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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 18 Sep 2020 at 01:47 Created: 

Microbial Ecology

Wikipedia: Microbial Ecology (or environmental microbiology) is the ecology of microorganisms: their relationship with one another and with their environment. It concerns the three major domains of life — Eukaryota, Archaea, and Bacteria — as well as viruses. Microorganisms, by their omnipresence, impact the entire biosphere. Microbial life plays a primary role in regulating biogeochemical systems in virtually all of our planet's environments, including some of the most extreme, from frozen environments and acidic lakes, to hydrothermal vents at the bottom of deepest oceans, and some of the most familiar, such as the human small intestine. As a consequence of the quantitative magnitude of microbial life (Whitman and coworkers calculated 5.0×1030 cells, eight orders of magnitude greater than the number of stars in the observable universe) microbes, by virtue of their biomass alone, constitute a significant carbon sink. Aside from carbon fixation, microorganisms' key collective metabolic processes (including nitrogen fixation, methane metabolism, and sulfur metabolism) control global biogeochemical cycling. The immensity of microorganisms' production is such that, even in the total absence of eukaryotic life, these processes would likely continue unchanged.

Created with PubMed® Query: "microbial ecology" NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2020-09-17

Masetti R, Zama D, Leardini D, et al (2020)

The gut microbiome in pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Pediatric blood & cancer [Epub ahead of print].

The gut microbiome (GM) has been associated with different clinical outcomes in the context of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Large multicenter cohort studies in adults have found significant correlations with overall survival, relapse, and incidence of complications. Moreover, GM is already a promising target for therapeutic interventions. However, few data are available in children, a population presenting unique features and challenges. During childhood, the GM evolves rapidly with large structural fluctuations, alongside with the maturation of the immune system. Furthermore, the HSCT procedure presents significant differences in children. These considerations underline the importance of a specific focus on the pediatric setting, and the role of GM and its age-dependent trajectory in influencing the immunity reconstitution and clinical outcomes. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the available evidence in the field of GM and pediatric HSCT, highlighting age-specific issues and discussing GM-based therapeutic approaches.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

He Y, Zhou Y, Weng R, et al (2020)

Responses of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria in Malodorous River Sediments to Different Remediation Techniques.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01597-4 [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, the joint use of high throughput sequencing, real-time quantitative PCR, and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB)-inhibiting allylthiourea was used to differentiate between the contributions of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) vs AOB to ammonia oxidation and ascertain how AOA and AOB responded to two widely used river remediation techniques (aeration and Ca(NO3)2 injection). Results showed that ammonia oxidation was largely attributed to ATU-sensitive AOB rather than AOA and Nitrosomonas was the predominant AOB-related genus (53.86%) in the malodorous river. The contribution of AOB to ammonia oxidation in the context of aeration and Ca(NO3)2 injection was 75.51 ± 2.77% and 60.19 ± 10.44%, respectively. The peak of AOB/AOA ratio and the marked increase of relative abundances of Nitrosomonas and Nitrosospira in aeration runs further demonstrated aeration favored the ammonia oxidation of AOB. Comparatively, Ca(NO3)2 injection could increase the ammonia oxidation contribution of AOA from 31.32 ± 6.06 to 39.81 ± 10.44% and was significantly correlated with Nitrosococcus of AOB (r = 0.796, p < 0.05), Candidatus_Nitrosopelagicus of AOA (r = 0.986, p < 0.01), and AOA Simpson diversity (r = - 0.791, p < 0.05). Moreover, Candidatus_Nitrosopelagicus was only present in Ca(NO3)2 runs. Taken together, Ca(NO3)2 was recognized as an important factor in mediating the growth and ecological niches of ammonia oxidizers.Graphical abstract.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Phoma BS, TP Makhalanyane (2020)

Depth-Dependent Variables Shape Community Structure and Functionality in the Prince Edward Islands.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01589-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Physicochemical variables limit and control the distribution of microbial communities in all environments. In the oceans, this may significantly influence functional processes such the consumption of dissolved organic material and nutrient sequestration. Yet, the relative contributions of physical factors, such as water mass variability and depth, on functional processes are underexplored. We assessed microbial community structure and functionality in the Prince Edward Islands (PEIs) using 16S rRNA gene amplicon analysis and extracellular enzymatic activity assays, respectively. We found that depth and nutrients substantially drive the structural patterns of bacteria and archaea in this region. Shifts from epipelagic to bathypelagic zones were linked to decreases in the activities of several extracellular enzymes. These extracellular enzymatic activities were positively correlated with several phyla including several Alphaproteobacteria (including members of the SAR 11 clade and order Rhodospirillales) and Cyanobacteria. We show that depth-dependent variables may be essential drivers of community structure and functionality in the PEIs.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Gupta D, Guzman MS, A Bose (2020)

Extracellular electron uptake by autotrophic microbes: physiological, ecological, and evolutionary implications.

Journal of industrial microbiology & biotechnology pii:10.1007/s10295-020-02309-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbes exchange electrons with their extracellular environment via direct or indirect means. This exchange is bidirectional and supports essential microbial oxidation-reduction processes, such as respiration and photosynthesis. The microbial capacity to use electrons from insoluble electron donors, such as redox-active minerals, poised electrodes, or even other microbial cells is called extracellular electron uptake (EEU). Autotrophs with this capability can thrive in nutrient and soluble electron donor-deficient environments. As primary producers, autotrophic microbes capable of EEU greatly impact microbial ecology and play important roles in matter and energy flow in the biosphere. In this review, we discuss EEU-driven autotrophic metabolisms, their mechanism and physiology, and highlight their ecological, evolutionary, and biotechnological implications.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Raymond NS, Gómez-Muñoz B, van der Bom FJT, et al (2020)

Phosphate-solubilising microorganisms for improved crop productivity: a critical assessment.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Phosphate-solubilising microorganisms (PSM) are often reported to have positive effects on crop productivity through enhanced phosphorus (P) nutrition. Our aim was to evaluate the validity of this concept. Most studies that report 'positive effects' of PSM on plant growth have been conducted under controlled conditions, whereas field experiments more frequently fail to demonstrate a positive response. Many studies indicate that the mechanisms seen in vitro do not translate into improved crop P nutrition in complex soil-plant systems. Furthermore, associated mechanisms are often not rigorously assessed. We suggest PSM do not mobilise sufficient P to change the crops' nutritional environment under field conditions. The current concept, in which PSM solubilise P 'for the plant' should thus be revised. Although PSM have capacity to solubilise P to meet their own need, it is the turnover of the microbial biomass that subsequently provides P to plants over a longer time. Therefore, the existing concept of PSM function is unlikely to deliver a reliable strategy for increasing crop P nutrition. A further mechanistic understanding is needed to determine how P mobilisation by PSM as a component of the whole soil community can be manipulated to become more effective for plant P nutrition.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Berentsen B, Nagaraja BH, Teige EP, et al (2020)

Study protocol of the Bergen brain-gut-microbiota-axis study: A prospective case-report characterization and dietary intervention study to evaluate the effects of microbiota alterations on cognition and anatomical and functional brain connectivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Medicine, 99(37):e21950.

INTRODUCTION: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common clinical label for medically unexplained gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, recently described as a disturbance of the brain-gut-microbiota (BGM) axis. To gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the poorly understood etiology of IBS, we have designed a multifaceted study that aim to stratify the complex interaction and dysfunction between the brain, the gut, and the microbiota in patients with IBS.

METHODS: Deep phenotyping data from patients with IBS (n = 100) and healthy age- (between 18 and 65) and gender-matched controls (n = 40) will be collected between May 2019 and December 2021. Psychometric tests, questionnaires, human biological tissue/samples (blood, faeces, saliva, and GI biopsies from antrum, duodenum, and sigmoid colon), assessment of gastric accommodation and emptying using transabdominal ultrasound, vagal activity, and functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, are included in the investigation of each participant. A subgroup of 60 patients with IBS-D will be further included in a 12-week low FODMAP dietary intervention-study to determine short and long-term effects of diet on GI symptoms, microbiota composition and functions, molecular GI signatures, cognitive, emotional and social functions, and structural and functional brain signatures. Deep machine learning, prediction tools, and big data analyses will be used for multivariate analyses allowing disease stratification and diagnostic biomarker detection.

DISCUSSION: To our knowledge, this is the first study to employ unsupervised machine learning techniques and incorporate systems-based interactions between the central and the peripheral components of the brain-gut-microbiota axis at the levels of the multiomics, microbiota profiles, and brain connectome of a cohort of 100 patients with IBS and matched controls; study long-term safety and efficacy of the low-FODMAP diet on changes in nutritional status, gut microbiota composition, and metabolites; and to investigate changes in the brain and gut connectome after 12 weeks strict low-FODMAP-diet in patients with IBS. However, there are also limitations to the study. As a restrictive diet, the low-FODMAP diet carries risks of nutritional inadequacy and may foster disordered eating patterns. Strict FODMAP restriction induces a potentially unfavourable gut microbiota, although the health effects are unknown.


RevDate: 2020-09-14

Giongo A, Dos Anjos Borges LG, Marconatto L, et al (2020)

Adaption of microbial communities to the hostile environment in the Doce River after the collapse of two iron ore tailing dams.

Heliyon, 6(8):e04778 pii:e04778.

In November 2015, two iron ore tailing dams collapsed in the city of Mariana, Brazil. The dams' collapse generated a wave of approximately 50 million m3 of a mixture of mining waste and water. It was a major environmental tragedy in Brazilian history, which damaged rivers, and cities 660 km away in the Doce River basin until it reached the ocean coast. Shortly after the incident, several reports informed that the concentration of metals in the water was above acceptable legal limits under Brazilian laws. Here the microbial communities in samples of water, mud, foam, and rhizosphere of Eichhornia from Doce River were analyzed for 16S and 18S rRNA-based amplicon sequencing, along with microbial isolation, chemical and mineralogical analyses. Samples were collected one month and thirteen months after the collapse. Prokaryotic communities from mud shifted drastically over time (33% Bray-Curtis similarity), while water samples were more similar (63% Bray-Curtis similarity) in the same period. After 12 months, mud samples remained with high levels of heavy metals and a reduction in the diversity of microeukaryotes was detected. Amoebozoans increased in mud samples, reaching 49% of microeukaryote abundance, with Discosea and Lobosa groups being the most abundant. The microbial communities' structure in mud samples changed adapting to the new environment condition. The characterization of microbial communities and metal-tolerant organisms from such impacted environments is essential for understanding the ecological consequences of massive anthropogenic impacts and strategies for the restoration of contaminated sites such as the Doce River.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Ardern Z, Neuhaus K, S Scherer (2020)

Are Antisense Proteins in Prokaryotes Functional?.

Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 7:187.

Many prokaryotic RNAs are transcribed from loci outside of annotated protein coding genes. Across bacterial species hundreds of short open reading frames antisense to annotated genes show evidence of both transcription and translation, for instance in ribosome profiling data. Determining the functional fraction of these protein products awaits further research, including insights from studies of molecular interactions and detailed evolutionary analysis. There are multiple lines of evidence, however, that many of these newly discovered proteins are of use to the organism. Condition-specific phenotypes have been characterized for a few. These proteins should be added to genome annotations, and the methods for predicting them standardized. Evolutionary analysis of these typically young sequences also may provide important insights into gene evolution. This research should be prioritized for its exciting potential to uncover large numbers of novel proteins with extremely diverse potential practical uses, including applications in synthetic biology and responding to pathogens.

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Valverde A, Cason ED, Gómez-Arias A, et al (2020)

Pollution shapes the microbial communities in river water and sediments from the Olifants River catchment, South Africa.

Archives of microbiology pii:10.1007/s00203-020-02035-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Human activities such as agriculture and mining are leading causes of water pollution worldwide. Individual contaminants are known to negatively affect microbial communities. However, the effect of multifaceted pollution on these communities is less well understood. We investigated, using next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes, the effects of multisource (i.e., fertilizer industry and mining) chronic pollution on bacterial and archaeal communities in water and sediments from the Olifants River catchment, South Africa. Water samples showed less microbial species diversity than sediments and both habitats displayed different microbial communities. Within each of these habitats, pollution had no effect on alpha diversity but shaped the microbial composition and taxonomy-based predicted functions. Certain prokaryotic taxa and functional groups were indicative of different degrees of pollution. Heterotrophic taxa (e.g., Flavobacterium sp.) and sulphur-oxidizing bacteria (i.e., Thiobacillus sp.) were indicators of pollution in water and sediments, respectively. Ultimately, this information could be used to develop microbial indicators of water quality degradation.

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Lee JC, KS Whang (2020)

Lysobacter telluris sp. nov., isolated from Korean rhizosphere soil.

Archives of microbiology pii:10.1007/s00203-020-02032-5 [Epub ahead of print].

A Gram-stain-negative, aerobic, non-motile, non-spore-forming light-yellow-coloured rod-shaped bacterial strain, designated YJ15T, was isolated from soil at Bigeum island in Korea. Growth was observed at 10-37 °C (optimum, 28 °C), at pH 6.0-7.5 (optimum, pH 7.0) and in the absence of NaCl. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strain YJ15T was closely related to 'Lysobacter tongrenensis' YS037T (97.8%), Lysobacter pocheonensis Gsoil193T (96.5%) and Lysobacter daecheongensis Dae08T (95.8%) and phylogenetically grouped together with 'Lysobacter tongrenensis' YS037T, Lysobacter dokdonensis DS-58T and Lysobacter pocheonensis Gsoil 193T. The DNA-DNA relatedness between strain YJ15T and 'Lysobacter tongrenensis' KCTC 52206T was 12% and the phylogenomic analysis based on the whole genome sequence demonstrated that strain YJ20T formed a distinct phyletic line with Lysobacterlter dokdonensis DS-58T showing average nucleotide identity (ANI) and digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH) values of 76.3 and 21.3%, respectively. The predominant ubiquinone was identified as Q-8, and polar lipids were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol and two unidentified aminolipids. The major fatty acids were iso-C17:1 ω9c, iso-C15:0, iso-C16:0 and iso-C17:0. The genomic DNA G + C content was 68.2 mol %. On the basis of phenotypic, chemotaxonomic properties and phylogenetic analyses in this study, strain YJ15T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Lysobacter, for which the name Lysobacter telluris sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is YJ15T (= KACC 19552T = NBRC 113197T).

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Paz C, Öpik M, Bulascoschi L, et al (2020)

Dispersal of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi: Evidence and Insights for Ecological Studies.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01582-x [Epub ahead of print].

Dispersal is a critical ecological process that modulates gene flow and contributes to the maintenance of genetic and taxonomic diversity within ecosystems. Despite an increasing global understanding of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal diversity, distribution and prevalence in different biomes, we have largely ignored the main dispersal mechanisms of these organisms. To provide a geographical and scientific overview of the available data, we systematically searched for the direct evidence on the AM fungal dispersal agents (abiotic and biotic) and different propagule types (i.e. spores, extraradical hyphae or colonized root fragments). We show that the available data (37 articles) on AM fungal dispersal originates mostly from North America, from temperate ecosystems, from biotic dispersal agents (small mammals) and AM fungal spores as propagule type. Much lesser evidence exists from South American, Asian and African tropical systems and other dispersers such as large-bodied birds and mammals and non-spore propagule types. We did not find strong evidence that spore size varies across dispersal agents, but wind and large animals seem to be more efficient dispersers. However, the data is still too scarce to draw firm conclusions from this finding. We further discuss and propose critical research questions and potential approaches to advance the understanding of the ecology of AM fungi dispersal.

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Zhang R, Weinbauer MG, P Peduzzi (2020)

Aquatic Viruses and Climate Change.

Current issues in molecular biology, 41:357-380 pii:v41/357 [Epub ahead of print].

The viral component in aquatic systems clearly needs to be incorporated into future ocean and inland water climate models. Viruses have the potential to influence carbon and nutrient cycling in aquatic ecosystems significantly. Changing climate likely has both direct and indirect influence on virus-mediated processes, among them an impact on food webs, biogeochemical cycles and on the overall metabolic performance of whole ecosystems. Here we synthesise current knowledge on potential climate-related consequences for viral assemblages, virus-host interactions and virus functions, and in turn, viral processes contributing to climate change. There is a need to increase the accuracy of predictions of climate change impacts on virus- driven processes, particularly of those linked to biological production and biogeochemical cycles. Comprehension of the relationships between microbial/viral processes and global phenomena is essential to predict the influence on as well as the response of the biosphere to global change.

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Soh YNA, Kunacheva C, Menon S, et al (2020)

Comparison of soluble microbial product (SMP) production in full-scale anaerobic/aerobic industrial wastewater treatment and a laboratory based synthetic feed anaerobic membrane system.

The Science of the total environment, 754:142173 pii:S0048-9697(20)35702-8 [Epub ahead of print].

This study focused on the characterisation of soluble microbial products (SMPs) produced from a full-scale multi-stage (anaerobic/aerobic) industrial wastewater treatment plant, and contrasted them to the SMPs detected in the effluent of a lab-scale AnMBR treating synthetic wastewater to determine if there were any common solutes detected irrespective of the feed organics. Recently developed analytical methods using gas chromatography coupled mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography coupled quadrupole-time-of-flight (LC-Q-ToF) for SMP characterisation in a wide molecular weight (MW) range of 30-2000 Da (Da) were applied. Samples collected from the Industrial Wastewater plant were the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) influent and effluent, and aerobic membrane bioreactor (MBR) effluent before discharge. The GC-MS detected a spike in cyclooctasulphur in the UASB effluent, an indicator of shock-loading, which disappeared after the MBR process. Alkanes, acids and nitrogenous compounds were found to be the end-products from the GC-MS results, while LC-Q-ToF analysis revealed that eicosanoids, a group of cell-signalling molecules, were produced in the aerobic MBR, and made up 71% of its effluent. A comparison of the submerged anaerobic membrane bioreactor (SAMBR) and aerobic MBR effluents using GC-MS showed that there was only a small degree of similarity between the SMPs, comprising mainly long chain alkanes and phthalate. On the other hand, LC-Q-ToF showed a large contrast in compound composition, mostly having cell-signalling functions, which deepened our understanding of the different metabolic processes occurring in aerobic and anaerobic systems. These data could be useful for future work in various areas such as controlling quorum-sensing and biofilm formation, process optimisation and control, and microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Candry P, Radić L, Favere J, et al (2020)

Mildly acidic pH selects for chain elongation to caproic acid over alternative pathways during lactic acid fermentation.

