2019 Volume 34 Issue 3 Pages 293-303
Candidatus Hydrothermarchaeota, formally called Marine Benthic Group E, has often been detected in iron- and sulfur-rich marine environments, such as hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. However, their ecology and physiology remain unclear. Cultivated representatives of this group are still lacking and only several metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) and single-amplified genomes (SAGs) are available from two deep-sea hydrothermal areas, the Juan de Fuca Ridge (JdFR) and Guaymas Basin (GB), in the north-east Pacific. We herein report four MAGs of Ca. Hydrothermarchaeota recovered from hydrothermally-inactive metal sulfide deposits at the Southern Mariana Trough (SMT) in the north-west Pacific. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that the MAGs of the SMT were distinct from those of the JdFR and GB at the genus or potentially family level. Ca. Hydrothermarchaeota MAGs from the SMT commonly possessed putative genes for carboxydotrophic and hydrogenotrophic respiration using oxidized chemical species of sulfur as electron acceptors and also for carbon fixation, as reported previously in MAGs/SAGs from the JdFR and GB. This result strongly supports Ca. Hydrothermarchaeota containing anaerobic chemolithoautotrophs using carbon monoxide and/or hydrogen as electron donors. A comparative genome analysis highlighted differences in the capability of nitrogen fixation between MAGs from the SMT and the other fields, which are consistent with environmental differences in the availability of nitrogen sources for assimilation between the fields. Based on the wide distribution in various areas, abundance, and metabolic potential of Ca. Hydrothermarchaeota, they may play a role in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and iron in marine environments, particularly in deep-sea hydrothermal fields.