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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 18 Jan 2020 at 01:41 Created: 

Microbial Ecology

Wikipedia: Microbial Ecology (or environmental microbiology) is the ecology of microorganisms: their relationship with one another and with their environment. It concerns the three major domains of life — Eukaryota, Archaea, and Bacteria — as well as viruses. Microorganisms, by their omnipresence, impact the entire biosphere. Microbial life plays a primary role in regulating biogeochemical systems in virtually all of our planet's environments, including some of the most extreme, from frozen environments and acidic lakes, to hydrothermal vents at the bottom of deepest oceans, and some of the most familiar, such as the human small intestine. As a consequence of the quantitative magnitude of microbial life (Whitman and coworkers calculated 5.0×1030 cells, eight orders of magnitude greater than the number of stars in the observable universe) microbes, by virtue of their biomass alone, constitute a significant carbon sink. Aside from carbon fixation, microorganisms' key collective metabolic processes (including nitrogen fixation, methane metabolism, and sulfur metabolism) control global biogeochemical cycling. The immensity of microorganisms' production is such that, even in the total absence of eukaryotic life, these processes would likely continue unchanged.

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Li Z, Y Van de Peer (2020)

"Winter Is Coming": How did Polyploid Plants Survive?.

Molecular plant, 13(1):4-5.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Lee JC, KS Whang (2020)

Segeticoccus rhizosphaerae gen. nov., sp. nov., an actinobacterium isolated from soil of a farming field.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

A Gram-stain-positive actinobacterial strain, designated YJ01T, was isolated from a spinach farming field soil at Shinan in Korea. Strain YJ01T was aerobic, non-motile, non-spore-forming cocci with diameters of 1.5-1.9 µm, and was able to grow at 10-37 °C (optimum, 28-30 °C), at pH 4.5-9.0 (optimum, pH 7.0-8.0) and at salinities of 0-7.5 % (w/v) NaCl (optimum, 1.0 % NaCl). Sequence similarities of the 16S rRNA gene of strain YJ01T with closely related relatives were in the range 96.2-92.8 %, and the results of phylogenomic analysis indicated that strain YJ01T was clearly separated from species of genera in the family Intrasporangiaceae showing average nucleotide identity values of 84.2-83.4 %. The predominant isoprenoid quinone was identified as MK-8(H4) and the major fatty acids were iso-C15 : 0, iso-C16:1 h, iso-C16 : 0 and anteiso-C17 : 1ω9c. The diagnostic diamino acid of the peptidoglycan was ornithine, and the interpeptide bridge was l-Orn-Gly2-d-Glu. The major polar lipids were identified as diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylserine, an unidentified phosphatidylglycolipid, two unidentified phosphoaminolipids and an unidentified phosphoglycoaminolipid. The G+C content of the genome was 70.1 mol%. On the basis of phenotypic and chemotaxonomic properties and phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses using 16S rRNA gene sequences and whole-genome sequences, strain YJ01T is considered to represent a novel species of a new genus in the family Intrasporangiaceae, for which the name Segeticoccusrhizosphaerae gen. nov. sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Segeticoccusrhizosphaerae is YJ01T (=KACC 19547T=NBRC 113173T).

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Guhr A, S Kircher (2020)

Drought-Induced Stress Priming in Two Distinct Filamentous Saprotrophic Fungi.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01481-w [Epub ahead of print].

Sessile organisms constantly face environmental fluctuations and especially drought is a common stressor. One adaptive mechanism is "stress priming," the ability to cope with a severe stress ("triggering") by retaining information from a previous mild stress event ("priming"). While plants have been extensively investigated for drought-induced stress priming, no information is available for saprotrophic filamentous fungi, which are highly important for nutrient cycles. Here, we investigated the potential for drought-induced stress priming of one strain each of two ubiquitous species, Neurospora crassa and Penicillium chrysogenum. A batch experiment with 4 treatments was conducted on a sandy soil: exposure to priming and/or triggering as well as non-stressed controls. A priming stress was caused by desiccation to pF 4. The samples were then rewetted and after 1-, 7-, or 14-days of recovery triggered (pF 6). After triggering, fungal biomass, respiration, and β-glucosidase activity were quantified. P. chrysogenum showed positive stress priming effects. After 1 day of recovery, biomass as well as β-glucosidase activity and respiration were 0.5 to 5 times higher during triggering. Effects on biomass and activity decreased with prolonged recovery but lasted for 7 days and minor effects were still detectable after 14 days. Without triggering, stress priming had a temporary negative impact on biomass but this reversed after 14 days. For N. crassa, no stress priming effect was observed on the tested variables. The potential for drought-induced stress priming seems to be species specific with potentially high impact on composition and activity of fungal communities considering the expected increase of drought events.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Korotetskiy IS, Joubert M, Magabotha SM, et al (2020)

Complete Genome Sequence of Collection Strain Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC BAA-1790, Used as a Model To Study the Antibiotic Resistance Reversion Induced by Iodine-Containing Complexes.

Microbiology resource announcements, 9(3): pii:9/3/e01467-19.

The strain Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC BAA-1790 was sequenced as a model for nosocomial multidrug-resistant infections. Long-read PacBio sequencing revealed a circular chromosome of 3,963,235 bp with two horizontally transferred genomic islands and a 67,023-bp plasmid. Multiple antibiotic resistance genes and genome methylation patterns were identified.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Purkamo L, Kietäväinen R, Nuppunen-Puputti M, et al (2020)

Ultradeep Microbial Communities at 4.4 km within Crystalline Bedrock: Implications for Habitability in a Planetary Context.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 10(1): pii:life10010002.

The deep bedrock surroundings are an analog for extraterrestrial habitats for life. In this study, we investigated microbial life within anoxic ultradeep boreholes in Precambrian bedrock, including the adaptation to environmental conditions and lifestyle of these organisms. Samples were collected from Pyhäsalmi mine environment in central Finland and from geothermal drilling wells in Otaniemi, Espoo, in southern Finland. Microbial communities inhabiting the up to 4.4 km deep bedrock were characterized with phylogenetic marker gene (16S rRNA genes and fungal ITS region) amplicon and DNA and cDNA metagenomic sequencing. Functional marker genes (dsrB, mcrA, narG) were quantified with qPCR. Results showed that although crystalline bedrock provides very limited substrates for life, the microbial communities are diverse. Gammaproteobacterial phylotypes were most dominant in both studied sites. Alkanindiges -affiliating OTU was dominating in Pyhäsalmi fluids, while different depths of Otaniemi samples were dominated by Pseudomonas. One of the most common OTUs detected from Otaniemi could only be classified to phylum level, highlighting the uncharacterized nature of the deep biosphere in bedrock. Chemoheterotrophy, fermentation and nitrogen cycling are potentially significant metabolisms in these ultradeep environments. To conclude, this study provides information on microbial ecology of low biomass, carbon-depleted and energy-deprived deep subsurface environment. This information is useful in the prospect of finding life in other planetary bodies.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Guégan M, Van VT, Martin E, et al (2020)

Who is eating fructose within the Aedes albopictus gut microbiota?.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is a major public health concern because of its invasive success and its ability to transmit pathogens. Given the low availability of treatments against mosquito-borne diseases, vector control remains the most suitable strategy. The methods used thus far are becoming less effective, but recent strategies have emerged from the study of mosquito-associated microorganisms. Although the role of the microbiota in insect biology does not require further proof, much remains to be deciphered in mosquitoes, especially the contribution of the microbiota to host nutrient metabolism. Mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, composed of mostly fructose. We used stable isotope probing to identify bacteria and fungi assimilating fructose within the gut of Ae. albopictus. Mosquitoes were fed a 13 C-labelled fructose solution for 24 h. Differences in the active microbial community according to the sex of mosquitoes were highlighted. The bacterium Lelliottia and the fungi Cladosporium and Aspergillus dominated the active microbiota in males, whereas the bacterium Ampullimonas and the yeast Cyberlindnera were the most active in females. This study is the first to investigate trophic interactions between Ae. albopictus and its microbiota, thus underscoring the importance of the microbial component in nectar feeding in mosquitoes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Morrison ES, Thomas P, Ogram A, et al (2020)

Characterization of Bacterial and Fungal Communities Reveals Novel Consortia in Tropical Oligotrophic Peatlands.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01483-z [Epub ahead of print].

Despite their importance for global biogeochemical cycles and carbon sequestration, the microbiome of tropical peatlands remains under-determined. Microbial interactions within peatlands can regulate greenhouse gas production, organic matter turnover, and nutrient cycling. Here we analyze bacterial and fungal communities along a steep P gradient in a tropical peat dome and investigate community level traits and network analyses to better understand the composition and potential interactions of microorganisms in these understudied systems and their relationship to peatland biogeochemistry. We found that both bacterial and fungal community compositions were significantly different along the P gradient, and that the low-P bog plain was characterized by distinct fungal and bacterial families. At low P, the dominant fungal families were cosmopolitan parasites and endophytes, including Clavicipitaceae (19%) in shallow soils (0-4 cm), Hypocreaceae (50%) in intermediate-depth soils (4-8 cm), and Chaetothyriaceae (45%) in deep soils (24-30 cm). In contrast, high- and intermediate-P sites were dominated by saprotrophic families at all depths. Bacterial communities were consistently dominated by the acidophilic Koribacteraceae family, with the exception of the low-P bog site, which was dominated by Acetobacteraceae (19%) and Syntrophaceae (11%). These two families, as well as Rhodospirillaceae, Syntrophobacteraceae, Syntrophorhabdaceae, Spirochaetaceae, and Methylococcaceae appeared within low-P bacterial networks, suggesting the presence of a syntrophic-methanogenic consortium in these soils. Further investigation into the active microbial communities at these sites, when paired with CH4 and CO2 gas exchange, and the quantification of metabolic intermediates will validate these potential interactions and provide insight into microbially driven biogeochemical cycling within these globally important tropical peatlands.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Hampton HG, Watson BNJ, PC Fineran (2020)

The arms race between bacteria and their phage foes.

Nature, 577(7790):327-336.

Bacteria are under immense evolutionary pressure from their viral invaders-bacteriophages. Bacteria have evolved numerous immune mechanisms, both innate and adaptive, to cope with this pressure. The discovery and exploitation of CRISPR-Cas systems have stimulated a resurgence in the identification and characterization of anti-phage mechanisms. Bacteriophages use an extensive battery of counter-defence strategies to co-exist in the presence of these diverse phage defence mechanisms. Understanding the dynamics of the interactions between these microorganisms has implications for phage-based therapies, microbial ecology and evolution, and the development of new biotechnological tools. Here we review the spectrum of anti-phage systems and highlight their evasion by bacteriophages.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

De Rudder C, Calatayud Arroyo M, Lebeer S, et al (2020)

Dual and Triple Epithelial Coculture Model Systems with Donor-Derived Microbiota and THP-1 Macrophages To Mimic Host-Microbe Interactions in the Human Sinonasal Cavities.

mSphere, 5(1): pii:5/1/e00916-19.

The epithelium of the human sinonasal cavities is colonized by a diverse microbial community, modulating epithelial development and immune priming and playing a role in respiratory disease. Here, we present a novel in vitro approach enabling a 3-day coculture of differentiated Calu-3 respiratory epithelial cells with a donor-derived bacterial community, a commensal species (Lactobacillus sakei), or a pathobiont (Staphylococcus aureus). We also assessed how the incorporation of macrophage-like cells could have a steering effect on both epithelial cells and the microbial community. Inoculation of donor-derived microbiota in our experimental setup did not pose cytotoxic stress on the epithelial cell layers, as demonstrated by unaltered cytokine and lactate dehydrogenase release compared to a sterile control. Epithelial integrity of the differentiated Calu-3 cells was maintained as well, with no differences in transepithelial electrical resistance observed between coculture with donor-derived microbiota and a sterile control. Transition of nasal microbiota from in vivo to in vitro conditions maintained phylogenetic richness, and yet a decrease in phylogenetic and phenotypic diversity was noted. Additional inclusion and coculture of THP-1-derived macrophages did not alter phylogenetic diversity, and yet donor-independent shifts toward higher Moraxella and Mycoplasma abundance were observed, while phenotypic diversity was also increased. Our results demonstrate that coculture of differentiated airway epithelial cells with a healthy donor-derived nasal community is a viable strategy to mimic host-microbe interactions in the human upper respiratory tract. Importantly, including an immune component allowed us to study host-microbe interactions in the upper respiratory tract more in depth.IMPORTANCE Despite the relevance of the resident microbiota in sinonasal health and disease and the need for cross talk between immune and epithelial cells in the upper respiratory tract, these parameters have not been combined in a single in vitro model system. We have developed a coculture system of differentiated respiratory epithelium and natural nasal microbiota and incorporated an immune component. As indicated by absence of cytotoxicity and stable cytokine profiles and epithelial integrity, nasal microbiota from human origin appeared to be well tolerated by host cells, while microbial community composition remained representative for that of the human (sino)nasal cavity. Importantly, the introduction of macrophage-like cells enabled us to obtain a differential readout from the epithelial cells dependent on the donor microbial background to which the cells were exposed. We conclude that both model systems offer the means to investigate host-microbe interactions in the upper respiratory tract in a more representative way.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Xu Y, Shen Z, Gentekaki E, et al (2020)

Comparative Transcriptome Analyses during the Vegetative Cell Cycle in the Mono-Cellular Organism Pseudokeronopsis erythrina (Alveolata, Ciliophora).

Microorganisms, 8(1): pii:microorganisms8010108.

Studies focusing on molecular mechanisms of cell cycles have been lagging in unicellular eukaryotes compared to other groups. Ciliates, a group of unicellular eukaryotes, have complex cell division cycles characterized by multiple events. During their vegetative cell cycle, ciliates undergo macronuclear amitosis, micronuclear mitosis, stomatogenesis and somatic cortex morphogenesis, and cytokinesis. Herein, we used the hypotrich ciliate Pseudokeronopsis erythrina, whose morphogenesis has been well studied, to examine molecular mechanisms of ciliate vegetative cell cycles. Single-cell transcriptomes of the growth (G) and cell division (D) stages were compared. The results showed that (i) More than 2051 significantly differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected, among which 1545 were up-regulated, while 256 were down-regulated at the D stage. Of these, 11 randomly picked DEGs were validated by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR); (ii) Enriched DEGs during the D stage of the vegetative cell cycle of P. erythrina were involved in development, cortex modifications, and several organelle-related biological processes, showing correspondence of molecular evidence to morphogenetic changes for the first time; (iii) Several individual components of molecular mechanisms of ciliate vegetative division, the sexual cell cycle and cellular regeneration overlap; and (iv) The P. erythrina cell cycle and division have the same essential components as other eukaryotes, including cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), cyclins, and genes closely related to cell proliferation, indicating the conserved nature of this biological process. Further studies are needed focusing on detailed inventory and gene interactions that regulate specific ciliated cell-phase events.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Amaral-Zettler LA, Zettler ER, TJ Mincer (2020)

Ecology of the plastisphere.

Nature reviews. Microbiology pii:10.1038/s41579-019-0308-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The plastisphere, which comprises the microbial community on plastic debris, rivals that of the built environment in spanning multiple biomes on Earth. Although human-derived debris has been entering the ocean for thousands of years, microplastics now numerically dominate marine debris and are primarily colonized by microbial and other microscopic life. The realization that this novel substrate in the marine environment can facilitate microbial dispersal and affect all aquatic ecosystems has intensified interest in the microbial ecology and evolution of this biotope. Whether a 'core' plastisphere community exists that is specific to plastic is currently a topic of intense investigation. This Review provides an overview of the microbial ecology of the plastisphere in the context of its diversity and function, as well as suggesting areas for further research.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Weissman JL, PLF Johnson (2020)

Network-Based Prediction of Novel CRISPR-Associated Genes in Metagenomes.

mSystems, 5(1): pii:5/1/e00752-19.

A diversity of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas systems provide adaptive immunity to bacteria and archaea through recording "memories" of past viral infections. Recently, many novel CRISPR-associated proteins have been discovered via computational studies, but those studies relied on biased and incomplete databases of assembled genomes. We avoided these biases and applied a network theory approach to search for novel CRISPR-associated genes by leveraging subtle ecological cooccurrence patterns identified from environmental metagenomes. We validated our method using existing annotations and discovered 32 novel CRISPR-associated gene families. These genes span a range of putative functions, with many potentially regulating the response to infection.IMPORTANCE Every branch on the tree of life, including microbial life, faces the threat of viral pathogens. Over the course of billions of years of coevolution, prokaryotes have evolved a great diversity of strategies to defend against viral infections. One of these is the CRISPR adaptive immune system, which allows microbes to "remember" past infections in order to better fight them in the future. There has been much interest among molecular biologists in CRISPR immunity because this system can be repurposed as a tool for precise genome editing. Recently, a number of comparative genomics approaches have been used to detect novel CRISPR-associated genes in databases of genomes with great success, potentially leading to the development of new genome-editing tools. Here, we developed novel methods to search for these distinct classes of genes directly in environmental samples ("metagenomes"), thus capturing a more complete picture of the natural diversity of CRISPR-associated genes.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Sedlacek CJ, Giguere AT, Dobie MD, et al (2020)

Transcriptomic Response of Nitrosomonas europaea Transitioned from Ammonia- to Oxygen-Limited Steady-State Growth.

mSystems, 5(1): pii:5/1/e00562-19.

Ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms perform the first step of nitrification, the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite. The bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea is the best-characterized ammonia oxidizer to date. Exposure to hypoxic conditions has a profound effect on the physiology of N. europaea, e.g., by inducing nitrifier denitrification, resulting in increased nitric and nitrous oxide production. This metabolic shift is of major significance in agricultural soils, as it contributes to fertilizer loss and global climate change. Previous studies investigating the effect of oxygen limitation on N. europaea have focused on the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in nitrification and nitrifier denitrification. Here, we combine steady-state cultivation with whole-genome transcriptomics to investigate the overall effect of oxygen limitation on N. europaea Under oxygen-limited conditions, growth yield was reduced and ammonia-to-nitrite conversion was not stoichiometric, suggesting the production of nitrogenous gases. However, the transcription of the principal nitric oxide reductase (cNOR) did not change significantly during oxygen-limited growth, while the transcription of the nitrite reductase-encoding gene (nirK) was significantly lower. In contrast, both heme-copper-containing cytochrome c oxidases encoded by N. europaea were upregulated during oxygen-limited growth. Particularly striking was the significant increase in transcription of the B-type heme-copper oxidase, proposed to function as a nitric oxide reductase (sNOR) in ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. In the context of previous physiological studies, as well as the evolutionary placement of N. europaea's sNOR with regard to other heme-copper oxidases, these results suggest sNOR may function as a high-affinity terminal oxidase in N. europaea and other ammonia-oxidizing bacteria.IMPORTANCE Nitrification is a ubiquitous microbially mediated process in the environment and an essential process in engineered systems such as wastewater and drinking water treatment plants. However, nitrification also contributes to fertilizer loss from agricultural environments, increasing the eutrophication of downstream aquatic ecosystems, and produces the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. As ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are the most dominant ammonia-oxidizing microbes in fertilized agricultural soils, understanding their responses to a variety of environmental conditions is essential for curbing the negative environmental effects of nitrification. Notably, oxygen limitation has been reported to significantly increase nitric oxide and nitrous oxide production during nitrification. Here, we investigate the physiology of the best-characterized ammonia-oxidizing bacterium, Nitrosomonas europaea, growing under oxygen-limited conditions.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Bophela KN, Petersen Y, Bull CT, et al (2020)

Identification of Pseudomonas Isolates Associated With Bacterial Canker of Stone Fruit Trees in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial canker is a common bacterial disease of stone fruit trees. The causal agents responsible for the disease include several pathovars in Pseudomonas syringae sensu lato and newly described Pseudomonas species. Pseudomonad strains were isolated from symptomatic stone fruit trees, namely apricot, peach, and plum trees cultivated in spatially separated orchards in the Western Cape. A polyphasic approach was used to identify and characterize these strains. Using a multilocus sequence typing approach of four housekeeping loci, namely cts, gapA, gyrB, and rpoD, the pseudomonad strains were delineated into two phylogenetic groups within P. syringae sensu lato: P. syringae sensu stricto and Pseudomonas viridiflava. These results were further supported by LOPAT diagnostic assays and analysis of clades in the rep-PCR dendrogram. The pseudomonad strains were pathogenic on both apricot and plum seedlings, indicative of a lack of host specificity between Pseudomonas strains infecting Prunus spp. This is a first report of P. viridiflava isolated from plum trees showing symptoms of bacterial canker. P. viridiflava is considered to be an opportunistic pathogen that causes foliar diseases of vegetable crops, fruit trees, and aromatic herbs, and thus the isolation of pathogenic P. viridiflava from twigs of plum trees showing symptoms of bacterial canker suggests that this bacterial species is a potentially emerging stem canker pathogen of stone fruit trees in South Africa.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

El Hage R, Hernandez-Sanabria E, Calatayud Arroyo M, et al (2020)

Supplementation of a propionate-producing consortium improves markers of insulin resistance in an in vitro model of gut-liver axis.

American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism [Epub ahead of print].

Gut-liver crosstalk is an important determinant of human health with profound effects on energy homeostasis. While gut microbes produce a huge range of metabolites, specific compounds such as short chain fatty acids (SCFA) can enter the portal circulation and reach the liver, a central organ involved in glucose homeostasis and diabetes control. Propionate is a major SCFA involved in activation of intestinal gluconeogenesis (IGN), thereby regulating food intake, enhancing insulin sensitivity and leading to metabolic homeostasis. Although microbiome modulating strategies may target the increased microbial production of propionate, it is not clear whether such effect spreads through to the hepatic cellular level. Here, we designed a propionate-producing consortium using a selection of commensal gut bacteria, and we investigated how their delivered metabolites impact an in vitro enterohepatic model of insulin resistance. Glycogen storage on hepatocyte-like cells and inflammatory markers associated with insulin resistance were evaluated to understand the role of gut metabolites on gut-liver crosstalk in a simulated scenario of insulin resistance. The metabolites produced by our consortium increased glycogen synthesis by approximately 57% and decreased pro-inflammatory markers such as IL-8 by 12%, thus elucidating the positive effect of our consortium on metabolic function and low-grade inflammation. Our results suggest that microbiota-derived products can be a promising multipurpose strategy to modulate energy homeostasis, with potential ability to assist in managing metabolic diseases due to their adaptability.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Cleary DFR, Polónia ARM, Reijnen BT, et al (2020)

Prokaryote Communities Inhabiting Endemic and Newly Discovered Sponges and Octocorals from the Red Sea.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01465-w [Epub ahead of print].

In the present study, we assessed prokaryotic communities of demosponges, a calcareous sponge, octocorals, sediment and seawater in coral reef habitat of the central Red Sea, including endemic species and species new to science. Goals of the study were to compare the prokaryotic communities of demosponges with the calcareous sponge and octocorals and to assign preliminary high microbial abundance (HMA) or low microbial abundance (LMA) status to the sponge species based on compositional trait data. Based on the compositional data, we were able to assign preliminary LMA or HMA status to all sponge species. Certain species, however, had traits of both LMA and HMA species. For example, the sponge Ectyoplasia coccinea, which appeared to be a LMA species, had traits, including a relatively high abundance of Chloroflexi members, that were more typical of HMA species. This included dominant OTUs assigned to two different classes within the Chloroflexi. The calcareous sponge clustered together with seawater, the known LMA sponge Stylissa carteri and other presumable LMA species. The two dominant OTUs of this species were assigned to the Deltaproteobacteria and had no close relatives in the GenBank database. The octocoral species in the present study had prokaryotic communities that were distinct from sediment, seawater and all sponge species. These were characterised by OTUs assigned to the orders Rhodospirillales, Cellvibrionales, Spirochaetales and the genus Endozoicomonas, which were rare or absent in samples from other biotopes.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Ruiz-Rodríguez M, Scheifler M, Sanchez-Brosseau S, et al (2020)

Host Species and Body Site Explain the Variation in the Microbiota Associated to Wild Sympatric Mediterranean Teleost Fishes.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01484-y [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms are an important component in shaping the evolution of hosts and as such, the study of bacterial communities with molecular techniques is shedding light on the complexity of symbioses between bacteria and vertebrates. Teleost fish are a heterogeneous group that live in a wide variety of habitats, and thus a good model group to investigate symbiotic interactions and their influence on host biology and ecology. Here we describe the microbiota of thirteen teleostean species sharing the same environment in the Mediterranean Sea and compare bacterial communities among different species and body sites (external mucus, skin, gills, and intestine). Our results show that Proteobacteria is the dominant phylum present in fish and water. However, the prevalence of other bacterial taxa differs between fish and the surrounding water. Significant differences in bacterial diversity are observed among fish species and body sites, with higher diversity found in the external mucus. No effect of sampling time nor species individual was found. The identification of indicator bacterial taxa further supports that each body site harbors its own characteristic bacterial community. These results improve current knowledge and understanding of symbiotic relationships among bacteria and their fish hosts in the wild since the majority of previous studies focused on captive individuals.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Obata O, Salar-Garcia MJ, Greenman J, et al (2020)

Development of efficient electroactive biofilm in urine-fed microbial fuel cell cascades for bioelectricity generation.

Journal of environmental management, 258:109992 pii:S0301-4797(19)31710-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology harnesses the potential of some naturally occurring bacteria for electricity generation. Digested sludge is commonly used as the inoculum to initiate the process. There are, however, health hazards and practical issues associated with the use of digested sludge depending on its origin as well as the location for system deployment. This work reports the development of an efficient electroactive bacterial community within ceramic-based MFCs fed with human urine in the absence of sludge inoculum. The results show the development of a uniform bacterial community with power output levels equal to or higher than those generated from MFCs inoculated with sludge. In this case, the power generation begins within 2 days of the experimental set-up, compared to about 5 days in some sludge-inoculated MFCs, thus significantly reducing the start-up time. The metagenomics analysis of the successfully formed electroactive biofilm (EAB) shows significant shifts between the microbial ecology of the feeding material (fresh urine) and the developed anodic biofilm. A total of 21 bacteria genera were detected in the urine feedstock whilst up to 35 different genera were recorded in the developed biofilm. Members of Pseudomonas (18%) and Anaerolineaceae (17%) dominate the bacterial community of the fresh urine feed while members of Burkholderiaceae (up to 50%) and Tissierella (up to 29%) dominate the anodic EAB. These results highlight a significant shift in the bacterial community of the feedstock towards a selection and adaptation required for the various electrochemical reactions essential for survival through power generation.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Sun F, Wang C, Chen H, et al (2020)

Metagenomic Analysis of the Effect of Enteromorpha prolifera Bloom on Microbial Community and Function in Aquaculture Environment.

Current microbiology pii:10.1007/s00284-019-01862-x [Epub ahead of print].

Enteromorpha prolifera blooms considerably affected coastal environments in recent years. However, the effects of E. prolifera on microbial ecology and function remained unknown. In this study, metagenomic sequencing was used to investigate the effect of E. prolifera bloom on the microbial communities and functional genes in an aquaculture environment. Results showed that E. prolifera bloom could significantly alter the microbial composition and abundance, and heterotrophic bacteria comprised the major groups in the E. prolifera bloom pond, which was dominated by Actinomycetales and Flavobacteriales. The study indicated that viruses played an important role in shaping the microbial community and diversity during E. prolifera bloom. These viruses affected various dominant microbial taxa (such as Rhodobacteraceae, Synechococcus, and Prochlorococcus), which produced an obvious impact on potential nutrient transformation. Functional annotation analysis indicated that E. prolifera bloom would considerably shift the metabolism function by altering the structure and abundance of the microbial community. E. prolifera bloom pond had the low ability of potential metabolic capabilities of nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphate, whereas promoted gene abundance of genetic information processing. These changes in the microbial community and function could produce serious effect on aquaculture ecosystem.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Lepoutre A, Hervieux J, Faassen EJ, et al (2019)

Usability of the bivalves Dreissena polymorpha and Anodonta anatina for a biosurvey of the neurotoxin BMAA in freshwater ecosystems.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 259:113885 pii:S0269-7491(19)35720-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The environmental neurotoxin β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) may represent a risk for human health in case of chronic exposure or after short-term exposure during embryo development. BMAA accumulates in freshwater and marine organisms consumed by humans. It is produced by marine and freshwater phytoplankton species, but the range of producers remains unknown. Therefore, analysing the phytoplankton composition is not sufficient to inform about the risk of freshwater contamination by BMAA. Filter-feeders mussels have accumulation capacities and therefore appear to be relevant to monitor various pollutants in aquatic ecosystems. We investigated the suitability of the freshwater mussels Dreissena polymorpha and Anodonta anatina for monitoring BMAA in water. Both species were exposed to 1, 10, and 50 μg of dissolved BMAA/L daily for 21 days, followed by 42 days of depuration in clean water. On days 0, 1, 7, 14, and 21 of exposure and 1, 7, 14, 21 and 42 of depuration, whole D. polymorpha and digestive glands of A. anatina were sampled, and the total BMAA concentration was measured. D. polymorpha accumulated BMAA earlier (from day 1 at all concentrations) and at higher tissue concentrations than A. anatina, which accumulated BMAA from day 14 when exposed to 10 μg BMAA/L and from day 7 when exposed to 50 μg BMAA/L. As BMAA accumulation by D. polymorpha was time and concentration-dependent, with a significant elimination during the depuration period, this species may be able to reflect the levels and dynamics of water contamination by dissolved BMAA. The species A. anatina could be used for monitoring water concentrations above 10 μg BMAA/L.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Cesare AD, Eckert EM, Cottin C, et al (2020)

The vertical distribution of tetA and intI1 in a deep lake is rather due to sedimentation than to resuspension.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5700709 [Epub ahead of print].

Lakes are exposed to anthropogenic pollution including the release of allochthonous bacteria into their waters. Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) stabilize in bacterial communities of temperate lakes, and these environments act as long-term reservoirs of ARGs. Still, it is not clear if the stabilization of the ARGs is caused by a periodical introduction, or by other factors regulated by dynamics within the water column. Here we observed the dynamics of the tetracycline resistance gene (tetA) and of the class 1 integron integrase gene intI1 a proxy of anthropogenic pollution in the water column and in the sediments of subalpine Lake Maggiore, together with several chemical, physical and microbiological variables. Both genes resulted more abundant within the bacterial community of the sediment compared to the water column and the water-sediment interface. Only at the inset of thermal stratification they reached quantifiable abundances in all the water layers, too. Moreover, the bacterial communities of the water-sediment interface were more similar to deep waters than to the sediments. These results suggest that the vertical distribution of tetA and intI1 is mainly due to the deposition of bacteria from the surface water to the sediment, while their resuspension from the sediment is less important.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Dove NC, Safford HD, Bohlman GN, et al (2020)

High-severity wildfire leads to multi-decadal impacts on soil biogeochemistry in mixed-conifer forests.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America [Epub ahead of print].

During the past century, systematic wildfire suppression has decreased fire frequency and increased fire severity in the western United States of America. While this has resulted in large ecological changes aboveground such as altered tree species composition and increased forest density, little is known about the long-term, belowground implications of altered, ecologically novel fire regimes, especially on soil biological processes. To better understand the long-term implications of ecologically novel, high-severity fire, we used a 44-y high-severity fire chronosequence in the Sierra Nevada where forests were historically adapted to frequent, low-severity fire, but were fire suppressed for at least 70 years. High-severity fire in the Sierra Nevada resulted in a long-term (44 + y) decrease (>50%, p < 0.05) in soil extracellular enzyme activities, basal microbial respiration (56-72%, p < 0.05), and organic carbon (>50%, p < 0.05) in the upper 5 cm compared to sites that had not been burned for at least 115 y. However, nitrogen (N) processes were only affected in the most-recent fire site (4 y post-fire). Net nitrification increased by over 600% in the most recent fire site (p < 0.001), but returned to similar levels as the unburned control in the 13-y site. Contrary to previous studies, we did not find a consistent effect of plant cover type on soil biogeochemical processes in mid-successional (10-50 y) forest soils. Rather, the 44-y reduction in soil organic carbon (C) quantity correlated positively with dampened C cycling processes. Our results show the drastic and long-term implication of ecologically novel, high-severity fire on soil biogeochemistry and underscore the need for long-term fire ecological experiments.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Krych Ł, Castro-Mejía JL, Forero-Junco LM, et al (2019)

DNA enrichment and tagmentation method for species-level identification and strain-level differentiation using ON-rep-seq.

Communications biology, 2(1):369 pii:10.1038/s42003-019-0617-x.

Despite the massive developments within culture-independent methods for detection of microorganisms during the last decade, culture-based methods remain a cornerstone in microbiology. Yet, the problem of rapid, accurate and inexpensive identification of bacterial isolates down to species/strain level remains unresolved. We have developed a new method for bacterial DNA enrichment and tagmentation allowing fast (<24 h) and cost-effective species level identification and strain level differentiation using the MinION portable sequencing platform (ON-rep-seq). DNA library preparation for 96 isolates takes less than 5 h and ensures highly reproducible distribution of reads that can be used to generate strain level specific read length counts profiles (LCp). We have developed a pipeline that by correcting reads error within peaks of LCp generates a set of high quality (>99%) consensus reads. Whereas, the information from high quality reads is used to retrieve species level taxonomy, comparison of LCp allows for strain level differentiation.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Rampelli S, Guenther K, Turroni S, et al (2018)

Pre-obese children's dysbiotic gut microbiome and unhealthy diets may predict the development of obesity.

Communications biology, 1(1):222 pii:10.1038/s42003-018-0221-5.

It is widely accepted that the intestinal microbiome is connected to obesity, as key mediator of the diet impact on the host metabolic and immunological status. To investigate whether the individual gut microbiome has a potential in predicting the onset and progression of diseases, here we characterized the faecal microbiota of 70 children in a two-time point prospective study, within a four-year window. All children had normal weight at the beginning of this study, but 36 of them gained excessive weight at the subsequent check-up. Microbiome data were analysed together with the hosts' diet information, physical activity, and inflammatory parameters. We find that the gut microbiota structures were stratified into a discrete number of groups, characterized by different biodiversity that correlates with inflammatory markers and dietary habits, regardless of age, gender, and body weight. Collectively, our data underscore the importance of the microbiome-host-diet configuration as a possible predictor of obesity.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Bai C, Cai J, Zhou L, et al (2020)

Geographic Patterns of Bacterioplankton among Lakes of the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River Basin, China.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02423-19 [Epub ahead of print].

