- Open Access
Complete genome sequence of Parvibaculum lavamentivorans type strain (DS-1T)
- David Schleheck1Email author,
- Michael Weiss1,
- Sam Pitluck2,
- David Bruce3,
- Miriam L. Land4,
- Shunsheng Han3,
- Elizabeth Saunders3,
- Roxanne Tapia3,
- Chris Detter3,
- Thomas Brettin4,
- James Han2,
- Tanja Woyke2,
- Lynne Goodwin3,
- Len Pennacchio2,
- Matt Nolan2,
- Alasdair M. Cook1,
- Staffan Kjelleberg5 and
- Torsten Thomas5
© The Author(s) 2011
- Published: 31 December 2011
Parvibaculum lavamentivorans DS-1T is the type species of the novel genus Parvibaculum in the novel family Rhodobiaceae (formerly Phyllobacteriaceae) of the order Rhizobiales of Alphaproteobacteria. Strain DS-1T is a non-pigmented, aerobic, heterotrophic bacterium and represents the first tier member of environmentally important bacterial communities that catalyze the complete degradation of synthetic laundry surfactants. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation. The 3,914,745 bp long genome with its predicted 3,654 protein coding genes is the first completed genome sequence of the genus Parvibaculum, and the first genome sequence of a representative of the family Rhodobiaceae.
- Parvibaculum lavamentivorans DS-1
- surfactant biodegradation
Parvibaculum lavamentivorans strain DS-1T (DSM13023 = NCIMB13966) was isolated for its ability to degrade linear alkylbenzenesulfonate (LAS), a major laundry surfactant with a world-wide use of 2.5 million tons per annum . Strain DS-1T was difficult to isolate, is difficult to cultivate, and represents a novel genus in the Alphaproteobacteria [2,3]. Strain DS-1 catalyzes not only the degradation of LAS, but also of 16 other commercially important anionic and non-ionic surfactants (hence the species name lavamentivorans = consuming [chemicals] used for washing ). The initial degradation as catalyzed by strain DS-1T involves the activation and shortening of the alkyl-chain of the surfactant molecules, and the excretion of short-chain degradation intermediates. These intermediates are then completely utilized by other bacteria in the community [4,5]. P. lavamentivorans DS-1T is therefore an example of a first tier member of a two-step process that mineralizes environmentally important surfactants.
Other representatives of the novel genus Parvibaculum have been recently isolated. Parvibaculum sp. strain JP-57 was isolated from seawater  and is also difficult to cultivate . Parvibaculum indicum sp. nov. was also isolated from seawater, via an enrichment culture that degraded polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and crude oil . Another Parvibaculum sp. strain was isolated from a PAH-degrading enrichment culture, using river sediment as inoculum . Parvibaculum species were also reported in a study on marine alkane-degrading bacteria . Parvibaculum species are frequently detected by cultivation-independent methods, predominantly in habitats or settings with hydrocarbon degradation. These include a bacterial community on marine rocks polluted with diesel oil , a bacterial community from diesel-contaminated soil , a petroleum-degrading bacterial community from seawater , an oil-degrading cyanobacterial community  and biofilm communities in pipes of a district heating system . Parvibaculum species have also been detected in denitrifying, linear-nonylphenol (NP) degrading enrichment cultures from NP-polluted river sediment  and in groundwater that had been contaminated by linear alkyl benzenes (LABs; non-sulfonated LAS] . Additionally, Parvibaculum species were detected in biofilms that degraded polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) using pristine soil as inoculum , and in a PAH-degrading bacterial community from deep-sea sediment of the West Pacific . Finally, Parvibaculum species were detected in an autotrophic Fe(II)-oxidizing, nitrate-reducing enrichment culture , as well as in Tunisian geothermal springs . The widespread occurrence of Parvibaculum species in habitats or settings related to hydrocarbon degradation implies an important function and role of these organisms in environmental biodegradation, despite their attribute as being difficult to cultivate in a laboratory.
Here we present a summary classification and a set of features for P. lavamentivorans DS-1T, together with the description of a complete genome sequence and annotation. The genome sequencing and analysis was part of the Microbial Genome Program of the DOE Joint Genome Institute.
Classification and general features of Parvibaculum lavamentivorans DS-1T.
Type strain DS-1
acetate, ethanol, pyruvate, succinate, alkanes (C8–C16), various anionic and non-ionic surfactants
Terminal electron receptor
isolated from a surfactant-degrading laboratory trickling filter that was inoculated with sludge of an industrial sewage treatment plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany
Sample collection time
To allow for growth in liquid culture with most of the 16 different surfactants at high concentrations (e.g. for LAS, >1 mM; see .), the culture fluid needs to be supplemented with a solid surface, e.g. polyester fleece or glass fibers [2,3]. The additional solid surface is believed to support biofilm formation, especially in the early growth phase when the surfactant concentration is high, and the organism grows as single, suspended cells (non-motile) during the later growth phase. Growth with a non-membrane toxic substrate (e.g. acetate) is independent of a solid surface, and constitutes suspended, single cells (motile). We presume that the biofilm formation by strain DS-1T is a protective response to the exposure to membrane-solubilizing agents (cf. ).
