Anaerobic strains affiliated with a novel order-level lineage of the Phycisphaerae class were retrieved from the suboxic zone of a hypersaline cyanobacterial mat and anoxic sediments of solar salterns. Genome sequences of five isolates were obtained and compared with metagenome-assembled genomes representing related uncultured bacteria from various anoxic aquatic environments. Gene content surveys suggest a strictly fermentative saccharolytic metabolism for members of this lineage, which could be confirmed by the phenotypic characterization of isolates. Genetic analyses indicate that the retrieved isolates do not have a canonical origin of DNA replication, but initiate chromosome replication at alternative sites possibly leading to an accelerated evolution. Further potential factors driving evolution and speciation within this clade include genome reduction by metabolic specialization and rearrangements of the genome by mobile genetic elements, which have a high prevalence in strains from hypersaline sediments and mats. Based on genetic and phenotypic data a distinct group of strictly anaerobic heterotrophic planctomycetes within the Phycisphaerae class could be assigned to a novel order that is represented by the proposed genus Sedimentisphaera gen. nov. comprising two novel species, S. salicampi gen. nov., sp. nov. and S. cyanobacteriorum gen. nov., sp. nov.© 2018 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Journal: Environmental microbiology