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Bibliography on: Symbiosis

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


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 27 Jul 2021 at 01:35 Created: 


Symbiosis refers to an interaction between two or more different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both. Symbiotic relationships were once thought to be exceptional situations. Recent studies, however, have shown that every multicellular eukaryote exists in a tight symbiotic relationship with billions of microbes. The associated microbial ecosystems are referred to as microbiome and the combination of a multicellular organism and its microbiota has been described as a holobiont. It seems "we are all lichens now."

Created with PubMed® Query: symbiosis NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-07-22

Ficano N, Porder S, LA McCulloch (2021)

Tripartite legume-rhizobia-mycorrhizae relationship is influenced by light and soil nitrogen in Neotropical canopy gaps.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Plants and their soil microbial symbionts influence ecosystem productivity and nutrient cycling, but the controls on these symbioses remain poorly understood. This is particularly true for plants in the Fabaceae family (hereafter legumes), which can associate with both arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and nitrogen (N)-fixing bacteria. Here we report results of the first manipulated field experiment to explore the abiotic and biotic controls of this tripartite symbiosis in Neotropical canopy gaps (hereafter gaps). We grew three species of Neotropical N-fixing legume seedlings under different light (gap-full light, gap-shadecloth, and understory) and soil nitrogen (20 g N m-2 yr-1 versus 0 g N m-2 yr-1) conditions across a lowland tropical forest at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. We harvested the seedlings after four months growth in the field and measured percent AMF root colonization (%AMF), nodule and seeding biomass, and seedling above:below-ground biomass ratios. Our expectation was that seedlings in gaps would grow larger and, as a result of higher light, invest more carbon in both AMF and N-fixing bacteria. Indeed, seedlings in gaps had higher total biomass, nodule biomass (a proxy for N-fixing bacteria investment) and rates of AMF root colonization, and the three were significantly positively correlated. However, we only found a significant positive effect of light availability on %AMF when seedlings were fertilized with N. Furthermore, when we statistically controlled for treatment, species, and site effects, we found %AMF and seedling biomass had a negative relationship. This was likely driven by the fact that seedlings invested relatively less in AMF as they increased in biomass (lower %AMF per gram of seedling). Taken together, these results challenge the long-held assumption that high light conditions universally increase carbon investment in AMF and demonstrate that this tripartite symbiosis is influenced by soil nutrient and light conditions.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Suárez LJ, Arboleda S, Angelov N, et al (2021)

Oral Versus Gastrointestinal Mucosal Immune Niches in Homeostasis and Allostasis.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:705206.

Different body systems (epidermis, respiratory tract, cornea, oral cavity, and gastrointestinal tract) are in continuous direct contact with innocuous and/or potentially harmful external agents, exhibiting dynamic and highly selective interaction throughout the epithelia, which function as both a physical and chemical protective barrier. Resident immune cells in the epithelia are constantly challenged and must distinguish among antigens that must be either tolerated or those to which a response must be mounted for. When such a decision begins to take place in lymphoid foci and/or mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues, the epithelia network of immune surveillance actively dominates both oral and gastrointestinal compartments, which are thought to operate in the same immune continuum. However, anatomical variations clearly differentiate immune processes in both the mouth and gastrointestinal tract that demonstrate a wide array of independent immune responses. From single vs. multiple epithelia cell layers, widespread cell-to-cell junction types, microbial-associated recognition receptors, dendritic cell function as well as related signaling, the objective of this review is to specifically contrast the current knowledge of oral versus gut immune niches in the context of epithelia/lymphoid foci/MALT local immunity and systemic output. Related differences in 1) anatomy 2) cell-to-cell communication 3) antigen capture/processing/presentation 4) signaling in regulatory vs. proinflammatory responses and 5) systemic output consequences and its relations to disease pathogenesis are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Cai Z, Li H, Pu S, et al (2021)

Development of autotrophic and heterotrophic consortia via immobilized microbial beads for chemical wastewater treatment, using PTA wastewater as an approach.

Chemosphere, 281:131001.

Studies on the symbiosis of microalgae-bacteria have been accelerating as a mean for wastewater remediation. However, there were few reports about the microalgae-bacteria consortia for chemical wastewater treatment. The aim of the present study is to develop an autotrophic and heterotrophic consortium for chemical wastewater treatment and probe whether and how bacteria could benefit from the microalgae during the treatment process, using PTA wastewater as an approach. A process-dependent strategy was applied. First of all, the results showed that the sludge beads with the sludge concentration of 30 g/L were the optimal one with the COD removal rate at 84.8% but the ceiling effect occurred (COD removal rate < 90%) even several common reinforcement methods were applied. Additionally, by adding the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris, a microalgae-activated sludge consortium was formed inside the immobilized beads, which provided better performance to shatter the ceiling effect. The COD remove rate was higher than 90%, regardless of the activated sludge was pre-culture or not. COD removal capacity could also be improved (COD removal rate > 92%) when LEDs light belt was offered as an advanced light condition. Biochemical assay and DNA analysis indicated that the microalgae could form an internal circulation of substances within the activated sludge and drove the microbial community to success and the corresponding gene functions, like metabolism and.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Devegili AM, Lescano MN, Gianoli E, et al (2021)

Evidence of indirect biotic resistance: native ants decrease invasive plant fitness by enhancing aphid infestation.

Oecologia, 196(3):607-618.

The biotic resistance hypothesis asserts that native species may hinder the invasion of exotic species, which can occur either directly or indirectly by influencing interactions between exotic and local species. Aphid-tending ants may play a key role in the indirect biotic resistance to plant invasion. Ants may protect aphids, thus increasing their negative effect on exotic plants, but may also deter chewing herbivores, thus benefiting exotic plants. We studied native aphid-tending ants (Dorymyrmex tener, Camponotus distinguendus, and Dorymyrmex richteri) on exotic nodding thistles (Carduus thoermeri), which are attacked by thistle aphids (Brachycaudus cardui) and thistle-head weevils (Rhinocyllus conicus). We evaluated the impact of ants, aphids, and weevils on thistle seed set. We compared ant species aggressiveness towards aphid predators and weevils and performed ant-exclusion experiments to determine the effects of ants on aphid predators and weevils. We analysed whether ant species affected thistle seed set through their effects on aphids and/or weevils. The ant D. tener showed the most aggressive behaviour towards aphid predators and weevils. Further, D. tener successfully removed aphid predators from thistles but did not affect weevils. Excluding D. tener from thistles increased seed set. Analyses supported a negative indirect pathway between the aggressive D. tener and thistle seed set through aphid populations, while the other ant species showed no indirect effects on thistle reproduction. Therefore, aggressive aphid-tending ants may enhance biotic resistance by increasing aphid infestation on exotic invasive plants. This study highlights the importance of indirect biotic resistance in modulating the success of invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Eleftherianos I, C Heryanto (2021)

Transcriptomic Insights into the Insect Immune Response to Nematode Infection.

Genes, 12(2):.

Insects in nature interact with a wide variety of microbial enemies including nematodes. These include entomopathogenic nematodes that contain mutualistic bacteria and together are able to infect a broad range of insects in order to complete their life cycle and multiply, filarial nematodes which are vectored by mosquitoes, and other parasitic nematodes. Entomopathogenic nematodes are commonly used in biological control practices and they form excellent research tools for understanding the genetic and functional bases of nematode pathogenicity and insect anti-nematode immunity. In addition, clarifying the mechanism of transmission of filarial nematodes by mosquitoes is critical for devising strategies to reduce disease transmission in humans. In all cases and in order to achieve these goals, it is vital to determine the number and type of insect host genes which are differentially regulated during infection and encode factors with anti-nematode properties. In this respect, the use of transcriptomic approaches has proven a key step for the identification of insect molecules with anti-nematode activity. Here, we review the progress in the field of transcriptomics that deals with the insect response to nematode infection. This information is important because it will expose conserved pathways of anti-nematode immunity in humans.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Vishnyakov AE, Karagodina NP, Lim-Fong G, et al (2021)

First evidence of virus-like particles in the bacterial symbionts of Bryozoa.

Scientific reports, 11(1):4.

Bacteriophage communities associated with humans and vertebrate animals have been extensively studied, but the data on phages living in invertebrates remain scarce. In fact, they have never been reported for most animal phyla. Our ultrastructural study showed for the first time a variety of virus-like particles (VLPs) and supposed virus-related structures inside symbiotic bacteria in two marine species from the phylum Bryozoa, the cheilostomes Bugula neritina and Paralicornia sinuosa. We also documented the effect of VLPs on bacterial hosts: we explain different bacterial 'ultrastructural types' detected in bryozoan tissues as stages in the gradual destruction of prokaryotic cells caused by viral multiplication during the lytic cycle. We speculate that viruses destroying bacteria regulate symbiont numbers in the bryozoan hosts, a phenomenon known in some insects. We develop two hypotheses explaining exo- and endogenous circulation of the viruses during the life-cycle of B. neritina. Finally, we compare unusual 'sea-urchin'-like structures found in the collapsed bacteria in P. sinuosa with so-called metamorphosis associated contractile structures (MACs) formed in the cells of the marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea which are known to trigger larval metamorphosis in a polychaete worm.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Tariq S, AH Clifford (2021)

An update on the microbiome in vasculitis.

Current opinion in rheumatology, 33(1):15-23.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize recent evidence regarding the presence and potential role of the microbiome in systemic vasculitides.

RECENT FINDINGS: Microbiomic descriptions are now available in patients with small, medium and large vessel vasculitis. The majority of studies have evaluated gastrointestinal inhabitants, with a smaller number of studies describing the nasal, pulmonary or vascular microbiomes. Most published studies are observational and cross-sectional. Dysbiosis is seen frequently in vasculitis patients with reduced microbial diversity observed in nasal, fecal and vascular samples compared with disease and/or healthy controls. Predominant bacteria vary, but overall, patients with vasculitis tend to have more pathogenic and less commensal bacteria in active disease. In the few longitudinal studies available, improvement or resolution of dysbiosis has been observed following vasculitis treatment and improved disease activity.

SUMMARY: Dysbiosis and reduced microbial diversity has been identified in patients with small, medium and large vessel vasculitis. Although limited data suggests microbiomes may 'normalize' following immunosuppression, cause or effect cannot be determined. It is hypothesized that microbial disruption in a genetically susceptible individual may trigger excessive host immune activation and vasculitis; however, larger studies with longitudinal and translational design are needed to further our current understanding.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Laventie BJ, U Jenal (2020)

Surface Sensing and Adaptation in Bacteria.

Annual review of microbiology, 74:735-760.

Bacteria thrive both in liquids and attached to surfaces. The concentration of bacteria on surfaces is generally much higher than in the surrounding environment, offering bacteria ample opportunity for mutualistic, symbiotic, and pathogenic interactions. To efficiently populate surfaces, they have evolved mechanisms to sense mechanical or chemical cues upon contact with solid substrata. This is of particular importance for pathogens that interact with host tissue surfaces. In this review we discuss how bacteria are able to sense surfaces and how they use this information to adapt their physiology and behavior to this new environment. We first survey mechanosensing and chemosensing mechanisms and outline how specific macromolecular structures can inform bacteria about surfaces. We then discuss how mechanical cues are converted to biochemical signals to activate specific cellular processes in a defined chronological order and describe the role of two key second messengers, c-di-GMP and cAMP, in this process.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Davila-Lara A, Reichelt M, Wang D, et al (2021)

Proof of anthocyanins in the carnivorous plant genus Nepenthes.

FEBS open bio [Epub ahead of print].

Yellow to red colored betalains are a chemotaxonomic feature of Caryophyllales, while in most other plant taxa, anthocyanins are responsible for these colors. The carnivorous plant family Nepenthaceae belongs to Caryophyllales; here, red-pigmented tissues seem to attract insect prey. Strikingly, the chemical nature of red color in Nepenthes has never been elucidated. Although belonging to Caryophyllales, in Nepenthes, some molecular evidence supports the presence of anthocyanins rather than betalains. However, there was previously no direct chemical proof of this. Using UHPLC-ESI-HRMS, we identified cyanidin glycosides in Nepenthes species and tissues. Further, we reveal the existence of a complete set of constitutively expressed anthocyanin biosynthetic genes in Nepenthes. Thus, here we finally conclude the long-term open question regarding red pigmentation in Nepenthaceae.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Wagner MR (2021)

Prioritizing host phenotype to understand microbiome heritability in plants.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Breeders and evolutionary geneticists have grappled with the complexity of the "genotype-to-phenotype map" for decades. Now, recent studies highlight the relevance of this concept for understanding heritability of plant microbiomes. Because host phenotype is a more proximate cause of microbiome variation than host genotype, microbiome heritability varies across plant anatomy and development. Fine-scale variation of plant traits within organs suggests that the well-established concept of "microbiome compartment" should be refined. Additionally, recent work shows that the balance of deterministic processes (including host genetic effects) vs. stochastic processes also varies over time and space. Together, these findings suggest that re-centering plant phenotype-both as a predictor and a readout of microbiome function-will accelerate new insights into microbiome heritability.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Speare L, Woo M, Bultman KM, et al (2021)

Host-Like Conditions Are Required for T6SS-Mediated Competition among Vibrio fischeri Light Organ Symbionts.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteria employ diverse competitive strategies to enhance fitness and promote their own propagation. However, little is known about how symbiotic bacteria modulate competitive mechanisms as they compete for a host niche. The bacterium Vibrio fischeri forms a symbiotic relationship with marine animals and encodes a type VI secretion system (T6SS), which is a contact-dependent killing mechanism used to eliminate competitors during colonization of the Euprymna scolopes squid light organ. Like other horizontally acquired symbionts, V. fischeri experiences changes in its physical and chemical environment during symbiosis establishment. Therefore, we probed both environmental and host-like conditions to identify ecologically relevant cues that control T6SS-dependent competition during habitat transition. Although the T6SS did not confer a competitive advantage for V. fischeri strain ES401 under planktonic conditions, a combination of both host-like pH and viscosity was necessary for T6SS competition. For ES401, high viscosity activates T6SS expression and neutral/acidic pH promotes cell-cell contact for killing, and this pH-dependent phenotype was conserved in the majority of T6SS-encoding strains examined. We also identified a subset of V. fischeri isolates that engaged in T6SS-mediated competition at high viscosity under both planktonic and host-like pH conditions. T6SS phylogeny revealed that strains with pH-dependent phenotypes cluster together to form a subclade within the pH-independent strains, suggesting that V. fischeri may have recently evolved to limit competition to the host niche. IMPORTANCE Bacteria have evolved diverse strategies to compete for limited space and resources. Because these mechanisms can be costly to use, their expression and function are often restricted to specific environments where the benefits outweigh the costs. However, little is known about the specific cues that modulate competitive mechanisms as bacterial symbionts transition between free-living and host habitats. Here, we used the bioluminescent squid and fish symbiont Vibrio fischeri to probe for host and environmental conditions that control interbacterial competition via the type VI secretion system. Our findings identify a new host-specific cue that promotes competition among many but not all V. fischeri isolates, underscoring the utility of studying multiple strains to reveal how competitive mechanisms may be differentially regulated among closely related populations as they evolve to fill distinct niches.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Di Lorenzo F, Duda KA, Lanzetta R, et al (2021)

A Journey from Structure to Function of Bacterial Lipopolysaccharides.

Chemical reviews [Epub ahead of print].

Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a crucial constituent of the outer membrane of most Gram-negative bacteria, playing a fundamental role in the protection of bacteria from environmental stress factors, in drug resistance, in pathogenesis, and in symbiosis. During the last decades, LPS has been thoroughly dissected, and massive information on this fascinating biomolecule is now available. In this Review, we will give the reader a third millennium update of the current knowledge of LPS with key information on the inherent peculiar carbohydrate chemistry due to often puzzling sugar residues that are uniquely found on it. Then, we will drive the reader through the complex and multifarious immunological outcomes that any given LPS can raise, which is strictly dependent on its chemical structure. Further, we will argue about issues that still remain unresolved and that would represent the immediate future of LPS research. It is critical to address these points to complete our notions on LPS chemistry, functions, and roles, in turn leading to innovative ways to manipulate the processes involving such a still controversial and intriguing biomolecule.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Dessì A, Bosco A, Pintus R, et al (2021)

Fusobacterium nucleatum and alteration of the oral microbiome: from pregnancy to SARS-COV-2 infection.

European review for medical and pharmacological sciences, 25(13):4579-4596.

OBJECTIVE: The human being has evolved in close symbiosis with its own ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria. After the intestinal microbiome, that of the oral cavity is the largest and most diversified. Its importance is reflected not only in local and systemic diseases, but also in pregnancy since it would seem to influence the placental microbiome.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a literature review of articles published in PubMed about Fusobacterium Nucleatum and both its implications with systemic and oral health, adverse pregnancy outcomes, flavors perception and its interference in the oral-nasal mucosal immunity.

RESULTS: It is in maintaining the microbiome's homeostasis that the Fusobacterium nucleatum, an opportunistic periodontal pathogen of the oral cavity, plays a crucial role both as a bridge microorganism of the tongue biofilm, and in maintaining the balance between the different species in the oral-nasal mucosal immunity also by taste receptors interaction. It is also involved in the flavor perception and its detection in the oral microbiome of children from the first days of life suggests a possible physiological role. However, the dysbiosis can determine its pathogenicity with local and systemic consequences, including the pathogenesis of respiratory infections.

