Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32839547
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41396-020-00747-3
ISME J 2020 Aug; ():
Bacteria synthesize a wide range of intracellular submicrometer-sized inorganic precipitates of diverse chemical compositions and structures, called biominerals. Their occurrences, functions and ultrastructures are not yet fully described despite great advances in our knowledge of microbial diversity. Here, we report bacteria inhabiting the sediments and water column of the permanently stratified ferruginous Lake Pavin, that have the peculiarity to biomineralize both intracellular magnetic particles and calcium carbonate granules. Based on an ultrastructural characterization using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and synchrotron-based scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM), we showed that the calcium carbonate granules are amorphous and contained within membrane-delimited vesicles. Single-cell sorting, correlative fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and molecular typing of populations inhabiting sediments affiliated these bacteria to a new genus of the Alphaproteobacteria. The partially assembled genome sequence of a representative isolate revealed an atypical structure of the magnetosome gene cluster while geochemical analyses indicate that calcium carbonate production is an active process that costs energy to the cell to maintain an environment suitable for their formation. This discovery further expands the diversity of organisms capable of intracellular Ca-carbonate biomineralization. If the role of such biomineralization is still unclear, cell behaviour suggests that it may participate to cell motility in aquatic habitats as magnetite biomineralization does.