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Comparative genomics reveals intraspecific divergence of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans: insights from evolutionary adaptation

Liu, Rui, Ma, Liyuan, Wang, Hongmei, Liu, Deng, Lu, Xiaolu, Huang, Xinping, Huang, Shanshan and Liu, Xueduan 2023. Comparative genomics reveals intraspecific divergence of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans: insights from evolutionary adaptation. Microbial Genomics 9 (6) 10.1099/mgen.0.001038

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Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans serves as a model chemolithoautotrophic organism in extremely acidic environments, which has attracted much attention due to its unique metabolism and strong adaptability. However, little was known about the divergences along the evolutionary process based on whole genomes. Herein, we isolated six strains of A. ferrooxidans from mining areas in China and Zambia, and used comparative genomics to investigate the intra-species divergences. The results indicated that A. ferrooxidans diverged into three groups from a common ancestor, and the pan-genome is ‘open’. The ancestral reconstruction of A. ferrooxidans indicated that genome sizes experienced a trend of increase in the very earliest days before a decreasing tendency during the evolutionary process, suggesting that both gene gain and gene loss played crucial roles in A. ferrooxidans genome flexibility. Meanwhile, 23 single-copy orthologous groups (OGs) were under positive selection. The differences of rusticyanin (Rus) sequences (the key protein in the iron oxidation pathway) and type IV secretion system (T4SS) composition in the A. ferrooxidans were both related to their group divergences, which contributed to their intraspecific diversity. This study improved our understanding of the divergent evolution and environmental adaptation of A. ferrooxidans at the genome level in extreme conditions, which provided theoretical support for the survival mechanism of living creatures at the extreme.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Microbiology Society
ISSN: 2057-5858
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 June 2023
Date of Acceptance: 21 April 2023
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 04:36

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