Phylogenomic analysis and metabolic role reconstruction of mutualistic Rhizobiales hindgut symbionts of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles FEMS Microbiology Ecology Year : 2022

Phylogenomic analysis and metabolic role reconstruction of mutualistic Rhizobiales hindgut symbionts of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

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Abstract

Rhizobiales are well-known plant-root nitrogen-fixing symbionts, but the functions of insect-associated Rhizobiales are poorly understood.We obtained genomes of three strains associated with cromyrmex leaf-cutting ants and show that, in spite of being extracellular gut symbionts, they lost all pathways for essential amino acid biosynthesis, making them fully dependent on their hosts. Comparison with 54 Rhizobiales genomes showed that all insect-associated Rhizobiales lost the ability to fix nitrogen and that the Acromyrmex symbionts had exceptionally also lost the urease genes. However, the Acromyrmex strains share biosynthesis pathways for riboflavin vitamin, queuosine and a wide range of antioxidant enzymes likely to be beneficial for the ant fungus-farming symbiosis. We infer that the Rhizobiales symbionts catabolize excess of fungus-garden-derived arginine to urea, supplementing complementary Mollicutes symbionts that turn arginine into ammonia and infer that these combined symbiont activities stabilize the fungus-farming mutualism. Similar to the Mollicutes symbionts, the Rhizobiales species have fully functional CRISPR/Cas and R-M phage defenses, suggesting that these symbionts are important enough for the ant hosts to have precluded the evolution of metabolically cheaper defenseless strains
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hal-03768889 , version 1 (05-09-2022)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - CC BY 4.0

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Mariya Zhukova, Panagiotis Sapountzis, Morten Schiøtt, Jacobus Boomsma. Phylogenomic analysis and metabolic role reconstruction of mutualistic Rhizobiales hindgut symbionts of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 2022, 98 (9), ⟨10.1093/femsec/fiac084⟩. ⟨hal-03768889⟩
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