Micrarchaeota are covered by a proteinaceous S-Layer
In previous publications, it was hypothesized that Micrarchaeota cells are covered by two individual membrane systems. This study proofs that at least the recently cultivated “Candidatus Micrarchaeum harzensis A_DKE” possesses an S-layer covering its cytoplasmic membrane. The potential S-layer protein was found to be among the proteins with the highest abundance in A_DKE and in silico characterization of its primary structure indicated homologies to other known S-layer proteins. Homologs of this protein were found in other Micrarchaeota genomes, which raises the question, whether the ability to form an S-layer is a common trait within this phylum. The S-layer protein seems to be glycosylated and the Micrarchaeum expresses genes for N-glycosylation under cultivation conditions, despite not being able to synthesize carbohydrates. Electron micrographs of freeze-etched samples of a previously described co-culture, containing Micrarchaeum A_DKE and a Thermoplasmatales member as its host organism, verified the hypothesis of an S-layer on the surface of A_DKE. Both organisms are clearly distinguishable by cell size, shape and surface structure.
570: Biowissenschaften, Biologie