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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 29 Feb 2024 at 01:50 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.

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2024-02-27

Xu T, Novotny A, Zamora-Terol S, et al (2024)

Dynamics of Gut Bacteria Across Different Zooplankton Genera in the Baltic Sea.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):48.

In aquatic ecosystems, zooplankton-associated bacteria potentially have a great impact on the structure of ecosystems and trophic networks by providing various metabolic pathways and altering the ecological niche of host species. To understand the composition and drivers of zooplankton gut microbiota, we investigated the associated microbial communities of four zooplankton genera from different seasons in the Baltic Sea using the 16S rRNA gene. Among the 143 ASVs (amplified sequence variants) observed belonging to heterotrophic bacteria, 28 ASVs were shared across all zooplankton hosts over the season, and these shared core ASVs represented more than 25% and up to 60% of relative abundance in zooplankton hosts but were present at low relative abundance in the filtered water. Zooplankton host identity had stronger effects on bacterial composition than seasonal variation, with the composition of gut bacterial communities showing host-specific clustering patterns. Although bacterial compositions and dominating core bacteria were different between zooplankton hosts, higher gut bacteria diversity and more bacteria contributing to the temporal variation were found in Temora and Pseudocalanus, compared to Acartia and Synchaeta. Diet diatom and filamentous cyanobacteria negatively correlated with gut bacteria diversity, but the difference in diet composition did not explain the dissimilarity of gut bacteria composition, suggesting a general effect of diet on the inner conditions in the zooplankton gut. Synchaeta maintained high stability of gut bacterial communities with unexpectedly low bacteria-bacteria interactions as compared to the copepods, indicating host-specific regulation traits. Our results suggest that the patterns of gut bacteria dynamics are host-specific and the variability of gut bacteria is not only related to host taxonomy but also related to host behavior and life history traits.

RevDate: 2024-02-26

Banerjee A, Ghosh A, Saha B, et al (2024)

Surface Charge-Switchable Antifouling Block Copolymer with Bacteriostatic Properties.

Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids [Epub ahead of print].

Zwitterionic polymers are an emerging family of effective, low-fouling materials that can withstand unintended interactions with biological systems while exhibiting enhanced activity in bacterial matrix deterioration and biofilm eradication. Herein, we modularly synthesized an amphiphilic block copolymer, ZABCP, featuring potential bacteriostatic properties composed of a charge-switchable polyzwitterionic segment and a redox-sensitive pendant disulfide-labeled polymethacrylate block. The leucine-appended polyzwitterionic segment with alternatively positioned cationic amine and anionic carboxylate functionalities undergoes charge alterations (+ve → 0 → -ve) on pH variation. By introducing appropriate amphiphilicity, ZABCP forms distinct vesicles with redox-sensitive bilayer membranes and zwitterionic shielding coronas, enabling switching of surface charge. ZABCP vesicles exhibit 180 ± 20 nm hydrodynamic diameter, and its charge switching behavior in response to pH was confirmed by the change of zeta potential value from -23 to +36 mV. The binding interaction between ZABCP vesicles with lysozyme and pepsin proteins strengthens when the surface charge shifts from neutral (pH 7.4) to either anionic or cationic. This surface-charge-switchable phenomenon paves the way for implementing cationic ZABCP vesicles for bacterial cell growth inhibition, which is shown by the pronounced transition of cellular morphology, including clustering, aggregation, or elongation as well as membrane disruption for both Bacillus subtilis (Gram-positive) and Escherichia coli (Gram-negative). Such enhanced bacteriostatic activity could be ascribed to a strong electrostatic interaction between cationic vesicles and negatively charged bacterial membranes, leading to cell membrane disruption. Overall, this study provides a tailor-made approach to adopt low-fouling properties and potential bacteriostatic activity using zwitterionic polymers through precise control of pH.

RevDate: 2024-02-27
CmpDate: 2024-02-27

Wang Y, Xue D, Chen X, et al (2024)

Structure and Functions of Endophytic Bacterial Communities Associated with Sphagnum Mosses and Their Drivers in Two Different Nutrient Types of Peatlands.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):47.

Sphagnum mosses are keystone plant species in the peatland ecosystems that play a crucial role in the formation of peat, which shelters a broad diversity of endophytic bacteria with important ecological functions. In particular, methanotrophic and nitrogen-fixing endophytic bacteria benefit Sphagnum moss hosts by providing both carbon and nitrogen. However, the composition and abundance of endophytic bacteria from different species of Sphagnum moss in peatlands of different nutrient statuses and their drivers remain unclear. This study used 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to examine endophytic bacterial communities in Sphagnum mosses and measured the activity of methanotrophic microbial by the [13]C-CH4 oxidation rate. According to the results, the endophytic bacterial community structure varied among Sphagnum moss species and Sphagnum capillifolium had the highest endophytic bacterial alpha diversity. Moreover, chlorophyll, phenol oxidase, carbon contents, and water retention capacity strongly shaped the communities of endophytic bacteria. Finally, Sphagnum palustre in Hani (SP) had a higher methane oxidation rate than S. palustre in Taishanmiao. This result is associated with the higher average relative abundance of Methyloferula an obligate methanotroph in SP. In summary, this work highlights the effects of Sphagnum moss characteristics on the endophytic bacteriome. The endophytic bacteriome is important for Sphagnum moss productivity, as well as for carbon and nitrogen cycles in Sphagnum moss peatlands.

RevDate: 2024-02-27
CmpDate: 2024-02-27

Kempraj V, Auth J, Cha DH, et al (2024)

Impact of Larval Food Source on the Stability of the Bactrocera dorsalis Microbiome.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):46.

Bacterial symbionts are crucial to the biology of Bactrocera dorsalis. With larval diet (fruit host) being a key factor that determines microbiome composition and with B. dorsalis using more than 400 fruits as hosts, it is unclear if certain bacterial symbionts are preserved and are passed on to B. dorsalis progenies despite changes in larval diet. Here, we conducted a fly rearing experiment to characterize diet-induced changes in the microbiome of female B. dorsalis. In order to explicitly investigate the impacts of larval diet on the microbiome, including potential stable bacterial constituents of B. dorsalis, we performed 16S rRNA sequencing on the gut tissues of teneral female flies reared from four different host fruits (guava, mango, papaya, and rose apple) infested using a single cohort of wild B. dorsalis that emerged from tropical almond (mother flies). Although B. dorsalis-associated microbiota were predominantly shaped by the larval diet, some major bacterial species from the mother flies were retained in progenies raised on different larval diets. With some variation, Klebsiella (ASV 1 and 2), Morganella (ASV 3), and Providencia (ASV 6) were the major bacterial symbionts that were stable and made up 0.1-80% of the gut and ovipositor microbiome of female teneral flies reared on different host fruits. Our results suggest that certain groups of bacteria are stably associated with female B. dorsalis across larval diets. These findings provide a basis for unexplored research on symbiotic bacterial function in B. dorsalis and may aid in the development of novel management techniques against this devastating pest of horticultural importance.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Hoffbeck C, Middleton DMRL, Lamar SK, et al (2024)

Gut microbiome of the sole surviving member of reptile order Rhynchocephalia reveals biogeographic variation, influence of host body condition and a substantial core microbiota in tuatara across New Zealand.

Ecology and evolution, 14(2):e11073.

Tuatara are the sole extant species in the reptile order Rhynchocephalia. They are ecologically and evolutionarily unique, having been isolated geographically for ~84 million years and evolutionarily from their closest living relatives for ~250 million years. Here we report the tuatara gut bacterial community for the first time. We sampled the gut microbiota of translocated tuatara at five sanctuaries spanning a latitudinal range of ~1000 km within Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as individuals from the source population on Takapourewa (Stephens Island). This represents a first look at the bacterial community of the order Rhynchocephalia and provides the opportunity to address several key hypotheses, namely that the tuatara gut microbiota: (1) differs from those of other reptile orders; (2) varies among geographic locations but is more similar at sites with more similar temperatures and (3) is shaped by tuatara body condition, parasitism and ambient temperature. We found significant drivers of the microbiota in sampling site, tuatara body condition, parasitism and ambient temperature, suggesting the importance of these factors when considering tuatara conservation. We also derived a 'core' community of shared bacteria across tuatara at many sites, despite their geographic range and isolation. Remarkably, >70% of amplicon sequence variants could not be assigned to known genera, suggesting a largely undescribed gut bacterial community for this ancient host species.

RevDate: 2024-02-25

Nayman EI, Schwartz BA, Polmann M, et al (2024)

Differences in gut microbiota between Dutch and South-Asian Surinamese: potential implications for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Scientific reports, 14(1):4585.

Gut microbiota, or the collection of diverse microorganisms in a specific ecological niche, are known to significantly impact human health. Decreased gut microbiota production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) has been implicated in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) disease progression. Most microbiome studies focus on ethnic majorities. This study aims to understand how the microbiome differs between an ethnic majority (the Dutch) and minority (the South-Asian Surinamese (SAS)) group with a lower and higher prevalence of T2DM, respectively. Microbiome data from the Healthy Life in an Urban Setting (HELIUS) cohort were used. Two age- and gender-matched groups were compared: the Dutch (n = 41) and SAS (n = 43). Microbial community compositions were generated via DADA2. Metrics of microbial diversity and similarity between groups were computed. Biomarker analyses were performed to determine discriminating taxa. Bacterial co-occurrence networks were constructed to examine ecological patterns. A tight microbiota cluster was observed in the Dutch women, which overlapped with some of the SAS microbiota. The Dutch gut contained a more interconnected microbial ecology, whereas the SAS network was dispersed, i.e., contained fewer inter-taxonomic correlational relationships. Bacteroides caccae, Butyricicoccus, Alistipes putredinis, Coprococcus comes, Odoribacter splanchnicus, and Lachnospira were enriched in the Dutch gut. Haemophilus, Bifidobacterium, and Anaerostipes hadrus discriminated the SAS gut. All but Lachnospira and certain strains of Haemophilus are known to produce SCFAs. The Dutch gut microbiome was distinguished from the SAS by diverse, differentially abundant SCFA-producing taxa with significant cooperation. The dynamic ecology observed in the Dutch was not detected in the SAS. Among several potential gut microbial biomarkers, Haemophilus parainfluenzae likely best characterizes the ethnic minority group, which is more predisposed to T2DM. The higher prevalence of T2DM in the SAS may be associated with the gut dysbiosis observed.

RevDate: 2024-02-25

Zhou P, Li D, Zhang C, et al (2024)

Comparison of different sewage sludge pretreatment technologies for improving sludge solubilization and anaerobic digestion efficiency: A comprehensive review.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)01314-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Anaerobic digestion (AD) of sewage sludge reduces organic solids and produces methane, but the complex nature of sludge, especially the difficulty in solubilization, limits AD efficiency. Pretreatments, by destroying sludge structure and promoting disintegration and hydrolysis, are valuable strategies to enhance AD performance. There is a plethora of reviews on sludge pretreatments, however, quantitative comparisons from multiple perspectives across different pretreatments remain scarce. This review categorized various pretreatments into three groups: Physical (ultrasonic, microwave, thermal hydrolysis, electric decomposition, and high pressure homogenization), chemical (acid, alkali, Fenton, calcium peroxide, and ozone), and biological (microaeration, exogenous bacteria, and exogenous hydrolase) pretreatments. The optimal conditions of various pretreatments and their impacts on enhancing AD efficiency were summarized; the effects of different pretreatments on microbial community in the AD system were comprehensively compared. The quantitative comparison based on dissolution degree of COD (DDCOD) indicted that the sludge solubilization performance is in the order of physical, chemical, and biological pretreatments, although with each below 40 % DDCOD. Biological pretreatment, particularly microaeration and exogenous bacteria, excel in AD enhancement. Pretreatments alter microbial ecology, favoring Firmicutes and Methanosaeta (acetotrophic methanogens) over Proteobacteria and Methanobacterium (hydrogenotrophic methanogens). Most pretreatments have unfavorable energy and economic outcomes, with electric decomposition and microaeration being exceptions. On the basis of the overview of the above pretreatments, a full energy and economy assessment for sewage sludge treatment was suggested. Finally, challenges associated with sludge pretreatments and AD were analyzed, and future research directions were proposed. This review may broaden comprehension of sludge pretreatments and AD, and provide an objective basis for the selection of sludge pretreatment technologies.

RevDate: 2024-02-25

Rosenqvist T, Chan S, Ahlinder J, et al (2024)

Inoculation with adapted bacterial communities promotes development of full scale slow sand filters for drinking water production.

Water research, 253:121203 pii:S0043-1354(24)00103-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Gravity-driven filtration through slow sand filters (SSFs) is one of the oldest methods for producing drinking water. As water passes through a sand bed, undesired microorganisms and chemicals are removed by interactions with SSF biofilm and its resident microbes. Despite their importance, the processes through which these microbial communities form are largely unknown, as are the factors affecting these processes. In this study, two SSFs constructed using different sand sources were compared to an established filter and observed throughout their maturation process. One SSF was inoculated through addition of sand scraped from established filters, while the other was not inoculated. The operational and developing microbial communities of SSFs, as well as their influents and effluents, were studied by sequencing of 16S ribosomal rRNA genes. A functional microbial community resembling that of the established SSF was achieved in the inoculated SSF, but not in the non-inoculated SSF. Notably, the non-inoculated SSF had significantly (p < 0.01) higher abundances of classes Armatimonadia, Elusimicrobia, Fimbriimonadia, OM190 (phylum Planctomycetota), Parcubacteria, Vampirivibrionia and Verrucomicrobiae. Conversely, it had lower abundances of classes Anaerolineae, Bacilli, bacteriap25 (phylum Myxococcota), Blastocatellia, Entotheonellia, Gemmatimonadetes, lineage 11b (phylum Elusimicrobiota), Nitrospiria, Phycisphaerae, subgroup 22 (phylum Acidobacteriota) and subgroup 11 (phylum Acidobacteriota). Poor performance of neutral models showed that the assembly and dispersal of SSF microbial communities was mainly driven by selection. The temporal turnover of microbial species, as estimated through the scaling exponent of the species-time relationship, was twice as high in the non-inoculated filter (0.946 ± 0.164) compared to the inoculated filter (0.422 ± 0.0431). This study shows that the addition of an inoculum changed the assembly processes within SSFs. Specifically, the rate at which new microorganisms were observed in the biofilm was reduced. The reduced temporal turnover may be driven by inoculating taxa inhibiting growth, potentially via secondary metabolite production. This in turn would allow the inoculation community to persist and contribute to SSF function.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Zhu H, Li M, Bi D, et al (2024)

Fusobacterium nucleatum promotes tumor progression in KRAS p.G12D-mutant colorectal cancer by binding to DHX15.

Nature communications, 15(1):1688.

Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) promotes intestinal tumor growth and its relative abundance varies greatly among patients with CRC, suggesting the presence of unknown, individual-specific effectors in F. nucleatum-dependent carcinogenesis. Here, we identify that F. nucleatum is enriched preferentially in KRAS p.G12D mutant CRC tumor tissues and contributes to colorectal tumorigenesis in Villin-Cre/Kras[G12D+/-] mice. Additionally, Parabacteroides distasonis (P. distasonis) competes with F. nucleatum in the G12D mouse model and human CRC tissues with the KRAS mutation. Orally gavaged P. distasonis in mice alleviates the F. nucleatum-dependent CRC progression. F. nucleatum invades intestinal epithelial cells and binds to DHX15, a protein of RNA helicase family expressed on CRC tumor cells, mechanistically involving ERK/STAT3 signaling. Knock out of Dhx15 in Villin-Cre/Kras[G12D+/-] mice attenuates the CRC phenotype. These findings reveal that the oncogenic effect of F. nucleatum depends on somatic genetics and gut microbial ecology and indicate that personalized modulation of the gut microbiota may provide a more targeted strategy for CRC treatment.

RevDate: 2024-02-25

Martin-Pozas T, Cuezva S, Fernandez-Cortes A, et al (2024)

Adaptive response of prokaryotic communities to extreme pollution flooding in a Paleolithic rock art cave (Pindal Cave, northern Spain).

The Science of the total environment, 921:171137 pii:S0048-9697(24)01276-2 [Epub ahead of print].

A flood event affecting Pindal Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage site, introduced a substantial amount of external sediments and waste into the cave. This event led to the burial of preexisting sediments, altering the biogeochemical characteristics of the cave ecosystem by introducing heightened levels of organic matter, nitrogen compounds, phosphorus, and heavy metals. The sediments included particulate matter and waste from a cattle farm located within the water catchment area of the cavity, along with diverse microorganisms, reshaping the cave microbial community. This study addresses the ongoing influence of a cattle farm on the cave ecosystem and aims to understand the adaptive responses of the underground microbial community to the sudden influx of waste allochthonous material. Here, we show that the flood event had an immediate and profound effect on the cave microbial community, marked by a significant increase in methanogenic archaea, denitrifying bacteria, and other microorganisms commonly associated with mammalian intestinal tracts. Furthermore, our findings reveal that one year after the flood, microorganisms related to the flood decreased, while the increase in inorganic forms of ammonium and nitrate suggests potential nitrification, aligning with increased abundances of corresponding functional genes involved in nitrogen cycling. The results reveal that the impact of pollution was neither recent nor isolated, and it was decisive in stopping livestock activity near the cave. The influence of the cattle farm has persisted since its establishment over the impluvium area, and this influence endures even a year after the flood. Our study emphasizes the dynamic interplay between natural events, anthropogenic activities, and microbial communities, offering insights into the resilience of cave ecosystems. Understanding microbial adaptation in response to environmental disturbances, as demonstrated in this cave ecosystem, has implications for broader ecological studies and underscores the importance of considering temporal dynamics in conservation efforts.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Vieira HH, Bulzu PA, Kasalicky V, et al (2024)

Isolation of a widespread giant virus implicated in cryptophyte bloom collapse.

The ISME journal pii:7613830 [Epub ahead of print].

Photosynthetic cryptophytes are ubiquitous protists that are major participants in the freshwater phytoplankton bloom at the onset of spring. Mortality due to change in environmental conditions and grazing have been recognized as key factors contributing to bloom collapse. In contrast, the role of viral outbreaks as factors terminating phytoplankton blooms remains unknown from freshwaters. Here, we isolated and characterised a cryptophyte virus contributing to the annual collapse of a natural cryptophyte spring bloom population. This viral isolate is also representative for a clade of abundant giant viruses (phylum Nucleocytoviricota) found in freshwaters all over the world.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Johnson ML, MP Zwart (2024)

Robust Approaches to the Quantitative Analysis of Genome Formula Variation in Multipartite and Segmented Viruses.

Viruses, 16(2):.

When viruses have segmented genomes, the set of frequencies describing the abundance of segments is called the genome formula. The genome formula is often unbalanced and highly variable for both segmented and multipartite viruses. A growing number of studies are quantifying the genome formula to measure its effects on infection and to consider its ecological and evolutionary implications. Different approaches have been reported for analyzing genome formula data, including qualitative description, applying standard statistical tests such as ANOVA, and customized analyses. However, these approaches have different shortcomings, and test assumptions are often unmet, potentially leading to erroneous conclusions. Here, we address these challenges, leading to a threefold contribution. First, we propose a simple metric for analyzing genome formula variation: the genome formula distance. We describe the properties of this metric and provide a framework for understanding metric values. Second, we explain how this metric can be applied for different purposes, including testing for genome-formula differences and comparing observations to a reference genome formula value. Third, we re-analyze published data to illustrate the applications and weigh the evidence for previous conclusions. Our re-analysis of published datasets confirms many previous results but also provides evidence that the genome formula can be carried over from the inoculum to the virus population in a host. The simple procedures we propose contribute to the robust and accessible analysis of genome-formula data.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Stroeva AR, Klyukina AA, Vidishcheva ON, et al (2024)

Structure of Benthic Microbial Communities in the Northeastern Part of the Barents Sea.

Microorganisms, 12(2): pii:microorganisms12020387.

The Barents Sea shelf is one of the most economically promising regions in the Arctic in terms of its resources and geographic location. However, benthic microbial communities of the northeastern Barents Sea are still barely studied. Here, we present a detailed systematic description of the structures of microbial communities located in the sediments and bottom water of the northeastern Barents Sea based on 16S rRNA profiling and a qPCR assessment of the total prokaryotic abundance in 177 samples. Beta- and alpha-diversity analyses revealed a clear difference between the microbial communities of diverse sediment layers and bottom-water fractions. We identified 101 microbial taxa whose representatives had statistically reliable distribution patterns between these ecotopes. Analysis of the correlation between microbial community structure and geological data yielded a number of important results-correlations were found between the abundance of individual microbial taxa and bottom relief, thickness of marine sediments, presence of hydrotrolite interlayers, and the values of pH and Eh. We also demonstrated that a relatively high abundance of prokaryotes in sediments can be caused by the proliferation of Deltaproteobacteria representatives, in particular, sulfate and iron reducers.

