A phylogenetically novel cyanobacterium most closely related to Gloeobacter

Christen L. Grettenberger, Dawn Y. Sumner, Kate Wall, C. Titus Brown, Jonathan A. Eisen, Tyler J. Mackey, Ian Hawes, Guillaume Jospin, Anne D. Jungblut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Clues to the evolutionary steps producing innovations in oxygenic photosynthesis may be preserved in the genomes of organisms phylogenetically placed between non-photosynthetic Vampirovibrionia (formerly Melainabacteria) and the thylakoid-containing Cyanobacteria. However, only two species with published genomes are known to occupy this phylogenetic space, both within the genus Gloeobacter. Here, we describe nearly complete, metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of an uncultured organism phylogenetically placed near Gloeobacter, for which we propose the name Candidatus Aurora vandensis {Au’ro.ra. L. fem. n. aurora, the goddess of the dawn in Roman mythology; van.de’nsis. N.L. fem. adj. vandensis of Lake Vanda, Antarctica}. The MAG of A. vandensis contains homologs of most genes necessary for oxygenic photosynthesis including key reaction center proteins. Many accessory subunits associated with the photosystems in other species either are missing from the MAG or are poorly conserved. The MAG also lacks homologs of genes associated with the pigments phycocyanoerethrin, phycoeretherin and several structural parts of the phycobilisome. Additional characterization of this organism is expected to inform models of the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalISME Journal
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'A phylogenetically novel cyanobacterium most closely related to Gloeobacter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this