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Comparative Genomics Reveals Metabolic Specificity of Endozoicomonas Isolated from a Marine Sponge and the Genomic Repertoire for Host-Bacteria Symbioses

by Anoop Alex 1,2,* and Agostino Antunes 1,2,*
1
CIIMAR/CIMAR, Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, 4450-208 Porto, Portugal
2
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(12), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7120635
Received: 13 October 2019 / Revised: 19 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 30 November 2019
The most recently described bacterial members of the genus Endozoicomonas have been found in association with a wide variety of marine invertebrates. Despite their ubiquity in the host holobiont, limited information is available on the molecular genomic signatures of the symbiotic association of Endozoicomonas with marine sponges. Here, we generated a draft genome of Endozoicomonas sp. OPT23 isolated from the intertidal marine sponge Ophlitaspongia papilla and performed comprehensive comparative genomics analyses. Genome-specific analysis and metabolic pathway comparison of the members of the genus Endozoicomonas revealed the presence of gene clusters encoding for unique metabolic features, such as the utilization of carbon sources through lactate, L-rhamnose metabolism, and a phenylacetic acid degradation pathway in Endozoicomonas sp. OPT23. Moreover, the genome harbors genes encoding for eukaryotic-like proteins, such as ankyrin repeats, tetratricopeptide repeats, and Sel1 repeats, which likely facilitate sponge-bacterium attachment. The genome also encodes major secretion systems and homologs of effector molecules that seem to enable the sponge-associated bacterium to interact with the sponge and deliver the virulence factors for successful colonization. In conclusion, the genome analysis of Endozoicomonas sp. OPT23 revealed the presence of adaptive genomic signatures that might favor their symbiotic lifestyle within the sponge host. View Full-Text
Keywords: Endozoicomonas; symbiosis; comparative genomics; sponge–bacteria interaction; eukaryotic-like proteins; secretion systems Endozoicomonas; symbiosis; comparative genomics; sponge–bacteria interaction; eukaryotic-like proteins; secretion systems
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Alex, A.; Antunes, A. Comparative Genomics Reveals Metabolic Specificity of Endozoicomonas Isolated from a Marine Sponge and the Genomic Repertoire for Host-Bacteria Symbioses. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 635.

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