members of the IIIb species revealed high similarity in gene content. However, when comparing their abundance profiles in the Chattahoochee basin and various aquatic environments, differences in temporal and spatial distributions among the distinct species were observed implying niche differentiation might be underlying the coexistence of the highly functionally similar representatives. The name Ca. Fonsibacter lacus sp. nov. is proposed for the most abundant and widespread species in the Chattahoochee River basin and various freshwater ecosystems.