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Fuerstia marisgermanicae gen. nov., sp nov., an Unusual Member of the Phylum Planctomycetes from the German Wadden Sea

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hans-Peter Klenk



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Members of the phylum Planctomycetes are ubiquitous bacteria that dwell in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. While planctomycetal species are important players in the global carbon and nitrogen cycle, this phylum is still undersampled and only few genome sequences are available. Here we describe strain NH11(inverted perpendicular), a novel planctomycete obtained from a crustacean shell (Wadden Sea, Germany). The phylogenetically closest related cultivated species is Gimesia marls, sharing only 87% 16S rRNA sequence identity. Previous isolation attempts have mostly yielded members of the genus Rhodopirellula from water of the German North Sea. On the other hand, only one axenic culture of the genus Pirellula was obtained from a crustacean thus far. However, the 16S rRNA gene sequence of strain NH11(inverted perpendicular) shares only 80% sequence identity with the closest relative of both genera, Rhodopirellula and Pirellula. Thus, strain NH11(inverted perpendicular) is unique in terms of origin and phylogeny. While the pear to ovoid shaped cells of strain NH11(inverted perpendicular) are typical planctomycetal, light-, and electron microscopic observations point toward an unusual variation of cell division through budding: during the division process daughter and mother cells are connected by an unseen thin tubular-like structure. Furthermore, the periplasmic space of strain NH11(inverted perpendicular) was unusually enlarged and differed from previously known planctomycetes. The complete genome of strain NH11(inverted perpendicular), with almost 9 Mb in size, is among the largest planctomycetal genomes sequenced thus far, but harbors only 6645 protein-coding genes. The acquisition of genomic components by horizontal gene transfer is indicated by the presence of numerous putative genomic islands. Strikingly, 45 "giant genes" were found within the genome of NH11(inverted perpendicular). Subsequent analysis of all available planctomycetal genomes revealed that Planctomycetes as such are especially rich in "giant genes". Furthermore, Multilocus Sequence Analysis (MLSA) tree reconstruction support the phylogenetic distance of strain NH11(inverted perpendicular) from other cultivated Planctomycetes of the same phylogenetic cluster. Thus, based on our findings, we propose to classify strain NH11(inverted perpendicular) as Fuerstia marisgermanicae gen. nov., sp. nov., with the type strain NH11(inverted perpendicular), within the phylum Planctomycetes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kohn T, Heuer A, Jogler M, Vollmers J, Boedeker C, Bunk B, Rast P, Borchert D, Glockner I, Freese HM, Klenk HP, Overmann J, Kaster AK, Rohde M, Wiegand S, Jogler C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Microbiology

Year: 2016

Volume: 7

Online publication date: 22/12/2016

Acceptance date: 08/12/2016

Date deposited: 17/03/2017

ISSN (print): 1664-302X

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA


DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.02079


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Funder referenceFunder name
893/3-1Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
TRR 51/2 TA07Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
JO 893/3-1
TRR 51/2 TA07