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Bibliography on: Archaea

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Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Jun 2022 at 01:30 Created: 

Archaea

In 1977, Carl Woese and George Fox applied molecular techniques to biodiversity and discovered that life on Earth consisted of three, not two (prokaryotes and eukaryotes), major lineages, tracing back nearly to the very origin of life on Earth. The third lineage has come to be known as the Archaea. Organisms now considered Archaea were originally thought to be a kind of prokaryote, but Woese and Fox showed that they were as different from prokaryotes as they were from eukaryotes. To understand life on Earth one must also understand the Archaea .

Created with PubMed® Query: archaea[TITLE] OR archaebacteria[TITLE] NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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RevDate: 2022-06-29

Kropp C, Lipp J, Schmidt AL, et al (2022)

Identification of acetylated diether lipids in halophilic Archaea.

MicrobiologyOpen, 11(3):e1299.

As a hallmark of Archaea, their cell membranes are comprised of ether lipids. However, Archaea-type ether lipids have recently been identified in Bacteria as well, with a somewhat different composition: In Bacillales, sn-glycerol 1-phosphate is etherified with one C35 isoprenoid chain, which is longer than the typical C20 chain in Archaea, and instead of a second isoprenoid chain, the product heptaprenylglyceryl phosphate becomes dephosphorylated and afterward diacetylated by the O-acetyltransferase YvoF. Interestingly, database searches have revealed YvoF homologs in Halobacteria (Archaea), too. Here, we demonstrate that YvoF from Haloferax volcanii can acetylate geranylgeranylglycerol in vitro. Additionally, we present the first-time identification of acetylated diether lipids in H. volcanii and Halobacterium salinarum by mass spectrometry. A variety of different acetylated lipids, namely acetylated archaeol, and acetylated archaetidylglycerol, were found, suggesting that halobacterial YvoF has a broad substrate range. We suppose that the acetyl group might serve to modify the polarity of the lipid headgroup, with still unknown biological effects.

RevDate: 2022-06-27

Banciu HL, Gridan IM, Zety AV, et al (2022)

Asgard archaea in saline environments.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions, 26(2):21.

Members of candidate Asgardarchaeota superphylum appear to share numerous eukaryotic-like attributes thus being broadly explored for their relevance to eukaryogenesis. On the contrast, the ecological roles of Asgard archaea remains understudied. Asgard archaea have been frequently associated to low-oxygen aquatic sedimentary environments worldwide spanning a broad but not extreme salinity range. To date, the available information on diversity and potential biogeochemical roles of Asgardarchaeota mostly sourced from marine habitats and to a much lesser extend from true saline environments (i.e., > 3% w/v total salinity). Here, we provide an overview on diversity and ecological implications of Asgard archaea distributed across saline environments and briefly explore their metagenome-resolved potential for osmoadaptation. Loki-, Thor- and Heimdallarchaeota are the dominant Asgard clades in saline habitats where they might employ anaerobic/microaerophilic organic matter degradation and autotrophic carbon fixation. Homologs of primary solute uptake ABC transporters seemingly prevail in Thorarchaeota, whereas those putatively involved in trehalose and ectoine biosynthesis were mostly inferred in Lokiarchaeota. We speculate that Asgardarchaeota might adopt compatible solute-accumulating ('salt-out') strategy as response to salt stress. Our current understanding on the distribution, ecology and salt-adaptive strategies of Asgardarchaeota in saline environments are, however, limited by insufficient sampling and incompleteness of the available metagenome-assembled genomes. Extensive sampling combined with 'omics'- and cultivation-based approaches seem, therefore, crucial to gain deeper knowledge on this particularly intriguing archaeal lineage.

RevDate: 2022-06-27

Rambo IM, Langwig MV, Leão P, et al (2022)

Genomes of six viruses that infect Asgard archaea from deep-sea sediments.

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Asgard archaea are globally distributed prokaryotic microorganisms related to eukaryotes; however, viruses that infect these organisms have not been described. Here, using metagenome sequences recovered from deep-sea hydrothermal sediments, we characterize six relatively large (up to 117 kb) double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viral genomes that infected two Asgard archaeal phyla, Lokiarchaeota and Helarchaeota. These viruses encode Caudovirales-like structural proteins, as well as proteins distinct from those described in known archaeal viruses. Their genomes contain around 1-5% of genes associated with eukaryotic nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) and appear to be capable of semi-autonomous genome replication, repair, epigenetic modifications and transcriptional regulation. Moreover, Helarchaeota viruses may hijack host ubiquitin systems similar to eukaryotic viruses. Genomic analysis of these Asgard viruses reveals that they contain features of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic viruses, and provides insights into their potential infection and host interaction mechanisms.

RevDate: 2022-06-27

Garcia PS, Gribaldo S, G Borrel (2022)

Diversity and Evolution of Methane-Related Pathways in Archaea.

Annual review of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases on Earth and holds an important place in the global carbon cycle. Archaea are the only organisms that use methanogenesis to produce energy and rely on the methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) complex. Over the last decade, new results have significantly reshaped our view of the diversity of methane-related pathways in the Archaea. Many new lineages that synthesize or use methane have been identified across the whole archaeal tree, leading to a greatly expanded diversity of substrates and mechanisms. In this review, we present the state of the art of these advances and how they challenge established scenarios of the origin and evolution of methanogenesis, and we discuss the potential trajectories that may have led to this strikingly wide range of metabolisms.Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Microbiology, Volume 76 is September 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2022-06-24

Xiong X, Rao Y, Tu X, et al (2022)

Gut archaea associated with bacteria colonization and succession during piglet weaning transitions.

BMC veterinary research, 18(1):243.

BACKGROUND: Host-associated gut microbial communities are key players in shaping the fitness and health of animals. However, most current studies have focused on the gut bacteria, neglecting important gut fungal and archaeal components of these communities. Here, we investigated the gut fungi and archaea community composition in Large White piglets using shotgun metagenomic sequencing, and systematically evaluated how community composition association with gut microbiome, functional capacity, and serum metabolites varied across three weaning periods.

RESULTS: We found that Mucoromycota, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota were the most common fungi phyla and Euryarchaeota was the most common archaea phyla across individuals. We identified that Methanosarcina siciliae was the most significantly different archaea species among three weaning periods, while Parasitella parasitica, the only differential fungi species, was significantly and positively correlated with Methanosarcina siciliae enriched in day 28 group. The random forest analysis also identified Methanosarcina siciliae and Parasitella parasitica as weaning-biased archaea and fungi at the species level. Additionally, Methanosarcina siciliae was significantly correlated with P. copri and the shifts of functional capacities of the gut microbiome and several CAZymes in day 28 group. Furthermore, characteristic successional alterations in gut archaea, fungi, bacteria, and serum metabolites with each weaning step revealed a weaning transition coexpression network, e.g., Methanosarcina siciliae and P. copri were positively and significantly correlated with 15-HEPE, 8-O-Methyloblongine, and Troxilin B3.

CONCLUSION: Our findings provide a deep insight into the interactions among gut archaea, fungi, bacteria, and serum metabolites and will present a theoretical framework for understanding gut bacterial colonization and succession association with archaea during piglet weaning transitions.

RevDate: 2022-06-24

Doytchinov VV, SG Dimov (2022)

Microbial Community Composition of the Antarctic Ecosystems: Review of the Bacteria, Fungi, and Archaea Identified through an NGS-Based Metagenomics Approach.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 12(6): pii:life12060916.

Antarctica represents a unique environment, both due to the extreme meteorological and geological conditions that govern it and the relative isolation from human influences that have kept its environment largely undisturbed. However, recent trends in climate change dictate an unavoidable change in the global biodiversity as a whole, and pristine environments, such as Antarctica, allow us to study and monitor more closely the effects of the human impact. Additionally, due to its inaccessibility, Antarctica contains a plethora of yet uncultured and unidentified microorganisms with great potential for useful biological activities and production of metabolites, such as novel antibiotics, proteins, pigments, etc. In recent years, amplicon-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) has allowed for a fast and thorough examination of microbial communities to accelerate the efforts of unknown species identification. For these reasons, in this review, we present an overview of the archaea, bacteria, and fungi present on the Antarctic continent and the surrounding area (maritime Antarctica, sub-Antarctica, Southern Sea, etc.) that have recently been identified using amplicon-based NGS methods.

RevDate: 2022-06-24

Ding R, Yang N, J Liu (2022)

The Osmoprotectant Switch of Potassium to Compatible Solutes in an Extremely Halophilic Archaea Halorubrum kocurii 2020YC7.

Genes, 13(6): pii:genes13060939.

The main osmoadaptive mechanisms of extremely halophilic archaea include the "salt-in" strategy and the "compatible solutes" strategy. Here we report the osmoadaptive mechanism of an extremely halophilic archaea H. kocurii 2020YC7, isolated from a high salt environment sample. Genomic data revealed that strain 2020YC7 harbors genes trkA, trkH, kch for K+ uptake, kefB for K+ output, treS for trehalose production from polysaccharide, and betaine/carnitine/choline transporter family gene for glycine betaine uptake. Strain 2020YC7 could accumulate 8.17 to 28.67 μmol/mg protein K+ in a defined medium, with its content increasing along with the increasing salinity from 100 to 200 g/L. When exogenous glycine betaine was added, glycine betaine functioned as the primary osmotic solute between 200 and 250 g/L NaCl, which was accumulated up to 15.27 mg/mg protein in 2020YC7 cells. RT-qPCR results completely confirmed these results. Notably, the concentrations of intracellular trehalose decreased from 5.26 to 2.61 mg/mg protein as the NaCl increased from 50 to 250 g/L. In combination with this result, the transcript level of gene treS, which catalyzes the production of trehalose from polysaccharide, was significantly up-regulated at 50-100 g/L NaCl. Therefore, trehalose does not act as an osmotic solute at high NaCl concentrations (more than 100 g/L) but at relatively low NaCl concentrations (50-100 g/L). And we propose that the degradation of cell wall polysaccharide, as a source of trehalose in a low-salt environment, may be one of the reasons for the obligate halophilic characteristics of strain 2020YC7.

RevDate: 2022-06-21
CmpDate: 2022-06-21

Krawczyk KT, Locht C, M Kowalewicz-Kulbat (2022)

Halophilic Archaea Halorhabdus Rudnickae and Natrinema Salaciae Activate Human Dendritic Cells and Orient T Helper Cell Responses.

Frontiers in immunology, 13:833635.

Halophilic archaea are procaryotic organisms distinct from bacteria, known to thrive in hypersaline environments, including salt lakes, salterns, brines and salty food. They have also been identified in the human microbiome. The biological significance of halophiles for human health has rarely been examined. The interactions between halophilic archaea and human dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells have not been identified so far. Here, we show for the first time that the halophilic archaea Halorhabdus rudnickae and Natrinema salaciae activate human monocyte-derived DCs, induce DC maturation, cytokine production and autologous T cell activation. In vitro both strains induced DC up-regulation of the cell-surface receptors CD86, CD80 and CD83, and cytokine production, including IL-12p40, IL-10 and TNF-α, but not IL-23 and IL-12p70. Furthermore, autologous CD4+ T cells produced significantly higher amounts of IFN-γ and IL-13, but not IL-17A when co-cultured with halophile-stimulated DCs in comparison to T cells co-cultured with unstimulated DCs. IFN-γ was almost exclusively produced by naïve T cells, while IL-13 was produced by both naïve and memory CD4+ T cells. Our findings thus show that halophilic archaea are recognized by human DCs and are able to induce a balanced cytokine response. The immunomodulatory functions of halophilic archaea and their potential ability to re-establish the immune balance may perhaps participate in the beneficial effects of halotherapies.

RevDate: 2022-06-16

Hu W, Hou Q, Delgado-Baquerizo M, et al (2022)

Continental-scale niche differentiation of dominant topsoil archaea in drylands.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Archaea represent a diverse group of microorganisms often associated with extreme environments. However, an integrated understanding of biogeographical patterns of the specialist Haloarchaea and the potential generalist ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) across large-scale environmental gradients remains limited. We hypothesize that niche differentiation determines their distinct distributions along environmental gradients. To test the hypothesis, we use a continental-scale research network including 173 dryland sites across northern China. Our results demonstrate that Haloarchaea and AOA dominate topsoil archaeal communities. As hypothesized, Haloarchaea and AOA show strong niche differentiation associated with two ecosystem types mainly found in China's drylands (i.e., deserts vs. grasslands), and they differ in the degree of habitat specialization. The relative abundance and richness of Haloarchaea are higher in deserts due to specialization to relatively high soil salinity and extreme climates, while those of AOA are greater in grassland soils. Our results further indicate a divergence in ecological processes underlying the segregated distributions of Haloarchaea and AOA. Haloarchaea are governed primarily by environmental-based processes while the more generalist AOA are assembled mostly via spatial-based processes. Our findings add to existing knowledge of large-scale biogeography of topsoil archaea, advancing our predictive understanding on changes in topsoil archaeal communities in a drier world. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-06-13

Hatano T, Palani S, Papatziamou D, et al (2022)

Asgard archaea shed light on the evolutionary origins of the eukaryotic ubiquitin-ESCRT machinery.

Nature communications, 13(1):3398.

The ESCRT machinery, comprising of multiple proteins and subcomplexes, is crucial for membrane remodelling in eukaryotic cells, in processes that include ubiquitin-mediated multivesicular body formation, membrane repair, cytokinetic abscission, and virus exit from host cells. This ESCRT system appears to have simpler, ancient origins, since many archaeal species possess homologues of ESCRT-III and Vps4, the components that execute the final membrane scission reaction, where they have been shown to play roles in cytokinesis, extracellular vesicle formation and viral egress. Remarkably, metagenome assemblies of Asgard archaea, the closest known living relatives of eukaryotes, were recently shown to encode homologues of the entire cascade involved in ubiquitin-mediated membrane remodelling, including ubiquitin itself, components of the ESCRT-I and ESCRT-II subcomplexes, and ESCRT-III and Vps4. Here, we explore the phylogeny, structure, and biochemistry of Asgard homologues of the ESCRT machinery and the associated ubiquitylation system. We provide evidence for the ESCRT-I and ESCRT-II subcomplexes being involved in ubiquitin-directed recruitment of ESCRT-III, as it is in eukaryotes. Taken together, our analyses suggest a pre-eukaryotic origin for the ubiquitin-coupled ESCRT system and a likely path of ESCRT evolution via a series of gene duplication and diversification events.

RevDate: 2022-06-13

Verma D, Kumar V, T Satyanarayana (2022)

Genomic attributes of thermophilic and hyperthermophilic bacteria and archaea.

World journal of microbiology & biotechnology, 38(8):135.

Thermophiles and hyperthermophiles are immensely useful in understanding the evolution of life, besides their utility in environmental and industrial biotechnology. Advancements in sequencing technologies have revolutionized the field of microbial genomics. The massive generation of data enhances the sequencing coverage multi-fold and allows to analyse the entire genomic features of microbes efficiently and accurately. The mandate of a pure isolate can also be bypassed where whole metagenome-assembled genomes and single cell-based sequencing have fulfilled the majority of the criteria to decode various attributes of microbial genomes. A boom has, therefore, been seen in analysing the extremophilic bacteria and archaea using sequence-based approaches. Due to extensive sequence analysis, it becomes easier to understand the gene flow and their evolution among the members of bacteria and archaea. For instance, sequencing unveiled that Thermotoga maritima shares around 24% of genes of archaeal origin. Comparative and functional genomics provide an analytical view to understanding the microbial diversity of thermophilic bacteria and archaea, their interactions with other microbes, their adaptations, gene flow, and evolution over time. In this review, the genomic features of thermophilic bacteria and archaea are dealt with comprehensively.

RevDate: 2022-06-06

Gophna U, N Altman-Price (2022)

Horizontal Gene Transfer in Archaea-From Mechanisms to Genome Evolution.

Annual review of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Archaea remains the least-studied and least-characterized domain of life despite its significance not just to the ecology of our planet but also to the evolution of eukaryotes. It is therefore unsurprising that research into horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in archaea has lagged behind that of bacteria. Indeed, several archaeal lineages may owe their very existence to large-scale HGT events, and thus understanding both the molecular mechanisms and the evolutionary impact of HGT in archaea is highly important. Furthermore, some mechanisms of gene exchange, such as plasmids that transmit themselves via membrane vesicles and the formation of cytoplasmic bridges that allows transfer of both chromosomal and plasmid DNA, may be archaea specific. This review summarizes what we know about HGT in archaea, and the barriers that restrict it, highlighting exciting recent discoveries and pointing out opportunities for future research. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Microbiology, Volume 76 is September 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2022-06-06

Selim S, Akhtar N, Hagagy N, et al (2022)

Selection of Newly Identified Growth-Promoting Archaea Haloferax Species With a Potential Action on Cobalt Resistance in Maize Plants.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:872654.

Soil contamination with cobalt (Co) negatively impacts plant growth and production. To combat Co toxicity, plant growth-promoting microorganisms for improving plant growth are effectively applied. To this end, unclassified haloarchaeal species strain NRS_31 (OL912833), belonging to Haloferax genus, was isolated, identified for the first time, and applied to mitigate the Co phytotoxic effects on maize plants. This study found that high Co levels in soil lead to Co accumulation in maize leaves. Co accumulation in the leaves inhibited maize growth and photosynthetic efficiency, inducing oxidative damage in the tissue. Interestingly, pre-inoculation with haloarchaeal species significantly reduced Co uptake and mitigated the Co toxicity. Induced photosynthesis improved sugar metabolism, allocating more carbon to defend against Co stress. Concomitantly, the biosynthetic key enzymes involved in sucrose (sucrose-P-synthase and invertases) and proline (pyrroline-5- carboxylate synthetase (P5CS), pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase (P5CR)) biosynthesis significantly increased to maintain plant osmotic potential. In addition to their osmoregulation potential, soluble sugars and proline can contribute to maintaining ROS hemostasis. Maize leaves managed their oxidative homeostasis by increasing the production of antioxidant metabolites (such as phenolics and tocopherols) and increasing the activity of ROS-scavenging enzymes (such as POX, CAT, SOD, and enzymes involved in the AsA/GSH cycle). Inside the plant tissue, to overcome heavy Co toxicity, maize plants increased the synthesis of heavy metal-binding ligands (metallothionein, phytochelatins) and the metal detoxifying enzymes (glutathione S transferase). Overall, the improved ROS homeostasis, osmoregulation, and Co detoxification systems were the basis underlying Co oxidative stress, mitigating haloarchaeal treatment's impact.

RevDate: 2022-06-07

Lim JK, Yang JI, Kim YJ, et al (2022)

Bioconversion of CO to formate by artificially designed carbon monoxide:formate oxidoreductase in hyperthermophilic archaea.

Communications biology, 5(1):539.

Ferredoxin-dependent metabolic engineering of electron transfer circuits has been developed to enhance redox efficiency in the field of synthetic biology, e.g., for hydrogen production and for reduction of flavoproteins or NAD(P)+. Here, we present the bioconversion of carbon monoxide (CO) gas to formate via a synthetic CO:formate oxidoreductase (CFOR), designed as an enzyme complex for direct electron transfer between non-interacting CO dehydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase using an electron-transferring Fe-S fusion protein. The CFOR-introduced Thermococcus onnurineus mutant strains showed CO-dependent formate production in vivo and in vitro. The maximum formate production rate from purified CFOR complex and specific formate productivity from the bioreactor were 2.2 ± 0.2 μmol/mg/min and 73.1 ± 29.0 mmol/g-cells/h, respectively. The CO-dependent CO2 reduction/formate production activity of synthetic CFOR was confirmed, indicating that direct electron transfer between two unrelated dehydrogenases was feasible via mediation of the FeS-FeS fusion protein.

RevDate: 2022-06-02

Zhong L, Qing J, Liu M, et al (2022)

Fungi and Archaea Control Soil N2O Production Potential in Chinese Grasslands Rather Than Bacteria.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:844663.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a powerful greenhouse gas and the predominant stratospheric ozone-depleting substance. Soil is a major source of N2O but remains largely uncertain due to the complicated processes of nitrification and denitrification performed by various groups of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, and archaea. We used incubation experiments to measure the total fungal, archaeal, and bacterial N2O production potential and the microbial functional genes in soils along 3,000 km Chinese grassland transect, including meadow steppe, typical steppe, desert steppe, alpine meadow, and alpine steppe. The results indicated that fungi, archaea, and bacteria contributed 25, 34, and 19% to nitrification and 46, 29, and 15% to denitrification, respectively. The AOA and AOB genes were notably correlated with the total nitrification enzyme activity (TNEA), whereas both narG and nirK genes were significantly correlated with total denitrification enzyme activity (TDEA) at p < 0.01. The correlations between AOA and ANEA (archaeal nitrification enzyme activity), AOB and BNEA (bacterial nitrification enzyme activity), and narG, nirK, and BDEA (bacterial denitrification enzyme activity) showed higher coefficients than those between the functional genes and TNEA/TDEA. The structural equation modeling (SEM) results showed that fungi are dominant in N2O production processes, followed by archaea in the northern Chinese grasslands. Our findings indicate that the microbial functional genes are powerful predictors of the N2O production potential, after distinguishing bacterial, fungal, and archaeal processes. The key variables of N2O production and the nitrogen (N) cycle depend on the dominant microbial functional groups in the N-cycle in soils.

RevDate: 2022-05-31

Thevasundaram K, Gallagher JJ, Cherng F, et al (2022)

Engineering nonphotosynthetic carbon fixation for production of bioplastics by methanogenic archaea.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(23):e2118638119.

SignificanceBiological carbon fixation provides opportunities to directly utilize CO2 to synthesize a broad range of value-added compounds, potentially displacing petroleum feedstock use in industry. Chemoautotrophs are particularly interesting as their carbon fixation can be driven chemically by renewable H2 in place of light, which can limit industrial fermentation of photosynthetic organisms. We describe the development of a methanogenic host, Methanococcus maripaludis, for metabolic engineering. Since redox cofactors used in upstream archaeal carbon fixation pathways are orthogonal to typical downstream biosynthetic pathways, it was necessary to engineer both NADH biosynthesis and turnover. In doing so, we are able to show that methanogenic archaea can, indeed, serve as a platform for the high-yield production of bioplastics and monomers from CO2 and H2.

RevDate: 2022-05-31

Zheng J, Tao L, Dini-Andreote F, et al (2022)

Dynamic Responses of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria Populations to Organic Material Amendments Affect Soil Nitrification and Nitrogen Use Efficiency.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:911799.

Organic material amendments have been proposed as an effective strategy to promote soil health by enhancing soil fertility and promoting nitrogen (N) cycling and N use efficiency (NUE). Thus, it is important to investigate the extent to which the structure and function of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) differentially respond to the organic material amendments in field settings. Here, we conducted a 9-year field experiment to track the responses of AOA and AOB populations to the organic material amendments and measured the potential nitrification activity (PNA), plant productivity, and NUE in the plant rhizosphere interface. Our results revealed that the organic material amendments significantly enhanced the abundance and diversity of AOA and AOB populations. Further, significant differences were observed in the composition and co-occurrence network of AOA and AOB. A higher occurrence of potential competitive interactions between taxa and enumerated potential keystone taxa was observed in the AOA-AOB network. Moreover, we found that AOA was more important than AOB for PNA under the organic material amendments. Structural equation modeling suggested that the diversity of AOA and AOB populations induced by the potential competitive interactions with keystone taxa dynamically accelerated the rate of PNA, and positively affected plant productivity and NUE under the organic material amendments. Collectively, our study offers new insights into the ecology and functioning of ammonia oxidizers and highlights the positive effects of organic material amendments on nitrogen cycling dynamics.

RevDate: 2022-05-28

Liu H, Zhou P, Cheung S, et al (2022)

Distribution and Oxidation Rates of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea Influenced by the Coastal Upwelling off Eastern Hainan Island.

Microorganisms, 10(5): pii:microorganisms10050952.

Coastal upwelling causes variations in temperature, salinity and inorganic nutrients in the water column, consequently leading to the shift of microbial populations and their metabolic activities. Impacts of the eastern Hainan upwelling (EHU) on the ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) were investigated based on the amoA gene using pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR at both DNA and cDNA levels, together with the determination of the ammonia oxidation (AO) rate measured with 15N-labelled ammonium. By comparing stations with and without upwelling influence, we found that coastal upwelling correlated with an increase in amoA gene abundance, the dominance of distinct clades for AOA communities at the respective gene and transcript levels, and a large increase in the proportion of the SCM1-like (Nitrosopumilus maritimus-like) cluster as well. The AO rates were generally higher in the deeper water (~25 m), which was in significant positive correlation with the proportion of cluster Water Column A (WCA) at the transcript level, indicating the potential contribution of this cluster to in situ ammonia oxidization. Our study demonstrated that coastal upwelling had a significant impact on the AOA community and ammonia oxidization rate; therefore, this physical forcing should be considered in the future assessment of the global nitrogen budgets and biogeochemical nitrogen cycles.

RevDate: 2022-05-28

Pastor MM, Sakrikar S, Rodriguez DN, et al (2022)

Comparative Analysis of rRNA Removal Methods for RNA-Seq Differential Expression in Halophilic Archaea.

Biomolecules, 12(5): pii:biom12050682.

Despite intense recent research interest in archaea, the scientific community has experienced a bottleneck in the study of genome-scale gene expression experiments by RNA-seq due to the lack of commercial and specifically designed rRNA depletion kits. The high rRNA:mRNA ratio (80-90%: ~10%) in prokaryotes hampers global transcriptomic analysis. Insufficient ribodepletion results in low sequence coverage of mRNA, and therefore, requires a substantially higher number of replicate samples and/or sequencing reads to achieve statistically reliable conclusions regarding the significance of differential gene expression between case and control samples. Here, we show that after the discontinuation of the previous version of RiboZero (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA) that was useful in partially or completely depleting rRNA from archaea, archaeal transcriptomics studies have experienced a slowdown. To overcome this limitation, here, we analyze the efficiency for four different hybridization-based kits from three different commercial suppliers, each with two sets of sequence-specific probes to remove rRNA from four different species of halophilic archaea. We conclude that the key for transcriptomic success with the currently available tools is the probe-specificity for the rRNA sequence hybridization. With this paper, we provide insights into the archaeal community for selecting certain reagents and strategies over others depending on the archaeal species of interest. These methods yield improved RNA-seq sensitivity and enhanced detection of low abundance transcripts.

RevDate: 2022-05-27

de Souza LF, Alvarez DO, Domeignoz-Horta LA, et al (2022)

Maintaining grass coverage increases methane uptake in Amazonian pastures, with a reduction of methanogenic archaea in the rhizosphere.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(22)03322-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The rainforest-to-pasture conversion affects the methane cycle in upland soils, changing it from sink to source of atmospheric methane. However, it remains unknown if management practices could reduce the impact of land-use on methane cycling. In this work, we evaluated how pasture management can regulate the soil methane cycle either by maintaining continuous grass coverage on pasture soils, or by liming the soil to amend acidity. Methane fluxes from forest and pasture soils were evaluated in moisture-controlled greenhouse experiments with and without grass cover (Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) or liming. We also assessed changes in the soil microbial community structure of both bare (bulk) and rhizospheric pasture soils through high throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and quantified the methane cycling microbiota by their respective marker genes related to methane generation (mcrA) or oxidation (pmoA). The experiments used soils from eastern and western Amazonia, and concurrent field studies allowed us to confirm greenhouse data. The presence of a grass cover not only increased methane uptake by up to 35% in pasture soils, but also reduced the abundance of the methane-producing community. In the grass rhizosphere this reduction was up to 10-fold. Methane-producing archaea belonged to the genera Methanosarcina sp., Methanocella sp., Methanobacterium sp., and Rice Cluster I. Further, we showed that soil liming to increasing pH compromised the capacity of forest and pasture soils to be a sink for methane, and instead converted formerly methane-consuming forest soils to become methane sources in only 40-80 days. Liming reduced the relative abundance of Beijerinckiacea family in forest soils, which account for many known methanotrophs. Our results demonstrate that pasture management that maintains grass coverage can mitigate soil methane emissions, compared to bare (bulk) pasture soil.

RevDate: 2022-05-26

Badel C, Samson RY, SD Bell (2022)

Chromosome organization affects genome evolution in Sulfolobus archaea.

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

In all organisms, the DNA sequence and the structural organization of chromosomes affect gene expression. The extremely thermophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus has one circular chromosome with three origins of replication. We previously revealed that this chromosome has defined A and B compartments that have high and low gene expression, respectively. As well as higher levels of gene expression, the A compartment contains the origins of replication. To evaluate the impact of three-dimensional organization on genome evolution, we characterized the effect of replication origins and compartmentalization on primary sequence evolution in eleven Sulfolobus species. Using single-nucleotide polymorphism analyses, we found that distance from an origin of replication was associated with increased mutation rates in the B but not in the A compartment. The enhanced polymorphisms distal to replication origins suggest that replication termination may have a causal role in their generation. Further mutational analyses revealed that the sequences in the A compartment are less likely to be mutated, and that there is stronger purifying selection than in the B compartment. Finally, we applied the Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) to show that the B compartment is less accessible than the A compartment. Taken together, our data suggest that compartmentalization of chromosomal DNA can influence chromosome evolution in Sulfolobus. We propose that the A compartment serves as a haven for stable maintenance of gene sequences, while sequences in the B compartment can be diversified.

RevDate: 2022-05-26

Bao CX, Li SY, Xin YJ, et al (2022)

Natrinema halophilum sp. nov., Natrinema salinisoli sp. nov., Natrinema amylolyticum sp. nov. and Haloterrigena alkaliphila sp. nov., four extremely halophilic archaea isolated from salt mine, saline soil and salt lake.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 72(5):.

Four halophilic archaeal strains, YPL8T, SLN56T, LT61T and KZCA68T, were isolated from a salt mine, saline soil and a salt lake located in different regions of China. Sequence similarities of 16S rRNA and rpoB' genes among strains YPL8T, SLN56T, LT61T and the current members of Natrinema were 94.1-98.2 % and 89.3-95.1 %, respectively, while these values among strain KZCA68T and the current members of Haloterrigena were 97.2-97.4 % and 91.7-91.9 %, respectively. The average nucleotide identity, in silico DNA-DNA hybridization and average amino acid identity values among these four strains and their closely related species were all lower than the threshold values for species boundary. All four strains were unable to hydrolyse casein, gelatin, or Tween 80. Strain YPL8T contained phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester (PGP-Me), sulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether (S-DGD-1), disulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether (S2-DGD) and sulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether-phosphatidic acid (S-DGD-PA). Strain SLN56T contained PA, PG, phosphatidylglycerol sulphate (PGS), PGP-Me, S-DGD-1, S2-DGD and S-DGD-PA. Strain LT61T contained PA, PG, PGS, PGP-Me, S-DGD-1 and S2-DGD. The phospholipids of strain KZCA68T were PA, PG and PGP-Me. These results showed that strains YPL8T (=CGMCC 1.13883T=JCM 31181T), SLN56T (=CGMCC 1.14945T=JCM 30832T) and LT61T (=CGMCC 1.14942T=JCM 30668T) represent novel species of the genus Natrinema, for which the names, Natrinema halophilum sp. nov., Natrinema salinisoli sp. nov. and Natrinema amylolyticum sp. nov. are proposed. Strain KZCA68T (=CGMCC 1.17211T=JCM 34158T) represents a novel species of Haloterrigena, for which the name Haloterrigena alkaliphila sp. nov. is proposed.

RevDate: 2022-05-26

Dyksma S, C Gallert (2022)

Effect of magnetite addition on transcriptional profiles of syntrophic Bacteria and Archaea during anaerobic digestion of propionate in wastewater sludge.

Environmental microbiology reports [Epub ahead of print].

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an important technology for the effective conversion of waste and wastewater to methane. Here, syntrophic bacteria transfer molecular hydrogen (H2), formate, or directly supply electrons (direct interspecies electron transfer, DIET) to the methanogens. Evidence is accumulating that the methanation of short-chain fatty acids can be enhanced by the addition of conductive material to the anaerobic digester, which has often been attributed to the stimulation of DIET. Since little is known about the transcriptional response of a complex AD microbial community to the addition of conductive material, we added magnetite to propionate-fed laboratory-scale reactors that were inoculated with wastewater sludge. Compared to the control reactors, the magnetite-amended reactors showed improved methanation of propionate. A genome-centric metatranscriptomics approach identified the active SCFA-oxidizing bacteria that affiliated with Firmicutes, Desulfobacterota and Cloacimonadota. The transcriptional profiles revealed that the syntrophic bacteria transferred acetate, H2 and formate to acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens, whereas transcription of potential determinants for DIET such as conductive pili and outer-membrane cytochromes did not significantly change with magnetite addition. Overall, changes in the transcriptional profiles of syntrophic Bacteria and Archaea in propionate-fed lab-scale reactors amended with magnetite refute a major role of DIET in the studied system.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Pierangeli GMF, Domingues MR, Choueri RB, et al (2022)

Spatial Variation and Environmental Parameters Affecting the Abundant and Rare Communities of Bacteria and Archaea in the Sediments of Tropical Urban Reservoirs.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial communities in freshwater sediments play an important role in organic matter remineralization, contributing to biogeochemical cycles, nutrient release, and greenhouse gases emissions. Bacterial and archaeal communities might show spatial or seasonal patterns and were shown to be influenced by distinct environmental parameters and anthropogenic activities, including pollution and damming. Here, we determined the spatial variation and the environmental variables influencing the abundant and rare bacterial and archaeal communities in the sediments of eutrophic-hypereutrophic reservoirs from a tropical urban area in Brazil. The most abundant microbes included mainly Anaerolineae and Deltaproteobacteria genera from the Bacteria domain, and Methanomicrobia genera from the Archaea domain. Microbial communities differed spatially in each reservoir, reflecting the establishment of specific environmental conditions. Locations with better or worst water quality, or close to a dam, showed more distinct microbial communities. Besides the water column depth, microbial communities were affected by some pollution indicators, including total phosphorus, orthophosphate, electrical conductivity, and biochemical oxygen demand. Distinct proportions of variation were explained by spatial and environmental parameters for each microbial community. Furthermore, spatial variations in environmental parameters affecting these communities, especially the most distinct ones, contributed to microbial variations mediated by spatial and environmental properties together. Finally, our study showed that different pressures in each reservoir affected the sediment microbiota, promoting different responses and possible adaptations of abundant and rare bacterial and archaeal communities.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Semler AC, Fortney JL, Fulweiler RW, et al (2022)

Cold Seeps on the Passive Northern U.S. Atlantic Margin Host Globally Representative Members of the Seep Microbiome with Locally Dominant Strains of Archaea.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Marine cold seeps are natural sites of methane emission and harbor distinct microbial communities capable of oxidizing methane. The majority of known cold seeps are on tectonically active continental margins, but recent discoveries have revealed abundant seeps on passive margins as well, including on the U.S. Atlantic Margin (USAM). We sampled in and around four USAM seeps and combined pore water geochemistry measurements with amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA and mcrA (DNA and RNA) to investigate the microbial communities present, their assembly processes, and how they compare to communities at previously studied sites. We found that the USAM seeps contained communities consistent with the canonical seep microbiome at the class and order levels but differed markedly at the sequence variant level, especially within the anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea. The ANME populations were highly uneven, with just a few dominant mcrA sequence variants at each seep. Interestingly, the USAM seeps did not form a distinct phylogenetic cluster when compared with other previously described seeps around the world. Consistent with this, we found only a very weak (though statistically significant) distance-decay trend in seep community similarity across a global data set. Ecological assembly indices suggest that the USAM seep communities were assembled primarily deterministically, in contrast to the surrounding nonseep sediments, where stochastic processes dominated. Together, our results suggest that the primary driver of seep microbial community composition is local geochemistry-specifically methane, sulfide, nitrate, acetate, and ammonium concentrations-rather than the geologic context, the composition of nearby seeps, or random events of dispersal. IMPORTANCE Cold seeps are now known to be widespread features of passive continental margins, including the northern U.S. Atlantic Margin (USAM). Methane seepage is expected to intensify at these relatively shallow seeps as bottom waters warm and underlying methane hydrates dissociate. While methanotrophic microbial communities might reduce or prevent methane release, microbial communities on passive margins have rarely been characterized. In this study, we investigated the Bacteria and Archaea at four cold seeps on the northern USAM and found that despite being colocated on the same continental slope, the communities significantly differ by site at the sequence variant level, particularly methane-cycling community members. Differentiation by site was not observed in similarly spaced background sediments, raising interesting questions about the dispersal pathways of cold seep microorganisms. Understanding the genetic makeup of these discrete seafloor ecosystems and how their microbial communities develop will be increasingly important as the climate changes.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Martinez-Gutierrez CA, FO Aylward (2022)

Genome size distributions in bacteria and archaea are strongly linked to evolutionary history at broad phylogenetic scales.

PLoS genetics, 18(5):e1010220 pii:PGENETICS-D-21-01550 [Epub ahead of print].

The evolutionary forces that determine genome size in bacteria and archaea have been the subject of intense debate over the last few decades. Although the preferential loss of genes observed in prokaryotes is explained through the deletional bias, factors promoting and preventing the fixation of such gene losses often remain unclear. Importantly, statistical analyses on this topic typically do not consider the potential bias introduced by the shared ancestry of many lineages, which is critical when using species as data points because of the potential dependence on residuals. In this study, we investigated the genome size distributions across a broad diversity of bacteria and archaea to evaluate if this trait is phylogenetically conserved at broad phylogenetic scales. After model fit, Pagel's lambda indicated a strong phylogenetic signal in genome size data, suggesting that the diversification of this trait is influenced by shared evolutionary histories. We used a phylogenetic generalized least-squares analysis (PGLS) to test whether phylogeny influences the predictability of genome size from dN/dS ratios and 16S copy number, two variables that have been previously linked to genome size. These results confirm that failure to account for evolutionary history can lead to biased interpretations of genome size predictors. Overall, our results indicate that although bacteria and archaea can rapidly gain and lose genetic material through gene transfers and deletions, respectively, phylogenetic signal for genome size distributions can still be recovered at broad phylogenetic scales that should be taken into account when inferring the drivers of genome size evolution.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Popp PF, Gumerov VM, Andrianova EP, et al (2022)

Phyletic Distribution and Diversification of the Phage Shock Protein Stress Response System in Bacteria and Archaea.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Maintaining cell envelope integrity is of vital importance for all microorganisms. Not surprisingly, evolution has shaped conserved protein protection networks that connect stress perception, transmembrane signal transduction, and mediation of cellular responses upon cell envelope stress. The phage shock protein (Psp) stress response is one such conserved protection network. Most knowledge about the Psp response derives from studies in the Gram-negative model bacterium Escherichia coli, where the Psp system consists of several well-defined protein components. Homologous systems were identified in representatives of the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes. However, the Psp system distribution in the microbial world remains largely unknown. By carrying out a large-scale, unbiased comparative genomics analysis, we found components of the Psp system in many bacterial and archaeal phyla and describe that the predicted Psp systems deviate dramatically from the known prototypes. The core proteins PspA and PspC have been integrated into various (often phylum-specifically) conserved protein networks during evolution. Based on protein domain-based and gene neighborhood analyses of pspA and pspC homologs, we built a natural classification system for Psp networks in bacteria and archaea. We validate our approach by performing a comprehensive in vivo protein interaction study of Psp domains identified in the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis and found a strong interconnected protein network. Our study highlights the diversity of Psp domain organizations and potentially diverse functions across the plethora of the microbial landscape, thus laying the ground for studies beyond known Psp functions in underrepresented organisms. IMPORTANCE The PspA protein domain is found in all domains of life, highlighting its central role in Psp networks. To date, all insights into the core functions of Psp responses derive mainly from protein network blueprints representing only three bacterial phyla. Despite large overlaps in function and regulation, the evolutionary diversity of Psp networks remains largely elusive. Here, we present an unbiased protein domain- and genomic context-centered approach that describes and classifies Psp systems. Our results suggest so-far-unknown Psp-associated roles with other protein networks giving rise to new functions. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach by dissecting the Psp protein network present in Bacillus subtilis and demonstrate Psp domains working in concert with other cell envelope stress response systems. We find that the Psp-like protein universe reflects a surprising diversity within the bacterial and archaeal microbial world.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Wu J, Hong Y, He X, et al (2022)

Niche differentiation of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and related autotrophic carbon fixation potential in the water column of the South China Sea.

iScience, 25(5):104333 pii:S2589-0042(22)00604-6.

The significant primary production by ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in the ocean was reported, but the carbon fixation process of AOA and its community composition along the water depth remain unclear. Here, we investigated the abundance, community composition, and potential carbon fixation of AOA in water columns of the South China Sea. Higher abundances of the amoA and accA genes of AOA were found below the euphotic zone. Similarly, higher carbon fixation potential of AOA, evaluated by the ratios of amoA to accA gene, was also observed below euphotic zone and the ratios increased with increasing water depth. The vertical niche differentiation of AOA was further evidenced, with the dominant genus shifting from Nitrosopelagicus in the epipelagic zone to uncultured genus in the meso- and bathypelagic zones. Our findings highlight the higher carbon fixation potential of AOA in deep water and the significance of AOA to the ocean carbon budget.

RevDate: 2022-05-16

Tunçkanat T, Gendron A, Sadler Z, et al (2022)

Lysine 2,3-Aminomutase and a Newly Discovered Glutamate 2,3-Aminomutase Produce β-Amino Acids Involved in Salt Tolerance in Methanogenic Archaea.

Biochemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Many methanogenic archaea synthesize β-amino acids as osmolytes that allow survival in high salinity environments. Here, we investigated the radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) aminomutases involved in the biosynthesis of Nε-acetyl-β-lysine and β-glutamate in Methanococcus maripaludis C7. Lysine 2,3-aminomutase (KAM), encoded by MmarC7_0106, was overexpressed and purified from Escherichia coli, followed by biochemical characterization. In the presence of l-lysine, SAM, and dithionite, this archaeal KAM had a kcat = 14.3 s-1 and a Km = 19.2 mM. The product was shown to be 3(S)-β-lysine, which is like the well-characterized Clostridium KAM as opposed to the E. coli KAM that produces 3(R)-β-lysine. We further describe the function of MmarC7_1783, a putative radical SAM aminomutase with a ∼160 amino acid extension at its N-terminus. Bioinformatic analysis of the possible substrate-binding residues suggested a function as glutamate 2,3-aminomutase, which was confirmed here through heterologous expression in a methanogen followed by detection of β-glutamate in cell extracts. β-Glutamate has been known to serve as an osmolyte in select methanogens for a long time, but its biosynthetic origin remained unknown until now. Thus, this study defines the biosynthetic routes for β-lysine and β-glutamate in M. maripaludis and expands the importance and diversity of radical SAM enzymes in all domains of life.

RevDate: 2022-05-08
CmpDate: 2022-05-06

Fisk LM, Barton L, Maccarone LD, et al (2022)

Seasonal dynamics of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria but not archaea influence soil nitrogen cycling in a semi-arid agricultural soil.

Scientific reports, 12(1):7299.

Nitrification, a key pathway of nitrogen (N) loss from agricultural soils, is performed by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA). We examined the seasonal dynamics (2 years) of ammonia oxidizer gene abundances across a gradient of soil carbon (C) and N in a semi-arid soil after 8 years of tillage and crop residue treatments. AOB was more dominant than AOA in the surface soil, as AOA were undetected in 96% of samples. Seasonal variation in AOB abundance was related to substrate availability; AOB gene copy numbers increased at the end of the growing season (during summer fallow) following higher concentrations in dissolved organic matter soil water. This suggests increased co-location between AOB and substrate resources in pores still filled with water as the soils dried. AOB was however not statistically related to soil ammonium concentrations, soil water content, rainfall or temperature. Organic matter inputs enhanced AOB abundance independent of seasonal variation. AOB abundance was greatest in autumn and immediately preceding the start of the growing season, and coincided with elevated soil nitrate concentrations. The growth of the AOB population is likely to contribute to increased risk of N loss through leaching and/or denitrification at the start of the crop growing season following summer fallow.

RevDate: 2022-05-18

Lemaire ON, T Wagner (2022)

A Structural View of Alkyl-Coenzyme M Reductases, the First Step of Alkane Anaerobic Oxidation Catalyzed by Archaea.

Biochemistry, 61(10):805-821.

Microbial anaerobic oxidation of alkanes intrigues the scientific community by way of its impact on the global carbon cycle, and its biotechnological applications. Archaea are proposed to degrade short- and long-chain alkanes to CO2 by reversing methanogenesis, a theoretically reversible process. The pathway would start with alkane activation, an endergonic step catalyzed by methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) homologues that would generate alkyl-thiols carried by coenzyme M. While the methane-generating MCR found in methanogens has been well characterized, the enzymatic activity of the putative alkane-fixing counterparts has not been validated so far. Such an absence of biochemical investigations contrasts with the current explosion of metagenomics data, which draws new potential alkane-oxidizing pathways in various archaeal phyla. Therefore, validating the physiological function of these putative alkane-fixing machines and investigating how their structures, catalytic mechanisms, and cofactors vary depending on the targeted alkane have become urgent needs. The first structural insights into the methane- and ethane-capturing MCRs highlighted unsuspected differences and proposed some explanations for their substrate specificity. This Perspective reviews the current physiological, biochemical, and structural knowledge of alkyl-CoM reductases and offers fresh ideas about the expected mechanistic and chemical differences among members of this broad family. We conclude with the challenges of the investigation of these particular enzymes, which might one day generate biofuels for our modern society.

RevDate: 2022-05-03
CmpDate: 2022-05-03

Glodowska M, Welte CU, JM Kurth (2022)

Metabolic potential of anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea for a broad spectrum of electron acceptors.

Advances in microbial physiology, 80:157-201.

Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas significantly contributing to the climate warming we are currently facing. Microorganisms play an important role in the global CH4 cycle that is controlled by the balance between anaerobic production via methanogenesis and CH4 removal via methanotrophic oxidation. Research in recent decades advanced our understanding of CH4 oxidation, which until 1976 was believed to be a strictly aerobic process. Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction is now known to be an important sink of CH4 in marine ecosystems. Furthermore, in 2006 it was discovered that anaerobic CH4 oxidation can also be coupled to nitrate reduction (N-DAMO), demonstrating that AOM may be much more versatile than previously thought and linked to other electron acceptors. In consequence, an increasing number of studies in recent years showed or suggested that alternative electron acceptors can be used in the AOM process including FeIII, MnIV, AsV, CrVI, SeVI, SbV, VV, and BrV. In addition, humic substances as well as biochar and perchlorate (ClO4-) were suggested to mediate AOM. Anaerobic methanotrophic archaea, the so-called ANME archaea, are key players in the AOM process, yet we are still lacking deeper understanding of their metabolism, electron acceptor preferences and their interaction with other microbial community members. It is still not clear whether ANME archaea can oxidize CH4 and reduce metallic electron acceptors independently or via electron transfer to syntrophic partners, interspecies electron transfer, nanowires or conductive pili. Therefore, the aim of this review is to summarize and discuss the current state of knowledge about ANME archaea, focusing on their physiology, metabolic flexibility and potential to use various electron acceptors.

RevDate: 2022-05-10

Campbell BC, Greenfield P, Gong S, et al (2022)

Methanogenic archaea in subsurface coal seams are biogeographically distinct: an analysis of metagenomically-derived mcrA sequences.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The production of methane as an end-product of organic matter degradation in the absence of other terminal electron acceptors is common, and has often been studied in environments such as animal guts, soils and wetlands due to its potency as a greenhouse gas. To date, however, the study of the biogeographic distribution of methanogens across coal seam environments has been minimal. Here, we show that coal seams are host to a diverse range of methanogens, which are distinctive to each geological basin. Based on comparisons to close relatives from other methanogenic environments, the dominant methanogenic pathway in these basins is hydrogenotrophic, with acetoclastic being a second major pathway in the Surat Basin. Finally, mcrA and 16S rRNA gene primer biases were predominantly seen to affect the detection of Methanocellales, Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales taxa in this study. Subsurface coal methanogenic community distributions and pathways presented here provide insights into important metabolites and bacterial partners for in situ coal biodegradation.

RevDate: 2022-04-19
CmpDate: 2022-04-19

Dey G (2022)

Preprint Highlight: Growth temperature is the principal driver of chromatinization in archaea.

Molecular biology of the cell, 33(5):mbcP22021007.

RevDate: 2022-04-16

Kamruzzaman M, Yan A, G Castro-Escarpulli (2022)

Editorial: CRISPR-Cas Systems in Bacteria and Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:887778.

RevDate: 2022-04-14

He W, Gao H, Wu D, et al (2022)

Structural and Functional Analysis of DndE Involved in DNA Phosphorothioation in the Haloalkaliphilic Archaea Natronorubrum bangense JCM10635.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Phosphorothioate (PT) modification, a sequence-specific modification that replaces the nonbridging oxygen atom with sulfur in a DNA phosphodiester through the gene products of dndABCDE or sspABCD, is widely distributed in prokaryotes. DNA PT modification functions together with gene products encoded by dndFGH, pbeABCD, or sspE to form defense systems that can protect against invasion by exogenous DNA particles. While the functions of the multiple enzymes in the PT system have been elucidated, the exact role of DndE in the PT process is still obscure. Here, we solved the crystal structure of DndE from the haloalkaliphilic archaeal strain Natronorubrum bangense JCM10635 at a resolution of 2.31 Å. Unlike the tetrameric conformation of DndE in Escherichia coli B7A, DndE from N. bangense JCM10635 exists in a monomeric conformation and can catalyze the conversion of supercoiled DNA to nicked or linearized products. Moreover, DndE exhibits preferential binding affinity to nicked DNA by virtue of the R19- and K23-containing positively charged surface. This work provides insight into how DndE functions in PT modification and the potential sulfur incorporation mechanism of DNA PT modification. IMPORTANCE DndABCDE proteins have been demonstrated to catalyze DNA PT modification with the nonbridging oxygen in the DNA sugar-phosphate backbone replaced by sulfur. In the PT modification pathway, DndA exerts cysteine desulfurase activity capable of catalyzing the mobilization of sulfur from l-cysteine, which involves the ion-sulfur cluster assembly of DndC. This is regarded as the initial step of the DNA PT modification. Moreover, DndD has ATPase activity in vitro, which is believed to provide energy for the oxygen-sulfur swap, while the function of DndE is unknown. However, the exact function of the key enzyme DndE remains to be elucidated. By determining the structure of DndE from the haloalkaliphilic strain Natronorubrum bangense JCM10635, we showed that the archaeal DndE adopts a monomer conformation. Notably, DndE can introduce nicks to supercoiled DNA and exhibits a binding preference for nicked DNA; the nicking is believed to be the initial step for DNA to facilitate the sulfur incorporation.

RevDate: 2022-04-15
CmpDate: 2022-04-13

Huang C, Liu X, Chen Y, et al (2022)

A Novel Family of Winged-Helix Single-Stranded DNA-Binding Proteins from Archaea.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(7):.

The winged helix superfamily comprises a large number of structurally related nucleic acid-binding proteins. While these proteins are often shown to bind dsDNA, few are known to bind ssDNA. Here, we report the identification and characterization of Sul7s, a novel winged-helix single-stranded DNA binding protein family highly conserved in Sulfolobaceae. Sul7s from Sulfolobus islandicus binds ssDNA with an affinity approximately 15-fold higher than that for dsDNA in vitro. It prefers binding oligo(dT)30 over oligo(dC)30 or a dG-rich 30-nt oligonucleotide, and barely binds oligo(dA)30. Further, binding by Sul7s inhibits DNA strand annealing, but shows little effect on the melting temperature of DNA duplexes. The solution structure of Sul7s determined by NMR shows a winged helix-turn-helix fold, consisting of three α-helices, three β-strands, and two short wings. It interacts with ssDNA via a large positively charged binding surface, presumably resulting in ssDNA deformation. Our results shed significant light on not only non-OB fold single-stranded DNA binding proteins in Archaea, but also the divergence of the winged-helix proteins in both function and structure during evolution.

RevDate: 2022-05-12
CmpDate: 2022-05-12

Yang P, Tang KW, Tong C, et al (2022)

Changes in sediment methanogenic archaea community structure and methane production potential following conversion of coastal marsh to aquaculture ponds.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 305:119276.

Widespread conversion of coastal wetlands into aquaculture ponds in coastal region often results in degradation of the wetland ecosystems, but its effects on sediment's potential to produce greenhouse gases remain unclear. Using field sampling, incubation experiments and molecular analysis, we studied the sediment CH4 production potential and the relevant microbial communities in a brackish marsh and the nearby aquaculture ponds in the Min River Estuary in southeastern China. Sediment CH4 production potential was higher in the summer and autumn months than in spring and winter months, and it was significantly correlated with sediment carbon content among all environmental variables. The mean sediment CH4 production potential in the aquaculture ponds (20.1 ng g-1 d-1) was significantly lower than that in the marsh (45.2 ng g-1 d-1). While Methanobacterium dominated in both habitats (41-59%), the overall composition of sediment methanogenic archaea communities differed significantly between the two habitats (p < 0.05) and methanogenic archaea alpha diversity was lower in the aquaculture ponds (p < 0.01). Network analysis revealed that interactions between sediment methanogenic archaea were much weaker in the ponds than in the marsh. Overall, these findings suggest that conversion of marsh land to aquaculture ponds significantly altered the sediment methanogenic archaea community structure and diversity and lowered the sediment's capacity to produce CH4.

RevDate: 2022-04-13

Al-Ajeel S, Spasov E, Sauder LA, et al (2022)

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea and complete ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospira in water treatment systems.

Water research X, 15:100131.

Nitrification, the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate via nitrite, is important for many engineered water treatment systems. The sequential steps of this respiratory process are carried out by distinct microbial guilds, including ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA), nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), and newly discovered members of the genus Nitrospira that conduct complete ammonia oxidation (comammox). Even though all of these nitrifiers have been identified within water treatment systems, their relative contributions to nitrogen cycling are poorly understood. Although AOA contribute to nitrification in many wastewater treatment plants, they are generally outnumbered by AOB. In contrast, AOA and comammox Nitrospira typically dominate relatively low ammonia environments such as drinking water treatment, tertiary wastewater treatment systems, and aquaculture/aquarium filtration. Studies that focus on the abundance of ammonia oxidizers may misconstrue the actual role that distinct nitrifying guilds play in a system. Understanding which ammonia oxidizers are active is useful for further optimization of engineered systems that rely on nitrifiers for ammonia removal. This review highlights known distributions of AOA and comammox Nitrospira in engineered water treatment systems and suggests future research directions that will help assess their contributions to nitrification and identify factors that influence their distributions and activity.

RevDate: 2022-04-16

Vuong P, Moreira-Grez B, Wise MJ, et al (2022)

From rags to enriched: metagenomic insights into ammonia-oxidizing archaea following ammonia enrichment of a denuded oligotrophic soil ecosystem.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Stored topsoil acts as a microbial inoculant for ecological restoration of land after disturbance, but the altered circumstances frequently create unfavourable conditions for microbial survival. Nitrogen cycling is a critical indicator for ecological success and this study aimed to investigate the cornerstone taxa driving the process. Previous in silico studies investigating stored topsoil discovered persistent archaeal taxa with the potential for re-establishing ecological activity. Ammonia oxidization is the limiting step in nitrification and as such, ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) can be considered one of the gatekeepers for the re-establishment of the nitrogen cycle in disturbed soils. Semi-arid soil samples were enriched with ammonium sulfate to promote the selective enrichment of ammonia oxidizers for targeted genomic recovery, and to investigate the microbial response of the microcosm to nitrogen input. Ammonia addition produced an increase in AOA population, particularly within the genus Candidatus Nitrosotalea, from which metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) were successfully recovered. The Ca. Nitrosotalea archaeon candidates' ability to survive in extreme conditions and rapidly respond to ammonia input makes it a potential bioprospecting target for application in ecological restoration of semi-arid soils and the recovered MAGs provide a metabolic blueprint for developing potential strategies towards isolation of these acclimated candidates.

RevDate: 2022-05-12
CmpDate: 2022-05-10

Gupta D, Shalvarjian KE, DD Nayak (2022)

An Archaea-specific c-type cytochrome maturation machinery is crucial for methanogenesis in Methanosarcina acetivorans.

eLife, 11:.

c-Type cytochromes (cyt c) are proteins that undergo post-translational modification to covalently bind heme, which allows them to facilitate redox reactions in electron transport chains across all domains of life. Genomic evidence suggests that cyt c are involved in electron transfer processes among the Archaea, especially in members that produce or consume the potent greenhouse gas methane. However, neither the maturation machinery for cyt c in Archaea nor their role in methane metabolism has ever been functionally characterized. Here, we have used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tools to map a distinct pathway for cyt c biogenesis in the model methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans, and have also identified substrate-specific functional roles for cyt c during methanogenesis. Although the cyt c maturation machinery from M. acetivorans is universally conserved in the Archaea, our evolutionary analyses indicate that different clades of Archaea acquired this machinery through multiple independent horizontal gene transfer events from different groups of Bacteria. Overall, we demonstrate the convergent evolution of a novel Archaea-specific cyt c maturation machinery and its physiological role during methanogenesis, a process which contributes substantially to global methane emissions.

RevDate: 2022-04-05

Thirumalaisamy G, Malik PK, Trivedi S, et al (2022)

Effect of Long-Term Supplementation With Silkworm Pupae Oil on the Methane Yield, Ruminal Protozoa, and Archaea Community in Sheep.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:780073.

Supplementation with lipids and oils is one of the most efficient strategies for reducing enteric methane emission. However, high costs and adverse impacts on fiber degradation restrict the use of conventional oils. Silkworm pupae, a non-conventional oil source rarely used for human consumption in India, could be one of the cheaper alternatives for methane mitigation. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect on sheep of long-term supplementation (180 days) of silkworm pupae oil (SWPO) with two distinct supplementation regimes (daily and biweekly) on daily enteric methane emission, methane yield, nutrient digestibility, rumen fermentation, ruminal archaea community composition, and protozoal population. The effect of the discontinuation of oil supplementation on enteric methane emission was also investigated. Eighteen adult male sheep, randomly divided into three groups (n = 6), were provisioned with a mixed diet consisting of 10.1% crude protein (CP) and 11.7 MJ/kg metabolizable energy formulated using finger millet straw and concentrate in a 55:45 ratio. SWPO was supplemented at 2% of dry matter intake (DMI) in test groups either daily (CON) or biweekly (INT), while no oil was supplemented in the control group (CTR). DMI (p = 0.15) and CP (p = 0.16) in the CON and INT groups were similar to that of the CTR group; however, the energy intake (MJ/kg) in the supplemented groups (CON and INT) was higher (p < 0.001) than in CTR. In the CON group, body weight gain (kg, p = 0.02) and average daily gain (g, p = 0.02) were both higher than in the CTR. The daily methane emission in the CON (17.5 g/day) and INT (18.0 g/day) groups was lower (p = 0.01) than the CTR group (23.6 g/day), indicating a reduction of 23-25% due to SWPO supplementation. Similarly, compared with the CTR group, methane yields (g/kg DMI) in test groups were also significantly lower (p < 0.01). The transient nature of the anti-methanogenic effect of SWPO was demonstrated in the oil discontinuation study, where daily methane emission reverted to pre-supplementation levels after a short period. The recorded methanogens were affiliated to the families Methanobacteriaceae, Methanomassilliicoccaceae, and Methanosarcinaceae. The long-term supplementation of oil did not induce any significant change in the rumen archaeal community, whereas minor species such as Group3b exhibited differing abundance among the groups. Methanobrevibacter, irrespective of treatment, was the largest genus, while Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii was the dominant species. Oil supplementation in CON and INT compared with CTR decreased (p < 0.01) the numbers of total protozoa (× 107 cells/ml), Entodiniomorphs (× 107 cells/ml), and Holotrichs (× 106 cells/ml). SWPO continuous supplementation (CON group) resulted in the largest reduction in enteric methane emission and relatively higher body weight gain (p = 0.02) in sheep.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Yuan B, Wu W, Yue S, et al (2022)

Community structure, distribution pattern, and influencing factors of soil Archaea in the construction area of a large-scale photovoltaic power station.

International microbiology : the official journal of the Spanish Society for Microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The photovoltaic power station in Qinghai has been built for 8 years; however, its impact on the regional soil ecological environment has not been studied in depth. To reveal the structure and distribution pattern of archaeal communities in desert soil under the influence of a large photovoltaic power station, a comparative study was carried out between the soil affected by photovoltaic panels and the bare land samples outside the photovoltaic station in Gonghe, Qinghai Province. The abundance, community structure, diversity, and distribution characteristics of archaea were analyzed by quantitative PCR and Illumina-MiSeq high-throughput sequencing, and the main environmental factors affecting the variation in soil archaeal community were identified by RDA. The contribution rate of environmental factors and human factors to microbial community diversity was quantitatively evaluated by VPA. The results showed that there was no significant difference in soil nutrients and other physicochemical factors between the photovoltaic power station and bare land. Thaumarchaeota was the dominant archaeal phylum in the area, accounting for more than 99% of archaeal phylum, while at the level of genus, Nitrososphaera was the dominant archaeal genera. There was no significant difference in archaeal community structure between and under different types of PV panels. The analysis has shown that the construction of a photovoltaic station has little effect on the community structure of soil archaea in a desert area, and it was speculated that the selection of niche played a leading role in the distribution pattern of soil archaeal community. This study provides the basis for a scientific understanding of the characteristics and distribution patterns of soil archaeal communities affected by the construction of a photovoltaic power station.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Schiller H, Young C, Schulze S, et al (2022)

A Twist to the Kirby-Bauer Disk Diffusion Susceptibility Test: an Accessible Laboratory Experiment Comparing Haloferax volcanii and Escherichia coli Antibiotic Susceptibility to Highlight the Unique Cell Biology of Archaea.

Journal of microbiology & biology education, 23(1):.

Archaea, once thought to only live in extreme environments, are present in many ecosystems, including the human microbiome, and they play important roles ranging from nutrient cycling to bioremediation. Yet this domain is often overlooked in microbiology classes and rarely included in laboratory exercises. Excluding archaea from high school and undergraduate curricula prevents students from learning the uniqueness and importance of this domain. Here, we have modified a familiar and popular microbiology experiment-the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion antibiotic susceptibility test-to include, together with the model bacterium Escherichia coli, the model archaeon Haloferax volcanii. Students will learn the differences and similarities between archaea and bacteria by using antibiotics that target, for example, the bacterial peptidoglycan cell wall or the ribosome. Furthermore, the experiment provides a platform to reiterate basic cellular biology concepts that students may have previously discussed. We have developed two versions of this experiment, one designed for an undergraduate laboratory curriculum and the second, limited to H. volcanii, that high school students can perform in their classrooms. This nonpathogenic halophile can be cultured aerobically at ambient temperature in high-salt media, preventing contamination, making the experiment low-cost and safe for use in the high school setting.

RevDate: 2022-03-28

Cisek AA, Bąk I, Stefańska I, et al (2022)

Selection and Optimization of High-Yielding DNA Isolation Protocol for Quantitative Analyses of Methanogenic Archaea.

Microorganisms, 10(3):.

Methanogenic archaea are a functionally important component of the intestinal microbiota of humans and animals, participating in the utilization of detrimental hydrogen produced during gut fermentation. Despite this, archaeal DNA has rarely been found in intestinal microbiome analyses, which prompts the need to optimize detecting procedures of these microorganisms, including the DNA isolation step. Three commercially available kits for DNA isolation and one extra purification kit that removes PCR inhibitors were evaluated on chicken droppings. In addition, different variants of mechanical lysis and a double elution were tested to ensure the maximum efficiency of DNA isolation from archaea as well as bacteria. A quantitative real-time PCR was used to monitor the optimization progress. As a result, the combination of the selected Genomic Mini AX Bacteria+ kit with a 2-min-long sonication by ultrasonic probe and enzymatic pretreatment gave excellent extraction efficiency rates for DNA of methanogenic archaea (an approximate 50-fold increase compared to the standard enzymatic lysis described by the producer) and, at the same time, provided optimal protection of DNA extracted from bacteria susceptible to enzymatic lysis. The presented results indicate that the optimized protocol allows for highly efficient extraction of total DNA, which is well-suited for quantitative microbial analyses by real-time PCR.

RevDate: 2022-05-09
CmpDate: 2022-05-09

Klein T, Poghosyan L, Barclay JE, et al (2022)

Cultivation of ammonia-oxidising archaea on solid medium.

FEMS microbiology letters, 369(1):.

Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) are environmentally important microorganisms involved in the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen. Routine cultivation of AOA is exclusively performed in liquid cultures and reports on their growth on solid medium are scarce. The ability to grow AOA on solid medium would be beneficial for not only the purification of enrichment cultures but also for developing genetic tools. The aim of this study was to develop a reliable method for growing individual colonies from AOA cultures on solid medium. Three phylogenetically distinct AOA strains were tested: 'Candidatus Nitrosocosmicus franklandus C13', Nitrososphaera viennensis EN76 and 'Candidatus Nitrosotalea sinensis Nd2'. Of the gelling agents tested, agar and Bacto-agar severely inhibited growth of all three strains. In contrast, both 'Ca. N. franklandus C13' and N. viennensis EN76 tolerated Phytagel™ while the acidophilic 'Ca. N. sinensis Nd2' was completely inhibited. Based on these observations, we developed a Liquid-Solid (LS) method that involves immobilising cells in Phytagel™ and overlaying with liquid medium. This approach resulted in the development of visible distinct colonies from 'Ca. N. franklandus C13' and N. viennensis EN76 cultures and lays the groundwork for the genetic manipulation of this group of microorganisms.

RevDate: 2022-05-10
CmpDate: 2022-05-10

Wang JT, Zhang YB, Xiao Q, et al (2022)

Archaea is more important than bacteria in driving soil stoichiometry in phosphorus deficient habitats.

The Science of the total environment, 827:154417.

Phosphorus deficiency is a critical limit on the cycling of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in forest ecosystems. Despite the pivotal roles of microbes in driving the biogeochemical cycling of C/N/P, our knowledge on the relationships of soil bacteria and archaea to P deficiency in forest ecosystems remains scarce. Here, we studied 110 acidic soils (average pH 4.5) collected across 700-km subtropical forests with a gradient of available phosphorus (AP) ranging from 0.21 to 17.6 mg/kg. We analyzed the soil C/N/P stoichiometry and studied soil bacterial and archaeal diversity/abundance via high throughput sequencing and qPCR approaches. Our results show that soil P decoupled with N or C when below 3 mg/kg but coupled with C and N when above 3 mg/kg. Archaeal diversity and abundance were significantly higher in low AP (< 3 mg/kg) soils than in high AP (>3 mg/kg) soils, while bacterial were less changed. Compared with bacteria, archaea are more strongly related with soil stoichiometry (C:N, C:P, N:P), especially when AP was less than 3 mg/kg. Taxonomic and functional composition analysis further confirmed that archaeal rather than bacterial taxonomic composition was significantly related with functional composition of microbial communities. Taken together, our results show that archaea are more important than bacteria in driving soil stoichiometry in phosphorus deficient habitats and suggest a niche differentiation of soil bacteria and archaea in regulating the soil C/N/P cycling in subtropical forests.

RevDate: 2022-04-13
CmpDate: 2022-04-13

Xu A, Li L, Xie J, et al (2022)

Changes in Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Bacterial Communities and Soil Nitrogen Dynamics in Response to Long-Term Nitrogen Fertilization.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(5):.

Ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) mediate a crucial step in nitrogen (N) metabolism. The effect of N fertilizer rates on AOA and AOB communities is less studied in the wheat-fallow system from semi-arid areas. Based on a 17-year wheat field experiment, we explored the effect of five N fertilizer rates (0, 52.5, 105, 157.5, and 210 kg ha-1 yr-1) on the AOA and AOB community composition. This study showed that the grain yield of wheat reached the maximum at 105 kg N ha-1 (49% higher than control), and no further significant increase was observed at higher N rates. With the increase of N, AOA abundance decreased in a regular trend from 4.88 × 107 to 1.05 × 107 copies g-1 dry soil, while AOB abundance increased from 3.63 × 107 up to a maximum of 8.24 × 107 copies g-1 dry soil with the N105 treatment (105 kg N ha-1 yr-1). Application rates of N fertilizer had a more significant impact on the AOB diversity than on AOA diversity, and the highest AOB diversity was found under the N105 treatment in this weak alkaline soil. The predominant phyla of AOA and AOB were Thaumarchaeota and Proteobacteria, respectively, and higher N treatment (N210) resulted in a significant decrease in the relative abundance of genus Nitrosospira. In addition, AOA and AOB communities were significantly associated with grain yield of wheat, soil potential nitrification activity (PNA), and some soil physicochemical parameters such as pH, NH4-N, and NO3-N. Among them, soil moisture was the most influential edaphic factor for structuring the AOA community and NH4-N for the AOB community. Overall, 105 kg N ha-1 yr-1 was optimum for the AOB community and wheat yield in the semi-arid area.

