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The Molecular Determinants of Thermoadaptation: Methanococcales as a Case Study

Abstract : Previous reports have shown that environmental temperature impacts proteome evolution in Bacteria and Archaea. However, it is unknown whether thermoadaptation mainly occurs via the sequential accumulation of substitutions, massive horizontal gene transfers, or both. Measuring the real contribution of amino acid substitution to thermoadaptation is challenging, because of confounding environmental and genetic factors (e.g., pH, salinity, genomic G + C content) that also affect proteome evolution. Here, using Methanococcales, a major archaeal lineage, as a study model, we show that optimal growth temperature is the major factor affecting variations in amino acid frequencies of proteomes. By combining phylogenomic and ancestral sequence reconstruction approaches, we disclose a sequential substitutional scheme in which lysine plays a central role by fine tuning the pool of arginine, serine, threonine, glutamine, and asparagine, whose frequencies are strongly correlated with optimal growth temperature. Finally, we show that colonization to new thermal niches is not associated with high amounts of horizontal gene transfers. Altogether, although the acquisition of a few key proteins through horizontal gene transfer may have favored thermoadaptation in Methanococcales, our findings support sequential amino acid substitutions as the main factor driving thermoadaptation.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03118165
Contributor : Céline Brochier-Armanet <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 10:28:09 PM
Last modification on : Monday, September 6, 2021 - 2:58:01 PM

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Michel Lecocq, Mathieu Groussin, Manolo Gouy, Celine Brochier-Armanet. The Molecular Determinants of Thermoadaptation: Methanococcales as a Case Study. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021, 38 (5), pp.1761-1776. ⟨10.1093/molbev/msaa312⟩. ⟨hal-03118165⟩

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