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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 21 Nov 2018 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®)

RevDate: 2018-11-19

Najafi A, Moradinasab M, Seyedabadi M, et al (2018)

First Molecular Identification of Symbiotic Archaea in a Sponge Collected from the Persian Gulf, Iran.

The open microbiology journal, 12:323-332 pii:TOMICROJ-12-323.

Background: Marine sponges are associated with numerically vast and phylogenetically diverse microbial communities at different geographical locations. However, little is known about the archaeal diversity of sponges in the Persian Gulf. The present study was aimed to identify the symbiotic archaea with a sponge species gathered from the Persian Gulf, Iran.

Methods: Sponge sample was collected from a depth of 3 m offshore Bushehr, Persian Gulf, Iran. Metagenomic DNA was extracted using a hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) method. The COI mtDNA marker was used for molecular taxonomy identification of sponge sample. Also, symbiotic archaea were identified using the culture-independent analysis of the 16S rRNA gene and PCR- cloning.

Results: In this study, analysis of multilocus DNA marker and morphological characteristics revealed that the sponge species belonged to Chondrilla australiensis isolate PG_BU4. PCR cloning and sequencing showed that all of the sequences of archaeal 16S rRNA gene libraries clustered into the uncultured archaeal group.

Conclusion: The present study is the first report of the presence of the genus of Chondrilla in the Persian Gulf. Traditional taxonomy methods, when used along with molecular techniques, could play a significant role in the accurate taxonomy of sponges. Also, the uncultured archaea may promise a potential source for bioactive compounds. Further functional studies are needed to explore the role of the sponge-associated uncultured archaea as a part of the marine symbiosis.

RevDate: 2018-10-30

Peck RF, Graham SM, AM Gregory (2018)

Species widely distributed in halophilic Archaea exhibit opsin-mediated inhibition of bacterioruberin biosynthesis.

Journal of bacteriology pii:JB.00576-18 [Epub ahead of print].

Halophilic Archaea are a distinctive pink color due to a carotenoid pigment called bacterioruberin. To sense or utilize light, many halophilic Archaea also produce rhodopsins, complexes of opsin proteins with a retinal prosthetic group. Both bacterioruberin and retinal are synthesized from isoprenoid precursors with lycopene as the last shared intermediate. We previously described a regulatory mechanism in which Halobacterium salinarum bacterioopsin and Haloarcula vallismortis cruxopsin, respectively, inhibit bacterioruberin synthesis catalyzed by lycopene elongase. In this work, we found that opsins in all three major Halobacteria clades inhibit bacterioruberin synthesis, suggesting that this regulatory mechanism existed in the common Halobacteria ancestor. Halophilic Archaea, generally heterotrophic and aerobic, likely evolved from an autotrophic, anaerobic methanogen ancestor by acquiring many genes from Bacteria via lateral gene transfer. These Bacteria "imports" include genes encoding opsins and lycopene elongases. To determine if opsins from Bacteria inhibit bacterioruberin synthesis, we tested Bacterial opsins and found that an opsin from Curtobacterium, in the Actinobacteria phylum, inhibits bacterioruberin synthesis catalyzed by its own lycopene elongase as well as several Archaeal enzymes. We also determined that the lycopene elongase from Halococcus salifodinae, a species from a family of Halobacteria lacking opsin homologs, retained the capacity to be inhibited by opsins. Together, our results indicate that opsin-mediated inhibition of bacterioruberin biosynthesis is a widely-distributed mechanism found in both Archaea and Bacteria, possibly predating the divergence of the two domains. Further analysis may provide insight into the acquisition and evolution of the genes and their host species.IMPORTANCE All organisms use a variety of mechanisms to allocate limited resources to match their needs in their current environment. We explore how halophilic microbes use a novel mechanism to allow efficient production of rhodopsin, a complex of an opsin proteins and a retinal prosthetic group. We previously demonstrated that Halobacterium salinarum bacterioopsin directs available resources towards retinal by inhibiting synthesis of bacterioruberin, a molecule that shares precursors with retinal. In this work, we show that this mechanism can be carried out by proteins from halophilic Archaea that are not closely related to H. salinarum and in at least one species of Bacteria. Therefore, opsin-mediated inhibition of bacterioruberin synthesis may be a highly-conserved, ancient regulatory mechanism.

RevDate: 2018-10-29

Seth-Pasricha M, Senn S, Sanman LE, et al (2018)

Catalytic linkage between caspase activity and proteostasis in Archaea.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The model haloarchaeon, Haloferax volcanii possess an extremely high, and highly specific, basal caspase activity in exponentially growing cells that closely resembles caspase-4, is specifically inhibited by the pan-caspase inhibitor, z-VAD-FMK, has no cross-reactivity with other known protease families. Although it is one of the dominant cellular proteolytic activities in exponentially growing H. volcanii cells, the interactive cellular roles remain unknown and the protein(s) responsible for this activity remain elusive. Here, biochemical purification and in situ trapping with caspase targeted covalent inhibitors combined with genome-enabled proteomics, structural analysis, targeted gene knockouts, and treatment with canavanine demonstrated a catalytic linkage between caspase activity and thermosomes, proteasomes, and cdc48b, a cell division protein and proteasomal degradation facilitating ATPase, as part of an 'interactase' of stress-related protein complexes with an established link to the unfolded protein response (UPR). Our findings provide novel cellular and biochemical context for the observed caspase activity in Archaea and add new insight to understanding the role of this activity, implicating their possible role in the establishment of protein stress and ER associated degradation pathways in Eukarya. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-10-25

Harish A (2018)

What is an archaeon and are the Archaea really unique?.

PeerJ, 6:e5770 pii:5770.

The recognition of the group Archaea as a major branch of the tree of life (ToL) prompted a new view of the evolution of biodiversity. The genomic representation of archaeal biodiversity has since significantly increased. In addition, advances in phylogenetic modeling of multi-locus datasets have resolved many recalcitrant branches of the ToL. Despite the technical advances and an expanded taxonomic representation, two important aspects of the origins and evolution of the Archaea remain controversial, even as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the monumental discovery. These issues concern (i) the uniqueness (monophyly) of the Archaea, and (ii) the evolutionary relationships of the Archaea to the Bacteria and the Eukarya; both of these are relevant to the deep structure of the ToL. To explore the causes for this persistent ambiguity, I examine multiple datasets and different phylogenetic approaches that support contradicting conclusions. I find that the uncertainty is primarily due to a scarcity of information in standard datasets-universal core-genes datasets-to reliably resolve the conflicts. These conflicts can be resolved efficiently by comparing patterns of variation in the distribution of functional genomic signatures, which are less diffused unlike patterns of primary sequence variation. Relatively lower heterogeneity in distribution patterns minimizes uncertainties and supports statistically robust phylogenetic inferences, especially of the earliest divergences of life. This case study further highlights the limitations of primary sequence data in resolving difficult phylogenetic problems, and raises questions about evolutionary inferences drawn from the analyses of sequence alignments of a small set of core genes. In particular, the findings of this study corroborate the growing consensus that reversible substitution mutations may not be optimal phylogenetic markers for resolving early divergences in the ToL, nor for determining the polarity of evolutionary transitions across the ToL.

RevDate: 2018-10-21

Pornkulwat P, Kurisu F, Soonglerdsongpha S, et al (2018)

Incorporation of 13C-HCO3- by ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria during ammonia oxidation of sludge from a municipal wastewater treatment plant.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology pii:10.1007/s00253-018-9436-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) have recently been proposed as potential players for ammonia removal in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). However, there is little evidence directly showing the contribution of AOA to ammonia oxidation in these engineered systems. In this study, DNA-stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP) with labeled 13C-HCO3- was introduced to sludge from a municipal WWTP. Quantitative PCR demonstrated that AOA amoA genes outnumbered AOB amoA genes in this WWTP sludge. AOA amoA gene sequence analysis revealed that AOA present in this WWTP were specific to one subcluster within the group 1.1b Thaumarchaeota. When ammonia was supplied to DNA-SIP incubation, the DNA-SIP profiles demonstrated the incorporation of the 13C into AOA and AOB. However, the 13C was not found to be assimilated into both microorganisms in the incubation without ammonia. Specific primers were designed to target amoA genes of AOA belonging to the subcluster found in this WWTP. Applying the primers to DNA-SIP experiment revealed that AOA of this subcluter most likely utilized inorganic carbon during ammonia oxidation under the studied conditions.

RevDate: 2018-10-21

Lemor M, Kong Z, Henry E, et al (2018)

Differential Activities of DNA Polymerases in Processing Ribonucleotides during DNA Synthesis in Archaea.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(18)30727-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Consistent with the fact that ribonucleotides (rNTPs) are in excess over deoxyribonucleotides (dNTPs) in vivo, recent findings indicate that replicative DNA polymerases (DNA Pols) are able to insert ribonucleotides (rNMPs) during DNA synthesis, raising crucial questions about the fidelity of DNA replication in both Bacteria and Eukarya. Here, we report that the level of rNTPs is 20-fold higher than that of dNTPs in Pyrococcus abyssi cells. Using dNTP and rNTP concentrations present in vivo, we recorded rNMP incorporation in a template-specific manner during in vitro synthesis, with the family-D DNA Pol (PolD) having the highest propensity compared with the family-B DNA Pol and the p41/p46 complex. We also showed that ribonucleotides accumulate at a relatively high frequency in the genome of wild-type Thermococcales cells and this frequency significantly increases upon deletion of RNase HII, the major enzyme responsible for the removal of RNA from DNA. Because ribonucleotides remain in genomic DNA, we then analyzed the effects on polymerization activities by the three DNA Pols. Depending on the identity of the base and the sequence context, all three DNA Pols bypass rNMP-containing DNA templates with variable efficiency and nucleotide (mis)incorporation ability. Unexpectedly, we found that PolD correctly base-paired a single ribonucleotide opposite rNMP-containing DNA templates. An evolutionary scenario is discussed concerning rNMP incorporation into DNA and genome stability.

RevDate: 2018-10-17

Huang L, Ashraf S, DMJ Lilley (2018)

The role of RNA structure in translational regulation by L7Ae protein in archaea.

RNA (New York, N.Y.) pii:rna.068510.118 [Epub ahead of print].

A recent study has shown that archaeal L7Ae binds to a putative k-turn structure in the 5'-leader of the mRNA of its structural gene to regulate translation. To function as a regulator the RNA should be unstructured in the absence of protein, but it should adopt a k-turn-containing stem-loop on binding L7Ae. Sequence analysis of UTR sequences indicates that their k-turn elements will be unable to fold in the absence of L7Ae, and we have demonstrated this experimentally in solution using FRET for the Archeoglobus fulgidus sequence. We have solved the X-ray crystal structure of the complex of the A. fulgidus RNA bound to its cognate L7Ae protein. The RNA adopts a standard k-turn conformation, that is specifically recognized by the L7Ae protein so stabilizing the stem-loop. In-line probing of the natural-sequence UTR shows that the RNA is unstructured in the absence of L7Ae binding, but folds on binding the protein such that the ribosome binding site is occluded. Thus L7Ae regulates its own translation by switching the conformation of the RNA to alter accessibility.

RevDate: 2018-10-16

Rinke C, Rubino F, Messer LF, et al (2018)

A phylogenomic and ecological analysis of the globally abundant Marine Group II archaea (Ca. Poseidoniales ord. nov.).

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0282-y [Epub ahead of print].

Marine Group II (MGII) archaea represent the most abundant planktonic archaeal group in ocean surface waters, but our understanding of the group has been limited by a lack of cultured representatives and few sequenced genomes. Here, we conducted a comparative phylogenomic analysis of 270 recently available MGII metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) to investigate their evolution and ecology. Based on a rank-normalised genome phylogeny, we propose that MGII is an order-level lineage for which we propose the name Candidatus Poseidoniales (after Gr. n. Poseidon, God of the sea), comprising the families Candidatus Poseidonaceae fam. nov. (formerly subgroup MGIIa) and Candidatus Thalassarchaeaceae fam. nov. (formerly subgroup MGIIb). Within these families, 21 genera could be resolved, many of which had distinct biogeographic ranges and inferred nutrient preferences. Phylogenetic analyses of key metabolic functions suggest that the ancestor of Ca. Poseidoniales was a surface water-dwelling photoheterotroph that evolved to occupy multiple related ecological niches based primarily on spectral tuning of proteorhodopsin genes. Interestingly, this adaptation appears to involve an overwrite mechanism whereby an existing single copy of the proteorhodopsin gene is replaced by a horizontally transferred copy, which in many instances should allow an abrupt change in light absorption capacity. Phototrophy was lost entirely from five Ca. Poseidoniales genera coinciding with their adaptation to deeper aphotic waters. We also report the first instances of nitrate reductase in two genera acquired via horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which was a potential adaptation to oxygen limitation. Additional metabolic traits differentiating families and genera include flagellar-based adhesion, transporters, and sugar, amino acid, and peptide degradation. Our results suggest that HGT has shaped the evolution of Ca. Poseidoniales to occupy a variety of ecological niches and to become the most successful archaeal lineage in ocean surface waters.

RevDate: 2018-10-14

Yin Z, Bi X, C Xu (2018)

Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea (AOA) Play with Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB) in Nitrogen Removal from Wastewater.

Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.), 2018:8429145.

An increase in the number of publications in recent years indicates that besides ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) may play an important role in nitrogen removal from wastewater, gaining wide attention in the wastewater engineering field. This paper reviews the current knowledge on AOA and AOB involved in wastewater treatment systems and summarises the environmental factors affecting AOA and AOB. Current findings reveal that AOA have stronger environmental adaptability compared with AOB under extreme environmental conditions (such as low temperature and low oxygen level). However, there is still little information on the cooperation and competition relationship between AOA and AOB, and other microbes related to nitrogen removal, which needs further exploration. Furthermore, future studies are proposed to develop novel nitrogen removal processes dominated by AOA by parameter optimization.

RevDate: 2018-10-10

Genderjahn S, Alawi M, Mangelsdorf K, et al (2018)

Desiccation- and Saline-Tolerant Bacteria and Archaea in Kalahari Pan Sediments.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2082.

More than 41% of the Earth's land area is covered by permanent or seasonally arid dryland ecosystems. Global development and human activity have led to an increase in aridity, resulting in ecosystem degradation and desertification around the world. The objective of the present work was to investigate and compare the microbial community structure and geochemical characteristics of two geographically distinct saline pan sediments in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. Our data suggest that these microbial communities have been shaped by geochemical drivers, including water content, salinity, and the supply of organic matter. Using Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing, this study provides new insights into the diversity of bacteria and archaea in semi-arid, saline, and low-carbon environments. Many of the observed taxa are halophilic and adapted to water-limiting conditions. The analysis reveals a high relative abundance of halophilic archaea (primarily Halobacteria), and the bacterial diversity is marked by an abundance of Gemmatimonadetes and spore-forming Firmicutes. In the deeper, anoxic layers, candidate division MSBL1, and acetogenic bacteria (Acetothermia) are abundant. Together, the taxonomic information and geochemical data suggest that acetogenesis could be a prevalent form of metabolism in the deep layers of a saline pan.

