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  1. Abstract

    Candidate bacterial phylum Omnitrophota has not been isolated and is poorly understood. We analysed 72 newly sequenced and 349 existing Omnitrophota genomes representing 6 classes and 276 species, along with Earth Microbiome Project data to evaluate habitat, metabolic traits and lifestyles. We applied fluorescence-activated cell sorting and differential size filtration, and showed that most Omnitrophota are ultra-small (~0.2 μm) cells that are found in water, sediments and soils. Omnitrophota genomes in 6 classes are reduced, but maintain major biosynthetic and energy conservation pathways, including acetogenesis (with or without the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway) and diverse respirations. At least 64% of Omnitrophota genomes encode gene clusters typical of bacterial symbionts, suggesting host-associated lifestyles. We repurposed quantitative stable-isotope probing data from soils dominated by andesite, basalt or granite weathering and identified 3 families with high isotope uptake consistent with obligate bacterial predators. We propose that most Omnitrophota inhabit various ecosystems as predators or parasites.

  2. The microbial ecology of the deep biosphere is difficult to characterize, owing in part to sampling challenges and poorly understood response mechanisms to environmental change. Pre-drilled wells, including oil wells or boreholes, offer convenient access, but sampling is frequently limited to the water alone, which may provide only a partial view of the native diversity. Mineral heterogeneity demonstrably affects colonization by deep biosphere microorganisms, but the connections between the mineral-associated and planktonic communities remain unclear. To understand the substrate effects on microbial colonization and the community response to changes in organic carbon, we conducted an 18-month series of in situ experiments in a warm (57°C), anoxic, fractured carbonate aquifer at 752 m depth using replicate open, screened cartridges containing different solid substrates, with a proteinaceous organic matter perturbation halfway through this series. Samples from these cartridges were analyzed microscopically and by Illumina (iTag) 16S rRNA gene libraries to characterize changes in mineralogy and the diversity of the colonizing microbial community. The substrate-attached and planktonic communities were significantly different in our data, with some taxa (e.g., Candidate Division KB-1) rare or undetectable in the first fraction and abundant in the other. The substrate-attached community composition also varied significantly with mineralogy, suchmore »as with two Rhodocyclaceae OTUs, one of which was abundant on carbonate minerals and the other on silicic substrates. Secondary sulfide mineral formation, including iron sulfide framboids, was observed on two sets of incubated carbonates. Notably, microorganisms were attached to the framboids, which were correlated with abundant Sulfurovum and Desulfotomaculum sp. sequences in our analysis. Upon organic matter perturbation, mineral-associated microbial diversity differences were temporarily masked by the dominance of putative heterotrophic taxa in all samples, including OTUs identified as Caulobacter , Methyloversatilis , and Pseudomonas . Subsequent experimental deployments included a methanogen-dominated stage ( Methanobacteriales and Methanomicrobiales ) 6 months after the perturbation and a return to an assemblage similar to the pre-perturbation community after 9 months. Substrate-associated community differences were again significant within these subsequent phases, however, demonstrating the value of in situ time course experiments to capture a fraction of the microbial assemblage that is frequently difficult to observe in pre-drilled wells.« less
  3. ABSTRACT The recently proposed bacterial phylum Kiritimatiellaeota represents a globally distributed monophyletic clade distinct from other members of the Planctomycetes , Verrucomicrobia , and Chlamydiae (PVC) superphylum. Here, we present four phylogenetically distinct single-cell genome sequences from within the Kiritimatiellaeota lineage sampled from deep continental subsurface aquifer fluids of the Death Valley Regional Flow System in the United States.
  4. An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

  5. Abstract

    The assembly of single-amplified genomes (SAGs) and metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) has led to a surge in genome-based discoveries of members affiliated with Archaea and Bacteria, bringing with it a need to develop guidelines for nomenclature of uncultivated microorganisms. The International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP) only recognizes cultures as ‘type material’, thereby preventing the naming of uncultivated organisms. In this Consensus Statement, we propose two potential paths to solve this nomenclatural conundrum. One option is the adoption of previously proposed modifications to the ICNP to recognize DNA sequences as acceptable type material; the other option creates a nomenclatural code for uncultivated Archaea and Bacteria that could eventually be merged with the ICNP in the future. Regardless of the path taken, we believe that action is needed now within the scientific community to develop consistent rules for nomenclature of uncultivated taxa in order to provide clarity and stability, and to effectively communicate microbial diversity.