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Bibliography on: Archaea

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 18 Oct 2019 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: 2019-10-17

Lu Y, Xia X, Cheung S, et al (2019)

Differential Distribution and Determinants of Ammonia Oxidizing Archaea Sublineages in the Oxygen Minimum Zone off Costa Rica.

Microorganisms, 7(10): pii:microorganisms7100453.

Ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) are microbes that are widely distributed in the ocean that convert ammonia to nitrite for energy acquisition in the presence of oxygen. Recent study has unraveled highly diverse sublineages within the previously defined AOA ecotypes (i.e., water column A (WCA) and water column B (WCB)), although the eco-physiology and environmental determinants of WCB subclades remain largely unclear. In this study, we examined the AOA communities along the water columns (40-3000 m depth) in the Costa Rica Dome (CRD) upwelling region in the eastern tropical North Pacific Ocean. Highly diverse AOA communities that were significantly different from those in oxygenated water layers were observed in the core layer of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), where the dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration was < 2μM. Moreover, a number of AOA phylotypes were found to be enriched in the OMZ core. Most of them were negatively correlated with DO and were also detected in other OMZs in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of California, which suggests low oxygen adaptation. This study provided the first insight into the differential niche partitioning and environmental determinants of various subclades within the ecotype WCB. Our results indicated that the ecotype WCB did indeed consist of various sublineages with different eco-physiologies, which should be further explored.

RevDate: 2019-10-16

Odelade KA, OO Babalola (2019)

Bacteria, Fungi and Archaea Domains in Rhizospheric Soil and Their Effects in Enhancing Agricultural Productivity.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(20): pii:ijerph16203873.

The persistent and undiscriminating application of chemicals as means to improve crop growth, development and yields for several years has become problematic to agricultural sustainability because of the adverse effects these chemicals have on the produce, consumers and beneficial microbes in the ecosystem. Therefore, for agricultural productivity to be sustained there are needs for better and suitable preferences which would be friendly to the ecosystem. The use of microbial metabolites has become an attractive and more feasible preference because they are versatile, degradable and ecofriendly, unlike chemicals. In order to achieve this aim, it is then imperative to explore microbes that are very close to the root of a plant, especially where they are more concentrated and have efficient activities called the rhizosphere. Extensive varieties of bacteria, archaea, fungi and other microbes are found inhabiting the rhizosphere with various interactions with the plant host. Therefore, this review explores various beneficial microbes such as bacteria, fungi and archaea and their roles in the environment in terms of acquisition of nutrients for plants for the purposes of plant growth and health. It also discusses the effect of root exudate on the rhizosphere microbiome and compares the three domains at molecular levels.

RevDate: 2019-10-12

Farley KR, WW Metcalf (2019)

The streptothricin acetyltransferase (sat) gene as a positive selectable marker for methanogenic archaea.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:5586563 [Epub ahead of print].

A repertoire of sophisticated genetic tools has significantly enhanced studies of Methanosarcina genera, yet the lack of multiple positive selectable markers has limited the types of genetic experiments that can be performed. In this study, we report the development of an additional positive selection system for Methanosarcina that utilizes the antibiotic nourseothricin and the Streptomyces rochei streptothricin acetyltransferase (sat) gene, which may be broadly applicable to other groups of methanogenic archaea. Nourseothricin was found to inhibit growth of four different methanogen species at concentrations ≤ 300 μg/ml in liquid or on solid media. Selection of nourseothricin resistant transformants was possible in two genetically tractable Methanosarcina species, M. acetivorans and M. barkeri, using the sat gene as a positive selectable marker. Additionally the sat marker was useful for constructing a gene deletion mutant strain of M. acetivorans, emphasizing its utility as a second positive selectable marker for genetic analyses of Methanosarcina genera. Interestingly, two human gut-associated methanogens Methanobrevibacter smithii and Methanomassillicoccus luminyensis were more sensitive to nourseothricin than either Methanosarcina species, suggesting the nourseothricin-sat gene pair may provide a robust positive selection system for development of genetic tools in these and other methanogens.

RevDate: 2019-10-09

Hua ZS, Wang YL, Evans PN, et al (2019)

Insights into the ecological roles and evolution of methyl-coenzyme M reductase-containing hot spring Archaea.

Nature communications, 10(1):4574 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-12574-y.

Several recent studies have shown the presence of genes for the key enzyme associated with archaeal methane/alkane metabolism, methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr), in metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) divergent to existing archaeal lineages. Here, we study the mcr-containing archaeal MAGs from several hot springs, which reveal further expansion in the diversity of archaeal organisms performing methane/alkane metabolism. Significantly, an MAG basal to organisms from the phylum Thaumarchaeota that contains mcr genes, but not those for ammonia oxidation or aerobic metabolism, is identified. Together, our phylogenetic analyses and ancestral state reconstructions suggest a mostly vertical evolution of mcrABG genes among methanogens and methanotrophs, along with frequent horizontal gene transfer of mcr genes between alkanotrophs. Analysis of all mcr-containing archaeal MAGs/genomes suggests a hydrothermal origin for these microorganisms based on optimal growth temperature predictions. These results also suggest methane/alkane oxidation or methanogenesis at high temperature likely existed in a common archaeal ancestor.

RevDate: 2019-10-07

Santoro AE, Kellom M, SM Laperriere (2019)

Contributions of single-cell genomics to our understanding of planktonic marine archaea.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1786):20190096.

Single-cell genomics has transformed many fields of biology, marine microbiology included. Here, we consider the impact of single-cell genomics on a specific group of marine microbes-the planktonic marine archaea. Despite single-cell enabled discoveries of novel metabolic function in the marine thaumarchaea, population-level investigations are hindered by an overall lower than expected recovery of thaumarchaea in single-cell studies. Metagenome-assembled genomes have so far been a more useful method for accessing genome-resolved insights into the Marine Group II euryarchaea. Future progress in the application of single-cell genomics to archaeal biology in the ocean would benefit from more targeted sorting approaches, and a more systematic investigation of potential biases against archaea in single-cell workflows including cell lysis, genome amplification and genome screening. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Single cell ecology'.

RevDate: 2019-10-04

Loth K, Largillière J, Coste F, et al (2019)

New protein-DNA complexes in archaea: a small monomeric protein induces a sharp V-turn DNA structure.

Scientific reports, 9(1):14253 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-50211-2.

MC1, a monomeric nucleoid-associated protein (NAP), is structurally unrelated to other DNA-binding proteins. The protein participates in the genome organization of several Euryarchaea species through an atypical compaction mechanism. It is also involved in DNA transcription and cellular division through unknown mechanisms. We determined the 3D solution structure of a new DNA-protein complex formed by MC1 and a strongly distorted 15 base pairs DNA. While the protein just needs to adapt its conformation slightly, the DNA undergoes a dramatic curvature (the first two bend angles of 55° and 70°, respectively) and an impressive torsional stress (dihedral angle of 106°) due to several kinks upon binding of MC1 to its concave side. Thus, it adopts a V-turn structure. For longer DNAs, MC1 stabilizes multiple V-turn conformations in a flexible and dynamic manner. The existence of such V-turn conformations of the MC1-DNA complexes leads us to propose two binding modes of the protein, as a bender (primary binding mode) and as a wrapper (secondary binding mode). Moreover, it opens up new opportunities for studying and understanding the repair, replication and transcription molecular machineries of Archaea.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Ding J, Ma M, Jiang X, et al (2019)

Effects of applying inorganic fertilizer and organic manure for 35 years on the structure and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing archaea communities in a Chinese Mollisols field.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, we investigated the physicochemical properties of soil, and the diversity and structure of the soil ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) community, when subjected to fertilizer treatments for over 35 years. We collected soil samples from a black soil fertilization trial in northeast China. Four treatments were tested: no fertilization (CK); manure (M); nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) chemical fertilizer (NPK); and N, P, and K plus M (MNPK). We employed 454 high-throughput pyrosequencing to measure the response of the soil AOA community to the long-term fertilization. The fertilization treatments had different impacts on the shifts in the soil properties and AOA community. The utilization of manure alleviated soil acidification and enhanced the soybean yield. The soil AOA abundance was increased greatly by inorganic and organic fertilizers. In addition, the community Chao1 and ACE were highest in the MNPK treatment. In terms of the AOA community composition, Thaumarchaeota and Crenarchaeota were the main AOA phyla in all samples. Compared with CK and M, the abundances of Thaumarchaeota were remarkably lower in the MNPK and NPK treatments. There were distinct shifts in the compositions of the AOA operational taxonomic units (OTUs) under different fertilization management practices. OTU51 was the dominant OTU in all treatments, except for NPK. OTU79 and OTU11 were relatively abundant OTUs in NPK. Only Nitrososphaera AOA were tracked from the black soil. Redundancy analysis indicated that the soil pH and soil available P were the two main factors that affected the AOA community structure. The abundances of AOA were positively correlated with the total N and available P concentrations, and negatively correlated with the soil pH.

RevDate: 2019-09-25

He S, Tan J, Hu W, et al (2019)

Diversity of Archaea and Its Correlation with Environmental Factors in the Ebinur Lake Wetland.

Current microbiology pii:10.1007/s00284-019-01768-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The diversity and community composition of archaea in soil samples from three wetlands (SP1, SP2, and SP3) of Ebinur Lake were studied by constructing 16S rDNA cloning library. The correlation between the diversity of archaea and soil environmental factors was analyzed by CANOCO software. The aim of this study was to reveal the differences of community structures of archaea in different sample sites, to provide a theoretical basis for further study on degradation and restoration of Ebinur Lake wetland. The results showed that Euryarchaeota accounted for 57.1% was the most dominant phylum observed, followed by Thaumarchaeota and Crenarchaeota for the three wetland soil analyzed. Compared with SP3 site, the proportions of Euryarchaeota were decreased by 16.70% and 31.78%, while Thaumarchaeota increased by 7.26% and 17.64% in the SP1 and SP2, respectively. Crenarchaeota was found only in SP3. Shannon-wiener diversity indices in SP1, SP2, and SP3 sites were 3.44, 3.87, and 3.94, respectively, indicating that the diversity of archaea in three plots was: SP3 > SP2 > SP1. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that electrical conductivity (EC), soil moisture (SM), hydrogen potential (pH), and soil organic matter content (SOM) may affect archaeal communities. Compared to EC and pH, SM and SOM may have a greater impact on the community composition of archaea.

RevDate: 2019-09-19

Mand TD, WW Metcalf (2019)

Energy Conservation and Hydrogenase Function in Methanogenic Archaea, in Particular the Genus Methanosarcina.

Microbiology and molecular biology reviews : MMBR, 83(4): pii:83/4/e00020-19.

SUMMARYThe biological production of methane is vital to the global carbon cycle and accounts for ca. 74% of total methane emissions. The organisms that facilitate this process, methanogenic archaea, belong to a large and phylogenetically diverse group that thrives in a wide range of anaerobic environments. Two main subgroups exist within methanogenic archaea: those with and those without cytochromes. Although a variety of metabolisms exist within this group, the reduction of growth substrates to methane using electrons from molecular hydrogen is, in a phylogenetic sense, the most widespread methanogenic pathway. Methanogens without cytochromes typically generate methane by the reduction of CO2 with electrons derived from H2, formate, or secondary alcohols, generating a transmembrane ion gradient for ATP production via an Na+-translocating methyltransferase (Mtr). These organisms also conserve energy with a novel flavin-based electron bifurcation mechanism, wherein the endergonic reduction of ferredoxin is facilitated by the exergonic reduction of a disulfide terminal electron acceptor coupled to either H2 or formate oxidation. Methanogens that utilize cytochromes have a broader substrate range, and can convert acetate and methylated compounds to methane, in addition to the ability to reduce CO2 Cytochrome-containing methanogens are able to supplement the ion motive force generated by Mtr with an H+-translocating electron transport system. In both groups, enzymes known as hydrogenases, which reversibly interconvert protons and electrons to molecular hydrogen, play a central role in the methanogenic process. This review discusses recent insight into methanogen metabolism and energy conservation mechanisms with a particular focus on the genus Methanosarcina.

RevDate: 2019-09-18

Titov VN, RM Parchimovitch (2016)

[The phylogenetic theory of general pathology. The becoming of function of at mitochondria at symbiosis of bacterial cells and archaea. Inconsistency of Randle cycle, regulation metabolism of fatty acids and glucose by insulin.].

Klinicheskaia laboratornaia diagnostika, 61(7):388-396.

The implementation of Randle rule is not a cycle; fatty acids C4 - ketone bodies at interrelationships with glucose metabolite - pyruvate regulate production of mitochondria of acetyl-KoA by induction of substrate and its conversion in Krebs cycle, reactions of respiratory chain, oxidative phosphorylation and formation of ATP. In phylogenesis, the early substrate for formation of ATP by mitochondria is acetyl-KoA from C4 fatty acids 4; this is alternative A of induction by substrate adopted from archaea. The alternative B of induction in bacteria is based on synthesis of acetyl-KoA by mitohondria from pyruvate developed in cytosol from exogenous glucose. The insulin is late activator of absorption by glucose cells in phylogenesis; using induction by substrate, insulin inhibits absorption of fatty acids by cells and specifically activates absorption of glucose by them. The insulin activates absorption of glucose only by insulin-dependent cells by force of decreasing of "bioavailability" of fatty acids. These cells are preferred to be metabolize by mitochondria from times of archaea. The insulin, blocking lipolysis in insulin-dependent adipocytes "forces" mitochondria, instead of formation of acetyl-KoA from fatty acids, to produce it from pyruvate at activation of glycolysis and pyruvate-dehydrogenased complex. Under effect of insulin, mitochondria form acetyl-KoA and synthesize ATP from oleic mono-saturated fatty acids but not from palmitic saturated fatty acids. The kinetic parameters of second reaction and formation of ATP per unit of time (effectiveness) are much higher than in first reaction. The effectiveness of i9mplementation of alternative A in synthesis of ATP, kinetic parameters of production of acetyl-KoA in mitochondria in alternative A are more effective than in case of alternative B and metabolic conversion of glucose. The syndrome of resistance to insulin is, at the first place, pathology of metabolism of fatty acids and only in the second place metabolism of glucose. The incapacity of insulin to block lipolysis in the phylogenetically earlier visceral fatty cells is the basis of resistance.

RevDate: 2019-09-15

Sereme Y, Mezouar S, Grine G, et al (2019)

Methanogenic Archaea: Emerging Partners in the Field of Allergic Diseases.

Clinical reviews in allergy & immunology pii:10.1007/s12016-019-08766-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Archaea, which form one of four domains of life alongside Eukarya, Bacteria, and giant viruses, have long been neglected as components of the human microbiota and potential opportunistic infectious pathogens. In this review, we focus on methanogenic Archaea, which rely on hydrogen for their metabolism and growth. On one hand, methanogenic Archaea in the gut are functional associates of the fermentative digestion of dietary fibers, favoring the production of beneficial short-chain fatty acids and likely contributing to the weaning reaction during the neonatal window of opportunity. On the other hand, methanogenic Archaea trigger the activation of innate and adaptive responses and the generation of specific T and B cells in animals and humans. In mouse models, lung hypersensitivity reactions can be induced by inhaled methanogenic Archaea mimicking human professional exposure to organic dust. Changes in methanogenic Archaea of the microbiota are detected in an array of dysimmune conditions comprising inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, malnutrition, anorexia, colorectal cancer, and diverticulosis. At the subcellular level, methanogenic Archaea are activators of the TLR8-dependent NLRP3 inflammasome, modulate the release of antimicrobial peptides and drive the production of proinflammatory, Th-1, Th-2, and Th-17 cytokines. Our objective was to introduce the most recent and major pieces of evidence supporting the involvement of Archaea in the balance between health and dysimmune diseases, with a particular focus on atopic and allergic conditions.