RevDate: 2024-02-23

Aswathi KN, Shirke A, Praveen A, et al (2024)

Functioning of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in honey coffee (Coffea canephora) and their effect on metabolites, volatiles and flavor profiles.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 180:114092.

Post-harvesting and microbial activity of coffee play a critical role in the metabolites and the sensory quality of the brew. The pulped natural/honey coffee process is an improvised semi-dry technique consisting of prolonged fermentation of depulped coffee beans excluding washing steps. The starter culture application in coffee industry plays an important role to enhance the cup quality. This work focuses on the fermentation of pulped natural/honey Robusta coffee with a starter culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae MTCC 173) and the identification of fermentation patterns through [1]H NMR, microbial ecology, volatomics and organoleptics of brew. Fermentation was accelerated by yeast populace (10 cfu log/mL) for 192 h. Principal compound analysis performed on [1]H NMR led to the investigation of metabolites such as sugars, alkaloids, alcohols, organic acids and amino acids. Detection of some sugars and organic acids represented that the starter cultures imparted few metabolic changes during the process. A major activity of sugars in fermentation with 83.3 % variance in PC 1 and 16.7 % in PC 2 was observed. The chemical characteristics such as carbohydrates (41.88 ± 0.77 mg/g), polyphenols (34.16 ± 0.79 mg/g), proteins (58.54 ± 0.66 mg/g), caffeine (26.54 ± 0.06 mg/g), and CGA (21.83 ± 0.04 mg/g) were also evaluated. The heatmap-based visualization of GC-MS accorded characterization of additional 5 compounds in treated (T) coffee contributing to sweet, fruity and caramelly odor notes compared to untreated (UT). The sensory outlines 72.5 in T and 70.5 in UT scores. Preparation of honey coffee with Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the first report, which modulated the flavor and quality of coffee.

RevDate: 2024-02-23

Li XM, Hu HF, SC Chen (2024)

Artificial light at night causes community instability of bacteria in urban soils.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)01268-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Urban soils host diverse bacteria crucial for ecosystem functions and urban health. As urbanization rises, artificial light at night (ALAN) imposes disturbances on soil ecosystems, yet how ALAN affects the structure and stability of soil bacterial community remains unclear. Here we coupled short-term incubation experiments, community profiling, network analysis, and in situ field survey to assess the ecological impacts of ALAN. We showed that ALAN influenced bacterial compositions and shifted the bacterial network to a less stable phase, altering nitrogen cycling potential. Such transition in community stability probably resulted from ALAN-induced a decrease in competition and/or an increase in facilitation interactions, in lines with the Stress Gradient Hypothesis. Similar destabilizing effects were also detected in bacterial networks in multiple urban soils subjected to different levels of ALAN stress, supporting the action of ALAN on naturally-occurring soil bacterial community. Overall, our findings highlight ALAN as a new form of anthropogenic stress that jeopardizes the stability of soil bacterial community, which would facilitate ecological projection of expanding ALAN exposure.

RevDate: 2024-02-23

Minahan NT, Chen CH, Chuang YC, et al (2024)

Fungal Spore Richness and Abundance of Allergenic Taxa: Comparing a Portable Impactor and Passive Trap Indoors and Outdoors in an Urban Setting.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):45.

Fungal spores are common airborne allergens, and fungal richness has been implicated in allergic disease. Amplicon sequencing of environmental DNA from air samples is a promising method to estimate fungal spore richness with semi-quantification of hundreds of taxa and can be combined with quantitative PCR to derive abundance estimates. However, it remains unclear how the choice of air sampling method influences these estimates. This study compared active sampling with a portable impactor and passive sampling with a passive trap over different durations to estimate fungal spore richness and the abundance of allergenic taxa. Air sampling was conducted indoors and outdoors at 12 residences, including repeated measurements with a portable impactor and passive traps with 1-day and 7-day durations. ITS2 amplicon sequence data were transformed to spore equivalents estimated by quantitative PCR, repeated active samples were combined, and abundance-based rarefaction was performed to standardize sample coverage for estimation of genus-level richness and spore abundance. Rarefied fungal richness was similar between methods indoors but higher for passive traps with a 7-day duration outdoors. Rarefied abundance of allergenic genera was similar between methods but some genera had lower abundance for passive traps with a 1-day duration, which differed indoors and outdoors indicating stochasticity in the collection of spores on collocated samplers. This study found that similar estimates of fungal spore richness and abundance of allergenic taxa can be obtained using a portable impactor or a passive trap within one day and that increased passive sample duration provides limited additional information.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Hoffstadt K, Nikolausz M, Krafft S, et al (2024)

Optimization of the Ex Situ Biomethanation of Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide in a Novel Meandering Plug Flow Reactor: Start-Up Phase and Flexible Operation.

Bioengineering (Basel, Switzerland), 11(2):.

With the increasing use of renewable energy resources for the power grid, the need for long-term storage technologies, such as power-to-gas systems, is growing. Biomethanation provides the opportunity to store energy in the form of the natural gas-equivalent biomethane. This study investigates a novel plug flow reactor that employs a helical static mixer for the biological methanation of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. In tests, the reactor achieved an average methane production rate of 2.5 LCH4LR∗d (methane production [LCH4] per liter of reactor volume [LR] per day [d]) with a maximum methane content of 94%. It demonstrated good flexibilization properties, as repeated 12 h downtimes did not negatively impact the process. The genera Methanothermobacter and Methanobacterium were predominant during the initial phase, along with volatile organic acid-producing, hydrogenotrophic, and proteolytic bacteria. The average ratio of volatile organic acid to total inorganic carbon increased to 0.52 ± 0.04, while the pH remained stable at an average of pH 8.1 ± 0.25 from day 32 to 98, spanning stable and flexible operation modes. This study contributes to the development of efficient flexible biological methanation systems for sustainable energy storage and management.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Faller L, Leite MFA, EE Kuramae (2024)

Enhancing phosphate-solubilising microbial communities through artificial selection.

Nature communications, 15(1):1649.

Microbial communities, acting as key drivers of ecosystem processes, harbour immense potential for sustainable agriculture practices. Phosphate-solubilising microorganisms, for example, can partially replace conventional phosphate fertilisers, which rely on finite resources. However, understanding the mechanisms and engineering efficient communities poses a significant challenge. In this study, we employ two artificial selection methods, environmental perturbation, and propagation, to construct phosphate-solubilising microbial communities. To assess trait transferability, we investigate the community performance in different media and a hydroponic system with Chrysanthemum indicum. Our findings reveal a distinct subset of phosphate-solubilising bacteria primarily dominated by Klebsiella and Enterobacterales. The propagated communities consistently demonstrate elevated levels of phosphate solubilisation, surpassing the starting soil community by 24.2% in activity. The increased activity of propagated communities remains consistent upon introduction into the hydroponic system. This study shows the efficacy of community-level artificial selection, particularly through propagation, as a tool for successfully modifying microbial communities to enhance phosphate solubilisation.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Zhao Y, Ling N, Liu X, et al (2024)

Altitudinal patterns of alpine soil ammonia-oxidizing community structure and potential nitrification rate.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrogen availability limits the net primary productivity in alpine meadows on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, which is regulated by ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms. However, little is known about the elevational patterns of soil ammonia oxidizers in alpine meadows. Here, we investigated the potential nitrification rate (PNR), abundance, and community diversity of soil ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms along the altitudinal gradient between 3,200 and 4,200 m in Qinghai-Tibetan alpine meadows. We found that both PNR and amoA gene abundance declined from 3,400 to 4,200 m but lowered at 3,200 m, possibly due to intense substrate competition and biological nitrification inhibition from grasses. The primary contributors to soil nitrification were ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), and their proportionate share of soil nitrification increased with altitude in comparison to ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). The alpha diversity of AOA increased by higher temperature and plant richness at low elevations, while decreased by higher moisture and low legume biomass at middle elevations. In contrast, the alpha diversity of AOB increased along elevation. The elevational patterns of AOA and AOB communities were primarily driven by temperature, soil moisture, and vegetation. These findings suggest that elevation-induced climate changes, such as shifts in temperature and water conditions, could potentially alter the soil nitrification process in alpine meadows through changes in vegetation and soil properties, which provide new insights into how soil ammonia oxidizers respond to climate change in alpine meadows.IMPORTANCEThe importance of this study is revealing that elevational patterns and nitrification contributions of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) communities were primarily driven by temperature, soil moisture, and vegetation. Compared to AOB, the relative contribution of AOA to soil nitrification increased at higher elevations. The research highlights the potential impact of elevation-induced climate change on nitrification processes in alpine meadows, mediated by alterations in vegetation and soil properties. By providing new insights into how ammonia oxidizers respond to climate change, this study contributes valuable knowledge to the field of microbial ecology and helps predict ecological responses to environmental changes in alpine meadows.

RevDate: 2024-02-23
CmpDate: 2024-02-22

Van Gerrewey T, Navarrete O, Vandecruys M, et al (2024)

Bacterially enhanced plant-growing media for controlled environment agriculture.

Microbial biotechnology, 17(2):e14422.

Microbe-plant interactions in the root zone not only shape crop performance in soil but also in hydroponic cultivation systems. The biological and physicochemical properties of the plant-growing medium determine the root-associated microbial community and influence bacterial inoculation effectiveness, which affects plant growth. This study investigated the combined impact of plant-growing media composition and bacterial community inoculation on the root-associated bacterial community of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Ten plant-growing media were composed of varying raw materials, including black peat, white peat, coir pith, wood fibre, composted bark, green waste compost, perlite and sand. In addition, five different bacterial community inocula (BCI S1-5) were collected from the roots of lettuce obtained at different farms. After inoculation and cultivation inside a vertical farm, lettuce root-associated bacterial community structures, diversity and compositions were determined by evaluating 16S rRNA gene sequences. The study revealed distinct bacterial community structures among experimental replicates, highlighting the influence of raw material variations on root-associated bacterial communities, even at the batch level. However, bacterial community inoculation allowed modulation of the root-associated bacterial communities independently from the plant-growing medium composition. Bacterial diversity was identified as a key determinant of plant growth performance with green waste compost introducing Bacilli and Actinobacteria, and bacterial community inoculum S3 introducing Pseudomonas, which positively correlated with plant growth. These findings challenge the prevailing notion of hydroponic cultivation systems as sterile environments and highlight the significance of proper plant-growing media raw material selection and bacterial community inoculation in shaping root-associated microbiomes that provide stability through microbial diversity. This study supports the concept of creating bacterially enhanced plant-growing media to promote plant growth in controlled environment agriculture.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Savaglia V, Lambrechts S, Tytgat B, et al (2024)

Geology defines microbiome structure and composition in nunataks and valleys of the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1316633.

Understanding the relation between terrestrial microorganisms and edaphic factors in the Antarctic can provide insights into their potential response to environmental changes. Here we examined the composition of bacterial and micro-eukaryotic communities using amplicon sequencing of rRNA genes in 105 soil samples from the Sør Rondane Mountains (East Antarctica), differing in bedrock or substrate type and associated physicochemical conditions. Although the two most widespread taxa (Acidobacteriota and Chlorophyta) were relatively abundant in each sample, multivariate analysis and co-occurrence networks revealed pronounced differences in community structure depending on substrate type. In moraine substrates, Actinomycetota and Cercozoa were the most abundant bacterial and eukaryotic phyla, whereas on gneiss, granite and marble substrates, Cyanobacteriota and Metazoa were the dominant bacterial and eukaryotic taxa. However, at lower taxonomic level, a distinct differentiation was observed within the Cyanobacteriota phylum depending on substrate type, with granite being dominated by the Nostocaceae family and marble by the Chroococcidiopsaceae family. Surprisingly, metazoans were relatively abundant according to the 18S rRNA dataset, even in samples from the most arid sites, such as moraines in Austkampane and Widerøefjellet ("Dry Valley"). Overall, our study shows that different substrate types support distinct microbial communities, and that mineral soil diversity is a major determinant of terrestrial microbial diversity in inland Antarctic nunataks and valleys.

RevDate: 2024-02-22
CmpDate: 2024-02-22

Papin M, Philippot L, Breuil MC, et al (2024)

Survival of a microbial inoculant in soil after recurrent inoculations.

Scientific reports, 14(1):4177.

Microbial inoculants are attracting growing interest in agriculture, but their efficacy remains unreliable in relation to their poor survival, partly due to the competition with the soil resident community. We hypothesised that recurrent inoculation could gradually alleviate this competition and improve the survival of the inoculant while increasing its impact on the resident bacterial community. We tested the effectiveness of such strategy with four inoculation sequences of Pseudomonas fluorescens strain B177 in soil microcosms with increasing number and frequency of inoculation, compared to a non-inoculated control. Each sequence was carried out at two inoculation densities (10[6] and 10[8] cfu.g soil[-1]). The four-inoculation sequence induced a higher abundance of P. fluorescens, 2 weeks after the last inoculation. No impact of inoculation sequences was observed on the resident community diversity and composition. Differential abundance analysis identified only 28 out of 576 dominants OTUs affected by the high-density inoculum, whatever the inoculation sequence. Recurrent inoculations induced a strong accumulation of nitrate, not explained by the abundance of nitrifying or nitrate-reducing microorganisms. In summary, inoculant density rather than inoculation pattern matters for inoculation effect on the resident bacterial communities, while recurrent inoculation allowed to slightly enhance the survival of the inoculant and strongly increased soil nitrate content.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Kridler MR, Viney IA, Custer JM, et al (2024)

Draft genome sequences of Arthrobacter sp. AZCC_0090 and Mycobacterium sp. AZCC_0083 isolated from oligotrophic subsurface forest soil in the Santa Catalina mountains of Southern Arizona.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Here, we present the genomes of two soil actinobacteria: Arthrobacter sp. strain AZCC_0090 and Mycobacterium sp. strain AZCC_0083, isolated from oligotrophic subsurface soils in Southern Arizona, USA.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Bisesi AT, Möbius W, Nadell CD, et al (2024)

Bacteriophage specificity is impacted by interactions between bacteria.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Predators play a central role in shaping community structure, function, and stability. The degree to which bacteriophage predators (viruses that infect bacteria) evolve to be specialists with a single bacterial prey species versus generalists able to consume multiple types of prey has implications for their effect on microbial communities. The presence and abundance of multiple bacterial prey types can alter selection for phage generalists, but less is known about how interactions between prey shape predator specificity in microbial systems. Using a phenomenological mathematical model of phage and bacterial populations, we find that the dominant phage strategy depends on prey ecology. Given a fitness cost for generalism, generalist predators maintain an advantage when prey species compete, while specialists dominate when prey are obligately engaged in cross-feeding interactions. We test these predictions in a synthetic microbial community with interacting strains of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica by competing a generalist T5-like phage able to infect both prey against P22vir, an S. enterica-specific phage. Our experimental data conform to our modeling expectations when prey species are competing or obligately mutualistic, although our results suggest that the in vitro cost of generalism is caused by a combination of biological mechanisms not anticipated in our model. Our work demonstrates that interactions between bacteria play a role in shaping ecological selection on predator specificity in obligately lytic bacteriophages and emphasizes the diversity of ways in which fitness trade-offs can manifest.IMPORTANCEThere is significant natural diversity in how many different types of bacteria a bacteriophage can infect, but the mechanisms driving this diversity are unclear. This study uses a combination of mathematical modeling and an in vitro system consisting of Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, a T5-like generalist phage, and the specialist phage P22vir to highlight the connection between bacteriophage specificity and interactions between their potential microbial prey. Mathematical modeling suggests that competing bacteria tend to favor generalist bacteriophage, while bacteria that benefit each other tend to favor specialist bacteriophage. Experimental results support this general finding. The experiments also show that the optimal phage strategy is impacted by phage degradation and bacterial physiology. These findings enhance our understanding of how complex microbial communities shape selection on bacteriophage specificity, which may improve our ability to use phage to manage antibiotic-resistant microbial infections.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Hegarty B, Riddell V J, Bastien E, et al (2024)

Benchmarking informatics approaches for virus discovery: caution is needed when combining in silico identification methods.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the ecological impacts of viruses on natural and engineered ecosystems relies on the accurate identification of viral sequences from community sequencing data. To maximize viral recovery from metagenomes, researchers frequently combine viral identification tools. However, the effectiveness of this strategy is unknown. Here, we benchmarked combinations of six widely used informatics tools for viral identification and analysis (VirSorter, VirSorter2, VIBRANT, DeepVirFinder, CheckV, and Kaiju), called "rulesets." Rulesets were tested against mock metagenomes composed of taxonomically diverse sequence types and diverse aquatic metagenomes to assess the effects of the degree of viral enrichment and habitat on tool performance. We found that six rulesets achieved equivalent accuracy [Matthews Correlation Coefficient (MCC) = 0.77, Padj ≥ 0.05]. Each contained VirSorter2, and five used our "tuning removal" rule designed to remove non-viral contamination. While DeepVirFinder, VIBRANT, and VirSorter were each found once in these high-accuracy rulesets, they were not found in combination with each other: combining tools does not lead to optimal performance. Our validation suggests that the MCC plateau at 0.77 is partly caused by inaccurate labeling within reference sequence databases. In aquatic metagenomes, our highest MCC ruleset identified more viral sequences in virus-enriched (44%-46%) than in cellular metagenomes (7%-19%). While improved algorithms may lead to more accurate viral identification tools, this should be done in tandem with careful curation of sequence databases. We recommend using the VirSorter2 ruleset and our empirically derived tuning removal rule. Our analysis provides insight into methods for in silico viral identification and will enable more robust viral identification from metagenomic data sets.IMPORTANCEThe identification of viruses from environmental metagenomes using informatics tools has offered critical insights in microbial ecology. However, it remains difficult for researchers to know which tools optimize viral recovery for their specific study. In an attempt to recover more viruses, studies are increasingly combining the outputs from multiple tools without validating this approach. After benchmarking combinations of six viral identification tools against mock metagenomes and environmental samples, we found that these tools should only be combined cautiously. Two to four tool combinations maximized viral recovery and minimized non-viral contamination compared with either the single-tool or the five- to six-tool ones. By providing a rigorous overview of the behavior of in silico viral identification strategies and a pipeline to replicate our process, our findings guide the use of existing viral identification tools and offer a blueprint for feature engineering of new tools that will lead to higher-confidence viral discovery in microbiome studies.

RevDate: 2024-02-19

O'Hara E, Zaheer R, Andrés-Lasheras S, et al (2024)

Evaluating the liver abscess microbiota of beef cattle during a reduction in Tylosin supplementation shows differences according to abscess size and fraction.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7610903 [Epub ahead of print].

Liver abscesses (LA) resulting from bacterial infection in cattle pose a significant global challenge to beef and dairy industries. Economic losses from liver discounts at slaughter and reduced animal performance drive the need for effective mitigation strategies. Tylosin phosphate supplementation is widely used to reduce LA occurrence, but concerns over antimicrobial overuse emphasize the urgency to explore alternative approaches. Understanding the microbial ecology of LA is crucial to this, and we hypothesised that a reduced timeframe of tylosin delivery would alter LA microbiomes. We conducted 16S rRNA sequencing to assess severe liver abscess bacteriomes in beef cattle supplemented with in-feed tylosin. Our findings revealed that shortening tylosin supplementation did not notably alter microbial communities. Additionally, our findings highlighted the significance of sample processing methods, showing differing communities in bulk purulent material and the capsule-adhered material. Fusobacterium or Bacteroides ASVs dominated LA, alongside probable opportunistic gut pathogens and other microbes. Moreover, we suggest that liver abscess size correlates with microbial community composition. These insights contribute to our understanding of factors impacting liver abscess microbial ecology and will be valuable in identifying antibiotic alternatives. They underscore the importance of exploring varied approaches to address liver abscesses while reducing reliance on in-feed antibiotics.

RevDate: 2024-02-19

Jaber D, Younes N, Khalil E, et al (2024)

Studying Microbial Ecology of Diabetic Foot Infections: Significance of PCR Analysis for Prudent Antimicrobial Stewardship.

The international journal of lower extremity wounds [Epub ahead of print].

