Knappy, C.S., Nunn, C.E.M., Morgan, H.W. & Keely, B.J. (2011). The major lipid cores of the archaeon Ignisphaera aggregans: implications for the phylogeny and biosynthesis of glycerol monoalkyl glycerol tetraether isoprenoid lipids. Extremophiles, 15, 517-528.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5449
The lipid cores from Ignisphaera aggregans, a hyperthermophilic Crenarchaeon recently isolated from New Zealand hot springs, have been profiled by liquid chromatography– tandem mass spectrometry. The distribution revealed includes relatively high proportions of monoalkyl (also known as H-shaped) tetraether cores which have previously been implicated as kingdom-specific biomarkers for the Euryarchaeota. Such high expression ofmonoalkyl tetraether lipids is unusual in the archaeal domain and may indicate that formation of these components is an adaptive mechanism that allows I. aggregans to regulate membrane behaviour at high temperatures. The observed dialkyl tetraether and monoalkyl tetraether lipid distributions are similar but not fully concordant, showing differences in the average number of incorporated rings. The similarity supports a biosynthetic route to the ring-containing dialkyl and monoalkyl tetraether lipids via a dialkyl tetraether core containing zero rings, or a closely related structural relative, as an intermediate. Currently, however, the precise nature of the biosynthetic route to these lipids cannot be deduced.