Analyses of the complete genome sequence of 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) degrader Aminobacter sp. MSH1 suggests a polyploid chromosome, phylogenetic reassignment, and functions of (un)stable plasmids

Aminobacter sp. MSH1 (CIP 110285) can use the pesticide dichlobenil and its transformation product, the recalcitrant groundwater micropollutant, 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) as sole source of carbon, nitrogen, and energy. The concentration of BAM in groundwater often exceeds the threshold limit for drinking water, resulting in the use of additional treatment in drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) or closure of the affected abstraction wells.

Biological treatment with MSH1 is considered a potential sustainable alternative to remediate BAM-contamination in drinking water production. Combining Illumina and Nanopore sequencing, we here present the complete genome of MSH1, which was determined independently in two different laboratories. Unexpectedly, divergences were observed between the two genomes, i.e. one of them lacked four plasmids compared to the other.

Besides the circular chromosome and the two previously described plasmids involved in BAM catabolism pBAM1 (41 kb) and pBAM2 (54 kb), we observe that the genome of MSH1 contains two megaplasmids pUSP1 (367 kb) and pUSP2 (366 kb) and three smaller plasmids pUSP3 (97 kb), pUSP4 (64 kb), and pUSP5 (32 kb). The MSH1 substrain from KU Leuven showed a reduced genome lacking plasmids pUSP2 and the three smaller plasmids and was designated substrain MK1, whereas the variant with all plasmids 60 was designated as substrain DK1.

Results of a plasmid stability experiment, indicate that strain MSH1 may have a polyploid chromosome when growing in R2B medium with more chromosomes than plasmids per cell. Based on phylogenetic analyses, strain MSH1 is reassigned as Aminobacter niigataensis MSH1.

Authors: Tue Kjærgaard Nielsen, Benjamin Horemans, Cedric Lood, Jeroen T'Syen, Vera van Noort, Rob Lavigne, Lea Ellegaard-Jensen, Ole Hylling, Jens Aamand, Dirk Springael, Lars Hestbjerg Hansen