Water research, 186:116396 pii:S0043-1354(20)30931-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Carbohydrate-rich waste streams can be used for bioproduction of medium-chain carboxylic acids (MCCA) such as caproic acid. The carbohydrates in these streams can be converted to lactic acid as the initial fermentation product, which can then be fermented to MCCA by chain elongation. In this process, chain elongators compete for lactic acid with other bacterial groups that, for instance, ferment lactic acid to propionic and acetic acid. Understanding the drivers that control the competition between these two pathways is essential to maximizing MCCA production. This study aimed to investigate the competition between chain elongating and propionic acid producing organisms as a function of operational pH. Operation of long-term lactic acid fermenting reactors with varying pH values showed that pH values above 6 resulted in a propionic acid producing community dominated by Veillonella and Aminobacterium. At pH values below 6, the community moved towards chain elongation, with communities dominated by Caproiciproducens. Short-term incubations showed that rates of lactic acid consumption were strongly reduced at pH below 6 (7.7 ± 1.2 mM lactic acid·h-1 at pH 6.5; 0.74 ± 0.33 mM lactic acid·h-1 at pH 5.5). Similar to observations in long-term reactors, when a chain elongating community adapted to pH 5.5 was used for short-term incubations at pH 6.5, propionic acid was the dominant product. The results of this study show that pH below 6 stimulate lactic acid chain elongators through kinetic effects, and potentially improved energetics, providing a tool for microbial management of MCCA-producing systems.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Casterline BW, AS Paller (2020)

Early development of the skin microbiome: therapeutic opportunities.

Pediatric research pii:10.1038/s41390-020-01146-2 [Epub ahead of print].

As human skin hosts a diverse microbiota in health and disease, there is an emerging consensus that dysregulated interactions between host and microbiome may contribute to chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. Neonatal skin is a unique habitat, structurally similar to the adult but with a different profile of metabolic substrates, environmental stressors, and immune activity. The surface is colonized within moments of birth with a bias toward maternal strains. Initial colonists are outcompeted as environmental exposures increase and host skin matures. Nonetheless, early life microbial acquisitions may have long-lasting effects on health through modulation of host immunity and competitive interactions between bacteria. Microbial ecology and its influence on health have been of interest to dermatologists for >50 years, and an explosion of recent interest in the microbiome has prompted ongoing investigations of several microbial therapeutics for dermatological disease. In this review, we consider how recent insight into the host and microbial factors driving development of the skin microbiome in early life offers new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. IMPACT: Advancement in understanding molecular mechanisms of bacterial competition opens new avenues of investigation into dermatological disease.Primary development of the skin microbiome is determined by immunological features of the cutaneous habitat.Understanding coordinated microbial and immunological development in the pediatric patient requires a multidisciplinary synthesis of primary literature.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Frommeyer B, Fiedler AW, Oehler SR, et al (2020)

Environmental and Intestinal Phylum Firmicutes Bacteria Metabolize the Plant Sugar Sulfoquinovose via a 6-Deoxy-6-sulfofructose Transaldolase Pathway.

iScience, 23(9):101510 pii:S2589-0042(20)30702-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial degradation of the sugar sulfoquinovose (SQ, 6-deoxy-6-sulfoglucose) produced by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria, is an important component of the biogeochemical carbon and sulfur cycles. Here, we reveal a third biochemical pathway for primary SQ degradation in an aerobic Bacillus aryabhattai strain. An isomerase converts SQ to 6-deoxy-6-sulfofructose (SF). A novel transaldolase enzyme cleaves the SF to 3-sulfolactaldehyde (SLA), while the non-sulfonated C3-(glycerone)-moiety is transferred to an acceptor molecule, glyceraldehyde phosphate (GAP), yielding fructose-6-phosphate (F6P). Intestinal anaerobic bacteria such as Enterococcus gilvus, Clostridium symbiosum, and Eubacterium rectale strains also express transaldolase pathway gene clusters during fermentative growth with SQ. The now three known biochemical strategies for SQ catabolism reflect adaptations to the aerobic or anaerobic lifestyle of the different bacteria. The occurrence of these pathways in intestinal (family) Enterobacteriaceae and (phylum) Firmicutes strains further highlights a potential importance of metabolism of green-diet SQ by gut microbial communities to, ultimately, hydrogen sulfide.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Ennis NJ, Dharumaduri D, Bryce JG, et al (2020)

Metagenome Across a Geochemical Gradient of Indian Stone Ruins Found at Historic Sites in Tamil Nadu, India.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01598-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Although stone surfaces seem unlikely to be habitable, they support microbial life. Life on these surfaces are subjected to many varying harsh conditions and require the inhabitants to exhibit resistance to environmental factors including UV irradiation, toxic metal exposure, and fluctuating temperatures and humidity. Here we report the effect of hosting stone geochemistry on the microbiome of stone ruins found in Tamil Nadu, India. The microbial communities found on the two lithologies, granite and granodiorite, hosted distinct populations of bacteria. Geochemical composition analysis of sampled stones revealed quartz mineral content as a major driver of microbial community structure, particularly promoting community richness and proportions of Cyanobacteria and Deinococcus-Thermus. Other geochemical parameters including ilmenite, albite, anorthite, and orthoclase components or elemental concentrations (Ti, Fe, Mn, Na, and K) also influenced community structure to a lesser degree than quartz. Core members of the stone microbiome community found on both lithologies were also identified and included Cyanobacteria (Chroococcidiopsaceae and Dapisostemonum CCIBt 3536), Rubrobacter, and Deinococcus. A cluster of taxa including Sphingomonas, Geodermatophilus, and Truepera were mostly found in the granodiorite samples. Community diversity correlated with quartz mineral content in these samples may indicate that the microbial communities that attach to quartz surfaces may be transient and regularly changing. This work has expanded our understanding of built-stone microbial community structure based on lithology and geochemistry.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Sajjad W, Ali B, Bahadur A, et al (2020)

Bacterial Diversity and Communities Structural Dynamics in Soil and Meltwater Runoff at the Frontier of Baishui Glacier No.1, China.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01600-y [Epub ahead of print].

Comprehensive knowledge of bacterial ecology mainly in supraglacial habitats is pivotal particularly at the frontier of accelerated glacier retreat. In this study, bacterial diversity and community composition in glacial soil and meltwater runoff at the frontier of Baishui Glacier No.1 were evaluated using high throughput sequencing. Significant variations in the physiochemical parameters formed an ecological gradient between soil and meltwater runoff. Based on the richness and evenness indexes, the bacterial diversity was relatively higher in soil compared with meltwater runoff. Hierarchical clustering and bi-plot ordination revealed that the taxonomic composition of soil samples was highly similar and significantly influenced by the ecological parameters than the meltwater runoff. The overall relative abundance trend of bacterial phyla and genera were greatly varied in soil and water samples. The relative abundance of Proteobacteria was higher in water runoff samples (40.5-87%) compared with soil samples (32-52.7%). Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and a little part of Cyanobacteria occupied a major portion of water runoff while the soil was dominated by Acidobacteria (6-16.2%), Actinobacteria (5-16%), Bacteroidetes (0.5-8.8%), and Cyanobacteria (0.1-8.3%) besides Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Higher numbers of biomarkers were found in soil group compared with the water group. The study area is diverse in terms of richness, while community structures are not evenly distributed. This study provides a preliminary understanding of the bacterial diversity and shifts in community structure in soil and meltwater runoff at the frontier of the glacial. The findings revealed that the environmental factors are a significantly strong determinant of bacterial community structures in such a closely linked ecosystem.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Park SJ, Andrei AŞ, Bulzu PA, et al (2020)

Expanded diversity and metabolic versatility of marine nitrite-oxidizing bacteria revealed by cultivation- and genomics-based approaches.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.01667-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) are ubiquitous and abundant microorganisms that play key roles in global nitrogen and carbon biogeochemical cycling. Despite recent advances in understanding NOB physiology and taxonomy, there are currently very few cultured NOB or representative NOB genome sequences from marine environments. In this study, we employed enrichment culturing and genomic approaches in order to shed light on the phylogeny and metabolic capacity of marine NOB. We successfully enriched two marine NOB (designated MSP and DJ) and obtained a high-quality metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) from each organism. The maximum nitrite oxidation rates of the MSP and DJ enrichment cultures were 13.8 (0.1 mM nitrite as optimum) and 30.0 μM (0.3 mM nitrite) nitrite per day, respectively. Each enrichment culture exhibited different tolerance to varying nitrite and salt concentrations. Based on phylogenomic position and overall genome relatedness indices, both NOB MAGs were proposed as novel taxa within the Nitrospinota and Nitrospirota phyla. Functional predictions indicated that both NOB MAGs shared many highly conserve metabolic features with other NOB. Both NOB MAGs encoded proteins for hydrogen and organic compound metabolism and defense mechanisms for oxidative stress. Additionally, these organisms may have the genetic potential to produce cobalamin (an essential enzyme cofactor that is limiting in many environments) and thus may play an important role in recycling cobalamin in marine sediment. Overall, this study appreciably expands our understanding of the Nitrospinota and Nitrospirota phyla, and suggests that these NOB may play important biogeochemical roles in marine habitats.Importance Nitrification is a key process in the biogeochemical and global nitrogen cycle. Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) perform the second step of aerobic nitrification (converting nitrite to nitrate), which is critical for transferring nitrogen to other organisms for assimilation or energy. Despite their ecological importance, there are few cultured or genomic representatives from marine systems. Here, we obtained two NOB (designated as MSP and DJ) enriched from marine sediments and estimated the physiological and genomic traits of these marine microbes. Both NOB enrichment cultures exhibit distinct responses to varying nitrite and salt concentrations. Genomic analyses suggest that these NOB are metabolically flexible (similar to other previously described NOB), and yet also have individual genomic differences that likely support distinct niche distribution. In conclusion, this study provides more insights into the ecological roles of NOB in marine environments.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Modin O, Liébana R, Saheb-Alam S, et al (2020)

Hill-based dissimilarity indices and null models for analysis of microbial community assembly.

Microbiome, 8(1):132 pii:10.1186/s40168-020-00909-7.

BACKGROUND: High-throughput amplicon sequencing of marker genes, such as the 16S rRNA gene in Bacteria and Archaea, provides a wealth of information about the composition of microbial communities. To quantify differences between samples and draw conclusions about factors affecting community assembly, dissimilarity indices are typically used. However, results are subject to several biases, and data interpretation can be challenging. The Jaccard and Bray-Curtis indices, which are often used to quantify taxonomic dissimilarity, are not necessarily the most logical choices. Instead, we argue that Hill-based indices, which make it possible to systematically investigate the impact of relative abundance on dissimilarity, should be used for robust analysis of data. In combination with a null model, mechanisms of microbial community assembly can be analyzed. Here, we also introduce a new software, qdiv, which enables rapid calculations of Hill-based dissimilarity indices in combination with null models.

RESULTS: Using amplicon sequencing data from two experimental systems, aerobic granular sludge (AGS) reactors and microbial fuel cells (MFC), we show that the choice of dissimilarity index can have considerable impact on results and conclusions. High dissimilarity between replicates because of random sampling effects make incidence-based indices less suited for identifying differences between groups of samples. Determining a consensus table based on count tables generated with different bioinformatic pipelines reduced the number of low-abundant, potentially spurious amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) in the data sets, which led to lower dissimilarity between replicates. Analysis with a combination of Hill-based indices and a null model allowed us to show that different ecological mechanisms acted on different fractions of the microbial communities in the experimental systems.

CONCLUSIONS: Hill-based indices provide a rational framework for analysis of dissimilarity between microbial community samples. In combination with a null model, the effects of deterministic and stochastic community assembly factors on taxa of different relative abundances can be systematically investigated. Calculations of Hill-based dissimilarity indices in combination with a null model can be done in qdiv, which is freely available as a Python package ( In qdiv, a consensus table can also be determined from several count tables generated with different bioinformatic pipelines. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Sizikov S, Burgsdorf I, Handley KM, et al (2020)

Characterization of sponge-associated Verrucomicrobia: microcompartment-based sugar utilization and enhanced toxin-antitoxin modules as features of host-associated Opitutales.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteria of the phylum Verrucomicrobia are ubiquitous in marine environments and can be found as free-living organisms or as symbionts of eukaryotic hosts. Little is known about host-associated Verrucomicrobia in the marine environment. Here we reconstructed two genomes of symbiotic Verrucomicrobia from bacterial metagenomes derived from the Atlanto-Mediterranean sponge Petrosia ficiformis and three genomes from strains that we isolated from offshore seawater of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Phylogenomic analysis of these five strains indicated that they are all members of Verrucomicrobia subdivision 4, order Opitutales. We compared these novel sponge-associated and seawater-isolated genomes to closely related Verrucomicrobia. Genomic analysis revealed that Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia microcompartment gene clusters are enriched in the genomes of symbiotic Opitutales including sponge symbionts but not in free-living ones. We hypothesize that in sponge symbionts these microcompartments are used for degradation of l-fucose and l-rhamnose, which are components of algal and bacterial cell walls and therefore may be found at high concentrations in the sponge tissue. Furthermore, we observed an enrichment of toxin-antitoxin modules in symbiotic Opitutales. We suggest that, in sponges, verrucomicrobial symbionts utilize these modules as a defence mechanism against antimicrobial activity deriving from the abundant microbial community co-inhabiting the host.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Lukumbuzya M, Kristensen JM, Kitzinger K, et al (2020)

A refined set of rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes for in situ detection and quantification of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria.

Water research, 186:116372 pii:S0043-1354(20)30908-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) of the betaproteobacterial genera Nitrosomonas and Nitrosospira are key nitrifying microorganisms in many natural and engineered ecosystems. Since many AOB remain uncultured, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes has been one of the most widely used approaches to study the community composition, abundance, and other features of AOB directly in environmental samples. However, the established and widely used AOB-specific 16S rRNA-targeted FISH probes were designed up to two decades ago, based on much smaller rRNA gene sequence datasets than available today. Several of these probes cover their target AOB lineages incompletely and suffer from a weak target specificity, which causes cross-hybridization of probes that should detect different AOB lineages. Here, a set of new highly specific 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes was developed and experimentally evaluated that complements the existing probes and enables the specific detection and differentiation of the known, major phylogenetic clusters of betaproteobacterial AOB. The new probes were successfully applied to visualize and quantify AOB in activated sludge and biofilm samples from seven pilot- and full-scale wastewater treatment systems. Based on its improved target group coverage and specificity, the refined probe set will facilitate future in situ analyses of AOB.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Chan YF, Chiang PW, Tandon K, et al (2020)

Spatiotemporal Changes in the Bacterial Community of the Meromictic Lake Uchum, Siberia.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01592-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Lake Uchum is a newly defined meromictic lake in Siberia with clear seasonal changes in its mixolimnion. This study characterized the temporal dynamics and vertical profile of bacterial communities in oxic and anoxic zones of the lake across all four seasons: October (autumn), March (winter), May (spring), and August (summer). Bacterial richness and diversity in the anoxic zone varied widely between time points. Proteobacteria was the dominant bacterial phylum throughout the oxic and anoxic zones across all four seasons. Alphaproteobacteria (Loktanella) and Gammaproteobacteria (Aliidiomarina) exhibited the highest abundance in the oxic and anoxic zone, respectively. Furthermore, there was a successional shift in sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the anoxic zone across the seasons. The most dominant SRB, Desulfonatronovibrio sp., is likely one of the main producers of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and typically accumulates the most H2S in winter. The representative anoxygenic phototrophic bacterial group in Lake Uchum was purple sulfur bacteria (PSB). PSB were dominant (60.76%) in summer, but only had 0.2-1.5% relative abundance from autumn to spring. Multivariate analysis revealed that the abundance of these SRB and PSB correlated to the concentration of H2S in Lake Uchum. Taken together, this study provides insights into the relationships between changes in bacterial community and environmental features in Lake Uchum.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Chen J, Xie P, Yu D, et al (2020)

Dynamic Change of Sedimental Microbial Community During Black Bloom-an In Situ Enclosure Simulation Study.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01561-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Black bloom is a worldwide environmental problem. Sediment microbes play important roles in the process of black bloom. The dynamic change of sedimental microbial community and their potential link between taste and odor compounds during black bloom was investigated in an in situ black bloom enclosure simulation experiment. Through high-throughput sequencing and analysis, pronounced shifts of sedimental microbial community were observed on the 3rd and 7th day in the black bloom group. Microbes in Cyanobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Planctomycetes, and Actinobacteria were obviously increased, while microbes from the phyla OP8, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria were decreased significantly. RDA analysis revealed that the concentrations of chlorophyll a (Chla), total phosphorus (TP), and turbidity (NTU) in the water and the TP, TN concentrations in the sediment were the main environmental factors that affect the microbial community in the sediment. Correlation analysis revealed that microbes Dechloromonas sp. (OTU003567 and OTU000093), Desulfococcus sp. (OTU000911), Chromatiaceae (OTU001222), and Methanosaeta sp. (OTU004809) were positively correlated with the taste and odor substances in the sediment, such as dimethyl sulfide (DMS), β-ionone, β-cyclocitral and geosmin. The sedimental microbial community gradually recovered in the late phase of black bloom, indicating the stability and self-recovery ability of the sedimental microbial community during black bloom. Noteworthily, we observed many possible pathogens increased significantly during the black bloom, which alerts us to keep away from contaminated sediment when black bloom occurred.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Mbareche H, Dumont-Leblond N, Bilodeau GJ, et al (2020)

An Overview of Bioinformatics Tools for DNA Meta-Barcoding Analysis of Microbial Communities of Bioaerosols: Digest for Microbiologists.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 10(9): pii:life10090185.

High-throughput DNA sequencing (HTS) has changed our understanding of the microbial composition present in a wide range of environments. Applying HTS methods to air samples from different environments allows the identification and quantification (relative abundance) of the microorganisms present and gives a better understanding of human exposure to indoor and outdoor bioaerosols. To make full use of the avalanche of information made available by these sequences, repeated measurements must be taken, community composition described, error estimates made, correlations of microbiota with covariates (variables) must be examined, and increasingly sophisticated statistical tests must be conducted, all by using bioinformatics tools. Knowing which analysis to conduct and which tools to apply remains confusing for bioaerosol scientists, as a litany of tools and data resources are now available for characterizing microbial communities. The goal of this review paper is to offer a guided tour through the bioinformatics tools that are useful in studying the microbial ecology of bioaerosols. This work explains microbial ecology features like alpha and beta diversity, multivariate analyses, differential abundances, taxonomic analyses, visualization tools and statistical tests using bioinformatics tools for bioaerosol scientists new to the field. It illustrates and promotes the use of selected bioinformatic tools in the study of bioaerosols and serves as a good source for learning the "dos and don'ts" involved in conducting a precise microbial ecology study.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Ceron-Chafla P, Kleerebezem R, Rabaey K, et al (2020)

Direct and Indirect Effects of Increased CO2 Partial Pressure on the Bioenergetics of Syntrophic Propionate and Butyrate Conversion.

