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Electron microscopy encounters with unusual thermophiles helps direct genomic analysis of Aciduliprofundum boonei

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Corresponding author: A.-L. Reysenbach. Tel.: (503) 725-3864; fax: (503) 725-3888; e-mail: reysenbacha@pdx.edu

ABSTRACT

Terry Beveridge's enthusiasm about the ingenuity of microorganisms has stimulated many new avenues of microbial research. One example where Terry's observations helped direct the scientific process was in the analysis of the draft genome of the thermoacidophilic archaeum, Aciduliprofundum boonei. This deep-sea vent heterotroph ferments peptides as its primary metabolic pathway, using numerous enzymes encoding for proteolytic or peptidolytic activities. An almost complete modified Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas pathway operates in the gluconeogenic direction. Terry was particularly intrigued by the S-layer and flagellum of A. boonei. Although only putative genes for the S-layer protein could be identified, several genes encoding for glycosyl transferases were located in the draft genome that could glycosylate the S-layer proteins and protect the proteins from the acidic environment. Furthermore, A. boonei possesses a unique organization to its flagellum genes and may represent a third organizational type within the Archaea.

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