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Secretion of DNases by marine bacteria: a culture based and bioinformatics approach

Lookup NU author(s): Aisha Al-Wahaibi, Emilia Lapinska, Nithyalakshmy Rajarajan, Dr Sergey Dobretsov, Professor Robert Upstill-GoddardORCiD, Professor Grant Burgess



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


The vast majority of bacteria present in the natural environment are present in the form of aggregates and/or biofilms. Microbial aggregates are ubiquitous in the marine environment and are inhabited by diverse microbial communities which often express intense extracellular enzymatic activities. However, the impact of nucleases in marine aggregates has not been studied, despite the importance of these aggregates in biogeochemical cycling of nutrients in the oceans. In this work, we therefore, employed both culture-based and bioinformatics approaches to understand the diversity of bacterial nucleases in marine bacterioplankton. We found that 34% of 345 strains of attached and non attached marine bacteria showed extracellular nuclease activity. Most of these isolates belong to the Proteobacteria (53%) and Firmicutes (34%). Secretion of nucleases by bacteria isolated from marine gel particles is reported here for the first time. Then, to further understand the diversity of nuclease enzymes, nuclease sequences were compared using whole genome and metagenome.Thirty-nine different taxonomic groups corresponding to ten bacterial phyla were found to encode genes responsible for nuclease secretion. This study highlights the unexpected and widespread presence of nucleases in marine bacteria and in marine gel particles. This has important implications for understanding the dynamics and fate of marine microbial aggregates in the oceans

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Wahiabi A, Lapinska E, Rajarajan N, Dobretsov S, Upstill-Goddard R, Burgess JG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Microbiology

Year: 2019

Volume: 10

Print publication date: 05/05/2019

Online publication date: 05/05/2019

Acceptance date: 01/05/2019

Date deposited: 10/05/2019

ISSN (electronic): 1664-302X

Publisher: Frontiers Media


DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00969


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