Currently, 360 genome sequences of members of the order Rhizobiales of Alphaproteobacteria have been made available (GOLD database; August 2011), and within the family Phyllobacteriaceae there are 21 genome sequences available (Chelativorans sp. BNC1, Hoeflea phototrophica DFL-43, and 18 Mesorhizobium strains). No genome sequences currently exist for a representative of the novel family Rhodobiaceae, except of the genome of P. lavamentivorans DS-1T.
Examination of the respiratory lipoquinone composition of strain DS-1T showed that ubiquinones are the sole respiratory quinones present, and the major lipoquinone is ubiquinone 11 (Q11) . The fatty acids of P. lavamentivorans are straight chain saturated and unsaturated, as well as ester- and amide-linked hydroxy-fatty acids, in membrane fractions . The major polar lipids are phosphatidyl glycerol, diphosphatidyl glycerol, phosphatidyl ethanolamine, phosphatidyl choline, and two, unidentified aminolipids; the presence of the two additional aminolipids appears to be distinctive of the organism . The G+C content of the DNA was determined to be 64% , which corresponds well to the G+C content observed for the complete genome sequence (see below).
Genome project history
3.5 kb, 9 kb and 37 kb DNA libraries
Gene calling method
Genbank Date of Release
July 31, 2007
Source material identifier
DSM 13023 = NCIMB 13966
Growth conditions and DNA isolation
P. lavamentivorans DS-1T was grown on LB agar plates (2 weeks) and pinpoint colonies were transferred into selective medium (1 mM LAS/minimal salts medium; with glass-fiber supplement, 5-ml scale ). This culture was sub-cultivated to larger scale (100-ml and 1-liter scale) in 30 mM acetate/minimal salts medium; cell pellets were stored frozen until DNA preparation. DNA was prepared following the JGI DNA Isolation Bacterial CTAB Protocol .
Genome sequencing and assembly
The genome of P. lavamentivorans DS-1T was sequenced at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) using a combination of 3.5 kb, 9 kb and 37 kb DNA libraries. All general aspects of library construction and sequencing performed at the JGI can be found at the JGI website . Draft assemblies were based on 76,870 reads. Combined, the reads from all three libraries provided 16-fold coverage of the genome. The Phred/Phrap/Consed software package  was used for sequence assembly and quality assessment [43–45]. After the shotgun stage, reads were assembled with parallel phrap (High Performance Software, LLC). Possible mis-assemblies were corrected with Dupfinisher , PCR amplification, or transposon bombing of bridging clones (Epicentre Biotechnologies, Madison, WI, USA). Gaps between contigs were closed by editing in Consed, custom primer walk or PCR amplification (Roche Applied Science, Indianapolis, IN, USA). A total of 24 primer walk reactions were necessary to close gaps and to raise the quality of the finished sequence. The completed genome assembly contains 76,885 reads, achieving an average of 16-fold sequence coverage per base with an error rate less than 5 in 100,000.
Genes were identified using a combination of Critica  and Glimmer  as part of the genome annotation pipeline at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN, USA, followed by a round of manual curation. The predicted CDSs were translated and used to search the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) non-redundant database, UniProt, TIGRFam, Pfam, PRIAM, KEGG, COG, and InterPro databases; miscellaneous features were predicted using TMHMM  and signalP . These data sources were combined to assert a product description for each predicted protein. The tRNAScanSE tool  was used to find tRNA genes, whereas ribosomal RNAs were found by using BLASTn against the ribosomal RNA databases. The RNA components of the protein secretion complex and the RNaseP were identified by searching the genome for the corresponding Rfam profiles using INFERNAL . Additional gene prediction analysis and manual functional annotation was performed within the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) platform  developed by the Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA, USA .
Nucleotide and gene count levels of the genome of P. lavamentivorans DS-1T
% of totala
Genome size (bp)
DNA coding region (bp)
G+C content (bp)
Number of replicons
Genes with function prediction
Genes in paralog clusters
Genes assigned to COGs
Genes assigned to Pfam domains
Genes with signal peptides
Genes connected to KEGG pathways
Genes with transporter classification
Genes with transmembrane helices
% of totala
Number of genes associated with the general COG functional categories in P. lavamentivorans DS-1T
Translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis
RNA processing and modification
Replication, recombination and repair
Chromatin structure and dynamics
Cell cycle control, mitosis and meiosis
Signal transduction mechanisms
Cell wall/membrane biogenesis
Intracellular trafficking and secretion
Posttranslational modification, protein turnover, chaperones
Energy production and conversion
Carbohydrate transport and metabolism
Amino acid transport and metabolism
Nucleotide transport and metabolism
Coenzyme transport and metabolism
Lipid transport and metabolism
Inorganic ion transport and metabolism
Secondary metabolites biosynthesis, transport and catabolism
General function prediction only
Not in COGs
The genome of P. lavamentivorans encodes complete pathways for synthesis of all proteinogenic amino acids and essential co-factors, and the central metabolism is represented by a complete pathway for the citrate cycle, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, and the non-oxidative branch of the pentose-phosphate pathway; no candidate genes for the oxidative branch of the pentose-phosphate pathway or for the Entner-Doudoroff pathway are predicted.
