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Bathyarchaeota could be methanogens!

2 min read

A recent metagenome study by Evans et al., (2015) has detected the presence of a divergent mcrA gene sequence in Bathyarchaeota (formerly Miscellaneous Crenaorchaeotal group).

This has very strong implications such as : 

-not only members of the Euryachaeota phylum are able to perform methanogenesis 

-a version of mcrA existed in the Bathyarchaota and Euryarchaeota common ancestor

-new primers should be used to take into account the divergent Bathyarchaota mcrA gene to analysie methanogenesis, in the marine realm, and also in lacustrine ecosystems.

-these Bathyarchaeota can do a lot of amazing things (see Lloyd et al., 2013 & Meng et al., 2014)

here is the paper :

and here is a nice overview of the story : (where the figure below comes from)


Evans et al., (2015) Methane metabolism in the archaeal phylum Bathyarchaeota revealed by genome-centric metagenomics Science  350 (6259), 434-438. [DOI:10.1126/science.aac7745]
Lloyd, K. G., (2015) Beyond known methanogens Science : 350 (6259), 384. [DOI:10.1126/science.aad4066]

Lloyd, K. G., Schreiber, L., Petersen, D. G., Kjeldsen, K. U., Lever, M. A., Steen, A. D., ... & Jørgensen, B. B. (2013). Predominant archaea in marine sediments degrade detrital proteins. Nature, 496(7444), 215-218.

Meng, J., Xu, J., Qin, D., He, Y., Xiao, X., & Wang, F. (2014). Genetic and functional properties of uncultivated MCG archaea assessed by metagenome and gene expression analyses. The ISME journal, 8(3), 650-659.