The genome sequence of the psychrophilic archaeon, Methanococcoides burtonii: the role of genome evolution in cold adaptation

Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
ISME Journal, 2009, 3 (9), pp. 1012 - 1035
Issue Date:
2009-01
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Psychrophilic archaea are abundant and perform critical roles throughout the Earth's expansive cold biosphere. Here we report the first complete genome sequence for a psychrophilic methanogenic archaeon, Methanococcoides burtonii. The genome sequence was manually annotated including the use of a five-tiered evidence rating (ER) system that ranked annotations from ER1 (gene product experimentally characterized from the parent organism) to ER5 (hypothetical gene product) to provide a rapid means of assessing the certainty of gene function predictions. The genome is characterized by a higher level of aberrant sequence composition (51%) than any other archaeon. In comparison to hyper/thermophilic archaea, which are subject to selection of synonymous codon usage, M. burtonii has evolved cold adaptation through a genomic capacity to accommodate highly skewed amino-acid content, while retaining codon usage in common with its mesophilic Methanosarcina cousins. Polysaccharide biosynthesis genes comprise at least 3.3% of protein coding genes in the genome, and Cell wall, membrane, envelope biogenesis COG genes are overrepresented. Likewise, signal transduction (COG category T) genes are overrepresented and M. burtonii has a high âIQâ (a measure of adaptive potential) compared to many methanogens.
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