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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comparative Genomics Analysis and Phenotypic Characterization of Shewanella putrefaciens W3-18-1: Anaerobic Respiration, Bacterial Microcompartments, and Lateral Flagella


Respiratory versatility and psychrophily are the hallmarks of Shewanella. The ability to utilize a wide range of electron acceptors for respiration is due to the large number of c-type cytochrome genes present in the genome of Shewanella strains. More recently the dissimilatory metal reduction of Shewanella species has been extensively and intensively studied for potential applications in the bioremediation of radioactive wastes of groundwater and subsurface environments. Multiple Shewanella genome sequences are now available in the public databases (Fredrickson et al., 2008). Most of the sequenced Shewanella strains were isolated from marine environments and this genus was believed to be of marine origin (Hau and Gralnick, 2007). However, the well-characterized model strain, S. oneidensis MR-1, was isolated from the freshwater lake sediment of Lake Oneida, New York (Myers and Nealson, 1988) and similar bacteria have also been isolated from other freshwater environments (Venkateswaran et al., 1999). Here we comparatively analyzed the genome sequence and physiological characteristics of S. putrefaciens W3-18-1 and S. oneidensis MR-1, isolated from the marine and freshwater lake sediments, respectively. The anaerobic respirations, carbon source utilization, and cell motility have been experimentally investigated. Large scale horizontal gene transfers have been revealed and the genetic divergence between these two strains was considered to be critical to the bacterial adaptation to specific habitats, freshwater or marine sediments.

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