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Bibliography on: Holobiont

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 20 Sep 2018 at 01:30 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 NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2018-09-18

Carthey AJR, Gillings MR, DT Blumstein (2018)

The Extended Genotype: Microbially Mediated Olfactory Communication.

Trends in ecology & evolution pii:S0169-5347(18)30203-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbes are now known to influence inter- and intraspecific olfactory signaling systems. They do so by producing metabolites that function as odorants. A unique attribute of such odorants is that they arise as a product of microbial-host interactions. These interactions need not be mutualistic, and indeed can be antagonistic. We develop an integrated ecoevolutionary model to explore microbially mediated olfactory communication and a process model that illustrates the various ways that microbial products might contribute to odorants. This novel approach generates testable predictions, including that selection to incorporate microbial products should be a common feature of infochemicals that communicate identity but not those that communicate fitness or quality. Microbes extend an individual's genotype, but also enhance vulnerability to environmental change.

RevDate: 2018-09-18

Bredon M, Dittmer J, Noël C, et al (2018)

Lignocellulose degradation at the holobiont level: teamwork in a keystone soil invertebrate.

Microbiome, 6(1):162 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0536-y.

BACKGROUND: Woodlice are recognized as keystone species in terrestrial ecosystems due to their role in the decomposition of organic matter. Thus, they contribute to lignocellulose degradation and nutrient cycling in the environment together with other macroarthropods. Lignocellulose is the main component of plants and is composed of cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose. Its digestion requires the action of multiple Carbohydrate-Active enZymes (called CAZymes), typically acting together as a cocktail with complementary, synergistic activities and modes of action. Some invertebrates express a few endogenous lignocellulose-degrading enzymes but in most species, an efficient degradation and digestion of lignocellulose can only be achieved through mutualistic associations with endosymbionts. Similar to termites, it has been suspected that several bacterial symbionts may be involved in lignocellulose degradation in terrestrial isopods, by completing the CAZyme repertoire of their hosts.

RESULTS: To test this hypothesis, host transcriptomic and microbiome shotgun metagenomic datasets were obtained and investigated from the pill bug Armadillidium vulgare. Many genes of bacterial and archaeal origin coding for CAZymes were identified in the metagenomes of several host tissues and the gut content of specimens from both laboratory lineages and a natural population of A. vulgare. Some of them may be involved in the degradation of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Reconstructing a lignocellulose-degrading microbial community based on the prokaryotic taxa contributing relevant CAZymes revealed two taxonomically distinct but functionally redundant microbial communities depending on host origin. In parallel, endogenous CAZymes were identified from the transcriptome of the host and their expression in digestive tissues was demonstrated by RT-qPCR, demonstrating a complementary enzyme repertoire for lignocellulose degradation from both the host and the microbiome in A. vulgare.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide new insights into the role of the microbiome in the evolution of terrestrial isopods and their adaptive radiation in terrestrial habitats.

RevDate: 2018-09-18

Sitaraman R (2018)

Prokaryotic horizontal gene transfer within the human holobiont: ecological-evolutionary inferences, implications and possibilities.

Microbiome, 6(1):163 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0551-z.

The ubiquity of horizontal gene transfer in the living world, especially among prokaryotes, raises interesting and important scientific questions regarding its effects on the human holobiont i.e., the human and its resident bacterial communities considered together as a unit of selection. Specifically, it would be interesting to determine how particular gene transfer events have influenced holobiont phenotypes in particular ecological niches and, conversely, how specific holobiont phenotypes have influenced gene transfer events. In this synthetic review, we list some notable and recent discoveries of horizontal gene transfer among the prokaryotic component of the human microbiota, and analyze their potential impact on the holobiont from an ecological-evolutionary viewpoint. Finally, the human-Helicobacter pylori association is presented as an illustration of these considerations, followed by a delineation of unresolved questions and avenues for future research.

RevDate: 2018-09-15

Bernasconi R, Stat M, Koenders A, et al (2018)

Global Networks of Symbiodinium-Bacteria Within the Coral Holobiont.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-018-1255-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Scleractinian corals form the framework of coral reefs and host abundant and diverse microbial communities that are fundamental to their success. A very limited number of studies have examined the co-occurrence of multiple partners within the coral 'holobiont' and their pattern of specificity over different geographical scales. In this study, we explored two molecular sequence datasets representing associations between corals and dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium and between corals and bacteria, across the globe. Through a network theory approach, we characterised patterns of co-occurrences between bacteria and Symbiodinium with 13 coral genera across six water basins. The majority of the bacteria-Symbiodinium co-occurrences were specific to either a coral genus or water basin, emphasising both coral host and environment as important factors driving the diversity of coral assemblages. Yet, results also identified bacteria and Symbiodinium that were shared by multiple coral genera across several water basins. The analyses indicate that shared co-occurrences are independent of the phylogenetic and biogeographic relationship of coral hosts.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Wenzel MA, Douglas A, SB Piertney (2018)

Microbiome composition within a sympatric species complex of intertidal isopods (Jaera albifrons).

PloS one, 13(8):e0202212 pii:PONE-D-18-05560.

The increasingly recognised effects of microbiomes on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of their hosts are promoting a view of the "hologenome" as an integral host-symbiont evolutionary entity. For example, sex-ratio distorting reproductive parasites such as Wolbachia are well-studied pivotal drivers of invertebrate reproductive processes, and more recent work is highlighting novel effects of microbiome assemblages on host mating behaviour and developmental incompatibilities that underpin or reinforce reproductive isolation processes. However, examining the hologenome and its eco-evolutionary effects in natural populations is challenging because microbiome composition is considerably influenced by environmental factors. Here we illustrate these challenges in a sympatric species complex of intertidal isopods (Jaera albifrons spp.) with pervasive sex-ratio distortion and ecological and behavioural reproductive isolation mechanisms. We deep-sequence the bacterial 16S rRNA gene among males and females collected in spring and summer from two coasts in north-east Scotland, and examine microbiome composition with a particular focus on reproductive parasites. Microbiomes of all species were diverse (overall 3,317 unique sequences among 3.8 million reads) and comprised mainly Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes taxa typical of the marine intertidal zone, in particular Vibrio spp. However, we found little evidence of the reproductive parasites Wolbachia, Rickettsia, Spiroplasma and Cardinium, suggesting alternative causes of sex-ratio distortion. Notwithstanding, a significant proportion of the variance in microbiome composition among samples was explained by sex (14.1 %), nested within geographic (26.9 %) and seasonal (39.6 %) variance components. The functional relevance of this sex signal was difficult to ascertain given the absence of reproductive parasites, the ephemeral nature of the species assemblages and substantial environmental variability. These results establish the Jaera albifrons species complex as an intriguing system for examining the effects of microbiomes on reproductive processes and speciation, and highlight the difficulties associated with snapshot assays of microbiome composition in dynamic and complex environments.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Basso V, De Freitas Pereira M, Maillard F, et al (2018)

Facing global change: the millennium challenge for plant scientists: 41st New Phytologist Symposium 'Plant sciences for the future', Nancy, France, April 2018.

The New phytologist, 220(1):25-29.

RevDate: 2018-08-27

Allard SM, Ottesen AR, Brown EW, et al (2018)

Insect exclusion limits variation in bacterial microbiomes of tomato flowers and fruit.

Journal of applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: The effect of insect exclusion via netting on bacterial microbiota associated with field-grown tomato fruit and flowers was evaluated.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Amplicon-based bacterial community profiling from insect-exposed plants and plants wrapped in nylon mosquito netting was conducted on total DNA extracted from tomato flower and mature unripe fruit washes. The V1-V3 region of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced using Illumina MiSeq and analyzed using QIIME v1.8. The carposphere supported significantly more phylogenetic diversity compared to the anthosphere, as measured by Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) richness (p=0.001) and Faith's Phylogenetic Diversity (p=0.004). Flowers and fruit hosted distinct bacterial community structures (R2 =0.27, p=0.001), with specific taxonomic differences in taxa that included the Xanthomonadaceae (higher in flowers), and the Pseudomonadaceae, Methylobacteriaceae and Rhizobiales (higher in fruit) (FDR-p<0.05). Bacterial community profiles of netted plants were overall statistically similar to non-netted plants for both flowers and fruit (p>0.10). However, less variation between samples was observed among flowers (~50% less, p=0.004) and green fruit (~10% less, p=0.038) collected from netted than non-netted plants.

CONCLUSION: Insects may introduce or augment variability in bacterial diversity associated with tomato flowers and potentially green fruit surfaces.

This work contributes to knowledge on microbiome dynamics of the tomato holobiont. Deciphering drivers of bacterial diversity and community structure of fruit crops could reveal processes important to agricultural management, such as competitive exclusion of pathogens and priming of plant defense mechanisms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-08-25

Stabili L, Parisi MG, Parrinello D, et al (2018)

Cnidarian Interaction with Microbial Communities: From Aid to Animal's Health to Rejection Responses.

Marine drugs, 16(9): pii:md16090296.

The phylum Cnidaria is an ancient branch in the tree of metazoans. Several species exert a remarkable longevity, suggesting the existence of a developed and consistent defense mechanism of the innate immunity capable to overcome the potential repeated exposure to microbial pathogenic agents. Increasing evidence indicates that the innate immune system in Cnidarians is not only involved in the disruption of harmful microorganisms, but also is crucial in structuring tissue-associated microbial communities that are essential components of the Cnidarian holobiont and useful to the animal's health for several functions, including metabolism, immune defense, development, and behavior. Sometimes, the shifts in the normal microbiota may be used as "early" bio-indicators of both environmental changes and/or animal disease. Here the Cnidarians relationships with microbial communities and the potential biotechnological applications are summarized and discussed.

RevDate: 2018-08-21

Van Duyl FC, Mueller B, EH Meesters (2018)

Spatio-temporal variation in stable isotope signatures (δ13C and δ15N) of sponges on the Saba Bank.

PeerJ, 6:e5460 pii:5460.

Sponges are ubiquitous on coral reefs, mostly long lived and therefore adaptive to changing environmental conditions. They feed on organic matter withdrawn from the passing water and they may harbor microorganisms (endosymbionts), which contribute to their nutrition. Their diets and stable isotope (SI) fractionation determine the SI signature of the sponge holobiont. Little is known of spatio-temporal variations in SI signatures of δ13C and δ15N in tropical sponges and whether they reflect variations in the environment. We investigated the SI signatures of seven common sponge species with different functional traits and their potential food sources between 15 and 32 m depth along the S-SE and E-NE side of the Saba Bank, Eastern Caribbean, in October 2011 and October 2013. SI signatures differed significantly between most sponge species, both in mean values and in variation, indicating different food preferences and/or fractionation, inferring sponge species-specific isotopic niche spaces. In 2011, all sponge species at the S-SE side were enriched in d13C compared to the E-NE side. In 2013, SI signatures of sponges did not differ between the two sides and were overall lighter in δ13C and δ15N than in 2011. Observed spatio-temporal changes in SI in sponges could not be attributed to changes in the SI signatures of their potential food sources, which remained stable with different SI signatures of pelagic (particulate organic matter (POM): δ13C -24.9‰, δ15N +4.3‰) and benthic-derived food (macroalgae: δ13C -15.4‰, δ15N +0.8‰). Enriched δ13C signatures in sponges at the S-SE side in 2011 are proposed to be attributed to predominantly feeding on benthic-derived C. This interpretation was supported by significant differences in water mass constituents between sides in October 2011. Elevated NO3 and dissolved organic matter concentrations point toward a stronger reef signal in reef overlying water at the S-SE than N-NE side of the Bank in 2011. The depletions of δ13C and δ15N in sponges in October 2013 compared to October 2011 concurred with significantly elevated POM concentrations. The contemporaneous decrease in δ15N suggests that sponges obtain their N mostly from benthic-derived food with a lower δ15N than pelagic food. Average proportional feeding on available sources varied between sponge species and ranged from 20% to 50% for benthic and 50% to 80% for pelagic-derived food, assuming trophic enrichment factors of 0.5‰ ± sd 0.5 for δ13C and 3‰ ± sd 0.5 for δ15N for sponges. We suggest that observed variation of SI in sponges between sides and years were the result of shifts in the proportion of ingested benthic- and pelagic-derived organic matter driven by environmental changes. We show that sponge SI signatures reflect environmental variability in space and time on the Saba Bank and that SI of sponges irrespective of their species-specific traits move in a similar direction in response to these environmental changes.

RevDate: 2018-08-07

Kranabetter JM, Harman-Denhoed R, BJ Hawkins (2018)

Saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal fungal sporocarp stoichiometry (C : N : P) across temperate rainforests as evidence of shared nutrient constraints among symbionts.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Quantifying nutritional dynamics of free-living saprotrophs and symbiotic ectomycorrhizal fungi in the field is challenging, but the stoichiometry of fruiting bodies (sporocarps) may be an effective methodology for this purpose. Carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations of soils, foliage and 146 sporocarp collections were analyzed from 14 Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii stands across a podzolization gradient on Vancouver Island (Canada). N and P concentrations were considerably higher in saprotrophic fungi. Fungal N% increased with soil N content at a greater rate for saprotrophs than ectomycorrhizal fungi, while fungal P% of saprotrophs was more constrained. Fungal N : P was more responsive to soil N : P for ectomycorrhizal fungi (homeostatic regulation coefficient 'H' = 2.9) than saprotrophs (H = 5.9), while N : P of ectomycorrhizal fungi and host tree foliage scaled almost identically. Results underscore the role of ectomycorrhizal fungi as nutrient conduits, supporting host trees, whereas saprotrophs maintain a greater degree of nutritional homeostasis. Site nutrient constraints were shared in equal measure between ectomycorrhizal fungi and host trees, particularly for P, suggesting neither partner benefits from enhanced nutrition at the expense of the other. Sporocarp stoichiometry provides new insights into mycorrhizal relationships and illustrates pervasive P deficiencies across temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.

RevDate: 2018-08-07

Godoy-Vitorino F, C Toledo-Hernandez (2018)

Reef-Building Corals as a Tool for Climate Change Research in the Genomics Era.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 65:529-546.

Coral reef ecosystems are among the most biodiverse habitats in the marine realm. They not only contribute with a plethora of ecosystem services, but they also are beneficial to humankind via nurturing marine fisheries and sustaining recreational activities. We will discuss the biology of coral reefs and their ecophysiology including the complex bacterial microbiota associated with them.

RevDate: 2018-08-01

Stencel A, DM Wloch-Salamon (2018)

Some theoretical insights into the hologenome theory of evolution and the role of microbes in speciation.

Theory in biosciences = Theorie in den Biowissenschaften pii:10.1007/s12064-018-0268-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Research on symbiotic communities (microbiomes) of multicellular organisms seems to be changing our understanding of how species of plants and animals have evolved over millions of years. The quintessence of these discoveries is the emergence of the hologenome theory of evolution, founded on the concept that a holobiont (a host along with all of its associated symbiotic microorganisms) acts a single unit of selection in the process of evolution. Although the hologenome theory has become very popular among certain scientific circles, its principles are still being debated. In this paper, we argue, firstly, that only a very small number of symbiotic microorganisms are sufficiently integrated into multicellular organisms to act in concert with them as units of selection, thus rendering claims that holobionts are units of selection invalid. Secondly, even though holobionts are not units of selection, they can still constitute genuine units from an evolutionary perspective, provided we accept certain constraints: mainly, they should be considered units of co-operation. Thirdly, we propose a reconciliation of the role of symbiotic microorganisms with the theory of speciation through the use of a developed framework. Mainly, we will argue that, in order to understand the role of microorganisms in the speciation of multicellular organisms, it is not necessary to consider holobionts units of selection; it is sufficient to consider them units of co-operation.

RevDate: 2018-08-01

Armstrong EJ, Roa JN, Stillman JH, et al (2018)

Symbiont photosynthesis in giant clams is promoted by V-type H+-ATPase from host cells.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:jeb.177220 [Epub ahead of print].

Giant clams (genus Tridacna) are the largest living bivalves and, like reef-building corals, host symbiotic dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodinium) that significantly contribute to their energy budget. In turn, Symbiodinium rely on the host to supply inorganic carbon (Ci) for photosynthesis. In corals, host "proton pump" vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (VHA) is part of a carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM) that promotes Symbiodinium photosynthesis. Here, we report that VHA in the small giant clam (Tridacna maxima) similarly promotes Symbiodinium photosynthesis. VHA was abundantly expressed in the apical membrane of epithelial cells of T. maxima's siphonal mantle tubule system which harbors Symbiodinium Furthermore, application of the highly specific pharmacological VHA inhibitors bafilomycin A1 and concanamycin A significantly reduced photosynthetic O2 production by ∼40%. Together with our observation that exposure to light increased holobiont aerobic metabolism ∼five-fold, and earlier estimates that translocated fixed carbon exceeds metabolic demand, we conclude that VHA activity in the siphonal mantle confers strong energetic benefits to the host clam through increased supply of Ci to algal symbionts and subsequent photosynthetic activity. The convergent role of VHA in promoting Symbiodinium photosynthesis in the giant clam siphonal mantle tubule system and coral symbiosome suggests VHA-driven CCM is a common exaptation in marine photosymbioses that deserves further investigation in other taxa.

