Hugenholtz, Philip


Publications (14)

SeqCode: a nomenclatural code for prokaryotes described from sequence data

Citation
Hedlund et al. (2022). Nature Microbiology
Names
“Kryptoniales” “Kryptoniia” “Kryptoniaceae” “Kryptonium mobile”
Subjects
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Cell Biology Genetics Immunology Microbiology Microbiology (medical)
Abstract
AbstractMost prokaryotes are not available as pure cultures and therefore ineligible for naming under the rules and recommendations of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP). Here we summarize the development of the SeqCode, a code of nomenclature under which genome sequences serve as nomenclatural types. This code enables valid publication of names of prokaryotes based upon isolate genome, metagenome-assembled genome or single-amplified genome sequences. Otherwise, it is similar to the ICNP with regard to the formation of names and rules of priority. It operates through the SeqCode Registry (https://seqco.de/), a registration portal through which names and nomenclatural types are registered, validated and linked to metadata. We describe the two paths currently available within SeqCode to register and validate names, including Candidatus names, and provide examples for both. Recommendations on minimal standards for DNA sequences are provided. Thus, the SeqCode provides a reproducible and objective framework for the nomenclature of all prokaryotes regardless of cultivability and facilitates communication across microbiological disciplines.

Recoding of stop codons expands the metabolic potential of two novel Asgardarchaeota lineages

Citation
Sun et al. (2021). ISME Communications 1 (1)
Names
Ca. Sifarchaeota Ca. Sifarchaeum subterraneus Ca. Sifarchaeum marinoarchaea Ca. Sifarchaeum Ca. Borrarchaeum Ca. Borrarchaeaceae Ca. Jordarchaeia Ca. Sifarchaeia Ca. Jordarchaeales Ca. Sifarchaeales Ca. Jordarchaeaceae Ca. Sifarchaeaceae Ca. Jordarchaeum madagascariense Ca. Jordarchaeum Ca. Borrarchaeum weybense
Subjects
General Medicine
Abstract
AbstractAsgardarchaeota have been proposed as the closest living relatives to eukaryotes, and a total of 72 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) representing six primary lineages in this archaeal phylum have thus far been described. These organisms are predicted to be fermentative heterotrophs contributing to carbon cycling in sediment ecosystems. Here, we double the genomic catalogue of Asgardarchaeota by obtaining 71 MAGs from a range of habitats around the globe, including the deep subsurface, brackish shallow lakes, and geothermal spring sediments. Phylogenomic inferences followed by taxonomic rank normalisation confirmed previously established Asgardarchaeota classes and revealed four additional lineages, two of which were consistently recovered as monophyletic classes. We therefore propose the names Candidatus Sifarchaeia class nov. and Ca. Jordarchaeia class nov., derived from the gods Sif and Jord in Norse mythology. Metabolic inference suggests that both classes represent hetero-organotrophic acetogens, which also have the ability to utilise methyl groups such as methylated amines, with acetate as the probable end product in remnants of a methanogen-derived core metabolism. This inferred mode of energy conservation is predicted to be enhanced by genetic code expansions, i.e., stop codon recoding, allowing the incorporation of the rare 21st and 22nd amino acids selenocysteine (Sec) and pyrrolysine (Pyl). We found Sec recoding in Jordarchaeia and all other Asgardarchaeota classes, which likely benefit from increased catalytic activities of Sec-containing enzymes. Pyl recoding, on the other hand, is restricted to Sifarchaeia in the Asgardarchaeota, making it the first reported non-methanogenic archaeal lineage with an inferred complete Pyl machinery, likely providing members of this class with an efficient mechanism for methylamine utilisation. Furthermore, we identified enzymes for the biosynthesis of ester-type lipids, characteristic of bacteria and eukaryotes, in both newly described classes, supporting the hypothesis that mixed ether-ester lipids are a shared feature among Asgardarchaeota.

Proposal to reclassify the proteobacterial classes Deltaproteobacteria and Oligoflexia, and the phylum Thermodesulfobacteria into four phyla reflecting major functional capabilities

Citation
Waite et al. (2020). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 70 (11)
Names
Ca. Adiutrix Ca. Adiutricaceae Ca. Magnetomoraceae Ca. Magnetomorum Ca. Desulfobacterota Ca. Desulfofervidia Ca. Desulfofervidus Ca. Desulfofervidaceae Ca. Desulfofervidales
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Abstract
The class Deltaproteobacteria comprises an ecologically and metabolically diverse group of bacteria best known for dissimilatory sulphate reduction and predatory behaviour. Although this lineage is the fourth described class of the phylum Proteobacteria , it rarely affiliates with other proteobacterial classes and is frequently not recovered as a monophyletic unit in phylogenetic analyses. Indeed, one branch of the class Deltaproteobacteria encompassing Bdellovibrio-like predators was recently reclassified into a separate proteobacterial class, the Oligoflexia . Here we systematically explore the phylogeny of taxa currently assigned to these classes using 120 conserved single-copy marker genes as well as rRNA genes. The overwhelming majority of markers reject the inclusion of the classes Deltaproteobacteria and Oligoflexia in the phylum Proteobacteria . Instead, the great majority of currently recognized members of the class Deltaproteobacteria are better classified into four novel phylum-level lineages. We propose the names Desulfobacterota phyl. nov. and Myxococcota phyl. nov. for two of these phyla, based on the oldest validly published names in each lineage, and retain the placeholder name SAR324 for the third phylum pending formal description of type material. Members of the class Oligoflexia represent a separate phylum for which we propose the name Bdellovibrionota phyl. nov. based on priority in the literature and general recognition of the genus Bdellovibrio. Desulfobacterota phyl. nov. includes the taxa previously classified in the phylum Thermodesulfobacteria , and these reclassifications imply that the ability of sulphate reduction was vertically inherited in the Thermodesulfobacteria rather than laterally acquired as previously inferred. Our analysis also indicates the independent acquisition of predatory behaviour in the phyla Myxococcota and Bdellovibrionota, which is consistent with their distinct modes of action. This work represents a stable reclassification of one of the most taxonomically challenging areas of the bacterial tree and provides a robust framework for future ecological and systematic studies.