Syst Appl Microbiol 42(1) , 54-66 (Jan 2019)
The phylum Caldiserica was identified from the hot spring 16S rRNA gene lineage ‘OP5’ and named for the sole isolate Caldisericum exile, a hot spring sulfur-reducing chemoheterotroph. Here we characterize 7 Caldiserica metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from a thawing permafrost site in Stordalen Mire, Arctic Sweden. By 16S rRNA and marker gene phylogenies, and average nucleotide and amino acid identities, these Stordalen Mire Caldiserica (SMC) MAGs form part of a divergent clade from C. exile. Genome and meta-transcriptome and proteome analyses suggest that unlike Caldisericum, the SMCs (i) are carbohydrate- and possibly amino acid fermenters that can use labile plant compounds and peptides, and (ii) encode adaptations to low temperature. The SMC clade rose to community dominance within permafrost, with a peak metagenome-based relative abundance of approximately 60%. It was also physiologically active in the upper seasonally-thawed soil. Beyond Stordalen Mire, analysis of 16S rRNA gene surveys indicated a global distribution of this clade, predominantly in anaerobic, carbon-rich and cold environments. These findings establish the SMCs as four novel phenotypically and ecologically distinct species within a single novel genus, distinct from C. exile clade at the phylum level. The SMCs are thus part of a novel cold-habitat phylum for an understudied, globally-distributed superphylum encompassing the Caldiserica. We propose the names Candidatus Cryosericota phylum nov., Ca. Cryosericia class nov., Ca. Cryosericales ord. nov., Ca. Cryosericaceae fam. nov., Ca. Cryosericum gen. nov., Ca. Cryosericum septentrionale sp. nov., Ca. C. hinesii sp. nov., Ca. C. odellii sp. nov., and Ca. C. terrychapinii sp. nov.