RevDate: 2019-09-14

Pal S, Sar A, B Dam (2019)

Moderate halophilic bacteria, but not extreme halophilic archaea can alleviate the toxicity of short-alkyl side chain imidazolium-based ionic liquids.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 184:109634 pii:S0147-6513(19)30965-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Imidazolium-based ionic liquids (IL) with short-alkyl side chain such as 1-ethyl-3-methyl-imidazolium chloride ([Emim]Cl) and 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazolium chloride ([Bmim]Cl) has immense application potential including in lignocellulosic bioenergy production. But they are toxic to most microorganisms, and those isolated from different environments as IL-tolerant have salt tolerance capabilities. This study evaluates the relationship between salt and [Emim]Cl tolerance of microorganisms using different salinity sediments (2-19%) and brines (35%) of India's largest inland hypersaline lake, Sambhar in Rajasthan as the model system. While samples with 2% and 35% salinities do not yield any [Emim]Cl (100 mM) tolerant colonies, others have 6-50% colonies tolerant to the IL. Similar trend was observed with 50 mM [Bmim]Cl. Moderate halophilic isolates of genera Halomonas and Bacillus (growth in 0.7-3.0 M NaCl) isolated from the sediments could grow in as high as 375 mM [Emim]Cl, or 125 mM [Bmim]Cl facilitated by higher synthesis, and uptake of organic osmolytes; and up to 1.7-fold increased activity of active efflux pumps. [Bmim]Cl was more toxic than [Emim]Cl in all performed experiments. [Emim]Cl-adapted cells could trounce IL-induced stress. Interestingly, enrichment with 100 mM [Emim]Cl resulted in increase of IL-tolerant colonies in all sediments including the one with 2% salinity. However, the salt saturated brines (35%) do not yield any such colony even after repeated incubations. Extreme halophilic archaea, Natronomonas (growth in 3.0-4.0 M NaCl) isolated from such brines, were exceedingly sensitive to even 5 mM [Emim]Cl, or 1 mM [Bmim]Cl. Two additional extremophilic archaea, namely Haloferax and Haladaptatus were also sensitive to the tested ILs. Archaeal sensitivity is possibly due to the competitive interaction of [Emim]+ with their acidic proteome (15.4-17.5% aspartic and glutamic acids, against 10.7-12.9% in bacteria) that they maintain to stabilize the high amount of K+ ion accumulated by salt-in strategy. Thus, general salt adaptation strategies of moderate halophilic bacteria help them to restrain toxicity of these ILs, but extremophilic archaea are highly sensitive and demands meticulous use of these solvents to prevent environmental contamination.

RevDate: 2019-09-11

Salvador-Castell M, Tourte M, PM Oger (2019)

In Search for the Membrane Regulators of Archaea.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(18): pii:ijms20184434.

Membrane regulators such as sterols and hopanoids play a major role in the physiological and physicochemical adaptation of the different plasmic membranes in Eukarya and Bacteria. They are key to the functionalization and the spatialization of the membrane, and therefore indispensable for the cell cycle. No archaeon has been found to be able to synthesize sterols or hopanoids to date. They also lack homologs of the genes responsible for the synthesis of these membrane regulators. Due to their divergent membrane lipid composition, the question whether archaea require membrane regulators, and if so, what is their nature, remains open. In this review, we review evidence for the existence of membrane regulators in Archaea, and propose tentative location and biological functions. It is likely that no membrane regulator is shared by all archaea, but that they may use different polyterpenes, such as carotenoids, polyprenols, quinones and apolar polyisoprenoids, in response to specific stressors or physiological needs.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Bønløkke JH, Duchaine C, Schlünssen V, et al (2019)

Archaea and Bacteria Exposure in Danish Livestock Farmers.

Annals of work exposures and health pii:5555660 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Methanogenic archaea have been found to make up part of the bioaerosols in pig, cattle, and poultry farms. So far no attempts have been made to determine how season, farm type, and farm characteristics may affect workers' exposure to archaea.

METHODS: Personal filter samples from 327 farmers working on 89 Danish farms were analysed for the number of 16S rRNA gene copies from archaea and bacteria and for their dust and endotoxin content. The farms were visited during summer and winter. Information on farm type and stable characteristics were collected using self-reported activity diaries and walk-through surveys. Differences in archaea and bacteria levels with farm type and stable characteristics and correlations with dust and endotoxin levels were examined.

RESULTS: Personal archaea exposure was documented in all farm types including, for the first time, during mink farming. At 7.3*104 gene copies m-3 the archaea levels were around two orders of magnitude lower than bacteria levels at 5.7*106 gene copies m-3. At 1.7*105 gene copies m-3 among pig farmers and 1.9*104 gene copies m-3 among cattle farmers the archaea levels differed with farm type (P < 0.0005). The archaea and bacteria levels correlated weakly with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.17. Neither archaea nor bacteria levels differed by season. In pig farms the archaea levels differed by type of ventilation and by wetness of the floor.

CONCLUSIONS: Archaea levels were not neglible and appeared to vary greatly between farm types. In pig farms they varied with some farm characteristics. Archaea levels appeared to depend on factors that differed from those of bacteria.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Huber M, Faure G, Laass S, et al (2019)

Translational coupling via termination-reinitiation in archaea and bacteria.

Nature communications, 10(1):4006 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-11999-9.

The genomes of many prokaryotes contain substantial fractions of gene pairs with overlapping stop and start codons (ATGA or TGATG). A potential benefit of overlapping gene pairs is translational coupling. In 720 genomes of archaea and bacteria representing all major phyla, we identify substantial, albeit highly variable, fractions of co-directed overlapping gene pairs. Various patterns are observed for the utilization of the SD motif for de novo initiation at upstream genes versus reinitiation at overlapping gene pairs. We experimentally test the predicted coupling in 9 gene pairs from the archaeon Haloferax volcanii and 5 gene pairs from the bacterium Escherichia coli. In 13 of 14 cases, translation of both genes is strictly coupled. Mutational analysis of SD motifs located upstream of the downstream genes indicate that the contribution of the SD to translational coupling widely varies from gene to gene. The nearly universal, abundant occurrence of overlapping gene pairs suggests that tight translational coupling is widespread in archaea and bacteria.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Hackley RK, AK Schmid (2019)

Global transcriptional programs in archaea share features with the eukaryotic environmental stress response.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(19)30477-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The environmental stress response (ESR), a global transcriptional program originally identified in yeast, is characterized by a rapid and transient transcriptional response composed of large, oppositely regulated gene clusters. Genes induced during the ESR encode core components of stress tolerance, macromolecular repair, and maintenance of homeostasis. In this review, we investigate the possibility for conservation of the ESR across the eukaryotic and archaeal domains of life. We first re-analyze existing transcriptomics datasets to illustrate that a similar transcriptional response is identifiable in Halobacterium salinarum, an archaeal model organism. To substantiate the archaeal ESR, gene-by-gene correlations, gene function enrichment, and comparison of temporal dynamics are used. We note reported examples of variation in the ESR across fungi, then synthesize high-level trends present in expression data of other archaeal species. In particular, we emphasize the need for additional high-throughput time series expression data to further characterize stress-responsive transcriptional programs in the Archaea. Together, this review explores an exciting open question regarding features of global transcriptional stress response programs shared across domains of life.

RevDate: 2019-08-25

Bandyopadhyay AK, Islam RNU, Mitra D, et al (2019)

Structural insights from water-ferredoxin interaction in mesophilic algae and halophilic archaea.

Bioinformation, 15(2):79-89 pii:97320630015079.

We analyzed the water-ferredoxin interaction in mesophilic (moderate temperature) algae (PDB ID: 1AWD) and halophilic (salt-tolerant) archaea (PDB ID: 1DOI) using POWAIND version 2.0 (a protein-water interactions calculation program). It is found that the shell water (SW) is 2.5 fold greater in halophilic ferredoxin than mesophilic ferredoxin. Water-ferredoxin interactions in the core and cavity are the signature of stability. The normalized frequency of such interactions is less in halophilic relative to mesophilic ferredoxin and the halophilic signature for stability by such interactions is negligible. However, the surface dominated with such interactions seems to be important for ferredoxin and oxido-reductase recognition.

RevDate: 2019-08-23

Sun Y, Liu Y, Pan J, et al (2019)

Perspectives on Cultivation Strategies of Archaea.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01422-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Archaea have been recognized as a major domain of life since the 1970s and occupy a key position in the tree of life. Recent advances in culture-independent approaches have greatly accelerated the research son Archaea. However, many hypotheses concerning the diversity, physiology, and evolution of archaea are waiting to be confirmed by culture-base experiments. Consequently, archaeal isolates are in great demand. On the other hand, traditional approaches of archaeal cultivation are rarely successful and require urgent improvement. Here, we review the current practices and applicable microbial cultivation techniques, to inform on potential strategies that could improve archaeal cultivation in the future. We first summarize the current knowledge on archaeal diversity, with an emphasis on cultivated and uncultivated lineages pertinent to future research. Possible causes for the low success rate of the current cultivation practices are then discussed to propose future improvements. Finally, innovative insights for archaeal cultivation are described, including (1) medium refinement for selective cultivation based on the genetic and transcriptional information; (2) consideration of the up-to-date archaeal culturing skills; and (3) application of multiple cultivation techniques, such as co-culture, direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET), single-cell isolation, high-throughput culturing (HTC), and simulation of the natural habitat. Improved cultivation efforts should allow successful isolation of as yet uncultured archaea, contributing to the much-needed physiological investigation of archaea.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

DasSarma P, Anton BP, DasSarma SL, et al (2019)

Genome Sequences and Methylation Patterns of Natrinema versiforme BOL5-4 and Natrinema pallidum BOL6-1, Two Extremely Halophilic Archaea from a Bolivian Salt Mine.

Microbiology resource announcements, 8(33): pii:8/33/e00810-19.

Two extremely halophilic archaea, namely, Natrinema versiforme BOL5-4 and Natrinema pallidum BOL6-1, were isolated from a Bolivian salt mine and their genomes sequenced using single-molecule real-time sequencing. The GC-rich genomes of BOL5-4 and BOL6-1 were 4.6 and 3.8 Mbp, respectively, with large chromosomes and multiple megaplasmids. Genome annotation was incorporated into HaloWeb and methylation patterns incorporated into REBASE.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Tang Z, Chen S, Chen A, et al (2019)

CasPDB: an integrated and annotated database for Cas proteins from bacteria and archaea.

Database : the journal of biological databases and curation, 2019:.

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and associated proteins (Cas) constitute CRISPR-Cas systems, which are antiphage immune systems present in numerous bacterial and most archaeal species. In recent years, CRISPR-Cas systems have been developed into reliable and powerful genome editing tools. Nevertheless, finding similar or better tools from bacteria or archaea remains crucial. This requires the exploration of different CRISPR systems, identification and characterization new Cas proteins. Archives tailored for Cas proteins are urgently needed and necessitate the prediction and grouping of Cas proteins into an information center with all available experimental evidence. Here, we constructed Cas Protein Data Bank (CasPDB), an integrated and annotated online database for Cas proteins from bacteria and archaea. The CasPDB database contains 287 reviewed Cas proteins, 257 745 putative Cas proteins and 3593 Cas operons from 32 023 bacteria species and 1802 archaea species. The database can be freely browsed and searched. The CasPDB web interface also represents all the 3593 putative Cas operons and its components. Among these operons, 328 are members of the type II CRISPR-Cas system.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Yin X, Kulkarni AC, MW Friedrich (2019)

DNA and RNA Stable Isotope Probing of Methylotrophic Methanogenic Archaea.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2046:189-206.

Methylotrophic methanogenic archaea are an integral part of the carbon cycle in various anaerobic environments. Different from methylotrophic bacteria, methylotrophic methanogens assimilate both, the methyl compound and dissolved inorganic carbon. Here, we present DNA- and RNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) methods involving an effective labeling strategy using 13C-labeled dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) as carbon source along with methanol as dissimilatory substrate.

RevDate: 2019-08-09

Khlebodarova TM, VA Likhoshvai (2019)

[Molecular Mechanisms of Non-Inherited Antibiotic Tolerance in Bacteria and Archaea].

Molekuliarnaia biologiia, 53(4):531-540.

The phenomenon of bacterial persistence, also known as non-inherited antibiotic tolerance in a part of bacterial populations, was described more than 70 years ago. This type of tolerance contributes to the chronization of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis. Currently, the emergence of persistent cells in bacterial populations is associated with the functioning of some stress-induced molecular triggers, including toxin-antitoxin systems. In the presented review, genetic and metabolic peculiarities of persistent cells are considered and the mechanisms of their occurrence are discussed. The hypothesis of the origin of persister cells based on bistability, arising due to the non-linear properties of a coupled transcription-translation system, was proposed. Within this hypothesis, the phenomenon of the bacterial persistence of modern cells is considered as a result of the genetic fixation of the phenotypic multiplicity that emerged in primitive cells in the process of neutrally coupled co-evolution (genetic drift of multiple neutrally coupled mutations). Our hypothesis explains the properties of persister cells, as well as their origin and "ineradicable" nature.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Steen AD, Crits-Christoph A, Carini P, et al (2019)

High proportions of bacteria and archaea across most biomes remain uncultured.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-019-0484-y [Epub ahead of print].

A recent paper by Martiny argues that "high proportions" of bacteria in diverse Earth environments have been cultured. Here we reanalyze a portion of the data in that paper, and argue that the conclusion is based on several technical errors, most notably a calculation of sequence similarity that does not account for sequence gaps, and the reliance on 16S rRNA gene amplicons that are known to be biased towards cultured organisms. We further argue that the paper is also based on a conceptual error: namely, that sequence similarity cannot be used to infer "culturability" because one cannot infer physiology from 16S rRNA gene sequences. Combined with other recent, more reliable studies, the evidence supports the conclusion that most bacterial and archaeal taxa remain uncultured.

RevDate: 2019-08-08

Blum P, S Payne (2019)

Evidence of an Epigenetics System in Archaea.

Epigenetics insights, 12:2516865719865280 pii:10.1177_2516865719865280.

Changes in the phenotype of a cell or organism that are heritable but do not involve changes in DNA sequence are referred to as epigenetic. They occur primarily through the gain or loss of chemical modification of chromatin protein or DNA. Epigenetics is therefore a non-Mendelian process. The study of epigenetics in eukaryotes is expanding with advances in knowledge about the relationship between mechanism and phenotype and as a requirement for multicellularity and cancer. However, life also includes other groups or domains, notably the bacteria and archaea. The occurrence of epigenetics in these deep lineages is an emerging topic accompanied by controversy. In these non-eukaryotic organisms, epigenetics is critically important because it stimulates new evolutionary theory and refines perspective about biological action.

RevDate: 2019-08-08

MacLeod F, Kindler GS, Wong HL, et al (2019)

Asgard archaea: Diversity, function, and evolutionary implications in a range of microbiomes.

AIMS microbiology, 5(1):48-61 pii:microbiol-05-01-048.

Elucidating the diversity of the Archaea has many important ecological and evolutionary implications. The Asgard superphylum of the archaea, described recently from metagenomic data, has reignited the decades-old debate surrounding the topology of the tree of life. This review synthesizes recent findings through publicly available genomes and literature to describe the current ecological and evolutionary significance of the Asgard superphylum. Asgard archaea have been found in a diverse range of microbiomes across the globe, primarily from sedimentary environments. Within these environments, positive correlations between specific members of the Asgard archaea and Candidate Division TA06 bacteria have been observed, opening up the possibility of symbiotic interactions between the groupings. Asgard archaeal genomes encode functionally diverse metabolic pathways, including the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway as a carbon-fixation strategy, putative nucleotide salvaging pathways, and novel mechanisms of phototrophy including new rhodopsins. Asgard archaea also appear to be active in nitrogen cycling. Asgard archaea encode genes involved in both dissimilatory nitrate reduction and denitrification, and for the potential to use atmospheric nitrogen or nitrite as nitrogen sources. Asgard archaea also may be involved in the transformation of sulfur compounds, indicating a putative role in sulfur cycling. To date, all Asgard archaeal genomes identified were described as obligately anaerobic. The Asgard archaea also appear to have important evolutionary implications. The presence of eukaryotic signature proteins and the affiliation of Asgard archaea in phylogenetic analyses appears to support two-domain topologies of the tree of life with eukaryotes emerging from within the domain of archaea, as opposed to the eukaryotes being a separate domain of life. Thus far, Heimdallarchaeota appears as the closest archaeal relative of eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2019-08-14

Pan KL, Gao JF, Li DC, et al (2019)

The dominance of non-halophilic archaea in autotrophic ammonia oxidation of activated sludge under salt stress: A DNA-based stable isotope probing study.

Bioresource technology, 291:121914.

Dynamics of nitrification activity, ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) abundance and active ammonia oxidizers of activated sludge were explored under different salinities. Results showed that specific ammonium oxidation rates were significantly negative with increasing salinity. The responses of AOA and AOB populations to salt stress were distinct. AOA abundance decreased at moderate salinities (2.5, 5 and 7 g L-1) and increased at high salinities (10, 15, 20 and 30 g L-1), while AOB abundance showed opposite tendency. DNA-based stable isotope probing assays indicated AOA exclusively dominated active ammonia oxidation of test samples under different salinities. The active AOA communities retrieved were all non-halophilic and regulated by salinities. Candidatus Nitrosocosmicus exaquare and Ca. Nitrosocosmicus franklandus were the predominantly active AOA in both salt-free and salt-containing microcosms, while 13C-labeled Nitrososphaera viennensis and Ca. Nitrososphaera gargensis were only retrieved from the microcosms amended with 0 and 30 g L-1 salinity, respectively.

RevDate: 2019-07-31

Bird LR, Dawson KS, Chadwick GL, et al (2019)

Carbon isotopic heterogeneity of coenzyme F430 and membrane lipids in methane-oxidizing archaea.

Geobiology [Epub ahead of print].

