The genome sequence of the metal-mobilizing, extremely thermoacidophilic archaeon Metallosphaera sedula provides insights into bioleaching-associated metabolism

Kathryne S. Auernik, Yukari Maezato, Paul H. Blum, Robert M. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite their taxonomic description, not all members of the order Sulfolobales are capable of oxidizing reduced sulfur species, which, in addition to iron oxidation, is a desirable trait of biomining microorganisms. However, the complete genome sequence of the extremely thermoacidophilic archaeon Metallosphaera sedula DSM 5348 (2.2 Mb, ∼2,300 open reading frames [ORFs]) provides insights into biologically catalyzed metal sulfide oxidation. Comparative genomics was used to identify pathways and proteins involved (directly or indirectly) with bioleaching. As expected, the M. sedula genome contains genes related to autotrophic carbon fixation, metal tolerance, and adhesion. Also, terminal oxidase cluster organization indicates the presence of hybrid quinol-cytochrome oxidase complexes. Comparisons with the mesophilic biomining bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans ATCC 23270 indicate that the M. sedula genome encodes at least one putative rusticyanin, involved in iron oxidation, and a putative tetrathionate hydrolase, implicated in sulfur oxidation. The fox gene cluster, involved in iron oxidation in the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus metallicus, was also identified. These iron- and sulfur-oxidizing components are missing from genomes of nonleaching members of the Sulfolobales, such as Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 and Sulfolobus acidocaldarius DSM 639. Whole-genome transcriptional response analysis showed that 88 ORFs were up-regulated twofold or more in M. sedula upon addition of ferrous sulfate to yeast extract-based medium; these included genes for components of terminal oxidase clusters predicted to be involved with iron oxidation, as well as genes predicted to be involved with sulfur metabolism. Many hypothetical proteins were also differentially transcribed, indicating that aspects of the iron and sulfur metabolism of M. sedula remain to be identified and characterized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-692
Number of pages11
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume74
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

Fingerprint

Sulfolobaceae
Archaea
Sulfur
Iron
genome
metabolism
Metals
metals
Genome
oxidation
iron
sulfur
Sulfolobales
metal
ferrous sulfate
gene
Open Reading Frames
open reading frames
Oxidoreductases
Sulfolobus acidocaldarius

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

Cite this

The genome sequence of the metal-mobilizing, extremely thermoacidophilic archaeon Metallosphaera sedula provides insights into bioleaching-associated metabolism. / Auernik, Kathryne S.; Maezato, Yukari; Blum, Paul H.; Kelly, Robert M.

In: Applied and environmental microbiology, Vol. 74, No. 3, 01.02.2008, p. 682-692.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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