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Bibliography on: Holobiont

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing world-wide, free access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993.


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 29 Feb 2024 at 01:31 Created: 


Holobionts are assemblages of different species that form ecological units. Lynn Margulis proposed that any physical association between individuals of different species for significant portions of their life history is a symbiosis. All participants in the symbiosis are bionts, and therefore the resulting assemblage was first coined a holobiont by Lynn Margulis in 1991 in the book Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation. Holo is derived from the Ancient Greek word ὅλος (hólos) for “whole”. The entire assemblage of genomes in the holobiont is termed a hologenome.

Created with PubMed® Query: ( holobiont OR hologenome OR holospecies ) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2024-02-23

Prathapan P (2024)

Characterisation of the fig-fig wasp holobiont.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(24)00047-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Plants and animals have long been considered distinct kingdoms, yet here a hitherto undefined 'plant-animal' is described. In an extraordinary symbiosis in which neither organism can complete its lifecycle without the other, the fig tree (Ficus species) provides a habitat for its exclusive pollinator, the fig wasp (Agaonidae family). Characterisation of the 'fig-fig wasp holobiont' marks the first acknowledgement of plant-animal symbiogenesis.

RevDate: 2024-02-23

Bech PK, Jarmusch SA, Rasmussen JA, et al (2024)

Succession of microbial community composition and secondary metabolism during marine biofilm development.

ISME communications, 4(1):ycae006.

In nature, secondary metabolites mediate interactions between microorganisms residing in complex microbial communities. However, the degree to which community dynamics can be linked to secondary metabolite potential remains largely unknown. In this study, we address the relationship between community succession and secondary metabolism variation. We used 16S and 18S rRNA gene and adenylation domain amplicon sequencing, genome-resolved metagenomics, and untargeted metabolomics to track the taxons, biosynthetic gene clusters, and metabolome dynamics in situ of microorganisms during marine biofilm succession over 113 days. Two phases were identified during the community succession, with a clear shift around Day 29, where the alkaloid secondary metabolites, pseudanes, were also detected. The microbial secondary metabolite potential changed between the phases, and only a few community members, including Myxococotta spp., were responsible for the majority of the biosynthetic gene cluster potential in the early succession phase. In the late phase, bryozoans and benthic copepods were detected, and the microbial nonribosomal peptide potential drastically decreased in association with a reduction in the relative abundance of the prolific secondary metabolite producers. Conclusively, this study provides evidence that the early succession of the marine biofilm community favors prokaryotes with high nonribosomal peptide synthetase potential. In contrast, the late succession is dominated by multicellular eukaryotes and a reduction in bacterial nonribosomal peptide synthetase potential.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Xiao Y, Gao L, Z Li (2024)

Unique high-temperature tolerance mechanisms of zoochlorellae Symbiochlorum hainanensis derived from scleractinian coral Porites lutea.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Global warming is a key issue that causes coral bleaching mainly because of the thermosensitivity of zooxanthellae. Compared with the well-studied zooxanthellae Symbiodiniaceae in coral holobionts, we rarely know about other coral symbiotic algae, let alone their thermal tolerance. In this study, a zoochlorellae, Symbiochlorum hainanensis, isolated from the coral Porites lutea, was proven to have a threshold temperature of 38°C. Meanwhile, unique high-temperature tolerance mechanisms were suggested by integrated transcriptomics and real-time quantitative PCR, physiological and biochemical analyses, and electron microscopy observation. Under heat stress, S. hainanensis shared some similar response strategies with zooxanthellae Effrenium sp., such as increased ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase activities and chlorophyll a, thiamine, and thiamine phosphate contents. In particular, more chloroplast internal layered structure, increased CAT activity, enhanced selenate reduction, and thylakoid assembly pathways were highlighted for S. hainanensis's high-temperature tolerance. Notably, it is the first time to reveal a whole selenate reduction pathway from SeO4[2-] to Se[2-] and its contribution to the high-temperature tolerance of S. hainanensis. These unique mechanisms, including antioxidation and maintaining photosynthesis homeostasis, efficiently ensure the high-temperature tolerance of S. hainanensis than Effrenium sp. Compared with the thermosensitivity of coral symbiotic zooxanthellae Symbiodiniaceae, this study provides novel insights into the high-temperature tolerance mechanisms of coral symbiotic zoochlorellae S. hainanensis, which will contribute to corals' survival in the warming oceans caused by global climate change.IMPORTANCEThe increasing ocean temperature above 31°C-32°C might trigger a breakdown of the coral-Symbiodiniaceae symbioses or coral bleaching because of the thermosensitivity of Symbiodiniaceae; therefore, the exploration of alternative coral symbiotic algae with high-temperature tolerance is important for the corals' protection under warming oceans. This study proves that zoochlorellae Symbiochlorum hainanensis can tolerate 38°C, which is the highest temperature tolerance known for coral symbiotic algae to date, with unique high-temperature tolerance mechanisms. Particularly, for the first time, an internal selenium antioxidant mechanism of coral symbiotic S. hainanensis to high temperature was suggested.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Hassani MA, Cui Z, LaReau J, et al (2024)

Inter-species interactions between two bacterial flower commensals and a floral pathogen reduce disease incidence and alter pathogen activity.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Flowers are colonized by a diverse community of microorganisms that can alter plant health and interact with floral pathogens. Erwinia amylovora is a flower-inhabiting bacterium and a pathogen that infects different plant species, including Malus × domestica (apple). Previously, we showed that the co-inoculation of two bacterial strains, members of the genera Pseudomonas and Pantoea, isolated from apple flowers, reduced disease incidence caused by this floral pathogen. Here, we decipher the ecological interactions between the two flower-associated bacteria and E. amylovora in field experimentation and in vitro co-cultures. The two flower commensal strains did not competitively exclude E. amylovora from the stigma habitat, as both bacteria and the pathogen co-existed on the stigma of apple flowers and in vitro. This suggests that plant protection might be mediated by other mechanisms than competitive niche exclusion. Using a synthetic stigma exudation medium, ternary co-culture of the bacterial strains led to a substantial alteration of gene expression in both the pathogen and the two microbiota members. Importantly, the gene expression profiles for the ternary co-culture were not just additive from binary co-cultures, suggesting that some functions only emerged in multipartite co-culture. Additionally, the ternary co-culture of the strains resulted in a stronger acidification of the growth milieu than mono- or binary co-cultures, pointing to another emergent property of co-inoculation. Our study emphasizes the critical role of emergent properties mediated by inter-species interactions within the plant holobiont and their potential impact on plant health and pathogen behavior.IMPORTANCEFire blight, caused by Erwinia amylovora, is one of the most important plant diseases of pome fruits. Previous work largely suggested plant microbiota commensals suppressed disease by antagonizing pathogen growth. However, inter-species interactions of multiple flower commensals and their influence on pathogen activity and behavior have not been well studied. Here, we show that co-inoculating two bacterial strains that naturally colonize the apple flowers reduces disease incidence. We further demonstrate that the interactions between these two microbiota commensals and the floral pathogen led to the emergence of new gene expression patterns and a strong alteration of the external pH, factors that may modify the pathogen's behavior. Our findings emphasize the critical role of emergent properties mediated by inter-species interactions between plant microbiota and plant pathogens and their impact on plant health.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

McLaughlin MS, Yurgel SN, Abbasi PA, et al (2024)

The effects of chemical fungicides and salicylic acid on the apple microbiome and fungal disease incidence under changing environmental conditions.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1342407.

Epiphytic and endophytic micro-organisms associated with plants form complex communities on or in their host plant. These communities influence physiological traits, development, and host susceptibility to abiotic and biotic stresses, and these communities are theorized to have evolved alongside their hosts, forming a unit of selection known as the holobiont. The microbiome is highly variable and can be influenced by abiotic factors, including applied exogenous agents. In this study, we compared the impact of chemical fungicide and salicylic acid treatments on the fungal communities of "Honeycrisp" apples at harvest over two consecutive growing years. We demonstrated variations in fungal community structure and composition by tissue type, growing season, and treatment regimes and that fungicide treatments were associated with reduced network complexity. Finally, we show that the inclusion of salicylic acid with 50% less chemical fungicides in an integrated spray program allowed a reduction in fungicide use while maintaining effective control of disease at harvest and following storage.

RevDate: 2024-02-19

Ghitti E, Rolli E, Vergani L, et al (2024)

Flavonoids influence key rhizocompetence traits for early root colonization and PCB degradation potential of Paraburkholderia xenovorans LB400.

Frontiers in plant science, 15:1325048.

INTRODUCTION: Flavonoids are among the main plant root exudation components, and, in addition to their role in symbiosis, they can broadly affect the functionality of plant-associated microbes: in polluted environments, for instance, flavonoids can induce the expression of the enzymatic degradative machinery to clean-up soils from xenobiotics like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). However, their involvement in root community recruitment and assembly involving non-symbiotic beneficial interactions remains understudied and may be crucial to sustain the holobiont fitness under PCB stress.

METHODS: By using a set of model pure flavonoid molecules and a natural blend of root exudates (REs) with altered flavonoid composition produced by Arabidopsis mutant lines affected in flavonoid biosynthesis and abundance (null mutant tt4, flavonoid aglycones hyperproducer tt8, and flavonoid conjugates hyperaccumulator ttg), we investigated flavonoid contribution in stimulating rhizocompetence traits and the catabolic potential of the model bacterial strain for PCB degradation Paraburkholderia xenovorans LB400.

RESULTS: Flavonoids influenced the traits involved in bacterial recruitment in the rhizoplane by improving chemotaxis and motility responses, by increasing biofilm formation and by promoting the growth and activation of the PCB-degradative pathway of strain LB400, being thus potentially exploited as carbon sources, stimulating factors and chemoattractant molecules. Indeed, early rhizoplane colonization was favored in plantlets of the tt8 Arabidopsis mutant and reduced in the ttg line. Bacterial growth was promoted by the REs of mutant lines tt4 and tt8 under control conditions and reduced upon PCB-18 stress, showing no significant differences compared with the WT and ttg, indicating that unidentified plant metabolites could be involved. PCB stress presumably altered the Arabidopsis root exudation profile, although a sudden "cry-for-help" response to recruit strain LB400 was excluded and flavonoids appeared not to be the main determinants. In the in vitro plant-microbe interaction assays, plant growth promotion and PCB resistance promoted by strain LB400 seemed to act through flavonoid-independent mechanisms without altering bacterial colonization efficiency and root adhesion pattern.

DISCUSSIONS: This study further contributes to elucidate the vast array of functions provided by flavonoids in orchestrating the early events of PCB-degrading strain LB400 recruitment in the rhizosphere and to support the holobiont fitness by stimulating the catabolic machinery involved in xenobiotics decomposition and removal.

RevDate: 2024-02-19

Chuang PS, Yu SP, Liu PY, et al (2024)

A gauge of coral physiology: re-examining temporal changes in Endozoicomonas abundance correlated with natural coral bleaching.

ISME communications, 4(1):ycae001.

Bacteria contribute to many physiological functions of coral holobionts, including responses to bleaching. The bacterial genus, Endozoicomonas, dominates the microbial flora of many coral species and its abundance appears to be correlated with coral bleaching. However, evidences for decoupling of bleaching and Endozoicomonas abundance changes have also been reported. In 2020, a severe bleaching event was recorded at reefs in Taiwan, providing a unique opportunity to re-examine bleaching-Endozoicomonas association using multiple stony corals in natural environments. In this study, we monitored tissue color and microbiome changes in three coral species (Montipora sp., Porites sp., and Stylophora pistillata) in Kenting National Park, following the bleaching event. All tagged Montipora sp. and Porites sp. recovered from bleaching within 1 year, while high mortality occurred in S. pistillata. Microbiome analysis found no correlation of Endozoicomonas relative abundance and bleaching severity during the sampling period, but found a stronger correlation when the month in which bleaching occurred was excluded. Moreover, Endozoicomonas abundance increased during recovery months in Montipora sp. and Porites sp., whereas in S. pistillata it was nearly depleted. These results suggest that Endozoicomonas abundance may represent a gauge of coral health and reflect recovery of some corals from stress. Interestingly, even though different Endozoicomonas strains predominated in the three corals, these Endozoicomonas strains were also shared among coral taxa. Meanwhile, several Endozoicomonas strains showed secondary emergence during coral recovery, suggesting possible symbiont switching in Endozoicomonas. These findings indicate that it may be possible to introduce Endozoicomonas to non-native coral hosts as a coral probiotic.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Maire J, Tsang Min Ching SJ, Damjanovic K, et al (2024)

Tissue-associated and vertically transmitted bacterial symbiont in the coral Pocillopora acuta.

The ISME journal, 18(1):.

Coral microhabitats are colonized by a myriad of microorganisms, including diverse bacteria which are essential for host functioning and survival. However, the location, transmission, and functions of individual bacterial species living inside the coral tissues remain poorly studied. Here, we show that a previously undescribed bacterial symbiont of the coral Pocillopora acuta forms cell-associated microbial aggregates (CAMAs) within the mesenterial filaments. CAMAs were found in both adults and larval offspring, suggesting vertical transmission. In situ laser capture microdissection of CAMAs followed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and shotgun metagenomics produced a near complete metagenome-assembled genome. We subsequently cultured the CAMA bacteria from Pocillopora acuta colonies, and sequenced and assembled their genomes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the CAMA bacteria belong to an undescribed Endozoicomonadaceae genus and species, which we propose to name Candidatus Sororendozoicomonas aggregata gen. nov sp. nov. Metabolic pathway reconstruction from its genome sequence suggests this species can synthesize most amino acids, several B vitamins, and antioxidants, and participate in carbon cycling and prey digestion, which may be beneficial to its coral hosts. This study provides detailed insights into a new member of the widespread Endozoicomonadaceae family, thereby improving our understanding of coral holobiont functioning. Vertically transmitted, tissue-associated bacteria, such as Sororendozoicomonas aggregata may be key candidates for the development of microbiome manipulation approaches with long-term positive effects on the coral host.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Berg G, Dorador C, Egamberdieva D, et al (2024)

Shared governance in the plant holobiont and implications for one health.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7607369 [Epub ahead of print].

The Holobiont theory is more than eighty years old, while the importance of microbial communities for plant holobionts was already identified by Lorenz Hiltner more than a century ago. Both concepts are strongly supported by results from the new field of microbiome research. Here, we present ecological and genetic features of the plant holobiont that underpin principles of a shared governance between hosts and microbes and summarize the relevance of plant holobionts in the context of global change. Moreover, we uncover knowledge gaps that arise when integrating plant holobionts in the broader perspective of the holobiome as well as one and planetary health concepts. Action is needed to consider interacting holobionts at the holobiome scale, for prediction and control of microbiome function to improve human and environmental health outcomes.

RevDate: 2024-02-15

Linsmayer LB, Noel SK, Leray M, et al (2024)

Effects of bleaching on oxygen dynamics and energy metabolism of two Caribbean coral species.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)00892-1 [Epub ahead of print].

As mass coral bleaching events become more frequent, it is increasingly important to elucidate the factors underlying coral susceptibility and survival. We measured photosynthesis, respiration, and O2 concentration at the coral tissue surface, Symbiodiniaceae genotypes, and energy metabolic enzyme activities in Agaricia agaricites and Orbicella franksi throughout experimentally-induced thermal bleaching (+3 °C). A. agaricites colonies started to bleach two days into the thermal treatment and were fully bleached between Days 19-31. In contrast, O. franksi colonies only started to bleach on Day 12 and five colonies fully bleached between Days 24-38 while the remining three colonies took up 55 days. Both species experienced decreased photosynthesis and respiration rates as bleaching progressed. As a result, daytime O2 concentration at the coral surface shifted from hyperoxia in unbleached corals to normoxia in partially bleached corals, and to near hypoxia in fully bleached corals. Additionally, nighttime tissue surface O2 concentration shifted from hypoxia to normoxia, likely resulting from decreased symbiotic algae density, respiration, and photosynthates that fuel coral aerobic respiration. Genetic profiling of internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) revealed differences in Symbiodiniaceae clade proportions between control and bleached colonies. Activity levels of energy metabolic enzymes did not significantly vary between control and bleached A. agaricites, but malate dehydrogenase and strombine dehydrogenase activities were significantly higher in bleached O. franksi colonies compared to controls. These differences were driven by the three O. franksi colonies that took the longest to bleach and contained >98 % Durusdinium sp. D1. The shifts in O2 dynamics within the microhabitat of bleached corals may have important implications for the metabolism of the coral holobiont while the changes in Symbiodiniaceae ITS2 profile and the upregulation of energy metabolic enzymes identify a potential factor contributing to bleaching dynamics.

RevDate: 2024-02-14

Ju H, Zhang J, Zou Y, et al (2024)

Bacteria undergo significant shifts while archaea maintain stability in Pocillopora damicornis under sustained heat stress.

Environmental research pii:S0013-9351(24)00373-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Global warming reportedly poses a critical risk to coral reef ecosystems. Bacteria and archaea are crucial components of the coral holobiont. The response of archaea associated with warming is less well understood than that of the bacterial community in corals. Also, there have been few studies on the dynamics of the microbial community in the coral holobiont under long-term heat stress. In order to track the dynamic alternations in the microbial communities within the heat-stressed coral holobiont, three-week heat-stress monitoring was carried out on the coral Pocillopora damicornis. The findings demonstrate that the corals were stressed at 32 °C, and showed a gradual decrease in Symbiodiniaceae density with increasing duration of heat stress. The archaeal community in the coral holobiont remained relatively unaltered by the increasing temperature, whereas the bacterial community was considerably altered. Sustained heat stress exacerbated the dissimilarities among parallel samples of the bacterial community, confirming the Anna Karenina Principle in animal microbiomes. Heat stress leads to more complex and unstable microbial networks, characterized by an increased average degree and decreased modularity, respectively. With the extension of heat stress duration, the relative abundances of the gene (nifH) and genus (Tistlia) associated with nitrogen fixation increased in coral samples, as well as the potential pathogenic bacteria (Flavobacteriales) and opportunistic bacteria (Bacteroides). Hence, our findings suggest that coral hosts might recruit nitrogen-fixing bacteria during the initial stages of suffering heat stress. An environment that is conducive to the colonization and development of opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria when the coral host becomes more susceptible as heat stress duration increases.