Archaeal ANaerobic MEthanotrophs (ANME) facilitate the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), a process that is believed to proceed via the reversal of the methanogenesis pathway. Carbon isotopic composition studies indicate that ANME are metabolically diverse and able to assimilate metabolites including methane, methanol, acetate, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Our data support the interpretation that ANME in marine sediments at methane seeps assimilate both methane and DIC, and the carbon isotopic compositions of the tetrapyrrole coenzyme F430 and the membrane lipids archaeol and hydroxy-archaeol reflect their relative proportions of carbon from these substrates. Methane is assimilated via the methyl group of CH3 -tetrahydromethanopterin (H4 MPT) and DIC from carboxylation reactions that incorporate free intracellular DIC. F430 was enriched in 13 C (mean δ13 C = -27‰ for Hydrate Ridge and -80‰ for the Santa Monica Basin) compared to the archaeal lipids (mean δ13 C = -97‰ for Hydrate Ridge and -122‰ for the Santa Monica Basin). We propose that depending on the side of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle used to synthesize F430, its carbon was derived from 76% DIC and 24% methane via the reductive side or 57% DIC and 43% methane via the oxidative side. ANME lipids are predicted to contain 42% DIC and 58% methane, reflecting the amount of each assimilated into acetyl-CoA. With isotope models that include variable fractionation during biosynthesis for different carbon substrates, we show the estimated amounts of DIC and methane can result in carbon isotopic compositions of - 73‰ to - 77‰ for F430 and - 105‰ for archaeal lipids, values close to those for Santa Monica Basin. The F430 δ13 C value for Hydrate Ridge was 13 C-enriched compared with the modeled value, suggesting there is divergence from the predicted two carbon source models.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Beyer HM, Mikula KM, Kudling TV, et al (2019)

Crystal structures of CDC21-1 inteins from hyperthermophilic archaea reveal the selection mechanism for the highly conserved homing endonuclease insertion site.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions pii:10.1007/s00792-019-01117-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Self-splicing inteins are mobile genetic elements invading host genes via nested homing endonuclease (HEN) domains. All HEN domains residing within inteins are inserted at a highly conserved insertion site. A purifying selection mechanism directing the location of the HEN insertion site has not yet been identified. In this work, we solved the three-dimensional crystal structures of two inteins inserted in the cell division control protein 21 of the hyperthermophilic archaea Pyrococcus abyssi and Pyrococcus horikoshii. A comparison between the structures provides the structural basis for the thermo-stabilization mechanism of inteins that have lost the HEN domain during evolution. The presence of an entire extein domain in the intein structure from Pyrococcus horikoshii suggests the selection mechanism for the highly conserved HEN insertion point.

RevDate: 2019-07-28

Taffner J, Cernava T, Erlacher A, et al (2019)

Novel insights into plant-associated archaea and their functioning in arugula (Eruca sativa Mill.).

Journal of advanced research, 19:39-48 pii:S2090-1232(19)30086-4.

A plant's microbiota has various implications for the plant's health and performance; however, the roles of many microbial lineages, particularly Archaea, have not been explored in detail. In the present study, analysis of archaea-specific 16S rRNA gene fragments and shotgun-sequenced metagenomes was combined with visualization techniques to obtain the first insights into the archaeome of a common salad plant, arugula (Eruca sativa Mill.). The archaeal communities associated with the soil, rhizosphere and phyllosphere were distinct, but a high proportion of community members were shared among all analysed habitats. Soil habitats exhibited the highest diversity of Archaea, followed by the rhizosphere and the phyllosphere. The archaeal community was dominated by Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota, with the most abundant taxa assigned to Candidatus Nitrosocosmicus, species of the 'Soil Crenarchaeotic Group' and, interestingly, Methanosarcina. Moreover, a large number of archaea-assigned sequences remained unassigned at lower taxonomic levels. Overall, analysis of shotgun-sequenced total-community DNA revealed a more diverse archaeome. Differences were evident at the class level and at higher taxonomic resolutions when compared to results from the 16S rRNA gene fragment amplicon library. Functional assessments primarily revealed archaeal genes related to response to stress (especially oxidative stress), CO2 fixation, and glycogen degradation. Microscopic visualizations of fluorescently labelled archaea in the phyllosphere revealed small scattered colonies, while archaea in the rhizosphere were found to be embedded within large bacterial biofilms. Altogether, Archaea were identified as a rather small but niche-specific component of the microbiomes of the widespread leafy green plant arugula.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Shimosaka T, Makarova KS, Koonin EV, et al (2019)

Identification of Dephospho-Coenzyme A (Dephospho-CoA) Kinase in Thermococcus kodakarensis and Elucidation of the Entire CoA Biosynthesis Pathway in Archaea.

mBio, 10(4): pii:mBio.01146-19.

Dephospho-coenzyme A (dephospho-CoA) kinase (DPCK) catalyzes the ATP-dependent phosphorylation of dephospho-CoA, the final step in coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. DPCK has been identified and characterized in bacteria and eukaryotes but not in archaea. The hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis encodes two homologs of bacterial DPCK and the DPCK domain of eukaryotic CoA synthase, TK1334 and TK2192. We purified the recombinant TK1334 and TK2192 proteins and found that they lacked DPCK activity. Bioinformatic analyses showed that, in several archaea, the uncharacterized gene from arCOG04076 protein is fused with the gene for phosphopantetheine adenylyltransferase (PPAT), which catalyzes the reaction upstream of the DPCK reaction in CoA biosynthesis. This observation suggested that members of arCOG04076, both fused to PPAT and standalone, could be the missing archaeal DPCKs. We purified the recombinant TK1697 protein, a standalone member of arCOG04076 from T. kodakarensis, and demonstrated its GTP-dependent DPCK activity. Disruption of the TK1697 resulted in CoA auxotrophy, indicating that TK1697 encodes a DPCK that contributes to CoA biosynthesis in T. kodakarensis TK1697 homologs are widely distributed in archaea, suggesting that the arCOG04076 protein represents a novel family of DPCK that is not homologous to bacterial and eukaryotic DPCKs but is distantly related to bacterial and eukaryotic thiamine pyrophosphokinases. We also constructed and characterized gene disruption strains of TK0517 and TK2128, homologs of bifunctional phosphopantothenoylcysteine synthetase-phosphopantothenoylcysteine decarboxylase and PPAT, respectively. Both strains displayed CoA auxotrophy, indicating their contribution to CoA biosynthesis. Taken together with previous studies, the results experimentally validate the entire CoA biosynthesis pathway in T. kodakarensisIMPORTANCE CoA is utilized in a wide range of metabolic pathways, and its biosynthesis is essential for all life. Pathways for CoA biosynthesis in bacteria and eukaryotes have been established. In archaea, however, the enzyme that catalyzes the final step in CoA biosynthesis, dephospho-CoA kinase (DPCK), had not been identified. In the present study, bioinformatic analyses identified a candidate for the DPCK in archaea, which was biochemically and genetically confirmed in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis Genetic analyses on genes presumed to encode bifunctional phosphopantothenoylcysteine synthetase-phosphopantothenoylcysteine decarboxylase and phosphopantetheine adenylyltransferase confirmed their involvement in CoA biosynthesis. Taken together with previous studies, the results reveal the entire pathway for CoA biosynthesis in a single archaeon and provide insight into the different mechanisms of CoA biosynthesis and their distribution in nature.

RevDate: 2019-08-06

Bayer B, Hansman RL, Bittner MJ, et al (2019)

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea release a suite of organic compounds potentially fueling prokaryotic heterotrophy in the ocean.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) constitute a considerable fraction of microbial biomass in the global ocean, comprising 20%-40% of the ocean's prokaryotic plankton. However, it remains enigmatic to what extent these chemolithoautotrophic archaea release dissolved organic carbon (DOC). A combination of targeted and untargeted metabolomics was used to characterize the exometabolomes of three model AOA strains of the Nitrosopumilus genus. Our results indicate that marine AOA exude a suite of organic compounds with potentially varying reactivities, dominated by nitrogen-containing compounds. A significant fraction of the released dissolved organic matter (DOM) consists of labile compounds, which typically limit prokaryotic heterotrophic activity in open ocean waters, including amino acids, thymidine and B vitamins. Amino acid release rates corresponded with ammonia oxidation activity and the three Nitrosopumilus strains predominantly released hydrophobic amino acids, potentially as a result of passive diffusion. Despite the low contribution of DOC released by AOA (~0.08%-1.05%) to the heterotrophic prokaryotic carbon demand, the release of physiologically relevant metabolites could be crucial for microbes that are auxotrophic for some of these compounds, including members of the globally abundant and ubiquitous SAR11 clade.

RevDate: 2019-07-23

Roux S, Krupovic M, Daly RA, et al (2019)

Cryptic inoviruses revealed as pervasive in bacteria and archaea across Earth's biomes.

Nature microbiology pii:10.1038/s41564-019-0510-x [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteriophages from the Inoviridae family (inoviruses) are characterized by their unique morphology, genome content and infection cycle. One of the most striking features of inoviruses is their ability to establish a chronic infection whereby the viral genome resides within the cell in either an exclusively episomal state or integrated into the host chromosome and virions are continuously released without killing the host. To date, a relatively small number of inovirus isolates have been extensively studied, either for biotechnological applications, such as phage display, or because of their effect on the toxicity of known bacterial pathogens including Vibrio cholerae and Neisseria meningitidis. Here, we show that the current 56 members of the Inoviridae family represent a minute fraction of a highly diverse group of inoviruses. Using a machine learning approach leveraging a combination of marker gene and genome features, we identified 10,295 inovirus-like sequences from microbial genomes and metagenomes. Collectively, our results call for reclassification of the current Inoviridae family into a viral order including six distinct proposed families associated with nearly all bacterial phyla across virtually every ecosystem. Putative inoviruses were also detected in several archaeal genomes, suggesting that, collectively, members of this supergroup infect hosts across the domains Bacteria and Archaea. Finally, we identified an expansive diversity of inovirus-encoded toxin-antitoxin and gene expression modulation systems, alongside evidence of both synergistic (CRISPR evasion) and antagonistic (superinfection exclusion) interactions with co-infecting viruses, which we experimentally validated in a Pseudomonas model. Capturing this previously obscured component of the global virosphere may spark new avenues for microbial manipulation approaches and innovative biotechnological applications.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Eloe-Fadrosh EA (2019)

Genome gazing in ammonia-oxidizing archaea.

Nature reviews. Microbiology, 17(9):531.

RevDate: 2019-08-09

Liu TT, H Yang (2019)

An RNA-based quantitative and compositional study of ammonium-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in Lake Taihu, a eutrophic freshwater lake.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 95(9):.

Ammonium-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) play crucial roles in ammonium oxidation in freshwater lake sediment. However, previous reports on the predominance of AOA and AOB in the surface sediment of Lake Taihu have been based on DNA levels, detecting the total abundance of microbiota (including inactive cells), and have resulted in numerous contradictory conclusions. Existing RNA-level studies detecting active transcription are very limited. The current study, using RNA-based real-time quantification and clone library analysis, demonstrated that the amoA gene abundance of active AOB was higher than that of active AOA, despite conflicting results at the DNA level. Further exploration revealed a significant positive correlation between the potential nitrification rate (PNR) and the abundance of AOA and AOB at the RNA level, with irregular or contradictory correlation found at the DNA level. Ultimately, using quantitative analysis of RNA levels, we show AOB to be the active dominant contributor to ammonium oxidation. Our investigations also indicated that AOB were more diverse in high-ammonium lake regions, with Nitrosomonas being the active and dominating cluster, but that AOA had an advantage in the low-ammonium lake regions.

RevDate: 2019-07-19

DeMott MS, PC Dedon (2019)

The road less traveled: A new phosphorothioate antiviral defense mechanism discovered in Archaea.

Synthetic and systems biotechnology, 4(3):132-133 pii:S2405-805X(19)30040-7.

RevDate: 2019-07-19

Schwarz TS, Wäber NB, Feyh R, et al (2019)

Homologs of aquifex aeolicus protein-only RNase P are not the major RNase P activities in the archaea haloferax volcanii and methanosarcina mazei.

IUBMB life, 71(8):1109-1116.

The mature 5'-ends of tRNAs are generated by RNase P in all domains of life. The ancient form of the enzyme is a ribonucleoprotein consisting of a catalytic RNA and one or more protein subunits. However, in the hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus and close relatives, RNase P is a protein-only enzyme consisting of a single type of polypeptide (Aq_880, ~23 kDa). In many archaea, homologs of Aq_880 were identified (termed HARPs for Homologs of Aquifex RNase P) in addition to the RNA-based RNase P, raising the question about the functions of HARP and the classical RNase P in these archaea. Here we investigated HARPs from two euryarchaeotes, Haloferax volcanii and Methanosarcina mazei. Archaeal strains with HARP gene knockouts showed no growth phenotypes under standard conditions, temperature and salt stress (H. volcanii) or nitrogen deficiency (M. mazei). Recombinant H. volcanii and M. mazei HARPs were basically able to catalyse specific tRNA 5'-end maturation in vitro. Furthermore, M. mazei HARP was able to rescue growth of an Escherichia coli RNase P depletion strain with comparable efficiency as Aq_880, while H. volcanii HARP was unable to do so. In conclusion, both archaeal HARPs showed the capacity (in at least one functional assay) to act as RNases P. However, the ease to obtain knockouts of the singular HARP genes and the lack of growth phenotypes upon HARP gene deletion contrasts with the findings that the canonical RNase P RNA gene cannot be deleted in H. volcanii, and a knockdown of RNase P RNA in H. volcanii results in severe tRNA processing defects. We conclude that archaeal HARPs do not make a major contribution to global tRNA 5'-end maturation in archaea, but may well exert a specialised, yet unknown function in (t)RNA metabolism. © 2019 IUBMB Life, 2019 © 2019 IUBMB Life, 71(8):1109-1116, 2019.

RevDate: 2019-07-18

DasSarma S, Fomenkov A, DasSarma SL, et al (2019)

Methylomes of Two Extremely Halophilic Archaea Species, Haloarcula marismortui and Haloferax mediterranei.

Microbiology resource announcements, 8(27): pii:8/27/e00577-19.

The genomes of two extremely halophilic Archaea species, Haloarcula marismortui and Haloferax mediterranei, were sequenced using single-molecule real-time sequencing. The ∼4-Mbp genomes are GC rich with multiple large plasmids and two 4-methyl-cytosine patterns. Methyl transferases were incorporated into the Restriction Enzymes Database (REBASE), and gene annotation was incorporated into the Haloarchaeal Genomes Database (HaloWeb).

RevDate: 2019-07-02

Pereira O, Hochart C, Auguet JC, et al (2019)

Genomic ecology of Marine Group II, the most common marine planktonic Archaea across the surface ocean.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

Planktonic Archaea have been detected in all the world's oceans and are found from surface waters to the deep sea. The two most common Archaea phyla are Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. Euryarchaeota are generally more common in surface waters, but very little is known about their ecology and their potential metabolisms. In this study, we explore the genomic ecology of the Marine Group II (MGII), the main marine planktonic Euryarchaeota, and test if it is composed of different ecologically relevant units. We re-analyzed Tara Oceans metagenomes from the photic layer and the deep ocean by annotating sequences against a custom MGII database and by mapping gene co-occurrences. Our data provide a global view of the distribution of Euryarchaeota, and more specifically of MGII subgroups, and reveal their association to a number of gene-coding sequences. In particular, we show that MGII proteorhodopsins were detected in both the surface and the deep chlorophyll maximum layer and that different clusters of these light harvesting proteins were present. Our approach helped describing the set of genes found together with specific MGII subgroups. We could thus define genomic environments that could theoretically describe ecologically meaningful units and the ecological niche that they occupy.

RevDate: 2019-07-02

Zhao X, Li X, Li Y, et al (2019)

Shifting interactions among bacteria, fungi and archaea enhance removal of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in the soil bioelectrochemical remediation.

Biotechnology for biofuels, 12:160 pii:1500.

Background: Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are two pollutants in soil, especially ARGs as one of the top three threats to human health. The performance of soil microbial fuel cells (MFCs) fuelled with antibiotics was investigated.

Results: In this study, soil MFCs spiked with tetracycline exhibited optimal bioelectricity generation, which was 25% and 733% higher than those of MFCs spiked with sulfadiazine and control, respectively. Compared with the non-electrode treatment, not only did functional micro-organisms change in open- and closed-circuit treatments, but also the microbial affinities, respectively, increased by 50% and 340% to adapt to higher removal of antibiotics. For the open-circuit treatment, the ineffective interspecific relation of micro-organisms was reduced to assist the removal efficiency of antibiotics by 7-27%. For the closed-circuit treatment, an intensive metabolic network capable of bioelectricity generation, degradation and nitrogen transformation was established, which led to 10-35% higher removal of antibiotics. Importantly, the abundances of ARGs and mobile genetic element (MGE) genes decreased after the introduction of electrodes; especially in the closed-circuit treatment, the highest reduction of 47% and 53% was observed, respectively.

