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Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Volume 19, 2021, Pages 794-800

Ecological distribution and potential roles of Woesearchaeota in anaerobic biogeochemical cycling unveiled by genomic analysis

XiaoboLiua, Yali Wangb, Ji-Dong Gua

Environmental Engineering Program, Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT), 241 Daxue Road, Shantou 515063, Guangdong, China.


Woesearchaeota as a newly established member of the superphylum DPANN (Diapherotrites, Parvarchaeota, Aenigmarchaeota, Nanoarchaeota and Nanohaloarchaea) are surprisingly abundant and diverse in a wide variety of environments, including deep oil reservoir, sulfuric springs and anoxic aquifers, indicating a high diversity of their roles in global biogeochemical cycles. However, ecological functions of them remain elusive. To fill up this gap, we analyzed and compared the global distribution patterns of Woesearchaeota using the genomes available publicly. As a result, both ecological distribution patterns and metabolic predictions support a key role of woesearchaeotal lineages in cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur. Multivariate regression analysis reveals that Woesearchaeota might function in consortium with methanogens in the cycling of carbon in anaerobic environments, particularly in soils or sediments. Moreover, comparative genomic analysis and ecological distribution suggest the potential roles of Woesearchaeota in the processes of denitrification, nitrogen fixation, and dissimilatory nitrite reduction, especially in the wastewater treatment systems; and also uncovered the potential capability of sulfate reduction, sulfide oxidation and thiosulfate oxidation in sulfuric or sulfidic-rich environments. Our findings add more information into the ecological roles of archaea in the anoxic environment.

Key words: Woesearchaeota, Ecological patterns, Anaerobic carbon cycling, Nitrogen cycling, Sulfur cycling.

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