Comparative genomic insights into the evolution of <i>Halobacteria</i>-associated “<i>Candidatus</i> Nanohaloarchaeota”

Zhao et al. [posted content, 2022]
Ca. Nanosalinaceae Ca. Nanohaloarchaeota Ca. Nanoanaerosalinaceae
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.
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