Conclusions: Soil MFCs possess advantages for the elimination of antibiotics and ARGs with sevenfold to eightfold higher electricity generation than that of the control treatment. Compared with sulphonamides, the enhancement removal of tetracycline is higher, while both potential ARG propagation risk is reduced in soil MFCs. This study firstly synchronously reveals the relationships among bacteria, fungi and archaea and with ARGs and MGE genes in soil bioelectrochemical systems.

RevDate: 2019-06-28

Trivedi C, Reich PB, Maestre FT, et al (2019)

Plant-driven niche differentiation of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in global drylands.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-019-0465-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Under controlled laboratory conditions, high and low ammonium availability are known to favor soil ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) communities, respectively. However, whether this niche segregation is maintained under field conditions in terrestrial ecosystems remains unresolved, particularly at the global scale. We hypothesized that perennial vegetation might favor AOB vs. AOA communities compared with adjacent open areas devoid of perennial vegetation (i.e., bare soil) via several mechanisms, including increasing the amount of ammonium in soil. To test this niche-differentiation hypothesis, we conducted a global field survey including 80 drylands from 6 continents. Data supported our hypothesis, as soils collected under plant canopies had higher levels of ammonium, as well as higher richness (number of terminal restriction fragments; T-RFs) and abundance (qPCR amoA genes) of AOB, and lower richness and abundance of AOA, than those collected in open areas located between plant canopies. Some of the reported associations between plant canopies and AOA and AOB communities can be a consequence of the higher organic matter and available N contents found under plant canopies. Other aspects of soils associated with vegetation including shading and microclimatic conditions might also help explain our results. Our findings provide strong evidence for niche differentiation between AOA and AOB communities in drylands worldwide, advancing our understanding of their ecology and biogeography at the global scale.

RevDate: 2019-07-11

Zhang H, Sun H, Zhou S, et al (2019)

Effect of Straw and Straw Biochar on the Community Structure and Diversity of Ammonia-oxidizing Bacteria and Archaea in Rice-wheat Rotation Ecosystems.

Scientific reports, 9(1):9367 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-45877-7.

Ammonia oxidation is the first and rate-limiting step of nitrification, driven by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA). Straw and straw biochar retention are the popular ways to utilize the agricultural by-products in China, but their long-term effects on AOB and AOA still remain poorly understood. Based on a 7-year plot experiment, which had 4 fertilization regimes: no fertilizer (CK), regular fertilization (RT), straw retention (SR) and straw biochar retention (SB), the abundance and the composition of AOB and AOA was investigated before both the harvest of rice and wheat season by quantitative PCR and 454 high-throughput pyrosequencing, respectively. (1) Compared to RT, straw and straw biochar increased AOB abundance and diversity significantly only in wheat season (P < 0.05), and they both ranked as SB > SR > RT. Among fertilized treatments, a significant difference between SR and RT was found in AOB community composition of the winter season (R value = 0.58, P value = 0.02); (2) In contrast, AOA was almost not responsive to organic addition, except the significant enhancement of abundance by biochar in wheat season; (3) After straw and straw biochar addition, soil potential nitrification rates (PNR) was positive correlated to AOB abundance in both rice and wheat season (P < 0.01), not to AOA abundance (P = 0.211 and 0.068, respectively). This study provides scientific support for the potential of straw utilization to improve nitrification in rice-wheat rotation system with respect to soil ammonia oxidation microorganism.

RevDate: 2019-07-04

Bayer B, Pelikan C, Bittner MJ, et al (2019)

Proteomic Response of Three Marine Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea to Hydrogen Peroxide and Their Metabolic Interactions with a Heterotrophic Alphaproteobacterium.

mSystems, 4(4): pii:4/4/e00181-19.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) play an important role in the nitrogen cycle and account for a considerable fraction of the prokaryotic plankton in the ocean. Most AOA lack the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-detoxifying enzyme catalase, and some AOA have been shown to grow poorly under conditions of exposure to H2O2 However, differences in the degrees of H2O2 sensitivity of different AOA strains, the physiological status of AOA cells exposed to H2O2, and their molecular response to H2O2 remain poorly characterized. Further, AOA might rely on heterotrophic bacteria to detoxify H2O2, and yet the extent and variety of costs and benefits involved in these interactions remain unclear. Here, we used a proteomics approach to compare the protein profiles of three Nitrosopumilus strains grown in the presence and absence of catalase and in coculture with the heterotrophic alphaproteobacterium Oceanicaulis alexandrii We observed that most proteins detected at a higher relative abundance in H2O2-exposed Nitrosopumilus cells had no known function in oxidative stress defense. Instead, these proteins were putatively involved in the remodeling of the extracellular matrix, which we hypothesize to be a strategy limiting the influx of H2O2 into the cells. Using RNA-stable isotope probing, we confirmed that O. alexandrii cells growing in coculture with the Nitrosopumilus strains assimilated Nitrosopumilus-derived organic carbon, suggesting that AOA could recruit H2O2-detoxifying bacteria through the release of labile organic matter. Our results contribute new insights into the response of AOA to H2O2 and highlight the potential ecological importance of their interactions with heterotrophic free-living bacteria in marine environments.IMPORTANCE Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are the most abundant chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms in the oxygenated water column of the global ocean. Although H2O2 appears to be a universal by-product of aerobic metabolism, genes encoding the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-detoxifying enzyme catalase are largely absent in genomes of marine AOA. Here, we provide evidence that closely related marine AOA have different degrees of sensitivity to H2O2, which may contribute to niche differentiation between these organisms. Furthermore, our results suggest that marine AOA rely on H2O2 detoxification during periods of high metabolic activity and release organic compounds, thereby potentially attracting heterotrophic prokaryotes that provide this missing function. In summary, this report provides insights into the metabolic interactions between AOA and heterotrophic bacteria in marine environments and suggests that AOA play an important role in the biogeochemical carbon cycle by making organic carbon available for heterotrophic microorganisms.

RevDate: 2019-09-02

Horai S, Yamauchi N, H Naraoka (2019)

Simultaneous total analysis of core and polar membrane lipids in archaea by high-performance liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry coupled with heated electrospray ionization.

Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM, 33(20):1571-1577.

RATIONALE: Archaea have characteristic membrane lipids including diether and/or tetraether isoprenoidal core lipids with various polar head groups. Since the polar group is removed soon after the end of archaeal activity, the occurrences of core and polar lipids are regarded as dead and active signals, respectively. The core and polar lipids have generally been analyzed separately using atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and electrospray ionization (ESI), respectively, coupled with mass spectrometry.

METHODS: In this study, simultaneous analyses of core and polar archaeal lipids have been examined using heated electrospray ionization (HESI) by high-performance liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (HPLC/HRMS).

RESULTS: Both core and intact polar lipids can be analyzed simultaneously by HESI with good sensitivity (sub ng to 100 ng) and separation using a semi-bore diol column by normal-phase chromatography. The core lipids eluted firstly to separate archeaol, then glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs), followed by the polar lipids with glycosides and glycophosphates. The relative GDGT composition is identical between HESI and APCI methods.

CONCLUSIONS: The simultaneous analysis has the benefit of minimizing sample amount and elution solvent as well as preparation work. The method can also be applied to a compound class fractionation for compound-specific carbon and hydrogen isotope analysis.

RevDate: 2019-06-23

Vuillemin A, Wankel SD, Coskun ÖK, et al (2019)

Archaea dominate oxic subseafloor communities over multimillion-year time scales.

Science advances, 5(6):eaaw4108 pii:aaw4108.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) dominate microbial communities throughout oxic subseafloor sediment deposited over millions of years in the North Atlantic Ocean. Rates of nitrification correlated with the abundance of these dominant AOA populations, whose metabolism is characterized by ammonia oxidation, mixotrophic utilization of organic nitrogen, deamination, and the energetically efficient chemolithoautotrophic hydroxypropionate/hydroxybutyrate carbon fixation cycle. These AOA thus have the potential to couple mixotrophic and chemolithoautotrophic metabolism via mixotrophic deamination of organic nitrogen, followed by oxidation of the regenerated ammonia for additional energy to fuel carbon fixation. This metabolic feature likely reduces energy loss and improves AOA fitness under energy-starved, oxic conditions, thereby allowing them to outcompete other taxa for millions of years.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Zhang X, Duan P, Wu Z, et al (2019)

Aged biochar stimulated ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria-derived N2O and NO production in an acidic vegetable soil.

The Science of the total environment, 687:433-440.

Both nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO) emissions are typically high in greenhouse-based high N input vegetable soils. Biochar amendment has been widely recommended for mitigating soil N2O emissions in agriculture. However, knowledge of the regulatory mechanisms of fresh and aged biochar for both N2O and NO production during ammonia oxidation is lacking. Two vegetable soils with different pH values were used in aerobic incubation experiments with 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide (PTIO), 1-octyne and acetylene. The relative importance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) to N2O and NO production was investigated as influenced by fresh and aged biochar amendments. The results showed that AOA dominated N2O production in acidic soil, while AOB dominated N2O production in alkaline soil. Aged biochar stimulated both AOA- and AOB-derived N2O and NO production by 84.8 and 340%, respectively, in acidic soil but only increased AOA-derived N2O and NO production in alkaline soil. Fresh biochar amendment increased AOA- and AOB-derived NO in acidic soil and AOA-derived NO in alkaline soil but had negligible effects on AOA- and AOB-derived N2O in both soils. Fresh biochar decreased AOA-amoA but increased AOB-amoA gene abundances in acidic soil, whereas aged biochar increased AOA- and AOB-amoA gene abundances in both soils. These findings improved our understanding of N2O and NO production mechanisms under different biochar amendments in alkaline and acidic vegetable soils.

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Kırtel O, Lescrinier E, Van den Ende W, et al (2019)

Discovery of fructans in Archaea.

Carbohydrate polymers, 220:149-156.

Fructans are fructose-based oligo- and polysaccharides derived from sucrose that occur in a plethora of Eubacteria and plants. While fructan-producing (fructanogenic) Eubacteria are abundant in hypersaline environments, fructan production by Archaea has never been reported before. Exopolysaccharides accumulated by various Archaea from the Halobacteria class (belonging to the genera of Halomicrobium, Haloferax and Natronococcus) originating from different locations on Earth were structurally characterized as either levans or inulins with varying branching degrees (10%-16%). Thus, we show for the first time in the literature that fructans are produced in all three domains of life, including Archaea. This proof of concept will not only provide insight into Archaeal glycans and evolution but it may also open new frontiers for innovative strategies to overcome the ever-increasing threat of excessive salinization.

RevDate: 2019-06-26

Lemmens L, Maklad HR, Bervoets I, et al (2019)

Transcription Regulators in Archaea: Homologies and Differences with Bacterial Regulators.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(19)30335-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The fitness and survival of prokaryotic microorganisms depends on their ability to adequately respond to environmental changes, sudden stress conditions and metabolic shifts. An important mechanism underlying this response is the regulation of gene expression mediated by transcription factors that are responsive to small-molecule ligands or other intracellular signals. Despite constituting a distinct domain of life from bacteria and harboring a eukaryotic-like basal transcription apparatus, it is well established that archaea have similar transcription factors pointing to the existence of shared ancestral proteins and to the occurrence of inter-domain horizontal gene transfer events. However, while global structural features of bacterial and archaeal transcription factors are indeed similar, other characteristics imply that archaeal regulators have undergone independent evolution. Here, we discuss the characteristics of Lrp/AsnC, MarR, ArsR/SmtB and TrmB families of transcription factors, which are the dominant families that constitute the transcription factor repertoire in archaea. We exemplify the evolutionary expansion of these families in archaeal lineages by emphasizing homologies and differences with bacterial counterparts in terms of ligand or signal response, physiological functions and mechanistic principles of regulation. As such, we aim to define future research approaches that enable further characterization of the functions and mechanisms of archaeal transcription factors.

RevDate: 2019-06-29

Ludt K, J Soppa (2019)

Polyploidy in halophilic archaea: regulation, evolutionary advantages, and gene conversion.

Biochemical Society transactions, 47(3):933-944.

All analyzed haloarachea are polyploid. In addition, haloarchaea contain more than one type of chromosome, and thus the gene dosage can be regulated independently on different replicons. Haloarchaea and several additional archaea have more than one replication origin on their major chromosome, in stark contrast with bacteria, which have a single replication origin. Two of these replication origins of Haloferax volcanii have been studied in detail and turned out to have very different properties. The chromosome copy number appears to be regulated in response to growth phases and environmental factors. Archaea typically contain about two Origin Recognition Complex (ORC) proteins, which are homologous to eukaryotic ORC proteins. However, haloarchaea are the only archaeal group that contains a multitude of ORC proteins. All 16 ORC protein paralogs from H. volcanii are involved in chromosome copy number regulation. Polyploidy has many evolutionary advantages for haloarchaea, e.g. a high resistance to desiccation, survival over geological times, and the relaxation of cell cycle-specific replication control. A further advantage is the ability to grow in the absence of external phosphate while using the many genome copies as internal phosphate storage polymers. Very efficient gene conversion operates in haloarchaea and results in the unification of genome copies. Taken together, haloarchaea are excellent models to study many aspects of genome biology in prokaryotes, exhibiting properties that have not been found in bacteria.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Killelea T, Palud A, Akcha F, et al (2019)

The interplay at the replisome mitigates the impact of oxidative damage on the genetic integrity of hyperthermophilic Archaea.

eLife, 8: pii:45320.

8-oxodeoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), a major oxidised base modification, has been investigated to study its impact on DNA replication in hyperthermophilic Archaea. Here we show that 8-oxodG is formed in the genome of growing cells, with elevated levels following exposure to oxidative stress. Functional characterisation of cell-free extracts and the DNA polymerisation enzymes, PolB, PolD, and the p41/p46 complex, alone or in the presence of accessory factors (PCNA and RPA) indicates that translesion synthesis occurs under replicative conditions. One of the major polymerisation effects was stalling, but each of the individual proteins could insert and extend past 8-oxodG with differing efficiencies. The introduction of RPA and PCNA influenced PolB and PolD in similar ways, yet provided a cumulative enhancement to the polymerisation performance of p41/p46. Overall, 8-oxodG translesion synthesis was seen to be potentially mutagenic leading to errors that are reminiscent of dA:8-oxodG base pairing.

RevDate: 2019-09-04
CmpDate: 2019-09-04

Wang W, Su Y, Wang B, et al (2019)

Spatiotemporal shifts of ammonia-oxidizing archaea abundance and structure during the restoration of a multiple pond and plant-bed/ditch wetland.

The Science of the total environment, 684:629-640.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) microorganisms have been increasingly found in aquatic and terrestrial environments. These microorganisms make vital contributions to ammonia oxidation in such systems. However, their community succession characteristics in man-made wetland ecosystems have scarcely been reported. We assessed the AOA's spatiotemporal shifts in the sediments of a constructed wetland (CW) - the Shijiuyang constructed wetland (SJY-CW) - in China from the third year (2011) to the fifth year (2013) of the CW operation. The SJY-CW is composed of a pretreatment pond, a multiple plant-bed/ditch system, and a post-treatment pond. Results showed that AOA abundance in the pre- and post-treatment ponds remained invariant through 2011-2012 and decreased in 2013, while the abundance in the plant-bed/ditch system decreased gradually with wetland operation. The AOA abundance in 2013 was one order of magnitude lower than that through 2011-2012, and the AOA abundance in the plant-bed/ditch system was generally higher than that in the pre- and post-treatment ponds from 2011 to 2013. AOA diversity showed little temporal differentiation with a slightly decreasing trend for community richness index Chao1 and diversity index Shannon H' from 2011 to 2013. The AOA community was dominated by the Nitrososphaera cluster accompanied by an increasing Nitrosopumilus cluster and Nitrososphaera sister cluster within the wetland operation. Hierarchical clustering and redundancy analysis verified the horizontal shifts of AOA communities. The shifts occurred preferentially in the central plant-bed/ditch system. The operational duration of the wetland became a key factor influencing AOA abundance and community shift in SJY-CW sediments.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Stachler AE, Schwarz TS, Schreiber S, et al (2019)

CRISPRi as an efficient tool for gene repression in archaea.

Methods (San Diego, Calif.) pii:S1046-2023(18)30472-9 [Epub ahead of print].

In the years following its discovery and characterization, the CRISPR-Cas system has been modified and converted into a multitude of applications for eukaryotes and bacteria, such as genome editing and gene regulation. Since no such method has been available for archaea, we developed a tool for gene repression in the haloarchaeon Haloferax volcanii by repurposing its endogenous type I-B CRISPR-Cas system. Here, we present the two possible approaches for gene repression as well as our workflow to achieve and assess gene knockdown, offer recommendations on protospacer selection and give some examples of genes we have successfully silenced.

RevDate: 2019-07-23

Kurth JM, Smit NT, Berger S, et al (2019)

Anaerobic methanotrophic archaea of the ANME-2d clade feature lipid composition that differs from other ANME archaea.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 95(7):.

