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Amino Acid Analog Induces Stress Response in Marine Synechococcus

Michels, Dana E. and Lomenick, Brett and Chou, Tsui-Fen and Sweredoski, Michael J. and Pasulka, Alexis (2021) Amino Acid Analog Induces Stress Response in Marine Synechococcus. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 87 (15). Art. No. e00200-21. ISSN 0099-2240. doi:10.1128/aem.00200-21.

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Characterizing the cell-level metabolic trade-offs that phytoplankton exhibit in response to changing environmental conditions is important for predicting the impact of these changes on marine food web dynamics and biogeochemical cycling. The time-selective proteome-labeling approach, bioorthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT), has potential to provide insight into differential allocation of resources at the cellular level, especially when coupled with proteomics. However, the application of this technique in marine phytoplankton remains limited. We demonstrate that the marine cyanobacteria Synechococcus sp. and two groups of eukaryotic algae take up the modified amino acid l-homopropargylglycine (HPG), suggesting that BONCAT can be used to detect translationally active phytoplankton. However, the impact of HPG addition on growth dynamics varied between groups of phytoplankton. In addition, proteomic analysis of Synechococcus cells grown with HPG revealed a physiological shift in nitrogen metabolism, general protein stress, and energy production, indicating a potential limitation for the use of BONCAT in understanding the cell-level response of Synechococcus sp. to environmental change. Variability in HPG sensitivity between algal groups and the impact of HPG on Synechococcus physiology indicates that particular considerations should be taken when applying this technique to other marine taxa or mixed marine microbial communities.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemData
Sweredoski, Michael J.0000-0003-0878-3831
Pasulka, Alexis0000-0001-5930-8825
Additional Information:© 2021 American Society for Microbiology. Received 27 January 2021; Accepted 8 May 2021; Accepted manuscript posted online 14 May 2021; Published 13 July 2021. We thank Pete Countway (NCMA at the Bigelow Laboratory) for kindly providing all algal cultures, Jeff Jones (Proteomic Exploration Laboratory at California Institute of Technology) for his thoughtful insights into proteomic data analysis and interpretation, and Victoria Orphan (California Institute of Technology) for her continued professional support. We also thank Cal Poly undergraduate students Julia Kallet, Will Hammond, Ardea Batiste, and Mark Dizon for assistance with algal culturing, experiments, and sample processing. This study was funded by the Research Scholarly and Creative Activities Grant program at Cal Poly, the Dr. Earl H. Myers & Ethel M. Myers Oceanographic & Marine Biology Trust, and the Cal Poly Baker and Koob Endowment. Data availability: The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium ( via the PRIDE partner repository (76) with the data set identifier PXD023371.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
California Polytechnic State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Dr. Earl H. Myers & Ethel M. Myers Oceanographic & Marine Biology TrustUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:BONCAT, picocyanobacteria, proteomics, synechococcus
Issue or Number:15
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210518-092014570
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Official Citation:Michels DE, Lomenick B, Chou T-F, Sweredoski MJ, Pasulka A. 2021. Amino acid analog induces stress response in marine Synechococcus. Appl Environ Microbiol 87: e00200-21.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109168
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 May 2021 18:44
Last Modified:28 Jul 2021 19:38

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