Highly purified cultures of alkaliphilic aceticlastic methanogens were collected for the first time using methanogenic enrichments with acetate from a soda lake and a terrestrial mud volcano. The cells of two strains were non-motile rods forming filaments. The mud volcano strain M04Ac was alkalitolerant, with the pH range for growth from 7.5 to 10.0 (optimum at 9.0), while the soda lake strain Mx was an obligate alkaliphile growing in the pH range 7.7–10.2 (optimum 9.3–9.5) in the presence of optimally 0.2–0.3 M total Na+. Genomes of both strains encoded all enzymes required for aceticlastic methanogenesis and different mechanisms of (halo)alkaline adaptations, including ectoine biosynthesis, which is the first evidence for the formation of this osmoprotectant in archaea. According to 16S rRNA gene phylogeny, the strains possessed 98.3–98.9% sequence identity and belonged to the obligately aceticlastic genus Methanothrix with M. harundinaceae as the most closely related species. However, a more advanced phylogenomic reconstruction based on 122 conserved single-copy archaeal protein-coding marker genes clearly indicated a polyphyletic origin of the species included in the genus Methanothrix. We propose to reclassify Methanothrix harrundinacea (type strain 8AcT) into a new genus, Methanocrinis gen. nov., with the type species Methanocrinis harrundinaceus comb. nov. We also propose under SeqCode the complete genome sequences of strain MxTs (GCA_029167045.1) and strain M04AcTs (GCA_029167205.1) as nomenclatural types of Methanocrinis natronophilus sp. nov. and Methanocrinis alkalitolerans sp. nov., respectively, which represent other species of the novel genus. This work demonstrates that the low energy aceticlastic methanogenesis may function at extreme conditions present in (halo)alkaline habitats.
Bathyarchaeia are widespread in various anoxic ecosystems and are considered one of the most abundant microbial groups on the earth. There are only a few reports of laboratory cultivation of Bathyarchaeia, and none of the representatives of this class has been isolated in pure culture. Here, we report a sustainable cultivation of the Bathyarchaeia archaeon (strain M17CTs) enriched from anaerobic sediment of a coastal lake. The cells of strain M17CTs were small non-motile cocci, 0.4–0.7 μm in diameter. The cytoplasmic membrane was surrounded by an S-layer and covered with an outermost electron-dense sheath. Strain M17CTs is strictly anaerobic mesophile. It grows at 10–45°C (optimum 37°C), at pH 6.0–10.0 (optimum 8.0), and at NaCl concentrations of 0–60 g l−1 (optimum 20 g l−1). Growth occurred in the presence of methoxylated aromatic compounds (3,4-dimethoxybenzoate and vanillate) together with complex proteinaceous substrates. Dimethyl sulfoxide and nitrate stimulated growth. The phylogenomic analysis placed strain M17CTs to BIN-L-1 genus-level lineage from the BA1 family-level lineage and B26-1 order-level lineage (former subgroup-8) within the class Bathyarchaeia. The complete genome of strain M17CTs had a size of 2.15 Mb with a DNA G + C content of 38.1%. Based on phylogenomic position and phenotypic and genomic properties, we propose to assign strain M17CTs to a new species of a novel genus Bathyarchaeum tardum gen. nov., sp. nov. within the class Bathyarchaeia. This is the first sustainably cultivated representative of Bathyarchaeia. We propose under SeqCode the complete genome sequence of strain M17CTs (CP122380) as a nomenclatural type of Bathyarchaeum tardum, which should be considered as a type for the genus Bathyarchaeum, which is proposed as a type for the family Bathyarchaeaceae, order Bathyarchaeales, and of the class Bathyarchaeia.