This study presents a comprehensive investigation into the microbial ecology of diabetic foot infections (DFIs), using molecular-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis to accurately identify the causative agents. One hundred DFI patients were recruited and classified using the Depth Extent Phase and Associated Etiology (DEPA) score according to their severity. Results revealed polymicrobial infections in 75% of cases, predominantly featuring Staphylococcus epidermidis (83%) and Staphylococcus aureus (63%). Importantly, 20% of samples exhibited facultative anaerobes Bacteroides fragilis or Clostridium perfringens, exclusively in high DEPA score ulcers. Candida albicans coinfection was identified in 19.2% of cases, underscoring the need for mycological evaluation. Empirical antimicrobial therapy regimens were tailored to DEPA severity, yet our findings highlighted a potential gap in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) coverage. Despite an 88% prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococci, vancomycin usage was suboptimal. This raises concerns about the underestimation of MRSA risk and the need for tailored antibiotic guidelines. Our study demonstrates the efficacy of molecular-PCR analysis in identifying diverse microbial communities in DFIs, influencing targeted antibiotic choices. The results advocate for refined antimicrobial guidelines, considering regional variations in microbial patterns and judiciously addressing multidrug-resistant strains. This research contributes crucial insights for optimizing DFIs management and helps the physicians to have a fast decision in selection the suitable antibiotic for each patient and to decrease the risk of bacterial resistance from the improper use of broad-spectrum empirical therapies.

RevDate: 2024-02-19

Rohwer RR, Kirkpatrick M, Garcia SL, et al (2024)

Bacterial ecology and evolution converge on seasonal and decadal scales.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.02.06.579087.

Ecology and evolution are distinct theories, but the short lifespans and large population sizes of microbes allow evolution to unfold along contemporary ecological time scales. To document this in a natural system, we collected a two-decade, 471-metagenome time series from a single site in a freshwater lake, which we refer to as the TYMEFLIES dataset. This massive sampling and sequencing effort resulted in the reconstruction of 30,389 metagenomic-assembled genomes (MAGs) over 50% complete, which dereplicated into 2,855 distinct genomes (>96% nucleotide sequence identity). We found both ecological and evolutionary processes occurred at seasonal time scales. There were recurring annual patterns at the species level in abundances, nucleotide diversities (π), and single nucleotide variant (SNV) profiles for the majority of all taxa. During annual blooms, we observed both higher and lower nucleotide diversity, indicating that both ecological differentiation and competition drove evolutionary dynamics. Overlayed upon seasonal patterns, we observed long-term change in 20% of the species' SNV profiles including gradual changes, step changes, and disturbances followed by resilience. Most abrupt changes occurred in a single species, suggesting evolutionary drivers are highly specific. Nevertheless, seven members of the abundant Nanopelagicaceae family experienced abrupt change in 2012, an unusually hot and dry year. This shift coincided with increased numbers of genes under selection involved in amino acid and nucleic acid metabolism, suggesting fundamental organic nitrogen compounds drive strain differentiation in the most globally abundant freshwater family. Overall, we observed seasonal and decadal trends in both interspecific ecological and intraspecific evolutionary processes. The convergence of microbial ecology and evolution on the same time scales demonstrates that understanding microbiomes requires a new unified approach that views ecology and evolution as a single continuum.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Taherkhani H, KavianFar A, Aminnezhad S, et al (2024)

Deciphering the impact of microbial interactions on COPD exacerbation: An in-depth analysis of the lung microbiome.

Heliyon, 10(4):e24775.

In microbiome studies, the diversity and types of microbes have been extensively explored; however, the significance of microbial ecology is equally paramount. The comprehension of metabolic interactions among the wide array of microorganisms in the lung microbiota is indispensable for understanding chronic pulmonary disease and for the development of potent treatments. In this investigation, metabolic networks were simulated, and ecological theory was employed to assess the diagnosis of COPD, subsequently suggesting innovative treatment strategies for COPD exacerbation. Lung sputum 16S rRNA paired-end data from 112 COPD patients were utilized, and a supervised machine-learning algorithm was applied to identify taxa associated with sex and mortality. Subsequently, an OTU table with Greengenes 99 % dataset was generated. Finally, the interactions between bacterial species were analyzed using a simulated metabolic network. A total of 1781 OTUs and 1740 bacteria at the genus level were identified. We employed an additional dataset to validate our analyses. Notably, among the more abundant genera, Pseudomonas was detected in females, while Lactobacillus was detected in males. Additionally, a decrease in bacterial diversity was observed during COPD exacerbation, and mortality was associated with the high abundance of the Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas genera. Moreover, an increase in Proteobacteria abundance was observed during COPD exacerbations. In contrast, COPD patients exhibited decreased levels of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Significant connections between microbial ecology and bacterial diversity in COPD patients were discovered, highlighting the critical role of microbial ecology in the understanding of COPD. Through the simulation of metabolic interactions among bacteria, the observed dysbiosis in COPD was elucidated. Furthermore, the prominence of anaerobic bacteria in COPD patients was revealed to be influenced by parasitic relationships. These findings have the potential to contribute to improved clinical management strategies for COPD patients.

RevDate: 2024-02-17

Tuts L, Rasschaert G, Heyndrickx M, et al (2024)

Detection of antibiotic residues in groundwater with a validated multiresidue UHPLC-MS/MS quantification method.

Chemosphere pii:S0045-6535(24)00348-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The occurrence of antibiotic residues in the environment has received considerable attention because of their potential to select for bacterial resistance. The overuse of antibiotics in human medicine and animal production results in antibiotic residues entering the aquatic environment, but concentrations are currently not well determined. This study investigates the occurrence of antibiotics in groundwater in areas strongly related to agriculture and the antibiotic treatment of animals. A multiresidue method was validated according to EU Regulation 2021/808, to allow (semi-)quantitative analysis of 78 antibiotics from 10 different classes: β-lactams, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, lincosamides, amphenicols, (fluoro)quinolones, macrolides, pleuromutilins, ansamycins and diaminopyrimidines using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). This method was used to test different storage conditions of these water samples during a stability study over a period of 2 weeks. Sulfonamides, lincosamides and pleuromutilins were the most stable. Degradation was most pronounced for β-lactam antibiotics, macrolides and ansamycins. To maintain stability, storage of samples at -18 °C is preferred. With the validated method, antibiotic residues were detected in groundwater, sampled from regions associated with intensive livestock farming in Flanders (Belgium). Out of 50 samples, 14% contained at least one residue. Concentrations were low, ranging from < LOD to 0.03 μg/L. Chloramphenicol, oxolinic acid, tetracycline and sulfonamides (sulfadiazine, sulfadoxine, sulfamethazine and sulfisoxazole) were detected. This study presents a new method for the quantification of antibiotic residues, which was applied to investigate the presence of antibiotic residues in groundwater in Flanders.

RevDate: 2024-02-19

González-Feijoo R, Santás-Miguel V, Arenas-Lago D, et al (2024)

Effectiveness of cork and pine bark powders as biosorbents for potentially toxic elements present in aqueous solution.

Environmental research, 250:118455 pii:S0013-9351(24)00359-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Cork oak and pine bark, two of the most prolific byproducts of the European forestry sector, were assessed as biosorbents for eliminating potentially toxic elements (PTEs) from water-based solutions. Our research suggests that bioadsorption stands out as a viable and environmental eco-friendly technology, presenting a sustainable method for the extraction of PTEs from polluted water sources. This study aimed to evaluate and compare the efficiency of cork powder and pine bark powder as biosorbents. Specifically, the adsorption of Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd, Ni, Pb and Sn at equilibrium were studied through batch experiments by varying PTEs concentrations, pH, and ionic strength. Results from adsorption-desorption experiments demonstrate the remarkable capacity of both materials to retain the studied PTE. Cork powder and pine bark powder exhibited the maximum retention capacity for Fe and Cd, while they performed poorly for Pb and Sn, respectively. Nevertheless, pine bark showed a slightly lower retention capacity than cork. Increasing the pH resulted in cork showing the highest adsorption for Zn and the lowest for Sn, while for pine bark, Cd was the most adsorbed, and Sn was the least adsorbed, respectively. The highest adsorption of both materials occurred at pH 3.5-5, depending on the PTE tested. The ionic strength also influenced the adsorption of the various PTEs for both materials, with decreased adsorption as ionic strength increased. The findings suggest that both materials could be effective for capturing and eliminating the examined PTEs, albeit with different efficiencies. Remarkably, pine bark demonstrated superior adsorption capabilities, which were observed to vary based on the specific element and the experimental conditions. These findings contribute to elucidating the bio-adsorption potential of these natural materials, specifically their suitability in mitigating PTEs pollution, and favoring the recycling and revalorization of byproducts that might otherwise be considered residue.

RevDate: 2024-02-20
CmpDate: 2024-02-19

LeBlanc NR, FC Harrigian (2024)

Green Waste Compost Impacts Microbial Functions Related to Carbohydrate Use and Active Dispersal in Plant Pathogen-Infested Soil.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):44.

The effects of compost on physical and chemical characteristics of soil are well-studied but impacts on soil microbiomes are poorly understood. This research tested effects of green waste compost on bacterial communities in soil infested with the plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. Compost was added to pathogen-infested soil and maintained in mesocosms in a greenhouse experiment and replicated growth chamber experiments. Bacteria and F. oxysporum abundance were quantified using quantitative PCR. Taxonomic and functional characteristics of bacterial communities were measured using shotgun metagenome sequencing. Compost significantly increased bacterial abundance 8 weeks after amendment in one experiment. Compost increased concentrations of chemical characteristics of soil, including phosphorus, potassium, organic matter, and pH. In all experiments, compost significantly reduced abundance of F. oxysporum and altered the taxonomic composition of soil bacterial communities. Sixteen bacterial genera were significantly increased from compost in every experiment, potentially playing a role in pathogen suppression. In all experiments, there was a consistent negative effect of compost on functions related to carbohydrate use and a positive effect on bacteria with flagella. Results from this work demonstrate that compost can reduce the abundance of soilborne plant pathogens and raise questions about the role of microbes in plant pathogen suppression.

RevDate: 2024-02-17

Wang J, Zhu YG, Tiedje JM, et al (2024)

Global biogeography and ecological implications of cobamide-producing prokaryotes.

The ISME journal pii:7584593 [Epub ahead of print].

Cobamides, a class of essential coenzymes synthesized only by a subset of prokaryotes, are model nutrients in microbial interaction studies and play significant roles in global ecosystems. Yet, their spatial patterns and functional roles remain poorly understood. Herein, we present an in-depth examination of cobamide-producing microorganisms, drawn from a comprehensive analysis of 2862 marine and 2979 soil metagenomic samples. A total of 1934 non-redundant Metagenome-Assembled Genomes (MAGs) potentially capable of producing cobamides de novo were identified. The cobamide-producing MAGs are taxonomically diverse but habitat specific. They constituted only a fraction of all the recovered MAGs, with the majority of MAGs being potential cobamide users. By mapping the distribution of cobamide producers in marine and soil environments, distinct latitudinal gradients were observed: the marine environment showed peak abundance at the equator, whereas soil environments peaked at mid-latitudes. Importantly, significant and positive links between the abundance of cobamide producers and the diversity and functions of microbial communities was observed, as well as their promotional roles in essential biogeochemical cycles. These associations were more pronounced in marine samples than in soil samples, which suggests a heightened propensity for microorganisms to engage in cobamide sharing in fluid environments relative to the more spatially restricted soil environment. These findings shed light on the global patterns and potential ecological roles of cobamide-producing microorganisms in marine and soil ecosystems, enhancing our understanding of large-scale microbial interactions.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Paes da Costa D, das Graças Espíndola da Silva T, Sérgio Ferreira Araujo A, et al (2024)

Soil fertility impact on recruitment and diversity of the soil microbiome in sub-humid tropical pastures in Northeastern Brazil.

Scientific reports, 14(1):3919.

Soil fertility is key point to pastures systems and drives the microbial communities and their functionality. Therefore, an understanding of the interaction between soil fertility and microbial communities can increase our ability to manage pasturelands and maintain their soil functioning and productivity. This study probed the influence of soil fertility on microbial communities in tropical pastures in Brazil. Soil samples, gathered from the top 20 cm of twelve distinct areas with diverse fertility levels, were analyzed via 16S rRNA sequencing. The soils were subsequently classified into two categories, namely high fertility (HF) and low fertility (LF), using the K-Means clustering. The random forest analysis revealed that high fertility (HF) soils had more bacterial diversity, predominantly Proteobacteria, Nitrospira, Chloroflexi, and Bacteroidetes, while Acidobacteria increased in low fertility (LF) soils. High fertility (HF) soils exhibited more complex network interactions and an enrichment of nitrogen-cycling bacterial groups. Additionally, functional annotation based on 16S rRNA varied between clusters. Microbial groups in HF soil demonstrated enhanced functions such as nitrate reduction, aerobic ammonia oxidation, and aromatic compound degradation. In contrast, in the LF soil, the predominant processes were ureolysis, cellulolysis, methanol oxidation, and methanotrophy. Our findings expand our knowledge about how soil fertility drives bacterial communities in pastures.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Fenibo EO, Nkuna R, T Matambo (2024)

Impact of artisanal refining activities on bacterial diversity in a Niger Delta fallow land.

Scientific reports, 14(1):3866.

Hydrocarbon pollution is a major ecological problem facing oil-producing countries, especially in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In this study, a site that had been previously polluted by artisanal refining activity was investigated using 16S rRNA Illumina high-throughput sequencing technology and bioinformatics tools. These were used to investigate the bacterial diversity in soil with varying degrees of contamination, determined with a gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID). Soil samples were collected from a heavily polluted (HP), mildly polluted (MP), and unpolluted (control sample, CS) portion of the study site. DNA was extracted using the Zymo Research (ZR) Fungi/Bacteria DNA MiniPrep kit, followed by PCR amplification and agarose gel electrophoresis. The microbiome was characterized based on the V3 and V4 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. QIIME (Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology) 2 software was used to analyse the sequence data. The final data set covered 20,640 demultiplexed high-quality reads and a total of 160 filtered bacterial OTUs. Proteobacteria dominated samples HP and CS, while Actinobacteria dominated sample MP. Denitratisoma, Pseudorhodoplanes, and Spirilospora were the leading genera in samples HP, CS, and MP respectively. Diversity analysis indicated that CS [with 25.98 ppm of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH)] is more diverse than HP (with 490,630 ppm of TPH) and MP (with 5398 ppm of TPH). A functional prediction study revealed that six functional modules dominated the dataset, with metabolism covering up to 70%, and 11 metabolic pathways. This study demonstrates that a higher hydrocarbon concentration in soil adversely impacts microbial diversity, creating a narrow bacterial diversity dominated by hydrocarbon-degrading species, in addition to the obvious land and ecosystem degradation caused by artisanal refining activities. Overall, the artisanal refining business is significantly driving ecosystem services losses in the Niger Delta, which calls for urgent intervention, with focus on bioremediation.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Díez-Vives C, A Riesgo (2024)

High compositional and functional similarity in the microbiome of deep-sea sponges.

The ISME journal, 18(1):.

Sponges largely depend on their symbiotic microbes for their nutrition, health, and survival. This is especially true in high microbial abundance (HMA) sponges, where filtration is usually deprecated in favor of a larger association with prokaryotic symbionts. Sponge-microbiome association is substantially less understood for deep-sea sponges than for shallow water species. This is most unfortunate, since HMA sponges can form massive sponge grounds in the deep sea, where they dominate the ecosystems, driving their biogeochemical cycles. Here, we assess the microbial transcriptional profile of three different deep-sea HMA sponges in four locations of the Cantabrian Sea and compared them to shallow water HMA and LMA (low microbial abundance) sponge species. Our results reveal that the sponge microbiome has converged in a fundamental metabolic role for deep-sea sponges, independent of taxonomic relationships or geographic location, which is shared in broad terms with shallow HMA species. We also observed a large number of redundant microbial members performing the same functions, likely providing stability to the sponge inner ecosystem. A comparison between the community composition of our deep-sea sponges and another 39 species of HMA sponges from deep-sea and shallow habitats, belonging to the same taxonomic orders, suggested strong homogeneity in microbial composition (i.e. weak species-specificity) in deep sea species, which contrasts with that observed in shallow water counterparts. This convergence in microbiome composition and functionality underscores the adaptation to an extremely restrictive environment with the aim of exploiting the available resources.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Layoun P, López-Pérez M, Haro-Moreno JM, et al (2024)

Flexible genomic island conservation across freshwater and marine Methylophilaceae.

The ISME journal, 18(1):.

The evolutionary trajectory of Methylophilaceae includes habitat transitions from freshwater sediments to freshwater and marine pelagial that resulted in genome reduction (genome-streamlining) of the pelagic taxa. However, the extent of genetic similarities in the genomic structure and microdiversity of the two genome-streamlined pelagic lineages (freshwater "Ca. Methylopumilus" and the marine OM43 lineage) has so far never been compared. Here, we analyzed complete genomes of 91 "Ca. Methylopumilus" strains isolated from 14 lakes in Central Europe and 12 coastal marine OM43 strains. The two lineages showed a remarkable niche differentiation with clear species-specific differences in habitat preference and seasonal distribution. On the other hand, we observed a synteny preservation in their genomes by having similar locations and types of flexible genomic islands (fGIs). Three main fGIs were identified: a replacement fGI acting as phage defense, an additive fGI harboring metabolic and resistance-related functions, and a tycheposon containing nitrogen-, thiamine-, and heme-related functions. The fGIs differed in relative abundances in metagenomic datasets suggesting different levels of variability ranging from strain-specific to population-level adaptations. Moreover, variations in one gene seemed to be responsible for different growth at low substrate concentrations and a potential biogeographic separation within one species. Our study provides a first insight into genomic microdiversity of closely related taxa within the family Methylophilaceae and revealed remarkably similar dynamics involving mobile genetic elements and recombination between freshwater and marine family members.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Sher AW, Aufrecht JA, Herrera D, et al (2024)

Dynamic nitrogen fixation in an aerobic endophyte of Populus.

The ISME journal, 18(1):.

Biological nitrogen fixation by microbial diazotrophs can contribute significantly to nitrogen availability in non-nodulating plant species. In this study of molecular mechanisms and gene expression relating to biological nitrogen fixation, the aerobic nitrogen-fixing endophyte Burkholderia vietnamiensis, strain WPB, isolated from Populus trichocarpa served as a model for endophyte-poplar interactions. Nitrogen-fixing activity was observed to be dynamic on nitrogen-free medium with a subset of colonies growing to form robust, raised globular like structures. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) confirmed that N-fixation was uneven within the population. A fluorescent transcriptional reporter (GFP) revealed that the nitrogenase subunit nifH is not uniformly expressed across genetically identical colonies of WPB and that only ~11% of the population was actively expressing the nifH gene. Higher nifH gene expression was observed in clustered cells through monitoring individual bacterial cells using single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization. Through 15N2 enrichment, we identified key nitrogenous metabolites and proteins synthesized by WPB and employed targeted metabolomics in active and inactive populations. We cocultivated WPB Pnif-GFP with poplar within a RhizoChip, a synthetic soil habitat, which enabled direct imaging of microbial nifH expression within root epidermal cells. We observed that nifH expression is localized to the root elongation zone where the strain forms a unique physical interaction with the root cells. This work employed comprehensive experimentation to identify novel mechanisms regulating both biological nitrogen fixation and beneficial plant-endophyte interactions.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Gottel NR, Hill MS, Neal MJ, et al (2024)

Biocontrol in built environments to reduce pathogen exposure and infection risk.

The ISME journal, 18(1):.

The microbiome of the built environment comprises bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and viral communities associated with human-made structures. Even though most of these microbes are benign, antibiotic-resistant pathogens can colonize and emerge indoors, creating infection risk through surface transmission or inhalation. Several studies have catalogued the microbial composition and ecology in different built environment types. These have informed in vitro studies that seek to replicate the physicochemical features that promote pathogenic survival and transmission, ultimately facilitating the development and validation of intervention techniques used to reduce pathogen accumulation. Such interventions include using Bacillus-based cleaning products on surfaces or integrating bacilli into printable materials. Though this work is in its infancy, early research suggests the potential to use microbial biocontrol to reduce hospital- and home-acquired multidrug-resistant infections. Although these techniques hold promise, there is an urgent need to better understand the microbial ecology of built environments and to determine how these biocontrol solutions alter species interactions. This review covers our current understanding of microbial ecology of the built environment and proposes strategies to translate that knowledge into effective biocontrol of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Yu XA, McLean C, Hehemann JH, et al (2024)

Low-level resource partitioning supports coexistence among functionally redundant bacteria during successional dynamics.

