Euryarchaeota

Abstract

The Euryarchaeota, one of the meanwhile four kingdoms (or phyla) of the archaeal domain, consists of the strict anaerobic methanogens, the extreme halophiles, the hyperthermophilic Archaeoglobales and Thermococcales, and the cell wall free Thermoplasmatales. So far, 9 orders with 56 genera and more than 190 species have been described today. This dramatic increase (especially in the amount of genera) compared to the last edition 6 years ago is based to a significant part on the reclassification of many organisms within the methanogens and the halophiles.

Keywords: archaea; taxonomy; hyperthermophiles; methanogens; sulfate reducers; halophiles

Figure 1.

Phylogenetic tree derived from 16S rRNA sequence data of the type species of the euryarchaeotal genera and some representatives of the Crenarchaeota. The tree was calculated with the maximum parsimony program. The position of the members of the Archaeoglobales was determined by transversion analysis. Scale bar indicates 10 estimated changes per 100 nucleotides.

Figure 2.

Thin section of a cell of Methanopyrus kandleri. Bar, 1 µm.

Figure 3.

Electron micrograph of a shadow‐caste Pyrococcus furiosus cell with a tuft of flagella, shadowed with tantalum/tungsten (Ta/W). Bar, 1 µm.

Figure 4.

Electron micrograph of a shadow‐caste cell of Archaeoglobus fulgidus, shadowed with Ta/W. Bar, 1 µm.

Figure 5.

Electron micrograph of a platinum shadowed cell of Thermoplasma acidophilum. Bar, 1 µm.

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Further Reading

Bertoldo C and Antranikian G (2003) Thermococcales. In: Dworkin M, Falkow S, Rosenberg E et al. (eds) The Prokaryotes: An Evolving Electronic Resource for the Microbiological Community, 3rd edn, release 3.15 December 2003. New York: Springer. http://link.spinger‐ny.com/link/service/books/10125.

Bonin AS and Boone DR (2004) The order Methanobacteriales. In: Dworkin M, Falkow S, Rosenberg E et al. (eds) The Prokaryotes: An Evolving Electronic Resource for the Microbiological Community, 3rd edn, release 3.16, May 2004, New York: Springer. http://link.spinger‐ny.com/link/service/books/10125.

De Rosa M and Gambacorta A (1994) Archaeal lipids. In: Goodfellow M and O’Donnell AG (eds) Chemical Methods in Procaryotic Systematics, pp. 197–264. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Ferry JG (1993) Methanogens. Ecology, Physiology, Biochemistry and Genetics. New York: Chapman & Hall.

Garcia J‐L, Ollivier B and Whitman WB (2001) The order Methanomicrobiales. In: Dworkin M, Falkow S, Rosenberg E et al. (eds) The Prokaryotes: An Evolving Electronic Resource for the Microbiological Community, 3rd edn, release 3.6, June 2001. New York: Springer. http://link.spinger‐ny.com/link/service/books/10125.

Huber H and Stetter KO (2002) Thermoplasmatales. In: Dworkin M, Falkow S, Rosenberg E et al. (eds) The Prokaryotes: An Evolving Electronic Resource for the Microbiological Community, 3rd edn, release 3.8, December 2001. New York: Springer. http://link.spinger‐ny.com/link/service/books/10125.

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Rachel R (1998) Fine structure of hyperthermophilic prokaryotes. Seckback J (ed.) Life in Extreme Environments, pp. 277–289. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Whitman WB and Jeanthon C (2002) Methanococcales. In: Dworkin M, Falkow S, Rosenberg E et al. (eds) The Prokaryotes: An Evolving Electronic Resource for the Microbiological Community, 3rd edn, release 3.9, April 2002. New York: Springer. http://link.spinger‐ny.com/link/service/books/10125.

Woese CR (1998) The universal ancestor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 95: 6854–6859.

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Huber, Harald(Apr 2006) Euryarchaeota. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0004243]