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Bibliography on: Metagenomics

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 02 Dec 2023 at 01:31 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: 2023-12-01

Yang L, Wang K, Li Y, et al (2023)

Joint application of metagenomic next-generation sequencing and histopathological examination for the diagnosis of pulmonary infectious disease.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

The diagnosis of some pulmonary infectious diseases and their pathogens is very difficult. A more precise diagnosis of pulmonary infectious diseases can help clinicians use proper antibiotics as well as reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria. In this study, we performed both mNGS and pathology on lung puncture biopsy tissue from patients and found that combined mNGS and histopathology testing was significantly more effective than histopathology testing alone in detecting infectious diseases and identifying infectious diseases. In addition, the combined approach improves the detection rate of pathogenic microorganisms in infectious diseases and can be used to guide precision clinical treatment.

RevDate: 2023-12-01

Li CC, Hsu WF, Chiang PC, et al (2023)

Characterization of markers, functional properties, and microbiome composition in human gut-derived bacterial extracellular vesicles.

Gut microbes, 15(2):2288200.

Past studies have confirmed the etiologies of bacterial extracellular vesicles (BEVs) in various diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of stool-derived bacterial extracellular vesicles (stBEVs) and discuss their association with stool bacteria. First, three culture models - gram-positive (G+)BcBEVs (from B.coagulans), gram-negative (G-)EcBEVs (from E.coli), and eukaryotic cell-derived EVs (EEV, from Colo205 cell line) - were used to benchmark various fractions of stEVs separated from optimized density gradient approach (DG). As such, WB, TEM, NTA, and functional assays, were utilized to analyze properties and distribution of EVs in cultured and stool samples. Stool samples from healthy individuals were interrogated using the approaches developed. Results demonstrated successful separation of most stBEVs (within DG fractions 8&9) from stEEVs (within DG fractions 5&6). Data also suggest the presence of stBEV DNA within vesicles after extraction of BEV DNA and DNase treatment. Metagenomic analysis from full-length (FL) region sequencing results confirmed significant differences between stool bacteria and stBEVs. Significantly, F8&9 and the pooled sample (F5-F9) exhibited a similar microbial composition, indicating that F8&9 were enriched in most stBEV species, primarily dominated by Firmicutes (89.6%). However, F5&6 and F7 still held low-density BEVs with a significantly higher proportion of Proteobacteria (20.5% and 40.7%, respectively) and Bacteroidetes (24% and 13.7%, respectively), considerably exceeding the proportions in stool and F8&9. Importantly, among five healthy individuals, significant variations were observed in the gut microbiota composition of their respective stBEVs, indicating the potential of stBEVs as a target for personalized medicine and research.

RevDate: 2023-12-01

Gao M, Xiong C, Tsui CKM, et al (2023)

Pathogen invasion increases the abundance of predatory protists and their prey associations in the plant microbiome.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Soil and plant-associated protistan communities play a key role in shaping bacterial and fungal communities, primarily through their function as top-down predators. However, our understanding of how pathogen invasion influences these protistan communities and their relationships with bacterial and fungal communities remains limited. Here, we studied the protistan communities along the soil-plant continuum of healthy chilli peppers and those affected by Fusarium wilt disease (FWD), and integrated bacterial and fungal community data from our previous research. Our research showed that FWD was associated with a significant enrichment of phagotrophic protists in roots, and also increased the proportion and connectivity of these protists (especially Cercozoa and Ciliophora) in both intra- and inter-kingdom networks. Furthermore, the microbiome of diseased plants not only showed a higher relative abundance of functional genes related to bacterial anti-predator responses than healthy plants, but also contained a greater abundance of metagenome-assembled genomes with functional traits involved in this response. The increased microbial inter-kingdom associations between bacteria and protists, coupled with the notable bacterial anti-predator feedback in the microbiome of diseased plants, suggest that FWD may catalyse the associations between protists and their microbial prey. These findings highlight the potential role of predatory protists in influencing microbial assembly and functionality through top-down forces under pathogenic stress.

RevDate: 2023-12-01

Cao R, Dong X, Zhao Y, et al (2023)

Effects of blister blight disease on endophytic microbial diversity and community structure in tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves.

3 Biotech, 13(12):421.

In this study, metagenomic sequencing technology was employed to analyze the ITS1 region sequence of the ITS rDNA gene of endophytic fungi and 16S sequence of endophytic bacteria in tea leaves with varying degrees of infection by tea blister blight disease as well as healthy tea leaves. Subsequently, a comparative analysis was conducted on the endophytic microbial diversity and the community structure in tea leaves. The findings of this investigation reveal a shift in the dominant endophytic fungal genera from Ascomycota to Basidiomycota as the disease progressed. Furthermore, a negative correlation was observed between Exobasidium and Talaromyce, with Talaromyce exhibiting potential as an antagonist against the disease. Meanwhile, our findings reveal that Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria were the three most abundant bacteria phyla in tea leaves. As the disease progressed, there was an increase in the relative abundance of Actinobacteria, while Variovorax, Sphingomonas, and Pseudomonas were found to have higher abundance in later stages. The diversity analysis results indicated that the endophytic microbial diversity and the community structure in tea leaves in the diseased group were lower than those in the healthy control group. In general, blister blight disease altered the community structure of endophytic microorganisms in tea leaves, resulting in a few species with high abundance. The study lays a foundation for investigating the pathogenic mechanism of tea blister disease and establishing a theoretical basis for controlling diseases in tea trees.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Gallardo-Becerra L, Cervantes-Echeverría M, Cornejo-Granados F, et al (2023)

Perspectives in Searching Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs) Produced by the Microbiota.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):8.

Changes in the structure and function of the microbiota are associated with various human diseases. These microbial changes can be mediated by antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), small peptides produced by the host and their microbiota, which play a crucial role in host-bacteria co-evolution. Thus, by studying AMPs produced by the microbiota (microbial AMPs), we can better understand the interactions between host and bacteria in microbiome homeostasis. Additionally, microbial AMPs are a new source of compounds against pathogenic and multi-resistant bacteria. Further, the growing accessibility to metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets presents an opportunity to discover new microbial AMPs. This review examines the structural properties of microbiota-derived AMPs, their molecular action mechanisms, genomic organization, and strategies for their identification in any microbiome data as well as experimental testing. Overall, we provided a comprehensive overview of this important topic from the microbial perspective.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Li Z, Wang J, Yue H, et al (2023)

Marine toxin domoic acid alters nitrogen cycling in sediments.

Nature communications, 14(1):7873.

As a red tide algal toxin with intense neurotoxicity distributed worldwide, domoic acid (DA) has attracted increasing concerns. In this work, the integrative analysis of metagenome and metabolome are applied to investigate the impact of DA on nitrogen cycling in coastal sediments. Here we show that DA can act as a stressor to induce the variation of nitrogen (N) cycling by altering the abundance of functional genes and electron supply. Moreover, microecology theory revealed that DA can increase the role of deterministic assembly in microbial dynamic succession, resulting in the shift of niches and, ultimately, the alteration in N cycling. Notably, denitrification and Anammox, the important process for sediment N removal, are markedly limited by DA. Also, variation of N cycling implies the modification in cycles of other associated elements. Overall, DA is capable of ecosystem-level effects, which require further evaluation of its potential cascading effects.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Doolin ML, MD Dearing (2023)

Differential effects of two common antiparasitics on microbiota resilience.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:7456363 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Parasitic infections challenge vertebrate health worldwide, and off-target effects of antiparasitic treatments may be an additional obstacle to recovery. However, there have been few investigations of the effects of antiparasitics on the gut microbiome in the absence of parasites.

METHODS: We investigated whether two common antiparasitics-albendazole and metronidazole-significantly alter the gut microbiome of parasite-free mice. We treated mice with albendazole or metronidazole daily for seven days and sampled the fecal microbiota immediately before and after treatment, and again after a two-week recovery period.

RESULTS: Albendazole did not immediately change the gut microbiota, while metronidazole decreased microbial richness by 8.5% and significantly changed community structure during treatment. The structural changes caused by metronidazole included depletion of the beneficial family Lachnospiraceae, and predictive metagenomic analysis revealed that these losses likely depressed microbiome metabolic function. Separately, we compared the fecal microbiotas of treatment groups after recovery, and there were minor differences in community structure between the albendazole, metronidazole, and sham-treated control groups.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that a healthy microbiome is resilient after metronidazole-induced depletions of beneficial gut microbes and albendazole may cause slight, latent shifts in the microbiota but does not deplete healthy gut microbiota diversity.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Zhang Y, Xu Z, Chu W, et al (2023)

Tracking the source of antibiotic resistome in the stormwater network drainage in the presence of sewage illicit connections.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07618-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Stormwater pipes are illicitly connected with sewage in many countries, which means that sewage enters stormwater pipes and the drainage is discharged to surface water without any treatment. Sewage contains more pathogens and highly risky antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) than surface runoff. Therefore, sewage may alter the microbial and ARG compositions in stormwater pipe drainage, which in turn leads to an increased risk of resistance in surface water. However, the effects of sewage on ARGs in the drainage of stormwater networks have not been systematically studied. This study characterized the microbial and ARG composition of several environmental compartments of a typical stormwater network and quantified their contributions to those in the drainage. This network transported ARGs and microorganisms from sewage, sediments in stormwater pipes, and surface runoff into the drainage and thus into the river. According to metagenomic analysis, multidrug resistance genes were most abundant in all samples and the numbers and relative abundance of ARGs in the drainage collected during wet weather were comparable to that of sewage. The results of SourceTracker showed that the relative contribution of sewage was double that of rainwater and surface runoff in the drainage during wet weather for both microorganisms and ARGs. Desulfovibrio, Azoarcus, and Sulfuritalea were connected with the greatest number of ARGs and were most abundant in the sediments of stormwater pipes. Furthermore, stochastic processes were found to dominate ARG and microbial assembly, as the effects of high hydrodynamic intensity outweighed the effects of environmental filtration and species interactions. The findings of this study can increase our understanding of ARGs in stormwater pipe drainage, a crucial medium linking ARGs in sewage to environmental ARGs.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Lindner BG, Gerhardt K, Feistel DJ, et al (2023)

A user's guide to the bioinformatic analysis of shotgun metagenomic sequence data for bacterial pathogen detection.

International journal of food microbiology, 410:110488 pii:S0168-1605(23)00405-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Metagenomics, i.e., shotgun sequencing of the total microbial community DNA from a sample, has become a mature technique but its application to pathogen detection in clinical, environmental, and food samples is far from common or standardized. In this review, we summarize ongoing developments in metagenomic sequence analysis that facilitate its wider application to pathogen detection. We examine theoretical frameworks for estimating the limit of detection for a particular level of sequencing effort, current approaches for achieving species and strain analytical resolution, and discuss some relevant modern tools for these tasks. While these recent advances are significant and establish metagenomics as a powerful tool to provide insights not easily attained by culture-based approaches, metagenomics is unlikely to emerge as a widespread, routine monitoring tool in the near future due to its inherently high detection limits, cost, and inability to easily distinguish between viable and non-viable cells. Instead, metagenomics seems best poised for applications involving special circumstances otherwise challenging for culture-based and molecular (e.g., PCR-based) approaches such as the de novo detection of novel pathogens, cases of co-infection by more than one pathogen, and situations where it is important to assess the genomic composition of the pathogenic population(s) and/or its impact on the indigenous microbiome.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Mbaye B, Magdy Wasfy R, Borentain P, et al (2023)

Increased fecal ethanol and enriched ethanol-producing gut bacteria Limosilactobacillus fermentum, Enterocloster bolteae, Mediterraneibacter gnavus and Streptococcus mutans in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 13:1279354.

BACKGROUND: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has become a major public health issue as one of the leading causes of liver disease and transplantation worldwide. The instrumental role of the gut microbiota is emerging but still under investigation. Endogenous ethanol (EtOH) production by gut bacteria and yeasts is an emerging putative mechanism. Microbial metagenomics and culture studies targeting enterobacteria or yeasts have been reported, but no culturomics studies have been conducted so far.

AIM: To assess fecal EtOH and other biochemical parameters, characterize NASH-associated dysbiosis and identify EtOH-producing gut microbes associated with the disease, fecal samples from 41 NASH patients and 24 controls were analyzed. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used for EtOH, glucose, total proteins, triglyceride and total cholesterol. Viable bacteria were assessed with microbial culturomics. Microbial genetic material was assessed using 16S metagenomics targeting the hypervariable V3V4 region.

RESULTS: Fecal EtOH and glucose was elevated in the stools of NASH patients (p < 0.05) but not triglyceride, total cholesterol or proteins. In culturomics, EtOH-producing Enterocloster bolteae and Limosilactobacillus fermentum were enriched in NASH. V3V4 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing confirmed the enrichment in EtOH-producing bacteria including L. fermentum, Mediterraneibacter gnavus and Streptococcus mutans, species previously associated with NASH and other dysbiosis-associated diseases. Strikingly, E. bolteae was identified only by culturomics. The well-known Lacticaseibacillus casei was identified in controls but never isolated in patients with NASH (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Elevated fecal EtOH and glucose is a feature of NASH. Several different EtOH-producing gut bacteria may play an instrumental role in the disease. Culturomics and metagenomics, two complementary methods, will be critical to identify EtOH-producing bacteria for future diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for NASH. Suppression of EtOH-producing gut microbes and L. casei administration are options to be tested in NASH treatment.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Li X, Wang C, Guo Z, et al (2023)

Enhancing Vibrio vulnificus infection diagnosis for negative culture patients with metagenomic next-generation sequencing.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 13:1210919.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the diagnostic value of metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) in Vibrio vulnificus (V. vulnificus) infection.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of patients with V. vulnificus infection at the Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University from January 1, 2020 to April 23, 2023 was conducted. 14 enrolled patients were diagnosed by culture or mNGS. The corresponding medical records were reviewed, and the clinical data analyzed included demographics, epidemiology laboratory findings, physical examination, symptoms at presentation, antibiotic and surgical treatment, and outcome.

RESULTS: In this study, 78.6% (11/14) patients had a history of marine trauma (including fish stab, shrimp stab, crab splints and fish hook wounds), 7.1% (1/14) had eaten seafood, and the remaining 14.3% (2/14) had no definite cause. Isolation of V. vulnificus from clinical samples including blood, tissue, fester and secreta. 9 cases were positive for culture, 5 cases were detected synchronously by mNGS and got positive for V. vulnificus. 85.7% (12/14) cases accepted surgical treatment, with 1 patient suffering finger amputated. 14 enrolled patients received appropriate antibiotic therapy, and all of them had recovered and discharged. 9 strains V. vulnificus isolated in this study were sensitive to most beta-lactam antibiotics, aminoglycosides, quinolones, etc.

CONCLUSION: Vibrio vulnificus infection is a common water-exposed disease in Zhuhai, which requires identification of a number of pathogens. Of severe infections with unknown pathogen, mNGS can be used simultaneously, and the potential to detect multiple pathogens is of great help in guiding treatment.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Ramanauskas K, B Igić (2023)

kakapo: easy extraction and annotation of genes from raw RNA-seq reads.

PeerJ, 11:e16456.

kakapo (kākāpō) is a Python-based pipeline that allows users to extract and assemble one or more specified genes or gene families. It flexibly uses original RNA-seq read or GenBank SRA accession inputs without performing global assembly of entire transcriptomes or metatranscriptomes. The pipeline identifies open reading frames in the assembled gene transcripts and annotates them. It optionally filters raw reads for ribosomal, plastid, and mitochondrial reads, or reads belonging to non-target organisms (e.g., viral, bacterial, human). kakapo can be employed for targeted assembly, to extract arbitrary loci, such as those commonly used for phylogenetic inference in systematics or candidate genes and gene families in phylogenomic and metagenomic studies. We provide example applications and discuss how its use can offset the declining value of GenBank's single-gene databases and help assemble datasets for a variety of phylogenetic analyses.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Monleón-Getino A, Pujol-Muncunill G, Méndez Viera J, et al (2023)

A pilot study of the use of the oral and faecal microbiota for the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in a paediatric population.

Frontiers in pediatrics, 11:1220976.

Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) that affect the gastrointestinal tract. Changes in the microbiome and its interaction with the immune system are thought to play a key role in their development. The aim of this study was to determine whether metagenomic analysis is a feasible non-invasive diagnostic tool for IBD in paediatric patients. A pilot study of oral and faecal microbiota was proposed with 36 paediatric patients divided in three cohorts [12 with CD, 12 with UC and 12 healthy controls (HC)] with 6 months of follow-up. Finally, 30 participants were included: 13 with CD, 11 with UC and 8 HC (6 dropped out during follow-up). Despite the small size of the study population, a differential pattern of microbial biodiversity was observed between IBD patients and the control group. Twenty-one bacterial species were selected in function of their discriminant accuracy, forming three sets of potential markers of IBD. Although IBD diagnosis requires comprehensive medical evaluation, the findings of this study show that faecal metagenomics or a reduced set of bacterial markers could be useful as a non-invasive tool for an easier and earlier diagnosis.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Kaenying W, Tagami T, Suwan E, et al (2023)

Structural and mutational analysis of glycoside hydrolase family 1 Br2 β-glucosidase derived from bovine rumen metagenome.

