A novel bacterial phylum that participates in carbon and osmolyte cycling in the Challenger Deep sediments

Cui et al. (2021). Environmental Microbiology 23 (7)
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SummaryLarge amounts of detrital organic matter and osmolytes accumulate in the sediments of hadal trenches (>6000 m depth) due to the funnelling effect. It is still unknown whether there are novel active microbes that depend on specific carbon sources in extreme and isolated environments. In this study, we present a novel active bacterial phylum, Candidatus Tianyabacteria in the FCB superphylum, which was enriched in sediments collected from the Challenger Deep. Genome binning resulted in high‐quality Ca. Tianyabacteria genomes representing two Ca. Tianyabacteria lineages (L1 and L2) in sediments 0–21 cm below the surface (cmbsf); L1 tends to be abundant in the upper layers (0–9 cmbsf), and L2 seems to be more prevalent in the deeper layers (12–21 cmbsf). Gene annotation and transcriptomics results indicate that the two lineages might import and catalyse amino acids and myo‐inositol into central carbon metabolism for a heterotrophic lifestyle. Probably due to differences in environmental oxygen levels, the L2 genomes harbour gene clusters responsible for denitrification and fermentation, while the L1 genomes encode octahaem cytochrome c and multicopper oxidase using unknown substrates. The Ca. Tianyabacteria are thus novel heterotrophic organisms that participate in processes of carbon, nitrogen and organic osmolyte cycling in hadal sediments.
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