Population Genomics Insights into Adaptive Evolution and Ecological Differentiation in Streptomycetes
Pinto Tomás, Adrián A.
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Deciphering the genomic variation that represents microevolutionary processes toward species divergence is key to understanding microbial speciation, which has long been under debate. Streptomycetes are filamentous bacteria that are ubiquitous in nature and the richest source of antibiotics; however, their speciation processes remain unknown. To tackle this issue, we performed a comprehensive population genomics analysis on Streptomyces albidoflavus residing in different habitats and with a worldwide distribution and identified and characterized the foundational changes within the species. We detected three well-defined phylogenomic clades, of which clades I and III mainly contained free-living (soil/marine) and insect-associated strains, respectively, and clade II had a mixed origin. By performing genome-wide association studies (GWAS), we identified a number of genetic variants associated with free-living or entomic (denoting or relating to insects) habitats in both the accessory and core genomes. These variants contributed collectively to the population structure and had annotated or confirmed functions that likely facilitate differential adaptation of the species. In addition, we detected higher levels of homologous recombination within each clade and in the free-living group than within the whole species and in the entomic group. A subset of the insect-associated strains (clade III) showed a relatively independent evolutionary trajectory with more symbiosis-favorable genes but little genetic interchange with the other lineages. Our results demonstrate that ecological adaptation promotes genetic differentiation in S. albidoflavus, suggesting a model of ecological speciation with gene flow in streptomycetes.
External link to the item10.1128/AEM.02555-18
- Microbiología