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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 18 Mar 2019 at 01:39 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: 2019-03-17

Sugiyama Y, Murata M, Kanetani S, et al (2019)

Towards the conservation of ectomycorrhizal fungi on endangered trees: native fungal species on Pinus amamiana are rarely conserved in trees planted ex situ.

Mycorrhiza pii:10.1007/s00572-019-00887-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) symbiosis is essential for the survival of both host trees and associated ECM fungi. However, during conservation activities of endangered tree species, their ECM symbionts are largely ignored. Here, we investigated ECM fungi in ex situ populations established for the conservation of Pinus amamiana, an endangered species distributed on Yakushima Island, Japan. Our objective was to determine whether ECM fungi in natural forests are conserved in ex situ populations on the same island. In particular, we focused on the existence of Rhizopogon yakushimensis, which is specific to P. amamiana and the most dominant in natural P. amamiana forests. Molecular identification of ECM fungi in resident tree roots and soil propagule banks indicated that ECM fungal species native to natural forests were rarely conserved in ex situ populations. Furthermore, R. yakushimensis was not confirmed in any of the resident root or spore bioassay samples from the ex situ populations. Thus, ECM fungal spores may not be effectively dispersed from natural forests located on the same island. Instead, ECM fungi distributed in other geographical regions occurred more frequently in the ex situ populations, indicating unintentional introductions of non-native ECM fungi from the nurseries where seedlings were raised before transplanting. These findings imply that the current ex situ conservation practices of endangered tree do not work for the conservation of native ECM fungi, and instead may need modification to avoid the risk of introducing non-native ECM fungi near the endangered forest sites.

RevDate: 2019-03-16

Frank AC (2019)

Molecular host mimicry and manipulation in bacterial symbionts.

FEMS microbiology letters, 366(4):.

It is common among intracellular bacterial pathogens to use eukaryotic-like proteins that mimic and manipulate host cellular processes to promote colonization and intracellular survival. Eukaryotic-like proteins are bacterial proteins with domains that are rare in bacteria, and known to function in the context of a eukaryotic cell. Such proteins can originate through horizontal gene transfer from eukaryotes or, in the case of simple repeat proteins, through convergent evolution. Recent studies of microbiomes associated with several eukaryotic hosts suggest that similar molecular strategies are deployed by cooperative bacteria that interact closely with eukaryotic cells. Some mimics, like ankyrin repeats, leucine rich repeats and tetratricopeptide repeats are shared across diverse symbiotic systems ranging from amoebae to plants, and may have originated early, or evolved independently in multiple systems. Others, like plant-mimicking domains in members of the plant microbiome are likely to be more recent innovations resulting from horizontal gene transfer from the host, or from microbial eukaryotes occupying the same host. Host protein mimics have only been described in a limited set of symbiotic systems, but are likely to be more widespread. Systematic searches for eukaryote-like proteins in symbiont genomes could lead to the discovery of novel mechanisms underlying host-symbiont interactions.

RevDate: 2019-03-16

De Meyer F, Danneels B, Acar T, et al (2019)

Adaptations and evolution of a heritable leaf nodule symbiosis between Dioscorea sansibarensis and Orrella dioscoreae.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-019-0398-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Various plant species establish intimate symbioses with bacteria within their aerial organs. The bacteria are contained within nodules or glands often present in distinctive patterns on the leaves in what is commonly referred to as leaf nodule symbiosis. We describe here a highly specific symbiosis between a wild yam species from Madagascar, Dioscorea sansibarensis and bacteria of the species Orrella dioscoreae. Using whole-genome sequencing of plastids and bacteria from wild-collected samples, we show phylogenetic patterns consistent with a dominant vertical mode of transmission of the symbionts. Unique so far among leaf nodule symbioses, the bacteria can be cultured and are amenable to comparative transcriptomics, revealing a potential role in complementing the host's arsenal of secondary metabolites. We propose a recent establishment of a vertical mode of transmission in this symbiosis which, together with a large effective population size explains the cultivability and apparent lack of genome reductive evolution in O. dioscoreae. We leverage these unique features to reveal pathways and functions under positive selection in these specialized endophytes, highlighting the candidate mechanisms enabling a permanent association in the phyllosphere.

RevDate: 2019-03-16

Adler PH, GW Courtney (2019)

Ecological and Societal Services of Aquatic Diptera.

Insects, 10(3): pii:insects10030070.

More than any other group of macro-organisms, true flies (Diptera) dominate the freshwater environment. Nearly one-third of all flies-roughly 46,000 species-have some developmental connection with an aquatic environment. Their abundance, ubiquity, and diversity of adaptations to the aquatic environment position them as major drivers of ecosystem processes and as sources of products and bioinspiration for the benefit of human society. Larval flies are well represented as ecosystem engineers and keystone species that alter the abiotic and biotic environments through activities such as burrowing, grazing, suspension feeding, and predation. The enormous populations sometimes achieved by aquatic flies can provide the sole or major dietary component for other organisms. Harnessing the services of aquatic Diptera for human benefit depends on the ingenuity of the scientific community. Aquatic flies have played a role as indicators of water quality from the earliest years of bioassessment. They serve as indicators of historical and future ecological and climate change. As predators and herbivores, they can serve as biological control agents. The association of flies with animal carcasses in aquatic environments provides an additional set of tools for forensic science. The extremophilic attributes of numerous species of Diptera offer solutions for human adaptation to harsh terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. The potential pharmaceutical and industrial applications of the symbiotic microbial community in extremophilic Diptera are better explored than are those of dipteran chemistry. Many flies provide valuable ecological and human services as aquatic immatures, but are also pests and vectors of disease agents as terrestrial adults. The scientific community, thus, is challenged with balancing the benefits and costs of aquatic Diptera, while maintaining sustainable populations as more species face extinction.

RevDate: 2019-03-15

Rípodas C, Castaingts M, Clúa J, et al (2019)

The PvNF-YA1 and PvNF-YB7 Subunits of the Heterotrimeric NF-Y Transcription Factor Influence Strain Preference in the Phaseolus vulgaris-Rhizobium etli Symbiosis.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:221.

Transcription factors of the Nuclear Factor Y (NF-Y) family play essential functions in plant development and plasticity, including the formation of lateral root organs such as lateral root and symbiotic nodules. NF-Ys mediate transcriptional responses by acting as heterotrimers composed of three subunits, NF-YA, NF-YB, and NF-YC, which in plants are encoded by relatively large gene families. We have previously shown that, in the Phaseolus vulgaris × Rhizobium etli interaction, the PvNF-YC1 subunit is involved not only in the formation of symbiotic nodules, but also in the preference exhibited by the plant for rhizobial strains that are more efficient and competitive in nodule formation. PvNF-YC1 forms a heterotrimer with the PvNF-YA1 and PvNF-YB7 subunits. Here, we used promoter:reporter fusions to show that both PvNF-YA1 and PvNF-YB7 are expressed in symbiotic nodules. In addition, we report that knock-down of PvNF-YA1 and its close paralog PvNF-YA9 abolished nodule formation by either high or low efficient strains and arrested rhizobial infection. On the other hand, knock-down of PvNF-YB7 only affected the symbiotic outcome of the high efficient interaction, suggesting that other symbiotic NF-YB subunits might be involved in the more general mechanisms of nodule formation. More important, we present functional evidence supporting that both PvNF-YA1 and PvNF-YB7 are part of the mechanisms that allow P. vulgaris plants to discriminate and select those bacterial strains that perform better in nodule formation, most likely by acting in the same heterotrimeric complex that PvNF-YC1.

RevDate: 2019-03-15

Skiada V, Faccio A, Kavroulakis N, et al (2019)

Colonization of Legumes by an Endophytic Fusarium solani strain FsK Reveals Common Features to Symbionts or Pathogens.

Fungal genetics and biology : FG & B pii:S1087-1845(18)30255-X [Epub ahead of print].

Plant cellular responses to endophytic filamentous fungi are scarcely reported, with the majority of described colonization processes in plant-fungal interactions referring to either pathogens or true symbionts. Fusarium solani strain K (FsK) is a root endophyte of Solanum lycopersicum, which protects against root and foliar pathogens. Here, we investigated the association of FsK with two legumes (Lotus japonicus and Medicago truncatula) and report on colonization patterns and plant responses during the establishment of the interaction. L. japonicus plants colonized by FsK complete their life cycle and exhibit no apparent growth defects under normal conditions. We followed the growth of FsK within root-inoculated plants spatiotemporally and showed the capability of the endophyte to migrate to the stem. In a bipartite system comprising of the endophyte and either whole plants or root organ cultures, we studied the plant sub-cellular responses to FsK recognition, using optical, confocal and transmission electron microscopy. A polarized reorganization of the root cell occurs: endoplasmic reticulum/cytoplasm accumulation and nuclear placement at contact sites, occasional development of papillae underneath hyphopodia and membranous material rearrangements towards penetrating hyphae. Fungal hyphae proliferate within the vascular bundle of the plant. Plant cell death is involved in fungal colonization of the root. Our data suggest that the establishment of FsK within legume tissues requires fungal growth adaptations and plant cell-autonomous responses, known to occur during both symbiotic and pathogenic plant-fungal interactions. We highlight the overlooked plasticity of endophytic fungi upon plant colonization, and introduce a novel plant-endophyte association.

RevDate: 2019-03-15
CmpDate: 2019-03-15

Campbell MA, Łukasik P, Meyer MC, et al (2018)

Changes in Endosymbiont Complexity Drive Host-Level Compensatory Adaptations in Cicadas.

mBio, 9(6):.

For insects that depend on one or more bacterial endosymbionts for survival, it is critical that these bacteria are faithfully transmitted between insect generations. Cicadas harbor two essential bacterial endosymbionts, "Candidatus Sulcia muelleri" and "Candidatus Hodgkinia cicadicola." In some cicada species, Hodgkinia has fragmented into multiple distinct but interdependent cellular and genomic lineages that can differ in abundance by more than two orders of magnitude. This complexity presents a potential problem for the host cicada, because low-abundance but essential Hodgkinia lineages risk being lost during the symbiont transmission bottleneck from mother to egg. Here we show that all cicada eggs seem to receive the full complement of Hodgkinia lineages, and that in cicadas with more complex Hodgkinia this outcome is achieved by increasing the number of Hodgkinia cells transmitted by up to 6-fold. We further show that cicada species with varying Hodgkinia complexity do not visibly alter their transmission mechanism at the resolution of cell biological structures. Together these data suggest that a major cicada adaptation to changes in endosymbiont complexity is an increase in the number of Hodgkinia cells transmitted to each egg. We hypothesize that the requirement to increase the symbiont titer is one of the costs associated with Hodgkinia fragmentation.IMPORTANCE Sap-feeding insects critically rely on one or more bacteria or fungi to provide essential nutrients that are not available at sufficient levels in their diets. These microbes are passed between insect generations when the mother places a small packet of microbes into each of her eggs before it is laid. We have previously described an unusual lineage fragmentation process in a nutritional endosymbiotic bacterium of cicadas called Hodgkinia In some cicadas, a single Hodgkinia lineage has split into numerous related lineages, each performing a subset of original function and therefore each required for normal host function. Here we test how this splitting process affects symbiont transmission to eggs. We find that cicadas dramatically increase the titer of Hodgkinia cells passed to each egg in response to lineage fragmentation, and we hypothesize that this increase in bacterial cell count is one of the major costs associated with endosymbiont fragmentation.

RevDate: 2019-03-15
CmpDate: 2019-03-15

Kothe E (2018)

Special Focus: Actinobacteria.

Journal of basic microbiology, 58(9):719.

RevDate: 2019-03-15
CmpDate: 2019-03-15

Burks D, Azad R, Wen J, et al (2018)

The Medicago truncatula Genome: Genomic Data Availability.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 1822:39-59.

Medicago truncatula emerged in 1990 as a model for legumes, comprising the third largest land plant family. Most legumes form symbiotic nitrogen-fixing root nodules with compatible soil bacteria and thus are important contributors to the global nitrogen cycle and sustainable agriculture. Legumes and legume products are important sources for human and animal protein as well as for edible and industrial oils. In the years since M. truncatula was chosen as a legume model, many genetic, genomic, and molecular resources have become available, including reference quality genome sequences for two widely used genotypes. Accessibility of genomic data is important for many different types of studies with M. truncatula as well as for research involving crop and forage legumes. In this chapter, we discuss strategies to obtain archived M. truncatula genomic data originally deposited into custom databases that are no longer maintained but are now accessible in general databases. We also review key current genomic databases that are specific to M. truncatula as well as those that contain M. truncatula data in addition to data from other plants.

RevDate: 2019-03-15
CmpDate: 2019-03-15

Ranjbar Jafarabadi A, Riyahi Bakhtiari A, Maisano M, et al (2018)

First record of bioaccumulation and bioconcentration of metals in Scleractinian corals and their algal symbionts from Kharg and Lark coral reefs (Persian Gulf, Iran).

The Science of the total environment, 640-641:1500-1511.

Metal pollution is nowadays a serious threat worldwide for ecosystem and human health. Despite that, there is still a paucity of data on metal impact on coral reef ecosystems. Herein, the levels of eleven metals (Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr, Co, Ni, V, As, Cd, Hg, Pb) were assessed in surface sediments, seawater samples, Scleractinian corals (tissue and skeleton) and their algal symbionts collected from Kharg and Lark coral reefs in the Persian Gulf, Iran. At Kharg, surface sediments and seawater showed higher concentrations of metals than Lark, attributable to the higher metal loads and petrochemical activities in the area. Sediment quality guidelines indicated Hg as a serious threat to biota both at Kharg and Lark. Accordingly, metals bioaccumulation and bioconcentration was higher in corals from Kharg relatively to Lark Island. Interestingly, as supported by values of BCFs and BSAFs, metal accumulation was higher in coral tissues in respect to skeletons, and in zooxanthellae relatively to coral tissues at both coral reefs. Differential metal bioaccumulation was found among Scleractinian species, indicating that corals have distinct selectivity for assimilating metals from ambient sediments and seawater. Overall, metal accumulation in corals and zooxanthellae is an appropriate tool for environmental monitoring studies in coral reefs. Noteworthy, the use of Porites lutea, among Scleractinian corals, seems to be as a good bioindicator in monitoring studies of metal pollution.

RevDate: 2019-03-15
CmpDate: 2019-03-15

Liu Z (2018)

Microbes and host dance in harmony or disarray?.

Protein & cell, 9(5):395-396.

RevDate: 2019-03-14

Shinde S, Prasad S, Saboo Y, et al (2019)

Predictive markers for Parkinson's disease using deep neural nets on neuromelanin sensitive MRI.

NeuroImage. Clinical, 22:101748 pii:S2213-1582(19)30098-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Neuromelanin sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (NMS-MRI) has been crucial in identifying abnormalities in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) in Parkinson's disease (PD) as PD is characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the SNc. Current techniques employ estimation of contrast ratios of the SNc, visualized on NMS-MRI, to discern PD patients from the healthy controls. However, the extraction of these features is time-consuming and laborious and moreover provides lower prediction accuracies. Furthermore, these do not account for patterns of subtle changes in PD in the SNc. To mitigate this, our work establishes a computer-based analysis technique that uses convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to create prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers of PD from NMS-MRI. Our technique not only performs with a superior testing accuracy (80%) as compared to contrast ratio-based classification (56.5% testing accuracy) and radiomics classifier (60.3% testing accuracy), but also supports discriminating PD from atypical parkinsonian syndromes (85.7% test accuracy). Moreover, it has the capability to locate the most discriminative regions on the neuromelanin contrast images. These discriminative activations demonstrate that the left SNc plays a key role in the classification in comparison to the right SNc, and are in agreement with the concept of asymmetry in PD. Overall, the proposed technique has the potential to support radiological diagnosis of PD while facilitating deeper understanding into the abnormalities in SNc.

RevDate: 2019-03-14

Bruand C, E Meilhoc (2019)

NO in plants: pro or anti senescence.

Journal of experimental botany pii:5380416 [Epub ahead of print].

Senescence is a regulated process of tissue degeneration which concerns any plant organ and consists in the degradation and remobilization of molecules to other growing tissues. Senescent organs display microscopic changes as well as internal cellular structure modifications and differential gene expression. A large number of factors influencing senescence have been described including age, nutrient supply and environmental interactions. Internal factors such as phytohormones also affect the timing of leaf senescence. A link between the senescence process and nitric oxide (NO) production in senescing tissues has been noticed for many years. Astonishingly, this link proves to be either a positive or a negative correlation depending upon the organ. NO is a gas signaling or a toxic molecule known to have multiple roles in plants; this review discusses the duality of NO roles in the senescence process of two different plant organs, leaves and root nodules.

RevDate: 2019-03-14

Dick GJ (2019)

The microbiomes of deep-sea hydrothermal vents: distributed globally, shaped locally.

Nature reviews. Microbiology pii:10.1038/s41579-019-0160-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The discovery of chemosynthetic ecosystems at deep-sea hydrothermal vents in 1977 changed our view of biology. Chemosynthetic bacteria and archaea form the foundation of vent ecosystems by exploiting the chemical disequilibrium between reducing hydrothermal fluids and oxidizing seawater, harnessing this energy to fix inorganic carbon into biomass. Recent research has uncovered fundamental aspects of these microbial communities, including their relationships with underlying geology and hydrothermal geochemistry, interactions with animals via symbiosis and distribution both locally in various habitats within vent fields and globally across hydrothermal systems in diverse settings. Although 'black smokers' and symbioses between microorganisms and macrofauna attract much attention owing to their novelty and the insights they provide into life under extreme conditions, habitats such as regions of diffuse flow, subseafloor aquifers and hydrothermal plumes have important roles in the global cycling of elements through hydrothermal systems. Owing to sharp contrasts in physical and chemical conditions between these various habitats and their dynamic, extreme and geographically isolated nature, hydrothermal vents provide a valuable window into the environmental and ecological forces that shape microbial communities and insights into the limits, origins and evolution of microbial life.

RevDate: 2019-03-14
CmpDate: 2019-03-14

Nobbs A, J Kreth (2019)

Genetics of sanguinis-Group Streptococci in Health and Disease.

Microbiology spectrum, 7(1):.

With the application of increasingly advanced "omics" technologies to the study of our resident oral microbiota, the presence of a defined, health-associated microbial community has been recognized. Within this community, sanguinis-group streptococci, comprising the closely related Streptococcus sanguinis and Streptococcus gordonii, together with Streptococcus parasanguinis, often predominate. Their ubiquitous and abundant nature reflects the evolution of these bacteria as highly effective colonizers of the oral cavity. Through interactions with host tissues and other microbes, and the capacity to readily adapt to prevailing environmental conditions, sanguinis-group streptococci are able to shape accretion of the oral plaque biofilm and promote development of a microbial community that exists in harmony with its host. Nonetheless, upon gaining access to the blood stream, those very same colonization capabilities can confer upon sanguinis-group streptococci the ability to promote systemic disease. This article focuses on the role of sanguinis-group streptococci as the commensurate commensals, highlighting those aspects of their biology that enable the coordination of health-associated biofilm development. This includes the molecular mechanisms, both synergistic and antagonistic, that underpin adhesion to substrata, intercellular communication, and polymicrobial community formation. As our knowledge of these processes advances, so will the opportunities to exploit this understanding for future development of novel strategies to control oral and extraoral disease.