Environmental science & technology [Epub ahead of print].

Simultaneous digestion and in situ biogas upgrading in high-pressure bioreactors will result in elevated CO2 partial pressure (pCO2). With the concomitant increase in dissolved CO2, microbial conversion processes may be affected beyond the impact of increased acidity. Elevated pCO2 was reported to affect the kinetics and thermodynamics of biochemical conversions because CO2 is an intermediate and end-product of the digestion process and modifies the carbonate equilibrium. Our results showed that increasing pCO2 from 0.3 to 8 bar in lab-scale batch reactors decreased the maximum substrate utilization rate (rsmax) for both syntrophic propionate and butyrate oxidation. These kinetic limitations are linked to an increased overall Gibbs free energy change (ΔGOverall) and a potential biochemical energy redistribution among syntrophic partners, which showed interdependence with hydrogen partial pressure (pH2). The bioenergetics analysis identified a moderate, direct impact of elevated pCO2 on propionate oxidation and a pH-mediated effect on butyrate oxidation. These constraints, combined with physiological limitations on growth exerted by increased acidity and inhibition due to higher concentrations of undissociated volatile fatty acids, help to explain the observed phenomena. Overall, this investigation sheds light on the role of elevated pCO2 in delicate biochemical syntrophic conversions by connecting kinetic, bioenergetic, and physiological effects.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Callewaert C, Ravard Helffer K, P Lebaron (2020)

Skin Microbiome and its Interplay with the Environment.

American journal of clinical dermatology pii:10.1007/s40257-020-00551-x [Epub ahead of print].

Advances in sequencing, bioinformatics and analytics now allow the structure, function and interrelations of whole microbial communities to be studied in greater detail. Collaborative efforts and multidisciplinary studies, crossing the boundary between environmental and medical microbiology, have allowed specific environmental, animal and human microbiomes to be characterized. One of the main challenges for microbial ecology is to link the phylogenetic diversity of host-associated microbes to their functional roles within the community. Much remains to be learned on the way microbes colonize the skin of different living organisms and the way the skin microbiome reacts to the surrounding environment (air, water, etc.). In this review, we discuss examples of recent studies that have used modern technology to provide insights into microbial communities in water and on skin, such as those in natural resources (thermal spring water), large mammals (humpback whales) and humans (the skin microbiome). The results of these studies demonstrate how a greater understanding of the structure and functioning of microbiota, together with their interactions with the environment, may facilitate the discovery of new probiotics or postbiotics, provide indicators for the quality of the environment, and show how changes in lifestyle and living environment, such as urbanization, can impact on the skin microbiome and skin health and disease in humans.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Mootapally C, Mahajan MS, NM Nathani (2020)

Sediment Plasmidome of the Gulfs of Kathiawar Peninsula and Arabian Sea: Insights Gained from Metagenomics Data.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01587-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Plasmidomes have become the research area of interest for ecologists exploring bacteria rich ecosystems. Marine environments are among such niche that host a huge number of microbes and have a complex environment which pose the need to study these bacterial indicators of horizontal gene transfer events for survival and stability. The plasmid content of the metagenomics data from 8 sediment samples of the Gulfs of Kathiawar and an open Arabian Sea sample was screened. The reads corresponding to hits against the plasmid database were assembled and studied for diversity using Kraken and functional content using MG-RAST. The sequences were also checked for resistome and virulence factors. The replicon hosts were overall dominated by Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria while red algae specific to the Kutch samples. The genes encoded were dominant in the flagella motility and type VI secretion systems. Overall, results from the study confirmed that the plasmids encoded traits for metal, antibiotic, and phage resistance along with virulence systems, and these would be conferring benefit to the hosts. The study throws insights into the environmental role of the plasmidome in adaptation of the microbes in the studied sites to the environmental stresses.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Nakai R, Naganuma T, Tazato N, et al (2020)

Cell Plasticity and Genomic Structure of a Novel Filterable Rhizobiales Bacterium that Belongs to a Widely Distributed Lineage.

Microorganisms, 8(9): pii:microorganisms8091373.

Rhizobiales bacterium strain IZ6 is a novel filterable bacterium that was isolated from a suspension filtrate (<0.22 µm) of soil collected in Shimane Prefecture, western Japan. Additional closely related isolates were recovered from filterable fractions of terrestrial environmental samples collected from other places in Japan; the Gobi Desert, north-central China; and Svalbard, Arctic Norway. These findings indicate a wide distribution of this lineage. This study reports the cell variation and genomic structure of IZ6. When cultured at lower temperatures (4 °C and 15 °C), this strain contained ultra-small cells and cell-like particles in the filtrate. PacBio sequencing revealed that this chromosome (3,114,641 bp) contained 3150 protein-coding, 51 tRNA, and three rRNA genes. IZ6 showed low 16S rRNA gene sequence identity (<97%) and low average nucleotide identity (<76%) with its closest known relative, Flaviflagellibacter deserti. Unlike the methylotrophic bacteria and nitrogen-fixing bacteria in related genera, there were no genes that encoded enzymes for one-carbon-compound utilization and nitrogen fixation in the IZ6 genome; the genes related to nitrate and nitrite reductase are retained and those related to the cell membrane function tend to be slightly enriched in the genome. This genomic information helps elucidate the eco-physiological function of a phenotypically heterogeneous and diverse Rhizobiales group.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Álvarez-Rodríguez I, Arana L, Ugarte-Uribe B, et al (2020)

Type IV Coupling Proteins as Potential Targets to Control the Dissemination of Antibiotic Resistance.

Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 7:201.

The increase of infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria, together with the loss of effectiveness of currently available antibiotics, represents one of the most serious threats to public health worldwide. The loss of human lives and the economic costs associated to the problem of the dissemination of antibiotic resistance require immediate action. Bacteria, known by their great genetic plasticity, are capable not only of mutating their genes to adapt to disturbances and environmental changes but also of acquiring new genes that allow them to survive in hostile environments, such as in the presence of antibiotics. One of the major mechanisms responsible for the horizontal acquisition of new genes (e.g., antibiotic resistance genes) is bacterial conjugation, a process mediated by mobile genetic elements such as conjugative plasmids and integrative conjugative elements. Conjugative plasmids harboring antibiotic resistance genes can be transferred from a donor to a recipient bacterium in a process that requires physical contact. After conjugation, the recipient bacterium not only harbors the antibiotic resistance genes but it can also transfer the acquired plasmid to other bacteria, thus contributing to the spread of antibiotic resistance. Conjugative plasmids have genes that encode all the proteins necessary for the conjugation to take place, such as the type IV coupling proteins (T4CPs) present in all conjugative plasmids. Type VI coupling proteins constitute a heterogeneous family of hexameric ATPases that use energy from the ATP hydrolysis for plasmid transfer. Taking into account their essential role in bacterial conjugation, T4CPs are attractive targets for the inhibition of bacterial conjugation and, concomitantly, the limitation of antibiotic resistance dissemination. This review aims to compile present knowledge on T4CPs as a starting point for delving into their molecular structure and functioning in future studies. Likewise, the scientific literature on bacterial conjugation inhibitors has been reviewed here, in an attempt to elucidate the possibility of designing T4CP-inhibitors as a potential solution to the dissemination of multidrug-resistant bacteria.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Møller TE, van der Bilt WGM, Roerdink DL, et al (2020)

Microbial Community Structure in Arctic Lake Sediments Reflect Variations in Holocene Climate Conditions.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1520.

The reconstruction of past climate variability using physical and geochemical parameters from lake sedimentary records is a well-established and widely used approach. These geological records are also known to contain large and active microbial communities, believed to be responsive to their surroundings at the time of deposition, and proceed to interact intimately with their physical and chemical environment for millennia after deposition. However, less is known about the potential legacy of past climate conditions on the contemporary microbial community structure. We analysed two Holocene-length (past 10 ka BP) sediment cores from the glacier-fed Ymer Lake, located in a highly climate-sensitive region on south-eastern Greenland. By combining physical proxies, solid as well as fluid geochemistry, and microbial population profiling in a comprehensive statistical framework, we show that the microbial community structure clusters according to established lithological units, and thus captures past environmental conditions and climatic transitions. Further, comparative analyses of the two sedimentary records indicates that the manifestation of regional climate depends on local settings such as water column depth, which ultimately constrains microbial variability in the deposited sediments. The strong coupling between physical and geochemical shifts in the lake and microbial variation highlights the potential of molecular microbiological data to strengthen and refine existing sedimentological classifications of past environmental conditions and transitions. Furthermore, this coupling implies that microbially controlled transformation and partitioning of geochemical species (e.g., manganese and sulphate) in Ymer lake today is still affected by climatic conditions that prevailed thousands of years back in time.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

González-Dominici LI, Saati-Santamaría Z, P García-Fraile (2020)

Genome Analysis and Genomic Comparison of the Novel Species Arthrobacter ipsi Reveal Its Potential Protective Role in Its Bark Beetle Host.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01593-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The pine engraver beetle, Ips acuminatus Gyll, is a bark beetle that causes important damages in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forests and plantations. As almost all higher organisms, Ips acuminatus harbours a microbiome, although the role of most members of its microbiome is not well understood. As part of a work in which we analysed the bacterial diversity associated to Ips acuminatus, we isolated the strain Arthrobacter sp. IA7. In order to study its potential role within the bark beetle holobiont, we sequenced and explored its genome and performed a pan-genome analysis of the genus Arthrobacter, showing specific genes of strain IA7 that might be related with its particular role in its niche. Based on these investigations, we suggest several potential roles of the bacterium within the beetle. Analysis of genes related to secondary metabolism indicated potential antifungal capability, confirmed by the inhibition of several entomopathogenic fungal strains (Metarhizium anisopliae CCF0966, Lecanicillium muscarium CCF6041, L. muscarium CCF3297, Isaria fumosorosea CCF4401, I. farinosa CCF4808, Beauveria bassiana CCF4422 and B. brongniartii CCF1547). Phylogenetic analyses of the 16S rRNA gene, six concatenated housekeeping genes (tuf-secY-rpoB-recA-fusA-atpD) and genome sequences indicated that strain IA7 is closely related to A. globiformis NBRC 12137T but forms a new species within the genus Arthrobacter; this was confirmed by digital DNA-DNA hybridization (37.10%) and average nucleotide identity (ANIb) (88.9%). Based on phenotypic and genotypic features, we propose strain IA7T as the novel species Arthrobacter ipsi sp. nov. (type strain IA7T = CECT 30100T = LMG 31782T) and suggest its protective role for its host.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Wu C, Wei X, Hu Z, et al (2020)

Diazotrophic Community Variation Underlies Differences in Nitrogen Fixation Potential in Paddy Soils Across a Climatic Gradient in China.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01591-w [Epub ahead of print].

Biological nitrogen (N2) fixation as a source of new N input into the soil by free-living diazotrophs is important for achieving sustainable rice agriculture. However, the dominant environmental drivers or factors influencing N2 fixation and the functional significance of the diazotroph community structure in paddy soil across a climatic gradient are not yet well understood. Thus, we characterized the diazotroph community and identified the ecological predictors of N2 fixation potential in four different climate zones (mid-temperate, warm-temperate, subtropical, and tropical paddy soils) in eastern China. Comprehensive nifH gene sequencing, functional activity detection, and correlation analysis with environmental factors were estimated. The potential nitrogenase activity (PNA) was highest in warm-temperate regions, where it was 6.2-, 2.9-, and 2.2-fold greater than in the tropical, subtropical, and mid-temperate regions, respectively; nifH gene abundance was significantly higher in warm-temperate and subtropical zones than in the tropical or mid-temperate zones. Diazotroph diversity was significantly higher in the tropical climate zone and significantly lower in the mid-temperate zone. Non-metric multidimensional scaling and canonical correlation analysis indicated that paddy soil diazotroph populations differed significantly among the four climate zones, mainly owing to differences in climate and soil pH. Structural equation models and automatic linear models revealed that climate and nutrients indirectly affected PNA by affecting soil pH and diazotroph community, respectively, while diazotroph community, C/P, and nifH gene abundance directly affected PNA. And C/P ratio, pH, and the diazotroph community structure were the main predictors of PNA in paddy soils. Collectively, the differences in diazotroph community structure have ecological significance, with important implications for the prediction of soil N2-fixing functions under climate change scenarios.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Petrzik K, Lukavský J, I Koloniuk (2020)

Novel Virus on Filamentous Arthronema africanum Cyanobacterium.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01599-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Widely distributed in water environments and in soil, cyanobacteria are hosts of lysogenic or lytic bacterioviruses. A novel, probably lysogenic virus (phage) for which the name Arthronema africanum virus TR020 (Aa-TR020) is proposed, has been isolated from filamentous freshwater cyanobacterium Arthronema africanum. The virus formed turbid plaques on plate culture of A. africanum strain 1980/01 but not on other Arthronema strain and other bacterial species. The genome of Aa-TR020 is linear molecule of dsDNA, 44,805 bp in length with 216 bp long terminal repeats and with G + C content of 46%. Fifty-five genes organized on plus and minus strands were predicted there. The genome size, gene arrangement, and selected protein sequences showed relatedness to Phormidium virus Pf-WMP3 and other viruses known to infect cyanobacteria and classified in the family Podoviridae.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Rodrigues GR, Pinto OHB, Schroeder LF, et al (2020)

Unraveling the xylanolytic potential of Acidobacteria bacterium AB60 from Cerrado soils.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:5902847 [Epub ahead of print].

The presence of genes for glycosyl hydrolases in many Acidobacteria genomes indicates an important role in the degradation of plant cell wall material. Acidobacteria bacterium AB60 was obtained from Cerrado oligotrophic soil in Brazil, where this phylum is abundant. The 16S rRNA gene analyses showed that AB60 was closely related to the genera Occallatibacter and Telmatobacter. However, AB 60 grew on xylan as carbon source, which was not observed in Occallatibacter species; but growth was not detected on medium containing carboxymethyl cellulose, as observed in Telmatobacter. Nevertheless, the genome analysis of AB60 revealed genes for the enzymes involved in cellulose as well as xylan degradation. In addition to enzymes involved in xylan degradation, α-L-rhamnosidase was detected in the cultures of AB60. Functional screening of a small-insert genomic library did not identify any clones capable of CMC degradation, but ORFs coding α-L-arabinofuranosidase and α-L-rhamnosidase were present in clones showing xylan degradation halos. Both enzymes act on the lateral chains of heteropolymers such as pectin and some hemicelluloses. These results indicate that the hydrolysis of α-linked sugars may offer a metabolic niche for slow-growing Acidobacteria, allowing them to co-exist with other plant-degrading microbes that hydrolyze β-linked sugars from cellulose or hemicellulose backbones.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Bandini F, Misci C, Taskin E, et al (2020)

Biopolymers modulate microbial communities in municipal organic waste digestion.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5902845 [Epub ahead of print].

The development of biopolymers has raised issues about their recalcitrance in the environment. Their disposal is mainly carried out with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) through thermophilic anaerobic digestion and aerobic composting, bioprocesses aimed at turning organic matter into biogas and compost. However, the effects of biopolymers on OFMSW treatment, on the final compost and on the microbial communities involved are partly unexplored. In this study, the OFMSW treatment was reproduced on a laboratory-scale respecting real plant conditions and testing the impacts of mixing polylactic acid (PLA) and starch-based bioplastic (SBB) separately. The dynamics of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities during the process was screened by high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of phylogenetic amplicons. SBB showed a minor and heterogeneous microbial diversity between the anaerobic and aerobic phases. Contrariwise, PLA treatment resulted in wider and more diverse bacterial and fungal communities for the compost and the aerobic biofilm. Since the biodiversity in compost may play a crucial role in its stability and safety, the modulation of environmental microbial communities induced by higher concentrations of PLA in OFMSW treatment can pose relevant issues.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Fei C, Ochsenkühn MA, Shibl AA, et al (2020)

Quorum Sensing Regulates 'swim-or-stick' Lifestyle in the Phycosphere.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Interactions between phytoplankton and bacteria play major roles in global biogeochemical cycles and oceanic nutrient fluxes. These interactions occur in the microenvironment surrounding phytoplankton cells, known as the phycosphere. Bacteria in the phycosphere use either chemotaxis or attachment to benefit from algal excretions. Both processes are regulated by quorum sensing (QS), a cell-cell signaling mechanism that uses small infochemicals to coordinate bacterial gene expression. However, the role of QS in regulating bacterial attachment in the phycosphere is not clear. Here, we isolated a Sulfitobacter pseudonitzschiae F5 and a Phaeobacter sp. F10 belonging to the marine Roseobacter group and an Alteromonas macleodii F12 belonging to Alteromonadaceae, from the microbial community of the ubiquitous diatom Asterionellopsis glacialis. We show that only the Roseobacter group isolates (diatom symbionts) can attach to diatom transparent exopolymeric particles. Despite all three bacteria possessing genes involved in motility, chemotaxis, and attachment, only S. pseudonitzschiae F5 and Phaeobacter sp. F10 possessed complete QS systems and could synthesize QS signals. Using UHPLC-MS/MS, we identified three QS molecules produced by both bacteria of which only 3-oxo-C16:1 -HSL strongly inhibited bacterial motility and stimulated attachment in the phycosphere. These findings suggest that QS signals enable colonization of the phycosphere by algal symbionts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-09-07

He W, Zhang M, Jin G, et al (2020)

Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on Nitrogen-Mineralizing Enzyme Activity and Soil Microbial Community Structure in a Korean Pine Plantation.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01595-6 [Epub ahead of print].