RevDate: 2018-10-06

Du Toit A (2018)

Profilin(g) Asgard archaea.

Nature reviews. Microbiology pii:10.1038/s41579-018-0100-6 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2018-10-04

Akıl C, RC Robinson (2018)

Genomes of Asgard archaea encode profilins that regulate actin.

Nature pii:10.1038/s41586-018-0548-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The origin of the eukaryotic cell is unresolved1,2. Metagenomics sequencing has recently identified several potential eukaryotic gene homologues in Asgard archaea3,4, consistent with the hypothesis that the eukaryotic cell evolved from within the Archaea domain. However, many of these eukaryotic-like sequences are highly divergent and the organisms have yet to be imaged or cultivated, which brings into question the extent to which these archaeal proteins represent functional equivalents of their eukaryotic counterparts. Here we show that Asgard archaea encode functional profilins and thereby establish that this archaeal superphylum has a regulated actin cytoskeleton, one of the hallmarks of the eukaryotic cell5. Loki profilin-1, Loki profilin-2 and Odin profilin adopt the typical profilin fold and are able to interact with rabbit actin-an interaction that involves proteins from species that diverged more than 1.2 billion years ago6. Biochemical experiments reveal that mammalian actin polymerizes in the presence of Asgard profilins; however, Loki, Odin and Heimdall profilins impede pointed-end elongation. These archaeal profilins also retard the spontaneous nucleation of actin filaments, an effect that is reduced in the presence of phospholipids. Asgard profilins do not interact with polyproline motifs and the profilin-polyproline interaction therefore probably evolved later in the Eukarya lineage. These results suggest that Asgard archaea possess a primordial, polar, profilin-regulated actin system, which may be localized to membranes owing to the sensitivity of Asgard profilins to phospholipids. Because Asgard archaea are also predicted to encode potential eukaryotic-like genes involved in membrane-trafficking and endocytosis3,4, imaging is now necessary to elucidate whether these organisms are capable of generating eukaryotic-like membrane dynamics that are regulated by actin, such as are observed in eukaryotic cell movement, podosomes and endocytosis.

RevDate: 2018-10-07

Ramezani A, Nolin TD, Barrows IR, et al (2018)

Gut Colonization with Methanogenic Archaea Lowers Plasma Trimethylamine N-oxide Concentrations in Apolipoprotein e-/- Mice.

Scientific reports, 8(1):14752 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-33018-5.

A mechanistic link between trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and atherogenesis has been reported. TMAO is generated enzymatically in the liver by the oxidation of trimethylamine (TMA), which is produced from dietary choline, carnitine and betaine by gut bacteria. It is known that certain members of methanogenic archaea (MA) could use methylated amines such as trimethylamine as growth substrates in culture. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy of gut colonization with MA on lowering plasma TMAO concentrations. Initially, we screened for the colonization potential and TMAO lowering efficacy of five MA species in C57BL/6 mice fed with high choline/TMA supplemented diet, and found out that all five species could colonize and lover plasma TMAO levels, although with different efficacies. The top performing MA, Methanobrevibacter smithii, Methanosarcina mazei, and Methanomicrococcus blatticola, were transplanted into Apoe-/- mice fed with high choline/TMA supplemented diet. Similar to C57BL/6 mice, following initial provision of the MA, there was progressive attrition of MA within fecal microbial communities post-transplantation during the initial 3 weeks of the study. In general, plasma TMAO concentrations decreased significantly in proportion to the level of MA colonization. In a subsequent experiment, use of antibiotics and repeated transplantation of Apoe-/- mice with M. smithii, led to high engraftment levels during the 9 weeks of the study, resulting in a sustained and significantly lower average plasma TMAO concentrations (18.2 ± 19.6 μM) compared to that in mock-transplanted control mice (120.8 ± 13.0 μM, p < 0.001). Compared to control Apoe-/- mice, M. smithii-colonized mice also had a 44% decrease in aortic plaque area (8,570 μm [95% CI 19587-151821] vs. 15,369 μm [95% CI [70058-237321], p = 0.34), and 52% reduction in the fat content in the atherosclerotic plaques (14,283 μm [95% CI 4,957-23,608] vs. 29,870 μm [95% CI 18,074-41,666], p = 0.10), although these differences did not reach significance. Gut colonization with M. smithii leads to a significant reduction in plasma TMAO levels, with a tendency for attenuation of atherosclerosis burden in Apoe-/- mice. The anti-atherogenic potential of MA should be further tested in adequately powered experiments.

RevDate: 2018-10-10

Duan P, Fan C, Zhang Q, et al (2018)

Overdose fertilization induced ammonia-oxidizing archaea producing nitrous oxide in intensive vegetable fields.

The Science of the total environment, 650(Pt 2):1787-1794 pii:S0048-9697(18)33810-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Little is known about the effects of nitrogen (N) fertilization rates on ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and their differential contribution to nitrous oxide (N2O) production, particularly in greenhouse based high N input vegetable soils. Six N treatments (N1, N2, N3, N4, N5 and N6 representing 0, 293, 587, 880, 1173 and 1760 kg N ha-1 yr-1, respectively) were continuously managed for three years in a typically intensified vegetable field in China. The aerobic incubation experiment involving these field-treated soils was designed to evaluate the relative contributions of AOA and AOB to N2O production by using acetylene or 1-octyne as inhibitors. The results showed that the soil pH and net nitrification rate gradually declined with increasing the fertilizer N application rates. The AOA were responsible for 44-71% of the N2O production with negligible N2O from AOB in urea unamended control soils. With urea amendment, the AOA were responsible for 48-53% of the N2O production in the excessively fertilized soils, namely the N5-N6 soils, while the AOB were responsible for 42-55% in the conventionally fertilized soils, namely the N1-N4 soils. Results indicated that overdose fertilization induced higher AOA-dependent N2O production than AOB, whereas urea supply led to higher AOB-dependent N2O production than AOA in conventionally fertilized soils. Additionally, a positive relationship existed between N2O production and NO2- accumulation during the incubation. Further mechanisms for NO2--dependent N2O production in intensive vegetable soils therefore deserve urgent attention.

RevDate: 2018-10-02

Cheung MK, Wong CK, Chu KH, et al (2018)

Community Structure, Dynamics and Interactions of Bacteria, Archaea and Fungi in Subtropical Coastal Wetland Sediments.

Scientific reports, 8(1):14397 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-32529-5.

Bacteria, archaea and fungi play crucial roles in wetland biogeochemical processes. However, little is known about their community structure, dynamics and interactions in subtropical coastal wetlands. Here, we examined communities of the three kingdoms in mangrove and mudflat sediments of a subtropical coastal wetland using Ion Torrent amplicon sequencing and co-occurrence network analysis. Bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities comprised mainly of members from the phyla Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, Bathyarchaeota and Euryarchaeota, and Ascomycota, respectively. Species richness and Shannon diversity were highest in bacteria, followed by archaea and were lowest in fungi. Distinct spatiotemporal patterns were observed, with bacterial and fungal communities varying, to different extent, between wet and dry seasons and between mangrove and mudflat, and archaeal community remaining relatively stable between seasons and regions. Redundancy analysis revealed temperature as the major driver of the seasonal patterns of bacterial and fungal communities but also highlighted the importance of interkingdom biotic factors in shaping the community structure of all three kingdoms. Potential ecological interactions and putative keystone taxa were identified based on co-occurrence network analysis. These findings facilitate current understanding of the microbial ecology of subtropical coastal wetlands and provide a basis for better modelling of ecological processes in this important ecosystem.

RevDate: 2018-09-28

Krzmarzick MJ, Taylor DK, Fu X, et al (2018)

Diversity and Niche of Archaea in Bioremediation.

Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.), 2018:3194108.

Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms for the degradation or removal of contaminants. Most bioremediation research has focused on processes performed by the domain Bacteria; however, Archaea are known to play important roles in many situations. In extreme conditions, such as halophilic or acidophilic environments, Archaea are well suited for bioremediation. In other conditions, Archaea collaboratively work alongside Bacteria during biodegradation. In this review, the various roles that Archaea have in bioremediation is covered, including halophilic hydrocarbon degradation, acidophilic hydrocarbon degradation, hydrocarbon degradation in nonextreme environments such as soils and oceans, metal remediation, acid mine drainage, and dehalogenation. Research needs are addressed in these areas. Beyond bioremediation, these processes are important for wastewater treatment (particularly industrial wastewater treatment) and help in the understanding of the natural microbial ecology of several Archaea genera.

RevDate: 2018-09-26

Lambert S, Tragin M, Lozano JC, et al (2018)

Rhythmicity of coastal marine picoeukaryotes, bacteria and archaea despite irregular environmental perturbations.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0281-z [Epub ahead of print].

Seasonality in marine microorganisms has been classically observed in phytoplankton blooms, and more recently studied at the community level in prokaryotes, but rarely investigated at the scale of individual microbial taxa. Here we test if specific marine eukaryotic phytoplankton, bacterial and archaeal taxa display yearly rhythms at a coastal site impacted by irregular environmental perturbations. Our seven-year study in the Bay of Banyuls (North Western Mediterranean Sea) shows that despite some fluctuating environmental conditions, many microbial taxa displayed significant yearly rhythms. The robust rhythmicity was found in both autotrophs (picoeukaryotes and cyanobacteria) and heterotrophic prokaryotes. Sporadic meteorological events and irregular nutrient supplies did, however, trigger the appearance of less common non-rhythmic taxa. Among the environmental parameters that were measured, the main drivers of rhythmicity were temperature and day length. Seasonal autotrophs may thus be setting the pace for rhythmic heterotrophs. Similar environmental niches may be driving seasonality as well. The observed strong association between Micromonas and SAR11, which both need thiamine precursors for growth, could be a first indication that shared nutritional niches may explain some rhythmic patterns of co-occurrence.

RevDate: 2018-09-26

Michael AJ (2018)

Polyamine function in archaea and bacteria.

The Journal of biological chemistry pii:TM118.005670 [Epub ahead of print].

Most of the phylogenetic diversity of life is found in bacteria and archaea, and is reflected in the diverse metabolism and functions of bacterial and archaeal polyamines. The polyamine spermidine was probably present in the last universal common ancestor, and polyamines are known to be necessary for critical physiological functions in bacteria, such as growth, biofilm formation, and other surface behaviors, and production of natural products such as siderophores. There is also phylogenetic diversity of function, indicated by the role of polyamines in planktonic growth of different species ranging from absolutely essential to entirely dispensable. However, the cellular molecular mechanisms responsible for polyamine function in bacterial growth are almost entirely unknown. In contrast, the molecular mechanisms of essential polyamine functions in archaea are better understood: covalent modification by polyamines of translation factor aIF5A, and the agmatine modification of tRNAIle. As with bacterial hyperthermophiles, archaeal thermophiles require long chain and branched polyamines for growth at high temperatures. For bacterial species in which polyamines are essential for growth, it is still unknown whether the molecular mechanisms underpinning polyamine function involve covalent or noncovalent interactions. Understanding the cellular molecular mechanisms of polyamine function in bacterial growth and physiology remains one of the great challenges for future polyamine research.

RevDate: 2018-09-25

Wolfe JM, GP Fournier (2018)

Reply to 'Molecular clocks provide little information to date methanogenic Archaea'.

RevDate: 2018-09-25

Roger AJ, E Susko (2018)

Molecular clocks provide little information to date methanogenic Archaea.

RevDate: 2018-09-26

Zaretsky M, Roine E, J Eichler (2018)

Sialic Acid-Like Sugars in Archaea: Legionaminic Acid Biosynthesis in the Halophile Halorubrum sp. PV6.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2133.

N-glycosylation is a post-translational modification that occurs in all three domains. In Archaea, however, N-linked glycans present a degree of compositional diversity not observed in either Eukarya or Bacteria. As such, it is surprising that nonulosonic acids (NulOs), nine-carbon sugars that include sialic acids, pseudaminic acids, and legionaminic acids, are routinely detected as components of protein-linked glycans in Eukarya and Bacteria but not in Archaea. In the following, we report that the N-linked glycan attached to the S-layer glycoprotein of the haloarchaea Halorubrum sp. PV6 includes an N-formylated legionaminic acid. Analysis of the Halorubrum sp. PV6 genome led to the identification of sequences predicted to comprise the legionaminic acid biosynthesis pathway. The transcription of pathway genes was confirmed, as was the co-transcription of several of these genes. In addition, the activities of LegI, which catalyzes the condensation of 2,4-di-N-acetyl-6-deoxymannose and phosphoenolpyruvate to generate legionaminic acid, and LegF, which catalyzes the addition of cytidine monophosphate (CMP) to legionaminic acid, both heterologously expressed in Haloferax volcanii, were demonstrated. Further genome analysis predicts that the genes encoding enzymes of the legionaminic acid biosynthetic pathway are clustered together with sequences seemingly encoding components of the N-glycosylation pathway in this organism. In defining the first example of a legionaminic acid biosynthesis pathway in Archaea, the findings reported here expand our insight into archaeal N-glycosylation, an almost universal post-translational modification in this domain of life.

RevDate: 2018-09-22

Maupin-Furlow JA (2018)

Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases of Archaea.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 7(10): pii:antiox7100124.

Methionine sulfoxide reductases are found in all domains of life and are important in reversing the oxidative damage of the free and protein forms of methionine, a sulfur containing amino acid particularly sensitive to reactive oxygen species (ROS). Archaea are microbes of a domain of life distinct from bacteria and eukaryotes. Archaea are well known for their ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions that range from habitats of high ROS, such as hypersaline lakes of intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation and desiccation, to hydrothermal vents of low concentrations of dissolved oxygen at high temperature. Recent evidence reveals the methionine sulfoxide reductases of archaea function not only in the reduction of methionine sulfoxide but also in the ubiquitin-like modification of protein targets during oxidative stress, an association that appears evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes. Here is reviewed methionine sulfoxide reductases and their distribution and function in archaea.

RevDate: 2018-09-23

Eger M, Graz M, Riede S, et al (2018)

Application of MootralTM Reduces Methane Production by Altering the Archaea Community in the Rumen Simulation Technique.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2094.

