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Applied and Environmental Microbiology


Dissimilatory iron reduction by hyperthermophilic archaea occurs in many geothermal environments and generally relies on microbe-mineral interactions that transform various iron oxide minerals. In this study, the physiology of dissimilatory iron and nitrate reduction was examined in the hyperthermophilic crenarchaeon type strain Pyrodictium delaneyi Su06. Iron barrier experiments showed that P. delaneyi required direct contact with the Fe(III) oxide mineral ferrihydrite for reduction. The separate addition of an exogenous electron shuttle (anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate), a metal chelator (nitrilotriacetic acid), and 75% spent cell-free supernatant did not stimulate growth with or without the barrier. Protein electrophoresis showed that the c-type cytochrome and general protein compositions of P. delaneyi changed when grown on ferrihydrite relative to nitrate. Differential proteomic analyses using tandem mass tagged protein fragments and mass spectrometry detected 660 proteins and differential production of 127 proteins. Among these, two putative membrane-bound molybdopterin-dependent oxidoreductase complexes increased in relative abundance 60- to 3,000-fold and 50- to 100-fold in cells grown on iron oxide. A putative 8-heme c-type cytochrome was 60-fold more abundant in iron-grown cells and was unique to the Pyrodictiaceae. There was also a >14,700-fold increase in a membrane transport protein in iron-grown cells. For flagellin proteins and a putative nitrate reductase, there were no changes in abundance, but a membrane nitric oxide reductase was more abundant on nitrate. These data help to elucidate the mechanisms by which hyperthermophilic crenarchaea generate energy and transfer electrons across the membrane to iron oxide minerals.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.