Chloroflexi small-subunit (SSU) rRNA gene sequences are frequently recovered from subseafloor environments, but the metabolic potential of the phylum is poorly understood. The phylum Chloroflexi is represented by isolates with diverse metabolic strategies, including anoxic phototrophy, fermentation, and reductive dehalogenation; therefore, function cannot be attributed to these organisms based solely on phylogeny. Single-cell genomics can provide metabolic insights into uncultured organisms, like the deep-subsurface Chloroflexi. Nine SSU rRNA gene sequences were identified from single-cell sorts of whole-round core material collected from the Okinawa Trough at Iheya North hydrothermal field as part of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) expedition 331 (Deep Hot Biosphere). Previous studies of subsurface Chloroflexi single amplified genomes (SAGs) suggested heterotrophic or lithotrophic metabolisms and provided no evidence for growth by reductive dehalogenation. Our nine Chloroflexi SAGs (seven of which are from the order Anaerolineales) indicate that, in addition to genes for the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, exogenous carbon sources can be actively transported into cells. At least one subunit for pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase was found in four of the Chloroflexi SAGs. This protein can provide a link between the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway and other carbon anabolic pathways. Finally, one of the seven Anaerolineales SAGs contains a distinct reductive dehalogenase homologous (rdhA) gene.
IMPORTANCE Through the use of single amplified genomes (SAGs), we have extended the metabolic potential of an understudied group of subsurface microbes, the Chloroflexi. These microbes are frequently detected in the subsurface biosphere, though their metabolic capabilities have remained elusive. In contrast to previously examined Chloroflexi SAGs, our genomes (several are from the order Anaerolineales) were recovered from a hydrothermally driven system and therefore provide a unique window into the metabolic potential of this type of habitat. In addition, a reductive dehalogenase gene (rdhA) has been directly linked to marine subsurface Chloroflexi, suggesting that reductive dehalogenation is not limited to the class Dehalococcoidia. This discovery expands the nutrient-cycling and metabolic potential present within the deep subsurface and provides functional gene information relating to this enigmatic group.
Mariprofundus ferrooxydans strain JV-1 was isolated in 1998 from Loihi Seamount, Hawaii. Here, we present the draft genome of strain JV-1, which shows similarity to other sequenced Mariprofundus isolates, strains PV-1 and M34.
Thermococcus is a genus of hyperthermophilic archaea that is ubiquitous in marine hydrothermal environments growing in anaerobic subsurface habitats but able to survive in cold oxygenated seawater. DNA analyses of Thermococcus isolates were applied to determine the relationship between geographic distribution and relatedness focusing primarily on isolates from the Juan de Fuca Ridge and South East Pacific Rise. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were used to resolve genomic differences in 90 isolates of Thermococcus, making biogeographic patterns and evolutionary relationships apparent. Isolates were differentiated into regionally endemic populations however there was also evidence in some lineages of cosmopolitan distribution. The biodiversity identified in Thermococcus isolates and presence of distinct lineages within the same vent site suggests the utilization of varying ecological niches in this genus. In addition to resolving biogeographic patterns in Thermococcus, this study has raised new questions about the closely related Pyrococcus genus. The phylogenetic placement of Pyrococcus type strains shows the close relationship between Thermococcus and Pyrococcus and the unresolved divergence of these two genera.