[Hsiu-An Chu and Chih-Horng Kuo] Comparative genomic analysis of a novel strain of Taiwan hot-spring cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus sp. CL-1

In the alkaline hot springs of eastern Asia, the bacterial genus Thermosynechococcus are the dominant cyanobacteria in the microbial mat. A novel strain, Thermosynechococcus sp. CL-1, was collected from the Chin-Lun hot-spring (pH 9.3, 62°C) in Tai-Dong and isolated by Dr. Hsin-Ta Hsueh at National Cheng-Kung University. Two research groups in our institute, leading by Drs. Hsiu-An Chu and Chih-Horng Kuo, collaborated to complete the whole genome sequencing and comparative analysis across different species. The results indicated that this novel strain has highly different chromosomal organization and gene content, as well as highly divergent phylogenetic relationships, when compared to other species from the same genus. Thus, this strain is a representative of a new species. Furthermore, this strain was found to have acquired many novel genes from horizontal gene transfer, some of these new genes may be related to its adaptation to different environmental stresses of alkaline hot springs. In summary, the findings contributed to our understanding of the physiology, ecology, and evolution of thermophilic cyanobacteria. This study has been published in the international journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

Yen-I Cheng, Lin Chou, Yi-Fang Chiu, Hsin-Ta Hsueh, Chih-Horng Kuo* and Hsiu-An Chu*, Front. Microbiol., 31 January 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.00082