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Deciphering the evolution and metabolism of an anammox bacterium from a community genome.

Nature 440, 790-794 (2006)
Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) has become a main focus in oceanography and wastewater treatment1,2. It is also the nitrogen cycle's major remaining biochemical enigma. Among its features, the occurrence of hydrazine as a free intermediate of catabolism3,4, the biosynthesis of ladderane lipids5,6 and the role of cytoplasm differentiation7 are unique in biology. Here we use environmental genomics8,9 - the reconstruction of genomic data directly from the environment - to assemble the genome of the uncultured anammox bacterium Kuenenia stuttgartiensis10 from a complex bioreactor community. The genome data illuminate the evolutionary history of the Planctomycetes and allow us to expose the genetic blueprint of the organism's special properties. Most significantly, we identified candidate genes responsible for ladderane biosynthesis and biological hydrazine metabolism, and discovered unexpected metabolic versatility. © 2006 Nature Publishing Group.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Reviewing status