P. lavamentivorans DS-1T does not grow on D-glucose, D-fructose, maltose, D-mannitol, D-mannose, and N-acetylglucosamine [3,7], and there are no valid candidate genes predicted in the genome for ATP-dependent sugar uptake systems or for D-glucose uptake via a phosphotransferase system. Similarly, no valid candidate genes were predicted for ATP-dependent amino-acid and di/oligo-peptide transport systems or for other amino-acid/peptide transporters, which reflects the poor growth of strain DS-1T in complex medium (LB-medium).
For the assimilation of acetyl-CoA from the degradation of alkanes and surfactants [2,3,5], or during growth with acetate, the genome of P. lavamentivorans encodes the glyoxylate cycle (isocitrate lyase, Plav_0592; malate synthase, Plav_0593) to generate succinate for the synthesis of carbohydrates. The genome also encodes the complete ethyl-malonyl-CoA pathway to assimilate acetate . This observation, i.e. glyoxylate cycle and ethyl-malonyl-CoA pathway in the same organism, has been made before , and these two pathways in P. lavamentivorans DS-1T might be differentially expressed under varying environmental conditions.
For the degradation of alkanes and surfactants through abstraction of acetyl-CoA , the genome contains a wealth of candidate genes for the entry into alkyl-chain degradation (omega-oxygenation to activate the chain) supplemented by a variety of genes predicted for omega-oxidations (to generate the corresponding fatty-acids) and fatty-acid beta-oxidations (to excise acetyl-CoA units). We are currently exploring this high abundance of genes for alkane/alkyl-utilization in strain DS-1T by transcriptional and translational analysis [unpublished]. For example, at least nine cytochrome-P450 (CYP) alkane monooxygenase (COG2124), 44 alcohol dehydrogenase (COG1028), 11 aldehyde dehydrogenase (COG1012), 20 acyl-CoA synthetase (COG0318), 40 acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (COG1960), 31 enoyl-CoA hydratase (COG1024), 14 acyl-CoA acetyl-transferase (COG0183), six thioesterase (COG0824), and 17 putative long-chain acyl-CoA thioester hydrolase (PF03061) candidate genes are predicted in the genome.
Other predicted oxygenase genes comprise three putative Baeyer-Villiger-type FAD-binding monooxygenase genes (COG2072). Cyclohexanone and hydroxyacetophenone, which are putative substrates for such oxygenases (e.g. [58,59]) were tested as carbon source for growth of strain DS-1T, as well as cycloalkanes (C6, C8, C12), however, none supported growth. The terpenoids camphor (for the involvement of a cytochrome-P450 oxygenase in the degradation pathway ) and geraniol, citronellol, linalool, menthol and eucalyptol (for the involvement of acyl-CoA interconversion enzymes in the degradation pathways) as substrates for growth were also tested negative.
In contrast to the high abundance of genes for aliphatic-hydrocarbon degradation, the genome contains few genes for aromatic-hydrocarbon degradation. One gene set for an aromatic-ring dioxygenase component (Plav_1761 and 1762; BenAB-type), three aromatic-ring monooxygenase component genes (Plav_1541 and 0131, MhpA-type; Plav_1785, HpaB-type), and three valid candidate genes for extradiol ring-cleavage dioxygenase (Plav_1539  and 1787, BphC-type; Plav_0983, LigB-type) were predicted in the genome. Strain DS-1T did not grow with benzoate, protocatechuate, phenylacetate, phenylpropionate, or phenylalanine and tyrosine as carbon source when tested.
Finally, P. lavamentivorans DS-1T is predicted to store carbon in form of intracellular polyhydroxyalkanoate/butyrate (PHB) as its genome encodes a PHB-synthase (PhbC) gene (Plav_1129), PHB-depolymerase (PhaZ) gene (Plav_0012), and PHB-synthesis repressor (PhaR) gene (Plav_1572).
We thank Joachim Hentschel for SEM operation. The work was supported by the University of Konstanz and the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology, the University of New South Wales and the Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation, and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG grant SCHL 1936/1-1 to D.S.). The work conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute was supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, and that of the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract No. W-7405-Eng-48, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory under contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098, and Los Alamos National Laboratory under contract No. W-7405-ENG-36.
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