Heliyon, 9(11):e21923.

Ruminant animals rely on the activities of β-glucosidases from residential microbes to convert feed fibers into glucose for further metabolic uses. In this report, we determined the structures of Br2, which is a glycoside hydrolase family 1 β-glucosidase from the bovine rumen metagenome. Br2 folds into a classical (β/α)8-TIM barrel domain but displays unique structural features at loop β5→α5 and α-helix 5, resulting in different positive subsites from those of other GH1 enzymes. Br2 exhibited the highest specificity toward laminaritriose, suggesting its involvement in β-glucan hydrolysis in digested feed. We then substituted the residues at subsites +1 and + 2 of Br2 with those of Halothermothrix orenii β-glucosidase. The C170E and C221T mutations provided favorable interactions with glucooligosaccharide substrates at subsite +2, while the A219N mutation probably improved the substrate preference for cellobiose and gentiobiose relative to laminaribiose at subsite +1. The N407Y mutation increased the affinity toward cellooligosaccharides. These results give further insights into the molecular determinants responsible for substrate specificity in GH1 β-glucosidases and may provide a basis for future enzyme engineering applications.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Li L, Hu Z, Tan G, et al (2023)

Enhancing plant growth in biofertilizer-amended soil through nitrogen-transforming microbial communities.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1259853.

Biofertilizers have immense potential for enhancing agricultural productivity. However, there is still a need for clarification regarding the specific mechanisms through which these biofertilizers improve soil properties and stimulate plant growth. In this research, a bacterial agent was utilized to enhance plant growth and investigate the microbial modulation mechanism of soil nutrient turnover using metagenomic technology. The results demonstrated a significant increase in soil fast-acting nitrogen (by 46.7%) and fast-acting phosphorus (by 88.6%) upon application of the bacterial agent. This finding suggests that stimulated soil microbes contribute to enhanced nutrient transformation, ultimately leading to improved plant growth. Furthermore, the application of the bacterial agent had a notable impact on the accumulation of key genes involved in nitrogen cycling. Notably, it enhanced nitrification genes (amo, hao, and nar), while denitrification genes (nir and nor) showed a slight decrease. This indicates that ammonium oxidation may be the primary pathway for increasing fast-acting nitrogen in soils. Additionally, the bacterial agent influenced the composition and functional structure of the soil microbial community. Moreover, the metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) obtained from the soil microbial communities exhibited complementary metabolic processes, suggesting mutual nutrient exchange. These MAGs contained widely distributed and highly abundant genes encoding plant growth promotion (PGP) traits. These findings emphasize how soil microbial communities can enhance vegetation growth by increasing nutrient availability and regulating plant hormone production. This effect can be further enhanced by introducing inoculated microbial agents. In conclusion, this study provides novel insights into the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of biofertilizers on soil properties and plant growth. The significant increase in nutrient availability, modulation of key genes involved in nitrogen cycling, and the presence of MAGs encoding PGP traits highlight the potential of biofertilizers to improve agricultural practices. These findings have important implications for enhancing agricultural sustainability and productivity, with positive societal and environmental impacts.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Qi H, Yu F, Lü S, et al (2023)

Exploring domestication pattern in lotus: insights from dispensable genome assembly.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1294033.

Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.), an important aquatic plant in horticulture and ecosystems, has been cultivated for more than 7000 years and domesticated into three different subgroups: flower lotus, rhizome lotus, and seed lotus. To explore the domesticated regions of each subgroup, re-sequencing data of 371 lotus accessions collected from the public database were aligned to the genome of 'China-Antique (CA)'. Unmapped reads were used to build the dispensable genome of each subgroup using a metagenome-like assembly strategy. More than 27 Mb of the dispensable genome in these three subgroups and the wild group was assembled, of which 11,761 genes were annotated. Some of the contigs in the dispensable genome were similar to the genomic segments of other lotus accessions other than 'CA'. The annotated genes in each subgroup played essential roles in specific developmental processes. Dissection of selective signals in three cultivated subgroups also demonstrated that subgroup-specific metabolic pathways, such as the brassinosteroids metabolism enrichment in FL, associated with these selected genes in each subgroup and the contigs in dispensable genome nearly located in the domesticated regions of each subgroup, respectively. Our data presented a valuable resource for facilitating lotus genomic studies, complemented the helpful information to the reference genome, and shed light on the selective signals of domesticated subgroups.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Fujita H, Ushio M, Suzuki K, et al (2023)

Metagenomic analysis of ecological niche overlap and community collapse in microbiome dynamics.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1261137.

Species utilizing the same resources often fail to coexist for extended periods of time. Such competitive exclusion mechanisms potentially underly microbiome dynamics, causing breakdowns of communities composed of species with similar genetic backgrounds of resource utilization. Although genes responsible for competitive exclusion among a small number of species have been investigated in pioneering studies, it remains a major challenge to integrate genomics and ecology for understanding stable coexistence in species-rich communities. Here, we examine whether community-scale analyses of functional gene redundancy can provide a useful platform for interpreting and predicting collapse of bacterial communities. Through 110-day time-series of experimental microbiome dynamics, we analyzed the metagenome-assembled genomes of co-occurring bacterial species. We then inferred ecological niche space based on the multivariate analysis of the genome compositions. The analysis allowed us to evaluate potential shifts in the level of niche overlap between species through time. We hypothesized that community-scale pressure of competitive exclusion could be evaluated by quantifying overlap of genetically determined resource-use profiles (metabolic pathway profiles) among coexisting species. We found that the degree of community compositional changes observed in the experimental microbiome was correlated with the magnitude of gene-repertoire overlaps among bacterial species, although the causation between the two variables deserves future extensive research. The metagenome-based analysis of genetic potential for competitive exclusion will help us forecast major events in microbiome dynamics such as sudden community collapse (i.e., dysbiosis).

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Wu X, Xu J, Li J, et al (2023)

Bacteroides vulgatus alleviates dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis and depression-like behaviour by facilitating gut-brain axis balance.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1287271.

BACKGROUND: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a higher prevalence of depression. Gut microbiota dysbiosis plays an important role in IBD and depression. However, few studies have explored the characteristic microbiota of patients with IBD and depression (IBDD), or their role in IBDD.

METHODS: We performed deep metagenomic sequencing and 16S rDNA quantitative PCR to characterise the gut microbial communities of patients with IBDD and patients with IBD without depression (IBDND). We then assessed the effect of the microbiota on colitis and depression in mouse models of dextran sulfate sodium salt (DSS)-induced colitis and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced depression. Furthermore, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to analyse the microbiota-derived metabolites involved in gut-brain communication. Evans Blue tracer dye was used to assess blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability.

RESULTS: Our results showed that the faecal abundance of Bacteroides vulgatus (B. vulgatus) was lower in patients with IBDD than in those with IBDND. In the DSS-induced colitis mouse model, the B. vulgatus group showed a significantly lower disease activity index score, lesser weight loss, and longer colon length than the DSS group. Moreover, B. vulgatus relieved depression-like behaviour in the DSS-induced colitis mouse model and in the LPS-induced depression mouse model. Furthermore, the key metabolite of B. vulgatus was p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid (4-HPAA), which was found to relieve intestinal inflammation and alleviate depression-like behaviours in mouse models. By increasing the expression of the tight junction protein claudin-5 in the vascular endothelium of the BBB, B. vulgatus and 4-HPAA play critical roles in gut-brain communication.

CONCLUSION: B. vulgatus and B. vulgatus-derived 4-HPAA ameliorated intestinal inflammation and relieved depressive symptoms through the gut-brain axis. Thus, administration of B. vulgatus or 4-HPAA supplementation is a promising therapeutic strategy for treating IBD, particularly IBDD.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Sun Y, Yu Y, Wu A, et al (2023)

The composition and function of the gut microbiota of Francois' langurs (Trachypithecus francoisi) depend on the environment and diet.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1269492.

The microbiota is essential for the extraction of energy and nutrition from plant-based diets and may have facilitated primate adaptation to new dietary niches in response to rapid environmental shifts. In this study, metagenomic sequencing technology was used to analyze the compositional structure and functional differences of the gut microbial community of Francois' langurs (Trachypithecus francoisi) under different environmental and dietary conditions. The results showed that in terms of the composition of the gut microbial community, there were significant differences among the gut microbiota of Francois' langurs (anthropogenic disturbed populations, wild populations, and captive populations) under different environmental and dietary conditions. The microbial communities with the highest abundance in Francois' langurs were Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Firmicutes was the most abundant phylum in anthropogenic disturbed Francois' langurs and the least abundant in captive Francois' langurs. The abundance of Bacteroidetes was highest in captive Francois' langurs. In the analysis and comparison of alpha diversity, the diversity of the gut microbiota of Francois' langurs affected by anthropogenic disturbance was the highest. The significant differences in gut microbiota between Francois' langurs in different environments and different diets were further supported by principal coordinate analysis (PCoA), with the disturbance group having a gut microbiota more similar to the wild group. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) functional annotation analysis indicated a high abundance of functional genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, replication and repair, cofactor and vitamin metabolism, and other amino acid metabolism pathways. Additionally, the functional genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism pathways were significantly enriched in the gut microbial community of Francois' langurs that were anthropogenic disturbed and captive. The gut microbiota of the Francois' langurs exhibited potential plasticity for dietary flexibility, and long-term food availability in captive populations leads to changes in gut microbiota composition and function. This study explored the composition and function of the gut microbiota of Francois' langurs and provided a scientific basis for understanding the physiological and health status of Francois' langurs, effectively protecting the population of wild Francois' langurs and reintroducing captive Francois' langurs into the wild.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Farmer M, Rajasabhai R, Tarpeh W, et al (2023)

Meta-omic profiling reveals ubiquity of genes encoding for the nitrogen-rich biopolymer cyanophycin in activated sludge microbiomes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1287491.

Recovering nitrogen (N) from municipal wastewater is a promising approach to prevent nutrient pollution, reduce energy use, and transition toward a circular N bioeconomy, but remains a technologically challenging endeavor. Existing N recovery techniques are optimized for high-strength, low-volume wastewater. Therefore, developing methods to concentrate dilute N from mainstream wastewater will bridge the gap between existing technologies and practical implementation. The N-rich biopolymer cyanophycin is a promising candidate for N bioconcentration due to its pH-tunable solubility characteristics and potential for high levels of accumulation. However, the cyanophycin synthesis pathway is poorly explored in engineered microbiomes. In this study, we analyzed over 3,700 publicly available metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) and found that the cyanophycin synthesis gene cphA was ubiquitous across common activated sludge bacteria. We found that cphA was present in common phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAO) Ca. 'Accumulibacter' and Tetrasphaera, suggesting potential for simultaneous N and P bioconcentration in the same organisms. Using metatranscriptomic data, we confirmed the expression of cphA in lab-scale bioreactors enriched with PAO. Our findings suggest that cyanophycin synthesis is a ubiquitous metabolic activity in activated sludge microbiomes. The possibility of combined N and P bioconcentration could lower barriers to entry for N recovery, since P concentration by PAO is already a widespread biotechnology in municipal wastewater treatment. We anticipate this work to be a starting point for future evaluations of combined N and P bioaccumulation, with the ultimate goal of advancing widespread adoption of N recovery from municipal wastewater.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Protasov E, Nonoh JO, Kästle Silva JM, et al (2023)

Diversity and taxonomic revision of methanogens and other archaea in the intestinal tract of terrestrial arthropods.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1281628.

Methane emission by terrestrial invertebrates is restricted to millipedes, termites, cockroaches, and scarab beetles. The arthropod-associated archaea known to date belong to the orders Methanobacteriales, Methanomassiliicoccales, Methanomicrobiales, and Methanosarcinales, and in a few cases also to non-methanogenic Nitrososphaerales and Bathyarchaeales. However, all major host groups are severely undersampled, and the taxonomy of existing lineages is not well developed. Full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences and genomes of arthropod-associated archaea are scarce, reference databases lack resolution, and the names of many taxa are either not validly published or under-classified and require revision. Here, we investigated the diversity of archaea in a wide range of methane-emitting arthropods, combining phylogenomic analysis of isolates and metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) with amplicon sequencing of full-length 16S rRNA genes. Our results allowed us to describe numerous new species in hitherto undescribed taxa among the orders Methanobacteriales (Methanacia, Methanarmilla, Methanobaculum, Methanobinarius, Methanocatella, Methanoflexus, Methanorudis, and Methanovirga, all gen. nova), Methanomicrobiales (Methanofilum and Methanorbis, both gen. nova), Methanosarcinales (Methanofrustulum and Methanolapillus, both gen. nova), Methanomassiliicoccales (Methanomethylophilaceae fam. nov., Methanarcanum, Methanogranum, Methanomethylophilus, Methanomicula, Methanoplasma, Methanoprimaticola, all gen. nova), and the new family Bathycorpusculaceae (Bathycorpusculum gen. nov.). Reclassification of amplicon libraries from this and previous studies using this new taxonomic framework revealed that arthropods harbor only CO2 and methyl-reducing hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Numerous genus-level lineages appear to be present exclusively in arthropods, suggesting long evolutionary trajectories with their termite, cockroach, and millipede hosts, and a radiation into various microhabitats and ecological niches provided by their digestive tracts (e.g., hindgut compartments, gut wall, or anaerobic protists). The distribution patterns among the different host groups are often complex, indicating a mixed mode of transmission and a parallel evolution of invertebrate and vertebrate-associated lineages.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Dennis J, Massey C, Muisyo T, et al (2023)

Use of Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing in the Identification of Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonia in a Previously Healthy Infant Diagnosed With X-Linked Hyper-IgM Syndrome.

Journal of pediatric health care : official publication of National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates & Practitioners pii:S0891-5245(23)00278-X [Epub ahead of print].

This case describes a four-month-old male who was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for acute respiratory failure in the setting of a co-infection requiring increased ventilatory support. Immunodeficiency workup demonstrated poor vaccination response and low immunoglobulin titers. mNGS via Karius® test was positive for Pneumocystis jiroveci (PJP), Parvovirus, and Bocavirus. The patient was successfully treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and prednisone. Genetic workup via Invitae panel confirmed that the patient had X-linked Hyper-IgM Syndrome. Use of mNGS can help with early identification of pathogens that conventional testing does not detect, even in patients not already identified as immunocompromised.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Peoples LM, Dore JE, Bilbrey EM, et al (2023)

Oxic methane production from methylphosphonate in a large oligotrophic lake: limitation by substrate and organic carbon supply.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Methane is an important greenhouse gas that is typically produced under anoxic conditions. We show that methane is supersaturated in a large oligotrophic lake despite the presence of oxygen. Metagenomic sequencing indicates that diverse, widespread microorganisms may contribute to the oxic production of methane through the cleavage of methylphosphonate. We experimentally demonstrate that these organisms, especially members of the genus Acidovorax, can produce methane through this process. However, appreciable rates of methane production only occurred when both methylphosphonate and labile sources of carbon were added, indicating that this process may be limited to specific niches and may not be completely responsible for methane concentrations in Flathead Lake. This work adds to our understanding of methane dynamics by describing the organisms and the rates at which they can produce methane through an oxic pathway in a representative oligotrophic lake.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Kocurek B, Behling S, Martin G, et al (2023)

Metagenomic survey of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Maryland surface waters differentiated by high and low human impact.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Here, we examine surface waters as a modality to better understand baseline antimicrobial resistance (AMR) across the environment to supplement existing AMR monitoring in pathogens associated with humans, foods, and animals. Data from metagenomic and quasimetagenomic (shotgun sequenced enrichments) are used to describe AMR in Maryland surface waters from high and low human impact classifications.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Muscatt G, Cook R, Millard A, et al (2023)

Viral metagenomics reveals diverse virus-host interactions throughout the soil depth profile.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Soil viruses can moderate the roles that their host microbes play in global carbon cycling. However, given that most studies investigate the surface layer (i.e., top 20 cm) of soil, the extent to which this occurs in subsurface soil (i.e., below 20 cm) is unknown. Here, we leveraged public sequencing data to investigate the interactions between viruses and their hosts at soil depth intervals, down to 115 cm. While most viruses were detected throughout the soil depth profile, their adaptation to host microbes varied. Nonetheless, we uncovered evidence for the potential of soil viruses to encourage their hosts to recycle plant-derived carbon in both surface and subsurface soils. This work reasons that our understanding of soil viral functions requires us to continue to dig deeper and compare viruses existing throughout soil ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Beauvais M, Schatt P, Montiel L, et al (2023)

Functional redundancy of seasonal vitamin B12 biosynthesis pathways in coastal marine microbial communities.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a major cofactor required by most marine microbes, but only produced by a few prokaryotes in the ocean, which is globally B12 -depleted. Despite the ecological importance of B12 , the seasonality of B12 metabolisms and the organisms involved in its synthesis in the ocean remain poorly known. Here we use metagenomics to assess the monthly dynamics of B12 -related pathways and the functional diversity of associated microbial communities in the coastal NW Mediterranean Sea over 7 years. We show that genes related to potential B12 metabolisms were characterized by an annual succession of different organisms carrying distinct production pathways. During the most productive winter months, archaea (Nitrosopumilus and Nitrosopelagicus) were the main contributors to B12 synthesis potential through the anaerobic pathway (cbi genes). In turn, Alphaproteobacteria (HIMB11, UBA8309, Puniceispirillum) contributed to B12 synthesis potential in spring and summer through the aerobic pathway (cob genes). Cyanobacteria could produce pseudo-cobalamin from spring to autumn. Finally, we show that during years with environmental perturbations, the organisms usually carrying B12 synthesis genes were replaced by others having the same gene, thus maintaining the potential for B12 production. Such ecological insurance could contribute to the long-term functional resilience of marine microbial communities exposed to contrasting inter-annual environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Nie S, Zhang Q, Chen R, et al (2023)

Rapid detection of pathogens of peritoneal dialysis-related peritonitis, especially in patients who have taken antibiotics, using metagenomic next-generation sequencing: a pilot study.