The revolution of molecular techniques has revealed that the composition of natural bacterial communities normally includes a few abundant taxa and many rare taxa. Unraveling the mechanisms underlying the spatial assembly process of both abundant and rare bacterial taxa had become a central goal in microbial ecology. Here we used high-throughput sequencing to explore geographic patterns and the relative importance of ecological processes in the assembly of abundant and rare bacterial subcommunities from 25 lakes across the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River basin (MLYB, located in southeast China), where most of the lakes are interconnected by river networks. We found a similar biogeographic pattern of abundant and rare subcommunities which could significantly separate between the two lake groups that were far from each other, while could not separate among the nearby lakes. Both abundant and rare bacteria followed a strong distance-decay relationship. These findings suggest that the interconnectivity between lakes homogenizes the bacterial communities in local areas, and the abundant and rare taxa therein may be affected by the same ecological process. In addition, based on the measured environmental variables, the deterministic processes explain a small fraction of variation within both abundant and rare subcommunities. While both neutral and null model revealed a high stochasticity ratio for the spatial distribution patterns of both abundant and rare taxa. These findings indicate that the stochastic processes exhibited a greater influence on both abundant and rare bacterial subcommunities assembly among interconnected lakes.Importance The Middle and Lower Yangtze Plain is a typical floodplain, in which many lakes will connect with each other, especially in the wet season. More importantly, with the frequent change of regional water level in the wet season, there is a mutual hydrodynamic exchange among these lakes. The microbial biogeography among these interconnected lakes is still poorly understood. This study aims to unravel the mechanisms underlying the assembly process of abundant and rare bacteria among the interconnected lakes in the Middle and Lower Yangtze Plain. Our findings will provide a deeper understanding of the biogeographic patterns of rare and abundant bacterial taxa and their determined processes among interconnected aquatic habitats.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Shuai Y, Ma Z, Liu W, et al (2020)

TEAD4 modulated LncRNA MNX1-AS1 contributes to gastric cancer progression partly through suppressing BTG2 and activating BCL2.

Molecular cancer, 19(1):6.

BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer (GC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality globally. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are dysregulated in obvious malignancies including GC and exploring the regulatory mechanisms underlying their expression is an attractive research area. However, these molecular mechanisms require further clarification, especially upstream mechanisms.

METHODS: LncRNA MNX1-AS1 expression in GC tissue samples was investigated via microarray analysis and further determined in a cohort of GC tissues via quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays. Cell proliferation and flow cytometry assays were performed to confirm the roles of MNX1-AS1 in GC proliferation, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis. The influence of MNX1-AS1 on GC cell migration and invasion was explored with Transwell assays. A xenograft tumour model was established to verify the effects of MNX1-AS1 on in vivo tumourigenesis. The TEAD4-involved upstream regulatory mechanism of MNX1-AS1 was explored through ChIP and luciferase reporter assays. The mechanistic model of MNX1-AS1 in regulating gene expression was further detected by subcellular fractionation, FISH, RIP, ChIP and luciferase reporter assays.

RESULTS: It was found that MNX1-AS1 displayed obvious upregulation in GC tissue samples and cell lines, and ectopic expression of MNX1-AS1 predicted poor clinical outcomes for patients with GC. Overexpressed MNX1-AS1 expression promoted proliferation, migration and invasion of GC cells markedly, whereas decreased MNX1-AS1 expression elicited the opposite effects. Consistent with the in vitro results, MNX1-AS1 depletion effectively inhibited the growth of xenograft tumour in vivo. Mechanistically, TEAD4 directly bound the promoter region of MNX1-AS1 and stimulated the transcription of MNX1-AS1. Furthermore, MNX1-AS1 can sponge miR-6785-5p to upregulate the expression of BCL2 in GC cells. Meanwhile, MNX1-AS1 suppressed the transcription of BTG2 by recruiting polycomb repressive complex 2 to BTG2 promoter regions.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that MNX1-AS1 may be able to serve as a prognostic indicator in GC patients and that TEAD4-activatd MNX1-AS1 can promote GC progression through EZH2/BTG2 and miR-6785-5p/BCL2 axes, implicating it as a novel and potent target for the treatment of GC.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Agudelo-Ochoa GM, Valdés-Duque BE, Giraldo-Giraldo NA, et al (2020)

Gut microbiota profiles in critically ill patients, potential biomarkers and risk variables for sepsis.

Gut microbes [Epub ahead of print].

Critically ill patients are physiologically unstable and recent studies indicate that the intestinal microbiota could be involved in the health decline of such patients during ICU stays. This study aims to assess the intestinal microbiota in critically ill patients with and without sepsis and to determine its impact on outcome variables, such as medical complications, ICU stay time, and mortality. A multi-center study was conducted with a total of 250 peri-rectal swabs obtained from 155 patients upon admission and during ICU stays. Intestinal microbiota was assessed by sequencing the V3-V4 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Linear mixed models were used to integrate microbiota data with more than 40 clinical and demographic variables to detect covariates and minimize the effect of confounding factors. We found that the microbiota of ICU patients with sepsis has an increased abundance of microbes tightly associated with inflammation, such as Parabacteroides, Fusobacterium and Bilophila species. Female sex and aging would represent an increased risk for sepsis possibly because of some of their microbiota features. We also evidenced a remarkable loss of microbial diversity, during the ICU stay. Concomitantly, we detected that the abundance of pathogenic species, such as Enterococcus spp., was differentially increased in sepsis patients who died, indicating these species as potential biomarkers for monitoring during ICU stay. We concluded that particular intestinal microbiota signatures could predict sepsis development in ICU patients. We propose potential biomarkers for evaluation in the clinical management of ICU patients.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Triplett J, Ellis D, Braddock A, et al (2020)

Temporal and region-specific effects of sleep fragmentation on gut microbiota and intestinal morphology in Sprague Dawley rats.

Gut microbes [Epub ahead of print].

Sleep is a fundamental biological process, that when repeatedly disrupted, can result in severe health consequences. Recent studies suggest that both sleep fragmentation (SF) and dysbiosis of the gut microbiome can lead to metabolic disorders, though the underlying mechanisms are largely unclear. To better understand the consequences of SF, we investigated the effects of acute (6 days) and chronic (6 weeks) SF on rats by examining taxonomic profiles of microbiota in the distal ileum, cecum and proximal colon, as well as assessing structural and functional integrity of the gastrointestinal barrier. We further assayed the impact of SF on a host function by evaluating inflammation and immune response. Both acute and chronic SF induced microbial dysbiosis, more dramatically in the distal ileum (compared to other two regions studied), as noted by significant perturbations in alpha- and beta-diversity; though, specific microbial populations were significantly altered throughout each of the three regions. Furthermore, chronic SF resulted in increased crypt depth in the distal ileum and an increase in the number of villi lining both the cecum and proximal colon. Additional changes were noted with chronic SF, including: decreased microbial adhesion and penetration in the distal ileum and cecum, elevation in serum levels of the cytokine KC/GRO, and depressed levels of corticotropin. Importantly, our data show that perturbations to microbial ecology and intestinal morphology intensify in response to prolonged SF and these changes are habitat specific. Together, these results reveal consequences to gut microbiota homeostasis and host response following acute and chronic SF in rats.

RevDate: 2020-01-10

Studholme DJ, Wicker E, Abrare SM, et al (2020)

Transfer of Xanthomonas campestris pv. arecae and X. campestris pv. musacearum to X. vasicola (Vauterin) as X. vasicola pv. arecae comb. nov. and X. vasicola pv. musacearum comb. nov. and Description of X. vasicola pv. vasculorum pv. nov.

We present an amended description of the bacterial species Xanthomonas vasicola to include the causative agent of banana Xanthomonas wilt, as well as strains that cause disease on Areca palm, Tripsacum grass, sugarcane, and maize. Genome-sequence data reveal that these strains all share more than 98% average nucleotide with each other and with the type strain. Our analyses and proposals should help to resolve the taxonomic confusion that surrounds some of these pathogens and help to prevent future use of invalid names.[Formula: see text] Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY 4.0 International license.

RevDate: 2020-01-10

Morris MM, Frixione NJ, Burkert AC, et al (2020)

Microbial abundance, composition, and function in nectar are shaped by flower visitor identity.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5700281 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial dispersal is essential for establishment in new habitats, but the role of vector identity is poorly understood in community assembly and function. Here, we compared microbial assembly and function in floral nectar visited by legitimate pollinators (hummingbirds) and nectar robbers (carpenter bees). We assessed effects of visitation on the abundance and composition of culturable bacteria and fungi and their taxonomy and function using shotgun metagenomics, and nectar chemistry. We also compared metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of Acinetobacter, a common and highly abundant nectar bacteria, among visitor treatments. Visitation increased microbial abundance, but robbing resulting in 10x higher microbial abundance than pollination. Microbial communities differed among visitor treatments: robbed flowers were characterized by predominant nectar specialists within Acetobacteraceae and Metschnikowiaceae, with a concurrent loss of rare taxa, and these resulting communities harbored genes relating to osmotic stress, saccharide metabolism, and specialized transporters. Gene differences were mirrored in function: robbed nectar contained 25% more monosaccharides. Draft genomes of Acinetobacter revealed distinct amino acid and saccharide utilization pathways in strains isolated from robbed versus pollinated flowers. Our results suggest an unrecognized cost of nectar robbing for pollination and distinct effects of visitor type on interactions between plants and pollinators. Overall, these results suggest vector identity is an underappreciated factor structuring microbial community assembly and function.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Chakraborty A, DasGupta CK, P Bhadury (2020)

Diversity of Betaproteobacteria revealed by novel primers suggests their role in arsenic cycling.

Heliyon, 6(1):e03089.

High arsenic concentration in groundwater is a severe environmental problem affecting human health, particularly in countries of South and South-East Asia. The Bengal Delta Plain (BDP) distributed within India and Bangladesh is a major arsenic-affected region where groundwater is the primary source of drinking water. Previous studies have indicated that members of the bacterial class Betaproteobacteria constitute a major fraction of the microbial community in many of the aquifers within this region. Bacteria belonging to this class are known to be involved in redox cycling of arsenic as well as other metals such iron and manganese, thereby impacting arsenic mobilization and immobilization. While microbial diversity in arsenic-contaminated environments is generally assessed using universal 16S rRNA gene primers, targeted evaluation of Betaproteobacteria diversity remains poorly constrained. In this study, bacterial diversity was investigated in the groundwater from two shallow aquifers (West Bengal, India) based on 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and sequencing using a custom-designed pair of primers specific to Betaproteobacteria. Specificity of the primers was confirmed in silico as well as by the absence of PCR amplification of other bacterial classes. Four major families (Burkholderiaceae, Comamonadaceae, Gallionellaceae and Rhodocyclaceae) were detected among which members of Burkholderiaceae represented 59% and 71% of the total community in each aquifer. The four OTUs (operational taxonomic units; 97% sequence identity) within Burkholderiaceae were close phylogenetic relatives of bacteria within the genus Burkholderia known to solubilize phosphate minerals. Additionally, the OTUs belonging to Gallionellaceae were closely related to the members of the genera Gallionella and Sideroxydans, known to oxidize iron under microaerophilic conditions. These results suggest that members of Betaproteobacteria can potentially influence iron and phosphorus cycling which can influence biogeochemistry in arsenic-contaminated aquifers of the BDP.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Klaps J, Lievens B, S Álvarez-Pérez (2020)

Towards a better understanding of the role of nectar-inhabiting yeasts in plant-animal interactions.

Fungal biology and biotechnology, 7:1.

Flowers offer a wide variety of substrates suitable for fungal growth. However, the mycological study of flowers has only recently begun to be systematically addressed from an ecological point of view. Most research on the topic carried out during the last decade has focused on studying the prevalence and diversity of flower-inhabiting yeasts, describing new species retrieved from floral parts and animal pollinators, and the use of select nectar yeasts as model systems to test ecological hypotheses. In this primer article, we summarize the current state of the art in floral nectar mycology and provide an overview of some research areas that, in our view, still require further attention, such as the influence of fungal volatile organic compounds on the foraging behavior of pollinators and other floral visitors, the analysis of the direct and indirect effects of nectar-inhabiting fungi on the fitness of plants and animals, and the nature and consequences of fungal-bacterial interactions taking place within flowers.

RevDate: 2020-01-10

Hounmanou YMG, Leekitcharoenphon P, Hendriksen RS, et al (2019)

Corrigendum: Surveillance and Genomics of Toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 From Fish, Phytoplankton and Water in Lake Victoria, Tanzania.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2974.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00901.].

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Calabrese F, Voloshynovska I, Musat F, et al (2019)

Quantitation and Comparison of Phenotypic Heterogeneity Among Single Cells of Monoclonal Microbial Populations.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2814.

Phenotypic heterogeneity within microbial populations arises even when the cells are exposed to putatively constant and homogeneous conditions. The outcome of this phenomenon can affect the whole function of the population, resulting in, for example, new "adapted" metabolic strategies and impacting its fitness at given environmental conditions. Accounting for phenotypic heterogeneity becomes thus necessary, due to its relevance in medical and applied microbiology as well as in environmental processes. Still, a comprehensive evaluation of this phenomenon requires a common and unique method of quantitation, which allows for the comparison between different studies carried out with different approaches. Consequently, in this study, two widely applicable indices for quantitation of heterogeneity were developed. The heterogeneity coefficient (HC) is valid when the population follows unimodal activity, while the differentiation tendency index (DTI) accounts for heterogeneity implying outbreak of subpopulations and multimodal activity. We demonstrated the applicability of HC and DTI for heterogeneity quantitation on stable isotope probing with nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIP-nanoSIMS), flow cytometry, and optical microscopy datasets. The HC was found to provide a more accurate and precise measure of heterogeneity, being at the same time consistent with the coefficient of variation (CV) applied so far. The DTI is able to describe the differentiation in single-cell activity within monoclonal populations resolving subpopulations with low cell abundance, individual cells with similar phenotypic features (e.g., isotopic content close to natural abundance, as detected with nanoSIMS). The developed quantitation approach allows for a better understanding on the impact and the implications of phenotypic heterogeneity in environmental, medical and applied microbiology, microbial ecology, cell biology, and biotechnology.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Baños I, Montero MF, Benavides M, et al (2020)

INT Toxicity over Natural Bacterial Assemblages from Surface Oligotrophic Waters: Implications for the Assessment of Respiratory Activity.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01479-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Plankton community respiration (R) is a major component of the carbon flux in aquatic ecosystems. However, current methods to measure actual respiration from oxygen consumption at relevant spatial scales are not sensitive enough in oligotrophic environments where respiration rates are very low. To overcome this drawback, more sensitive indirect enzymatic approaches are commonly used as R proxies. The in vivo electron transport system (ETSvivo) assay, which measures the reduction of (2-(4-iodophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-phenyl tetrazolium chloride salt, INT) to INT-formazan in the presence of natural substrate levels, was recently proposed as an indirect reliable estimation of R for natural plankton communities. However, under in vivo conditions, formazan salts could be toxic to the cells. Here, we test the toxicity of 0.2 mM of final INT concentration, widely used for ETSvivo assays, on natural bacterial assemblages collected in coastal and oceanic waters off Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, subtropical North Atlantic), in eight independent experiments. After 0.5 h of incubation, a significant but variable decline in cell viability (14-49%) was observed in all samples inoculated with INT. Moreover, INT also inhibited leucine uptake in less than 90 min of incubation. In the light of these results, we argue that enzymatic respiratory rates obtained with the ETSvivo method need to be interpreted with caution to derive R in oceanic regions where bacteria largely contribute to community respiration. Moreover, the variable toxicity on bacterial assemblages observed in our experiments questions the use of a single R/ETSvivo relationship as a universal proxy for regional studies.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Schnizlein MK, Vendrov KC, Edwards SJ, et al (2020)

Dietary Xanthan Gum Alters Antibiotic Efficacy against the Murine Gut Microbiota and Attenuates Clostridioides difficile Colonization.

mSphere, 5(1):.

Dietary fiber provides a variety of microbiota-mediated benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory metabolites to pathogen colonization resistance. A healthy gut microbiota protects against Clostridioides difficile colonization. Manipulation of these microbes through diet may increase colonization resistance to improve clinical outcomes. The primary objective of this study was to identify how the dietary fiber xanthan gum affects the microbiota and C. difficile colonization. We added 5% xanthan gum to the diet of C57BL/6 mice and examined its effect on the microbiota through 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and short-chain fatty acid analysis. Following either cefoperazone or an antibiotic cocktail administration, we challenged mice with C. difficile and measured colonization by monitoring the CFU. Xanthan gum administration is associated with increases in fiber-degrading taxa and short-chain fatty acid concentrations. However, by maintaining both the diversity and absolute abundance of the microbiota during antibiotic treatment, the protective effects of xanthan gum administration on the microbiota were more prominent than the enrichment of these fiber-degrading taxa. As a result, mice that were on the xanthan gum diet experienced limited to no C. difficile colonization. Xanthan gum administration alters mouse susceptibility to C. difficile colonization by maintaining the microbiota during antibiotic treatment. While antibiotic-xanthan gum interactions are not well understood, xanthan gum has previously been used to bind drugs and alter their pharmacokinetics. Thus, xanthan gum may alter the activity of the oral antibiotics used to make the microbiota susceptible. Future research should further characterize how this and other common dietary fibers interact with drugs.IMPORTANCE A healthy gut bacterial community benefits the host by breaking down dietary nutrients and protecting against pathogens. Clostridioides difficile capitalizes on the absence of this community to cause diarrhea and inflammation. Thus, a major clinical goal is to find ways to increase resistance to C. difficile colonization by either supplementing with bacteria that promote resistance or a diet to enrich for those already present in the gut. In this study, we describe an interaction between xanthan gum, a human dietary additive, and the microbiota resulting in an altered gut environment that is protective against C. difficile colonization.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Li P, Li W, Dumbrell AJ, et al (2020)

Spatial Variation in Soil Fungal Communities across Paddy Fields in Subtropical China.

mSystems, 5(1):.

