AbstractThe phylum “Candidatus Nanohaloarchaeota” is a representative halophilic lineage within DPANN superphylum. They are characterized by their nanosized cells and symbiotic lifestyle with Halobacteria. However, the development of the symbiosis remains unclear for the lack of genomes located at the transition stage. Here, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of “Ca. Nanohaloarchaeota”. We propose a novel family “Candidatus Nanoanaerosalinaceae” represented by five de-replicated metagenome-assembled genomes obtained from hypersaline sediments and the enrichment cultures of soda-saline lakes. Phylogeny analysis reveals that the novel family are placed at the root of the family “Candidatus Nanosalinaceae” including the well-researched taxa. Most members of “Ca. Nanoanaerosalinaceae” contain lower proportion of putative horizontal gene transfers from Halobacteria than “Ca. Nanosalinaceae”, while they maintain moderately acidic proteomes for hypersaline adaptation of “salt-in” strategy, suggesting that “Ca. Nanoanaerosalinaceae” have not established an intimate association with Halobacteria, and may descend from an intermediate stage. Functional prediction discloses that they exhibit divergent potentials in carbohydrate and organic acids metabolism, and environmental responses. Historical events reconstruction illustrates that the involved genes acquired at the putative ancestors possibly drive the evolutionary and symbiotic divergences. Globally, this research on the new family “Ca. Nanoanaerosalinaceae” enriches the taxonomic and functional diversity of “Ca. Nanohaloarchaeota”, and provides insights into the evolutionary process of “Ca. Nanohaloarchaeota” and their Halobacteria-associated symbiosis.ImportanceDPANN superphylum is a group of archaea widely distributing in various habitats. They generally have small cells, and perform a symbiotic lifestyle with other archaea. The archaeal symbiotic interaction is important to understand microbial community. However, the formation and evolution of the symbiosis between the DPANN lineages and other diverse archaea remain unclear. Based on phylogeny, hypersaline adaptation, functional potentials, and historical events of “Ca. Nanohaloarchaeota”, a representative phylum within the DPANN superphylum, we report a novel family descending from an intermediate stage, and we illustrate the evolutionary process of “Ca. Nanohaloarchaeota” and their Halobacteria-associated symbiosis. Furthermore, we find the acquired genes involved in carbohydrate and organic acids metabolism and environmental responses possibly drive the evolutionary and symbiotic divergences. Altogether, this research helps in understanding the evolution of the archaeal symbiosis, and provides a model for the evolution of the other DPANN lineages.
BackgroundArchaea were originally discovered in extreme environments, and thrive in many extreme habitats including soda lakes with high pH and salinity. Characteristic and diverse archaeal community played a significant role in biogeochemical cycles; however, the archaeal community and their functions are still less-studied in the intricate sediment of soda lakes. ResultsIn this article, the archaeal community of the deep sediment (40-50 cm depth) of five artificially-separated ponds with a salinity range from 7.0% to 33.0% in a soda saline lake was systematically surveyed using culture-independent metagenomics combined with the next-generation sequencing of the archaeal 16S rRNA amplicons. Nine archaeal phyla were detected, which accounted for 2.2% to 35.73% of microbial community in the five deep sediments. Besides the well-known class Halobacteria, one novel archaeal order (Candidatus Natranaeroarchaeales) of the class Thermoplasmata was even more abundant than Halobacteria in some deep sediment samples. Of 69 dereplicated archaeal metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), 30 MAGs belonged to Ca. Natranaeroarchaeales. Different genera of the Ca. Natranaeroarchaeales preferred to inhabit in the different salinities, and the divergent halophilic adaptation strategies (salt-out or salt-in) suggested the fast evolution adaptation within this lineage. Most high-quality MAGs had the genes of Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, organic acid fermentation and sulfur respiration, suggesting the putative functions in carbon fixation and sulfur reduction. Interestingly, heterodisulfide reductase and F420-non-reducing hydrogenase complex HdrABC-MvhADG were widely distributed in Ca. Natranaeroarchaeales and may play the core roles in energy metabolism from hydrogen. The regeneration of CoM-S-S-CoB was coupled to succinate or 2-oxoglutarate production in Ca. Natranaeroarchaeales instead of methanogenesis in the close related Methanomassiliicoccales. It suggested that methyl-coenzyme M reductase in Methanomassiliicoccales may be laterally transferred from other methanogens. ConclusionA novel archaeal order Ca. Natranaeroarchaeales of Thermoplasmata was found by culture-independent approaches. This order was the most abundant archaeal lineage in the deep sediment of soda lakes, with the characteristic environmental adaptation and biogeochemical potentials in carbon fixation and sulfur reduction. The difference in fermentation products coupled to energy metabolism between methanogens and Ca. Natranaeroarchaeales provided additional insights into the origination of methanogenesis in Thermoplasmata from the energy metabolism perspective.