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Authors: Dominelli, Nazzareno
Jäger, Heidi Yoko
Langer, Angela
Brachmann, Andreas
Heermann, Ralf
Title: High-throughput sequencing analysis reveals genomic similarity in phenotypic heterogeneous Photorhabdus luminescens cell populations
Online publication date: 7-Nov-2022
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: Purpose Phenotypic heterogeneity occurs in many bacterial populations: single cells of the same species display different phenotypes, despite being genetically identical. The Gram-negative entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens is an excellent example to investigate bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity. Its dualistic life cycle includes a symbiotic stage interacting with entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) and a pathogenic stage killing insect larvae. P. luminescens appears in two phenotypically different cell forms: the primary (1°) and the secondary (2°) cell variants. While 1° cells are bioluminescent, pigmented, and produce a huge set of secondary metabolites, 2° cells lack all these phenotypes. The main difference between both phenotypic variants is that only 1° cells can undergo symbiosis with EPNs, a phenotype that is absent from 2° cells. Recent comparative transcriptome analysis revealed that genes mediating 1° cell-specific traits are modulated differently in 2° cells. Although it was previously suggested that heterogeneity in P. luminescens cells cultures is not genetically mediated by, e.g., larger rearrangements in the genome, the genetic similarity of both cell variants has not clearly been demonstrated yet. Methods Here, we analyzed the genomes of both 1° and 2° cells by genome sequencing of each six single 1° and 2° clones that emerged from a single 1° clone after prolonged growth. Using different bioinformatics tools, the sequence data were analyzed for clustered point mutations or genetic rearrangements with respect to the respective phenotypic variant. Result We demonstrate that isolated clones of 2° cells that switched from the 1° cell state do not display any noticeable mutation and do not genetically differ from 1° cells. Conclusion In summary, we show that the phenotypic differences in P. luminescens cell cultures are obviously not caused by mutations or genetic rearrangements in the genome but truly emerge from phenotypic heterogeneity.
DDC: 570 Biowissenschaften
570 Life sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 10 Biologie
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
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Journal: Annals of microbiology
Pages or article number: 20
Publisher: Springer Nature
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 1869-2044
Publisher DOI: 10.1186/s13213-022-01677-5
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

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