RevDate: 2018-08-01

Marchesi JR (2018)

Advancing microbiome research.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 164(8):1005-1006.

RevDate: 2018-07-30

Berg M, B Koskella (2018)

Nutrient- and Dose-Dependent Microbiome-Mediated Protection against a Plant Pathogen.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(18)30753-X [Epub ahead of print].

Plant-associated microbial communities can promote plant nutrient uptake, growth, and resistance to pathogens [1-3]. Host resistance to infection can increase directly through commensal-pathogen interactions or indirectly through modulation of host defenses [4-6], the mechanisms of which are best described for rhizosphere-associated bacteria. For example, Arabidopsis plants infected with the foliar pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pathovar tomato (Pst), increase their root secretion of malate, which attracts Bacillus subtillis to the roots and leads to a stronger host response against Pst [7]. Although there are numerous examples of individual defensive symbionts (e.g., [8]), it is less clear whether this type of protection is an emergent property of whole microbial communities. In particular, relatively little is known about whether and how the presence of phyllosphere (above-ground) microbial communities can increase host resistance against pathogens. In this study, we examined the ability of augmented tomato phyllosphere microbiomes to confer resistance against the causal agent of bacterial speck, Pst. Across five independent experiments, the augmented phyllosphere microbiome was found to decrease pathogen colonization. Furthermore, the dose of commensal bacteria applied affected the degree of protection conferred, and although the effect is dependent on microbial composition, it is not clearly related to overall bacterial diversity. Finally, our results suggest that resources available to the phyllosphere microbial community may play an important role in protection, as the addition of fertilizer abolished the observed microbiome-mediated protection. Together, these results have clear relevance to microbiome-mediated protection within agricultural settings and the use of plant probiotics to increase disease resistance.

RevDate: 2018-07-27

Garcia J, J Kao-Kniffin (2018)

Microbial Group Dynamics in Plant Rhizospheres and Their Implications on Nutrient Cycling.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:1516.

Plant rhizospheres encompass a dynamic zone of interactions between microorganisms and their respective plant hosts. For decades, researchers have worked to understand how these complex interactions influence different aspects of plant growth, development, and evolution. Studies of plant-microbial interactions in the root zone have typically focused on the effect of single microbial species or strains on a plant host. These studies, however, provide only a snapshot of the complex interactions that occur in the rhizosphere, leaving researchers with a limited understanding of how the complex microbiome influences the biology of the plant host. To better understand how rhizosphere interactions influence plant growth and development, novel frameworks and research methodologies could be implemented. In this perspective, we propose applying concepts in evolutionary biology to microbiome experiments for improved understanding of group-to-group and community-level microbial interactions influencing soil nutrient cycling. We also put forth simple experimental designs utilizing -omics techniques that can reveal important changes in the rhizosphere impacting the plant host. A greater focus on the components of complexity of the microbiome and how these impact plant host biology could yield more insight into previously unexplored aspects of host-microbe biology relevant to crop production and protection.

RevDate: 2018-07-26

Klassen JL (2018)

Defining microbiome function.

Nature microbiology, 3(8):864-869.

Why does a microorganism associate with a host? What function does it perform? Such questions are difficult to unequivocally address and remain hotly debated. This is partially because scientists often use different philosophical definitions of 'function' ambiguously and interchangeably, as exemplified by the controversy surrounding the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project. Here, I argue that research studying host-associated microbial communities and their genomes (that is, microbiomes) faces similar pitfalls and that unclear or misapplied conceptions of function underpin many controversies in this field. In particular, experiments that support phenomenological models of function can inappropriately be used to support functional models that instead require specific measurements of evolutionary selection. Microbiome research also requires uniquely clear definitions of 'who the function is for', in contrast to most single-organism systems where this is implicit. I illustrate how obscuring either of these issues can lead to substantial confusion and misinterpretation of microbiome function, using the varied conceptions of the holobiont as a current and cogent example. Using clear functional definitions and appropriate types of evidence are essential to effectively communicate microbiome research and foster host health.

RevDate: 2018-07-24

Karimi K, Wuitchik DM, Oldach MJ, et al (2018)

Distinguishing Species Using GC Contents in Mixed DNA or RNA Sequences.

Evolutionary bioinformatics online, 14:1176934318788866 pii:10.1177_1176934318788866.

With the advent of whole transcriptome and genome analysis methods, classifying samples containing multiple origins has become a significant task. Nucleotide sequences can be allocated to a genome or transcriptome by aligning sequences to multiple target sequence sets, but this approach requires extensive computational resources and also depends on target sequence sets lacking contaminants, which is often not the case. Here, we demonstrate that raw sequences can be rapidly sorted into groups, in practice corresponding to genera, by exploiting differences in nucleotide GC content. To do so, we introduce GCSpeciesSorter, which uses classification, specifically Support Vector Machines (SVM) and the C4.5 decision tree generator, to differentiate sequences. It also implements a secondary BLAST feature to identify known outliers. In the test case presented, a hermatypic coral holobiont, the cnidarian host includes various endosymbionts. The best characterized and most common of these symbionts are zooxanthellae of the genus Symbiodinium. GCSpeciesSorter separates cnidarian from Symbiodinium sequences with a high degree of accuracy. We show that if the GC contents of the species differ enough, this method can be used to accurately distinguish the sequences of different species when using high-throughput sequencing technologies.

RevDate: 2018-07-19

Li Y, Liles MR, KM Halanych (2018)

Endosymbiont genomes yield clues of tubeworm success.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0220-z [Epub ahead of print].

Forty years after discovery of chemosynthetic symbiosis in the tubeworm Riftia pachyptila, how organisms maintain their unique host-symbiont associations at the cellular level is still largely unknown. Previous studies primarily focus on symbionts associated with host lineages living in hydrothermal vents. To understand physiological adaptations and evolution in these holobiont systems in markedly different habitats, we characterized four novel siboglinid-symbiont genomes spanning deep-sea seep and sedimented environments. Our comparative analyses suggest that all sampled siboglinid chemoautotrophic symbionts, except for frenulate symbionts, can use both rTCA and Calvin cycle for carbon fixation. We hypothesize that over evolutionary time siboglinids have been able to utilize different bacterial lineages allowing greater metabolic flexibility of carbon fixation (e.g., rTCA) enabling tubeworms to thrive in more reducing habitats, such as vents and seeps. Moreover, we show that sulfur metabolism and molecular mechanisms related to initial infection are remarkably conserved across chemoautotrophic symbionts in different habitats. Unexpectedly, we find that the ability to use hydrogen, as an additional energy source, is potentially more widespread than previously recognized. Our comparative genomic results help elucidate potential mechanisms used to allow chemosynthetically dependent holobionts adapt to, and evolve in, different environments.

RevDate: 2018-07-13

Lorimer J (2018)

Hookworms Make Us Human: The Microbiome, Eco-immunology, and a Probiotic Turn in Western Health Care.

Medical anthropology quarterly [Epub ahead of print].

Historians of science have identified an ecological turn underway in immunology, driven by the mapping of the human microbiome and wider environmentalist anxieties. A figure is emerging of the human as a holobiont, composed of microbes and threatened by both microbial excess and microbial absence. Antimicrobial approaches to germ warfare are being supplemented by probiotic approaches to restoring microbial life. This article examines the political ecology of this probiotic turn in Western health care. It focuses on Necator americanus-a species of human hookworm-and its relations with immunologists. The analysis moves from a history of human disentanglement from hookworm, to contemporary anxieties about their absence. It examines the reintroduction of worms for helminthic therapy and explores emerging trajectories for probiotic health care involving the synthesis, modification, and/or restoration of worms and their salutary ecologies. The conclusion differentiates these trajectories and identifies an emerging model of "post-paleo" microbiopolitics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-07-16

Klimovich AV, TCG Bosch (2018)

Rethinking the Role of the Nervous System: Lessons From the Hydra Holobiont.

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

Here we evaluate our current understanding of the function of the nervous system in Hydra, a non-bilaterian animal which is among the first metazoans that contain neurons. We highlight growing evidence that the nervous system, with its rich repertoire of neuropeptides, is involved in controlling resident beneficial microbes. We also review observations that indicate that microbes affect the animal's behavior by directly interfering with neuronal receptors. These findings provide new insight into the original role of the nervous system, and suggest that it emerged to orchestrate multiple functions including host-microbiome interactions. The excitement of future research in the Hydra model now relies on uncovering the common rules and principles that govern the interaction between neurons and microbes and the extent to which such laws might apply to other and more complex organisms.

RevDate: 2018-07-06

Lian J, Wijffels RH, Smidt H, et al (2018)

The effect of the algal microbiome on industrial production of microalgae.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbes are ubiquitously distributed, and they are also present in algae production systems. The algal microbiome is a pivotal part of the alga holobiont and has a key role in modulating algal populations in nature. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the role of bacteria in artificial systems ranging from laboratory flasks to industrial ponds. Coexisting microorganisms, and predominantly bacteria, are often regarded as contaminants in algal research, but recent studies manifested that many algal symbionts not only promote algal growth but also offer advantages in downstream processing. Because of the high expectations for microalgae in a bio-based economy, better understanding of benefits and risks of algal-microbial associations is important for the algae industry. Reducing production cost may be through applying specific bacteria to enhance algae growth at large scale as well as through preventing the growth of a broad spectrum of algal pathogens. In this review, we highlight the latest studies of algae-microbial interactions and their underlying mechanisms, discuss advantages of large-scale algal-bacterial cocultivation and extend such knowledge to a broad range of biotechnological applications.

RevDate: 2018-06-27

Kutschera U (2018)

Systems biology of eukaryotic superorganisms and the holobiont concept.

Theory in biosciences = Theorie in den Biowissenschaften pii:10.1007/s12064-018-0265-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The founders of modern biology (Jean Lamarck, Charles Darwin, August Weismann etc.) were organismic life scientists who attempted to understand the morphology and evolution of living beings as a whole (i.e., the phenotype). However, with the emergence of the study of animal and plant physiology in the nineteenth century, this "holistic view" of the living world changed and was ultimately replaced by a reductionistic perspective. Here, I summarize the history of systems biology, i.e., the modern approach to understand living beings as integrative organisms, from genotype to phenotype. It is documented that the physiologists Claude Bernard and Julius Sachs, who studied humans and plants, respectively, were early pioneers of this discipline, which was formally founded 50 years ago. In 1968, two influential monographs, authored by Ludwig von Bertalanffy and Mihajlo D. Mesarović, were published, wherein a "systems theory of biology" was outlined. Definitions of systems biology are presented with reference to metabolic or cell signaling networks, analyzed via genomics, proteomics, and other methods, combined with computer simulations/mathematical modeling. Then, key insights of this discipline with respect to epiphytic microbes (Methylobacterium sp.) and simple bacteria (Mycoplasma sp.) are described. The principles of homeostasis, molecular systems energetics, gnotobiology, and holobionts (i.e., complexities of host-microbiota interactions) are outlined, and the significance of systems biology for evolutionary theories is addressed. Based on the microbe-Homo sapiens-symbiosis, it is concluded that human biology and health should be interpreted in light of a view of the biomedical sciences that is based on the holobiont concept.

RevDate: 2018-06-29

Münger E, Montiel-Castro AJ, Langhans W, et al (2018)

Reciprocal Interactions Between Gut Microbiota and Host Social Behavior.

Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 12:21.

Animals harbor an extensive, dynamic microbial ecosystem in their gut. Gut microbiota (GM) supposedly modulate various host functions including fecundity, metabolism, immunity, cognition and behavior. Starting by analyzing the concept of the holobiont as a unit of selection, we highlight recent findings suggesting an intimate link between GM and animal social behavior. We consider two reciprocal emerging themes: (i) that GM influence host social behavior; and (ii) that social behavior and social structure shape the composition of the GM across individuals. We propose that, throughout a long history of coevolution, GM may have become involved in the modulation of their host's sociality to foster their own transmission, while in turn social organization may have fine-tuned the transmission of beneficial endosymbionts and prevented pathogen infection. We suggest that investigating these reciprocal interactions can advance our understanding of sociality, from healthy and impaired social cognition to the evolution of specific social behaviors and societal structure.

RevDate: 2018-07-20

Marchesi JR (2018)

Advancing microbiome research.

RevDate: 2018-06-22

Yurgel SN, Douglas GM, Dusault A, et al (2018)

Dissecting Community Structure in Wild Blueberry Root and Soil Microbiome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:1187.

A complex network of functions and symbiotic interactions between a eukaryotic host and its microbiome is a the foundation of the ecological unit holobiont. However, little is known about how the non-fungal eukaryotic microorganisms fit in this complex network of host-microbiome interactions. In this study, we employed a unique wild blueberry ecosystem to evaluate plant-associated microbiota, encompassing both eukaryotic and bacterial communities. We found that, while soil microbiome serves as a foundation for root microbiome, plant-influenced species sorting had stronger effect on eukaryotes than on bacteria. Our study identified several fungal and protist taxa, which are correlated with decreased fruit production in wild blueberry agricultural ecosystems. The specific effect of species sorting in root microbiome resulted in an increase in relative abundance of fungi adapted to plant-associated life-style, while the relative abundance of non-fungal eukaryotes was decreased along the soil-endosphere continuum in the root, probably because of low adaptation of these microorganisms to host-plant defense responses. Analysis of community correlation networks indicated that bacterial and eukaryotic interactions became more complex along the soil-endosphere continuum and, in addition to extensive mutualistic interactions, co-exclusion also played an important role in shaping wild blueberry associated microbiome. Our study identified several potential hub taxa with important roles in soil fertility and/or plant-microbe interaction, suggesting the key role of these taxa in the interconnection between soils and plant health and overall microbial community structure. This study also provides a comprehensive view of the role of non-fungal eukaryotes in soil ecosystem.

RevDate: 2018-07-17

Celis JS, Wibberg D, Ramírez-Portilla C, et al (2018)

Binning enables efficient host genome reconstruction in cnidarian holobionts.

GigaScience, 7(7):.

Background: Many cnidarians, including stony corals, engage in complex symbiotic associations, comprising the eukaryotic host, photosynthetic algae, and highly diverse microbial communities-together referred to as holobiont. This taxonomic complexity makes sequencing and assembling coral host genomes extremely challenging. Therefore, previous cnidarian genomic projects were based on symbiont-free tissue samples. However, this approach may not be applicable to the majority of cnidarian species for ecological reasons. We therefore evaluated the performance of an alternative method based on sequence binning for reconstructing the genome of the stony coral Porites rus from a hologenomic sample and compared it to traditional approaches.

Results: Our results demonstrate that binning performs well for hologenomic data, producing sufficient reads for assembling the draft genome of P. rus. An assembly evaluation based on operational criteria showed results that were comparable to symbiont-free approaches in terms of completeness and usefulness, despite a high degree of fragmentation in our assembly. In addition, we found that binning provides sufficient data for exploratory k-mer estimation of genomic features, such as genome size and heterozygosity.

Conclusions: Binning constitutes a powerful approach for disentangling taxonomically complex coral hologenomes. Considering the recent decline of coral reefs on the one hand and previous limitations to coral genome sequencing on the other hand, binning may facilitate rapid and reliable genome assembly. This study also provides an important milestone in advancing binning from the metagenomic to the hologenomic and from the prokaryotic to the eukaryotic level.

RevDate: 2018-07-12

van Oppen MJH, Bongaerts P, Frade P, et al (2018)

Adaptation to reef habitats through selection on the coral animal and its associated microbiome.

Molecular ecology, 27(14):2956-2971.

Spatially adjacent habitats on coral reefs can represent highly distinct environments, often harbouring different coral communities. Yet, certain coral species thrive across divergent environments. It is unknown whether the forces of selection are sufficiently strong to overcome the counteracting effects of the typically high gene flow over short distances, and for local adaptation to occur. We screened the coral genome (using restriction site-associated sequencing) and characterized both the dinoflagellate photosymbiont- and tissue-associated prokaryote microbiomes (using metabarcoding) of a reef flat and slope population of the reef-building coral, Pocillopora damicornis, at two locations on Heron Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef. Reef flat and slope populations were separated by <100 m horizontally and ~5 m vertically, and the two study locations were separated by ~1 km. For the coral host, genetic divergence between habitats was much greater than between locations, suggesting limited gene flow between the flat and slope populations. Consistent with environmental selection, outlier loci primarily belonged to the conserved, minimal cellular stress response, likely reflecting adaptation to the different temperature and irradiance regimes on the reef flat and slope. The prokaryote community differed across both habitat and, to a lesser extent, location, whereas the dinoflagellate photosymbionts differed by habitat but not location. The observed intraspecific diversity associated with divergent habitats supports that environmental adaptation involves multiple members of the coral holobiont. Adaptive alleles or microbial associations present in coral populations from the environmentally variable reef flat may provide a source of adaptive variation for assisted evolution approaches, through assisted gene flow, artificial cross-breeding or probiotic inoculations, with the aim to increase climate resilience in the slope populations.

