Marine Dadabacteria exhibit genome streamlining and phototrophy-driven niche partitioning

ISME J. 2021 Apr;15(4):1248-1256. doi: 10.1038/s41396-020-00834-5. Epub 2020 Nov 23.


The remineralization of organic material via heterotrophy in the marine environment is performed by a diverse and varied group of microorganisms that can specialize in the type of organic material degraded and the niche they occupy. The marine Dadabacteria are cosmopolitan in the marine environment and belong to a candidate phylum for which there has not been a comprehensive assessment of the available genomic data to date. Here in, we assess the functional potential of the marine pelagic Dadabacteria in comparison to members of the phylum that originate from terrestrial, hydrothermal, and subsurface environments. Our analysis reveals that the marine pelagic Dadabacteria have streamlined genomes, corresponding to smaller genome sizes and lower nitrogen content of their DNA and predicted proteome, relative to their phylogenetic counterparts. Collectively, the Dadabacteria have the potential to degrade microbial dissolved organic matter, specifically peptidoglycan and phospholipids. The marine Dadabacteria belong to two clades with apparent distinct ecological niches in global metagenomic data: a clade with the potential for photoheterotrophy through the use of proteorhodopsin, present predominantly in surface waters up to 100 m depth; and a clade lacking the potential for photoheterotrophy that is more abundant in the deep photic zone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Genome, Bacterial* / genetics
  • Metagenomics
  • Phototrophic Processes*
  • Phylogeny

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.12344207