The microbiome of a bacterivorous marine choanoflagellate contains a resource-demanding obligate bacterial associate.

David M. Needham, Camille Poirier, Charles Bachy, Emma E. George, Susanne Wilken, Charmaine C. M. Yung, Alexander J. Limardo, Michael Morando, Lisa Sudek, Rex R. Malmstrom, Patrick J. Keeling, Alyson E. Santoro and Alexandra Z. Worden

Microbial predators such as choanoflagellates are key players in ocean food webs. Choanoflagellates, which are the closest unicellular relatives of animals, consume bacteria and also exhibit marked biological transitions triggered by bacterial compounds, yet their native microbiomes remain uncharacterized. Here we report the discovery of a ubiquitous, uncultured bacterial lineage we name CandidatusComchoanobacterales ord. nov., related to the human pathogen Coxiella and physically associated with the uncultured marine choanoflagellate Bicosta minor. We analyse complete ‘Comchoano’ genomes acquired after sorting single Bicosta cells, finding signatures of obligate host-dependence, including reduction of pathways encoding glycolysis, membrane components, amino acids and B-vitamins. Comchoano encode the necessary apparatus to import energy and other compounds from the host, proteins for host-cell associations and a type IV secretion system closest to Coxiella’sthat is expressed in Pacific Ocean metatranscriptomes. Interactions between choanoflagellates and their microbiota could reshape the direction of energy and resource flow attributed to microbial predators, adding complexity and nuance to marine food webs.

The Land–Sea Connection: Insights Into the Plant Lineage from a Green Algal Perspective

Bachy Charles, Wittmers Fabian, Muschiol Jan, Hamilton Maria, Henrissat Bernard, Worden Alexandra

The colonization of land by plants generated opportunities for the rise of new heterotrophic life forms, including humankind. A unique event underpinned this massive change to earth ecosystems-the advent of eukaryotic green algae. Today, an abundant marine green algal group, the prasinophytes, alongside prasinodermophytes and nonmarine chlorophyte algae, is facilitating insights into plant developments. Genome-level data allow identification of conserved proteins and protein families with extensive modifications, losses, or gains and expansion patterns that connect to niche specialization and diversification. Here, we contextualize attributes according to Viridiplantae evolutionary relationships, starting with orthologous protein families, and then focusing on key elements with marked differentiation, resulting in patchy distributions across green algae and plants. We place attention on peptidoglycan biosynthesis, important for plastid division and walls; phytochrome photosensors that are master regulators in plants; and carbohydrate-active enzymes, essential to all manner of carbohydratebiotransformations. Together with advances in algal model systems, these areas are ripe for discovering molecular roles and innovations within and across plant and algal lineages.