The distribution of core lipids in the membranes of nine different species of the order Thermotogales, one of the early and deep branching lineages in the Bacteria, were examined by HPLC/MS and demonstrated to consist of membrane-spanning diglycerol lipids comprised of diabolic acid-derived alkyl moieties. In the Thermotoga species the core membrane lipids are characterized by the presence of both ester and ether bonds, whereas in the phylogenetically more distinct Thermosipho and Fervidobacterium spp. only ester bonds occur. A tentative biosynthetic route for the biosynthesis of these membrane-spanning lipids is proposed. Since species of the order Thermotogales are assumed to have occurred early during the evolution of life on Earth, as suggested by its position in the phylogenetic tree of life, these data suggest that the ability to produce both ether and ester glycerol membrane lipids developed relatively early during microbial evolution.
- thermophilic anaerobic bacterium
- oil-producing well
- sp-nov represents
- fervidobacterium pennavorans
- sp. nov.