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Bibliography on: Archaea

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 01 Jun 2023 at 01:30 Created: 


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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-05-31

Wang BB, Bao CX, Sun YP, et al (2023)

Halobacterium wangiae sp. nov. and Halobacterium zhouii sp. nov., two extremely halophilic archaea isolated from sediment of a salt lake and saline soil of an inland saltern.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 73(5):.

Two novel halophilic archaeal strains, Gai3-17[T] and XZYJT26[T], were isolated from the sediment of Gaize salt lake and the saline soil of Mangkang ancient solar saltern in Tibet, PR China, respectively. Strains Gai3-17[T] and XZYJT26[T] were related to each other (96.5 and 89.7% similarity, respectively) and showed 97.5-95.4 and 91.5-87.7% similarities to the current members of Halobacterium based on 16S rRNA and rpoB' genes. The phylogenomic analysis indicated that strains Gai3-17[T] and XZYJT26[T] formed two distinct clades and clustered with the Halobacterium species. The two strains can be differentiated from the type strains of the six species with validly published names based on several phenotypic characteristics. The phospholipids of the two strains were phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester. One major glycolipid, sulphated galactosyl mannosyl glucosyl diether, was detected in strain Gai3-17[T], while four glycolipids, mannosyl glucosyl diether, sulphated mannosyl glucosyl diether, disulphated mannosyl glucosyl diether and sulphated galactosyl mannosyl glucosyl diether were observed in strain XZYJT26[T]. The average nucleotide identity, digital DNA-DNA hybridization and amino acid identity values among the two strains and the members of Halobacterium were no more than 81, 25 and 77 %, respectively. These overall genome-related indices were below the threshold values for species boundary, indicating that strains Gai3-17[T] and XZYJT26[T] represent two novel species of Halobacterium. Thus, two novel species, Halobacterium wangiae sp. nov. and Halobacterium zhouii sp. nov., are proposed to accommodate strains Gai3-17[T] (=CGMCC 1.16101[T]=JCM 33551[T]) and XZYJT26[T] (=CGMCC 1.16682[T]=JCM 33556[T]), respectively.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Ávila-Román J, Gómez-Villegas P, de Carvalho CCCR, et al (2023)

Up-Regulation of the Nrf2/HO-1 Antioxidant Pathway in Macrophages by an Extract from a New Halophilic Archaea Isolated in Odiel Saltworks.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5):.

The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays an important role in the progression of many inflammatory diseases. The search for antioxidants with the ability for scavenging free radicals from the body cells that reduce oxidative damage is essential to prevent and treat these pathologies. Haloarchaea are extremely halophilic microorganisms that inhabit hypersaline environments, such as saltworks or salt lakes, where they have to tolerate high salinity, and elevated ultraviolet (UV) and infrared radiations. To cope with these extreme conditions, haloarchaea have developed singular mechanisms to maintain an osmotic balance with the medium, and are endowed with unique compounds, not found in other species, with bioactive properties that have not been fully explored. This study aims to assess the potential of haloarchaea as a new source of natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. A carotenoid-producing haloarchaea was isolated from Odiel Saltworks (OS) and identified on the basis of its 16S rRNA coding gene sequence as a new strain belonging to the genus Haloarcula. The Haloarcula sp. OS acetone extract (HAE) obtained from the biomass contained bacterioruberin and mainly C18 fatty acids, and showed potent antioxidant capacity using ABTS assay. This study further demonstrates, for the first time, that pretreatment with HAE of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages results in a reduction in ROS production, a decrease in the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 levels, and up-regulation of the factor Nrf2 and its target gene heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), supporting the potential of the HAE as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of oxidative stress-related inflammatory diseases.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Liu J, Soler N, Gorlas A, et al (2021)

Extracellular membrane vesicles and nanotubes in Archaea.

microLife, 2:uqab007.

Membrane-bound extracellular vesicles (EVs) are secreted by cells from all three domains of life and their implication in various biological processes is increasingly recognized. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on archaeal EVs and nanotubes, and emphasize their biological significance. In archaea, the EVs and nanotubes have been largely studied in representative species from the phyla Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. The archaeal EVs have been linked to several physiological processes such as detoxification, biomineralization and transport of biological molecules, including chromosomal, viral or plasmid DNA, thereby taking part in genome evolution and adaptation through horizontal gene transfer. The biological significance of archaeal nanotubes is yet to be demonstrated, although they could participate in EV biogenesis or exchange of cellular contents. We also discuss the biological mechanisms leading to EV/nanotube biogenesis in Archaea. It has been recently demonstrated that, similar to eukaryotes, EV budding in crenarchaea depends on the ESCRT machinery, whereas the mechanism of EV budding in euryarchaeal lineages, which lack the ESCRT-III homologues, remains unknown.

RevDate: 2023-05-22
CmpDate: 2023-05-22

Ma X, Hu Y, Li XX, et al (2023)

Halomicroarcula laminariae sp. nov. and Halomicroarcula marina sp. nov., extremely halophilic archaea isolated from salted brown alga Laminaria and coastal saline-alkali lands.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 73(5):.

Four extremely halophilic archaeal strains, LYG-108[T], LYG-24, DT1[T] and YSSS71, were isolated from salted Laminaria produced in Lianyungang and saline soil from the coastal beach at Jiangsu, PR China. The four strains were found to be related to the current species of Halomicroarcula (showing 88.1-98.5% and 89.3-93.6% similarities, respectively) as revealed by phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA and rpoB' genes. These phylogenies were fully supported by the phylogenomic analysis, and the overall genome-related indexes (average nucleotide identity, DNA-DNA hybridization and average amino acid identity) among these four strains and the Halomicroarcula species were 77-84 %, 23-30 % and 71-83 %, respectively, clearly below the threshold values for species demarcation. Additionally, the phylogenomic and comparative genomic analyses revealed that Halomicroarcula salina YGH18[T] is related to the current species of Haloarcula rather than those of Halomicroarcula, Haloarcula salaria Namwong et al. 2011 is a later heterotypic synonym of Haloarcula argentinensis Ihara et al. 1997, and Haloarcula quadrata Oren et al. 1999 is a later heterotypic synonym of Haloarcula marismortui Oren et al. 1990. The major polar lipids of strains LYG-108[T], LYG-24, DT1[T] and YSSS71 were phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester, phosphatidylglycerol sulphate, sulphated mannosyl glucosyl diether and additional glycosyl-cardiolipins. All these results showed that strains LYG-108[T] (=CGMCC 1.13607[T]=JCM 32950[T]) and LYG-24 (=CGMCC 1.13605=JCM 32949) represent a new species of the genus Halomicroarcula, for which the name Halomicroarcula laminariae sp. nov. is proposed; strains DT1[T] (=CGMCC 1.18928[T]=JCM 35414[T]) and YSSS71 (=CGMCC 1.18783=JCM 34915) also represent a new species of the genus Halomicroarcula, for which the name Halomicroarcula marina sp. nov. is proposed.

RevDate: 2023-05-18

Wang Z, Li Y, Zheng W, et al (2023)

Ammonia oxidizing archaea and bacteria respond to different manure application rates during organic vegetable cultivation in Northwest China.

Scientific reports, 13(1):8064.

Ammonia oxidization is a critical process in nitrogen cycling that involves ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB). However, the effects of different manure amounts on ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms (AOMs) over the course of organic vegetables production remains unclear. We used the amoA gene to evaluated AOMs abundance and community structure in organic vegetable fields. Quantitative PCR revealed that AOB were more abundant than AOA. Among them, the amoA copy number of AOB treated with 900 kgN ha[-1] was 21.3 times that of AOA. The potential nitrification rate was significantly correlated with AOB abundance (P < 0.0001) but not with AOA, suggesting that AOB might contribute more to nitrification than AOA. AOB sequences were classified into Nitrosomonas and Nitrosospira, and AOA into Nitrosopumilus and Nitrososphaera. Nitrosomonas and Nitrosopumilus were predominant in treatments that received manure nitrogen at ≥ 900 kg ha[-1] (52.7-56.5%) and when manure was added (72.7-99.8%), respectively, whereas Nitrosospira and Nitrososphaera occupied more than a half percentage in those that received ≤ 600 kg ha[-1] (58.4-84.9%) and no manure (59.6%). A similar manure rate resulted in more identical AOMs' community structures than greater difference manure rate. The bacterial amoA gene abundances and ratios of AOB and AOA showed significantly positive correlations with soil electrical conductivity, total carbon and nitrogen, nitrate, phosphorus, potassium, and organic carbon, indicating that these were potential key factors influencing AOMs. This study explored the AOMs' variation in organic vegetable fields in Northwest China and provided a theoretical basis and reference for the subsequent formulation of proper manure management.

RevDate: 2023-05-17

Dondjou DT, Diedhiou AG, Mbodj D, et al (2023)

Rice developmental stages modulate rhizosphere bacteria and archaea co-occurrence and sensitivity to long-term inorganic fertilization in a West African Sahelian agro-ecosystem.

Environmental microbiome, 18(1):42.

BACKGROUND: Rhizosphere microbial communities are important components of the soil-plant continuum in paddy field ecosystems. These rhizosphere communities contribute to nutrient cycling and rice productivity. The use of fertilizers is a common agricultural practice in rice paddy fields. However, the long-term impact of the fertilizers usage on the rhizosphere microbial communities at different rice developmental stages remains poorly investigated. Here, we examined the effects of long-term (27 years) N and NPK-fertilization on bacterial and archaeal community inhabiting the rice rhizosphere at three developmental stages (tillering, panicle initiation and booting) in the Senegal River Delta.

RESULTS: We found that the effect of long-term inorganic fertilization on rhizosphere microbial communities varied with the rice developmental stage, and between microbial communities in their response to N and NPK-fertilization. The microbial communities inhabiting the rice rhizosphere at panicle initiation appear to be more sensitive to long-term inorganic fertilization than those at tillering and booting stages. However, the effect of developmental stage on microbial sensitivity to long-term inorganic fertilization was more pronounced for bacterial than archaeal community. Furthermore, our data reveal dynamics of bacteria and archaea co-occurrence patterns in the rice rhizosphere, with differentiated bacterial and archaeal pivotal roles in the microbial inter-kingdom networks across developmental stages.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study brings new insights on rhizosphere bacteria and archaea co-occurrence and the long-term inorganic fertilization impact on these communities across developmental stages in field-grown rice. It would help in developing strategies for the successful manipulation of microbial communities to improve rice yields.

RevDate: 2023-05-17

Aparici D, Esclapez J, Bautista V, et al (2023)

Archaea: current and potential biotechnological applications.

Research in microbiology pii:S0923-2508(23)00055-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Archaea are microorganisms with great ability to colonize some of the most inhospitable environments in nature, managing to survive in places with extreme characteristics for most microorganisms. Its proteins and enzymes are stable and can act under extreme conditions in which other proteins and enzymes would degrade. These attributes make them ideal candidates for use in a wide range of biotechnological applications. This review describes the most important applications, both current and potential, that archaea present in Biotechnology, classifying them according to the sector to which the application is directed. It also analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of its use.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Romero R, Gervasi MT, DiGiulio DB, et al (2023)

Are bacteria, fungi, and archaea present in the midtrimester amniotic fluid?.

Journal of perinatal medicine [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to determine whether bacteria, fungi, or archaea are detected in the amniotic fluid of patients who underwent midtrimester amniocentesis for clinical indications.

METHODS: Amniotic fluid samples from 692 pregnancies were tested by using a combination of culture and end-point polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. Intra-amniotic inflammation was defined as an interleukin-6 concentration >2,935 pg/mL.

RESULTS: Microorganisms were detected in 0.3% (2/692) of cases based on cultivation, 1.73% (12/692) based on broad-range end-point PCR, and 2% (14/692) based on the combination of both methods. However, most (13/14) of these cases did not have evidence of intra-amniotic inflammation and delivered at term. Therefore, a positive culture or end-point PCR in most patients appears to have no apparent clinical significance.

CONCLUSIONS: Amniotic fluid in the midtrimester of pregnancy generally does not contain bacteria, fungi, or archaea. Interpretation of amniotic fluid culture and molecular microbiologic results is aided by the assessment of the inflammatory state of the amniotic cavity. The presence of microorganisms, as determined by culture or a microbial signal in the absence of intra-amniotic inflammation, appears to be a benign condition.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Grünberger F, Jüttner M, Knüppel R, et al (2023)

Nanopore-based RNA sequencing deciphers the formation, processing, and modification steps of rRNA intermediates in Archaea.

RNA (New York, N.Y.) pii:rna.079636.123 [Epub ahead of print].

Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) maturation in archaea is a complex multi-step process that requires well-defined endo- and exoribonuclease activities to generate fully mature linear rRNAs. However, technical challenges prevented detailed mapping of rRNA processing steps and a systematic analysis of rRNA maturation pathways across the tree of life. In this study, we employed long-read (PCR)-cDNA and direct RNA nanopore-based sequencing to study rRNA maturation in three archaeal model organisms, namely the Euryarchaea Haloferax volcanii and Pyrococcus furiosus and the Crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Compared to standard short-read protocols, nanopore sequencing facilitates simultaneous readout of 5'- and 3'-positions, which is required for the classification of rRNA processing intermediates. More specifically, we i) accurately detect and describe rRNA maturation stages by analysis of terminal read positions of cDNA reads and thereupon ii) explore the stage-dependent installation of the KsgA-mediated dimethylations in Haloferax volcanii using basecalling and signal characteristics of direct RNA reads. Due to the single-molecule sequencing capacity of nanopore sequencing, we could detect hitherto unknown intermediates with high confidence, revealing details about the maturation of archaea-specific circular rRNA intermediates. Taken together, our study delineates common principles and unique features of rRNA processing in euryarchaeal and crenarchaeal representatives, thereby significantly expanding our understanding of rRNA maturation pathways in archaea.

RevDate: 2023-05-15
CmpDate: 2023-05-15

Pallen MJ, Rodriguez-R LM, NF Alikhan (2023)

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

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 73(5):.

RevDate: 2023-05-08

Demey LM, Gumerov VM, Xing J, et al (2023)

Transmembrane Transcription Regulators Are Widespread in Bacteria and Archaea.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

To adapt and proliferate, bacteria must sense and respond to the ever-changing environment. Transmembrane transcription regulators (TTRs) are a family of one-component transcription regulators that respond to extracellular information and influence gene expression from the cytoplasmic membrane. How TTRs function to modulate expression of their target genes while localized to the cytoplasmic membrane remains poorly understood. In part, this is due to a lack of knowledge regarding the prevalence of TTRs among prokaryotes. Here, we show that TTRs are highly diverse and prevalent throughout bacteria and archaea. Our work demonstrates that TTRs are more common than previously appreciated and are enriched within specific bacterial and archaeal phyla and that many TTRs have unique transmembrane region properties that can facilitate association with detergent-resistant membranes. IMPORTANCE One-component signal transduction systems are the major class of signal transduction systems among bacteria and are commonly cytoplasmic. TTRs are a group of unique one-component signal transduction systems that influence transcription from the cytoplasmic membrane. TTRs have been implicated in a wide array of biological pathways critical for both pathogens and human commensal organisms but were considered to be rare. Here, we demonstrate that TTRs are in fact highly diverse and broadly distributed in bacteria and archaea. Our findings suggest that transcription factors can access the chromosome and influence transcription from the membrane in both archaea and bacteria. This study challenges thus the commonly held notion that signal transduction systems require a cytoplasmic transcription factor and highlights the importance of the cytoplasmic membrane in directly influencing signal transduction.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

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

Correction to: Unexpected complexity of the ammonia monooxygenase in archaea.

RevDate: 2023-04-26

Jaffe AL, Castelle CJ, JF Banfield (2023)

Habitat Transition in the Evolution of Bacteria and Archaea.

Annual review of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Related groups of microbes are widely distributed across Earth's habitats, implying numerous dispersal and adaptation events over evolutionary time. However, relatively little is known about the characteristics and mechanisms of these habitat transitions, particularly for populations that reside in animal microbiomes. Here, we review the literature concerning habitat transitions among a variety of bacterial and archaeal lineages, considering the frequency of migration events, potential environmental barriers, and mechanisms of adaptation to new physicochemical conditions, including the modification of protein inventories and other genomic characteristics. Cells dependent on microbial hosts, particularly bacteria from the Candidate Phyla Radiation, have undergone repeated habitat transitions from environmental sources into animal microbiomes. We compare their trajectories to those of both free-living cells-including the Melainabacteria, Elusimicrobia, and methanogenic archaea-and cellular endosymbionts and bacteriophages, which have made similar transitions. We conclude by highlighting major related topics that may be worthy of future study. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Microbiology, Volume 77 is September 2023. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2023-04-26

Chen X, Molenda O, Brown CT, et al (2023)

"Candidatus Nealsonbacteria" Are Likely Biomass Recycling Ectosymbionts of Methanogenic Archaea in a Stable Benzene-Degrading Enrichment Culture.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR), also referred to as superphylum Patescibacteria, is a very large group of bacteria with no pure culture representatives discovered by 16S rRNA sequencing or genome-resolved metagenomic analyses of environmental samples. Within the CPR, candidate phylum Parcubacteria, previously referred to as OD1, is prevalent in anoxic sediments and groundwater. Previously, we had identified a specific member of the Parcubacteria (referred to as DGGOD1a) as an important member of a methanogenic benzene-degrading consortium. Phylogenetic analyses herein place DGGOD1a within the clade "Candidatus Nealsonbacteria." Because of its persistence over many years, we hypothesized that "Ca. Nealsonbacteria" DGGOD1a must play an important role in sustaining anaerobic benzene metabolism in the consortium. To try to identify its growth substrate, we amended the culture with a variety of defined compounds (pyruvate, acetate, hydrogen, DNA, and phospholipid), as well as crude culture lysate and three subfractions thereof. We observed the greatest (10-fold) increase in the absolute abundance of "Ca. Nealsonbacteria" DGGOD1a only when the consortium was amended with crude cell lysate. These results implicate "Ca. Nealsonbacteria" in biomass recycling. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and cryogenic transmission electron microscope images revealed that "Ca. Nealsonbacteria" DGGOD1a cells were attached to larger archaeal Methanothrix cells. This apparent epibiont lifestyle was supported by metabolic predictions from a manually curated complete genome. This is one of the first examples of bacterial-archaeal episymbiosis and may be a feature of other "Ca. Nealsonbacteria" found in anoxic environments. IMPORTANCE An anaerobic microbial enrichment culture was used to study members of candidate phyla that are difficult to grow in the lab. We were able to visualize tiny "Candidatus Nealsonbacteria" cells attached to a large Methanothrix cell, revealing a novel episymbiosis.

RevDate: 2023-04-26

Prakash O, Dodsworth JA, Dong X, et al (2023)

Proposed minimal standards for description of methanogenic archaea.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 73(4):.

Methanogenic archaea are a diverse, polyphyletic group of strictly anaerobic prokaryotes capable of producing methane as their primary metabolic product. It has been over three decades since minimal standards for their taxonomic description have been proposed. In light of advancements in technology and amendments in systematic microbiology, revision of the older criteria for taxonomic description is essential. Most of the previously recommended minimum standards regarding phenotypic characterization of pure cultures are maintained. Electron microscopy and chemotaxonomic methods like whole-cell protein and lipid analysis are desirable but not required. Because of advancements in DNA sequencing technologies, obtaining a complete or draft whole genome sequence for type strains and its deposition in a public database are now mandatory. Genomic data should be used for rigorous comparison to close relatives using overall genome related indices such as average nucleotide identity and digital DNA-DNA hybridization. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene is also required and can be supplemented by phylogenies of the mcrA gene and phylogenomic analysis using multiple conserved, single-copy marker genes. Additionally, it is now established that culture purity is not essential for studying prokaryotes, and description of Candidatus methanogenic taxa using single-cell or metagenomics along with other appropriate criteria is a viable alternative. The revisions to the minimal criteria proposed here by the members of the Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Methanogenic Archaea of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes should allow for rigorous yet practical taxonomic description of these important and diverse microbes.

RevDate: 2023-04-24

Dithugoe CD, Bezuidt OKI, Cavan EL, et al (2023)

Bacteria and Archaea Regulate Particulate Organic Matter Export in Suspended and Sinking Marine Particle Fractions.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

The biological carbon pump (BCP) in the Southern Ocean is driven by phytoplankton productivity and is a significant organic matter sink. However, the role of particle-attached (PA) and free-living (FL) prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and their diversity in influencing the efficiency of the BCP is still unclear. To investigate this, we analyzed the metagenomes linked to suspended and sinking marine particles from the Sub-Antarctic Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS) by deploying a Marine Snow Catcher (MSC), obtaining suspended and sinking particulate material, determining organic carbon and nitrogen flux, and constructing metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs). The suspended and sinking particle-pools were dominated by bacteria with the potential to degrade organic carbon. Bacterial communities associated with the sinking fraction had more genes related to the degradation of complex organic carbon than those in the suspended fraction. Archaea had the potential to drive nitrogen metabolism via nitrite and ammonia oxidation, altering organic nitrogen concentration. The data revealed several pathways for chemoautotrophy and the secretion of recalcitrant dissolved organic carbon (RDOC) from CO2, with bacteria and archaea potentially sequestering particulate organic matter (POM) via the production of RDOC. These findings provide insights into the diversity and function of prokaryotes in suspended and sinking particles and their role in organic carbon/nitrogen export in the Southern Ocean. IMPORTANCE The biological carbon pump is crucial for the export of particulate organic matter in the ocean. Recent studies on marine microbes have shown the profound influence of bacteria and archaea as regulators of particulate organic matter export. Yet, despite the importance of the Southern Ocean as a carbon sink, we lack comparable insights regarding microbial contributions. This study provides the first insights regarding prokaryotic contributions to particulate organic matter export in the Southern Ocean. We reveal evidence that prokaryotic communities in suspended and sinking particle fractions harbor widespread genomic potential for mediating particulate organic matter export. The results substantially enhance our understanding of the role played by microorganisms in regulating particulate organic matter export in suspended and sinking marine fractions in the Southern Ocean.

RevDate: 2023-04-21

Roux S, Camargo AP, Coutinho FH, et al (2023)

iPHoP: An integrated machine learning framework to maximize host prediction for metagenome-derived viruses of archaea and bacteria.

PLoS biology, 21(4):e3002083 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-22-01906 [Epub ahead of print].

The extraordinary diversity of viruses infecting bacteria and archaea is now primarily studied through metagenomics. While metagenomes enable high-throughput exploration of the viral sequence space, metagenome-derived sequences lack key information compared to isolated viruses, in particular host association. Different computational approaches are available to predict the host(s) of uncultivated viruses based on their genome sequences, but thus far individual approaches are limited either in precision or in recall, i.e., for a number of viruses they yield erroneous predictions or no prediction at all. Here, we describe iPHoP, a two-step framework that integrates multiple methods to reliably predict host taxonomy at the genus rank for a broad range of viruses infecting bacteria and archaea, while retaining a low false discovery rate. Based on a large dataset of metagenome-derived virus genomes from the IMG/VR database, we illustrate how iPHoP can provide extensive host prediction and guide further characterization of uncultivated viruses.

RevDate: 2023-04-21

Zhang Z, S Fusco (2023)

Editorial: New insights into the genetic mechanisms of thermophilic archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1185784.

RevDate: 2023-04-21

Zhang CJ, Chen YL, Sun YH, et al (2021)

Diversity, metabolism and cultivation of archaea in mangrove ecosystems.

Marine life science & technology, 3(2):252-262.

Mangroves comprise a globally significant intertidal ecosystem that contains a high diversity of microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria and archaea. Archaea is a major domain of life that plays important roles in biogeochemical cycles in these ecosystems. In this review, the potential roles of archaea in mangroves are briefly highlighted. Then, the diversity and metabolism of archaeal community of mangrove ecosystems across the world are summarized and Bathyarchaeota, Euryarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, Woesearchaeota, and Lokiarchaeota are confirmed as the most abundant and ubiquitous archaeal groups. The metabolic potential of these archaeal groups indicates their important ecological function in carbon, nitrogen and sulfur cycling. Finally, some cultivation strategies that could be applied to uncultivated archaeal lineages from mangrove wetlands are suggested, including refinements to traditional cultivation methods based on genomic and transcriptomic information, and numerous innovative cultivation techniques such as single-cell isolation and high-throughput culturing (HTC). These cultivation strategies provide more opportunities to obtain previously uncultured archaea.

RevDate: 2023-04-18

Nikonov OS, Nikonova EY, Tarabarova AG, et al (2023)

Recognition of γ-Subunit by β-Subunit in Translation Initiation Factor 2. Stabilization of the GTP-Bound State of I/F 2 in Archaea and Eukaryotes.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 88(2):221-230.

Eukaryotic and archaeal translation initiation factor 2 (e/aIF2) functions as a heterotrimeric complex. It consists of three subunits (α, β, γ). α- and β-subunits are bound to γ-subunit by hydrogen bonds and van der Waals interactions, but do not contact each other. Although main functions of the factor are performed by the γ-subunit, reliable formation of αγ and βγ complexes is necessary for its proper functioning. In this work, we introduced mutations in the recognition part of the βγ interface and showed that hydrophobic effect plays a crucial role in the recognition of subunits both in eukaryotes and archaea. Shape and properties of the groove on the surface of γ-subunit facilitates transition of the disordered recognition part of the β-subunit into an α-helix containing approximately the same number of residues in archaea and eukaryotes. In addition, based on the newly obtained data, it was concluded that in archaea and eukaryotes, transition of the γ-subunit to the active state leads to additional contact between the region of switch 1 and C-terminal part of the β-subunit, which stabilizes helical conformation of the switch.

RevDate: 2023-04-19

Hu H, Natarajan VP, F Wang (2021)

Towards enriching and isolation of uncultivated archaea from marine sediments using a refined combination of conventional microbial cultivation methods.

Marine life science & technology, 3(2):231-242.

UNLABELLED: The archaea that can be readily cultivated in the laboratory are only a small fraction of the total diversity that exists in nature. Although molecular ecology methods, such as metagenomic sequencing, can provide valuable information independent of cell cultivation, it is only through cultivation-based experiments that they may be fully characterized, both for their physiological and ecological properties. Here, we report our efforts towards enriching and isolation of uncultivated archaea from marine sediments using a refined combination of conventional microbial cultivation methods. Initially, cells were retrieved from the sediment samples through a cell extraction procedure and the sediment-free mixed cells were then divided into different size-range fractions by successive filtration through 0.8 µm, 0.6 µm and 0.2 µm membranes. Archaeal 16S rRNA gene analyses indicated noticeable retention of different archaeal groups in different fractions. For each fraction, supplementation with a variety of defined substrates (e.g., methane, sulfate, and lignin) and stepwise dilutions led to highly active enrichment cultures of several archaeal groups with Bathyarchaeota most prominently enriched. Finally, using a roll-bottle technique, three co-cultures consisting of Bathyarchaeota (subgroup-8) and a bacterial species affiliated with either Pseudomonas or Glutamicibacter were obtained. Our results demonstrate that a combination of cell extraction, size fractionation, and roll-bottle isolation methods could be a useful protocol for the successful enrichment and isolation of numerous slow-growing archaeal groups from marine sediments.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42995-021-00092-0.

RevDate: 2023-04-19

Cui HL, ML Dyall-Smith (2021)

Cultivation of halophilic archaea (class Halobacteria) from thalassohaline and athalassohaline environments.

Marine life science & technology, 3(2):243-251.

UNLABELLED: As a group, the halophilic archaea (class Halobacteria) are the most salt-requiring and salt-resistant microorganisms within the domain Archaea. Halophilic archaea flourish in thalassohaline and athalassohaline environments and require over 100-150 g/L NaCl for growth and structural stability. Natural hypersaline environments vary in salt concentration, chemical composition and pH, and occur in climates ranging from tropical to polar and even under-sea. Accordingly, their resident haloarchaeal species vary enormously, as do their individual population compositions and community structures. These diverse halophilic archaeal strains are precious resources for theoretical and applied research but assessing their taxonomic and metabolic novelty and diversity in natural environments has been technically difficult up until recently. Environmental DNA-based high-throughput sequencing technology has now matured sufficiently to allow inexpensive recovery of massive amounts of sequence data, revealing the distribution and community composition of halophilic archaea in different hypersaline environments. While cultivation of haloarchaea is slow and tedious, and only recovers a fraction of the natural diversity, it is the conventional means of describing new species, and provides strains for detailed study. As of the end of May 2020, the class Halobacteria contains 71 genera and 275 species, 49.8% of which were first isolated from the marine salt environment and 50.2% from the inland salt environment, indicating that both thalassohaline and athalassohaline environments contain diverse halophilic archaea. However, there remain taxa that have not yet been isolated in pure culture, such as the nanohaloarchaea, which are widespread in the salt environment and may be one of the hot spots in the field of halophilic archaea research in the future. In this review, we focus on the cultivation strategies that have been used to isolate extremely halophilic archaea and point out some of the pitfalls and challenges.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42995-020-00087-3.

RevDate: 2023-04-17

Cerna-Vargas JP, Gumerov VM, Krell T, et al (2023)

Amine recognizing domain in diverse receptors from bacteria and archaea evolved from the universal amino acid sensor.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.04.06.535858.

Bacteria contain many different receptor families that sense different signals permitting an optimal adaptation to the environment. A major limitation in microbiology is the lack of information on the signal molecules that activate receptors. Due to a significant sequence divergence, the signal recognized by sensor domains is only poorly reflected in overall sequence identity. Biogenic amines are of central physiological relevance for microorganisms and serve for example as substrates for aerobic and anaerobic growth, neurotransmitters or osmoprotectants. Based on protein structural information and sequence analysis, we report here the identification of a sequence motif that is specific for amine-sensing dCache sensor domains (dCache_1AM). These domains were identified in more than 13,000 proteins from 8,000 bacterial and archaeal species. dCache_1AM containing receptors were identified in all major receptor families including sensor kinases, chemoreceptors, receptors involved in second messenger homeostasis and Ser/Thr phosphatases. The screening of compound libraries and microcalorimetric titrations of selected dCache_1AM domains confirmed their capacity to specifically bind amines. Mutants in the amine binding motif or domains that contain a single mismatch in the binding motif, had either no or a largely reduced affinity for amines, illustrating the specificity of this motif. We demonstrate that the dCache_1AM domain has evolved from the universal amino acid sensing domain, providing novel insight into receptor evolution. Our approach enables precise "wet"-lab experiments to define the function of regulatory systems and thus holds a strong promise to address an important bottleneck in microbiology: the identification of signals that stimulate numerous receptors.

