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Bibliography on: Metagenomics

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 17 Sep 2021 at 01:30 Created: 


While genomics is the study of DNA extracted from individuals — individual cells, tissues, or organisms — metagenomics is a more recent refinement that analyzes samples of pooled DNA taken from the environment, not from an individual. Like genomics, metagenomic methods have great potential in many areas of biology, but none so much as in providing access to the hitherto invisible world of unculturable microbes, often estimated to comprise 90% or more of bacterial species and, in some ecosystems, the bulk of the biomass. A recent describes how this new science of metagenomics is beginning to reveal the secrets of our microbial world: The opportunity that stands before microbiologists today is akin to a reinvention of the microscope in the expanse of research questions it opens to investigation. Metagenomics provides a new way of examining the microbial world that not only will transform modern microbiology but has the potential to revolutionize understanding of the entire living world. In metagenomics, the power of genomic analysis is applied to entire communities of microbes, bypassing the need to isolate and culture individual bacterial community members.

Created with PubMed® Query: metagenomic OR metagenomics OR metagenome NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-09-15

Ekim B, Berger B, R Chikhi (2021)

Minimizer-space de Bruijn graphs: Whole-genome assembly of long reads in minutes on a personal computer.

Cell systems pii:S2405-4712(21)00332-X [Epub ahead of print].

DNA sequencing data continue to progress toward longer reads with increasingly lower sequencing error rates. Here, we define an algorithmic approach, mdBG, that makes use of minimizer-space de Bruijn graphs to enable long-read genome assembly. mdBG achieves orders-of-magnitude improvement in both speed and memory usage over existing methods without compromising accuracy. A human genome is assembled in under 10 min using 8 cores and 10 GB RAM, and 60 Gbp of metagenome reads are assembled in 4 min using 1 GB RAM. In addition, we constructed a minimizer-space de Bruijn graph-based representation of 661,405 bacterial genomes, comprising 16 million nodes and 45 million edges, and successfully search it for anti-microbial resistance (AMR) genes in 12 min. We expect our advances to be essential to sequence analysis, given the rise of long-read sequencing in genomics, metagenomics, and pangenomics. Code for constructing mdBGs is freely available for download at

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Murphy CL, Yang R, Decker T, et al (2021)

Genomes of novel Myxococcota reveal severely curtailed machineries for predation and cellular differentiation.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Cultured Myxococcota are predominantly aerobic soil inhabitants, characterized by their highly coordinated predation and cellular differentiation capacities. Little is currently known regarding yet-uncultured Myxococcota from anaerobic, non-soil habitats. We analyzed genomes representing one novel order (o__JAFGXQ01) and one novel family (f__JAFGIB01) in the Myxococcota from an anoxic freshwater spring (Zodletone spring) in Oklahoma, USA. Compared to their soil counterparts, anaerobic Myxococcota possess smaller genomes, and a smaller number of genes encoding biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), peptidases, one- and two-component signal transduction systems, and transcriptional regulators. Detailed analysis of thirteen distinct pathways/processes crucial to predation and cellular differentiation revealed severely curtailed machineries, with the notable absence of homologs for key transcription factors (e.g. FruA and MrpC), outer membrane exchange receptor (TraA), and the majority of sporulation-specific and A-motility-specific genes. Further, machine-learning approaches based on a set of 634 genes informative of social lifestyle predicted a non-social behavior for Zodletone Myxococcota. Metabolically, Zodletone Myxococcota genomes lacked aerobic respiratory capacities, but encoded genes suggestive of fermentation, dissimilatory nitrite reduction, and dissimilatory sulfate-reduction (in f_JAFGIB01) for energy acquisition. We propose that predation and cellular differentiation represent a niche adaptation strategy that evolved circa 500 Mya in response to the rise of soil as a distinct habitat on earth. Importance The Myxococcota is a phylogenetically coherent bacterial lineage that exhibits unique social traits. Cultured Myxococcota are predominantly aerobic soil-dwelling microorganisms that are capable of predation and fruiting body formation. However, multiple yet-uncultured lineages within the Myxococcota have been encountered in a wide range of non-soil, predominantly anaerobic habitats; and the metabolic capabilities, physiological preferences, and capacity of social behavior of such lineages remain unclear. Here, we analyzed genomes recovered from a metagenomic analysis of an anoxic freshwater spring in Oklahoma, USA that represent novel, yet-uncultured, orders and families in the Myxococcota. The genomes appear to lack the characteristic hallmarks for social behavior encountered in Myxococcota genomes, and displayed a significantly smaller genome size and a smaller number of genes encoding biosynthetic gene clusters, peptidases, signal transduction systems, and transcriptional regulators. Such perceived lack of social capacity was confirmed through detailed comparative genomic analysis of thirteen pathways associated with Myxococcota social behavior, as well as the implementation of machine learning approaches to predict social behavior based on genome composition. Metabolically, these novel Myxococcota are predicted to be strict anaerobes, utilizing fermentation, nitrate reduction, and dissimilarity sulfate reduction for energy acquisition. Our results highlight the broad patterns of metabolic diversity within the yet-uncultured Myxococcota and suggest that the evolution of predation and fruiting body formation in the Myxococcota has occurred in response to soil formation as a distinct habitat on earth.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Yuan Y, Liu J, Yang TT, et al (2021)

Genomic insights into the ecological role and evolution of a novel Thermoplasmata order, "Candidatus Sysuiplasmatales".

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Recent omics studies have provided invaluable insights into the metabolic potential, adaptation and evolution of novel archaeal lineages from a variety of extreme environments. We have utilized a genome-resolved metagenomic approach to recover eight medium- to high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) that likely represent a new order ("Candidatus Sysuiplasmatales") within Thermoplasmata from mine tailings and acid mine drainage (AMD) sediments sampled from two copper mines in South China. 16S rRNA gene based analyses revealed a narrow habitat range for these uncultured archaea limiting to AMD and hot spring-related environments. Metabolic reconstruction indicated a facultatively anaerobic heterotrophic lifestyle. This may allow the archaea to adapt to oxygen fluctuations and is thus in marked contrast to the majority of lineages in the domain Archaea which typically show obligately anaerobic metabolisms. Notably, "Ca. Sysuiplasmatales" could conserve energy through degradation of fatty acids, amino acid metabolism and oxidation of reduced inorganic sulfur compounds (RISCs), suggesting that they may contribute to acid generation in the extreme mine environments. Unlike its closely related Methanomassiliicoccales and "Ca. Gimiplasmatales", "Ca. Sysuiplasmatales" lack the capacity to perform methanogenesis and carbon fixation. Ancestral state reconstruction indicated that "Ca. Sysuiplasmatales" and its closely related Methanomassiliicoccales, "Ca. Gimiplasmatales", and the SG8-5 and the RBG-16-68-12 orders originated from a facultatively anaerobic ancestor capable of carbon fixation via the bacterial-type H4F Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (WLP). Their metabolic divergence might be attributed to different evolutionary paths. Importance A wide array of archaea populate Earth's extreme environments thereby they may play important roles in mediating biogeochemical processes such as iron and sulfur cycling. However, our knowledge of archaeal biology and evolution is still limited considering the uncultured majority of archaeal diversity. For instance, most order-level lineages except Thermoplasmatales, Aciduliprofundales and Methanomassiliicoccales within Thermoplasmata do not have cultured representatives. Here, we report the discovery and genomic characterization of a novel order, namely "Ca. Sysuiplasmatales", within Thermoplasmata in the extremely acidic mine environments. "Ca. Sysuiplasmatales" are inferred to be facultatively anaerobic heterotrophs and likely contribute to acid generation through the oxidation of RISCs. The physiological divergence between "Ca. Sysuiplasmatales" and its closely related Thermoplasmata lineages may be attributed to different evolutionary paths. These results expand our knowledge of archaea in the extreme mine ecosystem.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Hu S, Liu G, Zhang L, et al (2021)

A synergistic consortium involved in Rac-dichlorprop degradation as revealed by DNA-stable isotope probing and metagenomics analysis.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Rac-dichlorprop, a commonly used phenoxyalkanoic acid herbicide, is frequently detected in environments and poses threats to environmental safety and human health. Microbial consortia are thought to play key roles in Rac-dichlorprop degradation. However, the compositions of the microbial consortia involved in Rac-dichlorprop degradation remain largely unknown. In this study, DNA-stable isotope probing and metagenomics analysis were integrated to reveal the key microbial consortium responsible for Rac-dichlorprop degradation in a Rac-dichlorprop-degrading enrichment. OTU340 (Sphingobium sp.) and OTU348 (Sphingopyxis sp.) were significantly enriched in the 13C-Rac-dichlorprop-labeled heavy DNA fractions. A Rac-dichlorprop degrader, Sphingobium sp. L3, was isolated from the enrichment by traditional enrichment method but with additional supplementation of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, which was instructed by metagenomics analysis of the associations between Rac-dichlorprop-degraders and antibiotic resistance genes. As revealed by functional profiling of the metagenomes of the heavy DNA, the genes rdpA and sdpA, involved in the initial degradation of the (R)- and (S)-enantiomers of dichlorprop respectively, were mostly taxonomically assigned to Sphingobium species, indicating that Sphingopyxis species might harbor novel dichlorprop degrading genes. In addition, taxonomically diverse bacterial genera such as Dyella, Sphingomonas, Pseudomonas, and Achromobacter were presumed to synergistically cooperate with the key degraders Sphingobium/Sphingopyxis for enhanced degradation of Rac-dichlorprop. Importance Understanding of the key microbial consortium involved in the degradation of the phenoxyalkanoic acid herbicide of Rac-dichlorprop is pivotal for design of synergistic consortia used for enhanced bioremediation of herbicide-contaminated sites. However, the composition of microbial consortium and the interactions between community members during the biodegradation of Rac-dichlorprop are unclear. In this study, DNA-SIP and metagenomics analysis were integrated to reveal that the metabolite 2,4-dichlorophenol degraders Dyella, Sphingomonas, Pseudomonas, and Achromobacter synergistically cooperated with the key degraders Sphingobium/Sphingopyxis for enhanced degradation of Rac-dichlorprop. Our study provides new insights into the synergistic degradation of Rac-dichlorprop at the community level and implies the existence of novel degrading genes for Rac-dichlorprop in nature.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Liu J, Zuo X, Peng K, et al (2021)

Biogas and Volatile Fatty Acid Production During Anaerobic Digestion of Straw, Cellulose, and Hemicellulose with Analysis of Microbial Communities and Functions.

Applied biochemistry and biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The anaerobic digestion efficiency and methane production of straw was limited by its complex composition and structure. In this study, rice straw (RS), cellulose, and hemicellulose were used as raw materials to study biogas production performance and changes in the volatile fatty acids (VFAs). Further, microbial communities and genetic functions were analyzed separately for each material. The biogas production potential of RS, cellulose, and hemicellulose was different, with cumulative biogas production of 283.75, 412.50, and 620.64 mL/(g·VS), respectively. The methane content of the biogas produced from cellulose and hemicellulose was approximately 10% higher than that produced from RS after the methane content stabilized. The accumulation of VFAs occurred in the early stage of anaerobic digestion in all materials, and the cumulative amount of VFAs in both cellulose and hemicellulose was relatively higher than that in RS, and the accumulation time was 12 and 14 days longer, respectively. When anaerobic digestion progressed to a stable stage, Clostridium was the dominant bacterial genus in all three anaerobic digestion systems, and the abundance of Ruminofilibacter was higher during anaerobic digestion of RS. Genetically, anaerobic digestion of all raw materials proceeded mainly via aceticlastic methanogenesis, with similar functional components. The different performance of anaerobic digestion of RS, cellulose, and hemicellulose mainly comes from the difference of composition of raw materials. Increasing the accessibility of cellulose and hemicellulose in RS feedstock by pretreatment is an effective way to improve the efficiency of anaerobic digestion. Since the similar microbial community structure will be acclimated during anaerobic digestion, there is no need to adjust the initial inoculum when the accessibility of cellulose and hemicellulose changes.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Guan H, Pu Y, Liu C, et al (2021)

Comparison of Fecal Collection Methods on Variation in Gut Metagenomics and Untargeted Metabolomics.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Integrative analysis of high-quality metagenomics and metabolomics data from fecal samples provides novel clues for the mechanism underpinning gut microbe-human interactions. However, data regarding the influence of fecal collection methods on both metagenomics and metabolomics are sparse. Six fecal collection methods (the gold standard [GS] [i.e., immediate freezing at -80°C with no solution], 95% ethanol, RNAlater, OMNIgene Gut, fecal occult blood test [FOBT] cards, and Microlution) were used to collect 88 fecal samples from eight healthy volunteers for whole-genome shotgun sequencing (WGSS) and untargeted metabolomic profiling. Metrics assessed included the abundances of predominant phyla and α- and β-diversity at the species, gene, and pathway levels. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated for microbes and metabolites to estimate (i) stability (day 4 versus day 0 within each method), (ii) concordance (day 0 for each method versus the GS), and (iii) reliability (day 4 for each method versus the GS). For the top 4 phyla and microbial diversity metrics at the species, gene, and pathway levels, generally high stability and reliability were observed for most methods except for 95% ethanol; similar concordances were seen for different methods. For metabolomics data, 95% ethanol showed the highest stability, concordance, and reliability (median ICCs = 0.71, 0.71, and 0.65, respectively). Taken together, OMNIgene Gut, FOBT cards, RNAlater, and Microlution, but not 95% ethanol, were reliable collection methods for gut metagenomic studies. However, 95% ethanol was the best for preserving fecal metabolite profiles. We recommend using separate collecting methods for gut metagenomic sequencing and fecal metabolomic profiling in large population studies. IMPORTANCE The choice of fecal collection method is essential for studying gut microbe-human interactions in large-scale population-based research. In this study, we examined the effects of fecal collection methods and storage time at ambient temperature on variations in the gut microbiome community composition; microbial diversity metrics at the species, gene, and pathway levels; antibiotic resistance genes; and metabolome profiling. Our findings suggest using different fecal sample collection methods for different data generation purposes. OMNIgene Gut, FOBT cards, RNAlater, and Microlution, but not 95% ethanol, were reliable collection methods for gut metagenomic studies. However, 95% ethanol was the best for preserving fecal metabolite profiles.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Hellmann KT, Tuura CE, Fish J, et al (2021)

Viability-Resolved Metagenomics Reveals Antagonistic Colonization Dynamics of Staphylococcus epidermidis Strains on Preterm Infant Skin.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Preterm infants are at increased risk of infections caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) that colonize skin. Technical barriers in sequencing low-microbial-biomass skin swabs from preterm infants hinder attempts to gain a strain-level understanding of CoNS colonization dynamics within their developing skin microbiome. Here, the microbiome of five skin sites and available stool was studied from four preterm infants hospitalized over their first 2 months of life. We used propidium monoazide treatment of samples to enrich for the viable microbiome and metagenomic shotgun sequencing to resolve species and strains. The microbiome of different skin sites overlapped with each other, was dominated by the CoNS species Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus capitis, and was distinct from stool. Species diversity on skin increased over time despite antibiotic exposure. Evidence of antagonism between the most common S. epidermidis strains, ST2 and ST59, included negative relationships for species correlation networks and in situ replication rates and that ST2 colonized skin earlier but was often replaced by ST59 over time. Experiments done with reference isolates showed that ST2 produced more biofilm than ST59 on plastic surfaces, which was reduced in mixed culture. We also discovered that a rare S. epidermidis strain, ST5, grew rapidly in stool in association with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia from a suspected episode of infection. Viability treatment of samples and moderate throughput shotgun sequencing provides strain-level information about CoNS colonization dynamics of preterm infant skin that ultimately might be exploited to prevent infections. IMPORTANCE The skin is a habitat for microbes that commonly infect preterm infants, but the use of sequencing for fine-scale study of the microbial communities of skin that develop in these infants has been limited by technical barriers. We treated skin swabs of preterm infants with a photoreactive dye that eliminates DNA from nonviable microbes and then sequenced the remaining DNA. We found that two strains of the most common species, Staphylococcus epidermidis, showed an antagonistic relationship on skin by cooccurring with different species, replicating fastest in different samples, and dominating skin sites at different times. Representatives of these strains also differed in their ability to stick to plastic surfaces-an important pathogenicity trait of this species. Our study shows the feasibility of gaining detailed information about strain colonization dynamics from this difficult-to-sequence body site of preterm infants, which might be used to guide novel approaches to prevent infections.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Lu H, Xu J, Hu Y, et al (2021)

Differences in the skin microbial community between patients with active and stable vitiligo based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

The Australasian journal of dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Recent studies have described an association between altered skin microbial community and epidemiology of skin diseases, such as vitiligo, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. In this study, we conducted microbiological analysis on patients at different stages of vitiligo to determine whether the dysbiosis is associated with disease progression.

METHODS: To characterise the skin microbes in vitiligo patients, we profiled samples collected from 40 patients with active and stable vitiligo using the Novaseq sequencer. Alpha diversity was used to measure richness and uniformity, while Beta diversity (Non-Metric Multi-Dimensional Scaling) analysis was used to show the differences. Moreover, the species differences were evaluated by LEfSe analysis and the flora gene function was predicted using Statistical Analysis of Metagenomic Profiles (STAMP).

RESULTS: The alpha diversity results showed no significant differences between active vitiligo and stable vitiligo, while beta diversity and LEfSe analysis results showed the differences in community composition. Streptomyces and Streptococcus were enriched in active vitiligo compared to stable vitiligo. In addition, the flora gene function of mixed acid fermentation was more pronounced in active vitiligo, while the function of lipid IVA biosynthesis was more significant in stable vitiligo.

CONCLUSION: This study has shown the differences in epidermal microbes between active vitiligo and stable vitiligo. Our results suggest that maintaining the flora balance might be a potential therapeutic target for vitiligo.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Liu Y, Wang Y, Fan G, et al (2021)

Metagenomics reveals functional species and microbial mechanisms of an enriched thiosulfate-driven denitratation consortia.

Bioresource technology, 341:125916 pii:S0960-8524(21)01258-X [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, thiosulfate-driven denitratation (TDD) system was successfully established under optimal S/N molar ratio of 1.00, with nitrite accumulation efficiency (NAE) of 82.24 ± 17.09%. This work highlighted that thiosulfate significantly preferred the reduction of nitrate than nitrite. However, after the depletion of thiosulfate, the in-situ formed intermediate product element sulfur (S0) served as the main electron donor, and significantly favored the reduction of nitrite than nitrate, which constrained nitrite accumulation and nitrate removal. In addition, metagenomic sequencing revealed that the functional denitratation species might be Thiobacillus_sp._65-29, but the occurrence of Nir-annotated species would decrease nitrite accumulation. Under S/N ratio of 1.00, the decreased abundant Nir-annotated species (e.g., Thiobacillus_sp.), as well as the down-regulated quorum sensing interactions between Nar- and Nir-annotated species were key microbial metabolisms of high NAE in the TDD system. Overall, this work provides new sight into the metagenome-base functional species and metabolic potential of thiosulfate-driven denitratation.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Fung AHY, Rao S, Ngan WY, et al (2021)

Exploring the optimization of aerobic food waste digestion efficiency through the engineering of functional biofilm Bio-carriers.