Renal failure, 45(2):2284229.

INTRODUCTION: Peritoneal dialysis (PD)-related peritonitis is a serious complication of PD. Improving the diagnostic rate of peritonitis pathogens may substantially benefit peritonitis patients.

METHODS: The study was conducted in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Hospital from 1 June 2021 to 31 May 2022. Information about peritonitis, culture and metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) results and so on were collected. Patients were divided into antibiotic-use and antibiotic-free groups. The culture and mNGS results were compared using the paired χ2 test.

RESULTS: Data from 26 patients with peritonitis were collected. 50% of the patients had used antibiotics before samples were obtained (antibiotic-use group). The positivity rate using culture was 92.3% (12 cases) in the antibiotic-free group and 38.5% (5 cases) in the antibiotic-use group (p = 0.011). However, the positivity rate using mNGS was 92.3% (12 cases) regardless of whether antibiotics were used (p = 1.000). After revising the mNGS results, the positivity rate was 84.6% (11 cases) in both groups (p = 1.000). A significant difference between culture and mNGS results of all groups was observed (p = 0.039). The difference no matter between culture and mNGS (p = 0.016) or between culture and modified mNGS (p = 0.031) of the antibiotic-use group was observed.

CONCLUSION: For patients with PD-related peritonitis who previously received antibiotics, mNGS is suggested. For other patients, mNGS testing can be performed, but the results should be interpreted with caution. Much more research should be done to identify a powerful and ideal tool to detect pathogens underlying PD-related peritonitis.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Kamenova S, de Muinck EJ, Veiberg V, et al (2023)

Gut microbiome biogeography in reindeer supersedes millennia of ecological and evolutionary separation.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7455878 [Epub ahead of print].

Ruminants are dependent on their gut microbiomes for nutrient extraction from plant diets. However, knowledge about the composition, diversity, function, and spatial structure of gut microbiomes, especially in wild ruminants, is limited, largely because analysis has been restricted to faeces or the rumen. In two geographically separated reindeer subspecies, 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed strong spatial structuring, and pronounced differences in microbial diversity of at least 33 phyla across the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine (including faeces). The main structural feature was the Bacteroidota to Firmicutes ratio, which declined from the stomachs to the large intestine, likely reflecting functional adaptation. Metagenome shotgun sequencing also revealed highly significant structuring in the relative occurrence of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). CAZymes were enriched in the rumen relative to the small and large intestine. Interestingly, taxonomic diversity was highest in the large intestine, suggesting an important and understudied role for this organ. Despite the two study populations being separated by an ocean and six millennia of evolutionary history, gut microbiome structuring was remarkably consistent. Our study suggests a strong selection for gut microbiome biogeography along the gastrointestinal tract in reindeer subspecies.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Holm JB, France MT, Gajer P, et al (2023)

Integrating compositional and functional content to describe vaginal microbiomes in health and disease.

Microbiome, 11(1):259.

BACKGROUND: A Lactobacillus-dominated vaginal microbiome provides the first line of defense against adverse genital tract health outcomes. However, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms by which the vaginal microbiome modulates protection, as prior work mostly described its composition through morphologic assessment and marker gene sequencing methods that do not capture functional information. To address this gap, we developed metagenomic community state types (mgCSTs) which use metagenomic sequences to describe and define vaginal microbiomes based on both composition and functional potential.

RESULTS: MgCSTs are categories of microbiomes classified using taxonomy and the functional potential encoded in their metagenomes. MgCSTs reflect unique combinations of metagenomic subspecies (mgSs), which are assemblages of bacterial strains of the same species, within a microbiome. We demonstrate that mgCSTs are associated with demographics such as age and race, as well as vaginal pH and Gram stain assessment of vaginal smears. Importantly, these associations varied between mgCSTs predominated by the same bacterial species. A subset of mgCSTs, including three of the six predominated by Gardnerella vaginalis mgSs, as well as mgSs of L. iners, were associated with a greater likelihood of bacterial vaginosis diagnosed by Amsel clinical criteria. This L. iners mgSs, among other functional features, encoded enhanced genetic capabilities for epithelial cell attachment that could facilitate cytotoxin-mediated cell lysis. Finally, we report a mgSs and mgCST classifier for which source code is provided and may be adapted for use by the microbiome research community.

CONCLUSIONS: MgCSTs are a novel and easily implemented approach to reduce the dimension of complex metagenomic datasets while maintaining their functional uniqueness. MgCSTs enable the investigation of multiple strains of the same species and the functional diversity in that species. Future investigations of functional diversity may be key to unraveling the pathways by which the vaginal microbiome modulates the protection of the genital tract. Importantly, our findings support the hypothesis that functional differences between vaginal microbiomes, including those that may look compositionally similar, are critical considerations in vaginal health. Ultimately, mgCSTs may lead to novel hypotheses concerning the role of the vaginal microbiome in promoting health and disease, and identify targets for novel prognostic, diagnostic, and therapeutic strategies to improve women's genital health. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Sun X, Zhang Q, Shan H, et al (2023)

Genome characteristics of atypical porcine pestivirus from abortion cases in Shandong Province, China.

Virology journal, 20(1):282.

BACKGROUND: Atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV) is a novel, highly variable porcine pestivirus. Previous reports have suggested that the virus is associated with congenital tremor (CT) type A-II in piglets, and little information is available about the correlation between the virus and sow abortion, or on coinfection with other viruses. In China, reported APPV strains were mainly isolated from South China and Central China, and data about the APPV genome from northern China are relatively scarce.

METHODS: Eleven umbilical cords, one placenta, and one aborted piglet, were collected from aborted sows of the same farm in Shandong Province of northern China. Nucleic acids were extracted from the above samples, and subsequently pooled for viral metagenomics sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. The viral coexistence status and complete genome characteristics of APPV in Shandong Province were determined.

RESULTS: In abortion cases, APPV was present with Getah virus, porcine picobirnavirus, porcine kobuvirus, porcine sapovirus, Po-Circo-like virus, porcine serum-associated circular virus, porcine bocavirus 1, porcine parvovirus 1, porcine parvovirus 3 and porcine circovirus 3, etc. The first complete genome sequence(11,556 nt) of APPV in Shandong Province of northern China, was obtained using viral metagenomics and designated APPV-SDHY-2022. Comparison with Chinese reference strains revealed that the polyprotein of APPV-SDHY-2022 shared 82.6-84.2%, 93.2-93.6%, and 80.7-85% nucleotide identity and 91.4-92.4%, 96.4-97.7%, and 90.6-92.2% amino acid identity with those of the Clade I, Clade II and Clade III strains, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete polyprotein CDS and NS5A sequences concluded that APPV-SDHY-2022 belongs to Clade II. Analysis of the NS5A nucleotide sequences revealed homology of greater than 94.6% for the same isoform, 84.7-94.5% for different isoforms of the same clade and 76.8-81.1% for different clades. Therefore, Clade II was further divided into three subclades, and APPV-SDHY-2022 belonged to subclade 2.3. Members of Clade II have 20 unique amino acids in individual proteins, distinguishing them from Clade I and Clade III members. The E2 protein showed the greatest diversity of putative N-glycosylation sites with 9 patterns, and APPV-SDHY-2022 along with other Chinese APPV strains shared the conserved B-cell conformational epitope residues 39E, 70R, 173R, 190K and 191N of the E2 protein.

CONCLUSIONS: We reported viral coexistence and the first complete genome sequence of APPV from abortion cases and from Shandong Province. The new APPV isolate belongs to an independent branch of Clade II. Our results increase the molecular and epidemiological understanding of APPV in China.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Li P, Jiang J, Li Y, et al (2023)

Metagenomic analysis reveals distinct changes in the gut microbiome of obese Chinese children.

BMC genomics, 24(1):721.

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of obese children in China is increasing, which poses a great challenge to public health. Gut microbes play an important role in human gut health, and changes in gut status are closely related to obesity. However, how gut microbes contribute to obesity in children remains unclear. In our study, we performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of feces from 23 obese children, 8 overweight children and 22 control children in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

RESULTS: We observed a distinct difference in the gut microbiome of obese children and that of controls. Compared with the controls, bacterial pathogen Campylobacter rectus was significantly more abundant in obese children. In addition, functional annotation of microbial genes revealed that there might be gut inflammation in obese children. The guts of overweight children might belong to the transition state between obese and control children due to a gradient in relative abundance of differentially abundant species. Finally, we compared the gut metagenomes of obese Chinese children and obese Mexican children and found that Trichuris trichiura was significantly more abundant in the guts of obese Mexican children.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results contribute to understanding the changes in the species and function of intestinal microbes in obese Chinese children.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Bacci G, Meriggi N, Cheng CLY, et al (2023)

Species-specific gill's microbiome of eight crab species with different breathing adaptations.

Scientific reports, 13(1):21033.

Transitions to physically different environments, such as the water-to-land transition, proved to be the main drivers of relevant evolutionary events. Brachyuran crabs evolved remarkable morphological, behavioral, and physiological adaptations to terrestrial life. Terrestrial species evolved new respiratory structures devoted to replace or support the gills, a multifunctional organ devoted to gas exchanges, ion-regulation and nitrogen excretion. It was hypothesized that microorganisms associated with respiratory apparatus could have facilitated the processes of osmoregulation, respiration, and elimination of metabolites along this evolutionary transition. To test if crab species with different breathing adaptations may host similar microbial communities on their gills, we performed a comparative targeted-metagenomic analysis, selecting two marine and six terrestrial crabs belonging to different families and characterised by different breathing adaptations. We analysed anterior and posterior gills separately according to their different and specific roles. Regardless of their terrestrial or marine adaptations, microbial assemblages were strongly species-specific indicating a non-random association between the host and its microbiome. Significant differences were found in only two terrestrial species when considering posterior vs. anterior gills, without any association with species-specific respiratory adaptations. Our results suggest that all the selected species are strongly adapted to the ecological niche and specific micro-habitat they colonise.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Chen B, Ramazzotti D, Heide T, et al (2023)

Contribution of pks[+] E. coli mutations to colorectal carcinogenesis.

Nature communications, 14(1):7827.

The dominant mutational signature in colorectal cancer genomes is C > T deamination (COSMIC Signature 1) and, in a small subgroup, mismatch repair signature (COSMIC signatures 6 and 44). Mutations in common colorectal cancer driver genes are often not consistent with those signatures. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of normal colon crypts from cancer patients, matched to a previous multi-omic tumour dataset. We analyse normal crypts that were distant vs adjacent to the cancer. In contrast to healthy individuals, normal crypts of colon cancer patients have a high incidence of pks + (polyketide synthases) E.coli (Escherichia coli) mutational and indel signatures, and this is confirmed by metagenomics. These signatures are compatible with many clonal driver mutations detected in the corresponding cancer samples, including in chromatin modifier genes, supporting their role in early tumourigenesis. These results provide evidence that pks + E.coli is a potential driver of carcinogenesis in the human gut.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Lydon E, CR Langelier (2023)

Respiratory Metagenomics: Ready for Prime Time?.

American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Zhu N, Zhou D, Xiong W, et al (2023)

Performance of mNGS in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for the diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in non-neutropenic patients.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 13:1271853.

The diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) diseases in non-neutropenic patients remains challenging. It is essential to develop optimal non-invasive or minimally invasive detection methods for the rapid and reliable diagnosis of IPA. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) can be a valuable tool for identifying the microorganism. Our study aims to evaluate the performance of mNGS in BALF in suspected IPA patients and compare it with other detection tests, including serum/BALF galactomannan antigen (GM) and traditional microbiological tests (BALF fungal culture and smear and lung biopsy histopathology). Ninety-four patients with suspicion of IPA were finally enrolled in our study. Thirty-nine patients were diagnosed with IPA, and 55 patients were non-IPA. There was significance between the IPA and non-IPA groups, such as BALF GM (P < 0.001), history of glucocorticoid use (P = 0.004), and pulmonary comorbidities (P = 0.002), as well as no significance of the other demographic data including age, sex, BMI, history of cigarette, blood GM assay, T-SPOT.TB, and NEUT#/LYMPH#. The sensitivity of the BALF mNGS was 92.31%, which was higher than that of the traditional tests or the GM assays. The specificity of BALF mNGS was 92.73%, which was relatively similar to that of the traditional tests. The AUC of BALF mNGS was 0.925, which presented an excellent performance compared with other traditional tests or GM assays. Our study demonstrated the important role of BALF detection by the mNGS platform for pathogen identification in IPA patients with non-neutropenic states, which may provide an optimal way to diagnose suspected IPA disease.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Wang T, Liu J, Luo Y, et al (2023)

Corrigendum: Combined effects of host genetics and diet on porcine intestinal fungi and their pathogenic genes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1319760.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1192288.].

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Tsiola A, Michoud G, Daffonchio D, et al (2023)

Depth-driven patterns in lytic viral diversity, auxiliary metabolic gene content, and productivity in offshore oligotrophic waters.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1271535.

INTRODUCTION: Marine viruses regulate microbial population dynamics and biogeochemical cycling in the oceans. The ability of viruses to manipulate hosts' metabolism through the expression of viral auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) was recently highlighted, having important implications in energy production and flow in various aquatic environments. Up to now, the presence and diversity of viral AMGs is studied using -omics data, and rarely using quantitative measures of viral activity alongside.

METHODS: In the present study, four depth layers (5, 50, 75, and 1,000 m) with discrete hydrographic features were sampled in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea; we studied lytic viral community composition and AMG content through metagenomics, and lytic production rates through the viral reduction approach in the ultra-oligotrophic Levantine basin where knowledge regarding viral actions is rather limited.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Our results demonstrate depth-dependent patterns in viral diversity and AMG content, related to differences in temperature, nutrients availability, and host bacterial productivity and abundance. Although lytic viral production rates were similar along the water column, the virus-to-bacteria ratio was higher and the particular set of AMGs was more diverse in the bathypelagic (1,000 m) than the shallow epipelagic (5, 50, and 75 m) layers, revealing that the quantitative effect of viruses on their hosts may be the same along the water column through the intervention of different AMGs. In the resource- and energy-limited bathypelagic waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, the detected AMGs could divert hosts' metabolism toward energy production, through a boost in gluconeogenesis, fatty-acid and glycan biosynthesis and metabolism, and sulfur relay. Near the deep-chlorophyll maximum depth, an exceptionally high percentage of AMGs related to photosynthesis was noticed. Taken together our findings suggest that the roles of viruses in the deep sea might be even more important than previously thought as they seem to orchestrate energy acquisition and microbial community dynamics, and thus, biogeochemical turnover in the oceans.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Malik PK, Trivedi S, Kolte AP, et al (2023)

Comparative analysis of rumen metagenome, metatranscriptome, fermentation and methane yield in cattle and buffaloes fed on the same diet.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1266025.

A study to compare the rumen microbial community composition, functional potential of the microbiota, methane (CH4) yield, and rumen fermentation was conducted in adult male cattle and buffaloes fed on the same diet. A total of 41 phyla, 169 orders, 374 families, and 1,376 microbial genera were identified in the study. Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were the two most dominant bacterial phyla in both cattle and buffaloes. However, there was no difference in the abundance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes in the rumen metagenome of cattle and buffaloes. Based on the abundance, the Proteobacteria was the 3rd largest phylum in the metagenome, constituting 18-20% in both host species. Euryarchaeota was the most abundant phylum of the methanogens, whereas Methanobacteriales and Methanobrevibacter were the most abundant orders and genera in both species. The methanogen abundances were not different between the two host species. Like the metagenome, the difference between the compositional and functional abundances (metagenome vs. metatranscriptome) of the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes was not significant, whereas the proteobacteria were functionally less active than their metagenomic composition. Contrary to the metagenome, the Euryarchaeota was the 3rd most functional phylum in the rumen and constituted ~15% of the metatranscriptome. Methanobacteriales were the most functional methanogens, accounting for more than 2/3rd of the total archaeal functionality. These results indicated that the methanogens from Euryarchaeota were functionally more active as compared to their compositional abundance. The CH4 yield (g/kg DMI), CH4 emission (g/kg DDM), dry matter (DM) intake, and rumen fermentation did not vary between the two host species. Overall, the study established a substantial difference between the compositional abundances and metabolic functionality of the rumen microbiota; however, feeding cattle and buffaloes on the same diet resulted in similar microbiota composition, metabolic functionality, and CH4 yield. Further studies are warranted to investigate the effect of different diets and environments on the composition and metabolic functionality of the rumen microbiota.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Ye L, Zhang B, Zhang L, et al (2023)

Pathogenic invasive microbes Trichoderma pleuroticola transform bacterial and fungal community diversity in Auricularia cornea crop production system.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1263982.