Fungi underpin almost all terrestrial ecosystem functions, yet our understanding of their community ecology lags far behind that of other organisms. Here, red paddy soils in subtropical China were collected across a soil depth profile, comprising 0-to-10-cm- (0-10cm-), 10-20cm-, and 20-40cm-deep layers. Using Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, distance-decay relationships (DDRs), and ecological models, fungal assemblages and their spatial patterns were investigated from each soil depth. We observed significant spatial variation in fungal communities and found that environmental heterogeneity decreased with soil depth, while spatial variation in fungal communities showed the opposite trend. DDRs occurred only in 0-10cm- and 10-20cm-deep soil layers, not in the 20-40cm layer. Our analyses revealed that the fungal community assembly in the 0-10cm layer was primarily governed by environmental filtering and a high dispersal rate, while in the deeper layer (20-40cm), it was primarily governed by dispersal limitation with minimal environmental filtering. Both environmental filtering and dispersal limitation controlled fungal community assembly in the 10-20cm layer, with dispersal limitation playing the major role. Results demonstrate the decreasing importance of environmental filtering and an increase in the importance of dispersal limitation in structuring fungal communities from shallower to deeper soils. Effectively, "everything is everywhere, but the environment selects," although only in shallower soils that are easily accessible to dispersive fungal propagules. This work highlights that perceived drivers of fungal community assembly are dependent on sampling depth, suggesting that caution is required when interpreting diversity patterns from samples that integrate across depths.IMPORTANCE In this work, Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing of the ITS region was used to investigate the spatial variation and assembly mechanisms of fungal communities from different soil layers across paddy fields in subtropical China, and the results demonstrate the decreasing importance of environmental filtering and an increase in the importance of dispersal limitation in structuring fungal communities from shallower to deeper soils. Therefore, the results of this study highlight that perceived drivers of fungal community assembly are dependent on sampling depth and suggest that caution is required when interpreting diversity patterns from samples that integrate across depths. This is the first study focusing on assemblages of fungal communities in different soil layers on a relatively large scale, and we thus believe that this study is of great importance to researchers and readers in microbial ecology, especially in microbial biogeography, because the results can provide sampling guidance in future studies of microbial biogeography.

RevDate: 2020-01-07

Van den Abbeele P, Moens F, Pignataro G, et al (2020)

Yeast-Derived Formulations Are Differentially Fermented by the Canine and Feline Microbiome As Assessed in a Novel In Vitro Colonic Fermentation Model.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

The current study evaluated the effect of five yeast-derived formulations (T1-T5) on microbial metabolism and composition of the canine and feline gut microbiota using a novel in vitro colonic incubation approach. This novel in vitro model allowed for growth of the entire spectrum of dog- and cat-derived bacteria from the inoculum, thus offering an excellent platform to evaluate effects of nutritional interventions on the gut microbiota. Further, yeast-derived ingredients differentially increased production of acetate, propionate, butyrate, ammonium, and branched short-chain fatty acids, with T5 and T1 consistently stimulating propionate and butyrate, respectively. 16S-targeted Illumina sequencing coupled with flow cytometry provided unprecedented high-resolution quantitative insights in canine and feline microbiota modulation by yeast-derived ingredients, revealing that effects on propionate production were related to Prevotellaceae, Tannerellaceae, Bacteroidaceae, and Veillonellaceae members, while effects on butyrate production were related to Erysipelotrichaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Fusobacteriaceae. Overall, these findings strengthen the health-promoting potential of yeast-derived ingredients.

RevDate: 2020-01-03

Zhang D, Luther AK, Clauwaert P, et al (2020)

Assessment of carbon recovery from solid organic wastes by supercritical water oxidation for a regenerative life support system.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-019-07527-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The carbon recovery from organic space waste by supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) was studied to support resource recovery in a regenerative life support system. Resource recovery is of utmost importance in such systems which only have a limited total amount of mass. However, the practical waste treatment strategies for solid space wastes employed today are only storing and disposal without further recovery. This work assesses the performance of SCWO at recovering organic wastes as CO2 and water, to discuss the superiority of SCWO over most present strategies, and to evaluate the different SCWO reactor systems for space application. Experiments were carried out with a batch and a continuous reactor at different reaction conditions. The liquid and gas products distribution were analyzed to understand the conversion of organics in SCWO. Up to 97% and 93% of the feed carbon were recovered as CO2 in the continuous and the batch reactor, respectively. Residual carbon was mostly found as soluble organics in the effluent. Compared with the batch reactor, the continuous reactor system demonstrated a ten times higher capacity within the same reactor volume, while the batch reactor system was capable of handling feeds that contained particulate matter though suffering from poor heat integration (hence low-energy efficiency) and inter-batch variability. It was concluded that SCWO could be a promising technology to treat solid wastes for space applications. A continuous reactor would be more suitable for a regenerative life support system.

RevDate: 2020-01-03

Donati I, Cellini A, Sangiorgio D, et al (2020)

Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae: Ecology, Infection Dynamics and Disease Epidemiology.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01459-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Since 2008, the kiwifruit industry has been devastated by a pandemic outbreak of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa), the causal agent of bacterial canker. This disease has become the most significant limiting factor in kiwifruit production. Psa colonizes different organs of the host plant, causing a specific symptomatology on each of them. In addition, the systemic invasion of the plant may quickly lead to plant death. Despite the massive risk that this disease poses to the kiwifruit industry, studies focusing on Psa ecology have been sporadic, and a comprehensive description of the disease epidemiology is still missing. Optimal environmental conditions for infection, dispersal and survival in the environment, or the mechanisms of penetration and colonization of host tissues have not been fully elucidated yet. The present work aims to provide a synthesis of the current knowledge, and a deeper understanding of the epidemiology of kiwifruit bacterial canker based on new experimental data. The pathogen may survive in the environment or overwinter in dormant tissues and be dispersed by wind or rain. Psa was observed in association with several plant structures (stomata, trichomes, lenticels) and wounds, which could represent entry points for apoplast infection. Environmental conditions also affect the bacterial colonization, with lower optimum values of temperature and humidity for epiphytic than for endophytic growth, and disease incidence requiring a combination of mild temperature and leaf wetness. By providing information on Psa ecology, these data sets may contribute to plan efficient control strategies for kiwifruit bacterial canker.

RevDate: 2020-01-03

Floc'h JB, Hamel C, Harker KN, et al (2020)

Fungal Communities of the Canola Rhizosphere: Keystone Species and Substantial Between-Year Variation of the Rhizosphere Microbiome.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01475-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Rhizosphere microbes influence one another, forming extremely complex webs of interactions that may determine plant success. Identifying the key factors that structure the fungal microbiome of the plant rhizosphere is a necessary step in optimizing plant production. In a long-term field experiment conducted at three locations in the Canadian prairies, we tested the following hypotheses: (1) diversification of cropping systems influences the fungal microbiome of the canola (Brassica napus) rhizosphere; (2) the canola rhizosphere has a core fungal microbiome, i.e., a set of fungi always associated with canola; and (3) some taxa within the rhizosphere microbiome of canola are highly interrelated and fit the description of hub taxa. Our results show that crop diversification has a significant effect on the structure of the rhizosphere fungal community but not on fungal diversity. We also discovered and described a canola core microbiome made up of one zero-radius operational taxonomic unit (ZOTU), cf. Olpidium brassicae, and an eco-microbiome found only in 2013 consisting of 47 ZOTUs. Using network analysis, we identified four hub taxa in 2013: ZOTU14 (Acremonium sp.), ZOTU28 (Sordariomycetes sp.), ZOTU45 (Mortierella sp.) and ZOTU179 (cf. Ganoderma applanatum), and one hub taxon, ZOTU17 (cf. Mortierella gamsii) in 2016. None of these most interacting taxa belonged to the core microbiome or eco-microbiome for each year of sampling. This temporal variability puts into question the idea of a plant core fungal microbiome and its stability. Our results provide a basis for the development of ecological engineering strategies for the improvement of canola production systems in Canada.

RevDate: 2020-01-03

Op De Beeck M, Troein C, Siregar S, et al (2020)

Regulation of fungal decomposition at single-cell level.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-019-0583-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Filamentous fungi play a key role as decomposers in Earth's nutrient cycles. In soils, substrates are heterogeneously distributed in microenvironments. Hence, individual hyphae of a mycelium may experience very different environmental conditions simultaneously. In the current work, we investigated how fungi cope with local environmental variations at single-cell level. We developed a method based on infrared spectroscopy that allows the direct, in-situ chemical imaging of the decomposition activity of individual hyphal tips. Colonies of the ectomycorrhizal Basidiomycete Paxillus involutus were grown on liquid media, while parts of colonies were allowed to colonize lignin patches. Oxidative decomposition of lignin by individual hyphae growing under different conditions was followed for a period of seven days. We identified two sub-populations of hyphal tips: one with low decomposition activity and one with much higher activity. Active cells secreted more extracellular polymeric substances and oxidized lignin more strongly. The ratio of active to inactive hyphae strongly depended on the environmental conditions in lignin patches, but was further mediated by the decomposition activity of entire mycelia. Phenotypic heterogeneity occurring between genetically identical hyphal tips may be an important strategy for filamentous fungi to cope with heterogeneous and constantly changing soil environments.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Yuan W, Tian T, Yang Q, et al (2019)

Transfer potentials of antibiotic resistance genes in Escherichia spp. strains from different sources.

Chemosphere, 246:125736 pii:S0045-6535(19)32977-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli and antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) present a danger to public health. However, information on the dissemination potentials of antibiotic resistance among bacteria from different environments is lacking. We isolated multiple antibiotic-resistant Escherichia spp. from animal farms, hospitals, and municipal wastewater-treatment plants (MWWTPs) using culture-based methods, and carried out resistance phenotype and gene analyses. Thirty-five isolates of multiple antibiotic-resistant Escherichia spp. were further screened to detect 61 ARGs, 18 mobile genetic elements (MGEs), and gene cassettes. The isolates from livestock manure and MWWTPs showed greater diversity in plasmid profiling than hospital wastewater. Each Escherichia sp. carried 21-26 ARGs and 8-12 MGEs. In addition, 11 gene cassettes were detected in 34 Escherichia isolates, with greater diversity in livestock manure and MWWTPs than in hospital wastewater. The results indicated that the potential for ARG transfer was higher in livestock manure and MWWTPs compared with human clinical sources, possibly related to the high occurrence of both residual antibiotics and heavy metals in these environments.

RevDate: 2020-01-02

Baricz A, Chiriac CM, Andrei AȘ, et al (2020)

Spatio-temporal study of microbiology in the stratified oxic-hypoxic-euxinic, freshwater-to-hypersaline Ursu Lake.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Ursu Lake is located in the Middle Miocene salt deposit of Central Romania. It is stratified, and the water column has three distinct water masses: an upper, freshwater-to-moderately saline stratum (0-3 m), an intermediate stratum exhibiting a steep halocline (3-3.5 m), and a lower, hypersaline stratum (4 m and below) that is euxinic (i.e. anoxic and sulphidic). Recent studies have characterised the lake's microbial taxonomy, and given rise to intriguing ecological questions. Here, we explore whether the communities are dynamic or stable in relation to taxonomic composition, geochemistry and biophysics, and ecophysiological functions during the annual cycle. We found: (i) seasonally fluctuating, light-dependent communities in the upper layer (≥0.987-0.990 water-activity), a stable but phylogenetically diverse population of heterotrophs in the hypersaline stratum (water activities down to 0.762), and a persistent plate of green sulphur bacteria that connects these two (0.958-0.956 water activity) at 3-3.5 m; (ii) communities which might be be involved in carbon- and sulphur cycling between and within the lake's three main water masses; (iii) uncultured lineages including Acetothermia (OP1), Candidate Phyla Radiation, Cloacimonetes (WWE1), Marinimicrobia (SAR406), Omnitrophicaeota (OP3), Parcubacteria (OD1), and SR1, in the hypersaline stratum (likely involved in the anaerobic steps of carbon- and sulphur cycling); and (iv) that species richness and habitat stability are associated with high redox-potentials. Ursu Lake has a unique and complex ecology, exhibiting both dynamic fluctuations and stability, and can be used as a comparator system for other stratified hypersaline systems and a modern analogue for ancient euxinic water bodies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Cosetta CM, BE Wolfe (2020)

Deconstructing and Reconstructing Cheese Rind Microbiomes for Experiments in Microbial Ecology and Evolution.

Current protocols in microbiology, 56(1):e95.

Cheese rind microbiomes are useful model systems for identifying the mechanisms that control microbiome diversity. Here, we describe the methods we have optimized to first deconstruct in situ cheese rind microbiome diversity and then reconstruct that diversity in laboratory environments to conduct controlled microbiome manipulations. Most cheese rind microbial species, including bacteria, yeasts, and filamentous fungi, can be easily cultured using standard lab media. Colony morphologies of taxa are diverse and can often be used to distinguish taxa at the phylum and sometimes even genus level. Through the use of cheese curd agar medium, thousands of unique community combinations or microbial interactions can be assessed. Transcriptomic experiments and transposon mutagenesis screens can pinpoint mechanisms of interactions between microbial species. Our general approach of creating a tractable synthetic microbial community from cheese can be easily applied to other fermented foods to develop other model microbiomes. © 2019 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Basic Protocol 1: Isolation of cheese rind microbial communities Support Protocol 1: Preparation of plate count agar with milk and salt Basic Protocol 2: Identification of cheese rind bacterial and fungal isolates using 16S and ITS sequences Basic Protocol 3: Preparation of experimental glycerol stocks of yeasts and bacteria Basic Protocol 4: Preparation of experimental glycerol stocks of filamentous fungi Basic Protocol 5: Reconstruction of cheese rind microbial communities in vitro Support Protocol 2: Preparation of lyophilized and powdered cheese curd Support Protocol 3: Preparation of 10% cheese curd agar plates and tubes Basic Protocol 6: Interaction screens using responding lawns Support Protocol 4: Preparation of liquid 2% cheese curd Basic Protocol 7: Experimental evolution Basic Protocol 8: Measuring community function: pH/acidification Basic Protocol 9: Measuring community function: Pigment production Basic Protocol 10: RNA sequencing of cheese rind biofilms.

RevDate: 2020-01-02

Philips CA, Phadke N, Ganesan K, et al (2019)

Gut Microbiota in Alcoholic Hepatitis is Disparate from Those in Acute Alcoholic Pancreatitis and Biliary Disease.

Journal of clinical and experimental hepatology, 9(6):690-698.

Background: Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is associated with gut dysbiosis. Comparative gut microbial profiles of acute alcoholic pancreatitis (AAP) and acute biliary disease (ABD) are not demonstrated. We aimed to compare gut microbiota of AH, AAP, and ABD patients with each other and with their respective healthy controls (HCs).

Methods: From December 2016 to September 2017, consecutive patients with AH, AAP, and ABD (acute cholecystitis, acute biliary pancreatitis, and choledocholithiasis with cholangitis) were included in the study. Qualitative and functional stool microbiota comparative analysis was performed between groups, with AH as the reference comparator.

Results: Of 3564, 882, and 224 patients with liver disease, pancreatic disease, and biliary disease, respectively, after exclusion, 29 patients with AH and 7 patients each with AAP and ABD and their corresponding HCs were included in the study analysis. The alpha diversity between patients with AH and AAP was found to be significantly different. Significant relative abundance (RA) of Acinetobacter and Moraxella was noted among patients with AAP. Enterobacter, Atopobium, Synergistia, and Devosia were significantly higher in patients with ABD compared to patients with AH, in whom Faecalibacterium and Megamonas were higher. Functional pathways associated with carbohydrate metabolism, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, and ethylbenzene degradation were significantly higher in AAP when compared to AH. Fatty acid and inositol phosphate metabolism and dioxin degradation were significantly upregulated in patients with ABD while lipid and fatty acid biosynthetic pathways and pathways associated with immune processes were upregulated in patients with AH.

Conclusions: Differential gut dysbiosis is evident in both patients with AH, AAP, and ABD and also in comparison to HCs. The differential microbiota among patients with AH and AAP maybe important in promotion and progression of liver or pancreatic disease among alcohol users and may be a potential therapeutic target, which needs to be confirmed in larger multicenter studies.

RevDate: 2019-12-31

García-Timermans C, Rubbens P, Heyse J, et al (2019)

Discriminating Bacterial Phenotypes at the Population and Single-Cell Level: A Comparison of Flow Cytometry and Raman Spectroscopy Fingerprinting.

Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology [Epub ahead of print].

Investigating phenotypic heterogeneity can help to better understand and manage microbial communities. However, characterizing phenotypic heterogeneity remains a challenge, as there is no standardized analysis framework. Several optical tools are available, such as flow cytometry and Raman spectroscopy, which describe optical properties of the individual cell. In this work, we compare Raman spectroscopy and flow cytometry to study phenotypic heterogeneity in bacterial populations. The growth stages of three replicate Escherichia coli populations were characterized using both technologies. Our findings show that flow cytometry detects and quantifies shifts in phenotypic heterogeneity at the population level due to its high-throughput nature. Raman spectroscopy, on the other hand, offers a much higher resolution at the single-cell level (i.e., more biochemical information is recorded). Therefore, it can identify distinct phenotypic populations when coupled with analyses tailored toward single-cell data. In addition, it provides information about biomolecules that are present, which can be linked to cell functionality. We propose a computational workflow to distinguish between bacterial phenotypic populations using Raman spectroscopy and validated this approach with an external data set. We recommend using flow cytometry to quantify phenotypic heterogeneity at the population level, and Raman spectroscopy to perform a more in-depth analysis of heterogeneity at the single-cell level. © 2019 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

van Dorst J, Wilkins D, King CK, et al (2019)

Applying microbial indicators of hydrocarbon toxicity to contaminated sites undergoing bioremediation on subantarctic Macquarie Island.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 259:113780 pii:S0269-7491(19)34313-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms are useful biological indicators of toxicity and play a key role in the functioning of healthy soils. In this study, we investigated the residual toxicity of hydrocarbons in aged contaminated soils and determined the extent of microbial community recovery during in-situ bioremediation at subantarctic Macquarie Island. Previously identified microbial indicators of hydrocarbon toxicity were used to understand interactions between hydrocarbon concentrations, soil physicochemical parameters and the microbial community. Despite the complexity of the field sites, which included active fuel storage areas with high levels of soil heterogeneity, multiple spill events and variable fuel sources, we observed consistent microbial community traits associated with exposure to high concentrations of hydrocarbons. These included; reductions in alpha diversity, inhibition of nitrification potential and a reduction in the ratio of oligotrophic to copiotrophic species. These observed responses and the sensitivity of microbial communities in the field, were comparable to sensitivity estimates obtained in a previous lab-based mesocosm study with hydrocarbon spiked soils. This study provides a valuable and often missing link between the quite disparate conditions of controlled lab-based spiking experiments and the complexity presented by 'real-world' contaminated field sites.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Carney RL, Brown MV, Siboni N, et al (2019)

Highly heterogeneous temporal dynamics in the abundance and diversity of the emerging pathogens Arcobacter at an urban beach.