The ISME journal, 18(1):.

Members of microbial communities can substantially overlap in substrate use. However, what enables functionally redundant microorganisms to coassemble or even stably coexist remains poorly understood. Here, we show that during unstable successional dynamics on complex, natural organic matter, functionally redundant bacteria can coexist by partitioning low-concentration substrates even though they compete for one simple, dominant substrate. We allowed ocean microbial communities to self-assemble on leachates of the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus and then analyzed the competition among 10 taxonomically diverse isolates representing two distinct stages of the succession. All, but two isolates, exhibited an average of 90% ± 6% pairwise overlap in resource use, and functional redundancy of isolates from the same assembly stage was higher than that from between assembly stages, leading us to construct a simpler four-isolate community with two isolates from each of the early and late stages. We found that, although the short-term dynamics of the four-isolate communities in F. vesiculosus leachate was dependent on initial isolate ratios, in the long term, the four isolates stably coexist in F. vesiculosus leachate, albeit with some strains at low abundance. We therefore explored the potential for nonredundant substrate use by genomic content analysis and RNA expression patterns. This analysis revealed that the four isolates mainly differed in peripheral metabolic pathways, such as the ability to degrade pyrimidine, leucine, and tyrosine, as well as aromatic substrates. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale differences in metabolic strategies for supporting the frequently observed coexistence of large numbers of rare organisms in natural microbiomes.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Shen L, Liu Y, Chen L, et al (2024)

Genomic basis of environmental adaptation in the widespread poly-extremophilic Exiguobacterium group.

The ISME journal, 18(1):.

Delineating cohesive ecological units and determining the genetic basis for their environmental adaptation are among the most important objectives in microbiology. In the last decade, many studies have been devoted to characterizing the genetic diversity in microbial populations to address these issues. However, the impact of extreme environmental conditions, such as temperature and salinity, on microbial ecology and evolution remains unclear so far. In order to better understand the mechanisms of adaptation, we studied the (pan)genome of Exiguobacterium, a poly-extremophile bacterium able to grow in a wide range of environments, from permafrost to hot springs. To have the genome for all known Exiguobacterium type strains, we first sequenced those that were not yet available. Using a reverse-ecology approach, we showed how the integration of phylogenomic information, genomic features, gene and pathway enrichment data, regulatory element analyses, protein amino acid composition, and protein structure analyses of the entire Exiguobacterium pangenome allows to sharply delineate ecological units consisting of mesophilic, psychrophilic, halophilic-mesophilic, and halophilic-thermophilic ecotypes. This in-depth study clarified the genetic basis of the defined ecotypes and identified some key mechanisms driving the environmental adaptation to extreme environments. Our study points the way to organizing the vast microbial diversity into meaningful ecologically units, which, in turn, provides insight into how microbial communities adapt and respond to different environmental conditions in a changing world.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Zheng Y, Wang B, Gao P, et al (2024)

Novel order-level lineage of ammonia-oxidizing archaea widespread in marine and terrestrial environments.

The ISME journal, 18(1):.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are among the most ubiquitous and abundant archaea on Earth, widely distributed in marine, terrestrial, and geothermal ecosystems. However, the genomic diversity, biogeography, and evolutionary process of AOA populations in subsurface environments are vastly understudied compared to those in marine and soil systems. Here, we report a novel AOA order Candidatus (Ca.) Nitrosomirales which forms a sister lineage to the thermophilic Ca. Nitrosocaldales. Metagenomic and 16S rRNA gene-read mapping demonstrates the abundant presence of Nitrosomirales AOA in various groundwater environments and their widespread distribution across a range of geothermal, terrestrial, and marine habitats. Terrestrial Nitrosomirales AOA show the genetic capacity of using formate as a source of reductant and using nitrate as an alternative electron acceptor. Nitrosomirales AOA appear to have acquired key metabolic genes and operons from other mesophilic populations via horizontal gene transfer, including genes encoding urease, nitrite reductase, and V-type ATPase. The additional metabolic versatility conferred by acquired functions may have facilitated their radiation into a variety of subsurface, marine, and soil environments. We also provide evidence that each of the four AOA orders spans both marine and terrestrial habitats, which suggests a more complex evolutionary history for major AOA lineages than previously proposed. Together, these findings establish a robust phylogenomic framework of AOA and provide new insights into the ecology and adaptation of this globally abundant functional guild.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Duan Y, Li Y, Zhao J, et al (2024)

Changes in Microbial Composition During the Succession of Biological Soil Crusts in Alpine Hulun Buir Sandy Land, China.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):43.

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are considered "desert ecosystem engineers" because they play a vital role in the restoration and stability maintenance of deserts, including those cold sandy land ecosystems at high latitudes, which are especially understudied. Microorganisms participate in the formation and succession of biocrusts, contributing to soil properties' improvement and the stability of soil aggregates, and thus vegetation development. Accordingly, understanding the composition and successional characteristics of microorganisms is a prerequisite for analyzing the ecological functions of biocrusts and related applications. Here, the Hulun Buir Sandy Land region in northeastern China-lying at the highest latitude of any sandy land in the country-was selected for study. Through a field investigation and next-generation sequencing (Illumina MiSeq PE300 Platform), our goal was to assess the shifts in diversity and community composition of soil bacteria and fungi across different stages during the succession of biocrusts in this region, and to uncover the main factors involved in shaping their soil microbial community. The results revealed that the nutrient enrichment capacity of biocrusts for available nitrogen, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, total content of water-soluble salt, available potassium, soil organic matter, and available phosphorus was progressively enhanced by the succession of cyanobacterial crusts to lichen crusts and then to moss crusts. In tandem, soil bacterial diversity increased as biocrust succession proceeded but fungal diversity decreased. A total of 32 bacterial phyla and 11 fungal phyla were identified, these also known to occur in other desert ecosystems. Among those taxa, the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria significantly increased and decreased, respectively, along the cyanobacterial crust-lichen-moss crust successional gradient. However, for Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria their changed relative abundance was significantly hump-shaped, increasing in the shift from cyanobacterial crust to lichen crust, and then decreasing as lichen crust shifted to moss crust. In this process, the improved soil properties effectively enhanced soil bacterial and fungal community composition. Altogether, these findings broaden our understanding about how soil microbial properties can change during the succession of biocrusts in high-latitude, cold sandy land ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-02-17

Pasciullo Boychuck S, Brenner LJ, Gagorik CN, et al (2024)

The gut microbiomes of Channel Island foxes and island spotted skunks exhibit fine-scale differentiation across host species and island populations.

Ecology and evolution, 14(2):e11017.

California's Channel Islands are home to two endemic mammalian carnivores: island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) and island spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis amphiala). Although it is rare for two insular terrestrial carnivores to coexist, these known competitors persist on both Santa Cruz Island and Santa Rosa Island. We hypothesized that examination of their gut microbial communities would provide insight into the factors that enable this coexistence, as microbial symbionts often reflect host evolutionary history and contemporary ecology. Using rectal swabs collected from island foxes and island spotted skunks sampled across both islands, we generated 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing data to characterize their gut microbiomes. While island foxes and island spotted skunks both harbored the core mammalian microbiome, host species explained the largest proportion of variation in the dataset. We further identified intraspecific variation between island populations, with greater differentiation observed between more specialist island spotted skunk populations compared to more generalist island fox populations. This pattern may reflect differences in resource utilization following fine-scale niche differentiation. It may further reflect evolutionary differences regarding the timing of intraspecific separation. Considered together, this study contributes to the growing catalog of wildlife microbiome studies, with important implications for understanding how eco-evolutionary processes enable the coexistence of terrestrial carnivores-and their microbiomes-in island environments.

RevDate: 2024-02-17

Parks M, Lee JS, Camua K, et al (2024)

Turtle species and ecology drive carapace microbiome diversity in three seasonally interconnected wetland habitats.

Access microbiology, 6(1):.

Different species of freshwater turtles exhibit primary behaviours ranging from aerial basking to benthic bottom-walking, cycle between wet and dry conditions at different time intervals, and undertake short-distance overland movements between aquatic habitats. These behaviours in turn may impact the accumulation of microbes on external shell surfaces of turtles and provide novel niches for differentiation of microbial communities. We assessed microbial diversity using 16S and 18S rRNA metabarcoding on carapace surfaces of six species of freshwater turtles residing in three adjacent and seasonally interconnected wetland habitats in southeast Oklahoma (United States). Communities were highly diverse, with nearly 4200 prokaryotic and 500 micro-eukaryotic amplicon sequence variants recovered, and included taxa previously reported as common or differentially abundant on turtle shells. The 16S rRNA alpha diversity tended to be highest for two species of benthic turtles, while 18S rRNA alpha diversity was highest for two basking and one shallow-water benthic species. Beta diversity of communities was more strongly differentiated by turtle species than by collection site, and ordination patterns were largely reflective of turtle species' primary habits (i.e. benthic, basking, or benthic-basking). Our data support that freshwater turtles could play a role in microbial ecology and evolution in freshwater habitats and warrant additional exploration including in areas with high native turtle diversity and inter-habitat turtle movements.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Fickling NW, Abbott CA, Brame JE, et al (2024)

Light-dark cycles may influence in situ soil bacterial networks and diurnally-sensitive taxa.

Ecology and evolution, 14(2):e11018.

Soil bacterial taxa have important functional roles in ecosystems (e.g. nutrient cycling, soil formation, plant health). Many factors influence their assembly and regulation, with land cover types (e.g. open woodlands, grasslands), land use types (e.g. nature reserves, urban green space) and plant-soil feedbacks being well-studied factors. However, changes in soil bacterial communities in situ over light-dark cycles have received little attention, despite many plants and some bacteria having endogenous circadian rhythms that could influence soil bacterial communities. We sampled surface soils in situ across 24-h light-dark cycles (at 00:00, 06:00, 12:00, 18:00) at two land cover types (remnant vegetation vs. cleared, grassy areas) and applied 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to investigate changes in bacterial communities. We show that land cover type strongly affected soil bacterial diversity, with soils under native vegetation expressing 15.4%-16.4% lower alpha diversity but 4.9%-10.6% greater heterogeneity than soils under cleared vegetation. In addition, we report time-dependent and site-specific changes in bacterial network complexity and between 598-922 ASVs showing significant changes in relative abundance across times. Native site node degree (bacterial interactions) at the phylum level was 16.0% higher in the early morning than in the afternoon/evening. Our results demonstrate for the first time that light-dark cycles have subtle yet important effects on soil bacterial communities in situ and that land cover influences these dynamics. We provide a new view of soil microbial ecology and suggest that future studies should consider the time of day when sampling soil bacteria.

RevDate: 2024-02-16
CmpDate: 2024-02-16

van Bergeijk DA, Augustijn HE, Elsayed SS, et al (2024)

Taxonomic and metabolic diversity of Actinomycetota isolated from faeces of a 28,000-year-old mammoth.

Environmental microbiology, 26(2):e16589.

Ancient environmental samples, including permafrost soils and frozen animal remains, represent an archive with microbial communities that have barely been explored. This yet unexplored microbial world is a genetic resource that may provide us with new evolutionary insights into recent genomic changes, as well as novel metabolic pathways and chemistry. Here, we describe Actinomycetota Micromonospora, Oerskovia, Saccharopolyspora, Sanguibacter and Streptomyces species were successfully revived and their genome sequences resolved. Surprisingly, the genomes of these bacteria from an ancient source show a large phylogenetic distance to known strains and harbour many novel biosynthetic gene clusters that may well represent uncharacterised biosynthetic potential. Metabolic profiles of the strains display the production of known molecules like antimycin, conglobatin and macrotetrolides, but the majority of the mass features could not be dereplicated. Our work provides insights into Actinomycetota isolated from an ancient source, yielding unexplored genomic information that is not yet present in current databases.

RevDate: 2024-02-16
CmpDate: 2024-02-16

Xian WD, Ding J, Chen J, et al (2024)

Distinct Assembly Processes Structure Planktonic Bacterial Communities Among Near- and Offshore Ecosystems in the Yangtze River Estuary.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):42.

The estuarine system functions as natural filters due to its ability to facilitate material transformation, planktonic bacteria play a crucial role in the cycling of complex nutrients and pollutants within estuaries, and understanding the community composition and assembly therein is crucial for comprehending bacterial ecology within estuaries. Despite extensive investigations into the composition and community assembly of two bacterial fractions (free-living, FLB; particle-attached, PAB), the process by which bacterioplankton communities in these two habitats assemble in the nearshore and offshore zones of estuarine ecosystems remains poorly understood. In this study, we conducted sampling in the Yangtze River Estuary (YRE) to investigate potential variations in the composition and community assembly of FLB and PAB in nearshore and offshore regions. We collected 90 samples of surface, middle, and bottom water from 16 sampling stations and performed 16S rRNA gene amplicon analysis along with environmental factor measurements. The results unveiled that the nearshore communities demonstrated significantly greater species richness and Chao1 indices compared to the offshore communities. In contrast, the nearshore communities had lower values of Shannon and Simpson indices. When compared to the FLB, the PAB exhibit a higher level of biodiversity and abundance. However, no distinct alpha and beta diversity differences were observed between the bottom, middle, and surface water layers. The community assembly analysis indicated that nearshore communities are predominantly shaped by deterministic processes, particularly due to heterogeneous selection of PAB; In contrast, offshore communities are governed more by stochastic processes, largely due to homogenizing dispersal of FLB. Consequently, the findings of this study demonstrate that nearshore and PAB communities exhibit higher levels of species diversity, while stochastic and deterministic processes exert distinct influences on communities among near- and offshore regions. This study further sheds new light on our understanding of the mechanisms governing bacterial communities in estuarine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-02-16
CmpDate: 2024-02-16

Doré H, Eisenberg AR, Junkins EN, et al (2024)

Targeted hypermutation of putative antigen sensors in multicellular bacteria.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(9):e2316469121.

Diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs) are used by bacteria, archaea, and viruses as a targeted mutagenesis tool. Through error-prone reverse transcription, DGRs introduce random mutations at specific genomic loci, enabling rapid evolution of these targeted genes. However, the function and benefits of DGR-diversified proteins in cellular hosts remain elusive. We find that 82% of DGRs from one of the major monophyletic lineages of DGR reverse transcriptases are encoded by multicellular bacteria, which often have two or more DGR loci in their genomes. Using the multicellular purple sulfur bacterium Thiohalocapsa sp. PB-PSB1 as an example, we characterized nine distinct DGR loci capable of generating 10[282] different combinations of target proteins. With environmental metagenomes from individual Thiohalocapsa aggregates, we show that most of PB-PSB1's DGR target genes are diversified across its biogeographic range, with spatial heterogeneity in the diversity of each locus. In Thiohalocapsa PB-PSB1 and other bacteria hosting this lineage of cellular DGRs, the diversified target genes are associated with NACHT-domain anti-phage defenses and putative ternary conflict systems previously shown to be enriched in multicellular bacteria. We propose that these DGR-diversified targets act as antigen sensors that confer a form of adaptive immunity to their multicellular consortia, though this remains to be experimentally tested. These findings could have implications for understanding the evolution of multicellularity, as the NACHT-domain anti-phage systems and ternary systems share both domain homology and conceptual similarities with the innate immune and programmed cell death pathways of plants and metazoans.

RevDate: 2024-02-15
CmpDate: 2024-02-15

Morelle J, Bastos A, Frankenbach S, et al (2024)

The Photoprotective Behavior of a Motile Benthic Diatom as Elucidated from the Interplay Between Cell Motility and Physiological Responses to a Light Microgradient Using a Novel Experimental Setup.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):40.

It has long been hypothesized that benthic motile pennate diatoms use phototaxis to optimize photosynthesis and minimize photoinhibitory damage by adjusting their position within vertical light gradients in coastal benthic sediments. However, experimental evidence to test this hypothesis remains inconclusive, mainly due to methodological difficulties in studying cell behavior and photosynthesis over realistic spatial microscale gradients of irradiance and cell position. In this study, a novel experimental approach was developed and used to test the hypothesis of photosynthesis optimization through motility, based on the combination of single-cell in vivo chlorophyll fluorometry and microfluidic chips. The approach allows the concurrent study of behavior and photosynthetic activity of individual cells of the epipelic diatom species Craspedostauros britannicus exposed to a light microgradient of realistic dimensions, simulating the irradiance and distance scales of light microgradients in benthic sediments. Following exposure to light, (i) cells explored their light environment before initiating light-directed motility; (ii) cells used motility to lower their light dose, when exposed to the highest light intensities; and (iii) motility was combined with reversible non-photochemical quenching, to allow cells to avoid photoinhibition. The results of this proof-of-concept study not only strongly support the photoprotective nature of photobehavior in the studied species but also revealed considerable variability in how individual cells reacted to a light microgradient. The experimental setup can be readily applied to study motility and photosynthetic light responses of other diatom species or natural assemblages, as well as other photoautotrophic motile microorganisms, broadening the toolset for experimental microbial ecology research.

RevDate: 2024-02-15
CmpDate: 2024-02-15

Arbulu S, M Kjos (2024)

Revisiting the Multifaceted Roles of Bacteriocins : The Multifaceted Roles of Bacteriocins.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):41.

Bacteriocins are gene-encoded antimicrobial peptides produced by bacteria. These peptides are heterogeneous in terms of structure, antimicrobial activities, biosynthetic clusters, and regulatory mechanisms. Bacteriocins are widespread in nature and may contribute to microbial diversity due to their capacity to target specific bacteria. Primarily studied as food preservatives and therapeutic agents, their function in natural settings is however less known. This review emphasizes the ecological significance of bacteriocins as multifunctional peptides by exploring bacteriocin distribution, mobility, and their impact on bacterial population dynamics and biofilms.

RevDate: 2024-02-15

Choudhary M, Minsavage GV, Goss EM, et al (2024)

Whole-Genome-Sequence-Based Classification of Xanthomonas euvesicatoria pv. eucalypti and Computational Analysis of the Type III Secretion System.

Phytopathology [Epub ahead of print].

Xanthomonas spp. infect a wide range of annual and perennial plants. Bacterial blight in young seedlings of Eucalyptus spp. in Indonesia was originally identified as X. perforans. However, these strains failed to elicit a hypersensitive response (HR) on either tomatoes or peppers. Two of the strains, EPK43 and BCC 972, when infiltrated into tomato and pepper leaves, failed to grow to significant levels in comparison with well-characterized X. euvesicatoria pv. perforans (Xp) strains. Furthermore, spray inoculation of 'Bonny Best' tomato plants with a bacterial suspension of the Eucalyptus strains resulted in no obvious symptoms. We sequenced the whole genomes of eight strains isolated from two Eucalyptus species between 2007 and 2015. The strains had average nucleotide identities (ANIs) of at least 97.8 with Xp and X. euvesicatoria pv. euvesicatoria (Xeu) strains, both of which are causal agents of bacterial spot of tomatoes and peppers. A comparison of the Eucalyptus strains revealed that the ANI values were >99.99% with each other. Core genome phylogeny clustered all Eucalyptus strains with X. euvesicatoria pv. rosa. They formed separate clades, which included X. euvesicatoria pv. alangii, X. euvesicatoria pv. citrumelonis, and X. euvesicatoria pv. alfalfae. Based on ANI, phylogenetic relationships, and pathogenicity, we designated these Eucalyptus strains as X. euvesicatoria pv. eucalypti (Xee). Comparative analysis of sequenced strains provided unique profiles of type III secretion effectors. Core effector XopD, present in all pathogenic Xp and Xeu strains, was absent in the Xee strains. Comparison of the hrp clusters of Xee, Xp, and Xeu genomes revealed that HrpE in Xee strains was very different from that in Xp and Xeu. To determine if it was functional, we deleted the gene and complemented with the Xee hrpE, confirming it was essential for secretion of type III effectors. HrpE has a hypervariable N-terminus in Xanthomonas spp., in which the N-terminus of Xee strains differs significantly from those of Xeu and Xp strains.

RevDate: 2024-02-15

Crous PW, Osieck ER, Jurjević Ž, et al (2021)

Fungal Planet description sheets: 1284-1382.

Persoonia, 47:178-374.

