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Almost all cells require thiamin, vitamin B1 (B1), which is synthesized via the coupling of thiazole and pyrimidine precursors.
Here we demonstrate that 5-(2-hydroxyethyl)-4-methyl-1,3-thiazole-2-carboxylic acid (c HET) is a useful in vivo B1 precursor for representatives of ubiquitous marine picoeukaryotic phytoplankton and Escherichia coli – drawing attention to c HET as a valuable exogenous micronutrient for microorganisms with ecological, industrial, and biomedical value.
Asterisks denote significant differences (p can use exogenous c HET. coli (Figs 1, 2), equivalent concentrations of HET also sustained growth of the Arabidopsis mutant (Fig. This result highlights a key difference between plants and (aquatic) microbes, in that the latter are equipped to salvage B1 from very low concentrations of exogenous precursors (Figs 1, 2), likely as a result of adaption within an environment where precursor(s) are a community currency circulated between producers and consumers.
1B) indicating that c HET utilization requires Thi M, which agrees with prior results showing that O.
tauri RCC745 requires Thi M in order to use the thiazole precursor produced by B1-synthesizing marine plankton. tauri, another cosmopolitan picoeukaryotic marine phytoplankton organism, Bathyococcus sp.
Diverse organisms, including freshwater algae, enteric bacteria, human pathogens, and terrestrial plants also possess Thi M and hence might similarly salvage exogenous c HET for use in B1 synthesis.
Bioinformatic surveys revealed that metagenomes from the human microbiome contain ~10× higher relative abundance of Thi M sequences than marine and terrestrial metagenomes (Supplementary Table S2), prompting the hypothesis that Thi M-possessing human-associated bacteria use exogenous c HET, in the same way as picoeukaryotic marine phytoplankton (Fig. Human-associated enteric bacterium Escherichia coli K-12 as well as (Supplementary Table S3), making Escherichia coli a suitable model for testing our hypothesis. coli mutant lacking Thi G (∆thi G), the enzyme that synthesizes the thiazole precursor of B1 in de novo biosynthesis, showed the bacterium is also adapted to use low concentrations of exogenous c HET, specifically down to subpicomolar concentrations (Fig. In contrast, ~1 million times more (100 n M) HET was necessary to support comparable growth (Fig.