Fitness-Conditional Genes for Soil Adaptation in the Bioaugmentation Agent Pseudomonas veronii 1YdBTEX2.


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Fitness-Conditional Genes for Soil Adaptation in the Bioaugmentation Agent Pseudomonas veronii 1YdBTEX2.
Morales M., Sentchilo V., Carraro N., Causevic S., Vuarambon D., van der Meer J.R.
2379-5077 (Electronic)
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Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
Strain inoculation (bioaugmentation) is a potentially useful technology to provide microbiomes with new functionalities. However, there is limited understanding of the genetic factors contributing to successful establishment of inoculants. This work aimed to characterize the genes implicated in proliferation of the monoaromatic compound-degrading Pseudomonas veronii 1YdBTEX2 in nonsterile polluted soils. We generated two independent mutant libraries by random minitransposon-delivered marker insertion followed by deep sequencing (Tn-seq) with a total of 5.0 × 10 <sup>5</sup> unique insertions. Libraries were grown in multiple successive cycles for up to 50 generations either in batch liquid medium or in two types of soil microcosms with different resident microbial content (sand or silt) in the presence of toluene. Analysis of gene insertion abundances at different time points (passed generations of metapopulation growth), in comparison to proportions at start and to in silico generated randomized insertion distributions, allowed to define ~800 essential genes common to both libraries and ~2,700 genes with conditional fitness effects in either liquid or soil (195 of which resulted in fitness gain). Conditional fitness genes largely overlapped among all growth conditions but affected approximately twice as many functions in liquid than in soil. This indicates soil to be a more promiscuous environment for mutant growth, probably because of additional nutrient availability. Commonly depleted genes covered a wide range of biological functions and metabolic pathways, such as inorganic ion transport, fatty acid metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis, or nucleotide and cofactor metabolism. Only sparse gene sets were uncovered whose insertion caused fitness decrease exclusive for soils, which were different between silt and sand. Despite detectable higher resident bacteria and potential protist predatory counts in silt, we were, therefore, unable to detect any immediately obvious candidate genes affecting P. veronii biological competitiveness. In contrast to liquid growth conditions, mutants inactivating flagella biosynthesis and motility consistently gained strong fitness advantage in soils and displayed higher growth rates than wild type. In conclusion, although many gene functions were found to be important for growth in soils, most of these are not specific as they affect growth in liquid minimal medium more in general. This indicates that P. veronii does not need major metabolic reprogramming for proliferation in soil with accessible carbon and generally favorable growth conditions. IMPORTANCE Restoring damaged microbiomes is still a formidable challenge. Classical widely adopted approaches consist of augmenting communities with pure or mixed cultures in the hope that these display their intended selected properties under in situ conditions. Ecological theory, however, dictates that introduction of a nonresident microbe is unlikely to lead to its successful proliferation in a foreign system such as a soil microbiome. In an effort to study this systematically, we used random transposon insertion scanning to identify genes and possibly, metabolic subsystems, that are crucial for growth and survival of a bacterial inoculant (Pseudomonas veronii) for targeted degradation of monoaromatic compounds in contaminated nonsterile soils. Our results indicate that although many gene functions are important for proliferation in soil, they are general factors for growth and not exclusive for soil. In other words, P. veronii is a generalist that is not a priori hindered by the soil for its proliferation and would make a good bioaugmentation candidate.
Soil, Sand, Pseudomonas/genetics, Bacteria/genetics, bioremediation, soil microbiome, toluene degradation, transposon insertion sequencing
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Create date
06/03/2023 15:49
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23/01/2024 8:36
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