Genome sequence of Synechococcus CC9311

Insights into adaptation to a coastal environment

Brian Palenik, Qinghu Ren, Chris L. Dupont, Garry S. Myers, John F. Heidelberg, Jonathan H. Badger, Ramana Madupu, William C. Nelson, Lauren M. Brinkac, Robert J. Dodson, A. Scott Durkin, Sean C. Daugherty, Stephen A. Sullivan, Hoda Khouri, Yasmin Mohamoud, Rebecca Halpin, Ian T. Paulsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

183 Citations (Scopus)


Coastal aquatic environments are typically more highly productive and dynamic than open ocean ones. Despite these differences, cyanobacteria from the genus Synechococcus are important primary producers in both types of ecosystems. We have found that the genome of a coastal cyanobacterium, Synechococcus sp. strain CC9311, has significant differences from an open ocean strain, Synechococcus sp. strain WH8102, and these are consistent with the differences between their respective environments. CC9311 has a greater capacity to sense and respond to changes in its (coastal) environment. It has a much larger capacity to transport, store, use, or export metals, especially iron and copper. In contrast, phosphate acquisition seems less important, consistent with the higher concentration of phosphate in coastal environments. CC9311 is predicted to have differences in its outer membrane lipopolysaccharide, and this may be characteristic of the speciation of some cyanobacterial groups. In addition, the types of potentially horizontally transferred genes are markedly different between the coastal and open ocean genomes and suggest a more prominent role for phages in horizontal gene transfer in oligotrophic environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13555-13559
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

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