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08 Feb 2023 at 01:30
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Bibliography on: Archaea


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 08 Feb 2023 at 01:30 Created: 


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: 2023-02-02

Denise R, Babor J, Gerlt JA, et al (2023)

Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate synthesis and salvage in Bacteria and Archaea: predicting pathway variant distributions and holes.

Microbial genomics, 9(2):.

RevDate: 2023-02-01

Ngugi DK, Salcher MM, Andrei AS, et al (2023)

Postglacial adaptations enabled colonization and quasi-clonal dispersal of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in modern European large lakes.

Science advances, 9(5):eadc9392.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) play a key role in the aquatic nitrogen cycle. Their genetic diversity is viewed as the outcome of evolutionary processes that shaped ancestral transition from terrestrial to marine habitats. However, current genome-wide insights into AOA evolution rarely consider brackish and freshwater representatives or provide their divergence timeline in lacustrine systems. An unbiased global assessment of lacustrine AOA diversity is critical for understanding their origins, dispersal mechanisms, and ecosystem roles. Here, we leveraged continental-scale metagenomics to document that AOA species diversity in freshwater systems is remarkably low compared to marine environments. We show that the uncultured freshwater AOA, "Candidatus Nitrosopumilus limneticus," is ubiquitous and genotypically static in various large European lakes where it evolved 13 million years ago. We find that extensive proteome remodeling was a key innovation for freshwater colonization of AOA. These findings reveal the genetic diversity and adaptive mechanisms of a keystone species that has survived clonally in lakes for millennia.

RevDate: 2023-02-01

Beddal A, Boutaiba S, Laassami A, et al (2022)

Characterization by polyphasic approach of some indigenous halophilic archaea of Djelfa's rock salt "Hadjr el Meelh", Algeria.

Iranian journal of microbiology, 14(4):535-544.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Hadjr El Melh of Djelfa is an example of hypersaline ecosystems, which can harbor a wide variety of microorganisms under hostile physicochemical conditions. Given the importance of the study of halophilic microorganisms present there in terms of fundamental and applied microbiology, the purpose of this study was to characterize some halophilic archaea isolated from the brines of this environment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eight water samples were chosen randomly and collected for physicochemical and microbiological analyses. Isolation of halophilic archaea was carried out by membrane filter technique. Ten strains were identified by polyphasic approach and tested for enzymes production.

RESULTS: Water samples of Djelfa's rock salt were slightly acidic to neutral in pH (6.55-7.36) with salinity ranging from 258.68 g/l to 493.91 g/l. Phenotypic, biochemical, taxonomic and phylogenetic characteristics indicated that all strains were classified within the family of Halobacteiaceae. Based on the comparison of DNA sequences encoded 16S rRNA, it was determined that seven strains were affiliated to the genus Haloarcula, two strains were related to the genus Halobacterium and one strain within the genus Haloferax. Production of different enzymes such as protease, amylase, esterase, lipase, lecithinase, gelatinase and cellulase on solid medium indicated that one strain (S2-2) produced amylase, esterase, lecithinase and protease. However, no strains showed cellulolytic or lipolytic activity. Gelatinase was found in all tested strains.

CONCLUSION: This report constitutes the first preliminary study of culturable halophilic archaea recovered from the brines of Djelfa's rock salt with a promising enzymatic potential in various fields of biotechnology.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Hodgskiss LH, Melcher M, Kerou M, et al (2023)

Unexpected complexity of the ammonia monooxygenase in archaea.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia oxidation, as the first step of nitrification, constitutes a critical process in the global nitrogen cycle. However, fundamental knowledge of its key enzyme, the copper-dependent ammonia monooxygenase, is lacking, in particular for the environmentally abundant ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA). Here the structure of the enzyme is investigated by blue-native gel electrophoresis and proteomics from native membrane complexes of two AOA. Besides the known AmoABC subunits and the earlier predicted AmoX, two new protein subunits, AmoY and AmoZ, were identified. They are unique to AOA, highly conserved and co-regulated, and their genes are linked to other AMO subunit genes in streamlined AOA genomes. Modeling and in-gel cross-link approaches support an overall protomer structure similar to the distantly related bacterial particulate methane monooxygenase but also reveals clear differences in extracellular domains of the enzyme. These data open avenues for further structure-function studies of this ecologically important nitrification complex.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Daugeron MC, Missoury S, Da Cunha V, et al (2023)

A paralog of Pcc1 is the fifth core subunit of the KEOPS tRNA-modifying complex in Archaea.

Nature communications, 14(1):526 pii:10.1038/s41467-023-36210-y.

In Archaea and Eukaryotes, the synthesis of a universal tRNA modification, N[6]-threonyl-carbamoyl adenosine (t[6]A), is catalyzed by the KEOPS complex composed of Kae1, Bud32, Cgi121, and Pcc1. A fifth subunit, Gon7, is found only in Fungi and Metazoa. Here, we identify and characterize a fifth KEOPS subunit in Archaea. This protein, dubbed Pcc2, is a paralog of Pcc1 and is widely conserved in Archaea. Pcc1 and Pcc2 form a heterodimer in solution, and show modest sequence conservation but very high structural similarity. The five-subunit archaeal KEOPS does not form dimers but retains robust tRNA binding and t[6]A synthetic activity. Pcc2 can substitute for Pcc1 but the resulting KEOPS complex is inactive, suggesting a distinct function for the two paralogs. Comparative sequence and structure analyses point to a possible evolutionary link between archaeal Pcc2 and eukaryotic Gon7. Our work indicates that Pcc2 regulates the oligomeric state of the KEOPS complex, a feature that seems to be conserved from Archaea to Eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Yang Y, Liu J, Fu X, et al (2023)

A novel RHH family transcription factor aCcr1 and its viral homologs dictate cell cycle progression in archaea.

Nucleic acids research pii:7009128 [Epub ahead of print].

Cell cycle regulation is of paramount importance for all forms of life. Here, we report that a conserved and essential cell cycle-specific transcription factor (designated as aCcr1) and its viral homologs control cell division in Sulfolobales. We show that the transcription level of accr1 reaches peak during active cell division (D-phase) subsequent to the expression of CdvA, an archaea-specific cell division protein. Cells over-expressing the 58-aa-long RHH (ribbon-helix-helix) family cellular transcription factor as well as the homologs encoded by large spindle-shaped viruses Acidianus two-tailed virus (ATV) and Sulfolobus monocaudavirus 3 (SMV3) display significant growth retardation and cell division failure, manifesting as enlarged cells with multiple chromosomes. aCcr1 over-expression results in downregulation of 17 genes (>4-fold), including cdvA. A conserved motif, aCcr1-box, located between the TATA-binding box and the translation initiation site of 13 out of the 17 highly repressed genes, is critical for aCcr1 binding. The aCcr1-box is present in the promoters and 5' UTRs of cdvA genes across Sulfolobales, suggesting that aCcr1-mediated cdvA repression is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism by which archaeal cells dictate cytokinesis progression, whereas their viruses take advantage of this mechanism to manipulate the host cell cycle.

RevDate: 2023-01-29

Umegawa Y, Kawatake S, Murata M, et al (2023)

Combined effect of the head groups and alkyl chains of archaea lipids when interacting with bacteriorhodopsin.

Biophysical chemistry, 294:106959 pii:S0301-4622(23)00010-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteriorhodopsin (bR), a transmembrane protein with seven α-helices, is highly expressed in the purple membrane (PM) of archaea such as Halobacterium salinarum. It is well known that bR forms two-dimensional crystals with acidic lipids such as phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester (PGP-Me)-a major component of PM lipids bearing unique chemical structures-methyl-branched alkyl chains, ether linkages, and divalent anionic head groups with two phosphodiester groups. Therefore, we aimed to determine which functional groups of PGP-Me are essential for the boundary lipids of bR and how these functionalities interact with bR. To this end, we compared various well-known phospholipids (PLs) that carry one of the structural features of PGP-Me, and evaluated the affinity of PLs to bR using the centerband-only analysis of rotor-unsynchronized spin echo (COARSE) method in solid-state NMR measurements and thermal shift assays. The results clearly showed that the branched methyl groups of alkyl chains and double negative charges in the head groups are important for PL interactions with bR. We then examined the effect of phospholipids on the monomer-trimer exchange of bR using circular dichroism (CD) spectra. The results indicated that the divalent negative charge in a head group stabilizes the trimer structure, while the branched methyl chains significantly enhance the PLs' affinity for bR, thus dispersing bR trimers in the PM even at high concentrations. Finally, we investigated the effects of PL on the proton-pumping activity of bR based on the decay rate constant of the M intermediate of a bR photocycle. The findings showed that bR activities decreased to 20% in 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphate (DMPA), and in 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPhPC) bilayers as compared to that in PM. Meanwhile, 1,2-Diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphate (DPhPA) bilayers bearing both negative charges and branched methyl groups preserved over 80% of the activity. These results strongly suggest that the head groups and alkyl chains of phospholipids are essential for boundary lipids and greatly influence the biological function of bR.

RevDate: 2023-01-25

Sumi T, K Harada (2021)

Kinetics of the ancestral carbon metabolism pathways in deep-branching bacteria and archaea.

Communications chemistry, 4(1):149.

The origin of life is believed to be chemoautotrophic, deriving all biomass components from carbon dioxide, and all energy from inorganic redox couples in the environment. The reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle (rTCA) and the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (WL) have been recognized as the most ancient carbon fixation pathways. The rTCA of the chemolithotrophic Thermosulfidibacter takaii, which was recently demonstrated to take place via an unexpected reverse reaction of citrate synthase, was reproduced using a kinetic network model, and a competition between reductive and oxidative fluxes on rTCA due to an acetyl coenzyme A (ACOA) influx upon acetate uptake was revealed. Avoiding ACOA direct influx into rTCA from WL is, therefore, raised as a kinetically necessary condition to maintain a complete rTCA. This hypothesis was confirmed for deep-branching bacteria and archaea, and explains the kinetic factors governing elementary processes in carbon metabolism evolution from the last universal common ancestor.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Jaffe AL, Bardot C, Le Jeune AH, et al (2023)

Variable impact of geochemical gradients on the functional potential of bacteria, archaea, and phages from the permanently stratified Lac Pavin.

Microbiome, 11(1):14.

BACKGROUND: Permanently stratified lakes contain diverse microbial communities that vary with depth and so serve as useful models for studying the relationships between microbial community structure and geochemistry. Recent work has shown that these lakes can also harbor numerous bacteria and archaea from novel lineages, including those from the Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR). However, the extent to which geochemical stratification differentially impacts carbon metabolism and overall genetic potential in CPR bacteria compared to other organisms is not well defined.

RESULTS: Here, we determine the distribution of microbial lineages along an oxygen gradient in Lac Pavin, a deep, stratified lake in central France, and examine the influence of this gradient on their metabolism. Genome-based analyses revealed an enrichment of distinct C1 and CO2 fixation pathways in the oxic lake interface and anoxic zone/sediments, suggesting that oxygen likely plays a role in structuring metabolic strategies in non-CPR bacteria and archaea. Notably, we find that the oxidation of methane and its byproducts is largely spatially separated from methane production, which is mediated by diverse communities of sediment methanogens that vary on the centimeter scale. In contrast, we detected evidence for RuBisCO throughout the water column and sediments, including form II/III and form III-related enzymes encoded by CPR bacteria in the water column and DPANN archaea in the sediments. On the whole, though, CPR bacteria and phages did not show strong signals of gene content differentiation by depth, despite the fact that distinct species groups populate different lake and sediment compartments.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our analyses suggest that environmental gradients in Lac Pavin select for capacities of CPR bacteria and phages to a lesser extent than for other bacteria and archaea. This may be due to the fact that selection in the former groups is indirect and depends primarily on host characteristics. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Yu Y, Wang P, Cao HY, et al (2023)

Novel D-glutamate catabolic pathway in marine Proteobacteria and halophilic archaea.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

D-glutamate (D-Glu) is an essential component of bacterial peptidoglycans, representing an important, yet overlooked, pool of organic matter in global oceans. However, little is known on D-Glu catabolism by marine microorganisms. Here, a novel catabolic pathway for D-Glu was identified using the marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. CF6-2 as the model. Two novel enzymes (DgcN, DgcA), together with a transcriptional regulator DgcR, are crucial for D-Glu catabolism in strain CF6-2. Genetic and biochemical data confirm that DgcN is a N-acetyltransferase which catalyzes the formation of N-acetyl-D-Glu from D-Glu. DgcA is a racemase that converts N-acetyl-D-Glu to N-acetyl-L-Glu, which is further hydrolyzed to L-Glu. DgcR positively regulates the transcription of dgcN and dgcA. Structural and biochemical analyses suggested that DgcN and its homologs, which use D-Glu as the acyl receptor, represent a new group of the general control non-repressible 5 (GCN5)-related N-acetyltransferases (GNAT) superfamily. DgcA and DgcN occur widely in marine bacteria (particularly Rhodobacterales) and halophilic archaea (Halobacteria) and are abundant in marine and hypersaline metagenome datasets. Thus, this study reveals a novel D-Glu catabolic pathway in ecologically important marine bacteria and halophilic archaea and helps better understand the catabolism and recycling of D-Glu in these ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Corona Ramírez A, Cailleau G, Fatton M, et al (2022)

Diversity of Lysis-Resistant Bacteria and Archaea in the Polyextreme Environment of Salar de Huasco.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:826117.

The production of specialized resting cells is a remarkable strategy developed by several organisms to survive unfavorable environmental conditions. Spores are specialized resting cells that are characterized by low to absent metabolic activity and higher resistance. Spore-like cells are known from multiple groups of bacteria, which can form spores under suboptimal growth conditions (e.g., starvation). In contrast, little is known about the production of specialized resting cells in archaea. In this study, we applied a culture-independent method that uses physical and chemical lysis, to assess the diversity of lysis-resistant bacteria and archaea and compare it to the overall prokaryotic diversity (direct DNA extraction). The diversity of lysis-resistant cells was studied in the polyextreme environment of the Salar de Huasco. The Salar de Huasco is a high-altitude athalassohaline wetland in the Chilean Altiplano. Previous studies have shown a high diversity of bacteria and archaea in the Salar de Huasco, but the diversity of lysis-resistant microorganisms has never been investigated. The underlying hypothesis was that the combination of extreme abiotic conditions might favor the production of specialized resting cells. Samples were collected from sediment cores along a saline gradient and microbial mats were collected in small surrounding ponds. A significantly different diversity and composition were found in the sediment cores or microbial mats. Furthermore, our results show a high diversity of lysis-resistant cells not only in bacteria but also in archaea. The bacterial lysis-resistant fraction was distinct in comparison to the overall community. Also, the ability to survive the lysis-resistant treatment was restricted to a few groups, including known spore-forming phyla such as Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. In contrast to bacteria, lysis resistance was widely spread in archaea, hinting at a generalized resistance to lysis, which is at least comparable to the resistance of dormant cells in bacteria. The enrichment of Natrinema and Halarchaeum in the lysis-resistant fraction could hint at the production of cyst-like cells or other resistant cells. These results can guide future studies aiming to isolate and broaden the characterization of lysis-resistant archaea.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Tandon K, Ricci F, Costa J, et al (2022)

Genomic view of the diversity and functional role of archaea and bacteria in the skeleton of the reef-building corals Porites lutea and Isopora palifera.

GigaScience, 12:.

At present, our knowledge on the compartmentalization of coral holobiont microbiomes is highly skewed toward the millimeter-thin coral tissue, leaving the diverse coral skeleton microbiome underexplored. Here, we present a genome-centric view of the skeleton of the reef-building corals Porites lutea and Isopora palifera, through a compendium of ∼400 high-quality bacterial and archaeal metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), spanning 34 phyla and 57 classes. Skeletal microbiomes harbored a diverse array of stress response genes, including dimethylsulfoniopropionate synthesis (dsyB) and metabolism (DMSP lyase). Furthermore, skeletal MAGs encoded an average of 22 ± 15 genes in P. lutea and 28 ± 23 in I. palifera with eukaryotic-like motifs thought to be involved in maintaining host association. We provide comprehensive insights into the putative functional role of the skeletal microbiome on key metabolic processes such as nitrogen fixation, dissimilatory and assimilatory nitrate, and sulfate reduction. Our study provides critical genomic resources for a better understanding of the coral skeletal microbiome and its role in holobiont functioning.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Baehren C, Pembaur A, Weil PP, et al (2023)

The Overlooked Microbiome-Considering Archaea and Eukaryotes Using Multiplex Nanopore-16S-/18S-rDNA-Sequencing: A Technical Report Focusing on Nasopharyngeal Microbiomes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(2): pii:ijms24021426.