RevDate: 2018-07-12

Vančurová L, Muggia L, Peksa O, et al (2018)

The complexity of symbiotic interactions influences the ecological amplitude of the host: A case study in Stereocaulon (lichenized Ascomycota).

Molecular ecology, 27(14):3016-3033.

Symbiosis plays a fundamental role in nature. Lichens are among the best known, globally distributed symbiotic systems whose ecology is shaped by the requirements of all symbionts forming the holobiont. The widespread lichen-forming fungal genus Stereocaulon provides a suitable model to study the ecology of microscopic green algal symbionts (i.e., phycobionts) within the lichen symbiosis. We analysed 282 Stereocaulon specimens, collected in diverse habitats worldwide, using the algal ITS rDNA and actin gene sequences and fungal ITS rDNA sequences. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a great diversity among the predominant phycobionts. The algal genus Asterochloris (Trebouxiophyceae) was recovered in most sampled thalli, but two additional genera, Vulcanochloris and Chloroidium, were also found. We used variation-partitioning analyses to investigate the effects of climatic conditions, substrate/habitat characteristic, spatial distribution and mycobionts on phycobiont distribution. Based on an analogy, we examined the effects of climate, substrate/habitat, spatial distribution and phycobionts on mycobiont distribution. According to our analyses, the distribution of phycobionts is primarily driven by mycobionts and vice versa. Specificity and selectivity of both partners, as well as their ecological requirements and the width of their niches, vary significantly among the species-level lineages. We demonstrated that species-level lineages, which accept more symbiotic partners, have wider climatic niches, overlapping with the niches of their partners. Furthermore, the survival of lichens on substrates with high concentrations of heavy metals appears to be supported by their association with toxicity-tolerant phycobionts. In general, low specificity towards phycobionts allows the host to associate with ecologically diversified algae, thereby broadening its ecological amplitude.

RevDate: 2018-07-10

R L Morlighem JÉ, Huang C, Liao Q, et al (2018)

The Holo-Transcriptome of the Zoantharian Protopalythoa variabilis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa): A Plentiful Source of Enzymes for Potential Application in Green Chemistry, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.

Marine drugs, 16(6): pii:md16060207.

Marine invertebrates, such as sponges, tunicates and cnidarians (zoantharians and scleractinian corals), form functional assemblages, known as holobionts, with numerous microbes. This type of species-specific symbiotic association can be a repository of myriad valuable low molecular weight organic compounds, bioactive peptides and enzymes. The zoantharian Protopalythoa variabilis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) is one such example of a marine holobiont that inhabits the coastal reefs of the tropical Atlantic coast and is an interesting source of secondary metabolites and biologically active polypeptides. In the present study, we analyzed the entire holo-transcriptome of P. variabilis, looking for enzyme precursors expressed in the zoantharian-microbiota assemblage that are potentially useful as industrial biocatalysts and biopharmaceuticals. In addition to hundreds of predicted enzymes that fit into the classes of hydrolases, oxidoreductases and transferases that were found, novel enzyme precursors with multiple activities in single structures and enzymes with incomplete Enzyme Commission numbers were revealed. Our results indicated the predictive expression of thirteen multifunctional enzymes and 694 enzyme sequences with partially characterized activities, distributed in 23 sub-subclasses. These predicted enzyme structures and activities can prospectively be harnessed for applications in diverse areas of industrial and pharmaceutical biotechnology.

RevDate: 2018-06-13

Nguyen MTHD, T Thomas (2018)

Diversity, host-specificity and stability of sponge-associated fungal communities of co-occurring sponges.

PeerJ, 6:e4965 pii:4965.

Fungi play a critical role in a range of ecosystems; however, their interactions and functions in marine hosts, and particular sponges, is poorly understood. Here we assess the fungal community composition of three co-occurring sponges (Cymbastela concentrica, Scopalina sp., Tedania anhelans) and the surrounding seawater over two time points to help elucidate host-specificity, stability and potential core members, which may shed light into the ecological function of fungi in sponges. The results showed that ITS-amplicon-based community profiling likely provides a more realistic assessment of fungal diversity in sponges than cultivation-dependent approaches. The sponges studied here were found to contain phylogenetically diverse fungi (eight fungal classes were observed), including members of the family Togniniaceae and the genus Acrostalagmus, that have so far not been reported to be cultured from sponges. Fungal communities within any given sponge species were found to be highly variable compared to bacterial communities, and influenced in structure by the community of the surrounding seawater, especially considering temporal variation. Nevertheless, the sponge species studied here contained a few "variable/core" fungi that appeared in multiple biological replicates and were enriched in their relative abundance compared to seawater communities. These fungi were the same or highly similar to fungal species detected in sponges around the world, which suggests a prevalence of horizontal transmission where selectivity and enrichment of some fungi occur for those that can survive and/or exploit the sponge environment. Our current sparse knowledge about sponge-associated fungi thus indicate that fungal communities may perhaps not play as an important ecological role in the sponge holobiont compared to bacterial or archaeal symbionts.

RevDate: 2018-06-11

Hall ER, Muller EM, Goulet T, et al (2018)

Eutrophication may compromise the resilience of the Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata to global change.

Marine pollution bulletin, 131(Pt A):701-711.

Environmental stressors are adversely affecting coral reef ecosystems. There is ample evidence that scleractinian coral growth and physiology may be compromised by reduced pH, and elevated temperature, and that this is exacerbated by local environmental stressors. The Gulf of Aqaba is considered a coral reef refuge from acidification and warming but coastal development and nutrient effluent may pose a local threat. This study examined the effects of select forecasted environmental changes (acidification, warming, and increased nutrients) individually and in combination on the coral holobiont Stylophora pistillata from the Gulf of Aqaba to understand how corals in a potential global climate change refugia may fare in the face of local eutrophication. The results indicate interactions between all stressors, with elevated nutrient concentrations having the broadest individual and additive impacts upon the performance of S. pistillata. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining oligotrophic conditions to secure these reefs as potential refugia.

RevDate: 2018-07-06

Meng A, Marchet C, Corre E, et al (2018)

A de novo approach to disentangle partner identity and function in holobiont systems.

Microbiome, 6(1):105 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0481-9.

BACKGROUND: Study of meta-transcriptomic datasets involving non-model organisms represents bioinformatic challenges. The production of chimeric sequences and our inability to distinguish the taxonomic origins of the sequences produced are inherent and recurrent difficulties in de novo assembly analyses. As the study of holobiont meta-transcriptomes is affected by challenges invoked above, we propose an innovative bioinformatic approach to tackle such difficulties and tested it on marine models as a proof of concept.

RESULTS: We considered three holobiont models, of which two transcriptomes were previously published and a yet unpublished transcriptome, to analyze and sort their raw reads using Short Read Connector, a k-mer based similarity method. Before assembly, we thus defined four distinct categories for each holobiont meta-transcriptome: host reads, symbiont reads, shared reads, and unassigned reads. Afterwards, we observed that independent de novo assemblies for each category led to a diminution of the number of chimeras compared to classical assembly methods. Moreover, the separation of each partner's transcriptome offered the independent and comparative exploration of their functional diversity in the holobiont. Finally, our strategy allowed to propose new functional annotations for two well-studied holobionts (a Cnidaria-Dinophyta, a Porifera-Bacteria) and a first meta-transcriptome from a planktonic Radiolaria-Dinophyta system forming widespread symbiotic association for which our knowledge is considerably limited.

CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to classical assembly approaches, our bioinformatic strategy generates less de novo assembled chimera and allows biologists to study separately host and symbiont data from a holobiont mixture. The pre-assembly separation of reads using an efficient tool as Short Read Connector is an effective way to tackle meta-transcriptomic challenges and offers bright perpectives to study holobiont systems composed of either well-studied or poorly characterized symbiotic lineages and ultimately expand our knowledge about these associations.

RevDate: 2018-05-25

Rädecker N, Raina JB, Pernice M, et al (2018)

Corrigendum: Using Aiptasia as a Model to Study Metabolic Interactions in Cnidarian-Symbiodinium Symbioses.

Frontiers in physiology, 9:449.

[This corrects the article on p. 214 in vol. 9, PMID: 29615919.].

RevDate: 2018-05-16

García-Bonilla E, Brandão PFB, Pérez T, et al (2018)

Stable and Enriched Cenarchaeum symbiosum and Uncultured Betaproteobacteria HF1 in the Microbiome of the Mediterranean Sponge Haliclona fulva (Demospongiae: Haplosclerida).

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-018-1201-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Sponges harbor characteristic microbiomes derived from symbiotic relationships shaping their lifestyle and survival. Haliclona fulva is encrusting marine sponge species dwelling in coralligenous accretions or semidark caves of the Mediterranean Sea and the near Atlantic Ocean. In this work, we characterized the abundance and core microbial community composition found in specimens of H. fulva by means of electron microscopy and 16S amplicon Illumina sequencing. We provide evidence of its low microbial abundance (LMA) nature. We found that the H. fulva core microbiome is dominated by sequences belonging to the orders Nitrosomonadales and Cenarchaeales. Seventy percent of the reads assigned to these phylotypes grouped in a very small number of high-frequency operational taxonomic units, representing niche-specific species Cenarchaeum symbiosum and uncultured Betaproteobacteria HF1, a new eubacterial ribotype variant found in H. fulva. The microbial composition of H. fulva is quite distinct from those reported in sponge species of the same Haliclona genus. We also detected evidence of an excretion/capturing loop between these abundant microorganisms and planktonic microbes by analyzing shifts in seawater planktonic microbial content exposed to healthy sponge specimens maintained in aquaria. Our results suggest that horizontal transmission is very likely the main mechanism for symbionts' acquisition by H. fulva. So far, this is the first shallow water sponge species harboring such a specific and predominant assemblage composed of these eubacterial and archaeal ribotypes. Our data suggests that this symbiotic relationship is very stable over time, indicating that the identified core microbial symbionts may play key roles in the holobiont functioning.

RevDate: 2018-05-18

Houdek P (2018)

Economic Holobiont: Influence of Parasites, Microbiota and Chemosignals on Economic Behavior.

Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 12:77.

The article is a perspective on utilization of microorganisms and chemosignals in studying human economic behavior. Research in biological roots of economic development has already confirmed that parasitic pressure influenced the creation and development of cultural norms and institutions. However, other effects of microorganisms on human groups and individual decision-making and behavior are heavily understudied. The perspective discusses how parasitic infections, sexually transmitted organisms and microbiota (i.e., "human holobiont") could causally influence risk-seeking behavior, impulsivity, social dominance, empathy, political views and gender differences. As a case study, the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and its influence on economic preferences, personal characteristics and human appearance are examined. I also briefly review how chemosignals influence decision-making, particularly in the social preferences domain. I mention some predictions that arise from the paradigm of economic holobiont for the economic science. The conclusion summarizes limitations of the discussed findings and the stated speculations.

RevDate: 2018-05-15

Bourrat P, PE Griffiths (2018)

Multispecies individuals.

History and philosophy of the life sciences, 40(2):33 pii:10.1007/s40656-018-0194-1.

We assess the arguments for recognising functionally integrated multispecies consortia as genuine biological individuals, including cases of so-called 'holobionts'. We provide two examples in which the same core biochemical processes that sustain life are distributed across a consortium of individuals of different species. Although the same chemistry features in both examples, proponents of the holobiont as unit of evolution would recognize one of the two cases as a multispecies individual whilst they would consider the other as a compelling case of ecological dependence between separate individuals. Some widely used arguments in support of the 'holobiont' concept apply equally to both cases, suggesting that those arguments have misidentified what is at stake when seeking to identify a new level of biological individuality. One important aspect of biological individuality is evolutionary individuality. In line with other work on the evolution of individuality, we show that our cases can be distinguished by focusing on the fitness alignment between the partners of the consortia. We conclude that much of the evidence currently presented for the ubiquity and importance of multi-species individuals is simply not to the point, at least unless the issue of biological individuality is firmly divorced from the question of evolutionary individuality.

RevDate: 2018-05-20

León-Palmero E, Joglar V, Álvarez PA, et al (2018)

Diversity and antimicrobial potential in sea anemone and holothurian microbiomes.

PloS one, 13(5):e0196178 pii:PONE-D-17-34144.

Marine invertebrates, as holobionts, contain symbiotic bacteria that coevolve and develop antimicrobial substances. These symbiotic bacteria are an underexplored source of new bioactive molecules to face the emerging antibiotic resistance in pathogens. Here, we explored the antimicrobial activity of bacteria retrieved from the microbiota of two sea anemones (Anemonia sulcata, Actinia equina) and two holothurians (Holothuria tubulosa, Holothuria forskali). We tested the antimicrobial activity of the isolated bacteria against pathogens with interest for human health, agriculture and aquaculture. We isolated 27 strains with antibacterial activity and 12 of these isolates also showed antifungal activity. We taxonomically identified these strains being Bacillus and Vibrio species the most representative producers of antimicrobial substances. Microbiome species composition of the two sea anemones was similar between them but differed substantially of seawater bacteria. In contrast, microbiome species composition of the two holothurian species was different between them and in comparison with the bacteria in holothurian feces and seawater. In all the holobiont microbiomes Bacteroidetes was the predominant phylum. For each microbiome, we determined diversity and the rank-abundance dominance using five fitted models (null, pre-emption, log-Normal, Zipf and Zipf-Mandelbrot). The models with less evenness (i.e. Zipf and Zipf-Mandelblot) showed the best fits in all the microbiomes. Finally, we tracked (using the V4 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA gene) the relative abundance of these 27 isolates with antibacterial activity in the total pool of sequences obtained for the microbiome of each holobiont. Coincidences, although with extremely low frequencies, were detected only in the microbiome of H. forskali. This fact suggests that these isolated bacteria belong to the long tail of rare symbiotic bacteria. Therefore, more and more sophisticated culture techniques are necessary to explore this apparently vast pool of rare symbiontic bacteria and to determine their biotechnological potentiality.

RevDate: 2018-05-11

Domin H, Zurita-Gutiérrez YH, Scotti M, et al (2018)

Predicted Bacterial Interactions Affect in Vivo Microbial Colonization Dynamics in Nematostella.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:728.

The maintenance and resilience of host-associated microbiota during development is a fundamental process influencing the fitness of many organisms. Several host properties were identified as influencing factors on bacterial colonization, including the innate immune system, mucus composition, and diet. In contrast, the importance of bacteria-bacteria interactions on host colonization is less understood. Here, we use bacterial abundance data of the marine model organism Nematostella vectensis to reconstruct potential bacteria-bacteria interactions through co-occurrence networks. The analysis indicates that bacteria-bacteria interactions are dynamic during host colonization and change according to the host's developmental stage. To assess the predictive power of inferred interactions, we tested bacterial isolates with predicted cooperative or competitive behavior for their ability to influence bacterial recolonization dynamics. Within 3 days of recolonization, all tested bacterial isolates affected bacterial community structure, while only competitive bacteria increased bacterial diversity. Only 1 week after recolonization, almost no differences in bacterial community structure could be observed between control and treatments. These results show that predicted competitive bacteria can influence community structure for a short period of time, verifying the in silico predictions. However, within 1 week, the effects of the bacterial isolates are neutralized, indicating a high degree of resilience of the bacterial community.

RevDate: 2018-05-15

Sorek M, Schnytzer Y, Ben-Asher HW, et al (2018)

Setting the pace: host rhythmic behaviour and gene expression patterns in the facultatively symbiotic cnidarian Aiptasia are determined largely by Symbiodinium.

Microbiome, 6(1):83 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0465-9.

BACKGROUND: All organisms employ biological clocks to anticipate physical changes in the environment; however, the integration of biological clocks in symbiotic systems has received limited attention. In corals, the interpretation of rhythmic behaviours is complicated by the daily oscillations in tissue oxygen tension resulting from the photosynthetic and respiratory activities of the associated algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium. In order to better understand the integration of biological clocks in cnidarian hosts of Symbiodinium, daily rhythms of behaviour and gene expression were studied in symbiotic and aposymbiotic morphs of the sea-anemone Aiptasia diaphana.

RESULTS: The results showed that whereas circatidal (approx. 12-h) cycles of activity and gene expression predominated in aposymbiotic morphs, circadian (approx. 24-h) patterns were the more common in symbiotic morphs, where the expression of a significant number of genes shifted from a 12- to 24-h rhythm. The behavioural experiments on symbiotic A. diaphana displayed diel (24-h) rhythmicity in body and tentacle contraction under the light/dark cycles, whereas aposymbiotic morphs showed approximately 12-h (circatidal) rhythmicity. Reinfection experiments represent an important step in understanding the hierarchy of endogenous clocks in symbiotic associations, where the aposymbiotic Aiptasia morphs returned to a 24-h behavioural rhythm after repopulation with algae.

CONCLUSION: Whilst some modification of host metabolism is to be expected, the extent to which the presence of the algae modified host endogenous behavioural and transcriptional rhythms implies that it is the symbionts that influence the pace. Our results clearly demonstrate the importance of the endosymbiotic algae in determining the timing and the duration of the extension and contraction of the body and tentacles and temporal gene expression.