Water research, 171:115405 pii:S0043-1354(19)31179-0 [Epub ahead of print].

While the significance of Arcobacter in clinical settings grows, the ecological dynamics of potentially pathogenic Arcobacter in coastal marine environments remains unclear. In this study, we monitored the temporal dynamics of Arcobacter at an urban beach subject to significant stormwater input and wet weather sewer overflows (WWSO). Weekly monitoring of bacterial communities over 24 months using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing revealed large, intermittent peaks in the relative abundance of Arcobacter. Quantitative PCR was subsequently employed to track absolute abundance of Arcobacter 23S rRNA gene copies, revealing peaks in abundance reaching up to 108 gene copies L-1, with these increases statistically correlated with stormwater and WWSO intrusion. Notably, peaks in Arcobacter abundance were poorly correlated with enterococci plate counts, and remained elevated for one week following heavy rainfall. Using oligotyping we discriminated single nucleotide variants (SNVs) within the Arcobacter population, revealing 10 distinct clusters of SNVs that we defined as Arcobacter "ecotypes", with each displaying distinct temporal dynamics. The most abundant ecotype during stormwater and modelled WWSO events displayed 16S rRNA sequence similarity to A. cryaerophilius, a species previously implicated in human illness. Our findings highlight the diverse environmental drivers of Arcobacter abundance within coastal settings and point to a potentially important, yet overlooked exposure risk of these potential pathogens to humans.

RevDate: 2020-01-02

Pareek S, Kurakawa T, Das B, et al (2019)

Comparison of Japanese and Indian intestinal microbiota shows diet-dependent interaction between bacteria and fungi.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 5:37.

The bacterial species living in the gut mediate many aspects of biological processes such as nutrition and activation of adaptive immunity. In addition, commensal fungi residing in the intestine also influence host health. Although the interaction of bacterium and fungus has been shown, its precise mechanism during colonization of the human intestine remains largely unknown. Here, we show interaction between bacterial and fungal species for utilization of dietary components driving their efficient growth in the intestine. Next generation sequencing of fecal samples from Japanese and Indian adults revealed differential patterns of bacterial and fungal composition. In particular, Indians, who consume more plant polysaccharides than Japanese, harbored increased numbers of Prevotella and Candida. Candida spp. showed strong growth responses to the plant polysaccharide arabinoxylan in vitro. Furthermore, the culture supernatants of Candida spp. grown with arabinoxylan promoted rapid proliferation of Prevotella copri. Arabinose was identified as a potential growth-inducing factor in the Candida culture supernatants. Candida spp. exhibited a growth response to xylose, but not to arabinose, whereas P. copri proliferated in response to both xylose and arabinose. Candida spp., but not P. copri, colonized the intestine of germ-free mice. However, P. copri successfully colonized mouse intestine already harboring Candida. These findings demonstrate a proof of concept that fungal members of gut microbiota can facilitate a colonization of the intestine by their bacterial counterparts, potentially mediated by a dietary metabolite.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Wein T, Stücker FT, Hülter NF, et al (2019)

Quantification of Plasmid-Mediated Antibiotic Resistance in an Experimental Evolution Approach.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

Plasmids play a major role in microbial ecology and evolution as vehicles of lateral gene transfer and reservoirs of accessory gene functions in microbial populations. This is especially the case under rapidly changing environments such as fluctuating antibiotics exposure. We recently showed that plasmids maintain antibiotic resistance genes in Escherichia coli without positive selection for the plasmid presence. Here we describe an experimental system that allows following both the plasmid genotype and phenotype in long-term evolution experiments. We use molecular techniques to design a model plasmid that is subsequently introduced to an experimental evolution batch system approach in an E. coli host. We follow the plasmid frequency over time by applying replica plating of the E. coli populations while quantifying the antibiotic resistance persistence. In addition, we monitor the conformation of plasmids in host cells by analyzing the extent of plasmid multimer formation by plasmid nicking and agarose gel electrophoresis. Such an approach allows us to visualize not only the genome size of evolving plasmids but also their topological conformation-a factor highly important for plasmid inheritance. Our system combines molecular strategies with traditional microbiology approaches and provides a set-up to follow plasmids in bacterial populations over a long time. The presented approach can be applied to study a wide range of mobile genetic elements in the future.

RevDate: 2020-01-16
CmpDate: 2020-01-16

Favere J, Buysschaert B, Boon N, et al (2020)

Online microbial fingerprinting for quality management of drinking water: Full-scale event detection.

Water research, 170:115353.

Microbial regrowth during drinking water distribution can result in a variety of problems such as a deviating taste and odor, and may even pose a risk to public health. Frequent monitoring is essential to anticipate events of biological instability, and relevant microbial parameters for operational control of biostability of drinking water should be developed. Here, online flow cytometry and derived biological metrics were used to assess the biological stability of a full-scale drinking water tower during normal and disturbed flow regime. Pronounced operational events, such as switching from drinking water source, and seasonal changes, were detected in the total cell counts, and regrowth was observed despite the short hydraulic residence time of 6-8 h. Based on the flow cytometric fingerprints, the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity was calculated and was developed as unambiguous parameter to indicate or warn for changing microbial drinking water quality during operational events. In the studied water tower, drastic microbial water quality changes were reflected in the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, which demonstrates its use as an indicator to follow-up and detect microbial quality changes in practice. Hence, the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity can be used in an online setup as a straightforward parameter during full-scale operation of drinking water distribution, and combined with the cell concentration, it serves as an early-warning system for biological instability.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Sahu SK, Liu M, Yssel A, et al (2019)

Draft Genomes of Two Artocarpus Plants, Jackfruit (A. heterophyllus) and Breadfruit (A. altilis).

Genes, 11(1): pii:genes11010027.

Two of the most economically important plants in the Artocarpus genus are jackfruit (A. heterophyllus Lam.) and breadfruit (A. altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg). Both species are long-lived trees that have been cultivated for thousands of years in their native regions. Today they are grown throughout tropical to subtropical areas as an important source of starch and other valuable nutrients. There are hundreds of breadfruit varieties that are native to Oceania, of which the most commonly distributed types are seedless triploids. Jackfruit is likely native to the Western Ghats of India and produces one of the largest tree-borne fruit structures (reaching up to 45 kg). To-date, there is limited genomic information for these two economically important species. Here, we generated 273 Gb and 227 Gb of raw data from jackfruit and breadfruit, respectively. The high-quality reads from jackfruit were assembled into 162,440 scaffolds totaling 982 Mb with 35,858 genes. Similarly, the breadfruit reads were assembled into 180,971 scaffolds totaling 833 Mb with 34,010 genes. A total of 2822 and 2034 expanded gene families were found in jackfruit and breadfruit, respectively, enriched in pathways including starch and sucrose metabolism, photosynthesis, and others. The copy number of several starch synthesis-related genes were found to be increased in jackfruit and breadfruit compared to closely-related species, and the tissue-specific expression might imply their sugar-rich and starch-rich characteristics. Overall, the publication of high-quality genomes for jackfruit and breadfruit provides information about their specific composition and the underlying genes involved in sugar and starch metabolism.

RevDate: 2019-12-24

Velasco-González I, Sanchez-Jimenez A, Singer D, et al (2019)

Correction to: Rain-Fed Granite Rock Basins Accumulate a High Diversity of Dormant Microbial Eukaryotes.

The original version of this article contained an erratum of omission in the Acknowledgments section.

RevDate: 2019-12-24

Poret-Peterson AT, Sayed N, Glyzewski N, et al (2019)

Temporal Responses of Microbial Communities to Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01477-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is an organic amendment-based management tool for controlling soil-borne plant diseases and is increasingly used in a variety of crops. ASD results in a marked decrease in soil redox potential and other physicochemical changes, and a turnover in the composition of the soil microbiome. Mechanisms of ASD-mediated pathogen control are not fully understood, but appear to depend on the carbon source used to initiate the process and involve a combination of biological (i.e., release of volatile organic compounds) and abiotic (i.e., lowered pH, release of metal ions) factors. In this study, we examined how the soil microbiome changes over time in response to ASD initiated with rice bran, tomato pomace, or red grape pomace as amendments using growth chamber mesocosms that replicate ASD-induced field soil redox conditions. Within 2 days, the soil microbiome rapidly shifted from a diverse assemblage of taxa to being dominated by members of the Firmicutes for all ASD treatments, whereas control mesocosms maintained diverse and more evenly distributed communities. Rice bran and tomato pomace amendments resulted in microbial communities with similar compositions and trajectories that were different from red grape pomace communities. Quantitative PCR showed nitrogenase gene abundances were higher in ASD communities and tended to increase over time, suggesting the potential for altering soil nitrogen availability. These results highlight the need for temporal and functional studies to understand how pathogen suppressive microbial communities assemble and function in ASD-treated soils.

RevDate: 2019-12-24

Harrison JG, Calder WJ, Shastry V, et al (2019)

Dirichlet-multinomial modelling outperforms alternatives for analysis of microbiome and other ecological count data.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Molecular ecology regularly requires the analysis of count data that reflect the relative abundance of features of a composition (e.g., taxa in a community, gene transcripts in a tissue). The sampling process that generates these data can be modeled using the multinomial distribution. Replicate multinomial samples inform the relative abundances of features in an underlying Dirichlet distribution. These distributions together form a hierarchical model for relative abundances among replicates and sampling groups. This type of Dirichletmultinomial modelling (DMM) has been described previously, but its benefits and limitations are largely untested. With simulated data, we quantified the ability of DMM to detect differences in proportions between treatment and control groups, and compared the efficacy of three computational methods to implement DMM-Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC), variational inference (VI), and Gibbs Markov chain Monte Carlo. We report that DMM was better able to detect shifts in relative abundances than analogous analytical tools, while identifying an acceptably low number of false positives. Among methods for implementing DMM, HMC provided the most accurate estimates of relative abundances, and VI was the most computationally efficient. The sensitivity of DMM was exemplified through analysis of previously published data describing lung microbiomes. We report that DMM identified several potentially pathogenic, bacterial taxa as more abundant in the lungs of children who aspirated foreign material during swallowing; these differences went undetected with different statistical approaches. Our results suggest that DMM has strong potential as a statistical method to guide inference in molecular ecology.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Mohr T, Aliyu H, Biebinger L, et al (2019)

Effects of different operating parameters on hydrogen production by Parageobacillus thermoglucosidasius DSM 6285.

AMB Express, 9(1):207.

Hydrogen gas represents a promising alternative energy source to dwindling fossil fuel reserves, as it carries the highest energy per unit mass and its combustion results in the release of water vapour as only byproduct. The facultatively anaerobic thermophile Parageobacillus thermoglucosidasius is able to produce hydrogen via the water-gas shift reaction catalyzed by a carbon monoxide dehydrogenase-hydrogenase enzyme complex. Here we have evaluated the effects of several operating parameters on hydrogen production, including different growth temperatures, pre-culture ages and inoculum sizes, as well as different pHs and concentrations of nickel and iron in the fermentation medium. All of the tested parameters were observed to have a substantive effect on both hydrogen yield and (specific) production rates. A final experiment incorporating the best scenario for each tested parameter showed a marked increase in the H2 production rate compared to each individual parameter. The optimised parameters serve as a strong basis for improved hydrogen production with a view of commercialisation of this process.

RevDate: 2019-12-24

Erber AC, Cetin H, Berry D, et al (2019)

The role of gut microbiota, butyrate and proton pump inhibitors in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review.

The International journal of neuroscience [Epub ahead of print].

Aim of the study: We conducted a systematic review on existing literature in humans and animals, linking the gut microbiome with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Additionally, we sought to explore the role of the bacterially produced metabolite butyrate as well as of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in these associations.Materials and methods: Following PRISMA guidelines for systematic literature reviews, four databases (Medline, Scopus, Embase and Web of Science) were searched and screened by two independent reviewers against defined inclusion criteria. Six studies in humans and six animal studies were identified, summarized and reviewed.Results: Overall, the evidence accrued to date is supportive of changes in the gut microbiome being associated with ALS risk, and potentially progression, though observational studies are small (describing a total of 145 patients with ALS across all published studies), and not entirely conclusive.Conclusions: With emerging studies beginning to apply metagenome sequencing, more clarity regarding the importance and promise of the gut microbiome in ALS can be expected. Future studies may also help establish the therapeutic potential of butyrate, and the role of PPIs in these associations.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Kuenen JG (2019)

Anammox and beyond.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

When looking back and wonder how we did it, I became even more aware of how my wanderings in microbiology are all linked, from the start of my PhD with Hans Veldkamp on sulphur-oxidizing bacteria in chemostats. My interests broadened from obligate chemolithoautotrophic bacteria to facultative organisms and the question about the ecological niches of these different metabolic types. The sulphide oxidizing bacteria also may be used to produce elemental sulphur, which can easily be removed from wastewater. This fitted in a long-standing collaboration with Dimitry Sorokin on the ecophysiology and application of alkaliphilic sulphur bacteria. Then came the denitrifying sulphur-oxidizing bacteria and their application to remove sulphide from wastewater, which lead to our interest in nitrate, nitrite and ammonium removal in general. The big surprise was the serendipitous discovery of the 'anammox'-process, whereby ammonium is anaerobically oxidized to dinitrogen gas with nitrite as electron acceptor. The early days of our anammox research are the main focus of this article, which describes the struggle of growing and identifying the most peculiar bacteria we ever came across. A specialized organelle, the anammoxosome was shown to be responsible for the key ammonium oxidation, whereby a rocket fuel, hydrazine, turned out to be an intermediate. Soon after we became aware that anammox is everywhere and in the marine environment makes up a major portion of the nitrogen cycle. The intense scientific collaboration with Mike Jetten and Mark van Loosdrecht and colleagues led to our further understanding and application of this fascinating process, which is briefly summarized in this article. My broader interest in environmental microbiology and microbial ecology has been a regularly returning theme, taking me all over the world to great collaborations lasting to this very day.

RevDate: 2019-12-26

Oliveira M, Rodrigues CM, P Teixeira (2019)

Microbiological quality of raw berries and their products: A focus on foodborne pathogens.

Heliyon, 5(12):e02992.

Berry samples (n = 316; strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) obtained from a fruit processing plant were examined regarding bacteriological quality and their potential public health risk. Three types of berry products were analysed including raw material, product from the mixing step and final product. Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, sulphite-reducing clostridia spores and coagulase-positive staphylococci were the parameters investigated. Salmonella enterica serovar Braenderup and L. monocytogenes were isolated from one fruit sample of raw material each. Two samples harboured E. coli between 0.7 and 0.9 log cfu g-1, not exceeding the hygienic criteria. Coagulase-positive staphylococci were not detected in the studied samples; however, coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) were isolated from a small proportion of samples mainly raspberries. Presumptive B. cereus were isolated from a relatively large proportion of the samples, raspberries and blackberries being the most contaminated fruits. The absence of pathogenic microorganisms in the final product as well as the low prevalence of presumptive B. cereus and CNS indicates proper implementation of good manufacturing and hygiene practices (GMPs/GHPs) by the food industry. Nevertheless, the results indicate that the raw material examined may contain pathogenic bacteria and thereby represent a risk to consumers regarding the manifestation of foodborne diseases.

RevDate: 2019-12-26

Li Z, Yao Q, Guo X, et al (2019)

Genome-Resolved Proteomic Stable Isotope Probing of Soil Microbial Communities Using 13CO2 and 13C-Methanol.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2706.

Stable isotope probing (SIP) enables tracking the nutrient flows from isotopically labeled substrates to specific microorganisms in microbial communities. In proteomic SIP, labeled proteins synthesized by the microbial consumers of labeled substrates are identified with a shotgun proteomics approach. Here, proteomic SIP was combined with targeted metagenomic binning to reconstruct metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of the microorganisms producing labeled proteins. This approach was used to track carbon flows from 13CO2 to the rhizosphere communities of Zea mays, Triticum aestivum, and Arabidopsis thaliana. Rhizosphere microorganisms that assimilated plant-derived 13C were capable of metabolic and signaling interactions with their plant hosts, as shown by their MAGs containing genes for phytohormone modulation, quorum sensing, and transport and metabolism of nutrients typical of those found in root exudates. XoxF-type methanol dehydrogenases were among the most abundant proteins identified in the rhizosphere metaproteomes. 13C-methanol proteomic SIP was used to test the hypothesis that XoxF was used to metabolize and assimilate methanol in the rhizosphere. We detected 7 13C-labeled XoxF proteins and identified methylotrophic pathways in the MAGs of 8 13C-labeled microorganisms, which supported the hypothesis. These two studies demonstrated the capability of proteomic SIP for functional characterization of active microorganisms in complex microbial communities.