In contrast to bacteria, microbiome analyses often neglect archaea, but also eukaryotes. This is partly because they are difficult to culture due to their demanding growth requirements, or some even have to be classified as uncultured microorganisms. Consequently, little is known about the relevance of archaea in human health and diseases. Contemporary broad availability and spread of next generation sequencing techniques now enable a stronger focus on such microorganisms, whose cultivation is difficult. However, due to the enormous evolutionary distances between bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes, the implementation of sequencing strategies for smaller laboratory scales needs to be refined to achieve as a holistic view on the microbiome as possible. Here, we present a technical approach that enables simultaneous analyses of archaeal, bacterial and eukaryotic microbial communities to study their roles in development and courses of respiratory disorders. We thus applied combinatorial 16S-/18S-rDNA sequencing strategies for sequencing-library preparation. Considering the lower total microbiota density of airway surfaces, when compared with gut microbiota, we optimized the DNA purification workflow from nasopharyngeal swab specimens. As a result, we provide a protocol that allows the efficient combination of bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic libraries for nanopore-sequencing using Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION devices and subsequent phylogenetic analyses. In a pilot study, this workflow allowed the identification of some environmental archaea, which were not correlated with airway microbial communities before. Moreover, we assessed the protocol's broader applicability using a set of human stool samples. We conclude that the proposed protocol provides a versatile and adaptable tool for combinatorial studies on bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic microbiomes on a small laboratory scale.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

De Lise F, Iacono R, Moracci M, et al (2023)

Archaea as a Model System for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Biomolecules, 13(1): pii:biom13010114.

Archaea represents the third domain of life, displaying a closer relationship with eukaryotes than bacteria. These microorganisms are valuable model systems for molecular biology and biotechnology. In fact, nowadays, methanogens, halophiles, thermophilic euryarchaeota, and crenarchaeota are the four groups of archaea for which genetic systems have been well established, making them suitable as model systems and allowing for the increasing study of archaeal genes' functions. Furthermore, thermophiles are used to explore several aspects of archaeal biology, such as stress responses, DNA replication and repair, transcription, translation and its regulation mechanisms, CRISPR systems, and carbon and energy metabolism. Extremophilic archaea also represent a valuable source of new biomolecules for biological and biotechnological applications, and there is growing interest in the development of engineered strains. In this review, we report on some of the most important aspects of the use of archaea as a model system for genetic evolution, the development of genetic tools, and their application for the elucidation of the basal molecular mechanisms in this domain of life. Furthermore, an overview on the discovery of new enzymes of biotechnological interest from archaea thriving in extreme environments is reported.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Nissley AJ, Penev PI, Watson ZL, et al (2023)

Rare ribosomal RNA sequences from archaea stabilize the bacterial ribosome.

Nucleic acids research pii:6993852 [Epub ahead of print].

The ribosome serves as the universally conserved translator of the genetic code into proteins and supports life across diverse temperatures ranging from below freezing to above 120°C. Ribosomes are capable of functioning across this wide range of temperatures even though the catalytic site for peptide bond formation, the peptidyl transferase center, is nearly universally conserved. Here we find that Thermoproteota, a phylum of thermophilic Archaea, substitute cytidine for uridine at large subunit rRNA positions 2554 and 2555 (Escherichia coli numbering) in the A loop, immediately adjacent to the binding site for the 3'-end of A-site tRNA. We show by cryo-EM that E. coli ribosomes with uridine to cytidine mutations at these positions retain the proper fold and post-transcriptional modification of the A loop. Additionally, these mutations do not affect cellular growth, protect the large ribosomal subunit from thermal denaturation, and increase the mutational robustness of nucleotides in the peptidyl transferase center. This work identifies sequence variation across archaeal ribosomes in the peptidyl transferase center that likely confers stabilization of the ribosome at high temperatures and develops a stable mutant bacterial ribosome that can act as a scaffold for future ribosome engineering efforts.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Feng Y, Dolfing J, Guo Z, et al (2017)

Chronosequencing methanogenic archaea in ancient Longji rice Terraces in China.

Science bulletin, 62(12):879-887.

Chronosequences of ancient rice terraces serve as an invaluable archive for reconstructions of historical human-environment interactions. Presently, however, these reconstructions are based on traditional soil physico-chemical properties. The microorganisms in palaeosols have been unexplored. We hypothesized that microbial information can be used as an additional proxy to complement and consolidate archaeological interpretations. To test this hypothesis, the palaeoenvironmental methanogenic archaeal DNA in Longji Terraces, one of the famous ancient terraces in China, dating back to the late Yuan Dynasty (CE 1361-1406), was chronosequenced by high-throughput sequencing. It was found that the methanogenic archaeal abundance, diversity and community composition were closely associated with the 630years of rice cultivation and in line with changes in multi-proxy data. Particularly, the centennial- and decadal-scale influences of known historical events, including social turbulences (The Taiping Rebellion, CE 1850-1865), palaeoclimate changes (the Little Ice Age) and recorded natural disasters (earthquakes and inundation), on ancient agricultural society were clearly echoed in the microbial archives as variations in alpha and beta diversity. This striking correlation suggests that the microorganisms archived in palaeosols can be quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed to provide an additional proxy, and palaeo-microbial information could be routinely incorporated in the toolkit for archaeological interpretation.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Laso-Pérez R, Wu F, Crémière A, et al (2023)

Evolutionary diversification of methanotrophic ANME-1 archaea and their expansive virome.

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

'Candidatus Methanophagales' (ANME-1) is an order-level clade of archaea responsible for anaerobic methane oxidation in deep-sea sediments. The diversity, ecology and evolution of ANME-1 remain poorly understood. In this study, we use metagenomics on deep-sea hydrothermal samples to expand ANME-1 diversity and uncover the effect of virus-host dynamics. Phylogenetic analyses reveal a deep-branching, thermophilic family, 'Candidatus Methanospirareceae', closely related to short-chain alkane oxidizers. Global phylogeny and near-complete genomes show that hydrogen metabolism within ANME-1 is an ancient trait that was vertically inherited but differentially lost during lineage diversification. Metagenomics also uncovered 16 undescribed virus families so far exclusively targeting ANME-1 archaea, showing unique structural and replicative signatures. The expansive ANME-1 virome contains a metabolic gene repertoire that can influence host ecology and evolution through virus-mediated gene displacement. Our results suggest an evolutionary continuum between anaerobic methane and short-chain alkane oxidizers and underscore the effects of viruses on the dynamics and evolution of methane-driven ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-01-13

Zhang CJ, Liu YR, Cha G, et al (2023)

Potential for mercury methylation by Asgard archaea in mangrove sediments.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin that bioaccumulates along food chains. The conversion of MeHg from mercury (Hg) is mediated by a variety of anaerobic microorganisms carrying hgcAB genes. Mangrove sediments are potential hotspots of microbial Hg methylation; however, the microorganisms responsible for Hg methylation are poorly understood. Here, we conducted metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to investigate the diversity and distribution of putative microbial Hg-methylators in mangrove ecosystems. The highest hgcA abundance and expression occurred in surface sediments in Shenzhen, where the highest MeHg concentration was also observed. We reconstructed 157 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) carrying hgcA and identified several putative novel Hg-methylators, including one Asgard archaea (Lokiarchaeota). Further analysis of MAGs revealed that Deltaproteobacteria, Euryarchaeota, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, and Lokiarchaeota were the most abundant and active Hg-methylating groups, implying their crucial role in MeHg production. By screening publicly available MAGs, 104 additional Asgard MAGs carrying hgcA genes were identified from a wide range of coast, marine, permafrost, and lake sediments. Protein homology modelling predicts that Lokiarchaeota HgcAB proteins contained the highly conserved amino acid sequences and folding structures required for Hg methylation. Phylogenetic tree revealed that hgcA genes from Asgard clustered with fused hgcAB genes, indicating a transitional stage of Asgard hgcA genes. Our findings thus suggest that Asgard archaea are potential novel Hg-methylating microorganisms and play an important role in hgcA evolution.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Jia Y, Lahm M, Chen Q, et al (2023)

The Predominance of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea in an Oceanic Microbial Community Amended with Cyanobacterial Lysate.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

When the oligotrophic microbial community was amended with Synechococcus-derived dissolved organic matter (SDOM) and incubated under the dark condition, archaea relative abundance was initially very low but made up more than 60% of the prokaryotic community on day 60, and remained dominant for at least 9 months. The archaeal sequences were dominated by Candidatus Nitrosopumilus, the Group I.1a Thaumarchaeota. The increase of Thaumarchaeota in the dark incubation corresponded to the period of delayed ammonium oxidation upon an initially steady increase in ammonia, supporting the remarkable competency of Thaumarchaeota in energy utilization and fixation of inorganic carbon in the ocean. IMPORTANCE Thaumarchaeota, which are ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), are mainly chemolithoautotrophs that can fix inorganic carbon to produce organic matter in the dark. Their distinctive physiological traits and high abundance in the water column indicate the significant ecological roles they play in the open ocean. In our study, we found predominant Thaumarchaeota in the microbial community amended with cyanobacteria-derived lysate under the dark condition. Furthermore, Thaumarchaeota remained dominant in the microbial community even after 1 year of incubation. Through the ammonification process, dissolved organic matter (DOM) from cyanobacterial lysate was converted to ammonium which was used as an energy source for Thaumarchaeota to fix inorganic carbon into biomass. Our study further advocates the important roles of Thaumarchaeota in the ocean's biogeochemical cycle.

RevDate: 2022-12-31

Yang WT, Shen LD, YN Bai (2022)

Role and regulation of anaerobic methane oxidation catalyzed by NC10 bacteria and ANME-2d archaea in various ecosystems.

Environmental research, 219:115174 pii:S0013-9351(22)02501-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Freshwater wetlands, paddy fields, inland aquatic ecosystems and coastal wetlands are recognized as important sources of atmospheric methane (CH4). Currently, increasing evidence shows the potential importance of the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) mediated by NC10 bacteria and a novel cluster of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME)-ANME-2d in mitigating CH4 emissions from different ecosystems. To better understand the role of NC10 bacteria and ANME-2d archaea in CH4 emission reduction, the current review systematically summarizes different AOM processes and the functional microorganisms involved in freshwater wetlands, paddy fields, inland aquatic ecosystems and coastal wetlands. NC10 bacteria are widely present in these ecosystems, and the nitrite-dependent AOM is identified as an important CH4 sink and induces nitrogen loss. Nitrite- and nitrate-dependent AOM co-occur in the environment, and they are mainly affected by soil/sediment inorganic nitrogen and organic carbon contents. Furthermore, salinity is another key factor regulating the two AOM processes in coastal wetlands. In addition, ANME-2d archaea have the great potential to couple AOM to the reduction of iron (III), manganese (IV), sulfate, and even humics in different ecosystems. However, the study on the environmental distribution of ANME-2d archaea and their role in CH4 mitigation in environments is insufficient. In this study, we propose several directions for future research on the different AOM processes and respective functional microorganisms.

RevDate: 2022-12-27

Moll J, B Hoppe (2022)

Evaluation of primers for the detection of deadwood-inhabiting archaea via amplicon sequencing.

PeerJ, 10:e14567.

Archaea have been reported from deadwood of a few different tree species in temperate and boreal forest ecosystems in the past. However, while one of their functions is well linked to methane production any additional contribution to wood decomposition is not understood and underexplored which may be also attributed to lacking investigations on their diversity in this substrate. With this current work, we aim at encouraging further investigations by providing aid in primer choice for DNA metabarcoding using Illumina amplicon sequencing. We tested 16S primer pairs on genomic DNA extracted from woody tissue of four temperate deciduous tree species. Three primer pairs were specific to archaea and one prokaryotic primer pair theoretically amplifies both, bacterial and archaeal DNA. Methanobacteriales and Methanomassiliicoccales have been consistently identified as dominant orders across all datasets but significant variability in ASV richness was observed using different primer combinations. Nitrososphaerales have only been identified when using archaea-specific primer sets. In addition, the most commonly applied primer combination targeting prokaryotes in general yielded the lowest relative proportion of archaeal sequences per sample, which underlines the fact, that using target specific primers unraveled a yet unknown diversity of archaea in deadwood. Hence, archaea seem to be an important group of the deadwood-inhabiting community and further research is needed to explore their role during the decomposition process.

RevDate: 2022-12-25

Zhang X, Zhang C, Liu Y, et al (2022)

Non-negligible roles of archaea in coastal carbon biogeochemical cycling.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(22)00316-X [Epub ahead of print].

Coastal zones are among the world's most productive ecosystems. They store vast amounts of organic carbon, as 'blue carbon' reservoirs, and impact global climate change. Archaeal communities are integral components of coastal microbiomes but their ecological roles are often overlooked. However, archaeal diversity, metabolism, evolution, and interactions, revealed by recent studies using rapidly developing cutting-edge technologies, place archaea as important players in coastal carbon biogeochemical cycling. We here summarize the latest advances in the understanding of archaeal carbon cycling processes in coastal ecosystems, specifically, archaeal involvement in CO2 fixation, organic biopolymer transformation, and methane metabolism. We also showcase the potential to use of archaeal communities to increase carbon sequestration and reduce methane production, with implications for mitigating climate change.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Li Q, Wang N, Han W, et al (2022)

Soil Geochemical Properties Influencing the Diversity of Bacteria and Archaea in Soils of the Kitezh Lake Area, Antarctica.

Biology, 11(12): pii:biology11121855.

It is believed that polar regions are influenced by global warming more significantly, and because polar regions are less affected by human activities, they have certain reference values for future predictions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of climate warming on soil microbial communities in lake areas, taking Kitezh Lake, Antarctica as the research area. Below-peak soil, intertidal soil, and sediment were taken at the sampling sites, and we hypothesized that the diversity and composition of the bacterial and archaeal communities were different among the three sampling sites. Through 16S rDNA sequencing and analysis, bacteria and archaea with high abundance were obtained. Based on canonical correspondence analysis and redundancy analysis, pH and phosphate had a great influence on the bacterial community whereas pH and nitrite had a great influence on the archaeal community. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis was used to find the hub bacteria and archaea related to geochemical factors. The results showed that in addition to pH, phosphate, and nitrite, moisture content, ammonium, nitrate, and total carbon content also play important roles in microbial diversity and structure at different sites by changing the abundance of some key microbiota.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Löwe J (2022)

Mysterious Asgard archaea microbes reveal their inner secrets.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Zhao W, Zhong B, Zheng L, et al (2022)

Proteome-wide 3D structure prediction provides insights into the ancestral metabolism of ancient archaea and bacteria.

Nature communications, 13(1):7861.

Ancestral metabolism has remained controversial due to a lack of evidence beyond sequence-based reconstructions. Although prebiotic chemists have provided hints that metabolism might originate from non-enzymatic protometabolic pathways, gaps between ancestral reconstruction and prebiotic processes mean there is much that is still unknown. Here, we apply proteome-wide 3D structure predictions and comparisons to investigate ancestorial metabolism of ancient bacteria and archaea, to provide information beyond sequence as a bridge to the prebiotic processes. We compare representative bacterial and archaeal strains, which reveal surprisingly similar physiological and metabolic characteristics via microbiological and biophysical experiments. Pairwise comparison of protein structures identify the conserved metabolic modules in bacteria and archaea, despite interference from overly variable sequences. The conserved modules (for example, middle of glycolysis, partial TCA, proton/sulfur respiration, building block biosynthesis) constitute the basic functions that possibly existed in the archaeal-bacterial common ancestor, which are remarkably consistent with the experimentally confirmed protometabolic pathways. These structure-based findings provide a new perspective to reconstructing the ancestral metabolism and understanding its origin, which suggests high-throughput protein 3D structure prediction is a promising approach, deserving broader application in future ancestral exploration.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Bai T, Pu X, Guo X, et al (2022)

Effects of Dietary Nonfibrous Carbohydrate/Neutral Detergent Fiber Ratio on Methanogenic Archaea and Cellulose-Degrading Bacteria in the Rumen of Karakul Sheep: a 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing Study.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary nonfibrous carbohydrate (NFC)/neutral detergent fiber (NDF) ratio on methanogenic archaea and cellulose-degrading bacteria in Karakul sheep by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Twelve Karakul sheep were randomly divided into four groups, each group with three replicates, and they were fed with four dietary NFC/NDF ratios at 0.54, 0.96, 1.37, and 1.90 as groups 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The experiment lasted for four periods: I (1 to 18 days), II (19 to 36 days), III (37 to 54 days), and IV (55 to 72 days); during each period, rumen contents were collected before morning feeding to investigate on methanogenic archaea and cellulose-degrading bacteria. The results showed that with an increase in dietary NFC/NDF ratio, the number of rumen archaea operational taxonomic units and the diversity of archaea decrease. The most dominant methanogens did not change with dietary NFC/NDF ratio and prolongation of experimental periods. Methanobrevibacter was the most dominant genus. At the species level, the relative abundance of Methanobrevibacter ruminantium first increased and then decreased when the NFC/NDF ratio increased. When the dietary NFC/NDF ratio was 0.96, the structure of archaea was largely changed, and the relative abundance of Fibrobacter sp. strain UWCM, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, and Ruminococcus albus were the highest. When the dietary NFC/NDF ratio was 1.37, the relative abundance of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens was higher than for other groups. Based on all the data, we concluded that a dietary NFC/NDF ratio of ca. 0.96 to 1.37 was a suitable ratio to support optimal sheep production. IMPORTANCE CH4 produced by ruminants aggravates the greenhouse effect and cause wastage of feed energy, and CH4 emissions are related to methanogens. According to the current literature, there is a symbiotic relationship between methanogens and cellulolytic bacteria, so reducing methane will inevitably affect the degradation of fiber materials. This experiment used 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing technology to explore the balance relationship between methanogens and cellulolytic bacteria for the first time through a long-term feeding period. The findings provide fundamental data, supporting for the diet structures with potential to reduce CH4 emission.