RevDate: 2018-05-08

Faure D, Simon JC, T Heulin (2018)

Holobiont: a conceptual framework to explore the eco-evolutionary and functional implications of host-microbiota interactions in all ecosystems.

The New phytologist, 218(4):1321-1324.

RevDate: 2018-06-25

Nobori T, Mine A, K Tsuda (2018)

Molecular networks in plant-pathogen holobiont.

FEBS letters, 592(12):1937-1953.

Plant immune receptors enable detection of a multitude of microbes including pathogens. The recognition of microbes activates various plant signaling pathways, such as those mediated by phytohormones. Over the course of coevolution with microbes, plants have expanded their repertoire of immune receptors and signaling components, resulting in highly interconnected plant immune networks. These immune networks enable plants to appropriately respond to different types of microbes and to coordinate immune responses with developmental programs and environmental stress responses. However, the interconnectivity in plant immune networks is exploited by microbial pathogens to promote pathogen fitness in plants. Analogous to plant immune networks, virulence-related pathways in bacterial pathogens are also interconnected. Accumulating evidence implies that some plant-derived compounds target bacterial virulence networks. Thus, the plant immune and bacterial virulence networks intimately interact with each other. Here, we highlight recent insights into the structures of the plant immune and bacterial virulence networks and the interactions between them. We propose that small molecules derived from plants and/or bacterial pathogens connect the two molecular networks, forming supernetworks in the plant-bacterial pathogen holobiont.

RevDate: 2018-05-25

Karimi E, Slaby BM, Soares AR, et al (2018)

Metagenomic binning reveals versatile nutrient cycling and distinct adaptive features in alphaproteobacterial symbionts of marine sponges.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 94(6):.

Marine sponges are early-branched metazoans known to harbor dense and diverse microbial communities. Yet the role of the so far uncultivable alphaproteobacterial lineages that populate these sessile invertebrates remains unclear. We applied a sequence composition-dependent binning approach to assemble one Rhodospirillaceae genome from the Spongia officinalis microbial metagenome and contrast its functional features with those of closely related sponge-associated and free-living genomes. Both symbiotic and free-living Rhodospirillaceae shared a suite of common features, possessing versatile carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus metabolisms. Symbiotic genomes could be distinguished from their free-living counterparts by the lack of chemotaxis and motility traits, enrichment of genes required for the uptake and utilization of organic sulfur compounds-particularly taurine-, higher diversity and abundance of ABC transporters, and a distinct repertoire of genes involved in natural product biosynthesis, plasmid stability, cell detoxification and oxidative stress remediation. These sessile symbionts may more effectively contribute to host fitness via nutrient exchange, and also host detoxification and chemical defense. Considering the worldwide occurrence and high diversity of sponge-associated Rhodospirillaceae verified here using a tailored in silico approach, we suggest that these organisms are not only relevant to holobiont homeostasis but also to nutrient cycling in benthic ecosystems.

RevDate: 2018-05-08

Rosenberg E, I Zilber-Rosenberg (2018)

The hologenome concept of evolution after 10 years.

Microbiome, 6(1):78 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0457-9.

The holobiont (host with its endocellular and extracellular microbiome) can function as a distinct biological entity, an additional organismal level to the ones previously considered, on which natural selection operates. The holobiont can function as a whole: anatomically, metabolically, immunologically, developmentally, and during evolution. Consideration of the holobiont with its hologenome as an independent level of selection in evolution has led to a better understanding of underappreciated modes of genetic variation and evolution. The hologenome is comprised of two complimentary parts: host and microbiome genomes. Changes in either genome can result in variations that can be selected for or against. The host genome is highly conserved, and genetic changes within it occur slowly, whereas the microbiome genome is dynamic and can change rapidly in response to the environment by increasing or reducing particular microbes, by acquisition of novel microbes, by horizontal gene transfer, and by mutation. Recent experiments showing that microbiota can play an initial role in speciation have been suggested as an additional mode of enhancing evolution. Some of the genetic variations can be transferred to offspring by a variety of mechanisms. Strain-specific DNA analysis has shown that at least some of the microbiota can be maintained across hundreds of thousands of host generations, implying the existence of a microbial core. We argue that rapid changes in the microbiome genome could allow holobionts to adapt and survive under changing environmental conditions thus providing the time necessary for the host genome to adapt and evolve. As Darwin wrote, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives but the most adaptable".

RevDate: 2018-05-01

Vannier N, Mony C, Bittebiere AK, et al (2018)

A microorganisms' journey between plant generations.

Microbiome, 6(1):79 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0459-7.

BACKGROUND: Plants are colonized by a great diversity of microorganisms which form a microbiota and perform additional functions for their host. This microbiota can thus be considered a toolbox enabling plants to buffer local environmental changes, with a positive influence on plant fitness. In this context, the transmission of the microbiota to the progeny represent a way to ensure the presence of beneficial symbionts within the habitat. Examples of such transmission have been mainly described for seed transmission and concern a few pathogenic microorganisms. We investigated the transmission of symbiotic partners to plant progeny within clonal plant network.

METHODS: We used the clonal plant Glechoma hederacea as plant model and forced newly emitted clonal progeny to root in separated pots while controlling the presence of microorganisms. We used an amplicon sequencing approach of 16S and 18S rRNA targeting bacteria/archaea and fungi respectively to describe the root microbiota of mother and clonal-plant offspring.

RESULTS: We demonstrated the vertical transmission of a significant proportion of the mother plants' symbiotic bacteria and fungi to the daughters. Interestingly, archaea were not transmitted to the daughter plants. Transmitted communities had lower richness, suggesting a filtration during transmission. We found that the transmitted pool of microorganisms was similar among daughters, constituting the heritability of a specific cohort of microorganisms, opening a new understanding of the plant holobiont. We also found significant effects of distance to the mother plant and of growth time on the richness of the microbiota transmitted.

CONCLUSIONS: In this clonal plant, microorganisms are transmitted between individuals through connections, thereby ensuring the availability of microbe partners for the newborn plants as well as the dispersion between hosts for the microorganisms. This previously undescribed ecological process allows the dispersal of microorganisms in space and across plant generations. As the vast majority of plants are clonal, this process might be therefore a strong driver of ecosystem functioning and assembly of plant and microorganism communities in a wide range of ecosystems.

RevDate: 2018-04-22

Mortzfeld BM, Taubenheim J, Fraune S, et al (2018)

Stem Cell Transcription Factor FoxO Controls Microbiome Resilience in Hydra.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:629.

The aging process is considered to be the result of accumulating cellular deterioration in an individual organism over time. It can be affected by the combined influence of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors including life-style-associated events. In the non-senescent freshwater polyp Hydra, one of the classical model systems for evolutionary developmental biology and regeneration, transcription factor FoxO modulates both stem cell proliferation and innate immunity. This provides strong support for the role of FoxO as a critical rate-of-aging regulator. However, how environmental factors interact with FoxO remains unknown. Here, we find that deficiency in FoxO signaling in Hydra leads to dysregulation of antimicrobial peptide expression and that FoxO loss-of-function polyps are impaired in selection for bacteria resembling the native microbiome and more susceptible to colonization of foreign bacteria. These findings reveal a key role of FoxO signaling in the communication between host and microbiota and embed the evolutionary conserved longevity factor FoxO into the holobiont concept.

RevDate: 2018-04-18

Theis KR (2018)

Hologenomics: Systems-Level Host Biology.

mSystems, 3(2): pii:mSystems00164-17.

The hologenome concept of evolution is a hypothesis explaining host evolution in the context of the host microbiomes. As a hypothesis, it needs to be evaluated, especially with respect to the extent of fidelity of transgenerational coassociation of host and microbial lineages and the relative fitness consequences of repeated associations within natural holobiont populations. Behavioral ecologists are in a prime position to test these predictions because they typically focus on animal phenotypes that are quantifiable, conduct studies over multiple generations within natural animal populations, and collect metadata on genetic relatedness and relative reproductive success within these populations. Regardless of the conclusion on the hologenome concept as an evolutionary hypothesis, a hologenomic perspective has applied value as a systems-level framework for host biology, including in medicine. Specifically, it emphasizes investigating the multivarious and dynamic interactions between patient genomes and the genomes of their diverse microbiota when attempting to elucidate etiologies of complex, noninfectious diseases.

RevDate: 2018-04-13

Vigliotti C, Bicep C, Bapteste E, et al (2018)

Tracking the Rules of Transmission and Introgression with Networks.

Microbiology spectrum, 6(2):.

Understanding how an animal organism and its gut microbes form an integrated biological organization, known as a holobiont, is becoming a central issue in biological studies. Such an organization inevitably involves a complex web of transmission processes that occur on different scales in time and space, across microbes and hosts. Network-based models are introduced in this chapter to tackle aspects of this complexity and to better take into account vertical and horizontal dimensions of transmission. Two types of network-based models are presented, sequence similarity networks and bipartite graphs. One interest of these networks is that they can consider a rich diversity of important players in microbial evolution that are usually excluded from evolutionary studies, like plasmids and viruses. These methods bring forward the notion of "gene externalization," which is defined as the presence of redundant copies of prokaryotic genes on mobile genetic elements (MGEs), and therefore emphasizes a related although distinct process from lateral gene transfer between microbial cells. This chapter introduces guidelines to the construction of these networks, reviews their analysis, and illustrates their possible biological interpretations and uses. The application to human gut microbiomes shows that sequences present in a higher diversity of MGEs have both biased functions and a broader microbial and human host range. These results suggest that an "externalized gut metagenome" is partly common to humans and benefits the gut microbial community. We conclude that testing relationships between microbial genes, microbes, and their animal hosts, using network-based methods, could help to unravel additional mechanisms of transmission in holobionts.

RevDate: 2018-06-18

Allemand D, P Furla (2018)

How does an animal behave like a plant? Physiological and molecular adaptations of zooxanthellae and their hosts to symbiosis.

Comptes rendus biologies, 341(5):276-280.

Cnidarians (corals and sea anemones) harbouring photosynthetic microalgae derive several benefits from their association. To allow this association, numerous symbiotic-dependent adaptations in both partners, resulting from evolutionary pressures, have been selected. The dinoflagellate symbionts (zooxanthellae) are located inside a vesicle in the cnidarian host cell and are therefore exposed to a very different environment compared to the free-living state of these microalgae in terms of ion concentration and carbon content and speciation. In addition, this intracellular localization imposes that they rely completely upon the host for their nutrient supply (nitrogen, CO2). Symbiotic-dependent adaptations imposed to the animal host by phototrophic symbiosis are more relevant to photosynthetic organisms than to metazoans: indeed, the cnidarian host often harbours diurnal changes of morphology to adapt itself to the amount of light and possesses carbon-concentrating mechanisms, antioxidative defences and UV sunscreens similar to that present in phototrophs. These adaptations and the contrasting fragility of the association are discussed from both ecological and evolutionary points of view.

RevDate: 2018-07-04

Wille L, Messmer MM, Studer B, et al (2018)

Insights to plant-microbe interactions provide opportunities to improve resistance breeding against root diseases in grain legumes.

Plant, cell & environment [Epub ahead of print].

Root and foot diseases severely impede grain legume cultivation worldwide. Breeding lines with resistance against individual pathogens exist, but these resistances are often overcome by the interaction of multiple pathogens in field situations. Novel tools allow to decipher plant-microbiome interactions in unprecedented detail and provide insights into resistance mechanisms that consider both simultaneous attacks of various pathogens and the interplay with beneficial microbes. Although it has become clear that plant-associated microbes play a key role in plant health, a systematic picture of how and to what extent plants can shape their own detrimental or beneficial microbiome remains to be drawn. There is increasing evidence for the existence of genetic variation in the regulation of plant-microbe interactions that can be exploited by plant breeders. We propose to consider the entire plant holobiont in resistance breeding strategies in order to unravel hidden parts of complex defence mechanisms. This review summarizes (a) the current knowledge of resistance against soil-borne pathogens in grain legumes, (b) evidence for genetic variation for rhizosphere-related traits, (c) the role of root exudation in microbe-mediated disease resistance and elaborates (d) how these traits can be incorporated in resistance breeding programmes.

RevDate: 2018-04-08

Rädecker N, Raina JB, Pernice M, et al (2018)

Using Aiptasia as a Model to Study Metabolic Interactions in Cnidarian-Symbiodinium Symbioses.

Frontiers in physiology, 9:214.

The symbiosis between cnidarian hosts and microalgae of the genus Symbiodinium provides the foundation of coral reefs in oligotrophic waters. Understanding the nutrient-exchange between these partners is key to identifying the fundamental mechanisms behind this symbiosis, yet has proven difficult given the endosymbiotic nature of this relationship. In this study, we investigated the respective contribution of host and symbiont to carbon and nitrogen assimilation in the coral model anemone Aiptaisa. For this, we combined traditional measurements with nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and stable isotope labeling to investigate patterns of nutrient uptake and translocation both at the organismal scale and at the cellular scale. Our results show that the rate of carbon and nitrogen assimilation in Aiptasia depends on the identity of the host and the symbiont. NanoSIMS analysis confirmed that both host and symbiont incorporated carbon and nitrogen into their cells, implying a rapid uptake and cycling of nutrients in this symbiotic relationship. Gross carbon fixation was highest in Aiptasia associated with their native Symbiodinium communities. However, differences in fixation rates were only reflected in the δ13C enrichment of the cnidarian host, whereas the algal symbiont showed stable enrichment levels regardless of host identity. Thereby, our results point toward a "selfish" character of the cnidarian-Symbiodinium association in which both partners directly compete for available resources. Consequently, this symbiosis may be inherently instable and highly susceptible to environmental change. While questions remain regarding the underlying cellular controls of nutrient exchange and the nature of metabolites involved, the approach outlined in this study constitutes a powerful toolset to address these questions.

RevDate: 2018-05-27

Wang J, Chen L, Zhao N, et al (2018)

Of genes and microbes: solving the intricacies in host genomes.

Protein & cell, 9(5):446-461.

Microbiome research is a quickly developing field in biomedical research, and we have witnessed its potential in understanding the physiology, metabolism and immunology, its critical role in understanding the health and disease of the host, and its vast capacity in disease prediction, intervention and treatment. However, many of the fundamental questions still need to be addressed, including the shaping forces of microbial diversity between individuals and across time. Microbiome research falls into the classical nature vs. nurture scenario, such that host genetics shape part of the microbiome, while environmental influences change the original course of microbiome development. In this review, we focus on the nature, i.e., the genetic part of the equation, and summarize the recent efforts in understanding which parts of the genome, especially the human and mouse genome, play important roles in determining the composition and functions of microbial communities, primarily in the gut but also on the skin. We aim to present an overview of different approaches in studying the intricate relationships between host genetic variations and microbes, its underlying philosophy and methodology, and we aim to highlight a few key discoveries along this exploration, as well as current pitfalls. More evidence and results will surely appear in upcoming studies, and the accumulating knowledge will lead to a deeper understanding of what we could finally term a "hologenome", that is, the organized, closely interacting genome of the host and the microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-04-08

van de Water JAJM, Allemand D, C Ferrier-Pagès (2018)

Host-microbe interactions in octocoral holobionts - recent advances and perspectives.

Microbiome, 6(1):64 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0431-6.

Octocorals are one of the most ubiquitous benthic organisms in marine ecosystems from the shallow tropics to the Antarctic deep sea, providing habitat for numerous organisms as well as ecosystem services for humans. In contrast to the holobionts of reef-building scleractinian corals, the holobionts of octocorals have received relatively little attention, despite the devastating effects of disease outbreaks on many populations. Recent advances have shown that octocorals possess remarkably stable bacterial communities on geographical and temporal scales as well as under environmental stress. This may be the result of their high capacity to regulate their microbiome through the production of antimicrobial and quorum-sensing interfering compounds. Despite decades of research relating to octocoral-microbe interactions, a synthesis of this expanding field has not been conducted to date. We therefore provide an urgently needed review on our current knowledge about octocoral holobionts. Specifically, we briefly introduce the ecological role of octocorals and the concept of holobiont before providing detailed overviews of (I) the symbiosis between octocorals and the algal symbiont Symbiodinium; (II) the main fungal, viral, and bacterial taxa associated with octocorals; (III) the dominance of the microbial assemblages by a few microbial species, the stability of these associations, and their evolutionary history with the host organism; (IV) octocoral diseases; (V) how octocorals use their immune system to fight pathogens; (VI) microbiome regulation by the octocoral and its associated microbes; and (VII) the discovery of natural products with microbiome regulatory activities. Finally, we present our perspectives on how the field of octocoral research should move forward, and the recognition that these organisms may be suitable model organisms to study coral-microbe symbioses.

RevDate: 2018-05-22
CmpDate: 2018-05-22

Bang C, Dagan T, Deines P, et al (2018)

Metaorganisms in extreme environments: do microbes play a role in organismal adaptation?.

Zoology (Jena, Germany), 127:1-19.