RevDate: 2023-04-17

Lach J, Strapagiel D, Matera-Witkiewicz A, et al (2023)

Draft genomes of halophilic Archaea strains isolated from brines of the Carpathian Foreland, Poland.

Journal of genomics, 11:20-25.

Halophilic Archaea are a unique group of microorganisms living in saline environments. They constitute a complex group whose biodiversity has not been thoroughly studied. Here, we report three draft genomes of halophilic Archaea isolated from brines, representing the genera of Halorubrum, Halopenitus, and Haloarcula. Two of these strains, Boch-26 and POP-27, were identified as members of the genera Halorubrum and Halopenitus, respectively. However, they could not be assigned to any known species because of the excessive difference in genome sequences between these strains and any other described genomes. In contrast, the third strain, Boch-26, was identified as Haloarcula hispanica. Genome lengths of these isolates ranged from 2.7 Mbp to 3.0 Mbp, and GC content was in the 63.77%-68.77% range. Moreover, functional analysis revealed biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) related to terpenes production in all analysed genomes and one BGC for RRE (RiPP recognition element)-dependent RiPP (post-translationally modified peptides) biosynthesis. Moreover, the obtained results enhanced the knowledge about the salt mines microbiota biodiversity as a poorly explored environment so far.

RevDate: 2023-04-17

Liang H, Song ZM, Zhong Z, et al (2023)

Genomic and metabolic analyses reveal antagonistic lanthipeptides in archaea.

Microbiome, 11(1):74.

BACKGROUND: Microbes produce diverse secondary metabolites (SMs) such as signaling molecules and antimicrobials that mediate microbe-microbe interaction. Archaea, the third domain of life, are a large and diverse group of microbes that not only exist in extreme environments but are abundantly distributed throughout nature. However, our understanding of archaeal SMs lags far behind our knowledge of those in bacteria and eukarya.

RESULTS: Guided by genomic and metabolic analysis of archaeal SMs, we discovered two new lanthipeptides with distinct ring topologies from a halophilic archaeon of class Haloarchaea. Of these two lanthipeptides, archalan α exhibited anti-archaeal activities against halophilic archaea, potentially mediating the archaeal antagonistic interactions in the halophilic niche. To our best knowledge, archalan α represents the first lantibiotic and the first anti-archaeal SM from the archaea domain.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study investigates the biosynthetic potential of lanthipeptides in archaea, linking lanthipeptides to antagonistic interaction via genomic and metabolic analyses and bioassay. The discovery of these archaeal lanthipeptides is expected to stimulate the experimental study of poorly characterized archaeal chemical biology and highlight the potential of archaea as a new source of bioactive SMs. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-04-15

Cumsille A, Durán RE, Rodríguez-Delherbe A, et al (2023)

GenoVi, an open-source automated circular genome visualizer for bacteria and archaea.

PLoS computational biology, 19(4):e1010998.

The increase in microbial sequenced genomes from pure cultures and metagenomic samples reflects the current attainability of whole-genome and shotgun sequencing methods. However, software for genome visualization still lacks automation, integration of different analyses, and customizable options for non-experienced users. In this study, we introduce GenoVi, a Python command-line tool able to create custom circular genome representations for the analysis and visualization of microbial genomes and sequence elements. It is designed to work with complete or draft genomes, featuring customizable options including 25 different built-in color palettes (including 5 color-blind safe palettes), text formatting options, and automatic scaling for complete genomes or sequence elements with more than one replicon/sequence. Using a Genbank format file as the input file or multiple files within a directory, GenoVi (i) visualizes genomic features from the GenBank annotation file, (ii) integrates a Cluster of Orthologs Group (COG) categories analysis using DeepNOG, (iii) automatically scales the visualization of each replicon of complete genomes or multiple sequence elements, (iv) and generates COG histograms, COG frequency heatmaps and output tables including general stats of each replicon or contig processed. GenoVi's potential was assessed by analyzing single and multiple genomes of Bacteria and Archaea. Paraburkholderia genomes were analyzed to obtain a fast classification of replicons in large multipartite genomes. GenoVi works as an easy-to-use command-line tool and provides customizable options to automatically generate genomic maps for scientific publications, educational resources, and outreach activities. GenoVi is freely available and can be downloaded from

RevDate: 2023-04-04
CmpDate: 2023-04-04

Tang SK, Zhi XY, Zhang Y, et al (2023)

Cellular differentiation into hyphae and spores in halophilic archaea.

Nature communications, 14(1):1827.

Several groups of bacteria have complex life cycles involving cellular differentiation and multicellular structures. For example, actinobacteria of the genus Streptomyces form multicellular vegetative hyphae, aerial hyphae, and spores. However, similar life cycles have not yet been described for archaea. Here, we show that several haloarchaea of the family Halobacteriaceae display a life cycle resembling that of Streptomyces bacteria. Strain YIM 93972 (isolated from a salt marsh) undergoes cellular differentiation into mycelia and spores. Other closely related strains are also able to form mycelia, and comparative genomic analyses point to gene signatures (apparent gain or loss of certain genes) that are shared by members of this clade within the Halobacteriaceae. Genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of non-differentiating mutants suggest that a Cdc48-family ATPase might be involved in cellular differentiation in strain YIM 93972. Additionally, a gene encoding a putative oligopeptide transporter from YIM 93972 can restore the ability to form hyphae in a Streptomyces coelicolor mutant that carries a deletion in a homologous gene cluster (bldKA-bldKE), suggesting functional equivalence. We propose strain YIM 93972 as representative of a new species in a new genus within the family Halobacteriaceae, for which the name Actinoarchaeum halophilum gen. nov., sp. nov. is herewith proposed. Our demonstration of a complex life cycle in a group of haloarchaea adds a new dimension to our understanding of the biological diversity and environmental adaptation of archaea.

RevDate: 2023-04-03

Hu Y, Ma X, Li XX, et al (2023)

Natrinema caseinilyticum sp. nov., Natrinema gelatinilyticum sp. nov., Natrinema marinum sp. nov., Natrinema zhouii sp. nov., extremely halophilic archaea isolated from marine environments and a salt mine.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions, 27(1):9.

Four extremely halophilic archaeal strains (ZJ2[T], BND6[T], DT87[T], and YPL30[T]) were isolated from marine environments and a salt mine in China. The 16S rRNA and rpoB' gene sequence similarities among strains ZJ2[T], BND6[T], DT87[T], YPL30[T] and the current species of Natrinema were 93.2-99.3% and 89.2-95.8%, respectively. Both phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses revealed that strains ZJ2[T], BND6[T], DT87[T], and YPL30[T] cluster with the Natrinema members. The overall genome-related indexes (ANI, isDDH, and AAI) among these four strains and the current species of genus Natrinema were 70-88%, 22-43% and 75-89%, respectively, clearly below the threshold values for species boundary. Strains ZJ2[T], BND6[T], DT87[T], and YPL30[T] could be distinguished from the related species according to differential phenotypic characteristics. The major polar lipids of the four strains were phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester (PGP-Me), sulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether (S-DGD-1), and disulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether (S2-DGD). The phenotypic, chemotaxonomic, phylogenetic and phylogenomic features indicated that strains ZJ2[T] (= CGMCC 1.18786[ T] = JCM 34918[ T]), BND6[T] (= CGMCC 1.18777[ T] = JCM 34909[ T]), DT87[T] (= CGMCC 1.18921[ T] = JCM 35420[ T]), and YPL30[T] (= CGMCC 1.15337[ T] = JCM 31113[ T]) represent four novel species of the genus Natrinema, for which the names, Natrinema caseinilyticum sp. nov., Natrinema gelatinilyticum sp. nov., Natrinema marinum sp. nov., and Natrinema zhouii sp. nov., are proposed.

RevDate: 2023-03-31

Iguchi A, Takemura Y, Danshita T, et al (2023)

Isolation and physiological properties of methanogenic archaea that degrade tetramethylammonium hydroxide.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) is a known toxic chemical used in the photolithography process of semiconductor photoelectronic processes. Significant amounts of wastewater containing TMAH are discharged from electronic industries. It is therefore attractive to apply anaerobic treatment to industrial wastewater containing TMAH. In this study, a novel TMAH-degrading methanogenic archaeon was isolated from the granular sludge of a psychrophilic upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating synthetic wastewater containing TMAH. Although the isolate (strain NY-STAYD) was phylogenetically related to Methanomethylovorans uponensis, it was the only isolated Methanomethylovorans strain capable of TMAH degradation. Strain NY-STAYD was capable of degrading methylamine compounds, similar to the previously isolated Methanomethylovorans spp. While the strain was able to grow at temperatures ranging from 15 to 37°C, the cell yield was higher at lower temperatures. The distribution of archaeal cells affiliated with the genus Methanomethylovorans in the original granular sludge was investigated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using specific oligonucleotide probe targeting 16S rRNA. The results demonstrated that the TMAH-degrading cells associated with the genus Methanomethylovorans were not intermingled with other microorganisms but rather isolated on the granule's surface as a lone dominant archaeon. KEY POINTS: • A TMAH-degrading methanogenic Methanomethylovorans strain was isolated • This strain was the only known Methanomethylovorans isolate that can degrade TMAH • The highest cell yield of the isolate was obtained at psychrophilic conditions.

RevDate: 2023-03-31

D'Alò F, Zucconi L, Onofri S, et al (2023)

Effects of 5-year experimental warming in the Alpine belt on soil Archaea: Multi-omics approaches and prospects.

Environmental microbiology reports [Epub ahead of print].

We currently lack a predictive understanding of how soil archaeal communities may respond to climate change, particularly in Alpine areas where warming is far exceeding the global average. Here, we characterized the abundance, structure, and function of total (by metagenomics) and active soil archaea (by metatranscriptomics) after 5-year experimental field warming (+1°C) in Italian Alpine grasslands and snowbeds. Our multi-omics approach unveiled an increasing abundance of Archaea during warming in snowbeds, which was negatively correlated with the abundance of fungi (by qPCR) and micronutrients (Ca and Mg), but positively correlated with soil water content. In the snowbeds transcripts, warming resulted in the enrichment of abundances of transcription and nucleotide biosynthesis. Our study provides novel insights into possible changes in soil Archaea composition and function in the climate change scenario.

