In the Antarctic, fishes of dominant suborder Notothenioidei have evolved in a unique thermal scenario. Phylogenetically related taxa of the suborder live in a wide range of latitudes, in Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and temperate oceans. Consequently, they offer a remarkable opportunity to study the physiological and biochemical characters gained and, conversely, lost during their evolutionary history. The evolutionary perspective has also been pursued by comparative studies of some features of the heme protein devoted to O(2) transport in fish living in the other polar region, the Arctic. The two polar regions differ by age and isolation. Fish living in each habitat have undergone regional constraints and fit into different evolutionary histories. The aim of this contribution is to survey the current knowledge of molecular structure, functional features, phylogeny and adaptations of the haemoglobins of fish thriving in the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Arctic regions (with some excursions in the temperate latitudes), in search of insights into the convergent processes evolved in response to cooling. Current climate change may disturb adaptation, calling for strategies aimed at neutralising threats to biodiversity.
Many marine species inhabiting icy seawater produce antifreeze proteins (AFPs) to prevent their body fluids from freezing. The sculpin species of the superfamily Cottoidea are widely found from the Arctic to southern hemisphere, some of which are known to express AFP. Here we clarified DNA sequence encoding type I AFP for 3 species of 2 families (Cottidae and Agonidae) belonging to Cottoidea. We also examined antifreeze activity for 3 families and 32 species of Cottoidea (Cottidae, Agonidae, and Rhamphocottidae). These fishes were collected in 2013?2015 from the Arctic Ocean, Alaska, Japan. We could identify 8 distinct DNA sequences exhibiting a high similarity to those reported for Myoxocephalus species, suggesting that Cottidae and Agonidae share the same DNA sequence encoding type I AFP. Among the 3 families, Rhamphocottidae that experience a warm current did not show antifreeze activity. The species inhabiting the Arctic Ocean and Northern Japan that often covered with ice floe showed high activity, while those inhabiting Alaska, Southern Japan with a warm current showed low/no activity. These results suggest that Cottoidea acquires type I AFP gene before dividing into Cottidae and Agonidae, and have adapted to each location with optimal antifreeze activity level.
An acid mine drainage (pH 2.5-2.7) stream biofilm situated 250 m below ground in the low-temperature (6-10°C) Kristineberg mine, northern Sweden, contained a microbial community equipped for growth at low temperature and acidic pH. Metagenomic sequencing of the biofilm and planktonic fractions identified the most abundant microorganism to be similar to the psychrotolerant acidophile, Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans. In addition, metagenome contigs were most similar to other Acidithiobacillus species, an Acidobacteria-like species, and a Gallionellaceae-like species. Analyses of the metagenomes indicated functional characteristics previously characterized as related to growth at low temperature including cold-shock proteins, several pathways for the production of compatible solutes and an anti-freeze protein. In addition, genes were predicted to encode functions related to pH homeostasis and metal resistance related to growth in the acidic metal-containing mine water. Metagenome analyses identified microorganisms capable of nitrogen fixation and exhibiting a primarily autotrophic lifestyle driven by the oxidation of the ferrous iron and inorganic sulfur compounds contained in the sulfidic mine waters. The study identified a low diversity of abundant microorganisms adapted to a low-temperature acidic environment as well as identifying some of the strategies the microorganisms employ to grow in this extreme environment.
Department of Animal Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, 515 Morrill Hall, Urbana, IL 61801, USA; Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) are a novel evolutionary innovation in members of the northern cod fish family (Gadidae), crucial in preventing death from inoculative freezing by environmental ice in their frigid Arctic and sub-Arctic habitats. However, the genomic origin and molecular mechanism of evolution of this novel life-saving adaptive genetic trait remained to be definitively determined. To this end, we constructed large insert genomic DNA BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) libraries for two AFGP-bearing gadids, the high-Arctic polar cod Boreogadus saida and the cold-temperate Atlantic tomcod Microgadus tomcod, to isolate and sequence their AFGP genomic regions for fine resolution evolutionary analyses. The BAC library construction encountered poor cloning efficiency initially, which we resolved by pretreating the agarose-embedded erythrocyte DNA with a cationic detergent, a method that may be of general use to BAC cloning for teleost species and/or where erythrocytes are the source of input DNA. The polar cod BAC library encompassed 92,160 clones with an average insert size of 94.7?kbp, and the Atlantic tomcod library contained 73,728 clones with an average insert size of 89.6?kbp. The genome sizes of B. saida and M. tomcod were estimated by cell flow cytometry to be 836?Mbp and 645?Mbp respectively, thus their BAC libraries have approximately 10- and 9.7-fold genome coverage respectively. The inclusiveness and depth of coverage were empirically confirmed by screening the libraries with three housekeeping genes. The BAC clones that mapped to the AFGP genomic loci of the two gadids were then isolated by screening the BAC libraries with gadid AFGP gene probes. Eight minimal tiling path (MTP) clones were identified for B. saida, sequenced, and assembled. The B. saida AFGP locus reconstruction produced both haplotypes, and the locus comprises three distinct AFGP gene clusters, containing a total of 16 AFGP genes and spanning a combined distance of 512?kbp. The M. tomcod AFGP locus is much smaller at approximately 80?kbp, and contains only three AFGP genes. Fluorescent in situ hybridization with an AFGP gene probe showed the AFGP locus in both species occupies a single chromosomal location. The large AFGP locus with its high gene dosage in B. saida is consistent with its chronically freezing high Arctic habitats, while the small gene family in M. tomcod correlates with its milder habitats in lower latitudes. The results from this study provided the data for fine resolution sequence analyses that would yield insight into the molecular mechanisms and history of gadid AFGP gene evolution driven by northern hemisphere glaciation.
A psychrophilic yeast species was isolated from glacier cryoconite holes of Svalbard. Nucleotide sequences of the strains were studied using D1/D2 domain, ITS region and partial sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. The strains belonged to a clade of psychrophilic yeasts, but showed marked differences from related species in the D1/D2 domain and biochemical characters. Effects of temperature, salt and media on growth of the cultures were also studied. Screening of the cultures for amylase, cellulase, protease, lipase, urease and catalase activities was carried out. The strains expressed high amylase and lipase activities. Freeze tolerance ability of the isolates indicated the formation of unique hexagonal ice crystal structures due to presence of 'antifreeze proteins' (AFPs). FAME analysis of cultures showed a unique trend of increase in unsaturated fatty acids with decrease in temperature. The major fatty acids recorded were oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, myristic acid and pentadecanoic acid. Based on sequence data and, physiological and morphological properties of the strains, we propose a novel species, Rhodotorula svalbardensis and designate strains MLB-I (CCP-II) and CRY-YB-1 (CBS 12863, JCM 19699, JCM 19700, MTCC 10952) as its type strains (Etymology: sval.bar.den'sis. N.L. fem. adj. svalbardensis pertaining to Svalbard).