Efficient pH regulation is a fundamental requisite of all calcifying systems in animals and plants but with the underlying pH regulatory mechanisms remaining largely unknown. Using the sea urchin larva this work identified the SLC4 HCO3- transporter family member SpSlc4a10 to be critically involved in the formation of an elaborate calcitic endoskeleton. SpSlc4a10 is specifically expressed by calcifying primary mesenchyme cells with peak expression during de novo formation of the skeleton. Knock-down of SpSlc4a10 led to pH regulatory defects accompanied by decreased calcification rates and skeleton deformations. Reductions in seawater pH, resembling ocean acidification scenarios, led to an increase in SpSlc4a10 expression suggesting a compensatory mechanism in place to maintain calcification rates. We propose a first pH regulatory and HCO3- concentrating mechanism that is fundamentally linked to the biological precipitation of CaCO3. This knowledge will help understanding biomineralization strategies in animals and their interaction with a changing environment.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Marian Y Hu
- Marian Y Hu
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Paul G Falkowski, Rutgers University, United States
© 2018, Hu et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
While bacterial diversity is beneficial for the functioning of rhizosphere microbiomes, multi-species bioinoculants often fail to promote plant growth. One potential reason for this is that competition between different species of inoculated consortia members creates conflicts for their survival and functioning. To circumvent this, we used transposon insertion mutagenesis to increase the functional diversity within Bacillus amyloliquefaciens bacterial species and tested if we could improve plant growth promotion by assembling consortia of highly clonal but phenotypically dissimilar mutants. While most insertion mutations were harmful, some significantly improved B. amyloliquefaciens plant growth promotion traits relative to the wild-type strain. Eight phenotypically distinct mutants were selected to test if their functioning could be improved by applying them as multifunctional consortia. We found that B. amyloliquefaciens consortium richness correlated positively with plant root colonization and protection from Ralstonia solanacearum phytopathogenic bacterium. Crucially, 8-mutant consortium consisting of phenotypically dissimilar mutants performed better than randomly assembled 8-mutant consortia, suggesting that improvements were likely driven by consortia multifunctionality instead of consortia richness. Together, our results suggest that increasing intra-species phenotypic diversity could be an effective way to improve probiotic consortium functioning and plant growth promotion in agricultural systems.
High proportions of gut bacteria that produce their own food can be an indicator for poor gut health.