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Abstract

Hadal trenches are the deepest but underexplored ecosystems on the Earth. Inhabiting the trench bottom is a group of micro-organisms termed obligate piezophiles that grow exclusively under high hydrostatic pressures (HHP). To reveal the genetic and physiological characteristics of their peculiar lifestyles and microbial adaptation to extreme high pressures, we sequenced the complete genome of the obligately piezophilic bacterium DB21MT-5 isolated from the deepest oceanic sediment at the Challenger Deep, Mariana Trench. Through comparative analysis against pressure sensitive and deep-sea piezophilic strains, we identified over a hundred genes that present exclusively in hadal strain DB21MT-5. The hadal strain encodes fewer signal transduction proteins and secreted polysaccharases, but has more abundant metal ion transporters and the potential to utilize plant-derived saccharides. Instead of producing osmolyte betaine from choline as other strains, strain DB21MT-5 ferments on choline within a dedicated bacterial microcompartment organelle. Furthermore, the defence systems possessed by DB21MT-5 are distinct from other strains but resemble those in obligate piezophiles obtained from the same geographical setting. Collectively, the intensive comparative genomic analysis of an obligately piezophilic strain DB21MT-5 demonstrates a depth-dependent distribution of energy metabolic pathways, compartmentalization of important metabolism and use of distinct defence systems, which likely contribute to microbial adaptation to the bottom of hadal trench.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Sanya City (Award 2018YD01)
    • Principle Award Recipient: Wei-jiaZhang
  • Key Research and Development Project of Hainan Province (Award ZDKJ2019011)
    • Principle Award Recipient: Wei-jiaZhang
  • Key Technologies Research and Development Program (Award 2016YFC0304905-08)
    • Principle Award Recipient: Wei-jiaZhang
  • National Natural Science Foundation of China (Award NSFC 42076127, 91751108, 91751202 and 41506147)
    • Principle Award Recipient: Wei-jiaZhang
  • Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Award XDA19060403)
    • Principle Award Recipient: Wei-jiaZhang
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License.
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2021-07-28
2021-10-24
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