Whole-genome characterization and comparative genomics of a novel freshwater cyanobacteria species: Pseudanabaena punensis

Kirti M. Nitnaware, Kiran B. Raskar, Gaurav Agarwal, Ricardo A. Chávez Montes, Ratan Chopra, Damar L. López-Arredondo, Tukaram D. Nikam, Gunvant B. Patil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cyanobacteria are emerging as a potential source of novel, beneficial bioactive compounds. However, some cyanobacteria species can harm water quality and public health through the production of toxins. Therefore, surveying the occurrence and generating genomic resources of cyanobacteria producing harmful compounds could help develop the control methods necessary to manage their growth and limit the release contaminants into the water bodies. Here, we describe a novel strain, Pseudanabaena punensis isolated from the open ends of pipelines supplying freshwater. This isolate was characterized morphologically, biochemically and by whole-genome sequence analysis. We also provide genomic information for P. punensis to help understand and highlight the features unique to this isolate. Morphological and genetic (analysis using 16S rRNA and rbcL genes) data were used to assign this novel strain to phylogenetic and taxonomic groups. The isolate was identified as a filamentous and non-heterocystous cyanobacteria. Based on morphological and 16S rRNA phylogeny, this isolate shares characteristics with the Pseudanabaenaceae family, but remains distinct from well-characterized species suggesting its polyphyletic assemblage. The whole-genome sequence analysis suggests greater genomic and phenotypic plasticity. Genome-wide sequence and comparative genomic analyses, comparing against several closely related species, revealed diverse and important genes associated with synthesizing bioactive compounds, multi-drug resistance pathway, heavy metal resistance, and virulence factors. This isolate also produces several important fatty acids with potential industrial applications. The observations described in this study emphasize both industrial applications and risks associated with the freshwater contamination, and therefore genomic resources provided in this study offer an opportunity for further investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107272
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Algal bloom
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Drinking water
  • Drug resistance
  • Fatty acid
  • Genome analysis
  • Polyphyletic


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