'ARMAN' archaea depend on association with euryarchaeal host in culture and in situ

Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 5;8(1):60. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00104-7.


Intriguing, yet uncultured 'ARMAN'-like archaea are metabolically dependent on other members of the microbial community. It remains uncertain though which hosts they rely upon, and, because of the lack of complete genomes, to what extent. Here, we report the co-culturing of ARMAN-2-related organism, Mia14, with Cuniculiplasma divulgatum PM4 during the isolation of this strain from acidic streamer in Parys Mountain (Isle of Anglesey, UK). Mia14 is highly enriched in the binary culture (ca. 10% genomic reads) and its ungapped 0.95 Mbp genome points at severe voids in central metabolic pathways, indicating dependence on the host, C. divulgatum PM4. Analysis of C. divulgatum isolates from different sites and shotgun sequence data of Parys Mountain samples suggests an extensive genetic exchange between Mia14 and hosts in situ. Within the subset of organisms with high-quality genomic assemblies representing the 'DPANN' superphylum, the Mia14 lineage has had the largest gene flux, with dozens of genes gained that are implicated in the host interaction.In the absence of complete genomes, the metabolic capabilities of uncultured ARMAN-like archaea have been uncertain. Here, Golyshina et al. apply an enrichment culture technique and find that the ungapped genome of the ARMAN-like archaeon Mia14 has lost key metabolic pathways, suggesting dependence on the host archaeon Cuniculiplasma divulgatum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / classification*
  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Archaeal
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Archaeal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Archaeal / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Species Specificity


  • RNA, Archaeal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S