RevDate: 2024-02-13

Laine J, Mak SST, Martins NFG, et al (2024)

Late Pleistocene stickleback environmental genomes reveal the chronology of freshwater adaptation.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(24)00093-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Directly observing the chronology and tempo of adaptation in response to ecological change is rarely possible in natural ecosystems. Sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) has been shown to be a tractable source of genome-scale data of long-dead organisms[1][,][2][,][3] and to thereby potentially provide an understanding of the evolutionary histories of past populations.[4][,][5] To date, time series of ecosystem biodiversity have been reconstructed from sedaDNA, typically using DNA metabarcoding or shotgun sequence data generated from less than 1 g of sediment.[6][,][7] Here, we maximize sequence coverage by extracting DNA from ∼50× more sediment per sample than the majority of previous studies[1][,][2][,][3] to achieve genotype resolution. From a time series of Late Pleistocene sediments spanning from a marine to freshwater ecosystem, we compare adaptive genotypes reconstructed from the environmental genomes of three-spined stickleback at key time points of this transition. We find a staggered temporal dynamic in which freshwater alleles at known loci of large effect in marine-freshwater divergence of three-spined stickleback (e.g., EDA)[8] were already established during the brackish phase of the formation of the isolation basin. However, marine alleles were still detected across the majority of marine-freshwater divergence-associated loci, even after the complete isolation of the lake from marine ingression. Our retrospective approach to studying adaptation from environmental genomes of three-spined sticklebacks at the end of the last glacial period complements contemporary experimental approaches[9][,][10][,][11] and highlights the untapped potential for retrospective "evolve and resequence" natural experiments using sedaDNA.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

Suárez J (2024)

Scrutinizing microbiome determinism: why deterministic hypotheses about the microbiome are conceptually ungrounded.

History and philosophy of the life sciences, 46(1):12.

This paper addresses the topic of determinism in contemporary microbiome research. I distinguish two types of deterministic claims about the microbiome, and I show evidence that both types of claims are present in the contemporary literature. First, the idea that the host genetics determines the composition of the microbiome which I call "host-microbiome determinism". Second, the idea that the genetics of the holobiont (the individual unit composed by a host plus its microbiome) determines the expression of certain phenotypic traits, which I call "microbiome-phenotype determinism". Drawing on the stability of traits conception of individuality (Suárez in Hist Philos Life Sci 42:11, 2020) I argue that none of these deterministic hypotheses is grounded on our current knowledge of how the holobiont is transgenerationally assembled, nor how it expresses its phenotypic traits.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

Sasaki S, Mori T, Enomoto H, et al (2024)

Assessing Molecular Localization of Symbiont Microalgae in Coral Branches Through Mass Spectrometry Imaging.

Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.) [Epub ahead of print].

Reef-building corals are a fundamental pillar of coral reef ecosystems in tropical and subtropical shallow environments. Corals harbor symbiotic dinoflagellates belonging to the family Symbiodiniaceae, commonly known as zooxanthellae. Extensive research has been conducted on this symbiotic relationship, yet the fundamental information about the distribution and localization of Symbiodiniaceae cells in corals is still limited. This information is crucial to understanding the mechanism underlying the metabolite exchange between corals and their algal symbionts, as well as the metabolic flow within holobionts. To examine the distribution of Symbiodiniaceae cells within corals, in this study, we used fluorescence imaging and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MS-Imaging) on branches of the Acropora tenuis coral. We successfully prepared frozen sections of the coral for molecular imaging without fixing or decalcifying the coral branches. By combining the results of MS-Imaging with that of the fluorescence imaging, we determined that the algal Symbiodiniaceae symbionts were not only localized in the tentacle and surface region of the coral branches but also inhabited the in inner parts. Therefore, the molecular imaging technique used in this study could be valuable to further investigate the molecular dynamics between corals and their symbionts.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Wang S, Lu C, Zhang Q, et al (2024)

Microbial community and transcriptional responses to V. coralliilyticus stress in coral Favites halicora and Pocillopora damicornis holobiont.

Marine environmental research, 196:106394 pii:S0141-1136(24)00055-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Variability in coral hosts susceptibility to Vibrio coralliilyticus is well-documented; however, the comprehensive understanding of tolerance of response to pathogen among coral species is lacked. Herein, we investigated the microbial communities and transcriptome dynamics of two corals in response to Vibrio coralliilyticus. Favites halicora displayed greater resistance to Vibrio coralliilyticus challenge than Pocillopora damicornis. Furthermore, the relative abundances of Flavobacteriaceae, Vibrionacea, Rhodobacteraceae, and Roseobacteraceae increased significantly in Favites halicora following pathogen stress, whereas that of Akkermansiaceae increased significantly in Pocillopora damicornis, leading to bacterial community imbalance. In contrast to the previous results, pathogen infection did not have much effect on the community structures of Symbiodiniaceae and fungi, but led to a decrease in the density of Symbiodiniaceae. Transcriptome analysis indicated that Vibrio infection triggered a coral immune response, resulting in higher expression of immune-related genes, which appeared to have higher transcriptional plasticity in Favites halicora than in Pocillopora damicornis. Specifically, the upregulated genes of Favites halicora were predominantly involved in the apoptosis pathway, whereas Pocillopora damicornis were significantly enriched in the nucleotide excision repair and base excision repair pathways. These findings suggest that coral holobionts activate different mechanisms across species in response to pathogens through shifts in microbial communities and transcriptomes, which provides novel insight into assessing the future coral assemblages suffering from disease outbreaks.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Welsh BL, R Eisenhofer (2024)

The prevalence of controls in phyllosphere microbiome research: a methodological review.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

DNA contamination can critically confound microbiome studies. Here, we take a systematic approach to review the current literature and investigate the prevalence of contamination controls in phyllosphere microbiome research over the past decade. By utilising systematic review principles for this review, we were able to conduct a thorough investigation, screening 450 articles from three databases for eligibility and extracting data in a controlled and methodical manner. Worryingly, we observed a surprisingly low usage of both positive and negative contamination controls in phyllosphere research. As a result, we propose a set of minimum standards to combat the effects of contamination in future phyllosphere research.

RevDate: 2024-02-09

Olofsson JK, Tyler T, Dunning LT, et al (2024)

Morphological and genetic evidence suggest gene flow among native and naturalized mint species.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE: Cultivation and naturalization of plants beyond their natural range can bring previously geographically isolated taxa together, increasing the opportunity for hybridization, the outcomes of which are not predictable. Here, we explored the phenotypic and genomic effects of interspecific gene flow following the widespread cultivation of Mentha spicata (spearmint), M. longifolia, and M. suaveolens.

METHODS: We morphologically evaluated 155 herbarium specimens of three Mentha species and sequenced the genomes of a subset of 93 specimens. We analyzed the whole genomes in a population and the phylogenetic framework and associated genomic classifications in conjunction with the morphological assessments.

RESULTS: The allopolyploid M. spicata, which likely evolved in cultivation, had altered trichome characters, that is possibly a product of human selection for a more palatable plant or a byproduct of selection for essential oils. There were signs of genetic admixture between mints, including allopolyploids, indicating that the reproductive barriers between Mentha species with differences in ploidy are likely incomplete. Still, despite gene flow between species, we found that genetic variants associated with the cultivated trichome morphology continue to segregate.

CONCLUSIONS: Although hybridization, allopolyploidization, and human selection during cultivation can increase species richness (e.g., by forming hybrid taxa), we showed that unless reproductive barriers are strong, these processes can also result in mixing of genes between species and the potential loss of natural biodiversity.

RevDate: 2024-02-07

Czajkowski R, Zhu L, Kuo CH, et al (2024)

Editorial: Insights in microbial symbioses: 2022/2023.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1367452.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Estaque T, Basthard-Bogain S, Bianchimani O, et al (2024)

Investigating the outcomes of a threatened gorgonian in situ transplantation: Survival and microbiome diversity in Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1827).

Marine environmental research, 196:106384 pii:S0141-1136(24)00045-X [Epub ahead of print].

Gorgonian octocorals are threatened by global and local stressors that can act synergistically to affect their health. In recent years, mass mortality events triggered by marine heatwaves have caused demographic declines in Mediterranean gorgonian populations that may lead to their collapse. Potential changes in microbiome composition under stressful conditions may further increase the susceptibility of the gorgonian holobiont to disease. Given the low recovery capacity of gorgonians, restoration approaches using transplantation are becoming an increasingly attractive option to counteract their decline. Here, we compared the survival and microbiome diversity of Paramuricea clavata colonies transplanted to sites differing in depth and local environmental conditions. Gorgonians sampled at a greater depth than the transplantation site were more likely to suffer necrosis after 1 year of monitoring. Gorgonian transplantation into environments disturbed by an anthropogenic source of pollution resulted in an imbalance of the microbiome with potential consequences on the success of restoration initiatives.

RevDate: 2024-02-02

Reigel AM, Easson CG, Apprill A, et al (2024)

Sponge-derived matter is assimilated by coral holobionts.

Communications biology, 7(1):146.

Coral reef biodiversity is maintained by a complex network of nutrient recycling among organisms. Sponges assimilate nutrients produced by other organisms like coral and algae, releasing them as particulate and dissolved matter, but to date, only a single trophic link between sponge-derived dissolved matter and a macroalgae has been identified. We sought to determine if sponge-coral nutrient exchange is reciprocal using a stable isotope 'pulse-chase' experiment to trace the uptake of [13]C and [15]N sponge-derived matter by the coral holobiont for three coral species (Acropora cervicornis, Orbicella faveolata, and Eunicea flexuosa). Coral holobionts incorporated 2.3-26.8x more [15]N than [13]C from sponge-derived matter and A. cervicornis incorporated more of both C and N than the other corals. Differential isotopic incorporation among coral species aligns with their ecophysiological characteristics (e.g., morphology, Symbiodiniaceae density). Our results elucidate a recycling pathway on coral reefs that has implications for improving coral aquaculture and management approaches.

RevDate: 2024-02-02

Hartvig I, Kosawang C, Rasmussen H, et al (2024)

Co-occurring orchid species associated with different low-abundance mycorrhizal fungi from the soil in a high-diversity conservation area in Denmark.

Ecology and evolution, 14(2):e10863 pii:ECE310863.

Plant-fungal interactions are ubiquitous across ecosystems and contribute significantly to plant ecology and evolution. All orchids form obligate symbiotic relationships with specific fungi for germination and early growth, and the distribution of terrestrial orchid species has been linked to occurrence and abundance of specific orchid mycorrhizal fungi (OMF) in the soil. The availability of OMF can therefore be a habitat requirement that is relevant to consider when establishing management and conservation strategies for threatened orchid species, but knowledge on the spatial distribution of OMF in soil is limited. We here studied the mycorrhizal associations of three terrestrial orchid species (Anacamptis pyramidalis, Orchis purpurea and Platanthera chlorantha) found in a local orchid diversity hotspot in eastern Denmark, and investigated the abundance of the identified mycorrhizal fungi in the surrounding soil. We applied ITS metabarcoding to samples of orchid roots, rhizosphere soil and bulk soil collected at three localities, supplemented with standard barcoding of root samples with OMF specific primers, and detected 22 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) putatively identified as OMF. The three orchid species displayed different patterns of OMF associations, supporting the theory that association with specific fungi constitutes part of an orchid's ecological niche allowing co-occurrence of many species in orchid-rich habitats. The identified mycorrhizal partners in the basidiomycete families Tulasnellaceae and Ceratobasidiaceae (Cantharallales) were detected in low abundance in rhizosphere soil, and appeared almost absent from bulk soil at the localities. This finding highlights our limited knowledge of the ecology and trophic mode of OMF outside orchid tissues, as well as challenges in the detection of specific OMF with standard methods. Potential implications for management and conservation strategies are discussed.

RevDate: 2024-01-31

Brealey JC, Kodama M, Rasmussen JA, et al (2024)

Host-gut microbiota interactions shape parasite infections in farmed Atlantic salmon.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Animals and their associated microbiota share long evolutionary histories. However, it is not always clear how host genotype and microbiota interact to affect phenotype. We applied a hologenomic approach to explore how host-microbiota interactions shape lifetime growth and parasite infection in farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Multi-omics data sets were generated from the guts of 460 salmon, 82% of which were naturally infected with an intestinal cestode. A single Mycoplasma bacterial strain, MAG01, dominated the gut metagenome of large, non-parasitized fish, consistent with previous studies showing high levels of Mycoplasma in the gut microbiota of healthy salmon. While small and/or parasitized salmon also had high abundance of MAG01, we observed increased alpha diversity in these individuals, driven by increased frequency of low-abundance Vibrionaceae and other Mycoplasma species that carried known virulence genes. Colonization by one of these cestode-associated Mycoplasma strains was associated with host individual genomic variation in long non-coding RNAs. Integrating the multi-omic data sets revealed coordinated changes in the salmon gut mRNA transcriptome and metabolome that correlated with shifts in the microbiota of smaller, parasitized fish. Our results suggest that the gut microbiota of small and/or parasitized fish is in a state of dysbiosis that partly depends on the host genotype, highlighting the value of using a hologenomic approach to incorporate the microbiota into the study of host-parasite dynamics.IMPORTANCEStudying host-microbiota interactions through the perspective of the hologenome is gaining interest across all life sciences. Intestinal parasite infections are a huge burden on human and animal health; however, there are few studies investigating the role of the hologenome during parasite infections. We address this gap in the largest multi-omics fish microbiota study to date using natural cestode infection of farmed Atlantic salmon. We find a clear association between cestode infection, salmon lifetime growth, and perturbation of the salmon gut microbiota. Furthermore, we provide the first evidence that the genetic background of the host may partly determine how the gut microbiota changes during parasite-associated dysbiosis. Our study therefore highlights the value of a hologenomic approach for gaining a more in-depth understanding of parasitism.

RevDate: 2024-01-30

Vergani L, Patania J, Riva V, et al (2024)

Deciphering the interaction of bacteria inoculants with the recipient endophytic community in grapevine micropropagated plants.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Engineering the plant microbiome with beneficial endophytic bacteria can improve the growth, health, and productivity of the holobiont. Here, we administered two beneficial bacterial strains, Kosakonia VR04 sp. and Rhizobium GR12 sp., to micropropagated grapevine cuttings obtained via somatic embryogenesis. While both strains colonized the plant endosphere, only Rhizobium GR12 sp. increased root biomass under nutritional-deficit conditions, as supported by the plant growth promotion traits detected in its genome. Phylogenetic and co-occurrence analyses revealed that the plant native bacterial community, originally dominated by Streptococcaceae and Micrococcaceae, dramatically changed depending on the inoculation treatments, as invading strains differently affected the relative abundance and the interactions of pre-existing taxa. After 30 days of plantlets' growth, Pantoea became a predominant taxon, and considering untreated plantlets as references, Rhizobium sp. GR12 showed a minor impact on the endophytic bacterial community. On the other hand, Kosakonia sp. VR04 caused a major change in community composition, suggesting an opportunistic colonization pattern. Overall, the results corroborate the importance of preserving the native endophytic community structure and functions during plant microbiome engineering.IMPORTANCEA better comprehension of bacterial colonization processes and outcomes could benefit the use of plant probiotics in the field. In this study, we applied two different beneficial bacteria to grapevine micropropagated plantlets and described how the inoculation of these strains impacts endophytic microbiota assembly. We showed that under nutritional deficit conditions, the response of the receiving endophytic bacterial communities to the invasion of the beneficial strains related to the manifestation of plant growth promotion effects by the inoculated invading strains. Rhizobium sp. GR12 was able to preserve the native microbiome structure despite its effective colonization, highlighting the importance of the plant-endophyte associations for the holobiont performance. Moreover, our approach showed that the use of micropropagated plantlets could be a valuable strategy to study the interplay among the plant, its native microbiota, and the invader on a wider portfolio of species besides model plants, facilitating the application of new knowledge in agriculture.

RevDate: 2024-01-30

Nweze JE, Šustr V, Brune A, et al (2024)

Functional similarity, despite taxonomical divergence in the millipede gut microbiota, points to a common trophic strategy.

Microbiome, 12(1):16.

BACKGROUND: Many arthropods rely on their gut microbiome to digest plant material, which is often low in nitrogen but high in complex polysaccharides. Detritivores, such as millipedes, live on a particularly poor diet, but the identity and nutritional contribution of their microbiome are largely unknown. In this study, the hindgut microbiota of the tropical millipede Epibolus pulchripes (large, methane emitting) and the temperate millipede Glomeris connexa (small, non-methane emitting), fed on an identical diet, were studied using comparative metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.

RESULTS: The results showed that the microbial load in E. pulchripes is much higher and more diverse than in G. connexa. The microbial communities of the two species differed significantly, with Bacteroidota dominating the hindguts of E. pulchripes and Proteobacteria (Pseudomonadota) in G. connexa. Despite equal sequencing effort, de novo assembly and binning recovered 282 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from E. pulchripes and 33 from G. connexa, including 90 novel bacterial taxa (81 in E. pulchripes and 9 in G. connexa). However, despite this taxonomic divergence, most of the functions, including carbohydrate hydrolysis, sulfate reduction, and nitrogen cycling, were common to the two species. Members of the Bacteroidota (Bacteroidetes) were the primary agents of complex carbon degradation in E. pulchripes, while members of Proteobacteria dominated in G. connexa. Members of Desulfobacterota were the potential sulfate-reducing bacteria in E. pulchripes. The capacity for dissimilatory nitrate reduction was found in Actinobacteriota (E. pulchripes) and Proteobacteria (both species), but only Proteobacteria possessed the capacity for denitrification (both species). In contrast, some functions were only found in E. pulchripes. These include reductive acetogenesis, found in members of Desulfobacterota and Firmicutes (Bacillota) in E. pulchripes. Also, diazotrophs were only found in E. pulchripes, with a few members of the Firmicutes and Proteobacteria expressing the nifH gene. Interestingly, fungal-cell-wall-degrading glycoside hydrolases (GHs) were among the most abundant carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) expressed in both millipede species, suggesting that fungal biomass plays an important role in the millipede diet.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these results provide detailed insights into the genomic capabilities of the microbial community in the hindgut of millipedes and shed light on the ecophysiology of these essential detritivores. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2024-01-26

Vompe AD, Epstein HE, Speare KE, et al (2024)

Microbiome ecological memory and responses to repeated marine heatwaves clarify variation in coral bleaching and mortality.