RevDate: 2022-12-18

Jiang Z, Tang S, Liao Y, et al (2022)

Effect of low temperature on contributions of ammonia oxidizing archaea and bacteria to nitrous oxide in constructed wetlands.

Chemosphere pii:S0045-6535(22)04078-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Constructed wetlands (CWs) have been widely used for ecological remediation of micro-polluted source water. Nitrous oxide (N2O) from CWs has caused great concern as a greenhouse gas. However, the contribution of ammonia oxidation driven by ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) to N2O emission, especially at low temperature, was unknown. This study aimed to quantify the contributions of AOA and AOB to N2O through lab-scale subsurface CWs. The N2O emission flux of CW at 8 °C was 1.23 mg m[-2]·h[-1], significantly lower than that at 25 °C (1.92 mg m[-2]·h[-1]). The contribution of ammonia oxidation to N2O at 8 °C (33.04%) was significantly higher than that at 25 °C (24.17%). The N2O production from AOA increased from 1.91 ng N·g[-1] at 25 °C to 4.11 ng N·g[-1] soil at 8 °C and its contribution increased from 23.38% to 30.18% (P < 0.05). Low temperature impaired functional gene groups and inhibited the activity of AOB, resulting in its declined contribution. Based on the transcriptional analysis, AOA was less affected by low temperature, thus stably contributing to N2O. Moreover, community diversity and relationships of AOA were enhanced at 8 °C, while AOB declined. The results confirmed the significant contribution of AOA and demonstrated molecular mechanisms (higher activity and community stability) of the increased contribution of AOA to N2O at low temperature.

RevDate: 2022-12-15

Kucukyildirim S, Ozdemirel HO, M Lynch (2022)

Similar mutation rates but different mutation spectra in moderate and extremely halophilic archaea.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:6905443 [Epub ahead of print].

Archaea are a major part of Earth`s microbiota and extremely diverse. Yet, we know very little about the process of mutation that drives such diversification. To expand beyond previous work with the moderate halophilic archaeal species Haloferax volcanii, we performed a mutation-accumulation experiment followed by whole-genome sequencing in the extremely halophilic archaeon Halobacterium salinarum. Although H. volcanii and H. salinarum have different salt requirements, both species have highly polyploid genomes and similar GC content. We accumulated mutations for an average of 1250-generations in 67 mutation accumulation lines of H. salinarum, and revealed 84 single-base substitutions and 10 insertion-deletion mutations. The estimated base-substitution mutation rate of 3.99 × 10-10 per site per generation or 1.0 × 10-3 per genome per generation in H. salinarum is similar to that reported for H. volcanii (1.2 × 10-3 per genome per generation), but the genome-wide insertion-deletion rate and spectrum of mutations are somewhat dissimilar in these archaeal species. The spectra of spontaneous mutations were AT biased in both archaea, but they differed in significant ways that may be related to differences in the fidelity of DNA replication/repair mechanisms or a simple result of the different salt concentrations.

RevDate: 2022-12-17
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

PLOS ONE Editors (2022)

Expression of Concern: A Versatile Medium for Cultivating Methanogenic Archaea.

PloS one, 17(12):e0278740.

RevDate: 2022-12-16
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

Ginsbach LF, JM Gonzalez (2022)

Understanding Life at High Temperatures: Relationships of Molecular Channels in Enzymes of Methanogenic Archaea and Their Growth Temperatures.

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

Analyses of protein structures have shown the existence of molecular channels in enzymes from Prokaryotes. Those molecular channels suggest a critical role of spatial voids in proteins, above all, in those enzymes functioning under high temperature. It is expected that these spaces within the protein structure are required to access the active site and to maximize availability and thermal stability of their substrates and cofactors. Interestingly, numerous substrates and cofactors have been reported to be highly temperature-sensitive biomolecules. Methanogens represent a singular phylogenetic group of Archaea that performs anaerobic respiration producing methane during growth. Methanogens inhabit a variety of environments including the full range of temperatures for the known living forms. Herein, we carry out a dimensional analysis of molecular tunnels in key enzymes of the methanogenic pathway from methanogenic Archaea growing optimally over a broad temperature range. We aim to determine whether the dimensions of the molecular tunnels are critical for those enzymes from thermophiles. Results showed that at increasing growth temperature the dimensions of molecular tunnels in the enzymes methyl-coenzyme M reductase and heterodisulfide reductase become increasingly restrictive and present strict limits at the highest growth temperatures, i.e., for hyperthermophilic methanogens. However, growth at lower temperature allows a wide dimensional range for the molecular spaces in these enzymes. This is in agreement with previous suggestions on a potential major role of molecular tunnels to maintain biomolecule stability and activity of some enzymes in microorganisms growing at high temperatures. These results contribute to better understand archaeal growth at high temperatures. Furthermore, an optimization of the dimensions of molecular tunnels would represent an important adaptation required to maintain the activity of key enzymes of the methanogenic pathway for those methanogens growing optimally at high temperatures.

RevDate: 2022-12-03

Ponlachantra K, Suginta W, Robinson RC, et al (2022)

AlphaFold2: A versatile tool to predict the appearance of functional adaptations in evolution: Profilin interactions in uncultured Asgard archaea: Profilin interactions in uncultured Asgard archaea.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

The release of AlphaFold2 (AF2), a deep-learning-aided, open-source protein structure prediction program, from DeepMind, opened a new era of molecular biology. The astonishing improvement in the accuracy of the structure predictions provides the opportunity to characterize protein systems from uncultured Asgard archaea, key organisms in evolutionary biology. Despite the accumulation in metagenomics-derived Asgard archaea eukaryotic-like protein sequences, limited structural and biochemical information have restricted the insight in their potential functions. In this review, we focus on profilin, an actin-dynamics regulating protein, which in eukaryotes, modulates actin polymerization through (1) direct actin interaction, (2) polyproline binding, and (3) phospholipid binding. We assess AF2-predicted profilin structures in their potential abilities to participate in these activities. We demonstrate that AF2 is a powerful new tool for understanding the emergence of biological functional traits in evolution.

RevDate: 2022-11-29

Woo Y, Cruz MC, S Wuertz (2022)

Selective Enrichment of Nitrososphaera viennensis-Like Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea over Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria from Drinking Water Biofilms.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) can oxidize ammonia to nitrite for energy gain. They have been detected in chloraminated drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) along with the more common ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). To date, no members of the AOA have been isolated or enriched from drinking water environments. To begin the investigation of the role of AOA in chloraminated DWDS, we developed a selective approach using biofilm samples from a full-scale operational network as inoculum. A Nitrososphaera viennensis-like AOA taxon was enriched from a mixed community that also included Nitrosomonas-like AOB while gradually scaling up the culture volume. Dimethylthiourea (DMTU) and pyruvate at 100 μM were added to promote the growth of AOA while inhibiting AOB. This resulted in the eventual washout of AOB, while NOB were absent after 2 or 3 rounds of amendment with 24 μM sodium azide. The relative abundance of AOA in the enrichment increased from 0.2% to 39.5% after adding DMTU and pyruvate, and further to 51.6% after filtration through a 0.45-μm pore size membrane, within a period of approximately 6 months. IMPORTANCE Chloramination has been known to increase the risk of nitrification episodes in DWDS due to the presence of ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms. Among them, AOB are more frequently detected than AOA. All publicly available cultures of AOA have been isolated from soil, marine or surface water environments, meaning they are allochthonous to DWDS. Hence, monochloramine exposure studies involving these strains may not accurately reflect their role in DWDS. The described method allows for the rapid enrichment of autochthonous AOA from drinking water nitrifying communities. The high relative abundance of AOA in the resulting enrichment culture reduces any confounding effects of co-existing heterotrophic bacteria when investigating the response of AOA to varied levels of monochloramine in drinking water.

RevDate: 2022-12-16

Hagagy N, Abdel-Mawgoud M, Akhtar N, et al (2022)

The new isolated Archaea strain improved grain yield, metabolism and quality of wheat plants under Co stress conditions.

Journal of plant physiology, 280:153876 pii:S0176-1617(22)00262-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Heavy metal (e.g. cobalt) pollution causes a serious of environmental and agricultural problems. On the other hand, plant growth-promoting microorganisms enhance plant growth and mitigate heavy metal stress. Herein, we isolated and identified the unclassified species strain NARS9, belong to Haloferax,. Cobalt (Co, 200 mg/kg soil) stress mitigating impact of the identified on wheat grains yield, primary and secondary metabolism and grain quality was investigated. Co alone significantly induced Co accumulation in wheat grain (260%), and consequently reduced wheat yield (130%) and quality. Haloferax NARS9 alone significantly enhanced grain chemicals composition (i.e., total sugars (89%) and organic acids (e.g., oxalic and isobutyric acids), essential amino acids (e.g., threonine, lysine, and histidine) and unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. eicosenoic, erucic and tetracosenoic acids). Interestingly, Co stress induced wheat grain yield, reduction were significantly mitigated by Haloferax NARS9 treatment by 26% compared to Co stress alone. Under Co stress, Haloferax NARS9 significantly increased sugar metabolism including sucrose and starch levels and their metabolic enzymes (i.e. invertases, sucrose synthase, starch synthase). This in turn increased organic acid (e.g. oxalic (70%) and malic acids (60%)) and amino acids. levels and biosynthetic enzymes, e.g. glutamine synthetase and threonine synthase. Increased sugars levels by Haloferax NARS9 under Co treatment also provided a route for the biosynthesis of saturated fatty acids, particularly palmitic and stearic acids. Furthermore, Haloferax NARS9 treatment supported the wheat nutritive value through increasing minerals (Ca, Fe, Mn, Zn) and antioxidants i.e., polyphenol, flavonoids, ASC and GSH and total polyamines by 50%, 110%, 400%, 30%, and 90% respectively). These in parallel with the increase in the activity of (phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (110%) in phenolic metabolism). Overall, this study demonstrates the potentiality of Haloferax NARS9 in harnessing carbon and nitrogen metabolism differentially in wheat plants to cope with Co toxicity. Our results also suggested that the use of Haloferax NARS9 in agricultural fields can improve growth and nutritional value of wheat grains.

RevDate: 2022-12-13
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Sato T, Utashima SH, Yoshii Y, et al (2022)

A non-carboxylating pentose bisphosphate pathway in halophilic archaea.

Communications biology, 5(1):1290.

Bacteria and Eucarya utilize the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway to direct the ribose moieties of nucleosides to central carbon metabolism. Many archaea do not possess this pathway, and instead, Thermococcales utilize a pentose bisphosphate pathway involving ribose-1,5-bisphosphate (R15P) isomerase and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). Intriguingly, multiple genomes from halophilic archaea seem only to harbor R15P isomerase, and do not harbor Rubisco. In this study, we identify a previously unrecognized nucleoside degradation pathway in halophilic archaea, composed of guanosine phosphorylase, ATP-dependent ribose-1-phosphate kinase, R15P isomerase, RuBP phosphatase, ribulose-1-phosphate aldolase, and glycolaldehyde reductase. The pathway converts the ribose moiety of guanosine to dihydroxyacetone phosphate and ethylene glycol. Although the metabolic route from guanosine to RuBP via R15P is similar to that of the pentose bisphosphate pathway in Thermococcales, the downstream route does not utilize Rubisco and is unique to halophilic archaea.

RevDate: 2022-11-22

Lee S, Sieradzki ET, Nicol GW, et al (2022)

Propagation of viral genomes by replicating ammonia-oxidising archaea during soil nitrification.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) are a ubiquitous component of microbial communities and dominate the first stage of nitrification in some soils. While we are beginning to understand soil virus dynamics, we have no knowledge of the composition or activity of those infecting nitrifiers or their potential to influence processes. This study aimed to characterise viruses having infected autotrophic AOA in two nitrifying soils of contrasting pH by following transfer of assimilated CO2-derived [13]C from host to virus via DNA stable-isotope probing and metagenomic analysis. Incorporation of [13]C into low GC mol% AOA and virus genomes increased DNA buoyant density in CsCl gradients but resulted in co-migration with dominant non-enriched high GC mol% genomes, reducing sequencing depth and contig assembly. We therefore developed a hybrid approach where AOA and virus genomes were assembled from low buoyant density DNA with subsequent mapping of [13]C isotopically enriched high buoyant density DNA reads to identify activity of AOA. Metagenome-assembled genomes were different between the two soils and represented a broad diversity of active populations. Sixty-four AOA-infecting viral operational taxonomic units (vOTUs) were identified with no clear relatedness to previously characterised prokaryote viruses. These vOTUs were also distinct between soils, with 42% enriched in [13]C derived from hosts. The majority were predicted as capable of lysogeny and auxiliary metabolic genes included an AOA-specific multicopper oxidase suggesting infection may augment copper uptake essential for central metabolic functioning. These findings indicate virus infection of AOA may be a frequent process during nitrification with potential to influence host physiology and activity.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Matse DT, Jeyakumar P, Bishop P, et al (2022)

Copper induces nitrification by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in pastoral soils.

Journal of environmental quality [Epub ahead of print].

Copper (Cu) is the main co-factor in the functioning of the ammonia monooxygenase (AMO) enzyme, which is responsible for the first step of ammonia oxidation. We report a greenhouse-based pot experiment that examines the response of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA) to different bioavailable Cu concentrations in three pastoral soils (Recent, Pallic, and Pumice soils) planted with ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Five treatments were used: control (no urine and Cu), urine only at 300 mg N kg[-1] soil (Cu0), urine + 1 mg Cu kg[-1] soil (Cu1), urine + 10 mg Cu kg[-1] soil (Cu10), and urine + 100 mg Cu kg[-1] soil (Cu100). Pots were destructively sampled at Day 0, 1, 7, 15, and 25 after urine application. The AOB/AOA amoA gene abundance was analyzed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction at Days 1 and 15. The AOB amoA gene abundance increased 10.0- and 22.6-fold in the Recent soil and 2.1- and 2.5-fold in the Pallic soil for the Cu10 compared with Cu0 on Days 1 and 15, respectively. In contrast, the Cu100 was associated with a reduction in AOB amoA gene abundance in the Recent and Pallic soils but not in the Pumice soil. This may be due to the influence of soil cation exchange capacity differences on the bioavailable Cu. Bioavailable Cu in the Recent and Pallic soils influenced nitrification and AOB amoA gene abundance, as evidenced by the strong positive correlation between bioavailable Cu, nitrification, and AOB amoA. However, bioavailable Cu did not influence the nitrification and AOA amoA gene abundance increase.

RevDate: 2022-11-22

Yuan H, Zhang W, Yin H, et al (2022)

Taxonomic dependency of beta diversity for bacteria, archaea, and fungi in a semi-arid lake.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:998496.

Microbial beta diversity has been recently studied along the water depth in aquatic ecosystems, however its turnover and nestedness components remain elusive especially for multiple taxonomic groups. Based on the beta diversity partitioning developed by Baselga and Local Contributions to Beta Diversity (LCBD) partitioning by Legendre, we examined the water-depth variations in beta diversity components of bacteria, archaea and fungi in surface sediments of Hulun Lake, a semi-arid lake in northern China, and further explored the relative importance of environmental drivers underlying their patterns. We found that the relative abundances of Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Euryarchaeota, and Rozellomycota increased toward deep water, while Acidobacteria, Parvarchaeota, and Chytridiomycota decreased. For bacteria and archaea, there were significant (p < 0.05) decreasing water-depth patterns for LCBD and LCBDRepl (i.e., species replacement), while increasing patterns for total beta diversity and turnover, implying that total beta diversity and LCBD were dominated by species turnover or LCBDRepl. Further, bacteria showed a strong correlation with archaea regarding LCBD, total beta diversity and turnover. Such parallel patterns among bacteria and archaea were underpinned by similar ecological processes like environmental selection. Total beta diversity and turnover were largely affected by sediment total nitrogen, while LCBD and LCBDRepl were mainly constrained by water NO2 [-]-N and NO3 [-]-N. For fungal community variation, no significant patterns were observed, which may be due to different drivers like water nitrogen or phosphorus. Taken together, our findings provide compelling evidences for disentangling the underlying mechanisms of community variation in multiple aquatic microbial taxonomic groups.

RevDate: 2022-11-22
CmpDate: 2022-11-22

Hu L, Dong Z, Wang Z, et al (2022)

The contributions of ammonia oxidizing bacteria and archaea to nitrification-dependent N2O emission in alkaline and neutral purple soils.