From protists to humans, all animals and plants are inhabited by microbial organisms. There is an increasing appreciation that these resident microbes influence the fitness of their plant and animal hosts, ultimately forming a metaorganism consisting of a uni- or multicellular host and a community of associated microorganisms. Research on host-microbe interactions has become an emerging cross-disciplinary field. In both vertebrates and invertebrates a complex microbiome confers immunological, metabolic and behavioural benefits; conversely, its disturbance can contribute to the development of disease states. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling the interactions within a metaorganism are poorly understood and many key interactions between the associated organisms remain unknown. In this perspective article, we outline some of the issues in interspecies interactions and in particular address the question of how metaorganisms react and adapt to inputs from extreme environments such as deserts, the intertidal zone, oligothrophic seas, and hydrothermal vents.

RevDate: 2018-04-01

Hassani MA, Durán P, S Hacquard (2018)

Microbial interactions within the plant holobiont.

Microbiome, 6(1):58 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0445-0.

Since the colonization of land by ancestral plant lineages 450 million years ago, plants and their associated microbes have been interacting with each other, forming an assemblage of species that is often referred to as a "holobiont." Selective pressure acting on holobiont components has likely shaped plant-associated microbial communities and selected for host-adapted microorganisms that impact plant fitness. However, the high microbial densities detected on plant tissues, together with the fast generation time of microbes and their more ancient origin compared to their host, suggest that microbe-microbe interactions are also important selective forces sculpting complex microbial assemblages in the phyllosphere, rhizosphere, and plant endosphere compartments. Reductionist approaches conducted under laboratory conditions have been critical to decipher the strategies used by specific microbes to cooperate and compete within or outside plant tissues. Nonetheless, our understanding of these microbial interactions in shaping more complex plant-associated microbial communities, along with their relevance for host health in a more natural context, remains sparse. Using examples obtained from reductionist and community-level approaches, we discuss the fundamental role of microbe-microbe interactions (prokaryotes and micro-eukaryotes) for microbial community structure and plant health. We provide a conceptual framework illustrating that interactions among microbiota members are critical for the establishment and the maintenance of host-microbial homeostasis.

RevDate: 2018-04-01

Gobet A, Mest L, Perennou M, et al (2018)

Seasonal and algal diet-driven patterns of the digestive microbiota of the European abalone Haliotis tuberculata, a generalist marine herbivore.

Microbiome, 6(1):60 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0430-7.

BACKGROUND: Holobionts have a digestive microbiota with catabolic abilities allowing the degradation of complex dietary compounds for the host. In terrestrial herbivores, the digestive microbiota is known to degrade complex polysaccharides from land plants while in marine herbivores, the digestive microbiota is poorly characterized. Most of the latter are generalists and consume red, green, and brown macroalgae, three distinct lineages characterized by a specific composition in complex polysaccharides, which represent half of their biomass. Subsequently, each macroalga features a specific epiphytic microbiota, and the digestive microbiota of marine herbivores is expected to vary with a monospecific algal diet. We investigated the effect of four monospecific diets (Palmaria palmata, Ulva lactuca, Saccharina latissima, Laminaria digitata) on the composition and specificity of the digestive microbiota of a generalist marine herbivore, the abalone, farmed in a temperate coastal area over a year. The microbiota from the abalone digestive gland was sampled every 2 months and explored using metabarcoding.

RESULTS: Diversity and multivariate analyses showed that patterns of the microbiota were significantly linked to seasonal variations of contextual parameters but not directly to a specific algal diet. Three core genera: Psychrilyobacter, Mycoplasma, and Vibrio constantly dominated the microbiota in the abalone digestive gland. Additionally, a less abundant and diet-specific core microbiota featured genera representing aerobic primary degraders of algal polysaccharides.

CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the establishment of a persistent core microbiota in the digestive gland of the abalone since its juvenile state and the presence of a less abundant and diet-specific core community. While composed of different microbial taxa compared to terrestrial herbivores, the digestive gland constitutes a particular niche in the abalone holobiont, where bacteria (i) may cooperate to degrade algal polysaccharides to products assimilable by the host or (ii) may have acquired these functions through gene transfer from the aerobic algal microbiota.

RevDate: 2018-03-24

Pootakham W, Mhuantong W, Putchim L, et al (2018)

Dynamics of coral-associated microbiomes during a thermal bleaching event.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

Coral-associated microorganisms play an important role in their host fitness and survival. A number of studies have demonstrated connections between thermal tolerance in corals and the type/relative abundance of Symbiodinium they harbor. More recently, the shifts in coral-associated bacterial profiles were also shown to be linked to the patterns of coral heat tolerance. Here, we investigated the dynamics of Porites lutea-associated bacterial and algal communities throughout a natural bleaching event, using full-length 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer sequences (ITS) obtained from PacBio circular consensus sequencing. We provided evidence of significant changes in the structure and diversity of coral-associated microbiomes during thermal stress. The balance of the symbiosis shifted from a predominant association between corals and Gammaproteobacteria to a predominance of Alphaproteobacteria and to a lesser extent Betaproteobacteria following the bleaching event. On the contrary, the composition and diversity of Symbiodinium communities remained unaltered throughout the bleaching event. It appears that the switching and/or shuffling of Symbiodinium types may not be the primary mechanism used by P. lutea to cope with increasing seawater temperature. The shifts in the structure and diversity of associated bacterial communities may contribute more to the survival of the coral holobiont under heat stress.

RevDate: 2018-07-15

Rahman MM, Flory E, Koyro HW, et al (2018)

Consistent associations with beneficial bacteria in the seed endosphere of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.).

Systematic and applied microbiology, 41(4):386-398.

The importance of the plant microbiome for host fitness has led to the concept of the "plant holobiont". Seeds are reservoirs and vectors for beneficial microbes, which are very intimate partners of higher plants with the potential to connect plant generations. In this study, the endophytic seed microbiota of numerous barley samples, representing different cultivars, geographical sites and harvest years, was investigated. Cultivation-dependent and -independent analyses, microscopy, functional plate assays, greenhouse assays and functional prediction were used, with the aim of assessing the composition, stability and function of the barley seed endophytic bacterial microbiota. Associations were consistently detected in the seed endosphere with Paenibacillus, Pantoea and Pseudomonas spp., which were able to colonize the root with a notable rhizocompetence after seed germination. In greenhouse assays, enrichment with these bacteria promoted barley growth, improved mineral nutrition and induced resistance against the fungal pathogen Blumeria graminis. We demonstrated here that barley, an important crop plant, was consistently associated with beneficial bacteria inside the seeds. The results have relevant implications for plant microbiome ecology and for the holobiont concept, as well as opening up new possibilities for research and application of seed endophytes as bioinoculants in sustainable agriculture.

RevDate: 2018-03-28

Callens M, Watanabe H, Kato Y, et al (2018)

Microbiota inoculum composition affects holobiont assembly and host growth in Daphnia.

Microbiome, 6(1):56 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0444-1.

BACKGROUND: Host-associated microbiota is often acquired by horizontal transmission of microbes present in the environment. It is hypothesized that differences in the environmental pool of colonizers can influence microbiota community assembly on the host and as such affect holobiont composition and host fitness. To investigate this hypothesis, the host-associated microbiota of the invertebrate eco(toxico)logical model Daphnia was experimentally disturbed using different concentrations of the antibiotic oxytetracycline. The community assembly and host-microbiota interactions when Daphnia were colonized by the disturbed microbiota were investigated by inoculating germ-free individuals with the microbiota.

RESULTS: Antibiotic-induced disturbance of the microbiota had a strong effect on the subsequent colonization of Daphnia by affecting ecological interactions between members of the microbiota. This resulted in differences in community assembly which, in turn, affected Daphnia growth.

CONCLUSIONS: These results show that the composition of the pool of colonizing microbiota can be an important structuring factor of the microbiota assembly on Daphnia, affecting holobiont composition and host growth. These findings contribute to a better understanding of how the microbial environment can shape the holobiont composition and affect host-microbiota interactions.

RevDate: 2018-03-28

Ravanbakhsh M, Sasidharan R, Voesenek LACJ, et al (2018)

Microbial modulation of plant ethylene signaling: ecological and evolutionary consequences.

Microbiome, 6(1):52 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0436-1.

The plant hormone ethylene is one of the central regulators of plant development and stress resistance. Optimal ethylene signaling is essential for plant fitness and is under strong selection pressure. Plants upregulate ethylene production in response to stress, and this hormone triggers defense mechanisms. Due to the pleiotropic effects of ethylene, adjusting stress responses to maximize resistance, while minimizing costs, is a central determinant of plant fitness. Ethylene signaling is influenced by the plant-associated microbiome. We therefore argue that the regulation, physiology, and evolution of the ethylene signaling can best be viewed as the interactive result of plant genotype and associated microbiota. In this article, we summarize the current knowledge on ethylene signaling and recapitulate the multiple ways microorganisms interfere with it. We present ethylene signaling as a model system for holobiont-level evolution of plant phenotype: this cascade is tractable, extremely well studied from both a plant and a microbial perspective, and regulates fundamental components of plant life history. We finally discuss the potential impacts of ethylene modulation microorganisms on plant ecology and evolution. We assert that ethylene signaling cannot be fully appreciated without considering microbiota as integral regulatory actors, and we more generally suggest that plant ecophysiology and evolution can only be fully understood in the light of plant-microbiome interactions.

RevDate: 2018-03-22

Wegley Kelly L, Haas AF, CE Nelson (2018)

Ecosystem Microbiology of Coral Reefs: Linking Genomic, Metabolomic, and Biogeochemical Dynamics from Animal Symbioses to Reefscape Processes.

mSystems, 3(2): pii:mSystems00162-17.

Over the past 2 decades, molecular techniques have established the critical role of both free-living and host-associated microbial partnerships in the environment. Advancing research to link microbial community dynamics simultaneously to host physiology and ecosystem biogeochemistry is required to broaden our understanding of the ecological roles of environmental microbes. Studies on coral reefs are actively integrating these data streams at multiple levels, from the symbiotic habitat of the coral holobiont to microbially mediated interactions between corals and algae to the effects of these interactions on the microbial community structure, metabolism, and organic geochemistry of the reef ecosystem. Coral reefs endure multiple anthropogenic impacts, including pollution, overfishing, and global change. In this context, we must develop ecosystem microbiology with an eye to providing managers with microbial indicators of reef ecosystem processes, coral health, and resilience to both local and global stressors.

RevDate: 2018-03-22

Guégan M, Zouache K, Démichel C, et al (2018)

The mosquito holobiont: fresh insight into mosquito-microbiota interactions.

Microbiome, 6(1):49 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0435-2.

The holobiont concept was first developed for coral ecosystems but has been extended to multiple organisms, including plants and other animals. Studies on insect-associated microbial communities have produced strong evidence that symbiotic bacteria play a major role in host biology. However, the understanding of these symbiotic relationships has mainly been limited to phytophagous insects, while the role of host-associated microbiota in haematophagous insect vectors remains largely unexplored. Mosquitoes are a major global public health concern, with a concomitant increase in people at risk of infection. The global emergence and re-emergence of mosquito-borne diseases has led many researchers to study both the mosquito host and its associated microbiota. Although most of these studies have been descriptive, they have led to a broad description of the bacterial communities hosted by mosquito populations. This review describes key advances and progress in the field of the mosquito microbiota research while also encompassing other microbes and the environmental factors driving their composition and diversity. The discussion includes recent findings on the microbiota functional roles and underlines their interactions with the host biology and pathogen transmission. Insight into the ecology of multipartite interactions, we consider that conferring the term holobiont to the mosquito and its microbiota is useful to get a comprehensive understanding of the vector pathosystem functioning so as to be able to develop innovative and efficient novel vector control strategies.

RevDate: 2018-04-03

Rua CPJ, de Oliveira LS, Froes A, et al (2018)

Microbial and Functional Biodiversity Patterns in Sponges that Accumulate Bromopyrrole Alkaloids Suggest Horizontal Gene Transfer of Halogenase Genes.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-018-1172-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Marine sponge holobionts harbor complex microbial communities whose members may be the true producers of secondary metabolites accumulated by sponges. Bromopyrrole alkaloids constitute a typical class of secondary metabolites isolated from sponges that very often display biological activities. Bromine incorporation into secondary metabolites can be catalyzed by either halogenases or haloperoxidases. The diversity of the metagenomes of sponge holobiont species containing bromopyrrole alkaloids (Agelas spp. and Tedania brasiliensis) as well as holobionts devoid of bromopyrrole alkaloids spanning in a vast biogeographic region (approx. Seven thousand km) was studied. The origin and specificity of the detected halogenases was also investigated. The holobionts Agelas spp. and T. brasiliensis did not share microbial halogenases, suggesting a species-specific pattern. Bacteria of diverse phylogenetic origins encoding halogenase genes were found to be more abundant in bromopyrrole-containing sponges. The sponge holobionts (e.g., Agelas spp.) with the greatest number of sequences related to clustered, interspaced, short, palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) exhibited the fewest phage halogenases, suggesting a possible mechanism of protection from phage infection by the sponge host. This study highlights the potential of phages to transport halogenases horizontally across host sponges, particularly in more permissive holobiont hosts, such as Tedania spp.

RevDate: 2018-03-23

Sevellec M, Derome N, L Bernatchez (2018)

Holobionts and ecological speciation: the intestinal microbiota of lake whitefish species pairs.

Microbiome, 6(1):47 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0427-2.

BACKGROUND: It is well established that symbionts have considerable impact on their host, yet the investigation of the possible role of the holobiont in the host's speciation process is still in its infancy. In this study, we compared the intestinal microbiota among five sympatric pairs of dwarf (limnetic) and normal (benthic) lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis representing a continuum in the early stage of ecological speciation. We sequenced the 16s rRNA gene V3-V4 regions of the intestinal microbiota present in a total of 108 wild sympatric dwarf and normal whitefish as well as the water bacterial community from five lakes to (i) test for differences between the whitefish intestinal microbiota and the water bacterial community and (ii) test for parallelism in the intestinal microbiota of dwarf and normal whitefish.

RESULTS: The water bacterial community was distinct from the intestinal microbiota, indicating that intestinal microbiota did not reflect the environment, but rather the intrinsic properties of the host microbiota. Our results revealed a strong influence of the host (dwarf or normal) on the intestinal microbiota with pronounced conservation of the core intestinal microbiota (mean ~ 44% of shared genera). However, no clear evidence for parallelism was observed, whereby non-parallel differences between dwarf and normal whitefish were observed in three of the lakes while similar taxonomic composition was observed for the two other species pairs.

CONCLUSIONS: This absence of parallelism across dwarf vs. normal whitefish microbiota highlighted the complexity of the holobiont and suggests that the direction of selection could be different between the host and its microbiota.

RevDate: 2018-03-16

Pita L, Rix L, Slaby BM, et al (2018)

The sponge holobiont in a changing ocean: from microbes to ecosystems.

Microbiome, 6(1):46 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0428-1.

The recognition that all macroorganisms live in symbiotic association with microbial communities has opened up a new field in biology. Animals, plants, and algae are now considered holobionts, complex ecosystems consisting of the host, the microbiota, and the interactions among them. Accordingly, ecological concepts can be applied to understand the host-derived and microbial processes that govern the dynamics of the interactive networks within the holobiont. In marine systems, holobionts are further integrated into larger and more complex communities and ecosystems, a concept referred to as "nested ecosystems." In this review, we discuss the concept of holobionts as dynamic ecosystems that interact at multiple scales and respond to environmental change. We focus on the symbiosis of sponges with their microbial communities-a symbiosis that has resulted in one of the most diverse and complex holobionts in the marine environment. In recent years, the field of sponge microbiology has remarkably advanced in terms of curated databases, standardized protocols, and information on the functions of the microbiota. Like a Russian doll, these microbial processes are translated into sponge holobiont functions that impact the surrounding ecosystem. For example, the sponge-associated microbial metabolisms, fueled by the high filtering capacity of the sponge host, substantially affect the biogeochemical cycling of key nutrients like carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous. Since sponge holobionts are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic stressors that jeopardize the stability of the holobiont ecosystem, we discuss the link between environmental perturbations, dysbiosis, and sponge diseases. Experimental studies suggest that the microbial community composition is tightly linked to holobiont health, but whether dysbiosis is a cause or a consequence of holobiont collapse remains unresolved. Moreover, the potential role of the microbiome in mediating the capacity for holobionts to acclimate and adapt to environmental change is unknown. Future studies should aim to identify the mechanisms underlying holobiont dynamics at multiple scales, from the microbiome to the ecosystem, and develop management strategies to preserve the key functions provided by the sponge holobiont in our present and future oceans.

RevDate: 2018-03-09

Brüwer JD, CR Voolstra (2018)

First insight into the viral community of the cnidarian model metaorganism Aiptasia using RNA-Seq data.

PeerJ, 6:e4449 pii:4449.