Pathogenic invasion of Trichoderma pleuroticola profoundly altered microflora in the Auricularia cornea crop production system, impacting diversity and composition in both artificial bed-log and fruiting bodies. A more complex ecological network between the diseased and healthy bodies. Researchers still have poor knowledge about how the important agricultural relationship between the composition of the microbiome of the artificial bed-log and the fruiting bodies is infected by the pathogenic invasive microbes T. pleuroticola, but this knowledge is crucial if we want to use or improve it. Here, we investigated 8 groups (48 biological samples) across 5 growth stages of the A. cornea production system using metagenomic technology. Diseased and healthy fruiting bodies exhibited distinct microbial compositions, while core members in artificial bed-logs remained stable. Core microbiota analysis highlighted Pseudomonas and Pandoraea bacterial genera, as well as Sarocladium, Cephalotrichum, Aspergillus, and Mortierella fungal genera as biomarker species after the bodies were treated with the pathogenic invasive microbes T. pleuroticola. In diseased bodies, these core members upregulated pathways including polymyxin resistance, L-arginine degradation II, superpathway of L-arginine and L-ornithine degradation, glucose degradation (oxidative), glucose and glucose-1-phosphate degradation, promoting fruit spoilage. Our data confirm that T. pleuroticola plays an important role in the early stages of disease development in the A. cornea crop generation system. The exposed volatile core microbiome may play an important role in accelerating T. pleuroticola-induced decay of fruiting bodies.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Barak H, Fuchs N, Liddor-Naim M, et al (2023)

Microbial dark matter sequences verification in amplicon sequencing and environmental metagenomics data.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1247119.

Although microorganisms constitute the most diverse and abundant life form on Earth, in many environments, the vast majority of them remain uncultured. As it is based on information gleaned mainly from cultivated microorganisms, our current body of knowledge regarding microbial life is partial and does not reflect actual microbial diversity. That diversity is hidden in the uncultured microbial majority, termed by microbiologists as "microbial dark matter" (MDM), a term borrowed from astrophysics. Metagenomic sequencing analysis techniques (both 16S rRNA gene and shotgun sequencing) compare gene sequences to reference databases, each of which represents only a small fraction of the existing microorganisms. Unaligned sequences lead to groups of "unknown microorganisms" that are usually ignored and rarefied from diversity analysis. To address this knowledge gap, we analyzed the 16S rRNA gene sequences of microbial communities from four different environments-a living organism, a desert environment, a natural aquatic environment, and a membrane bioreactor for wastewater treatment. From those datasets, we chose representative sequences of potentially unknown bacteria for additional examination as "microbial dark matter sequences" (MDMS). Sequence existence was validated by specific amplification and re-sequencing. These sequences were screened against databases and aligned to the Genome Taxonomy Database to build a comprehensive phylogenetic tree for additional sequence classification, revealing potentially new candidate phyla and other lineages. These putative MDMS were also screened against metagenome-assembled genomes from the explored environments for additional validation and for taxonomic and metabolic characterizations. This study shows the immense importance of MDMS in environmental metataxonomic analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences and provides a simple and readily available methodology for the examination of MDM hidden behind amplicon sequencing results.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Xu J, Kong X, Li J, et al (2023)

Pediatric intensive care unit treatment alters the diversity and composition of the gut microbiota and antimicrobial resistance gene expression in critically ill children.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1237993.

INTRODUCTION: Common critical illnesses are a growing economic burden on healthcare worldwide. However, therapies targeting the gut microbiota for critical illnesses have not been developed on a large scale. This study aimed to investigate the changes in the characteristics of the gut microbiota in critically ill children after short-term pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) treatments.

METHODS: Anal swab samples were prospectively collected from March 2021 to March 2022 from children admitted to the PICU of Xinhua Hospital who received broad-spectrum antibiotics on days 1 (the D1 group) and 7 (the D7 group) of the PICU treatment. The structural and functional characteristics of the gut microbiota of critically ill children were explored using metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) technology, and a comparative analysis of samples from D1 and D7 was conducted.

RESULTS: After 7 days of PICU admission, a significant decrease was noted in the richness of the gut microbiota in critically ill children, while the bacterial diversity and the community structure between groups remained stable to some extent. The relative abundance of Bacilli and Lactobacillales was significantly higher, and that of Campylobacter hominis was significantly lower in the D7 group than in the D1 group. The random forest model revealed that Prevotella coporis and Enterobacter cloacae were bacterial biomarkers between groups. LEfSe revealed that two Gene Ontology entries, GO:0071555 (cell wall organization) and GO:005508 (transmembrane transport), changed significantly after the short-term treatment in the PICU. In addition, 30 KEGG pathways were mainly related to the activity of enzymes and proteins during the processes of metabolism, DNA catabolism and repair, and substance transport. Finally, 31 antimicrobial resistance genes had significantly different levels between the D7 and D1 groups. The top 10 up-regulated genes were Erm(A), ErmX, LptD, eptB, SAT-4, tetO, adeJ, adeF, APH(3')-IIIa, and tetM.

CONCLUSION: The composition, gene function, and resistance genes of gut microbiota of critically ill children can change significantly after short PICU treatments. Our findings provide a substantial basis for a better understanding of the structure and function of gut microbiota and their role in critical illnesses.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Arunrat N, Sansupa C, Sereenonchai S, et al (2023)

Stability of soil bacteria in undisturbed soil and continuous maize cultivation in Northern Thailand.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1285445.

Rotational shifting cultivation (RSC) in Northern Thailand serves the dual purpose of ensuring food security and meeting economic goals through maize cultivation. However, the research question remains: Does the dynamics of soil bacterial communities differ between maize monoculture and RSC fields with continuous fallow throughout the season? Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate and compare the variation of soil bacterial communities in maize monoculture and fallow RSC fields. A continuous 5-year fallow field (undisturbed soil; CF-5Y) and a continuous 5-year maize cultivation field (M-5Y) in Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand, were selected due to their similarities in microclimate, topography, and the 5-year duration of different field activities. Over the span of a year, we collected soil samples from the surface layer (0-2 cm depth) at both sites. These collections occurred at 3-month intervals, starting from March 2022 (summer season) and followed by June (rainy season), September (rainy season), December (winter season), and March 2023 (summer season). Soil bacterial diversity and composition were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene-based metagenomic analysis. The results found that undisturbed soil over a 5-year period exhibited more stability in the richness and diversity of bacteria across seasons compared with M-5Y. Notably, fertilizer application and tillage practices in M-5Y can enhance both the diversity and richness of soil bacteria. In terms of bacterial abundance, Proteobacteria prevailed in CF-5Y, while Actinobacteria dominated in M-5Y. At the genus level, Candidatus Udaeobacter dominated during the summer and winter seasons in both CF-5Y and M-5Y sites. Interestingly, during the rainy season, the dominant genus shifted to Bacillus in both CF-5Y and M-5Y fields. The soil bacterial community in M-5Y was strongly influenced by organic matter (OM) and organic carbon (OC). In contrast, in CF-5Y, there was no correlation between soil properties and the soil bacterial community, likely due to the lower variation in soil properties across seasons. β-Glucosidase was the dominant enzyme in both CF-5Y and M-5Y sites, and it showed a positive correlation with OM and OC. Further studies should continue to investigate soil bacteria dynamics, considering the changes in land management practices.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Hu Y, Zhang K, Li N, et al (2023)

Composition, antibiotic resistance, and virulence analysis of microbiota in dormitory drain pipes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1272605.

INTRODUCTION: Dormitory washbasins can breed microorganisms that produce odorous gases, polluting the indoor environment.

METHODS: We utilized metagenome sequencing to analyze the microbiota of 40 samples from the drain pipes of dormitory washbasins. Our study aimed to investigate the microbial community structure, antibiotic resistance genes, and virulence factors, and to identify potential influencing factors such as gender, hometown, frequency of hand sanitizer usage, and number of dormitory residents.

RESULTS: The analysis revealed 12 phyla and 147 genera, with Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria being the dominant phyla, and Mycobacterium and Nakamurella being the dominant genera. We found that the factors influencing the microbial community structure of the dormitory washbasin drain pipe are complex. The investigated factors have a slight influence on the drain pipe microbial community, with gender exerting a discernible influence. The annotation results revealed the presence of various virulence factors, pathogenic toxins and antibiotic resistance genes, including 246 different toxin types and 30 different types of antibiotic resistance genes. In contrast to the observed differences in microbial composition among samples, the distribution of resistance genes shows relatively small changes among samples. Antibiotics should be a contributing factor in the overall increase of antibiotic resistance genes in drain pipes.

DISCUSSION: Overall, our study provides important insights into the community structure and function of microorganisms in dormitory drainage systems, and can guide efforts to prevent and control microbial pollution.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Semenov M, Li H, Luo Y, et al (2023)

Editorial: Microbial regulation of soil carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1295624.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Yang J, He Y, Liao X, et al (2023)

Does postoperative pulmonary infection correlate with intestinal flora following gastric cancer surgery? - a nested case-control study.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1267750.

INTRODUCTION: The primary objective of this study was to investigate the potential correlation between gut microbes and postoperative pulmonary infection in gastric cancer patients. Additionally, we aimed to deduce the mechanism of differential functional genes in disease progression to gain a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology.

METHODS: A nested case-control study design was utilized to enroll patients with gastric cancer scheduled for surgery at West China Hospital of Sichuan University. Patients were categorized into two groups, namely, the pulmonary infection group and the control group, based on the development of postoperative pulmonary infection. Both groups were subjected to identical perioperative management protocols. Fecal samples were collected 24 h postoperatively and upon pulmonary infection diagnosis, along with matched controls. The collected samples were subjected to 16S rDNA and metagenomic analyses, and clinical data and blood samples were obtained for further analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 180 fecal specimens were collected from 30 patients in both the pulmonary infection and control groups for 16S rDNA analysis, and 3 fecal samples from each group were selected for metagenomic analysis. The study revealed significant alterations in the functional genes of the intestinal microbiome in patients with postoperative pulmonary infection in gastric cancer, primarily involving Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Ruminococcus, and Collinsella. During postoperative pulmonary infection, gut flora and inflammatory factors were found to be associated with the lipopolysaccharide synthesis pathway and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) synthesis pathway.

DISCUSSION: The study identified enriched populations of Klebsiella, Escherella, and intestinal bacteria during pulmonary infection following gastric cancer surgery. These bacteria were found to regulate the lipopolysaccharide synthesis pathway, contributing to the initiation and progression of pulmonary infections. Inflammation modulation in patients with postoperative pulmonary infection may be mediated by short-chain fatty acids. The study also revealed that SCFA synthesis pathways were disrupted, affecting inflammation-related immunosuppression pathways. By controlling and maintaining intestinal barrier function, SCFAs may potentially reduce the occurrence of pulmonary infections after gastric cancer surgery. These findings suggest that targeting the gut microbiome and SCFA synthesis pathways may be a promising approach for preventing postoperative pulmonary infections in gastric cancer patients.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Edgar R (2023)

Known phyla dominate the Tara Oceans RNA virome.

Virus evolution, 9(2):vead063 pii:vead063.

A recent study proposed five new RNA virus phyla, two of which, 'Taraviricota' and 'Arctiviricota', were stated to be 'dominant in the oceans'. However, the study's assignments classify 28,353 putative RdRp-containing contigs to known phyla but only 886 (2.8%) to the five proposed new phyla combined. I re-mapped the reads to the contigs, finding that known phyla also account for a large majority (93.8%) of reads according to the study's classifications, and that contigs originally assigned to 'Arctiviricota' accounted for only a tiny fraction (0.01%) of reads from Arctic Ocean samples. Performing my own virus identification and classifications, I found that 99.95 per cent of reads could be assigned to known phyla. The most abundant species was Beihai picorna-like virus 34 (15% of reads), and the most abundant order-like cluster was classified as Picornavirales (45% of reads). Sequences in the claimed new phylum 'Pomiviricota' were placed inside a phylogenetic tree for established order Durnavirales with 100 per cent confidence. Moreover, two contigs assigned to the proposed phylum 'Taraviricota' were found to have high-identity alignments to dinoflagellate proteins, tentatively identifying this group of RdRp-like sequences as deriving from non-viral transcripts. Together, these results comprehensively contradict the claim that new phyla dominate the data.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Liu W, Peng L, Chen L, et al (2023)

Skin microbial dysbiosis is a characteristic of systemic drug-related intertriginous and flexural exanthema-like lesions induced by EGFR inhibitor.

Heliyon, 9(11):e21690 pii:S2405-8440(23)08898-9.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the characteristics of the skin microbiome in severe afatinib-induced skin toxicity.

METHODS: Body site-matched skin surface samples were collected from the lesions on seven flexural sites of one lung cancer (Patient 1) with serious systemic drug-related intertriginous and flexural exanthema (SDRIFE)-like toxicity induced by EGFR-TKI and three healthy age/sex matched controls for whole metagenomics sequencing analysis. Lung cancer Patient 1 and Patient 2 were prescribed minocycline and followed up.

RESULTS: In SDRIFE-like toxicities induced by afatinib, lesion microbiota richness (ACE and Chao1 index: p < 0.001) and diversity (Shannon's and Simpson's diversity indices: p < 0.01) were reduced. Similarly, the beta diversity analysis (R = 1, p = 0.002 for ANOSIM) showed that the apparent difference in the microbiota composition was statistically significant. The microbial taxa composition in the patient showed an increased abundance of pathogenic bacteria and a decreased abundance of commensal bacteria. LEfSe analysis identified strong bacterial pathogenicity in the patient, while healthy controls exhibited enrichment in several pathways that are beneficial for skin commensal bacteria and skin physiology, including key amino acid metabolism, energy/lipid/glycan biosynthesis/metabolism, and cofactors/vitamins biosynthesis. Ultimately, the patients experienced significant improvement with minocycline.

CONCLUSION: Microbial dysbiosis is a characteristic of severe SDRIFE-like toxicity induced by afatinib.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Curini V, Ancora M, Jurisic L, et al (2023)

Evaluation of next generation sequencing approaches for SARS-CoV-2.

Heliyon, 9(11):e21101 pii:S2405-8440(23)08309-3.

Within public health control strategies for SARS-CoV-2, whole genome sequencing (WGS) is essential for tracking viral spread and monitoring the emergence of variants which may impair the effectiveness of vaccines, diagnostic methods, and therapeutics. In this manuscript different strategies for SARS-CoV-2 WGS including metagenomic shotgun (SG), library enrichment by myBaits® Expert Virus-SARS-CoV-2 (Arbor Biosciences), nCoV-2019 sequencing protocol, ampliseq approach by Swift Amplicon® SARS-CoV-2 Panel kit (Swift Biosciences), and Illumina COVIDSeq Test (Illumina Inc.), were evaluated in order to identify the best approach in terms of results, labour, and costs. The analysis revealed that Illumina COVIDSeq Test (Illumina Inc.) is the best choice for a cost-effective, time-consuming production of consensus sequences.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Tang J, Han Y, Pei L, et al (2023)

Comparative analysis of the rhizosphere microbiome and medicinally active ingredients of Atractylodes lancea from different geographical origins.

Open life sciences, 18(1):20220769 pii:biol-2022-0769.

This study aimed to explore the important role of the rhizosphere microbiome in the quality of Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC. (A. lancea). The rhizosphere microbial community of A. lancea at two sampling sites was studied using metagenomic technology. The results of α-diversity analysis showed that the rhizosphere microbial richness and diversity were higher in the Maoshan area. The higher abundance of core microorganisms of the rhizosphere, especially Penicillium and Streptomyces, in the Maoshan area compared with those in the Yingshan area might be an important factor affecting the yield of A. lancea. Redundancy analysis illustrated that the available phosphorus had a significant effect on the rhizosphere microbial community structure of A. lancea. We also showed that the plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions were closer in the Maoshan area than in the Yingshan area, and Streptomyces were the main contributors to the potential functional difference between the two regions. A. lancea in the Maoshan area had a high content of atractylodin and atractylon, which might be related to the enhanced abundance of Streptomyces, Candidatus-Solibacter, and Frankia. Taken together, this study provided theoretical insights into the interaction between medicinal plants and the rhizosphere microbiome and provides a valuable reference for studying beneficial microbes of A. lancea.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Ghaly TM, Rajabal V, Penesyan A, et al (2023)

Functional enrichment of integrons: Facilitators of antimicrobial resistance and niche adaptation.

iScience, 26(11):108301 pii:S2589-0042(23)02378-7.

