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Chapter 3 : Lessons from Environmental Chlamydiae

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Abstract:

This chapter summarizes work on environmental chlamydiae performed primarily between 2008 and early 2011. The first studies on environmental chlamydiae reported the discoveries of , which was isolated from an aborted bovine fetus. Traditionally, chlamydial elementary bodies (EBs) are regarded as spore-like forms which are metabolically inert. The extracellular activity of chlamydial EBs was dependent on the incubation medium used, which may explain why EBs have not been previously shown to be metabolically active. A key feature of the natural host of many environmental chlamydiae, spp., is its ability to form cysts under adverse environmental conditions. For obligate intracellular bacteria like the chlamydiae, the term “host cell interactions” can be subdivided into the following temporally and spatially separated stages: microbe-host recognition, internalization, replicative phase with host cell exploitation, and finally persistence within or release from the host cell to start another infectious cycle. Environmental chlamydiae have been detected in a wide variety of vertebrate and invertebrate hosts, and some members of this group of bacteria have been proposed to cause disease in animals. Genomic comparison of environmental chlamydiae has revealed that and may be the most suitable chlamydial candidates for host-free cultivation, since these organisms have the most versatile biosynthetic capabilities among the chlamydiae.

Citation: Siegl A, Horn M. 2012. Lessons from Environmental Chlamydiae, p 51-73. In Tan M, Bavoil P (ed), Intracellular Pathogens I: . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817329.ch3

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FIGURE 1

Phylogenetic relationships in the class . The neighbor-joining tree shows known members of families within the . Bar, 10% estimated evolutionary distance.doi:10.1128/9781555817329.ch3.f1

Citation: Siegl A, Horn M. 2012. Lessons from Environmental Chlamydiae, p 51-73. In Tan M, Bavoil P (ed), Intracellular Pathogens I: . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817329.ch3
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Morphological diversity of chlamydial developmental stages. Drawings show an RB (A), an IB (B), and an EB (C) as they are typically observed for members of both the and environmental chlamydiae; unusual EBs of the (D), the (E), and the (F); putative host-dependent morphology of a EB in species and worms (G); a aberrant body (H); and a crescent body (I). See the text for further explanations. Drawings represent simplified illustrations based on published electron micrographs and are not to scale. doi:10.1128/9781555817329.ch3.f2

Citation: Siegl A, Horn M. 2012. Lessons from Environmental Chlamydiae, p 51-73. In Tan M, Bavoil P (ed), Intracellular Pathogens I: . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817329.ch3
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Image of FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3

Presence/absence of selected proteins of the in environmental chlamydiae. Proteins restricted to the (upper panel) or shared between the and different environmental chlamydiae (lower panels) are indicated. Findings are taken from the work of Collingro et al. (2011) and are based on the analysis of clusters of orthologous groups of proteins, which were determined using SIMAP (similarity matrix of proteins database) and bidirectional best BLAST hits with a cutoff value of 1E-10 ( ). Locus tags are given as for D/UW-3/CX. Abbreviations: Ch, ; Si, Z; Wa, 2032/99; Pa, UV-7; Pr, UWE25; CE, cell envelope-associated genes; VA, virulence-associated genes; T3S, T3S system components and effectors. doi:10.1128/9781555817329.ch3.f3

Citation: Siegl A, Horn M. 2012. Lessons from Environmental Chlamydiae, p 51-73. In Tan M, Bavoil P (ed), Intracellular Pathogens I: . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817329.ch3
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