The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a microbial process present in marine and freshwater environments. AOM is important for reducing the emission of the second most important greenhouse gas methane. In marine environments anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) are involved in sulfate-reducing AOM. In contrast, Ca. Methanoperedens of the ANME-2d cluster carries out nitrate AOM in freshwater ecosystems. Despite the importance of those organisms for AOM in non-marine environments little is known about their lipid composition or carbon sources. To close this gap, we analysed the lipid composition of ANME-2d archaea and found that they mainly synthesise archaeol and hydroxyarchaeol as well as different (hydroxy-) glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers, albeit in much lower amounts. Abundant lipid headgroups were dihexose, monomethyl-phosphatidyl ethanolamine and phosphatidyl hexose. Moreover, a monopentose was detected as a lipid headgroup that is rare among microorganisms. Batch incubations with 13C labelled bicarbonate and methane showed that methane is the main carbon source of ANME-2d archaea varying from ANME-1 archaea that primarily assimilate dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). ANME-2d archaea also assimilate DIC, but to a lower extent than methane. The lipid characterisation and analysis of the carbon source of Ca. Methanoperedens facilitates distinction between ANME-2d and other ANMEs.

RevDate: 2019-05-31

Ijichi M, Itoh H, K Hamasaki (2019)

Vertical distribution of particle-associated and free-living ammonia-oxidizing archaea in Suruga Bay, a deep coastal embayment of Japan.

Archives of microbiology pii:10.1007/s00203-019-01680-6 [Epub ahead of print].

We analyzed the vertical distributions of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in terms of abundance in Suruga Bay, Japan. We distinguished particle-associated (PA) from free-living (FL) assemblages. According to quantitative PCR measurements of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A gene (amoA), most marine AOA were in an FL state. The vertical distributions of PA AOA ecotypes differed from the general trend; the Shallow Marine clade was dominant in both the surface and deep layers. Thus, although PA AOA account for a small percentage of AOA abundance, they have a community structure distinct from that of FL AOA in planktonic environments. Marine particles should be investigated further as an unexplored niche of AOA in the ocean.

RevDate: 2019-06-12

Walsh JC, Angstmann CN, Bisson-Filho AW, et al (2019)

Division plane placement in pleomorphic archaea is dynamically coupled to cell shape.

Molecular microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

One mechanism for achieving accurate placement of the cell division machinery is via Turing patterns, where nonlinear molecular interactions spontaneously produce spatiotemporal concentration gradients. The resulting patterns are dictated by cell shape. For example, the Min system of Escherichia coli shows spatiotemporal oscillation between cell poles, leaving a mid-cell zone for division. The universality of pattern-forming mechanisms in divisome placement is currently unclear. We examined the location of the division plane in two pleomorphic archaea, Haloferax volcanii and Haloarcula japonica, and showed that it correlates with the predictions of Turing patterning. Time-lapse analysis of H. volcanii shows that divisome locations after successive rounds of division are dynamically determined by daughter cell shape. For H. volcanii, we show that the location of DNA does not influence division plane location, ruling out nucleoid occlusion. Triangular cells provide a stringent test for Turing patterning, where there is a bifurcation in division plane orientation. For the two archaea examined, most triangular cells divide as predicted by a Turing mechanism; however, in some cases multiple division planes are observed resulting in cells dividing into three viable progeny. Our results suggest that the division site placement is consistent with a Turing patterning system in these archaea.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Zhang R, Neu TR, Li Q, et al (2019)

Insight Into Interactions of Thermoacidophilic Archaea With Elemental Sulfur: Biofilm Dynamics and EPS Analysis.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:896.

Biooxidation of reduced inorganic sulfur compounds (RISCs) by thermoacidophiles is of particular interest for the biomining industry and for environmental issues, e.g., formation of acid mine drainage (AMD). Up to now, interfacial interactions of acidophiles with elemental sulfur as well as the mechanisms of sulfur oxidation by acidophiles, especially thermoacidophiles, are not yet fully clear. This work focused on how a crenarchaeal isolate Acidianus sp. DSM 29099 interacts with elemental sulfur. Analysis by Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and Atomic force microscopy (AFM) in combination with Epifluorescence microscopy (EFM) shows that biofilms on elemental sulfur are characterized by single colonies and a monolayer in first stage and later on 3-D structures with a diameter of up to 100 μm. The analysis of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) by a non-destructive lectin approach (fluorescence lectin-barcoding analysis) using several fluorochromes shows that intial attachment was featured by footprints rich in biofilm cells that were embedded in an EPS matrix consisting of various glycoconjugates. Wet chemistry data indicate that carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and uronic acids are the main components. Attenuated reflectance (ATR)-Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and high-performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAE-PAD) indicate glucose and mannose as the main monosaccharides in EPS polysaccharides. EPS composition as well as sugar types in EPS vary according to substrate (sulfur or tetrathionate) and lifestyle (biofilms and planktonic cells). This study provides information on the building blocks/make up as well as dynamics of biofilms of thermoacidophilic archaea in extremely acidic environments.

RevDate: 2019-06-03

Zhang L, Dong H, Zhang J, et al (2019)

Influence of FeONPs amendment on nitrogen conservation and microbial community succession during composting of agricultural waste: Relative contributions of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea to nitrogen conservation.

Bioresource technology, 287:121463.

Composting amended with iron oxide nanoparticles (FeONPs, α-Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 NPs) were conducted to study the impacts of FeONPs on nitrogen conservation and microbial community. It was found that amendment of FeONPs, especially α-Fe2O3 NPs, reduced total nitrogen (TN) loss, and reserved more NH4+-N and mineral N. Pearson correlation analysis revealed that decrease of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in FeONPs treatments played more important role than ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in reserving more NH4+-N and mineral N, and reducing TN loss. Bacterial community composition at phylum level did not shift with addition of FeONPs. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria were the three most dominant phyla in all treatments. Overall, this study provides a method to reduce TN loss and improve mineral N reservation during composting, and gives a deep insight into the role of AOB and AOA in nitrogen transformation.

RevDate: 2019-05-17

Safarpour A, Ebrahimi M, Shahzadeh Fazeli SA, et al (2019)

Supernatant Metabolites from Halophilic Archaea to Reduce Tumorigenesis in Prostate Cancer In-vitro and In-vivo.

Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research : IJPR, 18(1):241-253.

Halophilic archaea are known as the novel producers of natural products and their supernatant metabolites could have cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. In the present study, we screened the anticancer potential of supernatant metabolites from eight native haloarchaeal strains obtained from a culture collection in Iran. Five human cancer cell lines including breast, lung, prostate and also human fibroblast cells as the normal control were used in the present study. Moreover, to evaluate the anti-tumor effect of the selected supernatant, inhibition of sphere formation and tumor development was assessed in-vitro and in-vivo, respectively. Among all strains, supernatant metabolites from Halobacterium salinarum IBRC M10715 had the most potent cytotoxic effect on prostate cancer cell lines (IC50 = 0.5 mg/mL) without any effects on normal cells. It significantly increased both early and late apoptosis (about 11% and 9%, respectively) in the androgen-dependent PC3 cell line, reduced sphere formation ability of DU145 and PC3 cells with down-regulation of SOX2 gene expression. Furthermore, our results revealed that tumors developed in nude mice significantly shrank post intratumor injection of metabolites of the haloarchaeal strain. In conclusion, we suggested here for the first time that supernatant metabolites from Halobacterium salinarum IBRC M10715 could be a novel component against prostate cancer in-vitro and in-vivo with remarkable reduction in stem-like properties of tumor.

RevDate: 2019-07-19

Hepowit NL, JA Maupin-Furlow (2019)

Rhodanese-Like Domain Protein UbaC and Its Role in Ubiquitin-Like Protein Modification and Sulfur Mobilization in Archaea.

Journal of bacteriology, 201(15): pii:JB.00254-19.

Ubiquitin-like protein (Ubl) modification targets proteins for transient inactivation and/or proteasome-mediated degradation in archaea. Here the rhodanese-like domain (RHD) protein UbaC (HVO_1947) was found to copurify with the E1-like enzyme (UbaA) of the Ubl modification machinery in the archaeon Haloferax volcanii UbaC was shown to be important for Ubl ligation, particularly for the attachment of the Ubl SAMP2/3s to protein targets after exposure to oxidants (NaOCl, dimethyl sulfoxide [DMSO], and methionine sulfoxide [MetO]) and the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. While UbaC was needed for ligation of the Ubl SAMP1 to MoaE (the large subunit of molybdopterin synthase), it was not important in the formation of oxidant-induced SAMP1 protein conjugates. Indicative of defects in sulfur relay, mutation of ubaC impaired molybdenum cofactor (Moco)-dependent DMSO reductase activity and cell survival at elevated temperature, suggesting a correlation with defects in the 2-thiolated state of wobble uridine tRNA. Overall, the archaeal stand-alone RHD UbaC has an important function in Ubl ligation and is associated with sulfur relay processes.IMPORTANCE Canonical E2 Ub/Ubl-conjugating enzymes are not conserved in the dual-function Ubl systems associated with protein modification and sulfur relay. Instead, the C-terminal RHDs of E1-RHD fusion proteins are the apparent E2 modules of these systems in eukaryotes. E1s that lack an RHD are common in archaea. Here we identified an RHD (UbaC) that serves as an apparent E2 analog with the E1-like UbaA in the dual-function Ubl sampylation system of archaea. Unlike the eukaryotic E1-RHD fusion, the archaeal RHD is a stand-alone protein. This new insight suggests that E1 function in Ubl pathways could be influenced by shifts in RHD abundance and/or competition with other protein partners in the cell.

RevDate: 2019-05-09

Lu S, Zhang X, Chen K, et al (2019)

The small subunit of DNA polymerase D (DP1) associates with GINS-GAN complex of the thermophilic archaea in Thermococcus sp. 4557.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

The eukaryotic GINS, Cdc45, and minichromosome maintenance proteins form an essential complex that moves with the DNA replication fork. The GINS protein complex has also been reported to associate with DNA polymerase. In archaea, the third domain of life, DNA polymerase D (PolD) is essential for DNA replication, and the genes encoding PolDs exist only in the genomes of archaea. The archaeal GAN (GINS-associated nuclease) is believed to be a homolog of the eukaryotic Cdc45. In this study, we found that the Thermococcus sp. 4557 DP1 (small subunit of PolD) interacted with GINS15 in vitro, and the 3'-5' exonuclease activity of DP1 was inhibited by GINS15. We also demonstrated that the GAN, GINS15, and DP1 proteins interact to form a complex adapting a GAN-GINS15-DP1 order. The results of this study imply that the complex constitutes a core of the DNA replisome in archaea.

RevDate: 2019-08-08
CmpDate: 2019-08-08

Makarova KS, Wolf YI, Karamycheva S, et al (2019)

Antimicrobial Peptides, Polymorphic Toxins, and Self-Nonself Recognition Systems in Archaea: an Untapped Armory for Intermicrobial Conflicts.

mBio, 10(3): pii:mBio.00715-19.

Numerous, diverse, highly variable defense and offense genetic systems are encoded in most bacterial genomes and are involved in various forms of conflict among competing microbes or their eukaryotic hosts. Here we focus on the offense and self-versus-nonself discrimination systems encoded by archaeal genomes that so far have remained largely uncharacterized and unannotated. Specifically, we analyze archaeal genomic loci encoding polymorphic and related toxin systems and ribosomally synthesized antimicrobial peptides. Using sensitive methods for sequence comparison and the "guilt by association" approach, we identified such systems in 141 archaeal genomes. These toxins can be classified into four major groups based on the structure of the components involved in the toxin delivery. The toxin domains are often shared between and within each system. We revisit halocin families and substantially expand the halocin C8 family, which was identified in diverse archaeal genomes and also certain bacteria. Finally, we employ features of protein sequences and genomic locus organization characteristic of archaeocins and polymorphic toxins to identify candidates for analogous but not necessarily homologous systems among uncharacterized protein families. This work confidently predicts that more than 1,600 archaeal proteins, currently annotated as "hypothetical" in public databases, are components of conflict and self-versus-nonself discrimination systems.IMPORTANCE Diverse and highly variable systems involved in biological conflicts and self-versus-nonself discrimination are ubiquitous in bacteria but much less studied in archaea. We performed comprehensive comparative genomic analyses of the archaeal systems that share components with analogous bacterial systems and propose an approach to identify new systems that could be involved in these functions. We predict polymorphic toxin systems in 141 archaeal genomes and identify new, archaea-specific toxin and immunity protein families. These systems are widely represented in archaea and are predicted to play major roles in interactions between species and in intermicrobial conflicts. This work is expected to stimulate experimental research to advance the understanding of poorly characterized major aspects of archaeal biology.

RevDate: 2019-08-08
CmpDate: 2019-08-08

Li Z, Kinosita Y, Rodriguez-Franco M, et al (2019)

Positioning of the Motility Machinery in Halophilic Archaea.

mBio, 10(3): pii:mBio.00377-19.

Bacteria and archaea exhibit tactical behavior and can move up and down chemical gradients. This tactical behavior relies on a motility structure, which is guided by a chemosensory system. Environmental signals are sensed by membrane-inserted chemosensory receptors that are organized in large ordered arrays. While the cellular positioning of the chemotaxis machinery and that of the flagellum have been studied in detail in bacteria, we have little knowledge about the localization of such macromolecular assemblies in archaea. Although the archaeal motility structure, the archaellum, is fundamentally different from the flagellum, archaea have received the chemosensory machinery from bacteria and have connected this system with the archaellum. Here, we applied a combination of time-lapse imaging and fluorescence and electron microscopy using the model euryarchaeon Haloferax volcanii and found that archaella were specifically present at the cell poles of actively dividing rod-shaped cells. The chemosensory arrays also had a polar preference, but in addition, several smaller arrays moved freely in the lateral membranes. In the stationary phase, rod-shaped cells became round and chemosensory arrays were disassembled. The positioning of archaella and that of chemosensory arrays are not interdependent and likely require an independent form of positioning machinery. This work showed that, in the rod-shaped haloarchaeal cells, the positioning of the archaellum and of the chemosensory arrays is regulated in time and in space. These insights into the cellular organization of H. volcanii suggest the presence of an active mechanism responsible for the positioning of macromolecular protein complexes in archaea.IMPORTANCE Archaea are ubiquitous single cellular microorganisms that play important ecological roles in nature. The intracellular organization of archaeal cells is among the unresolved mysteries of archaeal biology. With this work, we show that cells of haloarchaea are polarized. The cellular positioning of proteins involved in chemotaxis and motility is spatially and temporally organized in these cells. This suggests the presence of a specific mechanism responsible for the positioning of macromolecular protein complexes in archaea.

RevDate: 2019-07-08

Isupov MN, Boyko KM, Sutter JM, et al (2019)

Corrigendum: Thermostable Branched-Chain Amino Acid Transaminases From the Archaea Geoglobus acetivorans and Archaeoglobus fulgidus: Biochemical and Structural Characterization.

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 7:79.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2019.00007.].

RevDate: 2019-05-15

Webster G, Mullins AJ, Watkins AJ, et al (2019)

Genome Sequences of Two Choline-Utilizing Methanogenic Archaea, Methanococcoides spp., Isolated from Marine Sediments.

Microbiology resource announcements, 8(18): pii:8/18/e00342-19.

The genomes of two Methanococcoides spp. that were isolated from marine sediments and are capable of carrying out methanogenesis from choline and other methylotrophic substrates were sequenced. The average nucleotide identity and in silico DNA-DNA hybridization analyses demonstrate that they represent species different from those previously described.

RevDate: 2019-07-10

Gupta A, D Swati (2019)

Riboswitches in Archaea.

Combinatorial chemistry & high throughput screening, 22(2):135-149.

BACKGROUND: Riboswitches are cis-acting, non-coding RNA elements found in the 5'UTR of bacterial mRNA and 3' UTR of eukaryotic mRNA, that fold in a complex manner to act as receptors for specific metabolites hence altering their conformation in response to the change in concentrations of a ligand or metabolite. Riboswitches function as gene regulators in numerous bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae and plants.

AIM AND OBJECTIVE: This study identifies different classes of riboswitches in the Archaeal domain of life. Previous studies have suggested that riboswitches carry a conserved aptameric domain in different domains of life. Since Archaea are considered to be the most idiosyncratic organisms it was interesting to look for the conservation pattern of riboswitches in these obviously strange microorganisms.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Completely sequenced Archaeal Genomes present in the NCBI repository were used for studying riboswitches and other ncRNAs. The sequence files in FASTA format were downloaded from NCBI Genome database and information related to these genomes was retrieved from GenBank. Three bioinformatics approaches were used namely, ab initio, consensus structure prediction and statistical model-based prediction for identifying riboswitches.

RESULTS: Archaeal genomes have a sporadic distribution of putative riboswitches like the TPP, FMN, Guanidine, Lysine and c-di-AMP riboswitches, which are known to occur in bacteria. Also, a class of riboswitch sensing c-di-GMP, a second messenger, has been identified in a few Archaeal organisms.

CONCLUSION: This study clearly reveals that bioinformatics methods are likely to play a major role in identifying conserved riboswitches and in establishing how widespread these classes are in all domains of life, even though the final confirmation may come from wet lab methods.

