Prokaryotic Cells :: classification
Taxonomy of the family Halobacteriaceae: a paradigm for changing concepts in prokaryote systematics.
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, the Institute of Life Sciences, and the Moshe Shilo Minerva Center for Marine Biogeochemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel. email@example.com
The halophilic Archaea of the family Halobacteriaceae (36 genera with 129 species with standing in nomenclature as of November 2011) provide an excellent example of how changing concepts on prokaryote taxonomy and the development of new methods have influenced the way in which the taxonomy of a single group of prokaryotes is treated. This review gives an overview of the taxonomy of the family Halobacteriaceae, showing the impact that methods of phenotypic characterization, numerical taxonomy, chemotaxonomy and especially polar lipid analysis, 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons, multilocus type analysis and comparative genomics have had on their classification.
Most cited papers:
The Ribosomal Database Project (RDP-II): previewing a new autoaligner that allows regular updates and the new prokaryotic taxonomy.
J R Cole, B Chai, T L Marsh, R J Farris, Q Wang, S A Kulam, S Chandra, D M McGarrell, T M Schmidt, G M Garrity, J M Tiedje
Center for Microbial Ecology, 2225A Biomedical Physical Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-4320, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ribosomal Database Project-II (RDP-II) pro-vides data, tools and services related to ribosomal RNA sequences to the research community. Through its website (http://rdp.cme.msu.edu), RDP-II offers aligned and annotated rRNA sequence data, analysis services, and phylogenetic inferences (trees) derived from these data. RDP-II release 8.1 contains 16 277 prokaryotic, 5201 eukaryotic, and 1503 mitochondrial small subunit rRNA sequences in aligned and annotated format. The current public beta release of 9.0 debuts a new regularly updated alignment of over 50 000 annotated (eu)bacterial sequences. New analysis services include a sequence search and selection tool (Hierarchy Browser) and a phylogenetic tree building and visualization tool (Phylip Interface). A new interactive tutorial guides users through the basics of rRNA sequence analysis. Other services include probe checking, phylogenetic placement of user sequences, screening of users' sequences for chimeric rRNA sequences, automated alignment, production of similarity matrices, and services to plan and analyze terminal restriction fragment polymorphism (T-RFLP) experiments. The RDP-II email address for questions or comments is email@example.com.
Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens GA 30602, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The number of prokaryotes and the total amount of their cellular carbon on earth are estimated to be 4-6 x 10(30) cells and 350-550 Pg of C (1 Pg = 10(15) g), respectively. Thus, the total amount of prokaryotic carbon is 60-100% of the estimated total carbon in plants, and inclusion of prokaryotic carbon in global models will almost double estimates of the amount of carbon stored in living organisms. In addition, the earth's prokaryotes contain 85-130 Pg of N and 9-14 Pg of P, or about 10-fold more of these nutrients than do plants, and represent the largest pool of these nutrients in living organisms. Most of the earth's prokaryotes occur in the open ocean, in soil, and in oceanic and terrestrial subsurfaces, where the numbers of cells are 1.2 x 10(29), 2.6 x 10(29), 3.5 x 10(30), and 0. 25-2.5 x 10(30), respectively. The numbers of heterotrophic prokaryotes in the upper 200 m of the open ocean, the ocean below 200 m, and soil are consistent with average turnover times of 6-25 days, 0.8 yr, and 2.5 yr, respectively. Although subject to a great deal of uncertainty, the estimate for the average turnover time of prokaryotes in the subsurface is on the order of 1-2 x 10(3) yr. The cellular production rate for all prokaryotes on earth is estimated at 1.7 x 10(30) cells/yr and is highest in the open ocean. The large population size and rapid growth of prokaryotes provides an enormous capacity for genetic diversity.
U IL, Urbana
Department of Molecular Ecology, Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstrasse 1, D-28359, Bremen, Germany. email@example.com
The species concept is a recurrent controversial issue that preoccupies philosophers as well as biologists of all disciplines. Prokaryotic species concept has its own history and results from a series of empirical improvements parallel to the development of the techniques of analysis. Among the microbial taxonomists, there is general agreement that the species concept currently in use is useful, pragmatic and universally applicable within the prokaryotic world. However, this empirically designed concept is not encompassed by any of the, at least, 22 concepts described for eukaryotes. The species could be described as 'a monophyletic and genomically coherent cluster of individual organisms that show a high degree of overall similarity in many independent characteristics, and is diagnosable by a discriminative phenotypic property'. We suggest to refer it as a phylo-phenetic species concept. Here, we discuss the validity of the concept in use which we believe is more pragmatic in comparison with those concepts described for eukaryotes.