To predict the effects of nitrogen deposition on nitrogen-mineralizing enzyme activity and soil microbial community structure in artificial temperate forests in northern China, we studied the soil properties, nitrogen-mineralizing enzyme activity, and microbial community structure in the soil of a Korean pine plantation in which different concentrations (0, 20, 40, 80 kg N ha-1 year-1) of ammonium nitrate were applied for 5 consecutive years. The results showed that nitrogen addition at different concentrations did not significantly affect the soil pH. High nitrogen addition (80 kg N ha-1 year-1) significantly increased the soil organic matter, ammonium nitrogen, and nitrate nitrogen content in the Korean pine plantation, and ammonium nitrogen was the key factor that influenced the soil fungal community structure. The urease activity under the moderate nitrogen addition treatment (40 kg N ha-1 year-1) was significantly lower than that under the control (0 kg N ha-1 year-1), and the protease activity in the three treatments was also significantly lower than that in the control. There was no significant correlation between microbial community structure and the four mineralizing enzymes. After nitrogen addition at different concentrations, the Simpson and Shannon indexes of soil bacteria decreased significantly under low nitrogen addition (20 kg N ha-1 year-1), but the α-diversity index of soil fungi did not show significant differences under nitrogen addition. The microbial community composition was significantly changed by the different treatments. PLS-DA analysis showed that Tardiphaga was an important genus that made the greatest contribution to the differences in bacterial community composition among treatments, as was Taeniolella for fungal community composition. The low level of nitrogen addition inhibited nitrogen mineralization in the Korean pine plantation by reducing the relative abundances of Nitrosomonadaceae and Betaproteobacteriales and by reducing the abundances of symbiotrophic fungi. Berkelbacteria and Polyporales were bacteria and fungi, respectively, that changed significantly under the high nitrogen addition treatment (80 kg N ha-1 year-1). This study provides more data to support predictions of the changes in nitrogen-mineralizing enzyme activity and microbial community structure in artificial temperate forest soils in response to increased nitrogen deposition.

RevDate: 2020-09-07

Castledine M, Padfield D, A Buckling (2020)

Experimental (co)evolution in a multi-species microbial community results in local maladaptation.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

Interspecific coevolutionary interactions can result in rapid biotic adaptation, but most studies have focused only on species pairs. Here, we (co)evolved five microbial species in replicate polycultures and monocultures and quantified local adaptation. Specifically, growth rate assays were used to determine adaptations of each species' populations to (1) the presence of the other four species in general and (2) sympatric vs. allopatric communities. We found that species did not show an increase in net biotic adaptation:ancestral, polyculture- and monoculture-evolved populations did not have significantly different growth rates within communities. However, 4/5 species' growth rates were significantly lower within the community they evolved in relative to an allopatric community. 'Local maladaptation' suggests that species evolved increased competitive interactions to sympatric species' populations. This increased competition did not affect community stability or productivity. Our results suggest that (co)evolution within communities can increase competitive interactions that are specific to (co)evolved community members.

RevDate: 2020-09-06

Dwidar M, Jang H, Sangwan N, et al (2020)

Diffusible Signaling Factor, a Quorum-Sensing Molecule, Interferes with and Is Toxic Towards Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus 109J.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01585-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus 109J is a predatory bacterium which lives by predating on other Gram-negative bacteria to obtain the nutrients it needs for replication and survival. Here, we evaluated the effects two classes of bacterial signaling molecules (acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) and diffusible signaling factor (DSF)) have on B. bacteriovorus 109J behavior and viability. While AHLs had a non-significant impact on predation rates, DSF considerably delayed predation and bdelloplast lysis. Subsequent experiments showed that 50 μM DSF also reduced the motility of attack-phase B. bacteriovorus 109J cells by 50% (38.2 ± 14.9 vs. 17 ± 8.9 μm/s). Transcriptomic analyses found that DSF caused genome-wide changes in B. bacteriovorus 109J gene expression patterns during both the attack and intraperiplasmic phases, including the significant downregulation of the flagellum assembly genes and numerous serine protease genes. While the former accounts for the reduced speeds observed, the latter was confirmed experimentally with 50 μM DSF completely blocking protease secretion from attack-phase cells. Additional experiments found that 30% of the total cellular ATP was released into the supernatant when B. bacteriovorus 109J was exposed to 200 μM DSF, implying that this QS molecule negatively impacts membrane integrity.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Li L, Ning D, Jeon Y, et al (2020)

Ecological insights into assembly processes and network structures of bacterial biofilms in full-scale biologically active carbon filters under ozone implementation.

The Science of the total environment, 751:141409 pii:S0048-9697(20)34938-X [Epub ahead of print].

To address the adverse effects of harmful algal blooms, there are increased demands over the implementation of ozone coupled with biologically active carbon (BAC) filters in the drinking water treatment plants. Although the microbial biofilms are vital elements to support the proper performance of BAC filters, except for taxonomic affiliations, little is known about the assembly mechanisms of microbial communities in the full-scale BAC filters. This study aimed to examine how the assembly processes and their associated factors (e.g., influent characteristics, biological interactions) drive the temporal dynamics of bacterial communities in full-scale BAC filters, which underwent ozone implementation (five consecutive seasons from 2017 to 2018). The results revealed that along with the increase of bacterial taxonomic richness and evenness, stochastic processes became more crucial to determine the bacterial community assembly in the summer and autumn after ozone implementation (relative contribution: 61.23% and 83.75%, respectively). Moreover, their corresponding networks possessed simple network structures with lower modularity than other seasons, which implied lesser biological interactions among bacterial populations. The correlation between taxonomic and predicted functional diversities using functional redundancy index indicated that relatively high levels of bacterial functional redundancy (>0.83) were generally present in BAC filters. However, compared to other seasons, significantly higher degrees of functional redundancy existed in the summer and autumn after ozone implementation (0.85 ± 0.01 and 0.86 ± 0.01, respectively). Overall, this work improves our understanding of the microbial ecology of full-scale BAC filters by providing a conceptual framework that characterizes bacterial biofilm assembly processes relevant to performance optimization of full-scale BAC filters.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Sabu EA, Gonsalves MJ, Sreepada RA, et al (2020)

Evaluation of the Physiological Bacterial Groups in a Tropical Biosecured, Zero-Exchange System Growing Whiteleg Shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01575-w [Epub ahead of print].

To elucidate the individual and multiple roles of physiological bacterial groups involved in biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur, the changes in the abundance of aerobic bacteria (heterotrophs, methane oxidizers, ammonia oxidizers, sulfur oxidizers, phosphate solubilizers, phosphate accumulators) and anaerobic bacteria (total anaerobes, nitrate reducers, denitrifiers and sulfate reducers) were investigated in a biosecured, zero-exchange system stocked with whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei for one production cycle. Key water quality parameters during the 96-day production cycle fell within the normal range for L. vannamei culture. Results of Spearman's correlation matrix revealed that different sets of variables correlated at varying levels of significance of the interrelationships between bacterial abundances and water quality parameters. The three nitrogenous species (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate) strongly influenced the physiological bacterial groups' abundance. The strong relationship of bacterial groups with phytoplankton biomass and abundance clearly showed the trophic interconnections in nutrient exchange/recycling. Canonical correspondence analysis performed to assess the total variation revealed that the three dissolved nitrogen species followed by salinity, temperature, phytoplankton biomass and pH collectively accounted for as much as 82% of the total variation. In conclusion, the results of the study revealed that the major drivers that interweaved biogeochemical cycles are the three dissolved nitrogen species, which microbially mediated various aerobic-anaerobic assimilation/dissimilation processes in the pond ecosystem. Considering the pond microbial ecology becoming an important management tool where applied research could improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the aquaculture industry, the findings of the present study are practically relevant.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Wei J, Segraves KA, Li WZ, et al (2020)

Gut bacterial communities and their contribution to performance of specialist Altica flea beetles.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01590-x [Epub ahead of print].

Host plant shifts are a common mode of speciation in herbivorous insects. Although insects can evolve adaptations to successfully incorporate a new host plant, it is becoming increasingly recognized that the gut bacterial community may play a significant role in allowing insects to detoxify novel plant chemical defenses. Here, we examined differences in gut bacterial communities between Altica flea beetle species that feed on phylogenetically unrelated host plants in sympatry. We surveyed the gut bacterial communities of three closely related flea beetles from multiple locations using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. The results showed that the beetle species shared a high proportion (80.7%) of operational taxonomic units. Alpha-diversity indicators suggested that gut bacterial diversity did not differ among host species, whereas geography had a significant effect on bacterial diversity. In contrast, analyses of beta-diversity showed significant differences in gut bacterial composition among beetle species when we used species composition and relative abundance metrics, but there was no difference in composition when species presence/absence and phylogenetic distance indices were used. Within host beetle species, gut bacterial composition varied significantly among sites. A metagenomic functionality analysis predicted that the gut microbes had functions involved in xenobiotic biodegradation and metabolism as well as metabolism of terpenoids and polyketides. These predictions, however, did not differ among beetle host species. Antibiotic curing experiments showed that development time was significantly prolonged, and there was a significant decline in body weight of newly emerged adults in beetles lacking gut bacteria, suggesting the beetles may receive a potential benefit from the gut microbe-insect interaction. On the whole, our results suggest that although the gut bacterial community did not show clear host-specific patterns among Altica species, spatiotemporal variability is an important determinant of gut bacterial communities. Furthermore, the similarity of communities among these beetle species suggests that microbial facilitation may not be a determinant of host plant shifts in Altica.

RevDate: 2020-09-05

Harrison JG, Calder WJ, Shuman B, et al (2020)

The quest for absolute abundance: the use of internal standards for DNA-based community ecology.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

To characterize microbiomes and other ecological assemblages, ecologists routinely sequence and compare loci that differ among focal taxa. Counts of these sequences convey information regarding the occurrence and relative abundances of taxa, but provide no direct measure of their absolute abundances, due to the technical limitations of the sequencing process. The relative abundances in compositional data are inherently constrained and difficult to interpret. The incorporation of internal standards (ISDs; colloquially referred to as "spike-ins") into DNA pools can ameliorate the problems posed by relative abundance data and allow absolute abundances to be approximated. Unfortunately, many laboratory and sampling biases cause ISDs to underperform or fail. Here, we discuss how careful deployment of ISDs can avoid these complications and be an integral component of well-designed studies seeking to characterize ecological assemblages via sequencing of DNA.

RevDate: 2020-09-05

Dickey JR, Fordyce JA, SL Lebeis (2020)

Bacterial communities of the Salvia lyrata rhizosphere explained by spatial structure and sampling grain.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01594-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Advancements in molecular technology have reduced the constraints that the grain of observation, or the spatial resolution and volume of the sampling unit, has on the characterization of plant-associated microbiomes. With discrete ecological sampling and massive parallel sequencing, we can more precisely portray microbiome community assembly and microbial recruitment to host tissue over space and time. Here, we differentiate rarefied community richness and relative abundance in bacterial microbiomes of Salvia lyrata dependent on three spatial depths, which are discrete physical distances from the soil surface within the rhizosphere microhabitat as a proxy for the root system zones. To assess the impact of sampling grain on rarefied community richness and relative abundance, we evaluated the variation of these metrics between samples pooled prior to DNA extraction and samples pooled after sequencing. A distance-based redundancy analysis with the quantitative Jaccard distance revealed that rhizosphere microbiomes vary in richness between rhizosphere soil depths. At all orders of diversity, rarefied microbial richness was consistently lowest at the deepest samples taken (approximately 4 cm from soil surface) in comparison with other rhizosphere soil depths. We additionally show that finer grain sampling (i.e., three samples of equal volume pooled after sequencing) recovers greater microbial richness when using 16S rRNA gene sequencing to describe microbial communities found within the rhizosphere system. In summary, to further elucidate the extent host-specific microbiomes assemble within the rhizosphere, the grain at which bacterial communities are sampled should reflect and encompass fine-scale heterogeneity of the system.

RevDate: 2020-09-05

Gao CH, Cao H, Cai P, et al (2020)

The initial inoculation ratio regulates bacterial coculture interactions and metabolic capacity.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00751-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Coculture is an important model system in microbial ecology studies. As a key experimental parameter, the initial inoculation ratio has a crucial impact on the results of the coculture system. However, such an effect has never been investigated under multiple niche conditions. In this study, we established a simple coculture system with two model bacteria in various carbon sources and investigated the influence of initial inoculum ratios of 1:1000 to 1000:1 on community structure, function, and bacterial interaction. We found that the final ratio of the cocultures with different initial inoculum ratios differed in approximately five-sixths of the carbon sources, suggesting that the final ratio is highly dependent on the initial inoculum ratio, while the carbon source preferences of bacteria could not predict the final ratio of cocultures. Furthermore, we found that the initial ratio could regulate the metabolic capacity of the coculture, as only cocultures with initial ratios of 1:1 and 1000:1 gained high capacity on 14 specific carbon sources. The underlying reason may be that the pattern of species interaction is changed by the initial ratio. In conclusion, we showed that the initial ratio can induce emergent properties in coculture. These findings suggest that the initial ratio not only impacts the reproducibility of coculture experiments but also can influence our understanding of generic microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2020-09-05

Oliveira BB, Veigas B, Carlos FF, et al (2020)

Water safety screening via multiplex LAMP-Au-nanoprobe integrated approach.

The Science of the total environment, 741:140447.

Contaminated water resources remain a major global concern regarding public health. The majority of water safety protocols include indicators of microbial contamination to evaluate the potential risk to public health and are key elements of quality guidelines. Among these, markers for total coliforms and fecal coliforms are strong indicators of co-contamination with other pathogens. Traditional methods, recurring to slow and cumbersome culture-based approaches, have been gradually replaced by molecular methods, capable of faster and more specific screening. These are usually PCR-based methods that may allow for multiple pathogen detection but require dedicated laboratory equipment, hindering the rapid on-site assessment. Here, we used a multiplex Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (mLAMP) strategy for the amplification of two markers associated with the contamination by total and fecal coliforms (e.g. Escherichia coli) - lacZ and uidA genes, respectively - thus allowing for single tube multiplex detection. The mLAMP products were then subject to an Au-nanoprobe colorimetric detection assay for precise discrimination of targets. This approach was validated in 22 water samples that were also screened for the presence of lacZ and uidA using standard and quantitative PCR, with the capability for discriminating the contamination level, e.g. a semi-quantitative evaluation of water quality.

RevDate: 2020-09-04

Wall CB, Egan CP, Swift SIO, et al (2020)

Three decades post reforestation has not led to the reassembly of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities associated with remnant primary forests.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The negative effects of deforestation can potentially be ameliorated through ecological restoration. However, reforestation alone may not reassemble the same ecological communities or functions as primary forests. In part, this failure may be owed to forest ecosystems inherently involving complex interactions among guilds of organisms. Plants, which structure forest food webs, rely on intimate associations with symbiotic microbes such as root-inhabiting mycorrhizal fungi. Here, we leverage a large-scale reforestation project on Hawai'i Island underway for over three decades to assess whether arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities have concurrently been restored. The reference ecosystem for this restoration project is a remnant montane native Hawaiian forest that provides critical habitat for endangered birds. We sampled soils from 12 plots within remnant and restored forest patches and characterized AM fungal communities using high throughput Illumina MiSeq DNA sequencing. While some AM fungal community metrics were comparable between remnant and restored forest (e.g., species richness), other key characteristics were not. Specifically, community membership and the identity of AM fungal keystone species differed between the two habitat types, as well as the primary environmental factors influencing community composition. Remnant forest AM fungal communities were strongly associated with soil chemical properties, especially pH, while restored forest communities were influenced by the spatial proximity to remnant forests. We posit that combined, these differences in soil AM fungal communities could be negatively affecting the recruitment of native plant hosts and that future restoration efforts should consider plant-microbe interactions as an important facet of forest health.

RevDate: 2020-09-04

Duplouy A, Minard G, M Saastamoinen (2020)

The gut bacterial community affects immunity but not metabolism in a specialist herbivorous butterfly.

Ecology and evolution, 10(16):8755-8769 pii:ECE36573.

Plant tissues often lack essential nutritive elements and may contain a range of secondary toxic compounds. As nutritional imbalance in food intake may affect the performances of herbivores, the latter have evolved a variety of physiological mechanisms to cope with the challenges of digesting their plant-based diet. Some of these strategies involve living in association with symbiotic microbes that promote the digestion and detoxification of plant compounds or supply their host with essential nutrients missing from the plant diet. In Lepidoptera, a growing body of evidence has, however, recently challenged the idea that herbivores are nutritionally dependent on their gut microbial community. It is suggested that many of the herbivorous Lepidopteran species may not host a resident microbial community, but rather a transient one, acquired from their environment and diet. Studies directly testing these hypotheses are however scarce and come from an even more limited number of species.By coupling comparative metabarcoding, immune gene expression, and metabolomics analyses with experimental manipulation of the gut microbial community of prediapause larvae of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia, L.), we tested whether the gut microbial community supports early larval growth and survival, or modulates metabolism or immunity during early stages of development.We successfully altered this microbiota through antibiotic treatments and consecutively restored it through fecal transplants from conspecifics. Our study suggests that although the microbiota is involved in the up-regulation of an antimicrobial peptide, it did not affect the life history traits or the metabolism of early instars larvae.This study confirms the poor impact of the microbiota on diverse life history traits of yet another Lepidoptera species. However, it also suggests that potential eco-evolutionary host-symbiont strategies that take place in the gut of herbivorous butterfly hosts might have been disregarded, particularly how the microbiota may affect the host immune system homeostasis.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Gonzalo M, Deveau A, B Aigle (2020)

Inhibitions Dominate but Stimulations and Growth Rescues Are Not Rare Among Bacterial Isolates from Grains of Forest Soil.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01579-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Soil is a complex environment made of multiple microhabitats in which a wide variety of microorganisms co-exist and interact to form dynamic communities. While the abiotic factors that regulate the structure of these communities are now quite well documented, our knowledge of how bacteria interact with each other within these communities is still insufficient. Literature reveals so far contradictory results and is mainly focused on antagonistic interactions. To start filling this gap, we isolated 35 different bacterial isolates from grains of soil assuming that, at this scale, these bacteria would have been likely interacting in their natural habitat. We tested pairwise interactions between all isolates from each grain and scored positive and negative interactions. We compared the effects of simultaneous versus delayed co-inoculations, allowing or not to a strain to modify first its environment. One hundred fifty-seven interactions, either positive or negative, were recorded among the 525 possible one's. Members of the Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas and Streptomyces genera were responsible for most inhibitions, while positive interactions occurred between isolates of the Bacillales order and only in delayed inoculation conditions. Antagonist isolates had broad spectral abilities to acquire nutrients from organic and inorganic matter, while inhibited isolates tended to have little potentials. Despite an overall domination of antagonistic interactions (87%), a third of the isolates were able to stimulate or rescue the growth of other isolates, suggesting that cooperation between bacteria may be underestimated.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Rubbens P, Props R, Kerckhof FM, et al (2020)

Cytometric fingerprints of gut microbiota predict Crohn's disease state.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00762-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Variations in the gut microbiome have been associated with changes in health state such as Crohn's disease (CD). Most surveys characterize the microbiome through analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. An alternative technology that can be used is flow cytometry. In this report, we reanalyzed a disease cohort that has been characterized by both technologies. Changes in microbial community structure are reflected in both types of data. We demonstrate that cytometric fingerprints can be used as a diagnostic tool in order to classify samples according to CD state. These results highlight the potential of flow cytometry to perform rapid diagnostics of microbiome-associated diseases.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Mooshammer M, Kitzinger K, Schintlmeister A, et al (2020)

Flow-through stable isotope probing (Flow-SIP) minimizes cross-feeding in complex microbial communities.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00761-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Stable isotope probing (SIP) is a key tool for identifying the microorganisms catalyzing the turnover of specific substrates in the environment and to quantify their relative contributions to biogeochemical processes. However, SIP-based studies are subject to the uncertainties posed by cross-feeding, where microorganisms release isotopically labeled products, which are then used by other microorganisms, instead of incorporating the added tracer directly. Here, we introduce a SIP approach that has the potential to strongly reduce cross-feeding in complex microbial communities. In this approach, the microbial cells are exposed on a membrane filter to a continuous flow of medium containing isotopically labeled substrate. Thereby, metabolites and degradation products are constantly removed, preventing consumption of these secondary substrates. A nanoSIMS-based proof-of-concept experiment using nitrifiers in activated sludge and 13C-bicarbonate as an activity tracer showed that Flow-SIP significantly reduces cross-feeding and thus allows distinguishing primary consumers from other members of microbial food webs.