RevDate: 2019-03-14
CmpDate: 2019-03-14

Litvak Y, Mon KKZ, Nguyen H, et al (2019)

Commensal Enterobacteriaceae Protect against Salmonella Colonization through Oxygen Competition.

Cell host & microbe, 25(1):128-139.e5.

Neonates are highly susceptible to infection with enteric pathogens, but the underlying mechanisms are not resolved. We show that neonatal chick colonization with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis requires a virulence-factor-dependent increase in epithelial oxygenation, which drives pathogen expansion by aerobic respiration. Co-infection experiments with an Escherichia coli strain carrying an oxygen-sensitive reporter suggest that S. Enteritidis competes with commensal Enterobacteriaceae for oxygen. A combination of Enterobacteriaceae and spore-forming bacteria, but not colonization with either community alone, confers colonization resistance against S. Enteritidis in neonatal chicks, phenocopying germ-free mice associated with adult chicken microbiota. Combining spore-forming bacteria with a probiotic E. coli isolate protects germ-free mice from pathogen colonization, but the protection is lost when the ability to respire oxygen under micro-aerophilic conditions is genetically ablated in E. coli. These results suggest that commensal Enterobacteriaceae contribute to colonization resistance by competing with S. Enteritidis for oxygen, a resource critical for pathogen expansion.

RevDate: 2019-03-14
CmpDate: 2019-03-14

Chen EC, Mathieu S, Hoffrichter A, et al (2018)

Single nucleus sequencing reveals evidence of inter-nucleus recombination in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

eLife, 7: pii:39813.

Eukaryotes thought to have evolved clonally for millions of years are referred to as ancient asexuals. The oldest group among these are the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which are plant symbionts harboring hundreds of nuclei within one continuous cytoplasm. Some AMF strains (dikaryons) harbor two co-existing nucleotypes but there is no direct evidence that such nuclei recombine in this life-stage, as is expected for sexual fungi. Here, we show that AMF nuclei with distinct genotypes can undergo recombination. Inter-nuclear genetic exchange varies in frequency among strains, and despite recombination all nuclear genomes have an average similarity of at least 99.8%. The present study demonstrates that AMF can generate genetic diversity via meiotic-like processes in the absence of observable mating. The AMF dikaryotic life-stage is a primary source of nuclear variability in these organisms, highlighting its potential for strain enhancement of these symbionts.

RevDate: 2019-03-14
CmpDate: 2019-03-14

Ruocco N, Mutalipassi M, Pollio A, et al (2018)

First evidence of Halomicronema metazoicum (Cyanobacteria) free-living on Posidonia oceanica leaves.

PloS one, 13(10):e0204954.

Cyanobacteria contribute to the ecology of various marine environments, also for their symbioses, since some of them are common hosts of sponges and ascidians. They are also emerging as an important source of novel bioactive secondary metabolites in pharmacological (as anticancer drugs) and biotechnological applications. In the present work we isolated a cyanobacteria in a free-living state from leaves of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica leaves. This newly collected strain was then cultivated under two laboratory conditions, and then characterized by combining morphological observation and molecular studies based on 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis. The strain showed 99% pairwise sequence identity with Halomicronema metazoicum ITAC101, never isolated before as a free-living organisms, but firstly described as an endosymbiont of the Mediterranean marine spongae Petrosia ficiformis, under the form of a filamentous strain. Further studies will investigate the actual role of this cyanobacterium in the leaf stratum of P. oceanica leaves, given its demonstrated ability to influence the vitality and the life cycle of other organisms. In fact, its newly demonstrated free-living stage, described in this study, indicate that Phormidium-like cyanobacteria could play important roles in the ecology of benthic and planktonic communities.

RevDate: 2019-03-14
CmpDate: 2019-03-14

Nagy LG (2018)

Many roads to convergence.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 361(6398):125-126.

RevDate: 2019-03-14
CmpDate: 2019-03-14

Morrow KM, Tedford AR, Pankey MS, et al (2018)

A member of the Roseobacter clade, Octadecabacter sp., is the dominant symbiont in the brittle star Amphipholis squamata.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 94(4):.

Symbiotic associations with subcuticular bacteria (SCB) have been identified and studied in many echinoderms, including the SCB of the brooding brittle star, Amphipholis squamata. Previous studies on the SCB of A. squamata placed the isolated bacterium, designated as AS1, in the genus Vibrio (Gammaproteobacteria), but subsequent studies suggested that the SCB of echinoderms belong to the Alphaproteobacteria. This study examines the taxonomic composition of SCB associated with A. squamata from the Northwest Atlantic using the 16S rRNA gene and next generation sequencing. Results show the presence of a single dominant bacterial type, within the Roseobacter clade, family Rhodobacteraceae, which composes 70%-80% of the A. squamata microbiome. These Rhodobacteraceae sequences were identified as members of the genus Octadecabacter. Additionally, the original isolate, AS1, from the brittle star A. squamata also belongs in the genus Octadecabacter based on Sanger sequencing of cloned 16S rRNA gene sequences. By comparison, adjacent seawater and sediment porewater communities were significantly more diverse, hosting bacteria in the phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Verrucomicrobia and Actinobacteria. Thus, a distinct SCB community is present in A. squamata that is dominated by a member of the genus Octadecabacter and is identical to the original isolate, AS1, from this brittle star.

RevDate: 2019-03-14
CmpDate: 2019-03-14

Zélé F, Santos I, Olivieri I, et al (2018)

Endosymbiont diversity and prevalence in herbivorous spider mite populations in South-Western Europe.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 94(4):.

Bacterial endosymbionts are known as important players of the evolutionary ecology of their hosts. However, their distribution, prevalence and diversity are still largely unexplored. To this aim, we investigated infections by the most common bacterial reproductive manipulators in herbivorous spider mites of South-Western Europe. Across 16 populations belonging to three Tetranychus species, Wolbachia was the most prevalent (ca. 61%), followed by Cardinium (12%-15%), while only few individuals were infected by Rickettsia (0.9%-3%), and none carried Arsenophonus or Spiroplasma. These endosymbionts are here reported for the first time in Tetranychus evansi and Tetranychus ludeni, and showed variable infection frequencies between and within species, with several cases of coinfections. Moreover, Cardinium was more prevalent in Wolbachia-infected individuals, which suggests facilitation between these symbionts. Finally, sequence comparisons revealed no variation of the Wolbachia wsp and Rickettsia gtlA genes, but some diversity of the Cardinium 16S rRNA, both between and within populations of the three mite species. Some of the Cardinium sequences identified belonged to distantly-related clades, and the lack of association between these sequences and spider mite mitotypes suggests repeated host switching of Cardinium. Overall, our results reveal a complex community of symbionts in this system, opening the path for future studies.

RevDate: 2019-03-13

Sinha A, Li Z, Sun L, et al (2019)

Complete Genome Sequence of the Wolbachia wAlbB Endosymbiont of Aedes albopictus.

Genome biology and evolution, 11(3):706-720.

Wolbachia, an alpha-proteobacterium closely related to Rickettsia, is a maternally transmitted, intracellular symbiont of arthropods and nematodes. Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are naturally infected with Wolbachia strains wAlbA and wAlbB. Cell line Aa23 established from Ae. albopictus embryos retains only wAlbB and is a key model to study host-endosymbiont interactions. We have assembled the complete circular genome of wAlbB from the Aa23 cell line using long-read PacBio sequencing at 500× median coverage. The assembled circular chromosome is 1.48 megabases in size, an increase of more than 300 kb over the published draft wAlbB genome. The annotation of the genome identified 1,205 protein coding genes, 34 tRNA, 3 rRNA, 1 tmRNA, and 3 other ncRNA loci. The long reads enabled sequencing over complex repeat regions which are difficult to resolve with short-read sequencing. Thirteen percent of the genome comprised insertion sequence elements distributed throughout the genome, some of which cause pseudogenization. Prophage WO genes encoding some essential components of phage particle assembly are missing, while the remainder are found in five prophage regions/WO-like islands or scattered around the genome. Orthology analysis identified a core proteome of 535 orthogroups across all completed Wolbachia genomes. The majority of proteins could be annotated using Pfam and eggNOG analyses, including ankyrins and components of the Type IV secretion system. KEGG analysis revealed the absence of five genes in wAlbB which are present in other Wolbachia. The availability of a complete circular chromosome from wAlbB will enable further biochemical, molecular, and genetic analyses on this strain and related Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2019-03-13
CmpDate: 2019-03-13

Kamaruzaman NAC, Mašán P, Velásquez Y, et al (2018)

Macrocheles species (Acari: Macrochelidae) associated with human corpses in Europe.

Experimental & applied acarology, 76(4):453-471.

The biology of macrochelid mites might offer new venues for the interpretation of the environmental conditions surrounding human death and decomposition. Three human corpses, one from Sweden and two from Spain, have been analysed for the occurrence of Macrochelidae species. Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Scopoli) females were associated with a corpse that was found in a popular beach area of southeast Spain. Their arrival coincides with the occurrence of one of their major carrier species, the filth fly Fannia scalaris, the activity of which peaks during mid-summer. Macrocheles glaber (Müller) specimens were collected from a corpse in a shallow grave in a forest in Sweden at the end of summer, concurrent with the arrival of beetles attracted by odours from the corpse. Macrocheles perglaber Filipponi and Pegazzano adults were sampled from a corpse found indoors in the rural surroundings of Granada city, south Spain. The phoretic behaviour of this species is similar to that of M. glaber, but it is more specific to Scarabaeidae and Geotrupidae dung beetles, most of which favour human faeces. Macrocheles muscaedomesticae is known from urban and rural areas and poultry farms, M. glaber from outdoors, particularly the countryside, whereas M. perglaber is known from outdoor, rural, and remote, potentially mountainous locations. Macrocheles muscaedomesticae and M. perglaber are reported for the first time from the Iberian Peninsula. This is the first record of M. perglaber from human remains.

RevDate: 2019-03-13
CmpDate: 2019-03-13

Saccon E, Vitiello A, Trevisan M, et al (2018)

Sixth European Seminar in Virology on Virus⁻Host Interaction at Single Cell and Organism Level.

Viruses, 10(8):.

The 6th European Seminar in Virology (EuSeV) was held in Bertinoro, Italy, 22⁻24 June 2018, and brought together international scientists and young researchers working in the field of Virology. Sessions of the meeting included: virus⁻host-interactions at organism and cell level; virus evolution and dynamics; regulation; immunity/immune response; and disease and therapy. This report summarizes lectures by the invited speakers and highlights advances in the field.

RevDate: 2019-03-12

Barros-Carvalho GA, Hungria M, Lopes FM, et al (2019)

Brazilian-adapted soybean Bradyrhizobium strains uncover IS elements with potential impact on biological nitrogen fixation.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:5376497 [Epub ahead of print].

Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens CPAC 7 and Bradyrhizobium japonicum CPAC 15 are broadly used in commercial inoculants in Brazil, contributing to most of the nitrogen required by the soybean crop. These strains differ in their symbiotic properties: CPAC 7 is more efficient in fixing nitrogen, whereas CPAC 15 is more competitive. Comparative genomics revealed many transposases close to genes associated with symbiosis in the symbiotic island of these strains. Given the importance that Insertion Sequences (ISs) elements have to bacterial genomes, we focused on identifying the local impact of these elements in the genomes of these and other related Bradyrhizobium strains to further understand their phenotypic differences. Analyses were performed using bioinformatics approaches. We found IS elements disrupting and inserted at regulatory regions of genes involved in symbiosis. Further comparative analyses with 21 Bradyrhizobium genomes revealed insertional polymorphism with distinguishing patterns between B. diazoefficiens and B. japonicum lineages. Finally, 13 of these potentially impacted genes are differentially expressed under symbiotic conditions in B. diazoefficiens USDA 110. Thus, IS elements are associated with the diversity of Bradyrhizobium, possibly by providing mechanisms for natural variation of symbiotic effectiveness.

RevDate: 2019-03-12

Brinker P, Fontaine MC, Beukeboom LW, et al (2019)

Host, Symbionts, and the Microbiome: The Missing Tripartite Interaction.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(19)30040-X [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiosis between microbial associates and a host is a ubiquitous feature of life on earth, modulating host phenotypes. In addition to endosymbionts, organisms harbour a collection of host-associated microbes, the microbiome that can impact important host traits. In this opinion article we argue that the mutual influences of the microbiome and endosymbionts, as well as their combined influence on the host, are still understudied. Focusing on the endosymbiont Wolbachia, we present growing evidence indicating that host phenotypic effects are exerted in interaction with the remainder microbiome and the host. We thus advocate that only through an integrated approach that considers multiple interacting partners and environmental influences will we be able to gain a better understanding of host-microbe associations.

RevDate: 2019-03-12

Sańko-Sawczenko I, Łotocka B, Mielecki J, et al (2019)

Transcriptomic Changes in Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus Root Nodules during Drought Stress.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(5): pii:ijms20051204.

Drought is one of the major environmental factors limiting biomass and seed yield production in agriculture. In this research, we focused on plants from the Fabaceae family, which has a unique ability for the establishment of symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and are relatively susceptible to water limitation. We have presented the changes in nitrogenase activity and global gene expression occurring in Medicagotruncatula and Lotusjaponicus root nodules during water deficit. Our results proved a decrease in the efficiency of nitrogen fixation, as well as extensive changes in plant and bacterial transcriptomes, shortly after watering cessation. We showed for the first time that not only symbiotic plant components but also Sinorhizobiummeliloti and Mesorhizobiumloti bacteria residing in the root nodules of M. truncatula and L. japonicus, respectively, adjust their gene expression in response to water shortage. Although our results demonstrated that both M. truncatula and L.japonicus root nodules were susceptible to water deprivation, they indicated significant differences in plant and bacterial response to drought between the tested species, which might be related to the various types of root nodules formed by these species.

RevDate: 2019-03-12
CmpDate: 2019-03-12

Kumawat KC, Sharma P, Sirari A, et al (2019)

Synergism of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (LSE-2) nodule endophyte with Bradyrhizobium sp. (LSBR-3) for improving plant growth, nutrient acquisition and soil health in soybean.

World journal of microbiology & biotechnology, 35(3):47 pii:10.1007/s11274-019-2622-0.

The present study was aimed to assess the scope of native potential endophyte Pseudomonas aeruginosa (LSE-2) strain (KX925973) with recommended Bradyrhizobium sp. (LSBR-3) (KF906140) for synergistic effect to develop as consortium biofertilizer of soybean. A total of 28 non-rhizobial endophytic bacteria were isolated from cultivated and wild sp. of soybean. All isolates were screened for multifarious PGP traits viz. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), phosphate (P) and zinc (Zn) solubilization, siderophore, cell wall degrading enzymes and pathogenicity. Compatible of LSBR-3 and LSE-2 enhanced IAA, P-solubilization, 1-aminocyclopropane-carboxylate deaminase and biofilm formation over the single inoculant treatment. Further, consortium was evaluated in vivo for growth, symbiotic traits, nutrient acquisition, soil quality parameters and yield attributes of soybean. Improvement in growth parameters were recorded with dual inoculant LSBR-3 + LSE-2 as compared to LSBR-3 alone and un-inoculated control treatments. Significantly (p ≥ 0.05) high symbiotic and soil quality parameters (phosphatase and soil dehydrogenase activity) was recorded with LSBR-3 + LSE-2 at vegetative and flowering stage as compared to LSBR-3 alone and un-inoculated control treatments. Single inoculation of LSBR-3 improved grain yield by 4.25% over the un-inoculated control treatment, further, enhancement in yield was recorded with consortium inoculant (LSBR-3 and LSE-2) by 3.47% over the LSBR-3 alone. Application of consortium inoculant (LSBR-3 + LSE-2) gave an additional income of Rs. 5089/ha over the un-inoculated control treatment. The results, thus strongly suggest that endophytic diazotroph LSE-2 can be used as potent bio-inoculant along with LSBR-3 as bio-enhancer for improving soybean productivity in a sustainable system.

RevDate: 2019-03-12
CmpDate: 2019-03-12

Sapountzis P, Zhukova M, Shik JZ, et al (2018)

Reconstructing the functions of endosymbiotic Mollicutes in fungus-growing ants.

eLife, 7:.

Mollicutes, a widespread class of bacteria associated with animals and plants, were recently identified as abundant abdominal endosymbionts in healthy workers of attine fungus-farming leaf-cutting ants. We obtained draft genomes of the two most common strains harbored by Panamanian fungus-growing ants. Reconstructions of their functional significance showed that they are independently acquired symbionts, most likely to decompose excess arginine consistent with the farmed fungal cultivars providing this nitrogen-rich amino-acid in variable quantities. Across the attine lineages, the relative abundances of the two Mollicutes strains are associated with the substrate types that foraging workers offer to fungus gardens. One of the symbionts is specific to the leaf-cutting ants and has special genomic machinery to catabolize citrate/glucose into acetate, which appears to deliver direct metabolic energy to the ant workers. Unlike other Mollicutes associated with insect hosts, both attine ant strains have complete phage-defense systems, underlining that they are actively maintained as mutualistic symbionts.

RevDate: 2019-03-12
CmpDate: 2019-03-12

Cross ST, Kapuscinski ML, Perino J, et al (2018)

Co-Infection Patterns in Individual Ixodes scapularis Ticks Reveal Associations between Viral, Eukaryotic and Bacterial Microorganisms.

Viruses, 10(7):.

Ixodes scapularis ticks harbor a variety of microorganisms, including eukaryotes, bacteria and viruses. Some of these can be transmitted to and cause disease in humans and other vertebrates. Others are not pathogenic, but may impact the ability of the tick to harbor and transmit pathogens. A growing number of studies have examined the influence of bacteria on tick vector competence but the influence of the tick virome remains less clear, despite a surge in the discovery of tick-associated viruses. In this study, we performed shotgun RNA sequencing on 112 individual adult I. scapularis collected in Wisconsin, USA. We characterized the abundance, prevalence and co-infection rates of viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic microorganisms. We identified pairs of tick-infecting microorganisms whose observed co-infection rates were higher or lower than would be expected, or whose RNA levels were positively correlated in co-infected ticks. Many of these co-occurrence and correlation relationships involved two bunyaviruses, South Bay virus and blacklegged tick phlebovirus-1. These viruses were also the most prevalent microorganisms in the ticks we sampled, and had the highest average RNA levels. Evidence of associations between microbes included a positive correlation between RNA levels of South Bay virus and Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent. These findings contribute to the rationale for experimental studies on the impact of viruses on tick biology and vector competence.

