De novo sequences of haloquadratum walsbyi from Lake Tyrrell, Australia, reveal a variable genomic landscape

Benjamin J. Tully*, Joanne B. Emerson, Karen Andrade, Jochen J. Brocks, Eric E. Allen, Jillian F. Banfield, Karla B. Heidelberg

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Hypersaline systems near salt saturation levels represent an extreme environment, in which organisms grow and survive near the limits of life. One of the abundant members of the microbial communities in hypersaline systems is the square archaeon, Haloquadratum walsbyi. Utilizing a short-read metagenome from Lake Tyrrell, a hypersaline ecosystem in Victoria, Australia, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of H. walsbyi to better understand the extent of variation between strains/subspecies. Results revealed that previously isolated strains/subspecies do not fully describe the complete repertoire of the genomic landscape present in H. walsbyi. Rearrangements, insertions, and deletions were observed for the Lake Tyrrell derived Haloquadratum genomes and were supported by environmental de novo sequences, including shifts in the dominant genomic landscape of the two most abundant strains. Analysis pertaining to halomucins indicated that homologs for this large protein are not a feature common for all species of Haloquadratum. Further, we analyzed ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABC-type transporters) for evidence of niche partitioning between different strains/subspecies. We were able to identify unique and variable transporter subunits from all five genomes analyzed and the de novo environmental sequences, suggesting that differences in nutrient and carbon source acquisition may play a role in maintaining distinct strains/subspecies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number875784
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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