DOI: 10.1002/bit.28610 ISSN: 0006-3592

Genomic insights into clostridia in bioenergy production: Comparison of metabolic capabilities and evolutionary relationships

Karan Kumar, Lepakshi Barbora, Vijayanand S. Moholkar
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology


Bacteria from diverse genera, including Acetivibrio, Bacillus, Cellulosilyticum, Clostridium, Desulfotomaculum, Lachnoclostridium, Moorella, Ruminiclostridium, and Thermoanaerobacterium, have attracted significant attention due to their versatile metabolic capabilities encompassing acetogenic, cellulolytic, and C1‐metabolic properties, and acetone‐butanol‐ethanol fermentation. Despite their biotechnological significance, a comprehensive understanding of clostridial physiology and evolution has remained elusive. This study reports an extensive comparative genomic analysis of 48 fully sequenced bacterial genomes from these genera. Our investigation, encompassing pan‐genomic analysis, central carbon metabolism comparison, exploration of general genome features, and in‐depth scrutiny of Cluster of Orthologous Groups genes, has established a holistic whole‐genome‐based phylogenetic framework. We have classified these strains into acetogenic, butanol‐producing, cellulolytic, CO2‐fixating, chemo(litho/organo)trophic, and heterotrophic categories, often exhibiting overlaps. Key outcomes include the identification of misclassified species and the revelation of insights into metabolic features, energy conservation, substrate utilization, stress responses, and regulatory mechanisms. These findings can provide guidance for the development of efficient microbial systems for sustainable bioenergy production. Furthermore, by addressing fundamental questions regarding genetic relationships, conserved genomic features, pivotal enzymes, and essential genes, this study has also contributed to our comprehension of clostridial biology, evolution, and their shared metabolic potential.

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