CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments

Brest, France

CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments

Brest, France
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Gramain A.,University of Essex | Gramain A.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Diaz G.C.,Católica del Norte University | Demergasso C.,Católica del Norte University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

The Salar Grande in the Coastal Range of Northern Chile is a fossil evaporitic basin filled with almost pure halite (95% NaCl average). It is assumed that the basin has not received input of brines since the Pliocene (5.3 to 1.8 million years). Below 1m the halite has remained undissolved since this time, whereas the upper layer has been dissolved and recrystallized by dripping fogs and occasional rainfall. We compared the archaeal community at different depths using both nested PCR and cultivation. The upper 10cm of halite crust contained diverse haloarchaeal species, including several from new genera, but their provenance is unknown. For samples deeper in the core, a new and rigorous procedure for chemically sterilizing the surface of single halite crystals was developed. These halite crystals contained only species of the genus Halobacterium (Hbt.). Halobacterium salinarum-like sequences were detected by PCR, and evidence that they were from ancient DNA include: comparison with numerous negative controls; detection of 16S rRNA sequence differences in non-conserved regions, indicating genuine evolutionary mutations rather than PCR-cloning artefacts; independent isolation of Hbt. salinarum from ancient halite; and diverse mechanisms possessed by this species for minimizing radiation damage and thus enhancing its potential for long-term survival. Haloarchaea related to Hbt. noricense were obtained from enrichment cultures from ~0.4 and 15.4m depth. We investigated Hbt. noricense strain A1 and found that when trapped inside halite crystals its recovery was as rapid after 27 months of entombment as at day 0, faring much better than other extreme halophiles. A biogeographical investigation showed that Hbt. noricense-like organisms were: commonly found in surface-sterilized ancient halite, associated with salt mines, in halite crusts, and, despite a much more intense search, only rarely detected in surface environments. We conclude that some Halobacterium species are specialists at long-term survival in halite. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Krupovic M.,Institute Pasteur Paris | Gonnet M.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Hania W.B.,CNRS Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO) | Forterre P.,Institute Pasteur Paris | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Mobilome of hyperthermophilic archaea dwelling in deep-sea hydrothermal vents is poorly characterized. To gain insight into genetic diversity and dynamics of mobile genetic elements in these environments we have sequenced five new plasmids from different Thermococcus strains that have been isolated from geographically remote hydrothermal vents. The plasmids were ascribed to two subfamilies, pTN2-like and pEXT9a-like. Gene content and phylogenetic analyses illuminated a robust connection between pTN2-like plasmids and Pyrococcus abyssi virus 1 (PAV1), with roughly half of the viral genome being composed of genes that have homologues in plasmids. Unexpectedly, pEXT9a-like plasmids were found to be closely related to the previously sequenced plasmid pMETVU01 from Methanocaldococcus vulcanius M7. Our data suggests that the latter observation is most compatible with an unprecedented horizontal transfer of a pEXT9a-like plasmid from Thermococcales to Methanococcales. Gene content analysis revealed that thermococcal plasmids encode Hfq-like proteins and toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems of two different families, VapBC and RelBE. Notably, although abundant in archaeal genomes, to our knowledge, TA and hfq-like genes have not been previously found in archaeal plasmids or viruses. Finally, the plasmids described here might prove to be useful in developing new genetic tools for hyperthermophiles. © 2013 Krupovic et al.


Gorlas A.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Koonin E.V.,U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information | Bienvenu N.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Prieur D.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Geslin C.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2012

