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Authors: Schouw, Anders and Vulcano, Francesca and Roalkvam, Irene and Hocking, William Peter and Reeves, Eoghan and Stokke, Runar and Bødtker, Gunhild and Steen, Ida Helene

Abyssivirga alkaniphila strain L81T, recently isolated from a black smoker biofilm at the Loki’s Castle hydrothermal vent field, was previously described as a mesophilic, obligately anaerobic heterotroph able to ferment carbohydrates, peptides, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. The strain was classified as a new genus within the family Lachnospiraceae. Herein, its genome is analyzed and A. alkaniphila is reassigned to the genus Vallitalea as a new strain of V. guaymasensis, designated V. guaymasensis strain L81. The 6.4 Mbp genome contained 5651 protein encoding genes, whereof 4043 were given a functional prediction. Pathways for fermentation of mono-saccharides, di-saccharides, peptides, and amino acids were identified whereas a complete pathway for the fermentation of n-alkanes was not found. Growth on carbohydrates and proteinous compounds supported methane production in co-cultures with Methanoplanus limicola. Multiple confurcating hydrogen-producing hydrogenases, a putative bifurcating electron-transferring flavoprotein—butyryl-CoA dehydrogenase complex, and a Rnf-complex form a basis for the observed hydrogen-production and a putative reverse electron-transport in V. guaymasensis strain L81. Combined with the observation that n-alkanes did not support growth in co-cultures with M. limicola, it seemed more plausible that the previously observed degradation patterns of crude-oil in strain L81 are explained by unspecific activation and may represent a detoxification mechanism, representing an interesting ecological function. Genes encoding a capacity for polyketide synthesis, prophages, and resistance to antibiotics shows interactions with the co-occurring microorganisms. This study enlightens the function of the fermentative microorganisms from hydrothermal vents systems and adds valuable information on the bioprospecting potential emerging in deep-sea hydrothermal systems.

Journal: Microorganisms
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms6030063
Year: 2018

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