2013 Volume 28 Issue 2 Pages 244-250
The class Thermoplasmata harbors huge uncultured archaeal lineages at the order level, so-called Groups E2 and E3. A novel archaeon Kjm51a affiliated with Group E2 was enriched from anaerobic sludge in the present study. Clone library analysis of the archaeal 16S rRNA and mcrA genes confirmed a unique archaeal population in the enrichment culture. The 16S rRNA gene-based phylogeny revealed that the enriched archaeon Kjm51a formed a distinct cluster within Group E2 in the class Thermoplasmata together with Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis B10T and environmental clone sequences derived from anaerobic digesters, bovine rumen, and landfill leachate. Archaeon Kjm51a showed 87.7% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity to the closest cultured species, M. luminyensis B10T, indicating that archaeon Kjm51a might be phylogenetically novel at least at the genus level. In fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis, archaeon Kjm51a was observed as coccoid cells completely corresponding to the archaeal cells detected, although bacterial rod cells still coexisted. The growth of archaeon Kjm51a was dependent on the presence of methanol and yeast extract, and hydrogen and methane were produced in the enrichment culture. The addition of 2-bromo ethanesulfonate to the enrichment culture completely inhibited methane production and increased hydrogen concentration, which suggested that archaeon Kjm51a is a methanol-reducing hydrogenotrophic methanogen. Taken together, we propose the provisional taxonomic assignment, named Candidatus Methanogranum caenicola, for the enriched archaeon Kjm51a belonging to Group E2. We also propose to place the methanogenic lineage of the class Thermoplasmata in a novel order, Methanomassiliicoccales ord. nov.