RevDate: 2023-03-31

Cisek AA, Bąk I, B Cukrowska (2023)

Improved Quantitative Real-Time PCR Protocol for Detection and Quantification of Methanogenic Archaea in Stool Samples.

Microorganisms, 11(3):.

Methanogenic archaea are an important component of the human and animal intestinal microbiota, and yet their presence is rarely reported in publications describing the subject. One of the methods of quantifying the prevalence of methanogens is quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) of the methanogen-specific mcrA gene, and one of the possible reasons for detection failure is usually a methodology bias. Here, we refined the existing protocol by changing one of the primers and improving the conditions of the qPCR reaction. As a result, at the expense of a slightly lower yet acceptable PCR efficiency, the new assay was characterized by increased specificity and sensitivity and a wider linear detection range of 7 orders of magnitude. The lowest copy number of mcrA quantified at a frequency of 100% was 21 copies per reaction. The other validation parameters tested, such as reproducibility and linearity, also gave satisfactory results. Overall, we were able to minimize the negative impacts of primer dimerization and other cross-reactions on qPCR and increase the number of not only detectable but also quantifiable stool samples-or in this case, chicken droppings.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Slobodkin AI, Ratnikova NM, Slobodkina GB, et al (2023)

Composition and Metabolic Potential of Fe(III)-Reducing Enrichment Cultures of Methanotrophic ANME-2a Archaea and Associated Bacteria.

Microorganisms, 11(3): pii:microorganisms11030555.

The key microbial group involved in anaerobic methane oxidation is anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME). From a terrestrial mud volcano, we enriched a microbial community containing ANME-2a, using methane as an electron donor, Fe(III) oxide (ferrihydrite) as an electron acceptor, and anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate as an electron shuttle. Ferrihydrite reduction led to the formation of a black, highly magnetic precipitate. A significant relative abundance of ANME-2a in batch cultures was observed over five subsequent transfers. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that, in addition to ANME-2a, two bacterial taxa belonging to uncultured Desulfobulbaceae and Anaerolineaceae were constantly present in all enrichments. Metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of ANME-2a contained a complete set of genes for methanogenesis and numerous genes of multiheme c-type cytochromes (MHC), indicating the capability of methanotrophs to transfer electrons to metal oxides or to a bacterial partner. One of the ANME MAGs encoded respiratory arsenate reductase (Arr), suggesting the potential for a direct coupling of methane oxidation with As(V) reduction in the single microorganism. The same MAG also encoded uptake [NiFe] hydrogenase, which is uncommon for ANME-2. The MAG of uncultured Desulfobulbaceae contained genes of dissimilatory sulfate reduction, a Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for autotrophic CO2 fixation, hydrogenases, and 43 MHC. We hypothesize that uncultured Desulfobulbaceae is a bacterial partner of ANME-2a, which mediates extracellular electron transfer to Fe(III) oxide.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-24

Regueira-Iglesias A, Vázquez-González L, Balsa-Castro C, et al (2023)

In silico evaluation and selection of the best 16S rRNA gene primers for use in next-generation sequencing to detect oral bacteria and archaea.

Microbiome, 11(1):58.

BACKGROUND: Sequencing has been widely used to study the composition of the oral microbiome present in various health conditions. The extent of the coverage of the 16S rRNA gene primers employed for this purpose has not, however, been evaluated in silico using oral-specific databases. This paper analyses these primers using two databases containing 16S rRNA sequences from bacteria and archaea found in the human mouth and describes some of the best primers for each domain.

RESULTS: A total of 369 distinct individual primers were identified from sequencing studies of the oral microbiome and other ecosystems. These were evaluated against a database reported in the literature of 16S rRNA sequences obtained from oral bacteria, which was modified by our group, and a self-created oral archaea database. Both databases contained the genomic variants detected for each included species. Primers were evaluated at the variant and species levels, and those with a species coverage (SC) ≥75.00% were selected for the pair analyses. All possible combinations of the forward and reverse primers were identified, with the resulting 4638 primer pairs also evaluated using the two databases. The best bacteria-specific pairs targeted the 3-4, 4-7, and 3-7 16S rRNA gene regions, with SC levels of 98.83-97.14%; meanwhile, the optimum archaea-specific primer pairs amplified regions 5-6, 3-6, and 3-6, with SC estimates of 95.88%. Finally, the best pairs for detecting both domains targeted regions 4-5, 3-5, and 5-9, and produced SC values of 95.71-94.54% and 99.48-96.91% for bacteria and archaea, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the three amplicon length categories (100-300, 301-600, and >600 base pairs), the primer pairs with the best coverage values for detecting oral bacteria were as follows: KP_F048-OP_R043 (region 3-4; primer pair position for Escherichia coli J01859.1: 342-529), KP_F051-OP_R030 (4-7; 514-1079), and KP_F048-OP_R030 (3-7; 342-1079). For detecting oral archaea, these were as follows: OP_F066-KP_R013 (5-6; 784-undefined), KP_F020-KP_R013 (3-6; 518-undefined), and OP_F114-KP_R013 (3-6; 340-undefined). Lastly, for detecting both domains jointly they were KP_F020-KP_R032 (4-5; 518-801), OP_F114-KP_R031 (3-5; 340-801), and OP_F066-OP_R121 (5-9; 784-1405). The primer pairs with the best coverage identified herein are not among those described most widely in the oral microbiome literature. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Lynes MM, Krukenberg V, Jay ZJ, et al (2023)

Diversity and function of methyl-coenzyme M reductase-encoding archaea in Yellowstone hot springs revealed by metagenomics and mesocosm experiments.

ISME communications, 3(1):22.

Metagenomic studies on geothermal environments have been central in recent discoveries on the diversity of archaeal methane and alkane metabolism. Here, we investigated methanogenic populations inhabiting terrestrial geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) by combining amplicon sequencing with metagenomics and mesocosm experiments. Detection of methyl-coenzyme M reductase subunit A (mcrA) gene amplicons demonstrated a wide diversity of Mcr-encoding archaea inhabit geothermal features with differing physicochemical regimes across YNP. From three selected hot springs we recovered twelve Mcr-encoding metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) affiliated with lineages of cultured methanogens as well as Candidatus (Ca.) Methanomethylicia, Ca. Hadesarchaeia, and Archaeoglobi. These MAGs encoded the potential for hydrogenotrophic, aceticlastic, hydrogen-dependent methylotrophic methanogenesis, or anaerobic short-chain alkane oxidation. While Mcr-encoding archaea represent minor fractions of the microbial community of hot springs, mesocosm experiments with methanogenic precursors resulted in the stimulation of methanogenic activity and the enrichment of lineages affiliated with Methanosaeta and Methanothermobacter as well as with uncultured Mcr-encoding archaea including Ca. Korarchaeia, Ca. Nezhaarchaeia, and Archaeoglobi. We revealed that diverse Mcr-encoding archaea with the metabolic potential to produce methane from different precursors persist in the geothermal environments of YNP and can be enriched under methanogenic conditions. This study highlights the importance of combining environmental metagenomics with laboratory-based experiments to expand our understanding of uncultured Mcr-encoding archaea and their potential impact on microbial carbon transformations in geothermal environments and beyond.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Chen J, Li Y, Zhong C, et al (2023)

Genomic Insights into Niche Partitioning across Sediment Depth among Anaerobic Methane-Oxidizing Archaea in Global Methane Seeps.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Marine sediments are important methane reservoirs. Methane efflux from the seabed is significantly restricted by anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea through a process known as anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Different clades of ANME archaea occupy distinct niches in methane seeps, but their underlying molecular mechanisms still need to be fully understood. To provide genetic explanations for the niche partitioning of ANME archaea, we applied comparative genomic analysis to ANME archaeal genomes retrieved from global methane seeps. Our results showed that ANME-2 archaea are more prevalent than ANME-1 archaea in shallow sediments because they carry genes that encode a significantly higher number of outer membrane multiheme c-type cytochromes and flagellar proteins. These features make ANME-2 archaea perform direct interspecies electron transfer better and benefit more from electron acceptors in AOM. Besides, ANME-2 archaea carry genes that encode extra peroxidase compared to ANME-1 archaea, which may lead to ANME-2 archaea better tolerating oxygen toxicity. In contrast, ANME-1 archaea are more competitive in deep layers than ANME-2 archaea because they carry extra genes (mtb and mtt) for methylotrophic methanogenesis and a significantly higher number of frh and mvh genes for hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Additionally, ANME-1 archaea carry exclusive genes (sqr, TST, and mddA) involved in sulfide detoxification compared to ANME-2 archaea, leading to stronger sulfide tolerance. Overall, this study reveals the genomic mechanisms shaping the niche partitioning among ANME archaea in global methane seeps. IMPORTANCE Anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea are important methanotrophs in marine sediment, controlling the flux of biologically generated methane, which plays an essential role in the marine carbon cycle and climate change. So far, no strain of this lineage has been isolated in pure culture, which makes metagenomics one of the fundamental approaches to reveal their metabolic potential. Although the niche partitioning of ANME archaea was frequently reported in different studies, whether this pattern was consistent in global methane seeps had yet to be verified, and little was known about the genetic mechanisms underlying it. Here, we reviewed and analyzed the community structure of ANME archaea in global methane seeps and indicated that the niche partitioning of ANME archaea was statistically supported. Our comparative genomic analysis indicated that the capabilities of interspecies electron transfer, methanogenesis, and the resistance of oxygen and hydrogen sulfide could be critical in defining the distribution of ANME archaea in methane seep sediment.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Adlung N, S Scheller (2023)

