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Title: Phylogenomic analysis of novel Diaforarchaea is consistent with sulfite but not sulfate reduction in volcanic environments on early Earth
Abstract

The origin(s) of dissimilatory sulfate and/or (bi)sulfite reducing organisms (SRO) remains enigmatic despite their importance in global carbon and sulfur cycling since at least 3.4 Ga. Here, we describe novel, deep-branching archaeal SRO populations distantly related to other Diaforarchaea from two moderately acidic thermal springs. Dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase homologs, DsrABC, encoded in metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) from spring sediments comprise one of the earliest evolving Dsr lineages. DsrA homologs were expressed in situ under moderately acidic conditions. MAGs lacked genes encoding proteins that activate sulfate prior to (bi)sulfite reduction. This is consistent with sulfide production in enrichment cultures provided sulfite but not sulfate. We suggest input of volcanic sulfur dioxide to anoxic spring-water yields (bi)sulfite and moderately acidic conditions that favor its stability and bioavailability. The presence of similar volcanic springs at the time SRO are thought to have originated (>3.4 Ga) may have supplied (bi)sulfite that supported ancestral SRO. These observations coincide with the lack of inferred SO42−reduction capacity in nearly all organisms with early-branching DsrAB and which are near universally found in hydrothermal environments.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1820658
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10154443
Journal Name:
The ISME Journal
Volume:
14
Issue:
5
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 1316-1331
ISSN:
1751-7362
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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