CONCLUSIONS: It is interesting to evaluate its possible correlation with Sars-CoV-2 and the consequences on the microflora of the oral cavity, both to promote a possible broad-spectrum preventive action, in favor of all subjects for whom, by promoting the eubiosis of the oral microbiome, a defensive action could be envisaged by the commensals themselves but, above all, for patients with specific comorbidities and therefore already prone to oral dysbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Reuter C, TA Oelschlaeger (2018)

Enhancement of Mucus Production in Eukaryotic Cells and Quantification of Adherent Mucus by ELISA.

Bio-protocol, 8(12):e2879 pii:2879.

The mucosal surfaces of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, reproductive, and urinary tracts, and the surface of the eye harbor a resident microflora that lives in symbiosis with their host and forms a complex ecosystem. The protection of the vulnerable epithelium is primarily achieved by mucins that form a gel-like structure adherent to the apical cell surface. This mucus layer constitutes a physical and chemical barrier between the microbial flora and the underlying epithelium. Mucus is critical to the maintenance of a homeostatic relationship between the microbiota and its host. Subtle deviations from this dynamic interaction may result in major implications for health. The protocol in this article describes the procedures to grow low mucus-producing HT29 and high mucus-producing HT29-MTX-E12 cells, maintain cells and use them for mucus quantification by ELISA. Additionally, it is described how to assess the amount of secreted adherent mucus. This system can be used to study the protective effect of mucus, e.g., against bacterial toxins, to test the effect of different culture conditions on mucus production or to analyze diffusion of molecules through the mucus layer. Since the ELISA used in this protocol is available for different species and mucus proteins, also other cell types can be used.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Tortorelli G, Rautengarten C, Bacic A, et al (2021)

Cell surface carbohydrates of symbiotic dinoflagellates and their role in the establishment of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiodiniaceae algae are often photosymbionts of reef-building corals. The establishment of their symbiosis resembles a microbial infection where eukaryotic pattern recognition receptors (e.g. lectins) are thought to recognize a specific range of taxon-specific microbial-associated molecular patterns (e.g. glycans). The present study used the sea anemone, Exaiptasia diaphana and three species of Symbiodiniaceae (the homologous Breviolum minutum, the heterologous-compatible Cladocopium goreaui and the heterologous-incompatible Fugacium kawagutii) to compare the surface glycomes of three symbionts and explore the role of glycan-lectin interactions in host-symbiont recognition and establishment of symbiosis. We identified the nucleotide sugars of the algal cells, then examined glycans on the cell wall of the three symbiont species with monosaccharide analysis, lectin array technology and fluorescence microscopy of the algal cell decorated with fluorescently tagged lectins. Armed with this inventory of possible glycan moieties, we then assayed the ability of the three Symbiodiniaceae to colonize aposymbiotic E. diaphana after modifying the surface of one of the two partners. The Symbiodiniaceae cell-surface glycome varies among algal species. Trypsin treatment of the alga changed the rate of B. minutum and C. goreaui uptake, suggesting that a protein-based moiety is an essential part of compatible symbiont recognition. Our data strongly support the importance of D-galactose (in particular β-D-galactose) residues in the establishment of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, and we propose a potential involvement of L-fucose, D-xylose and D-galacturonic acid in the early steps of this mutualism.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Jönsson H, Michaud M, N Neuman (2021)

What Is Commensality? A Critical Discussion of an Expanding Research Field.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(12): pii:ijerph18126235.

Commensality (the act of eating together) is studied in a range of disciplines and often considered important for social communion, order, health and well-being, while simultaneously being understood as in decline (especially the family meal). However, such claims are also contested in various ways. In this paper, we discuss the expanding field of commensality research and critically reflect on the debates surrounding its social functions, including its role in public health. We illuminate the deep social and cultural significance of commensality, through time and space, and conclude that whether or not commensality is the preferred social form of eating for any given individual, it is difficult to escape its sociocultural desirability and idealization. As a cross-cultural phenomenon in both past, present, and future, we suggest that commensality deserves further research. This includes commensality as a research topic in itself and as an entry point to unveil different dimensions of social relations between people, as well as interactions between humans and material objects.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Copeland C (2021)

Same but different: examining the molecular mechanisms of intercellular rhizobial infection.

Plant physiology, 185(3):754-756.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Zhan M, Tian M, Wang W, et al (2020)

Draft genomic sequence of Armillaria gallica 012m: insights into its symbiotic relationship with Gastrodia elata.

Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology], 51(4):1539-1552.

Armillaria species (Basidiomycota, Physalacriaceae) are well known as plant pathogens related to serious root rot disease on various trees in forests and plantations. Interestingly, some Armillaria species are essential symbionts of the rare Chinese medicinal herb Gastrodia elata, a rootless and leafless orchid used for over 2000 years. In this work, an 87.3-M draft genome of Armillaria gallica 012m strain, which was symbiotic with G. elata, was assembled. The genome includes approximately 23.6% repetitive sequences and encodes 26,261 predicted genes. In comparison with other four genomes of Armillaria, the following gene families related to pathogenicity/saprophytic phase, including cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, carbohydrate-active enzyme AA3, and hydrophobins, were significantly contracted in A. gallica 012m. These characteristics may be beneficial for G. elata to get less injuries. The genome-guided analysis of differential expression between rhizomorph (RH) and vegetative mycelium (VM) showed that a total of 2549 genes were differentially expressed, including 632 downregulated genes and 1917 upregulated genes. In the RH, most differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to pathogenicity were significantly upregulated. To further elucidate gene function, Gene Ontology enrichment analysis showed that the upregulated DEGs significantly grouped into monooxygenase activity, hydrolase activity, glucosidase activity, extracellular region, fungal cell wall, response to xenobiotic stimulus, response to toxic substance, etc. These phenomena indicate that RH had better infection ability than VM. The infection ability of RH may be beneficial for G. elata to obtain nutrition, because the rhizomorph constantly infected the nutritional stems of G. elata and formed the hyphae that can be digested by G. elata. These results clarified the characteristics of A. gallica 012m and the reason why the strain 012m can establish a symbiotic relationship with G. elata in some extent from the perspective of genomics.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Xie X, Li X, Fan H, et al (2021)

Spatial analysis of production-living-ecological functions and zoning method under symbiosis theory of Henan, China.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

Land space is the carrier of human production, living activities, and ecological civilization construction. How to promote the orderly, moderate, and sustainable development and utilization of land space is a scientific problem to be solved. As a key element in China's spatial planning, the quantitative analysis of spatial pattern and functional zoning has become a focus of China's current development. Based on the analysis of land space symbiosis development, this study takes Henan province as the case study; appropriate indicators were selected from the perspective of "production-living-ecological" functions (PLEFs) index that was developed including three subsystems of the production function, living function, and ecological function. The entropy weight method and geographic information system (GIS) spatial method were used to analyze the PLEF status and spatial pattern in Henan province. The PLEF score showed a certain geographical pattern, where in the southwestern areas of Henan province have higher PLEFs than that in the northeastern areas. The PLEFs have an obvious positive correlation in the spatial distribution by spatial correlation analysis. In addition, this study designs a three-dimensional magic cube evaluation model to analyze the symbiotic function type of land space. The results indicated that the PLEFs of Henan province were classified into 13 symbiotic function types of areas, which can better reflect the spatial differentiation characteristics. Moreover, we proposed paths to promote the development and management of each type function area.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Alves MF, Pinheiro F, Nunes CEP, et al (2021)

Reproductive development and genetic structure of the mycoheterotrophic orchid Pogoniopsis schenckii Cogn.

BMC plant biology, 21(1):332.

BACKGROUND: Pogoniopsis schenckii Cogn. is a mycoheterotrophic orchid that can be used as a model to understand the influence of mycoheterotrophy at different stages of the reproductive cycle. We aimed to verify the presence of endophytic and epiphytic fungi at each stage of the reproductive process and investigated how the breeding system may relate to genetic structure and diversity of populations. In this study we performed anatomical and ultrastructural analyses of the reproductive organs, field tests to confirm the breeding system, and molecular analysis to assess genetic diversity and structure of populations.

RESULTS: During the development of the pollen grain, embryo sac and embryogenesis, no fungal infestation was observed. The presence of endophytic fungal hyphae was observed just within floral stems and indehiscent fruit. Beyond assuring the presence of fungus that promote seed germination, specific fungi hyphae in the fruit may affect other process, such as fruit ripening. As other mycoheterotrophic orchids, P. schenckii is autogamous, which may explain the low genetic diversity and high genetic structure in populations.

CONCLUSIONS: We discuss an interesting interaction: fungal hyphae in the indehiscent fruit. These fungal hyphae seem to play different roles inside fruit tissues, such as acting in the fruit maturation process and increasing the proximity between fungi and plant seeds even before dispersion occurs. As other mycoheterotrophic orchids, P. schenckii is autogamous, which may explain the low genetic diversity and high genetic structure in populations. Altogether, our findings provide important novel information about the mechanisms shaping ecology and evolution of fragmented populations of mycoheterotrophic plant.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Cimen H, Touray M, Gulsen SH, et al (2021)

Antifungal activity of different Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus species against various fungal phytopathogens and identification of the antifungal compounds from X. szentirmaii.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 105(13):5517-5528.

Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus spp. are enteric bacterial symbionts of Steinernema and Heterorhabditis nematodes, respectively. These bacteria produce an extensive set of natural products (NPs) with antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, insecticidal, or other bioactivities when vectored into insect hemocoel by nematodes. We assessed the in vitro activity of different Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus cell-free supernatants against important fungal phytopathogens, viz., Cryphonectria parasitica, Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and identified the bioactive antifungal compound/s present in the most effective bacterial supernatant using the easyPACId (easy promoter-activated compound identification) approach against chestnut blight C. parasitica. Our data showed that supernatants from Xenorhabdus species were comparatively more effective than extracts from Photorhabdus in suppressing the fungal pathogens; among the bacteria assessed, Xenorhabdus szentirmaii was the most effective species against all tested phytopathogens especially against C. parasitica. Subsequent analysis revealed fabclavines as antifungal bioactive compounds in X. szentirmaii, generated by a polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) hybrid system. Fabclavines are broad-spectrum, heat-stable NPs that have great potential as biological control compounds against fungal plant pathogens. More studies are needed to assess the potential phytotoxicity of these compounds and their effects on non-target organisms before commercialization. KEY POINTS: • Chemical fungicides have toxic effects on humans and other non-target organisms. • Alternatives with novel modes of action to supplant current fungicide are needed. • A novel bioactive antifungal compound from Xenorhabdus szentirmaii was identified.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Sundarraman D, Hay EA, Martins DM, et al (2020)

Higher-Order Interactions Dampen Pairwise Competition in the Zebrafish Gut Microbiome.

mBio, 11(5):.

The microbial communities resident in animal intestines are composed of multiple species that together play important roles in host development, health, and disease. Due to the complexity of these communities and the difficulty of characterizing them in situ, the determinants of microbial composition remain largely unknown. Further, it is unclear for many multispecies consortia whether their species-level makeup can be predicted based on an understanding of pairwise species interactions or whether higher-order interactions are needed to explain emergent compositions. To address this, we examine commensal intestinal microbes in larval zebrafish, initially raised germfree, to allow the introduction of controlled combinations of bacterial species. Using a dissection and plating assay, we demonstrate the construction of communities of one to five bacterial species and show that the outcomes from the two-species competitions fail to predict species abundances in more complex communities. With multiple species present, interbacterial interactions become weaker, suggesting that higher-order interactions in the vertebrate gut stabilize complex communities.IMPORTANCE Understanding the rules governing the composition of the diverse microbial communities that reside in the vertebrate gut environment will enhance our ability to manipulate such communities for therapeutic ends. Synthetic microbial communities, assembled from specific combinations of microbial species in germfree animals, allow investigation of the fundamental question of whether multispecies community composition can be predicted solely based on the combined effects of interactions between pairs of species. If so, such predictability would enable the construction of communities with desired species from the bottom up. If not, the apparent higher-order interactions imply that emergent community-level characteristics are crucial. Our findings using up to five coexisting native bacterial species in larval zebrafish, a model vertebrate, provide experimental evidence for higher-order interactions and, moreover, show that these interactions promote the coexistence of microbial species in the gut.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Cerezini P, Kuwano BH, Grunvald AK, et al (2020)

Soybean tolerance to drought depends on the associated Bradyrhizobium strain.

Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology], 51(4):1977-1986.

We evaluated the effect of three different Bradyrhizobium strains inoculated in two soybean genotypes (R01-581F, drought-tolerant, and NA5858RR, drought-sensitive) submitted to drought in two trials conducted simultaneously under greenhouse. The strains (SEMIA 587, SEMIA 5019 (both B. elkanii), and SEMIA 5080 (B. diazoefficiens)) were inoculated individually in each genotype and then submitted to water restriction (or kept well-watered, control) between 45 and 62 days after emergence. No deep changes in plant physiological variables were observed under the moderate water restriction imposed during the first 10 days. Nevertheless, photosynthesis and transpiration decreased after the severe water restriction imposed for further 7 days. Water restriction reduced growth (- 30%) and the number of nodules (- 47% and - 58% for R01-581F and NA5858RR, respectively) of both genotypes, with a negative effect on N-metabolism. The genotype R01-581F inoculated with SEMIA 5019 strain had higher photosynthetic rates compared with NA5858RR, regardless of the Bradyrhizobium strain. On average, R01-581F showed better performance under drought than NA5858RR, with higher number of nodules (51 vs. 38 nodules per plant, respectively) and less accumulation of ureides in petioles (15 μmol g-1 vs. 34 μmol g-1, respectively). Moreover, plants inoculated with SEMIA 5080 had higher glutamine synthetase activity under severe water restriction, especially in the drought-tolerant R01-518F, suggesting maintenance of N metabolism under drought. The Bradyrhizobium strain affects the host plant responses to drought in which the strain SEMIA 5080 improves the drought tolerance of R01-518F genotype.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Sharma R, Shahbaz M, Kautish P, et al (2021)

Does energy consumption reinforce environmental pollution? Evidence from emerging Asian economies.

Journal of environmental management, 297:113272 pii:S0301-4797(21)01334-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Steadily improving per capita income level, energy consumption, and delivery of financial services in South and Southeast Asian countries has remained a subject of discussion among policymakers. Because these endeavors have not only elevated their growth trajectory but also widened the scope for carbon emissions, especially in the preceding two decades. In order to confirm this argument, therefore, in the present study, we intended to examine their dynamic impacts on carbon emissions. In this pursuit, by using the second-generation unit-root test, cointegration test, and panel regression procedures, we investigated the moderating impact of energy solutions on the association between per capita income and CO2 emissions and financial development and CO2 emissions from 1976 to 2015. The computed results revealed that the energy's interaction with the linear per capita income significantly escalated carbon emissions in the long run. However, the impact of energy's interaction with the squared per capita income on carbon emissions is found insignificant but positive in the long run. On the other hand, the interaction of energy with financial development provided a negative but insignificant coefficient. Based on the outcomes, we can ascertain that, at the lower level of income, energy consumption leads to environmental pollution, whereas at the higher level of income, its harmful effect on carbon emissions becomes weak in the given regions. By taking a cue from the computed results, we proposed a policy framework that might help these regions to navigate the energy-led environmental challenges in the coming years.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Sen A, Sharma S, Dutta S, et al (2021)

Functionalized Ionic Porous Organic Polymers Exhibiting High Iodine Uptake from Both the Vapor and Aqueous Medium.

ACS applied materials & interfaces [Epub ahead of print].

Large-scale generation of radioactive iodine (129I, 131I) in nuclear power plants pose a critical threat in the event of fallout, thus rendering the development of iodine sequestering materials (from both the vapor and aqueous medium) highly pivotal. Herein, we report two chemically stable ionic polymers containing multiple binding sites, including phenyl rings, imidazolium cations, and bromide anions, which in synergy promote adsorption of iodine/triiodide anions. In brief, exceptional iodine uptake (from the vapor phase) was observed at nuclear fuel reprocessing conditions. Furthermore, the ionic nature propelled removal of >99% of I3- from water within 30 min. Additionally, benchmark uptake capacities, as well as unprecedented selectivity, were observed for I3-anions. The excellent affinity (distribution coefficient, ∼105 mL/g) enabled iodine capture from seawater-spiked samples. Moreover, iodine-loaded compounds showed conductivity (10-4 S/cm, 10-6 S/cm), placing them among the best known conducting porous organic polymers. Lastly, DFT studies unveiled key insights in coherence with the experimental findings.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Hao R, Huang W, B Jiu (2021)

Characteristics and the Model of Thermal Evolution and Gas Generation of Late Paleozoic Coal in the Qinshui Basin, Based on Hydrous Pyrolysis.

ACS omega, 6(27):17660-17673.

