Methanonatronarchaeum thermophilum gen. Nov., sp. nov. and ’Candidatus methanohalarchaeum thermophilum’, extremely halo(natrono)philic methyl-reducing methanogens from hypersaline lakes comprising a new euryarchaeal class Methanonatronarchaeia classis nov.

Dimitry Y. Sorokin, Alexander Y. Merkel, Ben Abbas, Kira S. Makarova, W. Irene C. Rijpstra, M. Koenen, Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté, Erwin A. Galinski, Eugene V. Koonin, Mark C.M. Van Loosdrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Methanogenic enrichments from hypersaline lakes at moderate thermophilic conditions have resulted in the cultivation of an unknown deep lineage of euryarchaeota related to the class Halobacteria. Eleven soda lake isolates and three salt lake enrichment cultures were methyl-reducing methanogens that utilize C1 methylated compounds as electron acceptors and H2 or formate as electron donors, but they were unable to grow on either substrates alone or to form methane from acetate. They are extreme halophiles, growing optimally at 4 M total Na+ and the first representatives of methanogens employing the ‘salt-in’ osmoprotective mechanism. The salt lake subgroup is neutrophilic, whereas the soda lake isolates are obligate alkaliphiles, with an optimum around pH 9.5. Both grow optimally at 50°C. The genetic diversity inside the two subgroups is very low, indicating that the soda and salt lake clusters consist of a single genetic species each. The phylogenetic distance between the two subgroups is in the range of distant genera, whereas the distance to other euryarchaea is below 83 % identity of the 16S rRNA gene. These isolates and enriched methanogens, together with closely related environmental clones from hypersaline habitats (the SA1 group), form a novel class-level clade in the phylum Euryarchaeota. On the basis of distinct phenotypic and genetic properties, the soda lake isolates are classified into a new genus and species, Methanonatronarchaeum thermophilum, with the type strain AMET1T (DSM 28684T=NBRC 110805T=UNIQEM U982T), and the salt lake methanogens into a candidate genus and species ‘Candidatus Methanohalarchaeum thermophilum’. These organisms are proposed to form novel family, order and class Methanonatronarchaeaceae fam. nov., Methanonatronarchaeales ord. nov. and Methanonatronarchaeia classis nov., within the phylum Euryarchaeota.

Original languageEnglish
Article number002810
Pages (from-to)2199-2208
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Volume68
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Hypersaline
  • Methanogenesis
  • Methanonatronarchaeia
  • Methyl-reducing pathway
  • Soda lakes

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