Scientific reports, 12(1):19928.

Nitrification is believed to be one of the primary processes of N2O emission in the agroecological system, which is controlled by soil microbes and mainly regulated by soil pH, oxygen content and NH4[+] availability. Previous studies have proved that the relative contributions of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) to N2O production were varied with soil pH, however, there is still no consensus on the regulating mechanism of nitrification-derived N2O production by soil pH. In this study, 1-octyne (a selective inhibitor of AOB) and acetylene (an inhibitor of AOB and AOA) were used in a microcosm incubation experiment to differentiate the relative contribution of AOA and AOB to N2O emissions in a neutral (pH = 6.75) and an alkaline (pH = 8.35) soils. We found that the amendment of ammonium (NH4[+]) observably stimulated the production of both AOA and AOB-related N2O and increased the ammonia monooxygenase (AMO) gene abundances of AOA and AOB in the two test soils. Among which, AOB dominated the process of ammonia oxidation in the alkaline soil, contributing 70.8% of N2O production derived from nitrification. By contrast, the contribution of AOA and AOB accounted for about one-third of nitrification-related N2O in acidic soil, respectively. The results indicated that pH was a key factor to change abundance and activity of AOA and AOB, which led to the differentiation of derivation of N2O production in purple soils. We speculate that both NH4[+] content and soil pH mediated specialization of ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms together; and both specialization results and N2O yield led to the different N2O emission characteristics in purple soils. These results may help inform the development of N2O reduction strategies in the future.

RevDate: 2022-11-22
CmpDate: 2022-11-22

Schoelmerich MC, Ouboter HT, Sachdeva R, et al (2022)

A widespread group of large plasmids in methanotrophic Methanoperedens archaea.

Nature communications, 13(1):7085.

Anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea obtain energy from the breakdown of methane, yet their extrachromosomal genetic elements are little understood. Here we describe large plasmids associated with ANME archaea of the Methanoperedens genus in enrichment cultures and other natural anoxic environments. By manual curation we show that two of the plasmids are large (155,605 bp and 191,912 bp), circular, and may replicate bidirectionally. The plasmids occur in the same copy number as the main chromosome, and plasmid genes are actively transcribed. One of the plasmids encodes three tRNAs, ribosomal protein uL16 and elongation factor eEF2; these genes appear to be missing in the host Methanoperedens genome, suggesting an obligate interdependence between plasmid and host. Our work opens the way for the development of genetic vectors to shed light on the physiology and biochemistry of Methanoperedens, and potentially genetically edit them to enhance growth and accelerate methane oxidation rates.

RevDate: 2022-11-25

Zhou Y, Zhou L, Yan S, et al (2022)

Diverse viruses of marine archaea discovered using metagenomics.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

During the past decade, metagenomics became a method of choice for the discovery of novel viruses. However, host assignment for uncultured viruses remains challenging, especially for archaeal viruses, which are grossly undersampled compared to viruses of bacteria and eukaryotes. Here, we assessed the utility of CRISPR spacer targeting, tRNA gene matching and homology searches for viral signature proteins, such as major capsid proteins, for the assignment of archaeal hosts and validated these approaches on metaviromes from Yangshan Harbor (YSH). We report 35 new genomes of viruses which could be confidently assigned to hosts representing diverse lineages of marine archaea. We show that the archaeal YSH virome is highly diverse, with some viruses enriching the previously described virus groups, such as magroviruses of Marine Group II Archaea (Poseidoniales), and others representing novel groups of marine archaeal viruses. Metagenomic recruitment of Tara Oceans datasets on the YSH viral genomes demonstrated the presence of YSH Poseidoniales and Nitrososphaeria viruses in the global oceans, but also revealed the endemic YSH-specific viral lineages. Furthermore, our results highlight the relationship between the soil and marine thaumarchaeal viruses. We propose three new families within the class Caudoviricetes for the classification of the five complete viral genomes predicted to replicate in marine Poseidoniales and Nitrososphaeria, two ecologically important and widespread archaeal groups. This study illustrates the utility of viral metagenomics in exploring the archaeal virome and provides new insights into the diversity, distribution and evolution of marine archaeal viruses.

RevDate: 2022-12-02

Ghaly TM, Tetu SG, Penesyan A, et al (2022)

Discovery of integrons in Archaea: Platforms for cross-domain gene transfer.

Science advances, 8(46):eabq6376.

Horizontal gene transfer between different domains of life is increasingly being recognized as an important evolutionary driver, with the potential to increase the pace of biochemical innovation and environmental adaptation. However, the mechanisms underlying the recruitment of exogenous genes from foreign domains are mostly unknown. Integrons are a family of genetic elements that facilitate this process within Bacteria. However, they have not been reported outside Bacteria, and thus their potential role in cross-domain gene transfer has not been investigated. Here, we discover that integrons are also present in 75 archaeal metagenome-assembled genomes from nine phyla, and are particularly enriched among Asgard archaea. Furthermore, we provide experimental evidence that integrons can facilitate the recruitment of archaeal genes by bacteria. Our findings establish a previously unknown mechanism of cross-domain gene transfer whereby bacteria can incorporate archaeal genes from their surrounding environment via integron activity. These findings have important implications for prokaryotic ecology and evolution.

RevDate: 2022-11-15
CmpDate: 2022-11-15

Kuroda K, Kubota K, Kagemasa S, et al (2022)

Novel Cross-domain Symbiosis between Candidatus Patescibacteria and Hydrogenotrophic Methanogenic Archaea Methanospirillum Discovered in a Methanogenic Ecosystem.

Microbes and environments, 37(4):.

To identify novel cross-domain symbiosis between Candidatus Patescibacteria and Archaea, we performed fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on enrichment cultures derived from methanogenic bioreactor sludge with the newly designed 32-520-1066 probe targeting the family-level uncultured clade 32-520/UBA5633 lineage in the class Ca. Paceibacteria. All FISH-detectable 32-520/UBA5633 cells were attached to Methanospirillum, indicating high host specificity. Transmission electron microscopy observations revealed 32-520/UBA5633-like cells that were specifically adherent to the plug structure of Methanospirillum-like rod-shaped cells. The metagenome-assembled genomes of 32-520/UBA5633 encoded unique gene clusters comprising pilin signal peptides and type IV pilins. These results provide novel insights into unseen symbiosis between Ca. Patescibacteria and Archaea.

RevDate: 2022-11-22

Boyd ES, Spietz RL, Kour M, et al (2022)

A naturalist perspective of microbiology: Examples from methanogenic archaea.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Storytelling has been the primary means of knowledge transfer over human history. The effectiveness and reach of stories are improved when the message is appropriate for the target audience. Oftentimes, the stories that are most well received and recounted are those that have a clear purpose and that are told from a variety of perspectives that touch on the varied interests of the target audience. Whether scientists realize or not, they are accustomed to telling stories of their own scientific discoveries through the preparation of manuscripts, presentations, and lectures. Perhaps less frequently, scientists prepare review articles or book chapters that summarize a body of knowledge on a given subject matter, meant to be more holistic recounts of a body of literature. Yet, by necessity, such summaries are often still narrow in their scope and are told from the perspective of a particular discipline. In other words, interdisciplinary reviews or book chapters tend to be the rarity rather than the norm. Here, we advocate for and highlight the benefits of interdisciplinary perspectives on microbiological subjects.

RevDate: 2022-11-14
CmpDate: 2022-11-14

Gu S, Wang R, Xing H, et al (2022)

Effects of different low temperature conditions on anaerobic digestion efficiency of pig manure and composition of archaea community.

Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research, 86(5):1181-1192.

To explore the effect of low temperature on the anaerobic digestion of pig manure, the anaerobic digestion experiment was carried out under the conditions of inoculum concentration of 30% and TS of 8%. Five low-temperature gradients of 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 °C were set to study the activities of gas production, pH, solluted chemical oxygen demand (SCOD), volatile fatty acids (VFAs), coenzymes F420 and archaea community composition in the digestion process. The results were demonstrated: as the temperature decreased, the more unstable the gas production became, the less gas production produced, and the later the gas peak occurred. There were no significant peaks at either 4 °C or 8 °C, and the SCOD was unstable over time. From 12 °C, the SCOD increased over time, and the higher the temperature, the faster the growth trend. The pH was always greater than 7.6. 8, 12, 16, 20 °C had different degrees of VFAs accumulation at the late digestion stage. The higher the temperature, the greater the amount of volatile acid accumulation. When the VFAs of each reactor reached the maximum, the proportion of acetic acid also reached the highest. The digestion system of the five treatment groups was dominated by hydrogen-nutrient methanogenic pathway. The results could provide a further reference for the mechanism of anaerobic digestion of pig manure at low temperatures.

RevDate: 2022-11-15
CmpDate: 2022-11-11

Hepowit NL, JA Maupin-Furlow (2023)

Application of Archaea in Deubiquitinase-Like Enzyme Discovery and Activity Assay.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2591:151-169.

Archaea can be used as microbial platforms to discover new types of deubiquitinase-like (DUB-like) enzymes and to produce ubiquitin/ubiquitin-like (Ub/Ubl) protein conjugates as substrates for DUB/DUB-like activity assays. Here we outline how to use archaea to synthesize, purify, and assay the activity of DUB-like enzymes with unusual properties, including catalytic activity in hypersaline conditions, organic solvents, and high temperatures. We also outline the application of archaea in forming Ub/Ubl isopeptide linkages that include the covalent attachments of diverse archaeal and eukaryotic Ub/Ubls to target proteins. Archaea form these Ub/Ubl-linked protein conjugates in vivo, and the resulting products are found to serve as useful DUB substrates for in vitro assays.

RevDate: 2022-11-19

Adam PS, Kolyfetis GE, Bornemann TLV, et al (2022)

Genomic remnants of ancestral methanogenesis and hydrogenotrophy in Archaea drive anaerobic carbon cycling.

Science advances, 8(44):eabm9651.

Anaerobic methane metabolism is among the hallmarks of Archaea, originating very early in their evolution. Here, we show that the ancestor of methane metabolizers was an autotrophic CO2-reducing hydrogenotrophic methanogen that possessed the two main complexes, methyl-CoM reductase (Mcr) and tetrahydromethanopterin-CoM methyltransferase (Mtr), the anaplerotic hydrogenases Eha and Ehb, and a set of other genes collectively called "methanogenesis markers" but could not oxidize alkanes. Overturning recent inferences, we demonstrate that methyl-dependent hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis has emerged multiple times independently, either due to a loss of Mtr while Mcr is inherited vertically or from an ancient lateral acquisition of Mcr. Even if Mcr is lost, Mtr, Eha, Ehb, and the markers can persist, resulting in mixotrophic metabolisms centered around the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. Through their methanogenesis remnants, Thorarchaeia and two newly reconstructed order-level lineages in Archaeoglobi and Bathyarchaeia act as metabolically versatile players in carbon cycling of anoxic environments across the globe.

RevDate: 2022-11-19
CmpDate: 2022-11-08

Verma A, Åberg-Zingmark E, Sparrman T, et al (2022)

Insights into the evolution of enzymatic specificity and catalysis: From Asgard archaea to human adenylate kinases.

Science advances, 8(44):eabm4089.

Enzymatic catalysis is critically dependent on selectivity, active site architecture, and dynamics. To contribute insights into the interplay of these properties, we established an approach with NMR, crystallography, and MD simulations focused on the ubiquitous phosphotransferase adenylate kinase (AK) isolated from Odinarchaeota (OdinAK). Odinarchaeota belongs to the Asgard archaeal phylum that is believed to be the closest known ancestor to eukaryotes. We show that OdinAK is a hyperthermophilic trimer that, contrary to other AK family members, can use all NTPs for its phosphorylation reaction. Crystallographic structures of OdinAK-NTP complexes revealed a universal NTP-binding motif, while [19]F NMR experiments uncovered a conserved and rate-limiting dynamic signature. As a consequence of trimerization, the active site of OdinAK was found to be lacking a critical catalytic residue and is therefore considered to be "atypical." On the basis of discovered relationships with human monomeric homologs, our findings are discussed in terms of evolution of enzymatic substrate specificity and cold adaptation.

RevDate: 2022-11-04
CmpDate: 2022-11-02

Peiter N, M Rother (2023)

In vivo probing of SECIS-dependent selenocysteine translation in Archaea.

Life science alliance, 6(1):.

Cotranslational insertion of selenocysteine (Sec) proceeds by recoding UGA to a sense codon. This recoding is governed by the Sec insertion sequence (SECIS) element, an RNA structure on the mRNA, but size, location, structure determinants, and mechanism differ for Bacteria, Eukarya, and Archaea. For Archaea, the structure-function relation of the SECIS is poorly understood, as only rather laborious experimental approaches are established. Furthermore, these methods do not allow for quantitative probing of Sec insertion. In order to overcome these limitations, we engineered bacterial β-lactamase into an archaeal selenoprotein, thereby establishing a reporter system, which correlates enzyme activity to Sec insertion. Using this system, in vivo Sec insertion depending on the availability of selenium and the presence of a SECIS element was assessed in Methanococcus maripaludis Furthermore, a minimal SECIS element required for Sec insertion in M. maripaludis was defined and a conserved structural motif shown to be essential for function. Besides developing a convenient tool for selenium research, converting a bacterial enzyme into an archaeal selenoprotein provides proof of concept that novel selenoproteins can be engineered in Archaea.

RevDate: 2022-12-09
CmpDate: 2022-11-24

Cha G, Liu Y, Yang Q, et al (2022)

Comparative Genomic Insights into Chemoreceptor Diversity and Habitat Adaptation of Archaea.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 88(22):e0157422.

Diverse archaea, including many unknown species and phylogenetically deeply rooted taxa, survive in extreme environments. They play crucial roles in the global carbon cycle and element fluxes in many terrestrial, marine, saline, host-associated, hot-spring, and oilfield environments. There is little knowledge of the diversity of chemoreceptors that are presumably involved in their habitat adaptation. Thus, we have explored this diversity through phylogenetic and comparative genomic analyses of complete archaeal genomes. The results show that chemoreceptors are significantly richer in archaea of mild environments than in those of extreme environments, that specific ligand-binding domains of the chemoreceptors are strongly associated with specific habitats, and that the number of chemoreceptors correlates with genome size. The results indicate that the successful adaptation of archaea to specific habitats has been associated with the acquisition and maintenance of chemoreceptors, which may be crucial for their survival in these environments. IMPORTANCE Archaea are capable of sensing and responding to environmental changes by several signal transduction systems with different mechanisms. Much attention is paid to model organisms with complex signaling networks to understand their composition and function, but general principles regarding how an archaeal species organizes its chemoreceptor diversity and habitat adaptation are poorly understood. Here, we have explored this diversity through phylogenetic and comparative genomic analyses of complete archaeal genomes. Signaling sensing and adaptation processes are tightly related to the ligand-binding domain, and it is clear that evolution and natural selection in specialized niches under constant conditions have selected for smaller genome sizes. Taken together, our results extend the understanding of archaeal adaptations to different environments and emphasize the importance of ecological constraints in shaping their evolution.

RevDate: 2022-11-09

Khan F, S Kaza (2022)

Crystal structure of an L-type lectin domain from archaea.

Proteins [Epub ahead of print].

The crystal structures of an L-type lectin domain from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii in apo and mannose-bound forms have been determined. A thorough investigation of L-type lectin domains from several organisms provides insight into the differences in these domains from different kingdoms of life. While the overall fold of the L-type lectin domain is conserved, differences in the lengths of the carbohydrate-binding loops and significant variations in the Mn[2+] -binding site compared to the Ca[2+] -binding site are observed. Furthermore, the sequence and phylogenetic analyses suggest that the archaeal L-type lectin domain is evolutionarily closer to the plant legume lectins than to its bacterial or animal counterparts. This is the first report of the biochemical, structural, sequence, and phylogenetic analyses of an L-type lectin domain from archaea and serves to enhance our understanding of the species-specific differences and evolution of L-type lectin domains.

RevDate: 2022-12-06
CmpDate: 2022-11-23

Baati H, Siala M, Azri C, et al (2022)

Hydrolytic enzyme screening and carotenoid production evaluation of halophilic archaea isolated from highly heavy metal-enriched solar saltern sediments.

Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology], 53(4):1893-1906.

This paper aimed to screen the enzymatic activities and evaluate the carotenoid production level of twenty-two halophilic archaea isolated from Sfax solar saltern sediments. The molecular identification performed by sequencing the 16S rRNA genes showed that all strains have a high similarity degree (99.7-100%) with Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1. The strains were screened for the presence of eight hydrolase activities using agar plate-based assays. The most detected enzyme was gelatinase (77.27% of total strains), followed by protease (63.63%) and amylase activities (50%). The carotenoid production yields of the strains ranged between 2.027 and 14.880 mg/l. The UV-Visible spectroscopy of pigments revealed that it was a bacterioruberin type. When evaluated and compared to the standard β-carotene, the antioxidant capacities of these pigments showed a scavenging activity of more than 75% at a concentration of 5 μg/ml for three strains (AS16, AS17, and AS18). Then a sequence of one-step optimization processes was performed, using the one-factor-at-a-time approach, to define the optimum conditions for growth and carotenoid production of the highest carotenoid producing strain (AS17). Different environmental factors and nutritional conditions were tested. Variations in these factors were found to deeply influence growth and carotenoid production. A maximum carotenoid production (16.490 mg/l), higher than that of the control (14.880 mg/l), was observed at 37 °C, pH 7, 250 g/l of salinity, with 80% air phase in the flask at 110 rpm, in presence of light and in culture media containing (g/l) 10, yeast extract; 7.5, casamino acid; 20, MgSO4; 4, KCl; and 3, trisodium citrate.

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

Yan G, Sun X, Dong Y, et al (2022)

Vanadate reducing bacteria and archaea may use different mechanisms to reduce vanadate in vanadium contaminated riverine ecosystems as revealed by the combination of DNA-SIP and metagenomic-binning.

Water research, 226:119247.

Vanadium (V) is a transitional metal that poses health risks to exposed humans. Microorganisms play an important role in remediating V contamination by reducing more toxic and mobile vanadate (V(V)) to less toxic and mobile V(IV). In this study, DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) coupled with metagenomic-binning was used to identify microorganisms responsible for V(V) reduction and determine potential metabolic mechanisms in cultures inoculated with a V-contaminated river sediment. Anaeromyxobacter and Geobacter spp. were identified as putative V(V)-reducing bacteria, while Methanosarcina spp. were identified as putative V(V)-reducing archaea. The bacteria may use the two nitrate reductases NarG and NapA for respiratory V(V) reduction, as has been demonstrated previously for other species. It is proposed that Methanosarcina spp. may reduce V(V) via anaerobic methane oxidation pathways (AOM-V) rather than via respiratory V(V) reduction performed by their bacterial counterparts, as indicated by the presence of genes associated with anaerobic methane oxidation coupled with metal reduction in the metagenome assembled genome (MAG) of Methanosarcina. Briefly, methane may be oxidized through the "reverse methanogenesis" pathway to produce electrons, which may be further captured by V(V) to promote V(V) reduction. More specially, V(V) reduction by members of Methanosarcina may be driven by electron transport (CoMS-SCoB heterodisulfide reductase (HdrDE), F420H2 dehydrogenases (Fpo), and multi-heme c-type cytochrome (MHC)). The identification of putative V(V)-reducing bacteria and archaea and the prediction of their different pathways for V(V) reduction expand current knowledge regarding the potential fate of V(V) in contaminated sites.

RevDate: 2022-10-24
CmpDate: 2022-10-24

Shao N, Fan Y, Chou CW, et al (2022)

Expression of divergent methyl/alkyl coenzyme M reductases from uncultured archaea.

Communications biology, 5(1):1113.

Methanogens and anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) are important players in the global carbon cycle. Methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) is a key enzyme in methane metabolism, catalyzing the last step in methanogenesis and the first step in anaerobic methane oxidation. Divergent mcr and mcr-like genes have recently been identified in uncultured archaeal lineages. However, the assembly and biochemistry of MCRs from uncultured archaea remain largely unknown. Here we present an approach to study MCRs from uncultured archaea by heterologous expression in a methanogen, Methanococcus maripaludis. Promoter, operon structure, and temperature were important determinants for MCR production. Both recombinant methanococcal and ANME-2 MCR assembled with the host MCR forming hybrid complexes, whereas tested ANME-1 MCR and ethyl-coenzyme M reductase only formed homogenous complexes. Together with structural modeling, this suggests that ANME-2 and methanogen MCRs are structurally similar and their reaction directions are likely regulated by thermodynamics rather than intrinsic structural differences.

RevDate: 2022-11-17
CmpDate: 2022-10-31

Hocher A, Borrel G, Fadhlaoui K, et al (2022)

Growth temperature and chromatinization in archaea.

Nature microbiology, 7(11):1932-1942.

DNA in cells is associated with proteins that constrain its structure and affect DNA-templated processes including transcription and replication. HU and histones are the main constituents of chromatin in bacteria and eukaryotes, respectively, with few exceptions. Archaea, in contrast, have diverse repertoires of nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs). To analyse the evolutionary and ecological drivers of this diversity, we combined a phylogenomic survey of known and predicted NAPs with quantitative proteomic data. We identify the Diaforarchaea as a hotbed of NAP gain and loss, and experimentally validate candidate NAPs in two members of this clade, Thermoplasma volcanium and Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis. Proteomic analysis across a diverse sample of 19 archaea revealed that NAP investment varies from <0.03% to >5% of total protein. This variation is predicted by growth temperature. We propose that high levels of chromatinization have evolved as a mechanism to prevent uncontrolled helix denaturation at higher temperatures, with implications for the origin of chromatin in both archaea and eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2022-10-20
CmpDate: 2022-10-20

Xin YJ, Bao CX, Tan S, et al (2022)

Haladaptatus halobius sp. nov. and Haladaptatus salinisoli sp. nov., two extremely halophilic archaea isolated from Gobi saline soil.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 72(10):.

Two extremely halophilic archaeal strains, PSR5[T] and PSR8[T], were isolated from a saline soil sample collected from the Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, PR China. Both strains had two copies of the 16S rRNA genes rrn1 and rrn2, showing 2.6 and 3.9% divergence, respectively. The rrn1 gene of PSR5[T] showed 98.4 and 95.3% similarity to the rrn1 and rrn2 genes of strain PSR8[T]; the rrn2 gene of PSR5[T] displayed 97.4 and 96.7% similarity to those of strain PSR8[T], respectively. Phylogenetic analyses based on the 16S rRNA and rpoB' genes revealed that strains PSR5[T] and PSR8[T] formed a single cluster, and then tightly clustered with the current four Haladaptatus species (93.5-97.1% similarities for the 16S rRNA gene and 89.3-90.9% similarities for the rpoB' gene, respectively). Several phenotypic characteristics differentiate strains PSR5[T] and PSR8[T] from current Haladaptatus members. The polar lipids of the two strains are phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester phosphatidylglycerol sulphate and three glycolipids. One of the glycolipids is sulphated mannosyl glucosyl diether, and the remaining two glycolipids are unidentified. The average nucleotide identity, in silico DNA-DNA hybridization, amino acid identity and percentage of conserved proteins values between the two strains were 88.5, 39.1, 89.3 and 72.8 %, respectively, much lower than the threshold values proposed as a species boundary. These values among the two strains and Haladaptatus members were 77.9-79.2, 22.0-23.5, 75.1-78.2 and 56.8-69.9 %, respectively, much lower than the recommended threshold values for species delimitation. These results suggested that strains PSR5[T] and PSR8[T] represent two novel species of Haladaptatus. Based on phenotypic, chemotaxonomic, genomic and phylogenetic properties, strains PSR5[T] (=CGMCC 1.16851[T]=JCM 34141[T]) and PSR8[T] (=CGMCC 1.17025[T]=JCM 34142[T]) represent two novel species of the genus Haladaptatus, for which the names Haladaptatus halobius sp. nov. and Haladaptatus salinisoli sp. nov. are proposed.

RevDate: 2022-12-16
CmpDate: 2022-10-31

van Wolferen M, Pulschen AA, Baum B, et al (2022)

The cell biology of archaea.

Nature microbiology, 7(11):1744-1755.

The past decade has revealed the diversity and ubiquity of archaea in nature, with a growing number of studies highlighting their importance in ecology, biotechnology and even human health. Myriad lineages have been discovered, which expanded the phylogenetic breadth of archaea and revealed their central role in the evolutionary origins of eukaryotes. These discoveries, coupled with advances that enable the culturing and live imaging of archaeal cells under extreme environments, have underpinned a better understanding of their biology. In this Review we focus on the shape, internal organization and surface structures that are characteristic of archaeal cells as well as membrane remodelling, cell growth and division. We also highlight some of the technical challenges faced and discuss how new and improved technologies will help address many of the key unanswered questions.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-19

Hofmann M, Norris PR, Malik L, et al (2022)

Metallosphaera javensis sp. nov., a novel species of thermoacidophilic archaea, isolated from a volcanic area.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 72(10):.

A novel thermoacidophilic archeaon, strain J1[T] (=DSM 112778[T],=JCM 34702[T]), was isolated from a hot pool in a volcanic area of Java, Indonesia. Cells of the strain were irregular, motile cocci of 1.0-1.2 µm diameter. Aerobic, organoheterotrophic growth with casamino acids was observed at an optimum temperature of 70 °C in a range of 55-78 °C and at an optimum pH of 3 in a range of 1.5 to 5. Various organic compounds were utilized, including a greater variety of sugars than has been reported for growth of other species of the genus. Chemolithoautotrophic growth was observed with reduced sulphur compounds, including mineral sulphides. Ferric iron was reduced during anaerobic growth with elemental sulphur. Cellular lipids were calditoglycerocaldarchaeol and caldarchaeol with some derivates. The organism contained the respiratory quinone caldariellaquinone. On the basis of phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic comparison with its closest relatives, it was concluded that strain J1[T] represents a novel species, for which the name Metallosphaera javensis is proposed. Low DNA-DNA relatedness values (16S rRNA gene <98.4%, average nucleotide identity (ANI) <80.1%) distinguished J1[T] from other species of the genus Metallosphaera and the DNA G+C content of 47.3% is the highest among the known species of the genus.

RevDate: 2022-11-30
CmpDate: 2022-10-18

Zheng XW, Wu ZP, Sun YP, et al (2022)

Halorussus vallis sp. nov., Halorussus aquaticus sp. nov., Halorussus gelatinilyticus sp. nov., Halorussus limi sp. nov., Halorussus salilacus sp. nov., Halorussus salinisoli sp. nov.: six extremely halophilic archaea isolated from solar saltern, salt lake and saline soil.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions, 26(3):32.

Six novel halophilic archaeal strains of XZYJT10[T], XZYJ18[T], XZYJT40[T], XZYJT49[T], YCN54[T] and LT46[T] were isolated from a solar saltern in Tibet, a salt lake in Shanxi, and a saline soil in Xinjiang, China. Sequence similarities of 16S rRNA and rpoB' genes among strains XZYJT10[T], XZYJ18[T], XZYJT40[T], XZYJT49[T], YCN54[T], LT46[T] and current members of Halorussus were 90.6-97.8% and 87.8-96.4%, respectively. The average nucleotide identity and in silico DNA-DNA hybridization values among these six strains and current Halorussus members were in the range of 76.5-87.5% and 21.0-33.8%, respectively. These values were all below the species boundary threshold values. The phylogenomic tree based on 122 conserved archaeal protein marker genes revealed that the six novel strains formed individual distinct branches and clustered tightly with Halorussus members. Several phenotypic characteristics distinguished the six strains from current Halorussus members. Polar lipid analysis showed that the six novel strains contained phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester, phosphatidylglycerol sulfate and two to three glycolipids. Phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic properties showed that the six strains represented six novel species within the genus Halorussus, for which the names Halorussus vallis sp. nov., Halorussus aquaticus sp. nov., Halorussus gelatinilyticus sp. nov., Halorussus limi sp. nov., Halorussus salilacus sp. nov., and Halorussus salinisoli sp. nov. are proposed.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Uzelac M, Li Y, Chakladar J, et al (2022)

Archaea Microbiome Dysregulated Genes and Pathways as Molecular Targets for Lung Adenocarcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(19):.

The human microbiome is a vast collection of microbial species that exist throughout the human body and regulate various bodily functions and phenomena. Of the microbial species that exist in the human microbiome, those within the archaea domain have not been characterized to the extent of those in more common domains, despite their potential for unique metabolic interaction with host cells. Research has correlated tumoral presence of bacterial microbial species to the development and progression of lung cancer; however, the impacts and influences of archaea in the microbiome remain heavily unexplored. Within the United States lung cancer remains highly fatal, responsible for over 100,000 deaths every year with a 5-year survival rate of roughly 22.9%. This project attempts to investigate specific archaeal species' correlation to lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC) incidence, patient staging, death rates across individuals of varying ages, races, genders, and smoking-statuses, and potential molecular targets associated with archaea microbiome. Archaeal species abundance was assessed across lung tissue samples of 527 LUAD patients, 479 LUSC patients, and 99 healthy individuals. Nine archaeal species were found to be of significantly altered abundance in cancerous samples as compared to normal counterparts, 6 of which are common to both LUAD and LUSC subgroups. Several of these species are of the taxonomic class Thermoprotei or the phylum Euryarchaeota, both known to contain metabolic processes distinct from most bacterial species. Host-microbe metabolic interactions may be responsible for the observed correlation of these species' abundance with cancer incidence. Significant microbes were correlated to patient gene expression to reveal genes of altered abundance with respect to high and low archaeal presence. With these genes, cellular oncogenic signaling pathways were analyzed for enrichment across cancer and normal samples. In comparing gene expression between LUAD and adjacent normal samples, 2 gene sets were found to be significantly enriched in cancers. In LUSC comparison, 6 sets were significantly enriched in cancer, and 34 were enriched in normals. Microbial counts across healthy and cancerous patients were then used to develop a machine-learning based predictive algorithm, capable of distinguishing lung cancer patients from healthy normal with 99% accuracy.

RevDate: 2022-10-17
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Jeter VL, Schwarzwalder AH, Rayment I, et al (2022)

Structural studies of the phosphoribosyltransferase involved in cobamide biosynthesis in methanogenic archaea and cyanobacteria.

Scientific reports, 12(1):17175.

Cobamides (Cbas) are coenzymes used by cells across all domains of life, but de novo synthesis is only found in some bacteria and archaea. Five enzymes assemble the nucleotide loop in the alpha phase of the corrin ring. Condensation of the activated ring and nucleobase yields adenosyl-Cba 5'-phosphate, which upon dephosphorylation yields the biologically active coenzyme (AdoCba). Base activation is catalyzed by a phosphoribosyltransferase (PRTase). The structure of the Salmonella enterica PRTase enzyme (i.e., SeCobT) is well-characterized, but archaeal PRTases are not. To gain insights into the mechanism of base activation by the PRTase from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (MjCobT), we solved crystal structures of the enzyme in complex with substrate and products. We determined several structures: (i) a 2.2 Å structure of MjCobT in the absence of ligand (apo), (ii) structures of MjCobT bound to nicotinate mononucleotide (NaMN) and α-ribazole 5'-phosphate (α-RP) or α-adenylyl-5'-phosphate (α-AMP) at 2.3 and 1.4 Å, respectively. In MjCobT the general base that triggers the reaction is an aspartate residue (Asp 52) rather than a glutamate residue (E317) as in SeCobT. Notably, the dimer interface in MjCobT is completely different from that observed in SeCobT. Finally, entry PDB 3L0Z does not reflect the correct structure of MjCobT.

RevDate: 2022-10-11

Benito Merino D, Zehnle H, Teske A, et al (2022)

Deep-branching ANME-1c archaea grow at the upper temperature limit of anaerobic oxidation of methane.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:988871.

In seafloor sediments, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) consumes most of the methane formed in anoxic layers, preventing this greenhouse gas from reaching the water column and finally the atmosphere. AOM is performed by syntrophic consortia of specific anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Cultures with diverse AOM partners exist at temperatures between 12°C and 60°C. Here, from hydrothermally heated sediments of the Guaymas Basin, we cultured deep-branching ANME-1c that grow in syntrophic consortia with Thermodesulfobacteria at 70°C. Like all ANME, ANME-1c oxidize methane using the methanogenesis pathway in reverse. As an uncommon feature, ANME-1c encode a nickel-iron hydrogenase. This hydrogenase has low expression during AOM and the partner Thermodesulfobacteria lack hydrogen-consuming hydrogenases. Therefore, it is unlikely that the partners exchange hydrogen during AOM. ANME-1c also does not consume hydrogen for methane formation, disputing a recent hypothesis on facultative methanogenesis. We hypothesize that the ANME-1c hydrogenase might have been present in the common ancestor of ANME-1 but lost its central metabolic function in ANME-1c archaea. For potential direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET), both partners encode and express genes coding for extracellular appendages and multiheme cytochromes. Thermodesulfobacteria encode and express an extracellular pentaheme cytochrome with high similarity to cytochromes of other syntrophic sulfate-reducing partner bacteria. ANME-1c might associate specifically to Thermodesulfobacteria, but their co-occurrence is so far only documented for heated sediments of the Gulf of California. However, in the deep seafloor, sulfate-methane interphases appear at temperatures up to 80°C, suggesting these as potential habitats for the partnership of ANME-1c and Thermodesulfobacteria.

RevDate: 2022-10-11
CmpDate: 2022-10-10

Somee MR, Amoozegar MA, Dastgheib SMM, et al (2022)

Genome-resolved analyses show an extensive diversification in key aerobic hydrocarbon-degrading enzymes across bacteria and archaea.

