CAZymes in Maribacter dokdonensis 62-1 From the Patagonian Shelf: Genomics and Physiology Compared to Related Flavobacteria and a Co-occurring Alteromonas Strain

Front Microbiol. 2021 Apr 12;12:628055. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.628055. eCollection 2021.


Carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) are an important feature of bacteria in productive marine systems such as continental shelves, where phytoplankton and macroalgae produce diverse polysaccharides. We herein describe Maribacter dokdonensis 62-1, a novel strain of this flavobacterial species, isolated from alginate-supplemented seawater collected at the Patagonian continental shelf. M. dokdonensis 62-1 harbors a diverse array of CAZymes in multiple polysaccharide utilization loci (PUL). Two PUL encoding polysaccharide lyases from families 6, 7, 12, and 17 allow substantial growth with alginate as sole carbon source, with simultaneous utilization of mannuronate and guluronate as demonstrated by HPLC. Furthermore, strain 62-1 harbors a mixed-feature PUL encoding both ulvan- and fucoidan-targeting CAZymes. Core-genome phylogeny and pangenome analysis revealed variable occurrence of these PUL in related Maribacter and Zobellia strains, indicating specialization to certain "polysaccharide niches." Furthermore, lineage- and strain-specific genomic signatures for exopolysaccharide synthesis possibly mediate distinct strategies for surface attachment and host interaction. The wide detection of CAZyme homologs in algae-derived metagenomes suggests global occurrence in algal holobionts, supported by sharing multiple adaptive features with the hydrolytic model flavobacterium Zobellia galactanivorans. Comparison with Alteromonas sp. 76-1 isolated from the same seawater sample revealed that these co-occurring strains target similar polysaccharides but with different genomic repertoires, coincident with differing growth behavior on alginate that might mediate ecological specialization. Altogether, our study contributes to the perception of Maribacter as versatile flavobacterial polysaccharide degrader, with implications for biogeochemical cycles, niche specialization and bacteria-algae interactions in the oceans.

Keywords: EPS; PUL; Zobellia galactanivorans; alginate; fucoidan; macroalgae; pangenome; ulvan.