U CT, Storrs
Amino acid sequence data from 57 different enzymes were used to determine the divergence times of the major biological groupings. Deuterostomes and protostomes split about 670 million years ago and plants, animals, and fungi last shared a common ancestor about a billion years ago. With regard to these protein sequences, plants are slightly more similar to animals than are the fungi. In contrast, phylogenetic analysis of the same sequences indicates that fungi and animals shared a common ancestor more recently than either did with plants, the greater difference resulting from the fungal lineage changing faster than the animal and plant lines over the last 965 million years. The major protist lineages have been changing at a somewhat faster rate than other eukaryotes and split off about 1230 million years ago. If the rate of change has been approximately constant, then prokaryotes and eukaryotes last shared a common ancestor about 2 billion years ago, archaebacterial sequences being measurably more similar to eukaryotic ones than are eubacterial ones.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20894, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Comparative analysis of bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic genomes indicates that a significant fraction of the genes in the prokaryotic genomes have been subject to horizontal transfer. In some cases, the amount and source of horizontal gene transfer can be linked to an organism's lifestyle. For example, bacterial hyperthermophiles seem to have exchanged genes with archaea to a greater extent than other bacteria, whereas transfer of certain classes of eukaryotic genes is most common in parasitic and symbiotic bacteria. Horizontal transfer events can be classified into distinct categories of acquisition of new genes, acquisition of paralogs of existing genes, and xenologous gene displacement whereby a gene is displaced by a horizontally transferred ortholog from another lineage (xenolog). Each of these types of horizontal gene transfer is common among prokaryotes, but their relative contributions differ in different lineages. The fixation and long-term persistence of horizontally transferred genes suggests that they confer a selective advantage on the recipient organism. In most cases, the nature of this advantage remains unclear, but detailed examination of several cases of acquisition of eukaryotic genes by bacteria seems to reveal the evolutionary forces involved. Examples include isoleucyl-tRNA synthetases whose acquisition from eukaryotes by several bacteria is linked to antibiotic resistance, ATP/ADP translocases acquired by intracellular parasitic bacteria, Chlamydia and Rickettsia, apparently from plants, and proteases that may be implicated in chlamydial pathogenesis.
Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles 90024, USA.
Eleven taxa (including eight heretofore undescribed species) of cellularly preserved filamentous microbes, among the oldest fossils known, have been discovered in a bedded chert unit of the Early Archean Apex Basalt of northwestern Western Australia. This prokaryotic assemblage establishes that trichomic cyanobacterium-like microorganisms were extant and morphologically diverse at least as early as approximately 3465 million years ago and suggests that oxygen-producing photoautotrophy may have already evolved by this early stage in biotic history.
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. email@example.com
More than 20 complete prokaryotic genome sequences are now publicly available, each by itself an unparalleled resource for understanding organismal biology. Collectively, these data are even more powerful: they could force a dramatic reworking of the framework in which we understand biological evolution. It is possible that a single universal phylogenetic tree is not the best way to depict relationships between all living and extinct species. Instead a web- or net-like pattern, reflecting the importance of horizontal or lateral gene transfer between lineages of organisms, might provide a more appropriate visual metaphor. Here, I ask whether this way of thinking is really justified, and explore its implications.
Eugene V Koonin, Natalie D Fedorova, John D Jackson, Aviva R Jacobs, Dmitri M Krylov, Kira S Makarova, Raja Mazumder, Sergei L Mekhedov, Anastasia N Nikolskaya, B Sridhar Rao, Igor B Rogozin, Sergei Smirnov, Alexander V Sorokin, Alexander V Sverdlov, Sona Vasudevan, Yuri I Wolf, Jodie J Yin, Darren A Natale
National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND Sequencing the genomes of multiple, taxonomically diverse eukaryotes enables in-depth comparative-genomic analysis which is expected to help in reconstructing ancestral eukaryotic genomes and major events in eukaryotic evolution and in making functional predictions for currently uncharacterized conserved genes. RESULTS We examined functional and evolutionary patterns in the recently constructed set of 5,873 clusters of predicted orthologs (eukaryotic orthologous groups or KOGs) from seven eukaryotic genomes: Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Homo sapiens, Arabidopsis thaliana, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Conservation of KOGs through the phyletic range of eukaryotes strongly correlates with their functions and with the effect of gene knockout on the organism's viability. The approximately 40% of KOGs that are represented in six or seven species are enriched in proteins responsible for housekeeping functions, particularly translation and RNA processing. These conserved KOGs are often essential for survival and might approximate the minimal set of essential eukaryotic genes. The 131 single-member, pan-eukaryotic KOGs we identified were examined in detail. For around 20 that remained uncharacterized, functions were predicted by in-depth sequence analysis and examination of genomic context. Nearly all these proteins are subunits of known or predicted multiprotein complexes, in agreement with the balance hypothesis of evolution of gene copy number. Other KOGs show a variety of phyletic patterns, which points to major contributions of lineage-specific gene loss and the 'invention' of genes new to eukaryotic evolution. Examination of the sets of KOGs lost in individual lineages reveals co-elimination of functionally connected genes. Parsimonious scenarios of eukaryotic genome evolution and gene sets for ancestral eukaryotic forms were reconstructed. The gene set of the last common ancestor of the crown group consists of 3,413 KOGs and largely includes proteins involved in genome replication and expression, and central metabolism. Only 44% of the KOGs, mostly from the reconstructed gene set of the last common ancestor of the crown group, have detectable homologs in prokaryotes; the remainder apparently evolved via duplication with divergence and invention of new genes. CONCLUSIONS The KOG analysis reveals a conserved core of largely essential eukaryotic genes as well as major diversification and innovation associated with evolution of eukaryotic genomes. The results provide quantitative support for major trends of eukaryotic evolution noticed previously at the qualitative level and a basis for detailed reconstruction of evolution of eukaryotic genomes and biology of ancestral forms.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Hugh Robson Building, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9XD, UK. email@example.com
We describe an ontology for cell types that covers the prokaryotic, fungal, animal and plant worlds. It includes over 680 cell types. These cell types are classified under several generic categories and are organized as a directed acyclic graph. The ontology is available in the formats adopted by the Open Biological Ontologies umbrella and is designed to be used in the context of model organism genome and other biological databases. The ontology is freely available at http://obo.sourceforge.net/ and can be viewed using standard ontology visualization tools such as OBO-Edit and COBrA.