RevDate: 2019-03-12
CmpDate: 2019-03-12

Wang F, Jing X, Adams CA, et al (2018)

Decreased ZnO nanoparticle phytotoxicity to maize by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and organic phosphorus.

Environmental science and pollution research international, 25(24):23736-23747.

ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) are applied in a wide variety of applications and frequently accumulate in the environment, thus posing risks to the environment and human health. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (AMF) associate symbiotically with roots of most higher plants, helping their host plants acquire phosphorus (P). AMF can reduce the toxicity of ZnO NPs, but the benefits of AMF to host plants highly vary with soil available P. We hypothesize that organic P may help AMF to alleviate ZnO NP phytotoxicity. Here, we investigated the effects of inoculation with Funneliformis mosseae on plant growth and Zn accumulation, using maize grown in soil-sand mix substrates spiked with ZnO NPs (0 or 500 mg kg-1) under different organic P supply levels (0, 20, or 50 mg kg-1). The results showed addition of ZnO NPs inhibited root colonization rate, increased the shoot/root P concentration ratio, and led to significant Zn accumulation in soil and plants. As predicted, AM effects on maize plants all varied with P supply levels, both with or without ZnO NP additions. Organic P interacted synergistically with AMF to promote plant growth and acquisition of P, N, K, Fe, and Cu. AM inoculation reduced the bioavailable Zn released from ZnO NPs and decreased the concentrations and translocation of Zn to maize shoots. In conclusion, ZnO NPs caused excess Zn in soil and plants, posing potential environmental risks. However, our present results first demonstrate that organic P exhibited similar positive effects to AMF and interacted synergistically with AMF to improve plant growth and nutrition, and to decrease Zn accumulation and partitioning in plants, and thus helped diminish the adverse effects induced by ZnO NPs.

RevDate: 2019-03-12
CmpDate: 2019-03-12

Díez-Vives C, Esteves AIS, Costa R, et al (2018)

Detecting signatures of a sponge-associated lifestyle in bacterial genomes.

Environmental microbiology reports, 10(4):433-443.

Sponges interact with diverse and rich communities of bacteria that are phylogenetically often distinct from their free-living counterparts. Recent genomics and metagenomic studies have indicated that bacterial sponge symbionts also have distinct functional features from free-living bacteria; however, it is unclear, if such genome-derived functional signatures are common and present in different symbiont taxa. We therefore compared here a large set of genomes from cultured (Pseudovibrio, Ruegeria and Aquimarina) and yet-uncultivated (Synechococcus) bacteria found in either sponge-associated or free-living sources. Our analysis revealed only very few genera-specific functions that could be correlated with a sponge-associated lifestyle. Using different sets of sponge-associated and free-living bacteria for each genus, we could however show that the functions identified as 'sponge-associated' are dependent on the reference comparison being made. Using simulation approaches, we show how this influences the robustness of identifying functional signatures and how evolutionary divergence and genomic adaptation can be distinguished. Our results highlight the future need for robust comparative analyses to define genomic signatures of symbiotic lifestyles, whether it is for symbionts of sponges or other host organisms.

RevDate: 2019-03-11

Ingraffia R, Amato G, Frenda AS, et al (2019)

Impacts of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on nutrient uptake, N2 fixation, N transfer, and growth in a wheat/faba bean intercropping system.

PloS one, 14(3):e0213672 pii:PONE-D-18-30397.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can play a key role in natural and agricultural ecosystems affecting plant nutrition, soil biological activity and modifying the availability of nutrients by plants. This research aimed at expanding the knowledge of the role played by AMF in the uptake of macro- and micronutrients and N transfer (using a 15N stem-labelling method) in a faba bean/wheat intercropping system. It also investigates the role of AMF in biological N fixation (using the natural isotopic abundance method) in faba bean grown in pure stand and in mixture. Finally, it examines the role of AMF in driving competition and facilitation between faba bean and wheat. Durum wheat and faba bean were grown in pots (five pots per treatment) as sole crops or in mixture in the presence or absence of AMF. Root colonisation by AMF was greater in faba bean than in wheat and increased when species were mixed compared to pure stand (particularly for faba bean). Mycorrhizal symbiosis positively influenced root biomass, specific root length, and root density and increased the uptake of P, Fe, and Zn in wheat (both in pure stand and in mixture) but not in faba bean. Furthermore, AMF symbiosis increased the percentage of N derived from the atmosphere in the total N biomass of faba bean grown in mixture (+20%) but not in pure stand. Nitrogen transfer from faba bean to wheat was low (2.5-3.0 mg pot-1); inoculation with AMF increased N transfer by 20%. Overall, in terms of above- and belowground growth and uptake of nutrients, mycorrhization favoured the stronger competitor in the mixture (wheat) without negatively affecting the companion species (faba bean). Results of this study confirm the role of AMF in driving biological interactions among neighbouring plants.

RevDate: 2019-03-11

Patelunas AJ, MK Nishiguchi (2018)

Vascular architecture in the bacteriogenic light organ of Euprymna tasmanica (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae).

Invertebrate biology : a quarterly journal of the American Microscopical Society and the Division of Invertebrate Zoology/ASZ, 137(3):240-249.

Symbiosis between southern dumpling squid, Euprymna tasmanica (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae), and its luminescent symbiont, the bacterium Vibrio fischeri, provides an experimentally tractable system to examine interactions between the eukaryotic host and its bacterial partner. Luminescence emitted by the symbiotic bacteria provides light for the squid in a behavior termed "counter-illumination," which allows the squid to mask its shadow amidst downwelling moonlight. Although this association is beneficial, light generated from the bacteria requires large quantities of oxygen to maintain this energy-consuming reaction. Therefore, we examined the vascular network within the light organ of juveniles of E. tasmanica with and without V. fischeri. Vessel type, diameter, and location of vessels were measured. Although differences between symbiotic and aposymbiotic squid demonstrated that the presence of V. fischeri does not significantly influence the extent of vascular branching at early stages of symbiotic development, these finding do provide an atlas of blood vessel distribution in the organ. Thus, these results provide a framework to understand how beneficial bacteria influence the development of a eukaryotic closed vascular network and provide insight to the evolutionary developmental dynamics that form during mutualistic interactions.

RevDate: 2019-03-11
CmpDate: 2019-03-11

Raimundo I, Silva SG, Costa R, et al (2018)

Bioactive Secondary Metabolites from Octocoral-Associated Microbes-New Chances for Blue Growth.

Marine drugs, 16(12): pii:md16120485.

Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa Octocorallia) are magnificent repositories of natural products with fascinating and unusual chemical structures and bioactivities of interest to medicine and biotechnology. However, mechanistic understanding of the contribution of microbial symbionts to the chemical diversity of octocorals is yet to be achieved. This review inventories the natural products so-far described for octocoral-derived bacteria and fungi, uncovering a true chemical arsenal of terpenes, steroids, alkaloids, and polyketides with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antifouling, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimalarial activities of enormous potential for blue growth. Genome mining of 15 bacterial associates (spanning 12 genera) cultivated from Eunicella spp. resulted in the identification of 440 putative and classifiable secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), encompassing varied terpene-, polyketide-, bacteriocin-, and nonribosomal peptide-synthase BGCs. This points towards a widespread yet uncharted capacity of octocoral-associated bacteria to synthetize a broad range of natural products. However, to extend our knowledge and foster the near-future laboratory production of bioactive compounds from (cultivatable and currently uncultivatable) octocoral symbionts, optimal blending between targeted metagenomics, DNA recombinant technologies, improved symbiont cultivation, functional genomics, and analytical chemistry are required. Such a multidisciplinary undertaking is key to achieving a sustainable response to the urgent industrial demand for novel drugs and enzyme varieties.

RevDate: 2019-03-10

Shi L, Deng X, Yang Y, et al (2019)

A Cr(VI)-tolerant strain, Pisolithus sp1, with a high accumulation capacity of Cr in mycelium and highly efficient assisting Pinus thunbergii for phytoremediation.

Chemosphere, 224:862-872 pii:S0045-6535(19)30447-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi can improve the growth of pine trees and enhance their tolerance to heavy metal stress, and may also be useful during the afforestation and phytoremediation of polluted regions with pine trees. Hebeloma vinosophyllum (Cr(VI)-sensitive strain) and Pisolithus sp1 ((Cr(VI)-tolerant strain) were selected through liquid culture experiment, and were used in symbiosis with Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) in pot experiments, to determine their potential for improving phytoremediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated soils. Our results indicated that Pisolithus sp1 also had a significantly higher accumulation of Cr than H. vinosophyllum in mycelium under the same Cr(VI) treatments in liquid culture experiment. The tolerance index of Pisolithus sp1 ECM seedlings' shoots and roots to Cr(VI) were significantly higher than that of H. vinosophyllum ECM and non-ectomycorrhizal (NM) seedlings while the total accumulated Cr per seedling in Pisolithus sp1 ECM seedlings were 1.50-1.96 and 2.83-27.75 fold higher that of H. vinosophyllum ECM and NM seedlings, respectively, within 0-800 mg kg-1 Cr(VI) treatments in pot experiments. In addition, the significant differences ratios of photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate and intercellular CO2 concentration between Pisolithus sp1 ECM and NM seedlings were significantly higher than those between H. vinosophyllum ECM and NM seedlings under 400 and 800 mg kg-1 Cr(VI) treatments. Compared with the control (no plant), and planting NM or H. vinosophyllum ECM seedlings, the planting of Pisolithus sp1 ECM seedlings significantly reduced the percentage content of exchangeable Cr in the soil.

RevDate: 2019-03-10

Hudson J, Kumar V, S Egan (2019)

Comparative genome analysis provides novel insight into the interaction of Aquimarina sp. AD1, BL5 and AD10 with their macroalgal host.

Marine genomics pii:S1874-7787(19)30003-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The Aquimarina genus is widely distributed throughout the marine environment, however little is understood regarding its ecological role, particularly when in association with eukaryotic hosts. Here, we examine the genomes of two opportunistic pathogens, Aquimarina sp. AD1 and BL5, and a non-pathogenic strain Aquimarina sp. AD10, that were isolated from diseased individuals of the red alga Delisea pulchra. Each strain encodes multiple genes for the degradation of marine carbohydrates and vitamin biosynthesis. These traits are hypothesised to promote nutrient exchange between the Aquimarina strains and their algal host, facilitating a close symbiotic relationship. Moreover, each strain harbours the necessary genes for the assembly of a Type 9 Secretion System (T9SS) and the associated gliding motility apparatus. In addition to these common features, pathogenic strains AD1 and BL5, encode genes for the production of flexirubin type pigments and a number of unique non-ribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS) gene clusters, suggesting a role for these uncharacterised traits in virulence. This study provides valuable insight into the potential ecological role of Aquimarina in the marine environment and the complex factors driving pathogenesis and symbiosis in this genus.

RevDate: 2019-03-09

Wang L, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Wang D, et al (2019)

Diversifying livestock promotes multidiversity and multifunctionality in managed grasslands.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1807354116 [Epub ahead of print].

Increasing plant diversity can increase ecosystem functioning, stability, and services in both natural and managed grasslands, but the effects of herbivore diversity, and especially of livestock diversity, remain underexplored. Given that managed grazing is the most extensive land use worldwide, and that land managers can readily change livestock diversity, we experimentally tested how livestock diversification (sheep, cattle, or both) influenced multidiversity (the diversity of plants, insects, soil microbes, and nematodes) and ecosystem multifunctionality (including plant biomass production, plant leaf N and P, above-ground insect abundance, nutrient cycling, soil C stocks, water regulation, and plant-microbe symbiosis) in the world's largest remaining grassland. We also considered the potential dependence of ecosystem multifunctionality on multidiversity. We found that livestock diversification substantially increased ecosystem multifunctionality by increasing multidiversity. The link between multidiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality was always stronger than the link between single diversity components and functions. Our work provides insights into the importance of multitrophic diversity to maintain multifunctionality in managed ecosystems and suggests that diversifying livestock could promote both multidiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality in an increasingly managed world.

RevDate: 2019-03-09

Pons I, Renoz F, Noël C, et al (2019)

New Insights into the Nature of Symbiotic Associations in Aphids: Infection Process, Biological Effects and Transmission Mode of Cultivable Serratia symbiotica Bacteria.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02445-18 [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic microorganisms are widespread in nature and can play a major role in the ecology and evolution of animals. The aphid-Serratia symbiotica bacterium interaction provides a valuable model to study mechanisms behind these symbiotic associations. The recent discovery of cultivable S. symbiotica strains having the possibility of free-living lifestyle allowed us to simulate their environmental acquisition by aphids to examine the mechanisms involved in this infection pathway. Here, after oral ingestion, we analyzed the infection dynamic of cultivable S. symbiotica during the host's lifetime using qPCR and fluorescence techniques and determined the immediate fitness consequences of these bacteria on their new host. We further examined the transmission behavior and phylogenetic position of cultivable strains. Our study revealed that cultivable S. symbiotica are predisposed to establish a symbiotic association with new aphid host, settling in its gut. We showed that cultivable S. symbiotica colonized the entire aphid digestive tract following infection, after which the bacterium multiplied exponentially during aphid development. Our results further revealed that gut colonization by the bacteria induces a fitness cost to their hosts. Nevertheless, it appeared that the bacteria also offer an immediate protection against parasitoids. Interestingly, cultivable S. symbiotica strains seem to be extracellularly transmitted, possibly through the honeydew; while S. symbiotica is generally considered as a maternally-transmitted bacterium living within aphid body cavity and bringing some benefits to its hosts despite its costs. These findings provide new insights into the nature of symbiosis in aphids and the mechanisms underpinning these interactions.IMPORTANCES. symbiotica is one of the most common symbionts among aphid populations and includes a wide variety of strains whose degree of interdependence on the host may vary considerably. S. symbiotica strains with free-living capacity have recently been isolated from aphids. By using these strains, we established artificial associations by simulating new bacterial acquisitions involved in aphid gut infections to decipher their infection processes and biological effects on their new hosts. Our results showed the early stages involved in this route of infection. So far, S. symbiotica was considered as a maternally-transmitted aphid endosymbiont. Nevertheless, we showed that our cultivable S. symbiotica occupy and replicate in aphid gut and seem to be transmitted over generations through an environmental transmission mechanism. Moreover, cultivable S. symbiotica are both parasites and mutualists given the context, as many of aphid endosymbionts. Our findings give new perception of associations involved in bacterial mutualism in aphids.

RevDate: 2019-03-08

Teschima MM, Garrido A, Paris A, et al (2019)

Biogeography of the endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodiniaceae) community associated with the brooding coral Favia gravida in the Atlantic Ocean.

PloS one, 14(3):e0213519 pii:PONE-D-18-27962.

Zooxanthellate corals live in symbiosis with phototrophic dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae, enabling the host coral to dwell in shallow, nutrient-poor marine waters. The South Atlantic Ocean is characterized by low coral diversity with high levels of endemism. However, little is known about coral-dinoflagellate associations in the region. This study examined the diversity of Symbiodiniaceae associated with the scleractinian coral Favia gravida across its distributional range using the ITS-2 marker. This brooding coral endemic to the South Atlantic can be found across a wide range of latitudes and longitudes, including the Mid-Atlantic islands. Even though it occurs primarily in shallower environments, F. gravida is among the few coral species that live in habitats with extreme environmental conditions (high irradiance, temperature, and turbidity) such as very shallow tide pools. In the present study, we show that F. gravida exhibits some degree of flexibility in its symbiotic association with zooxanthellae across its range. F. gravida associates predominantly with Cladocopium C3 (ITS2 type Symbiodinium C3) but also with Symbiodinium A3, Symbiodinium linucheae (ITS2 type A4), Cladocopium C1, Cladocopium C130, and Fugacium F3. Symbiont diversity varied across biogeographic regions (Symbiodinium A3 and S. linucheae were found in the Tropical Eastern Atlantic, Cladocopium C1 in the Mid-Atlantic, and other subtypes in the Southwestern Atlantic) and was affected by local environmental conditions. In addition, Symbiodiniaceae diversity was highest in a southwestern Atlantic oceanic island (Rocas Atoll). Understanding the relationship between corals and their algal symbionts is critical in determining the factors that control the ecological niches of zooxanthellate corals and their symbionts, and identifying host-symbiont pairs that may be more resistant to environmental changes.

RevDate: 2019-03-08

Schmidtberg H, Shukla SP, Halitschke R, et al (2019)

Symbiont-mediated chemical defense in the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis.

Ecology and evolution, 9(4):1715-1729 pii:ECE34840.

The volatile alkylpyrazines methyl- and methoxypyrazines (MPs) present in the reflex bleeds of coccinellid beetles such as the harlequin ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis are important semiochemicals that function in antipredatory defense behavior. Pyrazines have also been coadapted from a primarily defensive role into pheromones that function in intraspecific communication, attraction, and aggregation behavior. However, the biosynthesis of MPs in ladybird beetles is poorly understood. Here, we tested the hypothesis that MPs could be produced by microbial symbionts in H. axyridis, which generates four different MPs. The evaluation of tissue-specific MP production showed that MP concentrations were highest in the gut tissue and hemolymph of the beetles rather than the fat body tissue as the presumed site of MP biosynthesis. Furthermore, manipulation of gut microbiota by antibiotic-containing diets resulted in a lower MP content in adult beetles. The analysis of the bacterial community of the digestive tract revealed the presence of bacteria of the genera Serratia and Lactococcus which are reportedly able to produce MPs. In line with the known diet-dependent production of MP in H. axyridis, we determined that the presence or relative abundance of some of the potential MP producers (Enterococcus and Staphylococcus) is also diet-dependent. We hypothesize a potential role of the microbiota in MP production in H. axyridis as a possible example for outsourcing the synthesis of ecologically important semiochemicals to its gut bacteria.

RevDate: 2019-03-08

Aichelman HE, Zimmerman RC, DJ Barshis (2019)

Adaptive signatures in thermal performance of the temperate coral Astrangia poculata.

The Journal of experimental biology, 222(Pt 5): pii:jeb.189225.