The Qinshui basin is an important coal-accumulating basin in China, and its Late Paleozoic coal is an important source rock of coalbed methane in the basin. Its thermal evolution and gas generation characteristics determined the grade of coalbed methane resources, especially the coal measure free gas resources in the basin. Late Paleozoic coal samples were collected for organic geochemical analysis, a high-volatile bituminous coal was used for hydrous pyrolysis, to propose the thermal evolution characteristics, gas generation characteristics, thermal evolution, and free gas accumulation model, and the Ordos Basin is compared. The results show that the variation trends of various geochemical parameters are different with the increase in R o. Hydrous pyrolysis shows that the gas production potential of coal is excellent. The gases produced consist mainly of CH4, C2-, CO2, and H2. C2- is produced only before the simulated temperature of 550 °C, and oil is produced only before the temperature of 500 °C. The thermal evolution stages can be divided into the immature stage, symbiosis stage, wet gas stage, and dry gas stage, and the symbiosis stage can be divided into the preliminary stage and mainly gas stage. R o, T max, (2+3)MP/(1+9)MP, saturated+arene, V daf, and H/C can be used as indicators of the thermal evolution stages. On the plane, the distribution of thermal evolution stages of the Shanxi Formation and the Taiyuan Formation is very alike. The gas generating strength of the Taiyuan Formation is higher than that of the Shanxi Formation. The gas generating strength in the north of the Taiyuan Formation is higher, while that in the south of the Shanxi Formation is higher. The second gas generation stage has a good spatio-temporal configuration relationship with accumulation factors, and the gas production is large, which is beneficial to the enrichment of the coal measure free gas resources. Relatively, the Ordos Basin has better prospects for exploration and development.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Dang BT, Truong OT, Tran SQ, et al (2021)

Comparative population genetics of swimming crab host (Portunus pelagicus) and common symbiotic barnacle (Octolasmis angulata) in Vietnam.

PeerJ, 9:e11671 pii:11671.

Background: By comparing spatial geographical structures of host populations with that of their symbionts light can be shed on their biological interactions, and the degree of congruence between host and symbiont phylogeographies should reflect their life histories and especially dispersal mechanisms.

Methods: Here, we analyzed the genetic diversity and structure of a host, the blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus, and its symbiotic pedunculate barnacle Octolasmis angulata from six location sites representing three geographic regions (north, central and south) along the Vietnam coastline. High levels of congruence in their phylogeographic patterns were expected as they both undergo planktonic larval stages.

Results: Based on the COI mtDNA markers, O. angulata populations showed higher genetic diversity in comparison with their host P. pelagicus (number of haplotype/individuals, haplotype and nucleotide diversity are 119/192, 0.991 ± 0.002 and 0.02; and 89/160, 0.913 ± 0.02 and 0.015, respectively). Pairwise Fst and AMOVA analyses showed a more pronounced population structure in the symbiotic barnacle than in its crab host. The DAPC analyses identified three genetic clusters. However, both haplotype networks and scatter plots supported connectivity of the host and the symbiotic barnacle throughout their distribution range, except for low subdivision of southern population. Isolation by distance were detected only for the symbiont O. angulata (R2 = 0.332, P = 0.05), while dbMEM supported spatial structure of both partners, but only at MEM-1 (Obs. 0.2686, P < 0.01 and Obs. 0.2096, P < 0.01, respectively).

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Zhao DK, Selosse MA, Wu L, et al (2021)

Orchid Reintroduction Based on Seed Germination-Promoting Mycorrhizal Fungi Derived From Protocorms or Seedlings.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:701152.

Orchids are among the most endangered in the plant kingdom. Lack of endosperm in their seeds renders orchids to depend on nutrients provided by orchid mycorrhizal fungi (OMF) for seed germination and seedling formation in the wild. OMF that parasitize in germination seeds is an essential element for orchid seedling formation, which can also help orchid reintroduction. Considering the limitations of the previous orchid reintroduction technology based on seed germination-promoting OMF (sgOMF) sourced from orchid roots, an innovative approach is proposed here in which orchid seeds are directly co-sown with sgOMF carrying ecological specificity from protocorms/seedlings. Based on this principle, an integrative and practical procedure concerning related ecological factors is further raised for re-constructing long-term and self-sustained orchid populations. We believe that this new approach will benefit the reintroduction of endangered orchids in nature.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Yu YC, Dickstein R, A Longo (2021)

Structural Modeling and in planta Complementation Studies Link Mutated Residues of the Medicago truncatula Nitrate Transporter NPF1.7 to Functionality in Root Nodules.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:685334.

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is a complex and regulated process that takes place in root nodules of legumes and allows legumes to grow in soils that lack nitrogen. Nitrogen is mostly acquired from the soil as nitrate and its level in the soil affects nodulation and nitrogen fixation. The mechanism(s) by which legumes modulate nitrate uptake to regulate nodule symbiosis remain unclear. In Medicago truncatula, the MtNPF1.7 transporter has been shown to control nodulation, symbiosis, and root architecture. MtNPF1.7 belongs to the nitrate/peptide transporter family and is a symporter with nitrate transport driven by proton(s). In this study we combined in silico structural predictions with in planta complementation of the severely defective mtnip-1 mutant plants to understand the role of a series of distinct amino acids in the transporter's function. Our results support hypotheses about the functional importance of the ExxE(R/K) motif including an essential role for the first glutamic acid of the motif in proton(s) and possibly substrate transport. Results reveal that Motif A, a motif conserved among major facilitator transport (MFS) proteins, is essential for function. We hypothesize that it participates in intradomain packing of transmembrane helices and stabilizing one conformation during transport. Our results also question the existence of a putative TMH4-TMH10 salt bridge. These results are discussed in the context of potential nutrient transport functions for MtNPF1.7. Our findings add to the knowledge of the mechanism of alternative conformational changes as well as symport transport in NPFs and enhance our knowledge of the mechanisms for nitrate signaling.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Singh J, PK Verma (2021)

NSP1 allies with GSK3 to inhibit nodule symbiosis.

Trends in plant science pii:S1360-1385(21)00174-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Salt stress reduces N2 fixation by causing a reduction in nodule number, nodule weight, and nitrogenase activity in legumes. Emerging evidence from He et al. now suggests that glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) phosphorylates nodulation signaling pathway 1 (NSP1) in response to salt stress, reducing its DNA-binding activity, and thereby causing a reduction in nodulation.

RevDate: 2021-07-18

Gottshall EY, Bryson SJ, Cogert KI, et al (2021)

Sustained nitrogen loss in a symbiotic association of Comammox Nitrospira and Anammox bacteria.

Water research, 202:117426 pii:S0043-1354(21)00624-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The discovery of anaerobic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (Anammox) and, more recently, aerobic bacteria common in many natural and engineered systems that oxidize ammonia completely to nitrate (Comammox) have significantly altered our understanding of the global nitrogen cycle. A high affinity for ammonia (Km(app),NH3 ≈ 63nM) and oxygen place Comammox Nitrospira inopinata, the first described isolate, in the same trophic category as organisms such as some ammonia-oxidizing archaea. However, N. inopinata has a relatively low affinity for nitrite (Km,NO2 ≈ 449.2μM) suggesting it would be less competitive for nitrite than other nitrite-consuming aerobes and anaerobes. We examined the ecological relevance of the disparate substrate affinities by coupling it with the Anammox bacterium Candidatus Brocadia anammoxidans. Synthetic communities of the two were established in hydrogel granules in which Comammox grew in the aerobic outer layer to provide Anammox with nitrite in the inner anoxic core to form dinitrogen gas. This spatial organization was confirmed with FISH imaging, supporting a mutualistic or commensal relationship. The functional significance of interspecies spatial organization was informed by the hydrogel encapsulation format, broadening our limited understanding of the interplay between these two species. The resulting low nitrate formation and the competitiveness of Comammox over other aerobic ammonia- and nitrite-oxidizers sets this ecological cooperation apart and points to potential biotechnological applications. Since nitrate is an undesirable product of wastewater treatment effluents, the Comammox-Anammox symbiosis may be of economic and ecological importance to reduce nitrogen contamination of receiving waters.

RevDate: 2021-07-18

Filatov AV, Perepelov AV, Shashkov AS, et al (2021)

Structure and genetics of the O-antigen of Enterobacter cloacae K7 containing di-N-acetylpseudaminic acid.

Carbohydrate research, 508:108392 pii:S0008-6215(21)00161-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The O-antigen (O-polysaccharide) is an essential component of lipopolysaccharide on the surface of Gram-negative bacteria and plays an important role in interaction with host organisms. In this study, we investigated the chemical structure and characterized the gene cluster of Enterobacter cloacae K7 O-antigen. As judged by sugar analyses along with NMR spectroscopy data, E. cloacae K7 antigen has a tetrasaccharide O-unit with the following structure: →8)-β-Psep5Ac7Ac-(2 → 2)-β-l-Rhap-(1 → 4)-α-l-Rhap-(1 → 3)-α-d-Galp-(1→ The O-antigen gene cluster of E. cloacae K7 between conserved genes galF and gnd was sequenced. Most genes necessary for the O-antigen synthesis were found in the cluster and their functions were tentatively assigned by comparison with sequences in the available databases.

RevDate: 2021-07-19
CmpDate: 2021-07-19

Li E, de Jonge R, Liu C, et al (2021)

Rapid evolution of bacterial mutualism in the plant rhizosphere.

Nature communications, 12(1):3829.

While beneficial plant-microbe interactions are common in nature, direct evidence for the evolution of bacterial mutualism is scarce. Here we use experimental evolution to causally show that initially plant-antagonistic Pseudomonas protegens bacteria evolve into mutualists in the rhizosphere of Arabidopsis thaliana within six plant growth cycles (6 months). This evolutionary transition is accompanied with increased mutualist fitness via two mechanisms: (i) improved competitiveness for root exudates and (ii) enhanced tolerance to the plant-secreted antimicrobial scopoletin whose production is regulated by transcription factor MYB72. Crucially, these mutualistic adaptations are coupled with reduced phytotoxicity, enhanced transcription of MYB72 in roots, and a positive effect on plant growth. Genetically, mutualism is associated with diverse mutations in the GacS/GacA two-component regulator system, which confers high fitness benefits only in the presence of plants. Together, our results show that rhizosphere bacteria can rapidly evolve along the parasitism-mutualism continuum at an agriculturally relevant evolutionary timescale.

RevDate: 2021-07-19
CmpDate: 2021-07-19

Harbort CJ, Hashimoto M, Inoue H, et al (2020)

Root-Secreted Coumarins and the Microbiota Interact to Improve Iron Nutrition in Arabidopsis.

Cell host & microbe, 28(6):825-837.e6.

Plants benefit from associations with a diverse community of root-colonizing microbes. Deciphering the mechanisms underpinning these beneficial services are of interest for improving plant productivity. We report a plant-beneficial interaction between Arabidopsis thaliana and the root microbiota under iron deprivation that is dependent on the secretion of plant-derived coumarins. Disrupting this pathway alters the microbiota and impairs plant growth in iron-limiting soil. Furthermore, the microbiota improves iron-limiting plant performance via a mechanism dependent on plant iron import and secretion of the coumarin fraxetin. This beneficial trait is strain specific yet functionally redundant across phylogenetic lineages of the microbiota. Transcriptomic and elemental analyses revealed that this interaction between commensals and coumarins promotes growth by relieving iron starvation. These results show that coumarins improve plant performance by eliciting microbe-assisted iron nutrition. We propose that the bacterial root microbiota, stimulated by secreted coumarins, is an integral mediator of plant adaptation to iron-limiting soils.

RevDate: 2021-07-19
CmpDate: 2021-07-19

Bobay LM, Wissel EF, K Raymann (2020)

Strain Structure and Dynamics Revealed by Targeted Deep Sequencing of the Honey Bee Gut Microbiome.

mSphere, 5(4):.

Host-associated microbiomes can be critical for the health and proper development of animals and plants. The answers to many fundamental questions regarding the modes of acquisition and microevolution of microbiome communities remain to be established. Deciphering strain-level dynamics is essential to fully understand how microbial communities evolve, but the forces shaping the strain-level dynamics of microbial communities remain largely unexplored, mostly because of methodological issues and cost. Here, we used targeted strain-level deep sequencing to uncover the strain dynamics within a host-associated microbial community using the honey bee gut microbiome as a model system. Our results revealed that amplicon sequencing of conserved protein-coding gene regions using species-specific primers is a cost-effective and accurate method for exploring strain-level diversity. In fact, using this method we were able to confirm strain-level results that have been obtained from whole-genome shotgun sequencing of the honey bee gut microbiome but with a much higher resolution. Importantly, our deep sequencing approach allowed us to explore the impact of low-frequency strains (i.e., cryptic strains) on microbiome dynamics. Results show that cryptic strain diversity is not responsible for the observed variations in microbiome composition across bees. Altogether, the findings revealed new fundamental insights regarding strain dynamics of host-associated microbiomes.IMPORTANCE The factors driving fine-scale composition and dynamics of gut microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used metagenomic amplicon deep sequencing to decipher the strain dynamics of two key members of the honey bee gut microbiome. Using this high-throughput and cost-effective approach, we were able to confirm results from previous large-scale whole-genome shotgun (WGS) metagenomic sequencing studies while also gaining additional insights into the community dynamics of two core members of the honey bee gut microbiome. Moreover, we were able to show that cryptic strains are not responsible for the observed variations in microbiome composition across bees.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Brancaccio M, Tangherlini M, Danovaro R, et al (2021)

Metabolic adaptations to marine environments: molecular diversity and evolution of ovothiol biosynthesis in Bacteria.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6323227 [Epub ahead of print].

Ovothiols are sulphur-containing amino acids synthesized by marine invertebrates, protozoans, and bacteria. They act as pleiotropic molecules in signalling and protection against oxidative stress. The discovery of ovothiol biosynthetic enzymes, sulfoxide synthase OvoA and β-lyase OvoB, paves the way for a systematic investigation of ovothiol distribution and molecular diversification in nature. In this work, we conducted genomic and metagenomics data mining to investigate the distribution and diversification of ovothiol biosynthetic enzymes in Bacteria. We identified the bacteria endowed with this secondary metabolic pathway, described their taxonomy, habitat and biotic interactions in order to provide insight into their adaptation to specific environments. We report that OvoA and OvoB are mostly encountered in marine aerobic Proteobacteria, some of them establishing symbiotic or parasitic relationships with other organisms. We identified a horizontal gene transfer event of OvoB from Bacteroidetes living in symbiosis with Hydrozoa. Our search within the Ocean Gene Atlas revealed the occurrence of ovothiol biosynthetic genes in Proteobacteria living in a wide range of pelagic and highly oxygenated environments. Finally, we tracked the evolutionary history of ovothiol biosynthesis from marine bacteria to unicellular eukaryotes and metazoans. Our analysis provides new conceptual elements to unravel the evolutionary and ecological significance of ovothiol biosynthesis.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Qiao Z, Yates TB, Shrestha HK, et al (2021)

Towards engineering ectomycorrhization into switchgrass bioenergy crops via a lectin receptor-like kinase.

Plant biotechnology journal [Epub ahead of print].

Soil-borne microbes can establish compatible relationships with host plants, providing a large variety of nutritive and protective compounds in exchange for photosynthesized sugars. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating the establishment of these beneficial relationships remain unclear. Our previous genetic mapping and whole-genome resequencing studies identified a gene deletion event of a Populus trichocarpa lectin receptor-like kinase gene PtLecRLK1 in Populus deltoides that was associated with poor root colonization by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor. By introducing PtLecRLK1 into a perennial grass known to be a non-host of L. bicolor, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), we found that L. bicolor colonizes ZmUbipro-PtLecRLK1 transgenic switchgrass roots, which illustrates that the introduction of PtLecRLK1 has the potential to convert a non-host to a host of L. bicolor. Furthermore, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses on inoculated transgenic switchgrass roots revealed genes/proteins overrepresented in the compatible interaction and underrepresented in the pathogenic defense pathway, consistent with the view that pathogenic defense response is downregulated during compatible interaction. Metabolomic profiling revealed that root colonization in the transgenic switchgrass was associated with an increase in N-containing metabolites and a decrease in organic acids, sugars, and aromatic hydroxycinnamate conjugates, which are often seen in the early steps of establishing compatible interactions. These studies illustrate that PtLecRLK1 is able to render a plant susceptible to colonization by the ectomycorrhizal fungus L. bicolor and shed light on engineering mycorrhizal symbiosis into a non-host to enhance plant productivity and fitness on marginal lands.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Arashida H, Odake H, Sugawara M, et al (2021)

Evolution of rhizobial symbiosis islands through insertion sequence-mediated deletion and duplication.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiosis between organisms influences their evolution via adaptive changes in genome architectures. Immunity of soybean carrying the Rj2 allele is triggered by NopP (type III secretion system [T3SS]-dependent effector), encoded by symbiosis island A (SymA) in B. diazoefficiens USDA122. This immunity was overcome by many mutants with large SymA deletions that encompassed T3SS (rhc) and N2 fixation (nif) genes and were bounded by insertion sequence (IS) copies in direct orientation, indicating homologous recombination between ISs. Similar deletion events were observed in B. diazoefficiens USDA110 and B. japonicum J5. When we cultured a USDA122 strain with a marker gene sacB inserted into the rhc gene cluster, most sucrose-resistant mutants had deletions in nif/rhc gene clusters, similar to the mutants above. Some deletion mutants were unique to the sacB system and showed lower competitive nodulation capability, indicating that IS-mediated deletions occurred during free-living growth and the host plants selected the mutants. Among 63 natural bradyrhizobial isolates, 2 possessed long duplications (261-357 kb) harboring nif/rhc gene clusters between IS copies in direct orientation via homologous recombination. Therefore, the structures of symbiosis islands are in a state of flux via IS-mediated duplications and deletions during rhizobial saprophytic growth, and host plants select mutualistic variants from the resultant pools of rhizobial populations. Our results demonstrate that homologous recombination between direct IS copies provides a natural mechanism generating deletions and duplications on symbiosis islands.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Osvatic JT, Wilkins LGE, Leibrecht L, et al (2021)

Global biogeography of chemosynthetic symbionts reveals both localized and globally distributed symbiont groups.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(29):.

