Lateral gene transfer drives metabolic flexibility in the anaerobic methane oxidising archaeal family Methanoperedenaceae
Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is an important biological process responsible for controlling the flux of methane into the atmosphere. Members of the archaeal family Methanoperedenaceae (formerly ANME-2d) have been demonstrated to couple AOM to the reduction of nitrate, iron, and manganese. Here, comparative genomic analysis of 16 Methanoperedenaceace metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), recovered from diverse environments, revealed novel respiratory strategies acquired through lateral gene transfer (LGT) events from diverse archaea and bacteria. Comprehensive phylogenetic analyses suggests that LGT has allowed members of the Methanoperedenaceae to acquire genes for the oxidation of hydrogen and formate, and the reduction of arsenate, selenate and elemental sulfur. Numerous membrane-bound multi-heme c type cytochrome complexes also appear to have been laterally acquired, which may be involved in the direct transfer of electrons to metal oxides, humics and syntrophic partners.
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