Survey of Genomes - Aeropyrum pernix K1

There are 3-5 major groups within the Domain Archaea. One of those is called the Crenarcheota and Brayla Stokes from the 2019 Hiram College Genetics course tells us about the first genome sequenced from the Crenarchaeota - Aeropyrum pernix strain K1.

Hi my name is Brayla Stokes and today will be talking about Aeropyrum pernix K1 and this genome is a species of Archaea.  It was the first crenarcheote which is just a category of Archaea and first aerobic member of Archaea with a complete genome sequence.  This organism helped us link the relationship between the three domains of life.  In 1999 Aeropyrum pernix was discovered while heating and vent marine water sediments in Japan.  It is circular in shape and its diameter is 1 micrometer.  Its genome is 1,669,696 base pairs in size.  We see a growth response starting at 70 degrees Celsius and it continues to function in temperatures up until 100 degrees.  Aeropyrum pernix can be qualified as a hyper-thermophile.

Now the reason the that we should care about this genome is one because it has opened up doors for us to answer question since it was the first of it’s kind to have a complete genome sequence. While doing my research I came across some facts that made me even more curious about the  genome and how it works.  It lacks coding genes for histones which are found in eukaryotes and euryarchaeotes but rather it has genes coding for small basic DNA binding proteins.  These can be functionally compared to histones proteins found in eukaryotes.

Aeropyrum pernix lacks homologs of the prokaryotic cell division genes ftsZ and MinD.  The problems with that is that those two genes are found in all bacteria and archaea that we know of today.  The two genes are also associated with cell division in different species.  So what makes this genome so different that is doesn’t need key factors but can still function as if it has them?  It was found that this genome doesn’t have as many eukaryotic genes compare to other genes.  The reason that I think this is important is because that we are discovering different genome everyday and I don’t think Aeropyrum pernix is the only genome out there that is able to do such a thing.  Therefore it could potentially solve scientific mysteries. 

Lastly the discovery of this genome help solve some problems dealing with the relevance of lateral gene transfer. Which is the sharing of genes between bacteria and archaea.  This help us link how certain species are related and how species have evolved over time.  It is important for us to know what use to work and figuring out why it was no longer need for survival.  Thank for listening to my podcast.  I hope you have retained some of important information that I have presented today. 

David M, F. and W. Ford, D. (2019). Genomics: Lessons from the Aeropyrum pernix genome.  Current Biology. Available at:

Kawarabayasi, Y, et al. “Complete Genome Sequence of an Aerobic Hyper-Thermophilic Crenarchaeon, Aeropyrum Pernix K1.” DNA Research : an International Journal for Rapid Publication of Reports on Genes and Genomes, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 30 Apr. 1999,