RevDate: 2020-09-02

Lee HJ, Kim SY, KS Whang (2020)

Cellulomonas citrea sp. nov., isolated from paddy soil.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Two Gram-stain-positive, facultatively anaerobic, motile, aerobic, rod-shaped and non-spore-forming actinobacteria, strains AO-9T and AO-18, were isolated from paddy soil collected from Daejeon, Republic of Korea. Colonies were smooth, lemon-yellow and circular and 0.5-0.8×2.0-2.4 µm in diameter after 3 days of incubation at 28 °C on tryptic soy agar. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that strains AO-9T and AO-18 belonged to the genus Cellulomonas, showing the highest sequence similarities to Cellulomonas marina FXJ8.089T (96.6 %), Cellulomonas endophytica SYSUP0004T (96.5 %), Cellulomonas gelida DSM 20111T (96.2 %), Cellulomonas uda DSM 20107T (96.1 %), Cellulomonas rhizosphaerae NEAU-TCZ24T (96.1 %), Cellulomonas composti TR7-06T (96.0 %), Cellulomonas persica JCM 18111T (96.0 %) and less than 96 % to other closely related species. The DNA-DNA hybridization values between strains AO-9T and AO-18 were 87 %. The average nucleotide identity and digital DNA-DNA hybridization values between strain AO-9T and type strains of related species of the genus Cellulomonas were 84.0-85.8 % and 20.3-20.9 %, respectively. The major cellular fatty acids are anteiso-C15:0 (49.9 %), C14:0 (12.9 %) and iso-C14:0 (12.1 %). The predominant isoprenoid quinone was MK-9 (H4). The polar lipid profile consists of diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol and one unidentified lipid. The DNA G+C content was 72.9 mol%. Based on its distinctive phenotypic, phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic characteristics, the two strains are considered to represent novel species of the genus Cellulomonas, for which the name Cellulomonas citrea sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is AO-9T (=KACC 19069T=NBRC 112523T).

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Corbin KD, Krajmalnik-Brown R, Carnero EA, et al (2020)

Integrative and quantitative bioenergetics: Design of a study to assess the impact of the gut microbiome on host energy balance.

Contemporary clinical trials communications, 19:100646.

The literature is replete with clinical studies that characterize the structure, diversity, and function of the gut microbiome and correlate the results to different disease states, including obesity. Whether the microbiome has a direct impact on obesity has not been established. To address this gap, we asked whether the gut microbiome and its bioenergetics quantitatively change host energy balance. This paper describes the design of a randomized crossover clinical trial that combines outpatient feeding with precisely controlled metabolic phenotyping in an inpatient metabolic ward. The target population was healthy, weight-stable individuals, age 18-45 and with a body mass index ≤30 kg/m2. Our primary objective was to determine within-participant differences in energy balance after consuming a control Western Diet versus a Microbiome Enhancer Diet intervention specifically designed to optimize the gut microbiome for positive impacts on host energy balance. We assessed the complete energy-balance equation via whole-room calorimetry, quantified energy intake, fecal energy losses, and methane production. We implemented conditions of tight weight stability and balance between metabolizable energy intake and predicted energy expenditure. We explored key factors that modulate the balance between host and microbial nutrient accessibility by measuring enteroendocrine hormone profiles, appetite/satiety, gut transit and gastric emptying. By integrating these clinical measurements with future bioreactor experiments, gut microbial ecology analysis, and mathematical modeling, our goal is to describe initial cause-and-effect mechanisms of gut microbiome metabolism on host energy balance. Our innovative methods will enable subsequent studies on the interacting roles of diet, the gut microbiome, and human physiology.

Clinicaltrialsgov identifier: NCT02939703. The present study reference can be found here:

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Marchioro GM, Glasl B, Engelen AH, et al (2020)

Microbiome dynamics in the tissue and mucus of acroporid corals differ in relation to host and environmental parameters.

PeerJ, 8:e9644.

Corals are associated with diverse microbial assemblages; however, the spatial-temporal dynamics of intra-species microbial interactions are poorly understood. The coral-associated microbial community varies substantially between tissue and mucus microhabitats; however, the factors controlling the occurrence, abundance, and distribution of microbial taxa over time have rarely been explored for different coral compartments simultaneously. Here, we test (1) differentiation in microbiome diversity and composition between coral compartments (surface mucus and tissue) of two Acropora hosts (A. tenuis and A. millepora) common along inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as (2) the potential linkage between shifts in individual coral microbiome families and underlying host and environmental parameters. Amplicon based 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing of 136 samples collected over 14 months, revealed significant differences in bacterial richness, diversity and community structure among mucus, tissue and the surrounding seawater. Seawater samples were dominated by members of the Synechococcaceae and Pelagibacteraceae bacterial families. The mucus microbiome of Acropora spp. was dominated by members of Flavobacteriaceae, Synechococcaceae and Rhodobacteraceae and the tissue was dominated by Endozoicimonaceae. Mucus microbiome in both Acropora species was primarily correlated with seawater parameters including levels of chlorophyll a, ammonium, particulate organic carbon and the sum of nitrate and nitrite. In contrast, the correlation of the tissue microbiome to the measured environmental (i.e., seawater parameters) and host health physiological factors differed between host species, suggesting host-specific modulation of the tissue-associated microbiome to intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Furthermore, the correlation between individual coral microbiome members and environmental factors provides novel insights into coral microbiome-by-environment dynamics and hence has potential implications for current reef restoration and management efforts (e.g. microbial monitoring and observatory programs).

RevDate: 2020-09-02

Kloosterman AM, Shelton KE, van Wezel GP, et al (2020)

RRE-Finder: a Genome-Mining Tool for Class-Independent RiPP Discovery.

mSystems, 5(5): pii:5/5/e00267-20.

Many ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptide classes (RiPPs) are reliant on a domain called the RiPP recognition element (RRE). The RRE binds specifically to a precursor peptide and directs the posttranslational modification enzymes to their substrates. Given its prevalence across various types of RiPP biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), the RRE could theoretically be used as a bioinformatic handle to identify novel classes of RiPPs. In addition, due to the high affinity and specificity of most RRE-precursor peptide complexes, a thorough understanding of the RRE domain could be exploited for biotechnological applications. However, sequence divergence of RREs across RiPP classes has precluded automated identification based solely on sequence similarity. Here, we introduce RRE-Finder, a new tool for identifying RRE domains with high sensitivity. RRE-Finder can be used in precision mode to confidently identify RREs in a class-specific manner or in exploratory mode to assist in the discovery of novel RiPP classes. RRE-Finder operating in precision mode on the UniProtKB protein database retrieved ∼25,000 high-confidence RREs spanning all characterized RRE-dependent RiPP classes, as well as several yet-uncharacterized RiPP classes that require future experimental confirmation. Finally, RRE-Finder was used in precision mode to explore a possible evolutionary origin of the RRE domain. The results suggest RREs originated from a co-opted DNA-binding transcriptional regulator domain. Altogether, RRE-Finder provides a powerful new method to probe RiPP biosynthetic diversity and delivers a rich data set of RRE sequences that will provide a foundation for deeper biochemical studies into this intriguing and versatile protein domain.IMPORTANCE Bioinformatics-powered discovery of novel ribosomal natural products (RiPPs) has historically been hindered by the lack of a common genetic feature across RiPP classes. Herein, we introduce RRE-Finder, a method for identifying RRE domains, which are present in a majority of prokaryotic RiPP biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). RRE-Finder identifies RRE domains 3,000 times faster than current methods, which rely on time-consuming secondary structure prediction. Depending on user goals, RRE-Finder can operate in precision mode to accurately identify RREs present in known RiPP classes or in exploratory mode to assist with novel RiPP discovery. Employing RRE-Finder on the UniProtKB database revealed several high-confidence RREs in novel RiPP-like clusters, suggesting that many new RiPP classes remain to be discovered.

RevDate: 2020-09-02

Zhu L, Xu F, Wan W, et al (2020)

Gut microbial characteristics of adult patients with allergy rhinitis.

Microbial cell factories, 19(1):171 pii:10.1186/s12934-020-01430-0.

BACKGROUND: Although recent studies have indicated that intestinal microbiota dweller are involved in the pathogenesis of allergy rhinitis (AR), the influence of gut microbiota on AR adult has not been fully elucidated yet. Hence, we carried out this study to uncover the distinctive bacterial taxa that differentiate allergy rhinitis patients from healthy individuals. Feces samples from thirty three AR patients and thirty one healthy individuals were analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

RESULTS: Results showed that the bacterial diversity in AR group was significantly higher than that of the non-AR group. Bacterial communities between AR and non-AR group were significantly differentiated as revealed by Principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) and the variation within non-AR were higher than that of the counterpart. Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi were the significantly differed phyla taxa and the top significantly distinguished bacterial genus included Prevotella_9, Phascolarctobacterium, Roseburia, Megamonas, Alistipes, Lachnoclostridium and Fusobacterium. The higher network complexity in AR group were dominated by taxa belonging to Firmicutes. The predicted function, alpha linolenic acid metabolism and bacterial invasion of epithelial cells pathway were higher in non-AR group while gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) signaling pathway, Fc γ-R mediated phagocytosis and endocytosis were higher in AR patients. Although the bacterial diversity between moderate and severe AR patients showed no significant difference, the significant correlation between featured genus and total nasal symptom score or rhinoconjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire, such as Butyricicoccus and Eisenbergiella, revealed the potential to intervene the AR status by means of gut microbiota.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, patients with allergy rhinitis had distinguished gut microbiota characteritics in comparison with healthy controls. The results suggest that gut microbiota might play crucial roles in influencing the course and different symptoms of AR. Trial registration ChiCTR, ChiCTR1900028613. Registered 29 December 2019, .

RevDate: 2020-09-01

Kedia S, Ghosh TS, Jain S, et al (2020)

Gut microbiome diversity in acute severe colitis is distinct from mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Although the gut microbiome of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) has been characterized, no study has characterized the gut microbiome in acute severe colitis (ASC). We compared the gut microbiome of patients with UC, ASC and healthy controls (HC).

METHODS: Patients with mild to moderate UC (n=24), ASC (n=19 with 21 episodes) and healthy controls (n=50) were recruited prospectively. A 16SrDNA amplicon approach was used to explore gut microbial diversity and taxonomic repertoires. Ulcerative colitis was diagnosed using ECCO guidelines and ASC was diagnosed using Truelove and Witts' criteria.

RESULTS: The normalized alpha diversity was significantly lower in ASC than mild-moderately active UC (p<0.05), or HC (p<0.001). The gut microbiome in ASC was highly unstable, as characterized by high intra-cohort variation (analyzed using J-divergence measure) which was significantly greater than in UC or HC. On principal coordinate analysis, the microbiome of HC and UC were similar, with the ASC cohort being distinct from both. Comparison of ranked abundances identified four distinct clusters of genera (G1, G2, G3, G4), with specific trends in their abundance across 3 groups: G1/G2A clusters had the least, whereas G3 had the highest abundance in the ASC cohort.

CONCLUSIONS: Gut microbial diversity is lower in ASC than mild-moderate UC or healthy controls. Gut microbiome composition is increasingly unstable in ASC, with a distinct abundance of specific genera varying between healthy controls and ASC. Mild-moderate UC lies within the spectrum.

RevDate: 2020-08-30

Starke R, Pylro VS, DK Morais (2020)

16S rRNA Gene Copy Number Normalization Does Not Provide More Reliable Conclusions in Metataxonomic Surveys.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01586-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Sequencing 16S rRNA gene amplicons is the gold standard to uncover the composition of prokaryotic communities. The presence of multiple copies of this gene makes the community abundance data distorted and gene copy normalization (GCN) necessary for correction. Even though GCN of 16S data provided a picture closer to the metagenome before, it should also be compared with communities of known composition due to the fact that library preparation is prone to methodological biases. Here, we process 16S rRNA gene amplicon data from eleven simple mock communities with DADA2 and estimate the impact of GCN. In all cases, the mock community composition derived from the 16S sequencing differs from those expected, and GCN fails to improve the classification for most of the analysed communities. Our approach provides empirical evidence that GCN does not improve the 16S target sequencing analyses in real scenarios. We therefore question the use of GCN for metataxonomic surveys until a more comprehensive catalogue of copy numbers becomes available.

RevDate: 2020-08-30

Uroosa , Kazmi SSUH, Xu G, et al (2020)

Insights into the effects of harmful algal bloom on ecological quality status using body-size spectrum of biofilm-dwelling ciliates in marine ecosystems.

Marine pollution bulletin, 160:111596 pii:S0025-326X(20)30714-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The effects of two harmful algae Alexandrium tamarense and Gymnodinium catenatum on ecological quality status were identified using biofilm-dwelling ciliate assemblage as test organism communities. The body-size spectra of the test ciliates were observed at a gradient of cell concentrations of both algal species: 100 (control), followed by102, 103, 104 and 105 cells ml-1. The test ciliates showed clear variations in body-size spectra along the concentration gradients of both algal species. In terms of probability density, the ciliates generally peaked at low levels of algal concentrations (100-104 cells ml-1) in small size forms, followed by the forms with large sizes at the concentration of 105 cells ml-1 of both algal species. Bootstrapped-average analysis demonstrated a significant change in body-size spectrum when algal concentrations were higher than 104 cells ml-1. It is suggested that the body-size spectrum of the ciliates may be used to indicate the effects of harmful algal bloom.

RevDate: 2020-08-29

Virta L, Soininen J, A Norkko (2020)

Biodiversity Loss Threatens the Current Functional Similarity of Beta Diversity in Benthic Diatom Communities.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01576-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The global biodiversity loss has increased the need to understand the effects of decreasing diversity, but our knowledge on how species loss will affect the functioning of communities and ecosystems is still very limited. Here, the levels of taxonomic and functional beta diversity and the effect of species loss on functional beta diversity were investigated in an estuary that provides a naturally steep environmental gradient. The study was conducted using diatoms that are among the most important microorganisms in all aquatic ecosystems and globally account for 40% of marine primary production. Along the estuary, the taxonomic beta diversity of diatom communities was high (Bray-Curtis taxonomic similarity 0.044) and strongly controlled by the environment, particularly wind exposure, salinity, and temperature. In contrast, the functional beta diversity was low (Bray-Curtis functional similarity 0.658) and much less controlled by the environment. Thus, the diatom communities stayed functionally almost similar despite large changes in species composition and environment. This may indicate that, through high taxonomic diversity and redundancy in functions, microorganisms provide an insurance effect against environmental change. However, when studying the effect of decreasing species richness on functional similarity of communities, simulated species loss to 45% of the current species richness decreased functional similarity significantly. This suggests that decreasing species richness may increase variability and reduce the stability and resilience of communities. These results highlight the importance of high taxonomic biodiversity for the stable functioning of benthic communities.

RevDate: 2020-08-29

Câmara PEAS, Carvalho-Silva M, Pinto OHB, et al (2020)

Diversity and Ecology of Chlorophyta (Viridiplantae) Assemblages in Protected and Non-protected Sites in Deception Island (Antarctica, South Shetland Islands) Assessed Using an NGS Approach.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01584-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Assessment of the diversity of algal assemblages in Antarctica has until now largely relied on traditional microbiological culture approaches. Here we used DNA metabarcoding through high-throughput sequencing (HTS) to assess the uncultured algal diversity at two sites on Deception Island, Antarctica. The first was a relatively undisturbed site within an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA 140), and the second was a site heavily impacted by human visitation, the Whalers Bay historic site. We detected 65 distinct algal taxa, 50 from within ASPA 140 and 61 from Whalers Bay. Of these taxa, 46 were common to both sites, and 19 only occurred at one site. Algal richness was about six times greater than reported in previous studies using culture methods. A high proportion of DNA reads obtained was assigned to the highly invasive species Caulerpa webbiana at Whalers Bay, and the potentially pathogenic genus Desmodesmus was found at both sites. Our data demonstrate that important differences exist between these two protected and human-impacted sites on Deception Island in terms of algal diversity, richness, and abundance. The South Shetland Islands have experienced considerable effects of climate change in recent decades, while warming through geothermal activity on Deception Island itself makes this island one of the most vulnerable to colonization by non-native species. The detection of DNA of non-native taxa highlights concerns about how human impacts, which take place primarily through tourism and national research operations, may influence future biological colonization processes in Antarctica.

RevDate: 2020-08-29

Jurburg SD, Konzack M, Eisenhauer N, et al (2020)

The archives are half-empty: an assessment of the availability of microbial community sequencing data.

Communications biology, 3(1):474 pii:10.1038/s42003-020-01204-9.

As DNA sequencing has become more popular, the public genetic repositories where sequences are archived have experienced explosive growth. These repositories now hold invaluable collections of sequences, e.g., for microbial ecology, but whether these data are reusable has not been evaluated. We assessed the availability and state of 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequences archived in public genetic repositories (SRA, EBI, and DDJ). We screened 26,927 publications in 17 microbiology journals, identifying 2015 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies. Of these, 7.2% had not made their data public at the time of analysis. Among a subset of 635 studies sequencing the same gene region, 40.3% contained data which was not available or not reusable, and an additional 25.5% contained faults in data formatting or data labeling, creating obstacles for data reuse. Our study reveals gaps in data availability, identifies major contributors to data loss, and offers suggestions for improving data archiving practices.

RevDate: 2020-08-29

Lu J, SL Salzberg (2020)

Ultrafast and accurate 16S rRNA microbial community analysis using Kraken 2.

