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Unusual marine unicellular symbiosis with the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium UCYN-A
University of California, USA.
University of California, USA.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. University of California, USA. (Ctr Ecol & Evolut Microbial Model Syst EEMiS)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3083-7437
University of California, USA;University of Córdoba, Spain.
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2017 (English)In: Nature Microbiology, E-ISSN 2058-5276, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 1-10, article id 16214Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nitrogen fixation — the reduction of dinitrogen (N2) gas to biologically available nitrogen (N) — is an important source of N for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In terrestrial environments, N2-fixing symbioses involve multicellular plants, but in the marine environment these symbioses occur with unicellular planktonic algae. An unusual symbiosis between an uncultivated unicellular cyanobacterium (UCYN-A) and a haptophyte picoplankton alga was recently discovered in oligotrophic oceans. UCYN-A has a highly reduced genome, and exchanges fixed N for fixed carbon with its host. This symbiosis bears some resemblance to symbioses found in freshwater ecosystems. UCYN-A shares many core genes with the ‘spheroid bodies’ of Epithemia turgida and the endosymbionts of the amoeba Paulinella chromatophora. UCYN-A is widely distributed, and has diversified into a number of sublineages that could be ecotypes. Many questions remain regarding the physical and genetic mechanisms of the association, but UCYN-A is an intriguing model for contemplating the evolution of N2-fixing organelles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2017. Vol. 2, no 1, p. 1-10, article id 16214
Keywords [en]
Applied microbiology, Ecology, Microbial biooceanography, Microbial ecology, Symbiosis
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology, Microbiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-72636DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.214ISI: 000396366300020PubMedID: 27996008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-72636DiVA, id: diva2:1197078
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Note

Correction published in Nature Microbiology 2(3):17016. DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.16

Available from: 2018-04-11 Created: 2018-04-11 Last updated: 2018-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Farnelid, Hanna

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