Sep 26, 2015

Genomic and metagenomic surveys of hydrogenase distribution indicate H2 is a widely utilised energy source for microbial growth and survival

The ISME Journal
Chris GreeningSergio E Morales


Recent physiological and ecological studies have challenged the long-held belief that microbial metabolism of molecular hydrogen (H2) is a niche process. To gain a broader insight into the importance of microbial H2 metabolism, we comprehensively surveyed the genomic and metagenomic distribution of hydrogenases, the reversible enzymes that catalyse the oxidation and evolution of H2. The protein sequences of 3286 non-redundant putative hydrogenases were curated from publicly available databases. These metalloenzymes were classified into multiple groups based on (1) amino acid sequence phylogeny, (2) metal-binding motifs, (3) predicted genetic organisation and (4) reported biochemical characteristics. Four groups (22 subgroups) of [NiFe]-hydrogenase, three groups (6 subtypes) of [FeFe]-hydrogenases and a small group of [Fe]-hydrogenases were identified. We predict that this hydrogenase diversity supports H2-based respiration, fermentation and carbon fixation processes in both oxic and anoxic environments, in addition to various H2-sensing, electron-bifurcation and energy-conversion mechanisms. Hydrogenase-encoding genes were identified in 51 bacterial and archaeal phyla, suggesting strong pressure for both vertical and lateral ac...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Hydrogenase Activity
Metabolic Process, Cellular
Bacterial Proteins
Hydrogenase Complex
Enzymes, antithrombotic

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