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Data from: Expression of eukaryotic-like protein in the microbiome of sponges

Cite this dataset

Díez-Vives, Cristina et al. (2016). Data from: Expression of eukaryotic-like protein in the microbiome of sponges [Dataset]. Dryad.


Eukaryotic-like proteins (ELPs) are classes of proteins that are found in prokaryotes, but have a likely evolutionary origin in eukaryotes. ELPs have been postulated to mediate host-microbiome interactions. Recent work has discovered that prokaryotic symbionts of sponges contain abundant and diverse genes for ELPs, which could modulate interactions with their filter-feeding and phagocytic host. However, the extent to which these ELP genes are actually used and expressed by the symbionts is poorly understood. Here we use metatranscriptomics to investigate ELP expression in the microbiomes of three different sponges (Cymbastella concentrica, Scopalina sp. and Tedania anhelens). We developed a workflow with optimized rRNA removal and in silico subtraction of host sequences to obtain a reliable symbiont metatranscriptome. This showed that between 1.3 and 2.3% of all symbiont transcripts contain genes for ELPs. Two classes of ELPs (cadherin and tetratricopetide repeats) were abundantly expressed by in the C. concentrica and Scopalina sp. microbiomes, while ankyrin repeat ELPs were predominant in the T. anhelens metatranscriptome. Comparison to non-ELP containing transcripts indicated a constitutive expression of ELPs across a range of bacterial and archaeal symbionts. Expressed ELPs also contained domains involved in protein secretion and/or were co-expressed with proteins involved in extra-cellular transport. This suggests these ELPs are likely exported, which could allow for direct interaction with the sponge. Our study shows that ELP genes in sponge symbionts represent actively expressed functions that could mediate molecular interaction between symbiosis partners.

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