Methylotrophic methanogenesis discovered in the archaeal phylum Verstraetearchaeota

Vanwonterghem, Inka, Evans, Paul N., Parks, Donovan H., Jensen, Paul D., Woodcroft, Ben J., Hugenholtz, Philip and Tyson, Gene W. (2016) Methylotrophic methanogenesis discovered in the archaeal phylum Verstraetearchaeota. Nature Microbiology, 1 16170: 16170. doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.170


Author Vanwonterghem, Inka
Evans, Paul N.
Parks, Donovan H.
Jensen, Paul D.
Woodcroft, Ben J.
Hugenholtz, Philip
Tyson, Gene W.
Title Methylotrophic methanogenesis discovered in the archaeal phylum Verstraetearchaeota
Journal name Nature Microbiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2058-5276
Publication date 2016-10-03
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.170
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 1
Issue 16170
Start page 16170
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Abstract Methanogenesis is the primary biogenic source of methane in the atmosphere and a key contributor to climate change. The long-standing dogma that methanogenesis originated within the Euryarchaeota was recently challenged by the discovery of putative methane-metabolizing genes in members of the Bathyarchaeota, suggesting that methanogenesis may be more phylogenetically widespread than currently appreciated. Here, we present the discovery of divergent methyl-coenzyme M reductase genes in population genomes recovered from anoxic environments with high methane flux that belong to a new archaeal phylum, the Verstraetearchaeota. These archaea encode the genes required for methylotrophic methanogenesis, and may conserve energy using a mechanism similar to that proposed for the obligate H-2-dependent methylotrophic Methanomassiliicoccales and recently described Candidatus 'Methanofastidiosa'. Our findings indicate that we are only beginning to understand methanogen diversity and support an ancient origin for methane metabolism in the Archaea, which is changing our understanding of the global carbon cycle.
Formatted abstract
Methanogenesis is the primary biogenic source of methane in the atmosphere and a key contributor to climate change. The long-standing dogma that methanogenesis originated within the Euryarchaeota was recently challenged by the discovery of putative methane-metabolizing genes in members of the Bathyarchaeota, suggesting that methanogenesis may be more phylogenetically widespread than currently appreciated. Here, we present the discovery of divergent methyl-coenzyme M reductase genes in population genomes recovered from anoxic environments with high methane flux that belong to a new archaeal phylum, the Verstraetearchaeota. These archaea encode the genes required for methylotrophic methanogenesis, and may conserve energy using a mechanism similar to that proposed for the obligate H2-dependent methylotrophic Methanomassiliicoccales and recently described Candidatus ‘Methanofastidiosa’. Our findings indicate that we are only beginning to understand methanogen diversity and support an ancient origin for methane metabolism in the Archaea, which is changing our understanding of the global carbon cycle.
Keyword Microbial Communities
Anaerobic-Digestion
Metabolism
Methane
Evolution
Genomes
Tool
Methanosarcina
Diversity
Reduction
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID DE-SC0010574
2013/4008
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Australian Centre for Ecogenomics
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 07 Oct 2016, 20:10:45 EST by Mrs Louise Nimwegen on behalf of School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences