A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Methanosphaera stadtmanae
Higher order taxa
Kingdom: Biota Domain: Archaea Phylum: Euryarchaeota Class: Methanobacteria Order: Methanobacteriales Family: Methanobacteriaceae
Genus: Methanosphaera Species: stadtmanae
Description and Significance
The Methanosphaera stadtmanae strain DSZM 3091 was isolated by the Deutsche Sammlung von Zellkulturen und Mikroorganismen (DSMZ), located in Braunschweig, Germany. It is important to isolate and sequence the genome of this archaeon as it is the first human archaeal commensal; therefore, it can help researchers gain a better understanding of the role of archael commensals in humans. It was found that M. stadtmanae inhabits the human intestine. These archaea thrive there because methanol is present as a by product of “pectin degradation by Bacteroides species and other anaerobic bacteria” It was found that the M. stadtmanae can be grown on a medium that contains 0.5 g/liter sodium formate and 10% rumen fluid. The process of sequencing M. stadtmanae included extracting and shearing “its total genomic DNA to obtain various shotgun data using 3 kb to 5 kb fractions.” Next, the fragments were cloned into vectors produced by the Invitrogen Co., pCR4-TOPO. Then, the ends of the recombinant plasmids were sequenced using dye terminator chemistry. Also, in order to edit the sequence, part of the Staden software package, GAP4, was used. In fact, about 8.7-fold coverage of the genome was achieved after reconstructing 21,555 sequences.
The M. stadtmanae genome consists of one circular chromosome that contains 1,767,403 basepairs but no plasmids. Also, of all sequenced archaeal genomes, M. stadtmanae has the lowest Guanine+Cytosine (G+C) content 28%. Also, within all the methanogens, the M. stadtmanae has the lowest number of protein-encoding sequences with 1,534 CDS. It is found that the M. stadtmanae’s genome has 40 tRNAs and four rRNA operons, which is the highest number of rRNA operons found in a single genome within the Archaea domain. In fact, “its genome consists of four 1,528-bp insertion elements, which all include either one of three highly homologous CDS, Msp0017, Msp0233, and Msp0471, or a pseudogene, Msp1439.”
Cell structure and metabolism
M. stadtmanae needs acetate for growth. This is because the M. stadtmanae lacks the carbon monoxide dehydrogenase and acetyl-coenzyme A synthase that is responsible for synthesizing the acetyl-coenzyme that is needed in the Krebs cycle to produce ATP, which is essential for cell growth. In addition, as demonstrated by Gerhard Gottschalk et al., the sequenced genome of M. stadtmanae’s is found to also lack “37 protein-coding sequences present in all other methanogens, which are involved in synthesis of a compound required for catalyzing the first step of methanogenesis from CO2 and H2.” For that reason, M. stadtmanae lacks the ability to perform methanogenesis and is unable to produce methane like other methanogens. Therefore, as an alternative, M. stadtmanae’s genome has a protein-encoding sequences (CDS) for the enzymes that aid in the reduction of methane and ATP synthesis. As it turned out, this is a very efficient process in terms of conserving energy for the M. stadtmanae because they only have five enzyme complexes that are involved in“methanol reduction to methane with H2, a reaction that is coupled to the buildup of an electrochemical proton potential which drives the phosphorylation of ADP,” which is found when analyzing the growth of the methanogen on H2 and methanol as the only energy source. Equally interesting, it is found that there were 3,300 amino acids sequenced in the genome of M. stadtmanae that are not present in any other methanogens or Archaea It is believed that these amino acids have attachment features that allow M. stadtmanae to colonize in the human intestine.
Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.
The Methanosphaera stadtmanae is an organism that lives in the human intestine. The M. stadtmanae is found to have the most restricted energy metabolism present in methanogenic Archaea. M. stadtmanae is restricted to methanol and H2 for methane formation and ATP synthesis as mentioned earlier. In fact, M. stadtmanae can “neither oxidize methanol to CO2 nor reduce CO2 to methane,” which also makes this bacteria lack the ability of autotrophic growth on CO2, making them dependent on acetate and CO2 as the main carbon sources that is needed for the biosynthesis of necessary cell components. Therefore, with this incompetent, it makes them helpful for their human host by conserving energy; this is the reason why the human intestine does not need much energy to make methane for producing essential cell components, which makes this organism a useful organism rather than a parasite. Also, unlike other commensals, M. stadtmanae are “able to survive in the human gastrointestinal tract, which is protected by a highly active immune system, but also stimulate the development of a healthy intestinal epithelium and immune system;” and therefore, can help prevent chronic inflammatory diseases of the intestine, but their specific role is still unknown to researchers.
Application to Biotechnology
Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?
Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required
[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.
Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano