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Bibliography on: Symbiosis

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


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 17 Jun 2019 at 01:44 Created: 


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

Created with PubMed® Query: symbiosis NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Jiang J, Y Lu (2019)

Metabolite profiling of Breviolum minutum in response to acidification.

Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 213:105215 pii:S0166-445X(19)30270-X [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs are in significant decline globally due to climate change and environmental pollution. The ocean is becoming more acidic due to rising atmospheric pCO2, and ocean acidification is considered a major threat to coral reefs. However, little is known about the exact mechanism by which acidification impacts coral symbiosis. As an important component of the symbiotic association, to explore the responses of symbionts could greatly enhance our understanding of this issue. The present work aimed to identify metabolomic changes of Breviolum minutum in acidification (low pH) condition, and investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was applied to determine metabolite profiles after exposure to ambient and acidic conditions. We analysed the resulting metabolite data, and acidification appeared to have little effect on photosynthetic parameters, but it inhibited growth. Marked alterations in metabolite pools were observed in response to acidification that may be important in acclimation to climate change. Acidification may affect the biosynthesis of amino acids and proteins, and thereby inhibit the growth of B. minutum. Metabolites identified using this approach provide targets for future analyses aimed at understanding the responses of Symbiodiniaceae to environmental disturbance.

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Rader B, McAnulty SJ, SV Nyholm (2019)

Persistent symbiont colonization leads to a maturation of hemocyte response in the Euprymna scolopes/Vibrio fischeri symbiosis.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

The binary association between the squid, Euprymna scolopes, and its symbiont, Vibrio fischeri, serves as a model system to study interactions between beneficial bacteria and the innate immune system. Previous research demonstrated that binding of the squid's immune cells, hemocytes, to V. fischeri is altered if the symbiont is removed from the light organ, suggesting that host colonization alters hemocyte recognition of V. fischeri. To investigate the influence of symbiosis on immune maturation during development, we characterized hemocyte binding and phagocytosis of V. fischeri and nonsymbiotic Vibrio harveyi from symbiotic (sym) and aposymbiotic (apo) juveniles, and wild-caught and laboratory-raised sym and apo adults. Our results demonstrate that while light organ colonization by V. fischeri did not alter juvenile hemocyte response, these cells bound a similar number of V. fischeri and V. harveyi yet phagocytosed only V. harveyi. Our results also indicate that long-term colonization altered the adult hemocyte response to V. fischeri but not V. harveyi. All hemocytes from adult squid, regardless of apo or sym state, both bound and phagocytosed a similar number of V. harveyi while hemocytes from both wild-caught and sym-raised adults bound significantly fewer V. fischeri, although more V. fischeri were phagocytosed by hemocytes from wild-caught animals. In contrast, hemocytes from apo-raised squid bound similar numbers of both V. fischeri and V. harveyi, although more V. harveyi cells were engulfed, suggesting that blood cells from apo-raised adults behaved similarly to juvenile hosts. Taken together, these data suggest that persistent colonization by the light organ symbiont is required for hemocytes to differentially bind and phagocytose V. fischeri. The cellular immune system of E. scolopes likely possesses multiple mechanisms at different developmental stages to promote a specific and life-long interaction with the symbiont.

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Martínez-Medina A, Pescador-Azofra L, Terrón-Camero L, et al (2019)

Nitric oxide shape plant-fungi interactions.

Journal of experimental botany pii:5518916 [Epub ahead of print].

In their complex environments, plants continuously interact with fungi. While many of those interactions are detrimental for plants and challenge plant capability for growth and survival, others are beneficial improving plant growth and stress tolerance. Accordingly, plants have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to restrict pathogenic interactions while promoting mutualistic relationships. Several studies demonstrated the importance of nitric oxide (NO) in the regulation of plant defence mounted against fungal pathogens. NO triggers a reprograming of defence related gene expression, the production of secondary metabolites with antimicrobial properties and the hypersensitive response. More recent evidences have further shown the regulation of NO during the establishment of plant-fungus mutualistic associations from early steps of the interaction. Indeed NO has been recently shown to be produced by the plant after the recognition of root fungal symbionts, and to be required for the optimal control of the mycorrhizal symbiosis. Although studies dealing with NO function in plant-fungus mutualistic associations are still scarce, experimental data support a different regulation patterns and functions for NO in plant interactions with pathogenic and mutualistic fungi. Here we review recent evidences about NO function in plant-fungus interactions, trying to identify common and differential patterns related to the fungus life-style and their impact on plant health.

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Lipa P, Vinardell JM, M Janczarek (2019)

Transcriptomic Studies Reveal that the Rhizobium leguminosarum Serine/Threonine Protein Phosphatase PssZ has a Role in the Synthesis of Cell-Surface Components, Nutrient Utilization, and Other Cellular Processes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(12): pii:ijms20122905.

Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii is a soil bacterium capable of establishing symbiotic associations with clover plants (Trifolium spp.). Surface polysaccharides, transport systems, and extracellular components synthesized by this bacterium are required for both the adaptation to changing environmental conditions and successful infection of host plant roots. The pssZ gene located in the Pss-I region, which is involved in the synthesis of extracellular polysaccharide, encodes a protein belonging to the group of serine/threonine protein phosphatases. In this study, a comparative transcriptomic analysis of R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii wild-type strain Rt24.2 and its derivative Rt297 carrying a pssZ mutation was performed. RNA-Seq data identified a large number of genes differentially expressed in these two backgrounds. Transcriptome profiling of the pssZ mutant revealed a role of the PssZ protein in several cellular processes, including cell signalling, transcription regulation, synthesis of cell-surface polysaccharides and components, and bacterial metabolism. In addition, we show that inactivation of pssZ affects the rhizobial ability to grow in the presence of different sugars and at various temperatures, as well as the production of different surface polysaccharides. In conclusion, our results identified a set of genes whose expression was affected by PssZ and confirmed the important role of this protein in the rhizobial regulatory network.

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Zan J, Li Z, Tianero MD, et al (2019)

A microbial factory for defensive kahalalides in a tripartite marine symbiosis.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 364(6445):.

Chemical defense against predators is widespread in natural ecosystems. Occasionally, taxonomically distant organisms share the same defense chemical. Here, we describe an unusual tripartite marine symbiosis, in which an intracellular bacterial symbiont ("Candidatus Endobryopsis kahalalidefaciens") uses a diverse array of biosynthetic enzymes to convert simple substrates into a library of complex molecules (the kahalalides) for chemical defense of the host, the alga Bryopsis sp., against predation. The kahalalides are subsequently hijacked by a third partner, the herbivorous mollusk Elysia rufescens, and employed similarly for defense. "Ca E. kahalalidefaciens" has lost many essential traits for free living and acts as a factory for kahalalide production. This interaction between a bacterium, an alga, and an animal highlights the importance of chemical defense in the evolution of complex symbioses.

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Dreyer J, Rautenbach M, Booysen E, et al (2019)

Xenorhabdus khoisanae SB10 produces Lys-rich PAX lipopeptides and a Xenocoumacin in its antimicrobial complex.

BMC microbiology, 19(1):132 pii:10.1186/s12866-019-1503-x.

BACKGROUND: Xenorhabdus spp. live in close symbiosis with nematodes of the Steinernema genus. Steinernema nematodes infect an insect larva and release their symbionts into the haemocoel of the insect. Once released into the haemocoel, the bacteria produce bioactive compounds to create a semi-exclusive environment by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds. The antimicrobial compounds thus far identified are xenocoumacins, xenortides, xenorhabdins, indole derivatives, xenoamicins, bicornutin and a number of antimicrobial peptides. The latter may be linear peptides such as the bacteriocins xenocin and xenorhabdicin, rhabdopeptides and cabanillasin, or cyclic, such as PAX lipopeptides, taxlllaids, xenobactin and szentiamide. Thus far, production of antimicrobial compounds have been reported for Xenorhabdus nematophila, Xenorhabdus budapestensis, Xenorhabdus cabanillasii, Xenorhabdus kozodoii, Xenorhabdus szentirmaii, Xenorhabdus doucetiae, Xenorhabdus mauleonii, Xenorhabdus indica and Xenorhabdus bovienii. Here we describe, for the first time, PAX lipopeptides and xenocoumacin 2 produced by Xenorhabdus khoisanae. These compounds were identified using ultraperformance liquid chromatography, linked to high resolution electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry.

RESULTS: Cell-free supernatants of X. khoisanae SB10 were heat stable and active against Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. Five lysine-rich lipopeptides from the PAX group were identified in HPLC fractions, with PAX1' and PAX7 present in the highest concentrations. Three novel PAX7 peptides with putative enoyl modifications and two linear analogues of PAX1' were also detected. A small antibiotic compound, yellow in colour and λmax of 314 nm, was recovered from the HPLC fractions and identified as xenocoumacin 2. The PAX lipopeptides and xenocoumacin 2 correlated with the genes and gene clusters in the genome of X. khoisanae SB10.

CONCLUSION: With UPLC-MS and MSe analyses of compounds in the antimicrobial complex of X. khoisanae SB10, a number of PAX peptides and a xenocoumacin were identified. The combination of pure PAX1' peptide with xenocoumacin 2 resulted in high antimicrobial activity. Many of the fractions did, however, contain labile compounds and some fractions were difficult to resolve. It is thus possible that strain SB10 may produce more antimicrobial compounds than reported here, as suggested by the APE Ec biosynthetic complex. Further research is required to develop these broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds into drugs that may be used in the fight against microbial infections.

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Ikram M, Ali N, Jan G, et al (2019)

Endophytic fungal diversity and their interaction with plants for agriculture sustainability under stressful condition.

Recent patents on food, nutrition & agriculture pii:FNA-EPUB-98764 [Epub ahead of print].

Endophytic fungi or endophytes as fascinating group of organism that colonize widely the healthy internal tissues of living plants, and do not cause any symptoms of disease in the host cells. Several decades of study and research have rustled the co-existing endophytes with their host plants, which can significantly influence the formation of metabolic products in plants, its ability to produce new interesting bioactive compound, which are of pharmaceutical, industrial and agricultural importance. The analytical results indicate that the endophytic fungi can confer profound impacts on plant communities by enhancing their growth, increasing their fitness, strengthening their tolerances to abiotic and biotic stresses, enhance defense mechanism and promoting their accumulation of secondary metabolites that provide immunity to the victims. This review focused on the biodiversity and biological roles of endophytic fungi in association with their host plants through reviewing of published research data obtained from the last 30 years.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Lee J, Kim CH, Jang HA, et al (2019)

Burkholderia gut symbiont modulates titer of specific juvenile hormone in the bean bug Riptortus pedestris.

Developmental and comparative immunology pii:S0145-305X(19)30219-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Recent studies have provided molecular evidence that gut symbiotic bacteria modulate host insect development, fitness and reproduction. However, the molecular mechanisms through which gut symbionts regulate these aspects of host physiology remain elusive. To address these questions, we prepared two different Riptortus-Burkholderia insect models, Burkholderia gut symbiont-colonized (Sym) Riptortus pedestris insects and gut symbiont-noncolonized (Apo) insects. Upon LC-MS analyses, juvenile hormone III skipped bisepoxide (JHSB3) was newly identified from Riptortus Apo- and Sym-female and male adults' insect hemolymph and JHSB3 titer in the Apo- and Sym-female insects were measured because JH is important for regulating reproduction in adult insects. The JHSB3 titer in the Sym-females were consistently higher compared to those of Apo-females. Since previous studies reported that Riptortus hexamerin-α and vitellogenin proteins were upregulated by the topical abdominal application of a JH-analog, chemically synthesized JHSB3 was administered to Apo-females. As expected, the hexamerin-α and vitellogenin proteins were dramatically increased in the hemolymph of JHSB3-treated Apo-females, resulting in increased egg production compared to that in Sym-females. Taken together, these results demonstrate that colonization of Burkholderia gut symbiont in the host insect stimulates biosynthesis of the heteroptera-specific JHSB3, leading to larger number of eggs produced and enhanced fitness in Riptortus host insects.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Jung M, DH Lee (2019)

Abundance and diversity of gut-symbiotic bacteria, the genus Burkholderia in overwintering Riptortus pedestris (Hemiptera: Alydidae) populations and soil in South Korea.

PloS one, 14(6):e0218240 pii:PONE-D-19-05141.

Riptortus pedestris is a major agricultural pest on leguminous plants in South Korea and Japan. Recent studies have revealed that R. pedestris can form beneficial symbiosis with bacteria belonging to genus Burkholderia acquired from soil newly for every generation. Although their physiological interactions are relatively well-understood, infection rate and abundance of the Burkholderia in overwintering natural populations of R. pedestris remain unknown. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize Burkholderia infection ratio and clade composition of overwintering R. pedestris populations as well as prevalence and diversity of the genus Burkholderia in soil by conducting a two-year field survey. From the field survey, we found 29 overwintering R. pedestris adults in forested areas nearby soybean fields. Diagnostic PCR analysis revealed that overall infection rate of the symbiotic Burkholderia was 93.1% from overwintering adults. Among the Burkholderia-infected R. pedestris, 70.4% of individuals harbored unclassified Burkholderia clades whereas 22.2% and 7.4% of R. pedestris harbor stinkbug-associated beneficial and environmental (SBE) group and Burkholderia cepacia and complex (BCC), respectively. All R. pedestris were infected with a single clade of Burkholderia. In soil, 56.2% of soil samples were Burkholderia positive, and unlike R. pedestris, multiple Burkholderia clades were detected from 62.2% of those samples. Clade composition of the genus Burkholderia in the samples with the bacteria was 91.1%, 60.0%, 31.1% and 8.8% for plant-associated beneficial and environment (PBE), BCC, SBE and unclassified clade, respectively.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Liu Z, Chen W, Jiao S, et al (2019)

New insight into the evolution of symbiotic genes in black locust-associated rhizobia.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5514480 [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrogen fixation in legumes occurs via symbiosis with rhizobia. This process involves packages of symbiotic genes on mobile genetic elements that are readily transferred within or between rhizobial species, furnishing the recipient with the ability to interact with plant hosts. However, it remains elusive whether plant host migration has played a role in shaping the current distribution of genetic variation in symbiotic genes. Herein, we examined the genetic structure and phylogeographic pattern of symbiotic genes in 286 symbiotic strains of Mesorhizobium nodulating black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), a cross-continental invasive legume species that is native to North America. We conducted detailed phylogeographic analysis and approximate Bayesian computation to unravel the complex demographic history of five key symbiotic genes. The sequencing results indicate an origin of symbiotic genes in Germany rather than North America. Our findings provide strong evidence of prehistoric lineage splitting and spatial expansion events resulting in multiple radiations of descendent clones from founding sequence types worldwide. Estimates of the timescale of divergence in North American and Chinese subclades suggest that black locust-specific symbiotic genes have been present in these continent many thousands of years before recent migration of plant host. Although numerous crop plants, including legumes, have found their centers of origin as centers of evolution and diversity, the number of legume-specific symbiotic genes with a known geographic origin is limited. This work sheds light on the coevolution of legumes and rhizobia.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Defrenne CE, Philpott TJ, Guichon SHA, et al (2019)

Shifts in Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities and Exploration Types Relate to the Environment and Fine-Root Traits Across Interior Douglas-Fir Forests of Western Canada.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:643.

Large-scale studies that examine the responses of ectomycorrhizal fungi across biogeographic gradients are necessary to assess their role in mediating current and predicted future alterations in forest ecosystem processes. We assessed the extent of environmental filtering on interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca (Beissn.) Franco) ectomycorrhizal fungal communities across regional gradients in precipitation, temperature, and soil fertility in interior Douglas-fir dominated forests of western Canada. We also examined relationships between fine-root traits and mycorrhizal fungal exploration types by combining root and fungal trait measurements with next-generation sequencing. Temperature, precipitation, and soil C:N ratio affected fungal community dissimilarity and exploration type abundance but had no effect on α-diversity. Fungi with rhizomorphs (e.g., Piloderma sp.) or proteolytic abilities (e.g., Cortinarius sp.) dominated communities in warmer and less fertile environments. Ascomycetes (e.g., Cenococcum geophilum) or shorter distance explorers, which potentially cost the plant less C, were favored in colder/drier climates where soils were richer in total nitrogen. Environmental filtering of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities is potentially related to co-evolutionary history between Douglas-fir populations and fungal symbionts, suggesting success of interior Douglas-fir as climate changes may be dependent on maintaining strong associations with local communities of mycorrhizal fungi. No evidence for a link between root and fungal resource foraging strategies was found at the regional scale. This lack of evidence further supports the need for a mycorrhizal symbiosis framework that is independent of root trait frameworks, to aid in understanding belowground plant uptake strategies across environments.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Habineza P, Muhammad A, Ji T, et al (2019)

The Promoting Effect of Gut Microbiota on Growth and Development of Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae) by Modulating Its Nutritional Metabolism.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1212.

Red palm weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier, is a destructive pest for palm trees worldwide. Recent studies have shown that RPW gut is colonized by microbes and alterations in gut microbiota can significantly modify its hemolymph nutrition content. However, the exact effects of gut microbiota on RPW phenotype and the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here germ-free (GF) RPW larvae were generated from dechorionated eggs which were reared on sterilized artificial food under axenic conditions. Compared with controls, the larval development of GF RPW individuals was markedly depressed and their body mass was reduced as well. Furthermore, the content of hemolymph protein, glucose and triglyceride were dropped significantly in GF RPW larvae. Interestingly, introducing gut microbiota into GF individuals could significantly increase the levels of the three nutrition indices. Additionally, it has also been demonstrated that RPW larvae monoassociated with Lactococcus lactis exhibited the same level of protein content with the CR (conventionally reared) insects while feeding Enterobacter cloacae to GF larvae increased their hemolymph triglyceride and glucose content markedly. Consequently, our findings suggest that gut microbiota profoundly affect the development of this pest by regulating its nutrition metabolism and different gut bacterial species show distinct impact on host physiology. Taken together, the establishment of GF and gnotobiotic RPW larvae will advance the elucidation of molecular mechanisms behind the interactions between RPW and its gut microbiota.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Lee SJ, Morse D, M Hijri (2019)

Holobiont chronobiology: mycorrhiza may be a key to linking aboveground and underground rhythms.

Mycorrhiza pii:10.1007/s00572-019-00903-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Circadian clocks are nearly ubiquitous timing mechanisms that can orchestrate rhythmic behavior and gene expression in a wide range of organisms. Clock mechanisms are becoming well understood in fungal, animal, and plant model systems, yet many of these organisms are surrounded by a complex and diverse microbiota which should be taken into account when examining their biology. Of particular interest are the symbiotic relationships between organisms that have coevolved over time, forming a unit called a holobiont. Several studies have now shown linkages between the circadian rhythms of symbiotic partners. Interrelated regulation of holobiont circadian rhythms seems thus important to coordinate shifts in activity over the day for all the partners. Therefore, we suggest that the classical view of "chronobiological individuals" should include "a holobiont" rather than an organism. Unfortunately, mechanisms that may regulate interspecies temporal acclimation and the evolution of the circadian clock in holobionts are far from being understood. For the plant holobiont, our understanding is particularly limited. In this case, the holobiont encompasses two different ecosystems, one above and the other below the ground, with the two potentially receiving timing information from different synchronizing signals (Zeitgebers). The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis, formed by plant roots and fungi, is one of the oldest and most widespread associations between organisms. By mediating the nutritional flux between the plant and the many microbes in the soil, AM symbiosis constitutes the backbone of the plant holobiont. Even though the importance of the AM symbiosis has been well recognized in agricultural and environmental sciences, its circadian chronobiology remains almost completely unknown. We have begun to study the circadian clock of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and we compile and here discuss the available information on the subject. We propose that analyzing the interrelated temporal organization of the AM symbiosis and determining its underlying mechanisms will advance our understanding of the role and coordination of circadian clocks in holobionts in general.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-10

Sabūnas V, Radzijevskaja J, Sakalauskas P, et al (2019)

Dirofilaria repens in dogs and humans in Lithuania.

Parasites & vectors, 12(1):177 pii:10.1186/s13071-019-3406-y.

BACKGROUND: In Lithuania, the first case of canine subcutaneous dirofilariosis was recorded in 2010. Since then, an increasing number of cases of canine dirofilariosis have been documented in different veterinary clinics throughout the country. Human dirofilariosis was diagnosed in Lithuania for the first time in September 2011. However, to the authors' knowledge, there are no published data on the presence and prevalence of autochthonous dirofilariosis in dogs and humans in the country. The present study provides information about the predominant species and prevalence of Dirofilaria in dogs and describes the cases of human dirofilariosis in Lithuania. It also outlines PCR detection of the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia that contributes to the inflammatory features of filarioid infection.

RESULTS: A total of 2280 blood samples and six adult worms from pet and shelter dogs were collected in the central and eastern regions of Lithuania in 2013-2015. Based on their morphological appearance, morphometric measurements and molecular analysis, all the adult nematodes were identified as Dirofilaria repens. The diagnosis of microfilariae in blood samples was based on blood smear analysis and Knott's test. The PCR and sequence analysis of the ribosomal DNA ITS2 region and cox1 gene confirmed the presence of D. repens. Overall, 61 (2.7%) of the 2280 blood samples were found to be positive for the presence of D. repens. The infection rate of D. repens was significantly higher in shelter dogs (19.0%; 19/100) than in pet dogs (1.9%; 42/2180) (χ2 = 100.039, df = 1, P < 0.0001). Forty-nine DNA samples of D. repens-infected dogs were tested for the presence of the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia and, of these, 40 samples (81.6%) were found to be positive. Three ocular and six subcutaneous cases of human dirofilariosis were diagnosed in Lithuania in the period 2011-2018.

CONCLUSIONS: To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of autochthonous D. repens infection in dogs and humans in Lithuania. The present data demonstrate that D. repens is the main etiological agent of dirofilariosis in Lithuania. The DNA of the filarioid endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia was detected in the vast majority of dogs infected with D. repens.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-11

Du J, Jiang S, Wei J, et al (2019)

[Co-expression of lignocellulase from termite and their endosymbionts].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 35(2):244-253.

Natural lignocellulosic materials contain cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Cellulose hydrolysis to glucose requires a series of lignocellulases. Recently, the research on the synergistic effect of lignocellulases has become a new research focus. Here, four lignocellulase genes encoding β-glucosidase, endo-1,4-β-glucanase, xylanase and laccase from termite and their endosymbionts were cloned into pETDuet-1 and pRSFDuet-1 and expressed in Escherichia coli. After SDS-PAGE analysis, the corresponding protein bands consistent with the theoretical values were observed and all the proteins showed enzyme activities. We used phosphoric acid swollen cellulose (PASC) as substrate to measure the synergistic effect of crude extracts of co-expressing enzymes and the mixture of single enzyme. The co-expressed enzymes increased the degradation efficiency of PASC by 44% compared with the single enzyme mixture; while the degradation rate increased by 34% and 20%, respectively when using filter paper and corn cob pretreated with phosphoric acid as substrates. The degradation efficiency of the co-expressed enzymes was higher than the total efficiency of the single enzyme mixture.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-11

Shaikevich E, Bogacheva A, Rakova V, et al (2019)

Wolbachia symbionts in mosquitoes: Intra- and intersupergroup recombinations, horizontal transmission and evolution.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 134:24-34.

Many mosquitoes harbour Wolbachia symbionts that could affect the biology of their host in different ways. Evolutionary relationships of mosquitoes' Wolbachia infection, geographical distribution and symbiont prevalence in many mosquito species are not yet clear. Here, we present the results of Wolbachia screening of 17 mosquito species of four genera-Aedes, Anopheles, Coquillettidia and Culex collected from five regions of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus in 2012-2016. Based on multilocus sequence typing (MLST) data previously published and generated in this study, we try to reveal genetic links between mosquitoes' and other hosts' Wolbachia. The Wolbachia symbionts are found in Culex pipiens, Aedes albopictus and Coquillettidia richiardii and for the first time in Aedes cinereus and Aedes cantans, which are important vectors of human pathogens. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated multiple origins of infection in mosquitoes although the one-allele-criterion approach revealed links among B-supergroup mosquito Wolbachia with allele content of lepidopteran hosts. The MLST gene content of strain wAlbA from the A-supergroup is linked with different ant species. Several cases of intersupergroup recombinations were found. One of them occurred in the wAlbaB strain of Aedes albopictus, which contains the coxA allele of the A-supergroup, whereas other loci, including wsp, belong to supergroup B. Other cases are revealed for non-mosquito symbionts and they exemplified genetic exchanges of A, B and F supergroups. We conclude that modern Wolbachia diversity in mosquitoes and in many other insect taxa is a recent product of strain recombination and symbiont transfers.

RevDate: 2019-06-14
CmpDate: 2019-06-14

Kitamoto M, Tokuda G, Watanabe H, et al (2019)

Characterization of CBM36-containing GH11 endoxylanase NtSymX11 from the hindgut metagenome of higher termite Nasutitermes takasagoensis displaying prominent catalytic activity.

Carbohydrate research, 474:1-7.

Symbionts in the gut of termites are expected to be large sources of enzymes involved in lignocellulose degradation, but their biotechnological potential has not been fully explored. In this study, we expressed, purified, and biochemically characterized a glycoside hydrolase family 11 xylanase, NtSymX11, from a symbiotic bacterium of the higher termite, Nasutitermes takasagoensis. NtSymX11 is a multimodular enzyme consisting of a catalytic domain and two tandem carbohydrate-binding modules (CBM36). The pH and temperature optima of NtSymX11 were pH 6.0 and 40 °C, respectively. By comparing the properties of full-length and truncated variants of NtSymX11, it was shown that CBM36 decreases the enzyme stability at acidic pH and high temperature. The main products from xylohexaose and various xylan substrates were X1-X3 xylooligosaccharides. Analysis of kinetic parameters indicated that NtSymX11 displays an outstanding catalytic performance when compared to other reported xylanases, and CBM36 enhances the activity by increasing the affinity to the substrate. Addition of Ca2+ boosted the activity of full-length enzyme, but not the truncated variant lacking the CBM, against the insoluble substrate, suggesting that CBM36 plays a role in the Ca2+-dependent increase of catalytic efficiency.

RevDate: 2019-06-14
CmpDate: 2019-06-14

Jankauskaitė L, Misevičienė V, Vaidelienė L, et al (2018)

Lower Airway Virology in Health and Disease-From Invaders to Symbionts.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 54(5):.

Studies of human airway virome are relatively recent and still very limited. Culture-independent microbial techniques showed growing evidence of numerous viral communities in the respiratory microbial ecosystem. The significance of different acute respiratory viruses is already known in the pathogenesis of chronic conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF), or chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), and their exacerbations. Viral pathogens, such as influenza, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus, or rhinovirus, have been associated with impaired immune response, acute exacerbations, and decrease in lung function in chronic lung diseases. However, more data have attributed a role to Herpes family viruses or the newly identified Anelloviridae family of viruses in chronic diseases, such as asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), or CF. Impaired antiviral immunity, bacterial colonization, or used medication, such as glucocorticoids or antibiotics, contribute to the imbalance of airway microbiome and may shape the local viral ecosystem. A specific part of virome, bacteriophages, frames lung microbial communities through direct contact with its host, the specific bacteria known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa or their biofilm formation. Moreover, antibiotic resistance is induced through phages via horizontal transfer and leads to more severe exacerbations of chronic airway conditions. Morbidity and mortality of asthma, COPD, CF, and IPF remains high, despite an increased understanding and knowledge about the impact of respiratory virome in the pathogenesis of these conditions. Thus, more studies focus on new prophylactic methods or therapeutic agents directed toward viral⁻host interaction, microbial metabolic function, or lung microbial composition rearrangement.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-13

Li J, Han M, J Yu (2018)

Simple paratransgenic mosquitoes models and their dynamics.

Mathematical biosciences, 306:20-31.

To study the interactive dynamics of wild mosquitoes and mosquitoes carrying genetically-modified bacteria, we formulate continuous-time homogeneous and stage-structured models in this study. With appropriate transformations, complete results of the existence and stability of all boundary and positive equilibria for the homogeneous model are established and complete results of the existence and local stability of all boundary and positive equilibria for the stage-structured model are obtained as well. The outcomes from the homogeneous and the stage-structured models are similar. Based on the homogeneous model, we particularly investigate how the horizontal transmission of the transgenic bacteria, via the uptake rate of the transgenic bacteria, affects the interactive dynamics.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-12

Macpherson AJ, SC Ganal-Vonarburg (2018)

IgA-about the unexpected.

The Journal of experimental medicine, 215(8):1965-1966.

In this issue of JEM, Nakajima et al. ( demonstrate that glycan-dependent, epitope-independent IgA coating of intestinal bacteria alters bacterial gene expression and metabolism. This conferred coated bacteria with fitness within the mucus niche and contributed to intestinal homeostasis through cross-phylum interactions.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-10

Boldock E, Surewaard BGJ, Shamarina D, et al (2018)

Human skin commensals augment Staphylococcus aureus pathogenesis.

Nature microbiology, 3(8):881-890.

All bacterial infections occur within a polymicrobial environment, from which a pathogen population emerges to establish disease within a host. Emphasis has been placed on prevention of pathogen dominance by competing microflora acting as probiotics1. Here we show that the virulence of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is augmented by native, polymicrobial, commensal skin flora and individual species acting as 'proinfectious agents'. The outcome is pathogen proliferation, but not commensal. Pathogenesis augmentation can be mediated by particulate cell wall peptidoglycan, reducing the S. aureus infectious dose by over 1,000-fold. This phenomenon occurs using a range of S. aureus strains and infection models and is not mediated by established receptor-mediated pathways including Nod1, Nod2, Myd88 and the NLPR3 inflammasome. During mouse sepsis, augmentation depends on liver-resident macrophages (Kupffer cells) that capture and internalize both the pathogen and the proinfectious agent, leading to reduced production of reactive oxygen species, pathogen survival and subsequent multiple liver abscess formation. The augmented infection model more closely resembles the natural situation and establishes the role of resident environmental microflora in the initiation of disease by an invading pathogen. As the human microflora is ubiquitous2, its role in increasing susceptibility to infection by S. aureus highlights potential strategies for disease prevention.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-13

Fourie R, Kuloyo OO, Mochochoko BM, et al (2018)

Iron at the Centre of Candida albicans Interactions.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 8:185.

Iron is an absolute requirement for both the host and most pathogens alike and is needed for normal cellular growth. The acquisition of iron by biological systems is regulated to circumvent toxicity of iron overload, as well as the growth deficits imposed by iron deficiency. In addition, hosts, such as humans, need to limit the availability of iron to pathogens. However, opportunistic pathogens such as Candida albicans are able to adapt to extremes of iron availability, such as the iron replete environment of the gastrointestinal tract and iron deficiency during systemic infection. C. albicans has developed a complex and effective regulatory circuit for iron acquisition and storage to circumvent iron limitation within the human host. As C. albicans can form complex interactions with both commensal and pathogenic co-inhabitants, it can be speculated that iron may play an important role in these interactions. In this review, we highlight host iron regulation as well as regulation of iron homeostasis in C. albicans. In addition, the review argues for the need for further research into the role of iron in polymicrobial interactions. Lastly, the role of iron in treatment of C. albicans infection is discussed.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-10

Stouthamer CM, Kelly S, MS Hunter (2018)

Enrichment of low-density symbiont DNA from minute insects.

Journal of microbiological methods, 151:16-19.

Symbioses between bacteria and insects are often associated with changes in important biological traits that can significantly affect host fitness. To a large extent, studies of these interactions have been based on physiological changes or induced phenotypes in the host, and the genetic mechanisms by which symbionts interact with their hosts have only recently become better understood. Learning about symbionts has been challenging in part due to difficulties such as obtaining enough high quality genomic material for high throughput sequencing technology, especially for symbionts present in low titers, and in small or difficult to rear non-model hosts. Here we introduce a new method that substantially increases the yield of bacterial DNA in minute arthropod hosts, and requires less starting material relative to previous published methods.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-10

Toju H, Peay KG, Yamamichi M, et al (2018)

Core microbiomes for sustainable agroecosystems.

Nature plants, 4(5):247-257.

In an era of ecosystem degradation and climate change, maximizing microbial functions in agroecosystems has become a prerequisite for the future of global agriculture. However, managing species-rich communities of plant-associated microbiomes remains a major challenge. Here, we propose interdisciplinary research strategies to optimize microbiome functions in agroecosystems. Informatics now allows us to identify members and characteristics of 'core microbiomes', which may be deployed to organize otherwise uncontrollable dynamics of resident microbiomes. Integration of microfluidics, robotics and machine learning provides novel ways to capitalize on core microbiomes for increasing resource-efficiency and stress-resistance of agroecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-10

Chan CX, Vaysberg P, Price DC, et al (2018)

Active Host Response to Algal Symbionts in the Sea Slug Elysia chlorotica.

Molecular biology and evolution, 35(7):1706-1711.

Sacoglossan sea slugs offer fascinating systems to study the onset and persistence of algal-plastid symbioses. Elysia chlorotica is particularly noteworthy because it can survive for months, relying solely on energy produced by ingested plastids of the stramenopile alga Vaucheria litorea that are sequestered in cells lining its digestive diverticula. How this animal can maintain the actively photosynthesizing organelles without replenishment of proteins from the lost algal nucleus remains unknown. Here, we used RNA-Seq analysis to test the idea that plastid sequestration leaves a significant signature on host gene expression during E. chlorotica development. Our results support this hypothesis and show that upon exposure to and ingestion of V. litorea plastids, genes involved in microbe-associated molecular patterns and oxidative stress-response mechanisms are significantly up-regulated. Interestingly, our results with E. chlorotica mirror those found with corals that maintain dinoflagellates as intact cells in symbiosomes, suggesting parallels between these animal-algal symbiotic interactions.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-10

Vdacný P (2018)

Evolutionary Associations of Endosymbiotic Ciliates Shed Light on the Timing of the Marsupial-Placental Split.

Molecular biology and evolution, 35(7):1757-1769.

Trichostome ciliates are among the most conspicuous protists in the gastrointestinal tract of a large variety of vertebrates. However, little is still known about phylogeny of the trichostome/vertebrate symbiotic systems, evolutionary correlations between trichostome extrinsic traits, and character-dependent diversification of trichostomes. These issues were investigated here, using the relaxed molecular clock technique along with stochastic mapping of character evolution, and binary-state speciation and extinction models. Clock analyses revealed that trichostomes colonized the vertebrate gastrointestinal tract ∼135 Ma, that is, near the paleontological minimum for the split of therian mammals into marsupials and placentals. According to stochastic mapping, the last common ancestor of trichostomes most likely invaded the hindgut of a mammal. Although multiple shifts to fish/amphibian or avian hosts and to the foregut compartments took place during the trichostome phylogeny, only transition to the foregut was recognized as a key innovation responsible for the explosive radiation of ophryoscolecid trichostomes after the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary, when ungulates began their diversification. Since crown radiations of main trichostome lineages follow those of their mammalian hosts and are in agreement with their historic dispersal routes, the present time-calibrated phylogeny might help to elucidate controversies in the geological and molecular timing of the split between marsupials and placental mammals.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-10

Leth ML, Ejby M, Workman C, et al (2018)

Differential bacterial capture and transport preferences facilitate co-growth on dietary xylan in the human gut.

Nature microbiology, 3(5):570-580.

Metabolism of dietary glycans is pivotal in shaping the human gut microbiota. However, the mechanisms that promote competition for glycans among gut commensals remain unclear. Roseburia intestinalis, an abundant butyrate-producing Firmicute, is a key degrader of the major dietary fibre xylan. Despite the association of this taxon to a healthy microbiota, insight is lacking into its glycan utilization machinery. Here, we investigate the apparatus that confers R. intestinalis growth on different xylans. R. intestinalis displays a large cell-attached modular xylanase that promotes multivalent and dynamic association to xylan via four xylan-binding modules. This xylanase operates in concert with an ATP-binding cassette transporter to mediate breakdown and selective internalization of xylan fragments. The transport protein of R. intestinalis prefers oligomers of 4-5 xylosyl units, whereas the counterpart from a model xylan-degrading Bacteroides commensal targets larger ligands. Although R. intestinalis and the Bacteroides competitor co-grew in a mixed culture on xylan, R. intestinalis dominated on the preferred transport substrate xylotetraose. These findings highlight the differentiation of capture and transport preferences as a possible strategy to facilitate co-growth on abundant dietary fibres and may offer a unique route to manipulate the microbiota based on glycan transport preferences in therapeutic interventions to boost distinct taxa.

RevDate: 2019-06-14
CmpDate: 2019-06-14

Craft KM, SD Townsend (2018)

The Human Milk Glycome as a Defense Against Infectious Diseases: Rationale, Challenges, and Opportunities.

ACS infectious diseases, 4(2):77-83.

Each year over 3 million people die from infectious diseases with most of these deaths being poor and young children who live in low- and middle-income countries. Infectious diseases emerge for a multitude of reasons. On the social front, reasons include a breakdown of public health standards, international travel, and immigration (for financial, civil, and social reasons). At the molecular level, the modern rise of infectious diseases is tied to the juxtaposition of drug-resistant pathogens and a lack of new antimicrobials. The consequence is the possibility that humankind will return to the preantibiotic era wherein millions of people will perish from what should be trivial illnesses. Given the stakes, it is imperative that the chemistry community take leadership in delivering new antibiotic leads for clinical development. We believe this can happen through innovation in two areas. First is the development of novel chemical scaffolds to treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens. The second area, which is not exclusive to the first, is the generation of antibiotics that do not cause collateral damage to the host or the host's microbiome. Both can be enabled through advances in chemical synthesis. It is with this general philosophy in mind that we hypothesized human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) could serve as novel chemical scaffolds for antibacterial development. We provide herein a personal account of our laboratory's progress toward the goal of using HMOs as a defense against infectious diseases.

RevDate: 2019-06-13
CmpDate: 2019-06-11

Chen R, Wang Z, Chen J, et al (2017)

Insect-bacteria parallel evolution in multiple-co-obligate-aphid association: a case in Lachninae (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

Scientific reports, 7(1):10204.

Parallel phylogenies between aphid and its obligate symbiont Buchnera are hot topics which always focused on aphid lower taxonomic levels. Symbionts in the subfamily Lachninae are special. Buchnera in many lachnine species has undergone functional and genome size reduction that was replaced by other co-obligate symbionts. In this study, we constructed the phylogenetic relationships of Lachninae with a combined dataset of five genes sequenced from Buchnera to estimate the effects of a dual symbiotic system in the aphid-Buchnera cospeciation association. The phylogeny of Buchnera in Lachninae was well-resolved in the combined dataset. Each of the genera formed strongly supported monophyletic groups, with the exception of the genus Cinara. The phylogeny based on sequences from Buchnera was divided into five tribes according to the clades of the Lachninae hosts tree, with the phylogenies of Buchnera and Lachninae being generally congruent. These results first provided evidence of parallel evolution at the aphid subfamily level comprehensively and supported the view that topological congruence between the phylogenies of Buchnera and Lachninae would not be interfered with the other co-obligate symbionts, such as Sarretia, in aphid-entosymbiont association. These results also provided new insight in understanding host-plant coevolution in lachnine lineages.

RevDate: 2019-06-12

Guo X, Zhao Z, Mar SS, et al (2019)

A symbiotic balancing act: arbuscular mycorrhizal specificity and specialist fungus gnat pollination in the mycoheterotrophic genus Thismia (Thismiaceae).

Annals of botany pii:5514326 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Mycorrhizal associations in mycoheterotrophic plants are generally more specialized than in autotrophs. Mycoheterotrophs typically bear small, inconspicuous flowers that often self-pollinate to maximize seed set, although some have structurally complex flowers indicative of xenogamy. A trade-off has previously been proposed between specialization in these above- and below-ground symbioses, although empirical data are lacking.

METHODS: We used next-generation DNA sequencing to compare the mycorrhizal communities from the roots of a mycoheterotrophic species, Thismia tentaculata (Thismiaceae), and its neighbouring autotrophs. We furthermore conducted detailed assessments of floral phenology and pollination ecology, and performed artificial pollination experiments to determine the breeding system.

KEY RESULTS: Thismia tentaculata maintains a symbiotic association with a single arbuscular mycorrhizal Rhizophagus species. The flowers are pollinated by a single species of fungus gnats (Corynoptera, Sciaridae), which are attracted by the yellow pigments and are temporarily restrained within the perianth chamber before departing via apertures between the anthers. The plants are self-compatible but predominantly xenogamous.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that T. tentaculata maintains highly specialized associations with pollinators and mycorrhizal fungi, both of which are widely distributed. We suggest that specialization in multiple symbiotic interactions is possible in mycoheterotrophs if redundant selective pressures are not exerted to further restrict an already constrained suite of life-history traits.

RevDate: 2019-06-12

Gabay Y, Parkinson JE, Wilkinson SP, et al (2019)

Inter-partner specificity limits the acquisition of thermotolerant symbionts in a model cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-019-0429-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The ability of corals and other cnidarians to survive climate change depends partly on the composition of their endosymbiont communities. The dinoflagellate family Symbiodiniaceae is genetically and physiologically diverse, and one proposed mechanism for cnidarians to acclimate to rising temperatures is to acquire more thermally tolerant symbionts. However, cnidarian-dinoflagellate associations vary in their degree of specificity, which may limit their capacity to alter symbiont communities. Here, we inoculated symbiont-free polyps of the sea anemone Exaiptasia pallida (commonly referred to as 'Aiptasia'), a model system for the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, with simultaneous or sequential mixtures of thermally tolerant and thermally sensitive species of Symbiodiniaceae. We then monitored symbiont success (relative proportional abundance) at normal and elevated temperatures across two to four weeks. All anemones showed signs of bleaching at high temperature. During simultaneous inoculations, the native, thermally sensitive Breviolum minutum colonized polyps most successfully regardless of temperature when paired against the non-native but more thermally tolerant Symbiodinium microadriaticum or Durusdinium trenchii. Furthermore, anemones initially colonized with B. minutum and subsequently exposed to S. microadriaticum failed to acquire the new symbiont. These results highlight how partner specificity may place strong limitations on the ability of certain cnidarians to acquire more thermally tolerant symbionts, and hence their adaptive potential under climate change.

RevDate: 2019-06-12

Chrostek E, M Gerth (2019)

Is Anopheles gambiae a Natural Host of Wolbachia?.

mBio, 10(3): pii:mBio.00784-19.

Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales) is an intraovarially transmitted symbiont of insects able to exert striking phenotypes, including reproductive manipulations and pathogen blocking. These phenotypes make Wolbachia a promising tool to combat mosquito-borne diseases. Although Wolbachia is present in the majority of terrestrial arthropods, including many disease vectors, it was considered absent from Anopheles gambiae mosquitos, the main vectors of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2014, Wolbachia sequences were detected in A. gambiae samples collected in Burkina Faso. Subsequently, similar evidence came from collections all over Africa, revealing a high Wolbachia 16S rRNA sequence diversity, low abundance, and a lack of congruence between host and symbiont phylogenies. Here, we reanalyze and discuss recent evidence on the presence of Wolbachia sequences in A. gambiae. We find that although detected at increasing frequencies, the unusual properties of these Wolbachia sequences render them insufficient to diagnose natural infections in A. gambiae Future studies should focus on uncovering the origin of Wolbachia sequence variants in Anopheles and seeking sequence-independent evidence for this new symbiosis. Understanding the ecology of Anopheles mosquitos and their interactions with Wolbachia will be key in designing successful, integrative approaches to limit malaria spread. Although the prospect of using Wolbachia to fight malaria is intriguing, the newly discovered strains do not bring it closer to realization.IMPORTANCEAnopheles gambiae mosquitos are the main vectors of malaria, threatening around half of the world's population. The bacterial symbiont Wolbachia can interfere with disease transmission by other important insect vectors, but until recently, it was thought to be absent from natural A. gambiae populations. Here, we critically analyze the genomic, metagenomic, PCR, imaging, and phenotypic data presented in support of the presence of natural Wolbachia infections in A. gambiae We find that they are insufficient to diagnose Wolbachia infections and argue for the need of obtaining robust data confirming basic Wolbachia characteristics in this system. Determining the Wolbachia infection status of Anopheles is critical due to its potential to influence Anopheles population structure and Plasmodium transmission.

RevDate: 2019-06-12

Septer AN (2019)

The Vibrio-Squid Symbiosis as a Model for Studying Interbacterial Competition.

mSystems, 4(3): pii:4/3/e00108-19.

The symbiosis between Euprymna scolopes squid and its bioluminescent bacterial symbiont, Vibrio fischeri, is a valuable model system to study a natural, coevolved host-microbe association. Over the past 30 years, researchers have developed and optimized many experimental methods to study both partners in isolation and during symbiosis. These powerful tools, along with a strong foundational knowledge about the system, position the Vibrio-squid symbiosis at the forefront of host-microbe interactions because this system is uniquely suited to investigation of symbiosis from both host and bacterial perspectives. Moreover, the ability to isolate and characterize different strains of V. fischeri has revealed exciting new insights about how different genotypes evolve to compete for a host niche, including deploying interbacterial weapons early during host colonization. This Perspective explores how interbacterial warfare influences the diversity and spatial structure of the symbiotic population, as well as the possible effects that intraspecific competition might have on the host.

RevDate: 2019-06-11

Gomes DF, Tullio LD, Del Cerro P, et al (2019)

Regulation of hsnT, nodF and nodE genes in Rhizobium tropici CIAT 899 and their roles in the synthesis of Nod factors and in the symbiosis.

Microbiology (Reading, England) [Epub ahead of print].

Rhizobium tropici strain CIAT 899 possesses outstanding agronomic properties as it displays tolerance to environmental stresses, a broad host range and high effectiveness in fixing nitrogen with the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.); in addition, it carries intriguing features such as five copies of the regulatory nodD gene, and the capacity to synthesize a variety of nodulation factors (NFs), even in a flavonoid-independent manner, when submitted to abiotic stresses. However, the roles of several nod genes of the repertoire of CIAT 899 remain to be determined. In this study, we obtained mutants for the hsnT, nodF and nodE genes of CIAT 899 and investigated their expression, NF structures and symbiotic properties. Either in the presence of the flavonoid apigenin, or of salt the expression of hsnT, nodF and nodE in wild-type CIAT 899 was highly up-regulated in comparison to the mutants of all five copies of nodD, indicating the roles that regulatory nodD genes play in the activation of hsnT, nodF and nodE; however, NodD1 was recognized as the main inducer. In total, 29 different NF structures were synthesized by wild-type CIAT 899 induced by apigenin, and 36 when induced by salt, being drastically reduced by mutations in hsnT, nodF and nodE, especially under osmotic stress, with specific changes related to each gene, indicating that the three genes participate in the synthesis of NFs. Mutations in hsnT, nodF and nodE affected differently symbiotic performance (nodule number and shoot dry weight), according to the host plant. Our results indicate that the expression of hsnT, nodF and nodE genes of CIAT 899 is mediated by nodD genes, and although these three genes do not belong to the main set of genes controlling nodulation, they contribute to the synthesis of NFs that will impact symbiotic performance and host specificity.

RevDate: 2019-06-11

Gruber-Vodicka HR, Leisch N, Kleiner M, et al (2019)

Two intracellular and cell type-specific bacterial symbionts in the placozoan Trichoplax H2.

Nature microbiology pii:10.1038/s41564-019-0475-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Placozoa is an enigmatic phylum of simple, microscopic, marine metazoans1,2. Although intracellular bacteria have been found in all members of this phylum, almost nothing is known about their identity, location and interactions with their host3-6. We used metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing of single host individuals, plus metaproteomic and imaging analyses, to show that the placozoan Trichoplax sp. H2 lives in symbiosis with two intracellular bacteria. One symbiont forms an undescribed genus in the Midichloriaceae (Rickettsiales)7,8 and has a genomic repertoire similar to that of rickettsial parasites9,10, but does not seem to express key genes for energy parasitism. Correlative image analyses and three-dimensional electron tomography revealed that this symbiont resides in the rough endoplasmic reticulum of its host's internal fibre cells. The second symbiont belongs to the Margulisbacteria, a phylum without cultured representatives and not known to form intracellular associations11-13. This symbiont lives in the ventral epithelial cells of Trichoplax, probably metabolizes algal lipids digested by its host and has the capacity to supplement the placozoan's nutrition. Our study shows that one of the simplest animals has evolved highly specific and intimate associations with symbiotic, intracellular bacteria and highlights that symbioses can provide access to otherwise elusive microbial dark matter.

RevDate: 2019-06-11

Lamouche F, Chaumeret A, Guefrachi I, et al (2019)

From intracellular bacteria to differentiated bacteroids: transcriptome and metabolome analysis in Aeschynomene nodules using the Bradyrhizobium sp. ORS285 bclA mutant.

Journal of bacteriology pii:JB.00191-19 [Epub ahead of print].

Soil bacteria called rhizobia trigger the formation of root nodules on legume plants. The rhizobia infect these symbiotic organs and adopt an intracellular lifestyle within the nodule cells where they differentiate into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Several legume lineages enforce their symbionts into an extreme cellular differentiation, comprising cell enlargement and genome endoreduplication. The antimicrobial peptide transporter BclA is a major determinant of this process in Bradyrhizobium sp. ORS285, a symbiont of Aeschynomene spp.. In the absence of BclA, the bacteria proceed until the intracellular infection of nodule cells but they cannot differentiate into enlarged polyploid and functional bacteroids. The bclA nodule bacteria constitute thus an intermediate stage between the free-living soil bacteria and the nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Metabolomics on whole nodules of Aeschynomene afraspera and Aeschynomene indica infected with the wild type or the bclA mutant revealed 47 metabolites that differentially accumulated concomitantly with bacteroid differentiation. Bacterial transcriptome analysis of these nodules demonstrated that the intracellular settling of the rhizobia in the symbiotic nodule cells is accompanied with a first transcriptome switch involving several hundreds of upregulated and downregulated genes and a second switch accompanying the bacteroid differentiation, involving less genes but ones that are expressed to extremely elevated levels. The transcriptomes further suggested a dynamic role for oxygen and redox regulation of gene expression during nodule formation and a non-symbiotic function of BclA. Together, our data uncover the metabolic and gene expression changes that accompany the transition from intracellular bacteria into differentiated nitrogen-fixing bacteroids.ImportanceThe legume-rhizobium symbiosis is a major ecological process fueling the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle with reduced nitrogen. It represents also a promising strategy to cut down the use of chemical nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture, thereby improving its sustainability. This interaction leads to the intracellular accommodation of rhizobia within plant cells of symbiotic organs where they differentiate into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. In specific legume clades, this differentiation process requires the bacterial transporter BclA to counteract antimicrobial peptides produced by the host. Transcriptome analysis of Bradyrhizobium wild-type and bclA mutant bacteria in culture and in symbiosis with Aeschynomene host plants dissected the bacterial transcriptional response in distinct phases and highlighted functions of the transporter in the free-living stage of the bacterial life cycle.

RevDate: 2019-06-11

Strohm E, Herzner G, Ruther J, et al (2019)

Nitric oxide radicals are emitted by wasp eggs to kill mold fungi.

eLife, 8: pii:43718.

Detrimental microbes caused the evolution of a great diversity of antimicrobial defenses in plants and animals. Insects developing underground seem particularly threatened. Here we show that the eggs of a solitary digger wasp, the European beewolf Philanthus triangulum, emit large amounts of gaseous nitric oxide (NO⋅) to protect themselves and their provisions, paralyzed honeybees, against mold fungi. We provide evidence that a NO-synthase (NOS) is involved in the generation of the extraordinary concentrations of nitrogen radicals in brood cells (~1500 ppm NO⋅ and its oxidation product NO2⋅). Sequencing of the beewolf NOS gene revealed no conspicuous differences to related species. However, due to alternative splicing, the NOS-mRNA in beewolf eggs lacks an exon near the regulatory domain. This preventive external application of high doses of NO⋅ by wasp eggs represents an evolutionary key innovation that adds a remarkable novel facet to the array of functions of the important biological effector NO⋅.

RevDate: 2019-06-11

Hao Z, Xie W, B Chen (2019)

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis Affects Plant Immunity to Viral Infection and Accumulation.

Viruses, 11(6): pii:v11060534.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, as root symbionts of most terrestrial plants, improve plant growth and fitness. In addition to the improved plant nutritional status, the physiological changes that trigger metabolic changes in the root via AM fungi can also increase the host ability to overcome biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant viruses are one of the important limiting factors for the commercial cultivation of various crops. The effect of AM fungi on viral infection is variable, and considerable attention is focused on shoot virus infection. This review provides an overview of the potential of AM fungi as bioprotection agents against viral diseases and emphasizes the complex nature of plant-fungus-virus interactions. Several mechanisms, including modulated plant tolerance, manipulation of induced systemic resistance (ISR), and altered vector pressure are involved in such interactions. We propose that using "omics" tools will provide detailed insights into the complex mechanisms underlying mycorrhizal-mediated plant immunity.

RevDate: 2019-06-11

Ho YS (2019)

Comment to: Qi, Yi, et al. "Bibliometric Analysis of Algal-Bacterial Symbiosis in Wastewater Treatment", Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1077.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(11): pii:ijerph16112034.

Qi et al. recently published an article in the journal, entitled "Bibliometric Analysis of Algal-Bacterial Symbiosis in Wastewater Treatment" [...].

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Thapa V, MJ Roossinck (2019)

Determinants of Coinfection in the Mycoviruses.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 9:169.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Whiteside MD, Werner GDA, Caldas VEA, et al (2019)

Mycorrhizal Fungi Respond to Resource Inequality by Moving Phosphorus from Rich to Poor Patches across Networks.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(19)30490-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The world's ecosystems are characterized by an unequal distribution of resources [1]. Trade partnerships between organisms of different species-mutualisms-can help individuals cope with such resource inequality [2-4]. Trade allows individuals to exchange commodities they can provide at low cost for resources that are otherwise impossible or more difficult to access [5, 6]. However, as resources become increasingly patchy in time or space, it is unknown how organisms alter their trading strategies [7, 8]. Here, we show how a symbiotic fungus mediates trade with a host root in response to different levels of resource inequality across its network. We developed a quantum-dot-tracking technique to quantify phosphorus-trading strategies of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi simultaneously exposed to rich and poor resource patches. By following fluorescent nanoparticles of different colors across fungal networks, we determined where phosphorus was hoarded, relocated, and transferred to plant hosts. We found that increasing exposure to inequality stimulated trade. Fungi responded to high resource variation by (1) increasing the total amount of phosphorus distributed to host roots, (2) decreasing allocation to storage, and (3) differentially moving resources within the network from rich to poor patches. Using single-particle tracking and high-resolution video, we show how dynamic resource movement may help the fungus capitalize on value differences across the trade network, physically moving resources to areas of high demand to gain better returns. Such translocation strategies can help symbiotic organisms cope with exposure to resource inequality.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Spagnoletti FN, VM Chiocchio (2019)

Tolerance of dark septate endophytic fungi (DSE) to agrochemicals in vitro.

Revista Argentina de microbiologia pii:S0325-7541(19)30027-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Dark septate endophytes (DSE) are a heterogeneous group of fungi, mostly belonging to the Phylum Ascomycota, that are involved in a mutualistic symbiosis with plant roots. The aim of this study is to evaluate the behavior of two strains of DSE isolated from wheat roots of two cropping areas in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, against some agrochemicals. Of all the isolates obtained, two strains were identified as Alternaria alternata and Cochliobolus sp. These DSE were found to be tolerant to glyphosate, carbendazim and cypermethrin when evaluated at the recommended agronomic dose (AD), 2 AD and, in some cases, 10 AD. This work contributes to the study of the biology of this group of fungi and their tolerance in the presence of xenobiotics widely used in agriculture.

RevDate: 2019-06-09

Wang S, Lu T, Xue Q, et al (2019)

Antioxidation and symbiotic nitrogen fixation function of prxA gene in Mesorhizobium huakuii.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) play an essential role in the antioxidant activity and symbiotic capacity of Mesorhizobium huakuii. A mutation in the M. huakuii prxA gene (encoding a Prx5-like peroxiredoxin) was generated by homologous recombination. The mutation of prxA did not affect M. huakuii growth, but the strain displayed decreased antioxidative capacity under organic cumene hydroperoxide (CUOOH) conditions. The higher resistance of the prxA mutant strain compared with the wild-type strain to more than 1 mmol/L H2 O2 was associated with a significantly higher level of glutathione reductase activity and a significantly lower level of intracellular hydrogen peroxide content. Real-time quantitative PCR showed that under 1 mmol/L H2 O2 conditions, expression of the stress-responsive genes katG and katE was significantly upregulated in the prxA mutant. Although the prxA mutant can form nodules, the symbiotic ability was severely impaired, which led to an abnormal nodulation phenotype coupled to a 53.25% reduction in nitrogen fixation capacity. This phenotype was linked to an absence of bacteroid differentiation and deregulation of the transcription of the symbiotic genes nifH, nifD, and fdxN. Expression of the prxA gene was induced during symbiosis. Thus, the PrxA protein is essential for antioxidant capacity and symbiotic nitrogen fixation, playing independent roles in bacterial differentiation and cellular antioxidative systems.

RevDate: 2019-06-09

Rempel A, de Souza Sossella F, Margarites AC, et al (2019)

Bioethanol from Spirulina platensis biomass and the use of residuals to produce biomethane: An energy efficient approach.

Bioresource technology, 288:121588 pii:S0960-8524(19)30818-1 [Epub ahead of print].