Bioresource technology, 341:125869 pii:S0960-8524(21)01210-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The possibility of breaking down cellulose-rich food waste through biofilm engineering was investigated. Six previously isolated strains from naturally degrading fruits and vegetables, screened for biofilm-forming ability and cellulolytic activity, were selected to enrich a biocarrier seeding microbial consortium. The food waste model used in this study was cabbage which was aerobically digested under repeated water rinsing and regular effluent drainage. The engineered biocarrier biofilm's functionality was evaluated by tracing microbial succession following metagenomic sequencing, quantitative PCR, scanning electron microscopy, and cellulolytic activity before and after the digestion processes. The engineered microbial consortium demonstrated superior biofilm-forming ability on biocarriers than the original microbial consortium and generally displayed a higher cellulolytic activity. The presented study provides one of the few studies of food waste aerobic digestion using engineered biofilms. Insights presented in this study could help further optimize aerobic food waste digestion.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

She J, Liu J, He H, et al (2021)

Microbial response and adaption to thallium contamination in soil profiles.

Journal of hazardous materials, 423(Pt A):127080 pii:S0304-3894(21)02048-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Thallium (Tl) is a trace metal with high toxicity. Comprehensive investigation of spatial distribution of Tl and microorganism is still limited in soils from mining area. In this study, 16S rRNA sequencing and network analysis were used for deciphering the co-occurrence patterns of bacterial communities in two different types of soil profiles around a typical Tl-bearing pyrite mine. The results showed that geochemical parameters (such as pH, S, Tl, Fe and TOM) were the driving forces for shaping the vertical distribution of microbial community. According to network analysis, a wide diversity of microbial modules were present in both soil profiles and affected by depth, significantly associated with variations in Tl geochemical fractionation. Phylogenetic information further unveiled that the microbial modules were mainly dominated by Fe reducing bacteria (FeRB), Fe oxidizing bacteria (FeOB), S oxidizing bacteria and Mn reducing bacteria. The results of metagenome indicated that Fe, Mn and S cycle in soil are closely involved in the biogeochemical cycle of Tl. The findings of co-occurrence patterns in the bacterial network and correlation between microorganisms and different geochemical fractions of Tl may benefit the strategy of bioremediation of Tl-contaminated soils with indigenous microbes.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Ahmad A, Chowdhary P, Khan N, et al (2021)

Effect of sewage sludge biochar on the soil nutrient, microbial abundance, and plant biomass: A sustainable approach towards mitigation of solid waste.

Chemosphere, 287(Pt 1):132112 pii:S0045-6535(21)02584-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Soils functions, fertility, and microbial abundance may alter in various ways by the biochar amendments to the soil. This study revealed the way of pyrolysis temperature influences the biochar quality and its addition for improving soil properties. The SS biochar was synthesized via pyrolysis and characterized by SEM and FTIR for studying surface images and chemical functional groups. The biochar upon addition with soil was studied for physiological parameters of plants like seed germination index, root length, shoot length, biomass, metal (loid) analysis of soil, SS and SS biochar, total organic content, C: N ratio, NPK values, etc. Besides, combinations of biochar: soil {1:3 (25% + 75%), 1:1 (50% + 50%), and 3:1 (75% + 25%)} ratios were used for studying the effect of biochar on soil microbial community. The 16S rRNA metagenomic analysis revealed the dominance of phyla: Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Acidobacteria that influence the soil nutrient cycle when applied at ratio 1:3. This study highlights the valorization of SS into biochar and studied the effect of biochar augmentation with soil; its impact on soil nutrients, microbial abundance, and plant biomass enhancement. The greener approach also mitigates and helps in the sustainable management of solid wastes, thus reducing GHGs emissions and improves nutrient cycling.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

McKee AM, Kirkup BM, Madgwick M, et al (2021)

Antibiotic-induced disturbances of the gut microbiota result in accelerated breast tumor growth.

iScience, 24(9):103012 pii:S2589-0042(21)00980-9.

The gut microbiota's function in regulating health has seen it linked to disease progression in several cancers. However, there is limited research detailing its influence in breast cancer (BrCa). This study found that antibiotic-induced perturbation of the gut microbiota significantly increases tumor progression in multiple BrCa mouse models. Metagenomics highlights the common loss of several bacterial species following antibiotic administration. One such bacteria, Faecalibaculum rodentium, rescued this increased tumor growth. Single-cell transcriptomics identified an increased number of cells with a stromal signature in tumors, and subsequent histology revealed an increased abundance of mast cells in the tumor stromal regions. We show that administration of a mast cell stabilizer, cromolyn, rescues increased tumor growth in antibiotic treated animals but has no influence on tumors from control cohorts. These findings highlight that BrCa-microbiota interactions are different from other cancers studied to date and suggest new research avenues for therapy development.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Lobb B, Tremblay BJ, Moreno-Hagelsieb G, et al (2021)

PathFams: statistical detection of pathogen-associated protein domains.

BMC genomics, 22(1):663.

BACKGROUND: A substantial fraction of genes identified within bacterial genomes encode proteins of unknown function. Identifying which of these proteins represent potential virulence factors, and mapping their key virulence determinants, is a challenging but important goal.

RESULTS: To facilitate virulence factor discovery, we performed a comprehensive analysis of 17,929 protein domain families within the Pfam database, and scored them based on their overrepresentation in pathogenic versus non-pathogenic species, taxonomic distribution, relative abundance in metagenomic datasets, and other factors.

CONCLUSIONS: We identify pathogen-associated domain families, candidate virulence factors in the human gut, and eukaryotic-like mimicry domains with likely roles in virulence. Furthermore, we provide an interactive database called PathFams to allow users to explore pathogen-associated domains as well as identify pathogen-associated domains and domain architectures in user-uploaded sequences of interest. PathFams is freely available at .

RevDate: 2021-09-15
CmpDate: 2021-09-15

Chen JY, Klosterman SJ, Hu XP, et al (2021)

Key Insights and Research Prospects at the Dawn of the Population Genomics Era for Verticillium dahliae.

Annual review of phytopathology, 59:31-51.

The genomics era has ushered in exciting possibilities to examine the genetic bases that undergird the characteristic features of Verticillium dahliae and other plant pathogens. In this review, we provide historical perspectives on some of the salient biological characteristics of V. dahliae, including its morphology, microsclerotia formation, host range, disease symptoms, vascular niche, reproduction, and population structure. The kaleidoscopic population structure of this pathogen is summarized, including different races of the pathogen, defoliating and nondefoliating phenotypes, vegetative compatibility groupings, and clonal populations. Where possible, we place the characteristic differences in the context of comparative and functional genomics analyses that have offered insights into population divergence within V. dahliae and the related species.Current challenges are highlighted along with some suggested future population genomics studies that will contribute to advancing our understanding of the population divergence in V. dahliae.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

An Y, Zhang W, Liu T, et al (2021)

The intratumoural microbiota in cancer: new insights from inside.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Reviews on cancer pii:S0304-419X(21)00124-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The human body harbors a vast array of microbiota that modulates host pathophysiological processes and modifies the risk of diseases including cancer. With the advent of metagenomic sequencing studies, the intratumoural microbiota has been found as a component of the tumor microenvironment, imperceptibly affecting the tumor progression and response to current antitumor treatments. The underlying carcinogenic mechanisms of intratumoural microbiota, mainly including inducing DNA damages, activating oncogenic signaling pathways and suppressing the immune response, differ significantly in varied organs and are not fully understood. Some native or genetically engineered microbial species can specifically accumulate and replicate within tumors to initiate antitumor immunity, which will be conducive to pursue precise cancer therapies. In this review, we summarized the community characteristics and therapeutic potential of intratumoural microbiota across diverse tumor types. It may provide new insights for a better understanding of tumor biology and hint at the significance of manipulating intratumoural microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Parks DH, Chuvochina M, Rinke C, et al (2021)

GTDB: an ongoing census of bacterial and archaeal diversity through a phylogenetically consistent, rank normalized and complete genome-based taxonomy.

Nucleic acids research pii:6370255 [Epub ahead of print].

The Genome Taxonomy Database (GTDB; provides a phylogenetically consistent and rank normalized genome-based taxonomy for prokaryotic genomes sourced from the NCBI Assembly database. GTDB R06-RS202 spans 254 090 bacterial and 4316 archaeal genomes, a 270% increase since the introduction of the GTDB in November, 2017. These genomes are organized into 45 555 bacterial and 2339 archaeal species clusters which is a 200% increase since the integration of species clusters into the GTDB in June, 2019. Here, we explore prokaryotic diversity from the perspective of the GTDB and highlight the importance of metagenome-assembled genomes in expanding available genomic representation. We also discuss improvements to the GTDB website which allow tracking of taxonomic changes, easy assessment of genome assembly quality, and identification of genomes assembled from type material or used as species representatives. Methodological updates and policy changes made since the inception of the GTDB are then described along with the procedure used to update species clusters in the GTDB. We conclude with a discussion on the use of average nucleotide identities as a pragmatic approach for delineating prokaryotic species.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Yan L, Tang L, Zhou Z, et al (2021)

Metagenomics reveals contrasting energy utilization efficiencies of captive and wild camels (Camelus ferus).

Integrative zoology [Epub ahead of print].

Captive conditions can affect the symbiotic microbiome of animals. In this study, we compared the structural and functional differences of the gastrointestinal microbiomes of wild Bactrian camels (Camelus ferus) between wild and captive populations, as well as their different host energy utilization performances through metagenomics. The results showed that wild-living camels harbored more microbial taxa related to the production of volatile fatty acids, fewer methanogens, and fewer genes encoding enzymes involved in methanogenesis, leading to higher energy utilization efficiency compared to that of captive-living camels. These findings suggest that the wild-living camel fecal microbiome demonstrates a series of adaptive characteristics that enable the host to adjust to a relatively barren field environment. Our study provides novel insights into the mechanisms of wildlife adaptations to habitats from the perspective of the microbiome. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Zhu HZ, Jiang MZ, Zhou N, et al (2021)

Submerged macrophytes recruit unique microbial communities and drive functional zonation in an aquatic system.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Aquatic and wetland systems are widely used for landscapes and water regeneration. Microbiomes and submerged macrophytes (hydrophytes) play essential roles in conversions of organic and inorganic compounds in those ecosystems. The systems were extensively investigated for microbial diversities and compositions. However, little is known about how hydrophytes recruited diverse microbiota and affected functional zonation in aquatic systems. To address this issue, epiphytic leaf and root, sediment, and surrounding water samples were collected from the dragon-shape aquatic system in Beijing Olympic Park. Metagenomic DNAs were extracted and subjected to sequencing. Results showed that epiphytic leaf and root microbiomes and metabolic marker genes were remarkably different from that of surrounding environment. Twenty indicator bacterial genera for epiphytic microbiomes were identified and 50 metabolic marker genes were applied to evaluate the function of epiphytic leaf and root, water, and sediment microbiomes. Co-occurrence analysis revealed highly modularized pattern of metabolic marker genes and indicator bacterial genera related to metabolic functions. These results suggested that hydrophytes shaped microbiomes and drove functional zonation in aquatic systems. KEY POINTS: • Microbiomes of hydrophytes and their surrounding environments were investigated. • Twenty indicator bacterial genera highly specific to epiphytic biofilms were identified. • Epiphytes recruited unique microbiomes and drove functional zonation in aquatic systems.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Ho B, Ryback D, Benson B, et al (2021)

Gut Metabolites Are More Predictive of Disease and Cohoused States than Gut Bacterial Features in a Polycystic Ovary Syndrome-Like Mouse Model.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) impacts ∼10% of reproductive-aged women worldwide. In addition to infertility, women with PCOS suffer from metabolic dysregulation which increases their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Studies have shown differences in the gut microbiome of women with PCOS compared to controls, a pattern replicated in PCOS-like mouse models. Recently, using a letrozole (LET)-induced mouse model of PCOS, we demonstrated that cohousing was protective against development of metabolic and reproductive phenotypes and showed via 16S amplicon sequencing that this protection correlated with time-dependent shifts in gut bacteria. Here, we applied untargeted metabolomics and shotgun metagenomics approaches to further analyze the longitudinal samples from the cohousing experiment. Analysis of beta diversity found that untargeted metabolites had the strongest correlation to both disease and cohoused states and that shifts in metabolite diversity were detected prior to shifts in bacterial diversity. In addition, log2 fold analyses found numerous metabolite features, particularly bile acids (BAs), to be highly differentiated between placebo and LET, as well as LET cohoused with placebo versus LET. Our results indicate that changes in gut metabolites, particularly BAs, are associated with a PCOS-like phenotype as well as with the protective effect of cohousing. Our results also suggest that transfer of metabolites via coprophagy occurs rapidly and may precipitate changes in bacterial diversity. This study joins a growing body of research linking changes in primary and secondary BAs to host metabolism and gut microbes relevant to the pathology of PCOS. IMPORTANCE Using a combination of untargeted metabolomics and metagenomics, we performed a comparative longitudinal analysis of the feces collected in a cohousing study with a PCOS-like mouse model. Our results showed that gut metabolite composition experienced earlier and more pronounced differentiation in both the disease model and cohoused mice compared with the microbial composition. Notably, statistical and machine learning approaches identified shifts in the relative abundance of primary and secondary BAs, which have been implicated as modifiers of gut microbial growth and diversity. Network correlation analysis showed strong associations between particular BAs and bacterial species, particularly members of Lactobacillus, and that these correlations were time and treatment dependent. Our results provide novel insights into host-microbe relationships related to hyperandrogenism in females and indicate that focused research into small-molecule control of gut microbial diversity and host physiology may provide new therapeutic options for the treatment of PCOS.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Diener C, Qin S, Zhou Y, et al (2021)

Baseline Gut Metagenomic Functional Gene Signature Associated with Variable Weight Loss Responses following a Healthy Lifestyle Intervention in Humans.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Recent human feeding studies have shown how the baseline taxonomic composition of the gut microbiome can determine responses to weight loss interventions. However, the functional determinants underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. We report a weight loss response analysis on a cohort of 105 individuals selected from a larger population enrolled in a commercial wellness program, which included healthy lifestyle coaching. Each individual in the cohort had baseline blood metabolomics, blood proteomics, clinical labs, dietary questionnaires, stool 16S rRNA gene sequencing data, and follow-up data on weight change. We generated additional targeted proteomics data on obesity-associated proteins in blood before and after intervention, along with baseline stool metagenomic data, for a subset of 25 individuals who showed the most extreme weight change phenotypes. We built regression models to identify baseline blood, stool, and dietary features associated with weight loss, independent of age, sex, and baseline body mass index (BMI). Many features were independently associated with baseline BMI, but few were independently associated with weight loss. Baseline diet was not associated with weight loss, and only one blood analyte was associated with changes in weight. However, 31 baseline stool metagenomic functional features, including complex polysaccharide and protein degradation genes, stress-response genes, respiration-related genes, and cell wall synthesis genes, along with gut bacterial replication rates, were associated with weight loss responses after controlling for age, sex, and baseline BMI. Together, these results provide a set of compelling hypotheses for how commensal gut microbiota influence weight loss outcomes in humans. IMPORTANCE Recent human feeding studies have shown how the baseline taxonomic composition of the gut microbiome can determine responses to dietary interventions, but the exact functional determinants underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. In this study, we set out to better understand interactions between baseline BMI, metabolic health, diet, gut microbiome functional profiles, and subsequent weight changes in a human cohort that underwent a healthy lifestyle intervention. Overall, our results suggest that the microbiota may influence host weight loss responses through variable bacterial growth rates, dietary energy harvest efficiency, and immunomodulation.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Rubio-Portillo E, Martin-Cuadrado AB, Ramos-Esplá AÁ, et al (2021)

Metagenomics Unveils Posidonia oceanica "Banquettes" as a Potential Source of Novel Bioactive Compounds and Carbohydrate Active Enzymes (CAZymes).

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Posidonia oceanica is a long-living and very slow-growing marine seagrass endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. It produces large amounts of leaf material and rhizomes, which can reach the shore and build important banks known as "banquettes." In recent years, interest in the potential uses of these P. oceanica banquettes has increased, and it was demonstrated that biomass extracts showed antioxidant, antifungal, and antiviral activities. The discovery of new compounds through the culture of microorganisms is limited, and to overcome this limitation, we performed a metagenomic study to investigate the microbial community associated with P. oceanica banquettes. Our results showed that the microbial community associated with P. oceanica banquettes was dominated by Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Cyanobacteria. Pseudoalteromonas was the dominant genus, followed by Alteromonas, Labrenzia, and Aquimarina. The metagenome reads were binned and assembled into 23 nearly complete metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), which belonged to new families of Cyanobacteria, Myxococcota, and Granulosicoccaceae and also to the novel genus recently described as Gammaproteobacteria family UBA10353. A comparative analysis with 60 published metagenomes from different environments, including seawater, marine biofilms, soils, corals, sponges, and hydrothermal vents, indicated that banquettes have numbers of natural products and carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) similar to those found for soils and were only surpassed by marine biofilms. New proteins assigned to cellulosome modules and lignocellulose-degrading enzymes were also found. These results unveiled the diverse microbial composition of P. oceanica banquettes and determined that banquettes are a potential source of bioactive compounds and novel enzymes. IMPORTANCE Posidonia oceanica is a long-living and very slow-growing marine seagrass endemic to the Mediterranean Sea that forms large amounts of leaf material and rhizomes, which can reach the shore and build important banks known as "banquettes." These banquettes accumulate on the shore, where they can prevent erosion, although they also cause social concern due to their impact on beach use. Furthermore, Posidonia dry material has been considered a source of traditional remedies in several areas of the Mediterranean, and a few studies have been carried out to explore pharmacological activities of Posidonia extracts. The work presented here provides the first characterization of the microbiome associated with Posidonia banquettes. We carried out a metagenomic analysis together with an in-depth comparison of the banquette metagenome with 60 published metagenomes from different environments. This comparative analysis has unveiled the potential that Posidonia banquettes have for the synthesis of natural products, both in abundance (only surpassed by marine biofilms) and novelty. These products include mainly nonribosomal peptides and carbohydrate active enzymes. Thus, the interest of our work lies in the interest of Posidonia "waste" material as a source of new bioactive compounds and CAZymes.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Putman LI, Sabuda MC, Brazelton WJ, et al (2021)

Microbial Communities in a Serpentinizing Aquifer Are Assembled through Strong Concurrent Dispersal Limitation and Selection.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

In recent years, our appreciation of the extent of habitable environments in Earth's subsurface has greatly expanded, as has our understanding of the biodiversity contained within. Most studies have relied on single sampling points, rather than considering the long-term dynamics of subsurface environments and their microbial populations. One such habitat are aquifers associated with the aqueous alteration of ultramafic rocks through a process known as serpentinization. Ecological modeling performed on a multiyear time series of microbiology, hydrology, and geochemistry in an ultrabasic aquifer within the Coast Range Ophiolite reveals that community assembly is governed by undominated assembly (i.e., neither stochastic [random] nor deterministic [selective] processes alone govern assembly). Controls on community assembly were further assessed by characterizing aquifer hydrogeology and microbial community adaptations to the environment. These analyses show that low permeability rocks in the aquifer restrict the transmission of microbial populations between closely situated wells. Alpha and beta diversity measures and metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data from microbial communities indicate that high pH and low dissolved inorganic carbon levels impose strong environmental selection on microbial communities within individual wells. Here, we find that the interaction between strong selection imposed by extreme pH and enhanced ecological drift due to dispersal limitation imposed by slow fluid flow results in the undominated assembly signal observed throughout the site. Strong environmental selection paired with extremely low dispersal in the subsurface results in low diversity microbial communities that are well adapted to extreme pH conditions and subject to enhanced stochasticity introduced by ecological drift over time. IMPORTANCE Microbial communities existing under extreme or stressful conditions have long been thought to be structured primarily by deterministic processes. The application of macroecology theory and modeling to microbial communities in recent years has spurred assessment of assembly processes in microbial communities, revealing that both stochastic and deterministic processes are at play to different extents within natural environments. We show that low diversity microbial communities in a hard-rock serpentinizing aquifer are assembled under the influence of strong selective processes imposed by high pH and enhanced ecological drift that occurs as the result of dispersal limitation due to the slow movement of water in the low permeability aquifer. This study demonstrates the important roles that both selection and dispersal limitation play in terrestrial serpentinites, where extreme pH assembles a microbial metacommunity well adapted to alkaline conditions and dispersal limitation drives compositional differences in microbial community composition between local communities in the subsurface.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Trindade M, Sithole N, Kubicki S, et al (2021)

Screening Strategies for Biosurfactant Discovery.

