Brian Hedlund (Life Sciences) was part of an international team that recently published an article in Nature Communications titled "Genomic Inference of the Metabolism and Evolution of the Archaeal Phylum Aigarchaeota" describing several new genomes of the archaeal group Aigarchaeota. The Aigarchaeota inhabit terrestrial geothermal springs and submarine hydrothermal vents globally, but are particularly abundant and diverse in springs in Northern Nevada and southwest China. To date, the Aigarchaeota have never been grown or studied in a lab, so they are very poorly understood. In this study, Aigarchaeota genomes were recovered from metagenomes from several springs in Tengchong, China, enabling the team to predict their physiology and roles in the carbon and sulfur biogeochemical cycles. The team was led by scientists at Sun Yat-sen University in China, with other partners at South China Normal University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and Henan Normal University.
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