Current research posits that all multicellular organisms live in symbioses with associated microorganisms and form so-called metaorganisms or holobionts. Cnidarian metaorganisms are of specific interest given that stony corals provide the foundation of the globally threatened coral reef ecosystems. To gain first insight into viruses associated with the coral model system Aiptasia (sensu Exaiptasia pallida), we analyzed an existing RNA-Seq dataset of aposymbiotic, partially populated, and fully symbiotic Aiptasia CC7 anemones with Symbiodinium. Our approach included the selective removal of anemone host and algal endosymbiont sequences and subsequent microbial sequence annotation. Of a total of 297 million raw sequence reads, 8.6 million (∼3%) remained after host and endosymbiont sequence removal. Of these, 3,293 sequences could be assigned as of viral origin. Taxonomic annotation of these sequences suggests that Aiptasia is associated with a diverse viral community, comprising 116 viral taxa covering 40 families. The viral assemblage was dominated by viruses from the families Herpesviridae (12.00%), Partitiviridae (9.93%), and Picornaviridae (9.87%). Despite an overall stable viral assemblage, we found that some viral taxa exhibited significant changes in their relative abundance when Aiptasia engaged in a symbiotic relationship with Symbiodinium. Elucidation of viral taxa consistently present across all conditions revealed a core virome of 15 viral taxa from 11 viral families, encompassing many viruses previously reported as members of coral viromes. Despite the non-random selection of viral genetic material due to the nature of the sequencing data analyzed, our study provides a first insight into the viral community associated with Aiptasia. Similarities of the Aiptasia viral community with those of corals corroborate the application of Aiptasia as a model system to study coral holobionts. Further, the change in abundance of certain viral taxa across different symbiotic states suggests a role of viruses in the algal endosymbiosis, but the functional significance of this remains to be determined.

RevDate: 2018-05-06

Haag KL (2018)

Holobionts and their hologenomes: Evolution with mixed modes of inheritance.

Genetics and molecular biology, 41(1 suppl 1):189-197.

Symbioses are ubiquitous and have played an influential role in the evolution of life on Earth. Genomic studies are now revealing a huge diversity of associations among hosts and their microbiotas, allowing us to characterize their complex ecological and evolutionary dynamics. The different transmission modes and the asynchronous cell proliferation of the numerous symbionts associated with one host generate a genomic conflict ought to be solved. Two disputing views have been used to model and predict the outcome of such conflicts. The traditional view is based on community ecology, and considers that selection at the level of individuals is sufficient to explain longstanding associations among species. A new perspective considers that the host and its associated microbiota constitute a biological entity called holobiont, and that regarding it as a higher-level unit of selection is unavoidable to understand phenotypic evolution. Novel extended phenotypes are often built through symbiotic interactions, allowing the holobiont to explore and survive in distinct environmental conditions, and may evolve in a Lamarckian fashion.

RevDate: 2018-05-23

Tetreau G, Grizard S, Patil CD, et al (2018)

Bacterial microbiota of Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae is altered by intoxication with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis.

Parasites & vectors, 11(1):121 pii:10.1186/s13071-018-2741-8.

BACKGROUND: Insect microbiota is a dynamic microbial community that can actively participate in defense against pathogens. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a natural entomopathogen widely used as a bioinsecticide for pest control. Although Bt's mode of action has been extensively studied, whether the presence of microbiota is mandatory for Bt to effectively kill the insect is still under debate. An association between a higher tolerance and a modified microbiota was already evidenced but a critical point remained to be solved: is the modified microbiota a cause or a consequence of a higher tolerance to Bt?

METHODS: In this study we focused on the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, as no work has been performed on Diptera on this topic to date, and on B. thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which is used worldwide for mosquito control. To avoid using antibiotics to cure bacterial microbiota, mosquito larvae were exposed to an hourly increasing dose of Bti during 25 hours to separate the most susceptible larvae dying quickly from more tolerant individuals, with longer survival.

RESULTS: Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting revealed that mosquito larval bacterial microbiota was strongly affected by Bti infection after only a few hours of exposure. Bacterial microbiota from the most tolerant larvae showed the lowest diversity but the highest inter-individual differences. The proportion of Bti in the host tissue was reduced in the most tolerant larvae as compared to the most susceptible ones, suggesting an active control of Bti infection by the host.

CONCLUSIONS: Here we show that a modified microbiota is associated with a higher tolerance of mosquitoes to Bti, but that it is rather a consequence of Bti infection than the cause of the higher tolerance. This study paves the way to future investigations aiming at unraveling the role of host immunity, inter-species bacterial competition and kinetics of host colonization by Bti that could be at the basis of the phenotype observed in this study.

RevDate: 2018-03-01

Grasis JA (2018)

Host-Associated Bacteriophage Isolation and Preparation for Viral Metagenomics.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 1746:1-25.

Prokaryotic viruses, or bacteriophages, are viruses that infect bacteria and archaea. These viruses have been known to associate with host systems for decades, yet only recently have their influence on the regulation of host-associated bacteria been appreciated. These studies have been conducted in many host systems, from the base of animal life in the Cnidarian phylum to mammals. These prokaryotic viruses are useful for regulating the number of bacteria in a host ecosystem and for regulating the strains of bacteria useful for the microbiome. These viruses are likely selected by the host to maintain bacterial populations. Viral metagenomics allows researchers to profile the communities of viruses associating with animal hosts, and importantly helps to determine the functional role these viruses play. Further, viral metagenomics show the sphere of viral involvement in gene flow and gene shuffling in an ever-changing host environment. The influence of prokaryotic viruses could, therefore, have a clear impact on host health.

RevDate: 2018-05-04

Ramsby BD, Hoogenboom MO, Whalan S, et al (2018)

Elevated seawater temperature disrupts the microbiome of an ecologically important bioeroding sponge.

Molecular ecology, 27(8):2124-2137.

Bioeroding sponges break down calcium carbonate substratum, including coral skeleton, and their capacity for reef erosion is expected to increase in warmer and more acidic oceans. However, elevated temperature can disrupt the functionally important microbial symbionts of some sponge species, often with adverse consequences for host health. Here, we provide the first detailed description of the microbial community of the bioeroding sponge Cliona orientalis and assess how the community responds to seawater temperatures incrementally increasing from 23°C to 32°C. The microbiome, identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, was dominated by Alphaproteobacteria, including a single operational taxonomic unit (OTU; Rhodothalassium sp.) that represented 21% of all sequences. The "core" microbial community (taxa present in >80% of samples) included putative nitrogen fixers and ammonia oxidizers, suggesting that symbiotic nitrogen metabolism may be a key function of the C. orientalis holobiont. The C. orientalis microbiome was generally stable at temperatures up to 27°C; however, a community shift occurred at 29°C, including changes in the relative abundance and turnover of microbial OTUs. Notably, this microbial shift occurred at a lower temperature than the 32°C threshold that induced sponge bleaching, indicating that changes in the microbiome may play a role in the destabilization of the C. orientalis holobiont. C. orientalis failed to regain Symbiodinium or restore its baseline microbial community following bleaching, suggesting that the sponge has limited ability to recover from extreme thermal exposure, at least under aquarium conditions.

RevDate: 2018-02-27

Pogoreutz C, Rädecker N, Cárdenas A, et al (2018)

Dominance of Endozoicomonas bacteria throughout coral bleaching and mortality suggests structural inflexibility of the Pocillopora verrucosa microbiome.

Ecology and evolution, 8(4):2240-2252 pii:ECE33830.

The importance of Symbiodinium algal endosymbionts and a diverse suite of bacteria for coral holobiont health and functioning are widely acknowledged. Yet, we know surprisingly little about microbial community dynamics and the stability of host-microbe associations under adverse environmental conditions. To gain insight into the stability of coral host-microbe associations and holobiont structure, we assessed changes in the community structure of Symbiodinium and bacteria associated with the coral Pocillopora verrucosa under excess organic nutrient conditions. Pocillopora-associated microbial communities were monitored over 14 days in two independent experiments. We assessed the effect of excess dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and excess dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Exposure to excess nutrients rapidly affected coral health, resulting in two distinct stress phenotypes: coral bleaching under excess DOC and severe tissue sloughing (>90% tissue loss resulting in host mortality) under excess DON. These phenotypes were accompanied by structural changes in the Symbiodinium community. In contrast, the associated bacterial community remained remarkably stable and was dominated by two Endozoicomonas phylotypes, comprising on average 90% of 16S rRNA gene sequences. This dominance of Endozoicomonas even under conditions of coral bleaching and mortality suggests the bacterial community of P. verrucosa may be rather inflexible and thereby unable to respond or acclimatize to rapid changes in the environment, contrary to what was previously observed in other corals. In this light, our results suggest that coral holobionts might occupy structural landscapes ranging from a highly flexible to a rather inflexible composition with consequences for their ability to respond to environmental change.

RevDate: 2018-02-23

Brener-Raffalli K, Clerissi C, Vidal-Dupiol J, et al (2018)

Thermal regime and host clade, rather than geography, drive Symbiodinium and bacterial assemblages in the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis sensu lato.

Microbiome, 6(1):39 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0423-6.

BACKGROUND: Although the term holobiont has been popularized in corals with the advent of the hologenome theory of evolution, the underlying concepts are still a matter of debate. Indeed, the relative contribution of host and environment and especially thermal regime in shaping the microbial communities should be examined carefully to evaluate the potential role of symbionts for holobiont adaptation in the context of global changes. We used the sessile, long-lived, symbiotic and environmentally sensitive reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis to address these issues.

RESULTS: We sampled Pocillopora damicornis colonies corresponding to two different mitochondrial lineages in different geographic areas displaying different thermal regimes: Djibouti, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Taiwan. The community composition of bacteria and the algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium were characterized using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer, ITS2, respectively. Bacterial microbiota was very diverse with high prevalence of Endozoicomonas, Arcobacter, and Acinetobacter in all samples. While Symbiodinium sub-clade C1 was dominant in Taiwan and New Caledonia, D1 was dominant in Djibouti and French Polynesia. Moreover, we also identified a high background diversity (i.e., with proportions < 1%) of A1, C3, C15, and G Symbiodinum sub-clades. Using redundancy analyses, we found that the effect of geography was very low for both communities and that host genotypes and temperatures differently influenced Symbiodinium and bacterial microbiota. Indeed, while the constraint of host haplotype was higher than temperatures on bacterial composition, we showed for the first time a strong relationship between the composition of Symbiodinium communities and minimal sea surface temperatures.

CONCLUSION: Because Symbiodinium assemblages are more constrained by the thermal regime than bacterial communities, we propose that their contribution to adaptive capacities of the holobiont to temperature changes might be higher than the influence of bacterial microbiota. Moreover, the link between Symbiodinium community composition and minimal temperatures suggests low relative fitness of clade D at lower temperatures. This observation is particularly relevant in the context of climate change, since corals will face increasing temperatures as well as much frequent abnormal cold episodes in some areas of the world.

RevDate: 2018-04-08

Romano S (2018)

Ecology and Biotechnological Potential of Bacteria Belonging to the Genus Pseudovibrio.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 84(8): pii:AEM.02516-17.

Members of the genus Pseudovibrio have been isolated worldwide from a great variety of marine sources as both free-living and host-associated bacteria. So far, the available data depict a group of alphaproteobacteria characterized by a versatile metabolism, which allows them to use a variety of substrates to meet their carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorous requirements. Additionally, Pseudovibrio-related bacteria have been shown to proliferate under extreme oligotrophic conditions, tolerate high heavy-metal concentrations, and metabolize potentially toxic compounds. Considering this versatility, it is not surprising that they have been detected from temperate to tropical regions and are often the most abundant isolates obtained from marine invertebrates. Such an association is particularly recurrent with marine sponges and corals, animals that play a key role in benthic marine systems. The data so far available indicate that these bacteria are mainly beneficial to the host, and besides being involved in major nutrient cycles, they could provide the host with both vitamins/cofactors and protection from potential pathogens via the synthesis of antimicrobial secondary metabolites. In fact, the biosynthetic abilities of Pseudovibrio spp. have been emerging in recent years, and both genomic and analytic studies have underlined how these organisms promise novel natural products of biotechnological value.

RevDate: 2018-02-18

Bonthond G, Merselis DG, Dougan KE, et al (2018)

Inter-domain microbial diversity within the coral holobiont Siderastrea siderea from two depth habitats.

PeerJ, 6:e4323 pii:4323.

Corals host diverse microbial communities that are involved in acclimatization, pathogen defense, and nutrient cycling. Surveys of coral-associated microbes have been particularly directed toward Symbiodinium and bacteria. However, a holistic understanding of the total microbiome has been hindered by a lack of analyses bridging taxonomically disparate groups. Using high-throughput amplicon sequencing, we simultaneously characterized the Symbiodinium, bacterial, and fungal communities associated with the Caribbean coral Siderastrea siderea collected from two depths (17 and 27 m) on Conch reef in the Florida Keys. S. siderea hosted an exceptionally diverse Symbiodinium community, structured differently between sampled depth habitats. While dominated at 27 m by a Symbiodinium belonging to clade C, at 17 m S. siderea primarily hosted a mixture of clade B types. Most fungal operational taxonomic units were distantly related to available reference sequences, indicating the presence of a high degree of fungal novelty within the S. siderea holobiont and a lack of knowledge on the diversity of fungi on coral reefs. Network analysis showed that co-occurrence patterns in the S. siderea holobiont were prevalent among bacteria, however, also detected between fungi and bacteria. Overall, our data show a drastic shift in the associated Symbiodinium community between depths on Conch Reef, which might indicate that alteration in this community is an important mechanism facilitating local physiological adaptation of the S. siderea holobiont. In contrast, bacterial and fungal communities were not structured differently between depth habitats.

RevDate: 2018-02-14

Leite DCA, Salles JF, Calderon EN, et al (2018)

Specific plasmid patterns and high rates of bacterial co-occurrence within the coral holobiont.

Ecology and evolution, 8(3):1818-1832 pii:ECE33717.

Despite the importance of coral microbiomes for holobiont persistence, the interactions among these are not well understood. In particular, knowledge of the co-occurrence and taxonomic importance of specific members of the microbial core, as well as patterns of specific mobile genetic elements (MGEs), is lacking. We used seawater and mucus samples collected from Mussismilia hispida colonies on two reefs located in Bahia, Brazil, to disentangle their associated bacterial communities, intertaxa correlations, and plasmid patterns. Proxies for two broad-host-range (BHR) plasmid groups, IncP-1β and PromA, were screened. Both groups were significantly (up to 252 and 100%, respectively) more abundant in coral mucus than in seawater. Notably, the PromA plasmid group was detected only in coral mucus samples. The core bacteriome of M. hispida mucus was composed primarily of members of the Proteobacteria, followed by those of Firmicutes. Significant host specificity and co-occurrences among different groups of the dominant phyla (e.g., Bacillaceae and Pseudoalteromonadaceae and the genera Pseudomonas, Bacillus, and Vibrio) were detected. These relationships were observed for both the most abundant phyla and the bacteriome core, in which most of the operational taxonomic units showed intertaxa correlations. The observed evidence of host-specific bacteriome and co-occurrence (and potential symbioses or niche space co-dominance) among the most dominant members indicates a taxonomic selection of members of the stable bacterial community. In parallel, host-specific plasmid patterns could also be, independently, related to the assembly of members of the coral microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-02-18

Cregger MA, Veach AM, Yang ZK, et al (2018)

The Populus holobiont: dissecting the effects of plant niches and genotype on the microbiome.

Microbiome, 6(1):31 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0413-8.

BACKGROUND: Microorganisms serve important functions within numerous eukaryotic host organisms. An understanding of the variation in the plant niche-level microbiome, from rhizosphere soils to plant canopies, is imperative to gain a better understanding of how both the structural and functional processes of microbiomes impact the health of the overall plant holobiome. Using Populus trees as a model ecosystem, we characterized the archaeal/bacterial and fungal microbiome across 30 different tissue-level niches within replicated Populus deltoides and hybrid Populus trichocarpa × deltoides individuals using 16S and ITS2 rRNA gene analyses.

RESULTS: Our analyses indicate that archaeal/bacterial and fungal microbiomes varied primarily across broader plant habitat classes (leaves, stems, roots, soils) regardless of plant genotype, except for fungal communities within leaf niches, which were greatly impacted by the host genotype. Differences between tree genotypes are evident in the elevated presence of two potential fungal pathogens, Marssonina brunnea and Septoria sp., on hybrid P. trichocarpa × deltoides trees which may in turn be contributing to divergence in overall microbiome composition. Archaeal/bacterial diversity increased from leaves, to stem, to root, and to soil habitats, whereas fungal diversity was the greatest in stems and soils.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a holistic understanding of microbiome structure within a bioenergy relevant plant host, one of the most complete niche-level analyses of any plant. As such, it constitutes a detailed atlas or map for further hypothesis testing on the significance of individual microbial taxa within specific niches and habitats of Populus and a baseline for comparisons to other plant species.

RevDate: 2018-04-24

Voss JD, Goodson MS, JC Leon (2018)

Phenotype diffusion and one health: A proposed framework for investigating the plurality of obesity epidemics across many species.

Zoonoses and public health, 65(3):279-290.