The reduction of methane emissions by ruminants is a highly desirable goal to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Various feed additives have already been tested for their ability to decrease methane production; however, practical use is often limited due to negative effects on rumen fermentation or high costs. Organosulphur compounds from garlic (Allium sativum) and flavonoids have been identified as promising plant-derived compounds which are able to reduce methane production. Here, we evaluated the effects of a combination of garlic powder and bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) extracts, Mootral, on ruminal methane production, ruminal fermentation and the community of methanogenic Archaea by using the rumen simulation technique as ex vivo model. The experiment consisted of an equilibration period of 7 days, an experimental period of 8 days and a withdrawal period of 4 days. During the experimental period three fermenters each were either treated as controls (CON), received a low dose of Mootral (LD), a high dose of Mootral (HD), or monensin (MON) as positive control. Application of Mootral strongly reduced the proportion of methane in the fermentation gas and the production rate of methane. Moreover, the experimental mixture induced a dose-dependent increase in the production rate of short chain fatty acids and in the molar proportion of butyrate. Some effects persisted during the withdrawal period. Both, single strand conformation polymorphism and Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing indicated an archaeal community distinct from CON and MON samples in the LD and HD samples. Among archaeal families the percentage of Methanobacteriaceae was reduced during application of both doses of Mootral. Moreover, several significant differences were observed on OTU level among treatment groups and after withdrawal of the additives for LD and HD group. At day 14, 4 OTUs were positively correlated with methane production. In conclusion this mixture of garlic and citrus compounds appears to effectively reduce methane production by alteration of the archaeal community without exhibiting negative side effects on rumen fermentation.

RevDate: 2018-10-09

Ren L, Cai C, Zhang J, et al (2018)

Key environmental factors to variation of ammonia-oxidizing archaea community and potential ammonia oxidation rate during agricultural waste composting.

Bioresource technology, 270:278-285 pii:S0960-8524(18)31295-1 [Epub ahead of print].

In this research, the abundance and structure of AOA amoA gene during agricultural waste composting were determined by quantitative PCR and sequencing techniques, respectively. Pairwise correlations between potential ammonia oxidation (PAO) rate, physicochemical parameters and the AOA abundance were evaluated using Pearson correlation coefficient. Relationships between these parameters, PAO rates and AOA community structure were evaluated by redundancy analysis. Results showed that 22 AOA gene OTUs were divided into the soil/sediment lineage by phylogenetic analyses. Significant positive correlations were obtained between AOA amoA gene abundance and moisture, ammonium, water soluble carbon (WSC) and organic matter (OM), respectively. Redundancy analysis showed OM, pH and nitrate significantly explained the AOA amoA gene structure. Pearson correlation revealed the PAO rate correlated positively to ammonium, AOA amoA gene abundance. These results indicated that AOA communities sense the fluctuations in surrounding environment, and ultimately react and influence the nitrogen transformation during agricultural waste composting.

RevDate: 2018-09-13

Santoro AE, Richter RA, CL Dupont (2018)

Planktonic Marine Archaea.

Annual review of marine science [Epub ahead of print].

Archaea are ubiquitous and abundant members of the marine plankton. Once thought of as rare organisms found in exotic extremes of temperature, pressure, or salinity, archaea are now known in nearly every marine environment. Though frequently referred to collectively, the planktonic archaea actually comprise four major phylogenetic groups, each with its own distinct physiology and ecology. Only one group-the marine Thaumarchaeota-has cultivated representatives, making marine archaea an attractive focus point for the latest developments in cultivation-independent molecular methods. Here, we review the ecology, physiology, and biogeochemical impact of the four archaeal groups using recent insights from cultures and large-scale environmental sequencing studies. We highlight key gaps in our knowledge about the ecological roles of marine archaea in carbon flow and food web interactions. We emphasize the incredible uncultivated diversity within each of the four groups, suggesting there is much more to be done. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Marine Science Volume 11 is January 3, 2019. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2018-09-14

Patching SG (2018)

Recent developments in nucleobase cation symporter-1 (NCS1) family transport proteins from bacteria, archaea, fungi and plants.

Journal of biosciences, 43(4):797-815.

The nucleobase cation symporter-1 (NCS1) family of secondary active transport proteins comprises over 2500 sequenced members from bacteria, archaea, fungi and plants. NCS1 proteins use a proton or sodium gradient to drive inward cellular transport of purine and pyrimidine nucleobases and nucleosides, hydantoins and related compounds. The structural organization, substrate binding residues and molecular mechanism of NCS1 proteins are defined by crystal structures of sodium-coupled hydantoin transporter, Mhp1. Plant proteins are most closely related to bacterial/archaeal proteins and the distinct Fur-type and Fcy-type fungal proteins and plant proteins originated through independent horizontal transfers from prokaryotes. Analyses of 25 experimentally characterized proteins reveal high substrate specificity in bacterial proteins, distinct non-overlapping specificities in Fur-type and Fcy-type fungal proteins and broad specificity in plant proteins. Possible structural explanations are identified for differences in substrate specificity between bacterial proteins, whilst specificities of other proteins cannot be predicted by simple sequence comparisons. Specificity appears to be species specific and determined by combinations of effects dictated by multiple residues in the major substrate binding site and gating domains. This is an exploratory research review of evolutionary relationships, function and structural organization, molecular mechanism and origins of substrate specificity in NCS1 proteins and avenues of future direction.

RevDate: 2018-10-03

Pan KL, Gao JF, Fan XY, et al (2018)

The more important role of archaea than bacteria in nitrification of wastewater treatment plants in cold season despite their numerical relationships.

Water research, 145:552-561 pii:S0043-1354(18)30696-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrification failure of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in cold season calls into investigations of the functional ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms (AOMs). In this study, we report the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), bacteria (AOB) and complete ammonia-oxidizing (comammox) Nitrospira in 23 municipal WWTPs in cold season, and explore the correlations between AOMs abundance and their relative contribution to nitrification. The copy numbers of AOA and AOB amoA gene ranged from 2.42 × 107 to 2.47 × 109 and 5.54 × 106 to 3.31 × 109 copies/g sludge, respectively. The abundance of amoA gene of Candidatus Nitrospira inopinata, an important strain of comammox Nitrospira, was stable with averaged abundance of 8.47 × 106 copies/g sludge. DNA-based stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP) assays were conducted with three typical WWTPs in which the abundance of AOA was lower than, similar to and higher than that of AOB, respectively. The results showed that considerable 13C-assimilation by AOA was detected during active nitrification in all WWTPs, whereas just a much lesser extent of 13C-incorporation by AOB and comammox Nitrospira was found in one WWTP. High-throughput sequencing with 13C-labeled DNA also showed the higher reads abundance of AOA than AOB and comammox Nitrospira. Nitrososphaera viennensis was the dominant active AOA, while Nitrosomonas oligotropha and Nitrosomonas europaea were identified as active AOB. The results obtained suggest that AOA, rather than AOB and comammox Nitrospira, dominate ammonia oxidation in WWTPs in cold season despite the numerical relationships of AOMs.

RevDate: 2018-09-08

Beulig F, Røy H, McGlynn SE, et al (2018)

Cryptic CH4 cycling in the sulfate-methane transition of marine sediments apparently mediated by ANME-1 archaea.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0273-z [Epub ahead of print].

Methane in the seabed is mostly oxidized to CO2 with sulfate as the oxidant before it reaches the overlying water column. This microbial oxidation takes place within the sulfate-methane transition (SMT), a sediment horizon where the downward diffusive flux of sulfate encounters an upward flux of methane. Across multiple sites in the Baltic Sea, we identified a systematic discrepancy between the opposing fluxes, such that more sulfate was consumed than expected from the 1:1 stoichiometry of methane oxidation with sulfate. The flux discrepancy was consistent with an oxidation of buried organic matter within the SMT, as corroborated by stable carbon isotope budgets. Detailed radiotracer experiments showed that up to 60% of the organic matter oxidation within the SMT first produced methane, which was concurrently oxidized to CO2 by sulfate reduction. This previously unrecognized "cryptic" methane cycling in the SMT is not discernible from geochemical profiles due to overall net methane consumption. Sedimentary gene pools suggested that nearly all potential methanogens within and beneath the SMT belonged to ANME-1 archaea, which are typically associated with anaerobic methane oxidation. Analysis of a metagenome-assembled genome suggests that predominant ANME-1 do indeed have the enzymatic potential to catalyze both methane production and consumption.

RevDate: 2018-09-09

Ghuneim LJ, Jones DL, Golyshin PN, et al (2018)

Nano-Sized and Filterable Bacteria and Archaea: Biodiversity and Function.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:1971.

Nano-sized and filterable microorganisms are thought to represent the smallest living organisms on earth and are characterized by their small size (50-400 nm) and their ability to physically pass through <0.45 μm pore size filters. They appear to be ubiquitous in the biosphere and are present at high abundance across a diverse range of habitats including oceans, rivers, soils, and subterranean bedrock. Small-sized organisms are detected by culture-independent and culture-dependent approaches, with most remaining uncultured and uncharacterized at both metabolic and taxonomic levels. Consequently, their significance in ecological roles remain largely unknown. Successful isolation, however, has been achieved for some species (e.g., Nanoarchaeum equitans and "Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique"). In many instances, small-sized organisms exhibit a significant genome reduction and loss of essential metabolic pathways required for a free-living lifestyle, making their survival reliant on other microbial community members. In these cases, the nano-sized prokaryotes can only be co-cultured with their 'hosts.' This paper analyses the recent data on small-sized microorganisms in the context of their taxonomic diversity and potential functions in the environment.

RevDate: 2018-10-10

Ten-Caten F, Vêncio RZN, Lorenzetti APR, et al (2018)

Internal RNAs overlapping coding sequences can drive the production of alternative proteins in archaea.

RNA biology, 15(8):1119-1132.

Prokaryotic genomes show a high level of information compaction often with different molecules transcribed from the same locus. Although antisense RNAs have been relatively well studied, RNAs in the same strand, internal RNAs (intraRNAs), are still poorly understood. The question of how common is the translation of overlapping reading frames remains open. We address this question in the model archaeon Halobacterium salinarum. In the present work we used differential RNA-seq (dRNA-seq) in H. salinarum NRC-1 to locate intraRNA signals in subsets of internal transcription start sites (iTSS) and establish the open reading frames associated to them (intraORFs). Using C-terminally flagged proteins, we experimentally observed isoforms accurately predicted by intraRNA translation for kef1, acs3 and orc4 genes. We also recovered from the literature and mass spectrometry databases several instances of protein isoforms consistent with intraRNA translation such as the gas vesicle protein gene gvpC1. We found evidence for intraRNAs in horizontally transferred genes such as the chaperone dnaK and the aerobic respiration related cydA in both H. salinarum and Escherichia coli. Also, intraRNA translation evidence in H. salinarum, E. coli and yeast of a universal elongation factor (aEF-2, fusA and eEF-2) suggests that this is an ancient phenomenon present in all domains of life.

RevDate: 2018-09-02

Liu Y, Liu J, Yao P, et al (2018)

Distribution patterns of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria in sediments of the eastern China marginal seas.

Systematic and applied microbiology pii:S0723-2020(18)30032-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) vary in their contribution to nitrification in different environments. The eastern China marginal seas (ECMS) are featured by complex river runoffs and ocean currents, forming different sediment patches. Here, via quantitative PCR and clone library analysis of the amoA genes, we showed that AOB were more abundant than AOA in ECMS sediments. The abundance, diversity and richness of AOA, but not AOB, were higher in the East China Sea (ECS) than in the Yellow Sea (YS) and Bohai Sea (BS). Nitrosopumilus (AOA) and Nitrosospira (AOB) were predominant lineages, but their abundances varied significantly between ECS, and BS and YS. This was mainly attributed to salinity and dissolved oxygen of the bottom water. The discovery of a high abundance of Nitrosophaera at estuarine sites suggested strong terrigenous influence exerted on the AOA community. In contrast, variations in ocean conditions played more important roles in structuring the AOB community, which was separated by bottom water dissolved oxygen into two groups: the south YS, and the north YS and BS. This study provides a comprehensive insight into the spatial distribution pattern of ammonia-oxidizing prokaryotes in ECMS sediments, laying a foundation for understanding their relative roles in nitrification.

RevDate: 2018-08-30

Borsodi AK, Anda D, Makk J, et al (2018)

Biofilm forming bacteria and archaea in thermal karst springs of Gellért Hill discharge area (Hungary).

Journal of basic microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The Buda Thermal Karst System (BTKS) is an extensive active hypogenic cave system located beneath the residential area of the Hungarian capital. At the river Danube, several thermal springs discharge forming spring caves. To reveal and compare the morphological structure and prokaryotic diversity of reddish-brown biofilms developed on the carbonate rock surfaces of the springs, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and molecular cloning were applied. Microbial networks formed by filamentous bacteria and other cells with mineral crystals embedded in extracellular polymeric substances were observed in the SEM images. Biofilms were dominated by prokaryotes belonging to phyla Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi and Nitrospirae (Bacteria) and Thaumarchaeota (Archaea) but their abundance showed differences according to the type of the host rock, geographic distance, and different water exchange. In addition, representatives of phyla Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Caldithrix, Cyanobacteria, Firmicutes Gemmatimonadetes, and several candidate divisions of Bacteria as well as Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota were detected in sample-dependent higher abundance. The results indicate that thermophilic, anaerobic sulfur-, sulfate-, nitrate-, and iron(III)-reducing chemoorganotrophic as well as sulfur-, ammonia-, and nitrite-oxidizing chemolithotrophic prokaryotes can interact in the studied biofilms adapted to the unique and extreme circumstances (e.g., aphotic and nearly anoxic conditions, oligotrophy, and radionuclide accumulation) in the thermal karst springs.

RevDate: 2018-09-02

Fournier GP, AM Poole (2018)

A Briefly Argued Case That Asgard Archaea Are Part of the Eukaryote Tree.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:1896.

The recent discovery of the Lokiarchaeota and other members of the Asgard superphylum suggests that closer analysis of the cell biology and evolution of these groups may help shed light on the origin of the eukaryote cell. Asgard lineages often appear in molecular phylogenies as closely related to eukaryotes, and possess "Eukaryote Signature Proteins" coded by genes previously thought to be unique to eukaryotes. This phylogenetic affinity to eukaryotes has been widely interpreted as indicating that Asgard lineages are "eukaryote-like archaea," with eukaryotes evolving from within a paraphyletic Archaea. Guided by the established principles of systematics, we examine the potential implications of the monophyly of Asgard lineages and Eukarya. We show that a helpful parallel case is that of Synapsida, a group that includes modern mammals and their more "reptile-like" ancestors, united by shared derived characters that evolved in their common ancestor. While this group contains extinct members that share many similarities with modern reptiles and their extinct relatives, they are evolutionarily distinct from Sauropsida, the group which includes modern birds, reptiles, and all other amniotes. Similarly, Asgard lineages and eukaryotes are united by shared derived characters to the exclusion of all other groups. Consequently, the Asgard group is not only highly informative for our understanding of eukaryogenesis, but may be better understood as being early diverging members of a broader group including eukaryotes, for which we propose the name "Eukaryomorpha." Significantly, this means that the relationship between Eukarya and Asgard lineages cannot, on its own, resolve the debate over 2 vs. 3 Domains of life; instead, resolving this debate depends upon identifying the root of Archaea with respect to Bacteria.

RevDate: 2018-09-05

Cavazzini D, Grossi G, Levati E, et al (2018)

Author Correction: A family of archaea-like carboxylesterases preferentially expressed in the symbiotic phase of the mycorrhizal fungus Tuber melanosporum.

Scientific reports, 8(1):13173 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-29606-0.

A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and the PDF versions of this paper. The error has been fixed in the paper.