Global change biology, 30(1):e17088.

Microbiomes are essential features of holobionts, providing their hosts with key metabolic and functional traits like resistance to environmental disturbances and diseases. In scleractinian corals, questions remain about the microbiome's role in resistance and resilience to factors contributing to the ongoing global coral decline and whether microbes serve as a form of holobiont ecological memory. To test if and how coral microbiomes affect host health outcomes during repeated disturbances, we conducted a large-scale (32 exclosures, 200 colonies, and 3 coral species sampled) and long-term (28 months, 2018-2020) manipulative experiment on the forereef of Mo'orea, French Polynesia. In 2019 and 2020, this reef experienced the two most severe marine heatwaves on record for the site. Our experiment and these events afforded us the opportunity to test microbiome dynamics and roles in the context of coral bleaching and mortality resulting from these successive and severe heatwaves. We report unique microbiome responses to repeated heatwaves in Acropora retusa, Porites lobata, and Pocillopora spp., which included: microbiome acclimatization in A. retusa, and both microbiome resilience to the first marine heatwave and microbiome resistance to the second marine heatwave in Pocillopora spp. Moreover, observed microbiome dynamics significantly correlated with coral species-specific phenotypes. For example, bleaching and mortality in A. retusa both significantly increased with greater microbiome beta dispersion and greater Shannon Diversity, while P. lobata colonies had different microbiomes across mortality prevalence. Compositional microbiome changes, such as changes to proportions of differentially abundant putatively beneficial to putatively detrimental taxa to coral health outcomes during repeated heat stress, also correlated with host mortality, with higher proportions of detrimental taxa yielding higher mortality in A. retusa. This study reveals evidence for coral species-specific microbial responses to repeated heatwaves and, importantly, suggests that host-dependent microbiome dynamics may provide a form of holobiont ecological memory to repeated heat stress.

RevDate: 2024-01-24

Huang W, Meng L, Xiao Z, et al (2024)

Heat-tolerant intertidal rock pool coral Porites lutea can potentially adapt to future warming.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The growing threat of global warming on coral reefs underscores the urgency of identifying heat-tolerant corals and discovering their adaptation mechanisms to high temperatures. Corals growing in intertidal rock pools that vary markedly in daily temperature may have improved heat tolerance. In this study, heat stress experiments were performed on scleractinian coral Porites lutea from subtidal habitat and intertidal rock pool of Weizhou Island in the northern South China Sea. Thermotolerance differences in corals from the two habitats and their mechanisms were explored through phenotype, physiological indicators, ITS2, 16S rRNA, and RNA sequencing. At the extremely high temperature of 34°C, rock pool P. lutea had a stronger heat tolerance than those in the subtidal habitat. The strong antioxidant capacity of the coral host and its microbial partners was important in the resistance of rock pool corals to high temperatures. The host of rock pool corals at 34°C had stronger immune and apoptotic regulation, downregulated host metabolism and disease-infection-related pathways compared to the subtidal habitat. P. lutea, in this habitat, upregulated Cladocopium C15 (Symbiodiniaceae) photosynthetic efficiency and photoprotection, and significantly increased bacterial diversity and coral probiotics, including ABY1, Ruegeria, and Alteromonas. These findings indicate that rock pool corals can tolerate high temperatures through the integrated response of coral holobionts. These corals may be 'touchstones' for future warming. Our research provides new insights into the complex mechanisms by which corals resist global warming and the theoretical basis for coral reef ecosystem restoration and selection of stress-resistant coral populations.

RevDate: 2024-01-23

Dor-Roterman YR, Benayahu Y, Reshef L, et al (2024)

Host-Microbiome Interactions in a Changing Sea: The Gill Microbiome of an Invasive Oyster under Drastic Temperature Changes.

Microorganisms, 12(1): pii:microorganisms12010197.

The gill tissue of bivalve mollusks hosts rich symbiotic microbial communities that may contribute to host health. Spondylus spinosus is an invasive Lessepsian oyster in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea that has become highly abundant while constantly expanding its range northwestward. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, we examined how temperature affects S. spinosus oysters and their gill microbiota in a series of experiments: exposing them to the current annual seawater temperature range, to the colder temperature of the Western Mediterranean Sea, and to the elevated temperature as predicted under global warming scenarios. The bacterial genus Endozoicomonas dominated the communities of the S. spinosus, mainly upon exposure to winter-like (16 °C) temperatures. Exposure to the elevated seawater temperature resulted in a significant change in the bacterial communities, while the oysters maintained normal functioning, suggesting that the oyster may survive a seawater warming scenario. Exposure to 11 °C led to the health deterioration of the oysters, the emergence of opportunistic pathogens, such as Arcobacter, Vibrio, Colwelliaceae, and Pseudoalteromonas, and a decline in the relative abundance of Endozoicomonas, suggesting that S. spinosus might not survive Western Mediterranean Sea winters. Both the host and its gill bacteria are thus greatly affected by temperature, which could consequently restrict the range of expansion of this and other invasive oysters.

RevDate: 2024-01-21

Efremova J, Mazzella V, Mirasole A, et al (2024)

Divergent morphological and microbiome strategies of two neighbor sponges to cope with low pH in Mediterranean CO2 vents.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)00306-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Ocean Acidification (OA) profoundly impacts marine biochemistry, resulting in a net loss of biodiversity. Porifera are often forecasted as winner taxa, yet the strategies to cope with OA can vary and may generate diverse fitness status. In this study, microbial shifts based on the V3-V4 16S rRNA gene marker were compared across neighboring Chondrosia reniformis sponges with high microbial abundance (HMA), and Spirastrella cunctatrix with low microbial abundance (LMA) microbiomes. Sponge holobionts co-occurred in a CO2 vent system with low pH (pHT ~ 7.65), and a control site with Ambient pH (pHT ~ 8.05) off Ischia Island, representing natural analogues to study future OA, and species' responses in the face of global environmental change. Microbial diversity and composition varied in both species across sites, yet at different levels. Increased numbers of core taxa were detected in S. cunctatrix, and a more diverse and flexible core microbiome was reported in C. reniformis under OA. Vent S. cunctatrix showed morphological impairment, along with signs of putative stress-induced dysbiosis, manifested by: 1) increases in alpha diversity, 2) shifts from sponge related microbes towards seawater microbes, and 3) high dysbiosis scores. Chondrosia reniformis in lieu, showed no morphological variation, low dysbiosis scores, and experienced a reduction in alpha diversity and less number of core taxa in vent specimens. Therefore, C. reniformis is hypothesized to maintain an state of normobiosis and acclimatize to OA, thanks to a more diverse, and likely metabolically versatile microbiome. A consortium of differentially abundant microbes was identified associated to either vent or control sponges, and chiefly related to carbon, nitrogen and sulfur-metabolisms for nutrient cycling and vitamin production, as well as probiotic symbionts in C. reniformis. Diversified symbiont associates supporting functional convergence could be the key behind resilience towards OA, yet specific acclimatization traits should be further investigated.

RevDate: 2024-01-20

Adomako MO, Wu J, Lu Y, et al (2024)

Potential synergy of microplastics and nitrogen enrichment on plant holobionts in wetland ecosystems.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)00295-X [Epub ahead of print].

Wetland ecosystems are global hotspots for environmental contaminants, including microplastics (MPs) and nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). While MP and nutrient effects on host plants and their associated microbial communities at the individual level have been studied, their synergistic effects on a plant holobiont (i.e., a plant host plus its microbiota, such as bacteria and fungi) in wetland ecosystems are nearly unknown. As an ecological entity, plant holobionts play pivotal roles in biological nitrogen fixation, promote plant resilience and defense chemistry against pathogens, and enhance biogeochemical processes. We summarize evidence based on recent literature to elaborate on the potential synergy of MPs and nutrient enrichment on plant holobionts in wetland ecosystems. We provide a conceptual framework to explain the interplay of MPs, nutrients, and plant holobionts and discuss major pathways of MPs and nutrients into the wetland milieu. Moreover, we highlight the ecological consequences of loss of plant holobionts in wetland ecosystems and conclude with recommendations for pending questions that warrant urgent research. We found that nutrient enrichment promotes the recruitment of MPs-degraded microorganisms and accelerates microbially mediated degradation of MPs, modifying their distribution and toxicity impacts on plant holobionts in wetland ecosystems. Moreover, a loss of wetland plant holobionts via long-term MP-nutrient interactions may likely exacerbate the disruption of wetland ecosystems' capacity to offer nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation through soil organic C sequestration. In conclusion, MP and nutrient enrichment interactions represent a severe ecological risk that can disorganize plant holobionts and their taxonomic roles, leading to dysbiosis (i.e., the disintegration of a stable plant microbiome) and diminishing wetland ecosystems' integrity and multifunctionality.

RevDate: 2024-01-18

Allentoft ME, Sikora M, Refoyo-Martínez A, et al (2024)

Publisher Correction: Population genomics of post-glacial western Eurasia.

RevDate: 2024-01-17

Tabassum N, Ahmed HI, Parween S, et al (2024)

Host genotype, soil composition, and geo-climatic factors shape the fonio seed microbiome.

Microbiome, 12(1):11.

BACKGROUND: Fonio (Digitaria exilis), an orphan millet crop, is the oldest indigenous crop in West Africa. Although the yield is low due to pre-domestication characteristics, the quick maturation time, drought tolerance, and the ability to thrive on poor soils make fonio a climate-smart crop. Being holobionts, plants evolve in close interaction with microbial partners, which is crucial for plant phenology and fitness. As seeds are the bottleneck of vertically transmitting plant microbiota, we proposed to unravel the seed microbiome of the under-domesticated and resilient crop fonio. Our study investigated the bacterial seed endophyte diversity across 126 sequenced fonio accessions from distinct locations in West Africa. We conducted a correlation study of the structures and functions of the seed-associated microbiomes with the native geo-climate and soil structure data. We also performed Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify genetic loci associated with seed endophyte diversity.

RESULT: We report that fonio millet has diverse heritable seed endophytic taxa. We analyzed the seed microbiomes of 126 fonio accessions and showed that despite the diversity of microbiomes from distinct geographical locations, all fonio genetic groups share a core microbiome. In addition, we observed that native soil composition, geo-climatic factors, and host genotype correlate with the seed microbiomes. GWAS analysis of genetic loci associated with endophyte seed bacterial diversity identified fonio SNPs associated with genes functioning in embryo development and stress/defense response.

CONCLUSION: Analysis of the seed endophyte of the climate-smart crop fonio indicated that despite possessing a heritable core microbiome, native conditions may shape the overall fonio seed microbiomes in different populations. These distinct microbiomes could play important roles in the adaptation of fonio to different environmental conditions. Our study identified the seed microbiome as a potential target for enhancing crop resilience to climate stress in a sustainable way. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2024-01-17

Castro LC, Vergés A, Straub SC, et al (2024)

Effect of marine heatwaves and warming on kelp microbiota influence trophic interactions.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The range-expansion of tropical herbivores due to ocean warming can profoundly alter temperate reef communities by overgrazing the seaweed forests that underpin them. Such ecological interactions may be mediated by changes to seaweed-associated microbiota in response to warming, but empirical evidence demonstrating this is rare. We experimentally simulated ocean warming and marine heatwaves (MHWs) to quantify effects on two dominant temperate seaweed species and their microbiota, as well as grazing by a tropical herbivore. The kelp Ecklonia radiata's microbiota in sustained warming and MHW treatments was enriched with microorganisms associated with seaweed disease and tissue degradation. In contrast, the fucoid Sargassum linearifolium's microbiota was unaffected by temperature. Consumption by the tropical sea-urchin Tripneustes gratilla was greater on Ecklonia where the microbiota had been altered by higher temperatures, while Sargassum's consumption was unaffected. Elemental traits (carbon, nitrogen), chemical defences (phenolics) and tissue bleaching of both seaweeds were generally unaffected by temperature. Effects of warming and MHWs on seaweed holobionts (host plus its microbiota) are likely species-specific. The effect of increased temperature on Ecklonia's microbiota and subsequent increased consumption suggest that changes to kelp microbiota may underpin kelp-herbivore interactions, providing novel insights into potential mechanisms driving change in species' interactions in warming oceans.

RevDate: 2024-01-16

Li J, Guo A, Huang S, et al (2024)

Outer membrane vesicles produced by coral-associated Vibrio coralliilyticus inhibit bacteriophage infection and its ecological implications.

Microbiological research, 281:127607 pii:S0944-5013(24)00008-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The potential to produce and release outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) is evolutionarily conserved among bacteria, facilitating interactions between microbes. OMV release and its ecological significance have rarely been reported in coral holobionts. Here, via transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we discovered that the coral-associated strain Vibrio coralliilyticus DSM 19607 produced OMVs in culture. OMVs purified from V. coralliilyticus DSM 19607 inhibited the bacteriophage (phage) SBM1 infection of the V. coralliilyticus host, which was impaired by elevated temperature. Observation via TEM showed that sequestrating phages was a potential approach for V. coralliilyticus OMVs protection against phage infection. Furthermore, detection in coral mucus showed that interactions between membrane vesicles and phages potentially occurred in the natural environment. These results imply that OMVs regulate the coral microbiome and may have important implications for our mechanistic understanding of coral health and disease in the face of climate change.

RevDate: 2024-01-12

Pogoreutz C, M Ziegler (2023)

Frenemies on the reef? Resolving the coral-Endozoicomonas association.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(23)00323-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Stony corals are poster child holobionts due to their intimate association with diverse microorganisms from all domains of life. We are only beginning to understand the diverse functions of most of these microbial associates, including potential main contributors to holobiont health and resilience. Among these, bacteria of the elusive genus Endozoicomonas are widely perceived as beneficial symbionts based on their genomic potential and their high prevalence and ubiquitous presence in coral tissues. Simultaneously, evidence of pathogenic and parasitic Endozoicomonas lineages in other marine animals is emerging. Synthesizing the current knowledge on the association of Endozoicomonas with marine holobionts, we challenge the perception of a purely mutualistic coral-Endozoicomonas relationship and propose directions to elucidate its role along the symbiotic spectrum.

RevDate: 2024-01-10

Allentoft ME, Sikora M, Refoyo-Martínez A, et al (2024)

Population genomics of post-glacial western Eurasia.

Nature, 625(7994):301-311.

Western Eurasia witnessed several large-scale human migrations during the Holocene[1-5]. Here, to investigate the cross-continental effects of these migrations, we shotgun-sequenced 317 genomes-mainly from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods-from across northern and western Eurasia. These were imputed alongside published data to obtain diploid genotypes from more than 1,600 ancient humans. Our analyses revealed a 'great divide' genomic boundary extending from the Black Sea to the Baltic. Mesolithic hunter-gatherers were highly genetically differentiated east and west of this zone, and the effect of the neolithization was equally disparate. Large-scale ancestry shifts occurred in the west as farming was introduced, including near-total replacement of hunter-gatherers in many areas, whereas no substantial ancestry shifts happened east of the zone during the same period. Similarly, relatedness decreased in the west from the Neolithic transition onwards, whereas, east of the Urals, relatedness remained high until around 4,000 BP, consistent with the persistence of localized groups of hunter-gatherers. The boundary dissolved when Yamnaya-related ancestry spread across western Eurasia around 5,000 BP, resulting in a second major turnover that reached most parts of Europe within a 1,000-year span. The genetic origin and fate of the Yamnaya have remained elusive, but we show that hunter-gatherers from the Middle Don region contributed ancestry to them. Yamnaya groups later admixed with individuals associated with the Globular Amphora culture before expanding into Europe. Similar turnovers occurred in western Siberia, where we report new genomic data from a 'Neolithic steppe' cline spanning the Siberian forest steppe to Lake Baikal. These prehistoric migrations had profound and lasting effects on the genetic diversity of Eurasian populations.

RevDate: 2024-01-10

Cha J, Kim TG, Bhae E, et al (2024)

Skin microbe-dependent TSLP-ILC2 priming axis in early life is co-opted in allergic inflammation.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(23)00501-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Although early life colonization of commensal microbes contributes to long-lasting immune imprinting in host tissues, little is known regarding the pathophysiological consequences of postnatal microbial tuning of cutaneous immunity. Here, we show that postnatal exposure to specific skin commensal Staphylococcus lentus (S. lentus) promotes the extent of atopic dermatitis (AD)-like inflammation in adults through priming of group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s). Early postnatal skin is dynamically populated by discrete subset of primed ILC2s driven by microbiota-dependent induction of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in keratinocytes. Specifically, the indole-3-aldehyde-producing tryptophan metabolic pathway, shared across Staphylococcus species, is involved in TSLP-mediated ILC2 priming. Furthermore, we demonstrate a critical contribution of the early postnatal S. lentus-TSLP-ILC2 priming axis in facilitating AD-like inflammation that is not replicated by later microbial exposure. Thus, our findings highlight the fundamental role of time-dependent neonatal microbial-skin crosstalk in shaping the threshold of innate type 2 immunity co-opted in adulthood.

RevDate: 2024-01-10

Howe J, Cornwallis CK, AS Griffin (2024)

Conflict-reducing innovations in development enable increased multicellular complexity.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2014):20232466.

