Unraveling the Genomic Potential of the Thermophilic Bacterium Anoxybacillus flavithermus from an Antarctic Geothermal Environment

Junia Schultz, Mariana Teixeira Dornelles Parise, Doglas Parise, Laenne G. Medeiros, Thiago J. Sousa, Rodrigo Bentes Kato, Ana Paula Trovatti Uetanabaro, Fabrício Almeida Araújo, Rommel Thiago Jucá Ramos, Siomar de Castro Soares, Bertram Brenig, Vasco Azevedo, Aristóteles Góes-Neto, Alexandre S. Rosado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Antarctica is a mosaic of extremes. It harbors active polar volcanoes, such as Deception Island, a marine stratovolcano having notable temperature gradients over very short distances, with the temperature reaching up to 100 °C near the fumaroles and subzero temperatures being noted in the glaciers. From the sediments of Deception Island, we isolated representatives of the genus Anoxybacillus, a widely spread genus that is mainly encountered in thermophilic environments. However, the phylogeny of this genus and its adaptive mechanisms in the geothermal sites of cold environments remain unknown. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to unravel the genomic features and provide insights into the phylogenomics and metabolic potential of members of the genus Anoxybacillus inhabiting the Antarctic thermophilic ecosystem. Here, we report the genome sequencing data of seven A. flavithermus strains isolated from two geothermal sites on Deception Island, Antarctic Peninsula. Their genomes were approximately 3.0 Mb in size, had a G + C ratio of 42%, and were predicted to encode 3500 proteins on average. We observed that the strains were phylogenomically closest to each other (Average Nucleotide Identity (ANI) > 98%) and to A. flavithermus (ANI 95%). In silico genomic analysis revealed 15 resistance and metabolic islands, as well as genes related to genome stabilization, DNA repair systems against UV radiation threats, temperature adaptation, heat- and cold-shock proteins (Csps), and resistance to alkaline conditions. Remarkably, glycosyl hydrolase enzyme-encoding genes, secondary metabolites, and prophage sequences were predicted, revealing metabolic and cellular capabilities for potential biotechnological applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 19 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-09-14
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1096-01-01
Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the National Council for Research and Development (CNPq), the National Council for the Improvement of Higher Education (CAPES), and a KAUST Baseline Grant (to A. S. Rosado) (BAS/1/1096-01-01). Special thanks to the Brazilian Antarctic Program for providing logistical support during the Antarctic operation.


Dive into the research topics of 'Unraveling the Genomic Potential of the Thermophilic Bacterium Anoxybacillus flavithermus from an Antarctic Geothermal Environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this