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Microbial mats in the Turks and Caicos Islands reveal diversity and evolution of phototrophy in the Chloroflexota order Aggregatilineales

Ward, Lewis M. and Lingappa, Usha F. and Grotzinger, John P. and Fischer, Woodward W. (2020) Microbial mats in the Turks and Caicos Islands reveal diversity and evolution of phototrophy in the Chloroflexota order Aggregatilineales. Environmental Microbiome, 15 . Art. No. 9. ISSN 2524-6372. PMCID PMC8067394. doi:10.1186/s40793-020-00357-8.

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Genome-resolved metagenomic sequencing approaches have led to a substantial increase in the recognized diversity of microorganisms; this included the discovery of novel metabolic pathways in previously recognized clades, and has enabled a more accurate determination of the extant distribution of key metabolisms and how they evolved over Earth history. Here, we present metagenome-assembled genomes of members of the Chloroflexota (formerly Chloroflexi or Green Nonsulfur Bacteria) order Aggregatilineales (formerly SBR1031 or Thermofonsia) discovered from sequencing of thick and expansive microbial mats present in an intertidal lagoon on Little Ambergris Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands. These taxa included multiple new lineages of Type 2 reaction center-containing phototrophs that were not closely related to previously described phototrophic Chloroflexota—revealing a rich and intricate history of horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of phototrophy and other core metabolic pathways within this widespread phylum.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Ward, Lewis M.0000-0002-9290-2567
Lingappa, Usha F.0000-0001-5691-6788
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Fischer, Woodward W.0000-0002-8836-3054
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data. Received: 21 January 2020; Accepted: 19 March 2020; Published online 16 April 2020. Availability of data and materials: The datasets generated during and analysed during the current study are available in the NCBI WGS repository under project ID PRJNA602167 with Accession IDs of JAADYW-JAADYZ. This work was made possible with support from the Agouron Institute, NSF IOS project # 1833247, and the Caltech Center for Environment-Microbe Interactions. LMW acknowledges support from an Agouron Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Simons Foundation Collaboration on Marine Microbial Ecology. UFL was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Author Contributions: UFL, JPG, and WWF performed field work and collected samples. UFL and LMW processed and analyzed data. LMW wrote the manuscript with assistance from UFL, JPG, and WWF. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Ethics approval and consent to participate: Not applicable. Consent for publication: Not applicable. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Group:Caltech Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions (CEMI)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions (CEMI)UNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC8067394
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200416-123639965
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Official Citation:Ward, L.M., Lingappa, U.F., Grotzinger, J.P. et al. Microbial mats in the Turks and Caicos Islands reveal diversity and evolution of phototrophy in the Chloroflexota order Aggregatilineales. Environmental Microbiome 15, 9 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102579
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Apr 2020 20:29
Last Modified:28 Apr 2021 17:59

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