RevDate: 2019-12-21

Wang ZB, Sun YY, Li Y, et al (2019)

Significant Bacterial Distance-Decay Relationship in Continuous, Well-Connected Southern Ocean Surface Water.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01472-x [Epub ahead of print].

Recently, an increasing number of studies have focused on the biogeographic distribution of marine microorganisms. However, the extent to which geographic distance can affect marine microbial communities is still unclear, especially for the microbial communities in well-connected surface seawaters. In this study, the bacterial community compositions of 21 surface seawater samples, that were distributed over a distance of 7800 km, were surveyed to investigate how bacterial community similarity changes with increasing geographical distance. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant bacterial phyla, with Proteobacteria accounting for 52.6-92.5% and Bacteroidetes comprising 3.5-46.9% of the bacterial communities. A significant bacterial distance-decay relationship was observed in the well-connected Southern Ocean surface seawater. The number of pairwise shared operational taxonomic units (OTUs), and community similarities tended to decrease with increasing geographic distance. Calculation of the similarity indices with all, abundant or rare OTUs did not affect the observed distance-decay relationship. Spatial distance can largely explain the observed bacterial community variation. This study shows that even in well-connected surface waters, bacterial distance-decay patterns can be found as long as the geographical distance is great enough. The biogeographic patterns should then be present for marine microorganisms considering the large size and complexity of the marine ecosystem.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Oliveira NC, FL Cônsoli (2019)

Beyond host regulation: Changes in gut microbiome of permissive and nonpermissive hosts following parasitization by the wasp Cotesia flavipes.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5682488 [Epub ahead of print].

Koinobiont parasitoids regulate the physiology of their hosts, possibly interfering with the host gut microbiota and ultimately impacting parasitoid development. We used the parasitoid Cotesia flavipes to investigate if the regulation of the host would also affect the host gut microbiota. We also wondered if the effects of parasitization on the gut microbiota would depend on the host-parasitoid association by testing the permissive Diatraea saccharalis and the nonpermissive Spodoptera frugiperda hosts. We determined the structure and potential functional contribution of the gut microbiota of the fore-midgut and hindgut of the hosts at different stages of development of the immature parasitoid. The abundance and diversity of operational taxonomic units of the anteromedial gut and posterior region from larvae of the analyzed hosts were affected by parasitization. Changes in the gut microbiota induced by parasitization altered the potential functional contribution of the gut microbiota associated with both hosts. Our data also indicated that the mechanism by which C. flavipes interferes with the gut microbiota of the host does not require a host-parasitoid coevolutionary history. Changes observed in the potential contribution of the gut microbiota of parasitized hosts impact the host's nutritional quality, and could favor host exploitation by C. flavipes.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Basilua JM, P Pochart (2019)

Cotrimoxazole Prophylaxis Is Not Associated with a Higher occurrence of Atazanavir Treatment Failure: analysis of Worldwide Pharmacovigilance Data.

Infectious disorders drug targets pii:IDDT-EPUB-103110 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Cotrimoxazole is the main antibiotic used in HIV-infected patients for the prophylaxis of opportunistic infections. This antibiotic is prescribed in patients receiving antiretroviral agents (ART) such as Atazanavir (ATV), a protease inhibitor used with other ART classes. The objective of this study was to compare HIV treatment failure (HIVTF) in HIV-infected patients treated concomitantly with ATV and cotrimoxazole to those of patients treated only with ATV.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a comparative analysis of the safety data of HIVTF available with ATV in the WHO International Pharmacovigilance database "VigiBase®". We used the SMQ (Standardized MedDRA Querie) to identify all the terms corresponding to HIVTF. We presented results as a percentage or an adjusted Reporting Odds Ratio (aROR) with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI).

RESULTS: A total of 116 cases of HIVTF (2.2%) were reported with ATV among the 5196 individual case safety reports (ICSR) included in the analysis. The proportion of HIV-infected patients who presented ATV treatment failure (ATVTF) was lower (2.6%, 3/116) when cotrimoxazole was concomitant (aROR was 0.5 with a 95%CI from 0.2 to 1.7). Only 10 of 273 ICSRs (3.7%) were reported from Africa concerning the use of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis concomitantly with ATV.

CONCLUSION: This study did not show a higher occurrence of ATVTF when cotrimoxazole was concomitant. These results reinforce the place of concomitant use of ATV with cotrimoxazole in the management of HIV treatment.

RevDate: 2020-01-08
CmpDate: 2019-12-26

Hewson I (2019)

Technical pitfalls that bias comparative microbial community analyses of aquatic disease Ian Hewson.

Diseases of aquatic organisms, 137(2):109-124.

The accessibility of high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies has attracted the application of comparative microbial analyses to study diseases. These studies present a window into host microbiome diversity and composition that can be used to address ecological theory in the context of host biology and behavior. Recently, comparative microbiome studies have been used to study non-vertebrate aquatic diseases to elucidate microorganisms potentially involved in disease processes or in disease prevention. These investigations suffer from many well-described biases, especially prior to sequence analyses, that could lead to misleading conclusions. Microbiome-focused studies of aquatic metazoan diseases provide valuable documentation of microbial ecology, although, they are only a starting point for establishing disease etiology, which demands quantitative validation through targeted approaches. The microbiome approach to understanding disease is most useful after laboratory diagnostics guided by pathology have failed to identify a causative agent. This opinion piece presents several technical pitfalls which may affect wider interpretation of microbe-host interactions through comparative microbial community analyses and provides recommendations, based on studies in non-aquatic systems, for incorporation into future aquatic disease research.

RevDate: 2019-12-30

Zhang L, Chen F, Zhang X, et al (2020)

The water lily genome and the early evolution of flowering plants.

Nature, 577(7788):79-84.

Water lilies belong to the angiosperm order Nymphaeales. Amborellales, Nymphaeales and Austrobaileyales together form the so-called ANA-grade of angiosperms, which are extant representatives of lineages that diverged the earliest from the lineage leading to the extant mesangiosperms1-3. Here we report the 409-megabase genome sequence of the blue-petal water lily (Nymphaea colorata). Our phylogenomic analyses support Amborellales and Nymphaeales as successive sister lineages to all other extant angiosperms. The N. colorata genome and 19 other water lily transcriptomes reveal a Nymphaealean whole-genome duplication event, which is shared by Nymphaeaceae and possibly Cabombaceae. Among the genes retained from this whole-genome duplication are homologues of genes that regulate flowering transition and flower development. The broad expression of homologues of floral ABCE genes in N. colorata might support a similarly broadly active ancestral ABCE model of floral organ determination in early angiosperms. Water lilies have evolved attractive floral scents and colours, which are features shared with mesangiosperms, and we identified their putative biosynthetic genes in N. colorata. The chemical compounds and biosynthetic genes behind floral scents suggest that they have evolved in parallel to those in mesangiosperms. Because of its unique phylogenetic position, the N. colorata genome sheds light on the early evolution of angiosperms.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Bains M, Laney C, Wolfe AE, et al (2019)

Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Deficiency Is Associated With Altered Gut Microbiota Communities in Male and Female C57BL/6 Mice.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2689.

Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is crucial for gastrointestinal tract (GIT) health. VIP sustains GIT homeostasis through maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier and acts as a potent anti-inflammatory mediator that contributes to gut bacterial tolerance. Based on these biological functions by VIP, we hypothesized that its deficiency would alter gut microbial ecology. To this end, fecal samples from male and female VIP+/+, VIP+/-, and VIP-/- littermates (n = 47) were collected and 16S rRNA sequencing was conducted. Our data revealed significant changes in bacterial composition, biodiversity, and weight loss from VIP-/- mice compared to VIP+/+ and VIP+/- littermates, irrespective of sex. The gut bacteria compositional changes observed in VIP-/- mice was consistent with gut microbial structure changes reported for certain inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Moreover, predicted functional changes by PICRUSt software suggested an energy surplus within the altered microbiota from VIP-/- mice. These data support that VIP plays an important role in maintaining microbiota balance, biodiversity, and GIT function, and its genetic removal results in significant gut microbiota restructuring and weight loss.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Madigan AP, Egidi E, Bedon F, et al (2019)

Bacterial and Fungal Communities Are Differentially Modified by Melatonin in Agricultural Soils Under Abiotic Stress.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2616.

An extensive body of evidence from the last decade has indicated that melatonin enhances plant resistance to a range of biotic and abiotic stressors. This has led to an interest in the application of melatonin in agriculture to reduce negative physiological effects from environmental stresses that affect yield and crop quality. However, there are no reports regarding the effects of melatonin on soil microbial communities under abiotic stress, despite the importance of microbes for plant root health and function. Three agricultural soils associated with different land usage histories (pasture, canola or wheat) were placed under abiotic stress by cadmium (100 or 280 mg kg-1 soil) or salt (4 or 7 g kg-1 soil) and treated with melatonin (0.2 and 4 mg kg-1 soil). Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) was used to generate Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU) for microbial community analysis in each soil. Significant differences in richness (α diversity) and community structures (β diversity) were observed between bacterial and fungal assemblages across all three soils, demonstrating the effect of melatonin on soil microbial communities under abiotic stress. The analysis also indicated that the microbial response to melatonin is governed by the type of soil and history. The effects of melatonin on soil microbes need to be regarded in potential future agricultural applications.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Somers DJ, Strock KE, JE Saros (2019)

Environmental Controls on Microbial Diversity in Arctic Lakes of West Greenland.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01474-9 [Epub ahead of print].

We assessed the microbial community structure of six arctic lakes in West Greenland and investigated relationships to lake physical and chemical characteristics. Lakes from the ice sheet region exhibited the highest species richness, while inland and plateau lakes had lower observed taxonomical diversity. Lake habitat differentiation during summer stratification appeared to alter within lake microbial community composition in only a subset of lakes, while lake variability across regions was a consistent driver of microbial community composition in these arctic lakes. Principal coordinate analysis revealed differentiation of communities along two axes: each reflecting differences in morphometric (lake surface area), geographic (latitude and distance from the ice sheet), physical lake variables (water clarity), and lakewater chemistry (dissolved organic carbon [DOC], dissolved oxygen [DO], total nitrogen [TN], and conductivity). Understanding these relationships between environmental variables and microbial communities is especially important as heterotrophic microorganisms are key to organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, and carbon flow through nutrient poor aquatic environments in the Arctic.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Moccia KM, SL Lebeis (2019)

Microbial Ecology: How to Fight the Establishment.

Current biology : CB, 29(24):R1320-R1323.

Creating microbial consortia capable of consistently producing desired qualities requires a detailed understanding of community interactions. A new paper demonstrates the role of historical contingency in Arabidopsis thaliana leaf-microbiome formation using an adaptable experimental approach, which could be applied to other host organisms.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Bakker A, Siegel JA, Mendell MJ, et al (2019)

Bacterial and fungal ecology on air conditioning cooling coils is influenced by climate and building factors.

Indoor air [Epub ahead of print].

The presence of biofilms on the cooling coils of commercial air conditioning (AC) units can significantly reduce the heat transfer efficiency of the coils and may lead to the aerosolization of microbes into occupied spaces of a building. We investigated how climate and AC operation influence the ecology of microbial communities on AC coils. Forty large-scale commercial ACs were considered with representation from warm-humid and hot-dry climates. Both bacterial and fungal ecologies, including richness and taxa, on the cooling coil surfaces were significantly impacted by outdoor climate, through differences in dew point that result in increased moisture (condensate) on coils, and by the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV 8 vs MERV 14) of building air filters. Based on targeted qPCR and sequence analysis, low efficiency upstream filters (MERV 8) were associated with a greater abundance of pathogenic bacteria and medically relevant fungi. As the implementation of air conditioning continues to grow worldwide, better understanding of the factors impacting microbial growth and ecology on cooling coils should enable more rational approaches for biofilm control and ultimately result in reduced energy consumption and healthier buildings.

RevDate: 2019-12-17

Bridier A, Piard JC, Briandet R, et al (2019)

Emergence of a Synergistic Diversity as a Response to Competition in Pseudomonas putida Biofilms.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01470-z [Epub ahead of print].

Genetic diversification through the emergence of variants is one of the known mechanisms enabling the adaptation of bacterial communities. We focused in this work on the adaptation of the model strain Pseudomonas putida KT2440 in association with another P. putida strain (PCL1480) recently isolated from soil to investigate the potential role of bacterial interactions in the diversification process. On the basis of colony morphology, three variants of P. putida KT2440 were obtained from co-culture after 168 h of growth whereas no variant was identified from the axenic KT2440 biofilm. The variants exhibited distinct phenotypes and produced biofilms with specific architecture in comparison with the ancestor. The variants better competed with the P. putida PCL1480 strain in the dual-strain biofilms after 24 h of co-culture in comparison with the ancestor. Moreover, the synergistic interaction of KT2440 ancestor and the variants led to an improved biofilm production and to higher competitive ability versus the PCL1480 strain, highlighting the key role of diversification in the adaptation of P. putida KT2440 in the mixed community. Whole genome sequencing revealed mutations in polysaccharides biosynthesis protein, membrane transporter, or lipoprotein signal peptidase genes in variants.

RevDate: 2019-12-17

Wang S, Li L, Li H, et al (2019)

Genomes of early-diverging streptophyte algae shed light on plant terrestrialization.

Nature plants pii:10.1038/s41477-019-0560-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Mounting evidence suggests that terrestrialization of plants started in streptophyte green algae, favoured by their dual existence in freshwater and subaerial/terrestrial environments. Here, we present the genomes of Mesostigma viride and Chlorokybus atmophyticus, two sister taxa in the earliest-diverging clade of streptophyte algae dwelling in freshwater and subaerial/terrestrial environments, respectively. We provide evidence that the common ancestor of M. viride and C. atmophyticus (and thus of streptophytes) had already developed traits associated with a subaerial/terrestrial environment, such as embryophyte-type photorespiration, canonical plant phytochrome, several phytohormones and transcription factors involved in responses to environmental stresses, and evolution of cellulose synthase and cellulose synthase-like genes characteristic of embryophytes. Both genomes differed markedly in genome size and structure, and in gene family composition, revealing their dynamic nature, presumably in response to adaptations to their contrasting environments. The ancestor of M. viride possibly lost several genomic traits associated with a subaerial/terrestrial environment following transition to a freshwater habitat.

RevDate: 2019-12-15

Li XD, Chen YH, Liu C, et al (2019)

Eutrophication and Related Antibiotic Resistance of Enterococci in the Minjiang River, China.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01464-x [Epub ahead of print].

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the aquatic environment has received increasing attention in recent years, and growing eutrophication problems may contribute to AMR in aquatic ecosystems. To evaluate whether and how eutrophication affects AMR, 40 surface water samples were collected from the Minjiang River, Fujian Province, China. Total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and chemical oxygen demand (CODMn) were measured as eutrophication factors. Additionally, enterococci species were isolated and their resistance to six common antibiotics was tested. Eutrophication generally showed a trend of increasing with the flow direction of the Minjiang River, with 25 sites (62.5%) having a TN/TP value over the Redfield value (16:1), which indicated that eutrophication in this region was of phosphorus limitation. High nutrition sites were in or near urban areas. Poor quality water was found in the middle and lower reaches of the Minjiang River system. The resistance frequency of 40 enterococci isolates to the six antibiotics tested was as follows: oxytetracycline > erythromycin > ciprofloxacin > chloramphenicol > ampicillin > vancomycin (70, 50, 17.5, 12.5, 2.5, 0%), and the multi-resistant rate reached 50% with eight resistance phenotypes. AMR also increased along the direction of water flow downstream, and most of the sites with the highest AMR were in or near urban areas, as was true for nutrition levels. Positive correlations between AMR and eutrophication factors (TN, TP, and CODMn) were identified using the Pearson's correlation coefficient, and TN/TP generally was negatively related to AMR. These results indicated that eutrophication may induce or selective for resistance of water-borne pathogens to antibiotics, with a high resistance level and a wide resistance spectrum.

RevDate: 2020-01-16
CmpDate: 2020-01-16

Chun SJ, Cui Y, Lee JJ, et al (2020)

Network analysis reveals succession of Microcystis genotypes accompanying distinctive microbial modules with recurrent patterns.

Water research, 170:115326.

Every member of the ecological community is connected via a network of vital and complex relationships, called the web of life. To elucidate the ecological network and interactions among producers, consumers, and decomposers in the Daechung Reservoir, Korea, during cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHAB), especially those involving Microcystis, we investigated the diversity and compositions of the cyanobacterial (16S rRNA gene), including the genotypes of Microcystis (cpcBA-IGS gene), non-cyanobacterial (16S), and eukaryotic (18S) communities through high-throughput sequencing. Microcystis blooms were divided into the Summer Major Bloom and Autumn Minor Bloom with different dominant genotypes of Microcystis. Network analysis demonstrated that the modules involved in the different phases of the Microcystis blooms were categorized into the Pre-Bloom, Bloom, Post-Bloom, and Non-Bloom Groups at all sampling stations. In addition, the non-cyanobacterial components of each Group were classified, while the same Group showed similarity across all stations, suggesting that Microcystis and other microbes were highly interdependent and organized into cyanoHAB-related module units. Importantly, the Microcystis genotype-based sub-network uncovered that Pirellula, Pseudanabaena, and Vampirovibrionales preferred to interact with specific Microcystis genotypes in the Summer Major Bloom than with other genotypes in the Autumn Minor Bloom, while the copepod Skistodiaptomus exhibited the opposite pattern. In conclusion, the transition patterns of cyanoHAB-related modules and their key components could be crucial in the succession of Microcystis genotypes and to enhance the understanding of microbial ecology in an aquatic environment.