Obligately multicellular organisms, where cells can only reproduce as part of the group, have evolved multiple times across the tree of life. Obligate multicellularity has only evolved when clonal groups form by cell division, rather than by cells aggregating, as clonality prevents internal conflict. Yet obligately multicellular organisms still vary greatly in 'multicellular complexity' (the number of cells and cell types): some comprise a few cells and cell types, while others have billions of cells and thousands of types. Here, we test whether variation in multicellular complexity is explained by two conflict-suppressing mechanisms, namely a single-cell bottleneck at the start of development, and a strict separation of germline and somatic cells. Examining the life cycles of 129 lineages of plants, animals, fungi and algae, we show using phylogenetic comparative analyses that an early segregation of the germline stem-cell lineage is key to the evolution of more cell types, driven by a strong correlation in the Metazoa. By contrast, the presence of a strict single-cell bottleneck was not related to either the number of cells or the number of cell types, but was associated with early germline segregation. Our results suggest that segregating the germline earlier in development enabled greater evolutionary innovation, although whether this is a consequence of conflict reduction or other non-conflict effects, such as developmental flexibility, is unclear.

RevDate: 2024-01-08

Pellissier L, Gaudry A, Vilette S, et al (2023)

Comparative metabolomic study of fungal foliar endophytes and their long-lived host Astrocaryum sciophilum: a model for exploring the chemodiversity of host-microbe interactions.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1278745.

INTRODUCTION: In contrast to the dynamics observed in plant/pathogen interactions, endophytic fungi have the capacity to establish enduring associations within their hosts, leading to the development of a mutually beneficial relationship that relies on specialized chemical interactions. Research indicates that the presence of endophytic fungi has the ability to significantly modify the chemical makeup of the host organism. Our hypothesis proposes the existence of a reciprocal exchange of chemical signals between plants and fungi, facilitated by specialized chemical processes that could potentially manifest within the tissues of the host. This research aimed to precisely quantify the portion of the cumulative fungal endophytic community's metabolome detectable within host leaves, and tentatively evaluate its relevance to the host-endophyte interplay. The understory palm Astrocaryum sciophilum (Miq.) Pulle was used as a interesting host plant because of its notable resilience and prolonged life cycle, in a tropical ecosystem.

METHOD: Using advanced metabolome characterization, including UHPLC-HRMS/MS and molecular networking, the study explored enriched metabolomes of both host leaves and 15 endophytic fungi. The intention was to capture a metabolomic "snapshot" of both host and endophytic community, to achieve a thorough and detailed analysis.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: This approach yielded an extended MS-based molecular network, integrating diverse metadata for identifying host- and endophyte-derived metabolites. The exploration of such data (>24000 features in positive ionization mode) enabled effective metabolome comparison, yielding insights into cultivable endophyte chemodiversity and occurrence of common metabolites between the holobiont and its fungal communities. Surprisingly, a minor subset of features overlapped between host leaf and fungal samples despite significant plant metabolome enrichment. This indicated that fungal metabolic signatures produced in vitro remain sparingly detectable in the leaf. Several classes of primary metabolites were possibly shared. Specific fungal metabolites and/or compounds of their chemical classes were only occasionally discernible in the leaf, highlighting endophytes partial contribution to the overall holobiont metabolome. To our knowledge, the metabolomic study of a plant host and its microbiome has rarely been performed in such a comprehensive manner. The general analytical strategy proposed in this paper seems well-adapted for any study in the field of microbial- or microbiome-related MS and can be applied to most host-microbe interactions.

RevDate: 2024-01-04

Wei Y, Chen B, Yu K, et al (2024)

Evolutionary radiation and microbial community dynamics shape the thermal tolerance of Fungiidae in the southern South China Sea.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs are facing significant threats due to global warming. The heat tolerance of coral holobionts depends on both the coral host and its microbiome. However, the association between coral evolutionary radiation and interspecific differences in microbial communities remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of evolutionary radiation and microbial community dynamics in shaping the thermal acclimation potential of Fungiidae in the Sanjiao Reef of the southern South China Sea. The study's results suggest that evolutionary radiation enhances the thermal tolerance of Fungiidae. Fungiidae species that have diverged more recently have exhibited a higher presence of heat-tolerant Symbiodiniaceae taxa, more stable bacterial communities, and a robust and resilient microbial interaction network, improving the thermal adaptability of Fungiidae. In summary, this study provides new insights into the thermal adaptation patterns of corals under global warming conditions.

RevDate: 2023-12-28

Khurana MP, Scheidwasser-Clow N, Penn MJ, et al (2023)

The limits of the constant-rate birth-death prior for phylogenetic tree topology inference.

Systematic biology pii:7503331 [Epub ahead of print].

Birth-death models are stochastic processes describing speciation and extinction through time and across taxa, and are widely used in biology for inference of evolutionary timescales. Previous research has highlighted how the expected trees under the constant-rate birth-death (crBD) model tend to differ from empirical trees, for example with respect to the amount of phylogenetic imbalance. However, our understanding of how trees differ between the crBD model and the signal in empirical data remains incomplete. In this Point of View, we aim to expose the degree to which the crBD model differs from empirically inferred phylogenies and test the limits of the model in practice. Using a wide range of topology indices to compare crBD expectations against a comprehensive dataset of 1189 empirically estimated trees, we confirm that crBD model trees frequently differ topologically compared with empirical trees. To place this in the context of standard practice in the field, we conducted a meta-analysis for a subset of the empirical studies. When comparing studies that used Bayesian methods and crBD priors with those that used other non-crBD priors and non-Bayesian methods (i.e., maximum likelihood methods), we do not find any significant differences in tree topology inferences. To scrutinize this finding for the case of highly imbalanced trees, we selected the 100 trees with the greatest imbalance from our dataset, simulated sequence data for these tree topologies under various evolutionary rates, and re-inferred the trees under maximum likelihood and using the crBD model in a Bayesian setting. We find that when the substitution rate is low, the crBD prior results in overly balanced trees, but the tendency is negligible when substitution rates are sufficiently high. Overall, our findings demonstrate the general robustness of crBD priors across a broad range of phylogenetic inference scenarios, but also highlights that empirically observed phylogenetic imbalance is highly improbable under the crBD model, leading to systematic bias in data sets with limited information content.

RevDate: 2023-12-27

Bauermeister A, Furtado LC, Ferreira EG, et al (2023)

Chemical and microbial diversity of a tropical intertidal ascidian holobiont.

Marine environmental research, 194:106303 pii:S0141-1136(23)00431-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The tropical ascidian Eudistoma vannamei, endemic to the northeastern coast of Brazil, is considered a prolific source of secondary metabolites and hosts Actinomycetota that produce bioactive compounds. Herein, we used an omics approach to study the ascidian as a holobiont, including the microbial diversity through 16S rRNA gene sequencing and metabolite production using mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. Gene sequencing analysis revealed all samples of E. vannamei shared about 50% of the observed ASVs, and Pseudomonadota (50.7%), Planctomycetota (9.58%), Actinomycetota (10.34%), Bacteroidota (12.05%) were the most abundant bacterial phyla. Analysis of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) data allowed annotation of compounds, including phospholipids, amino acids, and pyrimidine alkaloids, such as staurosporine, a member of a well-known chemical class recognized as a microbial metabolite. Isolated bacteria, mainly belonging to Streptomyces and Micromonospora genera, were cultivated and extracted with ethyl acetate. MS/MS analysis of bacterial extracts allowed annotation of compounds not detected in the ascidian tissue, including marineosin and dihydroergotamine, yielding about 30% overlapped ions between host and isolated bacteria. This study reveals E. vannamei as a rich source of microbial and chemical diversity and, furthermore, highlights the importance of omic tools for a comprehensive investigation of holobiont systems.

RevDate: 2023-12-26

Boonmak C, Kettongruang S, Buranathong B, et al (2023)

Duckweed-associated bacteria as plant growth-promotor to enhance growth of Spirodela polyrhiza in wastewater effluent from a poultry farm.

Archives of microbiology, 206(1):43.

Duckweed has been highlighted as an invaluable resource because of its abilities to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater coupling with the production of high starch/protein-containing plant biomass. Duckweed recruits microbes and particularly forms a stable "core" bacterial microbiota, which greatly reduces the colonization efficiency of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB). In this study, natural duckweeds were enriched in a sterilized-partially treated wastewater effluent from a poultry farm. After 24 days of cultivation, the duckweed-associated bacteria (DAB) were isolated and evaluated for their plant growth-promoting (PGP) potentials by co-cultivation with axenic Spirodela polyrhiza. Ten species were found in more than one location and could be considered candidates for the stable "core" DAB. Among them, all isolates of Acinetobacter soli, Acidovorax kalamii, Brevundimonas vesicularis, Pseudomonas toyotomiensis, and Shinella curvata increased duckweed growth in Hoagland medium. The highest PGP ability was observed in Sh. curvata W12-8 (with EPG value of 208.72%), followed by Paracoccus marcusii W7-16 (171.31%), Novosphingobium subterraneum W5-13 (156.96%), and Ac. kalamii W7-18 (156.96%). However, the highest growth promotion in the wastewater was observed when co-cultured with W7-16, which was able to increase biomass dry weight and root length of duckweed by 3.17 and 2.26 folds, respectively.

RevDate: 2023-12-25

Clerissi C, Huot C, Portet A, et al (2023)

Covariation between microeukaryotes and bacteria associated with Planorbidae snails.

PeerJ, 11:e16639.

BACKGROUND: Microbial communities associated with macroorganisms might affect host physiology and homeostasis. Bacteria are well studied in this context, but the diversity of microeukaryotes, as well as covariations with bacterial communities, remains almost unknown.

METHODS: To study microeukaryotic communities associated with Planorbidae snails, we developed a blocking primer to reduce amplification of host DNA during metabarcoding analyses. Analyses of alpha and beta diversities were computed to describe microeukaryotes and bacteria using metabarcoding of 18S and 16S rRNA genes, respectively.

RESULTS: Only three phyla (Amoebozoa, Opisthokonta and Alveolata) were dominant for microeukaryotes. Bacteria were more diverse with five dominant phyla (Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Tenericutes, Planctomycetes and Actinobacteria). The composition of microeukaryotes and bacteria were correlated for the Biomphalaria glabrata species, but not for Planorbarius metidjensis. Network analysis highlighted clusters of covarying taxa. Among them, several links might reflect top-down control of bacterial populations by microeukaryotes, but also possible competition between microeukaryotes having opposite distributions (Lobosa and Ichthyosporea). The role of these taxa remains unknown, but we believe that the blocking primer developed herein offers new possibilities to study the hidden diversity of microeukaryotes within snail microbiota, and to shed light on their underestimated interactions with bacteria and hosts.

RevDate: 2023-12-23

Machado ACHR, Marinheiro LJ, Benson HAE, et al (2023)

A Novel Handrub Tablet Loaded with Pre- and Post-Biotic Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Combining Virucidal Activity and Maintenance of the Skin Barrier and Microbiome.

Pharmaceutics, 15(12): pii:pharmaceutics15122793.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop a holobiont tablet with rapid dispersibility to provide regulation of the microbiota, virucidal activity, and skin barrier protection.

METHODS: A 2[3] factorial experiment was planned to define the best formulation for the development of the base tablet, using average weight, hardness, dimensions, swelling rate, and disintegration time as parameters to be analyzed. To produce holobiont tablets, the chosen base formulation was fabricated by direct compression of prebiotics, postbiotics, and excipients. The tablets also incorporated solid lipid nanoparticles containing postbiotics that were obtained by high-pressure homogenization and freeze-drying. The in vitro virucidal activity against alpha-coronavirus particles (CCoV-VR809) was determined in VERO cell culture. In vitro analysis, using monolayer cells and human equivalent skin, was performed by rRTq-PCR to determine the expression of interleukins 1, 6, 8, and 17, aquaporin-3, involucrin, filaggrin, FoxO3, and SIRT-1. Antioxidant activity and collagen-1 synthesis were also performed in fibroblast cells. Metagenomic analysis of the skin microbiome was determined in vivo before and after application of the holobiont tablet, during one week of continuous use, and compared to the use of alcohol gel. Samples were analyzed by sequencing the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene.

RESULTS: A handrub tablet with rapid dispersibility was developed for topical use and rinse off. After being defined as safe, the virucidal activity was found to be equal to or greater than that of 70% alcohol, with a reduction in interleukins and maintenance or improvement of skin barrier gene markers, in addition to the reestablishment of the skin microbiota after use.

CONCLUSIONS: The holobiont tablets were able to improve the genetic markers related to the skin barrier and also its microbiota, thereby being more favorable for use as a hand sanitizer than 70% alcohol.

RevDate: 2023-12-22

Boggio GM, Monteiro HF, Lima FS, et al (2023)

Host and rumen microbiome contributions to feed efficiency traits in Holstein cows.

Journal of dairy science pii:S0022-0302(23)02007-6 [Epub ahead of print].

It is now widely accepted that dairy cow performance is influenced by both the host genome and rumen microbiome composition. The contributions of the genome and the microbiome to the phenotypes of interest are quantified by heritability (h[2]) and microbiability (m[2]), respectively. However, if the genome and microbiome are included in the model, then the heritability reflects only the contribution of the direct genetic effects quantified as direct heritability (hd[2]), and the holobiont effect reflects the joint action of the genome and the microbiome, quantified as the holobiability (ho[2]). The objectives of this study were to estimate h[2], hd[2],m[2], and ho[2] for dry matter intake, milk energy, and residual feed intake; and to evaluate the predictive ability of different models, including genome, microbiome, and their interaction. Data consisted of feed efficiency records, SNP genotype data, and 16S rRNA rumen microbial abundances from 448 mid-lactation Holstein cows from 2 research farms. Three kernel models were fit to each trait: one with only the genomic effect (model G), one with the genomic and microbiome effects (model GM), and one with the genomic, microbiome, and interaction effects (model GMO). The model GMO, or holobiont model, showed the best goodness-of-fit. The hd[2] estimates were always 10 to 15% lower than h[2] estimates for all traits, suggesting a mediated genetic effect through the rumen microbiome, and m[2] estimates were moderate for all traits, and up to 26% for milk energy. The ho[2] was greater than the sum of hd[2] and m[2], suggesting that the genome-by-microbiome interaction had a sizeable effect on feed efficiency. Kernel models fitting the rumen microbiome, i.e., models GM and GMO, showed larger predictive correlations and smaller prediction bias than the model G. These findings reveal a moderate contribution of the rumen microbiome to feed efficiency traits in lactating Holstein cows and strongly suggest that the rumen microbiome mediates part of the host genetic effect.

RevDate: 2023-12-22

Barker T, Bulling M, Thomas V, et al (2023)

The Effect of Pollen on Coral Health.

Biology, 12(12): pii:biology12121469.

Corals are facing a range of threats, including rises in sea surface temperature and ocean acidification. Some now argue that keeping corals ex situ (in aquaria), may be not only important but necessary to prevent local extinction, for example in the Florida Reef Tract. Such collections or are already becoming common place, especially in the Caribbean, and may act as an ark, preserving and growing rare or endangered species in years to come. However, corals housed in aquaria face their own unique set of threats. For example, hobbyists (who have housed corals for decades) have noticed seasonal mortality is commonplace, incidentally following months of peak pollen production. So, could corals suffer from hay fever? If so, what does the future hold? In short, the answer to the first question is simple, and it is no, corals cannot suffer from hay fever, primarily because corals lack an adaptive immune system, which is necessary for the diagnosis of such an allergy. However, the threat from pollen could still be real. In this review, we explore how such seasonal mortality could play out. We explore increases in reactive oxygen species, the role of additional nutrients and how the microbiome of the pollen may introduce disease or cause dysbiosis in the holobiont.

RevDate: 2023-12-22

Troitsky TS, Laine VN, TM Lilley (2023)

When the host's away, the pathogen will play: the protective role of the skin microbiome during hibernation.

Animal microbiome, 5(1):66.

The skin of animals is enveloped by a symbiotic microscopic ecosystem known as the microbiome. The host and microbiome exhibit a mutualistic relationship, collectively forming a single evolutionary unit sometimes referred to as a holobiont. Although the holobiome theory highlights the importance of the microbiome, little is known about how the skin microbiome contributes to protecting the host. Existing studies focus on humans or captive animals, but research in wild animals is in its infancy. Specifically, the protective role of the skin microbiome in hibernating animals remains almost entirely overlooked. This is surprising, considering the massive population declines in hibernating North American bats caused by the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome. Hibernation offers a unique setting in which to study the function of the microbiome because, during torpor, the host's immune system becomes suppressed, making it susceptible to infection. We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature on the protective role of the skin microbiome in non-human animals. We selected 230 publications that mentioned pathogen inhibition by microbes residing on the skin of the host animal. We found that the majority of studies were conducted in North America and focused on the bacterial microbiome of amphibians infected by the chytrid fungus. Despite mentioning pathogen inhibition by the skin microbiome, only 30.4% of studies experimentally tested the actual antimicrobial activity of symbionts. Additionally, only 7.8% of all publications studied defensive cutaneous symbionts during hibernation. With this review, we want to highlight the knowledge gap surrounding skin microbiome research in hibernating animals. For instance, research looking to mitigate the effects of white-nose syndrome in bats should focus on the antifungal microbiome of Palearctic bats, as they survive exposure to the Pseudogymnoascus destructans -pathogen during hibernation. We also recommend future studies prioritize lesser-known microbial symbionts, such as fungi, and investigate the effects of a combination of anti-pathogen microbes, as both areas of research show promise as probiotic treatments. By incorporating the protective skin microbiome into disease mitigation strategies, conservation efforts can be made more effective.

RevDate: 2023-12-20

Lee JH (2023)

Host-Microbe Interactions Regulate Intestinal Stem Cells and Tissue Turnover in Drosophila.

International journal of stem cells pii:ijsc23172 [Epub ahead of print].

With the activity of intestinal stem cells and continuous turnover, the gut epithelium is one of the most dynamic tissues in animals. Due to its simple yet conserved tissue structure and enteric cell composition as well as advanced genetic and histologic techniques, Drosophila serves as a valuable model system for investigating the regulation of intestinal stem cells. The Drosophila gut epithelium is in constant contact with indigenous microbiota and encounters externally introduced "non-self" substances, including foodborne pathogens. Therefore, in addition to its role in digestion and nutrient absorption, another essential function of the gut epithelium is to control the expansion of microbes while maintaining its structural integrity, necessitating a tissue turnover process involving intestinal stem cell activity. As a result, the microbiome and pathogens serve as important factors in regulating intestinal tissue turnover. In this manuscript, I discuss crucial discoveries revealing the interaction between gut microbes and the host's innate immune system, closely associated with the regulation of intestinal stem cell proliferation and differentiation, ultimately contributing to epithelial homeostasis.