In the ocean, most hosts acquire their symbionts from the environment. Due to the immense spatial scales involved, our understanding of the biogeography of hosts and symbionts in marine systems is patchy, although this knowledge is essential for understanding fundamental aspects of symbiosis such as host-symbiont specificity and evolution. Lucinidae is the most species-rich and widely distributed family of marine bivalves hosting autotrophic bacterial endosymbionts. Previous molecular surveys identified location-specific symbiont types that "promiscuously" form associations with multiple divergent cooccurring host species. This flexibility of host-microbe pairings is thought to underpin their global success, as it allows hosts to form associations with locally adapted symbionts. We used metagenomics to investigate the biodiversity, functional variability, and genetic exchange among the endosymbionts of 12 lucinid host species from across the globe. We report a cosmopolitan symbiont species, Candidatus Thiodiazotropha taylori, associated with multiple lucinid host species. Ca. T. taylori has achieved more success at dispersal and establishing symbioses with lucinids than any other symbiont described thus far. This discovery challenges our understanding of symbiont dispersal and location-specific colonization and suggests both symbiont and host flexibility underpin the ecological and evolutionary success of the lucinid symbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Kanso EA, Lopes RM, Strickler JR, et al (2021)

Teamwork in the viscous oceanic microscale.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(29):.

Nutrient acquisition is crucial for oceanic microbes, and competitive solutions to solve this challenge have evolved among a range of unicellular protists. However, solitary solutions are not the only approach found in natural populations. A diverse array of oceanic protists form temporary or even long-lasting attachments to other protists and marine aggregates. Do these planktonic consortia provide benefits to their members? Here, we use empirical and modeling approaches to evaluate whether the relationship between a large centric diatom, Coscinodiscus wailesii, and a ciliate epibiont, Pseudovorticella coscinodisci, provides nutrient flux benefits to the host diatom. We find that fluid flows generated by ciliary beating can increase nutrient flux to a diatom cell surface four to 10 times that of a still cell without ciliate epibionts. This cosmopolitan species of diatom does not form consortia in all environments but frequently joins such consortia in nutrient-depleted waters. Our results demonstrate that symbiotic consortia provide a cooperative alternative of comparable or greater magnitude to sinking for enhancement of nutrient acquisition in challenging environments.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Xuan W, Khan F, James CD, et al (2021)

Circadian regulation of cancer cell and tumor microenvironment crosstalk.

Trends in cell biology pii:S0962-8924(21)00124-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Circadian rhythms regulate a remarkable variety of physiologic functions in living organisms. Circadian disruption is associated with tumorigenesis and tumor progression through effects on cancer cell biological properties, including proliferation, DNA repair, apoptosis, metabolism, and stemness. Emerging evidence indicates that circadian clocks also play an influential role in the tumor microenvironment (TME). This review outlines recent discoveries on how cancer cell clock components (including circadian clock and clock genes/proteins) regulate TME biology and, reciprocally, how TME clock components affect tumor growth, metastasis, and therapeutic response. An improved understanding of how clock components regulate the symbiosis between cancer cells and the TME will inform the development of novel clock-oriented therapeutic strategies, including immunotherapy.

RevDate: 2021-07-16

Renoz F, Foray V, Ambroise J, et al (2021)

At the Gate of Mutualism: Identification of Genomic Traits Predisposing to Insect-Bacterial Symbiosis in Pathogenic Strains of the Aphid Symbiont Serratia symbiotica.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:660007.

Mutualistic associations between insects and heritable bacterial symbionts are ubiquitous in nature. The aphid symbiont Serratia symbiotica is a valuable candidate for studying the evolution of bacterial symbiosis in insects because it includes a wide diversity of strains that reflect the diverse relationships in which bacteria can be engaged with insects, from pathogenic interactions to obligate intracellular mutualism. The recent discovery of culturable strains, which are hypothesized to resemble the ancestors of intracellular strains, provide an opportunity to study the mechanisms underlying bacterial symbiosis in its early stages. In this study, we analyzed the genomes of three of these culturable strains that are pathogenic to aphid hosts, and performed comparative genomic analyses including mutualistic host-dependent strains. All three genomes are larger than those of the host-restricted S. symbiotica strains described so far, and show significant enrichment in pseudogenes and mobile elements, suggesting that these three pathogenic strains are in the early stages of the adaptation to their host. Compared to their intracellular mutualistic relatives, the three strains harbor a greater diversity of genes coding for virulence factors and metabolic pathways, suggesting that they are likely adapted to infect new hosts and are a potential source of metabolic innovation for insects. The presence in their genomes of secondary metabolism gene clusters associated with the production of antimicrobial compounds and phytotoxins supports the hypothesis that S. symbiotia symbionts evolved from plant-associated strains and that plants may serve as intermediate hosts. Mutualistic associations between insects and bacteria are the result of independent transitions to endosymbiosis initiated by the acquisition of environmental progenitors. In this context, the genomes of free-living S. symbiotica strains provide a rare opportunity to study the inventory of genes held by bacterial associates of insects that are at the gateway to a host-dependent lifestyle.

RevDate: 2021-07-16

Kee SL, MJT Tan (2021)

Friend, Not Foe: Unveiling Vector-Bacteria Symbiosis and Its Utility as an Arboviral Intervention Strategy in the Philippines.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:650277.

RevDate: 2021-07-16

Chanson A, Moreau CS, C Duplais (2021)

Assessing Biosynthetic Gene Cluster Diversity of Specialized Metabolites in the Conserved Gut Symbionts of Herbivorous Turtle Ants.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:678100.

Cephalotes are herbivorous ants (>115 species) feeding on low-nitrogen food sources, and they rely on gut symbionts to supplement their diet by recycling nitrogen food waste into amino acids. These conserved gut symbionts, which encompass five bacterial orders, have been studied previously for their primary nitrogen metabolism; however, little is known about their ability to biosynthesize specialized metabolites which can play a role in bacterial interactions between communities living in close proximity in the gut. To evaluate the biosynthetic potential of their gut symbionts, we mine 14 cultured isolate genomes and gut metagenomes across 17 Cephalotes species to explore the biodiversity of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) producing specialized metabolites. The diversity of BGCs across Cephalotes phylogeny was analyzed using sequence similarity networking and BGC phylogenetic reconstruction. Our results reveal that the conserved gut symbionts involved in the nutritional symbiosis possess 80% of all the 233 BGCs retrieved in this work. Furthermore, the phylogenetic analysis of BGCs reveals different patterns of distribution, suggesting different mechanisms of conservation. A siderophore BGC shows high similarity in a single symbiont across different ant host species, whereas a BGC encoding the production of non-ribosomal peptides (NRPs) found different symbionts within a single host species. Additionally, BGCs were abundant in four of the five bacterial orders of conserved symbionts co-occurring in the hindgut. However, one major symbiont localized alone in the midgut lack BGCs. Because the spatial isolation prevents direct interaction with other symbionts, this result supports the idea that BGCs are maintained in bacteria living in close proximity but are dispensable for an alone-living symbiont. These findings together pave the way for studying the mechanisms of BGC conservation and evolution in gut bacterial genomes associated with Cephalotes. This work also provides a genetic background for further study, aiming to characterize bacterial specialized metabolites and to understand their functional role in multipartite mutualisms between conserved gut symbionts and Cephalotes turtle ants.

RevDate: 2021-07-16
CmpDate: 2021-07-16

Zhao D, Zhang Z, Niu H, et al (2021)

Win by Quantity: a Striking Rickettsia-Bias Symbiont Community Revealed by Seasonal Tracking in the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci.

Microbial ecology, 81(2):523-534.

Maintaining an adaptive seasonality is a basic ecological requisite for cold-blooded organism insects which usually harbor various symbionts. However, how coexisting symbionts coordinate in insects during seasonal progress is still unknown. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci in China harbors the obligate symbiont Portiera that infects each individual, as well as various facultative symbionts. In this study, we investigated whitefly populations in cucumber and cotton fields from May to December 2019, aiming to reveal the fluctuations of symbiont infection frequencies, symbiont coordination in multiple infected individuals, and host plants effects on symbiont infections. The results indicated that the facultative symbionts Hamiltonella (H), Rickettsia (R), and Cardinium (C) exist in field whiteflies, with single (H) and double (HC and HR) infections occurring frequently. Infection frequencies of Hamiltonella (always 100%) and Cardinium (29.50-34.38%) remained steady during seasonal progression. Rickettsia infection frequency in the cucumber whitefly population decreased from 64.47% in summer to 35.29% in winter. Significantly lower Rickettsia infection frequency (15.55%) was identified in cotton whitefly populations and was not subject to seasonal fluctuation. Nevertheless, Rickettsia had a significantly quantitative advantage in the symbiont community of whitefly individuals and populations from both cucumber and cotton field all through the seasons. Moreover, higher Portiera and Hamiltonella densities were found in HC and HR whitefly than in H whitefly, suggesting these symbionts may contribute to producing nutrients for their symbiont partners. These results provide ample cues to further explore the interactions between coexisting symbionts, the coevolutionary relationship between symbionts and host symbiont-induced effects on host plant use.

RevDate: 2021-07-16
CmpDate: 2021-07-16

Varasteh T, Hamerski L, Tschoeke D, et al (2021)

Conserved Pigment Profiles in Phylogenetically Diverse Symbiotic Bacteria Associated with the Corals Montastraea cavernosa and Mussismilia braziliensis.

Microbial ecology, 81(1):267-277.

Pigmented bacterial symbionts play major roles in the health of coral holobionts. However, there is scarce knowledge on the diversity of these microbes for several coral species. To gain further insights into holobiont health, pigmented bacterial isolates of Fabibacter pacificus (Bacteroidetes; n = 4), Paracoccus marcusii (Alphaproteobacteria; n = 1), and Pseudoalteromonas shioyasakiensis (Gammaproteobacteria; n = 1) were obtained from the corals Mussismilia braziliensis and Montastraea cavernosa in Abrolhos Bank, Brazil. Cultures of these bacterial symbionts produced strong antioxidant activity (catalase, peroxidase, and oxidase). To explore these bacterial isolates further, we identified their major pigments by HPLC and mass spectrometry. The six phylogenetically diverse symbionts had similar pigment patterns and produced myxol and keto-carotene. In addition, similar carotenoid gene clusters were confirmed in the whole genome sequences of these symbionts, which reinforce their antioxidant potential. This study highlights the possible roles of bacterial symbionts in Montastraea and Mussismilia holobionts.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

Anonymous (2021)

Andrea Genre.

The New phytologist, 231(4):1316-1317.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

Cobos-Porras L, Rubia MI, Huertas R, et al (2021)

Increased Ascorbate Biosynthesis Does Not Improve Nitrogen Fixation Nor Alleviate the Effect of Drought Stress in Nodulated Medicago truncatula Plants.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:686075.

Legume plants are able to establish nitrogen-fixing symbiotic relations with Rhizobium bacteria. This symbiosis is, however, affected by a number of abiotic constraints, particularly drought. One of the consequences of drought stress is the overproduction of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen species (RNS), leading to cellular damage and, ultimately, cell death. Ascorbic acid (AsA), also known as vitamin C, is one of the antioxidant compounds that plants synthesize to counteract this oxidative damage. One promising strategy for the improvement of plant growth and symbiotic performance under drought stress is the overproduction of AsA via the overexpression of enzymes in the Smirnoff-Wheeler biosynthesis pathway. In the current work, we generated Medicago truncatula plants with increased AsA biosynthesis by overexpressing MtVTC2, a gene coding for GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase. We characterized the growth and physiological responses of symbiotic plants both under well-watered conditions and during a progressive water deficit. Results show that increased AsA availability did not provide an advantage in terms of plant growth or symbiotic performance either under well-watered conditions or in response to drought.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

Dial CN, Eichinger SJ, Foxall R, et al (2021)

Quorum Sensing and Cyclic di-GMP Exert Control Over Motility of Vibrio fischeri KB2B1.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:690459.

Bacterial motility is critical for symbiotic colonization by Vibrio fischeri of its host, the squid Euprymna scolopes, facilitating movement from surface biofilms to spaces deep inside the symbiotic organ. While colonization has been studied traditionally using strain ES114, others, including KB2B1, can outcompete ES114 for colonization for a variety of reasons, including superior biofilm formation. We report here that KB2B1 also exhibits an unusual pattern of migration through a soft agar medium: whereas ES114 migrates rapidly and steadily, KB2B1 migrates slowly and then ceases migration. To better understand this phenomenon, we isolated and sequenced five motile KB2B1 suppressor mutants. One harbored a mutation in the gene for the cAMP receptor protein (crp); because this strain also exhibited a growth defect, it was not characterized further. Two other suppressors contained mutations in the quorum sensing pathway that controls bacterial bioluminescence in response to cell density, and two had mutations in the diguanylate cyclase (DGC) gene VF_1200. Subsequent analysis indicated that (1) the quorum sensing mutations shifted KB2B1 to a perceived low cell density state and (2) the high cell density state inhibited migration via the downstream regulator LitR. Similar to the initial point mutations, deletion of the VF_1200 DGC gene increased migration. Consistent with the possibility that production of the second messenger c-di-GMP inhibited the motility of KB2B1, reporter-based measurements of c-di-GMP revealed that KB2B1 produced higher levels of c-di-GMP than ES114, and overproduction of a c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase promoted migration of KB2B1. Finally, we assessed the role of viscosity in controlling the quorum sensing pathway using polyvinylpyrrolidone and found that viscosity increased light production of KB2B1 but not ES114. Together, our data indicate that while the two strains share regulators in common, they differ in the specifics of the regulatory control over downstream phenotypes such as motility.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

Vasan S, Srivastava D, Cahill D, et al (2021)

Important innate differences in determining symbiotic responsiveness in host and non-hosts of arbuscular mycorrhiza.

Scientific reports, 11(1):14444.

Genetic components that regulate arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) interactions in hosts and non-hosts are not completely known. Comparative transcriptomic analysis was combined with phylogenetic studies to identify the factors that distinguish AM host from non-host. Mycorrhized host, non-mycorrhized host and non-host cultivars of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) were subjected to RNA seq analysis. The top 10 differentially expressed genes were subjected to extensive in silico phylogenetic analysis along with 10 more candidate genes that have been previously reported for AM-plant interactions. Seven distantly related hosts and four non-hosts were selected to identify structural differences in selected gene/protein candidates. The screened genes/proteins were subjected to MEME, CODEML and DIVERGE analysis to identify evolutionary patterns that differentiate hosts from non-hosts. Based on the results, candidate genes were categorized as highly influenced (SYMRK and CCaMK), moderately influenced and minimally influenced by evolutionary constraints. We propose that the amino acid and nucleotide changes specific to non-hosts are likely to correspond to aberrations in functionality towards AM symbiosis. This study paves way for future research aimed at understanding innate differences in genetic make-up of AM hosts and non-hosts, in addition to the theory of gene losses from the "AM-symbiotic toolkit".

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Timoneda A, Yunusov T, Quan C, et al (2021)

MycoRed: Betalain pigments enable in vivo real-time visualisation of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation.

PLoS biology, 19(7):e3001326 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-20-02353 [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) are mutualistic interactions formed between soil fungi and plant roots. AM symbiosis is a fundamental and widespread trait in plants with the potential to sustainably enhance future crop yields. However, improving AM fungal association in crop species requires a fundamental understanding of host colonisation dynamics across varying agronomic and ecological contexts. To this end, we demonstrate the use of betalain pigments as in vivo visual markers for the occurrence and distribution of AM fungal colonisation by Rhizophagus irregularis in Medicago truncatula and Nicotiana benthamiana roots. Using established and novel AM-responsive promoters, we assembled multigene reporter constructs that enable the AM-controlled expression of the core betalain synthesis genes. We show that betalain colouration is specifically induced in root tissues and cells where fungal colonisation has occurred. In a rhizotron setup, we also demonstrate that betalain staining allows for the noninvasive tracing of fungal colonisation along the root system over time. We present MycoRed, a useful innovative method that will expand and complement currently used fungal visualisation techniques to advance knowledge in the field of AM symbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Ray P, Guo Y, Chi MH, et al (2021)

Serendipita fungi modulate the switchgrass root transcriptome to circumvent host defenses and establish a symbiotic relationship.

Molecular plant-microbe interactions : MPMI [Epub ahead of print].

The fungal family Serendipitaceae encompasses root-associated lineages with endophytic, ericoid, orchid and ectomycorrhizal lifestyles. Switchgrass is an important bioenergy crop for cellulosic ethanol production owing to high biomass production on marginal soils otherwise unfit for food crop cultivation. The aim of this study was to investigate the host plant response(s) to Serendipita colonization by characterizing the switchgrass root transcriptome during different stages of symbiosis in vitro. For this, we included a native switchgrass strain, Serendipita bescii, and a related strain Serendipita vermifera isolated from Australian orchids. Serendipita colonization progresses from thin hyphae that grow between root cells, and finally the production of large, bulbous hyphae that fill root cells during the later stages of colonization. We report that switchgrass seems to perceive both fungi prior to physical contact, leading to the activation of chemical and structural defense responses and putative host disease resistance genes. Subsequently, the host defense system appears to be quenched and carbohydrate metabolism adjusted, potentially to accommodate the fungal symbiont. In addition, prior to contact, switchgrass exhibited significant increases in root hair density and root surface area. Further, genes involved in phytohormone metabolism, such as gibberellin, jasmonic acid and salicylic acid were activated during different stages of colonization. Both fungal strains induced plant gene expression in a similar manner, indicating a conserved plant response to members of this fungal order. Understanding plant responsiveness to Serendipita will inform our efforts to integrate them into forages and row crops for optimal plant-microbe functioning, thus facilitating low-input, sustainable agricultural practices.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Sen A, Dutta S, Dam G, et al (2021)

Imidazolium Functionalized Chemically Robust Ionic Porous Organic Polymers (iPOPs) toward Toxic Oxo-pollutants Capture from Water.

Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany) [Epub ahead of print].

Fabricating new and efficient materials aimed at containment of water contamination, in particular removing toxic heavy metal based oxo-anions (for example CrO 4 2- , TcO 4 -) holds paramount importance. In this work, we report two new highly stable imidazolium based ionic porous organic polymers (i POPs) decorated with multiple interaction sites along with electrostatics driven adsorptive removal of such oxo-anions from water. Both the i POPs (namely, i POP-3 and i POP-4) exhibited rapid sieving kinetics and very high saturation uptake capacity for CrO 4 2- anions (170 and 141 mg g -1 for i POP-3 and i POP-4 respectively) and ReO 4 - (515.5 and 350.3 mg g -1 for i POP-3 and i POP-4 respectively), where ReO 4 - anions being the non-radioactive surrogative counterpart of radioactive TcO 4 - ions. Noticeably, both i POPs showed exceptional selectivity towards CrO 4 2- and ReO 4 - even in presence of several other concurrent anions such as Br - , Cl - , SO 4 2- , NO 3 - etc. The theoretical binding energy calculations via DFT method further confirmed the preferencial interaction sites as well as binding energies of both i POPs towards CrO 4 2- and ReO 4 - over all other competing anions which corroborates with the experimental high capacity and selectivity of i POPs towards such oxo-anions.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Husnik F, Tashyreva D, Boscaro V, et al (2021)

Bacterial and archaeal symbioses with protists.

Current biology : CB, 31(13):R862-R877.

Most of the genetic, cellular, and biochemical diversity of life rests within single-celled organisms - the prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and microbial eukaryotes (protists). Very close interactions, or symbioses, between protists and prokaryotes are ubiquitous, ecologically significant, and date back at least two billion years ago to the origin of mitochondria. However, most of our knowledge about the evolution and functions of eukaryotic symbioses comes from the study of animal hosts, which represent only a small subset of eukaryotic diversity. Here, we take a broad view of bacterial and archaeal symbioses with protist hosts, focusing on their evolution, ecology, and cell biology, and also explore what functions (if any) the symbionts provide to their hosts. With the immense diversity of protist symbioses starting to come into focus, we can now begin to see how these systems will impact symbiosis theory more broadly.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Anselmetti Y, El-Mabrouk N, Lafond M, et al (2021)

Gene tree and species tree reconciliation with endosymbiotic gene transfer.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 37(Suppl_1):i120-i132.

MOTIVATION: It is largely established that all extant mitochondria originated from a unique endosymbiotic event integrating an α-proteobacterial genome into an eukaryotic cell. Subsequently, eukaryote evolution has been marked by episodes of gene transfer, mainly from the mitochondria to the nucleus, resulting in a significant reduction of the mitochondrial genome, eventually completely disappearing in some lineages. However, in other lineages such as in land plants, a high variability in gene repertoire distribution, including genes encoded in both the nuclear and mitochondrial genome, is an indication of an ongoing process of Endosymbiotic Gene Transfer (EGT). Understanding how both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes have been shaped by gene loss, duplication and transfer is expected to shed light on a number of open questions regarding the evolution of eukaryotes, including rooting of the eukaryotic tree.

RESULTS: We address the problem of inferring the evolution of a gene family through duplication, loss and EGT events, the latter considered as a special case of horizontal gene transfer occurring between the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of the same species (in one direction or the other). We consider both EGT events resulting in maintaining (EGTcopy) or removing (EGTcut) the gene copy in the source genome. We present a linear-time algorithm for computing the DLE (Duplication, Loss and EGT) distance, as well as an optimal reconciled tree, for the unitary cost, and a dynamic programming algorithm allowing to output all optimal reconciliations for an arbitrary cost of operations. We illustrate the application of our EndoRex software and analyze different costs settings parameters on a plant dataset and discuss the resulting reconciled trees.

EndoRex implementation and supporting data are available on the GitHub repository via

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Kerwin AH, McAnulty SJ, SV Nyholm (2021)

Development of the Accessory Nidamental Gland and Associated Bacterial Community in the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid, Euprymna scolopes.

The Biological bulletin, 240(3):205-218.

AbstractThe Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, has a female reproductive organ called the accessory nidamental gland that contains a symbiotic bacterial consortium. These bacteria are deposited from the accessory nidamental gland into the squid's egg cases, where the consortium prevents microbial fouling. The symbiont community is environmentally transmitted and conserved across host populations, yet little is known about how the organ develops and is colonized by bacteria. In order to understand accessory nidamental gland development in E. scolopes, we characterized the gland during maturation by using histology and confocal and transmission electron microscopy. We found that an epithelial field formed first about four weeks after hatching, followed by the proliferation of numerous pores during what we hypothesize to be the initiation of bacterial recruitment (early development). Microscopy revealed that these pores were connected to ciliated invaginations that occasionally contained bacteria. During mid development, these epithelial fields expanded, and separate colonized tubules were observed below the epithelial layer that contained the pores and invaginations. During late development, the superficial epithelial fields appeared to regress as animals approached sexual maturity and were never observed in fully mature adults (about 2-3 months post-hatching), suggesting that they help facilitate bacterial colonization of the accessory nidamental gland. An analysis of 16S rRNA gene diversity in accessory nidamental glands from females of varying size showed that the bacterial community changed as the host approached sexual maturity, increasing in community evenness and shifting from a Verrucomicrobia-dominated to an Alphaproteobacteria-dominated consortium. Given the host's relationship with the well-characterized light organ symbiont Vibrio fischeri, our work suggests that the accessory nidamental gland of E. scolopes may have similar mechanisms to recruit bacteria from the environment. Understanding the developmental and colonization processes of the accessory nidamental gland will expand the use of E. scolopes as a model organism for studying bacterial consortia in marine symbioses.

RevDate: 2021-07-14
CmpDate: 2021-07-14

Anand S, Bose C, Kaur H, et al (2021)

'GutFeel': an in silico method for predicting gut health status based on the metabolic functional capabilities of the resident microbiome.

FEBS letters, 595(13):1825-1843.

Dysbiosis or imbalance in the gut microbiome has been correlated with the etiology of a number of diseases/disorders. Thus, gut microbial communities can potentially be utilized for assessing the health of the human gut. Although the taxonomic composition of the microbiomes is dependent on factors such as diet, lifestyle, and geography, these microbes perform a specific set of common functions in the gut. In this study, metabolic pathway-based markers (agnostic to above-mentioned factors) specific to commensals and those specific to pathogens are utilized as indicators of gut health. Furthermore, this gut health assessment requires only a small set of features rather than complete sequencing of metagenomes. The proposed scheme can also be used to design personalized biotherapeutics, depending on functional aspects observed in an individual.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Murray GGR, Charlesworth J, Miller EL, et al (2021)

Genome Reduction Is Associated with Bacterial Pathogenicity across Different Scales of Temporal and Ecological Divergence.

Molecular biology and evolution, 38(4):1570-1579.

Emerging bacterial pathogens threaten global health and food security, and so it is important to ask whether these transitions to pathogenicity have any common features. We present a systematic study of the claim that pathogenicity is associated with genome reduction and gene loss. We compare broad-scale patterns across all bacteria, with detailed analyses of Streptococcus suis, an emerging zoonotic pathogen of pigs, which has undergone multiple transitions between disease and carriage forms. We find that pathogenicity is consistently associated with reduced genome size across three scales of divergence (between species within genera, and between and within genetic clusters of S. suis). Although genome reduction is also found in mutualist and commensal bacterial endosymbionts, genome reduction in pathogens cannot be solely attributed to the features of their ecology that they share with these species, that is, host restriction or intracellularity. Moreover, other typical correlates of genome reduction in endosymbionts (reduced metabolic capacity, reduced GC content, and the transient expansion of nonfunctional elements) are not consistently observed in pathogens. Together, our results indicate that genome reduction is a consistent correlate of pathogenicity in bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Ford SA, KC King (2021)

In Vivo Microbial Coevolution Favors Host Protection and Plastic Downregulation of Immunity.

Molecular biology and evolution, 38(4):1330-1338.

Microbiota can protect their hosts from infection. The short timescales in which microbes can evolve presents the possibility that "protective microbes" can take-over from the immune system of longer-lived hosts in the coevolutionary race against pathogens. Here, we found that coevolution between a protective bacterium (Enterococcus faecalis) and a virulent pathogen (Staphylococcus aureus) within an animal population (Caenorhabditis elegans) resulted in more disease suppression than when the protective bacterium adapted to uninfected hosts. At the same time, more protective E. faecalis populations became costlier to harbor and altered the expression of 134 host genes. Many of these genes appear to be related to the mechanism of protection, reactive oxygen species production. Crucially, more protective E. faecalis populations downregulated a key immune gene, , known to be effective against S. aureus infection. These results suggest that a microbial line of defense is favored by microbial coevolution and may cause hosts to plastically divest of their own immunity.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Hansen BL, Pessotti RC, Fischer MS, et al (2020)

Cooperation, Competition, and Specialized Metabolism in a Simplified Root Nodule Microbiome.

mBio, 11(4):.

Microbiomes associated with various plant structures often contain members with the potential to make specialized metabolites, e.g., molecules with antibacterial, antifungal, or siderophore activities. However, when and where microbes associated with plants produce specialized metabolites, and the potential role of these molecules in mediating intramicrobiome interactions, is not well understood. Root nodules of legume plants are organs devoted to hosting symbiotic bacteria that fix atmospheric nitrogen and have recently been shown to harbor a relatively simple accessory microbiome containing members with the ability to produce specialized metabolites in vitro On the basis of these observations, we sought to develop a model nodule microbiome system for evaluating specialized microbial metabolism in planta Starting with an inoculum derived from field-grown Medicago sativa nodules, serial passaging through gnotobiotic nodules yielded a simplified accessory community composed of four members: Brevibacillus brevis , Paenibacillus sp., Pantoea agglomerans, and Pseudomonas sp. Some members of this community exhibited clear cooperation in planta, while others were antagonistic and capable of disrupting cooperation between other partners. Using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-imaging mass spectrometry, we found that metabolites associated with individual taxa had unique distributions, indicating that some members of the nodule community were spatially segregated. Finally, we identified two families of molecules produced by B. brevis in planta as the antibacterial tyrocidines and a novel set of gramicidin-type molecules, which we term the britacidins. Collectively, these results indicate that in addition to nitrogen fixation, legume root nodules are likely also sites of active antimicrobial production.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Emmanuel OC, OO Babalola (2020)

Productivity and quality of horticultural crops through co-inoculation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth promoting bacteria.

Microbiological research, 239:126569.

Associations between plants and microorganisms exist in nature, and they can either be beneficial or detrimental to host plants. Promoting beneficial plant-microbe interaction for increased crop yield and quality is one pathway to eco-friendly and sustainable crop production. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) are microorganisms that are beneficial to horticultural crops. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi establish symbioses with plant roots which help to improve nutrient uptake by the host plant and alter its physiology to withstand external abiotic factors and pathogens. Plant growth promoting bacteria promote plant growth either directly by aiding resource acquisition and controlling the levels of plant hormones or indirectly by reducing the inhibitory effects of phytopathogens. Co-inoculation of both organisms combines the benefits of each for increased crop productivity. Even though the co-inoculation of PGPB and AMF have been shown to enhance the yield and quality of crops, its benefits have fully not been exploited for horticultural crops. In this review, the response of horticultural crops to co-inoculation with PGPB and AMF with particular interest to the impact on the yield and crop quality was discussed. We explained some of the mechanisms responsible for the synergy between AMF and PGPB in plant growth promotion. Finally, suggestions on areas that need to be researched further to exploit and improve the effects of these organisms were highlighted.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Tronnet S, Floch P, Lucarelli L, et al (2020)

The Genotoxin Colibactin Shapes Gut Microbiota in Mice.

mSphere, 5(4):.

The genotoxin colibactin produced by resident bacteria of the gut microbiota may have tumorigenic effect by inducing DNA double-strand breaks in host cells. Yet, the effect of colibactin on gut microbiota composition and functions remains unknown. To address this point, we designed an experiment in which pregnant mice were colonized with the following: (i) a commensal Escherichia coli strain, (ii) a commensal E. coli strain plus a genotoxic E. coli strain, (iii) a commensal E. coli strain plus a nongenotoxic E. coli mutant strain unable to produce mature colibactin. Then, we analyzed the gut microbiota in pups at day 15 and day 35 after birth. At day 15, mice that were colonized at birth with the genotoxic strain showed lower levels of Proteobacteria and taxa belonging to the Proteobacteria, a modest effect on overall microbial diversity, and no effect on gut microbiome. At day 35, mice that received the genotoxic strain showed lower Firmicutes and taxa belonging to the Firmicutes, together with a strong effect on overall microbial diversity and higher microbial functions related to DNA repair. Moreover, the genotoxic strain strongly affected gut microbial diversity evolution of pups receiving the genotoxic strain between day 15 and day 35. Our data show that colibactin, beyond targeting the host, may also exert its genotoxic effect on the gut microbiota.IMPORTANCE Infections of genotoxic Escherichia coli spread concomitantly with urbanized progression. These bacteria may prompt cell senescence and affect DNA stability, inducing cancer via the production of colibactin, a genotoxin shown capable of affecting host DNA in eukaryotic cells. In this study, we show that the action of colibactin may also be directed against other bacteria of the gut microbiota in which genotoxic E. coli bacteria have been introduced. Indeed, the presence of genotoxic E. coli induced a change in both the structure and function of the gut microbiota. Our data indicate that genotoxic E. coli may use colibactin to compete for gut niche utilization.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Suria AM, Tan KC, Kerwin AH, et al (2020)

Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Symbionts Inhibit Marine Bacteria via Production of Specialized Metabolites, Including New Bromoalterochromides BAC-D/D'.

mSphere, 5(4):.

The Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, has a symbiotic bacterial consortium in the accessory nidamental gland (ANG), a female reproductive organ that protects eggs against fouling microorganisms. To test the antibacterial activity of ANG community members, 19 bacterial isolates were screened for their ability to inhibit Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, of which two strains were inhibitory. These two antibacterial isolates, Leisingera sp. ANG59 and Pseudoalteromonas sp. JC28, were subjected to further genomic characterization. Genomic analysis of Leisingera sp. ANG59 revealed a biosynthetic gene cluster encoding the antimicrobial compound indigoidine. The genome of Pseudoalteromonas sp. JC28 had a 14-gene cluster with >95% amino acid identity to a known bromoalterochromide (BAC) cluster. Chemical analysis confirmed production of known BACs, BAC-A/A' (compounds 1a/1b), as well as two new derivatives, BAC-D/D' (compounds 2a/2b). Extensive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses allowed complete structural elucidation of compounds 2a/2b, and the absolute stereochemistry was unambiguously determined using an optimized Marfey's method. The BACs were then investigated for in vitro antibacterial, antifungal, and nitric oxide (NO) inhibitory activity. Compounds 1a/1b were active against the marine bacteria Bacillus algicola and Vibrio fischeri, while compounds 2a/2b were active only against B. algicola Compounds 1a/1b inhibited NO production via lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation in RAW264.7 macrophage cells and also inhibited the pathogenic fungus Fusarium keratoplasticum, which, coupled with their antibacterial activity, suggests that these polyketide-nonribosomal peptides may be used for squid egg defense against potential pathogens and/or fouling microorganisms. These results indicate that BACs may provide Pseudoalteromonas sp. JC28 an ecological niche, facilitating competition against nonsymbiotic microorganisms in the host's environment.IMPORTANCE Animals that deposit eggs must protect their embryos from fouling and disease by microorganisms to ensure successful development. Although beneficial bacteria are hypothesized to contribute to egg defense in many organisms, the mechanisms of this protection are only recently being elucidated. Our previous studies of the Hawaiian bobtail squid focused on fungal inhibition by beneficial bacterial symbionts of a female reproductive gland and eggs. Herein, using genomic and chemical analyses, we demonstrate that symbiotic bacteria from this gland can also inhibit other marine bacteria in vitro One bacterial strain in particular, Pseudoalteromonas sp. JC28, had broad-spectrum abilities to inhibit potential fouling bacteria, in part via production of novel bromoalterochromide metabolites, confirmed via genomic annotation of the associated biosynthetic gene cluster. Our results suggest that these bacterial metabolites may contribute to antimicrobial activity in this association and that such defensive symbioses are underutilized sources for discovering novel antimicrobial compounds.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Tapia-García EY, Hernández-Trejo V, Guevara-Luna J, et al (2020)

Plant growth-promoting bacteria isolated from wild legume nodules and nodules of Phaseolus vulgaris L. trap plants in central and southern Mexico.

Microbiological research, 239:126522.

