Based on phylogenetic analyses and gene distribution patterns of a few complete genomes, a new distinct phylum within the Archaea, the Thaumarchaeota, has recently been proposed. Here we present analyses of six archaeal fosmid sequences derived from a microbial hot spring community in Kamchatka. The phylogenetic analysis of informational components (ribosomal RNAs and proteins) reveals two major (hyper-)thermophilic clades ("Hot Thaumarchaeota-related Clade" 1 and 2, HTC1 and HTC2) related to Thaumarchaeota, representing either deep branches of this phylum or a new archaeal phylum and provides information regarding the ancient evolution of Archaea and their evolutionary links with Eukaryotes.
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