RevDate: 2023-12-14

Lin AT, Hammond-Kaarremaa L, Liu HL, et al (2023)

The history of Coast Salish "woolly dogs" revealed by ancient genomics and Indigenous Knowledge.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 382(6676):1303-1308.

Ancestral Coast Salish societies in the Pacific Northwest kept long-haired "woolly dogs" that were bred and cared for over millennia. However, the dog wool-weaving tradition declined during the 19th century, and the population was lost. In this study, we analyzed genomic and isotopic data from a preserved woolly dog pelt from "Mutton," collected in 1859. Mutton is the only known example of an Indigenous North American dog with dominant precolonial ancestry postdating the onset of settler colonialism. We identified candidate genetic variants potentially linked with their distinct woolly phenotype. We integrated these data with interviews from Coast Salish Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and weavers about shared traditional knowledge and memories surrounding woolly dogs, their importance within Coast Salish societies, and how colonial policies led directly to their disappearance.

RevDate: 2023-12-13

Toullec G, Lyndby NH, Banc-Prandi G, et al (2023)

Symbiotic nutrient exchange enhances the long-term survival of cassiosomes, the autonomous stinging-cell structures of Cassiopea.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

The upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea releases autonomous tissue structures, which are a major cause of contactless stinging incidents in (sub-) tropical coastal waters. These so-called cassiosomes frequently harbor algal symbionts, yet their role in cassiosome functioning and survival is unknown. Our results show that cassiosomes are metabolically active and supported by algal symbionts. Algal photosynthesis enhances the cassiosomes long-term survival in the light. This functional understanding of cassiosomes thereby contributes to explaining the prevalence of contactless stinging incidents and the ecological success of some Cassiopea species. Finally, we show that cassiosomes are miniaturized symbiotic holobionts that can be used to study host-microbe interactions in a simplified system.

RevDate: 2023-12-12

Montaño-Salazar S, Quintanilla E, JA Sánchez (2023)

Microbial shifts associated to ENSO-derived thermal anomalies reveal coral acclimation at holobiont level.

Scientific reports, 13(1):22049.

The coral microbiome conforms a proxy to study effects of changing environmental conditions. However, scarce information exists regarding microbiome dynamics and host acclimation in response to environmental changes associated to global-scale disturbances. We assessed El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-derived thermal anomalies shifts in the bacterial microbiome of Pacifigorgia cairnsi (Gorgoniidae: Octocorallia) from the remote island of Malpelo in the Tropical Eastern Pacific. Malpelo is a hot spot of biodiversity and lacks direct coastal anthropogenic impacts. We evaluated the community composition and predicted functional profiles of the microbiome during 2015, 2017 and 2018, including different phases of ENSO cycle. The bacterial community diversity and composition between the warming and cooling phase were similar, but differed from the neutral phase. Relative abundances of different microbiome core members such as Endozoicomonas and Mycoplasma mainly drove these differences. An acclimated coral holobiont is suggested not just to warm but also to cold stress by embracing similar microbiome shifts and functional redundancy that allow maintaining coral's viability under thermal stress. Responses of the microbiome of unperturbed sea fans such as P. cairnsi in Malpelo could be acting as an extended phenotype facilitating the acclimation at the holobiont level.

RevDate: 2023-12-12

Penn MJ, Scheidwasser N, Penn J, et al (2023)

Leaping through tree space: continuous phylogenetic inference for rooted and unrooted trees.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7471525 [Epub ahead of print].

Phylogenetics is now fundamental in life sciences, providing insights into the earliest branches of life and the origins and spread of epidemics. However, finding suitable phylogenies from the vast space of possible trees remains challenging. To address this problem, for the first time, we perform both tree exploration and inference in a continuous space where the computation of gradients is possible. This continuous relaxation allows for major leaps across tree space in both rooted and unrooted trees, and is less susceptible to convergence to local minima. Our approach outperforms the current best methods for inference on unrooted trees and, in simulation, accurately infers the tree and root in ultrametric cases. The approach is effective in cases of empirical data with negligible amounts of data, which we demonstrate on the phylogeny of jawed vertebrates. Indeed, only a few genes with an ultrametric signal were generally sufficient for resolving the major lineages of vertebrates. Optimisation is possible via automatic differentiation and our method presents an effective way forwards for exploring the most difficult, data-deficient phylogenetic questions.

RevDate: 2023-12-11

Reeve AH, Kennedy JD, Pujolar JM, et al (2023)

The formation of the Indo-Pacific montane avifauna.

Nature communications, 14(1):8215.

The processes generating the earth's montane biodiversity remain a matter of debate. Two contrasting hypotheses have been advanced to explain how montane populations form: via direct colonization from other mountains, or, alternatively, via upslope range shifts from adjacent lowland areas. We seek to reconcile these apparently conflicting hypotheses by asking whether a species' ancestral geographic origin determines its mode of mountain colonization. Island-dwelling passerine birds at the faunal crossroads between Eurasia and Australo-Papua provide an ideal study system. We recover the phylogenetic relationships of the region's montane species and reconstruct their ancestral geographic ranges, elevational ranges, and migratory behavior. We also perform genomic population studies of three super-dispersive montane species/clades with broad island distributions. Eurasian-origin species populated archipelagos via direct colonization between mountains. This mode of colonization appears related to ancestral adaptations to cold and seasonal climates, specifically short-distance migration. Australo-Papuan-origin mountain populations, by contrast, evolved from lowland ancestors, and highland distribution mostly precludes their further colonization of island mountains. Our study explains much of the distributional variation within a complex biological system, and provides a synthesis of two seemingly discordant hypotheses for montane community formation.

RevDate: 2023-12-11

Aguirre EG, Fine MJ, CD Kenkel (2023)

Abundance of Oligoflexales bacteria is associated with algal symbiont density, independent of thermal stress in Aiptasia anemones.

Ecology and evolution, 13(12):e10805.

Many multicellular organisms, such as humans, plants, and invertebrates, depend on symbioses with microbes for metabolic cooperation and exchange. Reef-building corals, an ecologically important order of invertebrates, are particularly vulnerable to environmental stress in part because of their nutritive symbiosis with dinoflagellate algae, and yet also benefit from these and other microbial associations. While coral microbiomes remain difficult to study because of their complexity, the anemone Aiptasia is emerging as a simplified model. Research has demonstrated co-occurrences between microbiome composition and the abundance and type of algal symbionts in cnidarians. However, whether these patterns are the result of general stress-induced shifts or depletions of algal-associated bacteria remains unclear. Our study aimed to distinguish the effect of changes in symbiont density and thermal stress on the microbiome of symbiotic Aiptasia strain CC7 by comparing them with aposymbiotic anemones, depleted of their native symbiont, Symbiodinium linucheae. Our analysis indicated that overall thermal stress had the greatest impact on disrupting the microbiome. We found that three bacterial classes made up most of the relative abundance (60%-85%) in all samples, but the rare microbiome fluctuated between symbiotic states and following thermal stress. We also observed that S. linucheae density correlated with abundance of Oligoflexales, suggesting these bacteria may be primary symbionts of the dinoflagellate algae. The findings of this study help expand knowledge on prospective multipartite symbioses in the cnidarian holobiont and how they respond to environmental disturbance.

RevDate: 2023-12-10

Bonacolta AM, Miravall J, Gómez-Gras D, et al (2023)

Differential apicomplexan presence predicts thermal stress mortality in the Mediterranean coral Paramuricea clavata.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Paramuricea clavata is an ecosystem architect of the Mediterranean temperate reefs that is currently threatened by episodic mass mortality events related to global warming. The microbiome may play an active role in the thermal stress susceptibility of corals, potentially holding the answer as to why corals show differential sensitivity to heat stress. To investigate this, the prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbiome of P. clavata collected from around the Mediterranean was characterised before experimental heat stress to determine if its microbial composition influences the thermal response of the holobiont. We found that members of P. clavata's microeukaryotic community were significantly correlated with thermal stress sensitivity. Syndiniales from the Dino-Group I Clade 1 were significantly enriched in thermally resistant corals, while the apicomplexan corallicolids were significantly enriched in thermally susceptible corals. We hypothesise that P. clavata mortality following heat stress may be caused by a shift from apparent commensalism to parasitism in the corallicolid-coral host relationship driven by the added stress. Our results show the potential importance of corallicolids and the rest of the microeukaryotic community of corals to understanding thermal stress response in corals and provide a useful tool to guide conservation efforts and future research into coral-associated microeukaryotes.

RevDate: 2023-12-10

Valadez-Cano C, Olivares-Hernández R, Espino-Vázquez AN, et al (2023)

Genome-Scale Model of Rhizopus microsporus: Metabolic integration of a fungal holobiont with its bacterial and viral endosymbionts.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Rhizopus microsporus often lives in association with bacterial and viral symbionts that alter its biology. This fungal model represents an example of the complex interactions established among diverse organisms in functional holobionts. We constructed a Genome-Scale Model (GSM) of the fungal-bacterial-viral holobiont (iHol). We employed a constraint-based method to calculate the metabolic fluxes to decipher the metabolic interactions of the symbionts with their host. Our computational analyses of iHol simulate the holobiont's growth and the production of the toxin rhizoxin. Analyses of the calculated fluxes between R. microsporus in symbiotic (iHol) versus asymbiotic conditions suggest that changes in the lipid and nucleotide metabolism of the host are necessary for the functionality of the holobiont. Glycerol plays a pivotal role in the fungal-bacterial metabolic interaction, as its production does not compromise fungal growth, and Mycetohabitans bacteria can efficiently consume it. Narnavirus RmNV-20S and RmNV-23S affected the nucleotide metabolism without impacting the fungal-bacterial symbiosis. Our analyses highlighted the metabolic stability of Mycetohabitans throughout its co-evolution with the fungal host. We also predicted changes in reactions of the bacterial metabolism required for the active production of rhizoxin. This iHol is the first GSM of a fungal holobiont.

RevDate: 2023-12-07

Dungan AM, Geissler L, Williams AS, et al (2023)

DNA from non-viable bacteria biases diversity estimates in the corals Acropora loripes and Pocillopora acuta.

Environmental microbiome, 18(1):86.

BACKGROUND: Nucleic acid-based analytical methods have greatly expanded our understanding of global prokaryotic diversity, yet standard metabarcoding methods provide no information on the most fundamental physiological state of bacteria, viability. Scleractinian corals harbour a complex microbiome in which bacterial symbionts play critical roles in maintaining health and functioning of the holobiont. However, the coral holobiont contains both dead and living bacteria. The former can be the result of corals feeding on bacteria, rapid swings from hyper- to hypoxic conditions in the coral tissue, the presence of antimicrobial compounds in coral mucus, and an abundance of lytic bacteriophages.

RESULTS: By combining propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment with high-throughput sequencing on six coral species (Acropora loripes, A. millepora, A. kenti, Platygyra daedalea, Pocillopora acuta, and Porites lutea) we were able to obtain information on bacterial communities with little noise from non-viable microbial DNA. Metabarcoding of the 16S rRNA gene showed significantly higher community evenness (85%) and species diversity (31%) in untreated compared with PMA-treated tissue for A. loripes only. While PMA-treated coral did not differ significantly from untreated samples in terms of observed number of ASVs, > 30% of ASVs were identified in untreated samples only, suggesting that they originated from cell-free/non-viable DNA. Further, the bacterial community structure was significantly different between PMA-treated and untreated samples for A. loripes and P. acuta indicating that DNA from non-viable microbes can bias community composition data in coral species with low bacterial diversity.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study is highly relevant to microbiome studies on coral and other host organisms as it delivers a solution to excluding non-viable DNA in a complex community. These results provide novel insights into the dynamic nature of host-associated microbiomes and underline the importance of applying versatile tools in the analysis of metabarcoding or next-generation sequencing data sets.

RevDate: 2023-12-07

Femerling G, van Oosterhout C, Feng S, et al (2023)

Genetic Load and Adaptive Potential of a Recovered Avian Species that Narrowly Avoided Extinction.

Molecular biology and evolution, 40(12):.

High genetic diversity is a good predictor of long-term population viability, yet some species persevere despite having low genetic diversity. Here we study the genomic erosion of the Seychelles paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone corvina), a species that narrowly avoided extinction after having declined to 28 individuals in the 1960s. The species recovered unassisted to over 250 individuals in the 1990s and was downlisted from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List in 2020. By comparing historical, prebottleneck (130+ years old) and modern genomes, we uncovered a 10-fold loss of genetic diversity. Highly deleterious mutations were partly purged during the bottleneck, but mildly deleterious mutations accumulated. The genome shows signs of historical inbreeding during the bottleneck in the 1960s, but low levels of recent inbreeding after demographic recovery. Computer simulations suggest that the species long-term small Ne reduced the masked genetic load and made the species more resilient to inbreeding and extinction. However, the reduction in genetic diversity due to the chronically small Ne and the severe bottleneck is likely to have reduced the species adaptive potential to face environmental change, which together with a higher load, compromises its long-term population viability. Thus, small ancestral Ne offers short-term bottleneck resilience but hampers long-term adaptability to environmental shifts. In light of rapid global rates of population decline, our work shows that species can continue to suffer the effect of their decline even after recovery, highlighting the importance of considering genomic erosion and computer modeling in conservation assessments.

RevDate: 2023-12-06

Sedney CJ, ET Harvill (2023)

Making friends: active selection of symbionts and rejection of pathogens by the neonatal immune system.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1287518.

The neonatal immune system is generally viewed as deficient compared to adults, often attributed to its incomplete development. This view is reinforced by the extraordinary sensitivity and susceptibility of neonates to certain pathogens. Examination of the basis for this susceptibility has characterized neonatal immunity as skewed strongly toward anti-inflammatory responses, which are interpreted as the lack of full development of the strong inflammatory responses observed in adults. Here we examine the alternative explanation that neonatal immune responses are generally complete in healthy newborns but evolved and adapted to very different functions than adult immunity. Adult immunity is primarily aimed at controlling pathogens that invade the holobiont, with substantial competition and protection conferred by resident microbiota. Rather than simply repelling new invaders, the immediate and critical challenge of the neonatal immune system during the sudden transition from near sterility to microbe-rich world is the assimilation of a complex microbiota to generate a stable and healthy holobiont. This alternative view of the role of the neonatal immune system both explains its strong anti-inflammatory bias and provides a different perspective on its other unique aspects. Here we discuss recent work exploring the initial contact of newborns with microbes and their interactions with neonatal immune responses, contrasting these alternative perspectives. Understanding how the need to rapidly acquire a highly complex and rich microbiota of commensals affects interactions between the neonatal immune system and both commensals and pathogens will allow more targeted and effective collaboration with this system to quickly achieve a more disease-resistant holobiont.

RevDate: 2023-12-05

Prioux C, Tignat-Perrier R, Gervais O, et al (2023)

Unveiling microbiome changes in Mediterranean octocorals during the 2022 marine heatwaves: quantifying key bacterial symbionts and potential pathogens.

Microbiome, 11(1):271.

BACKGROUND: Climate change has accelerated the occurrence and severity of heatwaves in the Mediterranean Sea and poses a significant threat to the octocoral species that form the foundation of marine animal forests (MAFs). As coral health intricately relies on the symbiotic relationships established between corals and microbial communities, our goal was to gain a deeper understanding of the role of bacteria in the observed tissue loss of key octocoral species following the unprecedented heatwaves in 2022.

RESULTS: Using amplicon sequencing and taxon-specific qPCR analyses, we unexpectedly found that the absolute abundance of the major bacterial symbionts, Spirochaetaceae (C. rubrum) and Endozoicomonas (P. clavata), remained, in most cases, unchanged between colonies with 0% and 90% tissue loss. These results suggest that the impairment of coral health was not due to the loss of the main bacterial symbionts. However, we observed a significant increase in the total abundance of bacterial opportunists, including putative pathogens such as Vibrio, which was not evident when only their relative abundance was considered. In addition, there was no clear relation between bacterial symbiont loss and the intensity of thermal stress, suggesting that factors other than temperature may have influenced the differential response of octocoral microbiomes at different sampling sites.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that tissue loss in octocorals is not directly caused by the decline of the main bacterial symbionts but by the proliferation of opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria. Our findings thus underscore the significance of considering both relative and absolute quantification approaches when evaluating the impact of stressors on coral microbiome as the relative quantification does not accurately depict the actual changes in the microbiome. Consequently, this research enhances our comprehension of the intricate interplay between host organisms, their microbiomes, and environmental stressors, while offering valuable insights into the ecological implications of heatwaves on marine animal forests. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-12-04

Pepke ML (2023)

Telomere length is not a useful tool for chronological age estimation in animals.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomeres are short repetitive DNA sequences capping the ends of chromosomes. Telomere shortening occurs during cell division and may be accelerated by oxidative damage or ameliorated by telomere maintenance mechanisms. Consequently, telomere length changes with age, which was recently confirmed in a large meta-analysis across vertebrates. However, based on the correlation between telomere length and age, it was concluded that telomere length can be used as a tool for chronological age estimation in animals. Correlation should not be confused with predictability, and the current data and studies suggest that telomeres cannot be used to reliably predict individual chronological age. There are biological reasons for why there is large individual variation in telomere dynamics, which is mainly due to high susceptibility to a wide range of environmental, but also genetic factors, rendering telomeres unfeasible as a tool for age estimation. The use of telomeres for chronological age estimation is largely a misguided effort, but its occasional reappearance in the literature raises concerns that it will mislead resources in wildlife conservation.

RevDate: 2023-12-04

Ghoul M, Andersen SB, Marvig RL, et al (2023)

Long-term evolution of antibiotic tolerance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections.

Evolution letters, 7(6):389-400.