Variation in environmental characteristics and divergent selection pressures can drive adaptive differentiation across a species' range. Astrangia poculata is a temperate scleractinian coral that provides unique opportunities to understand the roles of phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary adaptation in coral physiological tolerance limits. This species inhabits hard-bottom ecosystems from the northwestern Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico and withstands an annual temperature range of up to 20°C. Additionally, A. poculata is facultatively symbiotic and co-occurs in both symbiotic ('brown') and aposymbiotic ('white') states. Here, brown and white A. poculata were collected from Virginia (VA) and Rhode Island (RI), USA, and exposed to heat (18-32°C) and cold (18-6°C) stress, during which respiration of the coral host along with photosynthesis and photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) of Breviolum psygmophilum photosymbionts were measured. Thermal performance curves (TPCs) of respiration revealed a pattern of countergradient variation with RI corals exhibiting higher respiration rates overall, and specifically at 6, 15, 18, 22 and 26°C. Additionally, thermal optimum (Topt) analyses show a 3.8°C (brown) and 6.9°C (white) higher Topt in the VA population, corresponding to the warmer in situ thermal environment in VA. In contrast to respiration, no origin effect was detected in photosynthesis rates or Fv/Fm, suggesting a possible host-only signature of adaptation. This study is the first to consider A. poculata's response to both heat and cold stress across symbiotic states and geography, and provides insight into the potential evolutionary mechanisms behind the success of this species along the East Coast of the USA.

RevDate: 2019-03-08
CmpDate: 2019-03-08

Ganesan K, Chung SK, Vanamala J, et al (2018)

Causal Relationship between Diet-Induced Gut Microbiota Changes and Diabetes: A Novel Strategy to Transplant Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in Preventing Diabetes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 19(12): pii:ijms19123720.

The incidence of metabolic disorders, including diabetes, has elevated exponentially during the last decades and enhanced the risk of a variety of complications, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In the present review, we have highlighted the new insights on the complex relationships between diet-induced modulation of gut microbiota and metabolic disorders, including diabetes. Literature from various library databases and electronic searches (ScienceDirect, PubMed, and Google Scholar) were randomly collected. There exists a complex relationship between diet and gut microbiota, which alters the energy balance, health impacts, and autoimmunity, further causes inflammation and metabolic dysfunction, including diabetes. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is a butyrate-producing bacterium, which plays a vital role in diabetes. Transplantation of F. prausnitzii has been used as an intervention strategy to treat dysbiosis of the gut's microbial community that is linked to the inflammation, which precedes autoimmune disease and diabetes. The review focuses on literature that highlights the benefits of the microbiota especially, the abundant of F. prausnitzii in protecting the gut microbiota pattern and its therapeutic potential against inflammation and diabetes.

RevDate: 2019-03-07

Szczałba M, Kopta T, Gąstoł M, et al (2019)

Comprehensive insight into arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Trichoderma spp. and plant multilevel interactions with emphasis on biostimulation of horticultural crops.

Journal of applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Sustainability and a more environment-friendly approach is an emerging issue relevant to crop production. Abiotic stresses like drought, salinity, heat, cold or heavy metal pollution can severely compromise yields, and in this respect, plant protection practices should be highly efficient as well as safe for the environment and people. Among the many ways to achieve high productivity of healthy, safe and tasty food, the use of beneficial microorganisms as biostimulants is one of the most promising. Two types of soil fungi can be considered efficient natural plants stimulants: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and Trichoderma spp. (TR). Generally, most investigations indicated AMF and TR were effective, as well as safe, for use as natural biopreparations dedicated to horticultural crops, although some reports pointed to their negative impact on plants. This review focuses on the mutual interaction of AMF and TR, as well as complex relationships with plants analysed on a multidimensional level: biochemical, morphological, ecological and agrotechnical. AMF and TR were found to be effective elicitors of root system development, nutrient uptake, plant stress response and production of secondary metabolites. As natural plant stimulants, beneficial fungi are compatible with modern trends of crop management, environmental conservation and functional food production. Herein, we demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of AMF and TR use in horticulture and their prospects, as well as the points that need further exploring. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-03-07

Deicke M, Mohr JF, Roy S, et al (2019)

Metallophore profiling of nitrogen-fixing Frankia spp. to understand metal management in the rhizosphere of actinorhizal plants.

Metallomics : integrated biometal science [Epub ahead of print].

Frankia spp. are widespread nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria, which often live in symbiosis with a broad range of hosts. Metal homeostasis plays a crucial role in the success of the symbiosis regarding the acquisition of essential trace metals and detoxification of potentially toxic elements. We have hypothesised that Frankia releases many organic ligands with a broad spectrum of affinity for essential and toxic metals. We coined the term 'ligandosphere' to describe the entirety of excreted metal complexing agents and ligands derived from the dissolved organic matter. Using metal isotope-coded profiling (MICP); metallophores of physiological important and toxic trace metals were identified by the addition of stable metal isotope pairs such as 54Fe/58Fe, 63Cu/65Cu, 66Zn/68Zn or 95Mo/98Mo. Liquid chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer revealed strong variations of the metallophore profile in between the 14 test-strains. In total, about 83 organic ligands were identified as binding to one of the tested metals. The predicted sum formula of the major Fe binding ligands and MS/MS experiments suggested that several metallophore candidates have a similar molecular backbone. Growth experiments with a hyper-producer of metallophores revealed a positive relationship between metallophore production and the concentration of Cu in the growth medium. The present study provides the first comprehensive overview of the complexity of Frankia's ligandosphere. It opens a path to a deeper understanding of mechanisms that regulate metal homeostasis in frankiae. Deciphering these mechanisms is important since the fitness of actinorhizal plants and their potential in ecological restoration relies heavily on their symbiosis with frankiae.

RevDate: 2019-03-07

Yoneyama K, Xie X, Yoneyama K, et al (2019)

Regulation of biosynthesis, perception, and functions of strigolactones for promoting arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and managing root parasitic weeds.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

Strigolactones (SLs) are carotenoid-derived plant secondary metabolites that play important roles in various aspects of plant growth and development as plant hormones and in the rhizosphere communications with symbiotic microbes and also root parasitic weeds. Therefore, sophisticated regulation of biosynthesis, perception, and functions of SLs is expected to promote symbiosis of beneficial microbes including arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and also to retard parasitism by devastating root parasitic weeds. We have developed SL mimics with different skeletons, SL biosynthesis inhibitors acting at different biosynthetic steps, SL perception inhibitors which covalently bind to the SL receptor D14, and SL function inhibitors which bind to the serine residue at the catalytic site. In greenhouse pot tests, TIS108, an azole-type SL biosynthesis inhibitor effectively reduced the numbers of attached root parasites Orobanche minor and Striga hermonthica without affecting their host plants tomato and rice, respectively. The AM colonization resulted in weak but distinctly enhanced plant resistance to pathogens. SL mimics can be used to promote AM symbiosis and to reduce application rate of systemic-acquired resistance inducers that are generally phytotoxic to horticultural crops. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-03-07

Wipf D, Krajinski F, PE Courty (2019)

Trading on the arbuscular mycorrhiza market: from arbuscules to common mycorrhizal networks.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis occurs between obligate biotrophic fungi of the phylum Glomeromycota and most of land plants. The exchange of nutrients between host plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is presumed to be the main benefit for the two symbiotic partners. In this review article, we outline the current concepts of nutrient exchanges within this symbiosis (mechanisms and regulation). First, we focus on phosphorus and nitrogen transfer from the fungal partner to the host plant and on the reciprocal transfer of carbon compounds, with a highlight on a possible interplay between nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition during arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. We further discuss potential mechanisms of regulation of these nutrient exchanges linked to membrane dynamics. The review finally addresses the common mycorrhizal networks formed by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, which inter-connect plants from similar and/or different species. Then the best way to integrate this knowledge and the ensuing potential benefits of arbuscular mycorrhiza in a sustainable agriculture is discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-03-07

Wagner K, Krause K, Gallegos-Monterrosa R, et al (2019)

The Ectomycorrhizospheric Habitat of Norway Spruce and Tricholoma vaccinum: Promotion of Plant Growth and Fitness by a Rich Microorganismic Community.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:307.

The contribution of the mycorrhizospheric microbes in a stand of ectomycorrhizal Norway spruce (Picea abies) featuring mycorrhiza with the basidiomycete Tricholoma vaccinum was addressed by microbiome analysis and in vitro reconstruction of microbial as well as plant-microbe interactions. The protective role of the mycorrhizal fungus with respect to pathogen attack could be validated against Botrytis cinerea and Heterobasidion annosum in co-cultures revealing reduced pathogen growth, higher survival rate of the spruce trees and reduced symptoms on needles upon symbiosis with T. vaccinum. The community structure was shown to yield a high diversity in ECM forming basidiomycetes of Thelephorales and Agaricales associated with a rich bacterial diversity dominated by Rhizobiales with the most abundant Nitrobacter winogradski (3.9%). Isolated bacteria were then used to address plant growth promoting abilities, which included production of the phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (performed by 74% of the bacterial isolates), siderophores (22%), and phosphate mobilization (23%). Among the isolates, mycorrhiza helper bacteria (MHB) were identified, with Bacillus cereus MRZ-1 inducing hyperbranching in T. vaccinum, supporting tree germination, shoot elongation, and root formation as well as higher mycorrhization rates. Thus, a huge pool of potential MHB and fungal community with widely distributed auxin-production potential extended the ability of T. vaccinum to form ectomycorrhiza. The forest community profited from the mycorrhizal fungus T. vaccinum, with spruce survival enhanced by 33% in microcosms using soil from the native habitat. A higher fungal abundance and diversity in cases where the tree had died during the experiment, showing that decomposition of plant litter from a dead tree supported a different community. T. vaccinum thus actively structured the community of microorganisms in its habitat.

RevDate: 2019-03-07

Tipton L, Darcy JL, NA Hynson (2019)

A Developing Symbiosis: Enabling Cross-Talk Between Ecologists and Microbiome Scientists.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:292.

Like all interactions, the success of cross-discipline collaborations relies on effective communication. Ecology offers theoretical frameworks and lexicons to study microbiomes. Yet some of the terms and concepts borrowed from ecology are being used discordantly by microbiome studies from their traditional definitions. Here we define some of the ecological terms and concepts as they are used in ecology and the study of microbiomes. Where applicable, we have provided the historical context of the terms, highlighted examples from microbiome studies, and considered the research methods involved. We divided these concepts into four sections: Biomes, Diversity, Symbiosis, and Succession. Biomes encompass the interactions within the biotic and abiotic features of an environment. This extends to the term "microbiome," derived from "biome," and includes an environment and all the microbes within it. Diversity encompasses patterns of species richness, abundance, and biogeography, all of which are important to understanding the distribution of microbiomes. Symbiosis emphasizes the relationships between organisms within a community. Symbioses are often misunderstood to be synonymous with mutualism. We discard that implication, in favor of a broader, more historically accurate definition which spans the continuum from parasitism to mutualism. Succession includes classical succession, alternative stable states, community assembly frameworks, and r/K-selection. Our hope is that as microbiome researchers continue to apply ecological terms, and as ecologists continue to gain interest in microbiomes, each will do so in a way that enables cross-talk between them. We recommend initiating these collaborations by using a common lexicon, from which new concepts can emerge.

RevDate: 2019-03-07
CmpDate: 2019-03-07

Rammitsu K, Yagame T, Yamashita Y, et al (2019)

A leafless epiphytic orchid, Taeniophyllum glandulosum Blume (Orchidaceae), is specifically associated with the Ceratobasidiaceae family of basidiomycetous fungi.

Mycorrhiza, 29(2):159-166.

Leafless epiphytes in the Orchidaceae undergo a morphological metamorphosis in which the root has chloroplast-containing cortical cells and is the sole photosynthetic organ for carbon gain. All orchids are entirely dependent on mycorrhizal fungi for their carbon supply during seed germination, and this mycorrhizal association generally persists in adult plants. However, our knowledge of the mycorrhizal association of leafless epiphytic orchids remains limited, and the contribution of the mycorrhizal association to nutrient acquisition in these orchid species is largely unknown. In this study, the mycorrhizal fungi of a leafless epiphytic orchid, Taeniophyllum glandulosum, were identified molecularly using 68 mature plants and 17 seedlings. In total, 187 fungal internal transcribed spacer sequences were obtained, of which 99% were identified as Ceratobasidiaceae. These sequences were classified into five operational taxonomic units (OTUs) based on 97% sequence similarity. The most frequent sequence was OTU1, which accounted for 91% of all Ceratobasidiaceae sequences, although other phylogenetically distinct Ceratobasidiaceae fungi were detected. These results show that T. glandulosum is specifically associated with a particular group of Ceratobasidiaceae. All mycorrhizal fungi found in T. glandulosum seedlings belonged to OTU1, which was also found in adult plants on the same host tree. The mycorrhizal fungi from 13 host tree species were compared, and T. glandulosum was preferentially associated with OTU1 on 11 tree species. In conclusion, T. glandulosum is specifically associated with Ceratobasidiaceae fungi and this specific association remains throughout the orchid life cycle and is found on divergent host tree species.

RevDate: 2019-03-07
CmpDate: 2019-03-07

Guénard B, Dumont F, Fréchette B, et al (2018)

May furtive predation provide enemy free space in ant-tended aphid colonies?.

PloS one, 13(10):e0204019.

In furtive predation, a predator is able to exploit its prey without generating significant defensive behaviors from them. However, in aphidophagous guild, if furtive predator can benefit from dilution effects generated by the aphids, they also suffer from intraguild predation from more mobile and active-searching predators. In this context ant-tended aphid colonies might not only represent an important food source but also potentially an enemy-free space for furtive predators if they remain unharmed by ants while other active predators are being repelled. Here we use the furtive predator Aphidoletes aphidimyza and two distinct instars of an active-searching predator, the Asian ladybeetle Harmonia axyridis, to test hypotheses related to predator persistence within aphid colonies in presence of ants. Our results show that persistence rate over time of the furtive predator was not affected by ant presence while it was strongly reduced for both instars of the active-searching predator. Furthermore, when ran in paired trials within ant-tended aphid colonies, furtive predator persistence rate was significantly higher than for active-searching predators, with these latter always leaving the plants quicker. Finally, we tested the importance of predator mobility in detection susceptibility and aggressive responses in ants using mobile and immobile active-searching predators. While the number of antennal palpations was similar for both treatments indicating similar detection rate, the number of ant attacks was significantly higher on mobile individuals highlighting the importance of movement in triggering aggressive responses in ants. Overall our results indicate that furtive predation represents an efficient strategy to limit ant aggressions, while the exclusion of active-searching predators might create an enemy-free space for furtive predators within ant-tended aphid colonies.

RevDate: 2019-03-07
CmpDate: 2019-03-07

González AH, Morales Londoño D, Pille da Silva E, et al (2019)

Bradyrhizobium and Pseudomonas strains obtained from coal-mining areas nodulate and promote the growth of Calopogonium muconoides plants used in the reclamation of degraded areas.

Journal of applied microbiology, 126(2):523-533.

AIMS: The objective of this work was to isolate and characterize indigenous rhizobia from coal-mining areas able to efficiently nodulate and fix nitrogen in association with Calopogonium mucunoides (calopo).

METHODS AND RESULTS: Isolation, authentication and morphological, biochemical and molecular characterization of the autochthonous rhizobia were performed and their symbiotic efficiency (SE) evaluated. Efficient rhizobial isolates suitable for the inoculation of calopo in coal-mining regions were obtained. A total of 30 isolates were obtained after nodulation authentication, of which five presented high SE with plant-growth promoting traits such as indole-3-acetic acid production, phosphate solubilization and biofilm formation. These isolates were identified as belonging to Bradyrhizobium, Pseudomonas and Rhizobium.

CONCLUSIONS: Bradyrhizobium sp. A2-10 and Pseudomonas sp. A6-05 were able to promote calopo plant growth using soil obtained from coal-mining degraded areas, thus indicating their potential as inoculants aiming at land reclamation.

To our knowledge, this is the first report of Pseudomonas nodule formation in calopo. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that autochthonous rhizobia obtained from degraded soils presented high SE in calopo and possess a wide range of plant-growth promoting traits. Ultimately, they may all contribute to an increased leguminous plant growth under stress conditions. The selected rhizobia strains may be used as inoculants and present a valuable role in the development of strategies aiming to recover coal-mining degraded areas. Bacterial inoculants would greatly reduce the use of often harmful nitrogen fertilizers vastly employed in revegetation programmes of degraded areas.

RevDate: 2019-03-07
CmpDate: 2019-03-07

Zhang W, Meng J, Ning J, et al (2017)

Differential immune responses of Monochamus alternatus against symbiotic and entomopathogenic fungi.

Science China. Life sciences, 60(8):902-910.

Monochamus alternatus, the main vector beetles of invasive pinewood nematode, has established a symbiotic relationship with a native ectotrophic fungal symbiont, Sporothrix sp. 1, in China. The immune response of M. alternatus to S. sp. 1 in the coexistence of beetles and fungi is, however, unknown. Here, we report that immune responses of M. alternatus pupae to infection caused by ectotrophic symbiotic fungus S. sp. 1 and entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana differ significantly. The S. sp. 1 did not kill the beetles while B. bassiana killed all upon injection. The transcriptome results showed that the numbers of differentially expressed genes in M. alternatus infected with S. sp. 1 were 2-fold less than those infected with B. bassiana at 48 hours post infection. It was noticed that Toll and IMD pathways played a leading role in the beetle's immune system when infected by symbiotic fungus, but upon infection by entomopathogenic fungus, only the Toll pathway gets triggered actively. Furthermore, the beetles could tolerate the infection of symbiotic fungi by retracing their Toll and IMD pathways at 48 h. This study provided a comprehensive sequence resource of M. alternatus transcriptome for further study of the immune interactions between host and associated fungi.

RevDate: 2019-03-06

Acuña-Rodríguez IS, Hansen H, Gallardo-Cerda J, et al (2019)

Antarctic Extremophiles: Biotechnological Alternative to Crop Productivity in Saline Soils.

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 7:22.