Application of the Fluorescence-Activating and Absorption-Shifting Tag (FAST) for Flow Cytometry in Methanogenic Archaea.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Methane-producing archaea play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and are used for biotechnological fuel production. Methanogenic model organisms such as Methanococcus maripaludis and Methanosarcina acetivorans have been biochemically characterized and can be genetically engineered by using a variety of existing molecular tools. The anaerobic lifestyle and autofluorescence of methanogens, however, restrict the use of common fluorescent reporter proteins (e.g., GFP and derivatives), which require oxygen for chromophore maturation. Recently, the use of a novel oxygen-independent fluorescent activation and absorption-shifting tag (FAST) was demonstrated with M. maripaludis. Similarly, we now describe the use of the tandem activation and absorption-shifting tag protein 2 (tdFAST2), which fluoresces when the cell-permeable fluorescent ligand (fluorogen) 4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxybenzylidene rhodanine (HBR-3,5DOM) is present. Expression of tdFAST2 in M. acetivorans and M. maripaludis is noncytotoxic and tdFAST2:HBR-3,5DOM fluorescence is clearly distinguishable from the autofluorescence. In flow cytometry experiments, mixed methanogen cultures can be distinguished, thereby allowing for the possibility of high-throughput investigations of the characteristic dynamics within single and mixed cultures. IMPORTANCE Methane-producing archaea play an essential role in the global carbon cycle and demonstrate great potential for various biotechnological applications, e.g., biofuel production, carbon dioxide capture, and electrochemical systems. Oxygen sensitivity and high autofluorescence hinder the use of common fluorescent proteins for studying methanogens. By using tdFAST2:HBR-3,5DOM fluorescence, which functions under anaerobic conditions and is distinguishable from the autofluorescence, real-time reporter studies and high-throughput investigation of the mixed culture dynamics of methanogens via flow cytometry were made possible. This will further help accelerate the sustainable exploitation of methanogens.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Li D, Ren Z, Zhou Y, et al (2023)

Comammox Nitrospira and Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea Are Dominant Ammonia Oxidizers in Sediments of an Acid Mine Lake Containing High Ammonium Concentrations.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Exploring nitrifiers in extreme environments is vital to expanding our understanding of nitrogen cycle and microbial diversity. This study presents that complete ammonia oxidation (comammox) Nitrospira, together with acidophilic ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), dominate in the nitrifying guild in sediments of an acid mine lake (AML). The lake water was characterized by acidic pH below 5 with a high ammonium concentration of 175 mg-N/liter, which is rare on the earth. Nitrification was active in sediments with a maximum nitrate production potential of 70.5 μg-N/(g-dry weight [dw] day) for mixed sediments. Quantitative PCR assays determined that in AML sediments, comammox Nitrospira and AOA amoA genes had relative abundances of 52% and 41%, respectively, among the total amoA genes. Further assays with 16S rRNA and amoA gene amplicon sequencing and metagenomics confirmed their dominance and revealed that the comammox Nitrospira found in sediments belonged to comammox Nitrospira clade A.2. Metagenomic binning retrieved a metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) of the comammox Nitrospira from sediments (completeness = 96.76%), and phylogenomic analysis suggested that it was a novel comammox Nitrospira. Comparative genomic investigation revealed that this comammox Nitrospira contained diverse metal resistance genes and an acidophile-affiliated F-type ATPase. Moreover, it had a more diverse genomic characteristic on nitrogen metabolism than the AOA in sediments and canonical AOB did. The results suggest that comammox Nitrospira is a versatile nitrifier that can adapt to acidic environments even with high ammonium concentrations. IMPORTANCE Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) was previously considered the sole dominant ammonia oxidizer in acidic environments. This study, however, found that complete ammonia oxidation (comammox) Nitrospira was also a dominant ammonia oxidizer in the sediments of an acidic mine lake, which had an acidic pH < 5 and a high ammonium concentration of 175 mg-N/liter. In combination with average nucleotide identity analysis, phylogenomic analysis suggested it is a novel strain of comammox Nitrospira. Moreover, the adaption of comammox Nitrospira to the acidic lake had been comprehensively investigated based on genome-centric metagenomic approaches. The outcomes of this study significantly expand our understanding of the diversity and adaptability of ammonia oxidizers in the acidic environments.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Cheng H, Yang Y, He Y, et al (2023)

Spatio-temporal variations of activity of nitrate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane and community structure of Candidatus Methanoperedens-like archaea in sediment of Wuxijiang river.

Chemosphere, 324:138295 pii:S0045-6535(23)00562-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), catalyzing by Candidatus Methanoperedens-like archaea, is a new addition in the global CH4 cycle. This AOM process acts as a novel pathway for CH4 emission reduction in freshwater aquatic ecosystems; however, its quantitative importance and regulatory factors in riverine ecosystems are nearly unknown. Here, we examined the spatio-temporal changes of the communities of Methanoperedens-like archaea and nitrate-driven AOM activity in sediment of Wuxijiang River, a mountainous river in China. These archaeal community composition varied significantly among reaches (upper, middle, and lower reaches) and between seasons (winter and summer), but their mcrA gene diversity showed no significant spatial or temporal variations. The copy numbers of Methanoperedens-like archaeal mcrA genes were 1.32 × 10[5]-2.47 × 10[7] copies g[-1] (dry weight), and the activity of nitrate-driven AOM was 0.25-1.73 nmol CH4 g[-1] (dry weight) d[-1], which could potentially reduce 10.3% of CH4 emissions from rivers. Significant spatio-temporal variations of mcrA gene abundance and nitrate-driven AOM activity were found. Both the gene abundance and activity increased significantly from upper to lower reaches in both seasons, and were significantly higher in sediment collected in summer than in winter. In addition, the variations of Methanoperedens-like archaeal communities and nitrate-driven AOM activity were largely impacted by the sediment temperature, NH4[+] and organic carbon contents. Taken together, both time and space scales need to be considered for better evaluating the quantitative importance of nitrate-driven AOM in reducing CH4 emissions from riverine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-03-09

Wan XS, Hou L, Kao SJ, et al (2023)

Pathways of N2O production by marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea determined from dual-isotope labeling.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(11):e2220697120.

The ocean is a net source of the greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance, nitrous oxide (N2O), to the atmosphere. Most of that N2O is produced as a trace side product during ammonia oxidation, primarily by ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), which numerically dominate the ammonia-oxidizing community in most marine environments. The pathways to N2O production and their kinetics, however, are not completely understood. Here, we use [15]N and [18]O isotopes to determine the kinetics of N2O production and trace the source of nitrogen (N) and oxygen (O) atoms in N2O produced by a model marine AOA species, Nitrosopumilus maritimus. We find that during ammonia oxidation, the apparent half saturation constants of nitrite and N2O production are comparable, suggesting that both processes are enzymatically controlled and tightly coupled at low ammonia concentrations. The constituent atoms in N2O are derived from ammonia, nitrite, O2, and H2O via multiple pathways. Ammonia is the primary source of N atoms in N2O, but its contribution varies with ammonia to nitrite ratio. The ratio of [45]N2O to [46]N2O (i.e., single or double labeled N) varies with substrate ratio, leading to widely varying isotopic signatures in the N2O pool. O2 is the primary source for O atoms. In addition to the previously demonstrated hybrid formation pathway, we found a substantial contribution by hydroxylamine oxidation, while nitrite reduction is an insignificant source of N2O. Our study highlights the power of dual [15]N-[18]O isotope labeling to disentangle N2O production pathways in microbes, with implications for interpretation of pathways and regulation of marine N2O sources.

RevDate: 2023-03-07

Taubner RS, Baumann LMF, Steiner M, et al (2023)

Lipidomics and Comparative Metabolite Excretion Analysis of Methanogenic Archaea Reveal Organism-Specific Adaptations to Varying Temperatures and Substrate Concentrations.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Methanogenic archaea possess diverse metabolic characteristics and are an ecologically and biotechnologically important group of anaerobic microorganisms. Although the scientific and biotechnological value of methanogens is evident with regard to their methane-producing physiology, little is known about their amino acid excretion, and virtually nothing is known about the lipidome at different substrate concentrations and temperatures on a quantitative comparative basis. Here, we present the lipidome and a comprehensive quantitative analysis of proteinogenic amino acid excretion as well as methane, water, and biomass production of the three autotrophic, hydrogenotrophic methanogens Methanothermobacter marburgensis, Methanothermococcus okinawensis, and Methanocaldococcus villosus under varying temperatures and nutrient supplies. The patterns and rates of production of excreted amino acids and the lipidome are unique for each tested methanogen and can be modulated by varying the incubation temperature and substrate concentration, respectively. Furthermore, the temperature had a significant influence on the lipidomes of the different archaea. The water production rate was much higher, as anticipated from the rate of methane production for all studied methanogens. Our results demonstrate the need for quantitative comparative physiological studies connecting intracellular and extracellular constraints of organisms to holistically investigate microbial responses to environmental conditions. IMPORTANCE Biological methane production by methanogenic archaea has been well studied for biotechnological purposes. This study reveals that methanogenic archaea actively modulate their lipid inventory and proteinogenic amino acid excretion pattern in response to environmental changes and the possible utilization of methanogenic archaea as microbial cell factories for the targeted production of lipids and amino acids.

RevDate: 2023-03-07

Mei R, Kaneko M, Imachi H, et al (2023)

The origin and evolution of methanogenesis and Archaea are intertwined.

PNAS nexus, 2(2):pgad023.

Methanogenesis has been widely accepted as an ancient metabolism, but the precise evolutionary trajectory remains hotly debated. Disparate theories exist regarding its emergence time, ancestral form, and relationship with homologous metabolisms. Here, we report the phylogenies of anabolism-involved proteins responsible for cofactor biosynthesis, providing new evidence for the antiquity of methanogenesis. Revisiting the phylogenies of key catabolism-involved proteins further suggests that the last Archaea common ancestor (LACA) was capable of versatile H2-, CO2-, and methanol-utilizing methanogenesis. Based on phylogenetic analyses of the methyl/alkyl-S-CoM reductase family, we propose that, in contrast to current paradigms, substrate-specific functions emerged through parallel evolution traced back to a nonspecific ancestor, which likely originated from protein-free reactions as predicted from autocatalytic experiments using cofactor F430. After LACA, inheritance/loss/innovation centered around methanogenic lithoautotrophy coincided with ancient lifestyle divergence, which is clearly reflected by genomically predicted physiologies of extant archaea. Thus, methanogenesis is not only a hallmark metabolism of Archaea, but the key to resolve the enigmatic lifestyle that ancestral archaea took and the transition that led to physiologies prominent today.

