Genome-Resolved Proteomic Stable Isotope Probing of Soil Microbial Communities Using 13CO2 and 13C-Methanol

Zhou Li, Qiuming Yao, Xuan Guo, Alexander Crits-Christoph, Melanie A. Mayes, William Judson Hervey IV, Sarah L. Lebeis, Jillian F. Banfield, Gregory B. Hurst, Robert L. Hettich, Chongle Pan

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Stable isotope probing (SIP) enables tracking the nutrient flows from isotopically labeled substrates to specific microorganisms in microbial communities. In proteomic SIP, labeled proteins synthesized by the microbial consumers of labeled substrates are identified with a shotgun proteomics approach. Here, proteomic SIP was combined with targeted metagenomic binning to reconstruct metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of the microorganisms producing labeled proteins. This approach was used to track carbon flows from 13CO2 to the rhizosphere communities of Zea mays, Triticum aestivum, and Arabidopsis thaliana. Rhizosphere microorganisms that assimilated plant-derived 13C were capable of metabolic and signaling interactions with their plant hosts, as shown by their MAGs containing genes for phytohormone modulation, quorum sensing, and transport and metabolism of nutrients typical of those found in root exudates. XoxF-type methanol dehydrogenases were among the most abundant proteins identified in the rhizosphere metaproteomes. 13C-methanol proteomic SIP was used to test the hypothesis that XoxF was used to metabolize and assimilate methanol in the rhizosphere. We detected 7 13C-labeled XoxF proteins and identified methylotrophic pathways in the MAGs of 8 13C-labeled microorganisms, which supported the hypothesis. These two studies demonstrated the capability of proteomic SIP for functional characterization of active microorganisms in complex microbial communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2706
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • metagenomic analyses
  • metaproteomic analysis
  • microbial ecology
  • rhizosphere
  • stable isotope probing

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