RevDate: 2019-07-12

Cândido ES, Cardoso MH, Chan LY, et al (2019)

Short Cationic Peptide Derived from Archaea with Dual Antibacterial Properties and Anti-Infective Potential.

ACS infectious diseases, 5(7):1081-1086.

Bacterial biofilms and associated infections represent one of the biggest challenges in the clinic, and as an alternative to counter bacterial infections, antimicrobial peptides have attracted great attention in the past decade. Here, ten short cationic antimicrobial peptides were generated through a sliding-window strategy on the basis of the 19-amino acid residue peptide, derived from a Pyrobaculum aerophilum ribosomal protein. PaDBS1R6F10 exhibited anti-infective potential as it decreased the bacterial burden in murine Pseudomonas aeruginosa cutaneous infections by more than 1000-fold. Adverse cytotoxic and hemolytic effects were not detected against mammalian cells. The peptide demonstrated structural plasticity in terms of its secondary structure in the different environments tested. PaDBS1R6F10 represents a promising antimicrobial agent against bacteria infections, without harming human cells.

RevDate: 2019-04-26

Wemheuer F, von Hoyningen-Huene AJE, Pohlner M, et al (2019)

Primary Production in the Water Column as Major Structuring Element of the Biogeographical Distribution and Function of Archaea in Deep-Sea Sediments of the Central Pacific Ocean.

Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.), 2019:3717239.

Information on environmental conditions shaping archaeal communities thriving at the seafloor of the central Pacific Ocean is limited. The present study was conducted to investigate the diversity, composition, and function of both entire and potentially active archaeal communities within Pacific deep-sea sediments. For this purpose, sediment samples were taken along the 180° meridian of the central Pacific Ocean. Community composition and diversity were assessed by Illumina tag sequencing targeting archaeal 16S rRNA genes and transcripts. Archaeal communities were dominated by Candidatus Nitrosopumilus (Thaumarchaeota) and other members of the Nitrosopumilaceae (Thaumarchaeota), but higher relative abundances of the Marine Group II (Euryarchaeota) were observed in the active compared to the entire archaeal community. The composition of the entire and the active archaeal communities was strongly linked to primary production (chlorophyll content), explaining more than 40% of the variance. Furthermore, we found a strong correlation of the entire archaeal community composition to latitude and silicic acid content, while the active community was significantly correlated with primary production and ferric oxide content. We predicted functional profiles from 16S rRNA data to assess archaeal community functions. Latitude was significantly correlated with functional profiles of the entire community, whereas those of the active community were significantly correlated with nitrate and chlorophyll content. The results of the present study provide first insights into benthic archaeal communities in the Pacific Ocean and environmental conditions shaping their diversity, distribution, and function. Additionally, they might serve as a template for further studies investigating archaea colonizing deep-sea sediments.

RevDate: 2019-05-28
CmpDate: 2019-05-28

Seitz KW, Dombrowski N, Eme L, et al (2019)

Asgard archaea capable of anaerobic hydrocarbon cycling.

Nature communications, 10(1):1822 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-09364-x.

Large reservoirs of natural gas in the oceanic subsurface sustain complex communities of anaerobic microbes, including archaeal lineages with potential to mediate oxidation of hydrocarbons such as methane and butane. Here we describe a previously unknown archaeal phylum, Helarchaeota, belonging to the Asgard superphylum and with the potential for hydrocarbon oxidation. We reconstruct Helarchaeota genomes from metagenomic data derived from hydrothermal deep-sea sediments in the hydrocarbon-rich Guaymas Basin. The genomes encode methyl-CoM reductase-like enzymes that are similar to those found in butane-oxidizing archaea, as well as several enzymes potentially involved in alkyl-CoA oxidation and the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. We suggest that members of the Helarchaeota have the potential to activate and subsequently anaerobically oxidize hydrothermally generated short-chain hydrocarbons.

RevDate: 2019-05-28
CmpDate: 2019-05-28

Dong X, Greening C, Rattray JE, et al (2019)

Metabolic potential of uncultured bacteria and archaea associated with petroleum seepage in deep-sea sediments.

Nature communications, 10(1):1816 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-09747-0.

The lack of microbial genomes and isolates from the deep seabed means that very little is known about the ecology of this vast habitat. Here, we investigate energy and carbon acquisition strategies of microbial communities from three deep seabed petroleum seeps (3 km water depth) in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Shotgun metagenomic analysis reveals that each sediment harbors diverse communities of chemoheterotrophs and chemolithotrophs. We recovered 82 metagenome-assembled genomes affiliated with 21 different archaeal and bacterial phyla. Multiple genomes encode enzymes for anaerobic oxidation of aliphatic and aromatic compounds, including those of candidate phyla Aerophobetes, Aminicenantes, TA06 and Bathyarchaeota. Microbial interactions are predicted to be driven by acetate and molecular hydrogen. These findings are supported by sediment geochemistry, metabolomics, and thermodynamic modelling. Overall, we infer that deep-sea sediments experiencing thermogenic hydrocarbon inputs harbor phylogenetically and functionally diverse communities potentially sustained through anaerobic hydrocarbon, acetate and hydrogen metabolism.

RevDate: 2019-04-21

Verma S, Kumar R, GK Meghwanshi (2019)

Identification of new members of alkaliphilic lipases in archaea and metagenome database using reconstruction of ancestral sequences.

3 Biotech, 9(5):165.

The application of bioinformatics in lipase research has the potential to discover robust members from different genomic/metagenomic databses. In this study, we explored the diversity and distribution of alkaliphilic lipases in archaea domain and metagenome data sets through phylogenetic survey. Reconstructed ancestral sequence of alkaphilic lipase was used to search the homologous alkaliphilic lipases among the archaea and metagenome public databases. Our investigation revealed a total 21 unique sequences of new alkaliphilic lipases in the archaeal and environmental metagenomic protein databases that shared significant sequence similarity to the bacterial alkaliphilic lipases. Most of the identified new members of alkaliphilic lipases belong to class Haloarchaea. The searched list of homologs also comprised of one characterized lipase from alkalohyperthermophilic Archaeoglobus fulgidus. All the newly identified alkaliphilic lipase members showed conserved pentapeptide [X-His-Ser-X-Gly] motif, a key feature of lipase family. Furthermore, detailed analysis of all these new sequences showed homology either with thermostable or alkalophilic lipases. The reconstructed ancestral sequence-based searches increased the sensitivity and efficacies to detect remotely homologous sequences. We hypothesize that this study can enrich our current knowledge on lipases in designing more potential thermo-alkaliphilic lipases for industrial applications.

RevDate: 2019-04-17

Langer SG, Gabris C, Einfalt D, et al (2019)

Different response of bacteria, archaea and fungi to process parameters in nine full-scale anaerobic digesters.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Biogas production is a biotechnological process realized by complex bacterial, archaeal and likely fungal communities. Their composition was assessed in nine full-scale biogas plants with distinctly differing feedstock input and process parameters. This study investigated the actually active microbial community members by using a comprehensive sequencing approach based on ribosomal 16S and 28S rRNA fragments. The prevailing taxonomical units of each respective community were subsequently linked to process parameters. Ribosomal rRNA of bacteria, archaea and fungi, respectively, showed different compositions with respect to process parameters and supplied feedstocks: (i) bacterial communities were affected by the key factors temperature and ammonium concentration; (ii) composition of archaea was mainly related to process temperature; and (iii) relative abundance of fungi was linked to feedstocks supplied to the digesters. Anaerobic digesters with a high methane yield showed remarkably similar bacterial communities regarding identified taxonomic families. Although archaeal communities differed strongly on genus level from each other, the respective digesters still showed high methane yields. Functional redundancy of the archaeal communities may explain this effect. 28S rRNA sequences of fungi in all nine full-scale anaerobic digesters were primarily classified as facultative anaerobic Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. Since the presence of ribosomal 28S rRNA indicates that fungi may be active in the biogas digesters, further research should be carried out to examine to which extent they are important players in anaerobic digestion processes.

RevDate: 2019-07-16

Gomes-Filho JV, L Randau (2019)

RNA stabilization in hyperthermophilic archaea.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1447(1):88-96.

Analyses of the RNA metabolism of hyperthermophilic archaea highlight the efficiency of regulatory RNAs and RNA-guided processes at extreme temperatures. These organisms must overcome the intrinsic thermolability of RNAs. Elevated levels of RNA modifications and structured GC-rich regions are observed for many universal noncoding RNA families. Guide RNAs are often protected from degradation by their presence within ribonucleoprotein complexes. Modification and ligation of RNA termini can be employed to impair exonucleolytic degradation. Finally, antisense strand transcription promotes the formation of RNA duplexes and can be used to stabilize RNA regions. In our review, we provide examples of these RNA stabilization mechanisms that have been observed in hyperthermophilic archaeal model organisms.

RevDate: 2019-08-02
CmpDate: 2019-08-02

Santos-Zavaleta A, Pérez-Rueda E, Sánchez-Pérez M, et al (2019)

Tracing the phylogenetic history of the Crl regulon through the Bacteria and Archaea genomes.

BMC genomics, 20(1):299 pii:10.1186/s12864-019-5619-z.

BACKGROUND: Crl, identified for curli production, is a small transcription factor that stimulates the association of the σS factor (RpoS) with the RNA polymerase core through direct and specific interactions, increasing the transcription rate of genes during the transition from exponential to stationary phase at low temperatures, using indole as an effector molecule. The lack of a comprehensive collection of information on the Crl regulon makes it difficult to identify a dominant function of Crl and to generate any hypotheses concerning its taxonomical distribution in archaeal and bacterial organisms.

RESULTS: In this work, based on a systematic literature review, we identified the first comprehensive dataset of 86 genes under the control of Crl in the bacterium Escherichia coli K-12; those genes correspond to 40% of the σS regulon in this bacterium. Based on an analysis of orthologs in 18 archaeal and 69 bacterial taxonomical divisions and using E. coli K-12 as a framework, we suggest three main events that resulted in this regulon's actual form: (i) in a first step, rpoS, a gene widely distributed in bacteria and archaea cellular domains, was recruited to regulate genes involved in ancient metabolic processes, such as those associated with glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle; (ii) in a second step, the regulon recruited those genes involved in metabolic processes, which are mainly taxonomically constrained to Proteobacteria, with some secondary losses, such as those genes involved in responses to stress or starvation and cell adhesion, among others; and (iii) in a posterior step, Crl might have been recruited in Enterobacteriaceae; because its taxonomical pattern constrained to this bacterial order, however further analysis are necessary.

CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, we suggest that the regulon Crl is highly flexible for phenotypic adaptation, probably as consequence of the diverse growth environments associated with all organisms in which members of this regulatory network are present.

RevDate: 2019-07-02

Eggenberger OM, Leriche G, Koyanagi T, et al (2019)

Fluid surface coatings for solid-state nanopores: comparison of phospholipid bilayers and archaea-inspired lipid monolayers.

Nanotechnology, 30(32):325504.

In the context of sensing and characterizing single proteins with synthetic nanopores, lipid bilayer coatings provide at least four benefits: first, they minimize unwanted protein adhesion to the pore walls by exposing a zwitterionic, fluid surface. Second, they can slow down protein translocation and rotation by the opportunity to tether proteins with a lipid anchor to the fluid bilayer coating. Third, they provide the possibility to impart analyte specificity by including lipid anchors with a specific receptor or ligand in the coating. Fourth, they offer a method for tuning nanopore diameters by choice of the length of the lipid's acyl chains. The work presented here compares four properties of various lipid compositions with regard to their suitability as nanopore coatings for protein sensing experiments: (1) electrical noise during current recordings through solid-state nanopores before and after lipid coating, (2) long-term stability of the recorded current baseline and, by inference, of the coating, (3) viscosity of the coating as quantified by the lateral diffusion coefficient of lipids in the coating, and (4) the success rate of generating a suitable coating for quantitative nanopore-based resistive pulse recordings. We surveyed lipid coatings prepared from bolaamphiphilic, monolayer-forming lipids inspired by extremophile archaea and compared them to typical bilayer-forming phosphatidylcholine lipids containing various fractions of curvature-inducing lipids or cholesterol. We found that coatings from archaea-inspired lipids provide several advantages compared to conventional phospholipids; the stable, low noise baseline qualities and high viscosity make these membranes especially suitable for analysis that estimates physical protein parameters such as the net charge of proteins as they enable translocation events with sufficiently long duration to time-resolve dwell time distributions completely. The work presented here reveals that the ease or difficulty of coating a nanopore with lipid membranes did not depend significantly on the composition of the lipid mixture, but rather on the geometry and surface chemistry of the nanopore in the solid state substrate. In particular, annealing substrates containing the nanopore increased the success rate of generating stable lipid coatings.

RevDate: 2019-05-08
CmpDate: 2019-05-08

Xiong L, Liu S, Chen S, et al (2019)

A new type of DNA phosphorothioation-based antiviral system in archaea.

Nature communications, 10(1):1688 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-09390-9.

Archaea and Bacteria have evolved different defence strategies that target virtually all steps of the viral life cycle. The diversified virion morphotypes and genome contents of archaeal viruses result in a highly complex array of archaea-virus interactions. However, our understanding of archaeal antiviral activities lags far behind our knowledges of those in bacteria. Here we report a new archaeal defence system that involves DndCDEA-specific DNA phosphorothioate (PT) modification and the PbeABCD-mediated halt of virus propagation via inhibition of DNA replication. In contrast to the breakage of invasive DNA by DndFGH in bacteria, DndCDEA-PbeABCD does not degrade or cleave viral DNA. The PbeABCD-mediated PT defence system is widespread and exhibits extensive interdomain and intradomain gene transfer events. Our results suggest that DndCDEA-PbeABCD is a new type of PT-based virus resistance system, expanding the known arsenal of defence systems as well as our understanding of host-virus interactions.

RevDate: 2019-07-08
CmpDate: 2019-07-08

Bayer B, Vojvoda J, Reinthaler T, et al (2019)

Nitrosopumilus adriaticus sp. nov. and Nitrosopumilus piranensis sp. nov., two ammonia-oxidizing archaea from the Adriatic Sea and members of the class Nitrososphaeria.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 69(7):1892-1902.

Two mesophilic, neutrophilic and aerobic marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea, designated strains NF5T and D3CT, were isolated from coastal surface water of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Cells were straight small rods 0.20-0.25 µm wide and 0.49-2.00 µm long. Strain NF5T possessed archaella as cell appendages. Glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers with zero to four cyclopentane moieties (GDGT-0 to GDGT-4) and crenarchaeol were the major core lipids. Menaquinone MK6 : 0 was the major respiratory quinone. Both isolates gained energy by oxidizing ammonia (NH3) to nitrite (NO2-) and used bicarbonate as a carbon source. Strain D3CT was able use urea as a source of ammonia for energy production and growth. Addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavengers (catalase or α-keto acids) was required to sustain growth. Optimal growth occurred between 30 and 32 °C, pH 7.1 and 7.3 and between 34 and 37‰ salinity. The cellular metal abundance ranking of both strains was Fe>Zn>Cu>Mn>Co. The genomes of strains NF5T and D3CT have a DNA G+C content of 33.4 and 33.8 mol%, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that both strains are affiliated with the class Nitrososphaeria, sharing ~85 % 16S rRNA gene sequence identity with Nitrososphaera viennensis EN76T. The two isolates are separated by phenotypic and genotypic characteristics and are assigned to distinct species within the genus Nitrosopumilus gen. nov. according to average nucleotide identity thresholds of their closed genomes. Isolates NF5T (=JCM 32270T =NCIMB 15114T) and D3CT (=JCM 32271T =DSM 106147T =NCIMB 15115T) are type strains of the species Nitrosopumilusadriaticus sp. nov. and Nitrosopumiluspiranensis sp. nov., respectively.

RevDate: 2019-07-23

Straka LL, Meinhardt KA, Bollmann A, et al (2019)

Affinity informs environmental cooperation between ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and anaerobic ammonia-oxidizing (Anammox) bacteria.

The ISME journal, 13(8):1997-2004.

Anaerobic ammonia-oxidizing (Anammox) bacteria (AnAOB) rely on nitrite supplied by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA). Affinities for ammonia and oxygen play a crucial role in AOA/AOB competition and their association with AnAOB. In this work we measured the affinity constants for ammonia and oxygen (half-saturation; km) of two freshwater AOA enrichments, an AOA soil isolate (N. viennensis), and a freshwater AnAOB enrichment. The AOA enrichments had similar kinetics (μmax ≈ 0.36 d-1, km,NH4 ≈ 0.78 µM, and km,O2 ≈ 2.9 µM), whereas N. viennensis had similar km values but lower μmax (0.23 d-1). In agreement with the current paradigm, these AOA strains showed a higher affinity for ammonia (lower km,NH4; 0.34-1.27 µM) than published AOB measurements (>20 µM). The slower growing AnAOB (μmax ≈ 0.16 d-1) had much higher km values (km,NH4 ≈ 132 µM, km,NO2 ≈ 48 µM) and were inhibited by oxygen at low levels (half-oxygen inhibition; ki,O2 ≈ 0.092 µM). The higher affinity of AOA for ammonia relative to AnAOB, suggests AOA/AnAOB cooperation is only possible where AOA do not outcompete AnAOB for ammonia. Using a biofilm model, we show that environments of ammonia/oxygen counter diffusion, such as stratified lakes, favors this cooperation.

