Present address: Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Microbial rhodopsins on leaf surfaces of terrestrial plants
Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
© 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Special Issue: OMICS Driven Microbial Ecology
Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 140–146, January 2012
How to Cite
Atamna-Ismaeel, N., Finkel, O. M., Glaser, F., Sharon, I., Schneider, R., Post, A. F., Spudich, J. L., von Mering, C., Vorholt, J. A., Iluz, D., Béjà, O. and Belkin, S. (2012), Microbial rhodopsins on leaf surfaces of terrestrial plants. Environmental Microbiology, 14: 140–146. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02554.x
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
- Received 27 February, 2011; accepted 20 June, 2011.
The above-ground surfaces of terrestrial plants, the phyllosphere, comprise the main interface between the terrestrial biosphere and solar radiation. It is estimated to host up to 1026 microbial cells that may intercept part of the photon flux impinging on the leaves. Based on 454-pyrosequencing-generated metagenome data, we report on the existence of diverse microbial rhodopsins in five distinct phyllospheres from tamarisk (Tamarix nilotica), soybean (Glycine max), Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), clover (Trifolium repens) and rice (Oryza sativa). Our findings, for the first time describing microbial rhodopsins from non-aquatic habitats, point towards the potential coexistence of microbial rhodopsin-based phototrophy and plant chlorophyll-based photosynthesis, with the different pigments absorbing non-overlapping fractions of the light spectrum.