A metagenomics roadmap to the uncultured genome diversity in hypersaline soda lake sediments.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Hypersaline soda lakes are characterized by extreme high soluble carbonate alkalinity. Despite the high pH and salt content, highly diverse microbial communities are known to be present in soda lake brines but the microbiome of soda lake sediments received much less attention of microbiologists. Here, we performed metagenomic sequencing on soda lake sediments to give the first extensive overview of the taxonomic diversity found in these complex, extreme environments and to gain novel physiological insights into the most abundant, uncultured prokaryote lineages. RESULTS:We sequenced five metagenomes obtained from four surface sediments of Siberian soda lakes with a pH 10 and a salt content between 70 and 400 g L-1. The recovered 16S rRNA gene sequences were mostly from Bacteria, even in the salt-saturated lakes. Most OTUs were assigned to uncultured families. We reconstructed 871 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) spanning more than 45 phyla and discovered the first extremophilic members of the Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR). Five new species of CPR were among the most dominant community members. Novel dominant lineages were found within previously well-characterized functional groups involved in carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen cycling. Moreover, key enzymes of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway were encoded within at least four bacterial phyla never previously associated with this ancient anaerobic pathway for carbon fixation and dissimilation, including the Actinobacteria. CONCLUSIONS:Our first sequencing effort of hypersaline soda lake sediment metagenomes led to two important advances. First, we showed the existence and obtained the first genomes of haloalkaliphilic members of the CPR and several hundred other novel prokaryote lineages. The soda lake CPR is a functionally diverse group, but the most abundant organisms in this study are likely fermenters with a possible role in primary carbon degradation. Second, we found evidence for the presence of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway in many more taxonomic groups than those encompassing known homo-acetogens, sulfate-reducers, and methanogens. Since only few environmental metagenomics studies have targeted sediment microbial communities and never to this extent, we expect that our findings are relevant not only for the understanding of haloalkaline environments but can also be used to set targets for future studies on marine and freshwater sediments.
Project description:Anaerobic syntrophic acetate oxidation (SAO) is a thermodynamically unfavorable process involving a syntrophic acetate oxidizing bacterium (SAOB) that forms interspecies electron carriers (IECs). These IECs are consumed by syntrophic partners, typically hydrogenotrophic methanogenic archaea or sulfate reducing bacteria. In this work, the metabolism and occurrence of SAOB at extremely haloalkaline conditions were investigated, using highly enriched methanogenic (M-SAO) and sulfate-reducing (S-SAO) cultures from south-western Siberian hypersaline soda lakes. Activity tests with the M-SAO and S-SAO cultures and thermodynamic calculations indicated that H2 and formate are important IECs in both SAO cultures. Metagenomic analysis of the M-SAO cultures showed that the dominant SAOB was 'Candidatus Syntrophonatronum acetioxidans,' and a near-complete draft genome of this SAOB was reconstructed. 'Ca. S. acetioxidans' has all genes necessary for operating the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, which is likely employed for acetate oxidation. It also encodes several genes essential to thrive at haloalkaline conditions; including a Na+-dependent ATP synthase and marker genes for 'salt-out' strategies for osmotic homeostasis at high soda conditions. Membrane lipid analysis of the M-SAO culture showed the presence of unusual bacterial diether membrane lipids which are presumably beneficial at extreme haloalkaline conditions. To determine the importance of SAO in haloalkaline environments, previously obtained 16S rRNA gene sequencing data and metagenomic data of five different hypersaline soda lake sediment samples were investigated, including the soda lakes where the enrichment cultures originated from. The draft genome of 'Ca. S. acetioxidans' showed highest identity with two metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of putative SAOBs that belonged to the highly abundant and diverse Syntrophomonadaceae family present in the soda lake sediments. The 16S rRNA gene amplicon datasets of the soda lake sediments showed a high similarity of reads to 'Ca. S. acetioxidans' with abundance as high as 1.3% of all reads, whereas aceticlastic methanogens and acetate oxidizing sulfate-reducers were not abundant (?0.1%) or could not be detected. These combined results indicate that SAO is the primary anaerobic acetate oxidizing pathway at extreme haloalkaline conditions performed by haloalkaliphilic syntrophic consortia.
