Diversity and metabolic energy in bacteria

Allen, B., Gonzalez-Cabaleiro, R. , Ofiteru, I. D., Øvreås, L., Sloan, W. T. , Swan, D. and Curtis, T. (2023) Diversity and metabolic energy in bacteria. FEMS Microbiology Letters, (doi: 10.1093/femsle/fnad043) (Early Online Publication)

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Why are some groups of bacteria more diverse than others? We hypothesise that the metabolic energy available to a bacterial functional group (a biogeochemical group or ‘guild’) has a role in such a group's taxonomic diversity. We tested this hypothesis by looking at the metacommunity diversity of functional groups in multiple biomes. We observed a positive correlation between estimates of a functional group's diversity and their metabolic energy yield. Moreover, the slope of that relationship was similar in all biomes. These findings could imply the existence of a universal mechanism controlling the diversity of all functional groups in all biomes in the same way. We consider a variety of possible explanations from the classical (environmental variation) to the ‘non-Darwinian’ (a drift barrier effect). Unfortunately, these explanations are not mutually exclusive, and a deeper understanding of the ultimate cause(s) of bacterial diversity will require us to determine if, and how, the key parameters in population genetics (effective population size, mutation rate and selective gradients) vary between functional groups and with environmental conditions: this is a difficult task.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gonzalez-Cabaleiro, Dr Rebeca and Sloan, Professor William
Authors: Allen, B., Gonzalez-Cabaleiro, R., Ofiteru, I. D., Øvreås, L., Sloan, W. T., Swan, D., and Curtis, T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:FEMS Microbiology Letters
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1574-6968
Published Online:16 May 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in FEMS Microbiology Letters 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190641Synthetic Biology applications to Water Supply and RemediationSteven BeaumontEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/K038885/1Research and Innovation Services