RevDate: 2018-09-28

Dulmage KA, Darnell CL, Vreugdenhil A, et al (2018)

Copy number variation is associated with gene expression change in archaea.

Microbial genomics, 4(9):.

Genomic instability, although frequently deleterious, is also an important mechanism for microbial adaptation to environmental change. Although widely studied in bacteria, in archaea the effect of genomic instability on organism phenotypes and fitness remains unclear. Here we use DNA segmentation methods to detect and quantify genome-wide copy number variation (CNV) in large compendia of high-throughput datasets in a model archaeal species, Halobacterium salinarum. CNV hotspots were identified throughout the genome. Some hotspots were strongly associated with changes in gene expression, suggesting a mechanism for phenotypic innovation. In contrast, CNV hotspots in other genomic loci left expression unchanged, suggesting buffering of certain phenotypes. The correspondence of CNVs with gene expression was validated with strain- and condition-matched transcriptomics and DNA quantification experiments at specific loci. Significant correlation of CNV hotspot locations with the positions of known insertion sequence (IS) elements suggested a mechanism for generating genomic instability. Given the efficient recombination capabilities in H. salinarum despite stability at the single nucleotide level, these results suggest that genomic plasticity mediated by IS element activity can provide a source of phenotypic innovation in extreme environments.

RevDate: 2018-08-23

Pohlschroder M, SV Albers (2018)

Editorial: Editorial for thematic issue on Archaea.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:5078070 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2018-08-17

Hoshino T, F Inagaki (2018)

Abundance and distribution of Archaea in the subseafloor sedimentary biosphere.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0253-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Subseafloor sedimentary environments harbor a remarkable number of microorganisms that constitute anaerobic and aerobic microbial ecosystems beneath the ocean margins and open-ocean gyres, respectively. Microbial biomass and diversity richness generally decrease with increasing sediment depth and burial time. However, there has been a long-standing debate over the contribution and distribution of Archaea in the subseafloor sedimentary biosphere. Here we show the global quantification of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes in 221 sediment core samples obtained from diverse oceanographic settings through scientific ocean drilling using microfluidic digital PCR. We estimated that archaeal cells constitute 37.3% of the total microbial cells (40.0% and 12.8% in the ocean margin and open-ocean sites, respectively), corresponding to 1.1 × 1029 cells on Earth. In addition, the relative abundance of archaeal 16S rRNA genes generally decreased with the depth of water in the overlying sedimentary habitat, suggesting that Archaea may be more sensitive to nutrient quality and quantity supplied from the overlying ocean.

RevDate: 2018-10-08

Grant CR, Wan J, A Komeili (2018)

Organelle Formation in Bacteria and Archaea.

Annual review of cell and developmental biology, 34:217-238.

Uncovering the mechanisms that underlie the biogenesis and maintenance of eukaryotic organelles is a vibrant and essential area of biological research. In comparison, little attention has been paid to the process of compartmentalization in bacteria and archaea. This lack of attention is in part due to the common misconception that organelles are a unique evolutionary invention of the "complex" eukaryotic cell and are absent from the "primitive" bacterial and archaeal cells. Comparisons across the tree of life are further complicated by the nebulous criteria used to designate subcellular structures as organelles. Here, with the aid of a unified definition of a membrane-bounded organelle, we present some of the recent findings in the study of lipid-bounded organelles in bacteria and archaea.

RevDate: 2018-08-14

Albright MBN, Timalsina B, Martiny JBH, et al (2018)

Comparative Genomics of Nitrogen Cycling Pathways in Bacteria and Archaea.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-018-1239-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite the explosion of metagenomic sequencing data, using -omics data to predict environmental biogeochemistry remains a challenge. One or a few genes (referred to as marker genes) in a metabolic pathway of interest in meta-omic data are typically used to represent the prevalence of a biogeochemical reaction. This approach often fails to demonstrate a consistent relationship between gene abundance and an ecosystem process rate. One reason this may occur is if a marker gene is not a good representative of a complete pathway. Here, we map the presence of 11 nitrogen (N)-cycling pathways in over 6000 complete bacterial and archaeal genomes using the Integrated Microbial Genomes database. Incomplete N-cycling pathways occurred in 39% of surveyed archaeal and bacterial species revealing a weakness in current marker-gene analyses. Furthermore, we found that most organisms have limited ability to utilize inorganic N in multiple oxidation states. This suggests that inter-organism exchange of inorganic N compounds is common, highlighting the importance of both community composition and spatial structure in determining the extent of recycling versus loss in an ecosystem.

RevDate: 2018-08-17

Gorlas A, Jacquemot P, Guigner JM, et al (2018)

Greigite nanocrystals produced by hyperthermophilic archaea of Thermococcales order.

PloS one, 13(8):e0201549 pii:PONE-D-18-00690.

Interactions between hyperthermophilic archaea and minerals occur in hydrothermal deep-sea vents, one of the most extreme environments for life on Earth. These interactions occur in the internal pores and at surfaces of active hydrothermal chimneys. In this study, we show that, at 85°C, Thermococcales, the predominant hyperthermophilic microorganisms inhabiting hot parts of hydrothermal deep-sea vents, produce greigite nanocrystals (Fe3S4) on extracellular polymeric substances, and that an amorphous iron phosphate acts as a precursor phase. Greigite, although a minor component of chimneys, is a recognized catalyst for CO2 reduction thus implying that Thermococcales may influence the balance of CO2 in hydrothermal ecosystems. We propose that observation of greigite nanocrystals on extracellular polymeric substances could provide a signature of hyperthermophilic life in hydrothermal deep-sea vents.

RevDate: 2018-09-17

Karray F, Ben Abdallah M, Kallel N, et al (2018)

Extracellular hydrolytic enzymes produced by halophilic bacteria and archaea isolated from hypersaline lake.

Molecular biology reports, 45(5):1297-1309.

The screening of bacteria and archaea from Chott El Jerid, a hypersaline lake in the south of Tunisia, led to the isolation of 68 extremely halophilic prokaryotes growing in media with 15-25% of salt. Assessment of 68 partial 16S rRNA analyzed by amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) revealed 15 different bacterial and archaeal taxonomic groups. Based on ARDRA results, phenotypic and hydrolytic activity tests, 20 archaeal and 6 bacterial isolates were selected for sequencing. The halophilic isolates were identified as members of the genera: Salicola, Bacillus, Halorubrum, Natrinema and Haloterrigena. Most of these isolates are able to produce hydrolytic enzymes such as amylase, protease, lipase, cellulase, xylanase, pectinase and some of them showed combined activities. Natrinema genus is an excellent candidate for lipase production. These results indicated that the extremely halophilic archaea and bacteria from Chott El Jerid are a potential source of hydrolytic enzymes and may possess commercial value.

RevDate: 2018-10-02

Narrowe AB, Spang A, Stairs CW, et al (2018)

Complex Evolutionary History of Translation Elongation Factor 2 and Diphthamide Biosynthesis in Archaea and Parabasalids.

Genome biology and evolution, 10(9):2380-2393 pii:5060531.

Diphthamide is a modified histidine residue which is uniquely present in archaeal and eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (EF-2), an essential GTPase responsible for catalyzing the coordinated translocation of tRNA and mRNA through the ribosome. In part due to the role of diphthamide in maintaining translational fidelity, it was previously assumed that diphthamide biosynthesis genes (dph) are conserved across all eukaryotes and archaea. Here, comparative analysis of new and existing genomes reveals that some archaea (i.e., members of the Asgard superphylum, Geoarchaea, and Korarchaeota) and eukaryotes (i.e., parabasalids) lack dph. In addition, while EF-2 was thought to exist as a single copy in archaea, many of these dph-lacking archaeal genomes encode a second EF-2 paralog missing key residues required for diphthamide modification and for normal translocase function, perhaps suggesting functional divergence linked to loss of diphthamide biosynthesis. Interestingly, some Heimdallarchaeota previously suggested to be most closely related to the eukaryotic ancestor maintain dph genes and a single gene encoding canonical EF-2. Our findings reveal that the ability to produce diphthamide, once thought to be a universal feature in archaea and eukaryotes, has been lost multiple times during evolution, and suggest that anticipated compensatory mechanisms evolved independently.

RevDate: 2018-10-10

Ma M, Du H, Sun T, et al (2019)

Characteristics of archaea and bacteria in rice rhizosphere along a mercury gradient.

The Science of the total environment, 650(Pt 1):1640-1651.

Several strains of archaea have the ability to methylate or resist mercury (Hg), and the paddy field is regarded to be conducive to Hg methylation. However, our knowledge of Hg-methylating or Hg-resistant archaea in paddy soils is very limited so far. Therefore, the distribution of archaea and bacteria in the rhizosphere (RS) and bulk soil (BS) of the rice growing in Xiushan Hg-mining area of southwest China was investigated. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing of the rice rhizosphere along the Hg gradient was conducted. THg concentrations in RS were significantly higher than that in BS at site S1 and S2, while MeHg concentrations in RS was always higher than that in BS, except S6. Bacterial species richness estimates were much higher than that in archaea. The bacterial α-diversity in high-Hg sites was significant higher than that in low-Hg sites based on ACE and Shannon indices. At the genus level, Thiobacillus, Xanthomonas, Defluviicoccus and Candidatus Nitrosoarchaeum were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of high-Hg sites, which meant that strains in these genera might play important roles in response to Hg stress. Hg-methylating archaea in the paddy field could potentially be affiliated to strains in Methanosarcina, but further evidence need to be found. The results provide reference to understand archaeal rhizosphere community along an Hg gradient paddy soils.

RevDate: 2018-09-07

Smith-Moore CM, AM Grunden (2018)

Bacteria and archaea as the sources of traits for enhanced plant phenotypes.

Biotechnology advances, 36(7):1900-1916.

Rising global demand for food and population increases are driving the need for improved crop productivity over the next 30 years. Plants have inherent metabolic limitations on productivity such as inefficiencies in carbon fixation and sensitivity to environmental conditions. Bacteria and archaea inhabit some of the most inhospitable environments on the planet and possess unique metabolic pathways and genes to cope with these conditions. Microbial genes involved in carbon fixation, abiotic stress tolerance, and nutrient acquisition have been utilized in plants to enhance plant phenotypes by increasing yield, photosynthesis, and abiotic stress tolerance. Transgenic plants expressing bacterial and archaeal genes will be discussed along with emerging strategies and tools to increase plant growth and yield.

RevDate: 2018-07-29

Kashyap S, Sklute EC, Dyar MD, et al (2018)

Reduction and Morphological Transformation of Synthetic Nanophase Iron Oxide Minerals by Hyperthermophilic Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:1550.

Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides are electron acceptors for some hyperthermophilic archaea in mildly reducing geothermal environments. However, the kinds of iron oxides that can be used, growth rates, extent of iron reduction, and the morphological changes that occur to minerals are poorly understood. The hyperthermophilic iron-reducing crenarchaea Pyrodictium delaneyi and Pyrobaculum islandicum were grown separately on six different synthetic nanophase Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides. For both organisms, growth on ferrihydrite produced the highest growth rates and the largest amounts of Fe(II), although P. delaneyi produced four times more Fe(II) (25 mM) than P. islandicum (6 mM). Both organisms grew on lepidocrocite and akaganéite and produced 2 and 3 mM Fe(II). Modest growth occurred for both organisms on goethite, hematite, and maghemite where ≤1 mM Fe(II) was produced. The diameters of the spherical mineral end-products following P. delaneyi growth increased by 30 nm for ferrihydrite and 50-150 nm for lepidocrocite relative to heated abiotic controls. For akaganéite, spherical particle sizes were the same for P. delaneyi-reacted samples and heated abiotic controls, but the spherical particles were more numerous in the P. delaneyi samples. For P. islandicum, there was no increase in grain size for the mineral end-products following growth on ferrihydrite, lepidocrocite, or akaganéite relative to the heated abiotic controls. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy of lattice fringes and selected-area electron diffraction of the minerals produced by both organisms when grown on ferrihydrite showed that magnetite and/or possibly maghemite were the end-products while the heated abiotic controls only contained ferrihydrite. These results expand the current view of bioavailable Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides for reduction by hyperthermophilic archaea when presented as synthetic nanophase minerals. They show that growth and reduction rates are inversely correlated with the iron (oxyhydr)oxide crystallinity and that iron (oxyhydr)oxide mineral transformation takes different forms for these two organisms.

RevDate: 2018-08-24

Heal KR, Qin W, Amin SA, et al (2018)

Accumulation of NO2 -cobalamin in nutrient-stressed ammonia-oxidizing archaea and in the oxygen deficient zone of the eastern tropical North Pacific.

Environmental microbiology reports, 10(4):453-457.

Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is a precious resource in natural systems that is produced by select prokaryotes and required by a broad range of organisms. In this way, the production of cobalamin reinforces numerous microbial interdependencies. Here we report the accumulation of an unusual form of cobalamin, nitrocobalamin (NO2 -cobalamin), in a marine oxygen deficient zone (ODZ), isolates of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), and an anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria enriched bioreactor. Low oxygen waters were enriched in NO2 -cobalamin, and AOA isolates experiencing ammonia or copper stress produced more NO2 -cobalamin, though there is wide strain-to-strain and batch-to-batch variability. NO2 -cobalamin has no known biochemical role. We hypothesize that AOA and anammox bacteria are a source of marine NO2 -cobalamin in the environment via a reactive nitrogen intermediate. These findings suggest connections between cobalamin forms and nitrogen transformations, physiological stress and ocean deoxygenation.

RevDate: 2018-09-03

Aiewsakun P, Adriaenssens EM, Lavigne R, et al (2018)

Evaluation of the genomic diversity of viruses infecting bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes using a common bioinformatic platform: steps towards a unified taxonomy.

The Journal of general virology, 99(9):1331-1343.

Genome Relationship Applied to Virus Taxonomy (GRAViTy) is a genetics-based tool that computes sequence relatedness between viruses. Composite generalized Jaccard (CGJ) distances combine measures of homology between encoded viral genes and similarities in genome organizational features (gene orders and orientations). This scoring framework effectively recapitulates the current, largely morphology and phenotypic-based, family-level classification of eukaryotic viruses. Eukaryotic virus families typically formed monophyletic groups with consistent CGJ distance cut-off dividing between and within family divergence ranges. In the current study, a parallel analysis of prokaryotic virus families revealed quite different sequence relationships, particularly those of tailed phage families (Siphoviridae, Myoviridae and Podoviridae), where members of the same family were generally far more divergent and often not detectably homologous to each other. Analysis of the 20 currently classified prokaryotic virus families indeed split them into 70 separate clusters of tailed phages genetically equivalent to family-level assignments of eukaryotic viruses. It further divided several bacterial (Sphaerolipoviridae, Tectiviridae) and archaeal (Lipothrixviridae) families. We also found that the subfamily-level groupings of tailed phages were generally more consistent with the family assignments of eukaryotic viruses, and this supports ongoing reclassifications, including Spounavirinae and Vi1virus taxa as new virus families. The current study applied a common benchmark with which to compare taxonomies of eukaryotic and prokaryotic viruses. The findings support the planned shift away from traditional morphology-based classifications of prokaryotic viruses towards a genome-based taxonomy. They demonstrate the feasibility of a unified taxonomy of viruses into which the vast body of metagenomic viral sequences may be consistently assigned.

