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19.

1 Phylogenetic and Metabolic Diversity


of Archaea
• Archaea share many characteristics with both
Bacteria and Eukarya
• Archaea are split into two major groups
(Figure 19.1)
– Crenarchaeota
– Euryarchaeota

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19.1 Phylogenetic and Metabolic Diversity
of Archaea
• Bioenergetics and intermediary metabolism of
Archaea are similar to those found in Bacteria
– Except some Archaea use methanogenesis
– Autotrophy via several different pathways is
widespread in Archaea

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Figure 19.1

Marine Euryarchaeota
Marine Crenarchaeota
Halobacterium Euryarchaeota
Halococcus Archaeoglobus

Extreme Natronococcus
halophiles Methanocaldococcus
Methanobacterium

Halophilic Crenarchaeota
methanogen
Methanothermus

Sulfolobus
Pyrodictium
Methanosarcina Thermococcus/
Pyrococcus
Methanospirillum Nanoarchaeum Thermoproteus Hyperthermophiles

Thermoplasma Methanopyrus

Desulfurococcus
Picrophilus
Ferroplasma

Extreme
acidophiles

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II. Euryarchaeota
• Euryarchaeota
– Physiologically diverse group of Archaea
– Many inhabit extreme environments
• Examples: high temperature, high salt, high acid

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19.2 Extremely Halophilic Archaea
• Haloarchaea
• Key genera: Halobacterium, Haloferax,
Natronobacterium
– Extremely halophilic Archaea
– Have a requirement for high salt
concentrations
• Typically require at least 1.5 M (~9%) NaCl for
growth
– Found in artificial saline habitats (e.g., salted
foods), solar salt evaporation ponds, and salt
lakes (Figure 19.2)
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Figure 19.2

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19.2 Extremely Halophilic Archaea
• Haloarchaea
– Reproduce by binary fission
– Do not form resting stages or spores
– Most are nonmotile
– Most are obligate aerobes
– Possess adaptations to life in highly ionic
environments
• Cell wall is composed of glycoprotein and
stabilized by Na+ (Figure 19.3)

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19.2 Extremely Halophilic Archaea
• Water Balance in Extreme Halophiles
– Halophiles need to maintain osmotic balance
• This is usually achieved by accumulation or
synthesis of compatible solutes
– Halobacterium species instead pump large
amounts of K+ into the cell from the environment
• Intracellular K+ concentration exceeds
extracellular Na+ concentration and positive water
balance is maintained

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19.2 Extremely Halophilic Archaea
• Proteins of halophiles
– Are highly acidic
– Contain fewer hydrophobic amino acids and
lysine residues

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19.2 Extremely Halophilic Archaea
• Some haloarchaea are capable of light-driven
synthesis of ATP (Figure 19.4)
– Bacteriorhodopsin
• Cytoplasmic membrane proteins that can
absorb light energy and pump protons across
the membrane

Animation: Bacteriorhodopsin and Light Mediated ATP Synthesis

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Figure 19.4

Out In
Membrane

Bacteriorhodopsin

ATPase

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19.3 Methanogenic Archaea
• Methanogens (Figure 19.5)
– Key genera: Methanobacterium,
Methanocaldococcus, Methanosarcina
• Microbes that produce CH4
• Found in many diverse environments
• Taxonomy based on phenotypic and phylogenetic
features
• Process of methanogenesis first demonstrated
over 200 years ago by Alessandro Volta

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Figure 19.5

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19.3 Methanogenic Archaea
• Diversity of Methanogens
– Demonstrate diversity of cell wall chemistries
(Figure 19.6 and Figure 19.7)
• Pseudomurein (e.g., Methanobacterium)
• Methanochondroitin (e.g., Methanosarcina)
• Protein or glycoprotein (e.g.,
Methanocaldococcus)
• S-layers (e.g., Methanospirillum)

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Figure 19.6

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Figure 19.7

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19.5 Thermococcales and Methanopyrus
• Three phylogenetically related genera of
hyperthermophilic Euryarchaeota:
– Thermococcus
– Pyrococcus
– Methanopyrus
• Comprise a branch near root of archaeal tree

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19.5 Thermococcales and Methanopyrus
• Thermococcales
– Distinct order that contains Thermococcus
and Pyrococcus (Figure 19.11)
– Indigenous to anoxic thermal waters
– Highly motile

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Figure 19.11

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Figure 19.16

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