RevDate: 2019-12-19

Mickalide H, S Kuehn (2019)

Higher-Order Interaction between Species Inhibits Bacterial Invasion of a Phototroph-Predator Microbial Community.

Cell systems, 9(6):521-533.e10.

The composition of an ecosystem is thought to be important for determining its resistance to invasion. Studies of natural ecosystems, from plant to microbial communities, have found that more diverse communities are more resistant to invasion. In some cases, more diverse communities resist invasion by more completely consuming the resources necessary for the invader. We show that Escherichia coli can successfully invade cultures of the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (phototroph) or the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila (predator) but cannot invade a community where both are present. The invasion resistance of the algae-ciliate community arises from a higher-order interaction between species (interaction modification) that is unrelated to resource consumption. We show that the mode of this interaction is the algal inhibition of bacterial aggregation, which leaves bacteria vulnerable to predation. This mode requires both the algae and the ciliate to be present and provides an example of invasion resistance through an interaction modification.

RevDate: 2019-12-29

Böllmann J, M Martienssen (2020)

Comparison of different media for the detection of denitrifying and nitrate reducing bacteria in mesotrophic aquatic environments by the most probable number method.

Journal of microbiological methods, 168:105808.

The cultivation based characterization of microbial communities and the quantification of certain functional bacterial groups is still an essential part of microbiology and microbial ecology. For plate count methods meanwhile low strength media are recommended, since they cover a broader range of different species and result in higher counts compared to established high strength media. For liquid media, as they are used for most probable number (MPN) quantifications, comparisons between high and low strength media are rare. In this study we compare the performance of different high and low strength media for the MPN quantification of nitrate reducing and denitrifying bacteria in two different fresh water environments. We also calculated the cell specific turnover rates of several denitrifying cultures previously enriched in high and low strength media from three different fresh water environments and a waste water treatment plant. For fresh water samples, our results indicate that high strength media detect higher MPN of denitrifying bacteria and in equal MPN of nitrate reducing bacteria compared to low strength media, which is in contrary to plate count techniques. For sediment samples, high and low strength media performed equal. The cell specific turnover rate was independent from the enrichment media and the media of the performance test. The cause of the lower denitrifyer MPN in low strength media remains, however, unclear. The results are important for further MPN quantifications of bacteria in nutrient poor environments and for calculations of nitrogen turnover rates by kinetical models using the number of metabolic active cells as one parameter.

RevDate: 2019-12-14

Nyirabuhoro P, Liu M, Xiao P, et al (2019)

Seasonal Variability of Conditionally Rare Taxa in the Water Column Bacterioplankton Community of Subtropical Reservoirs in China.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01458-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Conditionally rare bacteria are ubiquitous and perhaps the most diverse of microbial lifeforms, but their temporal dynamics remain largely unknown. High-throughput and deep sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene has allowed us to identify and compare the conditionally rare taxa with other bacterioplankton subcommunities. In this study, we examined the effect of season, water depth, and ecological processes on the fluctuations of bacterial subcommunities (including abundant, conditionally rare, moderate, and rare taxa) from three subtropical reservoirs in China. We discovered that the conditionally rare taxa (CRT) made up 49.7 to 71.8% of the bacterioplankton community richness, and they accounted for 70.6 to 84.4% of the temporal changes in the community composition. Beta-diversity analysis revealed strong seasonal succession patterns among all bacterioplankton subcommunities, suggesting abundant, conditionally rare, moderate, and rare taxa subcommunities have comparable environmental sensitivity. The dominant phyla of CRT were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes, whose variations were strongly correlated with environmental variables. Both deterministic and stochastic processes showed strong effect on bacterioplankton community assembly, with deterministic patterns more pronounced for CRT subcommunity. The difference in bacterial community composition was strongly linked with seasonal change rather than water depth. The seasonal patterns of CRT expand our understanding of underlying mechanisms for bacterial community structure and composition. This implies their importance in the function and stability of freshwater ecosystem after environmental disturbance.

RevDate: 2019-12-14

Ntagia E, Fiset E, Truong Cong Hong L, et al (2019)

Electrochemical treatment of industrial sulfidic spent caustic streams for sulfide removal and caustic recovery.

Journal of hazardous materials pii:S0304-3894(19)31724-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Alkaline spent caustic streams (SCS) produced in the petrochemical and chemical manufacturing industry, contain high concentrations of reactive sulfide (HS-) and caustic soda (NaOH). Common treatment methods entail high operational costs while not recovering the possible resources that SCS contain. Here we studied the electrochemical treatment of SCS from a chemical manufacturing industry in an electrolysis cell, aiming at anodic HS- removal and cathodic NaOH, devoid of sulfide, recovery. Using a synthetic SCS we first evaluated the HS- oxidation product distribution over time, as well as the HS- removal and the NaOH recovery, as a function of current density. In a second step, we investigated the operational aspects of such treatment for the industrial SCS, under 300 A m-2 fixed current density. In an electrolysis cell receiving 205 ± 60 g S L-1 d-1 HS- over 20 days of continuous operation, HS- was removed with a 38.0 ± 7.7 % removal and ∼80 % coulombic efficiency, with a concomitant recovery of a ∼12 wt.% NaOH solution. The low cell voltage obtained (1.75 ± 0.12 V), resulted in low energy requirements of 3.7 ± 0.6 kW h kg-1 S and 6.3 ± 0.4 kW h kg-1 NaOH and suggests techno-economic viability of this process.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Cancello R, Turroni S, Rampelli S, et al (2019)

Effect of Short-Term Dietary Intervention and Probiotic Mix Supplementation on the Gut Microbiota of Elderly Obese Women.

Nutrients, 11(12):.

Accumulating literature is providing evidence that the gut microbiota is involved in metabolic disorders, but the question of how to effectively modulate it to restore homeostasis, especially in the elderly, is still under debate. In this study, we profiled the intestinal microbiota of 20 elderly obese women (EO) at the baseline (T0), after 15 days of hypocaloric Mediterranean diet administered as part of a nutritional-metabolic rehabilitation program for obesity (T1), and after a further 15 days of the same diet supplemented with a probiotic mix (T2). Fecal samples were characterized by Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The EO microbiota showed the typical alterations found in obesity, namely, an increase in potential pro-inflammatory components (i.e., Collinsella) and a decrease in health-promoting, short-chain fatty acid producers (i.e., Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae members), with a tendency to reduced biodiversity. After 15 days of the rehabilitation program, weight decreased by (2.7 ± 1.5)% and the gut microbiota dysbiosis was partially reversed, with a decline of Collinsella and an increase in leanness-related taxa. During the next 15 days of diet and probiotics, weight dropped further by (1.2 ± 1.1)%, markers of oxidative stress improved, and Akkermansia, a mucin degrader with beneficial effects on host metabolism, increased significantly. These findings support the relevant role of a correct dietetic approach, even in the short term, to modulate the EO gut microbiota towards a metabolic health-related configuration, counteracting the increased risk of morbidity in these patients.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Pachiadaki MG, Brown JM, Brown J, et al (2019)

Charting the Complexity of the Marine Microbiome through Single-Cell Genomics.

Cell, 179(7):1623-1635.e11.

Marine bacteria and archaea play key roles in global biogeochemistry. To improve our understanding of this complex microbiome, we employed single-cell genomics and a randomized, hypothesis-agnostic cell selection strategy to recover 12,715 partial genomes from the tropical and subtropical euphotic ocean. A substantial fraction of known prokaryoplankton coding potential was recovered from a single, 0.4 mL ocean sample, which indicates that genomic information disperses effectively across the globe. Yet, we found each genome to be unique, implying limited clonality within prokaryoplankton populations. Light harvesting and secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways were numerous across lineages, highlighting the value of single-cell genomics to advance the identification of ecological roles and biotechnology potential of uncultured microbial groups. This genome collection enabled functional annotation and genus-level taxonomic assignments for >80% of individual metagenome reads from the tropical and subtropical surface ocean, thus offering a model to improve reference genome databases for complex microbiomes.

RevDate: 2019-12-13

Huang CL, Sarkar R, Hsu TW, et al (2019)

Endophytic Microbiome of Biofuel Plant Miscanthus sinensis (Poaceae) Interacts with Environmental Gradients.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01467-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Miscanthus in Taiwan occupies a cline along altitude and adapts to diverse environments, e.g., habitats of high salinity and volcanoes. Rhizospheric and endophytic bacteria may help Miscanthus acclimate to those stresses. The relative contributions of rhizosphere vs. endosphere compartments to the adaptation remain unknown. Here, we used targeted metagenomics to compare the microbial communities in the rhizosphere and endosphere among ecotypes of M. sinensis that dwell habitats under different stresses. Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria predominated in the endosphere. Diverse phyla constituted the rhizosphere microbiome, including a core microbiome found consistently across habitats. In endosphere, the predominance of the bacteria colonizing from the surrounding soil suggests that soil recruitment must have subsequently determined the endophytic microbiome in Miscanthus roots. In endosphere, the bacterial diversity decreased with the altitude, likely corresponding to rising limitation to microorganisms according to the species-energy theory. Specific endophytes were associated with different environmental stresses, e.g., Pseudomonas spp. for alpine and Agrobacterium spp. for coastal habitats. This suggests Miscanthus actively recruits an endosphere microbiome from the rhizosphere it influences.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Ricci F, Rossetto Marcelino V, Blackall LL, et al (2019)

Beneath the surface: community assembly and functions of the coral skeleton microbiome.

Microbiome, 7(1):159.

Coral microbial ecology is a burgeoning field, driven by the urgency of understanding coral health and slowing reef loss due to climate change. Coral resilience depends on its microbiota, and both the tissue and the underlying skeleton are home to a rich biodiversity of eukaryotic, bacterial and archaeal species that form an integral part of the coral holobiont. New techniques now enable detailed studies of the endolithic habitat, and our knowledge of the skeletal microbial community and its eco-physiology is increasing rapidly, with multiple lines of evidence for the importance of the skeletal microbiota in coral health and functioning. Here, we review the roles these organisms play in the holobiont, including nutritional exchanges with the coral host and decalcification of the host skeleton. Microbial metabolism causes steep physico-chemical gradients in the skeleton, creating micro-niches that, along with dispersal limitation and priority effects, define the fine-scale microbial community assembly. Coral bleaching causes drastic changes in the skeletal microbiome, which can mitigate bleaching effects and promote coral survival during stress periods, but may also have detrimental effects. Finally, we discuss the idea that the skeleton may function as a microbial reservoir that can promote recolonization of the tissue microbiome following dysbiosis and help the coral holobiont return to homeostasis.

RevDate: 2019-12-12

Vick SHW, Greenfield P, Willows RD, et al (2019)

Subsurface Stappia: Success Through Defence, Specialisation and Putative Pressure-Dependent Carbon Fixation.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01471-y [Epub ahead of print].

Diverse microbial communities living in subsurface coal seams are responsible for important geochemical processes including the movement of carbon between the geosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. Microbial conversion of the organic matter in coal to methane involves a complex assemblage of bacteria and archaea working in syntrophic relationships. Despite the importance and value of this microbial process, very few of the microbial taxa have defined metabolic or ecological roles in these environments. Additionally, the genomic features mediating life in this chemically reduced, energy poor, deep subsurface environment are not well characterised. Here we describe the isolation and genomic and catabolic characterisation of three alphaproteobacterial Stappia indica species from three coal basins across Australia. S. indica genomes from coal seams were compared with those from closely related S. indica isolated from diverse surface waters, revealing a coal seam-specific suite of genes associated with life in the subsurface. These genes are linked to processes including viral defence, secondary metabolite production, polyamine metabolism, polypeptide uptake membrane transporters and putative energy neutral pressure-dependent CO2 fixation. This indicates that subsurface Stappia have diverse metabolisms for biomass recycling and pressure-dependent CO2 fixation and require a suite of defensive and competitive strategies relative to their surface-dwelling relatives.

RevDate: 2019-12-12

Gnanasekaran G, Lim JY, I Hwang (2019)

Disappearance of Quorum Sensing in Burkholderia glumae During Experimental Evolution.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01445-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The plant pathogen Burkholderia glumae uses quorum sensing (QS) that allows bacteria to share information and alter gene expression on the basis of cell density. The wild-type strain of B. glumae produces quorum-sensing signals (autoinducers) to detect their community and upregulate QS-dependent genes across the population for performing social and group behaviors. The model organism B. glumae was selected to investigate adaptation, estimate evolutionary parameters, and test diverse evolutionary hypotheses by using experimental evolution. The wild-type B. glumae virulent strain showed genotypic changes during regular subculture due to oxygen limitation. The laboratory-evolved clones failed to produce the signaling molecule of C8-HSL/C6-HSL for activation of the quorum-sensing system. Further, the laboratory-evolved clones failed to produce catalase and oxalate for protecting themselves from the toxic environment at stationary phase and phytotoxins (toxoflavin) for infecting rice grain, respectively. The laboratory-evolved clones were completely sequenced and compared with the wild-type. Sequencing analysis of the evolved clones revealed that mutations in QS-responsible genes (iclR), sensor genes (shk, mcp), and signaling genes (luxR) were responsible for quorum-sensing activity failure. The experimental results and sequencing analysis revealed quorum-sensing process failure in the laboratory-evolved clones. In conclusion, the wild-type B. glumae strain was often exposed to oxidative stress during regular subculture and evolved as an avirulent strain (quorum-sensing mutant) by losing the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics.

RevDate: 2019-12-12

Brambilla S, Soto G, Odorizzi A, et al (2019)

Spontaneous Mutations in the Nitrate Reductase Gene napC Drive the Emergence of Eco-friendly Low-N2O-Emitting Alfalfa Rhizobia in Regions with Different Climates.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01473-w [Epub ahead of print].

We have recently shown that commercial alfalfa inoculants (e.g., Sinorhizobium meliloti B399), which are closely related to the denitrifier model strain Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021, have conserved nitrate, nitrite, and nitric oxide reductases associated with the production of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) from nitrate but lost the N2O reductase related to the degradation of N2O to gas nitrogen. Here, we screened a library of nitrogen-fixing alfalfa symbionts originating from different ecoregions and containing N2O reductase genes and identified novel rhizobia (Sinorhizobium meliloti INTA1-6) exhibiting exceptionally low N2O emissions. To understand the genetic basis of this novel eco-friendly phenotype, we sequenced and analyzed the genomes of these strains, focusing on their denitrification genes, and found mutations only in the nitrate reductase structural gene napC. The evolutionary analysis supported that, in these natural strains, the denitrification genes were inherited by vertical transfer and that their defective nitrate reductase napC alleles emerged by independent spontaneous mutations. In silico analyses showed that mutations in this gene occurred in ssDNA loop structures with high negative free energy (-ΔG) and that the resulting mutated stem-loop structures exhibited increased stability, suggesting the occurrence of transcription-associated mutation events. In vivo assays supported that at least one of these ssDNA sites is a mutational hot spot under denitrification conditions. Similar benefits from nitrogen fixation were observed when plants were inoculated with the commercial inoculant B399 and strains INTA4-6, suggesting that the low-N2O-emitting rhizobia can be an ecological alternative to the current inoculants without resigning economic profitability.

RevDate: 2019-12-24

Zheng P, Wang C, Zhang X, et al (2019)

Community Structure and Abundance of Archaea in a Zostera marina Meadow: A Comparison between Seagrass-Colonized and Bare Sediment Sites.

Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.), 2019:5108012.

Seagrass colonization alters sediment physicochemical properties by depositing seagrass fibers and releasing organic carbon and oxygen from the roots. How this seagrass colonization-induced spatial heterogeneity affects archaeal community structure and abundance remains unclear. In this study, we investigated archaeal abundance, diversity, and composition in both vegetated and adjacent bare surface sediments of a Zostera marina meadow. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rDNA showed that Woesearchaeota, Bathyarchaeota, and Thaumarchaeota were the most abundant phyla across all samples, accounting for approximately 42%, 21%, and 17% of the total archaeal communities, respectively. In terms of relative abundance, Woesearchaeota and Bathyarchaeota were not significantly different between these two niches; however, specific subclades (Woese-3, Woese-21, Bathy-6, Bathy-18) were significantly enriched in vegetated sediments (P < 0.05), while Thaumarchaeota was favored in unvegetated sites (P = 0.02). The quantification of archaeal 16S rRNA genes showed that the absolute abundance of the whole archaeal community, Bathyarchaeota, and Woese-3, Woese-10, Woese-13, and Woese-21 was significantly more abundant in vegetated sediments than in bare sediments (P < 0.05). Our study expands the available knowledge of the distribution patterns and niche preferences of archaea in seagrass systems, especially for the different subclades of Woesearchaeota and Bathyarchaeota, in terms of both relative proportions and absolute quantities.

RevDate: 2019-12-12

Hiraoka S, Hirai M, Matsui Y, et al (2019)

Microbial community and geochemical analyses of trans-trench sediments for understanding the roles of hadal environments.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-019-0564-z [Epub ahead of print].

Hadal trench bottom (>6000 m below sea level) sediments harbor higher microbial cell abundance compared with adjacent abyssal plain sediments. This is supported by the accumulation of sedimentary organic matter (OM), facilitated by trench topography. However, the distribution of benthic microbes in different trench systems has not been well explored yet. Here, we carried out small subunit ribosomal RNA gene tag sequencing for 92 sediment subsamples of seven abyssal and seven hadal sediment cores collected from three trench regions in the northwest Pacific Ocean: the Japan, Izu-Ogasawara, and Mariana Trenches. Tag-sequencing analyses showed specific distribution patterns of several phyla associated with oxygen and nitrate. The community structure was distinct between abyssal and hadal sediments, following geographic locations and factors represented by sediment depth. Co-occurrence network revealed six potential prokaryotic consortia that covaried across regions. Our results further support that the OM cycle is driven by hadal currents and/or rapid burial shapes microbial community structures at trench bottom sites, in addition to vertical deposition from the surface ocean. Our trans-trench analysis highlights intra- and inter-trench distributions of microbial assemblages and geochemistry in surface seafloor sediments, providing novel insights into ultradeep-sea microbial ecology, one of the last frontiers on our planet.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Klufa J, Bauer T, Hanson B, et al (2019)

Hair eruption initiates and commensal skin microbiota aggravate adverse events of anti-EGFR therapy.