Novel species of fungi described in this study include those from various countries as follows: Antartica, Cladosporium austrolitorale from coastal sea sand. Australia, Austroboletus yourkae on soil, Crepidotus innuopurpureus on dead wood, Curvularia stenotaphri from roots and leaves of Stenotaphrum secundatum and Thecaphora stajsicii from capsules of Oxalis radicosa. Belgium, Paraxerochrysium coryli (incl. Paraxerochrysium gen. nov.) from Corylus avellana. Brazil, Calvatia nordestina on soil, Didymella tabebuiicola from leaf spots on Tabebuia aurea, Fusarium subflagellisporum from hypertrophied floral and vegetative branches of Mangifera indica and Microdochium maculosum from living leaves of Digitaria insularis. Canada, Cuphophyllus bondii from a grassland. Croatia, Mollisia inferiseptata from a rotten Laurus nobilis trunk. Cyprus, Amanita exilis on calcareous soil. Czech Republic, Cytospora hippophaicola from wood of symptomatic Vaccinium corymbosum. Denmark, Lasiosphaeria deviata on pieces of wood and herbaceous debris. Dominican Republic, Calocybella goethei among grass on a lawn. France (Corsica), Inocybe corsica on wet ground. France (French Guiana), Trechispora patawaensis on decayed branch of unknown angiosperm tree and Trechispora subregularis on decayed log of unknown angiosperm tree. Germany, Paramicrothecium sambuci (incl. Paramicrothecium gen. nov.) on dead stems of Sambucus nigra. India, Aureobasidium microtermitis from the gut of a Microtermes sp. termite, Laccaria diospyricola on soil and Phylloporia tamilnadensis on branches of Catunaregam spinosa. Iran, Pythium serotinoosporum from soil under Prunus dulcis. Italy, Pluteus brunneovenosus on twigs of broadleaved trees on the ground. Japan, Heterophoma rehmanniae on leaves of Rehmannia glutinosa f. hueichingensis. Kazakhstan, Murispora kazachstanica from healthy roots of Triticum aestivum. Namibia, Caespitomonium euphorbiae (incl. Caespitomonium gen. nov.) from stems of an Euphorbia sp. Netherlands, Alfaria junci, Myrmecridium junci, Myrmecridium juncicola, Myrmecridium juncigenum, Ophioceras junci, Paradinemasporium junci (incl. Paradinemasporium gen. nov.), Phialoseptomonium junci, Sporidesmiella juncicola, Xenopyricularia junci and Zaanenomyces quadripartis (incl. Zaanenomyces gen. nov.), from dead culms of Juncus effusus, Cylindromonium everniae and Rhodoveronaea everniae from Evernia prunastri, Cyphellophora sambuci and Myrmecridium sambuci from Sambucus nigra, Kiflimonium junci, Sarocladium junci, Zaanenomyces moderatricis-academiae and Zaanenomyces versatilis from dead culms of Juncus inflexus, Microcera physciae from Physcia tenella, Myrmecridium dactylidis from dead culms of Dactylis glomerata, Neochalara spiraeae and Sporidesmium spiraeae from leaves of Spiraea japonica, Neofabraea salicina from Salix sp., Paradissoconium narthecii (incl. Paradissoconium gen. nov.) from dead leaves of Narthecium ossifragum, Polyscytalum vaccinii from Vaccinium myrtillus, Pseudosoloacrosporiella cryptomeriae (incl. Pseudosoloacrosporiella gen. nov.) from leaves of Cryptomeria japonica, Ramularia pararhabdospora from Plantago lanceolata, Sporidesmiella pini from needles of Pinus sylvestris and Xenoacrodontium juglandis (incl. Xenoacrodontium gen. nov. and Xenoacrodontiaceae fam. nov.) from Juglans regia. New Zealand, Cryptometrion metrosideri from twigs of Metrosideros sp., Coccomyces pycnophyllocladi from dead leaves of Phyllocladus alpinus, Hypoderma aliforme from fallen leaves Fuscopora solandri and Hypoderma subiculatum from dead leaves Phormium tenax. Norway, Neodevriesia kalakoutskii from permafrost and Variabilispora viridis from driftwood of Picea abies. Portugal, Entomortierella hereditatis from a biofilm covering a deteriorated limestone wall. Russia, Colpoma junipericola from needles of Juniperus sabina, Entoloma cinnamomeum on soil in grasslands, Entoloma verae on soil in grasslands, Hyphodermella pallidostraminea on a dry dead branch of Actinidia sp., Lepiota sayanensis on litter in a mixed forest, Papiliotrema horticola from Malus communis, Paramacroventuria ribis (incl. Paramacroventuria gen. nov.) from leaves of Ribes aureum and Paramyrothecium lathyri from leaves of Lathyrus tuberosus. South Africa, Harzia combreti from leaf litter of Combretum collinum ssp. sulvense, Penicillium xyleborini from Xyleborinus saxesenii, Phaeoisaria dalbergiae from bark of Dalbergia armata, Protocreopsis euphorbiae from leaf litter of Euphorbia ingens and Roigiella syzygii from twigs of Syzygium chordatum. Spain, Genea zamorana on sandy soil, Gymnopus nigrescens on Scleropodium touretii, Hesperomyces parexochomi on Parexochomus quadriplagiatus, Paraphoma variabilis from dung, Phaeococcomyces kinklidomatophilus from a blackened metal railing of an industrial warehouse and Tuber suaveolens in soil under Quercus faginea. Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Inocybe nivea associated with Salix polaris. Thailand, Biscogniauxia whalleyi on corticated wood. UK, Parasitella quercicola from Quercus robur. USA, Aspergillus arizonicus from indoor air in a hospital, Caeliomyces tampanus (incl. Caeliomyces gen. nov.) from office dust, Cippumomyces mortalis (incl. Cippumomyces gen. nov.) from a tombstone, Cylindrium desperesense from air in a store, Tetracoccosporium pseudoaerium from air sample in house, Toxicocladosporium glendoranum from air in a brick room, Toxicocladosporium losalamitosense from air in a classroom, Valsonectria portsmouthensis from air in men's locker room and Varicosporellopsis americana from sludge in a water reservoir. Vietnam, Entoloma kovalenkoi on rotten wood, Fusarium chuoi inside seed of Musa itinerans, Micropsalliota albofelina on soil in tropical evergreen mixed forests and Phytophthora docyniae from soil and roots of Docynia indica. Morphological and culture characteristics are supported by DNA barcodes. Citation: Crous PW, Osieck ER, Jurjević Ž, et al. 2021. Fungal Planet description sheets: 1284-1382. Persoonia 47: 178-374.

RevDate: 2024-02-14

Wang W, Dong Y, Guo W, et al (2024)

Linkages between rumen microbiome, host, and environment in yaks, and their implications for understanding animal production and management.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1301258.

Livestock on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is of great importance for the livelihood of the local inhabitants and the ecosystem of the plateau. The natural, harsh environment has shaped the adaptations of local livestock while providing them with requisite eco-services. Over time, unique genes and metabolic mechanisms (nitrogen and energy) have evolved which enabled the yaks to adapt morphologically and physiologically to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The rumen microbiota has also co-evolved with the host and contributed to the host's adaptation to the environment. Understanding the complex linkages between the rumen microbiota, the host, and the environment is essential to optimizing the rumen function to meet the growing demands for animal products while minimizing the environmental impact of ruminant production. However, little is known about the mechanisms of host-rumen microbiome-environment linkages and how they ultimately benefit the animal in adapting to the environment. In this review, we pieced together the yak's adaptation to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau ecosystem by summarizing the natural selection and nutritional features of yaks and integrating the key aspects of its rumen microbiome with the host metabolic efficiency and homeostasis. We found that this homeostasis results in higher feed digestibility, higher rumen microbial protein production, higher short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations, and lower methane emissions in yaks when compared with other low-altitude ruminants. The rumen microbiome forms a multi-synergistic relationship among the rumen microbiota services, their communities, genes, and enzymes. The rumen microbial proteins and SCFAs act as precursors that directly impact the milk composition or adipose accumulation, improving the milk or meat quality, resulting in a higher protein and fat content in yak milk and a higher percentage of protein and abundant fatty acids in yak meat when compared to dairy cow or cattle. The hierarchical interactions between the climate, forage, rumen microorganisms, and host genes have reshaped the animal's survival and performance. In this review, an integrating and interactive understanding of the host-rumen microbiome environment was established. The understanding of these concepts is valuable for agriculture and our environment. It also contributes to a better understanding of microbial ecology and evolution in anaerobic ecosystems and the host-environment linkages to improve animal production.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

Durán-Viseras A, Lindner BG, Hatt JK, et al (2024)

Metagenomic insights into the impact of litter from poultry concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to adjacent soil and water microbial communities.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)00911-2 [Epub ahead of print].

In recent decades, human food consumption has led to an increased demand for animal-based foods, particularly chicken meat production. The state of Georgia, USA is one of the top broiler chicken producers in the United States, where animals are raised in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Without proper management, CAFOs could negatively impact the environment and become a public health risk as a source of water and air pollution and/or by spreading antimicrobial resistance genes. In this study, we used metagenome sequencing to investigate the impact of the application of the CAFO's litter on adjacent soils and downstream creek waters in terms of microbial diversity and antimicrobial resistance profile changes. Our data indicate that while a few microbial groups increased in abundance within a short period of time after litter application, these populations subsequently decreased to levels similar to those found prior to the litter application or to below the detection limit of our metagenome sequencing effort. Microbial taxonomic composition analyses, relative abundance of Metagenome-Assembled Genomes (MAGs) and detection of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes (ARGs) allow us to conclude that this practice of litter application had a negligible effect on the microbiome or resistome profile of these soils and nearby waterways, likely due to its dilution in the field revealing a minimal impact of these poultry facilities on the natural microbial communities.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

Campbell BC, Greenfield P, Barnhart EP, et al (2024)

Krumholzibacteriota and Deltaproteobacteria contain rare genetic potential to liberate carbon from monoaromatic compounds in subsurface coal seams.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Biogenic methane in subsurface coal seam environments is produced by diverse consortia of microbes. Although this methane is useful for global energy security, it remains unclear which microbes can liberate carbon from the coal. Most of this carbon is relatively resistant to biodegradation, as it is contained within aromatic rings. Thus, to explore for coal-degrading taxa in the subsurface, this study reconstructed relevant metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from coal seams by using a key genomic marker for the anaerobic degradation of monoaromatic compounds as a guide: the benzoyl-CoA reductase gene (bcrABCD). Three MAGs were identified with this genetic potential. The first represented a novel taxon from the Krumholzibacteriota phylum, which this study is the first to describe. This Krumholzibacteriota MAG contained a full set of genes for benzoyl-CoA dearomatization, in addition to other genes for anaerobic catabolism of monoaromatics. Analysis of Krumholzibacteriota MAGs from other environments revealed that this genetic potential may be common, and thus, Krumholzibacteriota may be important organisms for the liberation of recalcitrant carbon in a broad range of environments. Moreover, the assembly and characterization of two Syntrophorhabdus aromaticivorans MAGs from different continents and a Syntrophaceae sp. MAG implicate the Deltaproteobacteria class in coal seam monoaromatic degradation. Each of these taxa are potential rate-limiting organisms for subsurface coal-to-methane biodegradation. Their description here provides some understanding of their function within the coal seam microbiome and will help inform future efforts in coal bed methane stimulation, anoxic bioremediation of organic pollutants, and assessments of anoxic, subsurface carbon cycling and emissions.IMPORTANCESubsurface coal seams are highly anoxic, oligotrophic environments, where the main source of carbon is "locked away" within aromatic rings. Despite these challenges, many coal seams accumulate biogenic methane, implying that the coal seam microbiome is "unlocking" this carbon source in situ. For over two decades, researchers have endeavored to understand which organisms perform these processes. This study provides the first descriptions of organisms with this genetic potential from the coal seam environment. Here, we report metagenomic insights into carbon liberation from aromatic molecules and the degradation pathways involved and describe a Krumholzibacteriota, two Syntrophorhabdus aromaticivorans, and a Syntrophaceae MAG that contain this genetic potential. This is also the first time that the Krumholzibacteriota phylum has been implicated in anaerobic dearomatization of aromatic hydrocarbons. This potential is identified here in numerous MAGs from other terrestrial and marine subsurface habitats, implicating the Krumholzibacteriota in carbon-cycling processes across a broad range of environments.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

Ugolini GS, Wang M, Secchi E, et al (2024)

Microfluidic approaches in microbial ecology.

Lab on a chip [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial life is at the heart of many diverse environments and regulates most natural processes, from the functioning of animal organs to the cycling of global carbon. Yet, the study of microbial ecology is often limited by challenges in visualizing microbial processes and replicating the environmental conditions under which they unfold. Microfluidics operates at the characteristic scale at which microorganisms live and perform their functions, thus allowing for the observation and quantification of behaviors such as growth, motility, and responses to external cues, often with greater detail than classical techniques. By enabling a high degree of control in space and time of environmental conditions such as nutrient gradients, pH levels, and fluid flow patterns, microfluidics further provides the opportunity to study microbial processes in conditions that mimic the natural settings harboring microbial life. In this review, we describe how recent applications of microfluidic systems to microbial ecology have enriched our understanding of microbial life and microbial communities. We highlight discoveries enabled by microfluidic approaches ranging from single-cell behaviors to the functioning of multi-cellular communities, and we indicate potential future opportunities to use microfluidics to further advance our understanding of microbial processes and their implications.

RevDate: 2024-02-13

Pertierra LR, Varliero G, Barbosa A, et al (2024)

TerrANTALife 1.0 Biodiversity data checklist of known Antarctic terrestrial and freshwater life forms.

Biodiversity data journal, 12:e106199.

BACKGROUND: Incomplete species inventories for Antarctica represent a key challenge for comprehensive ecological research and conservation in the region. Additionally, data required to understand population dynamics, rates of evolution, spatial ranges, functional traits, physiological tolerances and species interactions, all of which are fundamental to disentangle the different functional elements of Antarctic biodiversity, are mostly missing. However, much of the fauna, flora and microbiota in the emerged ice-free land of the continent have an uncertain presence and/or unresolved status, with entire biodiversity compendia of prokaryotic groups (e.g. bacteria) being missing. All the available biodiversity information requires consolidation, cross-validation, re-assessment and steady systematic inclusion in order to create a robust catalogue of biodiversity for the continent.

NEW INFORMATION: We compiled, completed and revised eukaryotic species inventories present in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in Antarctica in a new living database: terrANTALife (version 1.0). The database includes the first integration in a compendium for many groups of eukaryotic microorganisms. We also introduce a first catalogue of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) of prokaryotic biodiversity. Available compendia and literature to date were searched for Antarctic terrestrial and freshwater species, integrated, taxonomically harmonised and curated by experts to create comprehensive checklists of Antarctic organisms. The final inventories comprises 470 animal species (including vertebrates, free-living invertebrates and parasites), 306 plants (including all Viridiplantae: embryophytes and green algae), 997 fungal species and 434 protists (sensu lato). We also provide a first account for many groups of microorganisms, including non-lichenised fungi and multiple groups of eukaryotic unicellular species (Stramenophila, Alveolata and Rhizaria (SAR), Chromists and Amoeba), jointly referred to as "protists". In addition, we identify 1753 bacterial (obtained from 348117 ASVs) and 34 archaeal genera (from 1848 ASVs), as well as, at least, 14 virus families. We formulate a basic tree of life in Antarctica with the main lineages listed in the region and their "known-accepted-species" numbers.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

Peddada S, Lin H, Chen Y, et al (2024)

The effect of sexual behavior on HIV-1 seroconversion is mediated by the gut microbiome and proinflammatory cytokines.

Research square

The association between HIV-1 seroconversion and gut dysbiosis is well documented, and its association with sexual activity is also widely recognized. However, it is not known whether the gut dysbiosis mediates the effects of high-risk sexual behavior on HIV-1 seroconversion. In this report we focused on men who engaged in high-risk sexual behavior where they had receptive anal intercourse with multiple men. We demonstrate that proinflammatory cytokines, sCD14 and sCD163, and gut microbiota mediate the effects of this high-risk sexual behavior on subsequent HIV seroconversion. We discovered changes in the gut microbial ecology, prior to seroconversion, both in terms of the composition as well as inter-relationships among the commensal species. Furthermore, these changes correlate with future HIV seroconversion. Specifically, as the number of sexual partners increased, we discovered in a "dose-response" manner, a decrease in the abundance of commensal and short-chain fatty acid-producing species, A. muciniphila, B. caccae, B. fragilis, B. uniformis, Bacteroides spp., Butyricimonas spp. , and Odoribacter spp , and an increase in proinflammatory species Dehalobacterium spp. and Methanobrevibacter spp. These changes were also observed among subsequent HIV seroconverters. Interestingly, we also discovered a reduction in correlations among these commensal and short-chain fatty acid producing bacteria in a "dose-response" manner with the number of sexual partners. Our mediation analysis not only provides a conceptual model for the disease process but also provides clues for future clinical interventions that will manipulate the gut microbiota to treat high-risk subjects to prevent HIV seroconversion.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

Bodie AR, Wythe LA, Dittoe DK, et al (2024)

Alternative Additives for Organic and Natural Ready-to-Eat Meats to Control Spoilage and Maintain Shelf Life: Current Perspectives in the United States.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 13(3):.

Food additives are employed in the food industry to enhance the color, smell, and taste of foods, increase nutritional value, boost processing efficiency, and extend shelf life. Consumers are beginning to prioritize food ingredients that they perceive as supporting a healthy lifestyle, emphasizing ingredients they deem acceptable as alternative or "clean-label" ingredients. Ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products can be contaminated with pathogens and spoilage microorganisms after the cooking step, contributing to food spoilage losses and increasing the risk to consumers for foodborne illnesses. More recently, consumers have advocated for no artificial additives or preservatives, which has led to a search for antimicrobials that meet these demands but do not lessen the safety or quality of RTE meats. Lactates and diacetates are used almost universally to extend the shelf life of RTE meats by reducing spoilage organisms and preventing the outgrowth of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. These antimicrobials applied to RTE meats tend to be broad-spectrum in their activities, thus affecting overall microbial ecology. It is to the food processing industry's advantage to target spoilage organisms and pathogens specifically.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Finn DR (2024)

A metagenomic alpha-diversity index for microbial functional biodiversity.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7604597 [Epub ahead of print].

Alpha-diversity indices are an essential tool for describing and comparing biodiversity. Microbial ecologists apply indices originally intended for, or adopted by, macroecology to address questions relating to taxonomy (conserved marker) and function (metagenome-based data). In this Perspective piece, I begin by discussing the nature and mathematical quirks important for interpreting routinely employed alpha-diversity indices. Secondly, I propose a metagenomic alpha-diversity index (MD) that measures the (dis)similarity of protein-encoding genes within a community. MD has defined limits, whereby a community comprised mostly of similar, poorly diverse protein-encoding genes pulls the index to the lower limit, while a community rich in divergent homologs and unique genes drives it toward the upper limit. With data acquired from an in silico and three in situ metagenome studies, I derive MD and typical alpha-diversity indices applied to taxonomic (ribosomal rRNA) and functional (all protein-encoding) genes, and discuss their relationships with each other. Not all alpha-diversity indices detect biological trends, and taxonomic does not necessarily follow functional biodiversity. Throughout, I explain that protein Richness and MD provide complementary and easily interpreted information, while probability-based indices do not. Finally, considerations regarding the unique nature of microbial metagenomic data and its relevance for describing functional biodiversity are discussed.

RevDate: 2024-02-09

Louw NL, Wolfe BE, LH Uricchio (2024)

A phylogenomic perspective on interspecific competition.

Ecology letters, 27(2):e14359.

Evolutionary processes may have substantial impacts on community assembly, but evidence for phylogenetic relatedness as a determinant of interspecific interaction strength remains mixed. In this perspective, we consider a possible role for discordance between gene trees and species trees in the interpretation of phylogenetic signal in studies of community ecology. Modern genomic data show that the evolutionary histories of many taxa are better described by a patchwork of histories that vary along the genome rather than a single species tree. If a subset of genomic loci harbour trait-related genetic variation, then the phylogeny at these loci may be more informative of interspecific trait differences than the genome background. We develop a simple method to detect loci harbouring phylogenetic signal and demonstrate its application through a proof-of-principle analysis of Penicillium genomes and pairwise interaction strength. Our results show that phylogenetic signal that may be masked genome-wide could be detectable using phylogenomic techniques and may provide a window into the genetic basis for interspecific interactions.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

Amaral RR, Love RM, Braga T, et al (2024)

Impact of root canal preparation using two single-file systems on the intra-radicular microbiome of teeth with primary apical periodontitis.

