“Candidatus Galacturonibacter soehngenii” Shows Acetogenic Catabolism of Galacturonic Acid but Lacks a Canonical Carbon Monoxide Dehydrogenase/Acetyl-CoA Synthase Complex

Laura C. Valk, Martijn Diender, Gerben R. Stouten, Jette F. Petersen, Per H. Nielsen, Morten S. Dueholm, Jack T. Pronk, Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Acetogens have the ability to fixate carbon during fermentation by employing the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (WLP), which is highly conserved across Bacteria and Archaea. In a previous study, product stoichometries in galacturonate-limited, anaerobic enrichment cultures of “Candidatus Galacturonibacter soehngenii,” from a novel genus within the Lachnospiraceae, suggested the simultaneous operation of a modified Entner-Doudoroff pathway for galacturonate fermentation and a WLP for acetogenesis. However, a draft metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) based on short reads did not reveal homologs of genes encoding a canonical WLP carbon-monoxide-dehydrogenase/acetyl-Coenzyme A synthase (CODH/ACS) complex. In this study, NaH13CO3 fed to chemostat-grown, galacturonate-limited enrichment cultures of “Ca. G. soehngenii” was shown to be incorporated into acetate. Preferential labeling of the carboxyl group of acetate was consistent with acetogenesis via a WLP in which the methyl group of acetate was predominately derived from formate. This interpretation was further supported by high transcript levels of a putative pyruvate-formate lyase gene and very low transcript levels of a candidate gene for formate dehydrogenase. Reassembly of the “Ca. G. soehngenii” MAG with support from long-read nanopore sequencing data produced a single-scaffold MAG, which confirmed the absence of canonical CODH/ACS-complex genes homologs. However, high CO-dehydrogenase activities were measured in cell extracts of “Ca. G. soehngenii” enrichment cultures, contradicting the absence of corresponding homologs in the MAG. Based on the highly conserved amino-acid motif associated with anaerobic Ni-CO dehydrogenase proteins, a novel candidate was identified which could be responsible for the observed activities. These results demonstrate operation of an acetogenic pathway, most probably as a yet unresolved variant of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, in anaerobic, galacturonate-limited cultures of “Ca. G. soehngenii.”

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • C-labeling
  • acetogenesis
  • chemostat enrichment culture
  • meta-transcriptomics
  • Wood-Ljungdahl pathway

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