Central southern Mexico contains highly diverse legumes. In this study, nodule-associated bacteria (NAB) were isolated from wild legume nodules and from nodules on Phaseolus vulgaris plants used as a plant-trap in soils from the same areas as the wild legumes. The bacteria were identified through the 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, tested for plant growth-promoting (PGP) activities and the production of antimicrobial compounds, and analyzed for potential nodulation by amplifying the nodC gene. Several genera with PGP activity were isolated from legume nodules, including Achromobacter, Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Brevibacillus, Brevibacterium, Burkholderia, Cupriavidus, Dyella, Ensifer, Enterobacter, Herbaspirillum, Kosakonia, Labrys, Microbacterium, Moraxella, Paraburkholderia, Pseudomonas, Rhizobium, Stenotrophomonas; and Aeromonas, Marinococcus Pseudarthrobacter and Pseudoxanthomonas were found in plant legume nodules for the first time. Pseudomonas was the most common bacteria, and Mimosa pudica was colonized by the largest number of genera (6 different genera). A Burkholderia strain from the Burkholderia cepacia complex and a firmicutes strain harbor the nodC gene, identifying them as potential novel nodulating bacteria and showing that most of the strains isolated in this study were NAB. The most frequent PGP activity identified among the strains isolated from wild legumes was IAA synthesis. Two bacteria, Stenotrophomonas sp. and Rhizobium sp., synthesized more than 250 μg/ml, which is more than the level of synthesis reported in this study for Azospirillum brasilense Sp7 (59.77 μg/ml). Nitrogen fixation and antimicrobial compound production were not common, but the production of siderophores was frequently found among all the strains. This study shows that diverse NAB with PGP activity are very common in the legume nodules from central southern Mexico.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Zhang X, Li X, Ye L, et al (2020)

Colonization by Tuber melanosporum and Tuber indicum affects the growth of Pinus armandii and phoD alkaline phosphatase encoding bacterial community in the rhizosphere.

Microbiological research, 239:126520.

The synthesis of truffle ectomycorrhizae and the ecology of truffle-colonized seedlings in the early symbiotic stage are important for the successful truffle cultivation. In this study, two black truffle species, Tuber melanosporum and Tuber indicum, were selected to colonize Pinus armandii seedlings. 2, 4, 6 and 8 months after inoculation, the growth performance of the host and the rhizosphere soil properties were detected. The dynamic changes of two mating type genes in substrate were also monitored to assess the sexual distribution of truffles. Additionally, the variation of soil bacterial communities encoded by phoD alkaline phosphatase genes was investigated through next-generation sequencing. The results indicated that both T. melanosporum and T. indicum colonization promoted the growth of P. armandii seedlings to some extent, including improving their biomass, total root surface area, root superoxide dismutases and peroxidase activity. The organic matter and available phosphorus in rhizosphere soil were also significantly enhanced by two truffles' colonization. The phoD-harboring bacterial community structure was altered by both truffles, and T. melanosporum decreased their diversity or richness on the 6th and 8th month after inoculation. Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas, and Sinorhizobium, a N2-fixer with phoD genes, were found more abundant in truffle-colonized treatments. The mating type distribution of the two truffles was uneven, with MAT1-1-1 gene occupying the majority. Overall, T. melanosporum and T. indicum colonization affected the micro-ecology of truffle symbionts during the early symbiotic stage. These results could give us a better understanding on the truffle-plant-soil-microbe interactions, which would be beneficial to the subsequent truffle cultivation.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Dodds D, Bose JL, Deng MD, et al (2020)

Controlling the Growth of the Skin Commensal Staphylococcus epidermidis Using d-Alanine Auxotrophy.

mSphere, 5(3):.

Using live microbes as therapeutic candidates is a strategy that has gained traction across multiple therapeutic areas. In the skin, commensal microorganisms play a crucial role in maintaining skin barrier function, homeostasis, and cutaneous immunity. Alterations of the homeostatic skin microbiome are associated with a number of skin diseases. Here, we present the design of an engineered commensal organism, Staphylococcus epidermidis, for use as a live biotherapeutic product (LBP) candidate for skin diseases. The development of novel bacterial strains whose growth can be controlled without the use of antibiotics or genetic elements conferring antibiotic resistance enables modulation of therapeutic exposure and improves safety. We therefore constructed an auxotrophic strain of S. epidermidis that requires exogenously supplied d-alanine. The S. epidermidis NRRL B-4268 Δalr1 Δalr2 Δdat strain (SEΔΔΔ) contains deletions of three biosynthetic genes: two alanine racemase genes, alr1 and alr2 (SE1674 and SE1079), and the d-alanine aminotransferase gene, dat (SE1423). These three deletions restricted growth in d-alanine-deficient medium, pooled human blood, and skin. In the presence of d-alanine, SEΔΔΔ colonized and increased expression of human β-defensin 2 in cultured human skin models in vitro. SEΔΔΔ showed a low propensity to revert to d-alanine prototrophy and did not form biofilms on plastic in vitro. These studies support the potential safety and utility of SEΔΔΔ as a live biotherapeutic strain whose growth can be controlled by d-alanine.IMPORTANCE The skin microbiome is rich in opportunities for novel therapeutics for skin diseases, and synthetic biology offers the advantage of providing novel functionality or therapeutic benefit to live biotherapeutic products. The development of novel bacterial strains whose growth can be controlled without the use of antibiotics or genetic elements conferring antibiotic resistance enables modulation of therapeutic exposure and improves safety. This study presents the design and in vitro evidence of a skin commensal whose growth can be controlled through d-alanine. The basis of this strain will support future clinical studies of this strain in humans.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Nett RS, Nguyen H, Nagel R, et al (2020)

Unraveling a Tangled Skein: Evolutionary Analysis of the Bacterial Gibberellin Biosynthetic Operon.

mSphere, 5(3):.

Gibberellin (GA) phytohormones are ubiquitous regulators of growth and developmental processes in vascular plants. The convergent evolution of GA production by plant-associated bacteria, including both symbiotic nitrogen-fixing rhizobia and phytopathogens, suggests that manipulation of GA signaling is a powerful mechanism for microbes to gain an advantage in these interactions. Although orthologous operons encode GA biosynthetic enzymes in both rhizobia and phytopathogens, notable genetic heterogeneity and scattered operon distribution in these lineages, including loss of the gene for the final biosynthetic step in most rhizobia, suggest varied functions for GA in these distinct plant-microbe interactions. Therefore, deciphering GA operon evolutionary history should provide crucial evidence toward understanding the distinct biological roles for bacterial GA production. To further establish the genetic composition of the GA operon, two operon-associated genes that exhibit limited distribution among rhizobia were biochemically characterized, verifying their roles in GA biosynthesis. This enabled employment of a maximum parsimony ancestral gene block reconstruction algorithm to characterize loss, gain, and horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of GA operon genes within alphaproteobacterial rhizobia, which exhibit the most heterogeneity among the bacteria containing this biosynthetic gene cluster. Collectively, this evolutionary analysis reveals a complex history for HGT of the entire GA operon, as well as the individual genes therein, and ultimately provides a basis for linking genetic content to bacterial GA functions in diverse plant-microbe interactions, including insight into the subtleties of the coevolving molecular interactions between rhizobia and their leguminous host plants.IMPORTANCE While production of phytohormones by plant-associated microbes has long been appreciated, identification of the gibberellin (GA) biosynthetic operon in plant-associated bacteria has revealed surprising genetic heterogeneity. Notably, this heterogeneity seems to be associated with the lifestyle of the microbe; while the GA operon in phytopathogenic bacteria does not seem to vary to any significant degree, thus enabling production of bioactive GA, symbiotic rhizobia exhibit a number of GA operon gene loss and gain events. This suggests that a unique set of selective pressures are exerted on this biosynthetic gene cluster in rhizobia. Through analysis of the evolutionary history of the GA operon in alphaproteobacterial rhizobia, which display substantial diversity in their GA operon structure and gene content, we provide insight into the effect of lifestyle and host interactions on the production of this phytohormone by plant-associated bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Anderson SR, EL Harvey (2020)

Temporal Variability and Ecological Interactions of Parasitic Marine Syndiniales in Coastal Protist Communities.

mSphere, 5(3):.

Syndiniales are a ubiquitous group of protist parasites that infect and kill a wide range of hosts, including harmful bloom-forming dinoflagellates. Despite the importance of parasitism as an agent of plankton mortality, parasite-host dynamics remain poorly understood, especially over time, hindering the inclusion of parasitism in food web and ecosystem models. For a full year in the Skidaway River Estuary (Georgia), we employed weekly 18S rRNA sampling and co-occurrence network analysis to characterize temporal parasite-host infection dynamics of Syndiniales. Over the year, Syndiniales exhibited strong temporal variability, with higher relative abundance from June to October (7 to 28%) than other months in the year (0.01% to 6%). Nonmetric dimensional scaling of Syndiniales composition revealed tight clustering in June to October that coincided with elevated temperatures (23 to 31°C), though in general, abiotic factors poorly explained composition (canonical correspondence analysis [CCA] and partial least-squares [PLS]) and were less important in the network than biotic relationships. Syndiniales amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were well represented in the co-occurrence network (20% of edges) and had significant positive associations (Spearman r > 0.7), inferred to be putative parasite-host relationships, with known dinoflagellate hosts (e.g., Akashiwo and Gymnodinium) and other protist groups (e.g., ciliates, radiolarians, and diatoms). Positive associations rarely involved a single Syndiniales and dinoflagellate species, implying flexible parasite-host infection dynamics. These findings provide insight into the temporal dynamics of Syndiniales over a full year and reinforce the importance of single-celled parasites in driving plankton population dynamics. Further empirical work is needed to confirm network interactions and to incorporate parasitism within the context of ecosystem models.IMPORTANCE Protist parasites in the marine alveolate group, Syndiniales, have been observed within infected plankton host cells for decades, and recently, global-scale efforts (Tara Ocean exploration) have confirmed their importance within microbial communities. Yet, protist parasites remain enigmatic, particularly with respect to their temporal dynamics and parasite-host interactions. We employed weekly 18S amplicon surveys over a full year in a coastal estuary, revealing strong temporal shifts in Syndiniales parasites, with highest relative abundance during warmer summer to fall months. Though influenced by temperature, Syndiniales population dynamics were also driven by a high frequency of biological interactions with other protist groups, as determined through co-occurrence network analysis. Parasitic interactions implied by the network highlighted a range of confirmed (dinoflagellates) and putative (diatoms) interactions and suggests parasites may be less selective in their preferred hosts. Understanding parasite-host dynamics over space and time will improve our ability to include parasitism as a loss term in microbial food web models.

RevDate: 2021-07-14
CmpDate: 2021-07-14

Chen M, Wu H, Y Wang (2020)

Persistence and Oscillations of Plant-Pollinator-Herbivore Systems.

Bulletin of mathematical biology, 82(5):57 pii:10.1007/s11538-020-00735-w.

This paper considers plant-pollinator-herbivore systems where the plant produces food for the pollinator, the pollinator provides pollination service for the plant in return, while the herbivore consumes both the food and the plant itself without providing pollination service. Based on these resource-consumer interactions, we form a plant-pollinator-herbivore model which includes the intermediary food. Using qualitative method and Kuznetsov theorem, we show global dynamics of the subsystems, uniform persistence of the whole system and periodic oscillation by Hopf bifurcation. Rigorous analysis on the system demonstrates mechanisms by which varying parameters could make the system transition between extinction of herbivore, coexistence of the three species at steady states, coexistence in periodic oscillations and extinction of pollinator. It is shown that (i) in plant-pollinator interactions, the plant would produce food; (ii) in plant-herbivore interactions, the plant would produce toxin; (iii) in the presence of both pollinator and herbivore, the plant would produce both food and toxin, and intermediate productions are analytically given by which the plant can reach its maximal density; and (iv) an appropriate toxin production could drive the herbivore into extinction, an unappropriate one would drive the pollinator into extinction, while too much toxin production will drive the plant itself into extinction. The analysis leads to explanations for experimental observations and provides new insights.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Sørensen MES, Wood AJ, Cameron DD, et al (2021)

Rapid compensatory evolution can rescue low fitness symbioses following partner switching.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)00829-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Partner switching plays an important role in the evolution of symbiosis, enabling local adaptation and recovery from the breakdown of symbiosis. Because of intergenomic epistasis, partner-switched symbioses may possess novel combinations of phenotypes but may also exhibit low fitness due to their lack of recent coevolutionary history. Here, we examine the structure and mechanisms of intergenomic epistasis in the Paramecium-Chlorella symbiosis and test whether compensatory evolution can rescue initially low fitness partner-switched symbioses. Using partner-switch experiments coupled with metabolomics, we show evidence for intergenomic epistasis wherein low fitness is associated with elevated symbiont stress responses either in dark or high irradiance environments, potentially owing to mismatched light management traits between the host and symbiont genotypes. Experimental evolution under high light conditions revealed that an initially low fitness partner-switched non-native host-symbiont pairing rapidly adapted, gaining fitness equivalent to the native host-symbiont pairing in less than 50 host generations. Compensatory evolution took two alternative routes: either hosts evolved higher symbiont loads to mitigate for their new algal symbiont's poor performance, or the algal symbionts themselves evolved higher investment in photosynthesis and photoprotective traits to better mitigate light stress. These findings suggest that partner switching combined with rapid compensatory evolution can enable the recovery and local adaptation of symbioses in response to changing environments.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Sun Y, Sun J, Yang Y, et al (2021)

Genomic signatures supporting the symbiosis and formation of chitinous tube in the deep-sea tubeworm Paraescarpia echinospica.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6320074 [Epub ahead of print].

Vestimentiferan tubeworms are iconic animals that present as large habitat-forming chitinised tube bushes in deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. They are gutless and depend entirely on their endosymbiotic sulphide-oxidising chemoautotrophic bacteria for nutrition. Information on the genomes of several siboglinid endosymbionts has improved our understanding of their nutritional supplies. However, the interactions between tubeworms and their endosymbionts remain largely unclear due to a paucity of host genomes. Here, we report the chromosome-level genome of the vestimentiferan tubeworm Paraescarpia echinospica. We found that the genome has been remodelled to facilitate symbiosis through the expansion of gene families related to substrate transfer and innate immunity, suppression of apoptosis, regulation of lysosomal digestion and protection against oxidative stress. Furthermore, the genome encodes a programmed cell death pathway that potentially controls the endosymbiont population. Our integrated genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses uncovered matrix proteins required for the formation of the chitinous tube and revealed gene family expansion and co-option as evolutionary mechanisms driving the acquisition of this unique supporting structure for deep-sea tubeworms. Overall, our study provides novel insights into the host's support system that has enabled tubeworms to establish symbiosis, thrive in deep-sea hot vents and cold seeps and produce the unique chitinous tubes in the deep sea.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Qiu L, Gao W, Wang Z, et al (2021)

Citric acid and AMF inoculation combination-assisted phytoextraction of vanadium (V) by Medicago sativa in V mining contaminated soil.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

The use of citric acid (CA) chelator to facilitate metal bioavailability is a promising approach for the phytoextraction of heavy metal contaminants. However, the role of the CA chelator associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation on phytoextraction of vanadium (V) has not been studied. Therefore, in this study, a greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to evaluate the combined effect of CA chelator and AMF inoculation on growth performance and V phytoextraction of plants in V-contaminated soil. The experiment was performed via CA (at 0, 5, and 10 mM kg-1 soil levels) application alone or in combination with AMF inoculation by Medicago sativa Linn. (M. sativa). Plant biomass, root mycorrhizal colonization, P and V accumulation, antioxidant enzyme activity in plants, and soil chemical speciation of V were evaluated. Results depicted (1) a marked decline in plant biomass and root mycorrhizal colonization in 5- and 10-mM CA treatments which were accompanied by a significant increased V accumulation in plant tissues. The effects could be attributed to the enhanced acid-soluble V fraction transferring from the reducible fraction. (2) The presence of CA significantly enhanced P acquisition while the P/V concentration ratio in plant shoots and roots decreased, owing to the increased V translocation from soil to plant. (3) In both CA-treated soil, AMF-plant symbiosis significantly improved dry weight (31.4-73.3%) and P content (37.3-122.5%) in shoots and roots of M. sativa. The combined treatments also showed markedly contribution in reduction of malondialdehyde (MDA) content (12.8-16.2%) and higher antioxidants (SOD, POD, and CAT) activities in the leaves. This suggests their combination could promote growth performance and stimulate antioxidant response to alleviate V stress induced by CA chelator. (4) Taken together, 10 mM kg-1 CA application and AMF inoculation combination exhibited a higher amount of extracted V both in plant shoots and roots. Thus, citric acid-AMF-plant symbiosis provides a novel remediation strategy for in situ V phytoextraction by M. sativa in V-contaminated soil.

RevDate: 2021-07-12

Huo L, Gao R, Hou X, et al (2021)

Arbuscular mycorrhizal and dark septate endophyte colonization in Artemisia roots responds differently to environmental gradients in eastern and central China.

The Science of the total environment, 795:148808 pii:S0048-9697(21)03880-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and dark septate endophytes (DSE) are two types of root symbiotic fungi that enhance nutrient uptake by host plants and their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, it remains unclear whether AMF and DSE are synergistic or antagonistic in the presence of host plants to environmental gradients, especially on large geographical scales. To determine the relationships between AMF and DSE and their adaptability on a regional scale, we measured AMF and DSE colonization in the roots of 1023 plants of different species within the Artemisia genus collected from 81 sites across central and eastern China. We used general linear mixed models to analyze the relationships between colonization, and temperature and precipitation conditions. We found no significant correlation between AMF and DSE. The AMF colonization rate followed a significant longitudinal trend, but there was no latitudinal pattern. DSE colonization did not follow any geographical pattern. The AMF colonization rate was positively correlated with temperature and precipitation, whereas it was not significantly correlated with soil. There was no significant correlation between DSE colonization and climate or soil. Our results suggest that AMF and DSE play independent roles in the response of Artemisia to the regional environment. Therefore, studies on mycorrhizal symbiosis should discern the differential responses between AMF and DSE to climate and soil when evaluating the adaptability of the two types of symbiosis on large geographical scales.

