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Patterns of gene content and co-occurrence constrain the evolutionary path toward animal association in Candidate Phyla Radiation bacteria

Jaffe, A. L.*; Thomas, A. D.*; He, C.*; Keren, R.*; Valentin-Alvarado, L. E.*; Munk, P.*; Bouma-Gregson, K.*; Farag, I. F.*; Amano, Yuki  ; Sachdeva, R.*; West, P. T.*; Banfield, J. F.*

Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR) bacteria are small, likely episymbiotic organisms found across Earth's ecosystems. Despite their prevalence, the distribution of CPR lineages across habitats and the genomic signatures of transitions amongst these habitats remain unclear. Hear, we expand the genome inventory for Absconditabacteria (SR1), Gracilibacteria, and Saccharibacteria (TM7), CPR bacteria known to occur in both animal-associated and environmental microbiomes, and investigate variation in gene content with habitat of origin. By overlaying phylogeny with habitat information, we show that bacteria from these three lineages have undergone multiple transitions from environmental habitats into animal microbiomes. Based on co-occurrence analyses of hundreds of metagenomes, we extend the prior suggestion that certain TM7 have broad bacterial host ranges and constrain possible host relationships for SR1 and Gracilibacteria. Full-proteome analyses show that animal-associated TM7 have smaller gene repertoires than their environmental counterparts and are enriched in numerous protein families, including those likely functioning in amino acid metabolism, phage defense, and detoxification of peroxide. In contrast, some freshwater TM7 encodea putative rhodopsin. For protein families exhibiting the clearest patterns of differential habitat distribution, we compared protein and species phylogenies to estimate the incidence of lateral gene transfer and genomic loss occurring over the species tree. These analyses suggest that habitat transitions were likely not accompanied by large transfer or loss events, but rather were associated with continuous proteome remodeling. Thus, we speculate that CPR habitat transitions were driven largely by availability of suitable host taxa, and were reinforced by acquisition and loss of some capacities.

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