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We used a phylogenetic approach to analyze the evolution of methanogenesis and methanogens. We show that 23 vertically transmitted ribosomal proteins do not support the monophyly of methanogens, and propose instead that there are two distantly related groups of extant archaea that produce methane, which we have named Class I and Class II. Based on this(More)
Owing to the exponential growth of genome databases, phylogenetic trees are now widely used to test a variety of evolutionary hypotheses. Nevertheless, computation time burden limits the application of methods such as maximum likelihood nonparametric bootstrap to assess reliability of evolutionary trees. As an alternative, the much faster Bayesian inference(More)
A characteristic feature of the domain archaea are the lipids forming the hydrophobic core of their cell membrane. These unique lipids are composed of isoprenoid side-chains stereospecifically ether linked to sn-glycerol-1-phosphate. Recently, considerable progress has been made in characterizing the enzymes responsible for the synthesis of archaeal lipids.(More)
Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is now known to be a major force in the evolution of prokaryotic genomes. To date, most analyses have focused on either (a) verifying phylogenies of individual genes thought to have been transferred, or (b) estimating the fraction of individual genomes likely to have been introduced by transfer. Neither approach does justice to(More)
The concept of a tree of life is prevalent in the evolutionary literature. It stems from attempting to obtain a grand unified natural system that reflects a recurrent process of species and lineage splittings for all forms of life. Traditionally, the discipline of systematics operates in a similar hierarchy of bifurcating (sometimes multifurcating)(More)
More than one copy of rRNA operons, which code for both the small-subunit (SSU) and large-subunit (LSU) rRNA, are often found in prokaryotes. It is generally assumed that all rRNA operons within a single cell are almost identical. A notable exception is the extremely halophilic archaeal genus Haloarcula, most species of which are known to harbor highly(More)
Several characteristics of the 16S rRNA gene, such as its essential function, ubiquity, and evolutionary properties, have allowed it to become the most commonly used molecular marker in microbial ecology. However, one fact that has been overlooked is that multiple copies of this gene are often present in a given bacterium. These intragenomic copies can(More)
Class 1 integrons are central players in the worldwide problem of antibiotic resistance, because they can capture and express diverse resistance genes. In addition, they are often embedded in promiscuous plasmids and transposons, facilitating their lateral transfer into a wide range of pathogens. Understanding the origin of these elements is important for(More)
UNLABELLED Prior to the epidemic that emerged in Haiti in October of 2010, cholera had not been documented in this country. After its introduction, a strain of Vibrio cholerae O1 spread rapidly throughout Haiti, where it caused over 600,000 cases of disease and >7,500 deaths in the first two years of the epidemic. We applied whole-genome sequencing to a(More)
Although animal-associated microbial communities (microbiomes) are increasingly recognized to influence health, the extent to which animals represent highly selective habitats for microbes leading to predominance of high host specificity remains poorly understood. Here, we show that vibrios, which are well-known commensals and opportunistic pathogens of(More)