Pathogenic bacteria respond to antibiotic pressure with the evolution of resistance but survival can also depend on their ability to tolerate antibiotic treatment, known as tolerance. While a variety of resistance mechanisms and underlying genetics are well characterized in vitro and in vivo, an understanding of the evolution of tolerance, and how it interacts with resistance in situ is lacking. We assayed for tolerance and resistance in isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from chronic cystic fibrosis lung infections spanning up to 40 years of evolution, with 3 clinically relevant antibiotics: meropenem, ciprofloxacin, and tobramycin. We present evidence that tolerance is under positive selection in the lung and that it can act as an evolutionary stepping stone to resistance. However, by examining evolutionary patterns across multiple patients in different clone types, a key result is that the potential for an association between the evolution of resistance and tolerance is not inevitable, and difficult to predict.

RevDate: 2023-12-04

Wang L, George TS, G Feng (2023)

Concepts and consequences of the hyphosphere core microbiome for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal fitness and function.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi-associated hyphosphere microbiomes can be considered as the second genome of the mycorrhizal phosphorus uptake pathway. Their composition can be thought of as a stably recurring component of a holobiont, defined by the hyphosphere core microbiome, which is thought to benefit AM fungal fitness. Here, we review evidence indicating the existence of the hyphosphere core microbiome, highlight its functions linked to those functions lacking in AM fungi, and further explore the mechanisms by which different core members ensure their stable coexistence. We conclude that deciphering and utilizing the hyphosphere core microbiome provides an entry point for understanding the complex interactions among plants, AM fungi, and bacteria.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Mauduit M, Derrien M, Grenier M, et al (2023)

In Situ Capture and Real-Time Enrichment of Marine Chemical Diversity.

ACS central science, 9(11):2084-2095.

Analyzing the chemical composition of seawater to understand its influence on ecosystem functions is a long-lasting challenge due to the inherent complexity and dynamic nature of marine environments. Describing the intricate chemistry of seawater requires optimal in situ sampling. Here is presented a novel underwater hand-held solid-phase extraction device, I-SMEL (In Situ Marine moleculELogger), which aims to concentrate diluted molecules from large volumes of seawater in a delimited zone targeting keystone benthic species. Marine benthic holobionts, such as sponges, can impact the chemical composition of their surroundings possibly through the production and release of their specialized metabolites, hence termed exometabolites (EMs). I-SMEL was deployed in a sponge-dominated Mediterranean ecosystem at a 15 m depth. Untargeted MS-based metabolomics was performed on enriched EM extracts and showed (1) the chemical diversity of enriched seawater metabolites and (2) reproducible recovery and enrichment of specialized sponge EMs such as aerothionin, demethylfurospongin-4, and longamide B methyl ester. These EMs constitute the chemical identity of each targeted species: Aplysina cavernicola, Spongia officinalis, and Agelas oroides, respectively. I-SMEL concentrated sponge EMs from 10 L of water in a 10 min sampling time. The present proof of concept with I-SMEL opens new research perspectives in marine chemical ecology and sets the stage for further sustainable efforts in natural product chemistry.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Romanenko SA, Kliver SF, Serdyukova NA, et al (2023)

Integration of fluorescence in situ hybridization and chromosome-length genome assemblies revealed synteny map for guinea pig, naked mole-rat, and human.

Scientific reports, 13(1):21055.

Descriptions of karyotypes of many animal species are currently available. In addition, there has been a significant increase in the number of sequenced genomes and an ever-improving quality of genome assembly. To close the gap between genomic and cytogenetic data we applied fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and Hi-C technology to make the first full chromosome-level genome comparison of the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), and human. Comparative chromosome maps obtained by FISH with chromosome-specific probes link genomic scaffolds to individual chromosomes and orient them relative to centromeres and heterochromatic blocks. Hi-C assembly made it possible to close all gaps on the comparative maps and to reveal additional rearrangements that distinguish the karyotypes of the three species. As a result, we integrated the bioinformatic and cytogenetic data and adjusted the previous comparative maps and genome assemblies of the guinea pig, naked mole-rat, and human. Syntenic associations in the two hystricomorphs indicate features of their putative ancestral karyotype. We postulate that the two approaches applied in this study complement one another and provide complete information about the organization of these genomes at the chromosome level.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Cardoni M, J Mercado-Blanco (2023)

Confronting stresses affecting olive cultivation from the holobiont perspective.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1261754.

The holobiont concept has revolutionized our understanding of plant-associated microbiomes and their significance for the development, fitness, growth and resilience of their host plants. The olive tree holds an iconic status within the Mediterranean Basin. Innovative changes introduced in olive cropping systems, driven by the increasing demand of its derived products, are not only modifying the traditional landscape of this relevant commodity but may also imply that either traditional or emerging stresses can affect it in ways yet to be thoroughly investigated. Incomplete information is currently available about the impact of abiotic and biotic pressures on the olive holobiont, what includes the specific features of its associated microbiome in relation to the host's structural, chemical, genetic and physiological traits. This comprehensive review consolidates the existing knowledge about stress factors affecting olive cultivation and compiles the information available of the microbiota associated with different olive tissues and organs. We aim to offer, based on the existing evidence, an insightful perspective of diverse stressing factors that may disturb the structure, composition and network interactions of the olive-associated microbial communities, underscoring the importance to adopt a more holistic methodology. The identification of knowledge gaps emphasizes the need for multilevel research approaches and to consider the holobiont conceptual framework in future investigations. By doing so, more powerful tools to promote olive's health, productivity and resilience can be envisaged. These tools may assist in the designing of more sustainable agronomic practices and novel breeding strategies to effectively face evolving environmental challenges and the growing demand of high quality food products.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Shimpi GG, De la Vega P, B Bentlage (2023)

Complete genome sequence of Brachybacterium sp. GU-2 (Actinomycetota), isolated from the massive coral Porites lobata.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Brachybacterium sp. GU-2 was isolated from the hard coral Porites lobata found in Apra Harbor, Guam, Micronesia. This genome sequence will be beneficial to understand the role of actinomycetes in coral holobionts. The Brachybacterium genome contains several gene clusters for bioactive compounds, including antibiotics.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Lewin S, Wende S, Wehrhan M, et al (2023)

Cereals rhizosphere microbiome undergoes host selection of nitrogen cycle guilds correlated to crop productivity.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07423-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Sustainable transformation of agricultural plant production requires the reduction of nitrogen (N) fertilizer application. Such a reduced N fertilizer application may impede crop production due to an altered symbiosis of crops and their rhizosphere microbiome, since reduced N input may affect the competition and synergisms with the plant. The assessment of such changes in the crop microbiome functionalities at spatial scales relevant for agricultural management remains challenging. We investigated in a field plot experiment how and if the N cycling guilds of the rhizosphere of globally relevant cereal crops - winter barley, wheat and rye - are influenced by reduced N fertilization. Crop productivity was assessed by remote sensing of the shoot biomass. Microbial N cycling guilds were investigated by metagenomics targeting diazotrophs, nitrifiers, denitrifiers and the dissimilatory nitrate to ammonium reducing guild (DNRA). The functional composition of microbial N cycling guilds was explained by crop productivity parameters and soil pH, and diverged substantially between the crop species. The responses of individual microbial N cycling guild abundances to shoot dry weight and rhizosphere nitrate content was modulated by the N fertilization treatments and the crop species, which was identified based on regression analyses. Thus, characteristic shifts in the microbial N cycling guild acquisition associated with the crop host species were resolved. Particularly, the rhizosphere of rye was enriched with potentially N-preserving microbial guilds - diazotrophs and the DNRA guild - when no fertilizer was applied. We speculate that the acquisition of microbial N cycling guilds was the result of plant species-specific acquisition strategies. Thus, the investigated cereal crop holobionts have likely different symbiotic strategies that make them differently resilient against reduced N fertilizer inputs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that these belowground patterns of N cycling guilds from the rhizosphere microbiome are linked to remotely sensed aboveground plant productivity.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Li J, Zou Y, Li Q, et al (2023)

A coral-associated actinobacterium mitigates coral bleaching under heat stress.

Environmental microbiome, 18(1):83.

BACKGROUND: The positive effects of exposing corals to microorganisms have been reported though how the benefits are conferred are poorly understood. Here, we isolated an actinobacterial strain (SCSIO 13291) from Pocillopora damicornis with capabilities to synthesize antioxidants, vitamins, and antibacterial and antiviral compounds supported with phenotypic and/or genomic evidence. Strain SCSIO 13291 was labeled with 5 (and - 6)-carboxytetramethylrhodamine, succinimidyl ester and the labeled cell suspension directly inoculated onto the coral polyp tissues when nubbins were under thermal stress in a mesocosm experiment. We then visualized the labelled bacterial cells and analyzed the coral physiological, transcriptome and microbiome to elucidate the effect this strain conferred on the coral holobiont under thermal stress.

RESULTS: Subsequent microscopic observations confirmed the presence of the bacterium attached to the coral polyps. Addition of the SCSIO 13291 strain reduced signs of bleaching in the corals subjected to heat stress. At the same time, alterations in gene expression, which were involved in reactive oxygen species and light damage mitigation, attenuated apoptosis and exocytosis in addition to metabolite utilization, were observed in the coral host and Symbiodiniaceae populations. In addition, the coral associated bacterial community altered with a more stable ecological network for samples inoculated with the bacterial strain.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide insights into the benefits of a putative actinobacterial probiotic strain that mitigate coral bleaching signs. This study suggests that the inoculation of bacteria can potentially directly benefit the coral holobiont through conferring metabolic activities or through indirect mechanisms of suppling additional nutrient sources.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Rice ES, Alberdi A, Alfieri J, et al (2023)

A pangenome graph reference of 30 chicken genomes allows genotyping of large and complex structural variants.

BMC biology, 21(1):267.

BACKGROUND: The red junglefowl, the wild outgroup of domestic chickens, has historically served as a reference for genomic studies of domestic chickens. These studies have provided insight into the etiology of traits of commercial importance. However, the use of a single reference genome does not capture diversity present among modern breeds, many of which have accumulated molecular changes due to drift and selection. While reference-based resequencing is well-suited to cataloging simple variants such as single-nucleotide changes and short insertions and deletions, it is mostly inadequate to discover more complex structural variation in the genome.

METHODS: We present a pangenome for the domestic chicken consisting of thirty assemblies of chickens from different breeds and research lines.

RESULTS: We demonstrate how this pangenome can be used to catalog structural variants present in modern breeds and untangle complex nested variation. We show that alignment of short reads from 100 diverse wild and domestic chickens to this pangenome reduces reference bias by 38%, which affects downstream genotyping results. This approach also allows for the accurate genotyping of a large and complex pair of structural variants at the K feathering locus using short reads, which would not be possible using a linear reference.

CONCLUSIONS: We expect that this new paradigm of genomic reference will allow better pinpointing of exact mutations responsible for specific phenotypes, which will in turn be necessary for breeding chickens that meet new sustainability criteria and are resilient to quickly evolving pathogen threats.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Coffroth MA, Buccella LA, Eaton KM, et al (2023)

What makes a winner? Symbiont and host dynamics determine Caribbean octocoral resilience to bleaching.

Science advances, 9(47):eadj6788.

Unlike reef-building, scleractinian corals, Caribbean soft corals (octocorals) have not suffered marked declines in abundance associated with anthropogenic ocean warming. Both octocorals and reef-building scleractinians depend on a nutritional symbiosis with single-celled algae living within their tissues. In both groups, increased ocean temperatures can induce symbiont loss (bleaching) and coral death. Multiple heat waves from 2014 to 2016 resulted in widespread damage to reef ecosystems and provided an opportunity to examine the bleaching response of three Caribbean octocoral species. Symbiont densities declined during the heat waves but recovered quickly, and colony mortality was low. The dominant symbiont genotypes within a host generally did not change, and all colonies hosted symbiont species in the genus Breviolum. Their association with thermally tolerant symbionts likely contributes to the octocoral holobiont's resistance to mortality and the resilience of their symbiont populations. The resistance and resilience of Caribbean octocorals offer clues for the future of coral reefs.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Šigutová H, Pyszko P, Šigut M, et al (2023)

Concentration-dependent effect of plant secondary metabolites on bacterial and fungal microbiomes in caterpillar guts.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

The caterpillar gut is an excellent model system for studying host-microbiome interactions, as it represents an extreme environment for microbial life that usually has low diversity and considerable variability in community composition. Our study design combines feeding caterpillars on a natural and artificial diet with controlled levels of plant secondary metabolites and uses metabarcoding and quantitative PCR to simultaneously profile bacterial and fungal assemblages, which has never been performed. Moreover, we focus on multiple caterpillar species and consider diet breadth. Contrary to many previous studies, our study suggested the functional importance of certain microbial taxa, especially bacteria, and confirmed the previously proposed lower importance of fungi for caterpillar holobiont. Our study revealed the lack of differences between monophagous and polyphagous species in the responses of microbial assemblages to plant secondary metabolites, suggesting the limited role of the microbiome in the plasticity of the herbivore diet.

RevDate: 2023-11-18

Chai G, Li J, Z Li (2023)

The interactive effects of ocean acidification and warming on bioeroding sponge Spheciospongia vesparium microbiome indicated by metatranscriptomics.

Microbiological research, 278:127542 pii:S0944-5013(23)00244-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Global climate change will cause coral reefs decline and is expected to increase the reef erosion potential of bioeroding sponges. Microbial symbionts are essential for the overall fitness and survival of sponge holobionts in changing ocean environments. However, we rarely know about the impacts of ocean warming and acidification on bioeroding sponge microbiome. Here, the structural and functional changes of the bioeroding sponge Spheciospongia vesparium microbiome, as well as its recovery potential, were investigated at the RNA level in a laboratory system simulating 32 °C and pH 7.7. Based on metatranscriptome analysis, acidification showed no significant impact, while warming or simultaneous warming and acidification disrupted the sponge microbiome. Warming caused microbial dysbiosis and recruited potentially opportunistic and pathogenic members of Nesiotobacter, Oceanospirillaceae, Deltaproteobacteria, Epsilonproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Moreover, warming disrupted nutrient exchange and molecular interactions in the sponge holobiont, accompanied by stimulation of virulence activity and anaerobic metabolism including denitrification and dissimilatory reduction of nitrate and sulfate to promote sponge necrosis. Particularly, the interaction between acidification and warming alleviated the negative effects of warming and enhanced the Rhodobacteraceae-driven ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway and sulfur-oxidizing multienzyme system. The microbiome could not recover during the experiment period after warming or combined stress was removed. This study suggests that warming or combined warming and acidification will irreversibly destabilize the S. vesparium microbial community structure and function, and provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of the interactive effects of acidification and warming on the sponge microbiome.

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Pfister CA, Cardini U, Mirasole A, et al (2023)

Microbial associates of an endemic Mediterranean seagrass enhance the access of the host and the surrounding seawater to inorganic nitrogen under ocean acidification.

Scientific reports, 13(1):19996.

Seagrasses are important primary producers in oceans worldwide. They live in shallow coastal waters that are experiencing carbon dioxide enrichment and ocean acidification. Posidonia oceanica, an endemic seagrass species that dominates the Mediterranean Sea, achieves high abundances in seawater with relatively low concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen. Here we tested whether microbial metabolisms associated with P. oceanica and surrounding seawater enhance seagrass access to nitrogen. Using stable isotope enrichments of intact seagrass with amino acids, we showed that ammonification by free-living and seagrass-associated microbes produce ammonium that is likely used by seagrass and surrounding particulate organic matter. Metagenomic analysis of the epiphytic biofilm on the blades and rhizomes support the ubiquity of microbial ammonification genes in this system. Further, we leveraged the presence of natural carbon dioxide vents and show that the presence of P. oceanica enhanced the uptake of nitrogen by water column particulate organic matter, increasing carbon fixation by a factor of 8.6-17.4 with the greatest effect at CO2 vent sites. However, microbial ammonification was reduced at lower pH, suggesting that future ocean climate change will compromise this microbial process. Thus, the seagrass holobiont enhances water column productivity, even in the context of ocean acidification.

RevDate: 2023-11-15

Giesler JK, Harder T, S Wohlrab (2023)

Microbiome and photoperiod interactively determine thermal sensitivity of polar and temperate diatoms.

Biology letters, 19(11):20230151.

The effect of temperature on ectothermic organisms in the context of climate change has long been considered in isolation (i.e. as a single driver). This is challenged by observations demonstrating that temperature-dependent growth is correlated to further factors. However, little is known how the chronobiological history of an organism reflected in its adaptation to re-occurring cyclic patterns in its environment (e.g. annual range of photoperiods in its habitat) and biotic interactions with its microbiome, contribute to shaping its realized niche. To address this, we conducted a full-factorial microcosm multi-stressor experiment with the marine diatoms Thalassiosira gravida (polar) and Thalassiosira rotula (temperate) across multiple levels of temperature (4°C; 9°C; 13.5°C) and photoperiod (4 h; 16 h; 24 h), both in the presence or absence of their microbiomes. While temperature-dependent growth of the temperate diatom was constrained by short and long photoperiods, the polar diatom coped with a 24 h photoperiod up to its thermal optimum (9°C). The algal microbiomes particularly supported host growth at the margins of their respective fundamental niches except for the combination of the warmest temperature tested at 24 h photoperiod. Overall, this study demonstrates that temperature tolerances may have evolved interactively and that the mutualistic effect of the microbiome can only be determined once the multifactorial abiotic niche is defined.

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Ramírez-Mendoza R, Ángeles-Argáiz R, Lozano Aguirre-Beltrán LF, et al (2023)

Whole-genome sequence of Pseudomonas yamanorum OLsAu1 isolated from the edible wild ectomycorrhizal mushroom Lactarius sp. section Deliciosi.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

We announce the genome sequencing, assembly, and annotation of the OLsAu1 strain and its taxonomic assignment to Pseudomonas yamanorum. The isolate comes from a wild edible ectomycorrhizal Lactarius sp. mushroom in the Abies forest. There is information regarding the strain's ability to promote plant growth, indicating its potential application in forestry.

