We report here the sequencing and analysis of the genome of the thermophilic bacterium Carboxydothermus hydrogenoformans Z-2901. This species is a model for studies of hydrogenogens, which are diverse bacteria and archaea that grow anaerobically utilizing carbon monoxide (CO) as their sole carbon source and water as an electron acceptor, producing carbon dioxide and hydrogen as waste products. Organisms that make use of CO do so through carbon monoxide dehydrogenase complexes. Remarkably, analysis of the genome of C. hydrogenoformans reveals the presence of at least five highly differentiated anaerobic carbon monoxide dehydrogenase complexes, which may in part explain how this species is able to grow so much more rapidly on CO than many other species. Analysis of the genome also has provided many general insights into the metabolism of this organism which should make it easier to use it as a source of biologically produced hydrogen gas. One surprising finding is the presence of many genes previously found only in sporulating species in the Firmicutes Phylum. Although this species is also a Firmicutes, it was not known to sporulate previously. Here we show that it does sporulate and because it is missing many of the genes involved in sporulation in other species, this organism may serve as a "minimal" model for sporulation studies. In addition, using phylogenetic profile analysis, we have identified many uncharacterized gene families found in all known sporulating Firmicutes, but not in any non-sporulating bacteria, including a sigma factor not known to be involved in sporulation previously.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Cancer Research