Advances in biochemical engineering/biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The isolation and screening of bacteria and fungi for the production of surface-active compounds has been the basis for the majority of the biosurfactants discovered to date. Hence, a wide variety of well-established and relatively simple methods are available for screening, mostly focused on the detection of surface or interfacial activity of the culture supernatant. However, the success of any biodiscovery effort, specifically aiming to access novelty, relies directly on the characteristics being screened for and the uniqueness of the microorganisms being screened. Therefore, given that rather few novel biosurfactant structures have been discovered during the last decade, advanced strategies are now needed to widen access to novel chemistries and properties. In addition, more modern Omics technologies should be considered to the traditional culture-based approaches for biosurfactant discovery. This chapter summarizes the screening methods and strategies typically used for the discovery of biosurfactants and highlights some of the Omics-based approaches that have resulted in the discovery of unique biosurfactants. These studies illustrate the potentially enormous diversity that has yet to be unlocked and how we can begin to tap into these biological resources.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Pellitier PT, Ibáñez I, Zak DR, et al (2021)

Ectomycorrhizal access to organic nitrogen mediates CO2 fertilization response in a dominant temperate tree.

Nature communications, 12(1):5403.

Plant-mycorrhizal interactions mediate plant nitrogen (N) limitation and can inform model projections of the duration and strength of the effect of increasing CO2 on plant growth. We present dendrochronological evidence of a positive, but context-dependent fertilization response of Quercus rubra L. to increasing ambient CO2 (iCO2) along a natural soil nutrient gradient in a mature temperate forest. We investigated this heterogeneous response by linking metagenomic measurements of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal N-foraging traits and dendrochronological models of plant uptake of inorganic N and N bound in soil organic matter (N-SOM). N-SOM putatively enhanced tree growth under conditions of low inorganic N availability, soil conditions where ECM fungal communities possessed greater genomic potential to decay SOM and obtain N-SOM. These trees were fertilized by 38 years of iCO2. In contrast, trees occupying inorganic N rich soils hosted ECM fungal communities with reduced SOM decay capacity and exhibited neutral growth responses to iCO2. This study elucidates how the distribution of N-foraging traits among ECM fungal communities govern tree access to N-SOM and subsequent growth responses to iCO2.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Six C, Ratin M, Marie D, et al (2021)

Marine Synechococcus picocyanobacteria: Light utilization across latitudes.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(38):.

The most ubiquitous cyanobacteria, Synechococcus, have colonized different marine thermal niches through the evolutionary specialization of lineages adapted to different ranges of temperature seawater. We used the strains of Synechococcus temperature ecotypes to study how light utilization has evolved in the function of temperature. The tropical Synechococcus (clade II) was unable to grow under 16 °C but, at temperatures >25 °C, induced very high growth rates that relied on a strong synthesis of the components of the photosynthetic machinery, leading to a large increase in photosystem cross-section and electron flux. By contrast, the Synechococcus adapted to subpolar habitats (clade I) grew more slowly but was able to cope with temperatures <10 °C. We show that growth at such temperatures was accompanied by a large increase of the photoprotection capacities using the orange carotenoid protein (OCP). Metagenomic analyzes revealed that Synechococcus natural communities show the highest prevalence of the ocp genes in low-temperature niches, whereas most tropical clade II Synechococcus have lost the gene. Moreover, bioinformatic analyzes suggested that the OCP variants of the two cold-adapted Synechococcus clades I and IV have undergone evolutionary convergence through the adaptation of the molecular flexibility. Our study points to an important role of temperature in the evolution of the OCP. We, furthermore, discuss the implications of the different metabolic cost of these physiological strategies on the competitiveness of Synechococcus in a warming ocean. This study can help improve the current hypotheses and models aimed at predicting the changes in ocean carbon fluxes in response to global warming.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Gupta VK, Cunningham KY, Hur B, et al (2021)

Gut microbial determinants of clinically important improvement in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Genome medicine, 13(1):149.

BACKGROUND: Rapid advances in the past decade have shown that dysbiosis of the gut microbiome is a key hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Yet, the relationship between the gut microbiome and clinical improvement in RA disease activity remains unclear. In this study, we explored the gut microbiome of patients with RA to identify features that are associated with, as well as predictive of, minimum clinically important improvement (MCII) in disease activity.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, observational cohort study on patients diagnosed with RA between 1988 and 2014. Whole metagenome shotgun sequencing was performed on 64 stool samples, which were collected from 32 patients with RA at two separate time-points approximately 6-12 months apart. The Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) of each patient was measured at both time-points to assess achievement of MCII; depending on this clinical status, patients were distinguished into two groups: MCII+ (who achieved MCII; n = 12) and MCII- (who did not achieve MCII; n = 20). Multiple linear regression models were used to identify microbial taxa and biochemical pathways associated with MCII while controlling for potentially confounding factors. Lastly, a deep-learning neural network was trained upon gut microbiome, clinical, and demographic data at baseline to classify patients according to MCII status, thereby enabling the prediction of whether a patient will achieve MCII at follow-up.

RESULTS: We found age to be the largest determinant of the overall compositional variance in the gut microbiome (R2 = 7.7%, P = 0.001, PERMANOVA). Interestingly, the next factor identified to explain the most variance in the gut microbiome was MCII status (R2 = 3.8%, P = 0.005). Additionally, by looking at patients' baseline gut microbiome profiles, we observed significantly different microbiome traits between patients who eventually showed MCII and those who did not. Taxonomic features include alpha- and beta-diversity measures, as well as several microbial taxa, such as Coprococcus, Bilophila sp. 4_1_30, and Eubacterium sp. 3_1_31. Notably, patients who achieved clinical improvement had higher alpha-diversity in their gut microbiomes at both baseline and follow-up visits. Functional profiling identified fifteen biochemical pathways, most of which were involved in the biosynthesis of L-arginine, L-methionine, and tetrahydrofolate, to be differentially abundant between the MCII patient groups. Moreover, MCII+ and MCII- groups showed significantly different fold-changes (from baseline to follow-up) in eight microbial taxa and in seven biochemical pathways. These results could suggest that, depending on the clinical course, gut microbiomes not only start at different ecological states, but also are on separate trajectories. Finally, the neural network proved to be highly effective in predicting which patients will achieve MCII (balanced accuracy = 90.0%, leave-one-out cross-validation), demonstrating potential clinical utility of gut microbiome profiles.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm the presence of taxonomic and functional signatures of the gut microbiome associated with MCII in RA patients. Ultimately, modifying the gut microbiome to enhance clinical outcome may hold promise as a future treatment for RA.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Han L, Liu T, Fang K, et al (2021)

Indigenous functional microbial communities for the preferential degradation of chloroacetamide herbicide S-enantiomers in soil.

Journal of hazardous materials, 423(Pt B):127135 pii:S0304-3894(21)02103-8 [Epub ahead of print].

This study investigated indigenous functional microbial communities associated with the degradation of chloroacetamide herbicides acetochlor (ACE), S-metolachlor (S-MET) and their enantiomers in repeatedly treated soils. The results showed that biodegradation was the main process for the degradation of ACE, S-MET and their enantiomers. Eight dominant bacterial genera associated with the degradation were found: Amycolatopsis, Saccharomonospora, Mycoplasma, Myroides, Mycobacterium, Burkholderia, Afipia, and Kribbella. The S-enantiomers of ACE and S-MET were preferentially degraded, which mainly relied on Amycolatopsis, Saccharomonospora and Kribbella for the ACE S-enantiomer and Amycolatopsis and Saccharomonospora for the S-MET S-enantiomer. Importantly, the relative abundances of Amycolatopsis and Saccharomonospora increased by 146.3%-4467.2% in the S-enantiomer treatments of ACE and S-MET compared with the control, which were significantly higher than that in the corresponding R-enantiomer treatments (25.3%-4168.2%). Both metagenomic and qPCR analyses demonstrated that four genes, ppah, alkb, benA, and p450, were the dominant biodegradation genes (BDGs) potentially involved in the preferential degradation of the S-enantiomers of ACE and S-MET. Furthermore, network analysis suggested that Amycolatopsis, Saccharomonospora, Mycoplasma, Myroides, and Mycobacterium were the potential hosts of these four BDGs. Our findings indicated that Amycolatopsis and Saccharomonospora might play pivotal roles in the preferential degradation of the S-enantiomers of ACE and S-MET.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Takezawa K, Fujita K, Matsushita M, et al (2021)

The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio of the human gut microbiota is associated with prostate enlargement.

The Prostate [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The pathophysiology of the prostate enlargement underlying lower urinary tract symptoms is unknown. Meanwhile, the gut microbiota can contribute to various host conditions. We hypothesized that the gut microbiota plays a role in prostate enlargement.

METHODS: We included 128 patients who underwent prostate biopsies at our hospitals between December 2018 and March 2020, excluding those who had used antibiotics within the past 6 months and those who were diagnosed with prostate cancer of cT3 or higher. Patients with prostate volumes ≥30 ml were defined as the prostate-enlargement (PE) group; those with prostate volumes <30 ml were defined as the non-PE group. Their gut microbiotas were analyzed via 16S rRNA metagenomic analyses of rectal swab samples and were compared between the groups.

RESULTS: The PE group included 66 patients; the non-PE group included 62 patients. Age, body mass index, and prostate-specific antigen levels did not significantly differ between the groups. Linear discriminant analysis effect size analysis indicated a higher proportion of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria in the PE group and a higher proportion of Bacteroidetes in the non-PE group. The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes (F/B) ratio was significantly higher in the PE group than in the non-PE group (2.21 ± 0.39 vs. 1.61 ± 0.40, p = 0.015).

CONCLUSION: The F/B ratio of the gut microbiota was associated with prostate enlargement. Although the detailed mechanisms are unclear, the gut microbiota might affect prostate enlargement.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Gu W, Rauschecker AM, Hsu E, et al (2021)

Detection of Neoplasms by Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing of Cerebrospinal Fluid.

JAMA neurology pii:2784257 [Epub ahead of print].

Importance: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytologic testing and flow cytometry are insensitive for diagnosing neoplasms of the central nervous system (CNS). Such clinical phenotypes can mimic infectious and autoimmune causes of meningoencephalitis.

Objective: To ascertain whether CSF metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) can identify aneuploidy, a hallmark of malignant neoplasms, in difficult-to-diagnose cases of CNS malignant neoplasm.

Two case-control studies were performed at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The first study used CSF specimens collected at the UCSF Clinical Laboratories between July 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019, and evaluated test performance in specimens from patients with a CNS malignant neoplasm (positive controls) or without (negative controls). The results were compared with those from CSF cytologic testing and/or flow cytometry. The second study evaluated patients who were enrolled in an ongoing prospective study between April 1, 2014, and July 31, 2019, with presentations that were suggestive of neuroinflammatory disease but who were ultimately diagnosed with a CNS malignant neoplasm. Cases of individuals whose tumors could have been detected earlier without additional invasive testing are discussed.

Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome measures were the sensitivity and specificity of aneuploidy detection by CSF mNGS. Secondary subset analyses included a comparison of CSF and tumor tissue chromosomal abnormalities and the identification of neuroimaging characteristics that were associated with test performance.

Results: Across both studies, 130 participants were included (median [interquartile range] age, 57.5 [43.3-68.0] years; 72 men [55.4%]). The test performance study used 125 residual laboratory CSF specimens from 47 patients with a CNS malignant neoplasm and 56 patients with other neurological diseases. The neuroinflammatory disease study enrolled 12 patients and 17 matched control participants. The sensitivity of the CSF mNGS assay was 75% (95% CI, 63%-85%), and the specificity was 100% (95% CI, 96%-100%). Aneuploidy was detected in 64% (95% CI, 41%-83%) of the patients in the test performance study with nondiagnostic cytologic testing and/or flow cytometry, and in 55% (95% CI, 23%-83%) of patients in the neuroinflammatory disease study who were ultimately diagnosed with a CNS malignant neoplasm. Of the patients in whom aneuploidy was detected, 38 (90.5%) had multiple copy number variations with tumor fractions ranging from 31% to 49%.

Conclusions and Relevance: This case-control study showed that CSF mNGS, which has low specimen volume requirements, does not require the preservation of cell integrity, and was orginally developed to diagnose neurologic infections, can also detect genetic evidence of a CNS malignant neoplasm in patients in whom CSF cytologic testing and/or flow cytometry yielded negative results with a low risk of false-positive results.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Suchodolski JS (2021)

Analysis of the gut microbiome in dogs and cats.

Veterinary clinical pathology [Epub ahead of print].

The gut microbiome is an important immune and metabolic organ. Intestinal bacteria produce various metabolites that influence the health of the intestine and other organ systems, including kidney, brain, and heart. Changes in the microbiome in diseased states are termed dysbiosis. The concept of dysbiosis is constantly evolving and includes changes in microbiome diversity and/or structure and functional changes (eg, altered production of bacterial metabolites). Molecular tools are now the standard for microbiome analysis. Sequencing of microbial genes provides information about the bacteria present and their functional potential but lacks standardization and analytical validation of methods and consistency in the reporting of results. This makes it difficult to compare results across studies or for individual clinical patients. The Dysbiosis Index (DI) is a validated quantitative PCR assay for canine fecal samples that measures the abundance of seven important bacterial taxa and summarizes the results as one single number. Reference intervals are established for dogs, and the DI can be used to assess the microbiome in clinical patients over time and in response to therapy (eg, fecal microbiota transplantation). In situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry allows the identification of mucosa-adherent and intracellular bacteria in animals with intestinal disease, especially granulomatous colitis. Future directions include the measurement of bacterial metabolites in feces or serum as markers for the appropriate function of the microbiome. This article summarizes different approaches to the analysis of gut microbiota and how they might be applicable to research studies and clinical practice in dogs and cats.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Nogal B, Blumberg JB, Blander G, et al (2021)

Gut Microbiota-Informed Precision Nutrition in the Generally Healthy Individual: Are We There Yet?.

Current developments in nutrition, 5(9):nzab107 pii:nzab107.

Since next generation sequencing facilitated high-throughput and cost-efficient genomics analyses, the human gut metagenome has become an emerging frontier to explore toward precision nutrition. Significant progress has been made in identifying gut microbial features associated with a wide spectrum of human disease. However, other than a few microbiome-disease relations, there is a dearth of confirmed causal inferences, particularly in generally healthy populations. The relatively high unexplained variability in microbiome compositions in this group warrants caution in applying this complex biomarker toward precision nutrition, because our understanding of what constitutes a healthy microbiome is still rudimentary. Although gut microbiota harbor integrated environmental and host-specific information with the potential to facilitate personalized nutritional and lifestyle advice, these data cannot yet be confidently interpreted toward precise recommendations. Thus, nutritional advice for generally healthy individuals based on personal microbiome composition analysis might not yet be appropriate unless accompanied by established blood and physiological biomarkers.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Pandey K, S Umar (2021)

Microbiome in drug resistance to colon cancer.

Current opinion in physiology, 23:.

Metagenomic analyses have revealed microbial dysbiosis in the gut of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). The gut microbiota influences CRC via a variety of mechanisms, including microbial-derived factors such as metabolites or genotoxins. Pathogenic drivers and opportunistic passenger bacteria may underlie direct effect of the gut microbiota on carcinogenesis. We posit that metabolites generated by gut microbiota can influence CRC through a multitude of epigenetic or genetic effects on malignant transformation. A closer look at the cross talks between the commensals, epithelial cells, immune regulators etc., needs to be established with more substantiated studies. The recurrence of chemoresistant disease following therapy undoubtedly provides the impetus for morbidity and mortality; yet, the role of gut microbiome in drug resistance remains to be fully investigated. We review the current literature on microbial dysbiosis during CRC and discuss the mechanistic basis of CRC-associated bacteria in tumor initiation, progression and drug resistance.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Salazar MM, Pupo MT, AMV Brown (2021)

Co-Occurrence of Viruses, Plant Pathogens, and Symbionts in an Underexplored Hemipteran Clade.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:715998.

Interactions between insect symbionts and plant pathogens are dynamic and complex, sometimes involving direct antagonism or synergy and sometimes involving ecological and evolutionary leaps, as insect symbionts transmit through plant tissues or plant pathogens transition to become insect symbionts. Hemipterans such as aphids, whiteflies, psyllids, leafhoppers, and planthoppers are well-studied plant pests that host diverse symbionts and vector plant pathogens. The related hemipteran treehoppers (family Membracidae) are less well-studied but offer a potentially new and diverse array of symbionts and plant pathogenic interactions through their distinct woody plant hosts and ecological interactions with diverse tending hymenopteran taxa. To explore membracid symbiont-pathogen diversity and co-occurrence, this study performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing on 20 samples (16 species) of treehopper, and characterized putative symbionts and pathogens using a combination of rapid blast database searches and phylogenetic analysis of assembled scaffolds and correlation analysis. Among the 8.7 billion base pairs of scaffolds assembled were matches to 9 potential plant pathogens, 12 potential primary and secondary insect endosymbionts, numerous bacteriophages, and other viruses, entomopathogens, and fungi. Notable discoveries include a divergent Brenneria plant pathogen-like organism, several bee-like Bombella and Asaia strains, novel strains of Arsenophonus-like and Sodalis-like symbionts, Ralstonia sp. and Ralstonia-type phages, Serratia sp., and APSE-type phages and bracoviruses. There were several short Phytoplasma and Spiroplasma matches, but there was no indication of plant viruses in these data. Clusters of positively correlated microbes such as yeast-like symbionts and Ralstonia, viruses and Serratia, and APSE phage with parasitoid-type bracoviruses suggest directions for future analyses. Together, results indicate membracids offer a rich palette for future study of symbiont-plant pathogen interactions.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Da Silva K, Pons N, Berland M, et al (2021)

StrainFLAIR: strain-level profiling of metagenomic samples using variation graphs.

PeerJ, 9:e11884 pii:11884.

Current studies are shifting from the use of single linear references to representation of multiple genomes organised in pangenome graphs or variation graphs. Meanwhile, in metagenomic samples, resolving strain-level abundances is a major step in microbiome studies, as associations between strain variants and phenotype are of great interest for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. We developed StrainFLAIR with the aim of showing the feasibility of using variation graphs for indexing highly similar genomic sequences up to the strain level, and for characterizing a set of unknown sequenced genomes by querying this graph. On simulated data composed of mixtures of strains from the same bacterial species Escherichia coli, results show that StrainFLAIR was able to distinguish and estimate the abundances of close strains, as well as to highlight the presence of a new strain close to a referenced one and to estimate its abundance. On a real dataset composed of a mix of several bacterial species and several strains for the same species, results show that in a more complex configuration StrainFLAIR correctly estimates the abundance of each strain. Hence, results demonstrated how graph representation of multiple close genomes can be used as a reference to characterize a sample at the strain level.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Chung YL, ML Wu (2021)

Clonal dynamics of tumor-infiltrating T-cell receptor beta-chain repertoires in the peripheral blood in response to concurrent chemoradiotherapy for Epstein-Barr virus-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Oncoimmunology, 10(1):1968172 pii:1968172.

The nasopharyngeal epithelium is highly susceptible to pathogenic infection. More than 95% of nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) are Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated epithelial cancers densely infiltrated with EBV-free lymphocytes. It remains unknown whether the immune modulating effects of concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) on the tumor-infiltrating T-cell priming against EBV, tumor-associated antigens, and/or neoantigens can elicit systemic anti-tumor immunity and decrease recurrence or distant metastasis. Using matched EBV-associated NPCs, nasopharyngeal mucosal tissues, and longitudinal serial peripheral blood samples, we explored the spatiotemporal and quantitative changes in expansion and contraction of intratumoral T-cell clonotypes (ITCs) in peripheral blood samples from before, during, and after CCRT. The pre-treatment nasopharyngeal ITC repertoire contained unique mucosa-resident and commonly system-shared T-cell receptors (TCRs), portraying an individualized tumor-associated and/or metagenomic landscape. We found that the long-term disease-free patients had significantly more robust unique mucosa-resident ITCs that migrated into and expanded in the peripheral blood after CCRT than in the patients with recurrence or distant metastasis (Mann-Whitney U test, p = .0110). However, the system-shared productive ITC TCRs specific to the common viruses, such as EBV, cytomegalovirus, and influenzaA, in all the patients with and without recurrence demonstrated almost no expansion after CCRT. Thus, these findings underline the importance of determining the impact of unique intratumoral immune responses, reflected in the peripheral blood, on disease prognosis after treatment and challenge of mechanistically understanding the common systemic immune evasion of EBV in NPC patients.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Liu Y, Zheng K, Liu B, et al (2021)

Characterization and Genomic Analysis of Marinobacter Phage vB_MalS-PS3, Representing a New Lambda-Like Temperate Siphoviral Genus Infecting Algae-Associated Bacteria.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:726074.

Marinobacter is the abundant and important algal-associated and hydrocarbon biodegradation bacteria in the ocean. However, little knowledge about their phages has been reported. Here, a novel siphovirus, vB_MalS-PS3, infecting Marinobacter algicola DG893(T), was isolated from the surface waters of the western Pacific Ocean. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that vB_MalS-PS3 has the morphology of siphoviruses. VB_MalS-PS3 was stable from -20 to 55°C, and with the latent and rise periods of about 80 and 10 min, respectively. The genome sequence of VB_MalS-PS3 contains a linear, double-strand 42,168-bp DNA molecule with a G + C content of 56.23% and 54 putative open reading frames (ORFs). Nineteen conserved domains were predicted by BLASTp in NCBI. We found that vB_MalS-PS3 represent an understudied viral group with only one known isolate. The phylogenetic tree based on the amino acid sequences of whole genomes revealed that vB_MalS-PS3 has a distant evolutionary relationship with other siphoviruses, and can be grouped into a novel viral genus cluster with six uncultured assembled viral genomes from metagenomics, named here as Marinovirus. This study of the Marinobacter phage vB_MalS-PS3 genome enriched the genetic database of marine bacteriophages, in addition, will provide useful information for further research on the interaction between Marinobacter phages and their hosts, and their relationship with algal blooms and hydrocarbon biodegradation in the ocean.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Haro-Moreno JM, López-Pérez M, F Rodriguez-Valera (2021)

Enhanced Recovery of Microbial Genes and Genomes From a Marine Water Column Using Long-Read Metagenomics.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:708782.

Third-generation sequencing has penetrated little in metagenomics due to the high error rate and dependence for assembly on short-read designed bioinformatics. However, second-generation sequencing metagenomics (mostly Illumina) suffers from limitations, particularly in the assembly of microbes with high microdiversity and retrieval of the flexible (adaptive) fraction of prokaryotic genomes. Here, we have used a third-generation technique to study the metagenome of a well-known marine sample from the mixed epipelagic water column of the winter Mediterranean. We have compared PacBio Sequel II with the classical approach using Illumina Nextseq short reads followed by assembly to study the metagenome. Long reads allow for efficient direct retrieval of complete genes avoiding the bias of the assembly step. Besides, the application of long reads on metagenomic assembly allows for the reconstruction of much more complete metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), particularly from microbes with high microdiversity such as Pelagibacterales. The flexible genome of reconstructed MAGs was much more complete containing many adaptive genes (some with biotechnological potential). PacBio Sequel II CCS appears particularly suitable for cellular metagenomics due to its low error rate. For most applications of metagenomics, from community structure analysis to ecosystem functioning, long reads should be applied whenever possible. Specifically, for in silico screening of biotechnologically useful genes, or population genomics, long-read metagenomics appears presently as a very fruitful approach and can be analyzed from raw reads before a computationally demanding (and potentially artifactual) assembly step.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Bakir-Gungor B, Bulut O, Jabeer A, et al (2021)

Discovering Potential Taxonomic Biomarkers of Type 2 Diabetes From Human Gut Microbiota via Different Feature Selection Methods.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:628426.

Human gut microbiota is a complex community of organisms including trillions of bacteria. While these microorganisms are considered as essential regulators of our immune system, some of them can cause several diseases. In recent years, next-generation sequencing technologies accelerated the discovery of human gut microbiota. In this respect, the use of machine learning techniques became popular to analyze disease-associated metagenomics datasets. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic disease and affects millions of people around the world. Since the early diagnosis in T2D is important for effective treatment, there is an utmost need to develop a classification technique that can accelerate T2D diagnosis. In this study, using T2D-associated metagenomics data, we aim to develop a classification model to facilitate T2D diagnosis and to discover T2D-associated biomarkers. The sequencing data of T2D patients and healthy individuals were taken from a metagenome-wide association study and categorized into disease states. The sequencing reads were assigned to taxa, and the identified species are used to train and test our model. To deal with the high dimensionality of features, we applied robust feature selection algorithms such as Conditional Mutual Information Maximization, Maximum Relevance and Minimum Redundancy, Correlation Based Feature Selection, and select K best approach. To test the performance of the classification based on the features that are selected by different methods, we used random forest classifier with 100-fold Monte Carlo cross-validation. In our experiments, we observed that 15 commonly selected features have a considerable effect in terms of minimizing the microbiota used for the diagnosis of T2D and thus reducing the time and cost. When we perform biological validation of these identified species, we found that some of them are known as related to T2D development mechanisms and we identified additional species as potential biomarkers. Additionally, we attempted to find the subgroups of T2D patients using k-means clustering. In summary, this study utilizes several supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms to increase the diagnostic accuracy of T2D, investigates potential biomarkers of T2D, and finds out which subset of microbiota is more informative than other taxa by applying state-of-the art feature selection methods.

RevDate: 2021-09-12

Kisat MT, Odenheimer-Bergman A, Markus H, et al (2021)

Plasma metagenomic sequencing to detect and quantify bacterial DNA in ICU patients suspected of sepsis: a proof-of-principle study.

The journal of trauma and acute care surgery pii:01586154-900000000-97305 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Timely recognition of sepsis and identification of pathogens can improve outcomes in critical care patients but microbial cultures have low accuracy and long turnaround times. In this proof-of-principle study, we describe metagenomic sequencing and analysis of non-human DNA in plasma. We hypothesized that quantitative analysis of bacterial DNA (bDNA) levels in plasma can enable detection and monitoring of pathogens.

METHODS: We enrolled 30 patients suspected of sepsis in the surgical trauma ICU and collected plasma samples at time of diagnostic workup for sepsis (baseline), and 7 and 14 days later. We performed metagenomic sequencing of plasma DNA, and used computational classification of sequencing reads to detect and quantify total and pathogen-specific bDNA fraction. To improve assay sensitivity, we developed an enrichment method for bacterial DNA based on size selection for shorter fragment lengths. Differences in bDNA fractions between samples were evaluated using t test and linear mixed-effects model, following log transformation.

RESULTS: We analyzed 72 plasma samples from 30 patients. 27 samples (37.5%) were collected at the time of infection. Median total bDNA fraction was 1.6 times higher in these samples compared to samples with no infection (0.011% and 0.0068%, respectively, p < 0.001). In 17 patients who had active infection at enrollment and at least one follow-up sample collected, total bDNA fractions were higher at baseline compared to the next sample (p < 0.001). Following enrichment, bDNA fractions increased in paired samples by a mean of 16.9 fold. Of 17 samples collected at the time when bacterial pathogens were identified, we detected pathogen-specific DNA in 13 plasma samples (76.5%).

CONCLUSION: Bacterial DNA levels in plasma are elevated in critically ill patients with active infection. Pathogen-specific DNA is detectable in plasma, particularly after enrichment using selection for shorter fragments. Serial changes in bacterial DNA levels may be informative of treatment response.

RevDate: 2021-09-12

Zhao Q, He H, Gao K, et al (2021)

Fate, mobility, and pathogenicity of drinking water treatment plant resistomes deciphered by metagenomic assembly and network analyses.

The Science of the total environment, 804:150095 pii:S0048-9697(21)05170-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have been regarded as emerging environmental contaminants. The profile of resistome (collection of all ARGs) in drinking water and its fate during drinking water treatment remain unclear. This study applied metagenomic assembly combined with network analysis to decipher the profile, mobility, host, and pathogenicity of resistomes in two full-scale drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs), each applying conventional treatment and advanced treatment of ozonation followed by biological activated carbon filtration. In source waters and effluents of each treatment process collected from both DWTPs, 215 ARGs belonging to 20 types were detected with total concentration ranging from 6.30 ± 1.83 to 5.20 ± 0.26 × 104 copies/mL. Both the conventional and advanced DWTPs were revealed to effectively reduce the concentration of total ARGs, with the average removal efficiency of 3.61-log10 and 2.21-log10, respectively. Multiple statistical analyses (including network analysis) indicated drinking water resistome correlated tightly with mobile gene elements (MGEs) and bacterial community, with the latter acting as the premier driver of resistome alteration in DWTPs. Further analysis of ARG-carrying contigs (ACCs) assembled from drinking water metagenomes (i) tracked down potential bacterial hosts of ARGs (e.g., Proteobacteria phylum as the major pool of resistome), (ii) provided co-localization information of ARGs and MGEs (e.g., MacB-E7196 plasmid1), and (iii) identified ARG-carrying human pathogens (e.g., Enterococcus faecium and Ralstonia pickettii). This work firstly determined the concentration, mobility incidence, and pathogenicity incidence of DWTP resistomes, based on which the actual health risk regarding antibiotic resistance could be quantitatively assessed in further study, providing a useful direction for decision-making concerning the risk control of ARGs in DWTPs.

RevDate: 2021-09-12

Lin S, Zhang T, Zhu L, et al (2021)

Characteristic dysbiosis in gout and the impact of a uric acid-lowering treatment, febuxostat on the gut microbiota.

Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao pii:S1673-8527(21)00193-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Gut dysbiosis is suggested to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of gout. The aim of our study was to identify the characteristic dysbiosis of the gut microbiota in gout patients and the impact of a commonly used uric acid-lowering treatment, febuxostat on gut microbiota in gout. 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing and metagenomic shotgun sequencing was performed on fecal DNA isolated from 38 untreated gout patients, 38 gout patients treated with febuxostat, and 26 healthy controls (HCs). A restriction of gut microbiota biodiversity was detected in the untreated gout patients, and the alteration was partly restored by febuxostat. Biochemical metabolic indexes involved in liver and kidney metabolism were significantly associated with the gut microbiota composition in gout patients. Functional analysis revealed that the gut microbiome of gout patients had an enriched function on carbohydrate metabolism but a lower potential for purine metabolism, which was comparatively enhanced in the febuxostat treated gout patients. A classification microbial model obtained a high mean area under the curve (AUC) up to 0.973. Therefore, gut dysbiosis characterizings gout could potentially serve as a noninvasive diagnostic tool for gout and may be a promising target of future preventive interventions.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Kamba S, Ogura A, Miura Y, et al (2021)

Enrichment of Uncommon Bacteria in Soil by Fractionation Using a Metal Mesh Device.

Analytical sciences : the international journal of the Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry, 37(9):1295-1300.

The use of a metal mesh device (MMD) as a precision bacterial separation filter is described. The MMD uses a structure in which identically shaped pores are arranged in a thin metal membrane. Four types of MMD with different pore sizes were used to fractionate bacteria in two types of soil. Through metagenomic analysis, the distribution of bacteria in the soil samples and in each MMD fraction was examined. In addition, eight types of previously described organic compound-degrading bacteria were used to evaluate the method, and changes in their composition following MMD fractionation were investigated. It was found that MMD fractions were enriched for all eight bacteria when compared with the initial sample. These results suggest that bacterial fractionation using MMD can enrich bacteria occurring at low frequencies in environmental samples.

RevDate: 2021-09-11

Bramble MS, Vashist N, Ko A, et al (2021)

The gut microbiome in konzo.

Nature communications, 12(1):5371.

Konzo, a distinct upper motor neuron disease associated with a cyanogenic diet and chronic malnutrition, predominately affects children and women of childbearing age in sub-Saharan Africa. While the exact biological mechanisms that cause this disease have largely remained elusive, host-genetics and environmental components such as the gut microbiome have been implicated. Using a large study population of 180 individuals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where konzo is most frequent, we investigate how the structure of the gut microbiome varied across geographical contexts, as well as provide the first insight into the gut flora of children affected with this debilitating disease using shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Our findings indicate that the gut microbiome structure is highly variable depending on region of sampling, but most interestingly, we identify unique enrichments of bacterial species and functional pathways that potentially modulate the susceptibility of konzo in prone regions of the Congo.

RevDate: 2021-09-11

Velmurugan G, D Vasudevan (2021)

Metagenomic analysis of RNA sequencing data reveals SARS-CoV-2-mediated progressive dysbiosis of upper respiratory tract microbiota.

Biomedical journal pii:S2319-4170(21)00014-7 [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19, an infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged as global pandemic. Here, we described the changes in microbiota of upper respiratory tract by analyzing the publically available RNA sequencing data of SARS-CoV-2-infected ferrets. The bacterial dysbiosis due to SARS-CoV-2 was largely inversely proportional to the dysbiosis caused by influenza-A virus. The bacterial taxa which are defined as healthy ecostate were significantly reduced during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Altogether, this preliminary study provides a new insight on the possible role of bacterial communities of upper respiratory tract in determining the immunity, susceptibility, and mortality for COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-09-11

Jia Y, Niu CT, Xu X, et al (2021)

Metabolic potential of microbial community and distribution mechanism of Staphylococcus species during broad bean paste fermentation.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 148:110533.

Although the microbial diversity and structure in bean-based fermented foods have been widely studied, systematic studies on functional microbiota and mechanism of community forms in multi-microbial fermentation systems were still lacking. In this work, the metabolic pathway and functional potential of microbial community in broad bean paste (BBP) were investigated by metagenomics approach, and Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Weissella, Aspergillus and Zygosaccharomyces were found to be the potential predominant populations responsible for substrate alteration and flavor biosynthesis. Among them, Staphylococcus was the most abundant and widespread functional microbe, and closely related Staphylococcus species were diverse and ubiquitously distributed, with the opportunistic pathogen S. gallinarum being the most abundant Staphylococcus specie isolated from BBP. To explain the dominance status of S. gallinarum and species distributions of Staphylococcus genus, we tested the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on three Staphylococcus species using a tractable BBP model, demonstrating that adaptation to environmental conditions (environmental parameters and other functional microbes) led to the dominant position and species coexistence of Staphylococcus, and congeneric competition among Staphylococcus species further shaped ecological distributions of closely related Staphylococcus species. In general, this work revealed the metabolic potential of microbial community and distribution mechanism of Staphylococcus species during BBP fermentation, which could help traditional factories to more precisely control the safety and quality of bean-based fermented foods.

RevDate: 2021-09-11

Liu D, Zhang C, Zhang J, et al (2021)

Metagenomics reveals the formation mechanism of flavor metabolites during the spontaneous fermentation of potherb mustard (Brassica juncea var. multiceps).

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 148:110622.

Fermented vegetable flavors are closely associated with microbial metabolism. Here, shifts in flavor metabolites and their correlations to the structure and function of fermentative microbial communities were explored during the spontaneous fermentation process of potherb mustard (Brassica juncea var. multiceps), a traditionally fermented vegetable from China. Halophilic bacteria (HAB, i.e., Halomonas, Salinivibrio, and Vibrio) and lactic acid bacteria (LAB, i.e., Lactobacillus-related genera and Weissella) became highly abundant after potherb mustard fermentation. Further, HAB and LAB abundances exhibited significant, positive correlations with metabolites important in fermented potherb mustard flavoring (e.g., organic acids, amino acids, alcohols, aldehydes, and nitriles). Metagenomic analysis indicated that Halomonas, Salinivibrio, Weissella, and Lactobacillus-related genera were likely actively engaged in pyruvate metabolism (ko00620) and citrate cycle (TCA cycle, ko00020), leading to higher lactic and acetic acid concentrations, along with lower pH, which would affect levels of volatile isothiocyanates and nitriles that contribute to flavoring of fermented potherb mustard. Further, HAB and LAB were the primary populations inferred to be responsible for amino acid and fatty acid metabolism in addition to the biosynthesis of numerous volatile flavor compounds. This study highlights the predominance and importance of LAB and HAB during spontaneous fermentation of potherb mustard and provides new insights into their roles in this process.

RevDate: 2021-09-11

Braga LPP, Pereira RV, Martins LF, et al (2021)

Genome-resolved metagenome and metatranscriptome analyses of thermophilic composting reveal key bacterial players and their metabolic interactions.

BMC genomics, 22(1):652.

BACKGROUND: Composting is an important technique for environment-friendly degradation of organic material, and is a microbe-driven process. Previous metagenomic studies of composting have presented a general description of the taxonomic and functional diversity of its microbial populations, but they have lacked more specific information on the key organisms that are active during the process.

RESULTS: Here we present and analyze 60 mostly high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) recovered from time-series samples of two thermophilic composting cells, of which 47 are potentially new bacterial species; 24 of those did not have any hits in two public MAG datasets at the 95% average nucleotide identity level. Analyses of gene content and expressed functions based on metatranscriptome data for one of the cells grouped the MAGs in three clusters along the 99-day composting process. By applying metabolic modeling methods, we were able to predict metabolic dependencies between MAGs. These models indicate the importance of coadjuvant bacteria that do not carry out lignocellulose degradation but may contribute to the management of reactive oxygen species and with enzymes that increase bioenergetic efficiency in composting, such as hydrogenases and N2O reductase. Strong metabolic dependencies predicted between MAGs revealed key interactions relying on exchange of H+, NH3, O2 and CO2, as well as glucose, glutamate, succinate, fumarate and others, highlighting the importance of functional stratification and syntrophic interactions during biomass conversion. Our model includes 22 out of 49 MAGs recovered from one composting cell data. Based on this model we highlight that Rhodothermus marinus, Thermobispora bispora and a novel Gammaproteobacterium are dominant players in chemolithotrophic metabolism and cross-feeding interactions.

CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained expand our knowledge of the taxonomic and functional diversity of composting bacteria and provide a model of their dynamic metabolic interactions.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Dai Z, Wang H, Feng Z, et al (2021)

Identification of a novel circovirus in blood sample of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases pii:S1567-1348(21)00375-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The members of the family Circoviridae are considered to be one of the smallest autonomously replicating viruses that are classified into two genera, Circovirus and Cyclovirus. Circoviruses have been found in a variety of vertebrates, but whether they infect endangered protected animals has not been studied in much detail. Here, viral metagenomics and PCR methods were used to detect and verify viral nucleic acid in the blood sample from giant pandas. According to these methods, the complete genome sequence of a novel circovirus, the giant panda associated circovirus (GPCV) from the blood sample of three giant pandas was identified. The GPCV genome is 2090 bp in size and reveals two putative ambisense open-reading frames, encoding the major structural capsid protein and the replication associated protein, respectively, the latter having two predicted introns. Pairwise sequence comparison and phylogenetic analyses indicated GPCV was a putative new species within genus Circovirus based on the species demarcation criteria of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses. It is the first time that circovirus has been identified from blood sample of giant pandas. These efforts will contribute to future analyses to illuminate the evolutionary relationships between classified and newly identified members of the family Circoviridae.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Lee HY, Cho DY, Ahmad I, et al (2021)

Mining of a novel esterase (est3S) gene from a cow rumen metagenomic library with organosphosphorus insecticides degrading capability: Catalytic insights by site directed mutations, docking, and molecular dynamic simulations.

International journal of biological macromolecules pii:S0141-8130(21)01901-2 [Epub ahead of print].

A novel esterase (est3S) gene, 1026 bp in size, was cloned from a metagenomic library made of uncultured microorganisms from the contents of cow rumen. The esterolytic enzyme (Est3S) is composed of 342 amino acids and shows the highest identity with EstGK1 (71.7%) and EstZ3 (63.78%) esterases from the uncultured bacterium. The Est3S did not cluster in any up-to-date classes (I to XVIII) of esterase and lipase. Est3S protein molecular weight was determined to be 38 kDa by gel electrophoresis and showed optimum activity at pH 7.0 and 40 °C and is partially resistant to organic solvents. Est3S activity was enhanced by K+, Na+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ and its highest activity was observed toward the short-chain p-nitrophenyl esters. Additionally, Est3S can degrade chlorpyrifos (CP) and methyl parathion (70% to 80%) in an hour. A mutated Est3S (Ser132-Ala132) did not show any activity toward CP and ester substrates. Notably, the GHS132QG motif is superimposed with the homolog esterase and cutinase-like esterase. Therefore, Ser132 is the critical amino acid like other esterases. The Est3S is relatively stable with ester compounds, and the methyl parathion complex was confirmed by molecular dynamics simulation. NOVELTY STATEMENT: A novel esterase gene (est3S) expressing esters and organophosphorus insecticide degradation traits was isolated from the uncultured bacterium in the contents of cow rumen. The Est3S protein did not cluster in any up-to-date classes (I to XVIII) of esterase/lipase proteins. Est3S was stable with the ligands up to 100 ns during the molecular dynamic simulations.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Yan G, Liu J, Chen W, et al (2021)

Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing of Bloodstream Microbial Cell-Free Nucleic Acid in Children With Suspected Sepsis in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:665226.

Bloodstream infection is a life-threatening complication in critically ill patients. Multi-drug resistant bacteria or fungi may increase the risk of invasive infections in hospitalized children and are difficult to treat in intensive care units. The purpose of this study was to use metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) to understand the bloodstream microbiomes of children with suspected sepsis in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). mNGS were performed on microbial cell-free nucleic acid from 34 children admitted to PICU, and potentially pathogenic microbes were identified. The associations of serological inflammation indicators, lymphocyte subpopulations, and other clinical phenotypes were also examined. mNGS of blood samples from children in PICU revealed potential eukaryotic microbial pathogens. The abundance of Pneumocystis jirovecii was positively correlated with a decrease in total white blood cell count and immunodeficiency. Hospital-acquired pneumonia patients showed a significant increase in blood bacterial species richness compared with community-acquired pneumonia children. The abundance of bloodstream bacteria was positively correlated with serum procalcitonin level. Microbial genome sequences from potential pathogens were detected in the bloodstream of children with suspected sepsis in PICU, suggesting the presence of bloodstream infections in these children.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Yao R, Dai Q, Wu T, et al (2021)

Fly-over phylogeny across invertebrate to vertebrate: The giant panda and insects share a highly similar gut microbiota.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:4676-4683 pii:S2001-0370(21)00356-1.

Many studies highlight that host phylogeny and diet are the two main factors influencing the animal gut microbiota. However, the internal mechanisms driving the evolution of animal gut microbiota may be more complex and complicated than we previously realized. Here, based on a large-scale meta-analysis of animal gut microbiota (16 s RNA gene data from approximately 1,800 samples; 108 metagenomes) across a wide taxonomic range of hosts, from invertebrate to vertebrate, we found high similarity in the gut microbial community (high proportion of Gammaproteobacteria (Pseudomonas)) of invertebrate insects and vertebrate bamboo-eating pandas (giant panda and red panda), which might be associated their plant-eating behavior and the presence of oxygen in the intestinal tract. A Pseudomonas strain-level analysis using 108 metagenomes further revealed that the response to either host niches or selection by the host might further lead to host-specific strains (or sub-strains) among the different hosts congruent with their evolutionary history. In this study, we uncovered new insights into the current understanding of the evolution of animals and their gut microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Zhang N, He J, Shen X, et al (2021)

Contribution of sample processing to gut microbiome analysis in the model Lepidoptera, silkworm Bombyx mori.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:4658-4668 pii:S2001-0370(21)00351-2.

Microbes that live inside insects play various roles in host biology, ranging from nutrient supplementation to host defense. Although Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are one of the most diverse insect taxa and important in natural ecosystems, their microbiotas are little-studied, and to understand their structure and function, it is necessary to identify potential factors that affect microbiome analysis. Using a model organism, the silkworm Bombyx mori, we investigated the effects of different sample types (whole gut, gut content, gut tissue, starvation, or frass) and metagenomic DNA extraction methodologies (small-scale versus large-scale) on the composition and diversity of the caterpillar gut microbial communities. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing and computational analysis of the resulting data unraveled that DNA extraction has a large effect on the outcome of metagenomic analysis: significant biases were observed in estimates of community diversity and in the ratio between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Furthermore, bacterial communities differed significantly among sample types. The gut content and whole gut samples differed least, both had a higher percentage of Enterococcus and Acinetobacter species; whereas the frass and starvation samples differed substantially from the whole gut and were poor representatives of the gut microbiome. Thus, we recommend a small-scale DNA extraction methodology for sampling the whole gut under normal insect rearing conditions whenever possible, as this approach provides the most accurate assessment of the gut microbiome. Our study highlights that evaluation of the optimal sample-processing approach should be the first step taken to confidently assess the contributions of microbiota to Lepidoptera.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Guo X, Tang N, Lei H, et al (2021)

Metagenomic Analysis of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Untreated Wastewater From Three Different Hospitals.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:709051.

Controlling antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) is a worldwide intervention to ensure global health. Hospital wastewater is the main pollution source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and ARGs in the environment. Expanding our knowledge on the bacterial composition of hospital wastewater could help us to control infections in hospitals and decrease pathogen release into the environment. In this study, a high-throughput sequencing-based metagenomic approach was applied to investigate the community composition of bacteria and ARGs in untreated wastewater from three different types of hospitals [the general hospital, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) hospital, and stomatology hospital]. In total, 130 phyla and 2,554 genera were identified from the microbiota of the wastewaters, with significantly different bacterial community compositions among the three hospitals. Total ARG analysis using the Antibiotic Resistance Genes Database (ARDB) and Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database (CARD) revealed that the microbiota in the wastewaters from the three hospitals harbored different types and percentage of ARGs, and their composition was specific to the hospital type based on the correlation analysis between species and ARG abundance, some ARGs contributed to different bacterial genera with various relationships in different hospitals. In summary, our findings demonstrated a widespread occurrence of ARGs and ARG-harboring microbiota in untreated wastewaters of different hospitals, suggesting that protection measures should be applied to prevent human infections. Concurrently, hospital wastewater should be treated more specifically for the removal of pathogens before its discharge into the urban sewage system.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Rádai Z, Kiss J, NA Nagy (2021)

Taxonomic bias in AMP prediction of invertebrate peptides.

Scientific reports, 11(1):17924.

Invertebrate antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are at the forefront in the search for agents of therapeutic utility against multi-resistant microbial pathogens, and in recent years substantial advances took place in the in silico prediction of antimicrobial function of amino acid sequences. A yet neglected aspect is taxonomic bias in the performance of these tools. Owing to differences in the prediction algorithms and used training data sets between tools, and phylogenetic differences in sequence diversity, physicochemical properties and evolved biological functions of AMPs between taxa, notable discrepancies may exist in performance between the currently available prediction tools. Here we tested if there is taxonomic bias in the prediction power in 10 tools with a total of 20 prediction algorithms in 19 invertebrate taxa, using a data set containing 1525 AMP and 3050 non-AMP sequences. We found that most of the tools exhibited considerable variation in performance between tested invertebrate groups. Based on the per-taxa performances and on the variation in performances across taxa we provide guidance in choosing the best-performing prediction tool for all assessed taxa, by listing the highest scoring tool for each of them.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Sánchez-Alcoholado L, Laborda-Illanes A, Otero A, et al (2021)

Relationships of Gut Microbiota Composition, Short-Chain Fatty Acids and Polyamines with the Pathological Response to Neoadjuvant Radiochemotherapy in Colorectal Cancer Patients.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(17): pii:ijms22179549.

Emerging evidence has suggested that dysbiosis of the gut microbiota may influence the drug efficacy of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients during cancer treatment by modulating drug metabolism and the host immune response. Moreover, gut microbiota can produce metabolites that may influence tumor proliferation and therapy responsiveness. In this study we have investigated the potential contribution of the gut microbiota and microbial-derived metabolites such as short chain fatty acids and polyamines to neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (RCT) outcome in CRC patients. First, we established a profile for healthy gut microbiota by comparing the microbial diversity and composition between CRC patients and healthy controls. Second, our metagenomic analysis revealed that the gut microbiota composition of CRC patients was relatively stable over treatment time with neoadjuvant RCT. Nevertheless, treated patients who achieved clinical benefits from RTC (responders, R) had significantly higher microbial diversity and richness compared to non-responder patients (NR). Importantly, the fecal microbiota of the R was enriched in butyrate-producing bacteria and had significantly higher levels of acetic, butyric, isobutyric, and hexanoic acids than NR. In addition, NR patients exhibited higher serum levels of spermine and acetyl polyamines (oncometabolites related to CRC) as well as zonulin (gut permeability marker), and their gut microbiota was abundant in pro-inflammatory species. Finally, we identified a baseline consortium of five bacterial species that could potentially predict CRC treatment outcome. Overall, our results suggest that the gut microbiota may have an important role in the response to cancer therapies in CRC patients.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Md-Lasim A, Mohd-Taib FS, Abdul-Halim M, et al (2021)

Leptospirosis and Coinfection: Should We Be Concerned?.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(17): pii:ijerph18179411.

Pathogenic Leptospira is the causative agent of leptospirosis, an emerging zoonotic disease affecting animals and humans worldwide. The risk of host infection following interaction with environmental sources depends on the ability of Leptospira to persist, survive, and infect the new host to continue the transmission chain. Leptospira may coexist with other pathogens, thus providing a suitable condition for the development of other pathogens, resulting in multi-pathogen infection in humans. Therefore, it is important to better understand the dynamics of transmission by these pathogens. We conducted Boolean searches of several databases, including Google Scholar, PubMed, SciELO, and ScienceDirect, to identify relevant published data on Leptospira and coinfection with other pathogenic bacteria. We review the role of the host-microbiota in determining the synanthropic interaction of Leptospira sp. with other bacteria, thus creating a suitable condition for the leptospira to survive and persist successfully. We also discuss the biotic and abiotic factors that amplify the viability of Leptospira in the environment. The coinfection of leptospira with pathogenic bacteria has rarely been reported, potentially contributing to a lack of awareness. Therefore, the occurrence of leptospirosis coinfection may complicate diagnosis, long-lasting examination, and mistreatment that could lead to mortality. Identifying the presence of leptospirosis with other bacteria through metagenomic analysis could reveal possible coinfection. In conclusion, the occurrence of leptospirosis with other diseases should be of concern and may depend on the success of the transmission and severity of individual infections. Medical practitioners may misdiagnose the presence of multiple infections and should be made aware of and receive adequate training on appropriate treatment for leptospirosis patients. Physicians could undertake a more targeted approach for leptospirosis diagnosis by considering other symptoms caused by the coinfected bacteria; thus, more specific treatment could be given.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Cheng L, Qi C, Yang H, et al (2021)

gutMGene: a comprehensive database for target genes of gut microbes and microbial metabolites.

Nucleic acids research pii:6368055 [Epub ahead of print].

gutMGene (, a manually curated database, aims at providing a comprehensive resource of target genes of gut microbes and microbial metabolites in humans and mice. Metagenomic sequencing of fecal samples has identified 3.3 × 106 non-redundant microbial genes from up to 1500 different species. One of the contributions of gut microbiota to host biology is the circulating pool of bacterially derived small-molecule metabolites. It has been estimated that 10% of metabolites found in mammalian blood are derived from the gut microbiota, where they can produce systemic effects on the host through activating or inhibiting gene expression. The current version of gutMGene documents 1331 curated relationships between 332 gut microbes, 207 microbial metabolites and 223 genes in humans, and 2349 curated relationships between 209 gut microbes, 149 microbial metabolites and 544 genes in mice. Each entry in the gutMGene contains detailed information on a relationship between gut microbe, microbial metabolite and target gene, a brief description of the relationship, experiment technology and platform, literature reference and so on. gutMGene provides a user-friendly interface to browse and retrieve each entry using gut microbes, disorders and intervention measures. It also offers the option to download all the entries and submit new experimentally validated associations.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Chithira MS, Aishwarya PV, Mohan AS, et al (2021)

Metagenomic analysis of microbial communities in the sediments of a semi-intensive penaeid shrimp culture system.

Journal, genetic engineering & biotechnology, 19(1):136.

The present study reports metagenomic sequencing and microbial diversity analysis of the sediment samples of a semi-intensive penaeid shrimp culture system. 16S rRNA gene-based high-throughput sequencing revealed distinct and diverse microbial communities in the analyzed sample. Analysis of the results showed a high abundance of Proteobacteria followed by Verrucomicrobia, Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Firmicutes, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria in the metagenome retrieved from the sediment sample. Unclassified bacteria also contributed a significant portion of the metagenome. Two potential shrimp pathogens viz Vibrio harveyi and Acinetobacter lwoffii detected in the sediment sample show the risk associated with the pond. Microbes that play essential roles in nutrient cycling and mineralization of organic compounds such as Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria could also be identified. The present study provides preliminary data with respect to the microbial community present in the sediments of a shrimp culture system and emphasizes the application of metagenomics in exploring the microbial diversity of aquaculture systems, which might help in the early detection of pathogens within the system and helps to develop pathogen control strategies in semi-intensive aquaculture systems.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Lee I, Barh D, Podolich O, et al (2021)

Metagenome-Assembled Genome Sequences Obtained from a Reactivated Kombucha Microbial Community Exposed to a Mars-Like Environment outside the International Space Station.

Microbiology resource announcements, 10(36):e0054921.

Kombucha is a traditional tea fermented by symbiotic microbiota, and it has been known as a functional fermented product. Here, we report four microbial metagenome-assembled genome sequences (MAGs) reconstructed from the microbiomes in kombucha exposed to a Mars-like environment outside the International Space Station.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Wu S, Fang Z, Tan J, et al (2021)

DeePhage: distinguishing virulent and temperate phage-derived sequences in metavirome data with a deep learning approach.

GigaScience, 10(9):.

BACKGROUND: Prokaryotic viruses referred to as phages can be divided into virulent and temperate phages. Distinguishing virulent and temperate phage-derived sequences in metavirome data is important for elucidating their different roles in interactions with bacterial hosts and regulation of microbial communities. However, there is no experimental or computational approach to effectively classify their sequences in culture-independent metavirome. We present a new computational method, DeePhage, which can directly and rapidly judge each read or contig as a virulent or temperate phage-derived fragment.

FINDINGS: DeePhage uses a "one-hot" encoding form to represent DNA sequences in detail. Sequence signatures are detected via a convolutional neural network to obtain valuable local features. The accuracy of DeePhage on 5-fold cross-validation reaches as high as 89%, nearly 10% and 30% higher than that of 2 similar tools, PhagePred and PHACTS. On real metavirome, DeePhage correctly predicts the highest proportion of contigs when using BLAST as annotation, without apparent preferences. Besides, DeePhage reduces running time vs PhagePred and PHACTS by 245 and 810 times, respectively, under the same computational configuration. By direct detection of the temperate viral fragments from metagenome and metavirome, we furthermore propose a new strategy to explore phage transformations in the microbial community. The ability to detect such transformations provides us a new insight into the potential treatment for human disease.

CONCLUSIONS: DeePhage is a novel tool developed to rapidly and efficiently identify 2 kinds of phage fragments especially for metagenomics analysis. DeePhage is freely available via or

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Zhao L, Lavington E, S Duffy (2021)

Truly ubiquitous CRESS DNA viruses scattered across the eukaryotic tree of life.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

Until recently, most viruses detected and characterized were of economic significance, associated with agricultural and medical diseases. This was certainly true for the eukaryote-infecting circular Rep (replication-associated protein)-encoding single-stranded DNA (CRESS DNA) viruses, which were thought to be a relatively small group of viruses. With the explosion of metagenomic sequencing over the past decade and increasing use of rolling-circle replication for sequence amplification, scientists have identified and annotated copious numbers of novel CRESS DNA viruses - many without known hosts but which have been found in association with eukaryotes. Similar advances in cellular genomics have revealed that many eukaryotes have endogenous sequences homologous to viral Reps, which not only provide "fossil records" to reconstruct the evolutionary history of CRESS DNA viruses but also reveal potential host species for viruses known by their sequences alone. The Rep protein is a conserved protein that all CRESS DNA viruses use to assist rolling circle replication that is known to be endogenized in a few eukaryotic species (notably tobacco and water yam). A systematic search for endogenous Rep-like sequences in GenBank's non-redundant eukaryotic database was performed using tBLASTn. We utilized relaxed search criteria for the capture of integrated Rep sequence within eukaryotic genomes, identifying 93 unique species with an endogenized fragment of Rep in their nuclear, plasmid (1 species), mitochondrial (6 species) or chloroplast (8 species) genomes. These species come from 19 different phyla, scattered across the eukaryotic tree of life. Exogenous and endogenous CRESS DNA viral Rep tree topology suggested potential hosts for one family of uncharacterized viruses and supports a primarily fungal host range for genomoviruses.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Xu X, Ran X, Tang J, et al (2021)

Skin Microbiota in Non-inflammatory and Inflammatory Lesions of Acne Vulgaris: The Underlying Changes within the Pilosebaceous Unit.

Mycopathologia [Epub ahead of print].

Acne vulgaris is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease of the pilosebaceous unit. Clinical manifestations include seborrhea, non-inflammatory lesions, inflammatory lesions, or scar formation. Fourteen eligible participants of either sex, aged 18-28 years old, with mild to moderate acne lesions, were recruited in this observational study. The contents of 10 pilosebaceous units of non-inflammatory (comedones) and inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules) were collected from each participant's face and examined by amplicon metagenomics sequencing and real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Male participants, participants with a higher body mass index (BMI) than normal, and participants younger than 20 years old, were revealed to have a higher proportion of Malassezia in their non-inflammatory lesions than that in inflammatory lesions. There was an increased abundance of Malassezia restricta (M. restricta) and Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) in the non-inflammatory group. Correlation analysis indicated that Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) and M. restricta have similar proliferation trends with C. acnes during the transformation from non-inflammatory to inflammatory lesions. M. restricta probably involve in the microecological balance within the pilosebaceous unit.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Gordon-Rodriguez E, Quinn TP, JP Cunningham (2021)

Learning Sparse Log-Ratios for High-Throughput Sequencing Data.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) pii:6366546 [Epub ahead of print].

MOTIVATION: The automatic discovery of sparse biomarkers that are associated with an outcome of interest is a central goal of bioinformatics. In the context of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) data, and compositional data (CoDa) more generally, an important class of biomarkers are the log-ratios between the input variables. However, identifying predictive log-ratio biomarkers from HTS data is a combinatorial optimization problem, which is computationally challenging. Existing methods are slow to run and scale poorly with the dimension of the input, which has limited their application to low- and moderate-dimensional metagenomic datasets.

RESULTS: Building on recent advances from the field of deep learning, we present CoDaCoRe, a novel learning algorithm that identifies sparse, interpretable, and predictive log-ratio biomarkers. Our algorithm exploits a continuous relaxation to approximate the underlying combinatorial optimization problem. This relaxation can then be optimized efficiently using the modern ML toolbox, in particular, gradient descent. As a result, CoDaCoRe runs several orders of magnitude faster than competing methods, all while achieving state-of-the-art performance in terms of predictive accuracy and sparsity. We verify the outperformance of CoDaCoRe across a wide range of microbiome, metabolite, and microRNA benchmark datasets, as well as a particularly high-dimensional dataset that is outright computationally intractable for existing sparse log-ratio selection methods.

AVAILABILITY: The CoDaCoRe package is available at Code and instructions for reproducing our results is available at

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Tan R, Yu A, Liu Z, et al (2021)

Prediction of Minimal Inhibitory Concentration of Meropenem Against Klebsiella pneumoniae Using Metagenomic Data.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:712886.

Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) is defined as the lowest concentration of an antimicrobial agent that can inhibit the visible growth of a particular microorganism after overnight incubation. Clinically, antibiotic doses for specific infections are determined according to the fraction of MIC. Therefore, credible assessment of MICs will provide a physician valuable information on the choice of therapeutic strategy. Early and precise usage of antibiotics is the key to an infection therapy. Compared with the traditional culture-based method, the approach of whole genome sequencing to identify MICs can shorten the experimental time, thereby improving clinical efficacy. Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of the most significant members of the genus Klebsiella in the Enterobacteriaceae family and also a common non-social pathogen. Meropenem is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent of the carbapenem family, which can produce antibacterial effects of most Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. In this study, we used single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) information and nucleotide k-mers count based on metagenomic data to predict MICs of meropenem against K. pneumoniae. Then, features of 110 sequenced K. pneumoniae genome data were combined and modeled with XGBoost algorithm and deep neural network (DNN) algorithm to predict MICs. We first use the XGBoost classification model and the XGBoost regression model. After five runs, the average accuracy of the test set was calculated. The accuracy of using nucleotide k-mers to predict MICs of the XGBoost classification model and XGBoost regression model was 84.5 and 89.1%. The accuracy of SNP in predicting MIC was 80 and 81.8%, respectively. The results show that XGBoost regression is better than XGBoost classification in both nucleotide k-mers and SNPs to predict MICs. We further selected 40 nucleotide k-mers and 40 SNPs with the highest correlation with MIC values as features to retrain the XGBoost regression model and DNN regression model. After 100 and 1,000 runs, the results show that the accuracy of the two models was improved. The accuracy of the XGBoost regression model for k-mers, SNPs, and k-mers & SNPs was 91.1, 85.2, and 91.3%, respectively. The accuracy of the DNN regression model was 91.9, 87.1, and 91.8%, respectively. Through external verification, some of the selected features were found to be related to drug resistance.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Wang N, Yang L, Li G, et al (2021)

Molecular detection and genetic characterization of Wenzhou virus in rodents in Guangzhou, China.

BMC veterinary research, 17(1):301.

BACKGROUND: Wenzhou virus (WENV), a newly discovered mammarenavirus in rodents, is associated with fever and respiratory symptoms in humans. This study was aimed to detect and characterize the emerging virus in rodents in Guangzhou, China.

RESULTS: A total of 100 small mammals, including 70 Rattus norvegicus, 22 Suncus murinus, 4 Bandicota indica, 3 Rattus flavipectus, and 1 Rattus losea, were captured in Guangzhou, and their brain tissues were collected and pooled for metagenomic analysis, which generated several contigs targeting the genome of WENV. Two R. norvegicus (2.9%) were further confirmed to be infected with WENV by RT-PCR. The complete genome (RnGZ37-2018 and RnGZ40-2018) shared 85.1-88.9% nt and 83.2-96.3% aa sequence identities to the Cambodian strains that have been shown to be associated with human disease. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all identified WENV could be grouped into four different lineages, and the two Guangzhou strains formed an independent clade. We also analyzed the potential recombinant events occurring in WENV strains.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed a high genetic diversity of WENV strains in China, emphasizing the relevance of surveillance of this emerging mammarenavirus in both natural reservoirs and humans.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Li M, J Wen (2021)

Recent progress in the application of omics technologies in the study of bio-mining microorganisms from extreme environments.

Microbial cell factories, 20(1):178.

Bio-mining microorganisms are a key factor affecting the metal recovery rate of bio-leaching, which inevitably produces an extremely acidic environment. As a powerful tool for exploring the adaptive mechanisms of microorganisms in extreme environments, omics technologies can greatly aid our understanding of bio-mining microorganisms and their communities on the gene, mRNA, and protein levels. These omics technologies have their own advantages in exploring microbial diversity, adaptive evolution, changes in metabolic characteristics, and resistance mechanisms of single strains or their communities to extreme environments. These technologies can also be used to discover potential new genes, enzymes, metabolites, metabolic pathways, and species. In addition, integrated multi-omics analysis can link information at different biomolecular levels, thereby obtaining more accurate and complete global adaptation mechanisms of bio-mining microorganisms. This review introduces the current status and future trends in the application of omics technologies in the study of bio-mining microorganisms and their communities in extreme environments.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Qi YF, Huang JL, Chen JH, et al (2021)

[Chlamydia psittaci pneumonia complicated with rhabdomyolysis: a case report and literature review].

Zhonghua jie he he hu xi za zhi = Zhonghua jiehe he huxi zazhi = Chinese journal of tuberculosis and respiratory diseases, 44(9):806-811.

Objective: To analyze the clinical characteristics and the diagnosis and treatment of Chlamydia psittaci pneumonia complicated with rhabdomyolysis. Methods: We reported a case of Chlamydia psittaci pneumonia complicated with rhabdomyolysis. We did a literature review on the published reports between January 1978 and May 2020 by searching with the key words of "psittacosis" or "Chlamydia psittaci" and "rhabdomyolysis" in the PubMed database (time frame: January 1, 1967 to May 30, 2020). Results: Our patient was a 64-year-old male presenting with high-grade fever, fatigue, myalgia and dyspnea. A computed tomographic scan of the chest revealed bilateral pneumonia, which was further complicated with rhabdomyolysis during disease progression. This prompted the metagenomic next-generation sequencing, revealing the sequences of Chlamydia psittaci in both the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and blood. Of the 11 cases in the 3 literature reports that we retrieved, 5 had concomitant rhabdomyolysis (two of which did not have complete clinical information), and the other 6 cases had myositis complicated with an elevated level of creatine phosphokinase. This yielded 3 cases with complete clinical information for our analysis. We had further incorporated their information with the single case managed within our study site. Two were males and the other 2 were females. The patients were aged 66, 46, 44 and 64 years, respectively. All cases had fever and 3 had a contact history with live poultry. Two cases had myalgia and progressed rapidly into having respiratory failure, and the other 2 cases did not develop myalgia and improved significantly after a timely treatment. All 4 cases were cured and discharged after treatment with appropriate antibiotics. No adverse outcomes were observed. Conclusions: The prognosis of Chlamydia psittaci pneumonia complicated with rhabdomyolysis was poor in case of a delayed treatment. Early diagnosis would help reduce the mortality.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Usami K, Niimi K, Matsuo A, et al (2021)

The gut microbiota induces Peyer's-patch-dependent secretion of maternal IgA into milk.

Cell reports, 36(10):109655.

The evolutionary strategy of transferring maternal antibodies via milk profoundly impacts the survival, lifelong health, and wellbeing of all neonates, including a pronounced impact on human breastfeeding success and infant development. While there has been increased recognition that interorgan connectivity influences the quality of a mother's milk, potentially to personalize it for her offspring, the underlying bases for these processes are incompletely resolved. Here, we define an essential role of Peyer's patches (PPs) for the generation of plasma cells that secrete maternal immunoglobulin A (IgA) into milk. Our metagenomic analysis reveals that the presence of certain residential microorganisms in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as Bacteroides acidifaciens and Prevotella buccalis, is indispensable for the programming of maternal IgA synthesis prior to lactational transfer. Our data provide important insights into how the microbiome of the maternal GI environment, specifically through PPs, can be communicated to the next generation via milk.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Logan IE, Shulzhenko N, Sharpton TJ, et al (2021)

Xanthohumol Requires the Intestinal Microbiota to Improve Glucose Metabolism in Diet-Induced Obese Mice.

Molecular nutrition & food research [Epub ahead of print].

SCOPE: The polyphenol xanthohumol (XN) improves dysfunctional glucose and lipid metabolism in diet-induced obesity animal models. Because XN changes intestinal microbiota composition, we hypothesized that XN requires the microbiota to mediate its benefits.

METHODS AND RESULTS: To test our hypothesis, we fed conventional and germ-free male Swiss Webster mice either a low-fat diet (10% fat derived calories), a high-fat diet (60% fat derived calories), or a high-fat diet supplemented with XN at 60 mg/kg body weight per day for 10 weeks, and measured parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism. In conventional mice, we discovered XN supplementation decreased plasma insulin concentrations and improved Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance. In germ-free mice, XN supplementation failed to improve these outcomes. Fecal sample 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis suggested XN supplementation changes microbial composition and dramatically alters the predicted functional capacity of the intestinal microbiota. Furthermore, the intestinal microbiota metabolizes XN into bioactive compounds, including dihydroxanthohumol, an anti-obesogenic compound with improved bioavailability.

CONCLUSION: XN requires the intestinal microbiota to mediate its benefits, which involves complex diet-host-microbiota interactions with changes in both microbial composition and functional capacity. Our results warrant future metagenomic studies, which will provide insight into complex microbe-microbe interactions, and diet-host-microbiota interactions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Li C, Av-Shalom TV, Tan JWG, et al (2021)

BEEM-Static: Accurate inference of ecological interactions from cross-sectional microbiome data.

PLoS computational biology, 17(9):e1009343 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-21-00585 [Epub ahead of print].

CONCLUSION: BEEM-Static provides new opportunities for mining ecologically interpretable interactions and systems insights from the growing corpus of microbiome data.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Can-Herrera LA, Gutierrez-Canul CD, Dzul-Cervantes MAA, et al (2021)

Identification by molecular techniques of halophilic bacteria producing important enzymes from pristine area in Campeche, Mexico.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 83:e246038 pii:S1519-69842023000100213.

Isla Arena is located in the coordinate 20° 70´ N - 90° 45´ W, from Campeche, Mexico. In these estuaries, the ocean mixes with fresh water, and ecosystems are concentrated where petenes and pink flamingos proliferate. Crustaceans and mollusks abound in the sea. Despite its enormous marine wealth, there are no studies carried out on which halophilic microorganisms are present in these waters. In this work, the diversity and structure of the microbial community was investigated through a metagenomics approach and corroborated for sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. It was found that the phylum Fimicutes predominates with more than 50%, in almost the same proportion of the class Bacilli and with almost 41% of relative abundance of the order Bacillales. The sequencing results showed that one of the samples presented a high percentage of similarity (99.75%) using the Nucleotide BLAST program with a peculiar microorganism: Bacillus subtilis. This microorganism is one of the best characterized bacteria among the gram-positive ones. Our results demonstrate that B. subtilis can be an efficient source of proteases, lipases and cellulases, from halophilic microbial communities located in poorly explored areas.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Chen YS, Li J, Menon R, et al (2021)

Dietary spinach reshapes the gut microbiome in an Apc-mutant genetic background: mechanistic insights from integrated multi-omics.

Gut microbes, 13(1):1972756.

Complex interrelationships govern the dynamic interactions between gut microbes, the host, and exogenous drivers of disease outcome. A multi-omics approach to cancer prevention by spinach (SPI) was pursued for the first time in the polyposis in rat colon (Pirc) model. SPI fed for 26 weeks (10% w/w, freeze-dried in the diet) exhibited significant antitumor efficacy and, in the Apc-mutant genetic background, β-catenin remained highly overexpressed in adenomatous polyps. However, in both wild type and Apc-mutant rats, increased gut microbiome diversity after SPI consumption coincided with reversal of taxonomic composition. Metagenomic prediction implicated linoleate and butanoate metabolism, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and pathways in cancer, which was supported by transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses. Thus, tumor suppression by SPI involved marked reshaping of the gut microbiome along with changes in host RNA-miRNA networks. When colon polyps were compared with matched normal-looking tissues via metabolomics, anticancer outcomes were linked to SPI-derived linoleate bioactives with known anti-inflammatory/ proapoptotic mechanisms, as well as N-aceto-2-hydroxybutanoate, consistent with altered butanoate metabolism stemming from increased α-diversity of the gut microbiome. In colon tumors from SPI-fed rats, L-glutamate and N-acetylneuraminate also were reduced, implicating altered mitochondrial energetics and cell surface glycans involved in oncogenic signaling networks and immune evasion. In conclusion, a multi-omics approach to cancer prevention by SPI provided mechanistic support for linoleate and butanoate metabolism, as well as tumor-associated changes in L-glutamate and N-acetylneuraminate. Additional factors, such as the fiber content, also warrant further investigation with a view to delaying colectomy and drug intervention in at-risk patients.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Tavella T, Turroni S, Brigidi P, et al (2021)

The Human Gut Resistome up to Extreme Longevity.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic resistance (AR) is indisputably a major health threat which has drawn much attention in recent years. In particular, the gut microbiome has been shown to act as a pool of AR genes, potentially available to be transferred to opportunistic pathogens. Herein, we investigated for the first time changes in the human gut resistome during aging, up to extreme longevity, by analyzing shotgun metagenomics data of fecal samples from a geographically defined cohort of 62 urban individuals, stratified into four age groups: young adults, elderly, centenarians, and semisupercentenarians, i.e., individuals aged up to 109 years. According to our findings, some AR genes are similarly represented in all subjects regardless of age, potentially forming part of the core resistome. Interestingly, aging was found to be associated with a higher burden of some AR genes, including especially proteobacterial genes encoding multidrug efflux pumps. Our results warn of possible health implications and pave the way for further investigations aimed at containing AR accumulation, with the ultimate goal of promoting healthy aging. IMPORTANCE Antibiotic resistance is widespread among different ecosystems, and in humans it plays a key role in shaping the composition of the gut microbiota, enhancing the ecological fitness of certain bacterial populations when exposed to antibiotics. A considerable component of the definition of healthy aging and longevity is associated with the structure of the gut microbiota, and, in this regard, the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is critical to many pathologies that come about with aging. However, the structure of the resistome has not yet been sufficiently elucidated. Here, we show distinct antibiotic resistance assets and specific microbial consortia characterizing the human gut resistome through aging.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Tada Y, Marumoto K, A Takeuchi (2021)

Nitrospina-like Bacteria Are Dominant Potential Mercury Methylators in Both the Oyashio and Kuroshio Regions of the Western North Pacific.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Highly neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg) accumulates in marine organisms, thereby negatively affecting human and environmental health. Recent studies have revealed that oceanic prokaryotes harboring the hgcAB gene pair are involved in Hg methylation. Presently, little is known about the distribution and phylogeny of these genes in distinct oceanic regions of the western North Pacific. In this study, we used metagenomics to survey the distribution of hgcAB genes in the seawater columns of the subarctic Oyashio region and the subtropical Kuroshio region. The hgcAB genes were detected in the MeHg-rich offshore mesopelagic layers of both the Oyashio region, which is a highly productive area in the western North Pacific, and the Kuroshio region, which has low productivity. Comparative analysis revealed that hgcAB genes belonging to the Nitrospina-like lineage were dominant in the MeHg-rich mesopelagic layers of both regions. These results indicate that Nitrospina-like bacteria are the dominant Hg methylators in the mesopelagic layers throughout the western North Pacific. IMPORTANCE MeHg is highly neurotoxic and accumulates in marine organisms. Thus, understanding MeHg production in seawater is critical for environmental and human health. Recent studies have shown that microorganisms harboring mercury-methylating genes (hgcA and hgcB) are involved in MeHg production in several marine environments. Knowing the distribution and phylogeny of hgcAB genes in seawater columns can facilitate assessment of microbial MeHg production in the ocean. We report that hgcAB genes affiliated with the microaerophilic Nitrospina lineage were detected in the MeHg-rich mesopelagic layers of two hydrologically distinct oceanic regions of the western North Pacific. This finding facilitates understanding of the microbial Hg methylation and accumulation in seawater columns of the western North Pacific.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Wiqoyah N, Mertaniasih NM, Artama WT, et al (2021)

Microbiome in sputum as a potential biomarker of chronicity in pulmonary resistant to rifampicin-tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant-tuberculosis patients.

International journal of mycobacteriology, 10(3):260-267.