RevDate: 2022-03-09

Klotz F, Kitzinger K, Ngugi DK, et al (2022)

Quantification of archaea-driven freshwater nitrification from single cell to ecosystem levels.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Deep oligotrophic lakes sustain large populations of the class Nitrososphaeria (Thaumarchaeota) in their hypolimnion. They are thought to be the key ammonia oxidizers in this habitat, but their impact on N-cycling in lakes has rarely been quantified. We followed this archaeal population in one of Europe's largest lakes, Lake Constance, for two consecutive years using metagenomics and metatranscriptomics combined with stable isotope-based activity measurements. An abundant (8-39% of picoplankton) and transcriptionally active archaeal ecotype dominated the nitrifying community. It represented a freshwater-specific species present in major inland water bodies, for which we propose the name "Candidatus Nitrosopumilus limneticus". Its biomass corresponded to 12% of carbon stored in phytoplankton over the year´s cycle. Ca. N. limneticus populations incorporated significantly more ammonium than most other microorganisms in the hypolimnion and were driving potential ammonia oxidation rates of 6.0 ± 0.9 nmol l‒1 d‒1, corresponding to potential cell-specific rates of 0.21 ± 0.11 fmol cell-1 d-1. At the ecosystem level, this translates to a maximum capacity of archaea-driven nitrification of 1.76 × 109 g N-ammonia per year or 11% of N-biomass produced annually by phytoplankton. We show that ammonia-oxidizing archaea play an equally important role in the nitrogen cycle of deep oligotrophic lakes as their counterparts in marine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-03-05

Ithurbide S, Gribaldo S, Albers SV, et al (2022)

Spotlight on FtsZ-based cell division in Archaea.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(22)00005-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Compared with the extensive knowledge on cell division in model eukaryotes and bacteria, little is known about how archaea divide. Interestingly, both endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-based and FtsZ-based cell division systems are found in members of the Archaea. In the past couple of years, several studies have started to shed light on FtsZ-based cell division processes in members of the Euryarchaeota. In this review we highlight recent findings in this emerging field of research. We present current knowledge of the cell division machinery of halophiles which relies on two FtsZ proteins, and we compare it with that of methanobacteria, which relies on only one FtsZ. Finally, we discuss how these differences relate to the distinct cell envelopes of these two archaeal model systems.

RevDate: 2022-02-28

Stevens KM, T Warnecke (2022)

Histone variants in archaea - An undiscovered country.

Seminars in cell & developmental biology pii:S1084-9521(22)00055-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Exchanging core histones in the nucleosome for paralogous variants can have important functional ramifications. Many of these variants, and their physiological roles, have been characterized in exquisite detail in model eukaryotes, including humans. In comparison, our knowledge of histone biology in archaea remains rudimentary. This is true in particular for our knowledge of histone variants. Many archaea encode several histone genes that differ in sequence, but do these paralogs make distinct, adaptive contributions to genome organization and regulation in a manner comparable to eukaryotes? Below, we review what we know about histone variants in archaea at the level of structure, regulation, and evolution. In all areas, our knowledge pales when compared to the wealth of insight that has been gathered for eukaryotes. Recent findings, however, provide tantalizing glimpses into a rich and largely undiscovered country that is at times familiar and eukaryote-like and at times strange and uniquely archaeal. We sketch a preliminary roadmap for further exploration of this country; an undertaking that may ultimately shed light not only on chromatin biology in archaea but also on the origin of histone-based chromatin in eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2022-04-19

Yin X, Zhou G, Cai M, et al (2022)

Catabolic protein degradation in marine sediments confined to distinct archaea.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Metagenomic analysis has facilitated prediction of a variety of carbon utilization potentials by uncultivated archaea including degradation of protein, which is a wide-spread carbon polymer in marine sediments. However, the activity of detrital catabolic protein degradation is mostly unknown for the vast majority of archaea. Here, we show actively executed protein catabolism in three archaeal phyla (uncultivated Thermoplasmata, SG8-5; Bathyarchaeota subgroup 15; Lokiarchaeota subgroup 2c) by RNA- and lipid-stable isotope probing in incubations with different marine sediments. However, highly abundant potential protein degraders Thermoprofundales (MBG-D) and Lokiarchaeota subgroup 3 were not incorporating 13C-label from protein during incubations. Nonetheless, we found that the pathway for protein utilization was present in metagenome associated genomes (MAGs) of active and inactive archaea. This finding was supported by screening extracellular peptidases in 180 archaeal MAGs, which appeared to be widespread but not correlated to organisms actively executing this process in our incubations. Thus, our results have important implications: (i) multiple low-abundant archaeal groups are actually catabolic protein degraders; (ii) the functional role of widespread extracellular peptidases is not an optimal tool to identify protein catabolism, and (iii) catabolic degradation of sedimentary protein is not a common feature of the abundant archaeal community in temperate and permanently cold marine sediments.

RevDate: 2022-04-27
CmpDate: 2022-04-27

Li M, He H, Mi T, et al (2022)

Spatiotemporal dynamics of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria contributing to nitrification in sediments from Bohai Sea and South Yellow Sea, China.

The Science of the total environment, 825:153972.

Nitrification is a central process in nitrogen cycle in the ocean. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) play significant roles in ammonia oxidation which is the first and rate-limiting step in nitrification, and their differential contribution to nitrification is an important issue, attracting extensive attention. In this study, based on the quantification of archaeal and bacterial amoA gene and the measurement of potential nitrification rate (PNR), we investigated the spatiotemporal dynamics of PNRs and the amoA gene abundance and transcript abundance of aerobic ammonia oxidizers in surface sediments collected in summer and spring across ~900 km of the Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea in China. The results revealed that the contribution of AOA to nitrification was greater than that of AOB in coastal sediments, probably due to salinity and ammonia concentration. Besides, seasons had significant effect on amoA gene abundance and transcript abundance, especially for AOA, while both seasons and sea areas had significant influence on PNR of AOA and AOB. Further analysis showed complex relationships among amoA gene abundances, transcript abundances and PNRs. More importantly, both spatial (geographic distance) and environmental factors were vital in explaining the variations of ammonia-oxidizing microorganism abundances and the PNRs.

RevDate: 2022-04-07
CmpDate: 2022-04-07

Wei W, Hu X, Yang S, et al (2022)

Denitrifying halophilic archaea derived from salt dominate the degradation of nitrite in salted radish during pickling.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 152:110906.

Salted radish is a popular high-salinity table food in China, and nitrite is always generated during the associated pickling process. However, this nitrite can be naturally degraded, and the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we identified the microbial groups that dominate the natural degradation of nitrite in salted radish and clarified the related metabolic mechanism. Based on dynamic monitoring of pH and the concentrations of nitrogen compounds as well as high-throughput sequencing analysis of the structural succession of microbial communities in the tested salted radish, we determined that the halophilic archaea derived from pickling salt dominate the natural degradation of nitrite via denitrification. Based on isolation, identification, nitrite reduction assays, and genome annotation, we further determined that Haloarcula, Halolamina, and Halobacterium were the key genera. These halophilic archaea might cope with high salt stress through the "salt-in" mechanism with the assistance of the accumulation of potassium ions, obtain electrons necessary for "truncated denitrification" from the metabolism of extracellular glucose absorbed from salted radish, and efficiently reduce nitrite to nitrogen, bypassing nitrite generation from nitrate reduction. The present study provides important information for the prevention and control of nitrite hazards in salted vegetables with high salinity, such as salted radish.

RevDate: 2022-04-20
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Xu B, Li F, Cai L, et al (2022)

A holistic genome dataset of bacteria, archaea and viruses of the Pearl River estuary.

Scientific data, 9(1):49.

Estuaries are one of the most important coastal ecosystems. While microbiomes and viromes have been separately investigated in some estuaries, few studies holistically deciphered the genomes and connections of viruses and their microbial hosts along an estuarine salinity gradient. Here we applied deep metagenomic sequencing on microbial and viral communities in surface waters of the Pearl River estuary, one of China's largest estuaries with strong anthropogenic impacts. Overall, 1,205 non-redundant prokaryotic genomes with ≥50% completeness and ≤10% contamination, and 78,502 non-redundant viral-like genomes were generated from samples of three size fractions and five salinity levels. Phylogenomic analysis and taxonomy classification show that majority of these estuarine prokaryotic and viral genomes are novel at species level according to public databases. Potential connections between the microbial and viral populations were further investigated by host-virus matching. These combined microbial and viral genomes provide an important complement of global marine genome datasets and should greatly facilitate our understanding of microbe-virus interactions, evolution and their implications in estuarine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-03-16
CmpDate: 2022-03-16

Schorn S, Ahmerkamp S, Bullock E, et al (2022)

Diverse methylotrophic methanogenic archaea cause high methane emissions from seagrass meadows.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(9):.

Marine coastlines colonized by seagrasses are a net source of methane to the atmosphere. However, methane emissions from these environments are still poorly constrained, and the underlying processes and responsible microorganisms remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated methane turnover in seagrass meadows of Posidonia oceanica in the Mediterranean Sea. The underlying sediments exhibited median net fluxes of methane into the water column of ca. 106 µmol CH4 ⋅ m-2 ⋅ d-1 Our data show that this methane production was sustained by methylated compounds produced by the plant, rather than by fermentation of buried organic carbon. Interestingly, methane production was maintained long after the living plant died off, likely due to the persistence of methylated compounds, such as choline, betaines, and dimethylsulfoniopropionate, in detached plant leaves and rhizomes. We recovered multiple mcrA gene sequences, encoding for methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr), the key methanogenic enzyme, from the seagrass sediments. Most retrieved mcrA gene sequences were affiliated with a clade of divergent Mcr and belonged to the uncultured Candidatus Helarchaeota of the Asgard superphylum, suggesting a possible involvement of these divergent Mcr in methane metabolism. Taken together, our findings identify the mechanisms controlling methane emissions from these important blue carbon ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-02-12

Chen S, Tao J, Chen Y, et al (2021)

Interactions Between Marine Group II Archaea and Phytoplankton Revealed by Population Correlations in the Northern Coast of South China Sea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:785532.

Marine Group II (MGII) archaea (Poseidoniales) are the most abundant surface marine planktonic archaea and are widely distributed in both coastal and pelagic waters. The factors affecting their distribution and activity are poorly understood. MGII archaea have the metabolic potential to utilize algae-derived organic matter and are frequently observed in high abundance during or following phytoplankton blooms, suggesting that they are key players of the marine food web. In this study, we studied interactions between MGII archaea and the diverse taxa of phytoplankton in the northern coast of South China Sea. Non-metric multidimensional scaling and cluster analyses demonstrated distinct MGII community patterns in the Pearl River plume (PRP) and the open regions of the northern South China Sea (ONSCS), with MGIIb dominating the former and MGIIa and MGIIb showing remarkable variations in the latter for the same sampling season. Nevertheless, positive correlations (Pearson correlation: R > 0.8 and P < 0.01) in absolute abundances of ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-derived complementary DNA and rRNA genes from network analyses were found between MGII archaea and phytoplankton (cyanobacteria, haptophytes, and stramenopiles in both PRP and ONSCS) among different particle size fractions, indicating their intrinsic relationships under changing environmental conditions. The results of this study may shed light on the multiple interactions between co-existing species in the micro-niches of different oceanic regions.

RevDate: 2022-02-11
CmpDate: 2022-02-11

Cui L, Fan X, Y Zheng (2022)

[Enhanced heterologous expression of the cytochrome c from uncultured anaerobic methanotrophic archaea].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 38(1):226-237.

Cytochrome c is a type of heme proteins that are widely distributed in living organisms. It consists of heme and apocytochrome c, and has potential applications in bioelectronics, biomedicine and pollutant degradation. However, heterologous overexpression of cytochrome c is still challenging. To date, expression of the cytochrome c from uncultured anaerobic methanotrophic archaea has not been reported, and nothing is known about the function of this cytochrome c. A his tagged cytochrome c was successfully expressed in E. coli by introducing a thrombin at the N-terminus of CytC4 and co-expressing CcmABCDEFGH, which is responsible for the maturation of cytochrome c. Shewanella oneidensis, which naturally has enzymes for cytochrome c maturation, was then used as a host to further increase the expression of CytC4. Indeed, a significantly higher expression of CytC4 was achieved in S. oneidensis when compared with in E. coli. The successful heterologous overexpression of CytC4 will facilitate the exploitation of its physiological functions and biotechnological applications.

RevDate: 2022-02-08

Hedlund BP, Zhang C, Wang F, et al (2021)

Editorial: Ecology, Metabolism and Evolution of Archaea-Perspectives From Proceedings of the International Workshop on Geo-Omics of Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:827229.

RevDate: 2022-03-08
CmpDate: 2022-03-08

Liu BB, Govindan R, Muthuchamy M, et al (2022)

Halophilic archaea and their extracellular polymeric compounds in the treatment of high salt wastewater containing phenol.

Chemosphere, 294:133732.

Phenol is one of the major organic pollutants in high salt industrial wastewaters. The biological treatment of such waste using microorganisms is considered to be a cost-effective and eco-friendly method. However, in this process, salt tolerance of microorganisms is one of the main limiting factors. Halophilic microorganisms, especially halophilic archaea are thought to be appropriate for such treatment. To develop a novel effective biological method for high salt phenol wastewater treatment, the influence of phenol in high salt phenol wastewater on halophilic archaea and their extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) should be investigated. In the present study, using phenol enrichment method, 75 halophilic archaeal strains were isolated from Wuyongbulake salt lake sediment sample. The majority of the identified strains were phenol-tolerant. Six strains with high phenol tolerance were chosen, and the phenol scavenging effect was observed in the microbial suspension, supernatant, and EPS. It was noticed that the phenol degradation rate of suspensions of both strains 869-1, and 121-1 in salt water exhibited the highest rates of 83.7%, while the supernatant of strain 869-1 reached the highest rate of 78.2%. When combined with the comprehensive analysis of the artificial wastewater simulation experiment, it was discovered that in the artificial wastewater containing phenol, the phenol degradation rate of suspension of strain A387 exhibited the highest rates of 55.74% both, and supernatant of strain 630-3 reached the highest rate of 62.3%. The EPS produced by strains A00135, 558-1, 869-1, 121-1 and A387 removed 100% phenol within 96 h, and the phenol removal efficiency of EPS produced by 869-1 reached 56.1% under an artificial wastewater simulation experiment with high salt (15%NaCl) condition. The present study suggests that halophilic archaea and their EPS play an important role in phenol degradation. This approach could be potentially used for industrial high-salt wastewater treatment.

RevDate: 2022-01-31

Shen LD, Geng CY, Ren BJ, et al (2022)

Detection and Quantification of Candidatus Methanoperedens-Like Archaea in Freshwater Wetland Soils.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Candidatus Methanoperedens-like archaea, which can use multiple electron acceptors (nitrate, iron, manganese, and sulfate) for anaerobic methane oxidation, could play an important role in reducing methane emissions from freshwater wetlands. Currently, very little is known about the distribution and community composition of Methanoperedens-like archaea in freshwater wetlands, particularly based on their alpha subunit of methyl-coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) genes. Here, the community composition, diversity, and abundance of Methanoperedens-like archaea were investigated in a freshwater wetland through high-throughput sequencing and quantitative PCR on their mcrA genes. A large number of Methanoperedens-like mcrA gene sequences (119,250) were recovered, and a total of 31 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were generated based on 95% sequence similarity cut-off. The majority of Methanoperedens-like sequences can be grouped into three distinct clusters that were closely associated with the known Methanoperedens species which can couple anaerobic methane oxidation to nitrate or iron reduction. The community composition of Methanoperedens-like archaea differed significantly among different sampling sites, and their mcrA gene abundance was 1.49 × 106 ~ 4.62 × 106 copies g-1 dry soil in the examined wetland. In addition, the community composition of Methanoperedens-like archaea was significantly affected by the soil water content, and the archaeal abundance was significantly positively correlated with the water content. Our results suggest that the mcrA gene is a good biomarker for detection and quantification of Methanoperedens-like archaea, and provide new insights into the distribution and environmental regulation of these archaea in freshwater wetlands.

RevDate: 2022-02-23

Rasmussen AN, CA Francis (2022)

Genome-Resolved Metagenomic Insights into Massive Seasonal Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea Blooms in San Francisco Bay.

mSystems, 7(1):e0127021.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are key for the transformation of ammonia to oxidized forms of nitrogen in aquatic environments around the globe, including nutrient-rich coastal and estuarine waters such as San Francisco Bay (SFB). Using metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries, we found that AOA are more abundant than ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), except in the freshwater stations in SFB. In South SFB, we observed recurrent AOA blooms of "Candidatus Nitrosomarinus catalina" SPOT01-like organisms, which account for over 20% of 16S rRNA gene amplicons in both surface and bottom waters and co-occur with weeks of high nitrite concentrations (>10 μM) in the oxic water column. We observed pronounced nitrite peaks occurring in the autumn for 7 of the last 9 years (2012 to 2020), suggesting that seasonal AOA blooms are common in South SFB. We recovered two high-quality AOA metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), including a Nitrosomarinus-like genome from the South SFB bloom and another Nitrosopumilus genome originating from Suisun Bay in North SFB. Both MAGs cluster with genomes from other estuarine/coastal sites. Analysis of Nitrosomarinus-like genomes show that they are streamlined, with low GC content and high coding density, and harbor urease genes. Our findings support the unique niche of Nitrosomarinus-like organisms which dominate coastal/estuarine waters and provide insights into recurring AOA blooms in SFB. IMPORTANCE Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) carry out key transformations of ammonia in estuarine systems such as San Francisco Bay (SFB)-the largest estuary on the west coast of North America-and play a significant role in both local and global nitrogen cycling. Using metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries, we document a massive, recurrent AOA bloom in South SFB that co-occurs with months of high nitrite concentrations in the oxic water column. Our study is the first to generate metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from SFB, and through this process we recovered two high-quality AOA MAGs, one of which originated from bloom samples. These AOA MAGs yield new insight into the Nitrosopumilus and Nitrosomarinus-like lineages and their potential niches in coastal and estuarine systems. Nitrosomarinus-like AOA are abundant in coastal regions around the globe, and we highlight the common occurrence of urease genes, low GC content, and range of salinity tolerances within this lineage.

