Metagenomic data from Obsidian Pool (Yellowstone National Park, USA) and 13 genome sequences were used to reassess genus-wide biodiversity for the extremely thermophilic Caldicellulosiruptor. The updated core genome contains 1,401 ortholog groups (average genome size for 13 species = 2,516 genes). The pangenome, which remains open with a revised total of 3,493 ortholog groups, encodes a variety of multidomain glycoside hydrolases (GHs). These include three cellulases with GH48 domains that are colocated in the glucan degradation locus (GDL) and are specific determinants for microcrystalline cellulose utilization. Three recently sequenced species, Caldicellulosiruptor sp. strain Rt8.B8 (renamed here Caldicellulosiruptor morganii), Thermoanaerobacter cellulolyticus strain NA10 (renamed here Caldicellulosiruptor naganoensis), and Caldicellulosiruptor sp. strain Wai35.B1 (renamed here Caldicellulosiruptor danielii), degraded Avicel and lignocellulose (switchgrass). C. morganii was more efficient than Caldicellulosiruptor bescii in this regard and differed from the other 12 species examined, both based on genome content and organization and in the specific domain features of conserved GHs. Metagenomic analysis of lignocellulose-enriched samples from Obsidian Pool revealed limited new information on genus biodiversity. Enrichments yielded genomic signatures closely related to that of Caldicellulosiruptor obsidiansis, but there was also evidence for other thermophilic fermentative anaerobes (Caldanaerobacter, Fervidobacterium, Caloramator, and Clostridium). One enrichment, containing 89.8% Caldicellulosiruptor and 9.7% Caloramator, had a capacity for switchgrass solubilization comparable to that of C. bescii. These results refine the known biodiversity of Caldicellulosiruptor and indicate that microcrystalline cellulose degradation at temperatures above 70°C, based on current information, is limited to certain members of this genus that produce GH48 domain-containing enzymes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Extreme thermophile