RevDate: 2018-09-26

van Tran N, Muller L, Ross RL, et al (2018)

Evolutionary insights into Trm112-methyltransferase holoenzymes involved in translation between archaea and eukaryotes.

Nucleic acids research, 46(16):8483-8499.

Protein synthesis is a complex and highly coordinated process requiring many different protein factors as well as various types of nucleic acids. All translation machinery components require multiple maturation events to be functional. These include post-transcriptional and post-translational modification steps and methylations are the most frequent among these events. In eukaryotes, Trm112, a small protein (COG2835) conserved in all three domains of life, interacts and activates four methyltransferases (Bud23, Trm9, Trm11 and Mtq2) that target different components of the translation machinery (rRNA, tRNAs, release factors). To clarify the function of Trm112 in archaea, we have characterized functionally and structurally its interaction network using Haloferax volcanii as model system. This led us to unravel that methyltransferases are also privileged Trm112 partners in archaea and that this Trm112 network is much more complex than anticipated from eukaryotic studies. Interestingly, among the identified enzymes, some are functionally orthologous to eukaryotic Trm112 partners, emphasizing again the similarity between eukaryotic and archaeal translation machineries. Other partners display some similarities with bacterial methyltransferases, suggesting that Trm112 is a general partner for methyltransferases in all living organisms.

RevDate: 2018-10-17

Aalto SL, Saarenheimo J, Mikkonen A, et al (2018)

Resistant ammonia-oxidizing archaea endure, but adapting ammonia-oxidizing bacteria thrive in boreal lake sediments receiving nutrient-rich effluents.

Environmental microbiology, 20(10):3616-3628.

Climate change along with anthropogenic activities changes biogeochemical conditions in lake ecosystems, modifying the sediment microbial communities. Wastewater effluents introduce nutrients and organic material but also novel microbes to lake ecosystems, simulating forthcoming increases in catchment loadings. In this work, we first used 16s rRNA gene sequencing to study how the overall sediment microbial community responds to wastewater in six boreal lakes. To examine forthcoming changes in the lake biogeochemistry, we focused on the ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB), and examined their functional and compositional community response to wastewater. Although we found the least diverse and least resistant prokaryotic communities from the most wastewater-influenced sediments, the community changed fast toward the natural composition with the diminishing influence of wastewater. Each lake hosted a unique resistant AOA community, while AOB communities were adapting, responding to environmental conditions as well as receiving new members from WWTPs. In general, AOB dominated in numbers in wastewater-influenced sediments, while the ratio between AOA and AOB increased when moving toward pristine conditions. Our results suggest that although future climate-change-driven increases in nutrient loading and microbial migration might significantly disrupt lake sediment microbiomes, they can promote nitrification through adapting and abundant AOB communities.

RevDate: 2018-07-10

Bowers RM, Kyrpides NC, Stepanauskas R, et al (2018)

Corrigendum: Minimum information about a single amplified genome (MISAG) and a metagenome-assembled genome (MIMAG) of bacteria and archaea.

Nature biotechnology, 36(7):660.

RevDate: 2018-07-06

Yip DZ, Veach AM, Yang ZK, et al (2018)

Methanogenic Archaea dominate mature heartwood habitats of Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides).

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

While recent reports demonstrate that the direct emission of methane from living tree trunks may be a significant terrestrial emission source, there has been debate whether tree emissions are due to transport from soils or produced in the wood environment itself. Reports of methanogens from wood of trees were prominent in the literature 40 years ago but have not been revisited with molecular ecology approaches. We examined communities associated with Populus deltoides using rRNA gene sequence analyses and how these vary with tree and wood properties. Our data indicate that wood environments are dominated by anaerobic microbiomes. Methanogens are prominent in heartwood (mean 34% relative abundance) compared to sapwood environments (13%), and dominant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were classified as the Methanobacterium sp. Members of the Firmicutes phylum comprised 39% of total sequences and were in 42% greater abundance in sapwood over heartwood niches. Tree diameter was the strongest predictor of methanogen abundance, but wood moisture content and pH were also significant predictors of taxon abundance and overall community composition. Unlike microbiomes of the soil, rhizosphere and phyllosphere, wood associated communities are shaped by unique environmental conditions and may be prominent and overlooked sources of methane emissions in temperate forest systems.

RevDate: 2018-07-08

Karimi B, Terrat S, Dequiedt S, et al (2018)

Biogeography of soil bacteria and archaea across France.

Science advances, 4(7):eaat1808 pii:aat1808.

Over the last two decades, a considerable effort has been made to decipher the biogeography of soil microbial communities as a whole, from small to broad scales. In contrast, few studies have focused on the taxonomic groups constituting these communities; thus, our knowledge of their ecological attributes and the drivers determining their composition and distribution is limited. We applied a pyrosequencing approach targeting 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes in soil DNA to a set of 2173 soil samples from France to reach a comprehensive understanding of the spatial distribution of bacteria and archaea and to identify the ecological processes and environmental drivers involved. Taxonomic assignment of the soil 16S rRNA sequences indicated the presence of 32 bacterial phyla or subphyla and 3 archaeal phyla. Twenty of these 35 phyla were cosmopolitan and abundant, with heterogeneous spatial distributions structured in patches ranging from a 43- to 260-km radius. The hierarchy of the main environmental drivers of phyla distribution was soil pH > land management > soil texture > soil nutrients > climate. At a lower taxonomic level, 47 dominant genera belonging to 12 phyla aggregated 62.1% of the sequences. We also showed that the phylum-level distribution can be determined largely by the distribution of the dominant genus or, alternatively, reflect the combined distribution of all of the phylum members. Together, our study demonstrated that soil bacteria and archaea present highly diverse biogeographical patterns on a nationwide scale and that studies based on intensive and systematic sampling on a wide spatial scale provide a promising contribution for elucidating soil biodiversity determinism.

RevDate: 2018-07-25

Li F, Xie W, Yuan Q, et al (2018)

Genome-scale metabolic model analysis indicates low energy production efficiency in marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea.

AMB Express, 8(1):106 pii:10.1186/s13568-018-0635-y.

Marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) play an important role in the global nitrogen cycle by obtaining energy for biomass production from CO2 via oxidation of ammonium. The isolation of Candidatus "Nitrosopumilus maritimus" strain SCM1, which represents the globally distributed AOA in the ocean, provided an opportunity for uncovering the contributions of those AOA to carbon and nitrogen cycles in ocean. Although several ammonia oxidation pathways have been proposed for SCM1, little is known about its ATP production efficiency. Here, based on the published genome of Nitrosopumilus maritimus SCM1, a genome-scale metabolic model named NmrFL413 was reconstructed. Based on the model NmrFL413, the estimated ATP/NH4+ yield (0.149-0.276 ATP/NH4+) is tenfold lower than the calculated theoretical yield of the proposed ammonia oxidation pathways in marine AOA (1.5-1.75 ATP/NH4+), indicating a low energy production efficiency of SCM1. Our model also suggested the minor contribution of marine AOA to carbon cycle comparing with their significant contribution to nitrogen cycle in the ocean.

RevDate: 2018-09-25

Straub CT, Counts JA, Nguyen DMN, et al (2018)

Biotechnology of extremely thermophilic archaea.

FEMS microbiology reviews, 42(5):543-578.

Although the extremely thermophilic archaea (Topt ≥ 70°C) may be the most primitive extant forms of life, they have been studied to a limited extent relative to mesophilic microorganisms. Many of these organisms have unique biochemical and physiological characteristics with important biotechnological implications. These include methanogens that generate methane, fermentative anaerobes that produce hydrogen gas with high efficiency, and acidophiles that can mobilize base, precious and strategic metals from mineral ores. Extremely thermophilic archaea have also been a valuable source of thermoactive, thermostable biocatalysts, but their use as cellular systems has been limited because of the general lack of facile genetics tools. This situation has changed recently, however, thereby providing an important avenue for understanding their metabolic and physiological details and also opening up opportunities for metabolic engineering efforts. Along these lines, extremely thermophilic archaea have recently been engineered to produce a variety of alcohols and industrial chemicals, in some cases incorporating CO2 into the final product. There are barriers and challenges to these organisms reaching their full potential as industrial microorganisms but, if these can be overcome, a new dimension for biotechnology will be forthcoming that strategically exploits biology at high temperatures.

RevDate: 2018-08-22

Staley JT, G Caetano-Anollés (2018)

Archaea-First and the Co-Evolutionary Diversification of Domains of Life.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 40(8):e1800036.

The origins and evolution of the Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya remain controversial. Phylogenomic-wide studies of molecular features that are evolutionarily conserved, such as protein structural domains, suggest Archaea is the first domain of life to diversify from a stem line of descent. This line embodies the last universal common ancestor of cellular life. Here, we propose that ancestors of Euryarchaeota co-evolved with those of Bacteria prior to the diversification of Eukarya. This co-evolutionary scenario is supported by comparative genomic and phylogenomic analyses of the distributions of fold families of domains in the proteomes of free-living organisms, which show horizontal gene recruitments and informational process homologies. It also benefits from the molecular study of cell physiologies responsible for membrane phospholipids, methanogenesis, methane oxidation, cell division, gas vesicles, and the cell wall. Our theory however challenges popular cell fusion and two-domain of life scenarios derived from sequence analysis, demanding phylogenetic reconciliation. Also see the video abstract here: https://youtu.be/9yVWn_Q9faY.

RevDate: 2018-06-24

Wu Y, Wu P, Wang B, et al (2018)

Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals Ancestral Lack of Seventeen Different tRNAs and Clade-Specific Loss of tRNA-CNNs in Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:1245.

Transfer RNA (tRNA) is a category of RNAs that specifically decode messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into proteins by recognizing a set of 61 codons commonly adopted by different life domains. The composition and abundance of tRNAs play critical roles in shaping codon usage and pairing bias, which subsequently modulate mRNA translation efficiency and accuracy. Over the past few decades, effort has been concentrated on evaluating the specificity and redundancy of different tRNA families. However, the mechanism and processes underlying tRNA evolution have only rarely been investigated. In this study, by surveying tRNA genes in 167 completely sequenced genomes, we systematically investigated the composition and evolution of tRNAs in Archaea from a phylogenetic perspective. Our data revealed that archaeal genomes are compact in both tRNA types and copy number. Generally, no more than 44 different types of tRNA are present in archaeal genomes to decode the 61 canonical codons, and most of them have only one gene copy per genome. Among them, tRNA-Met was significantly overrepresented, with an average of three copies per genome. In contrast, the tRNA-UAU and 16 tRNAs with A-starting anticodons (tRNA-ANNs) were rarely detected in all archaeal genomes. The conspicuous absence of these tRNAs across the archaeal phylogeny suggests they might have not been evolved in the common ancestor of Archaea, rather than have lost independently from different clades. Furthermore, widespread absence of tRNA-CNNs in the Methanococcales and Methanobacteriales genomes indicates convergent loss of these tRNAs in the two clades. This clade-specific tRNA loss may be attributing to the reductive evolution of their genomes. Our data suggest that the current tRNA profiles in Archaea are contributed not only by the ancestral tRNA composition, but also by differential maintenance and loss of redundant tRNAs.

RevDate: 2018-06-19

Höfer K, A Jäschke (2018)

Epitranscriptomics: RNA Modifications in Bacteria and Archaea.

Microbiology spectrum, 6(3):.

The increasingly complex functionality of RNA is contrasted by its simple chemical composition. RNA is generally built from only four different nucleotides (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil). To date, >160 chemical modifications are known to decorate RNA molecules and thereby alter their function or stability. Many RNA modifications are conserved throughout bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes, while some are unique to each branch of life. Most known modifications occur at internal positions, while there is limited diversity at the termini. The dynamic nature of RNA modifications and newly discovered regulatory functions of some of these RNA modifications gave birth to a new field, now often referred to as "epitranscriptomics." This review highlights the major developments in this field and summarizes detection principles for internal as well as 5'-terminal mRNA modifications in prokaryotes and archaea to investigate their biological significance.

RevDate: 2018-06-18

Ulrich EC, Kamat SS, Hove-Jensen B, et al (2018)

Methylphosphonic Acid Biosynthesis and Catabolism in Pelagic Archaea and Bacteria.

Methods in enzymology, 605:351-426.

Inorganic phosphate is essential for all life forms, yet microbes in marine environments are in near constant deprivation of this important nutrient. Organophosphonic acids can serve as an alternative source of inorganic phosphate if microbes possess the appropriate biochemical pathways that allow cleavage of the stable carbon-phosphorus bond that defines this class of molecule. One prominent source of inorganic phosphate is methylphosphonic acid, which is found as a constituent of marine-dissolved organic matter. The cycle of biosynthesis and catabolism of methylphosphonic acid by marine microbes is the likely source of supersaturating levels of methane in shallow ocean waters. This review provides an overview of the rich biochemistry that has evolved to synthesize methylphosphonic acid and catabolize this molecule into Pi and methane, with an emphasis on the reactions catalyzed by methylphosphonic acid synthase MpnS and the carbon-phosphorus lyase system. The protocols and experiments that are described for MpnS and carbon-phosphorus lyase provide a foundation for studying the structures and mechanisms of these and related enzymes.

RevDate: 2018-07-11

Rodriguez-R LM, Gunturu S, Harvey WT, et al (2018)

The Microbial Genomes Atlas (MiGA) webserver: taxonomic and gene diversity analysis of Archaea and Bacteria at the whole genome level.

Nucleic acids research, 46(W1):W282-W288.

The small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (16S rRNA) has been successfully used to catalogue and study the diversity of prokaryotic species and communities but it offers limited resolution at the species and finer levels, and cannot represent the whole-genome diversity and fluidity. To overcome these limitations, we introduced the Microbial Genomes Atlas (MiGA), a webserver that allows the classification of an unknown query genomic sequence, complete or partial, against all taxonomically classified taxa with available genome sequences, as well as comparisons to other related genomes including uncultivated ones, based on the genome-aggregate Average Nucleotide and Amino Acid Identity (ANI/AAI) concepts. MiGA integrates best practices in sequence quality trimming and assembly and allows input to be raw reads or assemblies from isolate genomes, single-cell sequences, and metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs). Further, MiGA can take as input hundreds of closely related genomes of the same or closely related species (a so-called 'Clade Project') to assess their gene content diversity and evolutionary relationships, and calculate important clade properties such as the pangenome and core gene sets. Therefore, MiGA is expected to facilitate a range of genome-based taxonomic and diversity studies, and quality assessment across environmental and clinical settings. MiGA is available at http://microbial-genomes.org/.

RevDate: 2018-08-28

Feng X, Sun M, Han W, et al (2018)

A transcriptional factor B paralog functions as an activator to DNA damage-responsive expression in archaea.

