Prediction of genes that function in methanogenesis and CO2 pathways in extremophiles

Lulit Tilahun, Asfawossen Asrat, Gary M. Wessel, Addis Simachew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gaet’ale (GAL) and Mud’ara (MUP) are two hypersaline ponds located in the Danakil Depression recharged by underground water from the surrounding highlands. These two ponds have different pH, salinity, and show variation in the concentration of many ionic components. Metagenomic analysis concludes that GAL is dominated by bacteria as in the case of the other hypersaline and acidic ponds in the Danakil Depression. However, Archaea dominated the ponds of MUP. In the current study, the application of SEED and KEGG helped to map the ordered steps of specific enzyme catalyzed reaction in converting CO2 into cell products. We predict that highly efficient and light-independent carbon fixation involving phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase takes place in MUP. On the contrary, genes encoding enzymes involved in hydrogenotrophic and acetoclastic methanogenesis appeared solely in ponds of GAL, implying the biological source of the hazardous methane gas in that environment. Based on the investigation of the sources of the genes of interest, it is clear that cooperative interactions between members of the two communities and syntrophic metabolism is the main strategy adapted to utilize inorganic carbon as a carbon source in both MUP and GAL. This insight can be used to design biotechnological applications of microbial communities in production of methane biogas or to minimize CO2 emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2211
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology


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