Project description:To improve and complete our knowledge of archaeal tRNA modification patterns, we have identified and compared the modification pattern (type and location) in tRNAs of three very different archaeal species, <i>Methanococcus maripaludis</i> (a mesophilic methanogen), <i>Pyrococcus furiosus</i> (a hyperthermophile thermococcale), and <i>Sulfolobus acidocaldarius</i> (an acidophilic thermophilic sulfolobale). Most abundant isoacceptor tRNAs (79 in total) for each of the 20 amino acids were isolated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by in-gel RNase digestions. The resulting oligonucleotide fragments were separated by nanoLC and their nucleotide content analyzed by mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Analysis of total modified nucleosides obtained from complete digestion of bulk tRNAs was also performed. Distinct base- and/or ribose-methylations, cytidine acetylations, and thiolated pyrimidines were identified, some at new positions in tRNAs. Novel, some tentatively identified, modifications were also found. The least diversified modification landscape is observed in the mesophilic <i>Methanococcus maripaludis</i> and the most complex one in <i>Sulfolobus acidocaldarius</i> Notable observations are the frequent occurrence of ac<sup>4</sup>C nucleotides in thermophilic archaeal tRNAs, the presence of m<sup>7</sup>G at positions 1 and 10 in <i>Pyrococcus furiosus</i> tRNAs, and the use of wyosine derivatives at position 37 of tRNAs, especially those decoding U1- and C1-starting codons. These results complete those already obtained by others with sets of archaeal tRNAs from <i>Methanocaldococcus jannaschii</i> and <i>Haloferax volcanii</i>.
Project description:Assembly of genes into operons is generally viewed as an important process during the continual adaptation of microbes to changing environmental challenges. However, the genome reorganization events that drive this process are also the roots of instability for existing operons. We have determined that there exists a statistically significant trend that correlates the proportion of genes encoded in operons in archaea to their phylogenetic lineage. We have further characterized how microbes deal with operon instability by mapping and comparing transcriptome architectures of four phylogenetically diverse extremophiles that span the range of operon stabilities observed across archaeal lineages: a photoheterotrophic halophile (Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1), a hydrogenotrophic methanogen (Methanococcus maripaludis S2), an acidophilic and aerobic thermophile (Sulfolobus solfataricus P2), and an anaerobic hyperthermophile (Pyrococcus furiosus DSM 3638). We demonstrate how the evolution of transcriptional elements (promoters and terminators) generates new operons, restores the coordinated regulation of translocated, inverted, and newly acquired genes, and introduces completely novel regulation for even some of the most conserved operonic genes such as those encoding subunits of the ribosome. The inverse correlation (r=-0.92) between the proportion of operons with such internally located transcriptional elements and the fraction of conserved operons in each of the four archaea reveals an unprecedented view into varying stages of operon evolution. Importantly, our integrated analysis has revealed that organisms adapted to higher growth temperatures have lower tolerance for genome reorganization events that disrupt operon structures.
Project description:Acidophilic archaea thrive in anaerobic and aerobic low pH environments (pH < 5) rich in dissolved heavy metals that exacerbate stress caused by the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>), hydroxyl radical (·OH) and superoxide (O<sub>2</sub><sup>-</sup>). ROS react with lipids, proteins and nucleic acids causing oxidative stress and damage that can lead to cell death. Herein, genes and mechanisms potentially involved in ROS mitigation are predicted in over 200 genomes of acidophilic archaea with sequenced genomes. These organisms are often be subjected to simultaneous multiple stresses such as high temperature, high salinity, low pH and high heavy metal loads. Some of the topics addressed include: (1) the phylogenomic distribution of these genes and what this can tell us about the evolution of these mechanisms in acidophilic archaea; (2) key differences in genes and mechanisms used by acidophilic versus non-acidophilic archaea and between acidophilic archaea and acidophilic bacteria and (3) how comparative genomic analysis predicts novel genes or pathways involved in oxidative stress responses in archaea and likely horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events.
Project description:The database of protein structures contains representatives from organisms with a range of growth temperatures. Various properties have been studied in a search for the molecular basis of protein adaptation to higher growth temperature. Charged groups have emerged as key distinguishing factors for proteins from thermophiles and mesophiles.A dataset of 291 thermophile-derived protein structures is compared with mesophile proteins. Calculations of electrostatic interactions support the importance of charges, but indicate that increases in charge contribution to folded state stabilisation do not generally correlate with the numbers of charged groups. Relative propensities of charged groups vary, such as the substitution of glutamic for aspartic acid sidechains. Calculations suggest an energetic basis, with less dehydration for longer sidechains. Most other properties studied show weak or insignificant separation of proteins from moderate thermophiles or hyperthermophiles and mesophiles, including an estimate of the difference in sidechain rotameric entropy upon protein folding. An exception is increased burial of alanine and proline residues and decreased burial of phenylalanine, methionine, tyrosine and tryptophan in hyperthermophile proteins compared to those from mesophiles.Since an increase in the number of charged groups for hyperthermophile proteins is separable from charged group contribution to folded state stability, we hypothesise that charged group propensity is important in the context of protein solubility and the prevention of aggregation. Accordingly we find some separation between mesophile and hyperthermophile proteins when looking at the largest surface patch that does not contain a charged sidechain. With regard to our observation that aromatic sidechains are less buried in hyperthermophile proteins, further analysis indicates that the placement of some of these groups may facilitate the reduction of folding fluctuations in proteins of the higher growth temperature organisms.