Salinization of soils is one of the main sources of soil degradation worldwide, particularly in arid and semiarid ecosystems. High salinity results in osmotic stress and it can negatively impact plant grow and survival. Some plant species, however, can tolerate salinity by accumulating osmolytes like proline and maintaining low Na+ concentrations inside the cells. Another mechanism of saline stress tolerance is the association with symbiotic microorganism, an alternative that can be used as a biotechnological tool in susceptible crops. From the immense diversity of plant symbionts, those found in extreme environments such as Antarctica seems to be the ones with most potential since they (and their host) evolved in harsh and stressful conditions. We evaluated the effect of the inoculation with a consortium of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPB) and endosymbiotic fungi isolated from an Antarctic plant on saline stress tolerance in different crops. To test this we established 4 treatments: (i) uninoculated plants with no saline stress, (ii) uninoculated plants subjected to saline stress (200 mM NaCl), (iii) plants inoculated with the microorganism consortium with no saline stress, and (iv) inoculated plants subjected to saline stress. First, we assessed the effect of symbiont consortium on survival of four different crops (cayenne, lettuce, onion, and tomato) in order to obtain a more generalized response of this biological interaction. Second, in order to deeply the mechanisms involved in salt tolerance, in lettuce plants we measured the ecophysiological performance (Fv/Fm) and lipid peroxidation to estimate the impact of saline stress on plants. We also measured proline accumulation and NHX1 antiporter gene expression (involved in Na+ detoxification) to search for possible mechanism of stress tolerance. Additionally, root, shoot, and total biomass was also obtained as an indicator of productivity. Overall, plants inoculated with microorganisms from Antarctica increased the fitness related traits in several crops. In fact, three of four crops selected to assess the general response increased its survival under salt conditions compared with those uninoculated plants. On the other hand, saline stress negatively impacted all measured trait, but inoculated plants were significantly less affected. In control osmotic conditions, there were no differences in proline accumulation and lipid peroxidation between inoculation treatments. Interestingly, even in control salinity, Fv/Fm was higher in inoculated plants after 30 and 60 days. Under osmotic stress, Fv/Fm, proline accumulation and NHX1 expression was significantly higher and lipid peroxidation lower in inoculated plants compared to uninoculated individuals. Moreover, inoculated plants exposed to saline stress had a similar final biomass (whole plant) compared to individuals under no stress. We conclude that Antarctic extremophiles can effectively reduce the physiological impact of saline stress in a salt-susceptible crops and also highlight extreme environments such as Antarctica as a key source of microorganism with high biotechnological potential.

RevDate: 2019-03-06

Groeger S, J Meyle (2019)

Oral Mucosal Epithelial Cells.

Frontiers in immunology, 10:208.

Cellular Phenotype and Apoptosis: The function of epithelial tissues is the protection of the organism from chemical, microbial, and physical challenges which is indispensable for viability. To fulfill this task, oral epithelial cells follow a strongly regulated scheme of differentiation that results in the formation of structural proteins that manage the integrity of epithelial tissues and operate as a barrier. Oral epithelial cells are connected by various transmembrane proteins with specialized structures and functions. Keratin filaments adhere to the plasma membrane by desmosomes building a three-dimensional matrix. Cell-Cell Contacts and Bacterial Influence: It is known that pathogenic oral bacteria are able to affect the expression and configuration of cell-cell junctions. Human keratinocytes up-regulate immune-modulatory receptors upon stimulation with bacterial components. Periodontal pathogens including P. gingivalis are able to inhibit oral epithelial innate immune responses through various mechanisms and to escape from host immune reaction, which supports the persistence of periodontitis and furthermore is able to affect the epithelial barrier function by altering expression and distribution of cell-cell interactions including tight junctions (TJs) and adherens junctions (AJs). In the pathogenesis of periodontitis a highly organized biofilm community shifts from symbiosis to dysbiosis which results in destructive local inflammatory reactions. Cellular Receptors: Cell-surface located toll like receptors (TLRs) and cytoplasmatic nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NLRs) belong to the pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). PRRs recognize microbial parts that represent pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). A multimeric complex of proteins known as inflammasome, which is a subset of NLRs, assembles after activation and proceeds to pro-inflammatory cytokine release. Cytokine Production and Release: Cytokines and bacterial products may lead to host cell mediated tissue destruction. Keratinocytes are able to produce diverse pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Infection by pathogenic bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (A. actinomycetemcomitans) can induce a differentiated production of these cytokines. Immuno-modulation, Bacterial Infection, and Cancer Cells: There is a known association between bacterial infection and cancer. Bacterial components are able to up-regulate immune-modulatory receptors on cancer cells. Interactions of bacteria with tumor cells could support malignant transformation an environment with deficient immune regulation. The aim of this review is to present a set of molecular mechanisms of oral epithelial cells and their reactions to a number of toxic influences.

RevDate: 2019-03-06
CmpDate: 2019-03-06

Amedei A, F Boem (2018)

I've Gut A Feeling: Microbiota Impacting the Conceptual and Experimental Perspectives of Personalized Medicine.

International journal of molecular sciences, 19(12): pii:ijms19123756.

In recent years, the human microbiota has gained increasing relevance both in research and clinical fields. Increasing studies seem to suggest the centrality of the microbiota and its composition both in the development and maintenance of what we call "health" and in generating and/or favoring (those cases in which the microbiota's complex relational architecture is dysregulated) the onset of pathological conditions. The complex relationships between the microbiota and human beings, which invest core notions of biomedicine such as "health" and "individual," do concern not only problems of an empirical nature but seem to require the need to adopt new concepts and new perspectives in order to be properly analysed and utilized, especially for their therapeutic implementation. In this contribution we report and discuss some of the theoretical proposals and innovations (from the ecological component to the notion of polygenomic organism) aimed at producing this change of perspective. In conclusion, we summarily analyze what impact and what new challenges these new approaches might have on personalized/person centred/precision medicine.

RevDate: 2019-03-06
CmpDate: 2019-03-06

Bonneau M, Landmann F, Labbé P, et al (2018)

The cellular phenotype of cytoplasmic incompatibility in Culex pipiens in the light of cidB diversity.

PLoS pathogens, 14(10):e1007364.

Wolbachia are maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria, widespread among arthropods thanks to host reproductive manipulations that increase their prevalence into host populations. The most commonly observed manipulation is cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI leads to embryonic death in crosses between i) infected males and uninfected females and ii) individuals infected with incompatible Wolbachia strains. CI can be conceptualized as a toxin-antidote system where a toxin deposited by Wolbachia in the sperm would induce embryonic death unless countered by an antidote produced by Wolbachia present in the eggs. In Drosophila melanogaster, transgenic expression of Wolbachia effector cidB revealed its function of CI-inducing toxin. Moreover in Culex pipiens, the diversity of cidB variants present in wPip strains accounts for the diversity in crossing-types. We conducted cytological analyses to determine the CI mechanisms that lead to embryonic death in C. pipiens, and assess whether diversity in crossing-types could be based on variations in these mechanisms. We revealed that paternal chromatin condensation and segregation defects during the first embryonic division are always responsible for embryonic death. The strongest observed defects lead to an exclusion of the paternal chromatin from the first zygotic division, resulting in haploid embryos unable to hatch. The proportion of unhatched haploid embryos, developing with only maternal chromatin, which reflects the frequency of strong defects can be considered as a proxy of CI intensity at the cellular level. We thus studied the putative effect of variations in crossing types and cidB diversification on CI defects intensity. Incompatible crosses involving distinct wPip strains revealed that CI defects intensity depends on the Wolbachia strains hosted by the males and is linked to the diversity of cidB genes harbored in their genomes. These results support that, additionally to its implication in C. pipiens crossing type variability, cidB diversification also influences the strength of CI embryonic defects.

RevDate: 2019-03-06
CmpDate: 2019-03-06

Sharmin D, Guo Y, Nishizawa T, et al (2018)

Comparative Genomic Insights into Endofungal Lifestyles of Two Bacterial Endosymbionts, Mycoavidus cysteinexigens and Burkholderia rhizoxinica.

Microbes and environments, 33(1):66-76.

Endohyphal bacteria (EHB), dwelling within fungal hyphae, markedly affect the growth and metabolic potential of their hosts. To date, two EHB belonging to the family Burkholderiaceae have been isolated and characterized as new taxa, Burkholderia rhizoxinica (HKI 454T) and Mycoavidus cysteinexigens (B1-EBT), in Japan. Metagenome sequencing was recently reported for Mortierella elongata AG77 together with its endosymbiont M. cysteinexigens (Mc-AG77) from a soil/litter sample in the USA. In the present study, we elucidated the complete genome sequence of B1-EBT and compared it with those of Mc-AG77 and HKI 454T. The genomes of B1-EBT and Mc-AG77 contained a higher level of prophage sequences and were markedly smaller than that of HKI 454T. Although the B1-EBT and Mc-AG77 genomes lacked the chitinolytic enzyme genes responsible for invasion into fungal cells, they contained several predicted toxin-antitoxin systems including an insecticidal toxin complex and PIN domain imposing an addiction-like mechanism essential for endohyphal growth control during host colonization. Despite the different host fungi, the alignment of amino acid sequences showed that the HKI 454T genome consisted of 1,265 (32.6%) and 1,221 (31.5%) orthologous coding sequences (CDSs) with those of B1-EBT and Mc-AG77, respectively. This comparative study of three phylogenetically associated endosymbionts has provided insights into their origin and evolution, and suggests the later bacterial invasion and adaptation of B1-EBT to its host metabolism.

RevDate: 2019-03-06
CmpDate: 2019-03-06

Noda S, Shimizu D, Yuki M, et al (2018)

Host-Symbiont Cospeciation of Termite-Gut Cellulolytic Protists of the Genera Teranympha and Eucomonympha and their Treponema Endosymbionts.

Microbes and environments, 33(1):26-33.

Cellulolytic flagellated protists inhabit the hindgut of termites. They are unique and essential to termites and related wood-feeding cockroaches, enabling host feeding on cellulosic matter. Protists of two genera in the family Teranymphidae (phylum Parabasalia), Eucomonympha and Teranympha, are phylogenetically closely related and harbor intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria from the genus Treponema. In order to obtain a clearer understanding of the evolutionary history of this triplex symbiotic relationship, the molecular phylogenies of the three symbiotic partners, the Teranymphidae protists, their Treponema endosymbionts, and their host termites, were inferred and compared. Strong congruence was observed in the tree topologies of all interacting partners, implying their cospeciating relationships. In contrast, the coevolutionary relationship between the Eucomonympha protists and their endosymbionts was more complex, and evidence of incongruence against cospeciating relationships suggested frequent host switches of the endosymbionts, possibly because multiple Eucomonympha species are present in the same gut community. Similarities in the 16S rRNA and gyrB gene sequences of the endosymbionts were higher among Teranympha spp. (>99.25% and >97.2%, respectively), whereas those between Teranympha and Eucomonympha were lower (<97.1% and <91.9%, respectively). In addition, the endosymbionts of Teranympha spp. formed a phylogenetic clade distinct from those of Eucomonympha spp. Therefore, the endosymbiont species of Teranympha spp., designated here as "Candidatus Treponema teratonymphae", needs to be classified as a species distinct from the endosymbiont species of Eucomonympha spp.

RevDate: 2019-03-05

Paço A, da-Silva JR, Eliziário F, et al (2019)

traG Gene Is Conserved across Mesorhizobium spp. Able to Nodulate the Same Host Plant and Expressed in Response to Root Exudates.

BioMed research international, 2019:3715271.

Evidences for an involvement of the bacterial type IV secretion system (T4SS) in the symbiotic relationship between rhizobia and legumes have been pointed out by several recent studies. However, information regarding this secretion system in Mesorhizobium is still very scarce. The aim of the present study was to investigate the phylogeny and expression of the traG gene, which encodes a substrate receptor of the T4SS. In addition, the occurrence and genomic context of this and other T4SS genes, namely, genes from tra/trb and virB/virD4 complexes, were also analyzed in order to unveil the structural and functional organization of T4SS in mesorhizobia. The location of the T4SS genes in the symbiotic region of the analyzed rhizobial genomes, along with the traG phylogeny, suggests that T4SS genes could be horizontally transferred together with the symbiosis genes. Regarding the T4SS structural organization in Mesorhizobium, the virB/virD4 genes were absent in all chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) microsymbionts and in the Lotus symbiont Mesorhizobium japonicum MAFF303099T. Interestingly, the presence of genes belonging to another secretion system (T3SS) was restricted to these strains lacking the virB/virD4 genes. The traG gene expression was detected in M. mediterraneum Ca36T and M. ciceri LMS-1 strains when exposed to chickpea root exudates and also in the early nodules formed by M. mediterraneum Ca36T, but not in older nodules. This study contributes to a better understanding of the importance of T4SS in mutualistic symbiotic bacteria.

RevDate: 2019-03-05

Hartmann RM, Schaepe S, Nübel D, et al (2019)

Insights into the complex role of GRAS transcription factors in the arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis.

Scientific reports, 9(1):3360 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-40214-4.

To improve access to limiting nutrients, the vast majority of land plants forms arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses with Glomeromycota fungi. We show here that AM-related GRAS transcription factors from different subgroups are upregulated during a time course of mycorrhization. Based on expression studies in mutants defective in arbuscule branching (ram1-1, with a deleted MtRam1 GRAS transcription factor gene) or in the formation of functional arbuscules (pt4-2, mutated in the phosphate transporter gene MtPt4), we demonstrate that the five AM-related GRAS transcription factor genes MtGras1, MtGras4, MtGras6, MtGras7, and MtRad1 can be differentiated by their dependency on MtRAM1 and MtPT4, indicating that the network of AM-related GRAS transcription factors consists of at least two regulatory modules. One module involves the MtRAM1- and MtPT4-independent transcription factor MtGRAS4 that activates MtGras7. Another module is controlled by the MtRAM1- and MtPT4-dependent transcription factor MtGRAS1. Genome-wide expression profiles of mycorrhized MtGras1 knockdown and ram1-1 roots differ substantially, indicating different targets. Although an MtGras1 knockdown reduces transcription of AM-related GRAS transcription factor genes including MtRam1 and MtGras7, MtGras1 overexpression alone is not sufficient to activate MtGras genes. MtGras1 knockdown roots display normal fungal colonization, with a trend towards the formation of smaller arbuscules.

RevDate: 2019-03-05

Moriano-Gutierrez S, Koch EJ, Bussan H, et al (2019)

Critical symbiont signals drive both local and systemic changes in diel and developmental host gene expression.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1819897116 [Epub ahead of print].

The colonization of an animal's tissues by its microbial partners creates networks of communication across the host's body. We used the natural binary light-organ symbiosis between the squid Euprymna scolopes and its luminous bacterial partner, Vibrio fischeri, to define the impact of colonization on transcriptomic networks in the host. A night-active predator, E. scolopes coordinates the bioluminescence of its symbiont with visual cues from the environment to camouflage against moon and starlight. Like mammals, this symbiosis has a complex developmental program and a strong day/night rhythm. We determined how symbiont colonization impacted gene expression in the light organ itself, as well as in two anatomically remote organs: the eye and gill. While the overall transcriptional signature of light organ and gill were more alike, the impact of symbiosis was most pronounced and similar in light organ and eye, both in juvenile and adult animals. Furthermore, the presence of a symbiosis drove daily rhythms of transcription within all three organs. Finally, a single mutation in V. fischeri-specifically, deletion of the lux operon, which abrogates symbiont luminescence-reduced the symbiosis-dependent transcriptome of the light organ by two-thirds. In addition, while the gills responded similarly to light-organ colonization by either the wild-type or mutant, luminescence was required for all of the colonization-associated transcriptional responses in the juvenile eye. This study defines not only the impact of symbiont colonization on the coordination of animal transcriptomes, but also provides insight into how such changes might impact the behavior and ecology of the host.

RevDate: 2019-03-05

Schäper S, Wendt H, Bamberger J, et al (2019)

A bifunctional UDP-sugar 4-epimerase supports biosynthesis of multiple cell surface polysaccharides in Sinorhizobium meliloti.

Journal of bacteriology pii:JB.00801-18 [Epub ahead of print].

Sinorhizobium meliloti produces multiple extracellular glycans, including among others lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and the exopolysaccharides (EPS) succinoglycan (SG) and galactoglucan (GG). These polysaccharides serve cell protective roles. Furthermore, SG and GG promote interaction of S. meliloti with its host Medicago sativa in root nodule symbiosis. ExoB has been suggested to be the sole enzyme catalyzing synthesis of UDP-galactose in S. meliloti (Mol Microbiol 5:1519-30, 1991, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.1991.tb00799.x). Accordingly, exoB mutants were previously found to be affected in synthesis of the galactose-containing glycans LPS, SG and GG, and consequently in symbiosis. Here, we report that the S. meliloti Rm2011 uxs1-uxe-apsS-apsH1-apsE-apsH2 (SMb20458-63) gene cluster directs biosynthesis of an arabinose-containing polysaccharide (APS), which contributes to biofilm formation, and is solely or mainly composed of arabinose. Uxe has previously been identified as UDP-xylose 4-epimerase. Collectively, our data from mutational and overexpression analysis of the APS biosynthesis genes, and in vitro enzymatic assays indicate that Uxe functions as UDP-xylose 4- and UDP-glucose 4-epimerase catalyzing UDP-xylose/UDP-arabinose and UDP-glucose/UDP-galactose interconversions, respectively. Overexpression of uxe suppressed the phenotypes of an exoB mutant, evidencing that Uxe can functionally replace ExoB. We suggest that under conditions stimulating expression of the APS biosynthesis operon, Uxe contributes to synthesis of multiple glycans, and thereby to cell protection, biofilm formation, and symbiosis. Furthermore, we show that the C2H2 zinc finger transcriptional regulator MucR counteracts the previously reported CuxR-c-di-GMP-mediated activation of the APS biosynthesis operon. This integrates the c-di-GMP-dependent control of APS production into the opposing regulation of EPS biosynthesis and swimming motility in S. melilotiIMPORTANCE Bacterial extracellular polysaccharides serve important cell protective, structural, and signaling roles. They have particularly attracted attention as adhesives and matrix components promoting biofilm formation, which significantly contributes to resistance against antibiotics. In the root nodule symbiosis between rhizobia and leguminous plants, extracellular polysaccharides have a signaling function. UDP-sugar 4-epimerases are important enzymes in the synthesis of the activated sugar substrates, which are frequently shared between multiple polysaccharide biosynthesis pathways. Thus, these enzymes are potential targets to interfere with these pathways. Our finding of a bifunctional UDP-sugar 4-epimerase in Sinorhizobium meliloti generally advances the knowledge of substrate promiscuity of such enzymes and specifically of the biosynthesis of extracellular polysaccharides involved in biofilm formation and symbiosis in this α-proteobacterium.

RevDate: 2019-03-05

Silvestri A, Fiorilli V, Miozzi L, et al (2019)

In silico analysis of fungal small RNA accumulation reveals putative plant mRNA targets in the symbiosis between an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and its host plant.

BMC genomics, 20(1):169 pii:10.1186/s12864-019-5561-0.

BACKGROUND: Small RNAs (sRNAs) are short non-coding RNA molecules (20-30 nt) that regulate gene expression at transcriptional or post-transcriptional levels in many eukaryotic organisms, through a mechanism known as RNA interference (RNAi). Recent studies have highlighted that they are also involved in cross-kingdom communication: sRNAs can move across the contact surfaces from "donor" to "receiver" organisms and, once in the host cells of the receiver, they can target specific mRNAs, leading to a modulation of host metabolic pathways and defense responses. Very little is known about RNAi mechanism and sRNAs occurrence in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF), an important component of the plant root microbiota that provide several benefits to host plants, such as improved mineral uptake and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress.