Integrons are genetic elements, found among diverse bacteria and archaea, that capture and rearrange gene cassettes to rapidly generate genetic diversity and drive adaptation. Despite their broad taxonomic and geographic prevalence, and their role in microbial adaptation, the functions of gene cassettes remain poorly characterized. Here, using a combination of bioinformatic and experimental analyses, we examined the functional diversity of gene cassettes from different environments. We find that cassettes encode diverse antimicrobial resistance (AMR) determinants, including those conferring resistance to antibiotics currently in the developmental pipeline. Further, we find a subset of cassette functions is universally enriched relative to their broader metagenomes. These are largely involved in (a)biotic interactions, including AMR, phage defense, virulence, biodegradation, and stress tolerance. The remainder of functions are sample-specific, suggesting that they confer localised functions relevant to their microenvironment. Together, they comprise functional profiles different from bulk metagenomes, representing niche-adaptive components of the prokaryotic pangenome.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Tarnowski MJ, Varliero G, Scown J, et al (2023)

Soil as a transdisciplinary research catalyst: from bioprospecting to biorespecting.

Royal Society open science, 10(11):230963 pii:rsos230963.

The vast microbial biodiversity of soils is beginning to be observed and understood by applying modern DNA sequencing techniques. However, ensuring this potentially valuable information is used in a fair and equitable way remains a challenge. Here, we present a public engagement project that explores this topic through collaborative research of soil microbiomes at six urban locations using nanopore-based DNA sequencing. The project brought together researchers from the disciplines of synthetic biology, environmental humanities and microbial ecology, as well as school students aged 14-16 years old, to gain a broader understanding of views on the use of data from the environment. Discussions led to the transformation of 'bioprospecting', a metaphor with extractive connotations which is often used to frame environmental DNA sequencing studies, towards a more collaborative approach-'biorespecting'. This shift in terminology acknowledges that genetic information contained in soil arises as a result of entire ecosystems, including the people involved in its creation. Therefore, any use of sequence information should be accountable to the ecosystems from which it arose. As knowledge can arise from ecosystems and communities, science and technology should acknowledge this link and reciprocate with care and benefit-sharing to help improve the wellbeing of future generations.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Sun H, Su X, Liu Y, et al (2023)

Roseburia intestinalis relieves intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy through bile acid/FXR-FGF15 in rats.

iScience, 26(12):108392 pii:S2589-0042(23)02469-0.

Previous research has demonstrated significant differences in intestinal flora between pregnant women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) and healthy pregnant women. The objective of our study is to identify the key bacteria involved in ICP rats and explore the underlying mechanism. We established an ICP rat model and collected rat feces for metagenomic sequencing and found that Roseburia intestinalis (R.I) is the key bacteria in ICP. Transplantation of R.I improved phenotypes associated with ICP through the bile acid/farnesoid X receptor-fibroblast growth factor 15 (FXR-FGF15) signaling pathway. We used the FXR antagonist Z-Guggulsterone (Z-Gu) to verify the key role of FXR in ICP and found that Z-Gu reversed the benefits of R.I on ICP rats. Our research highlights the important role of intestinal flora in the pathogenesis of ICP and provides a novel approach for its treatment.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Rodriguez Ruiz A, AR Van Dam (2023)

Metagenomic binning of PacBio HiFi data prior to assembly reveals a complete genome of Cosmopolites sordidus (Germar) (Coleopterea: Curculionidae, Dryophthorinae) the most damaging arthropod pest of bananas and plantains.

PeerJ, 11:e16276 pii:16276.

PacBio HiFi sequencing was employed in combination with metagenomic binning to produce a high-quality reference genome of Cosmopolites sordidus. We compared k-mer and alignment reference based pre-binning and post-binning approaches to remove contamination. We were also interested to know if the post-binning approach had interspersed bacterial contamination within intragenic regions of Arthropoda binned contigs. Our analyses identified 3,433 genes that were composed with reads identified as of putative bacterial origins. The pre-binning approach yielded a C. sordidus genome of 1.07 Gb genome composed of 3,089 contigs with 98.6% and 97.1% complete and single copy genome and protein BUSCO scores respectively. In this article we demonstrate that in this case the pre-binning approach does not sacrifice assembly quality for more stringent metagenomic filtering. We also determine post-binning allows for increased intragenic contamination increased with increasing coverage, but the frequency of gene contamination increased with lower coverage. Future work should focus on developing reference free pre-binning approaches for HiFi reads produced from eukaryotic based metagenomic samples.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Chowdhary A, Van Gelder RN, M Sundararajan (2023)

Methodologic Considerations for Studying the Ocular Surface Microbiome.

Ophthalmology science, 3(4):100408 pii:S2666-9145(23)00140-9.

UNLABELLED: The ocular surface microbiome, unlike that of the skin or gut, has not been well characterized. Culture experiments historically suggested a nearly sterile ocular surface, but initial application of molecular methods such as 16S ribosomal RNA and high-throughput sequencing demonstrated a surprisingly rich ocular surface microbiome. However, a major limitation in studying such a low-biomass niche is the potential for artifactual results when amplification-based techniques such as ribosomal polymerase chain reaction and shotgun sequencing are used. It will be essential to establish standards across the field for sample collection, positive and negative controls, and limitation of contamination in both the laboratory setting and computational analysis. New developments in ocular microbiome research, including the generation of reference reagents and fluoroscopic imaging techniques, provide improved means to validate sequencing results and to visualize complex interactions between host cells and bacteria. Through more thorough characterization of the ocular surface microbiome, the connections between a dysregulated surface and ophthalmic disease may be better understood.

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found in the Footnotes and Disclosures at the end of this article.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Chen C, Wen LF, Yang LX, et al (2023)

Metagenomic and metaproteomic analyses of microbial amino acid metabolism during Cantonese soy sauce fermentation.

Frontiers in nutrition, 10:1271648.

Cantonese soy sauce is an important type of traditional Chinese brewed soy sauce that was developed in southern China, mainly in Guangdong. Due to the long fermentation period and complex microbiota in Cantonese soy sauce, there are few reports on the microbial metaproteomics of Cantonese soy sauce. In this study, integrative metagenomic and metaproteomic analyzes were used to identify the changes in the dominant microbiota and amino acid synthesis-related enzymes and metabolism during Cantonese soy sauce fermentation. Metagenomic analysis revealed that Tetragenococcus halophilus, Weissella confusa, Weissella paramesenteroides, Enterobacter hormaechei, and Aspergillus oryzae were the dominant microbiota. Using the Top 15 dominant microbiota identified by metagenomics as the database, LTQ Orbitrap Velos Pro ETD mass spectrometry was used to obtain metaproteomic information about the microbes in the soy sauce, and the results indicated that the active enzymes involved in the metabolism of amino acids were secreted by microorganisms such as A. oryzae, T. halophilus, and Zygosaccharomyces rouxii. During the Cantonese soy sauce fermentation process. Among them, early fermentation (0-15d) was dominated by A. oryzae and T. halophilus, mid-term fermentation (60-90d) was dominated by Z. rouxii, A. oryzae, and T. halophilus, and late fermentation (90-120d) was dominated by A. oryzae, Z. rouxii, and T. halophilus. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis revealed that the main enzymes involved in the metabolism of umami amino acids were aspartate aminotransferase, citrate synthase, aconitase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase, which were produced by Z. rouxii and A. oryzae during early fermentation (0-15 d) and the middle fermentation stage (60-90 d). This study constructed a regulatory network of enzymes potentially involved in the metabolism of flavor amino acids, which provided a theoretical basis for studying the amino acid metabolism of Cantonese soy sauce.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Yi B, Deng Q, Guo C, et al (2023)

Evaluating the zoonotic potential of RNA viromes of rodents provides new insight into rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens in Guangdong, China.

One health (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 17:100631 pii:S2352-7714(23)00151-9.

Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases have been on the rise, with a significant proportion being zoonotic. Rodents, as the natural reservoirs of numerous diverse zoonotic viruses, pose a substantial threat to human health. To investigate the diversity of known and unknown viruses harbored by rodents in Guangdong (southern province of China), we conducted a comprehensive analysis of viral genomes through metagenomic sequencing of organs from 194 rodents. Our analysis yielded 2163 viral contigs that were assigned to 25 families known to infect a wide range of hosts, including vertebrates, invertebrates, amoebas, and plants. The viral compositions vary considerably among different organs, but not in rodent species. We also assessed and prioritized zoonotic potential of those detected viruses. Ninety-two viral species that are either known to infect vertebrates and invertebrates or only vertebrates were identified, among which 21 are considered high-risk to humans. The high-risk viruses included members of the Hantavirus, Picobirnaviruses, Astroviruses and Pestivirus. The phylogenetic trees of four zoonotic viruses revealed features of novel viral genomes that seem to fit evolutionarily into a zone of viruses that potentially pose a risk of transmission to humans. Recognizing that zoonotic diseases are a One Health issue, we approached the problem of identifying the zoonotic risk from rodent-transmitted disease in the Guangdong province by performing next-generation sequencing to look for potentially zoonotic viruses in these animals.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Du J, Tao Y, Yang J, et al (2023)

Case Report: Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing Confirmed a Case of Spine Infection with Brucella melitensis in Non-Endemic Area.

Infection and drug resistance, 16:7219-7225 pii:436278.

Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease caused by Brucella spp., with the highest prevalence found in the northern cities of China. In this case report, we present an occurrence of spinal infection caused by B. melitensis in a 67-year-old man residing in a non-endemic area of southern China. The patient initially presented with chest and back pain, which was not accurately diagnosed and treated at a local hospital. Subsequently, due to worsening pain, he was admitted to our hospital. To determine the cause of the infection, we performed CT-guided aspiration biopsy and collected biopsy tissue for metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) on the second day of hospitalization. Imaging investigations revealed involvement of the thoracic vertebrae, specifically thoracic 4-7 with the main focus on 5-6, accompanied by stenosis of the intervertebral space. The mNGS results indicated that the spine infection was caused by B. melitensis. The patient's history as a shepherd and a positive Rose Bengal plate test (RBPT) further supported the diagnosis of brucella spondylitis. In order to alleviate pain and restore spinal function, the patient underwent posterior internal fixation of the thoracic spine. Treatment was initiated with cefoperazone/sulbactam, followed by doxycycline. Subsequently, the patient was switched to a combination therapy of rifampicin and doxycycline for a duration of six weeks. The patient responded well to treatment, and his condition remained stable. In conclusion, brucellosis is a common disease that can be easily misdiagnosed. This case report highlights the potential value of mNGS in early and rapid diagnosis. We believe that mNGS can serve as an effective tool to improve the diagnosis of spine infections caused by this pathogen.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Wang J, Zhou H, Dong Z, et al (2023)

Diagnosis of Two Meningitis Cases Caused by Rickettsia Felis in China, with Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing: A Case Report.

Infection and drug resistance, 16:7239-7245 pii:417787.

BACKGROUND: Rickettsia felis is a kind of zoonotic pathogen. Rickettsia felis infections of the central nervous system are rare with only a few cases reported worldwide. The early diagnosis of R. felis is difficult due to its nonspecific clinical features and laboratory tests. Here, we report two meningitis cases caused by R. felis using metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS).

METHODS: The clinical data of patients with meningitis who were diagnosed to have R. felis through cerebrospinal fluid culture, nuclear magnetic imaging, mNGS detection from January 2019 to December 2019 in The First Clinical Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, were retrospectively analyzed, and their clinical characteristics and disease regression findings were summarized.

CASE PRESENTATION: The first case was a female patient aged 23 years who was admitted to our hospital presenting with symptoms of headache, fever, and weakness in both lower limbs. Upon examination of spinal imaging, myelitis was diagnosed. However, routine examination and culture of cerebrospinal fluid did not identify the pathogen responsible. Subsequently, metagenomic second-generation sequencing (mNGS) revealed that the infection was caused by R. felis. The patient responded well to standard treatment and showed signs of recovery. The second case was a male patient aged 29 years who was admitted to our hospital with a headache and fever that had persisted for 4 days within a month. Routine examination and culture of the cerebrospinal fluid did not reveal any identifiable pathogens. However, metagenomic second-generation sequencing (mNGS) determined that the patient had a Rickettsial infection likely transmitted by a cat. The patient showed significant improvement after 14 days of doxycycline treatment. Tests for herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and tubercle bacillus nucleic acid in the CSF and blood were negative.Therefore mNGS of the cerebrospinal fluid was used, which identified the pathogen as R. felis. One case was diagnosed as subacute meningitis with immune-associated myelitis and the other as subacute meningitis.

CONCLUSION: mNGS of cerebrospinal fluid can be used as a fast and effective method to identify intracranial R. felis infections.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Li X, Feng Y, Li D, et al (2023)

Cerebral Abscess Infected by Nocardia gipuzkoensis.

Infection and drug resistance, 16:7247-7253 pii:428415.

PURPOSE: Nocardia gipuzkoensis is a novel species that solely identified in patients with pulmonary infections by far. Growing evidence showed the excellent performance of metagenomics next-generation sequencing (mNGS) on pathogenic identification, especially for new species. Here, we described the first case of an elderly female patient suddenly suffering from neurological disorders owing to N. gipuzkoensis infection. And linezolid could effectively treat N. gipuzkoensis infection.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The results of imaging, laboratory cultures, and mNGS, as well as therapeutic process are shared.

RESULTS: An elderly female patient suddenly suffered from neurological disorders with dysphasia and right limb trembles under no obvious causes. Subsequently, she was diagnosed as intracranial space-occupying lesions by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The isolate from brain secretion was further identified as N. gipuzkoensis through mNGS. The targeted therapy with linezolid according to the antimicrobial susceptibility was used to treat cerebral abscess induced by N. gipuzkoensis. During the follow-up, no relapse was observed for the patient after surgery for 104 days.

CONCLUSION: Cerebral abscess induced by N. gipuzkoensis is rare disorder with high mortality. mNGS has been identified as a promising tool in pathogen diagnosis for timely therapy. Linezolid as one of the antimicrobial drugs could effectively treat N. gipuzkoensis infection and prevent adverse outcomes.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Shin D, Kim J, Lee JH, et al (2023)

Profiling of Microbial Landscape in Lung of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients Using RNA Sequencing.

International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 18:2531-2542 pii:426260.

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to use RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data of lung from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients to identify the bacteria that are most commonly detected. Additionally, the study sought to investigate the differences in these infections between normal lung tissues and those affected by COPD.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We re-analyzed RNA-seq data of lung from 99 COPD patients and 93 non-COPD smokers to determine the extent to which the metagenomes differed between the two groups and to assess the reliability of the metagenomes. We used unmapped reads in the RNA-seq data that were not aligned to the human reference genome to identify more common infections in COPD patients.

RESULTS: We identified 18 bacteria that exhibited significant differences between the COPD and non-COPD smoker groups. Among these, Yersinia enterocolitica was found to be more than 30% more abundant in COPD. Additionally, we observed difference in detection rate based on smoking history. To ensure the accuracy of our findings and distinguish them from false positives, we double-check the metagenomic profile using Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST). We were able to identify and remove specific species that might have been misclassified as other species in Kraken2 but were actually Staphylococcus aureus, as identified by BLAST analysis.

CONCLUSION: This study highlighted the method of using unmapped reads, which were not typically used in sequencing data, to identify microorganisms present in patients with lung diseases such as COPD. This method expanded our understanding of the microbial landscape in COPD and provided insights into the potential role of microorganisms in disease development and progression.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Liu X, van Beek N, Cepic A, et al (2023)

The gut microbiome in bullous pemphigoid: implications of the gut-skin axis for disease susceptibility.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1212551.

Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is an autoimmune blistering disease that primarily affects the elderly. An altered skin microbiota in BP was recently revealed. Accumulating evidence points toward a link between the gut microbiota and skin diseases; however, the gut microbiota composition of BP patients remains largely underexplored, with only one pilot study to date, with a very limited sample size and no functional profiling of gut microbiota. To thoroughly investigate the composition and function of the gut microbiota in BP patients, and explore possible links between skin conditions and gut microbiota, we here investigated the gut microbiota of 66 patients (81.8% firstly diagnosed) suffering from BP and 66 age-, sex-, and study center-matched controls (CL) with non-inflammatory skin diseases (132 total participants), using 16S rRNA gene and shotgun sequencing data. Decreased alpha-diversity and an overall altered gut microbial community is observed in BP patients. Similar trends are observed in subclassifications of BP patients, including first diagnoses and relapsed cases. Furthermore, we observe a set of BP disease-associated gut microbial features, including reduced Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and greater abundance of pathways related to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) metabolism in BP patients. Interestingly, F. prausnitzii is a well-known microbiomarker of inflammatory diseases, which has been reported to be reduced in the gut microbiome of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis patients. Moreover, GABA plays multiple roles in maintaining skin health, including the inhibition of itching by acting as a neurotransmitter, attenuating skin lesions by balancing Th1 and Th2 levels, and maintaining skin elasticity by increasing the expression of type I collagen. These findings thus suggest that gut microbiota alterations present in BP may play a role in the disease, and certain key microbes and functions may contribute to the link between gut dysbiosis and BP disease activity. Further studies to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the gut-skin interaction are thus clearly warranted, which could aid in the development of potential therapeutic interventions.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Elshafey N, Mansour MAI, Hamedo HA, et al (2023)

Phylogeny and functional diversity of halophilic microbial communities from a thalasso environment.