RevDate: 2023-02-26

Zheng P, Zhang Q, Zou J, et al (2023)

A new strategy for the enrichment of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in wastewater treatment systems: The positive role of quorum-sensing signaling molecules.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)01001-X [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) play an important role in natural nitrogen cycle, but are difficult to be enriched in wastewater treatment systems. In this experiment, under ambient temperature and high dissolved oxygen, different types of acyl-homoserine lactones (C6-HSL, C8-HSL, C10-HSL, C14-HSL and 3-oxo-C14-HSL) were added to five wastewater nitrification systems to achieve AOA enrichment. Results showed that AOA couldn't be detected in the blank group without the addition of signaling molecules, while the AOA could be detected in all the reactors with the addition. The enrichment effect of AOA was not obvious with added 100 or 200 nmol/L signaling molecules, while the enrichment effect was both obvious with added C8-HSL of 400 nmol/L and C10-HSL of 800 nmol/L. And relative abundance of AOA increased from undetected in the control group to 1.10 % and 0.96 %, respectively. The exogenous signaling molecules may provide new view for AOA enrichment in wastewater treatment systems.

RevDate: 2023-02-26

Ngcobo PE, Nkosi BVZ, Chen W, et al (2023)

Evolution of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Their Redox Partners in Archaea.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(4):.

Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs/P450s) and their redox partners, ferredoxins, are ubiquitous in organisms. P450s have been studied in biology for over six decades owing to their distinct catalytic activities, including their role in drug metabolism. Ferredoxins are ancient proteins involved in oxidation-reduction reactions, such as transferring electrons to P450s. The evolution and diversification of P450s in various organisms have received little attention and no information is available for archaea. This study is aimed at addressing this research gap. Genome-wide analysis revealed 1204 P450s belonging to 34 P450 families and 112 P450 subfamilies, where some families and subfamilies are expanded in archaea. We also identified 353 ferredoxins belonging to the four types 2Fe-2S, 3Fe-4S, 7Fe-4S and 2[4Fe-4S] in 40 archaeal species. We found that bacteria and archaea shared the CYP109, CYP147 and CYP197 families, as well as several ferredoxin subtypes, and that these genes are co-present on archaeal plasmids and chromosomes, implying the plasmid-mediated lateral transfer of these genes from bacteria to archaea. The absence of ferredoxins and ferredoxin reductases in the P450 operons suggests that the lateral transfer of these genes is independent. We present different scenarios for the evolution and diversification of P450s and ferredoxins in archaea. Based on the phylogenetic analysis and high affinity to diverged P450s, we propose that archaeal P450s could have diverged from CYP109, CYP147 and CYP197. Based on this study's results, we propose that all archaeal P450s are bacterial in origin and that the original archaea had no P450s.

RevDate: 2023-02-24

Kisly I, T Tamm (2023)

Archaea/eukaryote-specific ribosomal proteins - guardians of a complex structure.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 21:1249-1261.

In three domains of life, proteins are synthesized by large ribonucleoprotein particles called ribosomes. All ribosomes are composed of ribosomal RNAs (rRNA) and numerous ribosomal proteins (r-protein). The three-dimensional shape of ribosomes is mainly defined by a tertiary structure of rRNAs. In addition, rRNAs have a major role in decoding the information carried by messenger RNAs and catalyzing the peptide bond formation. R-proteins are essential for shaping the network of interactions that contribute to a various aspects of the protein synthesis machinery, including assembly of ribosomes and interaction of ribosomal subunits. Structural studies have revealed that many key components of ribosomes are conserved in all life domains. Besides the core structure, ribosomes contain domain-specific structural features that include additional r-proteins and extensions of rRNA and r-proteins. This review focuses specifically on those r-proteins that are found only in archaeal and eukaryotic ribosomes. The role of these archaea/eukaryote specific r-proteins in stabilizing the ribosome structure is discussed. Several examples illustrate their functions in the formation of the internal network of ribosomal subunits and interactions between the ribosomal subunits. In addition, the significance of these r-proteins in ribosome biogenesis and protein synthesis is highlighted.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Dodsworth JA, O Prakash (2023)

International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes: subcommittee on the taxonomy of methanogenic archaea. Minutes of the closed, online meetings held 24 September 2020 and 8 October 2020.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 73(2):.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Cheng X, Xiang X, Yun Y, et al (2023)

Archaea and their interactions with bacteria in a karst ecosystem.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1068595.

Karst ecosystems are widely distributed around the world, accounting for 15-20% of the global land area. However, knowledge on microbial ecology of these systems does not match with their global importance. To close this knowledge gap, we sampled three niches including weathered rock, sediment, and drip water inside the Heshang Cave and three types of soils overlying the cave (forest soil, farmland soil, and pristine karst soil). All these samples were subjected to high-throughput sequencing of V4-V5 region of 16S rRNA gene and analyzed with multivariate statistical analysis. Overall, archaeal communities were dominated by Thaumarchaeota, whereas Actinobacteria dominated bacterial communities. Thermoplasmata, Nitrosopumilaceae, Aenigmarchaeales, Crossiella, Acidothermus, and Solirubrobacter were the important predictor groups inside the Heshang Cave, which were correlated to NH4 [+] availability. In contrast, Candidatus Nitrososphaera, Candidatus Nitrocosmicus, Thaumarchaeota Group 1.1c, and Pseudonocardiaceae were the predictors outside the cave, whose distribution was correlated with pH, Ca[2+], and NO2 [-]. Tighter network structures were found in archaeal communities than those of bacteria, whereas the topological properties of bacterial networks were more similar to those of total prokaryotic networks. Both chemolithoautotrophic archaea (Candidatus Methanoperedens and Nitrosopumilaceae) and bacteria (subgroup 7 of Acidobacteria and Rokubacteriales) were the dominant keystone taxa within the co-occurrence networks, potentially playing fundamental roles in obtaining energy under oligotrophic conditions and thus maintaining the stability of the cave ecosystem. To be noted, all the keystone taxa of karst ecosystems were related to nitrogen cycling, which needs further investigation, particularly the role of archaea. The predicted ecological functions in karst soils mainly related to carbohydrate metabolism, biotin metabolism, and synthesis of fatty acid. Our results offer new insights into archaeal ecology, their potential functions, and archaeal interactions with bacteria, which enhance our understanding about the microbial dark matter in the subsurface karst ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Gios E, Mosley OE, Weaver L, et al (2023)

Ultra-small bacteria and archaea exhibit genetic flexibility towards groundwater oxygen content, and adaptations for attached or planktonic lifestyles.

ISME communications, 3(1):13.

Aquifers are populated by highly diverse microbial communities, including unusually small bacteria and archaea. The recently described Patescibacteria (or Candidate Phyla Radiation) and DPANN radiation are characterized by ultra-small cell and genomes sizes, resulting in limited metabolic capacities and probable dependency on other organisms to survive. We applied a multi-omics approach to characterize the ultra-small microbial communities over a wide range of aquifer groundwater chemistries. Results expand the known global range of these unusual organisms, demonstrate the wide geographical range of over 11,000 subsurface-adapted Patescibacteria, Dependentiae and DPANN archaea, and indicate that prokaryotes with ultra-small genomes and minimalistic metabolism are a characteristic feature of the terrestrial subsurface. Community composition and metabolic activities were largely shaped by water oxygen content, while highly site-specific relative abundance profiles were driven by a combination of groundwater physicochemistries (pH, nitrate-N, dissolved organic carbon). We provide insights into the activity of ultra-small prokaryotes with evidence that they are major contributors to groundwater community transcriptional activity. Ultra-small prokaryotes exhibited genetic flexibility with respect to groundwater oxygen content, and transcriptionally distinct responses, including proportionally greater transcription invested into amino acid and lipid metabolism and signal transduction in oxic groundwater, along with differences in taxa transcriptionally active. Those associated with sediments differed from planktonic counterparts in species composition and transcriptional activity, and exhibited metabolic adaptations reflecting a surface-associated lifestyle. Finally, results showed that groups of phylogenetically diverse ultra-small organisms co-occurred strongly across sites, indicating shared preferences for groundwater conditions.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Zhang Q, Chen M, Leng Y, et al (2023)

Organic substitution stimulates ammonia oxidation-driven N2O emissions by distinctively enriching keystone species of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria in tropical arable soils.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)00799-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Partial organic substitution (POS) is pivotal in enhancing soil productivity and changing nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions by profoundly altering soil nitrogen (N) cycling, where ammonia oxidation is a fundamental core process. However, the regulatory mechanisms of N2O production by ammonia oxidizers at the microbial community level under POS regimes remain unclear. This study explored soil ammonia oxidation and related N2O production, further building an understanding of the correlations between ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) activity and community structure in tropical arable soils under four-year field management regimes (CK, without fertilizer N; N, with only inorganic N; M1N1, with 1/2 organic N + 1/2 inorganic N; M1N2, with 1/3 organic N + 2/3 inorganic N). AOA contributed more to potential ammonia oxidation (PAO) than AOB across all treatments. In comparison with CK, N treatment had no obvious effects on PAO and lowered related N2O emissions by decreasing soil pH and downregulating the abundance of AOA- and AOB-amoA. POS regimes significantly enhanced PAO and N2O emissions relative to N treatment by promoting the abundances and contributions of AOA and AOB. The stimulated AOA-dominated N2O production under M1N1 was correlated with promoted development of Nitrososphaera. By contrast, the increased AOB-dominated N2O production under M1N2 was linked to the enhanced development of Nitrosospira multiformis. Our study suggests organic substitutions with different proportions of inorganic and organic N distinctively regulate the development of specific species of ammonia oxidizers to increase associated N2O emissions. Accordingly, appropriate options should be adopted to reduce environmental risks under POS regimes in tropical croplands.

RevDate: 2023-02-16

Diao M, Balkema C, Muñoz MS, et al (2023)

Succession of bacteria and archaea involved in the nitrogen cycle of a seasonally stratified lake.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:7043454 [Epub ahead of print].

