Temperature modulates Fischerella thermalis ecotypes in Porcelana Hot Spring


In the Porcelana Hot Spring (Northern Patagonia), true-branching cyanobacteria are the dominant primary producers in microbial mats, and they are mainly responsible for carbon and nitrogen fixation. However, little is known about their metabolic and genomic adaptations at high temperatures. Therefore, in this study, a total of 81 Fischerella thermalis strains (also known as Mastigocladus laminosus) were isolated from mat samples in a thermal gradient between 61–46 °C. The complementary use of proteomic comparisons from these strains, and comparative genomics of F. thermalis pangenomes, suggested that at least two different ecotypes were present within these populations. MALDI-TOF MS analysis separated the strains into three clusters; two with strains obtained from mats within the upper temperature range (61 and 54 °C), and a third obtained from mats within the lower temperature range (51 and 46 °C). Both groups possessed different but synonymous nifH alleles. The main proteomic differences were associated with the abundance of photosynthesis-related proteins. Three F. thermalis metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) were described from 66, 58 and 48 °C metagenomes. These pangenomes indicated a divergence of orthologous genes and a high abundance of exclusive genes at 66 °C. These results improved the current understanding of thermal adaptation of F. thermalis and the evolution of these thermophilic cyanobacterial species.

Systematic and Applied Microbiology
Jaime Alcorta
Jaime Alcorta
PhD. Student
María Estrella Alcamán
María Estrella Alcamán
Scientific Collaborator
Beatriz Díez Moreno
Beatriz Díez Moreno
Associate Professor.
P. Universidad Católica de Chile.
School of Biological Sciences,
Department of Molecular
Genetics and Microbiology,
Santiago, Chile.