Nucleic acids research, 46(14):7465.

RevDate: 2018-09-24

Marshall A, Phillips L, Longmore A, et al (2018)

Primer selection influences abundance estimates of ammonia oxidizing archaea in coastal marine sediments.

Marine environmental research, 140:90-95.

Quantification of the α-subunit of ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) through PCR is an established technique for estimating the abundance of ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) in environmental samples. This study quantified AOA with two established primer sets in 1 cm increments from the sediment surface (0-1 cm) to a depth of 10 cm at two locations within Port Phillip Bay (PPB), Australia. Primer choice had a significant effect on within sample estimates of AOA with copy numbers ranging from 102 to 104 copies per ng DNA. Variation in AOA abundance patterns with increasing sediment depth were site and primer specific. Sequence mismatches between the primer binding region of the isolated amoA sequences from PPB and Nitrosopumilus maritimus SCM1 were identified and may explain the high variation identified between primer estimates. Our results highlight the need for testing multiple primer pairs that target different regions of the AOA amoA sequence prior to large-scale marine sediment environmental studies.

RevDate: 2018-06-15

Fu X, Adams Z, JA Maupin-Furlow (2018)

In vitro Analysis of Ubiquitin-like Protein Modification in Archaea.

Bio-protocol, 8(10):.

The ubiquitin-like (Ubl) protein is widely distributed in Archaea and involved in many cellular pathways. A well-established method to reconstitute archaeal Ubl protein conjugation in vitro is important to better understand the process of archaeal Ubl protein modification. This protocol describes the in vitro reconstitution of Ubl protein modification and following analysis of this modification in Haloferax volcanii, a halophilic archaeon serving as the model organism.

RevDate: 2018-08-13

McDougall M, McEleney K, Francisco O, et al (2018)

Reductive power of the archaea right-handed coiled coil nanotube (RHCC-NT) and incorporation of mercury clusters inside protein cages.

Journal of structural biology, 203(3):281-287.

Coiled coils are well described as powerful oligomerization motifs and exhibit a large diversity of functions, including gene regulation, cell division, membrane fusion and drug extrusion. The archaea S-layer originated right-handed coiled coil -RHCC-NT- is characterized by extreme stability and is free of cysteine and histidine moieties. In the current study, we have followed a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the capacity of RHCC-NT to bind a variety of ionic complex metal ions. At the outside of the RHCC-NT, one mercury ion forms an electrostatic interaction with the S-methyl moiety of the single methionine residue present in each coil. We demonstrate that RHCC-NT is reducing and incorporating metallic mercury in the large-sized interior cavities which are lined up along the tetrameric channel.

RevDate: 2018-08-09

Sun M, Feng X, Liu Z, et al (2018)

An Orc1/Cdc6 ortholog functions as a key regulator in the DNA damage response in Archaea.

Nucleic acids research, 46(13):6697-6711.

While bacteria and eukaryotes show distinct mechanisms of DNA damage response (DDR) regulation, investigation of ultraviolet (UV)-responsive expression in a few archaea did not yield any conclusive evidence for an archaeal DDR regulatory network. Nevertheless, expression of Orc1-2, an ortholog of the archaeal origin recognition complex 1/cell division control protein 6 (Orc1/Cdc6) superfamily proteins was strongly activated in Sulfolobus solfataricus and Sulfolobus acidocaldarius upon UV irradiation. Here, a series of experiments were conducted to investigate the possible functions of Orc1-2 in DNA damage repair in Sulfolobus islandicus. Study of DDR in Δorc1-2 revealed that Orc1-2 deficiency abolishes DNA damage-induced differential expression of a large number of genes and the mutant showed hypersensitivity to DNA damage treatment. Reporter gene and DNase I footprinting assays demonstrated that Orc1-2 interacts with a conserved hexanucleotide motif present in several DDR gene promoters and regulates their expression. Manipulation of orc1-2 expression by promoter substitution in this archaeon revealed that a high level of orc1-2 expression is essential but not sufficient to trigger DDR. Together, these results have placed Orc1-2 in the heart of the archaeal DDR regulation, and the resulting Orc1-2-centered regulatory circuit represents the first DDR network identified in Archaea, the third domain of life.

RevDate: 2018-07-08

Mihara T, Koyano H, Hingamp P, et al (2018)

Taxon Richness of "Megaviridae" Exceeds those of Bacteria and Archaea in the Ocean.

Microbes and environments, 33(2):162-171.

Since the discovery of the giant mimivirus, evolutionarily related viruses have been isolated or identified from various environments. Phylogenetic analyses of this group of viruses, tentatively referred to as the family "Megaviridae", suggest that it has an ancient origin that may predate the emergence of major eukaryotic lineages. Environmental genomics has since revealed that Megaviridae represents one of the most abundant and diverse groups of viruses in the ocean. In the present study, we compared the taxon richness and phylogenetic diversity of Megaviridae, Bacteria, and Archaea using DNA-dependent RNA polymerase as a common marker gene. By leveraging existing microbial metagenomic data, we found higher richness and phylogenetic diversity in this single viral family than in the two prokaryotic domains. We also obtained results showing that the evolutionary rate alone cannot account for the observed high diversity of Megaviridae lineages. These results suggest that the Megaviridae family has a deep co-evolutionary history with diverse marine protists since the early "Big-Bang" radiation of the eukaryotic tree of life.

RevDate: 2018-10-15

Ramiro FS, de Lira E, Soares G, et al (2018)

Effects of different periodontal treatments in changing the prevalence and levels of Archaea present in the subgingival biofilm of subjects with periodontitis: A secondary analysis from a randomized controlled clinical trial.

International journal of dental hygiene, 16(4):569-575.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this randomized double-blind and placebo-controlled study was to assess if periodontal treatment with or without systemic antibiotic would change the mean level of Archaea.

METHODS: Fifty-nine (59) subjects were randomly assigned to receive scaling and root planing (SRP) alone or combined with metronidazole (MTZ; 400 mg/TID) or either with MTZ and amoxicillin (AMX; 500 mg/TID) for 14 days. Clinical and microbiological examinations were performed at baseline and at 6 months post-SRP. Six subgingival plaque samples per subject were analysed for the presence and levels of Archaea using quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS: Scaling and root planing alone or combined with MTZ or MTZ + AMX significantly reduced the prevalence of subjects colonized by Archaea at 6 months post-therapy, without significant differences among groups (P > .05). Both therapies led to a statistically significant decrease in the mean percentage of sites colonized by Archaea (P < .05). The MTZ and MTZ + AMX group had a significantly lower mean number of sites colonized by Archaea and lower levels of these micro-organisms at sites with probing depth ≥5 mm at 6 months compared with SRP group (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Periodontal treatments including adjunctive MTZ or MTZ + AMX are more effective than mechanical treatment alone in reducing the levels and prevalence of sites colonized by Archaea in subjects with chronic periodontitis.

RevDate: 2018-05-25

Teske A (2018)

Aerobic Archaea in iron-rich springs.

Nature microbiology, 3(6):646-647.

RevDate: 2018-08-01

Pedraza-Pérez Y, Cuevas-Vede RA, Canto-Gómez ÁB, et al (2018)

BLAST-XYPlot Viewer: A Tool for Performing BLAST in Whole-Genome Sequenced Bacteria/Archaea and Visualize Whole Results Simultaneously.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 8(7):2167-2172 pii:g3.118.200220.

One of the most commonly used tools to compare protein or DNA sequences against databases is BLAST. We introduce a web tool that allows the performance of BLAST-searches of protein/DNA sequences in whole-genome sequenced bacteria/archaea, and displays a large amount of BLAST-results simultaneously. The circular bacterial replicons are projected as horizontal lines with fixed length of 360, representing the degrees of a circle. A coordinate system is created with length of the replicon along the x-axis and the number of replicon used on the y-axis. When a query sequence matches with a gene/protein of a particular replicon, the BLAST-results are depicted as an "x,y" position in a specially adapted plot. This tool allows the visualization of the results from the whole data to a particular gene/protein in real time with low computational resources.

RevDate: 2018-09-12

Nawrocki EP, Jones TA, SR Eddy (2018)

Group I introns are widespread in archaea.

Nucleic acids research, 46(15):7970-7976.

Group I catalytic introns have been found in bacterial, viral, organellar, and some eukaryotic genomes, but not in archaea. All known archaeal introns are bulge-helix-bulge (BHB) introns, with the exception of a few group II introns. It has been proposed that BHB introns arose from extinct group I intron ancestors, much like eukaryotic spliceosomal introns are thought to have descended from group II introns. However, group I introns have little sequence conservation, making them difficult to detect with standard sequence similarity searches. Taking advantage of recent improvements in a computational homology search method that accounts for both conserved sequence and RNA secondary structure, we have identified 39 group I introns in a wide range of archaeal phyla, including examples of group I introns and BHB introns in the same host gene.

RevDate: 2018-06-26

Lui LM, Uzilov AV, Bernick DL, et al (2018)

Methylation guide RNA evolution in archaea: structure, function and genomic organization of 110 C/D box sRNA families across six Pyrobaculum species.

Nucleic acids research, 46(11):5678-5691.

Archaeal homologs of eukaryotic C/D box small nucleolar RNAs (C/D box sRNAs) guide precise 2'-O-methyl modification of ribosomal and transfer RNAs. Although C/D box sRNA genes constitute one of the largest RNA gene families in archaeal thermophiles, most genomes have incomplete sRNA gene annotation because reliable, fully automated detection methods are not available. We expanded and curated a comprehensive gene set across six species of the crenarchaeal genus Pyrobaculum, particularly rich in C/D box sRNA genes. Using high-throughput small RNA sequencing, specialized computational searches and comparative genomics, we analyzed 526 Pyrobaculum C/D box sRNAs, organizing them into 110 families based on synteny and conservation of guide sequences which determine methylation targets. We examined gene duplications and rearrangements, including one family that has expanded in a pattern similar to retrotransposed repetitive elements in eukaryotes. New training data and inclusion of kink-turn secondary structural features enabled creation of an improved search model. Our analyses provide the most comprehensive, dynamic view of C/D box sRNA evolutionary history within a genus, in terms of modification function, feature plasticity, and gene mobility.

RevDate: 2018-05-22

Xu S, Cai C, Guo J, et al (2018)

Different clusters of Candidatus 'Methanoperedens nitroreducens'-like archaea as revealed by high-throughput sequencing with new primers.

Scientific reports, 8(1):7695 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-24974-z.

The newly discovered Candidatus 'Methanoperedens nitroreducens' (M. nitroreducens), mediating nitrate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane, is an important microorganism in linking carbon and nitrogen cycles. In order to explore the diversity of M. nitroreducens-like archaea in various environmental niches with advanced high-throughput sequencing, new primers based on alpha subunit of methyl-coenzyme M reductase gene were designed. The PCR results demonstrated that the new primers could effectively detect M. nitroreducens-like archaea from an enrichment culture dominated by M. nitroreducens as well as samples collected from a natural freshwater lake and a full-scale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). By high-throughput sequencing, more than 30,000 M. nitroreducens-like sequences were obtained. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences along with published sequences showed that M. nitroreducens-like archaea could be divided into three sub-branches (named as Group A, Group B and Group C in this study). Clear geographical difference was observed, with Group A and Group B dominating samples in Queensland (Australia) and in European ecosystems, respectively. Further quantitative PCR revealed that the M. nitroreducens-like archaea were more abundant in WWTP than the freshwater lake. The study provided a large number of sequences for M. nitroreducens-like archaeal communities, thus expanded our understanding on the ecological diversity of M. nitroreducens-like archaea.

RevDate: 2018-07-15

Sinha N, TA Kral (2018)

Effect of UVC Radiation on Hydrated and Desiccated Cultures of Slightly Halophilic and Non-Halophilic Methanogenic Archaea: Implications for Life on Mars.

Microorganisms, 6(2): pii:microorganisms6020043.

Methanogens have been considered models for life on Mars for many years. In order to survive any exposure at the surface of Mars, methanogens would have to endure Martian UVC radiation. In this research, we irradiated hydrated and desiccated cultures of slightly halophilic Methanococcus maripaludis and non-halophilic Methanobacterium formicicum for various time intervals with UVC (254 nm) radiation. The survivability of the methanogens was determined by measuring methane concentrations in the headspace gas samples of culture tubes after re-inoculation of the methanogens into their growth-supporting media following exposure to UVC radiation. Hydrated M. maripaludis survived 24 h of UVC exposure, while in a desiccated condition they endured for 16 h. M. formicicum also survived UVC radiation for 24 h in a liquid state; however, in a desiccated condition, the survivability of M. formicicum was only 12 h. Some of the components of the growth media could have served as shielding agents that protected cells from damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Overall, these results suggest that limited exposure (12⁻24 h) to UVC radiation on the surface of Mars would not necessarily be a limiting factor for the survivability of M. maripaludis and M. formicicum.

RevDate: 2018-06-19

Liu X, Pan J, Liu Y, et al (2018)

Diversity and distribution of Archaea in global estuarine ecosystems.

The Science of the total environment, 637-638:349-358.

Estuarine ecosystem is a unique geographical transitional zone between freshwater and seawater, harboring a wide range of microbial communities including Archaea. Although a large number of Archaea have been detected in such ecosystem, the global patterns in archaeal diversity and distribution are extremely scarce. To bridge this gap, we carried out a comprehensive survey of archaeal communities using ca. 4000 publicly available archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences (>300 bp) collected from 24 estuaries in different latitude regions. These sequences were divided into 1450 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at 97% identity, suggesting a high biodiversity that increased gradually from the high- to low-latitude estuaries. Phylogenetic analysis showed that estuarine ecosystem was a large biodiversity pool of Archaea that was mainly composed of 12 phyla. Among them, the predominant groups were Bathyarchaeota, Euryarchaeota and Thaumarchaeota. Interestingly, archaeal distribution demonstrated a geographical differentiation in that Thaumarchaeota was dominated in the low-latitude estuaries, Bathyarchaeota in the mid-latitude estuaries, and Euryarchaeota in the high-latitude estuaries, respectively. Furthermore, the majority of the most abundant 20 OTUs demonstrated an overrepresented or underrepresented distribution pattern in some specific estuaries or latitude regions while a few were evenly distributed throughout the estuaries. This pattern indicates a potential selectivity of geographical distribution. In addition, the analysis of environmental parameters suggested that latitude would be one of the major factors driving the distribution of archaeal communities in estuarine ecosystem. This study profiles a clear framework on the diversity and distribution of Archaea in the global estuarine ecosystem and explores the general environmental factors that influence these patterns. Our findings constitute an important part of the exploration of the global ecology of Archaea.

RevDate: 2018-08-08

Taffner J, Erlacher A, Bragina A, et al (2018)

What Is the Role of Archaea in Plants? New Insights from the Vegetation of Alpine Bogs.

mSphere, 3(3): pii:3/3/e00122-18.

