Thursday 7 May 2015

New bacterial phylum?

Using 16s ribosomal RNA sequencing on samples isolated from hot springs in North America and Asia, scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI) may have uncovered a new bacterial phylum, which they’ve dubbed Candidatus Kryptonia. The scientists presented their unpublished results at the JGI User Meeting held in California during March 2015.
Genomic analyses place Kryptonia in the Bacteroidetes superphylum, whose members thrive in the gut and in marine environments. If confirmed, Kryptonia would be the first extreme thermophile found in this group. Kryptonia appears to have acquired this characteristic through horizontal gene transfer from Archaea.
“It’s always difficult to claim absolutely a new lineage until you’ve done some biochemical tests,” said microbial ecologist Jack Gilbert of Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, who was not involved with the study, “but, genomics-wise, this thing appears to fit outside of our current understanding.”

For further details, see The Scientist.

Posted by Tim Sandle

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