Microbiology: Current Research

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Research Article - Microbiology: Current Research (2021) Volume 0, Issue 0

Ribosomal proteins could explain the phylogeny of Bacillus species

Protein translation is a highly conserved process in biology. As participants of translation, ribosomal proteins in the large and small subunits of the ribosomes are likely to be highly conserved; thus, could they be endowed with sufficient sequence diversity to chronicle the evolutionary history of different species in the same or different genus? Using different Bacillus species as a model system, this study sought to examine if ribosomal proteins could reproduce the maximum likelihood phylogeny described by 16S rRNA of the investigated Bacillus species. Bacillus species investigated were Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus thuringiensis. Results revealed that ribosomal proteins could be categorized into four different groups depending on their extent in reproducing the 16S rRNA phylogeny of the different Bacillus species. The first group comprises ribosomal protein that could reproduce all the phylogenetic positions of the Bacillus species accurately. These ribosomal proteins were ribosomal protein L6, L7/12, L9, L13, L24, L32, S3, S9, S12, S15, S16, S17, and S18. Ribosomal proteins that hold partial phylogenetic significance constitutes the second group where the ribosomal proteins could reproduce the major branches of the 16S rRNA phylogenetic tree but differ in the placement of one or two Bacillus species. In general, this group of ribosomal proteins had difficulty differentiating B. licheniformis and B. pumilus at the sequence level. Members of this group of ribosomal protein include ribosomal protein L22, L29, L30, L31 Type B, L33, L35, S1, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S11, S13, S19, and S20. The third group of ribosomal proteins were those which were highly conserved at the sequence level, and which could not differentiate the different Bacillus species. These ribosomal proteins were ribosomal protein L5, L36, S2, S10, and S21. Finally, there were also ribosomal proteins that randomly placed the different Bacillus species into phylogenetic positions not in sync with those depicted by the 16S rRNA phylogenetic tree. These ribosomal proteins were ribosomal protein L7Ae, L17, L20, L23, L27, L28, L31, L34 and S14 Type Z. Overall, members of all four groups of ribosomal proteins came from both the large and small ribosome subunits which meant that evolutionary forces exerted selective pressure on both subunits but at differing extents. Collectively, specific ribosomal proteins could reproduce the phylogeny of different Bacillus species as described by the gold standard phylogenetic marker, 16S rRNA, which highlighted that co-evolutionary process, could be at work in shaping the evolution of ribosomal proteins and rRNA(16S Ribosomal Ribonucleic Acid) in close contact with each other in the ribosome.

Author(s): Wenfa Ng

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