Clinical oral investigations, 28(2):139.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the effects of two single-file systems on the diversity of the endodontic microbiome of teeth with primary asymptomatic apical periodontitis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The root canals from single-rooted teeth with apical periodontitis were prepared using either the Reciproc Blue (RB) or the XP-endo Shaper (XPS) instrument system. The latter was followed by a supplementary step with the XP-endo Finisher (XPF) instrument. For irrigation, 5.25% sodium hypochlorite was used. Root canal samples were taken at the baseline (S1), after preparation (S2), and after the supplementary step (S3). DNA was extracted and subjected to high-throughput sequencing using the MiSeq Illumina platform.

RESULTS: Samples from 10 teeth from the RB and 7 from the XPS group were subjected to DNA sequencing. Initial samples differed significantly from post-preparation samples in bacterial diversity, with no significant difference when comparing the two instrument systems. The most dominant phyla in S2 were Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, and Actinobacteria. The same phyla were found to dominate baseline samples and samples taken after using XPF, but with differences in the ranking of the most dominant ones. At the genus level, the most dominant genera identified after RB instrumentation were Bacteroidaceae [G-1], Fusobacterium, and Staphylococcus, while the most dominant genera after XPS instrumentation were Fusobacterium and Porphyromonas. These genera were also dominant in the initial samples.

CONCLUSIONS: Both treatment protocols had measurable effects on the root canal microbial diversity, with no significant differences between them. Most of the dominant taxa involved in the primary infection and probably in the aetiology of apical periodontitis were eliminated or substantially reduced.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The most dominant taxa that persisted after instrumentation were Fusobacterium, Porphyromonas, Staphylococcus, and Bacteroidaceae [G-1].

RevDate: 2024-02-10

McDougall FK, Speight N, Funnell O, et al (2024)

Dynamics of Antimicrobial Resistance Carriage in Koalas (Phascolarctos Cinereus) and Pteropid Bats (Pteropus Poliocephalus) Before, During and After Wildfires.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):39.

In the 2019-2020 summer, wildfires decimated the Australian bush environment and impacted wildlife species, including koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) and grey headed flying fox pups (Pteropid bats, Pteropus poliocephalus). Consequently, hundreds of koalas and thousands of bat pups entered wildlife hospitals with fire-related injuries/illness, where some individuals received antimicrobial therapy. This study investigated the dynamics of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in pre-fire, fire-affected and post-fire koalas and Pteropid bat pups. PCR and DNA sequencing were used to screen DNA samples extracted from faeces (koalas and bats) and cloacal swabs (koalas) for class 1 integrons, a genetic determinant of AMR, and to identify integron-associated antibiotic resistance genes. Class 1 integrons were detected in 25.5% of koalas (68 of 267) and 59.4% of bats (92 of 155). Integrons contained genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, trimethoprim and beta-lactams. Samples were also screened for blaTEM (beta-lactam) resistance genes, which were detected in 2.6% of koalas (7 of 267) and 25.2% of bats (39 of 155). Integron occurrence was significantly higher in fire-affected koalas in-care compared to wild pre-fire koalas (P < 0.0001). Integron and blaTEM occurrence were not significantly different in fire-affected bats compared to pre-fire bats (P > 0.05), however, their occurrence was significantly higher in fire-affected bats in-care compared to wild fire-affected bats (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0488 respectively). The observed shifts of AMR dynamics in wildfire-impacted species flags the need for judicious antibiotic use when treating fire-affected wildlife to minimise unwanted selective pressure and negative treatment outcomes associated with carriage of resistance genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Tao X, Yang Z, Feng J, et al (2024)

Experimental warming accelerates positive soil priming in a temperate grassland ecosystem.

Nature communications, 15(1):1178.

Unravelling biosphere feedback mechanisms is crucial for predicting the impacts of global warming. Soil priming, an effect of fresh plant-derived carbon (C) on native soil organic carbon (SOC) decomposition, is a key feedback mechanism that could release large amounts of soil C into the atmosphere. However, the impacts of climate warming on soil priming remain elusive. Here, we show that experimental warming accelerates soil priming by 12.7% in a temperate grassland. Warming alters bacterial communities, with 38% of unique active phylotypes detected under warming. The functional genes essential for soil C decomposition are also stimulated, which could be linked to priming effects. We incorporate lab-derived information into an ecosystem model showing that model parameter uncertainty can be reduced by 32-37%. Model simulations from 2010 to 2016 indicate an increase in soil C decomposition under warming, with a 9.1% rise in priming-induced CO2 emissions. If our findings can be generalized to other ecosystems over an extended period of time, soil priming could play an important role in terrestrial C cycle feedbacks and climate change.

RevDate: 2024-02-08

Lee Díaz AS, Minchev Z, Raaijmakers JM, et al (2024)

Impact of bacterial and fungal inoculants on the resident rhizosphere microbiome and the volatilome of tomato plants under leaf herbivory stress.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7603995 [Epub ahead of print].

Various studies have addressed the impact of microbial inoculants on the composition of the resident microbiome. How microbial inoculants impact plant metabolism and interact with the resident rhizobiota under herbivory stress remains elusive. Here, we investigated the impact of two bacterial and two fungal inoculants, inoculated as single species and as a synthetic community, on the rhizosphere microbiome and volatilome of tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) comparing non-stress conditions to exposed to leaf herbivory by Spodoptera exigua. Based on amplicon sequencing analysis, rhizobacterial community composition was significantly affected by all four inoculants and the magnitude of this effect was dependent on herbivory stress. Fungal community composition was altered by the microbial inoculants but independent of herbivory stress. The rhizosphere volatilome was impacted by the microbial inoculation and differences between treatments were evened under herbivory stress. Each microbial inoculant caused unique changes in the volatilome of stressed plants but also shared similar responses, in particular the enhanced production of dimethyl disulfide and benzothiazole. In conclusion, the introduction of microbial inoculants in the tomato rhizosphere caused unique as well as common changes in the rhizosphere microbiome and volatilome, but these changes were minor compared to the microbiome changes induced by herbivory stress.

RevDate: 2024-02-08

Amill F, Gauthier J, Rautio M, et al (2024)

Characterization of gill bacterial microbiota in wild Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) across lakes, rivers, and bays in the Canadian Arctic ecosystems.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Teleost gill mucus has a highly diverse microbiota, which plays an essential role in the host's fitness and is greatly influenced by the environment. Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), a salmonid well adapted to northern conditions, faces multiple stressors in the Arctic, including water chemistry modifications, that could negatively impact the gill microbiota dynamics related to the host's health. In the context of increasing environmental disturbances, we aimed to characterize the taxonomic distribution of transcriptionally active taxa within the bacterial gill microbiota of Arctic char in the Canadian Arctic in order to identify active bacterial composition that correlates with environmental factors. For this purpose, a total of 140 adult anadromous individuals were collected from rivers, lakes, and bays belonging to five Inuit communities located in four distinct hydrologic basins in the Canadian Arctic (Nunavut and Nunavik) during spring (May) and autumn (August). Various environmental factors were collected, including latitudes, water and air temperatures, oxygen concentration, pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), salinity, and chlorophyll-a concentration. The taxonomic distribution of transcriptionally active taxa within the gill microbiota was quantified by 16S rRNA gene transcripts sequencing. The results showed differential bacterial activity between the different geographical locations, explained by latitude, salinity, and, to a lesser extent, air temperature. Network analysis allowed the detection of a potential dysbiosis signature (i.e., bacterial imbalance) in fish gill microbiota from Duquet Lake in the Hudson Strait and the system Five Mile Inlet connected to the Hudson Bay, both showing the lowest alpha diversity and connectivity between taxa.IMPORTANCEThis paper aims to decipher the complex relationship between Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and its symbiotic microbial consortium in gills. This salmonid is widespread in the Canadian Arctic and is the main protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids source for Inuit people. The influence of environmental parameters on gill microbiota in wild populations remains poorly understood. However, assessing the Arctic char's active gill bacterial community is essential to look for potential pathogens or dysbiosis that could threaten wild populations. Here, we concluded that Arctic char gill microbiota was mainly influenced by latitude and air temperature, the latter being correlated with water temperature. In addition, a dysbiosis signature detected in gill microbiota was potentially associated with poor fish health status recorded in these disturbed environments. With those results, we hypothesized that rapid climate change and increasing anthropic activities in the Arctic might profoundly disturb Arctic char gill microbiota, affecting their survival.

RevDate: 2024-02-08

Jaeger JW, Brandt A, Gui W, et al (2024)

Microbiota modulation by dietary oat beta-glucan prevents steatotic liver disease progression.

JHEP reports : innovation in hepatology, 6(3):100987 pii:S2589-5559(23)00318-X.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Changes in gut microbiota in metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) are important drivers of disease progression towards fibrosis. Therefore, reversing microbial alterations could ameliorate MASLD progression. Oat beta-glucan, a non-digestible polysaccharide, has shown promising therapeutic effects on hyperlipidemia associated with MASLD, but its impact on gut microbiota and most importantly MASLD-related fibrosis remains unknown.

METHODS: We performed detailed metabolic phenotyping, including assessments of body composition, glucose tolerance, and lipid metabolism, as well as comprehensive characterization of the gut-liver axis in a western-style diet (WSD)-induced model of MASLD and assessed the effect of a beta-glucan intervention on early and advanced liver disease. Gut microbiota were modulated using broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment.

RESULTS: Oat beta-glucan supplementation did not affect WSD-induced body weight gain or glucose intolerance and the metabolic phenotype remained largely unaffected. Interestingly, oat beta-glucan dampened MASLD-related inflammation, which was associated with significantly reduced monocyte-derived macrophage infiltration and fibroinflammatory gene expression, as well as strongly reduced fibrosis development. Mechanistically, this protective effect was not mediated by changes in bile acid composition or signaling, but was dependent on gut microbiota and was lost upon broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment. Specifically, oat beta-glucan partially reversed unfavorable changes in gut microbiota, resulting in an expansion of protective taxa, including Ruminococcus, and Lactobacillus followed by reduced translocation of Toll-like receptor ligands.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings identify oat beta-glucan as a highly efficacious food supplement that dampens inflammation and fibrosis development in diet-induced MASLD. These results, along with its favorable dietary profile, suggest that it may be a cost-effective and well-tolerated approach to preventing MASLD progression and should be assessed in clinical studies.

IMPACT AND IMPLICATIONS: Herein, we investigated the effect of oat beta-glucan on the gut-liver axis and fibrosis development in a mouse model of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD). Beta-glucan significantly reduced inflammation and fibrosis in the liver, which was associated with favorable shifts in gut microbiota that protected against bacterial translocation and activation of fibroinflammatory pathways. Together, oat beta-glucan may be a cost-effective and well-tolerated approach to prevent MASLD progression and should be assessed in clinical studies.

RevDate: 2024-02-08

Rudzki EN, Antonson ND, Jones TM, et al (2024)

Host avian species and environmental conditions influence the microbial ecology of brood parasitic brown-headed cowbird nestlings: What rules the roost?.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The role of species interactions, as well as genetic and environmental factors, all likely contribute to the composition and structure of the gut microbiome; however, disentangling these independent factors under field conditions represents a challenge for a functional understanding of gut microbial ecology. Avian brood parasites provide unique opportunities to investigate these questions, as brood parasitism results in parasite and host nestlings being raised in the same nest, by the same parents. Here we utilized obligate brood parasite brown-headed cowbird nestlings (BHCO; Molothrus ater) raised by several different host passerine species to better understand, via 16S rRNA sequencing, the microbial ecology of brood parasitism. First, we compared faecal microbial communities of prothonotary warbler nestlings (PROW; Protonotaria citrea) that were either parasitized or non-parasitized by BHCO and communities among BHCO nestlings from PROW nests. We found that parasitism by BHCO significantly altered both the community membership and community structure of the PROW nestling microbiota, perhaps due to the stressful nest environment generated by brood parasitism. In a second dataset, we compared faecal microbiotas from BHCO nestlings raised by six different host passerine species. Here, we found that the microbiota of BHCO nestlings was significantly influenced by the parental host species and the presence of an inter-specific nestmate. Thus, early rearing environment is important in determining the microbiota of brood parasite nestlings and their companion nestlings. Future work may aim to understand the functional effects of this microbiota variability on nestling performance and fitness.

RevDate: 2024-02-07

Wang B, Hu K, Li C, et al (2024)

Geographic distribution of bacterial communities of inland waters in China.

Environmental research pii:S0013-9351(24)00241-X [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms are integral to freshwater ecological functions and, reciprocally, their activity and diversity are shaped by the ecosystem state. Yet, the diversity of bacterial community and the factors that control it at a large scale remain elusive. To bridge this knowledge gap, we delved into an analysis of 16S RNA gene sequences extracted from 929 water samples across China. Our analyses revealed that inland water bacterial communities showed a weak latitudinal diversity gradient. We found 530 bacterial genera with high relative abundance of hgcI clade. Among them, 29 core bacterial genera were identified, that is strongly linked to mean annual temperature and nutrient loadings. We also detected a non-linear response of bacterial network complexity to the increasing of human pressure. Mantel analysis suggested that MAT, HPI and P loading were the major factors driving bacterial communities in inland water. The map of taxa abundance showed that the abundant CL500-29 marine group in eastern and southern China indicated high eutrophication risk. Our findings enhance our understanding of the diversity and large-scale biogeographic pattern of bacterial communities of inland water and have important implications for microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2024-02-07

Forsmark B, Bizjak T, Nordin A, et al (2024)

Shifts in microbial community composition and metabolism correspond with rapid soil carbon accumulation in response to 20 years of simulated nitrogen deposition.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)00880-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition and fertilization in boreal forests frequently reduces decomposition and soil respiration and enhances C storage in the topsoil. This enhancement of the C sink can be as strong as the aboveground biomass response to N additions and has implications for the global C cycle, but the mechanisms remain elusive. We hypothesized that this effect would be associated with a shift in the microbial community and its activity, and particularly by fungal taxa reported to be capable of lignin degradation and organic N acquisition. We sampled the organic layer below the intact litter of a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) forest in northern Sweden after 20 years of annual N additions at low (12.5 kg N ha[-1] yr[-1]) and high (50 kg N ha[-1] yr[-1]) rates. We measured microbial biomass using phospholipid fatty-acid analysis (PLFA) and ergosterol measurements and used ITS metagenomics to profile the fungal community of soil and fine-roots. We probed the metabolic activity of the soil community by measuring the activity of extracellular enzymes and evaluated its relationships with the most N responsive soil fungal species. Nitrogen addition decreased the abundance of fungal PLFA markers and changed the fungal community in humus and fine-roots. Specifically, the humus community changed in part due to a shift from Oidiodendron pilicola, Cenococcum geophilum, and Cortinarius caperatus to Tylospora fibrillosa and Russula griseascens. These microbial community changes were associated with decreased activity of Mn-peroxidase and peptidase, and an increase in the activity of C acquiring enzymes. Our results show that the rapid accumulation of C in the humus layer frequently observed in areas with high N deposition is consistent with a shift in microbial metabolism, where decomposition associated with organic N acquisition is downregulated when inorganic N forms are readily available.

RevDate: 2024-02-07

Redouane EM, Núñez A, Achouak W, et al (2024)

Microcystin influence on soil-plant microbiota: Unraveling microbiota modulations and assembly processes in the rhizosphere of Vicia faba.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)00773-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Microcystins (MCs) are frequently detected in cyanobacterial bloom-impacted waterbodies and introduced into agroecosystems via irrigation water. They are widely known as phytotoxic cyanotoxins, which impair the growth and physiological functions of crop plants. However, their impact on the plant-associated microbiota is scarcely tackled and poorly understood. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effect of MCs on microbiota-inhabiting bulk soil (BS), root adhering soil (RAS), and root tissue (RT) of Vicia faba when exposed to 100 μg L[-1] MCs in a greenhouse pot experiment. Under MC exposure, the structure, co-occurrence network, and assembly processes of the bacterial microbiota were modulated with the greatest impact on RT-inhabiting bacteria, followed by BS and, to a lesser extent, RAS. The analyses revealed a significant decrease in the abundances of several Actinobacteriota-related taxa within the RT microbiota, including the most abundant and known genus of Streptomyces. Furthermore, MCs significantly increased the abundance of methylotrophic bacteria (Methylobacillus, Methylotenera) and other Proteobacteria-affiliated genera (e.g., Paucibacter), which are supposed to degrade MCs. The co-occurrence network of the bacterial community in the presence of MCs was less complex than the control network. In MC-exposed RT, the turnover in community composition was more strongly driven by deterministic processes, as proven by the beta-nearest taxon index. Whereas in MC-treated BS and RAS, both deterministic and stochastic processes can influence community assembly to some extent, with a relative dominance of deterministic processes. Altogether, these results suggest that MCs may reshape the structure of the microbiota in the soil-plant system by reducing bacterial taxa with potential phytobeneficial traits and increasing other taxa with the potential capacity to degrade MCs.

RevDate: 2024-02-07

Scaini A, Mulligan J, Berg H, et al (2024)

Pathways from research to sustainable development: Insights from ten research projects in sustainability and resilience.

Ambio [Epub ahead of print].

Drawing on collective experience from ten collaborative research projects focused on the Global South, we identify three major challenges that impede the translation of research on sustainability and resilience into better-informed choices by individuals and policy-makers that in turn can support transformation to a sustainable future. The three challenges comprise: (i) converting knowledge produced during research projects into successful knowledge application; (ii) scaling up knowledge in time when research projects are short-term and potential impacts are long-term; and (iii) scaling up knowledge across space, from local research sites to larger-scale or even global impact. Some potential pathways for funding agencies to overcome these challenges include providing targeted prolonged funding for dissemination and outreach, and facilitating collaboration and coordination across different sites, research teams, and partner organizations. By systematically documenting these challenges, we hope to pave the way for further innovations in the research cycle.

RevDate: 2024-02-07

Yang X, Narvaez-Bravo C, P Zhang (2023)

Driving forces shaping the microbial ecology in meat packing plants.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1333696.

Meat production is a complex system, continually receiving animals, water, air, and workers, all of which serve as carriers of bacteria. Selective pressures involved in different meat processing stages such as antimicrobial interventions and low temperatures, may promote the accumulation of certain residential microbiota in meat cutting facilities. Bacteria including human pathogens from all these sources can contaminate meat surfaces. While significant advancements have been made in enhancing hygienic standards and pathogen control measures in meat plants, resulting in a notable reduction in STEC recalls and clinical cases, STEC still stands as a predominant contributor to foodborne illnesses associated with beef and occasionally with pork. The second-and third-generation sequencing technology has become popular in microbiota related studies and provided a better image of the microbial community in the meat processing environments. In this article, we reviewed the potential factors influencing the microbial ecology in commercial meat processing facilities and conducted a meta-analysis on the microbiota data published in the last 10 years. In addition, the mechanisms by which bacteria persist in meat production environments have been discussed with a focus on the significant human pathogen E. coli O157:H7 and generic E. coli, an indicator often used for the hygienic condition in food production.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Guo J, Ning H, Li Y, et al (2024)

Assemblages of rhizospheric and root endospheric mycobiota and their ecological associations with functional traits of rice.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

The soil-root interface harbors complex fungal communities that play vital roles in the fitness of host plants. However, little is known about the assembly rules and potential functions of rhizospheric and endospheric mycobiota. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to explore the fungal communities inhabiting the rhizosphere and roots of 87 rice cultivars at the tillering stage via amplicon sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer 1 region. The potential relationships between these communities and host plant functional traits were also investigated using Procrustes analysis, generalized additive model fitting, and correlation analysis. The fungal microbiota exhibited greater richness, higher diversity, and lower structural variability in the rhizosphere than in the root endosphere. Compared with the root endosphere, the rhizosphere supported a larger coabundance network, with greater connectivity and stronger cohesion. Null model-based analyses revealed that dispersal limitation was primarily responsible for rhizosphere fungal community assembly, while ecological drift was the dominant process in the root endosphere. The community composition of fungi in the rhizosphere was shown to be more related to plant functional traits, such as the root/whole plant biomass, root:shoot biomass ratio, root/shoot nitrogen (N) content, and root/shoot/whole plant N accumulation, than to that in the root endosphere. Overall, at the early stage of rice growth, diverse and complex rhizospheric fungal communities are shaped by stochastic-based processes and exhibit stronger associations with plant functional traits.IMPORTANCEThe assembly processes and functions of root-associated mycobiota are among the most fascinating yet elusive topics in microbial ecology. Our results revealed that stochastic forces (dispersal limitation or ecological drift) act on fungal community assembly in both the rice rhizosphere and root endosphere at the early stage of plant growth. In addition, high covariations between the rhizosphere fungal community compositions and plant functional trait profiles were clearly demonstrated in the present study. This work provides empirical evidence of the root-associated fungal assembly principles and ecological relationships of plant functional traits with rhizospheric and root endospheric mycobiota, thereby potentially providing novel perspectives for enhancing plant performance.

