Phylogenomic evidence for the origin of obligately anaerobic anammox bacteria around the great oxidation event
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The anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) bacteria can transform ammonium and nitrite to dinitrogen gas, and this obligate anaerobic process accounts for up to half of the global nitrogen loss in surface environments. Yet its origin and evolution, which may give important insights into the biogeochemistry of early Earth, remains enigmatic. Here, we performed comprehensive phylogenomic and molecular clock analysis of anammox bacteria within the phylum Planctomycetes. After accommodating the uncertainties and factors influencing time estimates, which includes implementing both a traditional cyanobacteria-based and a recently developed mitochondria-based molecular dating approach, we estimated a consistent origin of anammox bacteria at early Proterozoic and most likely around the so-called Great Oxidation Event (GOE; 2.32 to 2.5 billion years ago [Ga]) which fundamentally changed global biogeochemical cycles. We further showed that during the origin of anammox bacteria, genes involved in oxidative stress adaptation, bioenergetics and anammox granules formation were recruited, which might have contributed to their survival on an increasingly oxic Earth. Our findings suggest the rising levels of atmospheric oxygen, which made nitrite increasingly available, was a potential driving force for the emergence of anammox bacteria. This is one of the first studies that link the GOE to the evolution of obligate anaerobic bacteria.
Liao , T , Wang , S , Stüeken , E E & Luo , H 2022 , ' Phylogenomic evidence for the origin of obligately anaerobic anammox bacteria around the great oxidation event ' , Molecular Biology and Evolution , vol. 39 , no. 8 , msac170 . https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msac170
Molecular Biology and Evolution
Copyright © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionFunding: This work is funded by the National Science Foundation of China (92051113), the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Area of Excellence Scheme (AoE/M-403/16), the Direct Grant of CUHK (4053495), the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund (GRF) (14110820), and The CUHK Impact Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme to (S. W.).
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