RevDate: 2021-07-12

Mhatre K, A Singh (2021)

The Impact of Embarrassment to Product Purchase and Brand Influence on the Perceived Benefits and Availability of Ayurveda Products in the COVID-19 Era: an Investigation by SEM Approach.

Hospital topics [Epub ahead of print].

Ayurveda as alternative medicine is widely popular across the globe. Moreover, after the onset of COVID-19, it has been looked at as a preferred option to boost immunity to prevent the infection of COVID-19. However, in developing countries, the misconceptions associated with Ayurveda lead to post-purchase embarrassment. This study proposes a model of perceived increased Availability of Ayurveda products in the market, with dependent variables such as brand influence, perceived immunity against COVID-19, post-product purchase embarrassment, and perceived safe and effective nature. The analysis is done by IBM AMOS v.22, the conceptualized hypothesis was also tested.

RevDate: 2021-07-12

Valderrama R, Chaki M, Begara-Morales JC, et al (2021)

Editorial: Nitric Oxide in Plants.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:705157.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Kaur J, J Sharma (2021)

Orchid Root Associated Bacteria: Linchpins or Accessories?.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:661966.

Besides the plant-fungus symbiosis in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EM) plants, many endorhizal and rhizosphere bacteria (Root Associated Bacteria, or RAB) also enhance plant fitness, diversity, and coexistence among plants via bi- or tripartite interactions with plant hosts and mycorrhizal fungi. Assuming that bacterial associations are just as important for the obligate mycorrhizal plant family Orchidaceae, surprisingly little is known about the RAB associated with orchids. Herein, we first present the current, underwhelming state of RAB research including their interactions with fungi and the influence of holobionts on plant fitness. We then delineate the need for novel investigations specifically in orchid RAB ecology, and sketch out questions and hypotheses which, when addressed, will advance plant-microbial ecology. We specifically discuss the potential effects of beneficial RAB on orchids as: (1) Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR), (2) Mycorrhization Helper Bacteria (MHB), and (3) constituents of an orchid holobiont. We further posit that a hologenomic view should be considered as a framework for addressing co-evolution of the plant host, their obligate Orchid Mycorrhizal Fungi (OMF), and orchid RAB. We conclude by discussing implications of the suggested research for conservation of orchids, their microbial partners, and their collective habitats.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Haskett TL, Knights HE, Jorrin B, et al (2021)

A Simple in situ Assay to Assess Plant-Associative Bacterial Nitrogenase Activity.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:690439.

Assessment of plant-associative bacterial nitrogen (N) fixation is crucial for selection and development of elite diazotrophic inoculants that could be used to supply cereal crops with nitrogen in a sustainable manner. Although diazotrophic bacteria possess diverse oxygen tolerance mechanisms, most require a sub 21% oxygen environment to achieve optimal stability and function of the N-fixing catalyst nitrogenase. Consequently, assessment of N fixation is routinely carried out on "free-living" bacteria grown in the absence of a host plant and such experiments may not accurately divulge activity in the rhizosphere where the availability and forms of nutrients such as carbon and N, which are key regulators of N fixation, may vary widely. Here, we present a modified in situ acetylene reduction assay (ARA), utilizing the model cereal barley as a host to comparatively assess nitrogenase activity in diazotrophic bacteria. The assay is rapid, highly reproducible, applicable to a broad range of diazotrophs, and can be performed with simple equipment commonly found in most laboratories that investigate plant-microbe interactions. Thus, the assay could serve as a first point of order for high-throughput identification of elite plant-associative diazotrophs.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Wall CB, Wallsgrove NJ, Gates RD, et al (2021)

Amino acid δ13C and δ15N analyses reveal distinct species-specific patterns of trophic plasticity in a marine symbiosis.

Limnology and oceanography, 66(5):2033-2050.

Compound-specific isotope analyses (CSIA) and multivariate "isotope fingerprinting" track biosynthetic sources and reveal trophic interactions in food webs. However, CSIA have not been widely applied in the study of marine symbioses. Here, we exposed a reef coral (Montipora capitata) in symbiosis with Symbiodiniaceae algae to experimental treatments (autotrophy, mixotrophy, heterotrophy) to test for trophic shifts and amino acid (AA) sources using paired bulk (δ13C, δ15N) and AA-CSIA (δ13CAA, δ15NAA). Treatments did not influence carbon or nitrogen trophic proxies, thereby not supporting nutritional plasticity. Instead, hosts and symbionts consistently overlapped in essential- and nonessential-δ13CAA (11 of 13 amino acids) and trophic- and source-δ15NAA values (9 of 13 amino acids). Host and symbiont trophic-δ15NAA values positively correlated with a plankton end-member, indicative of trophic connections and dietary sources for trophic-AA nitrogen. However, mass balance of AA-trophic positions (TPGlx-Phe) revealed heterotrophic influences to be highly variable (1-41% heterotrophy). Linear discriminant analysis using M. capitata mean-normalized essential-δ13CAA with previously published values (Pocillopora meandrina) showed similar nutrition isotope fingerprints (Symbiodiniaceae vs. plankton) but revealed species-specific trophic strategies. Montipora capitata and Symbiodiniaceae shared identical AA-fingerprints, whereas P. meandrina was assigned to either symbiont or plankton nutrition. Thus, M. capitata was 100% reliant on symbionts for essential-δ13CAA and demonstrated autotrophic fidelity and contrasts with trophic plasticity reported in P. meandrina. While M. capitata AA may originate from host and/or symbiont biosynthesis, AA carbon is Symbiodiniaceae-derived. Together, AA-CSIA/isotope fingerprinting advances the study of coral trophic plasticity and are powerful tools in the study of marine symbioses.

RevDate: 2021-07-11

Alvarenga DO, K Rousk (2021)

Indirect effects of climate change inhibit N2 fixation associated with the feathermoss Hylocomium splendens in subarctic tundra.

The Science of the total environment, 795:148676 pii:S0048-9697(21)03748-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Mosses can be responsible for up to 100% of net primary production in arctic and subarctic tundra, and their associations with diazotrophic cyanobacteria have an important role in increasing nitrogen (N) availability in these pristine ecosystems. Predictions about the consequences of climate change in subarctic environments point to increased N mineralization in soil and higher litter deposition due to warming. It is not clear yet how these indirect climate change effects impact moss-cyanobacteria associations and N2 fixation. This work aimed to evaluate the effects of increased N and litter input on biological N2 fixation rates associated with the feathermoss Hylocomium splendens from a tundra heath. H. splendens samples were collected near Abisko, northern Sweden, from a field experiment with annual additions of ammonium chloride and dried birch litter and the combination of both for three years. Samples were analyzed for N2 fixation, cyanobacterial colonization, C and N content and pH. Despite the high N additions, no significant differences in moss N content were found. However, differences between treatments were observed in N2 fixation rates, cyanobacterial colonization and pH, with the combined ammonium+litter treatment causing a significant reduction in the number of branch-colonizing cyanobacteria and N2 fixation, and ammonium additions significantly lowering moss pH. A significant, positive relationship was found between N2 fixation rates, moss colonization by cyanobacteria and pH levels, showing a clear drop in N2 fixation rates at lower pH levels even if larger cyanobacterial populations were present. These results suggest that increased N availability and litter deposition resulting from climate change not only interferes with N2 fixation directly, but also acidifies moss microhabitats and reduces the abundance of associated cyanobacteria, which could eventually impact the N cycle in the Subarctic.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Hu B, Hu S, Vymazal J, et al (2021)

Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis in constructed wetlands with different substrates: Effects on the phytoremediation of ibuprofen and diclofenac.

Journal of environmental management, 296:113217 pii:S0301-4797(21)01279-2 [Epub ahead of print].

This study investigated the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) for the removal of ibuprofen (IBU) and diclofenac (DCF) in constructed wetlands (CWs) with four different substrates. Results showed that AMF colonization in adsorptive substrate (perlite, vermiculite, and biochar) systems was higher than that in sand systems. AMF enhanced the tolerance of Glyceria maxima to the stress of IBU and DCF by promoting the activities of antioxidant enzymes (peroxidase and superoxide dismutase) and the contents of soluble protein, while decreasing the contents of malondialdehyde and O2•-. The removal efficiencies of IBU and DCF were increased by 15%-18% and 25%-38% in adsorptive substrate systems compare to sand systems. Adsorptive substrates enhanced the accumulation of IBU and DCF in the rhizosphere and promoted the uptake of IBU and DCF by plant roots. AMF promoted the removal of IBU and DCF in sand systems but limited their reduction in adsorptive substrate systems. In all scenarios, the presence of AMF decreased the contents of CECs metabolites (2-OH IBU, CA IBU, and 4'-OH IBU) in the effluents and promoted the uptake of IBU by plant roots. Therefore, these results indicated that the addition of adsorptive substrates could enhance the removal of IBU and DCF in CWs. The role of AMF on the removal of IBU and DCF was influenced by CW substrate. These may provide useful information for the application of AMF in CWs to remove contaminants of emerging concern.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Paulitsch F, Dos Reis FB, M Hungria (2021)

Twenty years of paradigm-breaking studies of taxonomy and symbiotic nitrogen fixation by beta-rhizobia, and indication of Brazil as a hotspot of Paraburkholderia diversity.

Archives of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Twenty years ago, the first members of the genus Burkholderia capable of nodulating and fixing N2 during symbiosis with leguminous plants were reported. The discovery that β-proteobacteria could nodulate legumes represented a breakthrough event because, for over 100 years, it was thought that all rhizobia belonged exclusively to the α-Proteobacteria class. Over the past 20 years, efforts toward robust characterization of these bacteria with large-scale phylogenomic and taxonomic studies have led to the separation of clinically important and phytopathogenic members of Burkholderia from environmental ones, and the symbiotic nodulating species are now included in the genera Paraburkholderia and Trinickia. Paraburkholderia encompasses the vast majority of β-rhizobia and has been mostly found in South America and South Africa, presenting greater symbiotic affinity with native members of the families Mimosoideae and Papilionoideae, respectively. Being the main center of Mimosa spp. diversity, Brazil is also known as the center of symbiotic Paraburkholderia diversity. Of the 21 symbiotic Paraburkholderia species described to date, 11 have been isolated in Brazil, and others first isolated in different countries have also been found in this country. Additionally, besides the symbiotic N2-fixation capacity of some of its members, Paraburkholderia is considered rich in other beneficial interactions with plants and can promote growth through several direct and indirect mechanisms. Therefore, these bacteria can be considered biological resources employed as environmentally friendly alternatives that could reduce the agricultural dependence on agrochemical inputs.

RevDate: 2021-07-12

Murakami H, Murakami-Kawai M, Kamisuki S, et al (2021)

Specific antiviral effect of violaceoid E on bovine leukemia virus.

Virology, 562:1-8 pii:S0042-6822(21)00140-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infection has spread worldwide causing significant economic losses in the livestock industry. In countries with a high prevalence of BLV, minimizing economic losses is challenging; thus, research into various countermeasures is important for improving BLV control. Because anti-BLV drugs have not been developed, the present study explored a promising chemical compound with anti-BLV activity. Initially, screening of a chemical compound library revealed that violaceoid E (vioE), which is isolated from fungus, showed antiviral activity. Further analysis demonstrated that the antiviral effect of vioE inhibited transcriptional activation of BLV. Cellular thermal shift assay and pulldown assays provided evidence for a direct interaction between vioE and the viral transactivator protein, Tax. These data indicate that interference with Tax-dependent transcription could be a novel target for development of anti-BLV drugs. Therefore, it is suggested that vioE is a novel antiviral compound against BLV.

RevDate: 2021-07-13
CmpDate: 2021-07-13

Bhoi A, Yadu B, Chandra J, et al (2021)

Contribution of strigolactone in plant physiology, hormonal interaction and abiotic stresses.

Planta, 254(2):28.

Strigolactones (SLs) are carotenoid-derived molecules, which regulate various developmental and adaptation processes in plants. These are engaged in different aspects of growth such as development of root, leaf senescence, shoot branching, etc. Plants grown under nutrient-deficient conditions enhance SL production that facilitates root architecture and symbiosis of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, as a result increases nutrient uptake. The crosstalk of SLs with other phytohormones such as auxin, abscisic acid, cytokinin and gibberellins, in response to abiotic stresses indicates that SLs actively contribute to the regulatory systems of plant stress adaptation. In response to different environmental circumstances such as salinity, drought, heat, cold, heavy metals and nutrient deprivation, these SLs get accumulated in plant tissues. Strigolactones regulate multiple hormonal responsive pathways, which aids plants to surmount stressful environmental constraints as well as reduce negative impact on overall productivity of crops. The external application of SL analog GR24 for its higher bioaccumulation can be one of the possible approaches for establishing various abiotic stress tolerances in plants.

RevDate: 2021-07-09

Agrawal R, Kulkarni S, Walambe R, et al (2021)

Assistive Framework for Automatic Detection of All the Zones in Retinopathy of Prematurity Using Deep Learning.

Journal of digital imaging [Epub ahead of print].

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disorder seen in low birth weight preterm infants. In India, the burden of ROP is high, with nearly 200,000 premature infants at risk. Early detection through screening and treatment can prevent this blindness. The automatic screening systems developed so far can detect "severe ROP" or "plus disease," but this information does not help schedule follow-up. Identifying vascularized retinal zones and detecting the ROP stage is essential for follow-up or discharge from screening. There is no automatic system to assist these crucial decisions to the best of the authors' knowledge. The low contrast of images, incompletely developed vessels, macular structure, and lack of public data sets are a few challenges in creating such a system. In this paper, a novel method using an ensemble of "U-Network" and "Circle Hough Transform" is developed to detect zones I, II, and III from retinal images in which macula is not developed. The model developed is generic and trained on mixed images of different sizes. It detects zones in images of variable sizes captured by two different imaging systems with an accuracy of 98%. All images of the test set (including the low-quality images) are considered. The time taken for training was only 14 min, and a single image was tested in 30 ms. The present study can help medical experts interpret retinal vascular status correctly and reduce subjective variation in diagnosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Lembicz M, Miszalski Z, Kornaś A, et al (2021)

Cooling effect of fungal stromata in the Dactylis-Epichloë-Botanophila symbiosis.

Communicative & integrative biology, 14(1):151-157.

The stromata of Epichloë fungi are structures covering part of the stem of grasses. Under the fungal layer, still green tissues of the plant survive, although the development of the new leaves is inhibited. Stromata are the places where conidia and ascospores develop. Also, here Botanophila flies dine on mycelium, lay the eggs, defecate, and the larvae develop. The interaction of the three symbionts was analyzed concerning the organisms' adaptation to understand the differences in physiology and ecology of this microenvironment that support stable symbiosis spreading presently in Europe since the beginning of the XXI century. For analysis of the infrared radiation emitted by stromata, a high-resolution infrared camera FLIR E50 was used. The visualization of stromata temperature profiles was shown in the form of pseudo-colored (false) infrared images. The 13C discrimination was used to characterize photosynthesis of the plant tissue enclosed within the stromata. The stromata had a substantially lower temperature than the green plant tissues. The difference reached ~5.6°C during midday hours, whereas it was smaller in the evening, reaching only ~3.6°C. The mycelium of Epichloë cultivated on agar showed about 2°C lower temperature in comparison to the surrounding. The plant tissues enclosed within the stroma were photosynthetically active, although this activity was of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) type and less involved in heat dissipation during the day. The stromata, built by fungal hyphae, on which fungal reproductive structures develop, form a cool shelter. This shelter provides a place for the larvae of Botanophila flies.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Soto MJ, López-Lara IM, Geiger O, et al (2021)

Rhizobial Volatiles: Potential New Players in the Complex Interkingdom Signaling With Legumes.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:698912.

Bacteria release a wide range of volatile compounds that play important roles in intermicrobial and interkingdom communication. Volatile metabolites emitted by rhizobacteria can promote plant growth and increase plant resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses. Rhizobia establish beneficial nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with legume plants in a process starting with a chemical dialog in the rhizosphere involving various diffusible compounds. Despite being one of the most studied plant-interacting microorganisms, very little is known about volatile compounds produced by rhizobia and their biological/ecological role. Evidence indicates that plants can perceive and respond to volatiles emitted by rhizobia. In this perspective, we present recent data that open the possibility that rhizobial volatile compounds have a role in symbiotic interactions with legumes and discuss future directions that could shed light onto this area of investigation.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Peña Venegas RA, Lee SJ, Thuita M, et al (2021)

The Phosphate Inhibition Paradigm: Host and Fungal Genotypes Determine Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Colonization and Responsiveness to Inoculation in Cassava With Increasing Phosphorus Supply.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:693037.

