Fundamental shift in vitamin B12 eco-physiology of a model alga demonstrated by experimental evolution.

Helliwell, KE, Collins, S, Kazamia, E, Purton, S, Wheeler, GL and Smith, AG 2015 Fundamental shift in vitamin B12 eco-physiology of a model alga demonstrated by experimental evolution.. The ISME journal, 9 (6). 1446-55.

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A widespread and complex distribution of vitamin requirements exists over the entire tree of life, with many species having evolved vitamin dependence, both within and between different lineages. Vitamin availability has been proposed to drive selection for vitamin dependence, in a process that links an organism's metabolism to the environment, but this has never been demonstrated directly. Moreover, understanding the physiological processes and evolutionary dynamics that influence metabolic demand for these important micronutrients has significant implications in terms of nutrient acquisition and, in microbial organisms, can affect community composition and metabolic exchange between coexisting species. Here we investigate the origins of vitamin dependence, using an experimental evolution approach with the vitamin B(12)-independent model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In fewer than 500 generations of growth in the presence of vitamin B(12), we observe the evolution of a B(12)-dependent clone that rapidly displaces its ancestor. Genetic characterization of this line reveals a type-II Gulliver-related transposable element integrated into the B(12)-independent methionine synthase gene (METE), knocking out gene function and fundamentally altering the physiology of the alga.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Marine Microbiome
Depositing User: Dr Glen Wheeler
Date made live: 17 Nov 2015 13:04
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 17:05

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