We propose the idea of "phenotype diffusion," which is a rapid convergence of an observed trait in some human and animal populations. The words phenotype and diffusion both imply observations independent of mechanism as phenotypes are observed traits with multiple possible genetic mechanisms and diffusion is an observed state of being widely distributed. Recognizing shared changes in phenotype in multiple species does not by itself reveal a particular mechanism such as a shared exposure, shared adaptive need, particular stochastic process or a transmission pathway. Instead, identifying phenotype diffusion suggests the mechanism should be explored to help illuminate the ways human and animal health are connected and new opportunities for optimizing these links. Using the plurality of obesity epidemics across multiple species as a prototype for shared changes in phenotype, the goal of this review was to explore eco-evolutionary theories that could inform further investigation. First, evolutionary changes described by hologenome evolution, pawnobe evolution, transposable element (TE) thrust and the drifty gene hypothesis will be discussed within the context of the selection asymmetries among human and animal populations. Secondly, the ecology of common source exposures (bovine milk, xenohormesis and "obesogens"), niche evolution and the hygiene hypothesis will be summarized. Finally, we synthesize these considerations. For example, many agricultural breeds have been aggressively selected for weight gain, microbiota (e.g., adenovirus 36, toxoplasmosis) associated with (or infecting) these breeds cause experimental weight gain in other animals, and these same microbes are associated with human obesity. We propose applications of phenotype diffusion could include zoonotic biosurveillance, biocontainment, antibiotic stewardship and environmental priorities. The One Health field is focused on the connections between the health of humans, animals and the environment, and so identification of phenotype diffusion is highly relevant for practitioners (public health officials, physicians and veterinarians) in this field.

RevDate: 2018-04-10

Feng G, Sun W, Zhang F, et al (2018)

Functional Transcripts Indicate Phylogenetically Diverse Active Ammonia-Scavenging Microbiota in Sympatric Sponges.

Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.), 20(2):131-143.

Symbiotic ammonia scavengers contribute to effective removal of ammonia in sponges. However, the phylogenetic diversity and in situ activity of ammonia-scavenging microbiota between different sponge species are poorly addressed. Here, transcribed ammonia monooxygenase genes (amoA), hydrazine synthase genes (hzsA), and glutamine synthetase genes (glnA) were analyzed to reveal the active ammonia-scavenging microbiota in the sympatric sponges Theonella swinhoei, Plakortis simplex, and Phakellia fusca, and seawater. Archaeal amoA and bacterial glnA transcripts rather than bacterial amoA, hzsA, and archaeal glnA transcripts were detected in the investigated sponges and seawater. The transcribed amoA genes were ascribed to two Thaumarchaeota ecotypes, while the transcribed glnA genes were interspersed among the lineages of Cyanobacteria, Tectomicrobia, Poribacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma-, and Epsilonproteobacteria. In addition, transcribed abundances of archaeal amoA and bacterial glnA genes in these sponges have been quantified, showing significant variation among the investigated sponges and seawater. The transcriptome-based qualitative and quantitative analyses clarified the different phylogenetic diversity and transcription expression of functional genes related to microbially mediated ammonia scavenging in different sympatric sponges, contributing to the understanding of in situ active ecological functions of sponge microbial symbionts in holobiont nitrogen cycling.

RevDate: 2018-02-09

Rubio-Portillo E, Kersting DK, Linares C, et al (2018)

Biogeographic Differences in the Microbiome and Pathobiome of the Coral Cladocora caespitosa in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:22.

The endemic Mediterranean zooxanthellate scleractinian reef-builder Cladocora caespitosa is among the organisms most affected by warming-related mass mortality events in the Mediterranean Sea. Corals are known to contain a diverse microbiota that plays a key role in their physiology and health. Here we report the first study that examines the microbiome and pathobiome associated with C. caespitosa in three different Mediterranean locations (i.e., Genova, Columbretes Islands, and Tabarca Island). The microbial communities associated with this species showed biogeographical differences, but shared a common core microbiome that probably plays a key role in the coral holobiont. The putatively pathogenic microbial assemblage (i.e., pathobiome) of C. caespitosa also seemed to depend on geographic location and the human footprint. In locations near the coast and with higher human influence, the pathobiome was entirely constituted by Vibrio species, including the well-known coral pathogens Vibrio coralliilyticus and V. mediterranei. However, in the Columbretes Islands, located off the coast and the most pristine of the analyzed locations, no changes among microbial communities associated to healthy and necrosed samples were detected. Hence, our results provide new insights into the microbiome of the temperate corals and its role in coral health status, highlighting its dependence on the local environmental conditions and the human footprint.

RevDate: 2018-02-08

Saminathan T, García M, Ghimire B, et al (2018)

Metagenomic and Metatranscriptomic Analyses of Diverse Watermelon Cultivars Reveal the Role of Fruit Associated Microbiome in Carbohydrate Metabolism and Ripening of Mature Fruits.

Frontiers in plant science, 9:4.

The plant microbiome is a key determinant of plant health and productivity, and changes in the plant microbiome can alter the tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses and the quality of end produce. Little is known about the microbial diversity and its effect on carbohydrate metabolism in ripe fruits. In this study, we aimed to understand the diversity and function of microorganisms in relation to carbohydrate metabolism of ripe watermelon fruits. We used 16S metagenomics and RNAseq metatranscriptomics for analysis of red (PI459074, Congo, and SDRose) and yellow fruit-flesh cultivars (PI227202, PI435990, and JBush) of geographically and metabolically diverse watermelon cultivars. Metagenomics data showed that Proteobacteria were abundant in SDRose and PI227202, whereas Cyanobacteria were most abundant in Congo and PI4559074. In the case of metatranscriptome data, Proteobacteria was the most abundant in all cultivars. High expression of genes linked to infectious diseases and the expression of peptidoglycan hydrolases associated to pathogenicity of eukaryotic hosts was observed in SDRose, which could have resulted in low microbial diversity in this cultivar. The presence of GH28, associated with polygalacturonase activity in JBush and SDRose could be related to cell wall modifications including de-esterification and depolymerization, and consequent loss of galacturonic acid and neutral sugars. Moreover, based on the KEGG annotation of the expressed genes, nine α-galactosidase genes involved in key processes of galactosyl oligosaccharide metabolism, such as raffinose family were identified and galactose metabolism pathway was reconstructed. Results of this study underline the links between the host and fruit-associated microbiome in carbohydrate metabolism of the ripe fruits. The cultivar difference in watermelon reflects the quantum and diversity of the microbiome, which would benefit watermelon and other plant breeders aiming at the holobiont concept to incorporate associated microbiomes in breeding programs.

RevDate: 2018-02-14

Massé A, Domart-Coulon I, Golubic S, et al (2018)

Early skeletal colonization of the coral holobiont by the microboring Ulvophyceae Ostreobium sp.

Scientific reports, 8(1):2293 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-20196-5.

Ostreobium sp. (Bryopsidales, Ulvophyceae) is a major microboring alga involved in tropical reef dissolution, with a proposed symbiotic lifestyle in living corals. However, its diversity and colonization dynamics in host's early life stages remained unknown. Here, we mapped microborer distribution and abundance in skeletons of the branching coral Pocillopora damicornis from the onset of calcification in primary polyps (7 days) to budding juvenile colonies (1 and 3 months) growing on carbonate and non-carbonate substrates pre-colonized by natural biofilms, and compared them to adult colonies (in aquarium settings). Primary polyps were surprisingly already colonized by microboring filaments and their level of invasion depended on the nature of settlement substrate and the extent of its pre-colonization by microborers. Growth of early coral recruits was unaffected even when microborers were in close vicinity to the polyp tissue. In addition to morphotype observations, chloroplast-encoded rbcL gene sequence analyses revealed nine new Ostreobium clades (OTU99%) in Pocillopora coral. Recruits and adults shared one dominant rbcL clade, undetected in larvae, but also present in aquarium seawater, carbonate and non-carbonate settlement substrates, and in corals from reef settings. Our results show a substratum-dependent colonization by Ostreobium clades, and indicate horizontal transmission of Ostreobium-coral associations.

RevDate: 2018-02-18

Limborg MT, Alberdi A, Kodama M, et al (2018)

Applied Hologenomics: Feasibility and Potential in Aquaculture.

Trends in biotechnology, 36(3):252-264.

Aquaculture will play an essential role in feeding a growing human population, but several biological challenges impede sustainable growth of production. Emerging evidence across all areas of life has revealed the importance of the intimate biological interactions between animals and their associated gut microbiota. Based on challenges in aquaculture, we leverage current knowledge in molecular biology and host microbiota interactions to propose an applied holo-omic framework that integrates molecular data including genomes, transcriptomes, epigenomes, proteomes, and metabolomes for analyzing fish and their gut microbiota as interconnected and coregulated systems. With an eye towards aquaculture, we discuss the feasibility and potential of our holo-omic framework to improve growth, health, and sustainability in any area of food production, including livestock and agriculture.

RevDate: 2018-05-06

Achlatis M, Pernice M, Green K, et al (2018)

Single-cell measurement of ammonium and bicarbonate uptake within a photosymbiotic bioeroding sponge.

The ISME journal, 12(5):1308-1318.

Some of the most aggressive coral-excavating sponges host intracellular dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium, which are hypothesized to provide the sponges with autotrophic energy that powers bioerosion. Investigations of the contribution of Symbiodinium to host metabolism and particularly inorganic nutrient recycling are complicated, however, by the presence of alternative prokaryotic candidates for this role. Here, novel methods are used to study nutrient assimilation and transfer within and between the outer-layer cells of the Indopacific bioeroding sponge Cliona orientalis. Combining stable isotope labelling, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS), we visualize and measure metabolic activity at the individual cell level, tracking the fate of 15N-ammonium and 13C-bicarbonate within the intact holobiont. We found strong uptake of both inorganic sources (especially 13C-bicarbonate) by Symbiodinium cells. Labelled organic nutrients were translocated from Symbiodinium to the Symbiodinium-hosting sponge cells within 6 h, and occasionally to other sponge cells within 3 days. By contrast, prokaryotic symbionts were not observed to participate in inorganic nutrient assimilation in the outer layers of the sponge. Our findings strongly support the metabolic interaction between the sponge and dinoflagellates, shedding light on the ecological advantages and adaptive capacity of photosymbiotic bioeroding sponges in oligotrophic marine habitats.

RevDate: 2018-03-25

Frischkorn KR, Haley ST, ST Dyhrman (2018)

Coordinated gene expression between Trichodesmium and its microbiome over day-night cycles in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.

The ISME journal, 12(4):997-1007.

Trichodesmium is a widespread, N2 fixing marine cyanobacterium that drives inputs of newly fixed nitrogen and carbon into the oligotrophic ecosystems where it occurs. Colonies of Trichodesmium ubiquitously occur with heterotrophic bacteria that make up a diverse microbiome, and interactions within this Trichodesmium holobiont could influence the fate of fixed carbon and nitrogen. Metatranscriptome sequencing was performed on Trichodesmium colonies collected during high-frequency Lagrangian sampling in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG) to identify possible interactions between the Trichodesmium host and microbiome over day-night cycles. Here we show significantly coordinated patterns of gene expression between host and microbiome, many of which had significant day-night periodicity. The functions of the co-expressed genes suggested a suite of interactions within the holobiont linked to key resources including nitrogen, carbon, and iron. Evidence of microbiome reliance on Trichodesmium-derived vitamin B12 was also detected in co-expression patterns, highlighting a dependency that could shape holobiont community structure. Collectively, these patterns of expression suggest that biotic interactions could influence colony cycling of resources like nitrogen and vitamin B12, and decouple activities, like N2 fixation, from typical abiotic drivers of Trichodesmium physiological ecology.

RevDate: 2018-03-25

Baker DM, Freeman CJ, Wong JCY, et al (2018)

Climate change promotes parasitism in a coral symbiosis.

The ISME journal, 12(3):921-930.

Coastal oceans are increasingly eutrophic, warm and acidic through the addition of anthropogenic nitrogen and carbon, respectively. Among the most sensitive taxa to these changes are scleractinian corals, which engineer the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. Corals' sensitivity is a consequence of their evolutionary investment in symbiosis with the dinoflagellate alga, Symbiodinium. Together, the coral holobiont has dominated oligotrophic tropical marine habitats. However, warming destabilizes this association and reduces coral fitness. It has been theorized that, when reefs become warm and eutrophic, mutualistic Symbiodinium sequester more resources for their own growth, thus parasitizing their hosts of nutrition. Here, we tested the hypothesis that sub-bleaching temperature and excess nitrogen promotes symbiont parasitism by measuring respiration (costs) and the assimilation and translocation of both carbon (energy) and nitrogen (growth; both benefits) within Orbicella faveolata hosting one of two Symbiodinium phylotypes using a dual stable isotope tracer incubation at ambient (26 °C) and sub-bleaching (31 °C) temperatures under elevated nitrate. Warming to 31 °C reduced holobiont net primary productivity (NPP) by 60% due to increased respiration which decreased host %carbon by 15% with no apparent cost to the symbiont. Concurrently, Symbiodinium carbon and nitrogen assimilation increased by 14 and 32%, respectively while increasing their mitotic index by 15%, whereas hosts did not gain a proportional increase in translocated photosynthates. We conclude that the disparity in benefits and costs to both partners is evidence of symbiont parasitism in the coral symbiosis and has major implications for the resilience of coral reefs under threat of global change.

RevDate: 2018-07-10

Broberg M, Doonan J, Mundt F, et al (2018)

Integrated multi-omic analysis of host-microbiota interactions in acute oak decline.

Microbiome, 6(1):21 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0408-5.

BACKGROUND: Britain's native oak species are currently under threat from acute oak decline (AOD), a decline-disease where stem bleeds overlying necrotic lesions in the inner bark and larval galleries of the bark-boring beetle, Agrilus biguttatus, represent the primary symptoms. It is known that complex interactions between the plant host and its microbiome, i.e. the holobiont, significantly influence the health status of the plant. In AOD, necrotic lesions are caused by a microbiome shift to a pathobiome consisting predominantly of Brenneria goodwinii, Gibbsiella quercinecans, Rahnella victoriana and potentially other bacteria. However, the specific mechanistic processes of the microbiota causing tissue necrosis, and the host response, have not been established and represent a barrier to understanding and managing this decline.

RESULTS: We profiled the metagenome, metatranscriptome and metaproteome of inner bark tissue from AOD symptomatic and non-symptomatic trees to characterise microbiota-host interactions. Active bacterial virulence factors such as plant cell wall-degrading enzymes, reactive oxygen species defence and flagella in AOD lesions, along with host defence responses including reactive oxygen species, cell wall modification and defence regulators were identified. B. goodwinii dominated the lesion microbiome, with significant expression of virulence factors such as the phytopathogen effector avrE. A smaller proportion of microbiome activity was attributed to G. quercinecans and R. victoriana. In addition, we describe for the first time the potential role of two previously uncharacterised Gram-positive bacteria predicted from metagenomic binning and identified as active in the AOD lesion metatranscriptome and metaproteome, implicating them in lesion formation.

CONCLUSIONS: This multi-omic study provides novel functional insights into microbiota-host interactions in AOD, a complex arboreal decline disease where polymicrobial-host interactions result in lesion formation on tree stems. We present the first descriptions of holobiont function in oak health and disease, specifically, the relative lesion activity of B. goodwinii, G. quercinecans, Rahnella victoriana and other bacteria. Thus, the research presented here provides evidence of some of the mechanisms used by members of the lesion microbiome and a template for future multi-omic research into holobiont characterisation, plant polymicrobial diseases and pathogen defence in trees.

RevDate: 2018-07-10

Liu J, Abdelfattah A, Norelli J, et al (2018)

Apple endophytic microbiota of different rootstock/scion combinations suggests a genotype-specific influence.

Microbiome, 6(1):18 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0403-x.

BACKGROUND: High-throughput amplicon sequencing spanning conserved portions of microbial genomes (16s rRNA and ITS) was used in the present study to describe the endophytic microbiota associated with three apple varieties, "Royal Gala," "Golden Delicious," and "Honey Crisp," and two rootstocks, M.9 and M.M.111. The objectives were to (1) determine if the microbiota differs in different rootstocks and apple varieties and (2) determine if specific rootstock-scion combinations influence the microbiota composition of either component.

RESULTS: Results indicated that Ascomycota (47.8%), Zygomycota (31.1%), and Basidiomycota (11.6%) were the dominant fungal phyla across all samples. The majority of bacterial sequences were assigned to Proteobacteria (58.4%), Firmicutes (23.8%), Actinobacteria (7.7%), Bacteroidetes (2%), and Fusobacteria (0.4%). Rootstocks appeared to influence the microbiota of associated grafted scion, but the effect was not statistically significant. Pedigree also had an impact on the composition of the endophytic microbiota, where closely-related cultivars had a microbial community that was more similar to each other than it was to a scion cultivar that was more distantly-related by pedigree. The more vigorous rootstock (M.M.111) was observed to possess a greater number of growth-promoting bacterial taxa, relative to the dwarfing rootstock (M.9).