RevDate: 2024-02-07

Kop LFM, Koch H, Jetten MSM, et al (2024)

Metabolic and phylogenetic diversity in the phylum Nitrospinota revealed by comparative genome analyses.

ISME communications, 4(1):ycad017.

The most abundant known nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in the marine water column belong to the phylum Nitrospinota. Despite their importance in marine nitrogen cycling and primary production, there are only few cultured representatives that all belong to the class Nitrospinia. Moreover, although Nitrospinota were traditionally thought to be restricted to marine environments, metagenome-assembled genomes have also been recovered from groundwater. Over the recent years, metagenomic sequencing has led to the discovery of several novel classes of Nitrospinota (UBA9942, UBA7883, 2-12-FULL-45-22, JACRGO01, JADGAW01), which remain uncultivated and have not been analyzed in detail. Here, we analyzed a nonredundant set of 98 Nitrospinota genomes with focus on these understudied Nitrospinota classes and compared their metabolic profiles to get insights into their potential role in biogeochemical element cycling. Based on phylogenomic analysis and average amino acid identities, the highly diverse phylum Nitrospinota could be divided into at least 33 different genera, partly with quite distinct metabolic capacities. Our analysis shows that not all Nitrospinota are nitrite oxidizers and that members of this phylum have the genomic potential to use sulfide and hydrogen for energy conservation. This study expands our knowledge of the phylogeny and potential ecophysiology of the phylum Nitrospinota and offers new avenues for the isolation and cultivation of these elusive bacteria.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Vlasselaer L, Crauwels S, Lievens B, et al (2024)

Unveiling the microbiome of hydroponically-cultivated lettuce: impact of phytophthora cryptogea infection on plant-associated microorganisms.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7601406 [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the complex interactions between plants and their associated microorganisms is crucial for optimizing plant health and productivity. While microbiomes of soil-bound cultivated crops are extensively studied, microbiomes of hydroponically-cultivated crops have received limited attention. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated the rhizosphere and root endosphere of hydroponically-cultivated lettuce. Additionally, we sought to explore the potential impact of the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora cryptogea on these microbiomes. Root samples were collected from symptomatic and non-symptomatic plants in three different greenhouses. Amplicon sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene revealed significant alterations in the bacterial community upon P. cryptogea infection, particularly in the rhizosphere. PerMANOVA revealed significant differences in microbial communities between plants from the three greenhouses, and between symptomatic and non-symptomatic plants. Further analysis uncovered differentially abundant zero-radius operational taxonomic units (zOTUs) between symptomatic and non-symptomatic plants. Interestingly, members of Pseudomonas and Flavobacterium were positively associated with symptomatic plants. Overall, this study provides valuable insights into the microbiome of hydroponically-cultivated plants and highlights the influence of pathogen invasion on plant-associated microbial communities. Further research is required to elucidate the potential role of Pseudomonas and Flavobacterium spp. in controlling P. cryptogea infections within hydroponically-cultivated lettuce greenhouses.

RevDate: 2024-02-05

Han K, Li J, Yang D, et al (2024)

Detecting horizontal gene transfer with metagenomics co-barcoding sequencing.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the process through which genetic information is transferred between different genomes and that played a crucial role in bacterial evolution. HGT can enable bacteria to rapidly acquire antibiotic resistance and bacteria that have acquired resistance is spreading within the microbiome. Conventional methods of characterizing HGT patterns include short-read metagenomic sequencing (short-reads mNGS), long-read sequencing, and single-cell sequencing. These approaches present several limitations, such as short-read fragments, high amounts of input DNA, and sequencing costs, respectively. Here, we attempt to circumvent present limitations to detect HGT by developing a metagenomics co-barcode sequencing workflow (MECOS) and applying it to the human and mouse gut microbiomes. In addition to that, we have over 10-fold increased contig length compared to short-reads mNGS; we also obtained exceeding 30 million paired reads with co-barcode information. Applying the novel bioinformatic pipeline, we integrated this co-barcoding information and the context information from long reads, and observed over 50-fold HGT events after we corrected the potential wrong HGT events. Specifically, we detected approximately 3,000 HGT blocks in individual samples, encompassing ~6,000 genes and ~100 taxonomic groups, including loci conferring tetracycline resistance through ribosomal protection. MECOS provides a valuable tool for investigating HGT and advance our understanding on the evolution of natural microbial communities within hosts.IMPORTANCEIn this study, to better identify horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in individual samples, we introduce a new co-barcoding sequencing system called metagenomics co-barcoding sequencing (MECOS), which has three significant improvements: (i) long DNA fragment extraction, (ii) a special transposome insertion, (iii) hybridization of DNA to barcode beads, and (4) an integrated bioinformatic pipeline. Using our approach, we have over 10-fold increased contig length compared to short-reads mNGS, and observed over 50-fold HGT events after we corrected the potential wrong HGT events. Our results indicate the presence of approximately 3,000 HGT blocks, involving roughly 6,000 genes and 100 taxonomic groups in individual samples. Notably, these HGT events are predominantly enriched in genes that confer tetracycline resistance via ribosomal protection. MECOS is a useful tool for investigating HGT and the evolution of natural microbial communities within hosts, thereby advancing our understanding of microbial ecology and evolution.

RevDate: 2024-02-05

Babajanyan SG, Garushyants SK, Wolf YI, et al (2024)

Microbial diversity and ecological complexity emerging from environmental variation and horizontal gene transfer in a simple mathematical model.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.01.17.576128.

Microbiomes are generally characterized by high diversity of coexisting microbial species and strains that remains stable within a broad range of conditions. However, under fixed conditions, microbial ecology conforms with the exclusion principle under which two populations competing for the same resource within the same niche cannot coexist because the less fit population inevitably goes extinct. To explore the conditions for stabilization of microbial diversity, we developed a simple mathematical model consisting of two competing populations that could exchange a single gene allele via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). We found that, although in a fixed environment, with unbiased HGT, the system obeyed the exclusion principle, in an oscillating environment, within large regions of the phase space bounded by the rates of reproduction and HGT, the two populations coexist. Moreover, depending on the parameter combination, all three major types of symbiosis obtained, namely, pure competition, host-parasite relationship and mutualism. In each of these regimes, certain parameter combinations provided for synergy, that is, a greater total abundance of both populations compared to the abundance of the winning population in the fixed environments. These findings show that basic phenomena that are universal in microbial communities, environmental variation and HGT, provide for stabilization of microbial diversity and ecological complexity.

RevDate: 2024-02-05

Wang Y, Long C, Yin L, et al (2024)

Effects of simulated acid rain on hydrochemical factors and microbial community structure in red soil aquifers.

RSC advances, 14(7):4482-4491 pii:d3ra08820k.

Acid rain can lower the pH of groundwater and affect its hydrogeochemistry and microbial ecology. However, the effects of acid rain on the hydrogeochemistry and microbial ecology of red soil groundwater systems in southern China are poorly understood. Previous research had mainly investigated the sources and patterns of groundwater acidification, but not the microbial mechanisms that contribute to this process and their associations with hydrochemical factors. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a soil column experiment to simulate the infiltration of acid rain through various filter materials (coarse, medium, and fine sand) and to examine the hydrochemical and microbial features of the infiltrate, which can reveal how simulated acid rain (pH 3.5-7.0) alters the hydrochemistry and microbial community composition in red soil aquifers. The results showed that the pH of the leachate decreased due to simulated acid rain, and that the leaching efficiency of nitrogen and metal ions was influenced by the particle size of the filter media. Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that the leachate was dominated by Proteobacteria, Patescibacteria, Actinobacteria, and Acidobacteria, with Proteobacteria accounting for 67.04-74.69% of the bacterial community and containing a high proportion of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. Additionally, several genera with heavy metal tolerance, such as Burkholderia-Caballeronia-Paraburkholderia, Delftia, Methylversatilis, Aquicella, and Ralstonia, were widely distributed in the leachate, indicating the strong adaptive capacity of the microbial population. A correlation analysis between the hydrochemical factors and the microbial community structure revealed that pH was the most influential factor, followed by NO2[-]-N, Fe, Al, Cu, Mn, and others. These results indicate that acidification modifies the hydrochemical conditions of the aquifer, creating an environment that is unfavorable for microbial growth and survival. However, some microorganisms may acquire resistance genes to cope with environmental changes.

RevDate: 2024-02-04

Guo M, Shang X, Ma Y, et al (2024)

Biochars assisted phytoremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contaminated agricultural soil: Dynamic responses of functional genes and microbial community.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(24)00190-8 [Epub ahead of print].

A biochar-intensified phytoremediation experiment was designed to investigate the dynamic effects of different biochars on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) removal in ryegrass rhizosphere contaminated soil. Maize and wheat straw biochar pyrolyzed at 300 °C and 500 °C were amended into PAH-contaminated soil, and then ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.) was planted for 90 days. Spearman's correlations among PAH removal, enzyme activity, abundance of PAH-ring hydroxylating dioxygenase (PAH-RHDα), and fungal and bacterial community structure were analyzed to elucidate the microbial degradation mechanisms during the combined remediation process. The results showed that 500 °C wheat straw biochar had higher surface area and more nutrients, and significantly accelerated the phytoremediation of PAHs (62.5 %), especially for high molecular weight PAH in contaminated soil. The activities of urease and dehydrogenase and the abundance of total and PAH-degrading bacteria, which improved with time by biochar and ryegrass, had a positive correlation with the removal rate of PAHs. Biochar enhanced the abundance of gram-negative (GN) PAH-RHDα genes. The GN PAH-degraders, Sphingomonas, bacteriap25, Haliangium, and Dongia may play vital roles in PAH degradation in biochar-amended rhizosphere soils. Principal coordinate analysis indicated that biochar led to significant differences in fungal community structures before 30 days, while the diversity of the bacterial community composition depended on planting ryegrass after 60 days. These findings imply that the structural reshaping of microbial communities results from incubation time and the selection of biochar and ryegrass in PAH-contaminated soils. Applying 500 °C wheat straw biochar could enhance the rhizoremediation of PAH-contaminated soil and benefit the soil microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2024-02-02

Mukhia S, Kumar A, R Kumar (2024)

Bacterial community distribution and functional potentials provide key insights into their role in the ecosystem functioning of a retreating Eastern Himalayan glacier.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7596549 [Epub ahead of print].

Himalayan glaciers are receding at an exceptional rate, perturbing the local biome and ecosystem processes. Understanding the microbial ecology of an exclusively microbe-driven biome provides insights into their contributions to the ecosystem functioning through biogeochemical fluxes. Here, we investigated the bacterial communities and their functional potential in the retreating East Rathong Glacier (ERG) of Sikkim Himalaya. Amplicon-based taxonomic classification revealed the dominance of the phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidota and candidate Patescibacteria in the glacial sites. Further, eight good-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of Proteobacteria, Patescibacteria, Acidobacteriota, and Choloflexota retrieved from the metagenomes elucidated the microbial contributions to nutrient cycling. The ERG MAGs showed aerobic respiration as a primary metabolic feature, accompanied by carbon fixation and complex carbon degradation potentials. Pathways for nitrogen metabolism, chiefly dissimilatory nitrate reduction and denitrification, and a complete sulfur oxidation enzyme complex for sulfur metabolism were identified in the MAGs. We observed that DNA repair and oxidative stress response genes complemented with osmotic and periplasmic stress and protein chaperones were vital for adaptation against the intense radiation and stress conditions of the extreme Himalayan niche. Current findings elucidate the microbiome and associated functional potentials of a vulnerable glacier, emphasizing their significant ecological roles in a changing glacial ecosystem.

RevDate: 2024-02-02

Ramakodi MP (2024)

Merging and concatenation of sequencing reads: a bioinformatics workflow for the comprehensive profiling of microbiome from amplicon data.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:7596553 [Epub ahead of print].

A comprehensive profiling of microbial diversity is essential to understand the ecosystem functions. Universal primer sets such as the 515Y/926R could amplify a part of 16S and 18S rRNA and infer the diversity of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. However, the analyses of mixed sequencing data pose a bioinformatics challenge; the 16S and 18S rRNA sequences need to be separated first and analysed individually/ independently due to variations in the amplicon length. This study describes an alternative strategy, a merging and concatenation workflow, to analyse the mixed amplicon data without separating the 16S and 18S rRNA sequences. The workflow was tested with 24 Mock Community (MC) samples and the analyses resolved the composition of prokaryotes and eukaryotes adequately. In addition, there was a strong correlation (cor=0.950; P-value=4.754e-10) between the observed and expected abundances in the MC samples, which suggests that the computational approach could infer the microbial proportions accurately. Further, 18 samples collected from the Sundarbans mangrove region were analysed as a case study. The analyses identified Proteobacteria, Bacteroidota, Actinobacteriota, Cyanobacteria, and Crenarchaeota as dominant bacterial phyla and the eukaryotic divisions such as Metazoa, Gyrista, Cryptophyta_X, Chlorophyta_X, and Dinoflagellata were found to be dominant in the samples. Thus, the results support the applicability of the method in environmental microbiome research. The merging and concatenation workflow presented here requires considerably less computational resources and uses widely/commonly used bioinformatics packages, saving researchers analyses time (for equivalent sample numbers, compared to the conventional approach) required to infer the diversity of major microbial domains from mixed amplicon data at comparable accuracy.

RevDate: 2024-02-05
CmpDate: 2024-02-05

Mejías-Molina C, Pico-Tomàs A, Martínez-Puchol S, et al (2024)

Wastewater-based epidemiology applied at the building-level reveals distinct virome profiles based on the age of the contributing individuals.

Human genomics, 18(1):10.

BACKGROUND: Human viruses released into the environment can be detected and characterized in wastewater. The study of wastewater virome offers a consolidated perspective on the circulation of viruses within a population. Because the occurrence and severity of viral infections can vary across a person's lifetime, studying the virome in wastewater samples contributed by various demographic segments can provide valuable insights into the prevalence of viral infections within these segments. In our study, targeted enrichment sequencing was employed to characterize the human virome in wastewater at a building-level scale. This was accomplished through passive sampling of wastewater in schools, university settings, and nursing homes in two cities in Catalonia. Additionally, sewage from a large urban wastewater treatment plant was analysed to serve as a reference for examining the collective excreted human virome.

RESULTS: The virome obtained from influent wastewater treatment plant samples showcased the combined viral presence from individuals of varying ages, with astroviruses and human bocaviruses being the most prevalent, followed by human adenoviruses, polyomaviruses, and papillomaviruses. Significant variations in the viral profiles were observed among the different types of buildings studied. Mamastrovirus 1 was predominant in school samples, salivirus and human polyomaviruses JC and BK in the university settings while nursing homes showed a more balanced distribution of viral families presenting papillomavirus and picornaviruses and, interestingly, some viruses linked to immunosuppression.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows the utility of building-level wastewater-based epidemiology as an effective tool for monitoring the presence of viruses circulating within specific age groups. It provides valuable insights for public health monitoring and epidemiological studies.

RevDate: 2024-02-04

Wdowiak-Wróbel S, Kalita M, Palusińska-Szysz M, et al (2024)

Pantoea trifolii sp. nov., a novel bacterium isolated from Trifolium rubens root nodules.

Scientific reports, 14(1):2698.

A novel bacterium, designated strain MMK2[T], was isolated from a surface-sterilised root nodule of a Trifolium rubens plant growing in south-eastern Poland. Cells were Gram negative, non-spore forming and rod shaped. The strain had the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with P. endophytica (99.4%), P. leporis (99.4%) P. rwandensis (98.8%) and P. rodasii (98.45%). Phylogenomic analysis clearly showed that strain MMK2[T] and an additional strain, MMK3, should reside in the genus Pantoea and that they were most closely related to P. endophytica and P. leporis. Genome comparisons showed that the novel strain shared 82.96-93.50% average nucleotide identity and 26.2-53. 2% digital DNA:DNA hybridization with closely related species. Both strains produced siderophores and were able to solubilise phosphates. The MMK2[T] strain was also able to produce indole-3-acetic acid. The tested strains differed in their antimicrobial activity, but both were able to inhibit the growth of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum 10Ss01. Based on the results of the phenotypic, phylogenomic, genomic and chemotaxonomic analyses, strains MMK2[T] and MMK3 belong to a novel species in the genus Pantoea for which the name Pantoea trifolii sp. nov. is proposed with the type strain MMK2[T] (= DSM 115063[T] = LMG 33049[T]).

RevDate: 2024-02-01

Prasoodanan P K V, Kumar S, Dhakan DB, et al (2024)

Metagenomic exploration of Andaman region of the Indian Ocean.

Scientific reports, 14(1):2717.

Ocean microbiome is crucial for global biogeochemical cycles and primary productivity. Despite numerous studies investigating the global ocean microbiomes, the microbiome composition of the Andaman region of the Indian Ocean remains largely unexplored. While this region harbors pristine biological diversity, the escalating anthropogenic activities along coastal habitats exert an influence on the microbial ecology and impact the aquatic ecosystems. We investigated the microbiome composition in the coastal waters of the Andaman Islands by 16S rRNA gene amplicon and metagenomic shotgun sequencing approaches and compared it with the Tara Oceans Consortium. In the coastal waters of the Andaman Islands, a significantly higher abundance and diversity of Synechococcus species was observed with a higher abundance of photosynthesis pigment-related genes to adapt to variable light conditions and nutrition. In contrast, Prochlorococcus species showed higher abundance in open ocean water samples of the Indian Ocean region, with a relatively limited functional diversity. A higher abundance of antibiotic-resistance genes was also noted in the coastal waters region. We also updated the ocean microbiome gene catalog with 93,172 unique genes from the Andaman coastal water microbiome. This study provides valuable insights into the Indian Ocean microbiome and supplements the global marine microbial ecosystem studies.

RevDate: 2024-02-01

León-Sobrino C, Ramond JB, Coclet C, et al (2024)

Temporal dynamics of microbial transcription in wetted hyperarid desert soils.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7595777 [Epub ahead of print].

Rainfall is rare in hyperarid deserts but, when it occurs, it triggers large biological responses essential for the long-term maintenance of the ecosystem. In drylands, microbes play major roles in nutrient cycling, but their responses to short-lived opportunity windows are poorly understood. Due to its ephemeral nature, mRNA is ideally suited to study microbiome dynamics upon abrupt changes in the environment. We analyzed microbial community transcriptomes after simulated rainfall in a Namib Desert soil over seven days. Using total mRNA from dry and watered plots we infer short-term functional responses in the microbiome. A rapid two-phase cycle of activation and return to basal state was completed in a short period. Motility systems activated immediately, whereas competition-toxicity increased in parallel to predator taxa and the drying of soils. Carbon fixation systems were down-regulated, and reactivated upon return to a near-dry state. The chaperone HSP20 was markedly regulated by watering across all major bacteria, suggesting a particularly important role in adaptation to desiccated ecosystems. We show that transcriptomes provide consistent and high resolution information on microbiome processes in a low-biomass environment, revealing shared patterns across taxa. We propose a structured dispersal-predation dynamic as a central driver of desert microbial responses to rainfall.

RevDate: 2024-02-02
CmpDate: 2024-02-02

Maza-Márquez P, Lee MD, BM Bebout (2024)

Community ecology and functional potential of bacteria, archaea, eukarya and viruses in Guerrero Negro microbial mat.

Scientific reports, 14(1):2561.

In this study, the microbial ecology, potential environmental adaptive mechanisms, and the potential evolutionary interlinking of genes between bacterial, archaeal and viral lineages in Guerrero Negro (GN) microbial mat were investigated using metagenomic sequencing across a vertical transect at millimeter scale. The community composition based on unique genes comprised bacteria (98.01%), archaea (1.81%), eukarya (0.07%) and viruses (0.11%). A gene-focused analysis of bacteria archaea, eukarya and viruses showed a vertical partition of the community. The greatest coverages of genes of bacteria and eukarya were detected in first layers, while the highest coverages of genes of archaea and viruses were found in deeper layers. Many genes potentially related to adaptation to the local environment were detected, such as UV radiation, multidrug resistance, oxidative stress, heavy metals, salinity and desiccation. Those genes were found in bacterial, archaeal and viral lineages with 6477, 44, and 1 genes, respectively. The evolutionary histories of those genes were studied using phylogenetic analysis, showing an interlinking between domains in GN mat.