RevDate: 2019-07-01

Zou D, Li Y, Kao SJ, et al (2019)

Genomic adaptation to eutrophication of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in the Pearl River estuary.

Environmental microbiology, 21(7):2320-2332.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are ubiquitous in natural ecosystems, and they are responsible for a significant fraction of ammonia oxidation globally. Since the first AOA isolate was established a decade ago, molecular surveys of their environmental distribution [based primarily on amplicon sequencing of the amoA, which codes for the alpha subunit of ammonia monooxygenase (AMO)], show that their habitats are believed to range from marine to terrestrial environments. However, the mechanisms of adaptation underpinning to their habitat expansion remain poorly understood. Here, we report that AOA accounts for almost all of the ammonia oxidizers in the shelf water adjacent to the Pearl River estuary (PRE), with the Nitrosopumilus maritimus SCM1-like (SCM1-like) being the main amoA genotype. Using a metagenomic approach, seven high-quality AOA genomes were reconstructed from the PRE. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that four of these genomes with high completeness were closely affiliated with the Nitrosomatrinus catalina strain SPOT01, which was originally isolated off the coast of California. Genomic comparison revealed that the PRE AOA genomes encoded genes functioning in amino acid synthesis, xenobiotic biodegradation metabolism and transportation of inorganic phosphate and heavy metals. This illustrates the different adaptations of AOA in one of the largest estuaries in China, which is strongly influenced by anthropogenic input. Overall, this study provides additional genomic information about estuarine AOA and highlights the importance of their contribution to nitrification in eutrophic coastal environments.

RevDate: 2019-08-01
CmpDate: 2019-08-01

Wu RN, Meng H, Wang YF, et al (2019)

Functional dominance and community compositions of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in extremely acidic soils of natural forests.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 103(10):4229-4240.

Extremely acidic soils of natural forests in Nanling National Nature Reserve have been previously investigated and revisited in two successive years to reveal the active ammonia oxidizers. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) rather than ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were found more functionally important in the extremely acidic soils of the natural forests in Nanling National Nature Reserve. The relative abundances of Nitrosotalea, Nitrososphaera sister group, and Nitrososphaera lineages recovered by ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) transcripts were reassessed and compared to AOA communities formerly detected by genomic DNA. Nitrosotalea, previously found the most abundant AOA, were the second-most-active lineage after Nitrososphaera sister group. Our field study results, therefore, propose the acidophilic AOA, Nitrosotalea, can better reside in extremely acidic soils while they may not contribute to nitrification proportionately according to their abundances or they are less functionally active. In contrast, the functional importance of Nitrososphaera sister group may be previously underestimated and the functional dominance further extends their ecological distribution as little has been reported. Nitrososphaera gargensis-like AOA, the third abundant lineage, were more active in summer. The analyses of AOA community composition and its correlation with environmental parameters support the previous observations of the potential impact of organic matter on AOA composition. Al3+, however, did not show a strong adverse correlation with the abundances of functional AOA unlike in the DNA-based study. The new data further emphasize the functional dominance of AOA in extremely acidic soils, and unveil the relative contributions of AOA lineages to nitrification and their community transitions under the environmental influences.

RevDate: 2019-08-19
CmpDate: 2019-08-19

Chen SC, Musat N, Lechtenfeld OJ, et al (2019)

Anaerobic oxidation of ethane by archaea from a marine hydrocarbon seep.

Nature, 568(7750):108-111.

Ethane is the second most abundant component of natural gas in addition to methane, and-similar to methane-is chemically unreactive. The biological consumption of ethane under anoxic conditions was suggested by geochemical profiles at marine hydrocarbon seeps1-3, and through ethane-dependent sulfate reduction in slurries4-7. Nevertheless, the microorganisms and reactions that catalyse this process have to date remained unknown8. Here we describe ethane-oxidizing archaea that were obtained by specific enrichment over ten years, and analyse these archaea using phylogeny-based fluorescence analyses, proteogenomics and metabolite studies. The co-culture, which oxidized ethane completely while reducing sulfate to sulfide, was dominated by an archaeon that we name 'Candidatus Argoarchaeum ethanivorans'; other members were sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. The genome of Ca. Argoarchaeum contains all of the genes that are necessary for a functional methyl-coenzyme M reductase, and all subunits were detected in protein extracts. Accordingly, ethyl-coenzyme M (ethyl-CoM) was identified as an intermediate by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. This indicated that Ca. Argoarchaeum initiates ethane oxidation by ethyl-CoM formation, analogous to the recently described butane activation by 'Candidatus Syntrophoarchaeum'9. Proteogenomics further suggests that oxidation of intermediary acetyl-CoA to CO2 occurs through the oxidative Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. The identification of an archaeon that uses ethane (C2H6) fills a gap in our knowledge of microorganisms that specifically oxidize members of the homologous alkane series (CnH2n+2) without oxygen. Detection of phylogenetic and functional gene markers related to those of Ca. Argoarchaeum at deep-sea gas seeps10-12 suggests that archaea that are able to oxidize ethane through ethyl-CoM are widespread members of the local communities fostered by venting gaseous alkanes around these seeps.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Qiu X, Yao Y, Wang H, et al (2019)

Halophilic Archaea Mediate the Formation of Proto-Dolomite in Solutions With Various Sulfate Concentrations and Salinities.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:480.

In the past several decades, sulfate concentration and salinity have been considered to be the two essential hydrochemical factors in the formation of dolomite, yet arguments against this hypothesis have existed simultaneously. To clarify the effects of sulfate concentration and salinity in the mineralization of dolomite, we conducted experiments on dolomite precipitation mediated by a halophilic archaeon, Natrinema sp. J7-1 with various sulfate concentrations and salinities. This strain was cultured in a series of modified growth media (MGM) with salinities of 140, 200, and 280‰. Cells in the post-log phase were harvested and used to mediate the formation of dolomite in solutions with various sulfate concentrations of 0, 3, 29.8, and 100 mM and salinities of 140, 200, and 280‰. X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectra showed that proto-dolomite, monohydrocalcite, and aragonite formed in samples with cells, yet only aragonite was detected in samples without cells. Proto-dolomite was found in all biotic samples, regardless of the variation in salinity and sulfate concentration. Moreover, the relative abundances of proto-dolomite in the precipitates were positively correlated with the salinities of the media but were uncorrelated with the sulfate concentrations of the solutions. Scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) results showed that all the proto-dolomites were sphere or sphere aggregates with a mole ratio of Mg/Ca close to 1.0. No obvious variations in morphology and Mg/Ca were found among samples with various sulfate concentrations or salinities. This work reveals that a variation of sulfate concentration in solution (from 0 to 100 mM) does not affect the formation of dolomite mediated by halophilic archaea, but an increase of salinity (from 140 to 280‰) enhances this process. Our results indicate that under natural conditions, an increase in salinity may be more significant than the decrease of sulfates in microbe-mediated dolomite formation.

RevDate: 2019-03-26

Fu X, Adams Z, J Maupin-Furlow (2019)

Assays for ubiquitin-like protein ligation and proteasome function in archaea.

Methods in enzymology, 619:161-178.

Ubiquitin-like protein (Ubl) ligation is common to diverse archaea and targets many cellular pathways, including those associated with sulfur mobilization, and also tags proteins as substrates for degradation by the proteasome. Here we highlight protocols to assay proteasome function and Ubl ligation in archaea. A chase assay is described to monitor the impact of proteasome function on the stability of Ubl-modified proteins in the cell. A method to reconstitute Ubl ligation using a purified E1-like enzyme (UbaA), Ubl (SAMP2), methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MsrA), and cell lysate of an ΔmsrA ΔubaA Δsamp1-3 mutant is also described. MsrA is found to have the surprising ability to stimulate the formation of Ubl bonds. Haloferax volcanii, a halophilic archaeon originally isolated from the Dead Sea, serves as the model organism for these protocols.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Sogodogo E, Fellag M, Loukil A, et al (2019)

Nine Cases of Methanogenic Archaea in Refractory Sinusitis, an Emerging Clinical Entity.

Frontiers in public health, 7:38.

The authors report the cases of 9 patients eventually diagnosed with methanogenic archaea refractory or recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis, a condition known to involve various anaerobic bacteria but in which the role of methanogenic archaea is unknown. The authors retrospectively searched these microorganisms by PCR in surgically-collected sinusal pus specimens from patients diagnosed with refractory sinusitis, defined by the persistance of sinus inflammation and related-symptoms for more than 12 weeks despite appropriate treatment. Of the 116 tested sinus surgical specimens, 12 (10.3%) from 9 patients (six females, three males; aged 20-71 years) were PCR-positive. These specimens were further investigated by fluorescence in-situ hybridization, PCR amplicon-sequencing and culture. Methanobrevibacter smithii was documented in four patients and Methanobrevibacter oralis in another four, one of whom was also culture-positive. They were associated with a mixed flora including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In the latter patient, "Methanobrevibacter massiliense" was the sole microorganism detected. These results highlight methanogenic archaea as being part of a mixed anaerobic flora involved in refractory sinusitis, and suggest that the treatment of this condition should include an antibiotic active against methanogens, notably a nitroimidazole derivative.

RevDate: 2019-03-18

Braun F, Thomalla L, van der Does C, et al (2019)

Cyclic nucleotides in archaea: Cyclic di-AMP in the archaeon Haloferax volcanii and its putative role.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

The role of cyclic nucleotides as second messengers for intracellular signal transduction has been well described in bacteria. One recently discovered bacterial second messenger is cyclic di-adenylate monophosphate (c-di-AMP), which has been demonstrated to be essential in bacteria. Compared to bacteria, significantly less is known about second messengers in archaea. This study presents the first evidence of in vivo presence of c-di-AMP in an archaeon. The model organism Haloferax volcanii was demonstrated to produce c-di-AMP. Its genome encodes one diadenylate cyclase (DacZ) which was shown to produce c-di-AMP in vitro. Similar to bacteria, the dacZ gene is essential and homologous overexpression of DacZ leads to cell death, suggesting the need for tight regulation of c-di-AMP levels. Such tight regulation often indicates the control of important regulatory processes. A central target of c-di-AMP signaling in bacteria is cellular osmohomeostasis. The results presented here suggest a comparable function in H. volcanii. A strain with decreased c-di-AMP levels exhibited an increased cell area in hypo-salt medium, implying impaired osmoregulation. In summary, this study expands the field of research on c-di-AMP and its physiological function to archaea and indicates that osmoregulation is likely to be a common function of c-di-AMP in bacteria and archaea.

RevDate: 2019-08-02
CmpDate: 2019-08-02

Du Y, Shu K, Guo X, et al (2019)

Moderate Grazing Promotes Grassland Nitrous Oxide Emission by Increasing Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea Abundance on the Tibetan Plateau.

Current microbiology, 76(5):620-625.

Grasslands are suffering from long-term overgrazing because of the population inflation. Furthermore, nitrous oxide (N2O) is a major greenhouse gas that also depletes stratospheric ozone. However, the emission rate of grassland N2O and underlying mechanisms remained unclear under different grazing intensities. We conducted a field manipulation under four grazing intensities to compare its N2O fluxes and main affected factors. It was indicated that alpine meadow N2O emission rates increased from 39.7 ± 3.1 to 47.8 ± 2.3 μg m-2 h-1 (p < 0.05), then decreased to 43.4 ± 4.1 and 32.9 ± 1.4 μg m-2 h-1 with grazing intensity increasing from 4 to 8, 12 and 16 sheep ha-1, respectively. Multiple-stepwise regression analysis indicated that the predominant affected soil factors were separately TN and BD, pH and BD, also pH and BD, SOC and BD. Simple linear regression models revealed that ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) contributed much to N2O emission (R2 = 0.77). Additionally, the R2 coefficient of linear regression was 0.87 between nosZ genes and N2O emission rates in alpine meadow. Much attention should be paid to protecting alpine meadow from degradation to mitigate N2O emission source on the Tibetan Plateau.

RevDate: 2019-03-23

He D, Piergentili C, Ross J, et al (2019)

Conservation of the structural and functional architecture of encapsulated ferritins in bacteria and archaea.

The Biochemical journal, 476(6):975-989 pii:BCJ20180922.

Ferritins are a large family of intracellular proteins that protect the cell from oxidative stress by catalytically converting Fe(II) into less toxic Fe(III) and storing iron minerals within their core. Encapsulated ferritins (EncFtn) are a sub-family of ferritin-like proteins, which are widely distributed in all bacterial and archaeal phyla. The recently characterized Rhodospirillum rubrum EncFtn displays an unusual structure when compared with classical ferritins, with an open decameric structure that is enzymatically active, but unable to store iron. This EncFtn must be associated with an encapsulin nanocage in order to act as an iron store. Given the wide distribution of the EncFtn family in organisms with diverse environmental niches, a question arises as to whether this unusual structure is conserved across the family. Here, we characterize EncFtn proteins from the halophile Haliangium ochraceum and the thermophile Pyrococcus furiosus, which show the conserved annular pentamer of dimers topology. Key structural differences are apparent between the homologues, particularly in the centre of the ring and the secondary metal-binding site, which is not conserved across the homologues. Solution and native mass spectrometry analyses highlight that the stability of the protein quaternary structure differs between EncFtn proteins from different species. The ferroxidase activity of EncFtn proteins was confirmed, and we show that while the quaternary structure around the ferroxidase centre is distinct from classical ferritins, the ferroxidase activity is still inhibited by Zn(II). Our results highlight the common structural organization and activity of EncFtn proteins, despite diverse host environments and contexts within encapsulins.

RevDate: 2019-09-04
CmpDate: 2019-07-29

Borrel G, Adam PS, McKay LJ, et al (2019)

Wide diversity of methane and short-chain alkane metabolisms in uncultured archaea.

Nature microbiology, 4(4):603-613.

Methanogenesis is an ancient metabolism of key ecological relevance, with direct impact on the evolution of Earth's climate. Recent results suggest that the diversity of methane metabolisms and their derivations have probably been vastly underestimated. Here, by probing thousands of publicly available metagenomes for homologues of methyl-coenzyme M reductase complex (MCR), we have obtained ten metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) belonging to potential methanogenic, anaerobic methanotrophic and short-chain alkane-oxidizing archaea. Five of these MAGs represent under-sampled (Verstraetearchaeota, Methanonatronarchaeia, ANME-1 and GoM-Arc1) or previously genomically undescribed (ANME-2c) archaeal lineages. The remaining five MAGs correspond to lineages that are only distantly related to previously known methanogens and span the entire archaeal phylogeny. Comprehensive comparative annotation substantially expands the metabolic diversity and energy conservation systems of MCR-bearing archaea. It also suggests the potential existence of a yet uncharacterized type of methanogenesis linked to short-chain alkane/fatty acid oxidation in a previously undescribed class of archaea ('Candidatus Methanoliparia'). We redefine a common core of marker genes specific to methanogenic, anaerobic methanotrophic and short-chain alkane-oxidizing archaea, and propose a possible scenario for the evolutionary and functional transitions that led to the emergence of such metabolic diversity.

RevDate: 2019-07-29
CmpDate: 2019-07-29

Wang Y, Wegener G, Hou J, et al (2019)

Expanding anaerobic alkane metabolism in the domain of Archaea.

Nature microbiology, 4(4):595-602.

Methanogenesis and anaerobic methane oxidation through methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) as a key enzyme have been suggested to be basal pathways of archaea1. How widespread MCR-based alkane metabolism is among archaea, where it occurs and how it evolved remain elusive. Here, we performed a global survey of MCR-encoding genomes based on metagenomic data from various environments. Eleven high-quality mcr-containing metagenomic-assembled genomes were obtained belonging to the Archaeoglobi in the Euryarchaeota, Hadesarchaeota and different TACK superphylum archaea, including the Nezhaarchaeota, Korarchaeota and Verstraetearchaeota. Archaeoglobi WYZ-LMO1 and WYZ-LMO3 and Korarchaeota WYZ-LMO9 encode both the (reverse) methanogenesis and the dissimilatory sulfate reduction pathway, suggesting that they have the genomic potential to couple both pathways in individual organisms. The Hadesarchaeota WYZ-LMO4-6 and Archaeoglobi JdFR-42 encode highly divergent MCRs, enzymes that may enable them to thrive on non-methane alkanes. The occurrence of mcr genes in different archaeal phyla indicates that MCR-based alkane metabolism is common in the domain of Archaea.

