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Evolutionary timeline and genomic plasticity underlying the lifestyle diversity in rhizobiales

Wang, S. ORCID:, Meade, A., Lam, H.-M. and Luo, H. ORCID: (2020) Evolutionary timeline and genomic plasticity underlying the lifestyle diversity in rhizobiales. mSystems, 5 (4). 00438-20. ISSN 2379-5077

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00438-20


Members of the order include those capable of nitrogen fixation in nodules as well as pathogens of animals and plants. This lifestyle diversity has important implications for agricultural and medical research. Leveraging large-scale genomic data, we infer that originated as a free-living ancestor ∼1,500 million years ago (Mya) and that the later emergence of host-associated lifestyles broadly coincided with the rise of their eukaryotic hosts. In particular, the first nodulating lineage arose from either or 150 to 80 Mya, a time range in general concurrent with the emergence of legumes. The rates of lifestyle transitions are highly variable; nodule association is more likely to be lost than gained, whereas animal association likely represents an evolutionary dead end. We searched for statistical correlations between gene presence and lifestyle and identified genes likely contributing to the transition and adaptation to the same lifestyle in divergent lineages. Among the genes potentially promoting successful transitions to major nodulation lineages, the and clusters for nodulation and nitrogen fixation, respectively, were repeatedly acquired during each transition; the , , and clusters involved in energy conservation under micro-oxic conditions were present in the nonnodulating ancestors; and the secretion systems were acquired in lineage-specific patterns. Our study data suggest that increased eukaryote diversity drives lifestyle diversification of bacteria and highlight both acquired and preexisting traits facilitating the origin of host association. Bacteria form diverse interactions with eukaryotic hosts. This is well represented by the , a clade of strategically important for their large diversity of lifestyles with implications for agricultural and medical research. To investigate their lifestyle evolution, we compiled a comprehensive data set of genomes and lifestyle information for over 1,000 genomes. We show that the origins of major host-associated lineages in broadly coincided with the emergences of their host plants/animals, suggesting bacterium-host interactions as a driving force in the evolution of We further found that, in addition to gene gains, preexisting traits and recurrent losses of specific genomic traits may have played underrecognized roles in the origin of host-associated lineages, providing clues to genetic engineering of microbial agricultural inoculants and prevention of the emergence of potential plant/animal pathogens.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:91999
Uncontrolled Keywords:Rhizobiales , bacterial evolution, lifestyle evolution, microbial evolution, molecular clock, molecular dating, rhizobia, symbiosis
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology


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