Comparative genomic analysis of Periweissella and the characterization of novel motile species

Nanzhen Qiao, Julia Bechtner, Margo Cnockaert, Eliza Depoorter, Cristian Díaz-Muñoz, Peter Vandamme, Luc De Vuyst, Michael G Gänzle

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The genus Periweissella was proposed as a novel genus in the Lactobacillaceae in 2022. However, the phylogenetic relationship between Periweissella and other heterofermentative lactobacilli, and the genetic and physiological properties of this genus remain unclear. This study aimed to determine the phylogenetic relationship between Periweissella and the two closest genera, Weissella and Furfurilactobacillus, by the phylogenetic analysis and calculation of (core gene) pairwise average amino acid identity. Targeted genomic analysis showed that fructose bisphosphate aldolase was only present in the genome of Pw. cryptocerci. Mannitol dehydrogenase was found in genomes of Pw. beninensis, Pw. fabaria, and Pw. fabalis. Untargeted genomic analysis identified the presence of flagellar genes in Periweissella but not in other closely related genera. Phenotypes related to carbohydrate fermentation and motility matched the genotypes. Motility genes were organized in a single operon and the proteins shared a high amino acid similarity in the genus Periweissella. The relatively low similarity of motility operons between Periweissella and other motile lactobacilli indicated the acquisition of motility by the ancestral species. Our findings facilitate the phylogenetic, genetic, and phenotypic understanding of the genus Periweissella.ImportanceThe genus Periweissella is a heterofermentative genus in the Lactobacillaceae which includes predominantly isolates from cocoa fermentations in tropical climates. Despite the relevance of the genus in food fermentations, genetic and physiological properties of the genus are poorly characterized and genome sequences became available only after 2020. This study characterized strains of the genus by functional genomic analysis, and by determination of metabolic and physiological traits. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Periweissella is the evolutionary link between rod-shaped heterofermentative lactobacilli and the coccoid Leuconostoc clade with the genera Weissella and Furfurilactobacillus as closest relatives. Periweissella is the only heterofermentative genus in the Lactobacillaceae which comprises predominantly motile strains. The genomic, physiological, and metabolic characterization of Periweissella may facilitate the potential use of strains of the genus as starter culture in traditional or novel food fermentations.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's17
TijdschriftApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Nummer van het tijdschrift10
StatusPublished - 20 sep 2023

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