g. Scanlan et al., 2009). Sequencing of a dozen Prochlorococcus ( Kettler et al., 2007) and 11 Synechococcus ( Palenik et al., 2003 and Dufresne et al., 2008) representatives from the most abundant lineages has revealed links between their gene contents (and inferred traits), genome evolution and biogeography. While Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus share > 97% identity Talazoparib concentration at the 16S rRNA locus, individual ecotypes and clades display a high genomic diversity, both in terms
of gene content and nucleotide identity. Larger genomes in part account for the wider latitudinal distribution of Synechococcus and their higher abundance in coastal regions where environmental conditions LDE225 cell line are more variable. Genome reduction indicates a selective pressure to minimize resource requirements and decrease cell size at the cost of metabolic flexibility. There is a decrease in both genome size and cell volume along the transition from Synechococcus to Prochlorococcus LL to Prochlorococcus HL clades ( Kettler et al., 2007 and Dufresne et al., 2008). Genome streamlining and loss of regulatory capacity is evident in both HL and LL ecotypes of Prochlorococcus reflecting their adaptation to specialist niches ( Partensky and
Garczarek, 2010). The HL clade is the most recently evolved and at 1.66 Mb the Prochlorococcus HL MED4 genome represents the minimal free-living autotroph ( Dufresne et al., 2005). However the pan-genome (that represents the genetic content of the genera as a whole) of the picocyanobacteria is large
indicating tremendous metabolic flexibility. For example, non-core or accessory genes may account for as much as one-third of the genome in Prochlorococcus isolates, and are dominated by genes encoding outer membrane synthesis and transporters ( Kettler et al., 2007). A large proportion of these accessory genes reside within genomic islands and at least some of the genes likely confer a selective advantage to local environmental conditions in the organisms in which they reside ( Martiny et al., 2009 and Dufresne Montelukast Sodium et al., 2008), for instance the ability for Prochlorococcus HL clade to assimilate nitrite and nitrate ( Martiny et al., 2009). Recent evidence from single cell genomes indicate cells in the Prochlorococcus HL IV harbor genes for Ton-dependent siderophore acquisition, suggesting the capacity to acquire Fe bound to organic ligands. This capacity may explain their dominance in high nutrient low chlorophyll regions of the ocean where low iron concentrations limit primary production ( Malmstrom et al., 2013). In Synechococcus, genome size is strongly correlated with the cumulative lengths of hypervariable regions ( Dufresne et al., 2008) and lateral gene transfer, likely mediated by phage, appears to play a distinctly important role in ecophysiology and biogeography.