Source environment feature related phylogenetic distribution pattern of anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria as revealed by pufM analysis
Anoxygenic photosynthesis, performed primarily by anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria (APB), has been supposed to arise on Earth more than 3 billion years ago. The long established APB are distributed in almost every corner where light can reach. However, the relationship between APB phylogeny and source environments has been largely unexplored. Here we retrieved the pufM sequences and related source information of 89 pufM containing species from the public database. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) most likely occurred within 11 out of a total 21 pufM subgroups, not only among species within the same class but also among species of different phyla or subphyla. A clear source environment feature related phylogenetic distribution pattern was observed, with all species from oxic habitats and those from anoxic habitats clustering into independent subgroups, respectively. HGT among ancient APB and subsequent long term evolution and adaptation to separated niches may have contributed to the coupling of environment and pufM phylogeny.