RevDate: 2023-11-11

Hernández-Alonso G, Ramos-Madrigal J, van Grouw H, et al (2023)

Redefining the evolutionary history of the rock dove, Columba livia, using whole genome sequences.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:7405376 [Epub ahead of print].

The domestic pigeon's exceptional phenotypic diversity was key in developing Darwin's Theory of Evolution and establishing the concept of artificial selection. However, unlike its domestic counterpart, its wild progenitor, the rock dove Columba livia, has received considerably less attention. Therefore, questions regarding its domestication, evolution, taxonomy, and conservation status remain unresolved. We generated whole-genome sequencing data from 65 historical rock doves that represent all currently recognised subspecies and span the species' original geographic distribution. Our dataset includes three specimens from Darwin's collection, and the type specimens of five different taxa. We characterised their population structure, genomic diversity, and gene-flow patterns. Our results show the West African subspecies C. l. gymnocyclus is basal to rock doves and domestic pigeons, and suggest gene-flow between the rock dove's sister species C. rupestris and the ancestor of rock doves after its split from West African populations. These genomes allowed us to propose a model for the evolution of the rock dove in light of the refugia theory. We propose that rock dove genetic diversity and introgression patterns derive from a history of allopatric cycles and dispersion waves during the Quaternary glacial and interglacial periods. To explore the rock dove domestication history, we combined our new dataset with available genomes from domestic pigeons. Our results point to at least one domestication event in the Levant that gave rise to all domestic breeds analysed in this study. Finally, we propose a species-level taxonomic arrangement to reflect the evolutionary history of the West African rock dove populations.

RevDate: 2023-11-09

Li T, J Gao (2023)

Attribution of dispersal limitation can better explain the assembly patterns of plant microbiota.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1168760.

Disentangling community assembly processes is crucial for fully understanding the function of microbiota in agricultural ecosystems. However, numerous plant microbiome surveys have gradually revealed that stochastic processes dominate the assembly of the endophytic root microbiota in conflict with strong host filtering effects, which is an important issue. Resolving such conflicts or inconsistencies will not only help accurately predict the composition and structure of the root endophytic microbiota and its driving mechanisms, but also provide important guidance on the correlation between the relative importance of deterministic and stochastic processes in the assembly of the root endophytic microbiota, and crop productivity and nutritional quality. Here, we propose that the inappropriate division of dispersal limitation may be the main reason for such inconsistency, which can be resolved after the proportion of dispersal limitation is incorporated into the deterministic processes. The rationality of this adjustment under the framework of the formation of a holobiont between the microbiome and the plant host is herein explained, and a potential theoretical framework for dynamic assembly patterns of endophytic microbiota along the soil-plant continuum is proposed. Considering that the assembly of root endophytic microbiota is complicated, we suggest caution and level-by-level verification from deterministic processes to neutral components to stochastic processes when deciding on the attribution of dispersal limitation in the future to promote the expansion and application of microbiome engineering in sustainable agricultural development based on community assembly patterns.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

Xiang N, Rädecker N, Pogoreutz C, et al (2022)

Presence of algal symbionts affects denitrifying bacterial communities in the sea anemone Aiptasia coral model.

ISME communications, 2(1):105.

The coral-algal symbiosis is maintained by a constant and limited nitrogen availability in the holobiont. Denitrifiers, i.e., prokaryotes reducing nitrate/nitrite to dinitrogen, could contribute to maintaining the nitrogen limitation in the coral holobiont, however the effect of host and algal identity on their community is still unknown. Using the coral model Aiptasia, we quantified and characterized the denitrifier community in a full-factorial design combining two hosts (CC7 and H2) and two strains of algal symbionts of the family Symbiodiniaceae (SSA01 and SSB01). Strikingly, relative abundance of denitrifiers increased by up to 22-fold in photosymbiotic Aiptasia compared to their aposymbiotic (i.e., algal-depleted) counterparts. In line with this, while the denitrifier community in aposymbiotic Aiptasia was largely dominated by diet-associated Halomonas, we observed an increasing relative abundance of an unclassified bacterium in photosymbiotic CC7, and Ketobacter in photosymbiotic H2, respectively. Pronounced changes in denitrifier communities of Aiptasia with Symbiodinium linucheae strain SSA01 aligned with the higher photosynthetic carbon availability of these holobionts compared to Aiptasia with Breviolum minutum strain SSB01. Our results reveal that the presence of algal symbionts increases abundance and alters community structure of denitrifiers in Aiptasia. Thereby, patterns in denitrifier community likely reflect the nutritional status of aposymbiotic vs. symbiotic holobionts. Such a passive regulation of denitrifiers may contribute to maintaining the nitrogen limitation required for the functioning of the cnidarian-algal symbiosis.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

Lesser MP, Sabrina Pankey M, Slattery M, et al (2022)

Microbiome diversity and metabolic capacity determines the trophic ecology of the holobiont in Caribbean sponges.

ISME communications, 2(1):112.

Sponges are increasingly recognized as an ecologically important taxon on coral reefs, representing significant biomass and biodiversity where sponges have replaced scleractinian corals. Most sponge species can be divided into two symbiotic states based on symbiont community structure and abundance (i.e., the microbiome), and are characterized as high microbial abundance (HMA) or low microbial abundance (LMA) sponges. Across the Caribbean, sponge species of the HMA or LMA symbiotic states differ in metabolic capacity, as well as their trophic ecology. A metagenetic analysis of symbiont 16 S rRNA and metagenomes showed that HMA sponge microbiomes are more functionally diverse than LMA microbiomes, offer greater metabolic functional capacity and redundancy, and encode for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. Stable isotope analyses showed that HMA and LMA sponges primarily consume dissolved organic matter (DOM) derived from external autotrophic sources, or live particulate organic matter (POM) in the form of bacterioplankton, respectively, resulting in a low degree of resource competition between these symbiont states. As many coral reefs have undergone phase shifts from coral- to macroalgal-dominated reefs, the role of DOM, and the potential for future declines in POM due to decreased picoplankton productivity, may result in an increased abundance of chemically defended HMA sponges on tropical coral reefs.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

Palladino G, Caroselli E, Tavella T, et al (2022)

Metagenomic shifts in mucus, tissue and skeleton of the coral Balanophyllia europaea living along a natural CO2 gradient.

ISME communications, 2(1):65.

Using the Mediterranean coral Balanophyllia europaea naturally growing along a pH gradient close to Panarea island (Italy) as a model, we explored the role of host-associated microbiomes in coral acclimatization to ocean acidification (OA). Coral samples were collected at three sites along the gradient, mimicking seawater conditions projected for 2100 under different IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scenarios, and mucus, soft tissue and skeleton associated microbiomes were characterized by shotgun metagenomics. According to our findings, OA induced functional changes in the microbiomes genetic potential that could mitigate the sub-optimal environmental conditions at three levels: i. selection of bacteria genetically equipped with functions related to stress resistance; ii. shifts in microbial carbohydrate metabolism from energy production to maintenance of cell membranes and walls integrity; iii. gain of functions able to respond to variations in nitrogen needs at the holobiont level, such as genes devoted to organic nitrogen mobilization. We hence provided hypotheses about the functional role of the coral associated microbiome in favoring host acclimatation to OA, remarking on the importance of considering the crosstalk among all the components of the holobiont to unveil how and to what extent corals will maintain their functionality under forthcoming ocean conditions.

RevDate: 2023-11-07

Jamieson A, Carmagnini A, Howard-McCombe J, et al (2023)

Limited historical admixture between European wildcats and domestic cats.

Current biology : CB, 33(21):4751-4760.e14.

Domestic cats were derived from the Near Eastern wildcat (Felis lybica), after which they dispersed with people into Europe. As they did so, it is possible that they interbred with the indigenous population of European wildcats (Felis silvestris). Gene flow between incoming domestic animals and closely related indigenous wild species has been previously demonstrated in other taxa, including pigs, sheep, goats, bees, chickens, and cattle. In the case of cats, a lack of nuclear, genome-wide data, particularly from Near Eastern wildcats, has made it difficult to either detect or quantify this possibility. To address these issues, we generated 75 ancient mitochondrial genomes, 14 ancient nuclear genomes, and 31 modern nuclear genomes from European and Near Eastern wildcats. Our results demonstrate that despite cohabitating for at least 2,000 years on the European mainland and in Britain, most modern domestic cats possessed less than 10% of their ancestry from European wildcats, and ancient European wildcats possessed little to no ancestry from domestic cats. The antiquity and strength of this reproductive isolation between introduced domestic cats and local wildcats was likely the result of behavioral and ecological differences. Intriguingly, this long-lasting reproductive isolation is currently being eroded in parts of the species' distribution as a result of anthropogenic activities.

RevDate: 2023-11-07

Isaac P, Mutusamy P, Su Yin L, et al (2023)

Complete genome sequences of Lactococcus lactis D1_2, a bacterium with antimicrobial properties isolated from peat soil.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Lactococcus lactis is a beneficial lactic acid bacterium commonly studied for its probiotic properties and role in dairy production. Here, we present a complete genome of Lactococcus lactis D1_2, isolated from peat swamp forests. To discover the potential antimicrobial properties, the complete genome of the strain was sequenced and analyzed.

RevDate: 2023-11-07

Cortazar-Chinarro M, Richter-Boix A, Rödin-Mörch P, et al (2023)

Association between the skin microbiome and MHC class II diversity in an amphibian.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbiomes play an important role in determining the ecology and behaviour of their hosts. However, questions remain pertaining to how host genetics shape microbiomes, and how microbiome composition influences host fitness. We explored the effects of geography, evolutionary history and host genetics on the skin microbiome diversity and structure in a widespread amphibian. More specifically, we examined the association between bacterial diversity and composition and the major histocompatibility complex class II exon 2 diversity in 12 moor frog (Rana arvalis) populations belonging to two geographical clusters that show signatures of past and ongoing differential selection. We found that while bacterial alpha diversity did not differ between the two clusters, MHC alleles/supertypes and genetic diversity varied considerably depending on geography and evolutionary history. Bacterial alpha diversity was positively correlated with expected MHC heterozygosity and negatively with MHC nucleotide diversity. Furthermore, bacterial community composition showed significant variation between the two geographical clusters and between specific MHC alleles/supertypes. Our findings emphasize the importance of historical demographic events on hologenomic variation and provide new insights into how immunogenetic host variability and microbial diversity may jointly influence host fitness with consequences for disease susceptibility and population persistence.

RevDate: 2023-11-02

Kothe CI, Rasmussen JA, Mak SST, et al (2024)

Exploring the microbial diversity of novel misos with metagenomics.

Food microbiology, 117:104372.

Interest in fermented foods, especially plant-based ones, has increased considerably in the last decade. Miso-a Japanese paste traditionally fermented with soybeans, salt, and kōji (Aspergillus oryzae grown on grains or beans)-has gained attention among chefs for its rich flavour and versatility. Some chefs have even been experimenting with making novel misos with untraditional substrates to create new flavours. Such novel fermented foods also offer new scientific opportunities. To explore the microbial diversity of these new traditional foods, we sampled six misos made by the team at a leading restaurant called Noma in Copenhagen (Denmark), using yellow peas (including a nixtamalised treatment), lupin seeds, Swedish Vreta peas, grey peas, and Gotland lentils as substrates. All misos were made with the same recipe and fermented for 3 months at 28 °C. Samples were collected at the end of fermentation for subsequent shotgun metagenomic sequencing and a genome-resolved metagenomic analysis. The taxonomic profile of the samples revealed the presence of kōji mould (A. oryzae) and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens in all misos. Various species of the genera Latilactobacillus, Lactiplantibacillus, Pediococcus and Staphylococcus were also detected. The Metagenome-Assembled Genomes (MAGs) revealed genomic sequences belonging to 12 different species and functional analyses of these MAGs were performed. Notably, we detected the presence of Exiguobacterium-the first reported instance of the genus in miso-and Average Nucleotide Identity (ANI) analyses suggest a potentially new species. We hope these results will improve the scientific literature on misos and contribute to developing novel fermented plant-based foods.

RevDate: 2023-11-02

Howard RD, Schul MD, Rodriguez Bravo LM, et al (2023)

Shifts in the coral microbiome in response to in situ experimental deoxygenation.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Global climate change impacts marine ecosystems through rising surface temperatures, ocean acidification, and deoxygenation. While the response of the coral holobiont to the first two effects has been relatively well studied, less is known about the response of the coral microbiome to deoxygenation. In this study, we investigated the response of the microbiome to hypoxia in two coral species that differ in their tolerance to hypoxia. We conducted in situ oxygen manipulations on a coral reef in Bahía Almirante on the Caribbean coast of Panama, which has previously experienced documented episodes of hypoxia. Naïve coral colonies (previously unexposed to hypoxia) of Siderastrea siderea and Agaricia lamarcki were transplanted to a reef and either enclosed in chambers that created hypoxic conditions or left at ambient oxygen levels. We collected samples of surface mucus and tissue after 48 hours of exposure and characterized the microbiome by sequencing 16S rRNA genes. We found that the microbiomes of the two coral species were distinct from one another and remained so after exhibiting similar shifts in microbiome composition in response to hypoxia. There was an increase in both abundance and number of taxa of anaerobic microbes after exposure to hypoxia. Some of these taxa may play beneficial roles in the coral holobiont by detoxifying the surrounding environment during hypoxic stress or may represent opportunists exploiting host stress. This work describes the first characterization of the coral microbiome under hypoxia and is an initial step toward identifying potential beneficial bacteria for corals facing this environmental stressor.IMPORTANCEMarine hypoxia is a threat for corals but has remained understudied in tropical regions where coral reefs are abundant. Though microbial symbioses can alleviate the effects of ecological stress, we do not yet understand the taxonomic or functional response of the coral microbiome to hypoxia. In this study, we experimentally lowered oxygen levels around Siderastrea siderea and Agaricia lamarcki colonies in situ to observe changes in the coral microbiome in response to deoxygenation. Our results show that hypoxia triggers a stochastic change of the microbiome overall, with some bacterial families changing deterministically after just 48 hours of exposure. These families represent an increase in anaerobic and opportunistic taxa in the microbiomes of both coral species. Thus, marine deoxygenation destabilizes the coral microbiome and increases bacterial opportunism. This work provides novel and fundamental knowledge of the microbial response in coral during hypoxia and may provide insight into holobiont function during stress.

RevDate: 2023-11-02

Rädecker N, Escrig S, Spangenberg JE, et al (2023)

Coupled carbon and nitrogen cycling regulates the cnidarian-algal symbiosis.

Nature communications, 14(1):6948.

Efficient nutrient recycling underpins the ecological success of cnidarian-algal symbioses in oligotrophic waters. In these symbioses, nitrogen limitation restricts the growth of algal endosymbionts in hospite and stimulates their release of photosynthates to the cnidarian host. However, the mechanisms controlling nitrogen availability and their role in symbiosis regulation remain poorly understood. Here, we studied the metabolic regulation of symbiotic nitrogen cycling in the sea anemone Aiptasia by experimentally altering labile carbon availability in a series of experiments. Combining [13]C and [15]N stable isotope labeling experiments with physiological analyses and NanoSIMS imaging, we show that the competition for environmental ammonium between the host and its algal symbionts is regulated by labile carbon availability. Light regimes optimal for algal photosynthesis increase carbon availability in the holobiont and stimulate nitrogen assimilation in the host metabolism. Consequently, algal symbiont densities are lowest under optimal environmental conditions and increase toward the lower and upper light tolerance limits of the symbiosis. This metabolic regulation promotes efficient carbon recycling in a stable symbiosis across a wide range of environmental conditions. Yet, the dependence on resource competition may favor parasitic interactions, explaining the instability of the cnidarian-algal symbiosis as environmental conditions in the Anthropocene shift towards its tolerance limits.

RevDate: 2023-10-31

Radice VZ, Martinez A, Paytan A, et al (2023)

Complex dynamics of coral gene expression responses to low pH across species.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Coral capacity to tolerate low pH affects coral community composition and, ultimately, reef ecosystem function. Low pH submarine discharges ('Ojo'; Yucatán, México) represent a natural laboratory to study plasticity and acclimatization to low pH in relation to ocean acidification. A previous >2-year coral transplant experiment to ambient and low pH common garden sites revealed differential survivorship across species and sites, providing a framework to compare mechanistic responses to differential pH exposures. Here, we examined gene expression responses of transplants of three species of reef-building corals (Porites astreoides, Porites porites and Siderastrea siderea) and their algal endosymbiont communities (Symbiodiniaceae) originating from low pH (Ojo) and ambient pH native origins (Lagoon or Reef). Transplant pH environment had the greatest effect on gene expression of Porites astreoides hosts and symbionts and P. porites hosts. Host P. astreoides Ojo natives transplanted to ambient pH showed a similar gene expression profile to Lagoon natives remaining in ambient pH, providing evidence of plasticity in response to ambient pH conditions. Although origin had a larger effect on host S. siderea gene expression due to differences in symbiont genera within Reef and Lagoon/Ojo natives, subtle effects of low pH on all origins demonstrated acclimatization potential. All corals responded to low pH by differentially expressing genes related to pH regulation, ion transport, calcification, cell adhesion and stress/immune response. This study demonstrates that the magnitude of coral gene expression responses to pH varies considerably among populations, species and holobionts, which could differentially affect acclimatization to and impacts of ocean acidification.

RevDate: 2023-10-30

Matthews JL, Bartels N, Elahee Doomun SN, et al (2023)

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry-Based Targeted Metabolomics of Hard Coral Samples.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)-based approaches have proven to be powerful for elucidating the metabolic basis of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and how coral responds to stress (i.e., during temperature-induced bleaching). Steady-state metabolite profiling of the coral holobiont, which comprises the cnidarian host and its associated microbes (Symbiodiniaceae and other protists, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses), has been successfully applied under ambient and stress conditions to characterize the holistic metabolic status of the coral. However, to answer questions surrounding the symbiotic interactions, it is necessary to analyze the metabolite profiles of the coral host and its algal symbionts independently, which can only be achieved by physical separation and isolation of the tissues, followed by independent extraction and analysis. While the application of metabolomics is relatively new to the coral field, the sustained efforts of research groups have resulted in the development of robust methods for analyzing metabolites in corals, including the separation of the coral host tissue and algal symbionts. This paper presents a step-by-step guide for holobiont separation and the extraction of metabolites for GC-MS analysis, including key optimization steps for consideration. We demonstrate how, once analyzed independently, the combined metabolite profile of the two fractions (coral and Symbiodiniaceae) is similar to the profile of the whole (holobiont), but by separating the tissues, we can also obtain key information about the metabolism of and interactions between the two partners that cannot be obtained from the whole alone.