Summary: We describe a novel virus, TPV1 (Thermococcus prieurii virus 1), which was discovered in a hyperthermophilic euryarchaeote isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal chimney sample collected at a depth of 2700m at the East Pacific Rise. TPV1 is the first virus isolated and characterized from the hyperthermophilic euryarchaeal genus Thermococcus. TPV1 particles have a lemon-shaped morphology (140nm×80nm) similar to the structures previously reported for Fuselloviruses and for the unclassified virus-like particle PAV1 (Pyrococcus abyssi virus 1). The infection with TPV1 does not cause host lysis and viral replication can be induced by UV irradiation. TPV1 contains a double-stranded circular DNA of 21.5kb, which is also present in high copy number in a free form in the host cell. The TPV1 genome encompasses 28 predicted genes; the protein sequences encoded in 16 of these genes show no significant similarity to proteins in public databases. Proteins predicted to be involved in genome replication were identified as well as transcriptional regulators. TPV1 encodes also a predicted integrase of the tyrosine recombinase family. The only two genes that are homologous between TPV1 and PAV1 are TPV1-22 and TPV1-23, which encode proteins containing a concanavalin A-like lectin/glucanase domain that might be involved in virus-host recognition. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Lazar C.S.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Parkes R.J.,University of Cardiff | Cragg B.A.,University of Cardiff | L'Haridon S.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Toffin L.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Submarine mud volcanoes are a significant source of methane to the atmosphere. The Napoli mud volcano, situated in the brine-impacted Olimpi Area of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, emits mainly biogenic methane particularly at the centre of the mud volcano. Temperature gradients support the suggestion that Napoli is a cold mud volcano with moderate fluid flow rates. Biogeochemical and molecular genetic analyses were carried out to assess the methanogenic activity rates, pathways and diversity in the hypersaline sediments of the centre of the Napoli mud volcano. Methylotrophic methanogenesis was the only significant methanogenic pathway in the shallow sediments (0-40cm) but was also measured throughout the sediment core, confirming that methylotrophic methanogens could be well adapted to hypersaline environments. Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis was the dominant pathway below 50cm; however, low rates of acetoclastic methanogenesis were also present, even in sediment layers with the highest salinity, showing that these methanogens can thrive in this extreme environment. PCR-DGGE and methyl coenzyme M reductase gene libraries detected sequences affiliated with anaerobic methanotrophs (mainly ANME-1) as well as Methanococcoides methanogens. Results show that the hypersaline conditions in the centre of the Napoli mud volcano influence active biogenic methane fluxes and methanogenic/methylotrophic diversity. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Thiel A.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Michoud G.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Moalic Y.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Flament D.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Jebbar M.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2014

In this study, we developed a gene disruption system for Thermococcus barophilus using simvastatin for positive selection and 5-fluoroorotic acid (5-FOA) for negative selection or counterselection to obtain markerless deletion mutants using single- and double-crossover events. Disruption plasmids carrying flanking regions of each targeted gene were constructed and introduced by transformation into wild-type T. barophilus MP cells. Initially, a pyrF deletion mutant was obtained as a starting point for the construction of further markerless mutants. A deletion of the hisB gene was also constructed in the UBOCC-3256 (ΔpyrF) background, generating a strain (UBOCC-3260) that was auxotrophic for histidine. A functional pyrF or hisB allele from T. barophilus was inserted into the chromosome of UBOCC-3256 (ΔpyrF) or UBOCC-3260 (ΔpyrF ΔhisB), allowing homologous complementation of these mutants. The piezophilic genetic tools developed in this study provide a way to construct strains with multiple genetic backgrounds that will allow further genetic studies for hyperthermophilic piezophilic archaea. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.


Henneke G.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2012

Using model DNA substrates and purified recombinant proteins from Pyrococcus abyssi, I have reconstituted the enzymatic reactions involved in RNA primer elimination in vitro. In my dual-labelled system, polymerase D performed efficient strand displacement DNA synthesis, generating 5'-RNA flaps which were subsequently released by Fen1, before ligation by Lig1. In this pathway, the initial cleavage event by RNase HII facilitated RNA primer removal of Okazaki fragments. In addition, I have shown that polymerase B was able to displace downstream DNA strands with a single ribonucleotide at the 5'-end, a product resulting from a single cut in the RNA initiator by RNase HII. After RNA elimination, the combined activities of strand displacement DNA synthesis by polymerase B and flap cleavage by Fen1 provided a nicked substrate for ligation by Lig1. The unique specificities of Okazaki fragment maturation enzymes and replicative DNA polymerases strongly support the existence of two pathways in the resolution of RNA fragments. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2012 Biochemical Society.


Lazar C.S.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | L'Haridon S.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Pignet P.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Toffin L.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Microbial mats in marine cold seeps are known to be associated with ascending sulfide- and methane-rich fluids. Hence, they could be visible indicators of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and methane cycling processes in underlying sediments. The Napoli mud volcano is situated in the Olimpi Area that lies on saline deposits; from there, brine fluids migrate upward to the seafloor. Sediments associated with a brine pool and microbial orange mats of the Napoli mud volcano were recovered during the Medeco cruise. Based on analysis of RNA-derived sequences, the "active" archaeal community was composed of many uncultured lineages, such as rice cluster V or marine benthic group D. Function methyl coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) genes were affiliated with the anaerobic methanotrophic Archaea (ANME) of the ANME-1, ANME-2a, and ANME-2c groups, suggesting that AOM occurred in these sediment layers. Enrichment cultures showed the presence of viable marine methylotrophic Methanococcoides in shallow sediment layers. Thus, the archaeal community diversity seems to show that active methane cycling took place in the hypersaline microbial mat-associated sediments of the Napoli mud volcano. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.


Gorlas A.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Geslin C.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments
Extremophiles | Year: 2013

Plaque assay is the method traditionally used to isolate and purify lytic viruses, to determine the viral titer and host range. Whereas most bacterioviruses are either temperate or lytic, the majority of known archeoviruses are not lytic (i. e. they are temperate or chronic). In view of the widespread occurrence of such viruses in extreme environments, we designed an original method, called the inverted spot test, to determine the host range and infectivity of viruses isolated from anaerobic hyperthermophilic and sulfur-reducing microorganisms. Here, we used this approach to prove for the first time the infectivity of Pyrococcus abyssi virus 1 (PAV1) and to confirm the host range of Thermococcus prieurii virus 1 (TPV1), the only two viruses isolated so far from any of the described marine hyperthermophilic archaea (Euryarchaeota phylum, Thermococcales order). © 2013 Springer Japan.


Richardson T.T.,Northumbria University | Gilroy L.,Northumbria University | Ishino Y.,Kyushu University | Connolly B.A.,Northumbria University | Henneke G.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

Archaeal family-D DNA polymerase is inhibited by the presence of uracil in DNA template strands. When the enzyme encounters uracil, following three parameters change: DNA binding increases roughly 2-fold, the rate of polymerization slows by a factor of ∼5 and 3′-5′ proof-reading exonuclease activity is stimulated by a factor of ∼2. Together these changes result in a significant decrease in polymerization activity and a reduction in net DNA synthesis. Pol D appears to interact with template strand uracil irrespective of its distance ahead of the replication fork. Polymerization does not stop at a defined location relative to uracil, rather a general decrease in DNA synthesis is observed. 'Trans' inhibition, the slowing of Pol D by uracil on a DNA strand not being replicated is also observed. It is proposed that Pol D is able to interact with uracil by looping out the singlestranded template, allowing simultaneous contact of both the base and the primer-template junction to give a polymerase-DNA complex with diminished extension ability. © 2013 The Author(s).


Le Laz S.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Le Goaziou A.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments | Henneke G.,CNRS Lab for Microbiology of Extreme Environments
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2010

Faithful DNA replication involves the removal of RNA residues from genomic DNA prior to the ligation of nascent DNA fragments in all living organisms. Because the physiological roles of archaeal type 2 RNase H are not fully understood, the substrate structure requirements for the detection of RNase H activity need further clarification. Biochemical characterization of a single RNase H detected within the genome of Pyrococcus abyssi showed that this type 2 RNase H is an Mg- and alkaline pH-dependent enzyme. PabRNase HII showed RNase activity and acted as a specific endonuclease on RNA-DNA/DNA duplexes. This specific cleavage, 1 nucleotide upstream of the RNA-DNA junction, occurred on a substrate in which RNA initiators had to be fully annealed to the cDNA template. On the other hand, a 5′ RNA flap Okazaki fragment intermediate impaired PabRNase HII endonuclease activity. Furthermore, introduction of mismatches into the RNA portion near the RNA-DNA junction decreased both the specificity and the efficiency of cleavage by PabRNase HII. Additionally, PabRNase HII could cleave a single ribonucleotide embedded in a double-stranded DNA. Our data revealed PabRNase HII as a dual-function enzyme likely required for the completion of DNA replication and DNA repair. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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