Genome erosion and evidence for an intracellular niche – exploring the biology of mycoplasmas in Atlantic salmon

Cheaib, B. et al. (2021) Genome erosion and evidence for an intracellular niche – exploring the biology of mycoplasmas in Atlantic salmon. Aquaculture, 541, 736772. (doi: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2021.736772) (PMID:34471330) (PMCID:PMC8192413)

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Mycoplasmas are the smallest autonomously self-replicating life form on the planet. Members of this bacterial genus are known to parasitise a wide array of metazoans including vertebrates. Whilst much research has been significant targeted at parasitic mammalian mycoplasmas, very little is known about their role in other vertebrates. In the current study, we aim to explore the biology of mycoplasmas in Atlantic Salmon, a species of major significance for aquaculture, including cellular niche, genome size structure and gene content. Using fluorescent in-situ hybridisation (FISH), mycoplasmas were targeted in epithelial tissues across the digestive tract (stomach, pyloric caecum and midgut) from different development stages (eggs, parr, subadult) of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), and we present evidence for an intracellular niche for some of the microbes visualised. Via shotgun metagenomic sequencing, a nearly complete, albeit small, genome (~0.57 MB) as assembled from a farmed Atlantic salmon subadult. Phylogenetic analysis of the recovered genome revealed taxonomic proximity to other salmon derived mycoplasmas, as well as to the human pathogen Mycoplasma penetrans (~1.36 Mb). We annotated coding sequences and identified riboflavin pathway encoding genes and sugar transporters, the former potentially consistent with micronutrient provisioning in salmonid development. Our study provides insights into mucosal adherence, the cellular niche and gene catalog of Mycoplasma in the gut ecosystem of the Atlantic salmon, suggesting a high dependency of this minimalist bacterium on its host. Further study is required to explore and functional role of Mycoplasma in the nutrition and development of its salmonid host.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heys, Dr Chloe and Cheaib, Dr Bachar and Dwyer, Ms Toni and Sloan, Professor William and De Noia, Mr Michele and Schaal, Mr Patrick and Ijaz, Dr Umer and Kazlauskaite, Raminta and Llewellyn, Professor Martin and Lindsay, Elle
Authors: Cheaib, B., Yang, P., Kazlauskaite, R., Lindsay, E., Heys, C., Dwyer, T., De Noa, M., Schaal, P., Sloan, W., Ijaz, U.Z., and Llewellyn, M.S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Aquaculture
ISSN (Online):1873-5622
Published Online:16 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Aquaculture 541:736772
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173483A microbial basis for Atlantic Salmon energeticsMartin LlewellynBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/P001203/1LS - Animal Biology
170256Understanding microbial community through in situ environmental 'omic data synthesisUmer Zeeshan IjazNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/L011956/1ENG - Infrastructure & Environment