A team of researchers from Macquarie University, Australia, found evidence showing that some Archaea have integrons. In their article published in the journal Scientists progressthe group describes how they used a recently developed technique called metagenome-assembled genomes (MAG) to study the genomes of Archaea samples in a new way, and what they learned while doing so.
Life on Earth is divided into three domains, Eukarya, Bacteria and Archaea. The third domain, Archaea, is similar to bacteria – its members are often called Archaebacteria. Like bacteria, archaea are unicellular but unlike bacteria, they depend on lipids in their cell membranes.
In this new effort, the researchers were examining the means by which bacteria and archaea exchanged genes and wondered if it was possible that they had integrons – systems for capturing and delivering genes in bacteria that use gene cassettes to pass the proteins involved. To find out, they turned to MAG, a technique that searches for single gene and gene recombination sites called AttCs that sequence the coding for the protein integron integrase (IntI).
Using the technique, they found many matches. Out of 6,700 scanned genomes, they found 75 matches, across nine phyla, each showing evidence of an integron. And all of them were found to have the same structure as the integrons found in Bacteria, which suggested the use of cassettes.
The researchers thought this indicated that the archaea they had identified should be able to exchange genes with bacteria and vice versa, just as easily as bacteria exchange genes with each other. To prove that their idea was correct, they synthesized AttC from a specimen of Archaea and exposed it to a specimen of E. coli. The tests showed that cassettes had been created allowing the exchange of genes to occur.
The discovery of integrons in Archaea will certainly open new avenues of research. One of them would be to examine the possibility that the exchange of genes from Archaea to bacteria helps the latter to become resistant to drugs intended to kill them. The researchers also note that it would be helpful if a complete Archaea genome were made available.
Timothy M. Ghaly et al, Integron Discovery in Archaea: Platforms for Cross-Domain Gene Transfer, Scientists progress (2022). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abq6376
© 2022 Science X Network
Quote: Some Archaea have integrons, allowing gene transfer across domains (2022, Nov 26) Retrieved Nov 27, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-archaea-integrons-cross-domain-gene. html
This document is subject to copyright. Except for fair use for purposes of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for information only.
#Archaea #integrons #allowing #gene #transfer #domains