Teske, Andreas


Publications (6)

Candidatus Alkanophaga archaea from heated hydrothermal vent sediment oxidize petroleum alkanes

Citation
Zehnle et al. [posted content, 2022]
Names
Ca. Syntrophoarchaeum Ca. Alkanophaga
Abstract
Abstract The methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) enables archaea to produce and oxidize methane, critically impacting the global greenhouse gas budget. Recently cultured archaea activate short- and long-chain n-alkanes with divergent Mcr variants, termed alkyl-coenzyme M reductases (Acrs). Here, we probed the anaerobic oxidation of mid-chain petroleum alkanes at 70°C using oil-rich sediments from the Guaymas Basin. Incubations with alkanes from pentane to tetradecane produced active cultures. In these cultures, archaea of the genus Candidatus Alkanophaga activate the alkanes with Acrs and completely oxidize the alkyl groups to CO2. Ca. Alkanophaga form a deep-branching sister clade to the methanotrophs ANME-1 and are closely related to the short-chain alkane oxidizers Ca. Syntrophoarchaeum. This suggests that multi-carbon alkane metabolism preceded methane metabolism in the class Syntrophoarchaeia. Ca. Alkanophaga shuttle the electrons from alkane oxidation to sulfate-reducing Thermodesulfobacteria. The two partners form consortia that are potential key players in petroleum degradation in heated oil reservoirs.

“ Candidatus Ethanoperedens,” a Thermophilic Genus of Archaea Mediating the Anaerobic Oxidation of Ethane

Citation
Hahn et al. (2020). mBio 11 (2)
Names
Ca. Ethanoperedens thermophilum Ca. Ethanoperedens Ca. Desulfofervidus auxilii Ca. Argarchaeum
Subjects
Microbiology Virology
Abstract
In the seabed, gaseous alkanes are oxidized by syntrophic microbial consortia that thereby reduce fluxes of these compounds into the water column. Because of the immense quantities of seabed alkane fluxes, these consortia are key catalysts of the global carbon cycle. Due to their obligate syntrophic lifestyle, the physiology of alkane-degrading archaea remains poorly understood. We have now cultivated a thermophilic, relatively fast-growing ethane oxidizer in partnership with a sulfate-reducing bacterium known to aid in methane oxidation and have retrieved the first complete genome of a short-chain alkane-degrading archaeon. This will greatly enhance the understanding of nonmethane alkane activation by noncanonical methyl-coenzyme M reductase enzymes and provide insights into additional metabolic steps and the mechanisms underlying syntrophic partnerships. Ultimately, this knowledge could lead to the biotechnological development of alkanogenic microorganisms to support the carbon neutrality of industrial processes.

Candidatus Ethanoperedens, a thermophilic genus of archaea mediating the anaerobic oxidation of ethane

Citation
Hahn et al. [posted content, 2020]
Names
Ca. Ethanoperedens thermophilum Ca. Ethanoperedens Ca. Desulfofervidus auxilii Ca. Argarchaeum
Abstract
ABSTRACTCold seeps and hydrothermal vents deliver large amounts of methane and other gaseous alkanes into marine surface sediments. Consortia of archaea and partner bacteria thrive on the oxidation of these alkanes and its coupling to sulfate reduction. The inherently slow growth of the involved organisms and the lack of pure cultures have impeded the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of archaeal alkane degradation. Here, using hydrothermal sediments of the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) and ethane as substrate we cultured microbial consortia of a novel anaerobic ethane oxidizer Candidatus Ethanoperedens thermophilum (GoM-Arc1 clade) and its partner bacterium Candidatus Desulfofervidus auxilii previously known from methane-oxidizing consortia. The sulfate reduction activity of the culture doubled within one week, indicating a much faster growth than in any other alkane-oxidizing archaea described before. The dominance of a single archaeal phylotype in this culture allowed retrieving a closed genome of Ca. Ethanoperedens, a sister genus of the recently reported ethane oxidizer Candidatus Argoarchaeum. The metagenome-assembled genome of Ca. Ethanoperedens encoded for a complete methanogenesis pathway including a methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) that is highly divergent from those of methanogens and methanotrophs. Combined substrate and metabolite analysis showed ethane as sole growth substrate and production of ethyl-coenzyme M as activation product. Stable isotope probing showed that the enzymatic mechanisms of ethane oxidation in Ca. Ethanoperedens is fully reversible, thus its enzymatic machinery has potential for the biotechnological development of microbial ethane production from carbon dioxide.IMPORTANCEIn the seabed gaseous alkanes are oxidized by syntrophic microbial consortia that thereby reduce fluxes of these compounds into the water column. Because of the immense quantities of seabed alkane fluxes, these consortia are key catalysts of the global carbon cycle. Due to their obligate syntrophic lifestyle, the physiology of alkane-degrading archaea remains poorly understood. We have now cultivated a thermophilic, relatively fast-growing ethane oxidizer in partnership with a sulfate-reducing bacterium known to aid in methane oxidation, and have retrieved the first complete genome of a short-chain alkane-degrading archaeon. This will greatly enhance the understanding of non-methane alkane activation by non-canonical methyl-coenzyme M reductase enzymes, and provide insights into additional metabolic steps and the mechanisms underlying syntrophic partnerships. Ultimately, this knowledge could lead to the biotechnological development of alkanogenic microorganisms to support the carbon neutrality of industrial processes.EtymologyEthanoperedens. ethano, (new Latin): pertaining to ethane; peredens (Latin): consuming, devouring; thermophilum. (Greek): heat-loving. The name implies an organism capable of ethane oxidation at elevated temperatures.LocalityEnriched from hydrothermally heated, hydrocarbon-rich marine sediment of the Guaymas Basin at 2000 m water depth, Gulf of California, Mexico.DiagnosisAnaerobic, ethane-oxidizing archaeon, mostly coccoid, about 0.7 μm in diameter, forms large irregular cluster in large dual-species consortia with the sulfate-reducing partner bacterium ‘Candidatus Desulfofervidus auxilii’.

Mobile Elements in a Single-Filament Orange Guaymas Basin Beggiatoa (“Candidatus Maribeggiatoa”) sp. Draft Genome: Evidence for Genetic Exchange with Cyanobacteria

Citation
MacGregor et al. (2013). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79 (13)
Names
Ca. Maribeggiatoa
Subjects
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Biotechnology Ecology Food Science
Abstract
ABSTRACTThe draft genome sequence of a single orangeBeggiatoa(“CandidatusMaribeggiatoa”) filament collected from a microbial mat at a hydrothermal site in Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico) shows evidence of extensive genetic exchange with cyanobacteria, in particular for sensory and signal transduction genes. A putative homing endonuclease gene and group I intron within the 23S rRNA gene; several group II catalytic introns; GyrB and DnaE inteins, also encoding homing endonucleases; multiple copies of sequences similar to thefdxNexcision elements XisH and XisI (required for heterocyst differentiation in some cyanobacteria); and multiple sequences related to an open reading frame (ORF) (00024_0693) of unknown function all have close non-Beggiatoaceaematches with cyanobacterial sequences. Sequences similar to the uncharacterized ORF and Xis elements are found in otherBeggiatoaceaegenomes, a variety of cyanobacteria, and a few phylogenetically dispersed pleiomorphic or filamentous bacteria. We speculate that elements shared among filamentous bacterial species may have been exchanged in microbial mats and that some of them may be involved in cell differentiation.