The Archaea represent a significant component of the plant microbiome, whereas their function is still unclear. Different plant species representing the natural vegetation of alpine bogs harbor a substantial archaeal community originating from five phyla, 60 genera, and 334 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). We identified a core archaeome for all bog plants and ecosystem-specific, so far unclassified Archaea In the metagenomic data set, Archaea were found to have the potential to interact with plants by (i) possible plant growth promotion through auxin biosynthesis, (ii) nutrient supply, and (iii) protection against abiotic (especially oxidative and osmotic) stress. The unexpectedly high degree of plant specificity supports plant-archaeon interactions. Moreover, functional signatures of Archaea reveal genetic capacity for the interplay with fungi and an important role in the carbon and nitrogen cycle: e.g., CO2 and N2 fixation. These facts reveal an important, yet unobserved role of the Archaea for plants as well as for the bog ecosystem.IMPORTANCEArchaea are still an underdetected and little-studied part of the plant microbiome. We provide first and novel insights into Archaea as a functional component of the plant microbiome obtained by metagenomic analyses. Archaea were found to have the potential to interact with plants by (i) plant growth promotion through auxin biosynthesis, (ii) nutrient supply, and (iii) protection against abiotic stress.

RevDate: 2018-07-08

White MF, T Allers (2018)

DNA repair in the archaea-an emerging picture.

FEMS microbiology reviews, 42(4):514-526.

There has long been a fascination in the DNA repair pathways of archaea, for two main reasons. Firstly, many archaea inhabit extreme environments where the rate of physical damage to DNA is accelerated. These archaea might reasonably be expected to have particularly robust or novel DNA repair pathways to cope with this. Secondly, the archaea have long been understood to be a lineage distinct from the bacteria, and to share a close relationship with the eukarya, particularly in their information processing systems. Recent discoveries suggest the eukarya arose from within the archaeal domain, and in particular from lineages related to the TACK superphylum and Lokiarchaea. Thus, archaeal DNA repair proteins and pathways can represent a useful model system. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of archaeal DNA repair processes including base excision repair, nucleotide excision repair, mismatch repair and double-strand break repair. These advances are discussed in the context of the emerging picture of the evolution and relationship of the three domains of life.

RevDate: 2018-09-25

Rinta-Kanto JM, Pehkonen K, Sinkko H, et al (2018)

Archaea are prominent members of the prokaryotic communities colonizing common forest mushrooms.

Canadian journal of microbiology, 64(10):716-726.

In this study, the abundance and composition of prokaryotic communities associated with the inner tissue of fruiting bodies of Suillus bovinus, Boletus pinophilus, Cantharellus cibarius, Agaricus arvensis, Lycoperdon perlatum, and Piptoporus betulinus were analyzed using culture-independent methods. Our findings indicate that archaea and bacteria colonize the internal tissues of all investigated specimens and that archaea are prominent members of the prokaryotic community. The ratio of archaeal 16S rRNA gene copy numbers to those of bacteria was >1 in the fruiting bodies of four out of six fungal species included in the study. The largest proportion of archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences belonged to thaumarchaeotal classes Terrestrial group, Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotic Group (MCG), and Thermoplasmata. Bacterial communities showed characteristic compositions in each fungal species. Bacterial classes Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacilli, and Clostridia were prominent among communities in fruiting body tissues. Bacterial populations in each fungal species had different characteristics. The results of this study imply that fruiting body tissues are an important habitat for abundant and diverse populations of archaea and bacteria.

RevDate: 2018-06-21

Prakash D, Walters KA, Martinie RJ, et al (2018)

Toward a mechanistic and physiological understanding of a ferredoxin:disulfide reductase from the domains Archaea and Bacteria.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 293(24):9198-9209.

Disulfide reductases reduce other proteins and are critically important for cellular redox signaling and homeostasis. Methanosarcina acetivorans is a methane-producing microbe from the domain Archaea that produces a ferredoxin:disulfide reductase (FDR) for which the crystal structure has been reported, yet its biochemical mechanism and physiological substrates are unknown. FDR and the extensively characterized plant-type ferredoxin:thioredoxin reductase (FTR) belong to a distinct class of disulfide reductases that contain a unique active-site [4Fe-4S] cluster. The results reported here support a mechanism for FDR similar to that reported for FTR with notable exceptions. Unlike FTR, FDR contains a rubredoxin [1Fe-0S] center postulated to mediate electron transfer from ferredoxin to the active-site [4Fe-4S] cluster. UV-visible, EPR, and Mössbauer spectroscopic data indicated that two-electron reduction of the active-site disulfide in FDR involves a one-electron-reduced [4Fe-4S]1+ intermediate previously hypothesized for FTR. Our results support a role for an active-site tyrosine in FDR that occupies the equivalent position of an essential histidine in the active site of FTR. Of note, one of seven Trxs encoded in the genome (Trx5) and methanoredoxin, a glutaredoxin-like enzyme from M. acetivorans, were reduced by FDR, advancing the physiological understanding of FDR's role in the redox metabolism of methanoarchaea. Finally, bioinformatics analyses show that FDR homologs are widespread in diverse microbes from the domain Bacteria.

RevDate: 2018-09-29

Mitić NS, Malkov SN, Kovačević JJ, et al (2018)

Structural disorder of plasmid-encoded proteins in Bacteria and Archaea.

BMC bioinformatics, 19(1):158 pii:10.1186/s12859-018-2158-6.

BACKGROUND: In the last decade and a half it has been firmly established that a large number of proteins do not adopt a well-defined (ordered) structure under physiological conditions. Such intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and intrinsically disordered (protein) regions (IDRs) are involved in essential cell processes through two basic mechanisms: the entropic chain mechanism which is responsible for rapid fluctuations among many alternative conformations, and molecular recognition via short recognition elements that bind to other molecules. IDPs possess a high adaptive potential and there is special interest in investigating their involvement in organism evolution.

RESULTS: We analyzed 2554 Bacterial and 139 Archaeal proteomes, with a total of 8,455,194 proteins for disorder content and its implications for adaptation of organisms, using three disorder predictors and three measures. Along with other findings, we revealed that for all three predictors and all three measures (1) Bacteria exhibit significantly more disorder than Archaea; (2) plasmid-encoded proteins contain considerably more IDRs than proteins encoded on chromosomes (or whole genomes) in both prokaryote superkingdoms; (3) plasmid proteins are significantly more disordered than chromosomal proteins only in the group of proteins with no COG category assigned; (4) antitoxin proteins in comparison to other proteins, are the most disordered (almost double) in both Bacterial and Archaeal proteomes; (5) plasmidal proteins are more disordered than chromosomal proteins in Bacterial antitoxins and toxin-unclassified proteins, but have almost the same disorder content in toxin proteins.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that while disorder content depends on genome and proteome characteristics, it is more influenced by functional engagements than by gene location (on chromosome or plasmid).

RevDate: 2018-06-01

Meinhardt KA, Stopnisek N, Pannu MW, et al (2018)

Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are the primary N2 O producers in an ammonia-oxidizing archaea dominated alkaline agricultural soil.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Most agricultural N2 O emissions are a consequence of microbial transformations of nitrogen (N) fertilizer, and mitigating increases in N2 O emission will depend on identifying microbial sources and variables influencing their activities. Here, using controlled microcosm and field studies, we found that synthetic N addition in any tested amount stimulated the production of N2 O from ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), but not archaea (AOA), from a bioenergy crop soil. The activities of these two populations were differentiated by N treatments, with abundance and activity of AOB increasing as nitrate and N2 O production increased. Moreover, as N2 O production increased, the isotopic composition of N2 O was consistent with an AOB source. Relative N2 O contributions by both populations were quantified using selective inhibitors and varying N availability. Complementary field analyses confirmed a positive correlation between N2 O flux and AOB abundance with N application. Collectively, our data indicate that AOB are the major N2 O producers, even with low N addition, and that better-metered N application, complemented by selective inhibitors, could reduce projected N2 O emissions from agricultural soils.

RevDate: 2018-07-29

Aouad M, Taib N, Oudart A, et al (2018)

Extreme halophilic archaea derive from two distinct methanogen Class II lineages.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 127:46-54.

Phylogenetic analyses of conserved core genes have disentangled most of the ancient relationships in Archaea. However, some groups remain debated, like the DPANN, a deep-branching super-phylum composed of nanosized archaea with reduced genomes. Among these, the Nanohaloarchaea require high-salt concentrations for growth. Their discovery in 2012 was significant because they represent, together with Halobacteria (a Class belonging to Euryarchaeota), the only two described lineages of extreme halophilic archaea. The phylogenetic position of Nanohaloarchaea is highly debated, being alternatively proposed as the sister-lineage of Halobacteria or a member of the DPANN super-phylum. Pinpointing the phylogenetic position of extreme halophilic archaea is important to improve our knowledge of the deep evolutionary history of Archaea and the molecular adaptive processes and evolutionary paths that allowed their emergence. Using comparative genomic approaches, we identified 258 markers carrying a reliable phylogenetic signal. By combining strategies limiting the impact of biases on phylogenetic inference, we showed that Nanohaloarchaea and Halobacteria represent two independent lines that derived from two distinct but related methanogen Class II lineages. This implies that adaptation to high salinity emerged twice independently in Archaea and indicates that emergence of Nanohaloarchaea within DPANN in previous studies is likely the consequence of a tree reconstruction artifact, challenging the existence of this super-phylum.

RevDate: 2018-08-23

Clouet-d'Orval B, Batista M, Bouvier M, et al (2018)

Insights into RNA-processing pathways and associated RNA-degrading enzymes in Archaea.

FEMS microbiology reviews, 42(5):579-613.

RNA-processing pathways are at the centre of regulation of gene expression. All RNA transcripts undergo multiple maturation steps in addition to covalent chemical modifications to become functional in the cell. This includes destroying unnecessary or defective cellular RNAs. In Archaea, information on mechanisms by which RNA species reach their mature forms and associated RNA-modifying enzymes are still fragmentary. To date, most archaeal actors and pathways have been proposed in light of information gathered from Bacteria and Eukarya. In this context, this review provides a state of the art overview of archaeal endoribonucleases and exoribonucleases that cleave and trim RNA species and also of the key small archaeal proteins that bind RNAs. Furthermore, synthetic up-to-date views of processing and biogenesis pathways of archaeal transfer and ribosomal RNAs as well as of maturation of stable small non-coding RNAs such as CRISPR RNAs, small C/D and H/ACA box guide RNAs, and other emerging classes of small RNAs are described. Finally, prospective post-transcriptional mechanisms to control archaeal messenger RNA quality and quantity are discussed.

RevDate: 2018-10-04
CmpDate: 2018-10-02

Keshri V, Panda A, Levasseur A, et al (2018)

Phylogenomic Analysis of β-Lactamase in Archaea and Bacteria Enables the Identification of Putative New Members.

Genome biology and evolution, 10(4):1106-1114.

β-lactamases are enzymes which are commonly produced by bacteria and which degrade the β-lactam ring of β-lactam antibiotics, namely penicillins, cephalosporins, carbapenems, and monobactams, and inactivate these antibiotics. We performed a rational and comprehensive investigation of β-lactamases in different biological databases. In this study, we constructed hidden Markov model profiles as well as the ancestral sequence of four classes of β-lactamases (A, B, C, and D), which were used to identify potential β-lactamases from environmental metagenomic (1206), human microbiome metagenomic (6417), human microbiome reference genome (1310), and NCBI's nonredundant databases (44101). Our analysis revealed the existence of putative β-lactamases in the metagenomic databases, which appeared to be similar to the four different molecular classes (A-D). This is the first report on the large-scale phylogenetic diversity of new members of β-lactamases, and our results revealed that metagenomic database dark-matter contains β-lactamase-like antibiotic resistance genes.

RevDate: 2018-08-09

Ausiannikava D, Mitchell L, Marriott H, et al (2018)

Evolution of Genome Architecture in Archaea: Spontaneous Generation of a New Chromosome in Haloferax volcanii.

Molecular biology and evolution, 35(8):1855-1868.

The common ancestry of archaea and eukaryotes is evident in their genome architecture. All eukaryotic and several archaeal genomes consist of multiple chromosomes, each replicated from multiple origins. Three scenarios have been proposed for the evolution of this genome architecture: 1) mutational diversification of a multi-copy chromosome; 2) capture of a new chromosome by horizontal transfer; 3) acquisition of new origins and splitting into two replication-competent chromosomes. We report an example of the third scenario: the multi-origin chromosome of the archaeon Haloferax volcanii has split into two elements via homologous recombination. The newly generated elements are bona fide chromosomes, because each bears "chromosomal" replication origins, rRNA loci, and essential genes. The new chromosomes were stable during routine growth but additional genetic manipulation, which involves selective bottlenecks, provoked further rearrangements. To the best of our knowledge, rearrangement of a naturally evolved prokaryotic genome to generate two new chromosomes has not been described previously.

RevDate: 2018-10-09

Brugère JF, Ben Hania W, Arnal ME, et al (2018)

Archaea: Microbial Candidates in Next-generation Probiotics Development.

Journal of clinical gastroenterology, 52 Suppl 1, Proceedings from the 9th Probiotics, Prebiotics and New Foods, Nutraceuticals and Botanicals for Nutrition & Human and Microbiota Health Meeting, held in Rome, Italy from September 10 to 12, 2017:S71-S73.

Pharmabiotics and probiotics in current use or under development belong to 2 of 3 domains of life, Eukarya (eg, yeasts) and Bacteria (eg, lactobacilli). Archaea constitute a third domain of life, and are currently not used as probiotics, despite several interesting features. This includes the absence of known pathogens in humans, animals, or plants and the existence of some archaea closely associated to humans in various microbiomes. We promote the concept that some specific archaea that naturally thrive in the human gut are potential next-generation probiotics that can be rationally selected on the basis of their metabolic phenotype not being encountered in other human gut microbes, neither Bacteria nor Eukarya. The example of the possible bioremediation of the proatherogenic compound trimethylamine into methane by archaeal microbes is described.

RevDate: 2018-04-22

Alves RJE, Minh BQ, Urich T, et al (2018)

Unifying the global phylogeny and environmental distribution of ammonia-oxidising archaea based on amoA genes.

Nature communications, 9(1):1517 pii:10.1038/s41467-018-03861-1.

Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) are ubiquitous and abundant in nature and play a major role in nitrogen cycling. AOA have been studied intensively based on the amoA gene (encoding ammonia monooxygenase subunit A), making it the most sequenced functional marker gene. Here, based on extensive phylogenetic and meta-data analyses of 33,378 curated archaeal amoA sequences, we define a highly resolved taxonomy and uncover global environmental patterns that challenge many earlier generalisations. Particularly, we show: (i) the global frequency of AOA is extremely uneven, with few clades dominating AOA diversity in most ecosystems; (ii) characterised AOA do not represent most predominant clades in nature, including soils and oceans; (iii) the functional role of the most prevalent environmental AOA clade remains unclear; and (iv) AOA harbour molecular signatures that possibly reflect phenotypic traits. Our work synthesises information from a decade of research and provides the first integrative framework to study AOA in a global context.

