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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02775

Hydrolytic capabilities as a key to environmental success: chitinolytic and cellulolytic Acidobacteria from acidic sub-arctic soils and boreal peatlands

  • 1Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology (RAS), Russia
  • 2Institute of Bioengineering, Research Center of Biotechnology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
  • 3Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
  • 4Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Netherlands

Members of the Acidobacteria are among the most efficient colonizers of acidic terrestrial habitats but the key traits underlying their environmental fitness remain to be understood. We analyzed indigenous assemblages of Acidobacteria in a lichen-covered acidic (pH 4.1) soil of forested tundra dominated by uncultivated members of subdivision 1. An isolate of these bacteria with cells occurring within saccular chambers, strain SBC82T, was obtained. The genome of strain SBC82T consists of a 7.11-Mb chromosome and four megaplasmids, and encodes a wide repertoire of enzymes involved in degradation of chitin, cellulose, and xylan. Among those, four secreted chitinases affiliated with the glycoside hydrolase family GH18 were identified. Strain SBC82T utilized amorphous chitin as a source of carbon and nitrogen; the respective enzyme activities were detected in tests with synthetic substrates. Chitinolytic capability was also confirmed for another phylogenetically related acidobacterium isolated from a Sphagnum peat bog, strain CCO287. As revealed by metatranscriptomic analysis of chitin-amended peat, 16S rRNA reads from these acidobacteria increased in response to chitin availability. Strains SBC82T and CCO287 were assigned to a novel genus and species, Acidisarcina polymorpha gen. nov., sp. nov. Members of this genus colonize acidic soils and peatlands and specialize in degrading complex polysaccharides.

Keywords: Acidobacteria, lichen-covered tundra, high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing, cultivation, Genome annotation, Chitinolytic ability, Lipids

Received: 25 Aug 2018; Accepted: 29 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Marcus A. Horn, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany

Reviewed by:

Steffen Kolb, Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF), Germany
Oliver Schmidt, University of Bayreuth, Germany  

Copyright: © 2018 Belova, Ravin, Pankratov, Andrey, Ivanova, Beletsky, Mardanov, Sinninghe Damste and Dedysh. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Svetlana N. Dedysh, Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology (RAS), Moscow, 117312, Moscow Oblast, Russia, dedysh@mail.ru