Microbiome, 8(1):124 pii:10.1186/s40168-020-00900-2.

BACKGROUND: For decades, 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing has been the primary means for identifying the bacterial species present in a sample with unknown composition. One of the most widely used tools for this purpose today is the QIIME (Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology) package. Recent results have shown that the newest release, QIIME 2, has higher accuracy than QIIME, MAPseq, and mothur when classifying bacterial genera from simulated human gut, ocean, and soil metagenomes, although QIIME 2 also proved to be the most computationally expensive. Kraken, first released in 2014, has been shown to provide exceptionally fast and accurate classification for shotgun metagenomics sequencing projects. Bracken, released in 2016, then provided users with the ability to accurately estimate species or genus relative abundances using Kraken classification results. Kraken 2, which matches the accuracy and speed of Kraken 1, now supports 16S rRNA databases, allowing for direct comparisons to QIIME and similar systems.

METHODS: For a comprehensive assessment of each tool, we compare the computational resources and speed of QIIME 2's q2-feature-classifier, Kraken 2, and Bracken in generating the three main 16S rRNA databases: Greengenes, SILVA, and RDP. For an evaluation of accuracy, we evaluated each tool using the same simulated 16S rRNA reads from human gut, ocean, and soil metagenomes that were previously used to compare QIIME, MAPseq, mothur, and QIIME 2. We evaluated accuracy based on the accuracy of the final genera read counts assigned by each tool. Finally, as Kraken 2 is the only tool providing per-read taxonomic assignments, we evaluate the sensitivity and precision of Kraken 2's per-read classifications.

RESULTS: For both the Greengenes and SILVA database, Kraken 2 and Bracken are up to 100 times faster at database generation. For classification, using the same data as previous studies, Kraken 2 and Bracken are up to 300 times faster, use 100x less RAM, and generate results that more accurate at 16S rRNA profiling than QIIME 2's q2-feature-classifier.

CONCLUSION: Kraken 2 and Bracken provide a very fast, efficient, and accurate solution for 16S rRNA metataxonomic data analysis. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2020-08-28

Ho A, Mendes LW, Lee HJ, et al (2020)

Response of a methane-driven interaction network to stressor intensification.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5898668 [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms may reciprocally select for specific interacting partners, forming a network with interdependent relationships. The methanotrophic interaction network, comprising of methanotrophs and non-methanotrophs, is thought to modulate methane oxidation and give rise to emergent properties beneficial for the methanotrophs. Therefore, microbial interaction may become relevant for community functioning under stress. However, empirical validation of the role and stressor-induced response of the interaction network remains scarce. Here, we determined the response of a complex methane-driven interaction network to a step-wise increase in NH4Cl-induced stress (0.5-4.75gL-1, in 0.25-0.5gL-1 increments) using enrichment of a naturally-occurring complex community derived from a paddy soil in laboratory-scale incubations. Although ammonium and intermediates of ammonium oxidation are known to inhibit methane oxidation, methanotrophic activity was unexpectedly detected even in incubations with high ammonium levels, albeit rates were significantly reduced. Sequencing analysis of the 16S rRNA and pmoA genes consistently revealed divergent communities in the reference and stressed incubations. The 16S rRNA-based co-occurrence network analysis revealed that NH4Cl-induced stress intensification resulted in a less complex and modular network, likely driven by less stable interaction. Interestingly, the non-methanotrophs formed the key nodes, and appear to be relevant members of the community. Overall, stressor intensification unravels the interaction network, with adverse consequences for community functioning.

RevDate: 2020-08-28

Fodelianakis S, Valenzuela-Cuevas A, Barozzi A, et al (2020)

Direct quantification of ecological drift at the population level in synthetic bacterial communities.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00754-4 [Epub ahead of print].

In community ecology, drift refers to random births and deaths in a population. In microbial ecology, drift is estimated indirectly via community snapshots but in this way, it is almost impossible to distinguish the effect of drift from the effect of other ecological processes. Controlled experiments where drift is quantified in isolation from other processes are still missing. Here we isolate and quantify drift in a series of controlled experiments on simplified and tractable bacterial communities. We detect drift arising randomly in the populations within the communities and resulting in a 1.4-2% increase in their growth rate variability on average. We further use our experimental findings to simulate complex microbial communities under various conditions of selection and dispersal. We find that the importance of drift increases under high selection and low dispersal, where it can lead to ~5% of species loss and to ~15% increase in β-diversity. The species extinct by drift are mainly rare, but they become increasingly less rare when selection increases, and dispersal decreases. Our results provide quantitative insights regarding the properties of drift in bacterial communities and suggest that it accounts for a consistent fraction of the observed stochasticity in natural surveys.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Yang LH, C Gratton (2014)

Insects as drivers of ecosystem processes.

Current opinion in insect science, 2:26-32.

Insects and other small invertebrates are ubiquitous components of all terrestrial and freshwater food webs, but their cumulative biomass is small relative to plants and microbes. As a result, it is often assumed that these animals make relatively minor contributions to ecosystem processes. Despite their small sizes and cumulative biomass, we suggest that these animals may commonly have important effects on carbon and nutrient cycling by modulating the quality and quantity of resources that enter the detrital food web, with consequences at the ecosystem level. These effects can occur through multiple pathways, including direct inputs of insect biomass, the transformation of detrital biomass, and the indirect effects of predators on herbivores and detritivores. In virtually all cases, the ecosystem effects of these pathways are ultimately mediated through interactions with plants and soil microbes. Merging our understanding of insect, plant and microbial ecology will offer a valuable way to better integrate community-level interactions with ecosystem processes.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Altinli M, Lequime S, Atyame C, et al (2020)

Wolbachia modulates prevalence and viral load of Culex pipiens densoviruses in natural populations.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The inadequacy of the standard mosquito control strategies calls for ecologically safe novel approaches, like the use of biological agents such as the endosymbiotic α-proteobacteria Wolbachia or insect-specific viruses (ISVs). Understanding the ecological interactions between these "biocontrol endosymbionts" is thus a fundamental step to achieve. Wolbachia are transmitted vertically from mother to offspring and modify their hosts' phenotypes, including reproduction (e.g. cytoplasmic incompatibility) and survival (e.g. viral interference). In nature, Culex pipiens (s.l.) mosquitoes are always found infected with genetically diverse Wolbachia called wPip that belong to five phylogenetic groups. In the recent years, ISVs have also been discovered in these mosquito species, although their interactions with Wolbachia in nature are unknown. Here, we studied the interactions between a widely prevalent ISV, the Culex pipiens densovirus (CpDV, Densovirinae), and Wolbachia in Northern-Tunisian Cx. pipiens populations. We showed an influence of different Wolbachia groups on CpDV prevalence and a general positive correlation between Wolbachia and CpDV loads. By investigating the putative relation between CpDV diversification and wPip groups in the different sites, we detected a signal linked to wPip groups in CpDV phylogeny in sites where all larvae were infected by the same wPip group. However, no such signal was detected where the wPip groups co-existed, suggesting CpDV horizontal transfers between hosts. Overall, our results provide good evidence for an ecological influence of Wolbachia on an ISV, CpDV, in natural populations and highlight the importance of integrating Wolbachia in the understanding of ISV ecology in nature.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Buongiorno J, Sipes K, Wasmund K, et al (2020)

Woeseiales transcriptional response to shallow burial in Arctic fjord surface sediment.

PloS one, 15(8):e0234839 pii:PONE-D-20-16591.

Distinct lineages of Gammaproteobacteria clade Woeseiales are globally distributed in marine sediments, based on metagenomic and 16S rRNA gene analysis. Yet little is known about why they are dominant or their ecological role in Arctic fjord sediments, where glacial retreat is rapidly imposing change. This study combined 16S rRNA gene analysis, metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), and genome-resolved metatranscriptomics uncovered the in situ abundance and transcriptional activity of Woeseiales with burial in four shallow sediment sites of Kongsfjorden and Van Keulenfjorden of Svalbard (79°N). We present five novel Woeseiales MAGs and show transcriptional evidence for metabolic plasticity during burial, including sulfur oxidation with reverse dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrAB) down to 4 cm depth and nitrite reduction down to 6 cm depth. A single stress protein, spore protein SP21 (hspA), had a tenfold higher mRNA abundance than any other transcript, and was a hundredfold higher on average than other transcripts. At three out of the four sites, SP21 transcript abundance increased with depth, while total mRNA abundance and richness decreased, indicating a shift in investment from metabolism and other cellular processes to build-up of spore protein SP21. The SP21 gene in MAGs was often flanked by genes involved in membrane-associated stress response. The ability of Woeseiales to shift from sulfur oxidation to nitrite reduction with burial into marine sediments with decreasing access to overlying oxic bottom waters, as well as enter into a dormant state dominated by SP21, may account for its ubiquity and high abundance in marine sediments worldwide, including those of the rapidly shifting Arctic.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Hubert J, Nesvorna M, Green SJ, et al (2020)

Microbial Communities of Stored Product Mites: Variation by Species and Population.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01581-y [Epub ahead of print].

Arthropod-associated microorganisms are important because they affect host fitness, protect hosts from pathogens, and influence the host's ability to vector pathogens. Stored product mites (Astigmata) often establish large populations in various types of food items, damaging the food by direct feeding and introducing contaminants, including their own bodies, allergen-containing feces, and associated microorganisms. Here we access the microbial structure and abundance in rearing diets, eggs, feces fraction, and mite bodies of 16 mite populations belonging to three species (Carpoglyphus lactis, Acarus siro, and Tyrophagus putrescentiae) using quantitative PCR and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene amplicon sequencing. The mite microbiomes had a complex structure dominated by the following bacterial taxa (OTUs): (a) intracellular symbionts of the genera Cardinium and Wolbachia in the mite bodies and eggs; (b) putative gut symbionts of the genera Solitalea, Bartonella, and Sodalis abundant in mite bodies and also present in mite feces; (c) feces-associated or environmental bacteria of the genera Bacillus, Staphylococcus, and Kocuria in the diet, mite bodies, and feces. Interestingly and counterintuitively, the differences between microbial communities in various conspecific mite populations were higher than those between different mite species. To explain some of these differences, we hypothesize that the intracellular bacterial symbionts can affect microbiome composition in mite bodies, causing differences between microbial profiles. Microbial profiles differed between various sample types, such as mite eggs, bodies, and the environment (spent growth medium-SPGM). Low bacterial abundances in eggs may result in stochastic effects in parent-offspring microbial transmission, except for the intracellular symbionts. Bacteria in the rearing diet had little effect on the microbial community structure in SPGM and mite bodies. Mite fitness was positively correlated with bacterial abundance in SPGM and negatively correlated with bacterial abundances in mite bodies. Our study demonstrates critical host-microbe interactions, affecting all stages of mite growth and leading to alteration of the environmental microbiome. Correlational evidence based on absolute quantitation of bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies suggests that mite-associated microorganisms are critical for modulating important pest properties of mites by altering population growth.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Álvarez-Rodríguez I, Ugarte-Uribe B, de la Arada I, et al (2020)

Conjugative Coupling Proteins and the Role of Their Domains in Conjugation, Secondary Structure and in vivo Subcellular Location.

Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 7:185.

Type IV Coupling Proteins (T4CPs) are essential elements in many type IV secretion systems (T4SSs). The members of this family display sequence, length, and domain architecture heterogeneity, being the conserved Nucleotide-Binding Domain the motif that defines them. In addition, most T4CPs contain a Transmembrane Domain (TMD) in the amino end and an All-Alpha Domain facing the cytoplasm. Additionally, a few T4CPs present a variable domain at the carboxyl end. The structural paradigm of this family is TrwBR388, the T4CP of conjugative plasmid R388. This protein has been widely studied, in particular the role of the TMD on the different characteristics of TrwBR388. To gain knowledge about T4CPs and their TMD, in this work a chimeric protein containing the TMD of TraJpKM101 and the cytosolic domain of TrwBR388 has been constructed. Additionally, one of the few T4CPs of mobilizable plasmids, MobBCloDF13 of mobilizable plasmid CloDF13, together with its TMD-less mutant MobBΔTMD have been studied. Mating studies showed that the chimeric protein is functional in vivo and that it exerted negative dominance against the native proteins TrwBR388 and TraJpKM101. Also, it was observed that the TMD of MobBCloDF13 is essential for the mobilization of CloDF13 plasmid. Analysis of the secondary structure components showed that the presence of a heterologous TMD alters the structure of the cytosolic domain in the chimeric protein. On the contrary, the absence of the TMD in MobBCloDF13 does not affect the secondary structure of its cytosolic domain. Subcellular localization studies showed that T4CPs have a unipolar or bipolar location, which is enhanced by the presence of the remaining proteins of the conjugative system. Unlike what has been described for TrwBR388, the TMD is not an essential element for the polar location of MobBCloDF13. The main conclusion is that the characteristics described for the paradigmatic TrwBR388 T4CP should not be ascribed to the whole T4CP family. Specifically, it has been proven that the mobilizable plasmid-related MobBCloDF13 presents different characteristics regarding the role of its TMD. This work will contribute to better understand the T4CP family, a key element in bacterial conjugation, the main mechanism responsible for antibiotic resistance spread.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Song C, Zhu F, Carrión VJ, et al (2020)

Beyond Plant Microbiome Composition: Exploiting Microbial Functions and Plant Traits via Integrated Approaches.

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 8:896.

Plants recruit specific microorganisms to live inside and outside their roots that provide essential functions for plant growth and health. The study of the microbial communities living in close association with plants helps in understanding the mechanisms involved in these beneficial interactions. Currently, most of the research in this field has been focusing on the description of the taxonomic composition of the microbiome. Therefore, a focus on the plant-associated microbiome functions is pivotal for the development of novel agricultural practices which, in turn, will increase plant fitness. Recent advances in microbiome research using model plant species started to shed light on the functions of specific microorganisms and the underlying mechanisms of plant-microbial interaction. Here, we review (1) microbiome-mediated functions associated with plant growth and protection, (2) insights from native and agricultural habitats that can be used to improve soil health and crop productivity, (3) current -omics and new approaches for studying the plant microbiome, and (4) challenges and future perspectives for exploiting the plant microbiome for beneficial outcomes. We posit that integrated approaches will help in translating fundamental knowledge into agricultural practices.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Sedlacek CJ (2020)

It Takes a Village: Discovering and Isolating the Nitrifiers.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1900.

It has been almost 150 years since Jean-Jacques Schloesing and Achille Müntz discovered that the process of nitrification, the oxidation of ammonium to nitrate, is a biological process carried out by microorganisms. In the following 15 years, numerous researchers independently contributed paradigm shifting discoveries that formed the foundation of nitrification and nitrification-related research. One of them was Sergei Winogradsky, whose major accomplishments include the discovery of both lithotrophy (in sulfur-oxidizing bacteria) and chemoautotrophy (in nitrifying bacteria). However, Winogradsky often receives most of the credit for many other foundational nitrification discoveries made by his contemporaries. This accumulation of credit over time is at least in part due to the increased attention, Winogradsky receives in the scientific literature and textbooks as a "founder of microbiology" and "the founder of microbial ecology." Here, some light is shed on several other researchers who are often overlooked, but whose work was instrumental to the emerging field of nitrification and to the work of Winogradsky himself. Specifically, the discovery of the biological process of nitrification by Schloesing and Müntz, the isolation of the first nitrifier by Grace and Percy Frankland, and the observation that nitrification is carried out by two distinct groups of microorganisms by Robert Warington are highlighted. Finally, the more recent discoveries of the chemolithoautotrophic ammonia-oxidizing archaea and complete ammonia oxidizers are put into this historical context.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Nagler M, Podmirseg SM, Mayr M, et al (2020)

Quantities of Intra- and Extracellular DNA Reveal Information About Activity and Physiological State of Methanogenic Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1894.

Although being a common aim of many microbial ecology studies, measuring individual physiological conditions of a microbial group or species within a complex consortium is still a challenge. Here, we propose a novel approach that is based on the quantification of sequentially extracted extracellular (exDNA) and intracellular DNA (iDNA) and reveals information about cell lysis and activity of methanogenic archaea within a biogas-producing microbial community. We monitored the methane production rates of differently treated batch anaerobic cultures and compared the concentrations of the alpha subunit of the methyl coenzyme M reductase gene of methanogenic archaea in extracellular and intracellular DNA fractions and in the classically extracted total DNA pool. Our results showed that this fine-tuned DNA approach coupled with the interpretation of the ratio between free exDNA and iDNA considerably improved microbial activity tracking compared to the classical extraction/quantification of total DNA. Additionally, it allowed to identify and quantify methanogenic populations that are inactive and those that are strongly influenced by cell lysis. We argue that despite the need of further studies, this method represents a novel approach to gain specific physiological information from a complex environmental sample and holds the potential to be applied to other microbes of interest.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Moonga HB, Schoustra SE, van den Heuvel J, et al (2020)

Composition and Diversity of Natural Bacterial Communities in Mabisi, a Traditionally Fermented Milk.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1816.

Many traditionally fermented milk products such as mabisi involve spontaneous fermentation, which can result in bacterial community composition variation due to selection pressure. The aim of this study was to determine the composition of bacterial communities in the different types of mabisi produced across Zambia and identify the factors that influence their composition. Samples of mabisi were collected across the country, and analyzed for pH and bacterial communities using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. We found that the bacterial community composition was dominated by members of two phyla, i.e., Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, from which the top 10 most abundant genera were Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Kluyvera, Buttiauxella, Aeromonas, and Acinetobacter. The most dominant genus was Lactococcus, which was present in all types of mabisi produced from all regions. The mabisi products from traditional mabisi production regions (TMPRs) were dominated by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) whereas products from non-TMPRs were dominated by non-LAB species. Tonga mabisi, the most popular type of mabisi produced in non-TMPRs, had the most complex and diverse bacterial community composition compared to the other types, which included barotse, backslopping, creamy, and thick-tonga mabisi. Other factors that influenced bacterial community composition were geographical location, fermentation duration and pH while the type of fermentation container and producer did not. This study provides new insights that can be applied in starter culture development as well as microbial functionality studies.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Huang J, Yang J, Jiang H, et al (2020)

Microbial Responses to Simulated Salinization and Desalinization in the Sediments of the Qinghai-Tibetan Lakes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1772.

