Volume 21, Issue 9 p. 1279-1284
Communication

Coculturing of Mosquito-Microbiome Bacteria Promotes Heme Degradation in Elizabethkingia anophelis

Jack G. Ganley

Jack G. Ganley

Department of Chemistry, Duke University, 124 Science Drive, Durham, NC, 27708 USA

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Hannah K. D'Ambrosio

Hannah K. D'Ambrosio

Department of Chemistry, Duke University, 124 Science Drive, Durham, NC, 27708 USA

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Meg Shieh

Meg Shieh

Department of Chemistry, Duke University, 124 Science Drive, Durham, NC, 27708 USA

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Prof. Emily R. Derbyshire

Corresponding Author

Prof. Emily R. Derbyshire

Department of Chemistry, Duke University, 124 Science Drive, Durham, NC, 27708 USA

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, 213 Research Drive, Durham, NC, 27710 USA

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First published: 17 December 2019
Citations: 8

Graphical Abstract

How they survive and thrive: In vitro coculture studies of Anopheles mosquito microbiome bacteria illustrate that Elizabethkingia anophelis outcompetes a neighboring Pseudomonas species. Through a combination of metabolomics, enzymology, and growth studies, a heme-degrading enzyme was identified in this bipartite interaction.

Abstract

Anopheles mosquito microbiomes are intriguing ecological niches. Within the gut, microbes adapt to oxidative stress due to heme and iron after blood meals. Although metagenomic sequencing has illuminated spatial and temporal fluxes of microbiome populations, limited data exist on microbial growth dynamics. Here, we analyze growth interactions between a dominant microbiome species, Elizabethkingia anophelis, and other Anopheles-associated bacteria. We find E. anophelis inhibits a Pseudomonas sp. via an antimicrobial-independent mechanism and observe biliverdins, heme degradation products, upregulated in cocultures. Purification and characterization of E. anophelis HemS demonstrates heme degradation, and we observe hemS expression is upregulated when cocultured with Pseudomonas sp. This study reveals a competitive microbial interaction between mosquito-associated bacteria and characterizes the stimulation of heme degradation in E. anophelis when grown with Pseudomonas sp.