RevDate: 2023-10-25

Yu J, Jiang C, Yamano R, et al (2023)

Unveiling the early life core microbiome of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus and the unexpected abundance of the growth-promoting Sulfitobacter.

Animal microbiome, 5(1):54.

BACKGROUND: Microbiome in early life has long-term effects on the host's immunological and physiological development and its disturbance is known to trigger various diseases in host Deuterostome animals. The sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is one of the most valuable marine Deuterostome invertebrates in Asia and a model animal in regeneration studies. To understand factors that impact on host development and holobiont maintenance, host-microbiome association has been actively studied in the last decade. However, we currently lack knowledge of early life core microbiome during its ontogenesis and how it benefits the host's growth.

RESULTS: We analyzed the microbial community in 28 sea cucumber samples from a laboratory breeding system, designed to replicate aquaculture environments, across six developmental stages (fertilized eggs to the juvenile stage) over a three years-period to examine the microbiomes' dynamics and stability. Microbiome shifts occurred during sea cucumber larval ontogenesis in every case. Application of the most sophisticated core microbiome extraction methodology, a hybrid approach with abundance-occupancy core microbiome analyses (top 75% of total reads and > 70% occupation) and core index calculation, first revealed early life core microbiome consisted of Alteromonadaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, as well as a stage core microbiome consisting of pioneer core microbe Pseudoalteromonadaceae in A. japonicus, suggesting a stepwise establishment of microbiome related to ontogenesis and feeding behavior in A. japonicus. More interestingly, four ASVs affiliated to Alteromonadaceae and Rhodobacteraceae were extracted as early life core microbiome. One of the ASV (ASV0007) was affiliated to the Sulfitobactor strain BL28 (Rhodobacteraceae), isolated from blastula larvae in the 2019 raring batch. Unexpectedly, a bioassay revealed the BL28 strain retains a host growth-promoting ability. Further meta-pangenomics approach revealed the BL28 genome reads were abundant in the metagenomic sequence pool, in particular, in that of post-gut development in early life stages of A. japonicus.

CONCLUSION: Repeated rearing efforts of A. japonicus using laboratory aquaculture replicating aquaculture environments and hybrid core microbiome extraction approach first revealed particular ASVs affiliated to Alteromonadaceae and Rhodobacteraceae as the A. japonicus early life core microbiome. Further bioassay revealed the growth promoting ability to the host sea cucumber in one of the core microbes, the Sulfitobactor strain BL28 identified as ASV0007. Genome reads of the BL28 were abundant in post-gut development of A. japonicus, which makes us consider effective probiotic uses of those core microbiome for sea cucumber resource production and conservation. The study also emphasizes the importance of the core microbiome in influencing early life stages in marine invertebrates. Understanding these dynamics could offer pathways to improve growth, immunity, and disease resistance in marine invertebrates.

RevDate: 2023-10-23

Zhao W, Chen X, Liu R, et al (2023)

Distinct coral environments shape the dynamic of planktonic Vibrio spp.

Environmental microbiome, 18(1):77.

BACKGROUND: Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse and productive ecosystems, providing habitat for a vast of species. Reef-building scleractinian corals with a symbiotic microbiome, including bacteria, archaea, viruses and eukaryotic microbes, are referred to coral holobionts. Among them, coral diseases, mainly caused by Vibrio spp., have significantly contributed to the loss of coral cover and diversity. Habitat filtering across the globe has led to a variety structure of marine bacterial communities. Coral species, quantity and characteristics are significant differences between the Xisha Islands and Daya Bay (Guangdong Province). Thus, the Vibrio communities may be distinct between coral rich and poor areas.

RESULTS: Through comparison of Vibrio dynamics between coral-rich (Xisha Islands) and coral-poor (Daya Bay) locations, we uncovered differences in Vibrio abundance, diversity, community composition and assembly mechanisms associated with corals. The higher abundance of Vibrio in coral rich areas may indicate a strong interaction between vibrios and corals. V. campbellii, Paraphotobacterium marinum and V. caribbeanicus were widely distributed in both coral rich and poor areas, likely indicating weak species specificity in the coral-stimulated growth of Vibrio. Random-forest prediction revealed Vibrio species and Photobacterium species as potential microbial indicators in the coral rich and coral poor areas, respectively. Ecological drift rather than selection governed the Vibrio community assembly in the Xisha Islands. Comparatively, homogenizing selection was more important for the Daya Bay community, which may reflect a role of habitat filtration.

CONCLUSION: This study revealed the different distribution pattern and assembly mechanism of Vibrio spp. between coral rich and poor areas, providing the background data for the research of Vibrio community in coral reef areas and may help the protection of coral reef at the biological level. The main reasons for the difference were different number and species of corals, environmental (e.g., temperature) and spatial factors. It reflected the strong interaction between Vibrio and corals, and provided a new perspective for the investigation of Vibrio in coral reef ecosystem.

RevDate: 2023-10-20

De-la-Vega-Camarillo E, Hernández-García JA, Villa-Tanaca L, et al (2023)

Unlocking the hidden potential of Mexican teosinte seeds: revealing plant growth-promoting bacterial and fungal biocontrol agents.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1247814.

The bacterial component of plant holobiont maintains valuable interactions that contribute to plants' growth, adaptation, stress tolerance, and antagonism to some phytopathogens. Teosinte is the grass plant recognized as the progenitor of modern maize, domesticated by pre-Hispanic civilizations around 9,000 years ago. Three teosinte species are recognized: Zea diploperennis, Zea perennis, and Zea mays. In this work, the bacterial diversity of three species of Mexican teosinte seeds was explored by massive sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons. Streptomyces, Acinetobacter, Olivibacter, Erwinia, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Cellvibrio, Achromobacter, Devosia, Lysobacter, Sphingopyxis, Stenotrophomonas, Ochrobactrum, Delftia, Lactobacillus, among others, were the bacterial genera mainly represented. The bacterial alpha diversity in the seeds of Z. diploperennis was the highest, while the alpha diversity in Z. mays subsp. mexicana race was the lowest observed among the species and races. The Mexican teosintes analyzed had a core bacteriome of 38 bacterial genera, including several recognized plant growth promoters or fungal biocontrol agents such as Agrobacterium, Burkholderia, Erwinia, Lactobacillus, Ochrobactrum, Paenibacillus, Pseudomonas, Sphingomonas, Streptomyces, among other. Metabolic inference analysis by PICRUSt2 of bacterial genera showed several pathways related to plant growth promotion (PGP), biological control, and environmental adaptation. The implications of these findings are far-reaching, as they highlight the existence of an exceptional bacterial germplasm reservoir teeming with potential plant growth promotion bacteria (PGPB). This reserve holds the key to cultivating innovative bioinoculants and formidable fungal antagonistic strains, thereby paving the way for a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to agriculture. Embracing these novel NGS-based techniques and understanding the profound impact of the vertical transference of microorganisms from seeds could revolutionize the future of agriculture and develop a new era of symbiotic harmony between plants and microbes.

RevDate: 2023-10-19

Bertile F, Matallana-Surget S, Tholey A, et al (2023)

Diversifying the concept of model organisms in the age of -omics.

Communications biology, 6(1):1062.

In today's post-genomic era, it is crucial to rethink the concept of model organisms. While a few historically well-established organisms, e.g. laboratory rodents, have enabled significant scientific breakthroughs, there is now a pressing need for broader inclusion. Indeed, new organisms and models, from complex microbial communities to holobionts, are essential to fully grasp the complexity of biological principles across the breadth of biodiversity. By fostering collaboration between biology, advanced molecular science and omics communities, we can collectively adopt new models, unraveling their molecular functioning, and uncovering fundamental mechanisms. This concerted effort will undoubtedly enhance human health, environmental quality, and biodiversity conservation.

RevDate: 2023-10-19

Yee SW, Ferrández-Peral L, Alentorn P, et al (2023)

Illuminating the Function of the Orphan Transporter, SLC22A10 in Humans and Other Primates.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

SLC22A10 is classified as an orphan transporter with unknown substrates and function. Here we describe the discovery of the substrate specificity and functional characteristics of SLC22A10. The human SLC22A10 tagged with green fluorescent protein was found to be absent from the plasma membrane, in contrast to the SLC22A10 orthologs found in great apes. Estradiol-17β-glucuronide accumulated in cells expressing great ape SLC22A10 orthologs (over 4-fold, p<0.001). In contrast, human SLC22A10 displayed no uptake function. Sequence alignments revealed two amino acid differences including a proline at position 220 of the human SLC22A10 and a leucine at the same position of great ape orthologs. Site-directed mutagenesis yielding the human SLC22A10-P220L produced a protein with excellent plasma membrane localization and associated uptake function. Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes show human-like sequences at proline 220 position, corroborating that SLC22A10 were rendered nonfunctional during hominin evolution after the divergence from the pan lineage (chimpanzees and bonobos). These findings demonstrate that human SLC22A10 is a unitary pseudogene and was inactivated by a missense mutation that is fixed in humans, whereas orthologs in great apes transport sex steroid conjugates.

RevDate: 2023-10-18

Yee SW, Ferrández-Peral L, Alentorn P, et al (2023)

Illuminating the Function of the Orphan Transporter, SLC22A10 in Humans and Other Primates.

Research square.

SLC22A10 is classified as an orphan transporter with unknown substrates and function. Here we describe the discovery of the substrate specificity and functional characteristics of SLC22A10. The human SLC22A10 tagged with green fluorescent protein was found to be absent from the plasma membrane, in contrast to the SLC22A10 orthologs found in great apes. Estradiol-17β-glucuronide accumulated in cells expressing great ape SLC22A10 orthologs (over 4-fold, p<0.001). In contrast, human SLC22A10 displayed no uptake function. Sequence alignments revealed two amino acid differences including a proline at position 220 of the human SLC22A10 and a leucine at the same position of great ape orthologs. Site-directed mutagenesis yielding the human SLC22A10-P220L produced a protein with excellent plasma membrane localization and associated uptake function. Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes show human-like sequences at proline 220 position, corroborating that SLC22A10 were rendered nonfunctional during hominin evolution after the divergence from the pan lineage (chimpanzees and bonobos). These findings demonstrate that human SLC22A10 is a unitary pseudogene and was inactivated by a missense mutation that is fixed in humans, whereas orthologs in great apes transport sex steroid conjugates.

RevDate: 2023-10-17

Sinotte VM, Renelies-Hamilton J, Andreu-Sánchez S, et al (2023)

Selective enrichment of founding reproductive microbiomes allows extensive vertical transmission in a fungus-farming termite.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2009):20231559.

Mutualistic coevolution can be mediated by vertical transmission of symbionts between host generations. Termites host complex gut bacterial communities with evolutionary histories indicative of mixed-mode transmission. Here, we document that vertical transmission of gut bacterial strains is congruent across parent to offspring colonies in four pedigrees of the fungus-farming termite Macrotermes natalensis. We show that 44% of the offspring colony microbiome, including more than 80 bacterial genera and pedigree-specific strains, are consistently inherited. We go on to demonstrate that this is achieved because colony-founding reproductives are selectively enriched with a set of non-random, environmentally sensitive and termite-specific gut microbes from their colonies of origin. These symbionts transfer to offspring colony workers with high fidelity, after which priority effects appear to influence the composition of the establishing microbiome. Termite reproductives thus secure transmission of complex communities of specific, co-evolved microbes that are critical to their offspring colonies. Extensive yet imperfect inheritance implies that the maturing colony benefits from acquiring environmental microbes to complement combinations of termite, fungus and vertically transmitted microbes; a mode of transmission that is emerging as a prevailing strategy for hosts to assemble complex adaptive microbiomes.

RevDate: 2023-10-16

Xiang X, Vilar Gomez AA, Blomberg SP, et al (2023)

Potential for host-symbiont communication via neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in an aneural animal, the marine sponge Amphimedon queenslandica.

Frontiers in neural circuits, 17:1250694.

Interkingdom signalling within a holobiont allows host and symbionts to communicate and to regulate each other's physiological and developmental states. Here we show that a suite of signalling molecules that function as neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in most animals with nervous systems, specifically dopamine and trace amines, are produced exclusively by the bacterial symbionts of the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. Although sponges do not possess a nervous system, A. queenslandica expresses rhodopsin class G-protein-coupled receptors that are structurally similar to dopamine and trace amine receptors. When sponge larvae, which express these receptors, are exposed to agonists and antagonists of bilaterian dopamine and trace amine receptors, we observe marked changes in larval phototactic swimming behaviour, consistent with the sponge being competent to recognise and respond to symbiont-derived trace amine signals. These results indicate that monoamines synthesised by bacterial symbionts may be able to influence the physiology of the host sponge.

RevDate: 2023-10-16

Chrismas N, Tindall-Jones B, Jenkins H, et al (2023)

Metatranscriptomics reveals diversity of symbiotic interaction and mechanisms of carbon exchange in the marine cyanolichen Lichina pygmaea.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Lichens are exemplar symbioses based upon carbon exchange between photobionts and their mycobiont hosts. Historically considered a two-way relationship, some lichen symbioses have been shown to contain multiple photobiont partners; however, the way in which these photobiont communities react to environmental change is poorly understood. Lichina pygmaea is a marine cyanolichen that inhabits rocky seashores where it is submerged in seawater during every tidal cycle. Recent work has indicated that L. pygmaea has a complex photobiont community including the cyanobionts Rivularia and Pleurocapsa. We performed rRNA-based metabarcoding and mRNA metatranscriptomics of the L. pygmaea holobiont at high and low tide to investigate community response to immersion in seawater. Carbon exchange in L. pygmaea is a dynamic process, influenced by both tidal cycle and the biology of the individual symbiotic components. The mycobiont and two cyanobiont partners exhibit distinct transcriptional responses to seawater hydration. Sugar-based compatible solutes produced by Rivularia and Pleurocapsa in response to seawater are a potential source of carbon to the mycobiont. We propose that extracellular processing of photobiont-derived polysaccharides is a fundamental step in carbon acquisition by L. pygmaea and is analogous to uptake of plant-derived carbon in ectomycorrhizal symbioses.

RevDate: 2023-10-13

Karimi E, SM Dittami (2023)

Maintaining beneficial alga-associated bacterial communities under heat stress: Insights from controlled co-culture experiments using antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7313636 [Epub ahead of print].

Brown algae, like many eukaryotes, possess diverse microbial communities. Ectocarpus - a model brown alga- relies on these communities for essential processes, such as growth development. Controlled laboratory systems are needed for functional studies of these algal-bacterial interactions. We selected bacterial strains based on their metabolic networks to provide optimal completion of the algal metabolism, rendered them resistant to two antibiotics, and inoculate them to establish controlled co-cultures with Ectocarpus under continuous antibiotic treatment. We then monitored the stability of the resulting associations under control conditions and heat stress using 16S metabarcoding. Antibiotics strongly reduced bacterial diversity both in terms of taxonomy and predicted metabolic functions. In the inoculated sample, 63-69% of reads corresponded to the inoculated strains, and the communities remained stable during temperature stress. They also partially restored the predicted metabolic functions of the natural community. Overall, the development of antibiotic-resistant helper cultures offers a promising route to fully controlled laboratory experiments with algae and microbiota and thus represents an important step towards generating experimental evidence for specific host-microbe interactions in the systems studied. Further work will be required to achieve full control and progressively expand our repertoire of helper strains including those currently "unculturable".

RevDate: 2023-10-09

Ochoa-Sánchez M, Acuña Gomez EP, Ramírez-Fenández L, et al (2023)

Current knowledge of the Southern Hemisphere marine microbiome in eukaryotic hosts and the Strait of Magellan surface microbiome project.

PeerJ, 11:e15978.

Host-microbe interactions are ubiquitous and play important roles in host biology, ecology, and evolution. Yet, host-microbe research has focused on inland species, whereas marine hosts and their associated microbes remain largely unexplored, especially in developing countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, we review the current knowledge of marine host microbiomes in the Southern Hemisphere. Our results revealed important biases in marine host species sampling for studies conducted in the Southern Hemisphere, where sponges and marine mammals have received the greatest attention. Sponge-associated microbes vary greatly across geographic regions and species. Nevertheless, besides taxonomic heterogeneity, sponge microbiomes have functional consistency, whereas geography and aging are important drivers of marine mammal microbiomes. Seabird and macroalgal microbiomes in the Southern Hemisphere were also common. Most seabird microbiome has focused on feces, whereas macroalgal microbiome has focused on the epibiotic community. Important drivers of seabird fecal microbiome are aging, sex, and species-specific factors. In contrast, host-derived deterministic factors drive the macroalgal epibiotic microbiome, in a process known as "microbial gardening". In turn, marine invertebrates (especially crustaceans) and fish microbiomes have received less attention in the Southern Hemisphere. In general, the predominant approach to study host marine microbiomes has been the sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Interestingly, there are some marine holobiont studies (i.e., studies that simultaneously analyze host (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics) and microbiome (e.g., 16S rRNA gene, metagenome) traits), but only in some marine invertebrates and macroalgae from Africa and Australia. Finally, we introduce an ongoing project on the surface microbiome of key species in the Strait of Magellan. This is an international project that will provide novel microbiome information of several species in the Strait of Magellan. In the short-term, the project will improve our knowledge about microbial diversity in the region, while long-term potential benefits include the use of these data to assess host-microbial responses to the Anthropocene derived climate change.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.


ESP now offers a large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.


Biographical information about many key scientists (e.g., Walter Sutton).

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )