The hydrothermal vent squat lobster Shinkaia crosnieri Baba & Williams harbors an epibiotic bacterial community, which is numerically and functionally dominated by methanotrophs affiliated with Methylococcaceae and thioautotrophs affiliated with Sulfurovum and Thiotrichaceae. In the present study, shifts in the phylogenetic composition and metabolic function of the epibiont community were investigated using S. crosnieri individuals, which were reared for one year in a tank fed with methane as the energy and carbon source. The results obtained indicated that indigenous predominant thioautotrophic populations, such as Sulfurovum and Thiotrichaceae members, became absent, possibly due to the lack of an energy source, and epibiotic communities were dominated by indigenous Methylococcaceae and betaproteobacterial methylotrophic members that adapted to the conditions present during rearing for 12 months with a supply of methane. Furthermore, the overall phylogenetic composition of the epibiotic community markedly changed from a composition dominated by chemolithotrophs to one enriched with cross-feeding heterotrophs in addition to methanotrophs and methylotrophs. Thus, the composition and function of the S. crosnieri epibiotic bacterial community were strongly affected by the balance between the energy and carbon sources supplied for chemosynthetic production as well as that between the production and consumption of organic compounds.
The deep sea, the largest biosphere on Earth, nurtures a large variety of animals. However, no virus that infects deep-sea animals has been found. We herein report the first full-length RNA viral genome sequence identified from the deep-sea animal, Osedax japonicus, called Osedax japonicus RNA virus 1 (OjRV1). This sequence showed the highest amino acid sequence similarity to a virus of the family Togaviridae. However, the phylogenetic position and genome structure of OjRV1 differed from those of viruses in Togaviridae. These results suggest that OjRV1 belongs to a new virus family and that deep-sea animals may associate with new viruses.
Aerobic ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) play a crucial role in the global nitrogen cycle by oxidizing ammonia to nitrite, and nitric oxide (NO) is a key intermediate in AOA for sustaining aerobic ammonia oxidation activity. We herein heterologously expressed the NO-forming, copper-containing, dissimilatory nitrite reductase (NirK) from Nitrososphaera viennensis and investigated its enzymatic properties. The recombinant protein catalyzed the reduction of 15NO2– to 15NO, the oxidation of hydroxylamine (15NH2OH) to 15NO, and the production of 14-15N2O from 15NH2OH and 14NO2–. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to document the enzymatic properties of AOA NirK.