Saudi journal of biological sciences, 30(12):103841.

The El-Rawda solar saltern, located in North Sinai, Egypt, is formed through the process of water evaporation from the Bradawil lagoon. This evaporation leads to the precipitation of gypsum, halite minerals, and salt flats, which subsequently cover the southern and eastern areas of the lagoon. This study employed the shotgun metagenomic approach, the illumine platform, and bioinformatic tools to investigate the taxonomic composition and functional diversity of halophilic microbial communities in solar saltern. The metagenomic reads obtained from the brine sample exhibited a greater count compared to those from the sediment sample. Notably, the brine sample was primarily characterized by an abundance of archaea, while the sediment sample displayed a dominant abundance of bacteria. Both samples exhibited a relatively low abundance of eukaryotes, while viruses were only found in the brine sample. Furthermore, the comparative analysis of functional pathways showed many important processes related to central metabolism and protein processing in brine and sediment samples. In brief, this research makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of very halophilic ecosystems in Egypt, providing insights into their microbial biodiversity and functional processes.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Arakkal Thaiparambil N, V Radhakrishnan (2023)

Role of formulated bacterial consortia in biofortifying tomato fruits with nutrients: A nutritional, genomic and metagenomic analysis.

Saudi journal of biological sciences, 30(12):103851.

Nutrient deficiencies are a major problem that is prone to affect millions of people around the globe. Biofortification, a process of enriching nutrients in staple food crops is an effective method to tackle this malnutrition-associated disorder. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a globally consumed crop and therefore is a suitable candidate for biofortification. Many plant growth-promoting bacteria are reported to have the ability to enhance nutrient content in plants. In the present study, we have investigated the ability of two bacterial consortia (consortia-1 -co-culturing Lysinibacillus sp. strain VITKC-5 and Acinetobacter Sp. strain VITKC_6; and consortia-2 -co-culturing Lysinibacillus sp. strain VITKC-5 and Enterobacter sp. strain VITVLC-4) in the nutrient enrichment of tomato fruits. The results were then correlated with the elevated expression of nutrient transporter genes. Furthermore, the effect of these bacterial formulations on the indigenous microbiome has also been evaluated through metagenomic analysis. The application of bacterial formulations significantly improved the nutrient content when compared to the control (untreated) group. These findings advocate that PGPB-assisted biofortification has the potential to alleviate nutrient deficiency in humans.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Cavalcante JVF, de Souza ID, Morais DAA, et al (2023)

Bridging the Gaps in Meta-Omic Analysis: Workflows and Reproducibility.

Omics : a journal of integrative biology [Epub ahead of print].

The past few years have seen significant advances in the study of complex microbial communities associated with the evolution of sequencing technologies and increasing adoption of whole genome shotgun sequencing methods over the once more traditional Amplicon-based methods. Although these advances have broadened the horizon of meta-omic analyses in planetary health, human health, and ecology from simple sample composition studies to comprehensive taxonomic and metabolic profiles, there are still significant challenges in processing these data. First, there is a widespread lack of standardization in data processing, including software choices and the ease of installing and running attendant software. This can lead to several inconsistencies, making comparing results across studies and reproducing original results difficult. We argue that these drawbacks are especially evident in metatranscriptomic analysis, with most analyses relying on ad hoc scripts instead of pipelines implemented in workflow managers. Additional challenges rely on integrating meta-omic data, since methods have to consider the biases in the library preparation and sequencing methods and the technical noise that can arise from it. Here, we critically discuss the current limitations in metagenomics and metatranscriptomics methods with a view to catalyze future innovations in the field of Planetary Health, ecology, and allied fields of life sciences. We highlight possible solutions for these constraints to bring about more standardization, with ease of installation, high performance, and reproducibility as guiding principles.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Freeman CN, Russell JN, CK Yost (2023)

Temporal metagenomic characterization of microbial community structure and nitrogen modification genes within an activated sludge bioreactor system.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Wastewater treatment plays an essential role in minimizing negative impacts on downstream aquatic environments. Microbial communities are known to play a vital role in the wastewater treatment process, particularly in the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can be especially damaging to aquatic ecosystems. There is limited understanding of how these microbial communities may change in response to fluctuating temperatures or how seasonality may impact their ability to participate in the treatment process. The findings of this study indicate that the microbial communities of wastewater are relatively stable both compositionally and functionally across fluctuating temperatures.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Silva SG, Nabhan Homsi M, Keller-Costa T, et al (2023)

Natural product biosynthetic potential reflects macroevolutionary diversification within a widely distributed bacterial taxon.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

This is the most comprehensive study performed thus far on the biosynthetic potential within the Flavobacteriaceae family. Our findings reveal intertwined taxonomic and natural product biosynthesis diversification within the family. We posit that the carbohydrate, peptide, and secondary metabolism triad synergistically shaped the evolution of this keystone bacterial taxon, acting as major forces underpinning the broad host range and opportunistic-to-pathogenic behavior encompassed by species in the family. This study further breaks new ground for future research on select Flavobacteriaceae spp. as reservoirs of novel drug leads.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Ottesen A, Kocurek B, Deaver C, et al (2023)

Fecal microbiomes of laboratory beagles receiving antiparasitic formulations in an experimental setting.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Here, we describe the fecal microbiome of laboratory beagles in a non-invasive experiment designed to contrast in vivo versus in vitro bioequivalence in response to antiparasitic drug administration. The experiment provided a unique opportunity to evaluate metagenomic profiles of canine feces before and after anti-parasitic drug exposure.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Delavy M, Sertour N, Patin E, et al (2023)

Unveiling Candida albicans intestinal carriage in healthy volunteers: the role of micro- and mycobiota, diet, host genetics and immune response.

Gut microbes, 15(2):2287618.

Candida albicans is a commensal yeast present in the gut of most healthy individuals but with highly variable concentrations. However, little is known about the host factors that influence colonization densities. We investigated how microbiota, host lifestyle factors, and genetics could shape C. albicans intestinal carriage in 695 healthy individuals from the Milieu Intérieur cohort. C. albicans intestinal carriage was detected in 82.9% of the subjects using quantitative PCR. Using linear mixed models and multiway-ANOVA, we explored C. albicans intestinal levels with regard to gut microbiota composition and lifestyle factors including diet. By analyzing shotgun metagenomics data and C. albicans qPCR data, we showed that Intestinimonas butyriciproducens was the only gut microbiota species whose relative abundance was negatively correlated with C. albicans concentration. Diet is also linked to C. albicans growth, with eating between meals and a low-sodium diet being associated with higher C. albicans levels. Furthermore, by Genome-Wide Association Study, we identified 26 single nucleotide polymorphisms suggestively associated with C. albicans colonization. In addition, we found that the intestinal levels of C. albicans might influence the host immune response, specifically in response to fungal challenge. We analyzed the transcriptional levels of 546 immune genes and the concentration of 13 cytokines after whole blood stimulation with C. albicans cells and showed positive associations between the extent of C. albicans intestinal levels and NLRP3 expression, as well as secreted IL-2 and CXCL5 concentrations. Taken together, these findings open the way for potential new interventional strategies to curb C. albicans intestinal overgrowth.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Tsakmaklis A, Farowski F, Zenner R, et al (2023)

TIGIT[+] NK cells in combination with specific gut microbiota features predict response to checkpoint inhibitor therapy in melanoma patients.

BMC cancer, 23(1):1160.

BACKGROUND: Composition of the intestinal microbiota has been correlated to therapeutic efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in various cancer entities including melanoma. Prediction of the outcome of such therapy, however, is still unavailable. This prospective, non-interventional study was conducted in order to achieve an integrated assessment of the connection between a specific intestinal microbiota profile and antitumor immune response to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy (anti-PD-1 and/or anti-CTLA-4) in melanoma patients.

METHODS: We assessed blood and stool samples of 29 cutaneous melanoma patients who received immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. For functional and phenotypical immune analysis, 12-color flow cytometry and FluoroSpot assays were conducted. Gut microbiome was analyzed with shotgun metagenomics sequencing. To combine clinical, microbiome and immune variables, we applied the Random Forest algorithm.

RESULTS: A total of 29 patients was analyzed in this study, among whom 51.7% (n = 15) reached a durable clinical benefit. The Immune receptor TIGIT is significantly upregulated in T cells (p = 0.0139) and CD56[high] NK cells (p = 0.0037) of responders. Several bacterial taxa were associated with response (e.g. Ruminococcus torques) or failure (e.g. Barnesiella intestinihominis) to immune therapy. A combination of two microbiome features (Barnesiella intestinihominis and the Enterobacteriaceae family) and one immune feature (TIGIT[+] CD56[high] NK cells) was able to predict response to ICI already at baseline (AUC = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.841-0.853).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results reconfirm a link between intestinal microbiota and response to ICI therapy in melanoma patients and furthermore point to TIGIT as a promising target for future immunotherapies.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Singha NA, Neihsial R, Kipgen L, et al (2023)

Taxonomic and Predictive Functional Profile of Hydrocarbonoclastic Bacterial Consortia Developed at Three Different Temperatures.

Current microbiology, 81(1):22.

Microbial community exhibit shift in composition in response to temperature variation. We report crude oil-degrading activity and high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing (metagenome) profiles of four bacterial consortia enriched at three different temperatures in crude oil-amended Bushnell-Hass Medium from an oily sludge sediment. The consortia were referred to as O (4 ± 2 ℃ in 3% w/v crude oil), A (25 ± 2 ℃ in 1% w/v crude oil), H (25 ± 2 ℃ in 3% w/v crude oil), and X (45 ± 2 ℃ in 3% w/v crude oil). The hydrocarbon-degrading activity was highest for consortium A and H and lowest for consortium O. The metagenome profile revealed the predominance of Proteobacteria (62.12-1.25%) in each consortium, followed by Bacteroidota (18.94-37.77%) in the consortium O, A, and H. Contrarily, consortium X comprised 7.38% Actinomycetota, which was essentially low (< 0.09%) in other consortia, and only 0.41% Bacteroidota. The PICRUSt-based functional analysis predicted major functions associated with the metabolism and 5060 common KEGG Orthology (KOs). A total of 296 KOs were predicted exclusively in consortium X. Additionally, 247 KOs were predicted from xenobiotic biodegradation pathways. This study found that temperature had a stronger influence on the composition and function of the bacterial community than crude oil concentration.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Kim J, Cho Y, Lim SK, et al (2023)

Comparative analyses of the faecal resistome against β-lactam and quinolone antibiotics in humans and livestock using metagenomic sequencing.

Scientific reports, 13(1):20993.

To assess the prevalence and abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in human and livestock gut microbiomes, 87 humans (healthy individuals and patients with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI)) and 108 livestock (swine, cattle, and chickens) were enrolled. Gut microbiomes and fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli isolates were sequenced, and mobile genetic elements adjacent to the β-lactamase (bla) and transferable quinolone resistance (qnr) genes were compared using metagenomic contigs. Each group of humans and livestock exhibited distinctive microbiota and resistome compositions in the gut. Concerning the resistome of bla and qnr, the prevalence rates between chickens and patients with CDI were the most similar (R[2] = 0.46); blaTEM, blaOXA, blaCTX-M, and qnrS were highly prevalent in both groups. According to genomic and phylogenetic analyses, blaCTX-M and blaOXA expressed lineage specificity to either humans or livestock, while qnrS and blaTEM displayed a shared lineage between humans and livestock. A qnrS1 mobilome comprising five genes, including two recombinases, a transposase, and a plasmid gene, is commonly found in human and chicken gut microbiomes. Humans and chickens showed the most similar gut resistomes to β-lactams and quinolones. QnrS and blaTEM displayed especially strong co-occurrence between the guts of humans and livestock.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Li C, Luan Z, Zhao Y, et al (2023)

Author Correction: Deep insights into the gut microbial community of extreme longevity in south Chinese centenarians by ultra-deep metagenomics and large-scale culturomics.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 9(1):89 pii:10.1038/s41522-023-00456-7.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Peng JY, Dai HF, WX Huang (2023)

[A case of acute fascioliasis diagnosed using metagenomic-next generation sequencing technology].

Zhonghua gan zang bing za zhi = Zhonghua ganzangbing zazhi = Chinese journal of hepatology, 31(10):1089-1091.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Zhu K, Liu J, Zhao M, et al (2023)

An intrusion and environmental effects of man-made silver nanoparticles in cold seeps.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07519-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are among the most widely used metal-based engineered nanomaterials in biomedicine and nanotechnology, and account for >50 % of global nanomaterial consumer products. The increasing use of AgNPs potentially causes marine ecosystem changes; however, the environmental impacts of man-made AgNPs are still poorly studied. This study reports for the first time that man-made AgNPs intruded into cold seeps, which are important marine ecosystems where hydrogen sulfide, methane, and other hydrocarbon-rich fluid seepage occur. Using a combination of electron microscopy, geochemical and metagenomic analyses, we found that in the cold seeps with high AgNPs concentrations, the relative abundance of genes associated with anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was lower, while those related to the sulfide oxidizing and sulfate reducing were higher. This suggests that AgNPs can stimulate the proliferation of sulfate-reducing and sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, likely due to the effects of activating repair mechanisms of the cells against the toxicant. A reaction of AgNPs with hydrogen sulfide to form silver sulfide could also effectively reduce the amount of available sulfate in local ecosystems, which is generally used as the AOM oxidant. These novel findings indicate that man-made AgNPs may be involved in the biogeochemical cycles of sulfur and carbon in nature, and their potential effects on the releasing of methane from the marine methane seeps should not be ignored in both scientific and environmental aspects.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Biswas A, S Chakraborty (2023)

Assessment of microbial population in integrated CW-MFC system and investigation of organics and fecal coliform removal pathway.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07438-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The current study is focused on understanding the operational mechanism of an integrated constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (CW-MFC) reactor emphasizing fecal coliform (FC) removal. Few studies are available in the literature investigating the inherent mechanisms of pathogen inactivation in a CW-MFC system. Raw domestic wastewater was treated in three vertical reactors, one planted constructed wetland (R1), one planted CW-MFC (R2), and one unplanted CW-MFC (R3). Spatial analysis of treated effluents showed a considerable amount of organics and fecal coliform removal at the vicinity of the anode in R2. Assessment of the microbial population inside all the reactors revealed that EABs (Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria) were more abundant in R2 compared to R1 and R3. During the activity study, biomass obtained from R2 showed a maximum substrate utilization rate of 1.27 mg COD mgVSS[-1] d[-1]. Kinetic batch studies were carried out for FC removal in all the reactors, and the maximum first order FC removal rate was obtained at the anode of R2 as 2.13 d[-1] when operated in closed circuit mode. This value was much higher than the natural die-off rate of FCs in raw wastewater which was 1.16 d[-1]. Simultaneous bioelectricity monitoring inferred that voltage generation can be correlated to faster FC inactivation, which was probably due to EABs outcompeting other exogenous microbes in a preferable anaerobic environment with the presence of an anode. Reactor R2 was found to be functioning as a symbiotic bio-electrochemical mesocosm.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Kavita , Om H, Chand U, et al (2023)

Postbiotics: An alternative and innovative intervention for the therapy of inflammatory bowel disease.

Microbiological research, 279:127550 pii:S0944-5013(23)00252-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a persistent gastrointestinal (GI) tract inflammatory disease characterized by downregulated mucosal immune activities and a disrupted microbiota environment in the intestinal lumen. The involvement of bacterium postbiotics as mediators between the immune system and gut microbiome could be critical in determining why host-microbial relationships are disrupted in IBD. Postbiotics including Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), Organic acids, Proteins, Vitamins, Bacteriocins, and Tryptophan (Trp) are beneficial bioactive compounds formed via commensal microbiota in the gut environment during the fermentation process that can be used to improve consumer health. The use of metabolites or fragments from microorganisms can be a very attractive treatment and prevention technique in modern medicine. Postbiotics are essential in the immune system's development since they alter the barrier tightness, and the gut ecology and indirectly shape the microbiota's structure. As a result, postbiotics may be beneficial in treating or preventing various diseases, even some for which there is no effective causative medication. Postbiotics may be a promising tool for the treatment of IBD in individuals of all ages, genders, and even geographical locations. Direct distribution of postbiotics may provide a new frontier in microbiome-based therapy for IBD since it allows both the management of host homeostasis and the correction of the negative implications of dysbiosis. Further studies of the biological effects of these metabolites are expected to reveal innovative applications in medicine and beyond. This review attempts to explore the possible postbiotic-based interventions for the treatment of IBD.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Gao FZ, He LY, He LX, et al (2023)

Swine farming shifted the gut antibiotic resistome of local people.

