Exploring Archaeal Communities And Genomes Across Five Deep-Sea Brine Lakes Of The Red Sea With A Focus On Methanogens

  • Yue Guan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The deep-sea hypersaline lakes in the Red Sea are among the most challenging, extreme, and unusual environments on the planet Earth. Despite their harshness to life, they are inhabited by diverse and novel members of prokaryotes. Methanogenesis was proposed as one of the main metabolic pathways that drive microbial colonization in similar habitats. However, not much is known about the identities of the methane-producing microbes in the Red Sea, let alone the way in which they could adapt to such poly extreme environments. Combining a range of microbial community assessment, cultivation and omics (genomics, transcriptomics, and single amplified genomics) approaches, this dissertation seeks to fill these gaps in our knowledge by studying archaeal composition, particularly methanogens, their genomic capacities and transcriptomic characteristics in order to elucidate their diversity, function, and adaptation to the deep-sea brines of the Red Sea. Although typical methanogens are not abundant in the samples collected from brine pool habitats of the Red Sea, the pilot cultivation experiment has revealed novel halophilic methanogenic species of the domain Archaea. Their physiological traits as well as their genomic and transcriptomic features unveil an interesting genetic and functional adaptive capacity that allows them to thrive in the unique deep-sea hypersaline environments in the Red Sea.
Date of AwardDec 15 2015
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorUlrich Stingl (Supervisor)


  • Deep-sea brines
  • Red Sea
  • Omics
  • Methanogenesis
  • Methylotrophic
  • Methanogenic archaea

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