BMC genomics, 23(1):690.

BACKGROUND: Hydrocarbons (HCs) are organic compounds composed solely of carbon and hydrogen that are mainly accumulated in oil reservoirs. As the introduction of all classes of hydrocarbons including crude oil and oil products into the environment has increased significantly, oil pollution has become a global ecological problem. However, our perception of pathways for biotic degradation of major HCs and key enzymes in these bioconversion processes has mainly been based on cultured microbes and is biased by uneven taxonomic representation. Here we used Annotree to provide a gene-centric view of the aerobic degradation ability of aliphatic and aromatic HCs in 23,446 genomes from 123 bacterial and 14 archaeal phyla. RESULTS: Apart from the widespread genetic potential for HC degradation in Proteobacteria, Actinobacteriota, Bacteroidota, and Firmicutes, genomes from an additional 18 bacterial and 3 archaeal phyla also hosted key HC degrading enzymes. Among these, such degradation potential has not been previously reported for representatives in the phyla UBA8248, Tectomicrobia, SAR324, and Eremiobacterota. Genomes containing whole pathways for complete degradation of HCs were only detected in Proteobacteria and Actinobacteriota. Except for several members of Crenarchaeota, Halobacterota, and Nanoarchaeota that have tmoA, ladA, and alkB/M key genes, respectively, representatives of archaeal genomes made a small contribution to HC degradation. None of the screened archaeal genomes coded for complete HC degradation pathways studied here; however, they contribute significantly to peripheral routes of HC degradation with bacteria.

CONCLUSION: Phylogeny reconstruction showed that the reservoir of key aerobic hydrocarbon-degrading enzymes in Bacteria and Archaea undergoes extensive diversification via gene duplication and horizontal gene transfer. This diversification could potentially enable microbes to rapidly adapt to novel and manufactured HCs that reach the environment.

RevDate: 2022-12-13
CmpDate: 2022-10-24

Zhang X, Huang Y, Liu Y, et al (2022)

An Ancient Respiratory System in the Widespread Sedimentary Archaea Thermoprofundales.

Molecular biology and evolution, 39(10):.

Thermoprofundales, formerly Marine Benthic Group D (MBG-D), is a ubiquitous archaeal lineage found in sedimentary environments worldwide. However, its taxonomic classification, metabolic pathways, and evolutionary history are largely unexplored because of its uncultivability and limited number of sequenced genomes. In this study, phylogenomic analysis and average amino acid identity values of a collection of 146 Thermoprofundales genomes revealed five Thermoprofundales subgroups (A-E) with distinct habitat preferences. Most of the microorganisms from Subgroups B and D were thermophiles inhabiting hydrothermal vents and hot spring sediments, whereas those from Subgroup E were adapted to surface environments where sunlight is available. H2 production may be featured in Thermoprofundales as evidenced by a gene cluster encoding the ancient membrane-bound hydrogenase (MBH) complex. Interestingly, a unique structure separating the MBH gene cluster into two modular units was observed exclusively in the genomes of Subgroup E, which included a peripheral arm encoding the [NiFe] hydrogenase domain and a membrane arm encoding the Na+/H+ antiporter domain. These two modular structures were confirmed to function independently by detecting the H2-evolving activity in vitro and salt tolerance to 0.2 M NaCl in vivo, respectively. The peripheral arm of Subgroup E resembles the proposed common ancestral respiratory complex of modern respiratory systems, which plays a key role in the early evolution of life. In addition, molecular dating analysis revealed that Thermoprofundales is an early emerging archaeal lineage among the extant MBH-containing microorganisms, indicating new insights into the evolution of this ubiquitous archaea lineage.

RevDate: 2022-09-29

Meng K, Chung CZ, Söll D, et al (2022)

Unconventional genetic code systems in archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:1007832.

Archaea constitute the third domain of life, distinct from bacteria and eukaryotes given their ability to tolerate extreme environments. To survive these harsh conditions, certain archaeal lineages possess unique genetic code systems to encode either selenocysteine or pyrrolysine, rare amino acids not found in all organisms. Furthermore, archaea utilize alternate tRNA-dependent pathways to biosynthesize and incorporate members of the 20 canonical amino acids. Recent discoveries of new archaeal species have revealed the co-occurrence of these genetic code systems within a single lineage. This review discusses the diverse genetic code systems of archaea, while detailing the associated biochemical elements and molecular mechanisms.

RevDate: 2022-12-08
CmpDate: 2022-11-30

Guo LT, Amikura K, Jiang HK, et al (2022)

Ancestral archaea expanded the genetic code with pyrrolysine.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 298(11):102521.

The pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase (PylRS) facilitates the cotranslational installation of the 22nd amino acid pyrrolysine. Owing to its tolerance for diverse amino acid substrates, and its orthogonality in multiple organisms, PylRS has emerged as a major route to install noncanonical amino acids into proteins in living cells. Recently, a novel class of PylRS enzymes was identified in a subset of methanogenic archaea. Enzymes within this class (ΔPylSn) lack the N-terminal tRNA-binding domain that is widely conserved amongst PylRS enzymes, yet remain active and orthogonal in bacteria and eukaryotes. In this study, we use biochemical and in vivo UAG-readthrough assays to characterize the aminoacylation efficiency and substrate spectrum of a ΔPylSn class PylRS from the archaeon Candidatus Methanomethylophilus alvus. We show that, compared with the full-length enzyme from Methanosarcina mazei, the Ca. M. alvus PylRS displays reduced aminoacylation efficiency but an expanded amino acid substrate spectrum. To gain insight into the evolution of ΔPylSn enzymes, we performed molecular phylogeny using 156 PylRS and 105 pyrrolysine tRNA (tRNA[Pyl]) sequences from diverse archaea and bacteria. This analysis suggests that the PylRS•tRNA[Pyl] pair diverged before the evolution of the three domains of life, placing an early limit on the evolution of the Pyl-decoding trait. Furthermore, our results document the coevolutionary history of PylRS and tRNA[Pyl] and reveal the emergence of tRNA[Pyl] sequences with unique A73 and U73 discriminator bases. The orthogonality of these tRNA[Pyl] species with the more common G73-containing tRNA[Pyl] will enable future efforts to engineer PylRS systems for further genetic code expansion.

RevDate: 2022-10-26
CmpDate: 2022-10-26

Guo Z, Jalalah M, Alsareii SA, et al (2022)

Biochar addition augmented the microbial community and aided the digestion of high-loading slaughterhouse waste: Active enzymes of bacteria and archaea.

Chemosphere, 309(Pt 1):136535.

The biogas production (BP), volatile fatty acids (VFAs), microbial communities, and microbes' active enzymes were studied upon the addition of biochar (0-1.5%) at 6% and 8% slaughterhouse waste (SHW) loadings. The 0.5% biochar enhanced BP by 1.5- and 1.6-folds in 6% and 8% SHW-loaded reactors, respectively. Increasing the biochar up to 1.5% caused a reduction in BP at 6% SHW. However, the BP from 8% of SHW was enhanced by 1.4-folds at 1.5% biochar. The VFAs production in all 0.5% biochar amended reactors was highly significant compared to control (p-value < 0.05). The biochar addition increased the bacterial and archaeal diversity at both 6% and 8% SHW loadings. The highest number of OTUs at 0.5% biochar were 567 and 525 in 6% and 8% SHW, respectively. Biochar prompted the Clostridium abundance and increased the lyases and transaminases involved in the degradation of lipids and protein, respectively. Biochar addition improved the Methanosaeta and Methanosphaera abundance in which the major enzymes were reductase and hydrogenase. The archaeal enzymes showed mixed acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Pilotto S, F Werner (2022)

How to Shut Down Transcription in Archaea during Virus Infection.

Microorganisms, 10(9):.

Multisubunit RNA polymerases (RNAPs) carry out transcription in all domains of life; during virus infection, RNAPs are targeted by transcription factors encoded by either the cell or the virus, resulting in the global repression of transcription with distinct outcomes for different host-virus combinations. These repressors serve as versatile molecular probes to study RNAP mechanisms, as well as aid the exploration of druggable sites for the development of new antibiotics. Here, we review the mechanisms and structural basis of RNAP inhibition by the viral repressor RIP and the crenarchaeal negative regulator TFS4, which follow distinct strategies. RIP operates by occluding the DNA-binding channel and mimicking the initiation factor TFB/TFIIB. RIP binds tightly to the clamp and locks it into one fixed position, thereby preventing conformational oscillations that are critical for RNAP function as it progresses through the transcription cycle. TFS4 engages with RNAP in a similar manner to transcript cleavage factors such as TFS/TFIIS through the NTP-entry channel; TFS4 interferes with the trigger loop and bridge helix within the active site by occlusion and allosteric mechanisms, respectively. The conformational changes in RNAP described above are universally conserved and are also seen in inactive dimers of eukaryotic RNAPI and several inhibited RNAP complexes of both bacterial and eukaryotic RNA polymerases, including inactive states that precede transcription termination. A comparison of target sites and inhibitory mechanisms reveals that proteinaceous repressors and RNAP-specific antibiotics use surprisingly common ways to inhibit RNAP function.

RevDate: 2022-12-20
CmpDate: 2022-12-20

Groult B, Bredin P, CS Lazar (2022)

Ecological processes differ in community assembly of Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes in a biogeographical survey of groundwater habitats in the Quebec region (Canada).

Environmental microbiology, 24(12):5898-5910.

Aquifers are inhabited by microorganisms from the three major domains of life: Archaea, Eukaryotes and Bacteria. Although interest in the processes that govern the assembly of these microbial communities is growing, their study is almost systematically limited to one of the three domains of life. Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes are however interconnected and essential to understand the functioning of their living ecosystems. We, therefore, conducted a spatial study of the distribution of microorganisms by sampling 35 wells spread over an area of 10,000 km[2] in the Quebec region (Canada). The obtained data allowed us to define the impact of geographic distance and geochemical water composition on the microbial communities. A null model approach was used to infer the relative influence of stochastic and determinist ecological processes on the assembly of the microbial community from all three domains. We found that the organisms from these three groups are mainly governed by stochastic mechanisms. However, this apparent similarity does not reflect the differences in the processes that govern the phyla assembly. The results obtained highlight the importance of considering all the microorganisms without neglecting their individual specificities.

RevDate: 2022-09-23
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Pallen MJ, Rodriguez-R LM, NF Alikhan (2022)

Naming the unnamed: over 65,000 Candidatus names for unnamed Archaea and Bacteria in the Genome Taxonomy Database.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 72(9):.

Thousands of new bacterial and archaeal species and higher-level taxa are discovered each year through the analysis of genomes and metagenomes. The Genome Taxonomy Database (GTDB) provides hierarchical sequence-based descriptions and classifications for new and as-yet-unnamed taxa. However, bacterial nomenclature, as currently configured, cannot keep up with the need for new well-formed names. Instead, microbiologists have been forced to use hard-to-remember alphanumeric placeholder labels. Here, we exploit an approach to the generation of well-formed arbitrary Latinate names at a scale sufficient to name tens of thousands of unnamed taxa within GTDB. These newly created names represent an important resource for the microbiology community, facilitating communication between bioinformaticians, microbiologists and taxonomists, while populating the emerging landscape of microbial taxonomic and functional discovery with accessible and memorable linguistic labels.

RevDate: 2022-09-26
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Adam PS, Bornemann TLV, AJ Probst (2022)

Progress and Challenges in Studying the Ecophysiology of Archaea.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2522:469-486.

It has been less than two decades since the study of archaeal ecophysiology has become unshackled from the limitations of cultivation and amplicon sequencing through the advent of metagenomics. As a primer to the guide on producing archaeal genomes from metagenomes, we briefly summarize here how different meta'omics, imaging, and wet lab methods have contributed to progress in understanding the ecophysiology of Archaea. We then peer into the history of how our knowledge on two particularly important lineages was assembled: the anaerobic methane and alkane oxidizers, encountered primarily among Euryarchaeota, and the nanosized, mainly parasitic, members of the DPANN superphylum.

RevDate: 2022-12-18
CmpDate: 2022-12-18

Thomsen J, Weidenbach K, Metcalf WW, et al (2022)

Genetic Methods and Construction of Chromosomal Mutations in Methanogenic Archaea.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2522:105-117.

Genetic manipulation through markerless exchange enables the modification of several genomic regions without leaving a selection marker in the genome. Here, a method using hpt coding for hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase as a counter selectable marker is described. For Methanosarcina species a chromosomal deletion of the hpt gene is firstly generated, which confers resistance to the purine analogue 8-aza-2,6-diaminopurine (8-ADP). In a second step, the reintroduction of the hpt gene on a plasmid leads to a selectable loss of 8-ADP resistance after a homologous recombination event (pop-in). A subsequent pop-out event restores the 8-ADP resistance and can generate chromosomal mutants with frequencies of about 50%.

RevDate: 2022-09-26
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Forterre P (2022)

Archaea: A Goldmine for Molecular Biologists and Evolutionists.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2522:1-21.

The rebuttal of the prokaryote-eukaryote dichotomy and the elaboration of the three domains concept by Carl Woese and colleagues has been a breakthrough in biology. With the methodologies available at this time, they have shown that a single molecule, the 16S ribosomal RNA, could reveal the global organization of the living world. Later on, mining archaeal genomes led to major discoveries in archaeal molecular biology, providing a third model for comparative molecular biology. These analyses revealed the strong eukaryal flavor of the basic molecular fabric of Archaea and support rooting the universal tree between Bacteria and Arcarya (the clade grouping Archaea and Eukarya). However, in contradiction with this conclusion, it remains to understand why the archaeal and bacterial mobilomes are so similar and so different from the eukaryal one. These last years, the number of recognized archaea lineages (phyla?) has exploded. The archaeal nomenclature is now in turmoil and debates about the nature of the last universal common ancestor, the last archaeal common ancestor, and the topology of the tree of life are still going on. Interestingly, the expansion of the archaeal eukaryome, especially in the Asgard archaea, has provided new opportunities to study eukaryogenesis. In recent years, the application to Archaea of the new methodologies described in the various chapters of this book have opened exciting avenues to study the molecular biology and the physiology of these fascinating microorganisms.

RevDate: 2022-11-06
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Chow C, Padda KP, Puri A, et al (2022)

An Archaic Approach to a Modern Issue: Endophytic Archaea for Sustainable Agriculture.

Current microbiology, 79(11):322.

Archaea have existed for over 3.5 billion years, yet they were detected in the plant endosphere only in the recent past and still, not much is known about them. Archaeal endophytes may be important microorganisms for sustainable agriculture, particularly in the face of climate change and increasing food demand due to population growth. Recent advances in culture-independent methods of research have revealed a diverse abundance of archaea from the phyla Euryarchaeota, Crenarchaeaota, and Thaumarchaeota globally that are associated with significant crops such as maize, rice, coffee, and olive. Novel insights into the plant microbiome have revealed specific genes in archaea that may be involved in numerous plant metabolic functions including amino acid production and phytohormone modulation. This is the first review article to address what is known about archaea as endophytes, including their patterns of colonization and abundance in various parts of different crop plants grown under diverse environmental conditions. This review aims to facilitate mainstream discussions and encourage future research regarding the occurrence and role of endophytic archaea in plants, particularly in relation to agricultural applications.

RevDate: 2022-11-04
CmpDate: 2022-11-04

Yue Y, Wang F, Pan J, et al (2022)

Spatiotemporal dynamics, community assembly and functional potential of sedimentary archaea in reservoirs: coaction of stochasticity and nutrient load.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 98(11):.

Archaea participate in biogeochemical cycles in aquatic ecosystems, and deciphering their community dynamics and assembly mechanisms is key to understanding their ecological functions. Here, sediments from 12 selected reservoirs from the Wujiang and Pearl River basins in southwest China were investigated using 16S rRNA Illumina sequencing and quantitative PCR for archaeal abundance and richness in all seasons. Generally, archaeal abundance and α-diversity were significantly correlated with temperature; however, β-diversity analysis showed that community structures varied greatly among locations rather than seasons, indicating a distance-decay pattern with geographical variation. The null model revealed the major contribution of stochasticity to archaeal community assembly, which was further confirmed by the neutral community model that could explain 71.7% and 90.2% of the variance in archaeal assembly in the Wujiang and Pearl River basins, respectively. Moreover, sediment total nitrogen and organic carbon levels were significantly correlated with archaeal abundance and α-diversity. Interestingly, these nutrient levels were positively and negatively correlated, respectively, with the abundance of methanogenic and ammonia-oxidized archaea: the dominant sedimentary archaea in these reservoirs. Taken together, this work systematically characterized archaeal community profiles in reservoir sediments and demonstrated the combined action of stochastic processes and nutrient load in shaping archaeal communities in reservoir ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-09-20
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Zhu Q, S Mirarab (2022)

Assembling a Reference Phylogenomic Tree of Bacteria and Archaea by Summarizing Many Gene Phylogenies.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2569:137-165.