A vast majority of terrestrial plants are dependent on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) for their nutrient acquisition. AMF act as an extension of the root system helping phosphate uptake. In agriculture, harnessing the symbiosis can potentially increase plant growth. Application of the AMF Rhizophagus irregularis has been demonstrated to increase the yields of various crops. However, there is a paradigm that AMF colonization of roots, as well as the plant benefits afforded by inoculation with AMF, decreases with increasing phosphorus (P) supply in the soil. The paradigm suggests that when fertilized with sufficient P, inoculation of crops would not be beneficial. However, the majority of experiments demonstrating the paradigm were conducted in sterile conditions without a background AMF or soil microbial community. Interestingly, intraspecific variation in R. irregularis can greatly alter the yield of cassava even at a full application of the recommended P dose. Cassava is a globally important crop, feeding 800 million people worldwide, and a crop that is highly dependent on AMF for P uptake. In this study, field trials were conducted at three locations in Kenya and Tanzania using different AMF and cassava varieties under different P fertilization levels to test if the paradigm occurs in tropical field conditions. We found that AMF colonization and inoculation responsiveness of cassava does not always decrease with an increased P supply as expected by the paradigm. The obtained results demonstrate that maximizing the inoculation responsiveness of cassava is not necessarily only in conditions of low P availability, but that this is dependent on cassava and fungal genotypes. Thus, the modeling of plant symbiosis with AMF under different P levels in nature should be considered with caution.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Ma Y, R Chen (2021)

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Signaling and Transport During Legume-Rhizobium Symbiosis.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:683601.

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two predominant mineral elements, which are not only essential for plant growth and development in general but also play a key role in symbiotic N fixation in legumes. Legume plants have evolved complex signaling networks to respond to both external and internal levels of these macronutrients to optimize symbiotic N fixation in nodules. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) and nitrate (NO3 -) are the two major forms of P and N elements utilized by plants, respectively. Pi starvation and NO3 - application both reduce symbiotic N fixation via similar changes in the nodule gene expression and invoke local and long-distance, systemic responses, of which N-compound feedback regulation of rhizobial nitrogenase activity appears to operate under both conditions. Most of the N and P signaling and transport processes have been investigated in model organisms, such as Medicago truncatula, Lotus japonicus, Glycine max, Phaseolus vulgaris, Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, etc. We attempted to discuss some of these processes wherever appropriate, to serve as references for a better understanding of the N and P signaling and transport during symbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-08

Pérez-Pazos E, Certano A, Gagne J, et al (2021)

The slippery nature of ectomycorrhizal host specificity: Suillus fungi associated with novel pinoid (Picea) and abietoid (Abies) hosts.

Mycologia [Epub ahead of print].

Suillus is among the best-known examples of an ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal genus that demonstrates a high degree of host specificity. Currently recognized host genera of Suillus include Larix, Pinus, and Pseudotsuga, which all belong to the pinoid clade of the family Pinaceae. Intriguingly, Suillus sporocarps have been sporadically collected in forests in which known hosts from these genera are locally absent. To determine the capacity of Suillus to associate with alternative hosts in both the pinoid and abietoid clades of Pinaceae, we examined the host associations of two Suillus species (S. punctatipes and S. glandulosus) through field-based root tip sampling and seedling bioassays. Root tip collections underneath Suillus sporocarps were molecularly identified (fungi: nuc rDNA internal transcribed spacer region ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 [ITS barcode]; plant: trnL) to assess the association with multiple hosts. The bioassays contained both single- and two-species treatments, including a primary (Larix or Pseudotsuga) and a secondary (Picea, Pinus, or Abies) host. For the S. punctatipes bioassay, an additional treatment in which the primary host was removed after 8 mo was included to assess the effect of primary host presence on longer-term ECM colonization. The field-based results confirmed that Suillus fungi were able to associate with Abies and Tsuga hosts, representing novel host genera for this genus. In the bioassays, colonization on the primary hosts was detected in both single- and two-species treatments, but no colonization was present when Picea and Abies hosts were grown alone. Removal of a primary host had no effect on percent ECM colonization, suggesting that primary hosts are not necessary for sustaining Suillus colonization once they are successfully established on secondary hosts. Collectively, our results indicate that host specificity is more flexible in this genus than previously acknowledged and help to explain the presence of Suillus in forests where recognized hosts are not present.

RevDate: 2021-07-08

Buysse M, Binetruy F, Leibson R, et al (2021)

Ecological Contacts and Host Specificity Promote Replacement of Nutritional Endosymbionts in Ticks.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiosis with vitamin-provisioning microbes is essential for the nutrition of animals with some specialized feeding habits. While coevolution favors the interdependence between symbiotic partners, their associations are not necessarily stable: Recently acquired symbionts can replace ancestral symbionts. In this study, we demonstrate successful replacement by Francisella-like endosymbionts (-LE), a group of B-vitamin-provisioning endosymbionts, across tick communities driven by horizontal transfers. Using a broad collection of Francisella-LE-infected tick species, we determined the diversity of Francisella-LE haplotypes through a multi-locus strain typing approach and further characterized their phylogenetic relationships and their association with biological traits of their tick hosts. The patterns observed showed that Francisella-LE commonly transfer through similar ecological networks and geographic distributions shared among different tick species and, in certain cases, through preferential shuffling across congeneric tick species. Altogether, these findings reveal the importance of geographic, ecological, and phylogenetic proximity in shaping the replacement pattern in which new nutritional symbioses are initiated.

RevDate: 2021-07-08

Yazaki W, Shimasaki T, Aoki Y, et al (2021)

Nitrogen Deficiency-induced Bacterial Community Shifts in Soybean Roots.

Microbes and environments, 36(3):.

Nitrogen deficiency affects soybean growth and physiology, such as symbiosis with rhizobia; however, its effects on the bacterial composition of the soybean root microbiota remain unclear. A bacterial community analysis by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing showed nitrogen deficiency-induced bacterial community shifts in soybean roots with the marked enrichment of Methylobacteriaceae. The abundance of Methylobacteriaceae was low in the roots of field-grown soybean without symptoms of nitrogen deficiency. Although Methylobacteriaceae isolated from soybean roots under nitrogen deficiency did not promote growth or nodulation when inoculated into soybean roots, these results indicate that the enrichment of Methylobacteriaceae in soybean roots is triggered by nitrogen-deficiency stress.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Tagirdzhanova G, McCutcheon JP, T Spribille (2021)

Lichen fungi do not depend on the alga for ATP production: A comment on Pogoda et al. (2018).

Lichen fungi live in a symbiotic association with unicellular phototrophs and most have no known aposymbiotic stage. A recent study in Molecular Ecology postulated that some of them have lost mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and rely on their algal partners for ATP. This claim originated from an apparent lack of ATP9, a gene encoding one subunit of ATP synthase, from a few mitochondrial genomes. Here, we show that while these fungi indeed have lost the mitochondrial ATP9, each retain a nuclear copy of this gene. Our analysis reaffirms that lichen fungi produce their own ATP.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Liu H, Jin Q, Luo J, et al (2021)

Synergistic Effects of Aquatic Plants and Cyanobacterial Blooms on the Nitrous Oxide Emission from Wetlands.

Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

Wetlands provide a habitat for the symbiosis of multiple plants and play a significant role in global N2O emissions. The metabolic traits and effects on microorganisms, which regulate the conversion of nitrogen to N2O, varies with plant species. The frequent occurrences of cyanobacterial blooms in wetlands can also have a positive or negative effect on denitrification, entangling N2O emissions. In situ observations of the Dongting Lake reveal that the fluxes in N2O emissions vary with the vegetation. Maximum emissions occurred in the mud flat, while the zone with the minimum emissions was populated with carex. In 210-day batch cultures, the addition of cyanobacteria synergistically enhanced N2O production during the degredation of phalaris and reed. The abundance of the nirS and nirK genes decreased over time except in the phalaris-algae group. To mitigate the N2O emissions from wetlands, the macrophyte communities need to be protected, and the cyanobacterial blooms need to be avoided by reducing the nitrogen pollution.

RevDate: 2021-07-08

Gowd KK, Veerababu D, VR Reddy (2021)

COVID-19 and the legislative response in India: The need for a comprehensive health care law.

Journal of public affairs [Epub ahead of print].

The outbreak of the SARS CoV2 virus, commonly referred to as the COVID-19 pandemic, has impacted the social, economic, political, and cultural lives of citizens around the world. The sudden outbreak of the pandemic has exposed the legal preparedness, or lack thereof, of governments to reduce and contain its drastic impact. Strong legislative measures play a crucial role in any epidemic or pandemic situation. In this situation, the Indian Government has requested all state governments to invoke the Epidemic Disease Act (EDA) of 1897 to address the COVID-19 emergency. The Central Government has also used the powers provided in the Disaster Management Act (DMA) of 2005. As the country is facing its first major health emergency since independence, the existing legislative measures to deal with a COVID-19 like situation are lacking and require certain amendments to address such situations in the future. This paper aims to present the current constitutional and legislative response to health emergencies in India and attempts to identify gray areas in the statutory provisions. Based on the analysis, this paper suggests several recommendations for amending current legislation and suggests the promulgation of comprehensive public health law. This paper is largely based on primary sources such as the EDA and the DMA, regulations, guidelines, rules issued by the public authorities and court cases related to health and health emergencies along with secondary resources such as newspaper articles and published papers.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Brescia P, M Rescigno (2021)

The gut vascular barrier: a new player in the gut-liver-brain axis.

Trends in molecular medicine pii:S1471-4914(21)00154-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The intestinal barrier protects our body from external insults through specialized cells organized in a multilayered structure that evolved in symbiosis with the resident microbiota. A breach in the outer mucus and epithelium can be transmitted to the inner gut vascular barrier (GVB), leading to systemic dissemination of microbes or microbe-derived molecules. Several extraintestinal pathologies have been linked to gut microbiota dysbiosis that causes GVB leakage in their early phases. The consequent spreading of inflammatory stimuli to distant organs could be driven by later vascular barrier disruption at different sites, suggesting an interplay between anatomical barriers across the body. Thus, targeting the intestinal barrier holds promise for the prevention and/or therapy of several intestinal, metabolic, and neurological disorders.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Gradoville MR, Cabello AM, Wilson ST, et al (2021)

Light and depth dependency of nitrogen fixation by the non-photosynthetic, symbiotic cyanobacterium UCYN-A.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The symbiotic cyanobacterium UCYN-A is one of the most globally abundant marine dinitrogen (N2)-fixers, but cultures have not been available and its biology and ecology are poorly understood. We used cultivation-independent approaches to investigate how UCYN-A single-cell N2 fixation rates (NFRs) and nifH gene expression vary as a function of depth and photoperiod. Twelve-hour day/night incubations showed that UCYN-A only fixed N2 during the day. Experiments conducted using in situ arrays showed a light-dependence of NFRs by the UCYN-A symbiosis, with the highest rates in surface waters (5-45 m) and lower rates at depth (≥ 75 m). Analysis of NFRs versus in situ light intensity yielded a light saturation parameter (Ik) for UCYN-A of 44 μmol quanta m-2 s-1 . This is low compared with other marine diazotrophs, suggesting an ecological advantage for the UCYN-A symbiosis under low-light conditions. In contrast to cell-specific NFRs, nifH gene-specific expression levels did not vary with depth, indicating that light regulates N2 fixation by UCYN-A through processes other than transcription, likely including host-symbiont interactions. These results offer new insights into the physiology of the UCYN-A symbiosis in the subtropical North Pacific Ocean and provide clues to the environmental drivers of its global distributions.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Cabrera JJ, Jiménez-Leiva A, Tomás-Gallardo L, et al (2021)

Dissection of FixK2 protein-DNA interaction unveils new insights into Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens lifestyles control.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The FixK2 protein plays a pivotal role in a complex regulatory network which controls genes for microoxic, denitrifying, and symbiotic nitrogen-fixing lifestyles in Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens. Among the microoxic-responsive FixK2 -activated genes are the fixNOQP operon, indispensable for respiration in symbiosis, and the nnrR regulatory gene needed for the nitric-oxide dependent induction of the norCBQD genes encoding the denitrifying nitric oxide reductase. FixK2 is a CRP/FNR-type transcription factor, which recognises a 14 bp-palindrome (FixK2 box) at the regulated promoters through three residues (L195, E196, and R200) within a C-terminal helix-turn-helix motif. Here, we mapped the determinants for discriminatory FixK2 -mediated regulation. While R200 was essential for DNA binding and activity of FixK2 , L195 was involved in protein-DNA complex stability. Mutation at positions 1, 3, or 11 in the genuine FixK2 box at the fixNOQP promoter impaired transcription activation by FixK2 , which was residual when a second mutation affecting the box palindromy was introduced. The substitution of nucleotide 11 within the NnrR box at the norCBQD promoter allowed FixK2 -mediated activation in response to microoxia. Thus, position 11 within the FixK2 /NnrR boxes constitutes a key element that changes FixK2 targets specificity, and consequently, it might modulate B. diazoefficiens lifestyle as nitrogen fixer or as denitrifier. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Chalasani D, Basu A, Pullabhotla SVSRN, et al (2021)

Poor Competitiveness of Bradyrhizobium in Pigeon Pea Root Colonization in Indian Soils.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Pigeon pea, a legume crop native to India, is the primary source of protein for more than a billion people in developing countries. The plant can form symbioses with N2-fixing bacteria; however, reports of poor crop nodulation in agricultural soils abound. We report here a study of the bacterial community associated with pigeon pea, with a special focus on the symbiont population in different soils and vegetative and non-vegetative plant growth. Location with respect to the plant roots was determined to be the main factor controlling the bacterial community, followed by developmental stage and soil type. Plant genotype plays only a minor role. Pigeon pea roots have a reduced microbial diversity compared to the surrounding soil and select for Proteobacteria, especially for Rhizobium spp., during vegetative growth. While Bradyrhizobium, a native symbiont of pigeon pea, can be found associating with roots, its presence is dependent on plant variety and soil conditions. A combination of 16S rRNA gene amplicon survey, strain isolation, and co-inoculation with nodule-forming Bradyrhizobium spp. and non-N2-fixing Rhizobium spp. demonstrated that the latter is a much more successful colonizer of pigeon pea roots. Poor nodulation of pigeon pea in Indian soils may be caused by a poor Bradyrhizobium competitiveness against non-nodulating root colonizers such as Rhizobium. Hence, inoculant strain selection of symbionts for pigeon pea should be based not only on their nitrogen fixation potential but, more importantly, on their competitiveness in agricultural soils. IMPORTANCE Plant symbiosis with N2-fixing bacteria is a key to sustainable, low-input agriculture. While there are ongoing projects aiming to increase the yield of cereals using plant genetics and host-microbiota interaction engineering, the biggest potential lies in legume plants. Pigeon pea is a basic food source for a billion low-income people in India. Improving its interactions with N2-fixing rhizobia could dramatically reduce food poverty in India. Despite the Indian origin of this plant, pigeon pea nodulates only poorly in native soils. While there have been multiple attempts to select the best N2-fixing symbionts, there are no reliable strains available for geographically widespread use. In this article, using 16S rRNA gene amplicon, culturomics, and plant co-inoculation assays, we show that the native pigeon pea symbionts such as Bradyrhizobium spp. are able to nodulate their host, despite being poor competitors for colonizing roots. Hence, in this system, the establishment of effective symbiosis seems decoupled from microbial competition on plant roots. Thus, the effort of finding suitable symbionts should focus not only on their N2-fixing potential but also on their ability to colonize. Increasing pigeon pea yield is a low-hanging fruit to reduce world hunger and degradation of the environment through the overuse of synthetic fertilizers.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Chen HK, Rosset SL, Wang LH, et al (2021)

The characteristics of host lipid body biogenesis during coral-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis.

PeerJ, 9:e11652.

Intracellular lipid body (LB) biogenesis depends on the symbiosis between coral hosts and their Symbiodinaceae. Therefore, understanding the mechanism(s) behind LB biosynthesis in corals can portentially elucide the drivers of cellular regulation during endosymbiosis. This study assessed LB formation in the gastrodermal tissue layer of the hermatypic coral Euphyllia glabrescens. Diel rhythmicity in LB size and distribution was observed; solar irradiation onset at sunrise initiated an increase in LB formation, which continued throughout the day and peaked after sunset at 18:00. The LBs migrated from the area near the mesoglea to the gastrodermal cell border near the coelenteron. Micro-LB biogenesis occurred in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of the host gastrodermal cells. A transcriptomic analysis of genes related to lipogenesis indicated that binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) plays a key role in metabolic signaling pathways. The diel rhythmicity of LB biogenesis was correlated with ER-localized BiP expression. BiP expression peaked during the period with the largest increase in LB formation, thereby indicating that the chaperoning reaction of abnormal protein folding inside the host ER is likely involved in LB biosynthesis. These findings suggest that the host ER, central to LB formation, potentially facilitates the regulation of endosymbiosis between coral hosts and Symbiodiniaceae.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Vittozzi Y, Nadzieja M, Rogato A, et al (2021)

The Lotus japonicus NPF3.1 Is a Nodule-Induced Gene That Plays a Positive Role in Nodule Functioning.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:688187.

Nitrogen-fixing nodules are new organs formed on legume roots as a result of the beneficial interaction with the soil bacteria, rhizobia. Proteins of the nitrate transporter 1/peptide transporter family (NPF) are largely represented in the subcategory of nodule-induced transporters identified in mature nodules. The role of nitrate as a signal/nutrient regulating nodule functioning has been recently highlighted in the literature, and NPFs may play a central role in both the permissive and inhibitory pathways controlling N2-fixation efficiency. In this study, we present the characterization of the Lotus japonicus LjNPF3.1 gene. LjNPF3.1 is upregulated in mature nodules. Promoter studies show transcriptional activation confined to the cortical region of both roots and nodules. Under symbiotic conditions, Ljnpf3.1-knockout mutant's display reduced shoot development and anthocyanin accumulation as a result of nutrient deprivation. Altogether, LjNPF3.1 plays a role in maximizing the beneficial outcome of the root nodule symbiosis.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

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Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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