Project description:Chloroform (CF) is an environmental contaminant that can be naturally formed in various environments ranging from forest soils to salt lakes. Here we investigated CF removal potential in sediments obtained from hypersaline lakes in Western Australia. Reductive dechlorination of CF to dichloromethane (DCM) was observed in enrichment cultures derived from sediments of Lake Strawbridge, which has been reported as a natural source of CF. No CF removal was observed in abiotic control cultures without artificial electron donors, indicating biotic CF dechlorination in the enrichment cultures. Increasing vitamin B12 concentration from 0.04 to 4 µM in enrichment cultures enhanced CF removal and reduced DCM formation. In cultures amended with 4 µM vitamin B12 and 13C labelled CF, formation of 13CO2 was detected. Known organohalide-respiring bacteria and reductive dehalogenase genes were neither detected using quantitative PCR nor metagenomic analysis of the enrichment cultures. Rather, members of the order Clostridiales, known to co-metabolically transform CF to DCM and CO2, were detected. Accordingly, metagenome-assembled genomes of Clostridiales encoded enzymatic repertoires for the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway and cobalamin biosynthesis, which are known to be involved in fortuitous and nonspecific CF transformation. This study indicates that hypersaline lake microbiomes may act as a filter to reduce CF emission to the atmosphere.
Project description: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.
Project description:Four strains of lithotrophic sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) have been enriched and isolated from anoxic sediments of hypersaline chloride-sulfate lakes in the Kulunda Steppe (Altai, Russia) at 2 M NaCl and pH 7.5. According to the 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, the isolates were closely related to each other and belonged to the genus Desulfonatronovibrio, which, so far, included only obligately alkaliphilic members found exclusively in soda lakes. The isolates utilized formate, H(2) and pyruvate as electron donors and sulfate, sulfite and thiosulfate as electron acceptors. In contrast to the described species of the genus Desulfonatronovibrio, the salt lake isolates could only tolerate high pH (up to pH 9.4), while they grow optimally at a neutral pH. They belonged to the moderate halophiles growing between 0.2 and 2 M NaCl with an optimum at 0.5 M. On the basis of their distinct phenotype and phylogeny, the described halophilic SRB are proposed to form a novel species within the genus Desulfonatronovibrio, D. halophilus (type strain HTR1(T) = DSM24312(T) = UNIQEM U802(T)).
Project description:In this paper we describe denitrification at extremely high salt and pH in sediments from hypersaline alkaline soda lakes and soda soils. Experiments with sediment slurries demonstrated the presence of acetate-utilizing denitrifying populations active at in situ conditions. Anaerobic enrichment cultures at pH 10 and 4 M total Na(+) with acetate as electron donor and nitrate, nitrite and N(2)O as electron acceptors resulted in the dominance of Gammaproteobacteria belonging to the genus Halomonas. Both mixed and pure culture studies identified nitrite and N(2)O reduction as rate-limiting steps in the denitrification process at extremely haloalkaline conditions.
Project description:The ubiquity of strictly anaerobic sulfur-respiring haloarchaea in hypersaline systems with circumneutral pH has shaken a traditional concept of this group as predominantly aerobic heterotrophs. Here, we demonstrated that this functional group of haloarchaea also has its representatives in hypersaline alkaline lakes. Sediments from various hypersaline soda lakes showed high activity of sulfur reduction only partially inhibited by antibiotics. Eight pure cultures of sulfur-reducing natronoarchaea were isolated from such sediments using formate and butyrate as electron donors and sulfur as an electron acceptor. Unlike strict anaerobic haloarchaea, these novel sulfur-reducing natronoarchaea are facultative anaerobes, whose metabolic capabilities were inferred from cultivation experiments and genomic/proteomic reconstruction. While sharing many physiological traits with strict anaerobic haloarchaea, following metabolic distinctions make these new organisms be successful in both anoxic and aerobic habitats: the recruiting of heme-copper quinol oxidases as terminal electron sink in aerobic respiratory chain and the utilization of formate, hydrogen or short-chain fatty acids as electron donors during anaerobic growth with elemental sulfur. Obtained results significantly advance the emerging concept of halo(natrono)archaea as important players in the anaerobic sulfur and carbon cycling in various salt-saturated habitats.