Phylogenomics is the inference of phylogenetic trees based on multiple marker genes sampled in the genomes of interest. An important challenge in phylogenomics is the potential incongruence among the evolutionary histories of individual genes, which can be widespread in microorganisms due to the prevalence of horizontal gene transfer. This protocol introduces the procedures for building a phylogenetic tree of a large number of microbial genomes using a broad sampling of marker genes that are representative of whole-genome evolution. The protocol highlights the use of a gene tree summary method, which can effectively reconstruct the species tree while accounting for the topological conflicts among individual gene trees. The pipeline described in this protocol is scalable to tens of thousands of genomes while retaining high accuracy. We discussed multiple software tools, libraries, and scripts to enable convenient adoption of the protocol. The protocol is suitable for microbiology and microbiome studies based on public genomes and metagenomic data.

RevDate: 2022-11-28
CmpDate: 2022-11-28

Hoegenauer C, Hammer HF, Mahnert A, et al (2022)

Methanogenic archaea in the human gastrointestinal tract.

Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 19(12):805-813.

The human microbiome is strongly interwoven with human health and disease. Besides bacteria, viruses and eukaryotes, numerous archaea are located in the human gastrointestinal tract and are responsible for methane production, which can be measured in clinical methane breath analyses. Methane is an important readout for various diseases, including intestinal methanogen overgrowth. Notably, the archaea responsible for methane production are largely overlooked in human microbiome studies due to their non-bacterial biology and resulting detection issues. As such, their importance for health and disease remains largely unclear to date, in particular as not a single archaeal representative has been deemed to be pathogenic. In this Perspective, we discuss the current knowledge on the clinical relevance of methanogenic archaea. We explain the archaeal unique response to antibiotics and their negative and positive effects on human physiology, and present the current understanding of the use of methane as a diagnostic marker.

RevDate: 2022-12-07
CmpDate: 2022-10-28

Kuroda K, Yamamoto K, Nakai R, et al (2022)

Symbiosis between Candidatus Patescibacteria and Archaea Discovered in Wastewater-Treating Bioreactors.

mBio, 13(5):e0171122.

Each prokaryotic domain, Bacteria and Archaea, contains a large and diverse group of organisms characterized by their ultrasmall cell size and symbiotic lifestyles (potentially commensal, mutualistic, and parasitic relationships), namely, Candidatus Patescibacteria (also known as the Candidate Phyla Radiation/CPR superphylum) and DPANN archaea, respectively. Cultivation-based approaches have revealed that Ca. Patescibacteria and DPANN symbiotically interact with bacterial and archaeal partners and hosts, respectively, but that cross-domain symbiosis and parasitism have never been observed. By amending wastewater treatment sludge samples with methanogenic archaea, we observed increased abundances of Ca. Patescibacteria (Ca. Yanofskybacteria/UBA5738) and, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), discovered that nearly all of the Ca. Yanofskybacteria/UBA5738 cells were attached to Methanothrix (95.7 ± 2.1%) and that none of the cells were attached to other lineages, implying high host dependency and specificity. Methanothrix filaments (multicellular) with Ca. Yanofskybacteria/UBA5738 attached had significantly more cells with no or low detectable ribosomal activity (based on FISH fluorescence) and often showed deformations at the sites of attachment (based on transmission electron microscopy), suggesting that the interaction is parasitic. Metagenome-assisted metabolic reconstruction showed that Ca. Yanofskybacteria/UBA5738 lacks most of the biosynthetic pathways necessary for cell growth and universally conserves three unique gene arrays that contain multiple genes with signal peptides in the metagenome-assembled genomes of the Ca. Yanofskybacteria/UBA5738 lineage. The results shed light on a novel cross-domain symbiosis and inspire potential strategies for culturing CPR and DPANN. IMPORTANCE One highly diverse phylogenetic group of Bacteria, Ca. Patescibacteria, remains poorly understood, but, from the few cultured representatives and metagenomic investigations, they are thought to live symbiotically or parasitically with other bacteria or even with eukarya. We explored the possibility of symbiotic interactions with Archaea by amending wastewater treatment sludge samples that were rich in Ca. Patescibacteria and Archaea with an isolate archaeon that is closely related to a methanogen population abundant in situ (Methanothrix). This strategic cultivation successfully established enrichment cultures that were mainly comprised of Ca. Patescibacteria (family level lineage Ca. Yanofskybacteria/UBA5738) and Methanothrix, in which we found highly specific physical interactions between the two organisms. Microscopic observations based on transmission electron microscopy, target-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization, and metagenomic analyses showed evidence that the interaction is likely parasitic. The results show a novel cross-domain parasitism between Bacteria and Archaea and suggest that the amendment of host Archaea may be an effective approach in culturing novel Ca. Patescibacteria.

RevDate: 2022-10-13
CmpDate: 2022-10-13

Gou Y, Song Y, Yang S, et al (2022)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon removal from subsurface soil mediated by bacteria and archaea under methanogenic conditions: Performance and mechanisms.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 313:120023.

In situ anoxic bioremediation is an easy-to-use technology to remediate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated soil. Degradation of PAHs mediated by soil bacteria and archaea using CO2 as the electron acceptor is an important process for eliminating PAHs under methanogenic conditions; however, knowledge of the performance and mechanisms involved is poorly unveiled. In this study, the effectiveness and efficiency of NaHCO3 (CO2) as an electron acceptor to stimulate the degradation of PAHs by bacteria and archaea in highly contaminated soil were investigated. The results showed that CO2 addition (EC2000) promoted PAH degradation compared to soil without added CO2 (EC0), with 4.18%, 9.01%-8.05%, and 6.19%-12.45% increases for 2-, 3- and 4-ring PAHs after 250 days of incubation, respectively. Soil bacterial abundances increased with increasing incubation time, especially for EC2000 (2.90 × 10[8] g[-1] soil higher than EC0, p < 0.05). Different succession patterns of the soil bacterial and archaeal communities during PAH degradation were observed. According to the PCoA and ANOSIM results, the soil bacterial communities were greatly (ANOSIM: R = 0.7232, P = 0.001) impacted by electron acceptors, whereas significant differences in the archaeal communities were not observed (ANOSIM: R = 0.553, P = 0.001). Soil bacterial and archaeal co-occurrence network analyses showed that positive correlations outnumbered the negative correlations throughout the incubation period for both treatments (e.g., EC0 and EC2000), suggesting the prevalence of coexistence/cooperation within and between these two domains rather than competition. The higher complexity, connectance, edge, and node numbers in EC2000 revealed stronger linkage and a more stable co-occurrence network compared to EC0. The results of this study could improve the knowledge on the removal of PAHs and the responses of soil bacteria and archaea to CO2 application, as well as a scientific basis for the in situ anoxic bioremediation of PAH-contaminated industrial sites.

RevDate: 2022-08-30
CmpDate: 2022-08-30

Amores GR, Zepeda-Ramos G, García-Fajardo LV, et al (2022)

The gut microbiome analysis of Anastrepha obliqua reveals inter-kingdom diversity: bacteria, fungi, and archaea.

Archives of microbiology, 204(9):579.

The fruit fly Anastrepha obliqua is an economically important pest. The sterile insect technique to control it involves mass production and release of sterile flies to reduce the reproduction of the wild population. As noted in different Tephritidae, the performance of sterile males may be affected by the assimilation of nutrients under mass-rearing conditions. In the wild, the fly's life cycle suggests the acquisition of different organisms that could modulate its fitness and physiology. For A. obliqua, there is no information regarding microorganisms other than bacteria. This study analyzed bacteria, fungal, and archaea communities in the A. obliqua gut through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles of 16S (using a different set of primers for bacteria and archaea) and 18S ribosomal DNA markers. We found that wild flies presented higher microbial diversity related to fructose assimilation than laboratory species, suggesting that microorganisms have led to a specialized metabolism to process nutrients associated with an artificial diet. We identified species that have not been previously described in this fruit fly, especially actinobacteria and archaea, by employing different primer sets aimed at the same molecular marker but targeting diverse hypervariable regions of 16S rDNA. The possibility that Archaea affect fly fitness should not be ignored. This report on the intestinal microbial (bacteria, archaea, and fungi) composition of A. obliqua contributes to our understanding of the role of microorganisms in the development and physiology of the flies.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Alharbi F, Knura T, Siebers B, et al (2022)

Thermostable and O2-Insensitive Pyruvate Decarboxylases from Thermoacidophilic Archaea Catalyzing the Production of Acetaldehyde.

Biology, 11(8):.

Pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) is a key enzyme involved in ethanol fermentation, and it catalyzes the decarboxylation of pyruvate to acetaldehyde and CO2. Bifunctional PORs/PDCs that also have additional pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (POR) activity are found in hyperthermophiles, and they are mostly oxygen-sensitive and CoA-dependent. Thermostable and oxygen-stable PDC activity is highly desirable for biotechnological applications. The enzymes from the thermoacidophiles Saccharolobus (formerly Sulfolobus) solfataricus (Ss, Topt = 80 °C) and Sulfolobus acidocaldarius (Sa, Topt = 80 °C) were purified and characterized, and their biophysical and biochemical properties were determined comparatively. Both enzymes were shown to be heterodimeric, and their two subunits were determined by SDS-PAGE to be 37 ± 3 kDa and 65 ± 2 kDa, respectively. The purified enzymes from S. solfataricus and S. acidocaldarius showed both PDC and POR activities which were CoA-dependent, and they were thermostable with half-life times of 2.9 ± 1 and 1.1 ± 1 h at 80 °C, respectively. There was no loss of activity in the presence of oxygen. Optimal pH values for their PDC and POR activity were determined to be 7.9 and 8.6, respectively. In conclusion, both thermostable SsPOR/PDC and SaPOR/PDC catalyze the CoA-dependent production of acetaldehyde from pyruvate in the presence of oxygen.

RevDate: 2022-08-28
CmpDate: 2022-08-26

Grivard A, Goubet I, Duarte Filho LMS, et al (2022)

Archaea Carotenoids: Natural Pigments with Unexplored Innovative Potential.

Marine drugs, 20(8):.

For more than 40 years, marine microorganisms have raised great interest because of their major ecological function and their numerous applications for biotechnology and pharmacology. Particularly, Archaea represent a resource of great potential for the identification of new metabolites because of their adaptation to extreme environmental conditions and their original metabolic pathways, allowing the synthesis of unique biomolecules. Studies on archaeal carotenoids are still relatively scarce and only a few works have focused on their industrial scale production and their biotechnological and pharmacological properties, while the societal demand for these bioactive pigments is growing. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of the current knowledge on carotenoid metabolism in Archaea and the potential applications of these pigments in biotechnology and medicine. After reviewing the ecology and classification of these microorganisms, as well as their unique cellular and biochemical characteristics, this paper highlights the most recent data concerning carotenoid metabolism in Archaea, the biological properties of these pigments, and biotechnological considerations for their production at industrial scale.

RevDate: 2022-08-23

Yoshinaga M, Nakayama T, Y Inagaki (2022)

A novel structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC)-related protein family specific to Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:913088.

The ATPases belonging to the structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) superfamily are involved in the maintenance of chromosome organization and dynamics, as well as DNA repair. The major proteins in this superfamily recognized to date are either conserved among the three domains of Life (i.e., SMC and Rad50) or specific to Bacteria (i.e., RecF, RecN, and MukB). In Archaea, no protein related to SMC (SMC-related protein) with a broad taxonomic distribution has been reported. Nevertheless, two SMC-related proteins, namely coalescin and Sph, have been identified in crenarchaea Sulfolobus spp. and the euryarchaeon Halobacterium salinarum, respectively, hinting that the diversity of SMC-related proteins has been overlooked in Archaea. In this study, we report a novel SMC-related protein that is distributed among broad archaeal lineages and termed "Archaea-specific SMC-related proteins" or "ASRPs." We further demonstrate that the ASRP family encloses both coalescin and Sph but the two proteins represent only a tip of the diversity of this family.

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

Mafra D, Ribeiro M, Fonseca L, et al (2022)

Archaea from the gut microbiota of humans: Could be linked to chronic diseases?.

Anaerobe, 77:102629.

Archaea comprise a unique domain of organisms with distinct biochemical and genetic differences from bacteria. Methane-forming archaea, methanogens, constitute the predominant group of archaea in the human gut microbiota, with Methanobrevibacter smithii being the most prevalent. However, the effect of methanogenic archaea and their methane production on chronic disease remains controversial. As perturbation of the microbiota is a feature of chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and chronic kidney disease, assessing the influence of archaea could provide a new clue to mitigating adverse effects associated with dysbiosis. In this review, we will discuss the putative role of archaea in the gut microbiota in humans and the possible link to chronic diseases.

RevDate: 2022-08-16

Peng Y, Xie T, Wu Z, et al (2022)

Archaea: An under-estimated kingdom in livestock animals.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 9:973508.

Archaea are considered an essential group of gut microorganisms in both humans and animals. However, they have been neglected in previous studies, especially those involving non-ruminants. In this study, we re-analyzed published metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data sequenced from matched samples to explore the composition and the expression activity of gut archaea in ruminants (cattle and sheep) and monogastric animals (pig and chicken). Our results showed that the alpha and beta diversity of each host species, especially cattle and chickens, calculated from metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data were significantly different, suggesting that metatranscriptomic data better represent the functional status of archaea. We detected that the relative abundance of 17 (cattle), 7 (sheep), 20 (pig), and 2 (chicken) archaeal species were identified in the top 100 archaeal taxa when analyzing the metagenomic datasets, and these species were classified as the "active archaeal species" for each host species by comparison with corresponding metatranscriptomic data. For example, The expressive abundance in metatranscriptomic dataset of Methanosphaera cuniculi and Methanosphaera stadtmanae were 30- and 27-fold higher than that in metagenomic abundance, indicating their potentially important function in the pig gut. Here we aim to show the potential importance of archaea in the livestock digestive tract and encourage future research in this area, especially on the gut archaea of monogastric animals.

RevDate: 2022-10-13
CmpDate: 2022-08-16

Zhao H, L Zhang (2022)

Metagenome-assembled Genomes of Six Novel Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (AOA) from Agricultural Upland Soil.

Microbes and environments, 37(3):.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), key players in agricultural upland soil nitrification, convert soil ammonium to nitrite. The microbial oxidation of ammonia to nitrite is an important part of the global biogeochemical nitrogen cycle. In the present study, we recovered six novel AOA metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) containing genes for carbon (C) fixation and nitrogen (N) metabolism by using a deep shotgun metagenomic sequencing strategy. We also found that these AOA MAGs possessed cobalamin synthesis genes, suggesting that AOA are vitamin suppliers in agricultural upland soil. Collectively, the present results deepen our understanding of the metabolic potential and phylogeny of AOA in agroecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-08-24
CmpDate: 2022-08-05

Ledesma L, Hernandez-Guerrero R, E Perez-Rueda (2022)

Prediction of DNA-Binding Transcription Factors in Bacteria and Archaea Genomes.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2516:103-112.

DNA-binding transcription factors (TFs) play a central role in the gene expression of all organisms, from viruses to humans, including bacteria and archaea. The role of these proteins is the fate of gene expression in the context of environmental challenges. Because thousands of genomes have been sequenced to date, predictions of the encoded proteins are validated through the use of bioinformatics tools to obtain the necessary experimental, posterior knowledge. In this chapter, we describe three approaches to identify TFs in protein sequences. The first approach integrates the results of sequence comparisons and PFAM assignments, using as reference a manually curated collection of TFs. The second approach considers the prediction of DNA-binding structures, such as the classical helix-turn-helix (HTH); and the third approach considers a deep learning model. We suggest that all approaches must be considered together to increase the possibility of identifying new TFs in bacterial and archaeal genomes.

RevDate: 2022-08-24
CmpDate: 2022-08-05

Sybers D, Charlier D, E Peeters (2022)

In Vitro Transcription Assay for Archaea Belonging to Sulfolobales.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2516:81-102.

Archaeal transcription and its regulation are characterized by a mosaic of eukaryotic and bacterial features. Molecular analysis of the functioning of the archaeal RNA polymerase, basal transcription factors, and specific promoter-containing DNA templates allows to unravel the mechanisms of transcription regulation in archaea. In vitro transcription is a technique that allows the study of this process in a simplified and controlled environment less complex than the archaeal cell. In this chapter, we present an in vitro transcription methodology for the study of transcription in Sulfolobales. It is described how to purify the RNA polymerase and the basal transcription factors TATA-binding protein and transcription factor B of Saccharolobus solfataricus and how to perform in vitro transcription reactions and transcript detection. Application of this protocol for other archaeal species could require minor modifications to protein overexpression and purification conditions.

RevDate: 2022-08-24
CmpDate: 2022-08-05

Maruyama H (2022)

Micrococcal Nuclease Digestion Assays for the Analysis of Chromosome Structure in Archaea.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2516:29-38.

The digestion of chromosomes using micrococcal nuclease (MNase) enables the analysis of their fundamental structural units. For example, the digestion of eukaryotic chromatin using MNase results in laddered DNA fragments (~150 bp increment), which reflects the length of the DNA wrapped around regularly spaced nucleosomes. Here, we describe the application of MNase to examine the chromosome structure in Archaea. We used Thermococcus kodakarensis, a hyperthermophilic euryarchaeon that encodes proteins homologous to eukaryotic histones. Methods for chromosome extraction and agarose gel electrophoresis of MNase-digested DNA including small fragments (~30 bp) are also described.

RevDate: 2022-08-24
CmpDate: 2022-08-05

Rashid FM, Detmar L, RT Dame (2022)

Chromosome Conformation Capture in Bacteria and Archaea.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2516:1-28.

The three-dimensional structure of the chromosome is encoded within its sequence and regulates activities such as replication and transcription. This necessitates the study of the spatial organization of the chromosome in relation to the underlying sequence. Chromosome conformation capture (3C) techniques are proximity ligation-based approaches that simplify the three-dimensional architecture of the chromosome into a one-dimensional library of hybrid ligation junctions. Deciphering the information contained in these libraries resolves chromosome architecture in a sequence-specific manner. This chapter describes the preparation of 3C libraries for bacteria and archaea. It details how the three-dimensional architecture of local chromatin can be extracted from the 3C library using qPCR (3C-qPCR), and it summarizes the processing of 3C libraries for next-generation sequencing (3C-Seq) for a study of global chromosome organization.

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

Wang BB, Sun YP, Wu ZP, et al (2022)

Halorientalis salina sp. nov., Halorientalis marina sp. nov., Halorientalis litorea sp. nov.: three extremely halophilic archaea isolated from a salt lake and coarse sea salt.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions, 26(3):26.

Three halophilic archaeal strains, NEN8[T], GDY88[T] and ZY14[T], were isolated from a salt lake in Tibet and coarse sea salt samples from Guangdong and Hebei, China, respectively. These strains formed three separate clades (showing 94.4-95.8% and 87.1-89.4% similarities, respectively) and then clustered with the current Halorientalis members (showing 90.7-97.6% and 87.0-91.2% similarities, respectively), as revealed by phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA and rpoB' genes. The overall genome-related index, average nucleotide identity (ANI), in silico DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH), average amino acid identity (AAI) and the percentage of conserved proteins (POCP) values, among the three strains and members of the genus Halorientalis were 76.0-88.0%, 21.3-37.2%, 69.0-88.3% and 57.7-78.1%, clearly below the threshold values for species demarcation. Strains NEN8[T], GDY88[T] and ZY14[T] could be distinguished from current Halorientalis species according to differential phenotypic characteristics. The major polar lipids of the three strains were phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester (PGP-Me), sulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether (S-DGD-1) and disulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether (S2-DGD). In addition, mannosyl glucosyl diether (DGD-1) was detected in strain NEN8[T] and phosphatidic acid (PA), posssulfated galactosyl mannosyl glucosyl diether (S-TGD-1) and sulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether-phosphatidic acid (S-DGD-PA) were observed in strain ZY14[T]. These results revealed that strains NEN8[T] (= CGMCC 1.17213[T] = JCM 34155[T]), GDY88[T] (= CGMCC 1.18548[T] = JCM 34481[T]) and ZY14[T] (= CGMCC 1.17178[T] = JCM 34154[T]) represent three novel species of the genus Halorientalis, for which the names Halorientalis salina sp. nov., Halorientalis marina sp. nov. and Halorientalis litorea sp. nov. are proposed.

RevDate: 2022-10-11
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Wegener G, Laso-Pérez R, Orphan VJ, et al (2022)

Anaerobic Degradation of Alkanes by Marine Archaea.

Annual review of microbiology, 76:553-577.

Alkanes are saturated apolar hydrocarbons that range from their simplest form, methane, to high-molecular-weight compounds. Although alkanes were once considered biologically recalcitrant under anaerobic conditions, microbiological investigations have now identified several microbial taxa that can anaerobically degrade alkanes. Here we review recent discoveries in the anaerobic oxidation of alkanes with a specific focus on archaea that use specific methyl coenzyme M reductases to activate their substrates. Our understanding of the diversity of uncultured alkane-oxidizing archaea has expanded through the use of environmental metagenomics and enrichment cultures of syntrophic methane-, ethane-, propane-, and butane-oxidizing marine archaea with sulfate-reducing bacteria. A recently cultured group of archaea directly couples long-chain alkane degradation with methane formation, expanding the range of substrates used for methanogenesis. This article summarizes the rapidly growing knowledge of the diversity, physiology, and habitat distribution of alkane-degrading archaea.

RevDate: 2022-09-20
CmpDate: 2022-08-02

Rattanasriampaipong R, Zhang YG, Pearson A, et al (2022)

Archaeal lipids trace ecology and evolution of marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(31):e2123193119.

Archaeal membrane lipids are widely used for paleotemperature reconstructions, yet these molecular fossils also bear rich information about ecology and evolution of marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA). Here we identified thermal and nonthermal behaviors of archaeal glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) by comparing the GDGT-based temperature index (TEX86) to the ratio of GDGTs with two and three cyclopentane rings (GDGT-2/GDGT-3). Thermal-dependent biosynthesis should increase TEX86 and decrease GDGT-2/GDGT-3 when the ambient temperature increases. This presumed temperature-dependent (PTD) trend is observed in GDGTs derived from cultures of thermophilic and mesophilic AOA. The distribution of GDGTs in suspended particulate matter (SPM) and sediments collected from above the pycnocline-shallow water samples-also follows the PTD trend. These similar GDGT distributions between AOA cultures and shallow water environmental samples reflect shallow ecotypes of marine AOA. While there are currently no cultures of deep AOA clades, GDGTs derived from deep water SPM and marine sediment samples exhibit nonthermal behavior deviating from the PTD trend. The presence of deep AOA increases the GDGT-2/GDGT-3 ratio and distorts the temperature-controlled correlation between GDGT-2/GDGT-3 and TEX86. We then used Gaussian mixture models to statistically characterize these diagnostic patterns of modern AOA ecology from paleo-GDGT records to infer the evolution of marine AOA from the Mid-Mesozoic to the present. Long-term GDGT-2/GDGT-3 trends suggest a suppression of today's deep water marine AOA during the Mesozoic-early Cenozoic greenhouse climates. Our analysis provides invaluable insights into the evolutionary timeline and the expansion of AOA niches associated with major oceanographic and climate changes.

RevDate: 2022-07-31
CmpDate: 2022-07-28

Chong PL, Chang A, Yu A, et al (2022)

Vesicular and Planar Membranes of Archaea Lipids: Unusual Physical Properties and Biomedical Applications.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(14):.

Liposomes and planar membranes made of archaea or archaea-like lipids exhibit many unusual physical properties compared to model membranes composed of conventional diester lipids. Here, we review several recent findings in this research area, which include (1) thermosensitive archaeosomes with the capability to drastically change the membrane surface charge, (2) MthK channel's capability to insert into tightly packed tetraether black lipid membranes and exhibit channel activity with surprisingly high calcium sensitivity, and (3) the intercalation of apolar squalane into the midplane space of diether bilayers to impede proton permeation. We also review the usage of tetraether archaeosomes as nanocarriers of therapeutics and vaccine adjuvants, as well as the biomedical applications of planar archaea lipid membranes. The discussion on archaeosomal therapeutics is focused on partially purified tetraether lipid fractions such as the polar lipid fraction E (PLFE) and glyceryl caldityl tetraether (GCTE), which are the main components of PLFE with the sugar and phosphate removed.

RevDate: 2022-09-06
CmpDate: 2022-08-18

Boswinkle K, McKinney J, KD Allen (2022)

Highlighting the Unique Roles of Radical S-Adenosylmethionine Enzymes in Methanogenic Archaea.

Journal of bacteriology, 204(8):e0019722.

Radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) enzymes catalyze an impressive variety of difficult biochemical reactions in various pathways across all domains of life. These metalloenzymes employ a reduced [4Fe-4S] cluster and SAM to generate a highly reactive 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical that is capable of initiating catalysis on otherwise unreactive substrates. Interestingly, the genomes of methanogenic archaea encode many unique radical SAM enzymes with underexplored or completely unknown functions. These organisms are responsible for the yearly production of nearly 1 billion tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas as well as a valuable energy source. Thus, understanding the details of methanogenic metabolism and elucidating the functions of essential enzymes in these organisms can provide insights into strategies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions as well as inform advances in bioenergy production processes. This minireview provides an overview of the current state of the field regarding the functions of radical SAM enzymes in methanogens and discusses gaps in knowledge that should be addressed.

RevDate: 2022-07-19

Flusche T, R Rajan (2022)

Molecular Details of DNA Integration by CRISPR-Associated Proteins During Adaptation in Bacteria and Archaea.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology [Epub ahead of print].

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins constitute an adaptive immune system in bacteria and archaea, where immunological memory is retained in the CRISPR locus as short pieces of the intruding nucleic acid, termed spacers. The adaptation to new infections occurs through the integration of a new spacer into the CRISPR array. For immune protection, spacers are transcribed into CRISPR RNAs (crRNA) that are used to guide the effector nuclease of the system in sequence-dependent target cleavage. Spacers originate as a prespacer from either DNA or RNA depending on the CRISPR-Cas system being observed, and the nearly universal Cas proteins, Cas1 and Cas2, insert the prespacer into the CRISPR locus during adaptation in all systems that contain them. The mechanism of site-specific prespacer integration varies across CRISPR classes and types, and distinct differences can even be found within the same subtype. In this review, the current knowledge on the mechanisms of prespacer integration in type II-A CRISPR-Cas systems will be described. Comparisons of the currently characterized type II-A systems show that distinct mechanisms exist within different members of this subtype and are correlated to sequence-specific interactions of Cas proteins and the DNA elements present in the CRISPR array. These observations indicate that nature has fine-tuned the mechanistic details while performing the basic step of DNA integration by Cas proteins, which offers unique advantages to develop Cas1-Cas2-based biotechnology.

RevDate: 2022-08-16
CmpDate: 2022-08-05

Villain P, Catchpole R, Forterre P, et al (2022)

Expanded Dataset Reveals the Emergence and Evolution of DNA Gyrase in Archaea.

Molecular biology and evolution, 39(8):.

DNA gyrase is a type II topoisomerase with the unique capacity to introduce negative supercoiling in DNA. In bacteria, DNA gyrase has an essential role in the homeostatic regulation of supercoiling. While ubiquitous in bacteria, DNA gyrase was previously reported to have a patchy distribution in Archaea but its emergent function and evolutionary history in this domain of life remains elusive. In this study, we used phylogenomic approaches and an up-to date sequence dataset to establish global and archaea-specific phylogenies of DNA gyrases. The most parsimonious evolutionary scenario infers that DNA gyrase was introduced into the lineage leading to Euryarchaeal group II via a single horizontal gene transfer from a bacterial donor which we identified as an ancestor of Gracilicutes and/or Terrabacteria. The archaea-focused trees indicate that DNA gyrase spread from Euryarchaeal group II to some DPANN and Asgard lineages via rare horizontal gene transfers. The analysis of successful recent transfers suggests a requirement for syntropic or symbiotic/parasitic relationship between donor and recipient organisms. We further show that the ubiquitous archaeal Topoisomerase VI may have co-evolved with DNA gyrase to allow the division of labor in the management of topological constraints. Collectively, our study reveals the evolutionary history of DNA gyrase in Archaea and provides testable hypotheses to understand the prerequisites for successful establishment of DNA gyrase in a naive archaeon and the associated adaptations in the management of topological constraints.

RevDate: 2022-11-14
CmpDate: 2022-09-19

Ou YF, Dong HP, McIlroy SJ, et al (2022)

Expanding the phylogenetic distribution of cytochrome b-containing methanogenic archaea sheds light on the evolution of methanogenesis.

The ISME journal, 16(10):2373-2387.

Methane produced by methanogenic archaea has an important influence on Earth's changing climate. Methanogenic archaea are phylogenetically diverse and widespread in anoxic environments. These microorganisms can be divided into two subgroups based on whether or not they use b-type cytochromes for energy conservation. Methanogens with b-type cytochromes have a wider substrate range and higher growth yields than those without them. To date, methanogens with b-type cytochromes were found exclusively in the phylum "Ca. Halobacteriota" (formerly part of the phylum Euryarchaeota). Here, we present the discovery of metagenome-assembled genomes harboring methyl-coenzyme M reductase genes reconstructed from mesophilic anoxic sediments, together with the previously reported thermophilic "Ca. Methylarchaeum tengchongensis", representing a novel archaeal order, designated the "Ca. Methylarchaeales", of the phylum Thermoproteota (formerly the TACK superphylum). These microorganisms contain genes required for methyl-reducing methanogenesis and the Wood-Ljundahl pathway. Importantly, the genus "Ca. Methanotowutia" of the "Ca. Methylarchaeales" encode a cytochrome b-containing heterodisulfide reductase (HdrDE) and methanophenazine-reducing hydrogenase complex that have similar gene arrangements to those found in methanogenic Methanosarcinales. Our results indicate that members of the "Ca. Methylarchaeales" are methanogens with cytochromes and can conserve energy via membrane-bound electron transport chains. Phylogenetic and amalgamated likelihood estimation analyses indicate that methanogens with cytochrome b-containing electron transfer complexes likely evolved before diversification of Thermoproteota or "Ca. Halobacteriota" in the early Archean Eon. Surveys of public sequence databases suggest that members of the lineage are globally distributed in anoxic sediments and may be important players in the methane cycle.

RevDate: 2022-09-08
CmpDate: 2022-07-11

Kern M, S Ferreira-Cerca (2022)

Differential Translation Activity Analysis Using Bioorthogonal Noncanonical Amino Acid Tagging (BONCAT) in Archaea.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2533:229-246.

The study of protein production and degradation in a quantitative and time-dependent manner is a major challenge to better understand cellular physiological response. Among available technologies bioorthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) is an efficient approach allowing for time-dependent labeling of proteins through the incorporation of chemically reactive noncanonical amino acids like L-azidohomoalanine (L-AHA). The azide-containing amino-acid derivative enables a highly efficient and specific reaction termed click chemistry, whereby the azide group of the L-AHA reacts with a reactive alkyne derivate, like dibenzocyclooctyne (DBCO) derivatives, using strain-promoted alkyne-azide cycloaddition (SPAAC). Moreover, available DBCO containing reagents are versatile and can be coupled to fluorophore (e.g., Cy7) or affinity tag (e.g., biotin) derivatives, for easy visualization and affinity purification, respectively.Here, we describe a step-by-step BONCAT protocol optimized for the model archaeon Haloferax volcanii , but which is also suitable to harness other biological systems. Finally, we also describe examples of downstream visualization, affinity purification of L-AHA-labeled proteins and differential expression analysis.In conclusion, the following BONCAT protocol expands the available toolkit to explore proteostasis using time-resolved semiquantitative proteomic analysis in archaea .

RevDate: 2022-11-14
CmpDate: 2022-07-04

Buessecker S, Palmer M, Lai D, et al (2022)

An essential role for tungsten in the ecology and evolution of a previously uncultivated lineage of anaerobic, thermophilic Archaea.

Nature communications, 13(1):3773.

Trace metals have been an important ingredient for life throughout Earth's history. Here, we describe the genome-guided cultivation of a member of the elusive archaeal lineage Caldarchaeales (syn. Aigarchaeota), Wolframiiraptor gerlachensis, and its growth dependence on tungsten. A metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) of W. gerlachensis encodes putative tungsten membrane transport systems, as well as pathways for anaerobic oxidation of sugars probably mediated by tungsten-dependent ferredoxin oxidoreductases that are expressed during growth. Catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in-situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (nanoSIMS) show that W. gerlachensis preferentially assimilates xylose. Phylogenetic analyses of 78 high-quality Wolframiiraptoraceae MAGs from terrestrial and marine hydrothermal systems suggest that tungsten-associated enzymes were present in the last common ancestor of extant Wolframiiraptoraceae. Our observations imply a crucial role for tungsten-dependent metabolism in the origin and evolution of this lineage, and hint at a relic metabolic dependence on this trace metal in early anaerobic thermophiles.

RevDate: 2022-12-20

Cai M, X Tang (2022)

Human Archaea and Associated Metabolites in Health and Disease.

Biochemistry, 61(24):2835-2840.

Trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, live in or on the human body. Microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions are often influenced by diffusible and microbe-associated small molecules. Over the past few years, it has become evident that these interactions have a substantial impact on human health and disease. In this Perspective, we summarize the research involving the discovery of methanogenic and non-methanogenic archaea associated with the human body. In particular, we emphasize the importance of some archaeal metabolites in mediating intra- and interspecies interactions in the ecological environment of the human body. A deep understanding of the archaeal metabolites as well as their biological functions may reveal in more detail whether and how archaea are involved in maintaining human health and/or causing certain diseases.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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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

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )