Publication details.


Author(s):S. Mirete, M.R. Mora-Ruiz, M. Lamprecht-Grandío, C.G. de Figueras, R. Rosselló-Móra, J.E. González-Pastor
Title:Salt resistance genes revealed by functional metagenomics from brines and moderate-salinity rhizosphere within a hypersaline environment
Journal:Frontiers in Microbiology
JCR Impact Factor:4.165
Abstract:Hypersaline environments are considered one of the most extreme habitats on earth and microorganisms have developed diverse molecular mechanisms of adaptation to withstand these conditions. The present study was aimed at identifying novel genes from the microbial communities of a moderate-salinity rhizosphere and brine from the Es Trenc saltern (Mallorca, Spain), which could confer increased salt resistance to Escherichia coli. The microbial diversity assessed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene libraries revealed the presence of communities that are typical in such environments and the remarkable presence of three bacterial groups never revealed as major components of salt brines. Metagenomic libraries from brine and rhizosphere samples, were transferred to the osmosensitive strain E. coli MKH13, and screened for salt resistance. Eleven genes that conferred salt resistance were identified, some encoding for well-known proteins previously related to osmoadaptation such as a glycerol transporter and a proton pump, whereas others encoded proteins not previously related to this function in microorganisms such as DNA/RNA helicases, an endonuclease III (Nth) and hypothetical proteins of unknown function. Furthermore, four of the retrieved genes were cloned and expressed in Bacillus subtilis and they also conferred salt resistance to this bacterium, broadening the spectrum of bacterial species in which these genes can function. This is the first report of salt resistance genes recovered from metagenomes of a hypersaline environment.

Related staff

  • Ramon Rosselló Móra
  • Related research groups

  • Environmental Microbiology