Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Nitrate Respiration in Thermus Thermophilus NAR1: From Horizontal Gene Transfer to Internal Evolution

Version 1 : Received: 13 October 2020 / Approved: 13 October 2020 / Online: 13 October 2020 (14:00:29 CEST)

How to cite: Sánchez-Costa, M.; Blesa, A.; Berenguer, J. Nitrate Respiration in Thermus Thermophilus NAR1: From Horizontal Gene Transfer to Internal Evolution. Preprints 2020, 2020100281 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0281.v1). Sánchez-Costa, M.; Blesa, A.; Berenguer, J. Nitrate Respiration in Thermus Thermophilus NAR1: From Horizontal Gene Transfer to Internal Evolution. Preprints 2020, 2020100281 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0281.v1).

Abstract

Genes coding for enzymes of the denitrification pathway appear randomly distributed among isolates of the ancestral genus Thermus, but only in few strains of the species T. thermophilus the pathway has been studied to a certain detail. Here, we review the enzymes involved in this pathway present in T. thermophilus NAR1, a strain extensively employed as a model for nitrate respiration, on the light of its full sequence recently assembled through a combination of PacBio and Illumina technologies in order to counteract the systematic errors introduced by the former technique. The genome of this strain is divided in four replicons, a chromosome of 2,021,843 pb, two megaplasmids of 370,865 and 77,135 bp and a small plasmid of 9,799 pb. Nitrate respiration is encoded in the largest megaplasmid, pTTHNP4, within a region that includes operons for O2 and nitrate sensory systems, a nitrate reductase, nitrate and nitrite transporters and a nitrate specific NADH dehydrogenase, in addition to multiple insertion sequences (IS), suggesting its mobility-prone nature. Despite nitrite is the final product of nitrate respiration in this strain, the megaplasmid encodes two putative nitrite reductases of the cd1 and Cu-containing types, apparently inactivated by IS. No nitric oxide reductase genes have been found within this region, although the NorR sensory gene, needed for its expression, is found near the inactive nitrite respiration system. These data clearly support that partial denitrification in this strain is the consequence of recent deletions and IS insertions in genes involved in nitrite respiration. Based on these data, the capability of this strain to transfer or acquire denitrification clusters by horizontal gene transfer is discussed.

Subject Areas

denitrification; evolution; thermophile; horizontal gene transfer; nitrate respiration; PacBio sequencing

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