RESULTS: Taking advantage of the available genomic resources for the AMF Rhizophagus irregularis we described its putative RNAi machinery, which is characterized by a single Dicer-like (DCL) gene and an unusual expansion of Argonaute-like (AGO-like) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene families. In silico investigations of previously published transcriptomic data and experimental assays carried out in this work provided evidence of gene expression for most of the identified sequences. Focusing on the symbiosis between R. irregularis and the model plant Medicago truncatula, we characterized the fungal sRNA population, highlighting the occurrence of an active sRNA-generating pathway and the presence of microRNA-like sequences. In silico analyses, supported by host plant degradome data, revealed that several fungal sRNAs have the potential to target M. truncatula transcripts, including some specific mRNA already shown to be modulated in roots upon AMF colonization.

CONCLUSIONS: The identification of RNAi-related genes, together with the characterization of the sRNAs population, suggest that R. irregularis is equipped with a functional sRNA-generating pathway. Moreover, the in silico analysis predicted 237 plant transcripts as putative targets of specific fungal sRNAs suggesting that cross-kingdom post-transcriptional gene silencing may occur during AMF colonization.

RevDate: 2019-03-05

Chatterjee S, S Yadav (2019)

The Origin of Prebiotic Information System in the Peptide/RNA World: A Simulation Model of the Evolution of Translation and the Genetic Code.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:life9010025.

Information is the currency of life, but the origin of prebiotic information remains a mystery. We propose transitional pathways from the cosmic building blocks of life to the complex prebiotic organic chemistry that led to the origin of information systems. The prebiotic information system, specifically the genetic code, is segregated, linear, and digital, and it appeared before the emergence of DNA. In the peptide/RNA world, lipid membranes randomly encapsulated amino acids, RNA, and peptide molecules, which are drawn from the prebiotic soup, to initiate a molecular symbiosis inside the protocells. This endosymbiosis led to the hierarchical emergence of several requisite components of the translation machine: transfer RNAs (tRNAs), aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aaRS), messenger RNAs (mRNAs), ribosomes, and various enzymes. When assembled in the right order, the translation machine created proteins, a process that transferred information from mRNAs to assemble amino acids into polypeptide chains. This was the beginning of the prebiotic information age. The origin of the genetic code is enigmatic; herein, we propose an evolutionary explanation: the demand for a wide range of protein enzymes over peptides in the prebiotic reactions was the main selective pressure for the origin of information-directed protein synthesis. The molecular basis of the genetic code manifests itself in the interaction of aaRS and their cognate tRNAs. In the beginning, aminoacylated ribozymes used amino acids as a cofactor with the help of bridge peptides as a process for selection between amino acids and their cognate codons/anticodons. This process selects amino acids and RNA species for the next steps. The ribozymes would give rise to pre-tRNA and the bridge peptides to pre-aaRS. Later, variants would appear and evolution would produce different but specific aaRS-tRNA-amino acid combinations. Pre-tRNA designed and built pre-mRNA for the storage of information regarding its cognate amino acid. Each pre-mRNA strand became the storage device for the genetic information that encoded the amino acid sequences in triplet nucleotides. As information appeared in the digital languages of the codon within pre-mRNA and mRNA, and the genetic code for protein synthesis evolved, the prebiotic chemistry then became more organized and directional with the emergence of the translation and genetic code. The genetic code developed in three stages that are coincident with the refinement of the translation machines: the GNC code that was developed by the pre-tRNA/pre-aaRS /pre-mRNA machine, SNS code by the tRNA/aaRS/mRNA machine, and finally the universal genetic code by the tRNA/aaRS/mRNA/ribosome machine. We suggest the coevolution of translation machines and the genetic code. The emergence of the translation machines was the beginning of the Darwinian evolution, an interplay between information and its supporting structure. Our hypothesis provides the logical and incremental steps for the origin of the programmed protein synthesis. In order to better understand the prebiotic information system, we converted letter codons into numerical codons in the Universal Genetic Code Table. We have developed a software, called CATI (Codon-Amino Acid-Translator-Imitator), to translate randomly chosen numerical codons into corresponding amino acids and vice versa. This conversion has granted us insight into how the genetic code might have evolved in the peptide/RNA world. There is great potential in the application of numerical codons to bioinformatics, such as barcoding, DNA mining, or DNA fingerprinting. We constructed the likely biochemical pathways for the origin of translation and the genetic code using the Model-View-Controller (MVC) software framework, and the translation machinery step-by-step. While using AnyLogic software, we were able to simulate and visualize the entire evolution of the translation machines, amino acids, and the genetic code.

RevDate: 2019-03-04

Hillyer KE, Dias D, Lutz A, et al (2017)

13C metabolomics reveals widespread change in carbon fate during coral bleaching.

Metabolomics : Official journal of the Metabolomic Society, 14(1):12 pii:10.1007/s11306-017-1306-8.

INTRODUCTION: Rising seawater temperatures are threatening the persistence of coral reefs; where above critical thresholds, thermal stress results in a breakdown of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis and the loss of algal symbionts (coral bleaching). As symbiont-derived organic products typically form a major portion of host energy budgets, this has major implications for the fitness and persistence of symbiotic corals.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine change in autotrophic carbon fate within individual compounds and downstream metabolic pathways in a coral symbiosis exposed to varying degrees of thermal stress and bleaching.

METHODS: We applied gas chromatography-mass spectrometry coupled to a stable isotope tracer (13C), to track change in autotrophic carbon fate, in symbiont and host individually, following exposure to elevated water temperature.

RESULTS: Thermal stress resulted in partner-specific changes in carbon fate, which progressed with heat stress duration. We detected modifications to carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism, lipogenesis, and homeostatic responses to thermal, oxidative and osmotic stress. Despite pronounced photodamage, remaining in hospite symbionts continued to produce organic products de novo and translocate to the coral host. However as bleaching progressed, we observed minimal 13C enrichment of symbiont long-chain fatty acids, also reflected in 13C enrichment of host fatty acid pools.

CONCLUSION: These data have major implications for our understanding of coral symbiosis function during bleaching. Our findings suggest that during early stage bleaching, remaining symbionts continue to effectively translocate a variety of organic products to the host, however under prolonged thermal stress there is likely a reduction in the quality of these products.

RevDate: 2019-03-05
CmpDate: 2019-03-05

Mazzocca A, Ferraro G, Misciagna G, et al (2018)

Moving the systemic evolutionary approach to cancer forward: Therapeutic implications.

Medical hypotheses, 121:80-87.

We have previously presented a new Systemic Evolutionary Theory of Cancer (SETOC) based on the failure of proper endosymbiosis in eukaryotic cells. Here, we propose that the progressive uncoupling of two endosymbiotic subsystems (information and energy) inside the cell, as a consequence of long-term injuries, gives rise to alterations (i) in tissue interactions and (ii) in cell organization. In the first case, we argue that the impairment of both the coherent state and the synergy between intercellular communications underpins the onset of tissue dysplasia, that usually evolves towards cancer development. In the second case, we suggest that the rupture of endosymbiosis drives a sort of cell regression towards a protist-like entity represented by the concept of "de-emergence" postulated in our systemic evolutionary approach to carcinogenesis. This conceptual association of the cancer cell with a protist-like organism could support the development of novel cancer therapeutic approaches. To this end, we propose a paradigm shift in cancer pharmacology since: i) our knowledge of cancer pathophysiology as a complex system is insufficient, despite a vast knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying cancer; ii) current cancer pharmacology deals only with microvariables (e.g. gene or protein targets), which do not account for the integrated pathophysiology of cancer, rather than with macrovariables (e.g. pH, membrane potential, electromagnetic fields, cell communications and so on) and mesovariables (between micro and macro), such as the interaction between various cellular components including cellular organelles. This paradigm shift should allow cancer pharmacology to move forward from molecular treatments (focusing on single targets) to modular treatments that consider cancer-related processes (i.e. inflammation, coagulation, etc.) or even to a sort of ecosystemic treatment addressing the whole functioning of the "cancer ecosystem". Examples of ecosystems treatment may be natural plant derivatives that act synergistically or pulsed electromagnetic fields which can act on particular biological processes in cancer cells. In addition, we need different working theoretical models on which to base new anticancer pharmacological approaches. Finally, we examine what value our systemic evolutionary approach could add to cancer treatments, in particular in liver cancer as a paradigm for developing potential applications.

RevDate: 2019-03-05
CmpDate: 2019-03-05

Gula RL, DK Adams (2018)

Effects of Symbiodinium Colonization on Growth and Cell Proliferation in the Giant Clam Hippopus hippopus.

The Biological bulletin, 234(2):130-138.

Giant clams (subfamily Tridacnidae) house their obligate symbionts, Symbiodinium sp., in a specialized tubular system. Rapid uptake of Symbiodinium has been shown to increase early clam survival, suggesting that symbionts play an essential role in host growth and development. To determine whether symbionts influence development in the giant clam Hippopus hippopus, we compared growth patterns and cell proliferation in two groups of clams inoculated or not inoculated (control) with Symbiodinium sp. Symbiont uptake occurred continuously from days 8 to 26 post-fertilization, with, on average, ∼5% per day colonized. The control treatment grew even without symbionts (1.03 ± 0.41 µm per day, standard error). Inoculated individuals grew significantly faster (2.91 ± 0.37 µm per day) than control individuals (P < 0.001). However, daily shell length measurements did not significantly differ between treatments until day 22, and ∼97% of control individuals metamorphosed by day 24, suggesting a delay in growth effects. Consistent with this, at day 13, clam cell proliferation was not correlated with symbiont abundance in inoculated individuals (P = 0.13), while at day 26, it was (P < 0.01). The proliferating cell pattern also changed from being randomly distributed (P = 0.99) at day 13 to non-randomly distributed (P = 0.002), with increased likelihood of proliferation within ∼25 µm of a symbiont, at day 26. Our results indicate that H. hippopus has a longer Symbiodinium acquisition period than previously recorded, after which proliferation and development are enhanced but during which growth is unaffected by Symbiodinium.

RevDate: 2019-03-05
CmpDate: 2019-03-05

Siegmund L, Schweikert M, Fischer MS, et al (2018)

Bacterial Surface Traits Influence Digestion by Tetrahymena pyriformis and Alter Opportunity to Escape from Food Vacuoles.

The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology, 65(5):600-611.

Endosymbiotic interactions are frequently found in nature, especially in the group of protists. Even though many endosymbioses have been studied in detail, little is known about the mechanistic origins and physiological prerequisites of endosymbiont establishment. A logical step towards the development of endocytobiotic associations is evading digestion and escaping from the host's food vacuoles. Surface properties of bacteria are probably involved in these processes. Therefore, we chemically modified the surface of a transformant strain of Escherichia coli prior to feeding to Tetrahymena pyriformis. N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide allows any substance carrying amino- or carboxyl groups to be bound covalently to the bacterial surface by forming a peptide bond, thus, altering its properties biochemically and biophysically in a predictable manner. The effect of different traits on digestion of T. pyriformis was examined by fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. The efficiency of digestion differs considerably depending on the coupled substances. Alkaline substances inhibit digestion partially, resulting in incomplete digestion and slightly enhanced escape rates. Increasing hydrophobicity leads to much higher escape frequencies. Both results point to possible mechanisms employed by pathogenic bacteria or potential endosymbionts in evading digestion and transmission to the host's cytoplasm.

RevDate: 2019-03-04

Helber SB, Steinert G, Wu YC, et al (2019)

Sponges from Zanzibar host diverse prokaryotic communities with potential for natural product synthesis.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5369420 [Epub ahead of print].

Sponges are one of the most dominant organisms in marine ecosystems. One reason for their success is their association with microorganisms that are besides the host itself responsible for the chemical defence. Sponge abundances have been increasing on coral reefs in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) and are predicted to increase further with rising anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs. However, there is a paucity of information on chemical ecology of sponges from the WIO and their prokaryotic community composition. We used a combination of Illumina sequencing and a predictive metagenomic analysis to (1) assess the prokaryotic community composition of sponges from Zanzibar, (2) predict the presence of KEGG metabolic pathways responsible for bioactive compound production and (3) relate their presence to the degree of observed chemical defence in their respective sponge host. We found that sponges from Zanzibar host diverse prokaryotic communities that are host species-specific. Sponge-species and respective specimens that showed strong chemical defences in previous studies were also predicted to be highly enriched in various pathways responsible for secondary metabolite production. Hence, the combined sequencing and predictive metagenomic approach proved to be a useful indicator for the metabolic potential of sponge holobionts.

RevDate: 2019-03-04

Vitanović E, Aldrich JR, Winterton SL, et al (2019)

Attraction of the Green Lacewing Chrysoperla comanche (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) to Yeast.

Journal of chemical ecology pii:10.1007/s10886-019-01060-w [Epub ahead of print].

Many adult Chrysoperla comanche (Stephens) green lacewings were caught in traps baited with live yeast cultures during tests designed to catch olive fruit flies. All 13 yeast species tested were more attractive than the industry-standard dried torula yeast (Cyberlindnera jadinii; syn. Candida utilis). Live C. jadinii culture attracted significantly more lacewings than the inactive dried-pellet form of the same yeast species, demonstrating that volatiles from live yeast cultures attract adults of this lacewing. Odor profiles for two of the highly active yeasts tested herein (Lachancea thermotolerans and Solicoccozyma terrea) were similar to that for Metschnikowia pulcherrima, a yeast species isolated earlier from the gut diverticulum of Chrysoperla rufilabris. A new Metschnikowia species (M. chrysoperlae), along with two new Candida spp. that were recently realigned to one of the Metschnikowia clades (M. picachoensis and M. pimensis), were also identified from the diverticulum of C. comanche. Thus, one clade of Metschnikowia yeasts that commonly occur in floral nectar appears to exhibit mutualistic symbioses with Chrysoperla green lacewings. Both male and female C. comanche adults were attracted in the present study, and we speculate that males have exploited this symbiosis by offering Metschnikowia-laden regurgitant, including attractive volatiles, to females ('mating trophallaxis') as a nuptial gift.

RevDate: 2019-03-04

Fernandez-Göbel TF, Deanna R, Muñoz NB, et al (2019)

Redox Systemic Signaling and Induced Tolerance Responses During Soybean-Bradyrhizobium japonicum Interaction: Involvement of Nod Factor Receptor and Autoregulation of Nodulation.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:141.

The symbiotic relationship between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia induces local and systemic responses, which ultimately lead to nodule formation. The autoregulation of nodulation (AON) is a systemic mechanism related to innate immunity that controls nodule development and involves different components ranging from hormones, peptides, receptors to small RNAs. Here, we characterized a rapid systemic redox changes induced during soybean-Bradyrhizobium japonicum symbiotic interaction. A transient peak of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was found in soybean leaves after 30 min of root inoculation with B. japonicum. The ROS response was accompanied by changes in the redox state of glutathione and by activation of antioxidant enzymes. Moreover, the ROS peak and antioxidant enzyme activation were abolished in leaves by the addition, in either root or leaf, of DPI, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor. Likewise, these systemic redox changes primed the plant increasing its tolerance to photooxidative stress. With the use of non-nodulating nfr5-mutant and hyper-nodulating nark-mutant soybean plants, we subsequently studied the systemic redox changes. The nfr5-mutant lacked the systemic redox changes after inoculation, whereas the nark-mutant showed a similar redox systemic signaling than the wild type plants. However, neither nfr5- nor nark-mutant exhibited tolerance to photooxidative stress condition. Altogether, these results demonstrated that (i) the early redox systemic signaling during symbiotic interaction depends on a Nod factor receptor, and that (ii) the induced tolerance response depends on the AON mechanisms.

RevDate: 2019-03-04

Decelle J, Stryhanyuk H, Gallet B, et al (2019)

Algal Remodeling in a Ubiquitous Planktonic Photosymbiosis.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(19)30132-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Photosymbiosis between single-celled hosts and microalgae is common in oceanic plankton, especially in oligotrophic surface waters. However, the functioning of this ecologically important cell-cell interaction and the subcellular mechanisms allowing the host to accommodate and benefit from its microalgae remain enigmatic. Here, using a combination of quantitative single-cell structural and chemical imaging techniques (FIB-SEM, nanoSIMS, Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence), we show that the structural organization, physiology, and trophic status of the algal symbionts (the haptophyte Phaeocystis) significantly change within their acantharian hosts compared to their free-living phase in culture. In symbiosis, algal cell division is blocked, photosynthesis is enhanced, and cell volume is increased by up to 10-fold with a higher number of plastids (from 2 to up to 30) and thylakoid membranes. The multiplication of plastids can lead to a 38-fold increase of the total plastid volume in a cell. Subcellular mapping of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and their stoichiometric ratios shows that symbiotic algae are impoverished in phosphorous and suggests a higher investment in energy-acquisition machinery rather than in growth. Nanoscale imaging also showed that the host supplies a substantial amount of trace metals (e.g., iron and cobalt), which are stored in algal vacuoles at high concentrations (up to 660 ppm). Sulfur mapping reveals a high concentration in algal vacuoles that may be a source of antioxidant molecules. Overall, this study unveils an unprecedented morphological and metabolic transformation of microalgae following their integration into a host, and it suggests that this widespread symbiosis is a farming strategy wherein the host engulfs and exploits microalgae.

RevDate: 2019-03-04

Altamia MA, Shipway JR, Concepcion GP, et al (2019)

Thiosocius teredinicola gen. nov., sp. nov., a sulfur-oxidizing chemolithoautotrophic endosymbiont cultivated from the gills of the giant shipworm, Kuphus polythalamius.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 69(3):638-644.

A chemolithoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing, diazotrophic, facultatively heterotrophic, endosymbiotic bacterium, designated as strain 2141T, was isolated from the gills of the giant shipworm Kuphus polythalamius (Teredinidae: Bivalvia). Based on its 16S rRNA sequence, the endosymbiont falls within a clade that includes the as-yet-uncultivated thioautotrophic symbionts of a marine ciliate and hydrothermal vent gastropods, uncultivated marine sediment bacteria, and a free-living sulfur-oxidizing bacterium ODIII6, all of which belong to the Gammaproteobacteria. The endosymbiont is Gram-negative, rod-shaped and has a single polar flagellum when grown in culture. This bacterium can be grown chemolithoautotrophically on a chemically defined medium supplemented with either hydrogen sulfide, thiosulfate, tetrathionate or elemental sulfur. The closed-circular genome has a DNA G+C content of 60.1 mol% and is 4.79 Mbp in size with a large nitrogenase cluster spanning nearly 40 kbp. The diazotrophic capability was confirmed by growing the strain on chemolithoautotrophic thiosulfate-based medium without a combined source of fixed nitrogen. The bacterium is also capable of heterotrophic growth on organic acids such as acetate and propionate. The pH, temperature and salinity optima for chemolithoautotrophic growth on thiosulfate were found to be 8.5, 34 °C and 0.2 M NaCl, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report of pure culture of a thioautotrophic animal symbiont. The type strain of Thiosocius teredinicola is PMS-2141T.STBD.0c.01aT (=DSM 108030T).