Project description:Dethiobacter alkaliphilus strain AHT1T is an anaerobic, sulfidogenic, moderately salt-tolerant alkaliphilic chemolithotroph isolated from hypersaline soda lake sediments in northeastern Mongolia. It is a Gram-positive bacterium with low GC content, within the phylum Firmicutes. Here we report its draft genome sequence, which consists of 34 contigs with a total sequence length of 3.12 Mbp. D. alkaliphilus strain AHT1T was sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) as part of the Community Science Program due to its relevance to bioremediation and biotechnological applications.
Project description:Soda lake sediments usually contain high concentrations of sulfide indicating active sulfate reduction. Monitoring of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in soda lakes demonstrated a dominance of two groups of culturable SRB belonging to the order Desulfovibrionales specialized in utilization of inorganic electron donors, such as formate, H(2) and thiosulfate. The most interesting physiological trait of the novel haloalkaliphilic SRB isolates was their ability to grow lithotrophically by dismutation of thiosulfate and sulfite. All isolates were obligately alkaliphilic with a pH optimum at 9.5-10 and moderately salt tolerant. Among the fifteen newly isolated strains, four belonged to the genus Desulfonatronum and the others to the genus Desulfonatronovibrio. None of the isolates were closely related to previously described species of these genera. On the basis of phylogenetic, genotypic and phenotypic characterization of the novel soda lake SRB isolates, two novel species each in the genera Desulfonatronum and Desulfonatronovibrio are proposed.
Project description:Microbial populations within hypersaline lakes often exhibit high activities of photosynthesis, dissimilatory sulphate reduction and other processes and, thus, can have profound impacts on biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and other important elements within arid lands. To further understand these types of ecosystems, the physicochemical and biological properties of Sidi Ameur and Himalatt Salt Lakes in the Algerian Sahara were examined and compared. Both lakes were relatively neutral in pH (7.2 to 7.4) and high in salt, at 12% and 20 % (w/v) salinity for Himalatt and Sidi Ameur Lakes, respectively, with dominant ions of sodium and chloride. The community compositions of microbes from all three domains (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya) were surveyed through the use of 16S and 18S ribosomal gene amplification and clone library clustering using amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) in conjunction with DNA sequencing and analysis. A high level of microbial diversity, particularly among the bacteria of the Himalatt Salt Lake and archaea of Sidi Ameur Lake, was found within these environments. Representatives from all known halophilic bacterial phyla as well as 6 different genera of halophilic archaea were identified. Moreover, several apparently novel phylotypes among both archaea and bacteria were revealed.
Project description:Recent intensive microbiological investigation of sulfidogenesis in soda lakes did not result in isolation of any pure cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) able to directly oxidize acetate. The sulfate-dependent acetate oxidation at haloalkaline conditions has, so far, been only shown in two syntrophic associations of novel Syntrophobacteraceae members and haloalkaliphilic hydrogenotrophic SRB. In the course of investigation of one of them, obtained from a hypersaline soda lake in South-Western Siberia, a minor component was observed showing a close relation to Desulfonatronobacter acidivorans--a "complete oxidizing" SRB from soda lakes. This organism became dominant in a secondary enrichment with propionate as e-donor and sulfate as e-acceptor. A pure culture, strain APT3, was identified as a novel member of the family Desulfobacteraceae. It is an extremely salt-tolerant alkaliphile, growing with butyrate at salinity up to 4 M total Na(+) with a pH optimum at 9.5. It can grow with sulfate as e-acceptor with C3-C9 VFA and also with some alcohols. The most interesting property of strain APT3 is its ability to grow with acetate as e-donor, although not with sulfate, but with sulfite or thiosulfate as e-acceptors. The new isolate is proposed as a new species Desulfonatronobacter acetoxydans.