April 21, 2020  |  

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

The genomes of two extremely halophilic Archaea species, Haloarcula marismortui and Haloferax mediterranei, were sequenced using single-molecule real-time sequencing. The ~4-Mbp genomes are GC rich with multiple large plasmids and two 4-methyl-cytosine patterns. Methyl transferases were incorporated into the Restriction Enzymes Database (REBASE), and gene annotation was incorporated into the Haloarchaeal Genomes Database (HaloWeb).Copyright © 2019 DasSarma et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome Sequence and Methylation Patterns of Halorubrum sp. Strain BOL3-1, the First Haloarchaeon Isolated and Cultured from Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

Halorubrum sp. strain BOL3-1 was isolated from Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, and sequenced using single-molecule real-time sequencing. Its 3.7-Mbp genome was analyzed for gene content and methylation patterns and incorporated into the Haloarchaeal Genomes Database (http://halo.umbc.edu). The polyextremophilic character and high-elevation environment make the microbe of interest for astrobiology. Copyright © 2019 DasSarma et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequence of Halorubrum ezzemoulense Strain Fb21.

Isolated from Aran-Bidgol Lake in Iran, and reported here, Halorubrum ezzemoulense strain Fb21 represents the first complete genome from this archaeal species. Local recombination in this genome is in stark contrast to equidistant recombination events in bacteria. The genome’s GC bias, however, points to a genome architecture and origin that resemble those of a bacterium. Its availability, genome signatures, and frequent intragenomic recombination mean that Fb21 presents an attractive model organism for this species. Copyright © 2019 Feng et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic and metabolic diversity of Marine Group I Thaumarchaeota in the mesopelagic of two subtropical gyres.

Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaeota are one of the most abundant and cosmopolitan chemoautotrophs within the global dark ocean. To date, no representatives of this archaeal group retrieved from the dark ocean have been successfully cultured. We used single cell genomics to investigate the genomic and metabolic diversity of thaumarchaea within the mesopelagic of the subtropical North Pacific and South Atlantic Ocean. Phylogenetic and metagenomic recruitment analysis revealed that MGI single amplified genomes (SAGs) are genetically and biogeographically distinct from existing thaumarchaea cultures obtained from surface waters. Confirming prior studies, we found genes encoding proteins for aerobic ammonia oxidation and the hydrolysis of urea, which may be used for energy production, as well as genes involved in 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate and oxidative tricarboxylic acid pathways. A large proportion of protein sequences identified in MGI SAGs were absent in the marine cultures Cenarchaeum symbiosum and Nitrosopumilus maritimus, thus expanding the predicted protein space for this archaeal group. Identifiable genes located on genomic islands with low metagenome recruitment capacity were enriched in cellular defense functions, likely in response to viral infections or grazing. We show that MGI Thaumarchaeota in the dark ocean may have more flexibility in potential energy sources and adaptations to biotic interactions than the existing, surface-ocean cultures.


September 22, 2019  |  

Candidatus Nitrosocaldus cavascurensis, an ammonia oxidizing, extremely thermophilic archaeon with a highly mobile genome.

Ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) of the phylum Thaumarchaeota are widespread in moderate environments but their occurrence and activity has also been demonstrated in hot springs. Here we present the first enrichment of a thermophilic representative with a sequenced genome, which facilitates the search for adaptive strategies and for traits that shape the evolution of Thaumarchaeota.CandidatusNitrosocaldus cavascurensis has been enriched from a hot spring in Ischia, Italy. It grows optimally at 68°C under chemolithoautotrophic conditions on ammonia or urea converting ammonia stoichiometrically into nitrite with a generation time of approximately 23 h. Phylogenetic analyses based on ribosomal proteins place the organism as a sister group to all known mesophilic AOA. The 1.58 Mb genome ofCa.N. cavascurensis harbors anamoAXCB gene cluster encoding ammonia monooxygenase and genes for a 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathway for autotrophic carbon fixation, but also genes that indicate potential alternative energy metabolisms. Although abona fidegene for nitrite reductase is missing, the organism is sensitive to NO-scavenging, underlining the potential importance of this compound for AOA metabolism.Ca.N. cavascurensis is distinct from all other AOA in its gene repertoire for replication, cell division and repair. Its genome has an impressive array of mobile genetic elements and other recently acquired gene sets, including conjugative systems, a provirus, transposons and cell appendages. Some of these elements indicate recent exchange with the environment, whereas others seem to have been domesticated and might convey crucial metabolic traits.


