Genome sequence of the pattern forming Paenibacillus vortex bacterium reveals potential for thriving in complex environments

Alexandra Sirota-Madi, Tsviya Olender, Yael Helman, Colin Ingham, Ina Brainis, Dalit Roth, Efrat Hagi, Leonid Brodsky, Dena Leshkowitz, Vladimir Galatenko, Vladimir Nikolaev, Raja C. Mugasimangalam, Sharron Bransburg-Zabary, David L. Gutnick, Doron Lancet, Eshel Ben-Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The pattern-forming bacterium Paenibacillus vortex is notable for its advanced social behavior, which is reflected in development of colonies with highly intricate architectures. Prior to this study, only two other Paenibacillus species (Paenibacillus sp. JDR-2 and Paenibacillus larvae) have been sequenced. However, no genomic data is available on the Paenibacillus species with pattern-forming and complex social motility. Here we report the de novo genome sequence of this Gram-positive, soil-dwelling, sporulating bacterium.Results: The complete P. vortex genome was sequenced by a hybrid approach using 454 Life Sciences and Illumina, achieving a total of 289× coverage, with 99.8% sequence identity between the two methods. The sequencing results were validated using a custom designed Agilent microarray expression chip which represented the coding and the non-coding regions. Analysis of the P. vortex genome revealed 6,437 open reading frames (ORFs) and 73 non-coding RNA genes. Comparative genomic analysis with 500 complete bacterial genomes revealed exceptionally high number of two-component system (TCS) genes, transcription factors (TFs), transport and defense related genes. Additionally, we have identified genes involved in the production of antimicrobial compounds and extracellular degrading enzymes.Conclusions: These findings suggest that P. vortex has advanced faculties to perceive and react to a wide range of signaling molecules and environmental conditions, which could be associated with its ability to reconfigure and replicate complex colony architectures. Additionally, P. vortex is likely to serve as a rich source of genes important for agricultural, medical and industrial applications and it has the potential to advance the study of social microbiology within Gram-positive bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number710
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are thankful to the contribution of the late Vladimir Alexandrovich Drachev during early stage of this research effort. We thank JCVI for providing the JCVI Annotation Service. We thank Relly Foler from DYN-GS. This research has been supported by the Tauber Family Foundation and the Maguy-Glass Chair in Physics of Complex systems at Tel Aviv University and by the National Science Foundation Grants PHY-0216576 and 0225630 at UCSD.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Biotechnology


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