Background: Cases of tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in South-east Asia including Indonesia are still high. The presence of mixed infections in TB cases has been reported. Several studies revealed the role of the human microbiome in TB. This study purposes to characterize microbiome which can be a potential biomarker of chronicity in TB or MDR-TB.

Methods: Sputum samples of pulmonary TB patients confirmed MDR-TB and resistant to rifampicin TB (RR-TB) were conducted Metagenomic next-generation sequencing. Principal coordinate analysis of UniFrac's showing the community structure of microbiome in MDR-TB comorbid diabetes mellitus (DM) is different from RR-TB noncomorbid DM (P = 0.003).

Results: Proteobacteria microbiome in MDR-TB comorbid DM was more abundant than in RR-TB noncomorbid DM. Actinobacteria found in the small quantity in RR-TB and MDR-TB. Diversity of microbiome genera was greater in RR-TB. The linear discriminant analysis effect size analysis represents a genus biomarker whose abundance shows significant differences between groups, genus Rothia as a potential biomarker for RR-TB noncomorbid DM.

Conclusions: Interesting findings is the community structure of microbiome in MDR-TB and RR-TB. In chronic TB such as recurrent, associated MDR-TB should attention to the findings of a small number of Actinobacteria could be a biomarker of TB which is also a determinant in patient taking combined anti-TB drugs of choice.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Huo D, Cen C, Chang H, et al (2021)

Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum supplied with methimazole improved the thyroid function of Graves' disease patients through the gut-thyroid axis.

Communications biology, 4(1):1046.

Graves' disease (GD) is an autoimmune disorder that frequently results in hyperthyroidism and other symptoms. Here, we designed a 6-month study with patients divided into three treatment groups, namely, methimazole (MI, n = 8), MI + black bean (n = 9) and MI + probiotic Bifidobacterium longum (n = 9), to evaluate the curative effects of probiotics supplied with MI on thyroid function of patients with GD through clinical index determination and intestinal microbiota metagenomic sequencing. Unsurprisingly, MI intake significantly improved several thyroid indexes but not the most important thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb), which is an indicator of the GD recurrence rate. Furthermore, we observed a dramatic response of indigenous microbiota to MI intake, which was reflected in the ecological and evolutionary scale of the intestinal microbiota. In contrast, we did not observe any significant changes in the microbiome in the MI + black bean group. Similarly, the clinical thyroid indexes of patients with GD in the probiotic supplied with MI treatment group continued to improve. Dramatically, the concentration of TRAb recovered to the healthy level. Further mechanistic exploration implied that the consumed probiotic regulated the intestinal microbiota and metabolites. These metabolites impacted neurotransmitter and blood trace elements through the gut-brain axis and gut-thyroid axis, which finally improved the host's thyroid function.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Kumar B, Lam S, Adam M, et al (2021)

The oesophageal microbiome and cancer: hope or hype?.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(21)00192-X [Epub ahead of print].

The human oesophagus is home to a complex microbial community, the oesophageal microbiome. Despite decades of work, we still have only a poor, low-resolution view of this community, which makes it hard to distinguish hope from hype when it comes to assessing links between the oesophageal microbiome and cancer. Here we review the potential importance of this microbiome and discuss new approaches, including culturomics, metagenomics, and recovery of whole-genome sequences, that bring renewed hope for an in-depth characterisation of this community that could deliver translational impact.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Foley SE, Tuohy C, Dunford M, et al (2021)

Gut microbiota regulation of P-glycoprotein in the intestinal epithelium in maintenance of homeostasis.

Microbiome, 9(1):183.

BACKGROUND: P-glycoprotein (P-gp) plays a critical role in protection of the intestinal epithelia by mediating efflux of drugs/xenobiotics from the intestinal mucosa into the gut lumen. Recent studies bring to light that P-gp also confers a critical link in communication between intestinal mucosal barrier function and the innate immune system. Yet, despite knowledge for over 10 years that P-gp plays a central role in gastrointestinal homeostasis, the precise molecular mechanism that controls its functional expression and regulation remains unclear. Here, we assessed how the intestinal microbiome drives P-gp expression and function.

RESULTS: We have identified a "functional core" microbiome of the intestinal gut community, specifically genera within the Clostridia and Bacilli classes, that is necessary and sufficient for P-gp induction in the intestinal epithelium in mouse models. Metagenomic analysis of this core microbial community revealed that short-chain fatty acid and secondary bile acid production positively associate with P-gp expression. We have further shown these two classes of microbiota-derived metabolites synergistically upregulate P-gp expression and function in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC), we find diminished P-gp expression coupled to the reduction of epithelial-derived anti-inflammatory endocannabinoids and luminal content (e.g., microbes or their metabolites) with a reduced capability to induce P-gp expression.

CONCLUSION: Overall, by means of both in vitro and in vivo studies as well as human subject sample analysis, we identify a mechanistic link between cooperative functional outputs of the complex microbial community and modulation of P-gp, an epithelial component, that functions to suppress overactive inflammation to maintain intestinal homeostasis. Hence, our data support a new cross-talk paradigm in microbiome regulation of mucosal inflammation. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Su C, Deng Q, Chen Z, et al (2021)

Denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation process responses to the addition of growth factor betaine in the MFC-granular sludge coupling system: Enhancing mechanism and metagenomic analysis.

Journal of hazardous materials, 416:126139.

To solve the problem of the slow growth of denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation (DAMO) bacteria during the enrichment process, betaine was added as a growth factor and its influence on the mechanism of DAMO process along with the metagenomic analysis of the process in a MFC-granular sludge coupling system was explored. When the addition of betaine was increased to 0.5 g/L and 1.0 g/L, the NO3--N removal increased to 210 mg/L. Also, the increasing betaine dosage in 1st to 4th chambers resulted in a significant increase in dissolved methane concentration which reached a maximum value of 16.6 ± 1.19 mg/L. When the dosage of betaine was increased from 0 g/L to 1.0 g/L, the dominant bacterial phyla in the 1st to 4th chambers changed to Proteobacteria (20.8-50.7%) from Euryarchaeota (42.0-54.1%) and Methanothrix which was significantly decreased by 17.9-37.4%. There was a slight decline in the DAMO microorganism abundance, possibly due to the increased methyl donors limiting the DAMO microorganism growth. Denitrification metabolism pathway module (increased from 0.10% to 0.15%) of Nitrogen metabolism and Formaldehyde assimilation, and serine pathway of Methane metabolism presented an ascendant trend with the increased betaine dosage as determined by the metagenomics analysis of KEGG metabolism pathway.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Xu G, Y Yu (2021)

Polystyrene microplastics impact the occurrence of antibiotic resistance genes in earthworms by size-dependent toxic effects.

Journal of hazardous materials, 416:125847.

Microplastics (MPs) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are two classes of emerging and prevalent contaminants in terrestrial environments. To date, effects of MPs on the occurrence of ARGs in terrestrial invertebrates remain uncertain. Here we exposed earthworms to a soil amended with polystyrene MPs at two environmentally relevant concentrations to elucidate the occurrence and mechanisms of ARGs in earthworms impacted by MPs with different sizes. Nano-size and 10 mg/kg of 100 µm MPs slightly affected the occurrence of ARGs in earthworms. Highest abundance of ARGs was found in the presence of 10 mg/kg of 10 µm MPs, whereas 100 mg/kg of 10 µm MPs significantly changed the profile of ARGs. Metagenomics sequencing and toxicity tests indicated that MPs caused toxicity and influenced the abundance of microbial community in earthworms, resulting in the changes of ARGs. Results of proteomics and metabolomics demonstrated that 100 mg/kg of 10 µm MPs changed the microenvironment of earthworm gut, built a new homeostatic process, and thus increased the abundance of key bacterial that carried a variety of ARGs. This study highlights the size-dependent toxic effects of MPs and their impacts on the transfer of ARGs in terrestrial environments.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Haley BJ, JAS Van Kessel (2021)

The resistome of the bovine gastrointestinal tract.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 73:213-219 pii:S0958-1669(21)00143-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The gastrointestinal tracts of beef and dairy cattle are reservoirs of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, and our knowledge of the ecology of resistance in these animals has changed with the advent of novel molecular technologies. Application of metagenomics and qPCR to the study of bovine gut ecology has demonstrated that there is overlap, with some differences, between beef and dairy cattle fecal resistomes, that treatment with antimicrobials often transiently influences the resistome, and young calves carry a high abundance of ARGs. Future work should harness emerging metagenome sequencing technologies to better describe the taxa harboring ARGs and collocated non-resistance genes and use these data along with identifying the multiplicity of factors driving resistance to develop strategies to reduce AMR carriage in cattle.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Hassan KA, Maher C, Elbourne LD, et al (2021)

Increasing the PACE of characterising novel transporters by functional genomics.

Current opinion in microbiology, 64:1-8 pii:S1369-5274(21)00110-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Since the late 1990's the genome sequences for thousands of species of bacteria have been released into public databases. The release of each new genome sequence typically revealed the presence of tens to hundreds of uncharacterised genes encoding putative membrane proteins and more recently, microbial metagenomics has revealed countless more of these uncharacterised genes. Given the importance of small molecule efflux in bacteria, it is likely that a significant proportion of these genes encode for novel efflux proteins, but the elucidation of these functions is challenging. We used transcriptomics to predict that the function of a gene encoding a hypothetical membrane protein is in efflux-mediated antimicrobial resistance. We subsequently confirmed this function and the likely native substrates of the pump by using detailed biochemical and biophysical analyses. Functional studies of homologs of the protein from other bacterial species determined that the protein is a prototype for a family of multidrug efflux pumps - the Proteobacterial Antimicrobial Compound Efflux (PACE) family. The general functional genomics approach used here, and its expansion to functional metagenomics, will very likely reveal the identities of more efflux pumps and other transport proteins of scientific, clinical and commercial interest in the future.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Leo S, Lazarevic V, von Dach E, et al (2021)

Effects of antibiotic duration on the intestinal microbiota and resistome: The PIRATE RESISTANCE project, a cohort study nested within a randomized trial.

EBioMedicine, 71:103566 pii:S2352-3964(21)00359-5 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Shortening antibiotic-treatment durations is a key recommendation of antibiotic-stewardship programmes, yet it is based on weak evidence. We investigated whether halving antibiotic courses would reduce antibiotic-resistance genes (ARG) in the intestinal microbiomes of patients treated for gram-negative bacteraemia.

METHODS: This nested prospective cohort study included adult patients hospitalized at Geneva University Hospitals (Switzerland) participating in the PIRATE randomized trial assessing non-inferiority of shorter antibiotic courses (7 versus 14 days) for gram-negative bacteraemia ('cases') and, simultaneously, hospitalized patients with similar demography and comorbidity yet no antibiotic therapy ('controls'). Stool was collected from case and control patients on days 7, 14, 30 and 90 after antibiotic initiation (day 1) and days 7 and 14 after admission, respectively, and analysed by whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing. The primary outcome was ARG abundance at day 30; secondary outcomes included microbiota-species composition and clustering over time.

FINDINGS: Forty-five patients and 11 controls were included and evaluable; ARG analyses were conducted on the 29 per-protocol patients receiving 7 (±2) days or 14 (±3) days of antibiotic therapy. At day 30, ARGs were not detected at similar abundance in patients receiving 7 and 14 days (median counts/million [mCPM]: 96 versus [vs] 71; p=.38). By day 30, total ARG content between both groups was not significantly different from that of controls at D7 (362 and 370 mCPM vs 314 mCPM, p=.24 and 0.19). There were no significant differences amongst antibiotic-treated patients at any timepoint in bacterial diversity or clustering, but Shannon species diversity was significantly reduced compared to controls through day 14 (median 3.12 and 3.24 in the 7-day and 14-day groups vs 3.61 [controls]; p=.04 and 0.012). Patients treated for 14 days had reduced faecal phage content during and after therapy compared to other patient groups.

INTERPRETATION: Reducing antibiotic durations by half did not result in decreased abundance of ARGs in patients treated for gram-negative bacteraemia, nor did it improve microbiota species diversity.

FUNDING: The study was funded by the University of Geneva's Louis-Jeantet Foundation (grant no. S04_12) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (NRP Smarter Healthcare, grant no. 407,440_167359).

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Zhu J, Tian L, Chen P, et al (2021)

Over 50,000 Metagenomically Assembled Draft Genomes for the Human Oral Microbiome Reveal New Taxa.

Genomics, proteomics & bioinformatics pii:S1672-0229(21)00176-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The oral cavity of each person is home to hundreds of bacterial species. While taxa for oral diseases have been studied using culture-based characterization as well as amplicon sequencing, metagenomic and genomic information remains scarce compared to the fecal microbiome. Here, using metagenomic shotgun data for 3346 oral metagenomics samples together with 808 published samples, we obtain 56,213 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), more than 64% of the 3589 species-level genome bins (SGBs) contained no publicly available genomes. The resulting genome collection is representative of samples around the world and containing many genomes from candidate phyla radiation (CPR) which lack monoculture. Also, it enables the discovery of new taxa such as a family Candidatus Bgiplasma within order Acholeplasmataceae. Large-scale metagenomic data from massive samples also allow the assembly of strains from important oral taxa such as Porphyromonas and Neisseria. The oral microbes encode genes that could potentially metabolize drugs. Apart from these findings, a strongly male-enriched Campylobacter species was identified. Oral samples would be more user-friendly collected than fecal samples and have the potential for disease diagnosis. Thus, these data lay down a genomic framework for future inquiries of the human oral microbiome.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Hullar MAJ, Jenkins IC, Randolph TW, et al (2021)

Associations of the gut microbiome with hepatic adiposity in the Multiethnic Cohort Adiposity Phenotype Study.

Gut microbes, 13(1):1965463.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a risk factor for liver cancer and prevalence varies by ethnicity. Along with genetic and lifestyle factors, the gut microbiome (GM) may contribute to NAFLD and its progression to advanced liver disease. Our cross-sectional analysis assessed the association of the GM with hepatic adiposity among African American, Japanese American, White, Latino, and Native Hawaiian participants in the Multiethnic Cohort. We used MRI to measure liver fat and determine nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) status (n = 511 cases) in 1,544 participants, aged 60-77 years, with 12-53% overall adiposity (BMI of 17.8-46.2 kg/m2). The GM was measured by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and, on a subset, by metagenomic sequencing. Alpha diversity was lower overall with NAFLD and in certain ethnicities (African Americans, Whites, and Latinos). In models regressing genus on NAFLD status, 62 of 149 genera (40%) exhibited a significant interaction between NAFLD and ethnicity stratified analysis found 69 genera significantly associated with NAFLD in at least one ethnic group. No single genus was significantly associated with NAFLD across all ethnicities. In contrast, the same bacterial metabolic pathways were over-represented in participants with NAFLD regardless of ethnicity. Imputed secondary bile acid and carbohydrate pathways were associated with NAFLD, the latter of which was corroborated by metagenomics, although different genera in different ethnicities were associated with these pathways. Overall, we found that NAFLD was associated with altered bacterial composition and metabolism, and that bacterial endotoxin, assessed by plasma lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), may mediate liver fat-associated systemic inflammation in a manner that seems to vary by ethnicity.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

He S, Xiong Q, Tian C, et al (2021)

Inulin-type prebiotics reduce serum uric acid levels via gut microbiota modulation: a randomized, controlled crossover trial in peritoneal dialysis patients.

European journal of nutrition [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Increased levels of uric acid (UA), which is mainly excreted through the kidneys, are independently associated with higher mortality in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The uricolysis of gut microbiota plays an important role in extrarenal excretion of UA. This study aimed to examine the effect of inulin-type prebiotics (a type of fermentable dietary fiber) on intestinal microbiota modulation and serum UA levels in ESRD patients.

METHODS: Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients were recruited to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of 12-week inulin-type prebiotics. Participants were visited before and after treatment with prebiotics or placebo. Serum UA levels, dietary purine intake, serum xanthine oxidase (XO) activity, daily "renal excretion" of UA, and fecal UA degradation capability were measured at each visit. Fecal metagenomic analysis was conducted to assess microbial composition and function.

RESULTS: Sixteen participants (mean age = 37 y; 10 men and 6 women) completed the trial, and 64 specimens were analyzed. The average concentration of serum UA decreased by approximately 10% in the prebiotic intervention group in comparison to the placebo group (p = 0.047) without an increase in daily "renal excretion" of UA via urine and dialysate. There were no significant changes in purine intake or activity of XO. Notably, enhanced fecal UA degradation was observed after prebiotic intervention (p = 0.041), and the ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes, which was positively associated with fecal UA degradation, increased in the prebiotic period (p = 0.032). Furthermore, prebiotics enriched purine-degrading species in the gut microbiota, including unclassified_o_Clostridiales, Clostridium sp. CAG:7, Clostridium sp. FS41, Clostridium citroniae, Anaerostipes caccae, and Clostridium botulinum.

CONCLUSIONS: Inulin-type prebiotics is a promising therapeutic candidate to reduce serum UA levels in renal failure patients, and this urate-lowering effect could possibly be attributed to intestinal microbial degradation of UA.

TRIAL REGISTRY: This study was registered at the Chinese Clinical Trials Registry (, registration ID: ChiCTR-INR-17013739, registration date: 6th Dec 2017.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Bourgonje AR, Hu S, Spekhorst LM, et al (2021)

The Effect of Phenotype and Genotype on the Plasma Proteome in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Journal of Crohn's & colitis pii:6365883 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Protein profiling in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes is underexplored in IBD. This study analysed the association between phenotype, genotype and the plasma proteome in IBD.

METHODS: Ninety-two (92) inflammation-related proteins were quantified in plasma of 1,028 patients with IBD (567 Crohn's disease [CD]; 461 ulcerative colitis [UC]) and 148 healthy individuals to assess protein-phenotype associations. Corresponding whole-exome sequencing and global screening array data of 919 patients with IBD were included to analyse the effect of genetics on protein levels (protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) analysis). Intestinal mucosal RNA sequencing and fecal metagenomic data were used for complementary analyses.

