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Genome analysis of the freshwater planktonic Vulcanococcus limneticus sp. nov. reveals horizontal transfer of nitrogenase operon and alternative pathways of nitrogen utilization

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Genomics, April 2018
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (63rd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (71st percentile)

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7 tweeters

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Title
Genome analysis of the freshwater planktonic Vulcanococcus limneticus sp. nov. reveals horizontal transfer of nitrogenase operon and alternative pathways of nitrogen utilization
Published in
BMC Genomics, April 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12864-018-4648-3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Andrea Di Cesare, Pedro J. Cabello-Yeves, Nathan A. M. Chrismas, Patricia Sánchez-Baracaldo, Michaela M. Salcher, Cristiana Callieri

Abstract

Many cyanobacteria are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, playing a crucial role in biogeochemical cycling. Little is known about freshwater unicellular cyanobacteria Synechococcus spp. at the genomic level, despite being recognised of considerable ecological importance in aquatic ecosystems. So far, it has not been shown whether these unicellular picocyanobacteria have the potential for nitrogen fixation. Here, we present the draft-genome of the new pink-pigmented Synechococcus-like strain Vulcanococcus limneticus. sp. nov., isolated from the volcanic Lake Albano (Central Italy). The novel species Vulcanococcus limneticus sp. nov. falls inside the sub-cluster 5.2, close to the estuarine/marine strains in a maximum-likelihood phylogenetic tree generated with 259 marker genes with representatives from marine, brackish, euryhaline and freshwater habitats. V.limneticus sp. nov. possesses a complete nitrogenase and nif operon. In an experimental setup under nitrogen limiting and non-limiting conditions, growth was observed in both cases. However, the nitrogenase genes (nifHDK) were not transcribed, i.e., V.limneticus sp. nov. did not fix nitrogen, but instead degraded the phycobilisomes to produce sufficient amounts of ammonia. Moreover, the strain encoded many other pathways to incorporate ammonia, nitrate and sulphate, which are energetically less expensive for the cell than fixing nitrogen. The association of the nif operon to a genomic island, the relatively high amount of mobile genetic elements (52 transposases) and the lower observed GC content of V.limneticus sp. nov. nif operon (60.54%) compared to the average of the strain (68.35%) support the theory that this planktonic strain may have obtained, at some point of its evolution, the nif operon by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from a filamentous or heterocystous cyanobacterium. In this study, we describe the novel species Vulcanococcus limneticus sp. nov., which possesses a complete nif operon for nitrogen fixation. The finding that in our experimental conditions V.limneticus sp. nov. did not express the nifHDK genes led us to reconsider the actual ecological meaning of these accessory genes located in genomic island that have possibly been acquired via HGT.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 7 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 42 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 42 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 9 21%
Student > Bachelor 9 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 19%
Student > Postgraduate 4 10%
Student > Master 3 7%
Other 4 10%
Unknown 5 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 11 26%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 9 21%
Environmental Science 6 14%
Immunology and Microbiology 3 7%
Chemical Engineering 1 2%
Other 5 12%
Unknown 7 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 4. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 April 2018.
All research outputs
#4,827,604
of 16,386,073 outputs
Outputs from BMC Genomics
#2,554
of 9,047 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#101,113
of 282,828 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Genomics
#6
of 21 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,386,073 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 70th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 9,047 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.3. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 71% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 282,828 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 63% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 21 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 71% of its contemporaries.