September 22, 2019  |  

The DNA methylome of the hyperthermoacidophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius.

DNA methylation is the most common epigenetic modification observed in the genomic DNA (gDNA) of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Methylated nucleobases, N6-methyl-adenine (m6A), N4-methyl-cytosine (m4C), and 5-methyl-cytosine (m5C), detected on gDNA represent the discrimination mark between self and non-self DNA when they are part of restriction-modification systems in prokaryotes (Bacteria and Archaea). In addition, m5C in Eukaryotes and m6A in Bacteria play an important role in the regulation of key cellular processes. Although archaeal genomes present modified bases as in the two other domains of life, the significance of DNA methylations as regulatory mechanisms remains largely uncharacterized in Archaea. Here, we began by investigating the DNA methylome of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. The strategy behind this initial study entailed the use of combined digestion assays, dot blots, and genome resequencing, which utilizes specific restriction enzymes, antibodies specifically raised against m6A and m5C and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing, respectively, to identify DNA methylations occurring in exponentially growing cells. The previously identified restriction-modification system, specific of S. acidocaldarius, was confirmed by digestion assay and SMRT sequencing while, the presence of m6A was revealed by dot blot and identified on the characteristic Dam motif by SMRT sequencing. No m5C was detected by dot blot under the conditions tested. Furthermore, by comparing the distribution of both detected methylations along the genome and, by analyzing DNA methylation profiles in synchronized cells, we investigated in which cellular pathways, in particular the cell cycle, this m6A methylation could be a key player. The analysis of sequencing data rejected a role for m6A methylation in another defense system and also raised new questions about a potential involvement of this modification in the regulation of other biological functions in S. acidocaldarius.


September 22, 2019  |  

Characterizing the DNA methyltransferases of Haloferax volcanii via bioinformatics, gene deletion, and SMRT Sequencing.

DNA methyltransferases (MTases), which catalyze the methylation of adenine and cytosine bases in DNA, can occur in bacteria and archaea alongside cognate restriction endonucleases (REases) in restriction-modification (RM) systems or independently as orphan MTases. Although DNA methylation and MTases have been well-characterized in bacteria, research into archaeal MTases has been limited. A previous study examined the genomic DNA methylation patterns (methylome) of the halophilic archaeonHaloferax volcanii, a model archaeal system which can be easily manipulated in laboratory settings, via single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing and deletion of a putative MTase gene (HVO_A0006). In this follow-up study, we deleted other putative MTase genes inH. volcaniiand sequenced the methylomes of the resulting deletion mutants via SMRT sequencing to characterize the genes responsible for DNA methylation. The results indicate that deletion of putative RM genesHVO_0794,HVO_A0006, andHVO_A0237in a single strain abolished methylation of the sole cytosine motif in the genome (Cm4TAG). Amino acid alignments demonstrated thatHVO_0794shares homology with characterized cytosine CTAG MTases in other organisms, indicating that this MTase is responsible for Cm4TAG methylation inH. volcanii. The CTAG motif has high density at only one of the origins of replication, and there is no relative increase in CTAG motif frequency in the genome ofH. volcanii, indicating that CTAG methylation might not have effectively taken over the role of regulating DNA replication and mismatch repair in the organism as previously predicted. Deletion of the putative Type I RM operonrmeRMS(HVO_2269-2271) resulted in abolished methylation of the adenine motif in the genome (GCAm6BN6VTGC). Alignments of the MTase (HVO_2270) and site specificity subunit (HVO_2271) demonstrate homology with other characterized Type I MTases and site specificity subunits, indicating that thermeRMSoperon is responsible for adenine methylation inH. volcanii. Together with HVO_0794, these genes appear to be responsible for all detected methylation inH. volcanii, even though other putative MTases (HVO_C0040,HVO_A0079) share homology with characterized MTases in other organisms. We also report the construction of a multi-RM deletion mutant (?RM), with multiple RM genes deleted and with no methylation detected via SMRT sequencing, which we anticipate will be useful for future studies on DNA methylation inH. volcanii.


September 22, 2019  |  

Novel haloarchaeon Natrinema thermophila having the highest growth temperature among haloarchaea with a large genome size.

Environmental temperature is one of the most important factors for the growth and survival of microorganisms. Here we describe a novel extremely halophilic archaeon (haloarchaea) designated as strain CBA1119T isolated from solar salt. Strain CBA1119T had the highest maximum and optimal growth temperatures (66?°C and 55?°C, respectively) and one of the largest genome sizes among haloarchaea (5.1?Mb). It also had the largest number of strain-specific pan-genome orthologous groups and unique pathways among members of the genus Natrinema in the class Halobacteria. A dendrogram based on the presence/absence of genes and a phylogenetic tree constructed based on OrthoANI values highlighted the particularities of strain CBA1119T as compared to other Natrinema species and other haloarchaea members. The large genome of strain CBA1119T may provide information on genes that confer tolerance to extreme environmental conditions, which may lead to the discovery of other thermophilic strains with potential applications in industrial biotechnology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Nonmutational mechanism of inheritance in the Archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus.

Epigenetic phenomena have not yet been reported in archaea, which are presumed to use a classical genetic process of heritability. Here, analysis of independent lineages of Sulfolobus solfataricus evolved for enhanced fitness implicated a non-Mendelian basis for trait inheritance. The evolved strains, called super acid-resistant Crenarchaeota (SARC), acquired traits of extreme acid resistance and genome stability relative to their wild-type parental lines. Acid resistance was heritable because it was retained regardless of extensive passage without selection. Despite the hereditary pattern, in one strain, it was impossible for these SARC traits to result from mutation because its resequenced genome had no mutation. All strains also had conserved, heritable transcriptomes implicated in acid resistance. In addition, they had improved genome stability with absent or greatly decreased mutation and transposition relative to a passaged control. A mechanism that would confer these traits without DNA sequence alteration could involve posttranslationally modified archaeal chromatin proteins. To test this idea, homologous recombination with isogenic DNA was used to perturb native chromatin structure. Recombination at up-regulated loci from the heritable SARC transcriptome reduced acid resistance and gene expression in the majority of recombinants. In contrast, recombination at a control locus that was not part of the heritable transcriptome changed neither acid resistance nor gene expression. Variation in the amount of phenotypic and expression changes across individuals was consistent with Rad54-dependent chromatin remodeling that dictated crossover location and branch migration. These data support an epigenetic model implicating chromatin structure as a contributor to heritable traits.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of Haloferax volcanii H26 and identification of DNA methyltransferase related PD-(D/E)XK nuclease family protein HVO_A0006.

Restriction-modification (RM) systems have evolved to protect the cell from invading DNAs and are composed of two enzymes: a DNA methyltransferase and a restriction endonuclease. Although RM systems are present in both archaeal and bacterial genomes, DNA methylation in archaea has not been well defined. In order to characterize the function of RM systems in archaeal species, we have made use of the model haloarchaeon Haloferax volcanii. A genomic DNA methylation analysis of H. volcanii strain H26 was performed using PacBio single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing. This analysis was also performed on a strain of H. volcanii in which an annotated DNA methyltransferase gene HVO_A0006 was deleted from the genome. Sequence analysis of H26 revealed two motifs which are modified in the genome: C(m4)TAG and GCA(m6)BN6VTGC. Analysis of the ?HVO_A0006 strain indicated that it exhibited reduced adenine methylation compared to the parental strain and altered the detected adenine motif. However, protein domain architecture analysis and amino acid alignments revealed that HVO_A0006 is homologous only to the N-terminal endonuclease region of Type IIG RM proteins and contains a PD-(D/E)XK nuclease motif, suggesting that HVO_A0006 is a PD-(D/E)XK nuclease family protein. Further bioinformatic analysis of the HVO_A0006 gene demonstrated that the gene is rare among the Halobacteria. It is surrounded by two transposition genes suggesting that HVO_A0006 is a fragment of a Type IIG RM gene, which has likely been acquired through gene transfer, and affects restriction-modification activity by interacting with another RM system component(s). Here, we present the first genome-wide characterization of DNA methylation in an archaeal species and examine the function of a DNA methyltransferase related gene HVO_A0006.


July 19, 2019  |  

The epigenomic landscape of prokaryotes.

