Single-cell analysis reveals a novel uncultivated magnetotactic bacterium within the candidate division OP3

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SummaryMagnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are a diverse group of prokaryotes that orient along magnetic fields using membrane-coated magnetic nanocrystals of magnetite (Fe3O4) or greigite (Fe3S4), the magnetosomes. Previous phylogenetic analysis of MTB has been limited to few cultivated species and most abundant members of natural populations, which were assigned toProteobacteriaand theNitrospiraephyla. Here, we describe a single cell-based approach that allowed the targeted phylogenetic and ultrastructural analysis of the magnetotactic bacterium SKK-01, which was low abundant in sediments of Lake Chiemsee. Morphologically conspicuous single cells of SKK-01 were micromanipulated from magnetically collected multi-species MTB populations, which was followed by whole genome amplification and ultrastructural analysis of sorted cells. Besides intracellular sulphur inclusions, the large ovoid cells of SKK-01 harbour ˜175 bullet-shaped magnetosomes arranged in multiple chains that consist of magnetite as revealed by TEM and EDX analysis. Sequence analysis of 16 and 23S rRNA genes from amplified genomic DNA as well as fluorescencein situhybridization assigned SKK-01 to the candidate division OP3, which so far lacks any cultivated representatives. SKK-01 represents the first morphotype that can be assigned to the OP3 group as well as the first magnetotactic member of the PVC superphylum.

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