AbstractOur knowledge of archaeal diversity and evolution has expanded rapidly in the past decade. However, hardly any genomes of the phylum Korarchaeota have been obtained due to the difficulty in accessing their natural habitats and – possibly – their limited abundance. As a result, many aspects of Korarchaeota biology, physiology and evolution remain enigmatic. Here, we expand this phylum with five high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes. This improved taxon sampling combined with sophisticated phylogenomic analyses robustly places Korarchaeota at the base of TACK and Asgard clades, revisiting the phylum’s long-assumed position. Furthermore, we observe a clear split between terrestrial and marine thermal clades. Gene tree-aware ancestral reconstructions suggest that the last Korarchaeota common ancestor was a thermophilic autotroph. In contrast, Korarchaeaceae, the lineage where environmental transitions occurred, shifted towards a heterotrophic lifestyle. Terrestrial Korarchaeota gained manycasand CARF genes indicating they may need to manage viral infections. Together, our study provides new insights into these early diverging Archaea and suggests that gradual gene gain and loss shaped their adaptation to different thermal environments.ImportanceKorarchaeota are an ancient group of archaea, but their biology, physiology and evolution have remained obscure. Analysis of five novel Korarchaeota MAGs, and publicly available reference data provides robust phylogenomic evidence that Korarchaeota are placed at the base of Asgard archaea and TACK, revisiting the phylum’s long-assumed position. Gene content reconstruction suggests a versatile thermophilic and autotrophic last Korarchaeota common ancestor. Environmental distribution surveying of public databases places all Korarchaeota in thermophilic environments and indicates that their habitat is limited to hydrothermal vents and hot springs. Our modeling indicates at least two transitions linked to habitat switching between these environments in the evolutionary history of Korarchaeota. Both are linked to a significant alteration of the inferred ancestral gene content, including a shift towards a heterotrophic and potential scavenging lifestyle. Furthermore, hot spring Korarchaeota acquired various genes participating in resistance to viruses, suggesting they may need to manage frequent viral threats.
AbstractSponge microbiomes contribute to host health, nutrition, and defense through the production of secondary metabolites.Chlamydiae, a phylum of obligate intracellular bacteria ranging from animal pathogens to endosymbionts of microbial eukaryotes, are frequently found associated with sponges. However, sponge-associated chlamydial diversity has not yet been investigated at the genomic level and host interactions thus far remain unexplored. Here, we sequenced the microbiomes of three sponge species and found high, though variable,Chlamydiaerelative abundances of up to 18.7% of bacteria. Using genome-resolved metagenomics 18 high-quality sponge-associated chlamydial genomes were reconstructed, covering four chlamydial families. Among these,CandidatusSororchlamydiaceae shares a common ancestor withChlamydiaceaeanimal pathogens, suggesting long-term co-evolution with animals. Based on gene content, sponge-associated chlamydiae resemble members from the same family more than sponge-associated chlamydiae of other families, and have greater metabolic versatility than known chlamydial animal pathogens. Sponge-associated chlamydiae are also enriched in genes for degrading diverse compounds found in sponges. Unexpectedly, we identified widespread genetic potential for secondary metabolite biosynthesis acrossChlamydiae, which may represent an unexplored source of novel natural products. This finding suggests that Chlamydiaemembers may partake in defensive symbioses and that secondary metabolites play a wider role in mediating intracellular interactions. Furthermore, sponge-associated chlamydiae relatives were found in other marine invertebrates, pointing towards wider impacts of theChlamydiaephylum on marine ecosystems.
AbstractAsgard archaea have recently been identified as the closest archaeal relatives of eukaryotes. Their ecology, and particularly their virome, remain enigmatic. We reassembled and closed the chromosome of Candidatus Odinarchaeum yellowstonii LCB_4, through long-range PCR, revealing CRISPR spacers targeting viral contigs. We found related viruses in the genomes of diverse prokaryotes from geothermal environments, including other Asgard archaea. These viruses open research avenues into the ecology and evolution of Asgard archaea.
Asgard archaea have recently been identified as the closest archaeal relatives of eukaryotes. Their ecology remains enigmatic, and their virome, completely unknown. Here, we describe the closed genome of Ca. Odinarchaeum yellowstonii LCB_4, and, from this, obtain novel CRISPR arrays with spacer targets to several viral contigs. We find related viruses in sequence data from thermophilic environments and in the genomes of diverse prokaryotes, including other Asgard archaea. These novel viruses open research avenues into the ecology and evolution of Asgard archaea.
The Tara Oceans Consortium has published various metagenomes of marine environmental samples. Here, we report a contig of 2.6 Mbp from the assembly of a sample collected near the Marquesas Islands in the Pacific Ocean, covering a nearly complete novel verrucomicrobial genome.
AbstractThe subsurface biosphere is largely unexplored and contains a broad diversity of uncultured microbes1. Despite being one of the few prokaryotic lineages that is cosmopolitan in both the terrestrial and marine subsurface2–4, the physiological and ecological roles of SAGMEG (South-African Gold Mine Miscellaneous Euryarchaeal Group) Archaea are unknown. Here, we report the metabolic capabilities of this enigmatic group as inferred from genomic reconstructions. Four high-quality (63–90% complete) genomes were obtained from White Oak River estuary and Yellowstone National Park hot spring sediment metagenomes. Phylogenomic analyses place SAGMEG Archaea as a deeply rooting sister clade of the Thermococci, leading us to propose the name Hadesarchaea for this new Archaeal class. With an estimated genome size of around 1.5 Mbp, the genomes of Hadesarchaea are distinctly streamlined, yet metabolically versatile. They share several physiological mechanisms with strict anaerobic Euryarchaeota. Several metabolic characteristics make them successful in the subsurface, including genes involved in CO and H2 oxidation (or H2 production), with potential coupling to nitrite reduction to ammonia (DNRA). This first glimpse into the metabolic capabilities of these cosmopolitan Archaea suggests they are mediating key geochemical processes and are specialized for survival in the subsurface biosphere.