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.
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.