Journal of hazardous materials, 465:133082 pii:S0304-3894(23)02366-X [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are prevalent in the livestock environment, but little is known about impacts of animal farming on the gut antibiotic resistome of local people. Here we conducted metagenomic sequencing to investigate gut microbiome and resistome of residents in a swine farming village as well as environmental relevance by comparing with a nearby non-farming village. Results showed a shift of gut microbiome towards unhealthy status in the residents of swine farming village, with an increased abundance and diversity in pathogens and ARGs. The resistome composition in human guts was more similar with that in swine feces and air than that in soil and water. Mobile gene elements were closely associated with the prevalence of gut resistome. Some plasmid-borne ARGs were colocalized in similar genetic contexts in gut and environmental samples. Metagenomic binning obtained 47 ARGs-carrying families in human guts, and therein Enterobacteriaceae posed the highest threats in antibiotic resistance and virulence. Several ARGs-carrying families were shared by gut and environmental samples (mainly in swine feces and air), and the ARGs were evolutionarily conservative within genera. The findings highlight that swine farming can shape gut resistome of local people with close linkage to farm environmental exposures.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Zhang S, Ye X, Lin X, et al (2023)

Novel insights into aerobic 17β-estradiol degradation by enriched microbial communities from mangrove sediments.

Journal of hazardous materials, 465:133045 pii:S0304-3894(23)02329-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Various persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including estrogens are often enriched in mangrove regions. This research investigated the estrogens pollution levels in six mangroves located in the Southern China. The estrogen levels were found to be in the range of 5.3-24.9 ng/g dry weight, suggesting that these mangroves had been seriously contaminated. The bacterial communities under estrogen stress were further enriched by supplementing 17β-estradiol (E2) as the sole carbon source. The enriched bacterial communities showed an excellent E2 degradation capacity > 95 %. These communities were able to transform E2 into estrone (E1), 4-hydroxy-estrone, and keto-estrone, etc. 16 S rDNA sequencing and metagenomics analysis revealed that bacterial taxa Oleiagrimonas, Pseudomonas, Terrimonas, and Nitratireductor etc. were the main contributors to estrogen degradation. Moreover, the genes involved in E2 degradation were enriched in the microbial communities, including the genes encoding 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, estrone 4-hydroxylase, etc. Finally, the analyses of functional genes and binning genomes demonstrated that E2 was degraded by bacterial communities via dehydrogenation into E1 by 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. E1 was then catabolically converted to 3aα-H-4α(3'-propanoate)- 7aβ-methylhexahydro-1,5-indanedione via 4,5-seco pathway. Alternatively, E1 could also be hydroxylated to keto-estrone, followed by B-ring cleavage. This study provides novel insights into the biodegradation of E2 by the bacterial communities in estrogen-contaminated mangroves.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Ke Y, Sun W, Xue Y, et al (2023)

Effects of treatments and distribution on microbiome and antibiotic resistome from source to tap water in three Chinese geographical regions based on metagenome assembly.

Water research, 249:120894 pii:S0043-1354(23)01334-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) represent emerging environmental pollutants that present health risks. Drinking water supply systems (DWSSs), including sources to tap water, play crucial roles in the dissemination and propagation of ARGs. However, there was a paucity of knowledge on the relative abundance, diversity, mobility, and pathogenic hosts of ARGs in DWSSs from source to tap. Therefore, the effects of treatments and distributions on the microbial community and ARGs from three geographical regions (downstream areas of the Yellow, Yangtze, and Pearl Rivers) were elucidated in the present study. Treatment processes lowered the complexity of the microbial community network, whereas transportation increased it. The assembly mechanisms of the microbial community and antibiotic resistome were primarily driven by stochastic processes. Distribution greatly increased the contribution of stochastic processes. Multidrug ARGs (for example, multidrug transporter and adeJ) and bacitracin ARG (bacA) were the primary mobile ARGs in drinking water, as identified by the metagenomic assembly. Achromobacter xylosoxidans, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, and Acinetobacter junii harbored diverse multidrug ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) (recombinases, integrases, and transposases) as potential pathogens and were abundant in the disinfected water. Environmental factors, including pH, chlorine, latitude, longitude, and temperature, influenced the ARG abundance by directly regulating the MGEs and microbial community diversity. This study provides critical information on the fate, mobility, host pathogenicity, and driving factors of ARGs in drinking water, which is conducive to ARG risk assessment and management to provide high-quality drinking water to consumers.

RevDate: 2023-11-29
CmpDate: 2023-11-29

Sauters TJC, Roth C, Murray D, et al (2023)

Amoeba predation of Cryptococcus: A quantitative and population genomic evaluation of the accidental pathogen hypothesis.

PLoS pathogens, 19(11):e1011763.

The "Amoeboid Predator-Fungal Animal Virulence Hypothesis" posits that interactions with environmental phagocytes shape the evolution of virulence traits in fungal pathogens. In this hypothesis, selection to avoid predation by amoeba inadvertently selects for traits that contribute to fungal escape from phagocytic immune cells. Here, we investigate this hypothesis in the human fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus deneoformans. Applying quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and comparative genomics, we discovered a cross-species QTL region that is responsible for variation in resistance to amoeba predation. In C. neoformans, this same QTL was found to have pleiotropic effects on melanization, an established virulence factor. Through fine mapping and population genomic comparisons, we identified the gene encoding the transcription factor Bzp4 that underlies this pleiotropic QTL and we show that decreased expression of this gene reduces melanization and increases susceptibility to amoeba predation. Despite the joint effects of BZP4 on amoeba resistance and melanin production, we find no relationship between BZP4 genotype and escape from macrophages or virulence in murine models of disease. Our findings provide new perspectives on how microbial ecology shapes the genetic architecture of fungal virulence, and suggests the need for more nuanced models for the evolution of pathogenesis that account for the complexities of both microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions.

RevDate: 2023-11-29
CmpDate: 2023-11-29

Pinsky ML, Clark RD, JT Bos (2023)

Coral Reef Population Genomics in an Age of Global Change.

Annual review of genetics, 57:87-115.

Coral reefs are both exceptionally biodiverse and threatened by climate change and other human activities. Here, we review population genomic processes in coral reef taxa and their importance for understanding responses to global change. Many taxa on coral reefs are characterized by weak genetic drift, extensive gene flow, and strong selection from complex biotic and abiotic environments, which together present a fascinating test of microevolutionary theory. Selection, gene flow, and hybridization have played and will continue to play an important role in the adaptation or extinction of coral reef taxa in the face of rapid environmental change, but research remains exceptionally limited compared to the urgent needs. Critical areas for future investigation include understanding evolutionary potential and the mechanisms of local adaptation, developing historical baselines, and building greater research capacity in the countries where most reef diversity is concentrated.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Ilinskaya ON, Gafarova LF, Kurdy W, et al (2023)

[Microbiome of therapeutic muds used in Tatarstan].

Voprosy kurortologii, fizioterapii, i lechebnoi fizicheskoi kultury, 100(5):27-35.

UNLABELLED: Therapeutic muds (peloids), which are widely used for body healing, improve metabolism and have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects due to enrichment with necessary microelements and biological active substances. However, the microbiological component of these effects is not well studied.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the microbiome of therapeutic muds, used in the Tatarstan Republic, by identifying spectrum of cultivated microorganisms, using molecular analysis of bacterial communities, and by determining their biodiversity and functional potential based on revealed genetic determinants.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study design of 5 peloids samples (local sapropels and peat deposits of swamp; 3 samples of Crimean sulfide muds) included three main techniques: isolation and taxonomic determination of cultivated microorganisms by time-of-flight mass-spectrometry; molecular analysis of peloids bacterial communities by 16S RNA high-throughput sequencing; identification of functional profiles of communities by their genetic determinant using Global Mapper tool on iVikodak platform.

RESULTS: Experimental studies have confirmed the safety of examined peloids, where non-pathogenic cultivated bacteria belonging mainly to Bacillus and Rhodococcus genera were dominant. Metagenomic analysis showed that Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were predominant in all samples in different ratios. It has been established, that there is both the internal biodiversity of each sample and difference between them. The functional profile of microbial communities was determined based on the identification of bacterial genes. It has been revealed that all communities have an ability to synthesize antibiotics, as well as to decompose dangerous xenobiotics - polyaromatic hydrocarbons, cyclic compounds, and dioxins.

CONCLUSION: Various microbial communities, which were identified in the therapeutic muds, contribute both to the clearance of toxicants in the peloids and to the antibacterial properties of the latter. The obtained priority results create a fundamental basis for the subsequent study of the role of peloids' microbiome of different origin in their healing action.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Gurczynski SJ, Lipinski JH, Strauss JY, et al (2023)

Horizontal transmission of gut microbiota attenuates mortality in lung fibrosis.

JCI insight pii:164572 [Epub ahead of print].

Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic and often fatal disease. The pathogenesis is characterized by aberrant repair of lung parenchyma resulting in loss of physiological homeostasis, respiratory failure and death. The immune response in pulmonary fibrosis is dysregulated. The gut microbiome is a key regulator of immunity. The role of the gut microbiome in regulating the pulmonary immunity in lung fibrosis is poorly understood. Here, we determine the impact of gut microbiota on pulmonary fibrosis in C57BL/6 mice derived from different vendors (C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NCrl). We use germ free models, fecal microbiota transplantation and cohousing to transmit gut microbiota. Metagenomic studies of feces establish keystone species between sub-strains. Pulmonary fibrosis is microbiota dependent in C57BL/6 mice. Gut microbiota are distinct by β diversity (PERMANOVA P<0.001) and α diversity (P<0.0001). Mortality and lung fibrosis are attenuated in C57BL/6NCrl mice. Elevated CD4+ IL-10+ T cells and lower IL-6 occur in C57BL/6NCrl mice. Horizontal transmission of microbiota by cohousing attenuates mortality in C57BL/6J mice and promotes a transcriptionally altered pulmonary immunity. Temporal changes in lung and gut microbiota demonstrates that gut microbiota contribute largely to immunological phenotype. Key regulatory gut microbiota contribute to lung fibrosis generating rationale for human studies.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Brar B, Kumar R, Sharma D, et al (2023)

Metagenomic analysis reveals diverse microbial community and potential functional roles in Baner rivulet, India.

Journal, genetic engineering & biotechnology, 21(1):147.

BACKGROUND: The health index of any population is directly correlated with the water quality, which in turn depends upon physicochemical characteristics and the microbiome of that aquatic source. For maintaining the water quality, knowledge of microbial diversity is a must. The present investigation attempts to evaluate the microflora of Baner. Metagenomics has been proven to be the technique for examining the genetic diversity of unculturable microbiota without using traditional culturing techniques. The microbial profile of Baner is analyzed using metagenomics for the first time to the best of our knowledge.

RESULTS: To explore the microbial diversity of Baner, metagenomics analysis from 3 different sites was done. Data analysis identified 29 phyla, 62 classes, 131 orders, 268 families, and 741 genera. Proteobacteria was found to be the most abundant phylum in all the sampling sites, with the highest abundance at S3 sampling site (94%). Bacteroidetes phylum was found to be second abundant in S1 and S2 site, whereas Actinobacteria was second dominant in sampling site S3. Enterobacteriaceae family was dominant in site S1, whereas Comamonadaceae and Pseudomonadaceae was abundant in sites S2 and S3 respectively. The Baner possesses an abundant bacterial profile that holds great promise for developing bioremediation tactics against a variety of harmful substances.

CONCLUSION: Baner river's metagenomic analysis offers the first insight into the microbial profile of this hilly stream. Proteobacteria was found to be the most abundant phylum in all the sampling sites indicating anthropogenic interference and sewage contamination. The highest abundance of proteobacteria at S3 reveals it to be the most polluted site, as it is the last sampling site downstream of the area under investigation, and falls after crossing the main city, so more human intervention and pollution were observed. Despite some pathogens, a rich profile of bacteria involved in bioremediation, xenobiotic degradation, and beneficial fish probiotics was observed, reflecting their potential applications for improving water quality and establishing a healthy aquaculture and fishery section.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Zhuang Y, Guo W, Cui K, et al (2023)

Altered microbiota, antimicrobial resistance genes, and functional enzyme profiles in the rumen of yak calves fed with milk replacer.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Yaks, as ruminants inhabiting high-altitude environments, possess a distinct rumen microbiome and are resistant to extreme living conditions. This study investigated the microbiota, resistome, and functional gene profiles in the rumen of yaks fed milk or milk replacer (MR), providing insights into the regulation of the rumen microbiome and the intervention of antimicrobial resistance in yaks through dietary methods. The abundance of Prevotella members increased significantly in response to MR. Tetracycline resistance was the most predominant. The rumen of yaks contained multiple antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) originating from different bacteria, which could be driven by MR, and these ARGs displayed intricate and complex interactions. MR also induced changes in functional genes. The enzymes associated with fiber degradation and butyrate metabolism were activated and showed close correlations with Prevotella members and butyrate concentration. This study allows us to deeply understand the ruminal microbiome and ARGs of yaks and their relationship with rumen bacteria in response to different milk sources.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Meyer Cifuentes IE, Degenhardt J, Neumann-Schaal M, et al (2023)

Comparative biodegradation analysis of three compostable polyesters by a marine microbial community.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Biodegradable plastics can be used in applications where the end product cannot be efficiently recycled due to high levels of contaminations, e.g., food or soil. Some of these plastics have a dedicated end of life, such as composting, but their degradation in the marine environment is poorly understood. In this study we showed that marine microbial communities can degrade a range of biodegradable polymers with different physical and chemical properties and use these as a sole carbon source for growth. We have also provided insights into the degradation mechanisms using a combined metagenomic and metaproteomic approach. In addition, we have identified three new enzymes that are capable of degrading both aliphatic polymers and aliphatic-aromatic copolymers, which can be used for biotechnological applications.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Chen L, Chen A, Zhang XD, et al (2023)

High-sensitivity whole-genome recovery of single viral species in environmental samples.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.11.13.566948.

Characterizing unknown viruses is essential for understanding viral ecology and preparing against viral outbreaks. Recovering complete genome sequences from environmental samples remains computationally challenging using metagenomics, especially for low-abundance species with uneven coverage. This work presents a method for reliably recovering complete viral genomes from complex environmental samples. Individual genomes are encapsulated into droplets and amplified using multiple displacement amplification. A novel gene detection assay, which employs an RNA-based probe and an exonuclease, selectively identifies droplets containing the target viral genome. Labeled droplets are sorted using a microfluidic sorter, and genomes are extracted for sequencing. Validation experiments using a sewage sample spiked with two known viruses demonstrate the method's efficacy. We achieve 100% recovery of the spiked-in SV40 (Simian virus 40, 5243bp) genome sequence with uniform coverage distribution, and approximately 99.4% for the larger HAd5 genome (Human Adenovirus 5, 35938bp). Notably, genome recovery is achieved with as few as one sorted droplet, which enables the recovery of any desired genomes in complex environmental samples, regardless of their abundance. This method enables targeted characterizations of rare viral species and whole-genome amplification of single genomes for accessing the mutational profile in single virus genomes, contributing to an improved understanding of viral ecology.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Pereira FC, Ge X, Kristensen JM, et al (2023)

The Parkinson's drug entacapone disrupts gut microbiome homeostasis via iron sequestration.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.11.12.566429.

Increasing evidence shows that many human-targeted drugs alter the gut microbiome, leading to implications for host health. However, much less is known about the mechanisms by which drugs target the microbiome and how drugs affect microbial function. Here we combined quantitative microbiome profiling, long-read metagenomics, stable isotope probing and single cell chemical imaging to investigate the impact of two widely prescribed nervous system targeted drugs on the gut microbiome. Ex vivo supplementation of physiologically relevant concentrations of entacapone or loxapine succinate to faecal samples significantly impacted the abundance of up to one third of the microbial species present. Importantly, we demonstrate that the impact of these drugs on microbial metabolism is much more pronounced than their impact on abundances, with low concentrations of drugs reducing the activity, but not the abundance of key microbiome members like Bacteroides, Ruminococcus or Clostridium species. We further demonstrate that entacapone impacts the microbiome due to its ability to complex and deplete available iron, and that microbial growth can be rescued by replenishing levels of microbiota-accessible iron. Remarkably, entacapone-induced iron starvation selected for iron-scavenging organisms carrying antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes. Collectively, our study unveils the impact of two under-investigated drugs on whole microbiomes and identifies metal sequestration as a mechanism of drug-induced microbiome disturbance.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Subramanian P, Romero-Soto HN, Stern DB, et al (2023)

Delivery mode impacts gut bacteriophage colonization during infancy.

medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences pii:2023.11.13.23298307.

BACKGROUND: Cesarean section delivery is associated with altered early-life bacterial colonization and later adverse inflammatory and immune health outcomes. Although gut bacteriophages can alter gut microbiome composition and impact host immune responses, little is known about how delivery mode impacts bacteriophage colonization over time. To begin to address this we examined how delivery mode affected bacteriophage colonization over the first two years of life.