RevDate: 2018-09-20

Rother M, V Quitzke (2018)

Selenoprotein synthesis and regulation in Archaea.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. General subjects pii:S0304-4165(18)30101-6 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The major biological form of selenium is that of the co-translationally inserted amino acid selenocysteine (Sec). In Archaea, the majority of proteins containing Sec, selenoproteins, are involved in methanogenesis. However, the function of this residue is often not known because selenium-independent homologs of the selenoproteins can be employed, sometimes even in one organism.

SCOPE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes current knowledge about the selenoproteins of Archaea, the metabolic pathways where they are involved, and discusses the (potential) function of individual Sec residues. Also, what is known about the "archaeal" way of selenoprotein synthesis, and the regulatory mechanism leading to the replacement of the selenoproteins with selenium-independent homologs, will be presented. Where appropriate, similarities with (and differences to) the respective steps employed in the other two domains, Bacteria and Eukarya, will be emphasized.

MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: Genetic and biochemical studies guided by analysis of genome sequences of Sec-encoding archaea has revealed that the pathway of Sec synthesis in Archaea and Eukarya are principally identical and that Sec insertion in Eukarya probably evolved from an archaeal mechanism employed prior to the separation of the archaeal and eukaryal lines of decent.

GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: In light of the emerging close phylogenetic relationship of Eukarya and Archaea, archaeal models may be highly valuable tools for unraveling "eukaryotic" principles in molecular and cell biology.

RevDate: 2018-04-22

Wei Z, Wang J, Zhu L, et al (2018)

Toxicity of enrofloxacin, copper and their interactions on soil microbial populations and ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria.

Scientific reports, 8(1):5828 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-24016-8.

Enrofloxacin (EFX) is one of the most frequently used broad-spectrum veterinary drugs, and copper (Cu) is a heavy metal that could easily bind to certain antibiotic molecules. Hence EFX and Cu were chosen as representatives of antibiotics and heavy metals to explore the abundance and variation of soil microbial populations with a plate-counting technique, as well as the copy numbers of amoA gene in ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) by quantitative PCR methods in Argosols samples. Treatments of applied EFX (0.05, 0.20, 0.80 mmol/kg), Cu (1.60 mmol/kg) and combined EFX and Cu (at molar ratios of 1:32,1:8,1:2) exhibited various effects on different soil microorganisms. The toxicity of combined EFX and Cu was more strongly expressed on both soil microbial populations and amoA gene (AOA and AOB) compared to the EFX treatment alone, in most cases, time and dose effects were observed. With respect to the amoA gene, the AOA-amoA gene was more abundant than the AOB-amoA gene, and the ratio ranged from ~8 to ~11. Moreover, the interaction types of EFX and Cu were more likely to be antagonistic (64.29%) than synergistic (35.71%) on soil abundance and function, which may be related to the incubation time and the ratio of EFX to Cu in the soil.

RevDate: 2018-04-15

Gilmour CC, Bullock AL, McBurney A, et al (2018)

Robust Mercury Methylation across Diverse Methanogenic Archaea.

mBio, 9(2): pii:mBio.02403-17.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Khallef S, Lestini R, Myllykallio H, et al (2018)

Isolation and identification of two extremely halophilic archaea from sebkhas in the Algerian Sahara.

Cellular and molecular biology (Noisy-le-Grand, France), 64(4):83-91.

In Algeria, many salt lakes are to be found spread from southern Tunisia up to the Atlas Mountains in northern Algeria. Oum Eraneb and Ain El beida sebkhas (salt lakes), are located in the Algerian Sahara. The aim of this study was to explore the diversity of the halobacteria in this type of habitats. The physicochemical properties of these shallow saline environments were examined and compared with other hypersaline and marine ecosystems. Both sites were relatively alkaline with a pH around 8.57- 8.74 and rich in salt at 13% and 16% (w/v) salinity for Oum Eraneb and Ain El beida, respectively, with dominant ions of sodium and chloride. The microbial approach revealed the presence of two halophilic archaea, strains JCM13561 and A33T in both explored sebkhas. Growth occurred between 10 and 25% (w/v) NaCl and the isolates grow optimally at 20% (w/v) NaCl. The pH range for growth was 6 to 9.5 with an optimum at pH 7.5 for the first strain and 7 to 9.5 with an optimum pH at 8.5-9 for the second strain. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strains JCM13561 and A33T were most closely related to Halorubrum litoreum and Natronorubrum bangense (99% and 96% similarity, respectively).

RevDate: 2018-05-31

McGlynn SE, Chadwick GL, O'Neill A, et al (2018)

Subgroup characteristics of marine methane-oxidizing ANME-2 archaea and their syntrophic partners revealed by integrated multimodal analytical microscopy.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00399-18 [Epub ahead of print].

Phylogenetically diverse environmental ANME archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria cooperatively catalyze the anaerobic oxidation of methane oxidation (AOM) in multi-celled consortia within methane seep environments. To better understand these cells and their symbiotic associations, we applied a suite of electron microscopy approaches including correlative fluorescence in situhybridization - electron microscopy (FISH-EM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and serial block face scanning electron microscopy 3D reconstructions (SBEM). FISH-EM of methane seep derived consortia revealed phylogenetic variability in terms of cell morphology, ultrastructure, and storage granules. Representatives of the ANME-2b clade, but not other ANME-2 groups, contained polyphosphate-like granules, while some bacteria associated with ANME-2a/2c contained two distinct phases of iron mineral chains resembling magnetosomes. 3D segmentation of two ANME-2 consortia types revealed cellular volumes of ANME and their symbiotic partners which were larger than previous estimates based on light microscopy. Phosphorous granule containing ANME (tentatively ANME-2b) were larger than both ANME with no granules and partner bacteria. This cell type was observed with up to 4 granules per cell and the volume of the cell was larger in proportion to the number of granules inside it, but the percent of the cell occupied by these granules did not vary with granule number. These results illuminate distinctions between ANME-2 archaeal lineages and partnering bacterial populations that are apparently unified in their capability of performing anaerobic methane oxidation.Importance Methane oxidation in anaerobic environments can be accomplished by a number of archaeal groups, some of which live in syntrophic relationships with bacteria in structured consortia. Little is known as to the distinguishing characteristics of these groups. Here we applied imaging approaches to better understand the properties of these cells. We found unexpected morphological, structural, and volume variability of these uncultured groups by correlating fluorescence labeling of cells with electron microscopy observables.

RevDate: 2018-04-15

Poehlein A, Heym D, Quitzke V, et al (2018)

Complete Genome Sequence of the Methanococcus maripaludis Type Strain JJ (DSM 2067), a Model for Selenoprotein Synthesis in Archaea.

Genome announcements, 6(14): pii:6/14/e00237-18.

Methanococcus maripaludis type strain JJ (DSM 2067) is an important organism because it serves as a model for primary energy metabolism and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis and is amenable to genetic manipulation. The complete genome (1.7 Mb) harbors 1,815 predicted protein-encoding genes, including 9 encoding selenoproteins.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Feng X, Sun M, Han W, et al (2018)

A transcriptional factor B paralog functions as an activator to DNA damage-responsive expression in archaea.

Nucleic acids research, 46(14):7085-7096.

Previously it was shown that UV irradiation induces a strong upregulation of tfb3 coding for a paralog of the archaeal transcriptional factor B (TFB) in Sulfolobus solfataricus, a crenarchaea. To investigate the function of this gene in DNA damage response (DDR), tfb3 was inactivated by gene deletion in Sulfolobus islandicus and the resulting Δtfb3 was more sensitive to DNA damage agents than the original strain. Transcriptome analysis revealed that a large set of genes show TFB3-dependent activation, including genes of the ups operon and ced system. Furthermore, the TFB3 protein was found to be associated with DDR gene promoters and functional dissection of TFB3 showed that the conserved Zn-ribbon and coiled-coil motif are essential for the activation. Together, the results indicated that TFB3 activates the expression of DDR genes by interaction with other transcriptional factors at the promoter regions of DDR genes to facilitate the formation of transcription initiation complex. Strikingly, TFB3 and Ced systems are present in a wide range of crenarchaea, suggesting that the Ced system function as a primary DNA damage repair mechanism in Crenarchaeota. Our findings further suggest that TFB3 and the concurrent TFB1 form a TFB3-dependent DNA damage-responsive circuit with their target genes, which is evolutionarily conserved in the major lineage of Archaea.

RevDate: 2018-06-02

Da Cunha V, Gaia M, Nasir A, et al (2018)

Asgard archaea do not close the debate about the universal tree of life topology.

PLoS genetics, 14(3):e1007215 pii:PGENETICS-D-17-02216.

RevDate: 2018-06-02

Spang A, Eme L, Saw JH, et al (2018)

Asgard archaea are the closest prokaryotic relatives of eukaryotes.

PLoS genetics, 14(3):e1007080 pii:PGENETICS-D-17-01666.

RevDate: 2018-07-23
CmpDate: 2018-07-23

Kiadehi MSH, Amoozegar MA, Asad S, et al (2018)

Exploring the potential of halophilic archaea for the decolorization of azo dyes.

Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research, 77(5-6):1602-1611.

Azo dyes are being extensively used in textile industries, so finding a proper solution to decolorize them is of high importance. In order to find azo dye decolorizing strains among haloarchaea, which are well known for their tolerance to harsh environmental conditions, fifteen haloarchaeal strains were screened. Halogeometricum sp. strain A and Haloferax sp. strain B with the highest decolorization ability (95% and 91% for Remazol black B; both about 60% for Acid blue 161, respectively) were selected for further studies. It was shown that both strains were able to grow and decolorize the dye in a medium containing up to 5 M NaCl, with optimum decolorization activity at 2.5-3.4 M, pH 7, and a wide temperature range between 30 to 45 °C. Moreover, both strains were able to tolerate and decolorize up to 1,000 mg l-1 Remazol black B. Also, they were able to survive in 5,000 mg l-1 of the dye after 20 days' incubation. Glucose and yeast extract were found to be the best carbon and nitrogen sources in the decolorization medium for both strains. This is the first report studying decolorization of azo dyes using halophilic archaea.

RevDate: 2018-05-30
CmpDate: 2018-05-30

Pillot G, Frouin E, Pasero E, et al (2018)

Specific enrichment of hyperthermophilic electroactive Archaea from deep-sea hydrothermal vent on electrically conductive support.

Bioresource technology, 259:304-311.

While more and more investigations are done to study hyperthermophilic exoelectrogenic communities from environments, none have been performed yet on deep-sea hydrothermal vent. Samples of black smoker chimney from Rainbow site on the Atlantic mid-oceanic ridge have been harvested for enriching exoelectrogens in microbial electrolysis cells under hyperthermophilic (80 °C) condition. Two enrichments were performed in a BioElectrochemical System specially designed: one from direct inoculation of crushed chimney and the other one from inoculation of a pre-cultivation on iron (III) oxide. In both experiments, a current production was observed from 2.4 A/m2 to 5.8 A/m2 with a set anode potential of -0.110 V vs Ag/AgCl. Taxonomic affiliation of the exoelectrogen communities obtained on the electrode exhibited a specific enrichment of Archaea belonging to Thermococcales and Archeoglobales orders, even when both inocula were dominated by Bacteria.

RevDate: 2018-03-09

Anonymous (2018)

Extreme Excitement about Archaea.

Cell, 172(6):1153-1154.

RevDate: 2018-03-28

Gelsinger DR, J DiRuggiero (2018)

The Non-Coding Regulatory RNA Revolution in Archaea.

Genes, 9(3): pii:genes9030141.

Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) are ubiquitously found in the three domains of life playing large-scale roles in gene regulation, transposable element silencing and defense against foreign elements. While a substantial body of experimental work has been done to uncover function of sRNAs in Bacteria and Eukarya, the functional roles of sRNAs in Archaea are still poorly understood. Recently, high throughput studies using RNA-sequencing revealed that sRNAs are broadly expressed in the Archaea, comprising thousands of transcripts within the transcriptome during non-challenged and stressed conditions. Antisense sRNAs, which overlap a portion of a gene on the opposite strand (cis-acting), are the most abundantly expressed non-coding RNAs and they can be classified based on their binding patterns to mRNAs (3' untranslated region (UTR), 5' UTR, CDS-binding). These antisense sRNAs target many genes and pathways, suggesting extensive roles in gene regulation. Intergenic sRNAs are less abundantly expressed and their targets are difficult to find because of a lack of complete overlap between sRNAs and target mRNAs (trans-acting). While many sRNAs have been validated experimentally, a regulatory role has only been reported for very few of them. Further work is needed to elucidate sRNA-RNA binding mechanisms, the molecular determinants of sRNA-mediated regulation, whether protein components are involved and how sRNAs integrate with complex regulatory networks.

RevDate: 2018-03-24

Burns JA, Pittis AA, E Kim (2018)

Publisher Correction: Gene-based predictive models of trophic modes suggest Asgard archaea are not phagocytotic.

Nature ecology & evolution, 2(4):751.

In the version of this Article originally published, question marks appeared in Table 1; they should have been tick marks. This has now been corrected in all versions of the Article.

RevDate: 2018-03-04

Liu J, Yu Z, Yao Q, et al (2018)

Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea Show More Distinct Biogeographic Distribution Patterns than Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria across the Black Soil Zone of Northeast China.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:171.

Black soils (Mollisols) of northeast China are highly productive and agriculturally important for food production. Ammonia-oxidizing microbes play an important role in N cycling in the black soils. However, the information related to the composition and distribution of ammonia-oxidizing microbes in the black soils has not yet been addressed. In this study, we used the amoA gene to quantify the abundance and community composition of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) across the black soil zone. The amoA abundance of AOA was remarkably larger than that of AOB, with ratios of AOA/AOB in the range from 3.1 to 91.0 across all soil samples. The abundance of AOA amoA was positively correlated with total soil C content (p < 0.001) but not with soil pH (p > 0.05). In contrast, the abundance of AOB amoA positively correlated with soil pH (p = 0.009) but not with total soil C. Alpha diversity of AOA did not correlate with any soil parameter, however, alpha diversity of AOB was affected by multiple soil factors, such as soil pH, total P, N, and C, available K content, and soil water content. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that the AOA community was mainly affected by the sampling latitude, followed by soil pH, total P and C; while the AOB community was mainly determined by soil pH, as well as total P, C and N, water content, and sampling latitude, which highlighted that the AOA community was more geographically distributed in the black soil zone of northeast China than AOB community. In addition, the pairwise analyses showed that the potential nitrification rate (PNR) was not correlated with alpha diversity but weakly positively with the abundance of the AOA community (p = 0.048), whereas PNR significantly correlated positively with the richness (p = 0.003), diversity (p = 0.001) and abundance (p < 0.001) of the AOB community, which suggested that AOB community might make a greater contribution to nitrification than AOA community in the black soils when ammonium is readily available.

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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.

Administrator

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.

Publisher

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.

Speaker

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.

Facilitator

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.

Designer

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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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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