RevDate: 2024-01-31

Bååth E, ES Kritzberg (2024)

Temperature Adaptation of Aquatic Bacterial Community Growth Is Faster in Response to Rising than to Falling Temperature.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):38.

Bacteria are key organisms in energy and nutrient cycles, and predicting the effects of temperature change on bacterial activity is important in assessing global change effects. A changing in situ temperature will affect the temperature adaptation of bacterial growth in lake water, both long term in response to global change, and short term in response to seasonal variations. The rate of adaptation may, however, depend on whether temperature is increasing or decreasing, since bacterial growth and turnover scale with temperature. Temperature adaptation was studied for winter (in situ temperature 2.5 °C) and summer communities (16.5 °C) from a temperate lake in Southern Sweden by exposing them to a temperature treatment gradient between 0 and 30 °C in ~ 5 °C increments. This resulted mainly in a temperature increase for the winter and a decrease for the summer community. Temperature adaptation of bacterial community growth was estimated as leucine incorporation using a temperature Sensitivity Index (SI, log growth at 35 °C/4 °C), where higher values indicate adaptation to higher temperatures. High treatment temperatures resulted in higher SI within days for the winter community, resulting in an expected level of community adaptation within 2 weeks. Adaptation for the summer community was also correlated to treatment temperature, but the rate of adaption was slower. Even after 5 weeks, the bacterial community had not fully adapted to the lowest temperature conditions. Thus, during periods of increasing temperature, the bacterial community will rapidly adapt to function optimally, while decreasing temperature may result in long periods of non-optimal functioning.

RevDate: 2024-01-31

Kashani M, Engle MA, Kent DB, et al (2024)

Illegal dumping of oil and gas wastewater alters arid soil microbial communities.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The Permian Basin, underlying southeast New Mexico and west Texas, is one of the most productive oil and gas (OG) provinces in the United States. Oil and gas production yields large volumes of wastewater with complex chemistries, and the environmental health risks posed by these OG wastewaters on sensitive desert ecosystems are poorly understood. Starting in November 2017, 39 illegal dumps, as defined by federal and state regulations, of OG wastewater were identified in southeastern New Mexico, releasing ~600,000 L of fluid onto dryland soils. To evaluate the impacts of these releases, we analyzed changes in soil geochemistry and microbial community composition by comparing soils from within OG wastewater dump-affected samples to unaffected zones. We observed significant changes in soil geochemistry for all dump-affected compared with control samples, reflecting the residual salts and hydrocarbons from the OG-wastewater release (e.g., enriched in sodium, chloride, and bromide). Microbial community structure significantly (P < 0.01) differed between dump and control zones, with soils from dump areas having significantly (P < 0.01) lower alpha diversity and differences in phylogenetic composition. Dump-affected soil samples showed an increase in halophilic and halotolerant taxa, including members of the Marinobacteraceae, Halomonadaceae, and Halobacteroidaceae, suggesting that the high salinity of the dumped OG wastewater was exerting a strong selective pressure on microbial community structure. Taxa with high similarity to known hydrocarbon-degrading organisms were also detected in the dump-affected soil samples. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential for OG wastewater exposure to change the geochemistry and microbial community dynamics of arid soils.IMPORTANCEThe long-term environmental health impacts resulting from releases of oil and gas (OG) wastewater, typically brines with varying compositions of ions, hydrocarbons, and other constituents, are understudied. This is especially true for sensitive desert ecosystems, where soil microbes are key primary producers and drivers of nutrient cycling. We found that releases of OG wastewater can lead to shifts in microbial community composition and function toward salt- and hydrocarbon-tolerant taxa that are not typically found in desert soils, thus altering the impacted dryland soil ecosystem. Loss of key microbial taxa, such as those that catalyze organic carbon cycling, increase arid soil fertility, promote plant health, and affect soil moisture retention, could result in cascading effects across the sensitive desert ecosystem. By characterizing environmental changes due to releases of OG wastewater to soils overlying the Permian Basin, we gain further insights into how OG wastewater may alter dryland soil microbial functions and ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-02-01

Choi YJ, Lim JY, Kang MJ, et al (2024)

Changes in bacterial composition and metabolite profiles during kimchi fermentation with different garlic varieties.

Heliyon, 10(2):e24283.

Garlic, a key ingredient in kimchi, is an indispensable source of lactic acid bacteria, which are essential for fermentation. This study explored the effects of various garlic varieties on kimchi fermentation, focusing on changes in microbial communities and metabolite profiles. We observed that the type of garlic used did not significantly alter the microbial community. However, the presence of garlic itself made a significant difference. Specifically, kimchi with garlic showed higher abundance of Leuconostoc and Weissella, which are bacteria primarily responsible for kimchi fermentation. Additionally, kimchi containing garlic had increased levels of mannitol and fructose, which significantly influence taste; however, lactic acid and putrescine levels were decreased. Therefore, the addition of garlic directly contributes to the flavor profile of kimchi. Sixty-two metabolites were identified using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The variety of garlic added influenced the metabolite profiles of kimchi, particularly in the later stages of fermentation. These profiles were categorized based on the garlic's origin, whether from southern or northern ecotypes (R[2]X = 0.933, R[2]Y = 0.986, Q[2] = 0.878). These findings confirm that both the presence and the variety of garlic significantly impact the microbial ecology and metabolites during kimchi fermentation, underscoring its essential role in the process.

RevDate: 2024-01-31

Leleiwi I, Kokkinias K, Kim Y, et al (2024)

Gut microbiome carbon and sulfur metabolisms support Salmonella during pathogen infection.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.01.16.575907.

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a pervasive enteric pathogen and an ongoing global threat to public health. Ecological studies in the Salmonella impacted gut remain underrepresented in the literature, discounting the microbiome mediated interactions that may inform Salmonella physiology during colonization and infection. To understand the microbial ecology of Salmonella remodeling of the gut microbiome, here we performed multi-omics approaches on fecal microbial communities from untreated and Salmonella -infected mice. Reconstructed genomes recruited metatranscriptomic and metabolomic data providing a strain-resolved view of the expressed metabolisms of the microbiome during Salmonella infection. This data informed possible Salmonella interactions with members of the gut microbiome that were previously uncharacterized. Salmonella- induced inflammation significantly reduced the diversity of transcriptionally active members in the gut microbiome, yet increased gene expression was detected for 7 members, with Luxibacter and Ligilactobacillus being the most active. Metatranscriptomic insights from Salmonella and other persistent taxa in the inflamed microbiome further expounded the necessity for oxidative tolerance mechanisms to endure the host inflammatory responses to infection. In the inflamed gut lactate was a key metabolite, with microbiota production and consumption reported amongst transcriptionally active members. We also showed that organic sulfur sources could be converted by gut microbiota to yield inorganic sulfur pools that become oxidized in the inflamed gut, resulting in thiosulfate and tetrathionate that supports Salmonella respiration. Advancement of pathobiome understanding beyond inferences from prior amplicon-based approaches can hold promise for infection mitigation, with the active community outlined here offering intriguing organismal and metabolic therapeutic targets.

RevDate: 2024-01-30

Op De Beeck M, Troein C, Peterson C, et al (2024)

Elucidating fungal decomposition of organic matter at sub-micrometer spatial scales using optical photothermal infrared (O-PTIR) microspectroscopy.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

In microbiological studies, a common goal is to link environmental factors to microbial activities. Both environmental factors and microbial activities are typically derived from bulk samples. It is becoming increasingly clear that such bulk environmental parameters poorly represent the microscale environments microorganisms experience. Using infrared (IR) microspectroscopy, the spatial distribution of chemical compound classes can be visualized, making it a useful tool for studying the interactions between microbial cells and their microenvironments. The spatial resolution of conventional IR microspectroscopy has been limited by the diffraction limit of IR light. The recent development of optical photothermal infrared (O-PTIR) microspectroscopy has pushed the spatial resolution of IR microspectroscopy beyond this diffraction limit, allowing the distribution of chemical compound classes to be visualized at sub-micrometer spatial scales. To examine the potential and limitations of O-PTIR microspectroscopy to probe the interactions between fungal cells and their immediate environments, we imaged the decomposition of cellulose films by cells of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus and compared O-PTIR results using conventional IR microspectroscopy. Whereas the data collected with conventional IR microspectroscopy indicated that P. involutus has only a very limited ability to decompose cellulose films, O-PTIR data suggested that the ability of P. involutus to decompose cellulose was substantial. Moreover, the O-PTIR method enabled the identification of a zone located outside the fungal hyphae where the cellulose was decomposed by oxidation. We conclude that O-PTIR can provide valuable new insights into the abilities and mechanisms by which microorganisms interact with their surrounding environments.IMPORTANCEInfrared (IR) microspectroscopy allows the spatial distribution of chemical compound classes to be visualized. The use of conventional IR microspectroscopy in microbiological studies has been restricted by limited spatial resolution. Recent developments in laser technology have enabled a new class of IR microspectroscopy instruments to be developed, pushing the spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit of IR light to approximately 500 nm. This improved spatial resolution now allows microscopic observations of changes in chemical compounds to be made, making IR microspectroscopy a useful tool to investigate microscale changes in chemistry that are caused by microbial activity. We show these new possibilities using optical photothermal infrared microspectroscopy to visualize the changes in cellulose substrates caused by oxidation by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus at the interface between individual fungal hyphae and cellulose substrates.

RevDate: 2024-01-30

Bontemps Z, Moënne-Loccoz Y, M Hugoni (2024)

Stochastic and deterministic assembly processes of microbial communities in relation to natural attenuation of black stains in Lascaux Cave.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Community assembly processes are complex and understanding them represents a challenge in microbial ecology. Here, we used Lascaux Cave as a stable, confined environment to quantify the importance of stochastic vs deterministic processes during microbial community dynamics across the three domains of life in relation to an anthropogenic disturbance that had resulted in the side-by-side occurrence of a resistant community (unstained limestone), an impacted community (present in black stains), and a resilient community (attenuated stains). Metabarcoding data showed that the microbial communities of attenuated stains, black stains, and unstained surfaces differed, with attenuated stains being in an intermediate position. We found four scenarios to explain community response to disturbance in stable conditions for the three domains of life. Specifically, we proposed the existence of a fourth, not-documented yet scenario that concerns the always-rare microbial taxa, where stochastic processes predominate even after disturbance but are replaced by deterministic processes during post-disturbance recovery. This suggests a major role of always-rare taxa in resilience, perhaps because they might provide key functions required for ecosystem recovery.IMPORTANCEThe importance of stochastic vs deterministic processes in cave microbial ecology has been a neglected topic so far, and this work provided an opportunity to do so in a context related to the dynamics of black-stain alterations in Lascaux, a UNESCO Paleolithic cave. Of particular significance was the discovery of a novel scenario for always-rare microbial taxa in relation to disturbance, in which stochastic processes are replaced later by deterministic processes during post-disturbance recovery, i.e., during attenuation of black stains.

RevDate: 2024-01-31
CmpDate: 2024-01-31

Wang X, Liu Y, Qing C, et al (2024)

Analysis of diversity and function of epiphytic bacterial communities associated with macrophytes using a metagenomic approach.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):37.

Epiphytic bacteria constitute a vital component of aquatic ecosystems, pivotal in regulating elemental cycling. Despite their significance, the diversity and functions of epiphytic bacterial communities adhering to various submerged macrophytes remain largely unexplored. In this study, we employed a metagenomic approach to investigate the diversity and function of epiphytic bacterial communities associated with six submerged macrophytes: Ceratophyllum demersum, Hydrilla verticillata, Myriophyllum verticillatum, Potamogeton lucens, Stuckenia pectinata, and Najas marina. The results revealed that the predominant epiphytic bacterial species for each plant type included Pseudomonas spp., Microbacterium spp., and Stenotrophomonas rhizophila. Multiple comparisons and linear discriminant analysis effect size indicated a significant divergence in the community composition of epiphytic bacteria among the six submerged macrophytes, with 0.3-1% of species uniquely identified. Epiphytic bacterial richness associated with S. pectinata significantly differed from that of both C. demersum and H. verticillata, although no significant differences were observed in diversity and evenness. Functionally, notable variations were observed in the relative abundances of genes associated with carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling within epiphytic bacterial communities on the submerged macrophyte hosts. Among these communities, H. verticillata exhibited enrichment in genes related to the 3-hydroxypropionate bicycle and nitrogen assimilation, translocation, and denitrification. Conversely, M. verticillatum showcased enrichment in genes linked to the reductive citric acid cycle (Arnon-Buchanan cycle), reductive pentose phosphate cycle (Calvin cycle), polyphosphate degradation, and organic nitrogen metabolism. In summary, our findings offer valuable insights into the diversity and function of epiphytic bacteria on submerged macrophyte leaves, shedding light on their roles in lake ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-01-29

Lamprea-Pineda PA, Demeestere K, González-Cortés JJ, et al (2024)

Addition of (bio)surfactants in the biofiltration of hydrophobic volatile organic compounds in air.

Journal of environmental management, 353:120132 pii:S0301-4797(24)00118-X [Epub ahead of print].

The removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in air is of utmost importance to safeguard both environmental quality and human well-being. However, the low aqueous solubility of hydrophobic VOCs results in poor removal in waste gas biofilters (BFs). In this study, we evaluated the addition of (bio)surfactants in three BFs (BF1 and BF2 mixture of compost and wood chips (C + WC), and BF3 filled with expanded perlite) to enhance the removal of cyclohexane and hexane from a polluted gas stream. Experiments were carried out to select two (bio)surfactants (i.e., Tween 80 and saponin) out of five (sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), Tween 80, surfactin, rhamnolipid and saponin) from a physical-chemical (i.e., decreasing VOC gas-liquid partitioning) and biological (i.e., the ability of the microbial consortium to grow on the (bio)surfactants) point of view. The results show that adding Tween 80 at 1 critical micelle concentration (CMC) had a slight positive effect on the removal of both VOCs, in BF1 (e.g., 7.0 ± 0.6 g cyclohexane m[-3] h[-1], 85 ± 2% at 163 s; compared to 6.7 ± 0.4 g cyclohexane m[-3] h[-1], 76 ± 2% at 163 s and 0 CMC) and BF2 (e.g., 4.3 ± 0.4 g hexane m[-3] h[-1], 27 ± 2% at 82 s; compared to 3.1 ± 0.7 g hexane m[-3] h[-1], 16 ± 4% at 82 s and 0 CMC), but a negative effect in BF3 at either 1, 3 and 9 CMC (e.g., 2.4 ± 0.4 g hexane m[-3] h[-1], 30 ± 4% at 163 s and 1 CMC; compared to 4.6 ± 1.0 g hexane m[-3] h[-1], 43 ± 8% at 163 s and 0 CMC). In contrast, the performance of all BFs improved with the addition of saponin, particularly at 3 CMC. Notably, in BF3, the elimination capacity (EC) and removal efficiency (RE) doubled for both VOCs (i.e., 9.1 ± 0.6 g cyclohexane m[-3] h[-1], 49 ± 3%; 4.3 ± 0.3 g hexane m[-3] h[-1], 25 ± 3%) compared to no biosurfactant addition (i.e., 4.5 ± 0.4 g cyclohexane m[-3] h[-1], 23 ± 3%; hexane 2.2 ± 0.5 g m[-3] h[-1], 10 ± 2%) at 82 s. Moreover, the addition of the (bio)surfactants led to a shift in the microbial consortia, with a different response in BF1-BF2 compared to BF3. This study evaluates for the first time the use of saponin in BFs, it demonstrates that cyclohexane and hexane RE can be improved by (bio)surfactant addition, and it provides recommendations for future studies in this field.

RevDate: 2024-01-29

Schauberger C, Thamdrup B, Lemonnier C, et al (2024)

Metagenome-assembled genomes of deep-sea sediments: changes in microbial functional potential lag behind redox transitions.

ISME communications, 4(1):ycad005 pii:ycad005.

Hadal sediments are hotspots of microbial activity in the deep sea and exhibit strong biogeochemical gradients. But although these gradients are widely assumed to exert selective forces on hadal microbial communities, the actual relationship between biogeochemistry, functional traits, and microbial community structure remains poorly understood. We tested whether the biogeochemical conditions in hadal sediments select for microbes based on their genomic capacity for respiration and carbohydrate utilization via a metagenomic analysis of over 153 samples from the Atacama Trench region (max. depth = 8085 m). The obtained 1357 non-redundant microbial genomes were affiliated with about one-third of all known microbial phyla, with more than half belonging to unknown genera. This indicated that the capability to withstand extreme hydrostatic pressure is a phylogenetically widespread trait and that hadal sediments are inhabited by diverse microbial lineages. Although community composition changed gradually over sediment depth, these changes were not driven by selection for respiratory or carbohydrate degradation capability in the oxic and nitrogenous zones, except in the case of anammox bacteria and nitrifying archaea. However, selection based on respiration and carbohydrate degradation capacity did structure the communities of the ferruginous zone, where aerobic and nitrogen respiring microbes declined exponentially (half-life = 125-419 years) and were replaced by subsurface communities. These results highlight a delayed response of microbial community composition to selective pressure imposed by redox zonation and indicated that gradual changes in microbial composition are shaped by the high-resilience and slow growth of microbes in the seafloor.

RevDate: 2024-01-28

Van Peteghem L, Sakarika M, Matassa S, et al (2024)

Corrigendum to "Towards new carbon-neutral food systems: Combining carbon capture and utilization with microbial protein production" [Bioresour. Technol. 349 (2022) 126853].

RevDate: 2024-01-30

Caty SN, Alvarez-Buylla A, Vasek C, et al (2024)

A toxic environment selects for specialist microbiome in poison frogs.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Shifts in microbiome community composition can have large effects on host health. It is therefore important to understand how perturbations, like those caused by the introduction of exogenous chemicals, modulate microbiome community composition. In poison frogs within the family Dendrobatidae, the skin microbiome is exposed to the alkaloids that the frogs sequester from their diet and use for defense. Given the demonstrated antimicrobial effects of these poison frog alkaloids, these compounds may be structuring the skin microbial community. To test this, we first characterized microbial communities from chemically defended and closely related non-defended frogs from Ecuador. Then we conducted a laboratory experiment to monitor the effect of the alkaloid decahydroquinoline (DHQ) on the microbiome of a single frog species. In both the field and lab experiments, we found that alkaloid-exposed microbiomes are more species rich and phylogenetically diverse, with an increase in rare taxa. To better understand the strain-specific behavior in response to alkaloids, we cultured microbial strains from poison frog skin and found the majority of strains exhibited either enhanced growth or were not impacted by the addition of DHQ. Additionally, stable isotope tracing coupled to nanoSIMS suggests that some of these strains are able to metabolize DHQ. Taken together, these data suggest that poison frog chemical defenses open new niches for skin-associated microbes with specific adaptations, including the likely metabolism of alkaloids, that enable their survival in this toxic environment. This work helps expand our understanding of how exposure to exogenous compounds like alkaloids can impact host microbiomes.

RevDate: 2024-01-28

Yao S, Swanson CS, Cheng Z, et al (2024)

Alternating polarity as a novel strategy for building synthetic microbial communities capable of robust Electro-Methanogenesis.

Bioresource technology, 395:130374 pii:S0960-8524(24)00077-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Electro-methanogenic microbial communities can produce biogas with high efficiency and have attracted extensive research interest. In this study an alternating polarity strategy was developed to build electro-methanogenic communities. In two-chamber bioelectrochemical systems amended with activated carbon, the electrode potential was alternated between +0.8 V and -0.4 V vs. standard hydrogen electrode every three days. Cumulative biogas production under alternating polarity increased from 45 L/L/kg-activated carbon after start-up to 125 L/L/kg after the 4th enrichment, significantly higher than that under intermittent cathode (-0.4 V/open circuit), continuous cathode (-0.4 V), and open circuit. The communities assembled under alternating polarity were electroactive and structurally different from those assembled under other conditions. One Methanobacterium population and two Geobacter populations were consistently abundant and active in the communities. Their 16S rRNA was up-regulated by electrode potentials. Bayesian networks inferred close associations between these populations. Overall, electro-methanogenic communities have been successfully assembled with alternating polarity.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


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

Selected Bibliographies

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

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