DNA methylation acts in concert with restriction enzymes to protect the integrity of prokaryotic genomes. Studies in a limited number of organisms suggest that methylation also contributes to prokaryotic genome regulation, but the prevalence and properties of such non-restriction-associated methylation systems remain poorly understood. Here, we used single molecule, real-time sequencing to map DNA modifications including m6A, m4C, and m5C across the genomes of 230 diverse bacterial and archaeal species. We observed DNA methylation in nearly all (93%) organisms examined, and identified a total of 834 distinct reproducibly methylated motifs. This data enabled annotation of the DNA binding specificities of 620 DNA Methyltransferases (MTases), doubling known specificities for previously hard to study Type I, IIG and III MTases, and revealing their extraordinary diversity. Strikingly, 48% of organisms harbor active Type II MTases with no apparent cognate restriction enzyme. These active ‘orphan’ MTases are present in diverse bacterial and archaeal phyla and show motif specificities and methylation patterns consistent with functions in gene regulation and DNA replication. Our results reveal the pervasive presence of DNA methylation throughout the prokaryotic kingdoms, as well as the diversity of sequence specificities and potential functions of DNA methylation systems.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Haloarcula sp. CBA1115 isolated from non-purified solar salts.

Haloarcula sp. CBA1115, isolated from non-purified solar salts from South Korea, is a halophilic archaeon belonging to the family Halobacteriaceae. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of the strain Haloarcula sp. CBA1115 (4,225,046bp, with a G+C content of 61.98%), which is distributed over one chromosome and five plasmids. A comparison of the genome sequence of Haloarcula sp. CBA1115 with those of members of its closely related taxa showed that the closest neighbor is Haloarcula hispanica Y27, a popular model organism for archaeal studies. The strain was found to possess a number of genes predicted to be involved in osmo-regulatory strategies and metal regulation, suggesting that it might be useful for bioremediation in extreme environments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of the haloarchaeon Haloterrigena jeotgali type strain A29(T) isolated from salt-fermented food.

Haloterrigena jeotgali is a halophilic archaeon within the family Natrialbaceae that was isolated from shrimp jeotgal, a traditional Korean salt-fermented food. A29(T) is the type strain of H. jeotgali, and is a Gram-negative staining, non-motile, rod-shaped archaeon that grows in 10 %-30 % (w/v) NaCl. We present the annotated H. jeotgali A29(T) genome sequence along with a summary of its features. The 4,131,621 bp genome with a GC content of 64.9 % comprises 4,215 protein-coding genes and 127 RNA genes. The sequence can provide useful information on genetic mechanisms that enable haloarchaea to endure a hypersaline environment.


July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome sequence of the extremely halophilic archaeon Haladaptatus cibarius type strain D43T isolated from fermented seafood

An extremely halophilic archaeon, Haladaptatus cibarius D43 T , was isolated from traditional Korean salt-rich fermented seafood. Strain D43 T shows the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (98.7 %) with Haladaptatus litoreus RO1-28 T , is Gram-negative staining, motile, and extremely halophilic. Despite potential industrial applications of extremely halophilic archaea, their genome characteristics remain obscure. Here, we describe the whole genome sequence and annotated features of strain D43 T . The 3,926,724 bp genome includes 4,092 protein-coding and 57 RNA genes (including 6 rRNA and 49 tRNA genes) with an average G?+?C content of 57.76 %.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of Candidatus Nitrososphaera evergladensis from group I.1b enriched from Everglades soil reveals novel genomic features of the ammonia-oxidizing archaea.

The activity of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) leads to the loss of nitrogen from soil, pollution of water sources and elevated emissions of greenhouse gas. To date, eight AOA genomes are available in the public databases, seven are from the group I.1a of the Thaumarchaeota and only one is from the group I.1b, isolated from hot springs. Many soils are dominated by AOA from the group I.1b, but the genomes of soil representatives of this group have not been sequenced and functionally characterized. The lack of knowledge of metabolic pathways of soil AOA presents a critical gap in understanding their role in biogeochemical cycles. Here, we describe the first complete genome of soil archaeon Candidatus Nitrososphaera evergladensis, which has been reconstructed from metagenomic sequencing of a highly enriched culture obtained from an agricultural soil. The AOA enrichment was sequenced with the high throughput next generation sequencing platforms from Pacific Biosciences and Ion Torrent. The de novo assembly of sequences resulted in one 2.95 Mb contig. Annotation of the reconstructed genome revealed many similarities of the basic metabolism with the rest of sequenced AOA. Ca. N. evergladensis belongs to the group I.1b and shares only 40% of whole-genome homology with the closest sequenced relative Ca. N. gargensis. Detailed analysis of the genome revealed coding sequences that were completely absent from the group I.1a. These unique sequences code for proteins involved in control of DNA integrity, transporters, two-component systems and versatile CRISPR defense system. Notably, genomes from the group I.1b have more gene duplications compared to the genomes from the group I.1a. We suggest that the presence of these unique genes and gene duplications may be associated with the environmental versatility of this group.


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