CONCLUSIONS: The mechanism by which an apple genotype, either rootstock or scion, has a determinant effect on the composition of a microbial community is not known. The similarity of the microbiota in samples with a similar pedigree suggests the possibility of some level of co-evolution or selection as proposed by the "holobiont" concept in which metaorganisms have co-evolved. Clearly, however, the present information is only suggestive, and a more comprehensive analysis is needed.

RevDate: 2018-02-10

Marzinelli EM, Qiu Z, Dafforn KA, et al (2018)

Coastal urbanisation affects microbial communities on a dominant marine holobiont.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 4:1 pii:44.

Host-associated microbial communities play a fundamental role in the life of eukaryotic hosts. It is increasingly argued that hosts and their microbiota must be studied together as 'holobionts' to better understand the effects of environmental stressors on host functioning. Disruptions of host-microbiota interactions by environmental stressors can negatively affect host performance and survival. Substantial ecological impacts are likely when the affected hosts are habitat-forming species (e.g., trees, kelps) that underpin local biodiversity. In marine systems, coastal urbanisation via the addition of artificial structures is a major source of stress to habitat formers, but its effect on their associated microbial communities is unknown. We characterised kelp-associated microbial communities in two of the most common and abundant artificial structures in Sydney Harbour-pier-pilings and seawalls-and in neighbouring natural rocky reefs. The kelp Ecklonia radiata is the dominant habitat-forming species along 8000 km of the temperate Australian coast. Kelp-associated microbial communities on pilings differed significantly from those on seawalls and natural rocky reefs, possibly due to differences in abiotic (e.g., shade) and biotic (e.g., grazing) factors between habitats. Many bacteria that were more abundant on kelp on pilings belonged to taxa often associated with macroalgal diseases, including tissue bleaching in Ecklonia. There were, however, no differences in kelp photosynthetic capacity between habitats. The observed differences in microbial communities may have negative effects on the host by promoting fouling by macroorganisms or by causing and spreading disease over time. This study demonstrates that urbanisation can alter the microbiota of key habitat-forming species with potential ecological consequences.

RevDate: 2018-04-11

Sandoval-Motta S, Aldana M, A Frank (2017)

Evolving Ecosystems: Inheritance and Selection in the Light of the Microbiome.

Archives of medical research, 48(8):780-789.

The importance of microorganisms in human biology is undeniable. The amount of research that supports that microbes have a fundamental role in animal and plant physiology is substantial and increasing every year. Even though we are only beginning to comprehend the broadness and complexity of microbial communities, evolutionary theories need to be recast in the light of such discoveries to fully understand and incorporate the role of microbes in our evolution. Fundamental evolutionary concepts such as diversity, heredity, selection, speciation, etc., which constitute the modern synthesis, are now being challenged, or at least expanded, by the emerging notion of the holobiont, which defines the genetic and metabolic networks of the host and its microbes as a single evolutionary unit. Several concepts originally developed to study ecosystems, can be used to understand the physiology and evolution of such complex systems that constitute "individuals." In this review, we discuss these ecological concepts and also provide examples that range from squids, insects and koalas to other mammals and humans, suggesting that microorganisms have a fundamental role not only in physiology but also in evolution. Current evolutionary theories need to take into account the dynamics and interconnectedness of the host-microbiome network, as animals and plants not only owe their symbiogenetic origin to microbes, but also share a long evolutionary history together.

RevDate: 2018-03-30

van de Water JAJM, Chaib De Mares M, Dixon GB, et al (2018)

Antimicrobial and stress responses to increased temperature and bacterial pathogen challenge in the holobiont of a reef-building coral.

Molecular ecology, 27(4):1065-1080.

Global increases in coral disease prevalence have been linked to ocean warming through changes in coral-associated bacterial communities, pathogen virulence and immune system function. However, the interactive effects of temperature and pathogens on the coral holobiont are poorly understood. Here, we assessed three compartments of the holobiont (host, Symbiodinium and bacterial community) of the coral Montipora aequituberculata challenged with the pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus and the commensal bacterium Oceanospirillales sp. under ambient (27°C) and elevated (29.5 and 32°C) seawater temperatures. Few visual signs of bleaching and disease development were apparent in any of the treatments, but responses were detected in the holobiont compartments. V. coralliilyticus acted synergistically and negatively impacted the photochemical efficiency of Symbiodinium at 32°C, while Oceanospirillales had no significant effect on photosynthetic efficiency. The coral, however, exhibited a minor response to the bacterial challenges, with the response towards V. coralliilyticus being significantly more pronounced, and involving the prophenoloxidase-activating system and multiple immune system-related genes. Elevated seawater temperatures did not induce shifts in the coral-associated bacterial community, but caused significant gene expression modulation in both Symbiodinium and the coral host. While Symbiodinium exhibited an antiviral response and upregulated stress response genes, M. aequituberculata showed regulation of genes involved in stress and innate immune response processes, including immune and cytokine receptor signalling, the complement system, immune cell activation and phagocytosis, as well as molecular chaperones. These observations show that M. aequituberculata is capable of maintaining a stable bacterial community under elevated seawater temperatures and thereby contributes to preventing disease development.

RevDate: 2018-01-11

Bartholomay LC, K Michel (2018)

Mosquito Immunobiology: The Intersection of Vector Health and Vector Competence.

Annual review of entomology, 63:145-167.

As holometabolous insects that occupy distinct aquatic and terrestrial environments in larval and adult stages and utilize hematophagy for nutrient acquisition, mosquitoes are subjected to a wide variety of symbiotic interactions. Indeed, mosquitoes play host to endosymbiotic, entomopathogenic, and mosquito-borne organisms, including protozoa, viruses, bacteria, fungi, fungal-like organisms, and metazoans, all of which trigger and shape innate infection-response capacity. Depending on the infection or interaction, the mosquito may employ, for example, cellular and humoral immune effectors for septic infections in the hemocoel, humoral infection responses in the midgut lumen, and RNA interference and programmed cell death for intracellular pathogens. These responses often function in concert, regardless of the infection type, and provide a robust front to combat infection. Mosquito-borne pathogens and entomopathogens overcome these immune responses, employing avoidance or suppression strategies. Burgeoning methodologies are capitalizing on this concerted deployment of immune responses to control mosquito-borne disease.

RevDate: 2018-01-11

Florez JZ, Camus C, Hengst MB, et al (2017)

A Functional Perspective Analysis of Macroalgae and Epiphytic Bacterial Community Interaction.

Frontiers in microbiology, 8:2561.

Macroalgae are photosynthetic, multicellular, sessile eukaryotic organisms that offer diverse habitats for the colonization of epiphytic bacteria, therefore establishing biological interactions of diverse complexity. This review focusses on the interactions between macroalgae and their Epiphytic Bacterial Community (EBC); the main aims are to ascertain whether (1) the epiphytic bacterial groups differ at the phylum and genus levels of the macroalgae; (2) the methodologies used so far to study these microorganisms are related in any way to eventual variations of the EBCs on macroalgae; and (3) the EBC of macroalgae has a functional means rather a simple taxonomic grouping. Results showed firstly the taxonomic grouping of macroalgae does not explain the composition and structure of the EBCs. Secondly, the methodology used is important for describing EBCs; and thirdly, multiple bacteria can have the same function and thus to describe the functionality of EBCs it is important to recognize host-specific and generalist bacteria. We recommend the incorporation of a complementary approach between the taxonomic composition and the functional composition analyzes of EBCs, as well as the use of methodological tools that allow analysis of interactions between the EBCs and their hosts, based on the "holobiont" concept.

RevDate: 2018-01-11

KleinJan H, Jeanthon C, Boyen C, et al (2017)

Exploring the Cultivable Ectocarpus Microbiome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 8:2456.

Coastal areas form the major habitat of brown macroalgae, photosynthetic multicellular eukaryotes that have great ecological value and industrial potential. Macroalgal growth, development, and physiology are influenced by the microbial community they accommodate. Studying the algal microbiome should thus increase our fundamental understanding of algal biology and may help to improve culturing efforts. Currently, a freshwater strain of the brown macroalga Ectocarpus subulatus is being developed as a model organism for brown macroalgal physiology and algal microbiome studies. It can grow in high and low salinities depending on which microbes it hosts. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this process are still unclear. Cultivation of Ectocarpus-associated bacteria is the first step toward the development of a model system for in vitro functional studies of brown macroalgal-bacterial interactions during abiotic stress. The main aim of the present study is thus to provide an extensive collection of cultivable E. subulatus-associated bacteria. To meet the variety of metabolic demands of Ectocarpus-associated bacteria, several isolation techniques were applied, i.e., direct plating and dilution-to-extinction cultivation techniques, each with chemically defined and undefined bacterial growth media. Algal tissue and algal growth media were directly used as inoculum, or they were pretreated with antibiotics, by filtration, or by digestion of algal cell walls. In total, 388 isolates were identified falling into 33 genera (46 distinct strains), of which Halomonas (Gammaproteobacteria), Bosea (Alphaproteobacteria), and Limnobacter (Betaproteobacteria) were the most abundant. Comparisons with 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding data showed that culturability in this study was remarkably high (∼50%), although several cultivable strains were not detected or only present in extremely low abundance in the libraries. These undetected bacteria could be considered as part of the rare biosphere and they may form the basis for the temporal changes in the Ectocarpus microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-01-10

Sangsawang L, Casareto BE, Ohba H, et al (2017)

13C and 15N assimilation and organic matter translocation by the endolithic community in the massive coral Porites lutea.

Royal Society open science, 4(12):171201 pii:rsos171201.

Corals evolved by establishing symbiotic relationships with various microorganisms (the zooxanthellae, filamentous algae, cyanobacteria, bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses), forming the 'coral holobiont'. Among them, the endolithic community is the least studied. Its main function was considered to be translocation of photo-assimilates to the coral host, particularly during bleaching. Here, we hypothesize that (i) endolithic algae may show similar primary production rates in healthy or bleached corals by changing their pigment ratios, and therefore that similar production and translocation of organic matter may occur at both conditions and (ii) diazotrophs are components of the endolithic community; therefore, N2 fixation and translocation of organic nitrogen may occur. We tested these hypotheses in incubation of Porites lutea with 13C and 15N tracers to measure primary production and N2 fixation in coral tissues and endoliths. Assimilation of the 13C atom (%) was observed in healthy and bleached corals when the tracer was injected in the endolithic band, showing translocation in both conditions. N2 fixation was found in coral tissues and endolithic communities with translocation of organic nitrogen. Thus, the endolithic community plays an important role in supporting the C and N metabolism of the holobiont, which may be crucial under changing environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2018-04-25

Sebastián Domingo JJ, C Sánchez Sánchez (2018)

From the intestinal flora to the microbiome.

Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas : organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva, 110(1):51-56.

In this article, the history of the microbiota is reviewed and the related concepts of the microbiota, microbiome, metagenome, pathobiont, dysbiosis, holobiont, phylotype and enterotype are defined. The most precise and current knowledge about the microbiota is presented and the metabolic, nutritional and immunomodulatory functions are reviewed. Some gastrointestinal diseases whose pathogenesis is associated with the intestinal microbiota, including inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease, among others, are briefly discussed. Finally, some prominent and promising data with regard to the fecal microbiota transplantation in certain digestive illness are discussed.

RevDate: 2018-03-31

Elgart M, Y Soen (2018)

Microbiome-Germline Interactions and Their Transgenerational Implications.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 40(4):e1700018.

It is becoming increasingly clear that most, if not all, animals and plants are associated with a diverse array of resident gut microbiota. This symbiosis is regulated by host-microbiome interactions which influence the development, homeostasis, adaptation and evolution of the host. Recent evidence indicated that these interactions can also affect the host germline and have a potential of supporting transgenerational effects, including inheritance of acquired characteristics. Taken together, the influence of gut bacteria on the host soma and germline could potentially give rise to emergent phenotypes, which may be partially inherited by three distinguishable modes of transgenerational influence of gut bacteria: 1) "soma-to-soma" 2) "soma-to-germline" and 3) "soma-germline-soma". Here, we discuss these possibilities in light of evidence supporting bacterial-mediated modes of transgenerational inheritance.

RevDate: 2017-12-28
CmpDate: 2017-12-28

Kundu P, Blacher E, Elinav E, et al (2017)

Our Gut Microbiome: The Evolving Inner Self.

Cell, 171(7):1481-1493.

The "holobiont" concept, defined as the collective contribution of the eukaryotic and prokaryotic counterparts to the multicellular organism, introduces a complex definition of individuality enabling a new comprehensive view of human evolution and personalized characteristics. Here, we provide snapshots of the evolving microbial-host associations and relations during distinct milestones across the lifespan of a human being. We discuss the current knowledge of biological symbiosis between the microbiome and its host and portray the challenges in understanding these interactions and their potential effects on human physiology, including microbiome-nervous system inter-relationship and its relevance to human variation and individuality.

RevDate: 2018-01-08

Ugarelli K, Chakrabarti S, Laas P, et al (2017)

The Seagrass Holobiont and Its Microbiome.

Microorganisms, 5(4): pii:microorganisms5040081.

Seagrass meadows are ecologically and economically important components of many coastal areas worldwide. Ecosystem services provided by seagrasses include reducing the number of microbial pathogens in the water, providing food, shelter and nurseries for many species, and decreasing the impact of waves on the shorelines. A global assessment reported that 29% of the known areal extent of seagrasses has disappeared since seagrass areas were initially recorded in 1879. Several factors such as direct and indirect human activity contribute to the demise of seagrasses. One of the main reasons for seagrass die-offs all over the world is increased sulfide concentrations in the sediment that result from the activity of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes, which perform the last step of the anaerobic food chain in marine sediments and reduce sulfate to H₂S. Recent seagrass die-offs, e.g., in the Florida and Biscayne Bays, were caused by an increase in pore-water sulfide concentrations in the sediment, which were the combined result of unfavorable environmental conditions and the activities of various groups of heterotrophic bacteria in the sulfate-rich water-column and sediment that are stimulated through increased nutrient concentrations. Under normal circumstances, seagrasses are able to withstand low levels of sulfide, probably partly due to microbial symbionts, which detoxify sulfide by oxidizing it to sulfur or sulfate. Novel studies are beginning to give greater insights into the interactions of microbes and seagrasses, not only in the sulfur cycle. Here, we review the literature on the basic ecology and biology of seagrasses and focus on studies describing their microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-03-25

Lesser MP, Morrow KM, Pankey SM, et al (2018)

Diazotroph diversity and nitrogen fixation in the coral Stylophora pistillata from the Great Barrier Reef.

The ISME journal, 12(3):813-824.

Diazotrophs, both Bacteria and Archaea, capable of fixing nitrogen (N2), are present in the tissues and mucous, of corals and can supplement the coral holobiont nitrogen budget with fixed nitrogen (N) in the form of ammonia (NH3). Stylophora pistillata from Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef collected at 5 and 15 m, and experimentally manipulated in the laboratory, showed that the rates of net photosynthesis, steady state quantum yields of photosystem II (PSII) fluorescence (∆Fv/Fm') and calcification varied based on irradiance as expected. Rates of N2 fixation were, however, invariant across treatments while the amount of fixed N contributing to Symbiodinium spp. N demand is irradiance dependent. Additionally, both the Symbiodinium and diazotrophic communities are significantly different based on depth, and novel Cluster V nifH gene phylotypes, which are not known to fix nitrogen, were recovered. A functional analysis using PICRUSt also showed that shallow corals were enriched in genes involved in nitrogen metabolism, and N2 fixation specifically. Corals have evolved a number of strategies to derive nitrogen from organic (e.g., heterotrophic feeding) and inorganic sources (e.g., N2 fixation) to maintain critical pathways such as protein synthesis to succeed ecologically in nitrogen-limited habitats.

RevDate: 2018-06-15

Shapiro JA (2017)

Living Organisms Author Their Read-Write Genomes in Evolution.

Biology, 6(4): pii:biology6040042.

Evolutionary variations generating phenotypic adaptations and novel taxa resulted from complex cellular activities altering genome content and expression: (i) Symbiogenetic cell mergers producing the mitochondrion-bearing ancestor of eukaryotes and chloroplast-bearing ancestors of photosynthetic eukaryotes; (ii) interspecific hybridizations and genome doublings generating new species and adaptive radiations of higher plants and animals; and, (iii) interspecific horizontal DNA transfer encoding virtually all of the cellular functions between organisms and their viruses in all domains of life. Consequently, assuming that evolutionary processes occur in isolated genomes of individual species has become an unrealistic abstraction. Adaptive variations also involved natural genetic engineering of mobile DNA elements to rewire regulatory networks. In the most highly evolved organisms, biological complexity scales with "non-coding" DNA content more closely than with protein-coding capacity. Coincidentally, we have learned how so-called "non-coding" RNAs that are rich in repetitive mobile DNA sequences are key regulators of complex phenotypes. Both biotic and abiotic ecological challenges serve as triggers for episodes of elevated genome change. The intersections of cell activities, biosphere interactions, horizontal DNA transfers, and non-random Read-Write genome modifications by natural genetic engineering provide a rich molecular and biological foundation for understanding how ecological disruptions can stimulate productive, often abrupt, evolutionary transformations.


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
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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 much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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