This study aimed to produce bioethanol using Spirulina platensis biomass and the use of saccharification and fermentation wastes of bioethanol production to produce biomethane. The potential for energy generation in each technological route was quantified. Both, the enzymatic hydrolysis of the microalgae polysaccharides and the fermentation process, presented efficiencies above 80%. The fermentation of the hydrolyzate into ethanol was possible without the addition of synthetic nutrients to the must. The direct conversion of Spirulina biomass to biomethane had an energy potential of 16,770, while bioethanol production from the hydrolysed biomass presented 4,664 However, the sum of the energy potential obtained by producing bioethanol followed by the production of biomethane with the saccharification and fermentation residues was 13,945 Despite this, the same raw material was able to produce both biofuels, demonstrating that Spirulina microalgae is a promising alternative to contribute in the field of renewable energies.

RevDate: 2019-06-09

Olivieri E, Epis S, Castelli M, et al (2019)

Tissue tropism and metabolic pathways of Midichloria mitochondrii suggest tissue-specific functions in the symbiosis with Ixodes ricinus.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases pii:S1877-959X(19)30065-2 [Epub ahead of print].

A wide range of arthropod species harbour bacterial endosymbionts in various tissues, many of them playing important roles in the fitness and biology of their hosts. In several cases, many different symbionts have been reported to coexist simultaneously within the same host and synergistic or antagonistic interactions can occur between them. While the associations with endosymbiotic bacteria have been widely studied in many insect species, in ticks such interactions are less investigated. The females and immatures of Ixodes ricinus (Ixodidae), the most common hard tick in Europe, harbour the intracellular endosymbiont "Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii" with a prevalence up to 100%, suggesting a mutualistic relationship. Considering that the tissue distribution of a symbiont might be indicative of its functional role in the physiology of the host, we investigated M. mitochondrii specific localization pattern and the corresponding abundance in selected organs of I. ricinus females. We paired these experiments with in silico analysis of the metabolic pathways of M. mitochondrii, inferred from the available genome sequence, and additionally compared the presence of these pathways in seven other symbionts commonly harboured by ticks to try to obtain a comparative understanding of their biological effects on the tick hosts. M. mitochondrii was found to be abundant in ovaries and tracheae of unfed I. ricinus, and in ovaries, Malpighian tubules and salivary glands of semi-engorged females. These results, together with the in silico metabolic reconstruction allow to hypothesize that the bacterium could play multiple tissue-specific roles in the host, both enhancing the host fitness (supplying essential nutrients, enhancing the reproductive fitness, helping in the anti-oxidative defence, in the energy production and in the maintenance of homeostasis and water balance) and/or for ensuring its presence in the host population (nutrients acquisition, vertical and horizontal transmission). The ability of M. mitochondrii to colonize different tissues allows to speculate that distinctive sub-populations may display different specializations in accordance with tissue tropism. Our hypotheses should be corroborated with future nutritional and physiological experiments for a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying this symbiotic interaction.

RevDate: 2019-06-08

Baião GC, Schneider DI, Miller WJ, et al (2019)

The effect of Wolbachia on gene expression in Drosophila paulistorum and its implications for symbiont-induced host speciation.

BMC genomics, 20(1):465 pii:10.1186/s12864-019-5816-9.

BACKGROUND: The Neotropical fruit fly Drosophila paulistorum (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is a species complex in statu nascendi comprising six reproductively isolated semispecies, each harboring mutualistic Wolbachia strains. Although wild type flies of each semispecies are isolated from the others by both pre- and postmating incompatibilities, mating between semispecies and successful offspring development can be achieved once flies are treated with antibiotics to reduce Wolbachia titer. Here we use RNA-seq to study the impact of Wolbachia on D. paulistorum and investigate the hypothesis that the symbiont may play a role in host speciation. For that goal, we analyze samples of heads and abdomens of both sexes of the Amazonian, Centro American and Orinocan semispecies of D. paulistorum.

RESULTS: We identify between 175 and 1192 differentially expressed genes associated with a variety of biological processes that respond either globally or according to tissue, sex or condition in the three semispecies. Some of the functions associated with differentially expressed genes are known to be affected by Wolbachia in other species, such as metabolism and immunity, whereas others represent putative novel phenotypes involving muscular functions, pheromone signaling, and visual perception.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that Wolbachia affect a large number of biological functions in D. paulistorum, particularly when present in high titer. We suggest that the significant metabolic impact of the infection on the host may cause several of the other putative and observed phenotypes. We also speculate that the observed differential expression of genes associated with chemical communication and reproduction may be associated with the emergence of pre- and postmating barriers between semispecies, which supports a role for Wolbachia in the speciation of D. paulistorum.

RevDate: 2019-06-07

Taboada H, Dunn MF, Meneses N, et al (2019)

Qualitative changes in proteins contained in outer membrane vesicles produced by Rhizobium etli grown in the presence of the nod gene inducer naringenin.

Archives of microbiology pii:10.1007/s00203-019-01682-4 [Epub ahead of print].

In this work, we compared the proteomic profiles of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) isolated from Rhizobium etli CE3 grown in minimal medium (MM) with and without exogenous naringenin. One-hundred and seven proteins were present only in OMVs from naringenin-containing cultures (N-OMVs), 57 proteins were unique to OMVs from control cultures lacking naringenin (C-OMVs) and 303 proteins were present in OMVs from both culture conditions (S-OMVs). Although we found no absolute predominance of specific types of proteins in the N-, C- or S-OMV classes, there were categories of proteins that were significantly less or more common in the different OMV categories. Proteins for energy production, translation and membrane and cell wall biogenesis were overrepresented in C-OMVs relative to N-OMVs. Proteins for carbohydrate metabolism and transport and those classified as either general function prediction only, function unknown, or without functional prediction were more common in N-OMVs than C-OMVs. This indicates that naringenin increased the proportion of these proteins in the OMVs, although NodD binding sites were only slightly more common in the promoters of genes for proteins found in the N-OMVs. In addition, OMVs from naringenin-containing cultures contained nodulation factor.

RevDate: 2019-06-06

Belin BJ, Tookmanian ET, de Anda J, et al (2019)

Extended hopanoid loss reduces bacterial motility and surface attachment, and leads to heterogeneity in root nodule growth kinetics in a Bradyrhizobium-Aeschynomene symbiosis.

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

Hopanoids are steroid-like bacterial lipids that enhance membrane rigidity and promote bacterial growth under diverse stresses. Roughly 10% of bacteria contain genes involved in hopanoid biosynthesis, and these genes are particularly conserved in plant-associated organisms. We previously found that the extended class of hopanoids (C35) in the nitrogen-fixing soil bacterium Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens promotes its root nodule symbiosis with the tropical legume Aeschynomene afraspera. By quantitatively modeling root nodule development, we identify independent consequences of extended hopanoid loss in the initiation of root nodule formation and in the rate of root nodule maturation. In vitro studies demonstrate that extended hopanoids support B. diazoefficiens motility and surface attachment, which may correlate with stable root colonization in planta. Confocal microscopy of maturing root nodules reveals that root nodules infected with extended hopanoid-deficient B. diazoefficiens contain unusually low densities of bacterial symbionts, indicating that extended hopanoids are necessary for persistent, high levels of host infection.

RevDate: 2019-06-06

Ohbayashi T, Itoh H, Lachat J, et al (2019)

Burkholderia Gut Symbionts Associated with European and Japanese Populations of the Dock Bug Coreus marginatus (Coreoidea: Coreidae).

Microbes and environments [Epub ahead of print].

Insects of the heteropteran superfamilies Coreoidea and Lygaeoidea are consistently associated with symbionts of a specific group of the genus Burkholderia, called the "stinkbug-associated beneficial and environmental (SBE)" group. The symbiosis is maintained by the environmental transmission of symbionts. We investigated European and Japanese populations of the dock bug Coreus marginatus (Coreoidea: Coreidae). High nymphal mortality in reared aposymbiotic insects suggested an obligate host-symbiont association in this species. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that all 173 individuals investigated were colonized by Burkholderia, which were further assigned to different subgroups of the SBE in a region-dependent pattern.

RevDate: 2019-06-05

Jani K, Feng GD, Zhu HH, et al (2019)

Chakrabartia godavariana gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel member of the family Sphingomonadaceae isolated from the Godavari River, India.

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

A Gram-stain-negative, aerobic, yellow-pigmented, oxidase-positive and rod-shaped bacterium, designated PRB40T, was isolated from the Godavari River in India during the course of 'Kumbh Mela', the world's largest mass gathering event. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that strain PRB40T formed a lineage within the family Sphingomonadaceae and was distinct from the most closely related genera Sphingorhabdus, Novosphingobiumand Sphingomonas with sequence similarity values ≤95.2 %. Growth of strain PRB40T occurred at 10-40 °C (optimum 30 °C), at pH 6.0-9.0 (pH 7.0) and with 0-0.5 % (w/v) NaCl concentration (0 %). The major respiratory quinone was ubiquinone-10 (Q-10). It contained C17 : 1ω6c, C14 : 0 2-OH, summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c) and summed feature 8 (C18 : 1ω7c and/or C18 : 1ω6c) as the major cellular fatty acids. The predominant polar lipids were phospholipid, phosphatidylethanolamine and sphingoglycolipid. It took sym-homospermidine as the major polyamine. The DNA G+C content based on its draft genome sequence was 63.7 mol%. The polyphasic taxonomic analyses indicated that strain PRB40T represents a novel species of a novel genus within the family Sphingomonadaceae, for which the name Chakrabartia godavariana gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Chakrabartia godavariana is PRB40T (=MCC 3406T=GDMCC 1.1197T=KCTC 52678T=LMG 29985T).