RESULTS: Shotgun metagenomic sequencing was conducted on 272 serial stool samples from 55 infants, collected at 1-2 days of life and 2, 6, 12 and 24 months. 33/55 (60%) infants were born by vaginal delivery. DNA viruses were identified, and by host inference, 94% of the viral sequences were found to be bacteriophages. Alpha diversity of the virome was increased in vaginally delivered infants compared to cesarean section delivered infants at 2 months (Shannon index, p=0.022). Beta diversity significantly differed by delivery mode at 2, 6, and 12 months when stratified by peripartum antibiotic use (Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, all p<0.05). Significant differentially abundant predicted bacteriophage hosts by delivery mode were seen at all time points. Moreover, there were differences in predicted bacteriophage functional gene abundances up to 24 months by delivery mode. Many of the functions considered to play a role in host response were increased in vaginal delivery.

CONCLUSIONS: Clear differences in bacteriophage composition and function were seen by delivery mode over the first two years of life. Given that phages are known to affect host immune response, our results suggest that future investigation into how delivery mode may lead to adverse inflammatory outcomes should not only include bacterial microbial colonization but also the potential role of bacteriophages and transkingdom interactions.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Ha AD, FO Aylward (2023)

Automated classification of giant virus genomes using a random forest model built on trademark protein families.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.11.10.566645.

Viruses of the phylum Nucleocytoviricota , often referred to as "giant viruses," are prevalent in various environments around the globe and play significant roles in shaping eukaryotic diversity and activities in global ecosystems. Given the extensive phylogenetic diversity within this viral group and the highly complex composition of their genomes, taxonomic classification of giant viruses, particularly incomplete metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) can present a considerable challenge. Here we developed TIGTOG (T axonomic Information of G iant viruses using T rademark O rthologous G roups), a machine learning-based approach to predict the taxonomic classification of novel giant virus MAGs based on profiles of protein family content. We applied a random forest algorithm to a training set of 1,531 quality-checked, phylogenetically diverse Nucleocytoviricota genomes using pre-selected sets of giant virus orthologous groups (GVOGs). The classification models were predictive of viral taxonomic assignments with a cross-validation accuracy of 99.6% to the order level and 97.3% to the family level. We found that no individual GVOGs or genome features significantly influenced the algorithm's performance or the models' predictions, indicating that classification predictions were based on a comprehensive genomic signature, which reduced the necessity of a fixed set of marker genes for taxonomic assigning purposes. Our classification models were validated with an independent test set of 823 giant virus genomes with varied genomic completeness and taxonomy and demonstrated an accuracy of 98.6% and 95.9% to the order and family level, respectively. Our results indicate that protein family profiles can be used to accurately classify large DNA viruses at different taxonomic levels and provide a fast and accurate method for the classification of giant viruses. This approach could easily be adapted to other viral groups.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Song L, B Langmead (2023)

Centrifuger: lossless compression of microbial genomes for efficient and accurate metagenomic sequence classification.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.11.15.567129.

Centrifuger is an efficient taxonomic classification method that compares sequencing reads against a microbial genome database. In Centrifuger, the Burrows-Wheeler transformed genome sequences are losslessly compressed using a novel scheme called run-block compression. Run-block compression achieves sublinear space complexity and is effective at compressing diverse microbial databases like RefSeq while supporting fast rank queries. Combining this compression method with other strategies for compacting the Ferragina-Manzini (FM) index, Centrifuger reduces the memory footprint by half compared to other FM-index-based approaches. Furthermore, the lossless compression and the unconstrained match length help Centrifuger achieve greater accuracy than competing methods at lower taxonomic levels.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Fang GY, Liu XQ, Jiang YJ, et al (2023)

Horizontal gene transfer in activated sludge enhances microbial antimicrobial resistance and virulence.

The Science of the total environment, 912:168908 pii:S0048-9697(23)07537-X [Epub ahead of print].

Activated sludge (AS) plays a vital role in removing organic pollutants and nutrients from wastewater. However, the risks posed by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between bacteria in AS are still unclear. Here, a total of 478 high-quality non-redundant metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) were obtained. >50 % and 5 % of MAGs were involved in at least one HGT and recent HGT, respectively. Most of the transfers (82.4 %) of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) occurred among the classes of Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. The bacteria involved in the transfers of virulence factor genes (VFGs) mainly include Alphaproteobacteria (42.3 %), Bacteroidia (19.2 %), and Gammaproteobacteria (11.5 %). Moreover, the number of ARGs and VFGs in the classes of Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria was higher than that in other bacteria (P < 0.001). Mobile genetic elements were important contributors to ARGs and VFGs in AS bacteria. These results have implications for the management of antimicrobial resistance and virulence in activated sludge microorganisms.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Dong W, Zhou R, Li X, et al (2023)

Effect of simplified inoculum agent on performance and microbiome during cow manure-composting at industrial-scale.

Bioresource technology pii:S0960-8524(23)01525-0 [Epub ahead of print].

A simplified inoculum agent, only comprising Bacillus subtilis and Aspergillus niger, was utilized for industrial-scale cow-manure composting to investigate its impact on composting performance and microbiome. Inoculants elevated the average and peak temperatures by up to 7 and 10 °C, respectively, during the thermophilic stage, reduced organic matter content, and raised germination index. Inoculation also extended the period of composting above 50 °C from 12 to 26 days. Sequencing unveiled significant shifts in microbial diversity, composition, and function. Aspergillus thrived during the mesophilic phase, potentially initiating composting, whereas Bacillus, Lysinibacillus, and Clostridium were enriched during the thermophilic stage. Metagenomic sequencing revealed an increased abundance of carbohydrate-active enzymes and glycometabolism-related genes responsible for lignocellulose degradation and heat generation after inoculation. These enriched microbes and functional genes contributed to organic matter degradation and temperature maintenance during thermophilic stage, expediting composting. This suggests the effectiveness of this simplified inoculum in industrial-level cow-manure composting.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Kishor R, Verma M, Saratale GD, et al (2023)

Treatment of industrial wastewaters by algae-bacterial consortium with Bio-H2 production: Recent updates, challenges and future prospects.

Chemosphere pii:S0045-6535(23)03012-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Currently, scarcity/security of clean water and energy resources are the most serious problems worldwide. Industries use large volume of ground water and a variety of chemicals to manufacture the products and discharge large volume of wastewater into environment, which causes severe impacts on environment and public health. Fossil fuels are considered as major energy resources for electricity and transportation sectors, which release large amount of CO2 and micro/macro pollutants, leading to cause the global warming and public health hazards. Therefore, algae-bacterial consortium (A-BC) may be eco-friendly, cost-effective and sustainable alternative way to treat the industrial wastewaters (IWWs) with Bio-H2 production. A-BC has potential to reduce the global warming and eutrophication. It also protects environment and public health as it converts toxic IWWs into non or less toxic (biomass). It also reduces 94%, 90% and 50% input costs of nutrients, freshwater and energy, respectively during IWWs treatment and Bio-H2 production. Most importantly, it produce sustainable alternative (Bio-H2) to replace use of fossil fuels and fill the world's energy demand in eco-friendly manner. Thus, this review paper provides a detailed knowledge on industrial wastewaters, their pollutants and toxic effects on water/soil/plant/humans and animals. It also provides an overview on A-BC, IWWs treatment, Bio-H2 production, fermentation process and its enhancement methods. Further, various molecular and analytical techniques are also discussed to characterize the A-BC structure, interactions, metabolites and Bio-H2 yield. The significance of A-BC, recent update, challenges and future prospects are also discussed.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Zhang M, Xu Y, Wang J, et al (2023)

Impact of biochar on the antibiotic resistome and associated microbial functions in rhizosphere and bulk soil in water-saving and flooding irrigated paddy fields.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(23)02028-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The addition of biochar in paddies under the condition of water-saving irrigation can simultaneously achieve soil improvement and water conservation, but little is known about the role of these two regulations in mediating the fate of antibiotic resistome in paddy soils. Here, metagenomic analysis was conducted to investigate the effects and intrinsic mechanisms of biochar application and irrigation patterns on propagation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in paddy soils. The addition of biochar in paddy soil resulted in a reduction of approximately 1.32%-8.01% in the total absolute abundance of ARGs and 0.60%-22.09% in the numbers of ARG subtype. Compared with flooding irrigation, the numbers of detected ARG subtype were reduced by 1.60%-22.90%, but the total absolute abundance of ARGs increased by 0.06%-5.79% in water-saving irrigation paddy soils. Moreover, the combined treatments of flooding irrigation and biochar could significantly reduce the abundance of ARGs in paddy soils. The incremental antibiotic resistance in soil induced by water-saving irrigation was likewise mitigated by the addition of biochar. Correlation analyses indicated that, the differences in soil physicochemical properties under biochar addition or irrigation treatments contributed to the corresponding changes in the abundance of ARGs. Moreover, the variations of microbial community diversity, multidrug efflux abundance and transport system-related genes in paddy soil were also important for mediating the corresponding differences in the abundance of ARGs under the conditions of biochar addition or irrigation treatments. The findings of this study demonstrated the effectiveness of biochar application in mitigating antibiotic resistance in paddy soils. However, it also highlighted a potential concern relating to the elevated antibiotic resistance associated with water-saving irrigation in paddy fields. Consequently, these results contribute to a deeper comprehension of the environmental risks posed by ARGs in paddy soils.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Jäger HY, Atz Zanotelli D, Maixner F, et al (2023)

Hit or miss - A metagenomic evaluation of intra-bone variability of host pathogen load in tuberculosis-infected human remains.

Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland), 143S:102392.

Many sampling protocols have been established to successfully retrieve human DNA from archaeological remains, however the systematic detection of ancient pathogens remains challenging. Here, we present a first assessment of the intra-bone variability of metagenomic composition in human skeletal remains and its effect on the sampling success for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and human endogenous DNA. For this purpose, four bone samples from published peer-reviewed studies with PCR-based evidence for ancient MTB DNA were selected. Two bone samples of a Neolithic individual from Halberstadt, Germany and two ribs of two 18th-century Hungarian church mummies were sampled at multiple locations for equal amounts, followed by DNA extraction and library construction. Shotgun sequencing data was generated for taxonomic profiling as well as quantitative and qualitative evaluation of MTB and human endogenous DNA. Despite low variance in microbial diversity within and across samples, intra-bone variability of up to 36.45- and 62.88-fold for authentic ancient MTB and human reads, respectively, was detected. This study demonstrates the variable sampling success for MTB and human endogenous DNA within single skeletal samples despite relatively consistent microbial composition and highlights how a multisampling approach can facilitate the detection of hotspots with highly concentrated pathogen and human endogenous DNA.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Zhang X, Miao Q, Tang B, et al (2023)

Discovery of novel alkaline-tolerant xylanases from fecal microbiota of dairy cows.

Biotechnology for biofuels and bioproducts, 16(1):182.

Xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) are considered as a promising type of prebiotics that can be used in foods, feeds, and healthcare products. Xylanases play a key role in the production of XOS from xylan. In this study, we conducted a metagenomic analysis of the fecal microbiota from dairy cows fed with different types of fodders. Despite the diversity in their diets, the main phyla observed in all fecal microbiota were Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. At the genus level, one group of dairy cows that were fed probiotic fermented herbal mixture-containing fodders displayed decreased abundance of Methanobrevibacter and increased growth of beneficial Akkermansia bacteria. Additionally, this group exhibited a high microbial richness and diversity. Through our analysis, we obtained a comprehensive dataset comprising over 280,000 carbohydrate-active enzyme genes. Among these, we identified a total of 163 potential xylanase genes and subsequently expressed 34 of them in Escherichia coli. Out of the 34 expressed genes, two alkaline xylanases with excellent temperature stability and pH tolerance were obtained. Notably, CDW-xyl-8 exhibited xylanase activity of 96.1 ± 7.5 U/mg protein, with an optimal working temperature of 55 ℃ and optimal pH of 8.0. CDW-xyl-16 displayed an activity of 427.3 ± 9.1 U/mg protein with an optimal pH of 8.5 and an optimal temperature at 40 ℃. Bioinformatic analyses and structural modeling suggest that CDW-xyl-8 belongs to GH10 family xylanase, and CDW-xyl-16 is a GH11 family xylanase. Both enzymes have the ability to hydrolyze beechwood xylan and produce XOS. In conclusion, this metagenomic study provides valuable insights into the fecal microbiota composition of dairy cows fed different fodder types, revealing main microbial groups and demonstrating the abundance of xylanases. Furthermore, the characterization of two novel xylanases highlights their potential application in XOS production.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Bian W, Xie Y, Shang Y, et al (2023)

Relationship between clinical features and droplet digital PCR copy number in non-HIV patients with pneumocystis pneumonia.

BMC infectious diseases, 23(1):833.

OBJECTIVE: Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) is a novel assay to detect pneumocystis jjrovecii (Pj) which has been defined to be more sensitive than qPCR in recent studies. We aimed to explore whether clinical features of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) were associated with ddPCR copy numbers of Pj.

METHODS: A total of 48 PCP patients were retrospectively included. Pj detection was implemented by ddPCR assay within 4 h. Bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) samples were collected from 48 patients with molecular diagnosis as PCP via metagenomic next generation sequencing (mNGS) or quantitative PCR detection. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed to screen out possible indicators for the severity of PCP. The patients were divided into two groups according to ddPCR copy numbers, and their clinical features were further analyzed.

RESULTS: Pj loading was a pro rata increase with serum (1,3)-beta-D glucan, D-dimmer, neutrophil percentage, procalcitonin and BALF polymorphonuclear leucocyte percentage, while negative correlation with albumin, PaO2/FiO2, BALF cell count, and BALF lymphocyte percentage. D-dimmer and ddPCR copy number of Pj were independent indicators for moderate/severe PCP patients with PaO2/FiO2 lower than 300. We made a ROC analysis of ddPCR copy number of Pj for PaO2/FiO2 index and grouped the patients according to the cut-off value (2.75). The high copy numbers group was characterized by higher level of inflammatory markers. Compared to low copy number group, there was lower level of the total cell count while higher level of polymorphonuclear leucocyte percentage in BALF in the high copy numbers group. Different from patients with high copy numbers, those with high copy numbers had a tendency to develop more severe complications and required advanced respiratory support.

CONCLUSION: The scenarios of patients infected with high ddPCR copy numbers of Pj showed more adverse clinical conditions. Pj loading could reflect the severity of PCP to some extent.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Mara P, Geller-McGrath D, Edgcomb V, et al (2023)

Metagenomic profiles of archaea and bacteria within thermal and geochemical gradients of the Guaymas Basin deep subsurface.

Nature communications, 14(1):7768.

Previous studies of microbial communities in subseafloor sediments reported that microbial abundance and diversity decrease with sediment depth and age, and microbes dominating at depth tend to be a subset of the local seafloor community. However, the existence of geographically widespread, subsurface-adapted specialists is also possible. Here, we use metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses of the hydrothermally heated, sediment layers of Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico) to examine the distribution and activity patterns of bacteria and archaea along thermal, geochemical and cell count gradients. We find that the composition and distribution of metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), dominated by numerous lineages of Chloroflexota and Thermoproteota, correlate with biogeochemical parameters as long as temperatures remain moderate, but downcore increasing temperatures beyond ca. 45 ºC override other factors. Consistently, MAG size and diversity decrease with increasing temperature, indicating a downcore winnowing of the subsurface biosphere. By contrast, specific archaeal MAGs within the Thermoproteota and Hadarchaeota increase in relative abundance and in recruitment of transcriptome reads towards deeper, hotter sediments, marking the transition towards a specialized deep, hot biosphere.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Tomita S, Kuroda K, T Narihiro (2023)

A small step to discover candidate biological control agents from preexisting bioresources by using novel nonribosomal peptide synthetases hidden in activated sludge metagenomes.

PloS one, 18(11):e0294843.

Biological control agents (BCAs), beneficial organisms that reduce the incidence or severity of plant disease, have been expected to be alternatives to replace chemical pesticides worldwide. To date, BCAs have been screened by culture-dependent methods from various environments. However, previously unknown BCA candidates may be buried and overlooked because this approach preferentially selects only easy-to-culture microbial lineages. To overcome this limitation, as a small-scale test case, we attempted to explore novel BCA candidates by employing the shotgun metagenomic information of the activated sludge (AS) microbiome, which is thought to contain unutilized biological resources. We first performed genome-resolved metagenomics for AS taken from a municipal sewage treatment plant and obtained 97 nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS)/polyketide synthase (PKS)-related gene sequences from 43 metagenomic assembled bins, most of which were assigned to the phyla Proteobacteria and Myxococcota. Furthermore, these NRPS/PKS-related genes are predicted to be novel because they were genetically dissimilar to known NRPS/PKS gene clusters. Of these, the condensation domain of the syringomycin-related NRPS gene cluster was detected in Rhodoferax- and Rhodocyclaceae-related bins, and its homolog was found in previously reported AS metagenomes as well as the genomes of three strains available from the microbial culture collections, implying their potential BCA ability. Then, we tested the antimicrobial activity of these strains against phytopathogenic fungi to investigate the potential ability of BCA by in vitro cultivation and successfully confirmed the actual antifungal activity of three strains harboring a possibly novel NRPS gene cluster. Our findings provide a possible strategy for discovering novel BCAs buried in the environment using genome-resolved metagenomics.


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 )