RESULTS: Thirty-two (32) proteins were differentially abundant between IBD and healthy individuals, of which 22 proteins independent of active inflammation. Sixty-nine (69) proteins were associated with 15 demographic and clinical factors. Fibroblast growth factor-19 levels were decreased in CD patients with ileal disease or a history of ileocecal resection. Thirteen novel cis-pQTLs were identified and 10 replicated from previous studies. One trans-pQTL of the fucosyltransferase 2 (FUT2) gene (rs602662) and two independent cis-pQTLs of C-C motif chemokine 25 (CCL25) affected plasma CCL25 levels. Intestinal gene expression data revealed an overlapping cis-expression (e)QTL-variant (rs3745387) of the CCL25 gene. The FUT2 rs602662 trans-pQTL was associated with reduced abundances of fecal butyrate-producing bacteria.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that genotype and multiple disease phenotypes strongly associate with the plasma inflammatory proteome in IBD and identifies disease-associated pathways that may help to improve disease management in the future.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Sorensen JW, Zinke LA, Ter Horst AM, et al (2021)

DNase Treatment Improves Viral Enrichment in Agricultural Soil Viromes.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

The small genomes of most viruses make it difficult to fully capture viral diversity in metagenomes dominated by DNA from cellular organisms. Viral size fraction metagenomics (viromics) protocols facilitate the enrichment of viral DNA from environmental samples, and these protocols typically include DNase treatment of the post-0.2-μm-filtered viromic fraction to remove contaminating free DNA prior to virion lysis. However, DNase may also remove desirable viral genomic DNA (e.g., contained in virions compromised due to frozen storage or laboratory processing), suggesting that DNase-untreated viromes might be useful in some cases. In order to understand how virome preparation with and without DNase treatment influences the resultant data, here, we compared 15 soil viromes (7 DNase treated and 8 untreated) from 8 samples collected from agricultural fields prior to tomato planting. DNase-treated viromes yielded significantly more assembled viral contigs, contained significantly less nonviral microbial DNA, and recovered more viral populations (viral operational taxonomic units [vOTUs]) through read mapping. However, DNase-treated and untreated viromes were statistically indistinguishable in terms of ecological patterns across viral communities. Although the results suggest that DNase treatment is preferable where possible, in comparison to previously reported total metagenomes from the same samples, both DNase-treated and untreated viromes were significantly enriched in viral signatures by all metrics compared, including a 225-times-higher proportion of viral reads in untreated viromes compared to total metagenomes. Thus, even without DNase treatment, viromics was preferable to total metagenomics for capturing viral diversity in these soils, suggesting that preparation of DNase-untreated viromes can be worthwhile when DNase treatment is not possible. IMPORTANCE Viromics is becoming an increasingly popular method for characterizing soil viral communities. DNase treatment of the viral size fraction prior to DNA extraction is meant to reduce contaminating free DNA and is a common step within viromics protocols to ensure that sequences are of viral origin. However, some samples may not be amenable to DNase treatment due to viral particles being compromised either in storage (i.e., frozen) or during other sample processing steps. To date, the effect of DNase treatment on the recovery of viruses and downstream ecological interpretations of soil viral communities is not thoroughly understood. This work sheds light on these questions and indicates that while DNase treatment of soil viromes improves the recovery of viral populations, this improvement is modest in comparison to the gains made by viromics over total soil metagenomics. Furthermore, DNase treatment may not be necessary to observe the ecological patterns structuring soil viral communities.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Li L, Zhang W, Zhang S, et al (2021)

Bacteria and Archaea Synergistically Convert Glycine Betaine to Biogenic Methane in the Formosa Cold Seep of the South China Sea.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Cold seeps are globally widespread seafloor ecosystems that feature abundant methane production and flourishing chemotrophic benthic communities. Chemical evidence indicates that cold seep methane is largely biogenic; however, the primary methane-producing organisms and associated pathways involved in methanogenesis remain elusive. This work detected methane production when glycine betaine (GBT) or trimethylamine (TMA) was added to the sediment microcosms of the Formosa cold seep, South China Sea. The methane production was suppressed by antibiotic inhibition of bacteria, while GBT was accumulated. This suggests that the widely used osmoprotectant GBT could be converted to cold seep biogenic methane via the synergistic activity of bacteria and methanogenic archaea because archaea are not sensitive to antibiotics and no bacteria are known to produce ample methane (mM). 16S rRNA gene diversity analyses revealed that the predominant bacterial and archaeal genera in the GBT-amended methanogenic microcosms included Oceanirhabdus and Methanococcoides. Moreover, metagenomic analyses detected the presence of grdH and mtgB genes that are involved in GBT reduction and demethylation, respectively. Two novel species were obtained, including bacterium Oceanirhabdus seepicola, which reduces GBT to TMA, and a methanogenic archaeon, Methanococcoides seepicolus, which produces methane from TMA and GBT. The two strains reconstituted coculture efficiently converted GBT to methane at 18°C; however, at 4°C addition of dimethylglycine (DMG), the GBT demethylation product, was necessary. Therefore, this work demonstrated that GBT is the precursor not only of the biogenic methane but also of the cryoprotectant DMG to the microorganisms at the Formosa cold seep. IMPORTANCE Numerous cold seeps have been found in global continental margins where methane is enriched in pore waters that are forced upward from sediments. Therefore, high concerns have been focused on the methane-producing organisms and the metabolic pathways in these environments because methane is a potent greenhouse gas. In this study, GBT was identified as the main precursor for methane in the Formosa cold seep of the South China Sea. Further, synergism of bacteria and methanogenic archaea was identified in GBT conversion to methane via the GBT reduction pathway, while methanogen-mediated GBT demethylation to methane was also observed. In addition, GBT-demethylated product dimethyl glycine acted as a cryoprotectant that promoted the cold seep microorganisms at cold temperatures. GBT is an osmoprotectant that is widely used by marine organisms, and therefore, the GBT-derived methanogenic pathway reported here could be widely distributed among global cold seep environments.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Li L, Zhang Y, Speakman JR, et al (2021)

The gut microbiota and its products: Establishing causal relationships with obesity related outcomes.

Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity [Epub ahead of print].

Gut microorganisms not only participate in the metabolism of carbohydrate, lipids, protein, and polypeptides in the intestine but also directly affect the metabolic phenotypes of the host. Although many studies have described the apparent effects of gut microbiota on human health, the development of metagenomics and culturomics in the past decade has generated a large amount of evidence suggesting a causal relationship between gut microbiota and obesity. The interaction between the gut microbiota and host is realized by microbial metabolites with multiple biological functions. We concentrated here on several representative beneficial species connected with obesity as well as the mechanisms, with particular emphasis on microbiota-dependent metabolites. Finally, we consider the potential clinical significance of these relationships to fuel the conception and realization of novel therapeutic and preventive strategies.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Anton-Vazquez V, Dworakowski R, Cannata A, et al (2021)

16S rDNA PCR for the aetiological diagnosis of culture-negative infective endocarditis.

Infection [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Culture-negative infective endocarditis (IE) accounts for 7-31% of all cases. Metagenomics has contributed to improving the aetiological diagnosis of IE patients undergoing valve surgery. We assessed the impact of 16S ribosomal DNA gene polymerase chain reaction (16S rDNA PCR) in the aetiological diagnosis of culture-negative IE.

METHODS: Between January 2016 and January 2020, clinical data from culture-negative IE patients were reviewed retrospectively. Identification of bacteria was performed using 16S rDNA PCR in heart valve specimens.

RESULTS: 36 out of 313 patients (12%) with culture-negative IE had their valve tissue specimens submitted for 16S rDNA PCR. 16S rDNA PCR detected and identified bacterial nucleic acid in heart valve tissue significantly more frequently compared to valve culture alone 25(70%) vs 5(12%); p < 0.05. Mean age was 57 years (SD 18) and 80% were male. Native and aortic valve were involved in 76% and 52% of cases, respectively. Streptococcus spp. (n 15) were the most commonly detected organisms, followed by bacteria of the HACEK group (Haemophilus parainfluenzae 2, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans 1), nutritionally variant streptococci (Abiotrophia defectiva 2), and one each of Staphylococcus aureus, Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum, Helcococcus kunzii, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Tropheryma whipplei.

CONCLUSION: 16S rDNA PCR may be a useful diagnostic tool for the identification of the causative organism in culture-negative IE. Efforts towards a shorter turnaround time for results should be consider and further studies assessing the clinical impact of this technique in culture-negative IE are needed.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Hu D, Yang J, Qi Y, et al (2021)

Metagenomic Analysis of Fecal Archaea, Bacteria, Eukaryota, and Virus in Przewalski's Horses Following Anthelmintic Treatment.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 8:708512.

Intestinal microbiota is involved in immune response and metabolism of the host. The frequent use of anthelmintic compounds for parasite expulsion causes disturbance to the equine intestinal microbiota. However, most studies were on the effects of such treatment on the intestinal bacterial microbes; none is on the entire microbial community including archaea and eukaryotic and viral community in equine animals. This study is the first to explore the differences of the microbial community composition and structure in Przewalski's horses prior to and following anthelmintic treatment, and to determine the corresponding changes of their functional attributes based on metagenomic sequencing. Results showed that in archaea, the methanogen of Euryarchaeota was the dominant phylum. Under this phylum, anthelmintic treatment increased the Methanobrevibacter genus and decreased the Methanocorpusculum genus and two other dominant archaea species, Methanocorpusculum labreanum and Methanocorpusculum bavaricum. In bacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla. Anthelmintic treatment increased the genera of Clostridium and Eubacterium and decreased those of Bacteroides and Prevotella and dominant bacteria species. These altered genera were associated with immunity and digestion. In eukaryota, anthelmintic treatment also changed the genera related to digestion and substantially decreased the relative abundances of identified species. In virus, anthelmintic treatment increased the genus of unclassified_d__Viruses and decreased those of unclassified_f__Siphoviridae and unclassified_f__Myoviridae. Most of the identified viral species were classified into phage, which were more sensitive to anthelmintic treatment than other viruses. Furthermore, anthelmintic treatment was found to increase the number of pathogens related to some clinical diseases in horses. The COG and KEGG function analysis showed that the intestinal microbiota of Przewalski's horse mainly participated in the carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. The anthelmintic treatment did not change their overall function; however, it displaced the population of the functional microbes involved in each function or pathway. These results provide a complete view on the changes caused by anthelmintic treatment in the intestinal microbiota of the Przewalski's horses.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Medvecky M, M Mandalakis (2021)

PepMANDIS: A Peptide Selection Tool for Designing Function-Based Targeted Proteomic Assays in Complex Microbial Systems.

Frontiers in chemistry, 9:722087 pii:722087.

The majority of studies focusing on microbial functioning in various environments are based on DNA or RNA sequencing techniques that have inherent limitations and usually provide a distorted picture about the functional status of the studied system. Untargeted proteomics is better suited for that purpose, but it suffers from low efficiency when applied in complex consortia. In practice, the scanning capabilities of the currently employed LC-MS/MS systems provide limited coverage of key-acting proteins, hardly allowing a semiquantitative assessment of the most abundant ones from most prevalent species. When particular biological processes of high importance are under investigation, the analysis of specific proteins using targeted proteomics is a more appropriate strategy as it offers superior sensitivity and comes with the added benefits of increased throughput, dynamic range and selectivity. However, the development of targeted assays requires a priori knowledge regarding the optimal peptides to be screened for each protein of interest. In complex, multi-species systems, a specific biochemical process may be driven by a large number of homologous proteins having considerable differences in their amino acid sequence, complicating LC-MS/MS detection. To overcome the complexity of such systems, we have developed an automated pipeline that interrogates UniProt database or user-created protein datasets (e.g. from metagenomic studies) to gather homolog proteins with a defined functional role and extract respective peptide sequences, while it computes several protein/peptide properties and relevant statistics to deduce a small list of the most representative, process-specific and LC-MS/MS-amenable peptides for the microbial enzymatic activity of interest.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Lyu X, Zheng H, Wang X, et al (2021)

Oral Microbiota Composition and Function Changes During Chronic Erythematous Candidiasis.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:691092.

Oral microbiota is constantly changing with the host state, whereas the oral microbiome of chronic erythematous candidiasis remains poorly understood. The aim of this study was to compare oral microbial signatures and functional profiling between chronic erythematous candidiasis and healthy subjects. Using shotgun metagenomic sequencing, we analyzed the microbiome in 12 chronic erythematous candidiasis, 12 healthy subjects, and 2 chronic erythematous candidiasis cured by antifungal therapy. We found that the salivary microbiota of chronic erythematous candidiasis was significantly different from that of healthy subjects. Among them, Rothia mucilaginosa and Streptococcus mitis were the most abundant disease-enriched species (Mann-Whitney U-test, P < 0.05). In addition, co-occurrence network analysis showed that C. albicans formed densely connected modules with oral bacterial species and was mainly positive connected to Streptococcus species. Furthermore, we investigated the functional potentials of the microbiome and identified a set of microbial marker genes associated with chronic erythematous candidiasis. Some of these genes enriching in chronic erythematous candidiasis are involved in eukaryotic ribosome, putative glutamine transport system, and cytochrome bc1 complex respiratory unit. Altogether, this study revealed the changes of oral microbial composition, the co-occurrence between C. albicans and oral bacteria, as well as the changes of microbial marker genes during chronic erythematous candidiasis, which provides evidence of oral microbiome as a target for the treatment and prevention of chronic erythematous candidiasis.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Li Y, Wang D, Zhang J, et al (2021)

Human Adenovirus Type 7 Infections in Hubei, China During 2018-2019: Epidemic Features and Genetic Characterization of the Detected Viruses.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:684606.

Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) type 7 can cause severe respiratory disease. During the period between December 2018 and August 2019, HAdV-7 infection was identified in 129 patients in Wuhan Children's Hospital, Hubei Province, China. Samples were collected from hospitalized children and metagenomic sequencing was applied to detect the HAdV infections. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocystosis (HLH) related to HAdV infections was observed in some patients clinically and patients were divided into two groups based on this to test the differences among clinical indicators. Genome variation, in silico restriction endonuclease analysis (REA), and phylogenetic analyses were carried out to show the genome characterization of HAdV-7 in this study. It was found that many indicators, such as all blood routine indicators, in patients of the HLH group showed significant levels. In this study, REA revealed that HAdV-7 might belong to genome 7d and genome variation analysis displayed the stable genome of HAdV. HAdV-7 is an ongoing threat to the public, and global surveillance should be established.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Hoffert M, Anderson RE, Reveillaud J, et al (2021)

Genomic Variation Influences Methanothermococcus Fitness in Marine Hydrothermal Systems.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:714920.

Hydrogenotrophic methanogens are ubiquitous chemoautotrophic archaea inhabiting globally distributed deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems and associated subseafloor niches within the rocky subseafloor, yet little is known about how they adapt and diversify in these habitats. To determine genomic variation and selection pressure within methanogenic populations at vents, we examined five Methanothermococcus single cell amplified genomes (SAGs) in conjunction with 15 metagenomes and 10 metatranscriptomes from venting fluids at two geochemically distinct hydrothermal vent fields on the Mid-Cayman Rise in the Caribbean Sea. We observed that some Methanothermococcus lineages and their transcripts were more abundant than others in individual vent sites, indicating differential fitness among lineages. The relative abundances of lineages represented by SAGs in each of the samples matched phylogenetic relationships based on single-copy universal genes, and genes related to nitrogen fixation and the CRISPR/Cas immune system were among those differentiating the clades. Lineages possessing these genes were less abundant than those missing that genomic region. Overall, patterns in nucleotide variation indicated that the population dynamics of Methanothermococcus were not governed by clonal expansions or selective sweeps, at least in the habitats and sampling times included in this study. Together, our results show that although specific lineages of Methanothermococcus co-exist in these habitats, some outcompete others, and possession of accessory metabolic functions does not necessarily provide a fitness advantage in these habitats in all conditions. This work highlights the power of combining single-cell, metagenomic, and metatranscriptomic datasets to determine how evolution shapes microbial abundance and diversity in hydrothermal vent ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Ticlla MR, Hella J, Hiza H, et al (2021)

The Sputum Microbiome in Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Its Association With Disease Manifestations: A Cross-Sectional Study.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:633396.

Each day, approximately 27,000 people become ill with tuberculosis (TB), and 4,000 die from this disease. Pulmonary TB is the main clinical form of TB, and affects the lungs with a considerably heterogeneous manifestation among patients. Immunomodulation by an interplay of host-, environment-, and pathogen-associated factors partially explains such heterogeneity. Microbial communities residing in the host's airways have immunomodulatory effects, but it is unclear if the inter-individual variability of these microbial communities is associated with the heterogeneity of pulmonary TB. Here, we investigated this possibility by characterizing the microbial composition in the sputum of 334 TB patients from Tanzania, and by assessing its association with three aspects of disease manifestations: sputum mycobacterial load, severe clinical findings, and chest x-ray (CXR) findings. Compositional data analysis of taxonomic profiles based on 16S-rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and on whole metagenome shotgun sequencing, and graph-based inference of microbial associations revealed that the airway microbiome of TB patients was shaped by inverse relationships between Streptococcus and two anaerobes: Selenomonas and Fusobacterium. Specifically, the strength of these microbial associations was negatively correlated with Faith's phylogenetic diversity (PD) and with the accumulation of transient genera. Furthermore, low body mass index (BMI) determined the association between abnormal CXRs and community diversity and composition. These associations were mediated by increased abundance of Selenomonas and Fusobacterium, relative to the abundance of Streptococcus, in underweight patients with lung parenchymal infiltrates and in comparison to those with normal chest x-rays. And last, the detection of herpesviruses and anelloviruses in sputum microbial assemblage was linked to co-infection with HIV. Given the anaerobic metabolism of Selenomonas and Fusobacterium, and the hypoxic environment of lung infiltrates, our results suggest that in underweight TB patients, lung tissue remodeling toward anaerobic conditions favors the growth of Selenomonas and Fusobacterium at the expense of Streptococcus. These new insights into the interplay among particular members of the airway microbiome, BMI, and lung parenchymal lesions in TB patients, add a new dimension to the long-known association between low BMI and pulmonary TB. Our results also drive attention to the airways virome in the context of HIV-TB coinfection.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Jonassen KR, Hagen LH, Vick SHW, et al (2021)

Nitrous oxide respiring bacteria in biogas digestates for reduced agricultural emissions.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Inoculating agricultural soils with nitrous oxide respiring bacteria (NRB) can reduce N2O-emission, but would be impractical as a standalone operation. Here we demonstrate that digestates obtained after biogas production are suitable substrates and vectors for NRB. We show that indigenous NRB in digestates grew to high abundance during anaerobic enrichment under N2O. Gas-kinetics and meta-omic analyses showed that these NRB's, recovered as metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), grew by harvesting fermentation intermediates of the methanogenic consortium. Three NRB's were isolated, one of which matched the recovered MAG of a Dechloromonas, deemed by proteomics to be the dominant producer of N2O-reductase in the enrichment. While the isolates harbored genes required for a full denitrification pathway and could thus both produce and sequester N2O, their regulatory traits predicted that they act as N2O sinks in soil, which was confirmed experimentally. The isolates were grown by aerobic respiration in digestates, and fertilization with these NRB-enriched digestates reduced N2O emissions from soil. Our use of digestates for low-cost and large-scale inoculation with NRB in soil can be taken as a blueprint for future applications of this powerful instrument to engineer the soil microbiome, be it for enhancing plant growth, bioremediation, or any other desirable function.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Huang WC, Liu Y, Zhang X, et al (2021)

Comparative genomic analysis reveals metabolic flexibility of Woesearchaeota.

Nature communications, 12(1):5281.

The archaeal phylum Woesearchaeota, within the DPANN superphylum, includes phylogenetically diverse microorganisms that inhabit various environments. Their biology is poorly understood due to the lack of cultured isolates. Here, we analyze datasets of Woesearchaeota 16S rRNA gene sequences and metagenome-assembled genomes to infer global distribution patterns, ecological preferences and metabolic capabilities. Phylogenomic analyses indicate that the phylum can be classified into ten subgroups, termed A-J. While a symbiotic lifestyle is predicted for most, some members of subgroup J might be host-independent. The genomes of several Woesearchaeota, including subgroup J, encode putative [FeFe] hydrogenases (known to be important for fermentation in other organisms), suggesting that these archaea might be anaerobic fermentative heterotrophs.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


ESP now offers a 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 )