Uncovering microbial response to salinization or desalinization is of great importance to understanding of the influence of global climate change on lacustrine microbial ecology. In this study, to simulate salinization and desalinization, sediments from Erhai Lake (salinity 0.3-0.8 g/L) and Chaka Lake (salinity 299.3-350.7 g/L) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau were transplanted into different lakes with a range of salinity of 0.3-299.3 g/L, followed by in situ incubation for 50 days and subsequent geochemical and microbial analyses. Desalinization was faster than salinization in the transplanted sediments. The salinity of the transplanted sediment increased and decreased in the salinization and desalinization simulation experiments, respectively. The TOC contents of the transplanted sediments were lower than that of their undisturbed counterparts in the salinization experiments, whereas they had a strong negative linear relationship with salinity in the desalinization experiments. Microbial diversity decreased in response to salinization and desalinization, and microbial community dissimilarity significantly (P < 0.01) increased with salinity differences between the transplanted sediments and their undisturbed counterparts. Microbial groups belonging to Gammaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria became abundant in salinization whereas Bacteroidetes and Chloroflexi became dominant in desalinization. Among the predicted microbial functions, hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis, methanogenesis through CO2 reduction with H2, nitrate/nitrogen respiration, and nitrification increased in salinization; in desalinization, enhancement was observed for respiration of sulfur compounds, sulfate respiration, sulfur respiration, thiosulfate respiration, hydrocarbon degradation, chemoheterotrophy, and fermentation, whereas depressing was found for aerobic ammonia oxidation, nitrate/nitrogen respiration, nitrification, nitrite respiration, manganese oxidation, aerobic chemoheterotrophy, and phototrophy. Such microbial variations could be explained by changes of transplantation, salinity, and covarying variables. In summary, salinization and desalinization had profound influence on the geochemistry, microbial community, and function in lakes.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Arbour TJ, Gilbert B, JF Banfield (2020)

Diverse Microorganisms in Sediment and Groundwater Are Implicated in Extracellular Redox Processes Based on Genomic Analysis of Bioanode Communities.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1694.

Extracellular electron transfer (EET) between microbes and iron minerals, and syntrophically between species, is a widespread process affecting biogeochemical cycles and microbial ecology. The distribution of this capacity among microbial taxa, and the thermodynamic controls on EET in complex microbial communities, are not fully known. Microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs), in which electrodes serve as the electron acceptor or donor, provide a powerful approach to enrich for organisms capable of EET and to study their metabolism. We used MXCs coupled with genome-resolved metagenomics to investigate the capacity for EET in microorganisms present in a well-studied aquifer near Rifle, CO. Electroactive biofilms were established and maintained for almost 4 years on anodes poised mostly at -0.2 to -0.25 V vs. SHE, a range that mimics the redox potential of iron-oxide minerals, using acetate as the sole carbon source. Here we report the metagenomic characterization of anode-biofilm and planktonic microbial communities from samples collected at timepoints across the study period. From two biofilm and 26 planktonic samples we reconstructed draft-quality and near-complete genomes for 84 bacteria and 2 archaea that represent the majority of organisms present. A novel Geobacter sp. with at least 72 putative multiheme c-type cytochromes (MHCs) was the dominant electrode-attached organism. However, a diverse range of other electrode-associated organisms also harbored putative MHCs with at least 10 heme-binding motifs, as well as porin-cytochrome complexes and e-pili, including Actinobacteria, Ignavibacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria. Our results identify a small subset of the thousands of organisms previously detected in the Rifle aquifer that may have the potential to mediate mineral redox transformations.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Presley GN, Zhang J, Purvine SO, et al (2020)

Functional Genomics, Transcriptomics, and Proteomics Reveal Distinct Combat Strategies Between Lineages of Wood-Degrading Fungi With Redundant Wood Decay Mechanisms.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1646.

Wood-degrading fungi vary in their strategies for deconstructing wood, and their competitive successes shape the rate and fate of carbon released from wood, Earth's largest pool of aboveground terrestrial carbon. In this study, one-on-one interspecific interactions between two model brown rot (carbohydrate-selective) fungi, Gloeophyllum trabeum and Rhodonia (Postia) placenta, were studied on wood wafers where a clearly resolved interaction zone (IZ) could be generated, reproducibly. Comparative RNAseq and proteomics between the IZ and non-interacting hyphae of each species identified combative strategies for each fungus. Glycoside hydrolases were a relatively smaller portion of the interaction secretome compared to non-interacting hyphae. The interaction zone showed higher pectinase specific activity than all other sampling locations, and higher laminarinase specific activity (branched β-glucan proxy) was seen in the IZ secretome relative to equivalent hyphae in single-species cultures. Our efforts also identified two distinct competitive strategies in these two fungi with a shared nutritional mode (brown rot) but polyphyletic ancestral lineages. Gloeophyllum trabeum (Gloeophyllum clade) upregulated more secondary metabolite (SM) synthesis genes in response to a competitor than did R. placenta. R. placenta (Antrodia clade) upregulated a larger variety of uncharacterized oxidoreductases in interacting hyphae, suggesting that these may play a role in mediating competitor response in this fungus. Both species produced several hypothetical proteins exclusively in the interaction zone, leaving questions as to the function of these proteins. This work supports the existence of multiple interaction strategies among brown rot fungi and highlights the functional diversity among wood decay fungi.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Floc'h JB, Hamel C, Lupwayi N, et al (2020)

Bacterial Communities of the Canola Rhizosphere: Network Analysis Reveals a Core Bacterium Shaping Microbial Interactions.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1587.

The rhizosphere hosts a complex web of prokaryotes interacting with one another that may modulate crucial functions related to plant growth and health. Identifying the key factors structuring the prokaryotic community of the plant rhizosphere is a necessary step toward the enhancement of plant production and crop yield with beneficial associative microorganisms. We used a long-term field experiment conducted at three locations in the Canadian prairies to verify that: (1) the level of cropping system diversity influences the α- and β-diversity of the prokaryotic community of canola (Brassica napus) rhizosphere; (2) the canola rhizosphere community has a stable prokaryotic core; and (3) some highly connected taxa of this community fit the description of hub-taxa. We sampled the rhizosphere of canola grown in monoculture, in a 2-phase rotation (canola-wheat), in a 3-phase rotation (pea-barley-canola), and in a highly diversified 6-phase rotation, five and eight years after cropping system establishment. We detected only one core bacterial Amplicon Sequence Variant (ASV) in the prokaryotic component of the microbiota of canola rhizosphere, a hub taxon identified as cf. Pseudarthrobacter sp. This ASV was also the only hub taxon found in the networks of interactions present in both years and at all three sites. We highlight a cohort of bacteria and archaea that were always connected with the core taxon in the network analyses.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Jilani H, Cilla A, Barberá R, et al (2020)

Antiproliferative activity of green, black tea and olive leaves polyphenols subjected to biosorption and in vitro gastrointestinal digestion in Caco-2 cells.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 136:109317.

Olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves and tea (Camellia sinensis) are rich sources of bioactive compounds, especially polyphenols. Our previous studies have evidenced the potential use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a natural delivery system for these antioxidants and a means to improve their bioaccessibility in the human gut. In the present work, the antiproliferative effect of green tea (GT), black tea (BT) and olive leaves (OL) infusions and suspensions of S. cerevisiae were evaluated, for the first time, in human colon cancer cells (Caco-2) after biosorption and in vitro gastrointestinal digestion. The bioaccessible fractions (BF) were not overtly cytotoxic, not affecting cell viability. ROS and mitochondrial membrane potential changes (Δψm) values were reduced compared with control cells. Moreover, all the BF after biosorption induced a significant (p < 0.05) increase in cell proportions in S-phase. The arrest of the cell cycle was reversible without induction of apoptosis, suggesting that the biosorbed phenolics in both infusions and suspensions act as cytostatic agents.

RevDate: 2020-08-26

Imchen M, R Kumavath (2020)

Shotgun metagenomics reveals heterogeneous prokaryotic community and a wide array of antibiotic resistance genes in mangrove sediments.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5897355 [Epub ahead of print].

Saline tolerant mangrove forest partakes vital biogeochemical cycles. However, they are endangered due to deforestation as a result of urbanization. In this study, we have carried out a metagenomic snapshot of mangrove ecosystem from five countries to assess its taxonomic, functional and antibiotic resistome structure. Chao1 alpha diversity varied significantly (P < 0.001) between the countries (Brazil, Saudi Arabia, China, India, and Malaysia). All datasets were composed of 33 phyla dominated by seven major phyla covering over 90% relative abundance. Comparative analysis of mangrove with terrestrial and marine ecosystem revealed strongest heterogeneity in the mangrove microbial community. We also observed that the mangrove community shared similarities to both terrestrial and marine microbiome forming interlink between the two contrasting ecosystems. ARG resistome was comprised of nineteen level 3 classifications dominated by Multidrug Resistance Efflux Pumps (46.7±4.3%) and BlaR1 Family Regulatory Sensor-transducer Disambiguation (25.2±4.8%). ARG relative abundance was significantly higher in Asian countries and in human intervened datasets at global scale. Our study shows that mangrove microbial community and its antibiotic resistance are affected by geography as well as human intervention and unique to other ecosystems. Understanding the changes of mangrove microbiome and its ARG is significant for sustainable development and public health.

RevDate: 2020-08-26

Zhu X, Jackson RD, DeLucia EH, et al (2020)

The soil microbial carbon pump: from conceptual insights to empirical assessments.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

The global soil carbon (C) pool is massive, so relatively small changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks can significantly alter atmospheric C and global climate. The recently proposed concept of the soil microbial carbon pump (MCP) emphasizes the active role of soil microbes in SOC storage by integrating the continual microbial transformation of organic C from labile to persistent anabolic forms. However, the concept has not been evaluated with data. Here, we combined datasets, including microbial necromass biomarker amino sugars and SOC, from two long-term agricultural field studies conducted by large United States bioenergy research programs. We interrogate the soil MCP concept by investigating the asynchronous responses of microbial necromass and SOC to land-use change. Microbial necromass appeared to preferentially accumulate in soil and be the dominant contributor to SOC accrual in diversified perennial bioenergy crops. Specifically, ~92% of the additional SOC enhanced by plant diversity was estimated to be microbial necromass C, and >76% of the additional SOC enhanced by land-use transition from annual to perennial crops was estimated to be microbial necromass. This suggests that the soil MCP was stimulated in diversified perennial agroecosystems. We further delineate and suggest two parameters-soil MCP capacity and efficacy-reflecting the conversion of plant C into microbial necromass and the contribution of microbial necromass to SOC, respectively that should serve as valuable metrics for future studies evaluating SOC storage under alternative management in changing climates.

RevDate: 2020-08-26

Khoruts A, Staley C, MJ Sadowsky (2020)

Faecal microbiota transplantation for Clostridioides difficile: mechanisms and pharmacology.

Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology pii:10.1038/s41575-020-0350-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has emerged as a remarkably successful treatment for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection that cannot be cured with antibiotics alone. Understanding the complex biology and pathogenesis of C. difficile infection, which we discuss in this Perspective, is essential for understanding the potential mechanisms by which FMT cures this disease. Although FMT has already entered clinical practice, different microbiota-based products are currently in clinical trials and are vying for regulatory approval. However, all these therapeutics belong to an entirely new class of agents that require the development of a new branch of pharmacology. Characterization of microbiota therapeutics uses novel and rapidly evolving technologies and requires incorporation of microbial ecology concepts. Here, we consider FMT within a pharmacological framework, including its essential elements: formulation, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. From this viewpoint, multiple gaps in knowledge become apparent, identifying areas that require systematic research. This knowledge is needed to help clinical providers use microbiota therapeutics appropriately and to facilitate development of next-generation microbiota products with improved safety and efficacy. The discussion here is limited to FMT as a representative of microbiota therapeutics and recurrent C. difficile as the indication; however, consideration of the intrinsic basic principles is relevant to this entire class of microbiota-based therapeutics.

RevDate: 2020-08-26

Santillan E, Constancias F, S Wuertz (2020)

Press Disturbance Alters Community Structure and Assembly Mechanisms of Bacterial Taxa and Functional Genes in Mesocosm-Scale Bioreactors.

mSystems, 5(4): pii:5/4/e00471-20.

Press disturbances are of interest in microbial ecology, as they can drive microbial communities to alternative stable states. However, the effect of press disturbances in community assembly mechanisms, particularly with regard to taxa and functional genes at different levels of abundance (i.e., common and rare), remains largely unknown. Here, we tested the effect of a continuous alteration in substrate feeding scheme on the structure, function, and assembly of bacterial communities. Two sets of replicate 5-liter sequencing batch reactors were operated at two different organic carbon loads for a period of 74 days, following 53 days of acclimation after inoculation with sludge from a full-scale treatment plant. Temporal dynamics of community taxonomic and functional gene structure were derived from metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding data. Disturbed reactors exhibited different community function, structure, and assembly compared to undisturbed reactors. Bacterial taxa and functional genes showed dissimilar α-diversity and community assembly patterns. Deterministic assembly mechanisms were generally stronger in disturbed reactors and in common fractions compared to rare ones. Function quickly recovered after the disturbance was removed, but community structure did not. Our results highlight that functional gene data from metagenomics can indicate patterns of community assembly that differ from those obtained from taxon data. This study reveals how a joint evaluation of assembly mechanisms and community structure of bacterial taxa and functional genes as well as ecosystem function can unravel the response of complex microbial systems to a press disturbance.IMPORTANCE Ecosystem management must be viewed in the context of increasing frequencies and magnitudes of various disturbances that occur at different scales. This work provides a glimpse of the changes in assembly mechanisms found in microbial communities exposed to sustained changes in their environment. These mechanisms, deterministic or stochastic, can cause communities to reach a similar or variable composition and function. For a comprehensive view, we use a joint evaluation of temporal dynamics in assembly mechanisms and community structure for both bacterial taxa and their functional genes at different abundance levels, in both disturbed and undisturbed states. We further reverted the disturbance state to contrast recovery of function with community structure. Our findings are relevant, as very few studies have employed such an approach, while there is a need to assess the relative importance of assembly mechanisms for microbial communities across different spatial and temporal scales, environmental gradients, and types of disturbance.

RevDate: 2020-08-26

Finore I, Vigneron A, Vincent WF, et al (2020)

Novel Psychrophiles and Exopolymers from Permafrost Thaw Lake Sediments.

Microorganisms, 8(9): pii:microorganisms8091282.

Thermokarst lakes are one of the most abundant types of microbial ecosystems in the circumpolar North. These shallow basins are formed by the thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost, with subsequent filling by snow and ice melt. Until now, permafrost thaw lakes have received little attention for isolation of microorganisms by culture-based analysis. The discovery of novel psychrophiles and their biomolecules makes these extreme environments suitable sources for the isolation of new strains, including for potential biotechnological applications. In this study, samples of bottom sediments were collected from three permafrost thaw lakes in subarctic Québec, Canada. Their diverse microbial communities were characterized by 16S rRNA gene amplicon analysis, and subsamples were cultured for the isolation of bacterial strains. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of the isolates revealed affinities to the genera Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Acinetobacter,Staphylococcus and Sphingomonas. The isolates were then evaluated for their production of extracellular enzymes and exopolymers. Enzymes of potential biotechnological interest included α and β-glucosidase, α and β-maltosidase, β-xylosidase and cellobiohydrolase. One isolate, Pseudomonas extremaustralis strain 2ASCA, also showed the capability to produce, in the loosely bound cell fraction, a levan-type polysaccharide with a yield of 613 mg/L of culture, suggesting its suitability as a candidate for eco-sustainable alternatives to commercial polymers.

RevDate: 2020-08-25

Mammola S, Amorim IR, Bichuette ME, et al (2020)

Fundamental research questions in subterranean biology.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Five decades ago, a landmark paper in Science titled The Cave Environment heralded caves as ideal natural experimental laboratories in which to develop and address general questions in geology, ecology, biogeography, and evolutionary biology. Although the 'caves as laboratory' paradigm has since been advocated by subterranean biologists, there are few examples of studies that successfully translated their results into general principles. The contemporary era of big data, modelling tools, and revolutionary advances in genetics and (meta)genomics provides an opportunity to revisit unresolved questions and challenges, as well as examine promising new avenues of research in subterranean biology. Accordingly, we have developed a roadmap to guide future research endeavours in subterranean biology by adapting a well-established methodology of 'horizon scanning' to identify the highest priority research questions across six subject areas. Based on the expert opinion of 30 scientists from around the globe with complementary expertise and of different academic ages, we assembled an initial list of 258 fundamental questions concentrating on macroecology and microbial ecology, adaptation, evolution, and conservation. Subsequently, through online surveys, 130 subterranean biologists with various backgrounds assisted us in reducing our list to 50 top-priority questions. These research questions are broad in scope and ready to be addressed in the next decade. We believe this exercise will stimulate research towards a deeper understanding of subterranean biology and foster hypothesis-driven studies likely to resonate broadly from the traditional boundaries of this field.

RevDate: 2020-08-25

Nikouli E, Meziti A, Smeti E, et al (2020)

Gut Microbiota of Five Sympatrically Farmed Marine Fish Species in the Aegean Sea.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01580-z [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, we hypothesized that sympatrically grown farmed fish, i.e. fish which experience similar environmental conditions and nutritionally similar diets, would have more convergent gut microbiota. Using a "common garden" approach, we identified the core microbiota and bacterial community structure differences between five fish species farmed in the same aquaculture site on the west coast of the Aegean Sea, Greece. The investigated individuals were at similar developmental stages and reared in adjacent (< 50 m) aquaculture cages; each cage had 15 kg fish m-3. The diets were nutritionally similar to support optimal growth for each fish species. DNA from the midgut of 3-6 individuals per fish species was extracted and sequenced for the V3-V4 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA. Only 3.9% of the total 181 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were shared among all fish. Between 5 and 74 OTUs were unique to each fish species. Each of the investigated fish species had a distinct profile of dominant OTUs, i.e. cumulative relative abundance of ≥ 80%. Co-occurrence network analysis for each fish species showed that all networks were strongly dominated by positive correlations between the abundances of their OTUs. However, each fish species had different network characteristics suggesting the differential significance of the OTUs in each of the five fish species midgut. The results of the present study may provide evidence that adult fish farmed in the Mediterranean Sea have a rather divergent and species-specific gut microbiota profile, which are shaped independently of the similar environmental conditions under which they grow.

