The potential for polyphosphate cycling in Archaea and anaerobic polyphosphate formation in Methanosarcina mazei

Fabiana S. Paula*, Jason P. Chin, Anna Schnurer, Bettina Muller, Panagiotis Manesiotis, Nicholas Waters, Katrina A Macintosh, John P. Quinn, Jasmine Connolly, Florence Abram, John W. McGrath, Vincent O'Flaherty

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is ubiquitous across all forms of life, but the study of its metabolism has been mainly confned to bacteria and yeasts. Few reports detail the presence and accumulation of polyP in Archaea, and little information is available on its functions and regulation. Here, we report that homologs of bacterial polyP metabolism proteins are present across the major taxa in the Archaea, suggesting that archaeal populations may have a greater contribution to global phosphorus cycling than has previously been recognised. We also demonstrate that polyP accumulation can be induced under strictly anaerobic conditions, in response to changes in phosphate (Pi) availability,i.e. Pi starvation, followed by incubation in Pi replete media (overplus), in cells of the methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina mazei. Pi-starved M. mazei cells increased transcript abundance of the alkaline phosphatase (phoA) gene and of the high-afnity phosphate transport (pstSCAB-phoU) operon: no increase in polyphosphate kinase 1 (ppk1) transcript abundance was observed. Subsequent incubation of Pi-starved M. mazei cells under Pi replete conditions, led to a 237% increase in intracellular polyphosphate content and a>5.7-fold increase in ppk1 gene transcripts. Ppk1 expression in M. mazei thus appears not to be under classical phosphate starvation control.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17101
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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