Human-driven changes affect nutrient inputs, oxygen solubility and the hydrodynamics of lakes, which affect biogeochemical cycles mediated by microbial communities. However, information on the succession of microbes involved in nitrogen cycling in seasonally stratified lakes is still incomplete. Here, we investigated the succession of nitrogen-transforming microorganisms in Lake Vechten over 19 months, combining 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and quantification of functional genes. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) and anammox bacteria were abundant in the sediment during winter, accompanied by nitrate in the water column. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria and denitrifying bacteria emerged in the water column in spring when nitrate was gradually depleted. Denitrifying bacteria containing nirS genes were exclusively present in the anoxic hypolimnion. During summer stratification, abundances of AOA, AOB and anammox bacteria decreased sharply in the sediment, and ammonium accumulated in hypolimnion. After lake mixing during fall turnover, abundances of AOA, AOB and anammox bacteria increased and ammonium was oxidized to nitrate. Hence, nitrogen-transforming microorganisms in Lake Vechten displayed a pronounced seasonal succession, which was strongly determined by the seasonal stratification pattern. These results imply that changes in stratification and vertical mixing induced by global warming are likely to alter the nitrogen cycle of seasonally stratified lakes.

RevDate: 2023-02-16

Akpudo YM, Bezuidt OK, TP Makhalanyane (2023)

Metagenome-Assembled Genomes of Four Southern Ocean Archaea Harbor Multiple Genes Linked to Polyethylene Terephthalate and Polyhydroxybutyrate Plastic Degradation.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Here, we present four archaeal metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) (three Thaumarchaeota MAGs and one Thermoplasmatota MAG) from a polar upwelling zone in the Southern Ocean. These archaea harbor putative genes encoding enzymes such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) hydrolases (PETases) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) depolymerases, which are associated with microbial degradation of PET and PHB plastics.

RevDate: 2023-02-15

Filée J, Becker HF, Mellottee L, et al (2023)

Bacterial origins of thymidylate metabolism in Asgard archaea and Eukarya.

Nature communications, 14(1):838.

Asgard archaea include the closest known archaeal relatives of eukaryotes. Here, we investigate the evolution and function of Asgard thymidylate synthases and other folate-dependent enzymes required for the biosynthesis of DNA, RNA, amino acids and vitamins, as well as syntrophic amino acid utilization. Phylogenies of Asgard folate-dependent enzymes are consistent with their horizontal transmission from various bacterial groups. We experimentally validate the functionality of thymidylate synthase ThyX of the cultured 'Candidatus Prometheoarchaeum syntrophicum'. The enzyme efficiently uses bacterial-like folates and is inhibited by mycobacterial ThyX inhibitors, even though the majority of experimentally tested archaea are known to use carbon carriers distinct from bacterial folates. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that the eukaryotic thymidylate synthase, required for de novo DNA synthesis, is not closely related to archaeal enzymes and might have been transferred from bacteria to protoeukaryotes during eukaryogenesis. Altogether, our study suggests that the capacity of eukaryotic cells to duplicate their genetic material is a sum of archaeal (replisome) and bacterial (thymidylate synthase) characteristics. We also propose that recent prevalent lateral gene transfer from bacteria has markedly shaped the metabolism of Asgard archaea.

RevDate: 2023-02-14

Beltran L, Cvirkaite-Krupovic V, Roberts J, et al (2023)

Domesticated conjugation machinery promotes DNA exchange in hyperthermophilic archaea.

Biophysical journal, 122(3S1):11a.

RevDate: 2023-02-09

Wolff P, Lechner A, Droogmans L, et al (2023)

Identification of Up47 in three thermophilic archaea, one mesophilic archaeon and one hyperthermophilic bacterium.

RNA (New York, N.Y.) pii:rna.079546.122 [Epub ahead of print].

Analysis of tRNA modifications profile in several Archaea allowed to observe a novel modified uridine in the V-loop of several tRNAs from two species: Pyrococcus furiosus and Sulfolobus acidocaldarius (Wolff et al. 2020). Recently, Ohira et al. (Ohira et al. 2022) characterized 2'-phosphouridine (Up) at position 47 in tRNAs of thermophilic Sulfurisphaera tokodaii, as well as in several other archaea and thermophilic bacteria. From the presence of the gene arkI corresponding to the RNA kinase responsible for Up47 formation, they also concluded that Up47 should be present in tRNAs of other thermophilic Archaea. Re-analysis of our earlier data confirms that the unidentified residue in tRNAs of both P. furiosus and S. acidocaldarius is indeed 2'phosphouridine followed by m5C48. Moreover, we find this modification in several tRNAs of other Archaea and of the hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus.

RevDate: 2023-02-08

Cooper CR, Lewis AM, Notey JS, et al (2023)

Interplay between Transcriptional Regulators and VapBC Toxin-Antitoxin Loci During Thermal Stress Response in Extremely Thermoacidophilic Archaea.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Thermoacidophilic archaea lack sigma factors and the large inventory of heat shock proteins (HSP) widespread in bacterial genomes, suggesting other strategies for handling thermal stress are involved. Heat shock transcriptomes for the thermoacidophilic archaeon Saccharolobus (f. Sulfolobus) solfataricus 98/2 revealed genes that were highly responsive to thermal stress, including transcriptional regulators YtrASs (Ssol_2420) and FadRSs (Ssol_0314), as well as Type II Toxin-Antitoxin (TA) loci VapBC6 (Ssol_2337, Ssol_2338) and VapBC22 (Ssol_0819, Ssol_0818). The role, if any, of Type II TA loci during stress response in microorganisms, such as Escherichia coli, is controversial. But, when genes encoding YtrASs , FadRSs , VapC22, VapB6, and VapC6 were systematically mutated in Sa. solfataricus 98/2, significant up-regulation of the other genes within this set was observed, implicating an interconnected regulatory network during thermal stress response. VapBC6 and VapBC22 have close homologs in other Sulfolobales, as well as in other archaea (e.g., Pyrococcus furiosus and Archaeoglobus fulgidus), and their corresponding genes were also heat shock responsive. The interplay between VapBC TA loci and heat shock regulators in Sa. solfataricus 98/2 not only indicates a cellular mechanism for heat shock response that differs from bacteria but one that could have common features within the thermophilic archaea. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-02-08

Borg Dahl M, Kreyling J, Petters S, et al (2023)

Warmer winters result in reshaping of the European beech forest soil microbiome (bacteria, archaea and fungi) - with potential implications for ecosystem functioning.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

In temperate regions climate warming alters temperature and precipitation regimes. During winter, a decline in insulating snow cover changes the soil environment, where especially frost exposure can have severe implications for soil microorganisms and subsequently for soil nutrient dynamics. Here we investigated winter climate change responses in European beech forests soil microbiome. Nine study sites with each three treatments (snow exclusion, insolation, and ambient) were investigated. Long-term adaptation to average climate was explored by comparing across sites. Triplicated treatment plots were used to evaluate short-term (one single winter) responses. Community profiles of bacteria, archaea and fungi were created using amplicon sequencing. Correlation between the microbiome, vegetation and soil physicochemical properties were found. We identify core members of the forest-microbiome, and link them to key processes e.g. mycorrhizal symbiont and specialized beech wood degraders (fungi) and nitrogen cycling (bacteria, archaea). For bacteria, the shift of the microbiome composition due to short-term soil temperature manipulations in winter was similar to the community differences observed between long-term relatively cold to warm conditions. The results suggest a strong link between the changes in the microbiomes and changes in environmental processes, e.g. nitrogen dynamics, driven by variation in winter climate. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

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

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

Microbial genomics, 9(2):.

RevDate: 2023-02-01

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

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

Science advances, 9(5):eadc9392.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-31

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

Unexpected complexity of the ammonia monooxygenase in archaea.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-31

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-30

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-29

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-25

Sumi T, K Harada (2021)

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

Communications chemistry, 4(1):149.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-24

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

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

Microbiome, 11(1):14.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-23

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

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

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-23

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:826117.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-23

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

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

GigaScience, 12:.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

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

Archaea as a Model System for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Biomolecules, 13(1): pii:biom13010114.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-20

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

Rare ribosomal RNA sequences from archaea stabilize the bacterial ribosome.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-20

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

Chronosequencing methanogenic archaea in ancient Longji rice Terraces in China.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-19

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

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

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-13

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

Potential for mercury methylation by Asgard archaea in mangrove sediments.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-09

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

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

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-12-31

Yang WT, Shen LD, YN Bai (2022)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-12-27

Moll J, B Hoppe (2022)

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

PeerJ, 10:e14567.

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

RevDate: 2022-12-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-12-23

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

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

Biology, 11(12): pii:biology11121855.

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

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Löwe J (2022)

Mysterious Asgard archaea microbes reveal their inner secrets.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

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

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

Nature communications, 13(1):7861.

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

RevDate: 2022-12-21

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

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

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-12-18

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-12-15

Kucukyildirim S, Ozdemirel HO, M Lynch (2022)

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

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

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

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

PLOS ONE Editors (2022)

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

PloS one, 17(12):e0278740.

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

Ginsbach LF, JM Gonzalez (2022)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-12-03

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-11-29

Woo Y, Cruz MC, S Wuertz (2022)

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

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-12-16

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

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

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

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

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

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

A non-carboxylating pentose bisphosphate pathway in halophilic archaea.

Communications biology, 5(1):1290.

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

RevDate: 2022-11-22

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

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

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-12-12

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

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

Journal of environmental quality [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-11-22

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:998496.

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

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

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

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

Scientific reports, 12(1):19928.

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

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

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

A widespread group of large plasmids in methanotrophic Methanoperedens archaea.

Nature communications, 13(1):7085.

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

RevDate: 2022-11-25

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

Diverse viruses of marine archaea discovered using metagenomics.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-12-02

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

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

Science advances, 8(46):eabq6376.

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

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

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

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

Microbes and environments, 37(4):.

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

RevDate: 2022-11-22

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

A naturalist perspective of microbiology: Examples from methanogenic archaea.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hepowit NL, JA Maupin-Furlow (2023)

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

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

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


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.


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If you thought that the history of life could be organized into a simple tree and that genes only moved from parents to progeny, think again. Recent science has shown that sometimes genes move sideways, skipping the reproductive process, and the tree of life looks more like a tangled bush. David Quammen, a masterful science writer, explains these new findings and more. Read this book and you'll learn about the discovery of the archaea — an entirely different form of life, living right here on this planet, and not noticed until Carl Woese found them, by being among the first to use molecular tools to look at organismal relationships. R. Robbins

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

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 )