RevDate: 2022-01-25

Rodríguez-Gijón A, Nuy JK, Mehrshad M, et al (2021)

A Genomic Perspective Across Earth's Microbiomes Reveals That Genome Size in Archaea and Bacteria Is Linked to Ecosystem Type and Trophic Strategy.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:761869.

Our view of genome size in Archaea and Bacteria has remained skewed as the data has been dominated by genomes of microorganisms that have been cultivated under laboratory settings. However, the continuous effort to catalog Earth's microbiomes, specifically propelled by recent extensive work on uncultivated microorganisms, provides an opportunity to revise our perspective on genome size distribution. We present a meta-analysis that includes 26,101 representative genomes from 3 published genomic databases; metagenomic assembled genomes (MAGs) from GEMs and stratfreshDB, and isolates from GTDB. Aquatic and host-associated microbial genomes present on average the smallest estimated genome sizes (3.1 and 3.0 Mbp, respectively). These are followed by terrestrial microbial genomes (average 3.7 Mbp), and genomes from isolated microorganisms (average 4.3 Mbp). On the one hand, aquatic and host-associated ecosystems present smaller genomes sizes in genera of phyla with genome sizes above 3 Mbp. On the other hand, estimated genome size in phyla with genomes under 3 Mbp showed no difference between ecosystems. Moreover, we observed that when using 95% average nucleotide identity (ANI) as an estimator for genetic units, only 3% of MAGs cluster together with genomes from isolated microorganisms. Although there are potential methodological limitations when assembling and binning MAGs, we found that in genome clusters containing both environmental MAGs and isolate genomes, MAGs were estimated only an average 3.7% smaller than isolate genomes. Even when assembly and binning methods introduce biases, estimated genome size of MAGs and isolates are very similar. Finally, to better understand the ecological drivers of genome size, we discuss on the known and the overlooked factors that influence genome size in different ecosystems, phylogenetic groups, and trophic strategies.

RevDate: 2022-01-28

Neira G, Vergara E, Cortez D, et al (2021)

A Large-Scale Multiple Genome Comparison of Acidophilic Archaea (pH ≤ 5.0) Extends Our Understanding of Oxidative Stress Responses in Polyextreme Environments.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1):.

Acidophilic archaea thrive in anaerobic and aerobic low pH environments (pH < 5) rich in dissolved heavy metals that exacerbate stress caused by the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hydroxyl radical (·OH) and superoxide (O2-). ROS react with lipids, proteins and nucleic acids causing oxidative stress and damage that can lead to cell death. Herein, genes and mechanisms potentially involved in ROS mitigation are predicted in over 200 genomes of acidophilic archaea with sequenced genomes. These organisms are often be subjected to simultaneous multiple stresses such as high temperature, high salinity, low pH and high heavy metal loads. Some of the topics addressed include: (1) the phylogenomic distribution of these genes and what this can tell us about the evolution of these mechanisms in acidophilic archaea; (2) key differences in genes and mechanisms used by acidophilic versus non-acidophilic archaea and between acidophilic archaea and acidophilic bacteria and (3) how comparative genomic analysis predicts novel genes or pathways involved in oxidative stress responses in archaea and likely horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events.

RevDate: 2022-01-25

McMahon FT, Lonergan CM, Gilmore BF, et al (2022)

Draft Genome Sequences of Halobacterium sp. Strains KA-4 and KA-6, Two Extremely Halophilic Archaea Isolated from a Triassic Salt Deposit in Northern Ireland.

Microbiology resource announcements, 11(1):e0116521.

Here, we report the draft genome sequences of Halobacterium sp. strains KA-4 and KA-6. These extremely halophilic archaea were isolated from a Triassic halite deposit in Northern Ireland. Based on 16S sequence identity, they were deemed to be closely related strains of Halobacterium noricense but with some notable phenotypic differences.

RevDate: 2022-03-29
CmpDate: 2022-03-29

Papenfort K, Woodson SA, Schmitz RA, et al (2022)

Special Issue: Regulating with RNA in Microbes: In conjunction with the 6th Meeting on Regulating with RNA in Bacteria and Archaea.

Molecular microbiology, 117(1):1-3.

RevDate: 2022-02-26
CmpDate: 2022-02-22

Wu F, Speth DR, Philosof A, et al (2022)

Unique mobile elements and scalable gene flow at the prokaryote-eukaryote boundary revealed by circularized Asgard archaea genomes.

Nature microbiology, 7(2):200-212.

Eukaryotic genomes are known to have garnered innovations from both archaeal and bacterial domains but the sequence of events that led to the complex gene repertoire of eukaryotes is largely unresolved. Here, through the enrichment of hydrothermal vent microorganisms, we recovered two circularized genomes of Heimdallarchaeum species that belong to an Asgard archaea clade phylogenetically closest to eukaryotes. These genomes reveal diverse mobile elements, including an integrative viral genome that bidirectionally replicates in a circular form and aloposons, transposons that encode the 5,000 amino acid-sized proteins Otus and Ephialtes. Heimdallaechaeal mobile elements have garnered various genes from bacteria and bacteriophages, likely playing a role in shuffling functions across domains. The number of archaea- and bacteria-related genes follow strikingly different scaling laws in Asgard archaea, exhibiting a genome size-dependent ratio and a functional division resembling the bacteria- and archaea-derived gene repertoire across eukaryotes. Bacterial gene import has thus likely been a continuous process unaltered by eukaryogenesis and scaled up through genome expansion. Our data further highlight the importance of viewing eukaryogenesis in a pan-Asgard context, which led to the proposal of a conceptual framework, that is, the Heimdall nucleation-decentralized innovation-hierarchical import model that accounts for the emergence of eukaryotic complexity.

RevDate: 2022-04-19
CmpDate: 2022-02-22

Sakai HD, Nur N, Kato S, et al (2022)

Insight into the symbiotic lifestyle of DPANN archaea revealed by cultivation and genome analyses.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(3):.

Decades of culture-independent analyses have resulted in proposals of many tentative archaeal phyla with no cultivable representative. Members of DPANN (an acronym of the names of the first included phyla Diapherotrites, Parvarchaeota, Aenigmarchaeota, Nanohaloarchaeota, and Nanoarchaeota), an archaeal superphylum composed of at least 10 of these tentative phyla, are generally considered obligate symbionts dependent on other microorganisms. While many draft/complete genome sequences of DPANN archaea are available and their biological functions have been considerably predicted, only a few examples of their successful laboratory cultivation have been reported, limiting our knowledge of their symbiotic lifestyles. Here, we investigated physiology, morphology, and host specificity of an archaeon of the phylum "Candidatus Micrarchaeota" (ARM-1) belonging to the DPANN superphylum by cultivation. We constructed a stable coculture system composed of ARM-1 and its original host Metallosphaera sp. AS-7 belonging to the order Sulfolobales Further host-switching experiments confirmed that ARM-1 grew on five different archaeal species from three genera-Metallosphaera, Acidianus, and Saccharolobus-originating from geologically distinct hot, acidic environments. The results suggested the existence of DPANN archaea that can grow by relying on a range of hosts. Genomic analyses showed inferred metabolic capabilities, common/unique genetic contents of ARM-1 among cultivated micrarchaeal representatives, and the possibility of horizontal gene transfer between ARM-1 and members of the order Sulfolobales Our report sheds light on the symbiotic lifestyles of DPANN archaea and will contribute to the elucidation of their biological/ecological functions.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Salter TL, Magee BA, Waite JH, et al (2022)

Mass Spectrometric Fingerprints of Bacteria and Archaea for Life Detection on Icy Moons.

Astrobiology, 22(2):143-157.

The icy moons of the outer Solar System display evidence of subsurface liquid water and, therefore, potential habitability for life. Flybys of Saturn's moon Enceladus by the Cassini spacecraft have provided measurements of material from plumes that suggest hydrothermal activity and the presence of organic matter. Jupiter's moon Europa may have similar plumes and is the target for the forthcoming Europa Clipper mission that carries a high mass resolution and high sensitivity mass spectrometer, called the MAss Spectrometer for Planetary EXploration (MASPEX), with the capability for providing detailed characterization of any organic materials encountered. We have performed a series of experiments using pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to characterize the mass spectrometric fingerprints of microbial life. A range of extremophile Archaea and Bacteria have been analyzed and the laboratory data converted to MASPEX-type signals. Molecular characteristics of protein, carbohydrate, and lipid structures were detected, and the characteristic fragmentation patterns corresponding to these different biological structures were identified. Protein pyrolysis fragments included phenols, nitrogen heterocycles, and cyclic dipeptides. Oxygen heterocycles, such as furans, were detected from carbohydrates. Our data reveal how mass spectrometry on Europa Clipper can aid in the identification of the presence of life, by looking for characteristic bacterial fingerprints that are similar to those from simple Earthly organisms.

RevDate: 2022-04-29
CmpDate: 2022-04-27

Diamond S, Lavy A, Crits-Christoph A, et al (2022)

Soils and sediments host Thermoplasmata archaea encoding novel copper membrane monooxygenases (CuMMOs).

The ISME journal, 16(5):1348-1362.

Copper membrane monooxygenases (CuMMOs) play critical roles in the global carbon and nitrogen cycles. Organisms harboring these enzymes perform the first, and rate limiting, step in aerobic oxidation of ammonia, methane, or other simple hydrocarbons. Within archaea, only organisms in the order Nitrososphaerales (Thaumarchaeota) encode CuMMOs, which function exclusively as ammonia monooxygenases. From grassland and hillslope soils and aquifer sediments, we identified 20 genomes from distinct archaeal species encoding divergent CuMMO sequences. These archaea are phylogenetically clustered in a previously unnamed Thermoplasmatota order, herein named the Ca. Angelarchaeales. The CuMMO proteins in Ca. Angelarchaeales are more similar in structure to those in Nitrososphaerales than those of bacteria, and contain all functional residues required for general monooxygenase activity. Ca. Angelarchaeales genomes are significantly enriched in blue copper proteins (BCPs) relative to sibling lineages, including plastocyanin-like electron carriers and divergent nitrite reductase-like (nirK) 2-domain cupredoxin proteins co-located with electron transport machinery. Ca. Angelarchaeales also encode significant capacity for peptide/amino acid uptake and degradation and share numerous electron transport mechanisms with the Nitrososphaerales. Ca. Angelarchaeales are detected at high relative abundance in some of the environments where their genomes originated from. While the exact substrate specificities of the novel CuMMOs identified here have yet to be determined, activity on ammonia is possible given their metabolic and ecological context. The identification of an archaeal CuMMO outside of the Nitrososphaerales significantly expands the known diversity of CuMMO enzymes in archaea and suggests previously unaccounted organisms contribute to critical global nitrogen and/or carbon cycling functions.

RevDate: 2022-04-25
CmpDate: 2022-04-25

Aouad M, Flandrois JP, Jauffrit F, et al (2022)

A divide-and-conquer phylogenomic approach based on character supermatrices resolves early steps in the evolution of the Archaea.

BMC ecology and evolution, 22(1):1.

BACKGROUND: The recent rise in cultivation-independent genome sequencing has provided key material to explore uncharted branches of the Tree of Life. This has been particularly spectacular concerning the Archaea, projecting them at the center stage as prominently relevant to understand early stages in evolution and the emergence of fundamental metabolisms as well as the origin of eukaryotes. Yet, resolving deep divergences remains a challenging task due to well-known tree-reconstruction artefacts and biases in extracting robust ancient phylogenetic signal, notably when analyzing data sets including the three Domains of Life. Among the various strategies aimed at mitigating these problems, divide-and-conquer approaches remain poorly explored, and have been primarily based on reconciliation among single gene trees which however notoriously lack ancient phylogenetic signal.

RESULTS: We analyzed sub-sets of full supermatrices covering the whole Tree of Life with specific taxonomic sampling to robustly resolve different parts of the archaeal phylogeny in light of their current diversity. Our results strongly support the existence and early emergence of two main clades, Cluster I and Cluster II, which we name Ouranosarchaea and Gaiarchaea, and we clarify the placement of important novel archaeal lineages within these two clades. However, the monophyly and branching of the fast evolving nanosized DPANN members remains unclear and worth of further study.

CONCLUSIONS: We inferred a well resolved rooted phylogeny of the Archaea that includes all recently described phyla of high taxonomic rank. This phylogeny represents a valuable reference to study the evolutionary events associated to the early steps of the diversification of the archaeal domain. Beyond the specifics of archaeal phylogeny, our results demonstrate the power of divide-and-conquer approaches to resolve deep phylogenetic relationships, which should be applied to progressively resolve the entire Tree of Life.

RevDate: 2022-05-18

Chadwick GL, Skennerton CT, Laso-Pérez R, et al (2022)

Comparative genomics reveals electron transfer and syntrophic mechanisms differentiating methanotrophic and methanogenic archaea.

PLoS biology, 20(1):e3001508.

The anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction is a microbially mediated process requiring a syntrophic partnership between anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Based on genome taxonomy, ANME lineages are polyphyletic within the phylum Halobacterota, none of which have been isolated in pure culture. Here, we reconstruct 28 ANME genomes from environmental metagenomes and flow sorted syntrophic consortia. Together with a reanalysis of previously published datasets, these genomes enable a comparative analysis of all marine ANME clades. We review the genomic features that separate ANME from their methanogenic relatives and identify what differentiates ANME clades. Large multiheme cytochromes and bioenergetic complexes predicted to be involved in novel electron bifurcation reactions are well distributed and conserved in the ANME archaea, while significant variations in the anabolic C1 pathways exists between clades. Our analysis raises the possibility that methylotrophic methanogenesis may have evolved from a methanotrophic ancestor.

RevDate: 2022-03-17
CmpDate: 2022-03-17

Chazan A, Rozenberg A, Mannen K, et al (2022)

Diverse heliorhodopsins detected via functional metagenomics in freshwater Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi and Archaea.

Environmental microbiology, 24(1):110-121.

The recently discovered rhodopsin family of heliorhodopsins (HeRs) is abundant in diverse microbial environments. So far, the functional and biological roles of HeRs remain unknown. To tackle this issue, we combined experimental and computational screens to gain some novel insights. Here, 10 readily expressed HeR genes were found using functional metagenomics on samples from two freshwater environments. These HeRs originated from diverse prokaryotic groups: Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi and Archaea. Heterologously expressed HeRs absorbed light in the green and yellow wavelengths (543-562 nm) and their photocycles exhibited diverse kinetic characteristics. To approach the physiological function of the HeRs, we used our environmental clones along with thousands of microbial genomes to analyze genes neighbouring HeRs. The strongest association was found with the DegV family involved in activation of fatty acids, which allowed us to hypothesize that HeRs might be involved in light-induced membrane lipid modifications.

RevDate: 2022-04-20
CmpDate: 2021-12-30

Li SY, Xin YJ, Bao CX, et al (2021)

Haloprofundus salilacus sp. nov., Haloprofundus halobius sp. nov. and Haloprofundus salinisoli sp. nov.: three extremely halophilic archaea isolated from salt lake and saline soil.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions, 26(1):6.

Three halophilic archaeal strains, Gai1-5T, SEDH52T and SQT7-1T were isolated from Gaize salt lake and Xiadi salt lake in Tibet, and saline soil from Xinjiang, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene and rpoB' gene sequences showed that these three strains formed different branches separating them from Haloprofundus halophilus NK23T (97.7-98.3% similarities for 16S rRNA gene and 94.7-94.8% similarities for rpoB' gene, respectively) and Haloprofundus marisrubri SB9T (94.7-96.4% similarities for 16S rRNA gene and 92.3-93.2% similarities for rpoB' gene, respectively). Several phenotypic characteristics distinguish the strains Gai1-5 T, SEDH52T and SQT7-1T from Haloprofundus halophilus NK23T and Haloprofundus marisrubri SB9T. The average nucleotide identity (ANI) and in silico DNA-DNA hybridization (isDDH) values among the three strains and current Haloprofundus members were in the range of 83.3-88.3% and 27.2-35.7%, respectively, far below the species boundary threshold values. The major polar lipids of three strains were phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylglycerol sulphate (PGS), phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester (PGP-Me), sulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether (S-DGD-1), mannosyl glucosyl diether-phosphatidic acid (DGD-PA) and sulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether-phosphatidic acid (S-DGD-PA). These results showed that strains Gai1-5T (= CGMCC 1.16079T = JCM 33561T), SQT7-1T (= CGMCC 1.16063T = JCM 33553 T) and SEDH52T (= CGMCC 1.17434T) represented three novel species in the genus Haloprofundus, for which the names Haloprofundus salilacus sp. nov., Haloprofundus salinisoli sp. nov., and Haloprofundus halobius sp. nov. are proposed.

RevDate: 2022-01-10
CmpDate: 2022-01-10

De Falco M, M De Felice (2021)

Take a Break to Repair: A Dip in the World of Double-Strand Break Repair Mechanisms Pointing the Gaze on Archaea.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(24):.

All organisms have evolved many DNA repair pathways to counteract the different types of DNA damages. The detection of DNA damage leads to distinct cellular responses that bring about cell cycle arrest and the induction of DNA repair mechanisms. In particular, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are extremely toxic for cell survival, that is why cells use specific mechanisms of DNA repair in order to maintain genome stability. The choice among the repair pathways is mainly linked to the cell cycle phases. Indeed, if it occurs in an inappropriate cellular context, it may cause genome rearrangements, giving rise to many types of human diseases, from developmental disorders to cancer. Here, we analyze the most recent remarks about the main pathways of DSB repair with the focus on homologous recombination. A thorough knowledge in DNA repair mechanisms is pivotal for identifying the most accurate treatments in human diseases.

RevDate: 2022-03-09
CmpDate: 2022-03-09

Otzen DE, Dueholm MS, Najarzadeh Z, et al (2021)

In situ Sub-Cellular Identification of Functional Amyloids in Bacteria and Archaea by Infrared Nanospectroscopy.

Small methods, 5(6):e2001002.

Formation of amyloid structures is originally linked to human disease. However, amyloid materials are found extensively in the animal and bacterial world where they stabilize intra- and extra-cellular environments like biofilms or cell envelopes. To date, functional amyloids have largely been studied using optical microscopy techniques in vivo, or after removal from their biological context for higher-resolution studies in vitro. Furthermore, conventional microscopies only indirectly identify amyloids based on morphology or unspecific amyloid dyes. Here, the high chemical and spatial (≈20 nm) resolution of Infrared Nanospectroscopy (AFM-IR) to investigate functional amyloid from Escherichia coli (curli), Pseudomonas (Fap), and the Archaea Methanosaeta (MspA) in situ is exploited. It is demonstrated that AFM-IR identifies amyloid protein within single intact cells through their cross β-sheet secondary structure, which has a unique spectroscopic signature in the amide I band of protein. Using this approach, nanoscale-resolved chemical images and spectra of purified curli and Methanosaeta cell wall sheaths are provided. The results highlight significant differences in secondary structure between E. coli cells with and without curli. Taken together, these results suggest that AFM-IR is a new and powerful label-free tool for in situ investigations of the biophysical state of functional amyloid and biomolecules in general.

RevDate: 2021-12-18

Lu S, Liu X, Liu C, et al (2021)

A Review of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Anaerobic Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria in the Aquaculture Pond Environment in China.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:775794.

The excessive ammonia produced in pond aquaculture processes cannot be ignored. In this review, we present the distribution and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and anaerobic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AnAOB) in the pond environment. Combined with environmental conditions, we analyze the advantages of AOA and AnAOB in aquaculture water treatment and discuss the current situation of pond water treatment engineering involving these microbes. AOA and AnAOB play an important role in the nitrogen removal process of aquaculture pond water, especially in seasonal low temperatures and anoxic sediment layers. Finally, we prospect the application of bioreactors to purify pond aquaculture water using AOA and AnAOB, in autotrophic nitrogen removal, which can reduce the production of greenhouse gases (such as nitrous oxide) and is conducive to the development of environmentally sustainable pond aquaculture.

RevDate: 2022-01-05
CmpDate: 2022-01-05

Wang Y, Xu J, Cui D, et al (2021)

Classification and Identification of Archaea Using Single-Cell Raman Ejection and Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Investigating Uncultivated Microorganisms.

Analytical chemistry, 93(51):17012-17019.

Archaea can produce special cellular components such as polyhydroxyalkanoates, carotenoids, rhodopsin, and ether lipids, which have valuable applications in medicine and green energy production. Most of the archaeal species are uncultivated, posing challenges to investigating their biomarker components and biochemical properties. In this study, we applied Raman spectroscopy to examine the biological characteristics of nine archaeal isolates, including halophilic archaea (Haloferax larsenii, Haloarcula argentinensis, Haloferax mediterranei, Halomicrobium mukohataei, Halomicrobium salinus, Halorussus sp., Natrinema gari), thermophilic archaea (Sulfolobus acidocaldarius), and marine group I (MGI) archaea (Nitrosopumilus maritimus). Linear discriminant analysis of the Raman spectra allowed visualization of significant separations among the nine archaeal isolates. Machine-learning classification models based on support vector machine achieved accuracies of 88-100% when classifying the nine archaeal species. The predicted results were validated by DNA sequencing analysis of cells isolated from the mixture by Raman-activated cell sorting. Raman spectra of uncultured archaea (MGII) were also obtained based on Raman spectroscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization. The results combining multiple Raman-based techniques indicated that MGII may have the ability to produce lipids distinct from other archaeal species. Our study provides a valuable approach for investigating and classifying archaea, especially uncultured species, at the single-cell level.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Stevens KM, Hocher A, T Warnecke (2022)

Deep Conservation of Histone Variants in Thermococcales Archaea.

Genome biology and evolution, 14(1):.

Histones are ubiquitous in eukaryotes where they assemble into nucleosomes, binding and wrapping DNA to form chromatin. One process to modify chromatin and regulate DNA accessibility is the replacement of histones in the nucleosome with paralogous variants. Histones are also present in archaea but whether and how histone variants contribute to the generation of different physiologically relevant chromatin states in these organisms remains largely unknown. Conservation of paralogs with distinct properties can provide prima facie evidence for defined functional roles. We recently revealed deep conservation of histone paralogs with different properties in the Methanobacteriales, but little is known experimentally about these histones. In contrast, the two histones of the model archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis, HTkA and HTkB, have been examined in some depth, both in vitro and in vivo. HTkA and HTkB exhibit distinct DNA-binding behaviors and elicit unique transcriptional responses when deleted. Here, we consider the evolution of HTkA/B and their orthologs across the order Thermococcales. We find histones with signature HTkA- and HTkB-like properties to be present in almost all Thermococcales genomes. Phylogenetic analysis indicates the presence of one HTkA- and one HTkB-like histone in the ancestor of Thermococcales and long-term maintenance of these two paralogs throughout Thermococcales diversification. Our results support the notion that archaea and eukaryotes have convergently evolved histone variants that carry out distinct adaptive functions. Intriguingly, we also detect more highly diverged histone-fold proteins, related to those found in some bacteria, in several Thermococcales genomes. The functions of these bacteria-type histones remain unknown, but structural modeling suggests that they can form heterodimers with HTkA/B-like histones.

RevDate: 2022-01-11
CmpDate: 2022-01-11

Liu Y, Wang Q, Pan Q, et al (2022)

Ventilation induced evolution pattern of archaea, fungi, bacteria and their potential roles during co-bioevaporation treatment of concentrated landfill leachate and food waste.

Chemosphere, 289:133122.

To obtain a favorable aeration type in co-bioevaporation treatment of concentrated landfill leachate and food waste, and to deeply understand the co-bioevaporation mechanisms, the temporal evolution differences of archaea, fungi and bacteria as well as the related microbial metabolism genes and functional enzymes under intermittent ventilation (IV) and continuous ventilation (CV) were investigated. Results through metagenomics analysis showed that the less sufficient oxygen and longer thermophilic phase in IV stimulated the vigorous growth of archaea, while CV was beneficial for fungal growth. Even genes of carbohydrates and lipids metabolism and ATP-associated enzymes (enzyme 2.7.13.3 and 3.6.4.12), as well as peptidoglycan biosynthesis enzyme (enzyme 3.4.16.4), were more abundant in CV, IV hold better DNA repair ability, higher microbial viability, and less dehydrogenase sensitivity to temperatures due to the critical contribution of Pseudomonas (3.1-45.9%). Furthermore, IV consumed a similar amount of heat for water evaporation with nearly half of the ventilation of CV and was a favorable aeration type in the practical application of co-bioevaporation.

RevDate: 2022-01-10
CmpDate: 2022-01-10

Yen CY, Lin MG, Chen BW, et al (2021)

Chromosome segregation in Archaea: SegA- and SegB-DNA complex structures provide insights into segrosome assembly.

Nucleic acids research, 49(22):13150-13164.

Genome segregation is a vital process in all organisms. Chromosome partitioning remains obscure in Archaea, the third domain of life. Here, we investigated the SegAB system from Sulfolobus solfataricus. SegA is a ParA Walker-type ATPase and SegB is a site-specific DNA-binding protein. We determined the structures of both proteins and those of SegA-DNA and SegB-DNA complexes. The SegA structure revealed an atypical, novel non-sandwich dimer that binds DNA either in the presence or in the absence of ATP. The SegB structure disclosed a ribbon-helix-helix motif through which the protein binds DNA site specifically. The association of multiple interacting SegB dimers with the DNA results in a higher order chromatin-like structure. The unstructured SegB N-terminus plays an essential catalytic role in stimulating SegA ATPase activity and an architectural regulatory role in segrosome (SegA-SegB-DNA) formation. Electron microscopy results also provide a compact ring-like segrosome structure related to chromosome organization. These findings contribute a novel mechanistic perspective on archaeal chromosome segregation.

RevDate: 2022-03-11
CmpDate: 2022-03-11

Vavilin VA, Lokshina LY, SV Rytov (2022)

Anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled with sulphate reduction: high concentration of methanotrophic archaea might be responsible for low stable isotope fractionation factors in methane.

Isotopes in environmental and health studies, 58(1):44-59.

The changes in δ13CH4 and δ12C1H32H during sulphate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) were described using dynamic modelling. The batch sulphate-dependent AOM at the nearly linear dynamics of methane oxidation with different enriched cultures originating from three marine sediments was simulated. The traditional Rayleigh equation for carbon and hydrogen stable isotopes in methane was derived from the basic dynamic isotope equation. The general and reduced models, taking into account the reaction stoichiometry and based on balances of chemical elements and their isotopes, describes a redistribution of stable isotope values in the sulphate-dependent AOM process. It was shown that AOM is the first and rate-limiting step in the whole AOM + SR (sulphate reduction) process. The different fractionation factors of carbon and hydrogen isotopes in methane were obtained for three marine sediments. It was concluded that during incubation the highest concentration of methanotrophic archaea might be responsible for the lowest fractionation factors of stable isotopes of carbon and hydrogen in methane. The interpretation of this phenomenon was suggested. Different concentrations of methanotrophic archaea can lead to variations of isotope fractionation factors.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Tan RSG, Zhou M, Li F, et al (2021)

Identifying active rumen epithelial associated bacteria and archaea in beef cattle divergent in feed efficiency using total RNA-seq.

Current research in microbial sciences, 2:100064.

To date, the role of ruminal epithelial attached microbiota in cattle feed efficiency is undefined. In this study, we aimed to characterize transcriptionally active bacteria and archaea attached to the rumen epithelial wall and to determine whether they differ in cattle with varied feed efficiency. RNA-sequencing was performed to obtain the rumen epithelial transcriptomes from 9 of the most efficient (low RFI) and 9 of the most inefficient (high RFI) animals. The bacteria and archaea 16S rRNA transcripts were identified using an in-house developed pipeline, enriched from filtered reads that did not map to the bovine genome. Archaea from unclassified genera belonging to the Euryarchaeota phylum showed the most activity on the rumen epithelium of low RFI (81.3 ± 1.9%) and high RFI (76.4 ± 3.0%) steers. Bacteria from the Succinivibrionaceae family showed the greatest activity of bacteria on the low RFI (28.7 ± 9.0%) and high RFI (33.9± 8.8%) epithelium. Of the bacterial families, Campylobacteraceae and Neisseriaceae had significantly greater activity on the low RFI epithelium (p < 0.05) and are known to play a role in oxygen scavenging. Greater activity of rumen epithelial attached oxygen scavenging bacteria may provide more optimal feed fermentation conditions, which contributes to high fermentation efficiency in the rumen.

RevDate: 2022-01-12
CmpDate: 2022-01-12

Amin K, Tranchimand S, Benvegnu T, et al (2021)

Glycoside Hydrolases and Glycosyltransferases from Hyperthermophilic Archaea: Insights on Their Characteristics and Applications in Biotechnology.

Biomolecules, 11(11):.

Hyperthermophilic Archaea colonizing unnatural habitats of extremes conditions such as volcanoes and deep-sea hydrothermal vents represent an unmeasurable bioresource for enzymes used in various industrial applications. Their enzymes show distinct structural and functional properties and are resistant to extreme conditions of temperature and pressure where their mesophilic homologs fail. In this review, we will outline carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) from hyperthermophilic Archaea with specific focus on the two largest families, glycoside hydrolases (GHs) and glycosyltransferases (GTs). We will present the latest advances on these enzymes particularly in the light of novel accumulating data from genomics and metagenomics sequencing technologies. We will discuss the contribution of these enzymes from hyperthermophilic Archaea to industrial applications and put the emphasis on newly identifed enzymes. We will highlight their common biochemical and distinct features. Finally, we will overview the areas that remain to be explored to identify novel promising hyperthermozymes.

RevDate: 2022-03-17
CmpDate: 2022-03-17

Coker OO (2022)

Non-bacteria microbiome (virus, fungi, and archaea) in gastrointestinal cancer.

Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 37(2):256-262.

The gastrointestinal tract houses millions of microbes collectively referred to as the gut microbiome. The gut microbes comprise of bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and microscopic eukaryotes, which co-evolved or colonize the gut forming complex symbiotic and mutualistic relationships. A state of homeostasis is required between host and gut microbiome relationship to maintain several host beneficial processes. Alterations in the taxonomic and functional composition of the gut microbes are associated with several human diseases including gastrointestinal cancers. Owed to their overwhelming abundance and ease of characterization, several studies focus on the role of bacteria in gastrointestinal cancers. There is however growing evidence that non-bacteria gut microbes are associated with the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal cancers. This review details the association of non-bacteria gut microbes including fungi, viruses, and archaea and their potential manipulation in the prevention and treatment of human gastrointestinal cancers.

RevDate: 2022-02-16
CmpDate: 2022-02-16

Fan Q, Fan X, Fu P, et al (2022)

Anaerobic digestion of wood vinegar wastewater using domesticated sludge: Focusing on the relationship between organic degradation and microbial communities (archaea, bacteria, and fungi).

Bioresource technology, 347:126384.

Thermochemical process of biomass is one of the promising renewable energy technologies; however, the by-product (wood vinegar wastewater) is rich in refractory organics, which is harmful to the environment and inhibits the conversion efficiency of microorganisms. Consequently, the dominant functional microbial communities corresponding to the various substrate were obtained through the continuous domestication, and the relationship between the dominant functional communities and the degradation of organic compounds was comprehensively analyzed. The bacterial community was absolutely dominant (approximately 85%), while archaea and fungi had similar relative abundance. The diversity showed that glucose was not conducive to the development of microbial diversity, while the substrate containing wood vinegar wastewater showed the opposite trend. The functional analysis revealed that the enrichment of bacteria associated with the hydrolysis and acidification of organics increased in the domestication process. Glucose facilitated hydrogen-trophic methanogenesis as the main methanogenic pathway in the methanogenic stage.

RevDate: 2021-11-23

Durán-Viseras A, Sánchez-Porro C, A Ventosa (2021)

Genomic Insights Into New Species of the Genus Halomicroarcula Reveals Potential for New Osmoadaptative Strategies in Halophilic Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:751746.

Metagenomic studies on prokaryotic diversity of hypersaline soils from the Odiel saltmarshes, South-west Spain, revealed a high proportion of genomic sequences not related to previously cultivated taxa, that might be related to haloarchaea with a high environmental and nutritional flexibility. In this study, we used a culturomics approach in order to isolate new haloarchaeal microorganisms from these hypersaline soils. Four haloarchaeal strains, designated strains F24AT, F28, F27T, and F13T, phylogenetically related to the genus Halomicroarcula, were isolated and characterized in detail. The phylogenomic tree based on the 100 orthologous single-copy genes present in the genomes of these four strains as well as those of the type strains of the species Halomicroarcula pellucida CECT 7537T, Halomicroarcula salina JCM 18369T and Halomicroarcula limicola JCM 18640T, that were determined in this study, revealed that these four new isolates clustered on three groups, with strains F24AT and F28 within a single cluster, and altogether with the species of Halomicroarcula. Additionally, Orthologous Average Nucleotide Identity (OrthoANI), digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH) and Average Amino-acid Identity (AAI) values, likewise phenotypic characteristics, including their polar lipids profiles, permitted to determine that they represent three new species, for which we propose the names Halomicroarcula rubra sp. nov. (type strain F13T), Halomicroarcula nitratireducens sp. nov. (type strain F27T) and Halomicroarcula salinisoli sp. nov. (type strain F24AT). An in deep comparative genomic analysis of species of the genus Halomicroarcula, including their metabolism, their capability to biosynthesize secondary metabolites and their osmoregulatory adaptation mechanisms was carried out. Although they use a salt-in strategy, the identification of the complete pathways for the biosynthesis of the compatible solutes trehalose and glycine betaine, not identified before in any other haloarchaea, might suggest alternative osmoadaptation strategies for this group. This alternative osmoregulatory mechanism would allow this group of haloarchaea to be versatile and eco-physiologically successful in hypersaline environments and would justify the capability of the species of this genus to grow not only on environments with high salt concentrations [up to 30% (w/v) salts], but also under intermediate to low salinities.

RevDate: 2022-03-17
CmpDate: 2022-03-17

Saghaï A, Banjeree S, Degrune F, et al (2022)

Diversity of archaea and niche preferences among putative ammonia-oxidizing Nitrososphaeria dominating across European arable soils.

Environmental microbiology, 24(1):341-356.

Archaeal communities in arable soils are dominated by Nitrososphaeria, a class within Thaumarchaeota comprising all known ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA). AOA are key players in the nitrogen cycle and defining their niche specialization can help predicting effects of environmental change on these communities. However, hierarchical effects of environmental filters on AOA and the delineation of niche preferences of nitrososphaerial lineages remain poorly understood. We used phylogenetic information at fine scale and machine learning approaches to identify climatic, edaphic and geomorphological drivers of Nitrososphaeria and other archaea along a 3000 km European gradient. Only limited insights into the ecology of the low-abundant archaeal classes could be inferred, but our analyses underlined the multifactorial nature of niche differentiation within Nitrososphaeria. Mean annual temperature, C:N ratio and pH were the best predictors of their diversity, evenness and distribution. Thresholds in the predictions could be defined for C:N ratio and cation exchange capacity. Furthermore, multiple, independent and recent specializations to soil pH were detected in the Nitrososphaeria phylogeny. The coexistence of widespread ecophysiological differences between closely related soil Nitrososphaeria highlights that their ecology is best studied at fine phylogenetic scale.

RevDate: 2021-11-19

Trouche B, Brandt MI, Belser C, et al (2021)

Diversity and Biogeography of Bathyal and Abyssal Seafloor Bacteria and Archaea Along a Mediterranean-Atlantic Gradient.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:702016.

Seafloor sediments cover the majority of planet Earth and microorganisms inhabiting these environments play a central role in marine biogeochemical cycles. Yet, description of the biogeography and distribution of sedimentary microbial life is still too sparse to evaluate the relative contribution of processes driving this distribution, such as the levels of drift, connectivity, and specialization. To address this question, we analyzed 210 archaeal and bacterial metabarcoding libraries from a standardized and horizon-resolved collection of sediment samples from 18 stations along a longitudinal gradient from the eastern Mediterranean to the western Atlantic. Overall, we found that biogeographic patterns depended on the scale considered: while at local scale the selective influence of contemporary environmental conditions appeared strongest, the heritage of historic processes through dispersal limitation and drift became more apparent at regional scale, and ended up superseding contemporary influences at inter-regional scale. When looking at environmental factors, the structure of microbial communities was correlated primarily with water depth, with a clear transition between 800 and 1,200 meters below sea level. Oceanic basin, water temperature, and sediment depth were other important explanatory parameters of community structure. Finally, we propose increasing dispersal limitation and ecological drift with sediment depth as a probable factor for the enhanced divergence of deeper horizons communities.

RevDate: 2021-11-17

Satari L, Guillén A, Latorre-Pérez A, et al (2021)

Beyond Archaea: The Table Salt Bacteriome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:714110.

Commercial table salt is a condiment with food preservative properties by decreasing water activity and increasing osmotic pressure. Salt is also a source of halophilic bacteria and archaea. In the present research, the diversity of halotolerant and halophilic microorganisms was studied in six commercial table salts by culture-dependent and culture-independent techniques. Three table salts were obtained from marine origins: Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean (Ibiza Island), and Odiel marshes (supermarket marine salt). Other salts supplemented with mineral and nutritional ingredients were also used: Himalayan pink, Hawaiian black, and one with dried vegetables known as Viking salt. The results of 16S rRNA gene sequencing reveal that the salts from marine origins display a similar archaeal taxonomy, but with significant variations among genera. Archaeal taxa Halorubrum, Halobacterium, Hallobellus, Natronomonas, Haloplanus, Halonotius, Halomarina, and Haloarcula were prevalent in those three marine salts. Furthermore, the most abundant archaeal genera present in all salts were Natronomonas, Halolamina, Halonotius, Halapricum, Halobacterium, Haloarcula, and uncultured Halobacterales. Sulfitobacter sp. was the most frequent bacteria, represented almost in all salts. Other genera such as Bacillus, Enterococcus, and Flavobacterium were the most frequent taxa in the Viking, Himalayan pink, and black salts, respectively. Interestingly, the genus Salinibacter was detected only in marine-originated salts. A collection of 76 halotolerant and halophilic bacterial and haloarchaeal species was set by culturing on different media with a broad range of salinity and nutrient composition. Comparing the results of 16S rRNA gene metataxonomic and culturomics revealed that culturable bacteria Acinetobacter, Aquibacillus, Bacillus, Brevundimonas, Fictibacillus, Gracilibacillus, Halobacillus, Micrococcus, Oceanobacillus, Salibacterium, Salinibacter, Terribacillus, Thalassobacillus, and also Archaea Haloarcula, Halobacterium, and Halorubrum were identified at least in one sample by both methods. Our results show that salts from marine origins are dominated by Archaea, whereas salts from other sources or salt supplemented with ingredients are dominated by bacteria.

RevDate: 2022-01-20
CmpDate: 2022-01-20

Zou W, Lang M, Zhang L, et al (2022)

Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria rather than ammonia-oxidizing archaea dominate nitrification in a nitrogen-fertilized calcareous soil.

The Science of the total environment, 811:151402.

Microbe-driven nitrification is a key process that affects nitrogen (N) utilization by plants and N loss to the environment in agro-ecosystems. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are important microorganisms that dominate the ammonia oxidation process (the first and rate-limiting step of nitrification). Calcareous soils are widely distributed, accounting for more than 30% of the Earth's land. However, the effects of long-term N fertilization on the potential nitrification rate (PNR) and on AOA and AOB in calcareous soils are poorly understood. In this study, we comprehensively assessed the effects of N application (applied at five rates as urea with 0, 73.5, 105, 136.5 and 250 kg N ha-1 for 12 years) on soil chemical characteristics, PNR, N use efficiency (NUE) and the community characteristics of AOB and AOA in a calcareous soil. N application rate affected AOB beta diversity more than that of AOA. Compared to no N control, N application significantly decreased the relative abundance of Group I.1b clade A of AOA and Nitrosospira cluster 3a.2 of AOB, but increased Nitrosomonas cluster 7 of AOB. The relative abundance of Nitrosospira cluster 3a.2 of AOB was negatively correlated with PNR. A structural equation model showed a direct effect of N application rate on the content of soil organic matter and nitrate, the alpha and beta diversity of AOA and AOB. Nitrate and AOB beta diversity were the key factors affecting PNR. Overall, the alpha, beta diversity and community composition of AOB contribute more to PNR than AOA in calcareous soils with high organic matter content. Understanding the relationship between the characteristics of AOA and AOB in calcareous soils and PNR will help to improve NUE.

RevDate: 2021-11-06

Vázquez-Campos X, Kinsela AS, Bligh MW, et al (2021)

Genomic Insights Into the Archaea Inhabiting an Australian Radioactive Legacy Site.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:732575.

During the 1960s, small quantities of radioactive materials were co-disposed with chemical waste at the Little Forest Legacy Site (LFLS, Sydney, Australia). The microbial function and population dynamics in a waste trench during a rainfall event have been previously investigated revealing a broad abundance of candidate and potentially undescribed taxa in this iron-rich, radionuclide-contaminated environment. Applying genome-based metagenomic methods, we recovered 37 refined archaeal MAGs, mainly from undescribed DPANN Archaea lineages without standing in nomenclature and 'Candidatus Methanoperedenaceae' (ANME-2D). Within the undescribed DPANN, the newly proposed orders 'Ca. Gugararchaeales', 'Ca. Burarchaeales' and 'Ca. Anstonellales', constitute distinct lineages with a more comprehensive central metabolism and anabolic capabilities within the 'Ca. Micrarchaeota' phylum compared to most other DPANN. The analysis of new and extant 'Ca. Methanoperedens spp.' MAGs suggests metal ions as the ancestral electron acceptors during the anaerobic oxidation of methane while the respiration of nitrate/nitrite via molybdopterin oxidoreductases would have been a secondary acquisition. The presence of genes for the biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates in most 'Ca. Methanoperedens' also appears to be a widespread characteristic of the genus for carbon accumulation. This work expands our knowledge about the roles of the Archaea at the LFLS, especially, DPANN Archaea and 'Ca. Methanoperedens', while exploring their diversity, uniqueness, potential role in elemental cycling, and evolutionary history.

RevDate: 2021-11-17

Sutter JM, Johnsen U, Reinhardt A, et al (2021)

Correction to: Pentose degradation in archaea: Halorhabdus species degrade D-xylose, L-arabinose and D-ribose via bacterial-type pathways.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions, 25(5-6):527.

RevDate: 2021-11-02

Liu LJ, Jiang Z, Wang P, et al (2021)

Physiology, Taxonomy, and Sulfur Metabolism of the Sulfolobales, an Order of Thermoacidophilic Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:768283.

The order Sulfolobales (phylum Crenarchaeota) is a group of thermoacidophilic archaea. The first member of the Sulfolobales was discovered in 1972, and current 23 species are validly named under the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes. The majority of members of the Sulfolobales is obligately or facultatively chemolithoautotrophic. When they grow autotrophically, elemental sulfur or reduced inorganic sulfur compounds are their energy sources. Therefore, sulfur metabolism is the most important physiological characteristic of the Sulfolobales. The functions of some enzymes and proteins involved in sulfur reduction, sulfur oxidation, sulfide oxidation, thiosulfate oxidation, sulfite oxidation, tetrathionate hydrolysis, and sulfur trafficking have been determined. In this review, we describe current knowledge about the physiology, taxonomy, and sulfur metabolism of the Sulfolobales, and note future challenges in this field.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Anchal , Kaushik V, M Goel (2021)

Distribution of Peptidyl-Prolyl Isomerase (PPIase) in the Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:751049.

Cis-trans isomerization of the peptide bond prior to proline is an intrinsically slow process but plays an essential role in protein folding. In vivo cis-trans isomerization reaction is catalyzed by Peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIases), a category of proteins widely distributed among all the three domains of life. The present study is majorly focused on the distribution of different types of PPIases in the archaeal domain. All the three hitherto known families of PPIases (namely FKBP, Cyclophilin and parvulin) were studied to identify the evolutionary conservation across the phylum archaea. The basic function of cyclophilin, FKBP and parvulin has been conserved whereas the sequence alignment suggested variations in each clade. The conserved residues within the predicted motif of each family are unique. The available protein structures of different PPIase across various domains were aligned to ascertain the structural variation in the catalytic site. The structural alignment of native PPIase proteins among various groups suggested that the apo-protein may have variable conformations but when bound to their specific inhibitors, they attain similar active site configuration. This is the first study of its kind which explores the distribution of archaeal PPIases, along with detailed structural and functional analysis of each type of PPIase found in archaea.

RevDate: 2022-01-21
CmpDate: 2022-01-20

Wunderer M, Markt R, Lackner N, et al (2022)

The glutamyl tail length of the cofactor F420 in the methanogenic Archaea Methanosarcina thermophila and Methanoculleus thermophilus.

The Science of the total environment, 809:151112.

The cofactor F420 is synthesized by many different organisms and as a redox cofactor, it plays a crucial role in the redox reactions of catabolic and biosynthetic metabolic pathways. It consists of a deazaflavin structure, which is linked via lactate to an oligoglutamate chain, that can vary in length. In the present study, the methanogenic Archaea Methanosarcina thermophila and Methanoculleus thermophilus were cultivated on different carbon sources and their coenzyme F420 composition has been assayed by reversed-phase ion-pair high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorometric detection regarding both, overall cofactor F420 production and distribution of F420 glutamyl tail length. In Methanosarcina thermophila cultivated on methanol, acetate, and a mixture of acetate and methanol, the most abundant cofactors were F420-5 and F420-4, whereby the last digit refers to the number of expressed glutamyl rests. By contrast, in the obligate CO2 reducing Methanoculleus thermophilus the most abundant cofactors were F420-3 and F420-4. In Methanosarcina thermophila, the relative proportions of the expressed F420 tail length changed during batch growth on all three carbon sources. Over time F420-3 and F420-4 decreased while F420-5 and F420-6 increased in their relative proportion in comparison to total F420 content. In contrast, in Methanoculleus thermophilus the relative abundance of the different F420 cofactors remained stable. It was also possible to differentiate the two methanogenic Archaea based on the glutamyl tail length of the cofactor F420. The cofactor F420-5 in concentrations >2% could only be assigned to Methanosarcina thermophila. In all four variants a trend for a positive correlation between the DNA concentration and the total concentration of the cofactor could be shown. Except for the variant Methanosarcinathermophila with acetate as sole carbon source the same could be shown between the concentration of the mcrA gene copy number and the total concentration of the cofactor.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Wang B, Liu N, Yang M, et al (2021)

Co-occurrence of planktonic bacteria and archaea affects their biogeographic patterns in China's coastal wetlands.

Environmental microbiome, 16(1):19.

Planktonic bacteria and archaea play a key role in maintaining ecological functions in aquatic ecosystems; however, their biogeographic patterns and underlying mechanisms have not been well known in coastal wetlands including multiple types and at a large space scale. Therefore, planktonic bacteria and archaea and related environmental factors were investigated in twenty-one wetlands along China's coast to understand the above concerns. The results indicated that planktonic bacteria had different biogeographic pattern from planktonic archaea, and both patterns were not dependent on the wetland's types. Deterministic selection shapes the former's community structure, whereas stochastic processes regulate the latter's, being consistent with the fact that planktonic archaea have a larger niche breadth than planktonic bacteria. Planktonic bacteria and archaea co-occur, and their co-occurrence rather than salinity is more important in shaping their community structure although salinity is found to be a main environmental deterministic factor in the coastal wetland waters. This study highlights the role of planktonic bacteria-archaea co-occurrence on their biogeographic patterns, and thus provides a new insight into studying underlying mechanisms of microbial biogeography in coastal wetlands.

RevDate: 2021-11-22
CmpDate: 2021-11-22

Westoby M, Nielsen DA, Gillings MR, et al (2021)

Strategic traits of bacteria and archaea vary widely within substrate-use groups.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 97(11):.

Quantitative traits such as maximum growth rate and cell radial diameter are one facet of ecological strategy variation across bacteria and archaea. Another facet is substrate-use pathways, such as iron reduction or methylotrophy. Here, we ask how these two facets intersect, using a large compilation of data for culturable species and examining seven quantitative traits (genome size, signal transduction protein count, histidine kinase count, growth temperature, temperature-adjusted maximum growth rate, cell radial diameter and 16S rRNA operon copy number). Overall, quantitative trait variation within groups of organisms possessing a particular substrate-use pathway was very broad, outweighing differences between substrate-use groups. Although some substrate-use groups had significantly different means for some quantitative traits, standard deviation of quantitative trait values within each substrate-use pathway mostly averaged between 1.6 and 1.8 times larger than standard deviation across group means. Most likely, this wide variation reflects ecological strategy: for example, fast maximum growth rate is likely to express an early successional or copiotrophic strategy, and maximum growth varies widely within most substrate-use pathways. In general, it appears that these quantitative traits express different and complementary information about ecological strategy, compared with substrate use.

RevDate: 2022-03-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-01

Ye H, Tang C, Cao Y, et al (2022)

Contribution of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria to nitrification under different biogeochemical factors in acidic soils.

Environmental science and pollution research international, 29(12):17209-17222.

Nitrification in soils is an essential process that involves archaeal and bacterial ammonia-oxidizers. Despite its importance, the relative contributions of soil factors to the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) and their nitrification performances are seldom discussed. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of AOA and AOB abundance and different environmental conditions (pH, TC, TN, moisture, and temperature) on nitrification performance. The soils of the long-term fertilized tea orchards and forests were sampled in the field, and nitrification experiments were conducted in the laboratory. The acid soils were collected from the field and used in laboratory incubation experiments to calculate the nitrification rate, including the net nitrification rate (NN rate), nitrification potential (NP), and nitrification kinetics. The basic parameters, different forms of nitrogen content, and AOA and AOB amoA gene copies were also analyzed. Compared with the forest soil, the tea orchard soil had a lower pH and higher nitrogen content (p < 0.05). The AOA and AOB abundance in the soils of the forests and tea orchards were pH-dependent. The NN rate and NP had good relationships with AOA or AOB in the forest soil; however, poor relationships were observed in the tea orchard soil. When pH < 4, the performances of AOA and AOB were restricted by pH and the environment, especially in long-term fertilized farmlands. Long-term fertilization can cause soil acidification, which regulates the abundance of AOA and AOB and their nitrifying ability. The soil environment rather than AOA or AOB could control nitrification in long-term fertilized farmlands with a pH below 4. These findings could improve fertilization efficiency and control nutrient runoff in hilly agricultural ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Chouhan BPS, Gade M, Martinez D, et al (2022)

Implications of divergence of methionine adenosyltransferase in archaea.

FEBS open bio, 12(1):130-145.

Methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT) catalyzes the biosynthesis of S-adenosyl methionine from l-methionine and ATP. MAT enzymes are ancient, believed to share a common ancestor, and are highly conserved in all three domains of life. However, the sequences of archaeal MATs show considerable divergence compared with their bacterial and eukaryotic counterparts. Furthermore, the structural significance and functional significance of this sequence divergence are not well understood. In the present study, we employed structural analysis and ancestral sequence reconstruction to investigate archaeal MAT divergence. We observed that the dimer interface containing the active site (which is usually well conserved) diverged considerably between the bacterial/eukaryotic MATs and archaeal MAT. A detailed investigation of the available structures supports the sequence analysis outcome: The protein domains and subdomains of bacterial and eukaryotic MAT are more similar than those of archaea. Finally, we resurrected archaeal MAT ancestors. Interestingly, archaeal MAT ancestors show substrate specificity, which is lost during evolution. This observation supports the hypothesis of a common MAT ancestor for the three domains of life. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that archaeal MAT is an ideal system for studying an enzyme family that evolved differently in one domain compared with others while maintaining the same catalytic activity.

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RJR Experience and Expertise

Researcher

Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.

Educator

Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.

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Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.

Technologist

Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.

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While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.

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Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.

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Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.

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Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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Some Archaea thrive in extreme places around the planet such as in thermal pools, hot vents at the bottom of the sea, extremely salty water, and even in underground oil reserves. Others are found in the intestines of animals and in plankton, tiny organisms that form a feeding reserve for larger marine life. Once grouped with bacteria, the DNA of this fascinating group is sufficiently different that scientists have proposed that they should have a sixth kingdom of their own. This book examines the three main divisions into which members of the diverse Archaea kingdom are grouped according to their unusual biology. It also explains why little in general is known about them, and why further classification of Archaea is so difficult.

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Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

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