Project description:Acidophiles play a dominant role in driving elemental cycling in natural acid mine drainage (AMD) habitats and exhibit important application value in bioleaching and bioremediation. Acidity is an inevitable environmental stress and a key factor that affects the survival of acidophiles in their acidified natural habitats; however, the regulatory strategies applied by acidophilic bacteria to withstand low pH are unclear. We identified the significance of the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) in acidophiles adapting to acidic environments and discovered that Fur is ubiquitous as well as highly conserved in acidophilic bacteria. Mutagenesis of the fur gene of Acidithiobacillus caldus, a prototypical acidophilic sulfur-oxidizing bacterium found in AMD, revealed that Fur is required for the acid resistance of this acidophilic bacterium. Phenotypic characterization, transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq), mutagenesis, and biochemical assays indicated that the Acidithiobacillus caldus ferric uptake regulator (AcFur) is involved in extreme acid resistance by regulating the expression of several key genes of certain cellular activities, such as iron transport, biofilm formation, sulfur metabolism, chemotaxis, and flagellar biosynthesis. Finally, a Fur-dependent acid resistance regulatory strategy in A. caldus was proposed to illustrate the ecological behavior of acidophilic bacteria under low pH. This study provides new insights into the adaptation strategies of acidophiles to AMD ecosystems and will promote the design and development of engineered biological systems for the environmental adaptation of acidophiles.IMPORTANCE This study advances our understanding of the acid tolerance mechanism of A. caldus, identifies the key fur gene responsible for acid resistance, and elucidates the correlation between fur and acid resistance, thus contributing to an understanding of the ecological behavior of acidophilic bacteria. These findings provide new insights into the acid resistance process in Acidithiobacillus species, thereby promoting the study of the environmental adaptation of acidophilic bacteria and the design of engineered biological systems.
Project description:To solve the competition problem of acidophilic bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria in the practical application of mine tailing bioremediation, research into the mechanisms of using different nutrients to adjust the microbial community was conducted. Competition experiments involving acidophilic bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria were performed by supplementing the media with yeast extract, tryptone, lactate, and glucose. The physiochemical properties were determined, and the microbial community structure and biomass were investigated using MiSeq sequencing and qRT-PCR, respectively. Four nutrients had different remediation mechanisms and yielded different remediation effects. Yeast extract and tryptone (more than 1.6?g/L) promoted sulfate-reducing bacteria and inhibited acidophilic bacteria. Lactate inhibited both sulfate-reducing and acidophilic bacteria. Glucose promoted acidophilic bacteria more than sulfate-reducing bacteria. Yeast extract was the best choice for adjusting the microbial community and bioremediation, followed by tryptone. Lactate kept the physiochemical properties stable or made slight improvements; however, glucose was not suitable for mine tailing remediation. Different nutrients had significant effects on the abundance of the second enzyme of the sulfate-reducing pathway (p?<?0.05), which is the rate-limiting step of sulfate-reducing pathways. Nutrients changed the remediation effects effectively by adjusting the microbial community and the abundance of the sulfate-reducing rate-limiting enzyme.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Acidophilic members of the genus Streptomyces can be a good source for novel secondary metabolites and degradative enzymes of biopolymers. In this study, a genome-based approach on Streptomyces yeochonensis CN732, a representative neutrotolerant acidophilic streptomycete, was employed to examine the biosynthetic as well as enzymatic potential, and also presence of any genetic tools for adaptation in acidic environment. RESULTS:A high quality draft genome (7.8 Mb) of S. yeochonensis CN732 was obtained with a G + C content of 73.53% and 6549 protein coding genes. The in silico analysis predicted presence of multiple biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), which showed similarity with those for antimicrobial, anticancer or antiparasitic compounds. However, the low levels of similarity with known BGCs for most cases suggested novelty of the metabolites from those predicted gene clusters. The production of various novel metabolites was also confirmed from the combined high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. Through comparative genome analysis with related Streptomyces species, genes specific to strain CN732 and also those specific to neutrotolerant acidophilic species could be identified, which showed that genes for metabolism in diverse environment were enriched among acidophilic species. In addition, the presence of strain specific genes for carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZyme) along with many other singletons indicated uniqueness of the genetic makeup of strain CN732. The presence of cysteine transpeptidases (sortases) among the BGCs was also observed from this study, which implies their putative roles in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. CONCLUSIONS:This study highlights the bioactive potential of strain CN732, an acidophilic streptomycete with regard to secondary metabolite production and biodegradation potential using genomics based approach. The comparative genome analysis revealed genes specific to CN732 and also those among acidophilic species, which could give some insights into the adaptation of microbial life in acidic environment.