Uncultivated thermophiles: Current status and spotlight on 'Aigarchaeota'

Brian P. Hedlund*, Senthil K. Murugapiran, Timothy W. Alba, Asaf Levy, Jeremy A. Dodsworth, Gisele B. Goertz, Natalia Ivanova, Tanja Woyke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Meta-analysis of cultivation-independent sequence data shows that geothermal systems host an abundance of novel organisms, representing a vast unexplored phylogenetic and functional diversity among yet-uncultivated thermophiles. A number of thermophiles have recently been interrogated using metagenomic and/or single-cell genomic approaches, including members of taxonomic groups that inhabit both thermal and non-thermal environments, such as 'Acetothermia' (OP1) and 'Atribacteria' (OP9/JS1), as well as the exclusively thermophilic lineages 'Korarchaeota', 'Calescamantes' (EM19), 'Fervidibacteria' (OctSpA1-106), and 'Aigarchaeota' (HWCG-I). The 'Aigarchaeota', a sister lineage to the Thaumarchaeota, likely includes both hyperthermophiles and moderate thermophiles. They inhabit terrestrial, marine, and subsurface thermal environments and comprise at least nine genus-level lineages, several of which are globally distributed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


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