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Timmis K, Jebok F, Rohde M, et al (2019)

Microbiome yarns: The Global Phenotype-Genotype Survey: Episode I: all my worldly goods, including my microbiome, I thee endow.

Microbial biotechnology, 12(1):11-24.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Thomashow LS, LeTourneau MK, Kwak YS, et al (2019)

The soil-borne legacy in the age of the holobiont.

Microbial biotechnology, 12(1):51-54.

Future efforts to increase agricultural productivity will focus on crops as functional units comprised of plants and their associated microflora in the context of the various environments in which they are grown. It is suggested that future efforts to increase agricultural productivity will focus on crops as functional units comprised of plants and their associated beneficial microorganisms in the context in which they are grown. Scientists, industry, and farmers must work closely together to develop, adapt, and apply new technologies to a wide range of cropping systems. Consumer education is needed help grow public awareness that 'plant probiotics' offer a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to dependence on the use of chemical pesticides.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Rowley CA, Anderson CJ, MM Kendall (2018)

Ethanolamine Influences Human Commensal Escherichia coli Growth, Gene Expression, and Competition with Enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7.

mBio, 9(5):.

A core principle of bacterial pathogenesis is that pathogens preferentially utilize metabolites that commensal bacteria do not in order to sidestep nutritional competition. The metabolite ethanolamine (EA) is well recognized to play a central role in host adaptation for diverse pathogens. EA promotes growth and influences virulence during host infection. Although genes encoding EA utilization have been identified in diverse bacteria (nonpathogenic and pathogenic), a prevailing idea is that commensal bacteria do not utilize EA to enhance growth, and thus, EA is a noncompetitive metabolite for pathogens. Here, we show that EA augments growth of two human commensal strains of Escherichia coli Significantly, these commensal strains grow more rapidly than, and even outcompete, the pathogen enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 specifically when EA is provided as the sole nitrogen source. Moreover, EA-dependent signaling is similarly conserved in the human commensal E. coli strain HS and influences expression of adhesins. These findings suggest a more extensive role for EA utilization in bacterial physiology and host-microbiota-pathogen interactions than previously appreciated.IMPORTANCE The microbiota protects the host from invading pathogens by limiting access to nutrients. In turn, bacterial pathogens selectively exploit metabolites not readily used by the microbiota to establish infection. Ethanolamine has been linked to pathogenesis of diverse pathogens by serving as a noncompetitive metabolite that enhances pathogen growth as well as a signal that modulates virulence. Although ethanolamine is abundant in the gastrointestinal tract, the prevailing idea is that commensal bacteria do not utilize EA, and thus, EA utilization has been particularly associated with pathogenesis. Here, we provide evidence that two human commensal Escherichia coli isolates readily utilize ethanolamine to enhance growth, modulate gene expression, and outgrow the pathogen enterohemorrhagic E. coli These data indicate a more complex role for ethanolamine in host-microbiota-pathogen interactions.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Carpinone EM, Li Z, Mills MK, et al (2018)

Identification of putative effectors of the Type IV secretion system from the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia malayi.

PloS one, 13(9):e0204736.

Wolbachia is an unculturable, intracellular bacterium that persists within an extremely broad range of arthropod and parasitic nematode hosts, where it is transmitted maternally to offspring via vertical transmission. In the filarial nematode Brugia malayi, a causative agent of human lymphatic filariasis, Wolbachia is an endosymbiont, and its presence is essential for proper nematode development, survival, and pathogenesis. While the elucidation of Wolbachia:nematode interactions that promote the bacterium's intracellular persistence is of great importance, research has been hampered due to the fact that Wolbachia cannot be cultured in the absence of host cells. The Wolbachia endosymbiont of B. malayi (wBm) has an active Type IV secretion system (T4SS). Here, we have screened 47 putative T4SS effector proteins of wBm for their ability to modulate growth or the cell biology of a typical eukaryotic cell, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Five candidates strongly inhibited yeast growth upon expression, and 6 additional proteins showed toxicity in the presence of zinc and caffeine. Studies on the uptake of an endocytic vacuole-specific fluorescent marker, FM4-64, identified 4 proteins (wBm0076 wBm00114, wBm0447 and wBm0152) involved in vacuole membrane dynamics. The WAS(p)-family protein, wBm0076, was found to colocalize with yeast cortical actin patches and disrupted actin cytoskeleton dynamics upon expression. Deletion of the Arp2/3-activating protein, Abp1p, provided resistance to wBm0076 expression, suggesting a role for wBm0076 in regulating eukaryotic actin dynamics and cortical actin patch formation. Furthermore, wBm0152 was found to strongly disrupt endosome:vacuole cargo trafficking in yeast. This study provides molecular insight into the potential role of the T4SS in the Wolbachia endosymbiont:nematode relationship.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Tazi A, Araujo JR, Mulet C, et al (2018)

Disentangling Host-Microbiota Regulation of Lipid Secretion by Enterocytes: Insights from Commensals Lactobacillus paracasei and Escherichia coli.

mBio, 9(5):.

The gut microbiota contributes to nutrients absorption and metabolism by enterocytes, but the molecular mechanisms involved remain poorly understood, and most conclusions are inferred from studies comparing germfree and conventional animals colonized with diverse bacterial species. We selected two model commensal microorganisms, Escherichia coli and Lactobacillus paracasei, to assess the role of the small-intestinal microbiota in modulating lipid absorption and metabolism by the epithelium. Using an integrated approach encompassing cellular and murine models and combining metabolic parameters measurement, lipid droplet imaging, and gene expression analysis, we demonstrated that under homeostatic conditions, L. paracasei promotes fat storage in enterocytes, whereas E. coli enhances lipid catabolism and reduces chylomicron circulating levels. The Akt/mammalian target of sirolimus (mTOR) pathway is inhibited by both bacterial species in vitro, indicating that several regulatory pathways are involved in the distinct intracellular lipid outcomes associated with each bacterial species. Moreover, soluble bacterial factors partially reproduce the effects observed with live microorganisms. However, reduction of chylomicron circulating levels in E. coli-colonized animals is lost under high-fat-diet conditions, whereas it is potentiated by L. paracasei colonization accompanied by resistance to hypercholesterolemia and excess body weight gain.IMPORTANCE The specific contribution of each bacterial species within a complex microbiota to the regulation of host lipid metabolism remains largely unknown. Using two model commensal microorganisms, L. paracasei and E. coli, we demonstrated that both bacterial species impacted host lipid metabolism in a diet-dependent manner and, notably, that L. paracasei-colonized mice but not E. coli-colonized mice resisted high-fat-diet-induced body weight gain. In addition, we set up cellular models of fatty acid absorption and secretion by enterocytes cocultured with bacteria and showed that, in vitro, both L. paracasei and E. coli inhibited lipid secretion, through increased intracellular fat storage and enhanced lipid catabolism, respectively.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Bowman EA, AE Arnold (2018)

Distributions of ectomycorrhizal and foliar endophytic fungal communities associated with Pinus ponderosa along a spatially constrained elevation gradient.

American journal of botany, 105(4):687-699.

PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Understanding distributions of plant-symbiotic fungi is important for projecting responses to environmental change. Many coniferous trees host ectomycorrhizal fungi (EM) in association with roots and foliar endophytic fungi (FE) in leaves. We examined how EM and FE associated with Pinus ponderosa each vary in abundance, diversity, and community structure over a spatially constrained elevation gradient that traverses four plant communities, 4°C in mean annual temperature, and 15 cm in mean annual precipitation.

METHODS: We sampled 63 individuals of Pinus ponderosa in 10 sites along a 635 m elevation gradient that encompassed a geographic distance of 9.8 km. We used standard methods to characterize each fungal group (amplified and sequenced EM from root tips; isolated and sequenced FE from leaves).

KEY RESULTS: Abundance and diversity of EM were similar across sites, but community composition and distributions of the most common EM differed with elevation (i.e., with climate, soil chemistry, and plant communities). Abundance and composition of FE did not differ with elevation, but diversity peaked in mid-to-high elevations.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest relatively tight linkages between EM and climate, soil chemistry, and plant communities. That FE appear less linked with these factors may speak to limitations of a culture-based approach, but more likely reflects the small spatial scale encompassed by our study. Future work should consider comparable methods for characterizing these functional groups, and additional transects to understand relationships of EM and FE to environmental factors that are likely to shift as a function of climate change.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Upson JL, Zess EK, Białas A, et al (2018)

The coming of age of EvoMPMI: evolutionary molecular plant-microbe interactions across multiple timescales.

Current opinion in plant biology, 44:108-116.

Plant-microbe interactions are great model systems to study co-evolutionary dynamics across multiple timescales. However, mechanistic research on plant-microbe interactions has often been conducted with little consideration of evolutionary concepts and methods. Conversely, evolutionary research has rarely integrated the range of mechanisms and models from the molecular plant-microbe interactions field. In recent years, the incipient field of evolutionary molecular plant-microbe interactions (EvoMPMI) has emerged to bridge this gap. Here, we report on some of the recent advances in EvoMPMI. In particular, we highlight new systems to study microbe interactions with early diverging land plants, and new findings from studies of adaptive evolution in pathogens and plants. By linking mechanistic and evolutionary research, EvoMPMI promises to expand our understanding of plant-microbe interactions.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Abinandan S, Subashchandrabose SR, Venkateswarlu K, et al (2018)

Microalgae-bacteria biofilms: a sustainable synergistic approach in remediation of acid mine drainage.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 102(3):1131-1144.

Microalgae and bacteria offer a huge potential in delving interest to study and explore various mechanisms under extreme environments. Acid mine drainage (AMD) is one such environment which is extremely acidic containing copious amounts of heavy metals and poses a major threat to the ecosystem. Despite its extreme conditions, AMD is the habitat for several microbes and their activities. The use of various chemicals in prevention of AMD formation and conventional treatment in a larger scale is not feasible under different geological conditions. It implies that microbe-mediated approach is a viable and sustainable alternative technology for AMD remediation. Microalgae in biofilms play a pivotal role in such bioremediation as they maintain mutualism with heterotrophic bacteria. Synergistic approach of using microalgae-bacteria biofilms provides supportive metabolites from algal biomass for growth of bacteria and mediates remediation of AMD. However, by virtue of their physiology and capabilities of metal removal, non-acidophilic microalgae can be acclimated for use in AMD remediation. A combination of selective acidophilic and non-acidophilic microalgae together with bacteria, all in the form of biofilms, may be very effective for bioremediation of metal-contaminated waters. The present review critically examines the nature of mutualistic interactions established between microalgae and bacteria in biofilms and their role in removal of metals from AMDs, and consequent biomass production for the yield of biofuel. Integration of microalgal-bacterial consortia in fuel cells would be an attractive emerging approach of microbial biotechnology for AMD remediation.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Pellissier L, Albouy C, Bascompte J, et al (2018)

Comparing species interaction networks along environmental gradients.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 93(2):785-800.

Knowledge of species composition and their interactions, in the form of interaction networks, is required to understand processes shaping their distribution over time and space. As such, comparing ecological networks along environmental gradients represents a promising new research avenue to understand the organization of life. Variation in the position and intensity of links within networks along environmental gradients may be driven by turnover in species composition, by variation in species abundances and by abiotic influences on species interactions. While investigating changes in species composition has a long tradition, so far only a limited number of studies have examined changes in species interactions between networks, often with differing approaches. Here, we review studies investigating variation in network structures along environmental gradients, highlighting how methodological decisions about standardization can influence their conclusions. Due to their complexity, variation among ecological networks is frequently studied using properties that summarize the distribution or topology of interactions such as number of links, connectance, or modularity. These properties can either be compared directly or using a procedure of standardization. While measures of network structure can be directly related to changes along environmental gradients, standardization is frequently used to facilitate interpretation of variation in network properties by controlling for some co-variables, or via null models. Null models allow comparing the deviation of empirical networks from random expectations and are expected to provide a more mechanistic understanding of the factors shaping ecological networks when they are coupled with functional traits. As an illustration, we compare approaches to quantify the role of trait matching in driving the structure of plant-hummingbird mutualistic networks, i.e. a direct comparison, standardized by null models and hypothesis-based metaweb. Overall, our analysis warns against a comparison of studies that rely on distinct forms of standardization, as they are likely to highlight different signals. Fostering a better understanding of the analytical tools available and the signal they detect will help produce deeper insights into how and why ecological networks vary along environmental gradients.

RevDate: 2019-03-03

Koehler L, Flemming FE, M Schrallhammer (2019)

Towards an ecological understanding of the killer trait - A reproducible protocol for testing its impact on freshwater ciliates.

European journal of protistology, 68:108-120 pii:S0932-4739(18)30086-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Paramecium strains with the ability to kill other paramecia often harbour intracellular bacteria belonging to the genera Caedibacter or Caedimonas. Central structures of this killer trait are refractile bodies (R-bodies) produced by the endosymbionts. Once ingested by a sensitive Paramecium, R-bodies presumably act as delivery system for an unidentified toxin which causes the death of endosymbiont-free paramecia while those infected gain resistance from their symbionts. The killer trait is therefore considered as competitive advantage for the hosts of R-body producers. While its effectiveness against paramecia is well documented, the effects on other aquatic ciliates are much less studied. In order to address the broadness of the killer trait, a reproducible killer test assay considering the effects on predatory ciliates (Climacostomum virens and Dileptus jonesi) as well as potential bacterivorous Paramecium competitors (Dexiostoma campyla, Euplotes aediculatus, Euplotes woodruffi, and Spirostomum teres) as possibly susceptible species was established. All used organisms were molecularly characterized to increase traceability and reproducibility. The absence of any lethal effects in both predators and competitors after exposure to killer paramecia strongly suggests a narrow action range for the killer trait. Thus, R-body producing bacteria provide their host with a complex, costly strategy to outcompete symbiont-free congeners only.

RevDate: 2019-03-03

Tang MJ, Zhu Q, Zhang FM, et al (2019)

Enhanced nitrogen and phosphorus activation with an optimized bacterial community by endophytic fungus Phomopsis liquidambari in paddy soil.

Microbiological research, 221:50-59.

The endophytic fungus Phomopsis liquidambari play a key role in habitat adaptation of rice (Oryza sativa L.) with potential multiple beneficial. However, our previous published work on this subject remains incomplete. Here, we performed a soil nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) transformation with related functional genes and elucidated how rhizosphere microbiota vary their response to P. liquidambari interaction throughout the plant's life cycle under field conditions by Illumina Miseq sequencing platforms in a nutrient-limited paddy soil. Our results showed that P. liquidambari symbiosis decreased the nitrogen and phosphorus loss by 24.59% and 17.46% per pot, respectively. Additionally, we suggest that the application of P. liquidambari altered the activation of soil nitrogen and phosphorus functional genes to accelerate nutrient turnover in the rice rhizosphere. High-throughput sequencing with co-occurrence network and species-related network analysis further revealed that P. liquidambari colonization influenced the patterns of microbiota shift in the rhizosphere, especially during the heading stages. This led to an optimized microbial community through the promotion and inhibition of indigenous soil microbes with a higher level of available nutrient supplies. Our study strongly proposes rice-P. liquidambari symbiosis as a useful candidate for improving N and P acquisition and utilization.

RevDate: 2019-03-02

Das DR, Horváth B, Kundu A, et al (2019)

Functional conservation of CYCLOPS in crack entry legume Arachis hypogaea.

Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology, 281:232-241.

Root nodule symbiosis in legumes is established following interaction of compatible rhizobia that activates an array of genes, commonly known as symbiotic-pathway, resulting in nodule development. In model legumes, bacterial entry mainly occurs through infection thread involving the expression of transcription factor CYCLOPS/IPD3. Here we show the functional analysis of AhCYCLOPS in Arachis hypogaea where bacteria invade roots through epidermal cracks. Exploiting significant cross-species domain conservation, trans-complementation experiments involving ectopic expression of AhCYCLOPS in transgenic hairy-roots of Medicago truncatula ipd3 mutants resulted in functional complementation of Medicago nodules. Moreover, native promoter of AhCYCLOPS was sufficient for this cross-species complementation irrespective of the different modes of infection of roots by rhizobia and nodule ontology. To unravel the role of AhCYCLOPS during 'crack-entry' nodulation in A. hypogaea, RNAi of AhCYCLOPS was performed which resulted in delayed nodule inception followed by drastic reduction in nodule number on transgenic hairy-roots. The infection zone of a significant number of RNAi nodules showed presence of infected cells with enlarged nucleus and rod shaped undifferentiated bacteria. Expression analysis showed downregulation of several nodulation responsible effectors endorsing the compromised condition of RNAi roots. Together, the results indicated that AhCYCLOPS plays an important role in A. hypogaea nodule development.

RevDate: 2019-03-02

Ferrol N, Azcón-Aguilar C, J Pérez-Tienda (2019)

Review: Arbuscular mycorrhizas as key players in sustainable plant phosphorus acquisition: An overview on the mechanisms involved.

Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology, 280:441-447.

Phosphorus (P) is a poorly available macronutrient essential for plant growth and development and consequently for successful crop yield and ecosystem productivity. To cope with P limitations plants have evolved strategies for enhancing P uptake and/or improving P efficiency use. The universal 450-million-yr-old arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) (fungus-root) symbioses are one of the most successful and widespread strategies to maximize access of plants to available P. AM fungi biotrophically colonize the root cortex of most plant species and develop an extraradical mycelium which overgrows the nutrient depletion zone of the soil surrounding plant roots. This hyphal network is specialized in the acquisition of low mobility nutrients from soil, particularly P. During the last years, molecular biology techniques coupled to novel physiological approaches have provided fascinating contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of symbiotic P transport. Mycorrhiza-specific plant phosphate transporters, which are required not only for symbiotic P transfer but also for maintenance of the symbiosis, have been identified. The present review provides an overview of the contribution of AM fungi to plant P acquisition and an update of recent findings on the physiological, molecular and regulatory mechanisms of P transport in the AM symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-03-02

Gil R, A Latorre (2019)

Unity Makes Strength: A Review on Mutualistic Symbiosis in Representative Insect Clades.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:life9010021.

Settled on the foundations laid by zoologists and embryologists more than a century ago, the study of symbiosis between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is an expanding field. In this review, we present several models of insect⁻bacteria symbioses that allow for the detangling of most known features of this distinctive way of living, using a combination of very diverse screening approaches, including molecular, microscopic, and genomic techniques. With the increasing the amount of endosymbiotic bacteria genomes available, it has been possible to develop evolutionary models explaining the changes undergone by these bacteria in their adaptation to the intracellular host environment. The establishment of a given symbiotic system can be a root cause of substantial changes in the partners' way of life. Furthermore, symbiont replacement and/or the establishment of bacterial consortia are two ways in which the host can exploit its interaction with environmental bacteria for endosymbiotic reinvigoration. The detailed study of diverse and complex symbiotic systems has revealed a great variety of possible final genomic products, frequently below the limit considered compatible with cellular life, and sometimes with unanticipated genomic and population characteristics, raising new questions that need to be addressed in the near future through a wider exploration of new models and empirical observations.

