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Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 26;5:5497. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6497.

Biology of a widespread uncultivated archaeon that contributes to carbon fixation in the subsurface.

Author information

1
1] University of Regensburg, Department for Microbiology and Archaea Center, Universitaetsstrasse 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany [2] Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, 307 McCone Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
2
University of Vienna, Division of Computational Systems Biology, Althanstraße 14, A-1090 Wien, Austria.
3
Institut Pasteur, Unité Biologie Moléculaire du Gene chez les Extrêmophiles, Département de Microbiologie, Paris, 75724 Cedex 15, France.
4
1] University of Regensburg, Department for Microbiology and Archaea Center, Universitaetsstrasse 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany [2] Medical University Graz, Department of Internal Medicine, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria.
5
Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, 307 McCone Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
6
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (LMU), Biozentrum, Department of Biology I, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany.
7
1] Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (LMU), Biozentrum, Department of Biology I, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany [2] Cell Biology and LOEWE Research Centre for Synthetic Microbiology (Synmikro), Karl-von-Frisch-Str. 8, 35043 Marburg, Germany.
8
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Schänzlestr. 1, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.
9
Organic Geochemistry Group, MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany.
10
University of Regensburg, Department for Microbiology and Archaea Center, Universitaetsstrasse 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany.
11
Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, University of Regensburg, Universitaetsstrasse 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany.
12
Division of Microbial Ecology, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.
13
1] University of Regensburg, Department for Microbiology and Archaea Center, Universitaetsstrasse 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany [2] Medical University Graz, Department of Internal Medicine, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria [3] BioTechMed Graz, Krenngasse 37, 8010 Graz, Austria.

Abstract

Subsurface microbial life contributes significantly to biogeochemical cycling, yet it remains largely uncharacterized, especially its archaeal members. This 'microbial dark matter' has been explored by recent studies that were, however, mostly based on DNA sequence information only. Here, we use diverse techniques including ultrastuctural analyses to link genomics to biology for the SM1 Euryarchaeon lineage, an uncultivated group of subsurface archaea. Phylogenomic analyses reveal this lineage to belong to a widespread group of archaea that we propose to classify as a new euryarchaeal order ('Candidatus Altiarchaeales'). The representative, double-membraned species 'Candidatus Altiarchaeum hamiconexum' has an autotrophic metabolism that uses a not-yet-reported Factor420-free reductive acetyl-CoA pathway, confirmed by stable carbon isotopic measurements of archaeal lipids. Our results indicate that this lineage has evolved specific metabolic and structural features like nano-grappling hooks empowering this widely distributed archaeon to predominate anaerobic groundwater, where it may represent an important carbon dioxide sink.

PMID:
25425419
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms6497
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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