RevDate: 2019-08-01
CmpDate: 2019-08-01

Lopes-Dos-Santos RMA, De Troch M, Bossier P, et al (2019)

Labelling halophilic Archaea using 13C and 15N stable isotopes: a potential tool to investigate haloarchaea consumption by metazoans.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions, 23(3):359-365.

The use of stable isotope (SI) labelling and tracing of live diets is currently considered one of the most comprehensive tools to detect their uptake and assimilation by aquatic organisms. These techniques are indeed widely used in nutritional studies to follow the fate of specific microbial dietary components, unraveling trophic interactions. Nevertheless, to the current date our understanding of aquatic trophic relationships has yet to include a whole domain of life, the Archaea. The aim of the present research was, therefore, to describe a halophilic Archaea (haloarchaea) labelling procedure, using the SI 13C and 15N, to enable the application of SI tracing in future studies of haloarchaea consumption by aquatic metazoans. To this end, three 13C enriched carbon sources and two 15N enriched nitrogen sources were tested as potential labels to enrich cells of three haloarchaea strains when supplemented to the culture medium. Our overall results indicate 13C-glycerol as the most effective carbon source to achieve an efficient 13C enrichment in haloarchaea cells, with Δδ13C values above 5000‰ in all tested haloarchaea strains. As for 15N enriched nitrogen sources, both (15NH4)2SO4 and 15NH4Cl seem to be readily assimilated, also resulting in efficient 15N enrichment in haloarchaea cells, with Δδ15N values higher than 20,000‰. We believe that the proposed methodology will allow for the use of SI labelled haloarchaea biomass in feeding tests, potentially providing unambiguous confirmation of the assimilation of haloarchaea biomass by aquatic metazoans.

RevDate: 2019-04-12

Díaz-Perales A, Quesada V, Peinado JR, et al (2019)

Withdrawal: Identification and characterization of human archaemetzincin-1 and -2, two novel members of a family of metalloproteases widely distributed in Archaea.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 294(4):1434.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

Rissanen AJ, Peura S, Mpamah PA, et al (2019)

Vertical stratification of bacteria and archaea in sediments of a small boreal humic lake.

FEMS microbiology letters, 366(5):.

Although sediments of small boreal humic lakes are important carbon stores and greenhouse gas sources, the composition and structuring mechanisms of their microbial communities have remained understudied. We analyzed the vertical profiles of microbial biomass indicators (PLFAs, DNA and RNA) and the bacterial and archaeal community composition (sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons and qPCR of mcrA) in sediment cores collected from a typical small boreal lake. While microbial biomass decreased with sediment depth, viable microbes (RNA and PLFA) were present all through the profiles. The vertical stratification patterns of the bacterial and archaeal communities resembled those in marine sediments with well-characterized groups (e.g. Methanomicrobia, Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes) dominating in the surface sediment and being replaced by poorly-known groups (e.g. Bathyarchaeota, Aminicenantes and Caldiserica) in the deeper layers. The results also suggested that, similar to marine systems, the deep bacterial and archaeal communities were predominantly assembled by selective survival of taxa able to persist in the low energy conditions. Methanotrophs were rare, further corroborating the role of these methanogen-rich sediments as important methane emitters. Based on their taxonomy, the deep-dwelling groups were putatively organo-heterotrophic, organo-autotrophic and/or acetogenic and thus may contribute to changes in the lake sediment carbon storage.

RevDate: 2019-06-09

Barnett DJM, Mommers M, Penders J, et al (2019)

Intestinal archaea inversely associated with childhood asthma.

The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 143(6):2305-2307.

RevDate: 2019-02-27

Wang L, Li K, Sheng R, et al (2019)

Remarkable N2O emissions by draining fallow paddy soil and close link to the ammonium-oxidizing archaea communities.

Scientific reports, 9(1):2550 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-39465-y.

Fallow paddies experience natural flooding and draining water status due to rainfall and evaporation, which could induce considerable nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and need to be studied specially. In this study, intact soil columns were collected from a fallow paddy field and the flooding-draining process was simulated in a microcosm experiment. The results showed that both N2O concentrations in the soil and N2O emission rates were negligible during flooding period, which were greatly elevated by draining the fallow paddy soil. The remarkable N2O concentrations in the soil and N2O emission/h during draining both had significant relationships with the Arch-amoA gene (P < 0.01) but not the Bac-amoA, narG, nirK, nirS, and nosZ genes, indicating that the ammonium-oxidizing archaea (AOA) might be the important players in soil N2O net production and emissions after draining. Moreover, we observed that N2O concentrations in the upper soil layers (0-10 cm) were not significantly different from that in the 10-20 cm layer under draining condition (P > 0.05). However, the number of AOA and the nitrification substrate (NH4+-N) in the 0-10 cm layer were significantly higher than in the 10-20 cm layer (P < 0.01), indicating N2O production in the 0-10 cm layer might be higher than the measured concentration and would contribute considerably to N2O emissions as shorter distance of gas diffusion to the soil surface.

RevDate: 2019-04-08

Wang Y, Feng X, Natarajan VP, et al (2019)

Diverse anaerobic methane- and multi-carbon alkane-metabolizing archaea coexist and show activity in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediment.

Environmental microbiology, 21(4):1344-1355.

Anaerobic oxidation of methane greatly contributes to global carbon cycling, yet the anaerobic oxidation of non-methane alkanes by archaea was only recently detected in lab enrichments. The distribution and activity of these archaea in natural environments are not yet reported and understood. Here, a combination of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approaches was utilized to understand the ecological roles and metabolic potentials of methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR)-based alkane oxidizing (MAO) archaea in Guaymas Basin sediments. Diverse MAO archaea, including multi-carbon alkane oxidizer Ca. Syntrophoarchaeum spp., anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea ANME-1 and ANME-2c as well as sulfate-reducing bacteria HotSeep-1 and Seep-SRB2 that potentially involved in MAO processes, coexisted and showed activity in Guaymas Basin sediments. High-quality genomic bins of Ca. Syntrophoarchaeum spp., ANME-1 and ANME-2c were retrieved. They all contain and expressed mcr genes and genes in Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for the complete oxidation from alkane to CO2 in local environment, while Ca. Syntrophoarchaeum spp. also possess beta-oxidation genes for multi-carbon alkane degradation. A global survey of potential multi-carbon alkane metabolism archaea shows that they are usually present in organic rich environments but are not limit to hydrothermal or marine ecosystems. Our study provided new insights into ecological and metabolic potentials of MAO archaea in natural environments.

RevDate: 2019-04-30
CmpDate: 2019-04-30

Maier LK, A Marchfelder (2019)

It's all about the T: transcription termination in archaea.

Biochemical Society transactions, 47(1):461-468.

One of the most fundamental biological processes driving all life on earth is transcription. The, at first glance, relatively simple cycle is divided into three stages: initiation at the promoter site, elongation throughout the open reading frame, and finally termination and product release at the terminator. In all three processes, motifs of the template DNA and protein factors of the transcription machinery including the multisubunit polymerase itself as well as a broad range of associated transcription factors work together and mutually influence each other. Despite several decades of research, this interplay holds delicate mechanistic and structural details as well as interconnections yet to be explored. One of the surprising characteristics of archaeal biology is the use of eukaryotic-like information processing systems against a backdrop of a bacterial-like genome. Archaeal genomes usually comprise main chromosomes alongside chromosomal plasmids, and the genetic information is encoded in single transcriptional units as well as in multicistronic operons alike their bacterial counterparts. Moreover, archaeal genomes are densely packed and this necessitates a tight regulation of transcription and especially assured termination events in order to prevent read-through into downstream coding regions and the accumulation of antisense transcripts.

RevDate: 2019-03-03

Ul-Hasan S, Bowers RM, Figueroa-Montiel A, et al (2019)

Community ecology across bacteria, archaea and microbial eukaryotes in the sediment and seawater of coastal Puerto Nuevo, Baja California.

PloS one, 14(2):e0212355 pii:PONE-D-18-28583.

Microbial communities control numerous biogeochemical processes critical for ecosystem function and health. Most analyses of coastal microbial communities focus on the characterization of bacteria present in either sediment or seawater, with fewer studies characterizing both sediment and seawater together at a given site, and even fewer studies including information about non-bacterial microbial communities. As a result, knowledge about the ecological patterns of microbial biodiversity across domains and habitats in coastal communities is limited-despite the fact that archaea, bacteria, and microbial eukaryotes are present and known to interact in coastal habitats. To better understand microbial biodiversity patterns in coastal ecosystems, we characterized sediment and seawater microbial communities for three sites along the coastline of Puerto Nuevo, Baja California, Mexico using both 16S and 18S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We found that sediment hosted approximately 500-fold more operational taxonomic units (OTUs) for bacteria, archaea, and microbial eukaryotes than seawater (p < 0.001). Distinct phyla were found in sediment versus seawater samples. Of the top ten most abundant classes, Cytophagia (bacterial) and Chromadorea (eukaryal) were specific to the sediment environment, whereas Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidia (bacterial) and Chlorophyceae (eukaryal) were specific to the seawater environment. A total of 47 unique genera were observed to comprise the core taxa community across environment types and sites. No archaeal taxa were observed as part of either the abundant or core taxa. No significant differences were observed for sediment community composition across domains or between sites. For seawater, the bacterial and archaeal community composition was statistically different for the Major Outlet site (p < 0.05), the site closest to a residential area, and the eukaryal community composition was statistically different between all sites (p < 0.05). Our findings highlight the distinct patterns and spatial heterogeneity in microbial communities of a coastal region in Baja California, Mexico.

RevDate: 2019-03-15

Flemming HC, S Wuertz (2019)

Bacteria and archaea on Earth and their abundance in biofilms.

Nature reviews. Microbiology, 17(4):247-260.

Biofilms are a form of collective life with emergent properties that confer many advantages on their inhabitants, and they represent a much higher level of organization than single cells do. However, to date, no global analysis on biofilm abundance exists. We offer a critical discussion of the definition of biofilms and compile current estimates of global cell numbers in major microbial habitats, mindful of the associated uncertainty. Most bacteria and archaea on Earth (1.2 × 1030 cells) exist in the 'big five' habitats: deep oceanic subsurface (4 × 1029), upper oceanic sediment (5 × 1028), deep continental subsurface (3 × 1029), soil (3 × 1029) and oceans (1 × 1029). The remaining habitats, including groundwater, the atmosphere, the ocean surface microlayer, humans, animals and the phyllosphere, account for fewer cells by orders of magnitude. Biofilms dominate in all habitats on the surface of the Earth, except in the oceans, accounting for ~80% of bacterial and archaeal cells. In the deep subsurface, however, they cannot always be distinguished from single sessile cells; we estimate that 20-80% of cells in the subsurface exist as biofilms. Hence, overall, 40-80% of cells on Earth reside in biofilms. We conclude that biofilms drive all biogeochemical processes and represent the main way of active bacterial and archaeal life.

RevDate: 2019-02-11

Serrano P, Alawi M, de Vera JP, et al (2019)

Response of Methanogenic Archaea from Siberian Permafrost and Non-permafrost Environments to Simulated Mars-like Desiccation and the Presence of Perchlorate.

Astrobiology, 19(2):197-208.

Numerous preflight investigations were necessary prior to the exposure experiment BIOMEX on the International Space Station to test the basic potential of selected microorganisms to resist or even to be active under Mars-like conditions. In this study, methanogenic archaea, which are anaerobic chemolithotrophic microorganisms whose lifestyle would allow metabolism under the conditions on early and recent Mars, were analyzed. Some strains from Siberian permafrost environments have shown a particular resistance. In this investigation, we analyzed the response of three permafrost strains (Methanosarcina soligelidi SMA-21, Candidatus Methanosarcina SMA-17, Candidatus Methanobacterium SMA-27) and two related strains from non-permafrost environments (Methanosarcina mazei, Methanosarcina barkeri) to desiccation conditions (-80°C for 315 days, martian regolith analog simulants S-MRS and P-MRS, a 128-day period of simulated Mars-like atmosphere). Exposure of the different methanogenic strains to increasing concentrations of magnesium perchlorate allowed for the study of their metabolic shutdown in a Mars-relevant perchlorate environment. Survival and metabolic recovery were analyzed by quantitative PCR, gas chromatography, and a new DNA-extraction method from viable cells embedded in S-MRS and P-MRS. All strains survived the two Mars-like desiccating scenarios and recovered to different extents. The permafrost strain SMA-27 showed an increased methanogenic activity by at least 10-fold after deep-freezing conditions. The methanogenic rates of all strains did not decrease significantly after 128 days S-MRS exposure, except for SMA-27, which decreased 10-fold. The activity of strains SMA-17 and SMA-27 decreased after 16 and 60 days P-MRS exposure. Non-permafrost strains showed constant survival and methane production when exposed to both desiccating scenarios. All strains showed unaltered methane production when exposed to the perchlorate concentration reported at the Phoenix landing site (2.4 mM) or even higher concentrations. We conclude that methanogens from (non-)permafrost environments are suitable candidates for potential life in the martian subsurface and therefore are worthy of study after space exposure experiments that approach Mars-like surface conditions.

RevDate: 2019-05-07

Isupov MN, Boyko KM, Sutter JM, et al (2019)

Thermostable Branched-Chain Amino Acid Transaminases From the Archaea Geoglobus acetivorans and Archaeoglobus fulgidus: Biochemical and Structural Characterization.

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 7:7.

Two new thermophilic branched chain amino acid transaminases have been identified within the genomes of different hyper-thermophilic archaea, Geoglobus acetivorans, and Archaeoglobus fulgidus. These enzymes belong to the class IV of transaminases as defined by their structural fold. The enzymes have been cloned and over-expressed in Escherichia coli and the recombinant enzymes have been characterized both biochemically and structurally. Both enzymes showed high thermostability with optimal temperature for activity at 80 and 85°C, respectively. They retain good activity after exposure to 50% of the organic solvents, ethanol, methanol, DMSO and acetonitrile. The enzymes show a low activity to (R)-methylbenzylamine but no activity to (S)-methylbenzylamine. Both enzymes have been crystallized and their structures solved in the internal aldimine form, to 1.9 Å resolution for the Geoglobus enzyme and 2.0 Å for the Archaeoglobus enzyme. Also the Geoglobus enzyme structure has been determined in complex with the amino acceptor α-ketoglutarate and the Archaeoglobus enzyme in complex with the inhibitor gabaculine. These two complexes have helped to determine the conformation of the enzymes during enzymatic turnover and have increased understanding of their substrate specificity. A comparison has been made with another (R) selective class IV transaminase from the fungus Nectria haematococca which was previously studied in complex with gabaculine. The subtle structural differences between these enzymes has provided insight regarding their different substrate specificities.

RevDate: 2019-04-02

Portugal R, Shao N, Whitman WB, et al (2019)

Identification and biosynthesis of 2-(1H-imidazol-5-yl) ethan-1-ol (histaminol) in methanogenic archaea.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 165(4):455-462.

Histaminol is a relatively rare metabolite most commonly resulting from histidine metabolism. Here we describe histaminol production and secretion into the culture broth by the methanogen Methanococcus maripaludis S2 as well as a number of other methanogens. This work is the first identification of this compound as a natural product in methanogens. Its biosynthesis from histidine was confirmed by the incorporation of 2H3-histidine into histaminol by growing cells of M. maripaludis S2. Possible functions of this molecule could be cell signaling as observed with histamine in eukaryotes or uptake of metal ions.

RevDate: 2019-05-03
CmpDate: 2019-05-03

Jiao S, Xu Y, Zhang J, et al (2019)

Environmental filtering drives distinct continental atlases of soil archaea between dryland and wetland agricultural ecosystems.

Microbiome, 7(1):15 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0630-9.

BACKGROUND: Understanding the spatial distributions and ecological diversity of soil archaeal communities in agricultural ecosystems is crucial for improvements in crop productivity. Here, we conducted a comprehensive, continental-scale survey of soil archaeal communities in adjacent pairs of maize (dryland) and rice (wetland) fields in eastern China.

RESULTS: We revealed the consequential roles of environmental filtering in driving archaeal community assembly for both maize and rice fields. Rice fields, abundant with Euryarchaeota, had higher archaeal diversity and steeper distance-decay slopes than maize fields dominated by Thaumarchaeota. Dominant soil archaea showed distinct continental atlases and niche differentiation between dryland and wetland habitats, where they were associated with soil pH and mean annual temperature, respectively. After identifying their environmental preferences, we grouped the dominant archaeal taxa into different ecological clusters and determined the unique co-occurrence patterns within each cluster. Using this empirical dataset, we built a continental atlas of soil archaeal communities to provide reliable estimates of their spatial distributions in agricultural ecosystems.

CONCLUSIONS: Environmental filtering plays a crucial role in driving the distinct continental atlases of dominant soil archaeal communities between dryland and wetland, with contrasting strategies of archaeal-driven nutrient cycling within these two agricultural ecosystems. These findings improve our ability to predict how soil archaeal communities respond to environmental changes and to manage soil archaeal communities for provisioning of agricultural ecosystem services.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )