Four chromosome replication origins in the archaeon Pyrobaculum calidifontis



Replication origins were mapped in hyperthermophilic crenarchaea, using high-throughput sequencing-based marker frequency analysis. We confirm previous origin mapping in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, and demonstrate that the single chromosome of Pyrobaculum calidifontis contains four replication origins, the highest number detected in a prokaryotic organism. The relative positions of the origins in both organisms coincided with regions enriched in highly conserved (core) archaeal genes. We show that core gene distribution provides a useful tool for origin identification in archaea, and predict multiple replication origins in a range of species. One of the P. calidifontis origins was mapped in detail, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated binding of the Cdc6/Orc1 replication initiator protein to a repeated sequence element, denoted Orb-1, within the origin. The high-throughput sequencing approach also allowed for an annotation update of both genomes, resulting in the restoration of open reading frames encoding proteins involved in, e.g., sugar, nitrate and energy metabolism, as well as in glycosylation and DNA repair.