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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Novel functional insights into the microbiome inhabiting marine plastic debris: critical considerations to counteract the challenges of thin biofilms using multi-omics and comparative metaproteomics
Author(s): Messer, Lauren F.
Lee, Charlotte E.
Wattiez, Ruddy
Matallana-Surget, Sabine
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Keywords: Microbiology (medical)
Issue Date: 22-Feb-2024
Date Deposited: 20-Mar-2024
Citation: Messer LF, Lee CE, Wattiez R & Matallana-Surget S (2024) Novel functional insights into the microbiome inhabiting marine plastic debris: critical considerations to counteract the challenges of thin biofilms using multi-omics and comparative metaproteomics. <i>Microbiome</i>, 12 (1).
Abstract: Microbial functioning on marine plastic surfaces has been poorly documented, especially within cold climates where temperature likely impacts microbial activity and the presence of hydrocarbonoclastic microorganisms. To date, only two studies have used metaproteomics to unravel microbial genotype–phenotype linkages in the marine ‘plastisphere’, and these have revealed the dominance of photosynthetic microorganisms within warm climates. Advancing the functional representation of the marine plastisphere is vital for the development of specific databases cataloging the functional diversity of the associated microorganisms and their peptide and protein sequences, to fuel biotechnological discoveries. Here, we provide a comprehensive assessment for plastisphere metaproteomics, using multi-omics and data mining on thin plastic biofilms to provide unique insights into plastisphere metabolism. Our robust experimental design assessed DNA/protein co-extraction and cell lysis strategies, proteomics workflows, and diverse protein search databases, to resolve the active plastisphere taxa and their expressed functions from an understudied cold environment. Results For the first time, we demonstrate the predominance and activity of hydrocarbonoclastic genera (Psychrobacter, Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas) within a primarily heterotrophic plastisphere. Correspondingly, oxidative phosphorylation, the citrate cycle, and carbohydrate metabolism were the dominant pathways expressed. Quorum sensing and toxin-associated proteins of Streptomyces were indicative of inter-community interactions. Stress response proteins expressed by Psychrobacter, Planococcus, and Pseudoalteromonas and proteins mediating xenobiotics degradation in Psychrobacter and Pseudoalteromonas suggested phenotypic adaptations to the toxic chemical microenvironment of the plastisphere. Interestingly, a targeted search strategy identified plastic biodegradation enzymes, including polyamidase, hydrolase, and depolymerase, expressed by rare taxa. The expression of virulence factors and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance suggested pathogenic genera were active, despite representing a minor component of the plastisphere community. Conclusion Our study addresses a critical gap in understanding the functioning of the marine plastisphere, contributing new insights into the function and ecology of an emerging and important microbial niche. Our comprehensive multi-omics and comparative metaproteomics experimental design enhances biological interpretations to provide new perspectives on microorganisms of potential biotechnological significance beyond biodegradation and to improve the assessment of the risks associated with microorganisms colonizing marine plastic pollution.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s40168-024-01751-x
Rights: © The Author(s) 2024. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecom‑ applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

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