RevDate: 2020-08-25

Noskov YA, Kabilov MR, Polenogova OV, et al (2020)

A Neurotoxic Insecticide Promotes Fungal Infection in Aedes aegypti Larvae by Altering the Bacterial Community.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01567-w [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic bacteria have a significant impact on the formation of defensive mechanisms against fungal pathogens and insecticides. The microbiome of the mosquito Aedes aegypti has been well studied; however, there are no data on the influence of insecticides and pathogenic fungi on its structure. The fungus Metarhizium robertsii and a neurotoxic insecticide (avermectin complex) interact synergistically, and the colonization of larvae with hyphal bodies is observed after fungal and combined (conidia + avermectins) treatments. The changes in the bacterial communities (16S rRNA) of Ae. aegypti larvae under the influence of fungal infection, avermectin toxicosis, and their combination were studied. In addition, we studied the interactions between the fungus and the predominant cultivable bacteria in vitro and in vivo after the coinfection of the larvae. Avermectins increased the total bacterial load and diversity. The fungus decreased the diversity and insignificantly increased the bacterial load. Importantly, avermectins reduced the relative abundance of Microbacterium (Actinobacteria), which exhibited a strong antagonistic effect towards the fungus in in vitro and in vivo assays. The avermectin treatment led to an increased abundance of Chryseobacterium (Flavobacteria), which exerted a neutral effect on mycosis development. In addition, avermectin treatment led to an elevation of some subdominant bacteria (Pseudomonas) that interacted synergistically with the fungus. We suggest that avermectins change the bacterial community to favor the development of fungal infection.

RevDate: 2020-08-24

Li X, Wang T, Chang SX, et al (2020)

Biochar increases soil microbial biomass but has variable effects on microbial diversity: A meta-analysis.

The Science of the total environment, 749:141593 pii:S0048-9697(20)35122-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Biochar has been extensively studied as a soil amendment for carbon sequestration and for improving soil quality; however, a systematic understanding of the responses of soil microbial biomass and diversity to biochar addition is lacking. Here, a meta-analysis of 999 paired data points from 194 studies shows that biochar increases microbial biomass but has variable effects on microbial diversity. Generally, the effects of biochar on microbial biomass are dependent on biochar properties, while that on microbial diversity is dependent on soil properties. The application of biochar, particularly that produced under low temperature and from nutrient-rich feedstocks, could better increase soil microbial biomass (based on phospholipid fatty acid analysis (MBCPLFA)) and diversity. The increases of total microbial biomass with biochar addition are greater in the field than in laboratory studies, in sandy than in clay soils, and when measured by fumigation-extraction (MBCFE) than by MBCPLFA. The bacterial biomass only significantly increases in laboratory studies and fungal biomass only in soils with pH ≤ 7.5 and soil organic carbon ≤30 g kg-1. The increases in total microbial diversity with biochar addition were greater in acidic and sandy soils with low soil organic carbon content and in laboratory incubation studies. In addition, long-term and low-rate addition of biochar always increases microbial diversity. To better guide the use of biochar as a soil amendment, we suggest that establishing long-term and field studies, using a standard method for measuring microbial communities, on different soil types should be our emphasis in future research.

RevDate: 2020-08-24

Kirubakaran R, ArulJothi KN, Revathi S, et al (2020)

Emerging priorities for microbial metagenome research.

Bioresource technology reports, 11:100485.

Overwhelming anthropogenic activities lead to deterioration of natural resources and the environment. The microorganisms are considered desirable, due to their suitability for easy genetic manipulation and handling. With the aid of modern biotechnological techniques, the culturable microorganisms have been widely exploited for the benefit of mankind. Metagenomics, a powerful tool to access the abundant biodiversity of the environmental samples including the unculturable microbes, to determine microbial diversity and population structure, their ecological roles and expose novel genes of interest. This review focuses on the microbial adaptations to the adverse environmental conditions, metagenomic techniques employed towards microbial biotechnology. Metagenomic approach helps to understand microbial ecology and to identify useful microbial derivatives like antibiotics, toxins, and enzymes with diverse and enhanced function. It also summarizes the application of metagenomics in clinical diagnosis, improving microbial ecology, therapeutics, xenobiotic degradation and impact on agricultural crops.

RevDate: 2020-08-24

D'Abramo F, S Neumeyer (2020)

A historical and political epistemology of microbes.

Centaurus; international magazine of the history of science and medicine, 62(2):321-330.

This article traces the historical co-evolution of microbiology, bacteriology, and virology, framed within industrial and agricultural contexts, as well as their role in colonial and national history between the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. The epistemology of germ theory, coupled with the economic interests of European colonies, has shaped the understanding of human-microbial relationships in a reductionist way. We explore a brief history of the medical and biological sciences, focusing on microbes and the difficulty of implementing germ theory outside of biology laboratories. Furthermore, we highlight the work of Lynn Margulis, who conceptualized microbes within their ecological contexts. Such research shows the active role microbes play in handling life-sustaining biological and biochemical processes. We outline how the industrial and technological advancements of the last two centuries not only impacted almost all human societies, but also changed the world on microbial, biological, and geological levels. The narration of these histories is a complex task, and depends on how national, international, and intergovernmental institutions (such as the World Health Organization) conceive of the selective environmental pressures exerted by industry and biotechnological companies.

RevDate: 2020-08-24

Li X, Li Z, He Y, et al (2020)

Regional distribution of Christensenellaceae and its associations with metabolic syndrome based on a population-level analysis.

PeerJ, 8:e9591 pii:9591.

The link between the gut microbiota and metabolic syndrome (MetS) has attracted widespread attention. Christensenellaceae was recently described as an important player in human health, while its distribution and relationship with MetS in Chinese population is still unknown. This study sought to observe the association between Christensenellaceae and metabolic indexes in a large sample of residents in South China. A total of 4,781 people from the GGMP project were included, and the fecal microbiota composition of these individuals was characterized by 16S rRNA sequencing and analyzed the relation between Christensenellaceae and metabolism using QIIME (Quantitative Insight Into Microbial Ecology, Version 1.9.1). The results demonstrated that microbial richness and diversity were increased in the group with a high abundance of Christensenellaceae, who showed a greater complexity of the co-occurrence network with other bacteria than residents who lacked Christensenellaceae. The enriched bacterial taxa were predominantly represented by Oscillospira, Ruminococcaceae, RF39, Rikenellaceae and Akkermansia as the Christensenellaceae abundance increased, while the abundances of Veillonella, Fusobacterium and Klebsiella were significantly reduced. Furthermore, Christensenellaceae was negatively correlated with the pathological features of MetS, such as obesity, hypertriglyceridemia and body mass index (BMI). We found reduced levels of lipid biosynthesis and energy metabolism pathways in people with a high abundance of Christensenellaceae, which may explain the negative relationship between body weight and Christensenellaceae. In conclusion, we found a negative correlation between Christensenellaceae and MetS in a large Chinese population and reported the geographical distribution of Christensenellaceae in the GGMP study. The association data from this population-level research support the investigation of strains within Christensenellaceae as potentially beneficial gut microbes.

RevDate: 2020-08-24

Mukherjee I, Salcher MM, Andrei AȘ, et al (2020)

A freshwater radiation of diplonemids.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Diplonemids are considered marine protists and have been reported among the most abundant and diverse eukaryotes in the world oceans. Recently we detected the presence of freshwater diplonemids in Japanese deep freshwater lakes. However, their distribution and abundances in freshwater ecosystems remain unknown. We assessed abundance and diversity of diplonemids from several geographically distant deep freshwater lakes of the world by amplicon-sequencing, shotgun metagenomics and CARD-FISH. We found diplonemids in all the studied lakes, albeit with low abundances and diversity. We assembled long 18S rRNA sequences from freshwater diplonemids and showed that they form a new lineage distinct from the diverse marine clades. Freshwater diplonemids are a sister-group to a marine clade, which are mainly isolates from coastal and bay areas, suggesting a recent habitat transition from marine to freshwater habitats. Images of CARD-FISH targeted freshwater diplonemids suggest they feed on bacteria. Our analyses of 18S rRNA sequences retrieved from single cell genomes of marine diplonemids shows they encode multiple rRNA copies that may be very divergent from each other, suggesting that marine diplonemid abundance and diversity both have been overestimated. These results have wider implications on assessing eukaryotic abundances in natural habitats by using amplicon-sequencing alone. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-08-23

Cabrerizo MJ, E Marañón (2020)

Grazing Pressure Is Independent of Prey Size in a Generalist Herbivorous Protist: Insights from Experimental Temperature Gradients.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01578-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Grazing by herbivorous protists contributes to structuring plankton communities through its effect on the growth, biomass, and competitiveness of prey organisms and also impacts the transfer of primary production towards higher trophic levels. Previous evidence shows that heterotrophic processes (grazing rates, g) are more sensitive to temperature than autotrophic ones (phytoplankton growth rates, μ) and also that small cells tend to be more heavily predated than larger ones; however, it remains unresolved how the interplay between changes in temperature and cell size modulates grazing pressure (i.e., g:μ ratio). We addressed this problem by conducting an experiment with four phytoplankton populations, from pico- to microphytoplankton, over a 12 °C gradient and in the presence/absence of a generalist herbivorous protist, Oxyrrhis marina. We found that highest g rates coincided with highest μ rates, which corresponded to intermediate cell sizes. There were no significant differences in either μ or g between the smallest and largest cell sizes considered. The g:μ ratio was largely independent of cell size and C:N ratios, and its thermal dependence was low although species-specific differences were large. We suggest that the similar g:μ found could be the consequence that the energetic demand imposed by rising temperatures would be a more important issue than the mechanical constriction to ingestion derived from prey cell size. Despite the difficulty of quantifying μ and g in natural planktonic communities, we suggest that the g:μ ratio is a key response variable to evaluate thermal sensitivity of food webs because it gives a more integrative view of trophic functioning than both rates separately.

RevDate: 2020-08-23

Silveira R, Silva MRSS, de Roure Bandeira de Mello T, et al (2020)

Bacteria and Archaea Communities in Cerrado Natural Pond Sediments.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01574-x [Epub ahead of print].

Natural ponds in the Brazilian Cerrado harbor high biodiversity but are still poorly studied, especially their microbial assemblage. The characterization of the microbial community in aquatic environments is fundamental for understanding its functioning, particularly under the increasing pressure posed by land conversion and climate change. Here, we aim to characterize the structure (abundance, richness, and diversity) and composition of the Bacteria and Archaea in the sediment of two natural ponds belonging to different basins that primarily differ in size and depth in the Cerrado. Sediment samples were collected in the dry and rainy seasons and the transition periods between both. The structure and composition of Bacteria and Archaea were assessed by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. We identified 45 bacterial and four archaeal groups. Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria dominated the bacterial community, while Euryarchaeota and Thaumarchaeota dominated the archaeal community. Seasonal fluctuations in the relative abundance of microbial taxa were observed, but pond characteristics were more determinant to community composition differences. Microbial communities are highly diverse, and local variability could partially explain the microbial structure's main differences. Functional predictions based in 16S rRNA gene accessed with Tax4Fun indicated an enriched abundance of predicted methane metabolism in the deeper pond, where higher abundance of methanogenic archaea Methanocella, Methanosaeta, and Methanomicrobiaceae was detected. Our dataset encompasses the more comprehensive survey of prokaryotic microbes in Cerrado's aquatic environments. Here, we present basic and essential information about composition and diversity, for initial insights into the ecology of Bacteria and Archaea in these environments.

RevDate: 2020-08-23

Jamwal R, Amit , Kumari S, et al (2020)

Rapid and non-destructive approach for the detection of fried mustard oil adulteration in pure mustard oil via ATR-FTIR spectroscopy-chemometrics.

Spectrochimica acta. Part A, Molecular and biomolecular spectroscopy, 244:118822 pii:S1386-1425(20)30801-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy integrated with chemometrics was effectively applied for the rapid detection and accurate quantification of fried mustard oil (FMO) adulteration in pure mustard oil (PMO). PMO was adulterated with FMO in the range of 0.5-50% v/v. Principal component analysis (PCA) elucidated the studied adulteration using two components with an explained variance of 97%. The linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was adopted to classify the adulterated PMO samples with FMO. LDA model showed 100% accuracy initially, as well as when cross-validated. To enhance the overall quality of models, characteristic spectral regions were optimized, and principal component regression (PCR) and partial least square regression (PLS-R) models were constructed with high accuracy and precision. PLS-R model for the 2nd derivative of the optimized spectral region 1260-1080 cm-1 showed best results for prediction sample sets in terms of high R2 and residual predictive deviation (RPD) value of 0.999 and 31.91 with low root mean square error (RMSE) and relative prediction error (RE %) of 0.53% v/v and 3.37% respectively. Thus, the suggested method can detect up to 0.5% v/v of adulterated FMO in PMO in a short time interval.

RevDate: 2020-08-23

Sakarika M, Candry P, Depoortere M, et al (2020)

Impact of substrate and growth conditions on microbial protein production and composition.

Bioresource technology, 317:124021 pii:S0960-8524(20)31293-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Production of microbial protein (MP) from recovered resources - e.g. CO2-sourced formate and acetate - could provide protein while enabling CO2 capture. To assess the protein quality obtained from this process, pure cultures and enriched communities were selected and characterized kinetically, stoichiometrically and nutritionally. Growth on acetate resulted in up to 5.3 times higher maximum specific growth rate (μmax) than formate (i.e. 0.15-0.41 h-1 for acetate compared to 0.061-0.29 h-1 for formate at pH = 7). The protein content was a function of the growth phase, with the highest values during stationary phase, ranging between 18 and 82%CDW protein depending on the organism and substrate. The negative correlation between biomass productivity and protein content indicated a trade-off between production rate and product quality. The final product (i.e. dried MP) quality was in most cases superior to soybean and all cultures were rich in threonine, phenylalanine and tyrosine, regardless of the carbon source.

RevDate: 2020-08-22

Dai H, Gao J, Wang S, et al (2020)

The key active degrader, metabolic pathway and microbial ecology of triclosan biodegradation in an anoxic/oxic system.

Bioresource technology, 317:124014 pii:S0960-8524(20)31286-4 [Epub ahead of print].

A lab-scale anoxic/oxic (A/O) system was used to reveal the key active triclosan-degrading bacteria (TCS-DB) in this study. The results showed that TCS was mainly removed by metabolism of heterotrophic bacteria (accounting for about 62%), and the potential metabolic pathway was the break of ether bond in TCS formed 2,4-dichlorophenol, and further dechlorination formed phenol or other metabolic end products. DNA-based stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP) assay further revealed that Methylobacillus accounting for 20.75% in 13C sample was the key active TCS-DB. Furthermore, methylotrophy and methanol oxidation were found to be the potential metabolic routes of TCS degradation by functional annotation of prokaryotic taxa analysis. Interestingly, TCS accelerated the propagation of antibiotic resistance genes (fabI) and intI1 which positively correlated with several functional microorganisms (p < 0.05). This study contributes to comprehend the potential mechanism, metabolic pathway and microbial ecology of TCS biodegradation in A/O system.

RevDate: 2020-08-22

Maher AMD, Asaiyah M, Quinn S, et al (2020)

Competition and Co-existence of Two Photorhabdus Symbionts with a Nematode Host.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01573-y [Epub ahead of print].

Photorhabdus spp. (Enterobacteriales: Morganellaceae) occur exclusively as symbionts of Heterorhabditis nematodes for which they provide numerous services, including killing insects and providing nutrition and defence within the cadavers. Unusually, two species (Photorhabdus cinerea and Photorhabdus temperata) associate with a single population of Heterorhabditis downesi at a dune grassland site. Building on previous work, we investigated competition between these two Photorhabdus species both at the regional (between insects) and local (within insect) level by trait comparison and co-culture experiments. There was no difference between the species with respect to supporting nematode reproduction and protection of cadavers against invertebrate scavengers, but P. cinerea was superior to P. temperata in several traits: faster growth rate, greater antibacterial and antifungal activity and colonisation of a higher proportion of nematodes in co-culture. Moreover, where both bacterial symbionts colonised single nematode infective juveniles, P. cinerea tended to dominate in numbers. Differences between Photorhabdus species were detected in the suite of secondary metabolites produced: P. temperata produced several compounds not produced by P. cinerea including anthraquinone pigments. Bioluminescence emitted by P. temperata also tended to be brighter than that from P. cinerea. Bioluminescence and pigmentation may protect cadavers against scavengers that rely on sight. We conclude that while P. cinerea may show greater local level (within-cadaver) competitive success, co-existence of the two Photorhabdus species in the spatially heterogeneous environment of the dunes is favoured by differing specialisations in defence of the cadaver against differing locally important threats.

RevDate: 2020-08-22

Gofstein TR, Perkins M, Field J, et al (2020)

The Interactive Effects of Crude Oil and Corexit 9500 on their Biodegradation in Arctic Seawater.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.01194-20 [Epub ahead of print].

The risk of petroleum spills coupled with the potential application of chemical dispersants as a spill response strategy necessitates further understanding of the fate of oil and dispersants and their interactive effects during biodegradation. Using Arctic seawater mesocosms amended with either crude oil, Corexit 9500, or both together, we quantified the chemical losses of crude oil and Corexit 9500 and identified microbial taxa implicated in their biodegradation based on shifts in the microbial community structure over a 30-day time course. Chemical analyses included total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), n-alkanes, branched alkanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) for oil loss and the surfactant components dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS), Span 80, Tween 80, Tween 85, and the DOSS metabolite ethylhexyl sulfosuccinate (EHSS) for Corexit loss. Changes to the microbial communities and identification of key taxa were determined by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The nonionic surfactants of Corexit 9500 (Span 80, Tweens 80+85) biodegraded rapidly, dropping to below the limits of detection within 5 days and prior to any detectable initiation of oil biodegradation. This resulted in no observable suppression of petroleum biodegradation in the presence of Corexit compared to that of oil alone. In contrast, biodegradation of DOSS was delayed in the presence of oil, based on the prolonged presence of DOSS concentrations and accumulation of the degradation intermediate EHSS that did not occur in the absence of oil. Microbial analyses revealed that oil and Corexit enriched different overall microbial communities, with the presence of both resulting in a community composition that shifted from one more similar to that of Corexit-only, then shifting to reflect the oil-only community over time, in parallel with the degradation of predominantly Corexit and then oil components. Some microbial taxa (Oleispira,Pseudofulvibacter, Roseobacter) responded to either oil or Corexit, suggesting that some organisms may be capable of utilizing both substrates. Together, these findings reveal interactive effects of crude oil and Corexit 9500 on chemical losses and microbial communities as they biodegrade, providing further insight into their fate when co-present in the environment.Importance Chemical dispersants such as Corexit 9500 are commonly used in oil spill response and are currently under consideration for use in the Arctic, where their fate and effects have not been well studied. This research was performed to determine the interactive effects of the co-presence of crude oil and Corexit 9500 on the degradation of components from each mixture and the associated microbial community structure over time in Arctic seawater. These findings will help yield a better understanding on the biodegradability of dispersant components applied to an oil spill, the temporal microbial community response to dispersed oil, and the fundamental microbial ecology of organic contaminant biodegradation processes in the Arctic marine environment.


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.

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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 )