Science translational medicine, 11(522):.

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted anticancer therapy induces stigmatizing skin toxicities affecting patients' quality of life and therapy adherence. The lack of mechanistic details underlying these adverse events hampers their management. We found that EGFR/ERK signaling is required in LRIG1-positive stem cells during de novo hair eruption to secure barrier integrity and prevent the invasion of commensal microbiota and inflammatory skin disease. EGFR-deficient epidermis is permissive for microbiota outgrowth and displays an atopic-like TH2-dominated signature. The opening of the follicular ostia during hair eruption allows invasion of commensal microbiota into the hair follicle, initiating an additional TH1 and TH17 response culminating in chronic folliculitis. Restoration of epidermal ERK signaling via prophylactic FGF7 treatment or transgenic SOS expression rescues the barrier defect in the absence of EGFR, highlighting a therapeutic anchor point. These data reveal that commensal skin microbiota provoke atopic-like inflammatory skin diseases by invading into the follicular opening of erupting hair.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Carruthers LV, Moses A, Adriko M, et al (2019)

The impact of storage conditions on human stool 16S rRNA microbiome composition and diversity.

PeerJ, 7:e8133.

Background: Multiple factors can influence stool sample integrity upon sample collection. Preservation of faecal samples for microbiome studies is therefore an important step, particularly in tropical regions where resources are limited and high temperatures may significantly influence microbiota profiles. Freezing is the accepted standard to preserve faecal samples however, cold chain methods are often unfeasible in fieldwork scenarios particularly in low and middle-income countries and alternatives are required. This study therefore aimed to address the impact of different preservative methods, time-to-freezing at ambient tropical temperatures, and stool heterogeneity on stool microbiome diversity and composition under real-life physical environments found in resource-limited fieldwork conditions.

Methods: Inner and outer stool samples collected from one specimen obtained from three children were stored using different storage preservation methods (raw, ethanol and RNAlater) in a Ugandan field setting. Mixed stool was also stored using these techniques and frozen at different time-to-freezing intervals post-collection from 0-32 h. Metataxonomic profiling was used to profile samples, targeting the V1-V2 regions of 16S rRNA with samples run on a MiSeq platform. Reads were trimmed, combined and aligned to the Greengenes database. Microbial diversity and composition data were generated and analysed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology and R software.

Results: Child donor was the greatest predictor of microbiome variation between the stool samples, with all samples remaining identifiable to their child of origin despite the stool being stored under a variety of conditions. However, significant differences were observed in composition and diversity between preservation techniques, but intra-preservation technique variation was minimal for all preservation methods, and across the time-to-freezing range (0-32 h) used. Stool heterogeneity yielded no apparent microbiome differences.

Conclusions: Stool collected in a fieldwork setting for comparative microbiome analyses should ideally be stored as consistently as possible using the same preservation method throughout.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Liu D, Zhang P, Chen D, et al (2019)

From the Vineyard to the Winery: How Microbial Ecology Drives Regional Distinctiveness of Wine.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2679.

Wine production is a complex process from the vineyard to the winery. On this journey, microbes play a decisive role. From the environment where the vines grow, encompassing soil, topography, weather and climate through to management practices in vineyards, the microbes present can potentially change the composition of wine. Introduction of grapes into the winery and the start of winemaking processes modify microbial communities further. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology have progressed our understanding of microbial communities associated with grapes and fermentations. We now have a finer appreciation of microbial diversity across wine producing regions to begin to understand how diversity can contribute to wine quality and style characteristics. In this review, we highlight literature surrounding wine-related microorganisms and how these affect factors interact with and shape microbial communities and contribute to wine quality. By discussing the geography, climate and soil of environments and viticulture and winemaking practices, we claim microbial biogeography as a new perspective to impact wine quality and regionality. Depending on geospatial scales, habitats, and taxa, the microbial community respond to local conditions. We discuss the effect of a changing climate on local conditions and how this may alter microbial diversity and thus wine style. With increasing understanding of microbial diversity and their effects on wine fermentation, wine production can be optimised with enhancing the expression of regional characteristics by understanding and managing the microbes present.

RevDate: 2019-12-11

Schultz J, AS Rosado (2019)

Extreme environments: a source of biosurfactants for biotechnological applications.

Extremophiles : life under extreme conditions pii:10.1007/s00792-019-01151-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The surfactant industry moves billions of dollars a year and consists of chemically synthesized molecules usually derived from petroleum. Surfactant is a versatile molecule that is widely used in different industrial areas, with an emphasis on the petroleum, biomedical and detergent industries. Recently, interest in environmentally friendly surfactants that are resistant to extreme conditions has increased because of consumers' appeal for sustainable products and industrial processes that often require these characteristics. With this context, the need arises to search for surfactants produced by microorganisms coming from extreme environments and to mine their unique biotechnological potential. The production of biosurfactants is still incipient and presents challenges regarding economic viability due to the high costs of cultivation, production, recovery and purification. Advances can be made by exploring the extreme biosphere and bioinformatics tools. This review focuses on biosurfactants produced by microorganisms from different extreme environments, presenting a complete overview of what information is available in the literature, including the advances, challenges and future perspectives, as well as showing the possible applications of extreme biosurfactants.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Sogin EM, Puskás E, Dubilier N, et al (2019)

Marine Metabolomics: a Method for Nontargeted Measurement of Metabolites in Seawater by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry.

mSystems, 4(6):.

Microbial communities exchange molecules with their environment, which plays a major role in regulating global biogeochemical cycles and climate. While extracellular metabolites are commonly measured in terrestrial and limnic ecosystems, the presence of salt in marine habitats limits the nontargeted analyses of the ocean exometabolome using mass spectrometry (MS). Current methods require salt removal prior to sample measurements, which can alter the molecular composition of the metabolome and limit the types of compounds detected by MS. To overcome these limitations, we developed a gas chromatography MS (GC-MS) method that avoids sample altering during salt removal and that detects metabolites down to nanomolar concentrations from less than 1 ml of seawater. We applied our method (SeaMet) to explore marine metabolomes in vitro and in vivo First, we measured the production and consumption of metabolites during the culture of a heterotrophic bacterium, Marinobacter adhaerens Our approach revealed successional uptake of amino acids, while sugars were not consumed. These results show that exocellular metabolomics provides insights into nutrient uptake and energy conservation in marine microorganisms. We also applied SeaMet to explore the in situ metabolome of coral reef and mangrove sediment porewaters. Despite the fact that these ecosystems occur in nutrient-poor waters, we uncovered high concentrations of sugars and fatty acids, compounds predicted to play a key role for the abundant and diverse microbial communities in coral reef and mangrove sediments. Our data demonstrate that SeaMet advances marine metabolomics by enabling a nontargeted and quantitative analysis of marine metabolites, thus providing new insights into nutrient cycles in the oceans.IMPORTANCE Nontargeted approaches using metabolomics to analyze metabolites that occur in the oceans is less developed than those for terrestrial and limnic ecosystems. One of the challenges in marine metabolomics is that salt limits metabolite analysis in seawater to methods requiring salt removal. Building on previous sample preparation methods for metabolomics, we developed SeaMet, which overcomes the limitations of salt on metabolite detection. Considering that the oceans contain the largest dissolved organic matter pool on Earth, describing the marine metabolome using nontargeted approaches is critical for understanding the drivers behind element cycles, biotic interactions, ecosystem function, and atmospheric CO2 storage. Our method complements both targeted marine metabolomic investigations as well as other "omics" (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics) approaches by providing an avenue for studying the chemical interaction between marine microbes and their habitats.

RevDate: 2020-01-16
CmpDate: 2020-01-16

Sun H, Mei R, Zhang XX, et al (2020)

Bacterial enrichment in highly-selective acetate-fed bioreactors and its application in rapid biofilm formation.

Water research, 170:115359.

In this study, we systematically investigated the bacterial community dynamics in highly-selective (strong hydraulic selection pressure and high organic loading rate) bioreactors with acetate as the sole carbon source. 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing and metagenomic sequencing results showed that phenolics-degrading bacteria (PDB), which were mainly Acinetobacter species, in the newly-formed aerobic granules could account for >70% of the total bacteria. Near full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained by cloning suggest that the PDB are potentially novel species because they are distantly related to known Acinetobacter species. However, these PDB only temporarily appeared in the early stage of the granule formation and their abundance quickly decreased along the reactor operation. To retain these PDB, we demonstrated that the newly-formed aerobic granules could accelerate biofilm formation in moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs), and the biofilm carriers showed gradually-increased phenol degradation performance in the MBBRs. While, the bacterial community in biofilm significantly changed during the operation process of the MBBRs and the community structure became more complicated than that in the aerobic granules. Collectively, this study provides new insights into the microbial ecology of sludge granulation and biofilm formation process in the wastewater treatment systems for remediating phenolic matters.

RevDate: 2019-12-10

Tong Q, Hu ZF, Du XP, et al (2019)

Effects of Seasonal Hibernation on the Similarities Between the Skin Microbiota and Gut Microbiota of an Amphibian (Rana dybowskii).

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01466-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Both the gut and skin microbiotas have important functions for amphibians. The gut microbiota plays an important role in both the health and evolution of the host species, whereas the role of skin microbiota in disease resistance is particularly important for amphibians. Many studies have examined the effects of environmental factors on the skin and gut microbiotas, but no study has yet explored the similarities between the skin and gut microbiotas. In this study, the gut and skin microbiotas of Rana dybowskii in summer and winter were investigated via high-throughput Illumina sequencing. The results showed that the alpha diversity of gut and skin microbiotas decreased significantly from summer to winter. In both seasons, the microbial composition and structure differed significantly between the gut and skin, and the similarities between these microbiotas differed between seasons. The pairwise distances between the gut and skin microbiotas were greater in winter than in summer. The ratio of core OTUs and shared OTUs to the sum of the OTUs in the gut and skin microbiotas in summer was significantly higher than that in winter. The similarities between the gut and skin microbiotas are important for understanding amphibian ecology and life history.

RevDate: 2019-12-10

Arai H, Lin SR, Nakai M, et al (2019)

Closely Related Male-Killing and Nonmale-Killing Wolbachia Strains in the Oriental Tea Tortrix Homona magnanima.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01469-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia are inherited intracellular bacteria that cause male-specific death in some arthropods, called male-killing. To date, three Wolbachia strains have been identified in the oriental tea tortrix Homona magnanima (Tortricidae, Lepidoptera); however, none of these caused male-killing in the Japanese population. Here, we describe a male-killing Wolbachia strain in Taiwanese H. magnanima. From field-collected H. magnanima, two female-biased host lines were established, and antibiotic treatments revealed Wolbachia (wHm-t) as the causative agent of male-killing. The wsp and MLST genes in wHm-t are identical to corresponding genes in the nonmale-killing strain wHm-c from the Japanese population, implying a close relationship of the two strains. Crossing the Japanese and Taiwanese H. magnanima revealed that Wolbachia genotype rather than the host genetic background was responsible for the presence of the male-killing phenotype. Quantitative PCR analyses revealed that the density of wHm-t was higher than that of other Wolbachia strains in H. magnanima, including wHm-c. The densities of wHm-t were also heterogeneous between host lines. Notably, wHm-t in the low-density and high-density lines carried identical wsp and MLST genes but had distinct lethal patterns. Furthermore, over 90% of field-collected lines of H. magnanima in Taiwan were infected with wHm-t, although not all host lines harboring wHm-t showed male-killing. The host lines that showed male-killing harbored a high density of Wolbachia compared to the host lines that did not show male-killing. Thus, the differences in the phenotypes appear to be dependent on biological and genetic characteristics of closely related Wolbachia strains.

RevDate: 2019-12-10

Basili D, Lutfi E, Falcinelli S, et al (2019)

Photoperiod Manipulation Affects Transcriptional Profile of Genes Related to Lipid Metabolism and Apoptosis in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Larvae: Potential Roles of Gut Microbiota.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01468-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Gut microbiota plays a fundamental role in maintaining host's health by controlling a wide range of physiological processes. Administration of probiotics and manipulation of photoperiod have been suggested as modulators of microbial composition and are currently undergoing an extensive research in aquaculture as a way to improve health and quality of harvested fish. However, our understanding regarding their effects on physiological processes is still limited. In the present study we investigated whether manipulation of photoperiod and/or probiotic administration was able to alter microbial composition in zebrafish larvae at hatching stage. Our findings show that probiotic does not elicit effects while photoperiod manipulation has a significant impact on microbiota composition. Moreover, we successfully predicted lipid biosynthesis and apoptosis to be modulated by microbial communities undergoing continuous darkness. Interestingly, expression levels of caspase 3 gene (casp3) and lipid-related genes (hnf4a, npc1l1, pparγ, srebf1, agpat4 and fitm2) were found to be significantly overexpressed in dark-exposed larvae, suggesting an increase in the occurrence of apoptotic processes and a lipid metabolism impairment, respectively (p < 0.05). Our results provide the evidence that microbial communities in zebrafish at early life stages are not modulated by a short administration of probiotics and highlight the significant effect that dark photoperiod elicits on zebrafish microbiota and potentially on health.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Costa JH, Wassano CI, Angolini CFF, et al (2019)

Antifungal potential of secondary metabolites involved in the interaction between citrus pathogens.

Scientific reports, 9(1):18647.

Numerous postharvest diseases have been reported that cause substantial losses of citrus fruits worldwide. Penicillium digitatum is responsible for up to 90% of production losses, and represent a problem for worldwide economy. In order to control phytopathogens, chemical fungicides have been extensively used. Yet, the use of some artificial fungicides cause concerns about environmental risks and fungal resistance. Therefore, studies focusing on new approaches, such as the use of natural products, are getting attention. Co-culture strategy can be applied to discover new bioactive compounds and to understand microbial ecology. Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) was used to screen for potential antifungal metabolites involved in the interaction between Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium citrinum. MSI revealed a chemical warfare between the fungi: two tetrapeptides, deoxycitrinadin A, citrinadin A, chrysogenamide A and tryptoquialanines are produced in the fungi confrontation zone. Antimicrobial assays confirmed the antifungal activity of the investigated metabolites. Also, tryptoquialanines inhibited sporulation of P. citrinum. The fungal metabolites reported here were never described as antimicrobials until this date, demonstrating that co-cultures involving phytopathogens that compete for the same host is a positive strategy to discover new antifungal agents. However, the use of these natural products on the environment, as a safer strategy, needs further investigation. This paper aimed to contribute to the protection of agriculture, considering health and ecological risks.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

D'Amico F, Biagi E, Rampelli S, et al (2019)

Enteral Nutrition in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic SCT Promotes the Recovery of Gut Microbiome Homeostasis.

Nutrients, 11(12):.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the first-line immunotherapy to treat several hematologic disorders, although it can be associated with many complications reducing the survival rate, such as acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) and infections. Given the fundamental role of the gut microbiome (GM) for host health, it is not surprising that a suboptimal path of GM recovery following HSCT may compromise immune homeostasis and/or increase the risk of opportunistic infections, with an ultimate impact in terms of aGvHD onset. Traditionally, the first nutritional approach in post-HSCT patients is parenteral nutrition (PN), which is associated with several clinical adverse effects, supporting enteral nutrition (EN) as a preferential alternative. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of EN vs. PN on the trajectory of compositional and functional GM recovery in pediatric patients undergoing HSCT. The GM structure and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production profiles were analyzed longitudinally in twenty pediatric patients receiving HSCT-of which, ten were fed post-transplant with EN and ten with total PN. According to our findings, we observed the prompt recovery of a structural and functional eubiotic GM layout post-HSCT only in EN subjects, thus possibly reducing the risk of systemic infections and GvHD onset.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Linsmith G, Rombauts S, Montanari S, et al (2019)

Pseudo-chromosome-length genome assembly of a double haploid "Bartlett" pear (Pyrus communis L.).

GigaScience, 8(12):.

BACKGROUND: We report an improved assembly and scaffolding of the European pear (Pyrus communis L.) genome (referred to as BartlettDHv2.0), obtained using a combination of Pacific Biosciences RSII long-read sequencing, Bionano optical mapping, chromatin interaction capture (Hi-C), and genetic mapping. The sample selected for sequencing is a double haploid derived from the same "Bartlett" reference pear that was previously sequenced. Sequencing of di-haploid plants makes assembly more tractable in highly heterozygous species such as P. communis.

FINDINGS: A total of 496.9 Mb corresponding to 97% of the estimated genome size were assembled into 494 scaffolds. Hi-C data and a high-density genetic map allowed us to anchor and orient 87% of the sequence on the 17 pear chromosomes. Approximately 50% (247 Mb) of the genome consists of repetitive sequences. Gene annotation confirmed the presence of 37,445 protein-coding genes, which is 13% fewer than previously predicted.

CONCLUSIONS: We showed that the use of a doubled-haploid plant is an effective solution to the problems presented by high levels of heterozygosity and duplication for the generation of high-quality genome assemblies. We present a high-quality chromosome-scale assembly of the European pear Pyrus communis and demostrate its high degree of synteny with the genomes of Malus x Domestica and Pyrus x bretschneideri.


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
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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 )