RevDate: 2019-03-01

Maire J, Vincent-Monégat C, Balmand S, et al (2019)

Weevil pgrp-lb prevents endosymbiont TCT dissemination and chronic host systemic immune activation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1821806116 [Epub ahead of print].

Long-term intracellular symbiosis (or endosymbiosis) is widely distributed across invertebrates and is recognized as a major driving force in evolution. However, the maintenance of immune homeostasis in organisms chronically infected with mutualistic bacteria is a challenging task, and little is known about the molecular processes that limit endosymbiont immunogenicity and host inflammation. Here, we investigated peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP)-encoding genes in the cereal weevil Sitophilus zeamais's association with Sodalis pierantonius endosymbiont. We discovered that weevil pgrp-lb generates three transcripts via alternative splicing and differential regulation. A secreted isoform is expressed in insect tissues under pathogenic conditions through activation of the PGRP-LC receptor of the immune deficiency pathway. In addition, cytosolic and transmembrane isoforms are permanently produced within endosymbiont-bearing organ, the bacteriome, in a PGRP-LC-independent manner. Bacteriome isoforms specifically cleave the tracheal cytotoxin (TCT), a peptidoglycan monomer released by endosymbionts. pgrp-lb silencing by RNAi results in TCT escape from the bacteriome to other insect tissues, where it chronically activates the host systemic immunity through PGRP-LC. While such immune deregulations did not impact endosymbiont load, they did negatively affect host physiology, as attested by a diminished sexual maturation of adult weevils. Whereas pgrp-lb was first described in pathogenic interactions, this work shows that, in an endosymbiosis context, specific bacteriome isoforms have evolved, allowing endosymbiont TCT scavenging and preventing chronic endosymbiont-induced immune responses, thus promoting host homeostasis.

RevDate: 2019-03-01

Fortin M, Meunier J, Laverré T, et al (2019)

Joint effects of group sex-ratio and Wolbachia infection on female reproductive success in the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare.

BMC evolutionary biology, 19(1):65 pii:10.1186/s12862-019-1391-6.

BACKGROUND: In species that reproduce with sexual reproduction, males and females often have opposite strategies to maximize their own fitness. For instance, males are typically expected to maximize their number of mating events, whereas an excessive number of mating events can be costly for females. Although the risk of sexual harassment by males and resulting costs for females are expected to increase with the proportion of males, it remains unknown whether and how parasitic distorters of a host population's sex-ratio can shape this effect on the fitness of females. Here, we addressed this question using Armadillidium vulgare and its parasite Wolbachia that alters the sex-ratio of a population. We set up Wolbachia-free and Wolbachia-infected females in experimental groups exhibiting 100, 80, 50% or 20% females for 1 year, during which we measured changes in survival, fertility and fecundity.

RESULTS: Wolbachia infection shaped the effects of both population sex-ratio and reproductive season on female fecundity. Compared to Wolbachia-free females, Wolbachia-infected females were less likely to be gravid in populations exhibiting an excess of females and did not exhibit the otherwise negative effect of seasons on this likelihood. Group sex-ratio and Wolbachia infection have independent effects on other measured traits. Male-biased populations had females both exhibiting the lowest survival rate after 6 months and producing the smallest number of offspring, independent of Wolbachia infection. Conversely, Wolbachia-infected females had the lowest likelihood of producing at least one offspring, independent of group sex-ratio. Wolbachia infection had no effect on female survival rate.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that male-biased sex-ratio and the presence of Wolbachia are costly for females due to sexual harassment by males and bacterial infection, respectively. Interestingly, Wolbachia infection triggers another negative effect. This effect does not come from an excess of males and its associated sexual harassment of females but instead from a lack of males and the associated risk for females of remaining unmated. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of social pressures and infection on female fitness and provide insights into our general understanding of the joint and opposite effects of these two parameters in the evolution of reproductive strategies.

RevDate: 2019-03-01
CmpDate: 2019-03-01

Kang W, Xu L, Jiang Z, et al (2019)

Genetic diversity and symbiotic efficiency difference of endophytic rhizobia of Medicago sativa.

Canadian journal of microbiology, 65(1):68-83.

Research on rhizobium diversity has paved the way for diversification of rhizobial germplasm resources. Seventy-three endophytic bacterial isolates were collected from seven tissues of five alfalfa cultivars in three geographic locations in Gansu, China. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) fingerprinting of 16S rRNA and analysis of concatenated sequence of three housekeeping genes (atpD, glnII, and recA) and two symbiotic genes (nodC and nifH) were used for strain identification. Results showed that the endophytic strains were genetically diverse at different taxonomic levels, and Ensifer meliloti (31) and Agrobacterium radiobacter (12) are common Medicago sativa endophytic bacteria in Gansu, China. The nifH genes (97%-98% sequence identity) of E. meliloti strains were more diverse than the nodC genes (99%-100% sequence identity), even though the strains evolved from a common ancestor. The degree of dispersion of symbiotic phenotypes of E. meliloti strains on M. sativa 'Gannong No. 3', 'Gannong No. 9', and 'Qingshui' was much less than that on M. sativa 'Longzhong' and 'WL168HQ'. This suggested that the symbiotic efficiency of E. meliloti strains on the former three alfalfa cultivars was similar but on the latter two was discrepant. Their symbiotic efficiency differed primarily according to alfalfa cultivars and, to a lesser extent, to the tested strains, indicating the difference in the sensitivity of different alfalfa cultivars to rhizobial strains.

RevDate: 2019-01-30
CmpDate: 2019-01-30

Fogel D, Fuentes JL, Soto LM, et al (2018)

Association between an ectoparasitic copepod (Caligus sp.) and the monogenean Udonella cf. caligorum Johnston 1835 on a catfish population.

Journal of helminthology, 92(2):250-253.

We analysed the association between a monogenean (Udonella cf. caligorum Johnston 1835) and its copepod host (Caligus sp.) living on a wild population of Arius herzbergii Bloch, 1794 in a north-eastern coastal lagoon from Venezuela. This study characterized infestation levels and analysed the effects of monogeneans on the fecundity and hatching success of the copepod host, as well as damage to its egg capsules and genital complex. A total of 218 Caligus specimens were analysed (94 males, 110 females and 14 immature stages) in which a total of 1017 monogeneans were found. These included 311 mature stages and 706 egg capsules. Monogenean stages were found attached to the cephalothorax, abdomen, genital complex and egg capsules of the copepods. No significant differences were found in fecundity and egg hatching when infested and non-infested ovigerous females were compared. No damage was observed on egg capsules or genital areas of infested ovigerous females. Our results suggest that this association, at the level of prevalence and intensity observed, is closer to commensalism than parasitism. The importance of considering that the nature of interaction is dynamic and changing with environmental conditions and time scale is highlighted.

RevDate: 2019-02-28

Abdelhameed RE, RA Metwally (2019)

Alleviation of cadmium stress by arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

International journal of phytoremediation [Epub ahead of print].

Owing to the realization of the harmful effect of cadmium on the environment and plants and as the plants are sessile organisms, they need to increase the protective mechanisms to cope with Cd stress. Inoculation the plant with soil microbes at the place of their growing is an important strategy to support the plants against stresses. In this study, trigonella plants were inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi under different CdCl2 concentrations (0, 2.25, and 6.25 mM). AM inoculation increased growth parameters, chlorophyll, and protein contents. Root colonization was significantly increased at low Cd concentration (2.25 mM) and decreased at high one (6.25 mM). Also, with AM fungal inoculation, the translocation factor of trigonella plants significantly decreased as compared to non-AM ones at both low and high Cd concentrations. In addition, it was clearly that malondialdehyde content of trigonella plants increased significantly at both Cd concentrations and with AM fungal inoculation its content decreased compared to those of non-AM ones. AM inoculation significantly increased antioxidant enzymes activities compared to non-AM ones. Consequently, this study showed a tolerance strategy of AM trigonella plants against Cd stress, thus mycorrhizal symbiosis becomes a promising and suitable as phytostabilizers of Cd stressed soil.

RevDate: 2019-02-28

Cherni AE, X Perret (2019)

Deletion of rRNA Operons of Sinorhizobium fredii Strain NGR234 and Impact on Symbiosis With Legumes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:154.

During their lifecycle, from free-living soil bacteria to endosymbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteroids of legumes, rhizobia must colonize, and cope with environments where nutrient concentrations and compositions vary greatly. Bacterial colonization of legume rhizospheres and of root surfaces is subject to a fierce competition for plant exudates. By contrast root nodules offer to rhizobia sheltered nutrient-rich environments within which the cells that successfully propagated via infection threads can rapidly multiply. To explore the effects on symbiosis of a slower rhizobia growth and metabolism, we deleted one or two copies of the three functional rRNA operons of the promiscuous Sinorhizobium fredii strain NGR234 and examined the impact of these mutations on free-living and symbiotic lifestyles. Strains with two functional rRNA operons (NGRΔrRNA1 and NGRΔrRNA3) grew almost as rapidly as NGR234, and NGRΔrRNA1 was as proficient as the parent strain on all of the five legume species tested. By contrast, the NGRΔrRNA1,3 double mutant, which carried a single rRNA operon and grew significantly slower than NGR234, had a reduced symbiotic proficiency on Cajanus cajan, Macroptilium atropurpureum, Tephrosia vogelii, and Vigna unguiculata. In addition, while NGRΔrRNA1 and NGR234 equally competed for nodulation of V. unguiculata, strain NGRΔrRNA1,3 was clearly outcompeted by wild-type. Surprisingly, on Leucaena leucocephala, NGRΔrRNA1,3 was the most proficient strain and competed equally NGR234 for nodule occupation. Together, these results indicate that for strains with otherwise identical repertoires of symbiotic genes, a faster growth on roots and/or inside plant tissues may contribute to secure access to nodules of some hosts. By contrast, other legumes such as L. leucocephala appear as less selective and capable of providing symbiotic environments susceptible to accommodate strains with a broader spectrum of competences.

RevDate: 2019-02-28

Montoya QV, Martiarena MJS, Danilo Augusto Polezel , et al (2019)

More pieces to a huge puzzle: Two new Escovopsis species from fungus gardens of attine ants.


Escovopsis (Ascomycota: Hypocreales, Hypocreaceae) is the only known parasite of the mutualistic fungi cultivated by fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini: Attina, the "attines"). Despite its ecological role, the taxonomy and systematics of Escovopsis have been poorly addressed. Here, based on morphological and phylogenetic analyses with three molecular markers (internal transcribed spacer, large subunit ribosomal RNA and the translation elongation factor 1-alpha), we describe Escovopsisclavatus and E.multiformis as new species isolated from fungus gardens of Apterostigma ant species. Our analysis shows that E.clavatus and E.multiformis belong to the most derived Escovopsis clade, whose main character is the presence of conidiophores with vesicles. Nevertheless, the most outstanding feature of both new species is the presence of a swollen region in the central hypha of the conidiophore named swollen cell, which is absent in all previously described Escovopsis species. The less derived Escovopsis clades lack vesicles and their phylogenetic position within the Hypocreaceae still remains unclear. Considering the high genetic diversity in Escovopsis, the description of these new species adds barely two pieces to a huge taxonomic puzzle; however, this discovery is an important piece for building the systematics of this group of fungi.

RevDate: 2019-02-28

Lin MF, Takahashi S, Forêt S, et al (2019)

Transcriptomic analyses highlight the likely metabolic consequences of colonization of a cnidarian host by native or non-native Symbiodinium species.

Biology open pii:bio.038281 [Epub ahead of print].

Reef-building corals and some other cnidarians form symbiotic relationships with members of the dinoflagellates family Symbiodinaceae. As Symbiodinaceae is a highly diverse taxon, the physiological interactions between its members and their hosts are assumed to differ between associations. The presence of different symbiont types is known to affect expression levels of specific host genes, but knowledge of the effects on the transcriptome more broadly remains limited. In the present study transcriptome profiling was conducted on the tropical corallimorpharian, Ricordea yuma, following the establishment of symbiosis with either the "homologous" symbiont Symbiodinium goreaui (also known as Cladocopium goreaui; ITS2 type C1) or "heterologous" symbionts (predominantly S. trenchii , which is also known as Durusdinium trenchii; ITS2 type D1a) isolated from a different corallimorpharian host (Rhodactis indosinensis). Transcriptomic analyses showed that genes encoding host glycogen biosynthesis pathway components are more highly induced during colonization by the homologous symbiont than by the heterologous symbiont. Similar patterns were also observed for several other genes thought to facilitate symbiotic nutrient exchange, including those involved in lipid translocation / storage and metabolite transport. The gene expression results presented here imply that colonization by homologous or heterologous Symbiodinium types may have very different metabolic consequences for the Ricordea host, supporting the notion that even though some cnidarians may be able to form novel symbioses after bleaching, the metabolic performance of these may be compromised.

RevDate: 2019-02-28

Bykov RА, Yudina MA, Gruntenko NE, et al (2019)

Prevalence and genetic diversity of Wolbachia endosymbiont and mtDNA in Palearctic populations of Drosophila melanogaster.

BMC evolutionary biology, 19(Suppl 1):48 pii:10.1186/s12862-019-1372-9.

BACKGROUND: Maternally inherited Wolbachia symbionts infect D. melanogaster populations worldwide. Infection rates vary greatly. Genetic diversity of Wolbachia in D. melanogaster can be subdivided into several closely related genotypes coinherited with certain mtDNA lineages. mtDNA haplotypes have the following global distribution pattern: mtDNA clade I is mostly found in North America, II and IV in Africa, III in Europe and Africa, V in Eurasia, VI is global but very rare, and VIII is found in Asia. The wMel Wolbachia genotype is predominant in D. melanogaster populations. However, according to the hypothesis of global Wolbachia replacement, the wMelCS genotype was predominant before the XX century when it was replaced by the wMel genotype. Here we analyse over 1500 fly isolates from the Palearctic region to evaluate the prevalence, genetic diversity and distribution pattrern of the Wolbachia symbiont, occurrence of mtDNA variants, and finally to discuss the Wolbachia genotype global replacement hypothesis.

RESULTS: All studied Palearctic populations of D. melanogaster were infected with Wolbachia at a rate of 33-100%. We did not observe any significant correlation between infection rate and longitude or latitude. Five previously reported Wolbachia genotypes were found in Palearctic populations with a predominance of the wMel variant. The mtDNA haplotypes of the I_II_III clade and V clade were prevalent in Palearctic populations. To test the recent Wolbachia genotype replacement hypothesis, we examined three genomic regions of CS-like genotypes. Low genetic diversity was observed, only two haplotypes of the CS genotypes with a 'CCG' variant predominance were found.

CONCLUSION: The results of our survey of Wolbachia infection prevalence and genotype diversity in Palearctic D. melanogaster populations confirm previous studies. Wolbachia is ubiquitous in the Palearctic region. The wMel genotype is dominant with local occurrence of rare genotypes. Together with variants of the V mtDNA clade, the variants of the 'III+' clade are dominant in both infected and uninfected flies of Palearctic populations. Based on our data on Wolbachia and mtDNA in different years in some Palearctic localities, we can conclude that flies that survive the winter make the predominant symbiont contribution to the subsequent generation. A comprehensive overview of mtDNA and Wolbachia infection of D. melanogaster populations worldwide does not support the recent global Wolbachia genotype replacement hypothesis. However, we cannot exclude wMelCS genotype rate fluctuations in the past.

RevDate: 2019-02-27

Pringle EG (2019)

Convergence, constraint and the potential for mutualism between ants and gut microbes.

Molecular ecology, 28(4):699-702.

Ants are a hugely diverse family of eusocial insects that dominate terrestrial ecosystems all over the planet. Did mutualistic gut microbes help ants to achieve their diversity and ecological dominance? Initial studies suggested the potential for widespread convergence in ant gut bacterial communities based on dietary niche, but it now seems possible that dedicated bacterial symbionts are restricted to a minority of ant lineages (Russell et al.,). Nevertheless, as most ants are omnivores, the evidence so far has suggested a broad, positive correlation between the evolution of dietary specialization and ant investment in nutrient-provisioning gut bacteria. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Sapountzis et al. () and Rubin et al. () examine the evolution of gut bacterial communities in two iconic ant taxa-the attine fungus farmers and the Pseudomyrmex plant bodyguards, respectively-in a comparative context. By comparing gut bacteria between ant species of differing dietary specialization within each taxon, these studies demonstrate a hint of convergence in the midst of widespread apparent constraints. These results raise numerous interesting questions about the nature of these apparent constraints and whether they are causes or consequences of varying investment by ants to mutualism with their gut microbes.

RevDate: 2019-02-27

Carotenuto G, Volpe V, Russo G, et al (2019)

Local endoreduplication as a feature of intracellular fungal accommodation in arbuscular mycorrhizas.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

The intracellular accommodation of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi is a paradigmatic feature of this plant symbiosis that depends on the activation of a dedicated signaling pathway and the extensive reprogramming of host cells, including striking changes in nuclear size and transcriptional activity. By combining targeted sampling of early root colonization sites, detailed confocal imaging, flow cytometry and gene expression analyses, we demonstrate that local, recursive events of endoreduplication are triggered in the Medicago truncatula root cortex during AM colonization. AM colonization induces an increase in ploidy levels and the activation of endocycle specific markers. This response anticipates the progression of fungal colonization and is limited to arbusculated and neighboring cells in the cortical tissue. Furthermore, endoreduplication is not induced in M. truncatula mutants for symbiotic signaling pathway genes. On this basis, we propose endoreduplication as part of the host cell prepenetration responses that anticipate AM fungal accommodation in the root cortex. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-02-27

Kutschera U, T Hoppe (2019)

Plasmodial slime molds and the evolution of microbial husbandry.

Theory in biosciences = Theorie in den Biowissenschaften pii:10.1007/s12064-019-00285-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Detailed analyses into the life cycle of the soil-dwelling microbe Dictyostelium discoideum led to the conclusion that this "social amoeba" practices some form of "non-monoculture farming" via the transfer of bacteria to novel environments. Herein, we show that in myxomycetes (plasmodial slime molds or myxogastrids) a similar "farming symbiosis" has evolved. Based on laboratory studies of two representative species in the genera Fuligo and Didymium, the sexual life cycle of these enigmatic microbes that feed on bacteria was reconstructed, with reference to plasmo- and karyogamy. We document that the spores carry and transfer bacteria and hence may inoculate new habitats. The significance of this finding with respect to Ernst Haeckel's work on myxomycetes and his concept of ecology are addressed.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
21454 NE 143rd Street
Woodinville, WA 98077

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


ESP now offers a 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 )