Whole genome sequence analysis reveals high genetic variation of newly isolated Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans IO-2C
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Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, a chemolithoautotrophic bacterium, is well known for its mineral oxidizing properties. The current study combines experimental and whole genome sequencing approaches to investigate an iron oxidizing, extreme acidophilic bacterium, A. ferrooxidans isolate (IO-2C) from an acid seep area near Carlos, TX, USA. Strain IO-2C was capable of oxidizing iron i.e. iron sulphate and iron ammonium sulphate yielding shwertmannite and jarosite minerals. Further, the bacterium's genome was sequenced, assembled and annotated to study its general features, structure and functions. To determine genetic heterogeneity, it was compared with the genomes of other published A. ferrooxidans strains. Pan-genome analysis displayed low gene conservation and significant genetic diversity in A. ferrooxidans species comprising of 6926 protein coding sequences with 23.04% (1596) core genes, 46.13% (3195) unique and 30.82% (2135) accessory genes. Variant analysis showed >75,000 variants, 287 of them with a predicted high impact, in A. ferrooxidans IO-2C genome compared to the reference strain, resulting in abandonment of some important functional key genes. The genome contains numerous functional genes for iron and sulphur metabolism, nitrogen fixation, secondary metabolites, degradation of aromatic compounds, and multidrug and heavy metal resistance. This study demonstrated the bio-oxidation of iron by newly isolated A. ferrooxidans IO-2C under acidic conditions, which was further supported by genomic analysis. Genomic analysis of this strain provided valuable information about the complement of genes responsible for the utilization of iron and tolerance of other metals.
author list (cited authors)
Fariq, A., Blazier, J. C., Yasmin, A., Gentry, T. J., & Deng, Y.