RevDate: 2019-06-05

Guerrieri A, Dong L, HJ Bouwmeester (2019)

Role and exploitation of underground chemical signaling in plants.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

The soil ecosystem is composed of a mixture of living organisms and non-living matter as well as the complex interactions between them. In the past 100 years or so, agricultural soil ecosystems were strongly affected by agricultural practices, such as tillage and the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which strongly affected soil nutrient composition, pH and biodiversity. In modern pest management, however, the focus is gradually shifting from crop production through agricultural practices to soil ecosystem protection. In this review we discuss how the underground chemical signals secreted by plant roots play a role in keeping the soil ecosystem in balance and how they affect plant fitness, by shaping the root biome, increasing nutrient availability, promoting symbiosis, attracting beneficial organisms and repelling harmful ones, including other plants. We review a number of fascinating cases like signaling molecules with dual, positive and negative, functions and bacterial quorum sensing mimicking molecules. Finally, examples of how these compounds can be exploited in modern pest management are reviewed, and the prospects for future developments discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-06-05

Sakamoto K, Ogiwara N, Kaji T, et al (2019)

Transcriptome analysis of soybean (Glycine max) root genes differentially expressed in rhizobial, arbuscular mycorrhizal, and dual symbiosis.

Journal of plant research pii:10.1007/s10265-019-01117-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Soybean (Glycine max) roots establish associations with nodule-inducing rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Both rhizobia and AM fungi have been shown to affect the activity of and colonization by the other, and their interactions can be detected within host plants. Here, we report the transcription profiles of genes differentially expressed in soybean roots in the presence of rhizobial, AM, or rhizobial-AM dual symbiosis, compared with those in control (uninoculated) roots. Following inoculation, soybean plants were grown in a glasshouse for 6 weeks; thereafter their root transcriptomes were analyzed using an oligo DNA microarray. Among the four treatments, the root nodule number and host plant growth were highest in plants with dual symbiosis. We observed that the expression of 187, 441, and 548 host genes was up-regulated and 119, 1,439, and 1,298 host genes were down-regulated during rhizobial, AM, and dual symbiosis, respectively. The expression of 34 host genes was up-regulated in each of the three symbioses. These 34 genes encoded several membrane transporters, type 1 metallothionein, and transcription factors in the MYB and bHLH families. We identified 56 host genes that were specifically up-regulated during dual symbiosis. These genes encoded several nodulin proteins, phenylpropanoid metabolism-related proteins, and carbonic anhydrase. The nodulin genes up-regulated by the AM fungal colonization probably led to the observed increases in root nodule number and host plant growth. Some other nodulin genes were down-regulated specifically during AM symbiosis. Based on the results above, we suggest that the contribution of AM fungal colonization is crucial to biological N2-fixation and host growth in soybean with rhizobial-AM dual symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Oishi S, Moriyama M, Koga R, et al (2019)

Morphogenesis and development of midgut symbiotic organ of the stinkbug Plautia stali (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae).

Zoological letters, 5:16 pii:134.

Diverse insects are intimately associated with microbial symbionts, which play a variety of biological roles in their adaptation to and survival in the natural environment. Such insects often possess specialized organs for hosting the microbial symbionts. What developmental processes and mechanisms underlie the formation of the host organs for microbial symbiosis is of fundamental biological interest but poorly understood. Here we investigate the morphogenesis of the midgut symbiotic organ and the process of symbiont colonization therein during the developmental course of the stinkbug Plautia stali. Upon hatching, the midgut is a simple and smooth tube. Subsequently, symbiont colonization to the posterior midgut occurs, and thickening and folding of the midgut epithelium proceed during the first instar period. By the second instar, rudimentary crypts have formed, and their inner cavities are colonized by the symbiotic bacteria. From the second instar to the fourth instar, while the alimentary tract grows and the posterior midgut is established as the symbiotic organ with numerous crypts, the anterior midgut and the posterior midgut are structurally and functionally isolated by a strong constriction in the middle. By the early fifth instar, the midgut symbiotic organ attains the maximal length, but toward the mid fifth instar, the basal region of each crypt starts to constrict and narrow, which deforms the midgut symbiotic organ as a whole into a shorter, thicker and twisted shape. By the late fifth instar to adulthood, the crypts are constricted off, by which the symbiotic bacteria are confined in the crypt cavities and isolated from the midgut main tract, and concurrently, the strong midgut constriction in the middle becomes loose and open, by which the food flow from the anterior midgut to the posterior midgut recovers. This study provides the most detailed and comprehensive descriptions ever reported on the morphogenesis of the symbiotic organ and the process of symbiont colonization in an obligatory insect-bacterium gut symbiotic system. Considering that P. stali is recently emerging as a useful model system for experimentally studying the intimate insect-microbe gut symbiosis, the knowledge obtained in this study establishes the foundation for the further development of this research field.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Havird JC, Forsythe ES, Williams AM, et al (2019)

Selfish Mitonuclear Conflict.

Current biology : CB, 29(11):R496-R511.

Mitochondria, a nearly ubiquitous feature of eukaryotes, are derived from an ancient symbiosis. Despite billions of years of cooperative coevolution - in what is arguably the most important mutualism in the history of life - the persistence of mitochondrial genomes also creates conditions for genetic conflict with the nucleus. Because mitochondrial genomes are present in numerous copies per cell, they are subject to both within- and among-organism levels of selection. Accordingly, 'selfish' genotypes that increase their own proliferation can rise to high frequencies even if they decrease organismal fitness. It has been argued that uniparental (often maternal) inheritance of cytoplasmic genomes evolved to curtail such selfish replication by minimizing within-individual variation and, hence, within-individual selection. However, uniparental inheritance creates conditions for cytonuclear conflict over sex determination and sex ratio, as well as conditions for sexual antagonism when mitochondrial variants increase transmission by enhancing maternal fitness but have the side-effect of being harmful to males (i.e., 'mother's curse'). Here, we review recent advances in understanding selfish replication and sexual antagonism in the evolution of mitochondrial genomes and the mechanisms that suppress selfish interactions, drawing parallels and contrasts with other organelles (plastids) and bacterial endosymbionts that arose more recently. Although cytonuclear conflict is widespread across eukaryotes, it can be cryptic due to nuclear suppression, highly variable, and lineage-specific, reflecting the diverse biology of eukaryotes and the varying architectures of their cytoplasmic genomes.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Polienko AK (2019)

[Peculiarities morphology and structure of the uroliths].

Urologiia (Moscow, Russia : 1999).

THE AIM: According to statistical data of a number of the countries, have an urolithic disease from 5% to 15% of the population today. A recurrence arises at 50-85% of patients. The purpose of this work was complex studying of morphology, structure, mineral structure of urolit, identification of regularities of their formation, establishment of interrelation between mineral and organic matter in structure of urolit.

MATERIALS: the urinary stones from the urology departments of hospitals and clinics of the Tomsk region (Russia).

METHOD: s: crystallomorphological (the study of the surface morphology of uroliths binocular and trinocular microscopes); polarizing optical (study of the mineral composition of uroliths on a polarizing microscope); x-ray crystallography (the study of spectral composition on the apparatus DRON-3); electron microscopic (study of the peculiarities of morphology of crystals in an electron microscope).

RESULTS: On features of morphology of a surface four types of urolit are allocated: druzovidny, sferolitovy, combined, korallovidny. Structural kinds of urolit: crystal and granular, dendritovidny, combined, rhythmic - zone. In structure of urolit the following types of rhythms are established: zone, granular, combined. In the urolitakh with rhythmic - the zone structure allocated elements of their building: kernel, layer, zone, rhythm. A mineral part of uric stones is presented by the crystals belonging to the classes: oxalates, phosphates, urat .

SUMMARY: The peculiarities of the morphology of the selected four types of uroliths: druzoid, with, combined, coral. Structural variations uroliths: crystal-grained Shelly, dendritic, combined, rhythmically zoned. In the structure of uroliths, the following types of rhythms: zoned, granular, combined. In urolith with rhythmically zoned structure selected elements of their structure: core, layer, area, rhythm.

DISCUSSION: Morphological and structural features of the structure of urolites, especially the presence of rhythmic zoning, due to the alternation of layers of mineral and organic matter, indicate a close relationship between the living organism and the organo-mineral aggregate in the human urinary system. With a high degree of confidence we can talk about the symbiosis of living and mineral matter in the human body; as a result of this symbiosis, organic-mineral formations are formed, which are often the further cause of some diseases (for example, urolithiasis and cholelithiasis).

CONCLUSION: The complex research of uric stones allows to obtain important information on their structure, structure and features of morphology. Morphological and structural features of the structure of urolit, in particular existence of the rhythmic zonality caused by alternation of layers of mineral and organic matter demonstrate close interrelation between a live organism and the organo-mineral unit in an urinary system of the person.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Shchuplova EA, MD Kuzmin (2019)

[The additional criterion for the diagnosis of purulent-destructive forms of acute pyelonephritis].

Urologiia (Moscow, Russia : 1999).

AIM: to develop an additional criterion for objective diagnosis of purulent-destructive forms of acute pyelonephritis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 35 blood samples from patients with acute pyelonephritis aged from 19 to 85 years (mean age was 52 years) were studied. For the analysis, a classical bacteriological method of isolating blood culture and a modern molecular genetic method of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using DNA probes complementary to species-specific regions of the 16S rRNA gene of microorganisms were used. The obtained results were processed using the Statistica 6.0 program.

RESULTS: The bacteriological study showed that only in one patient (2.9%) a blood culture was positive, whereas with FISH, polymicrobial infection consisting of two associates was observed in five patients (14.3%), and 207 specific luminescence from different DNA probes were detected in blood samples. The associations of members of the Enterobacteriaceae with S. aureus were 2.4 times more frequent than associations of the Enterobacteriaceae with S. epidermidis, indicating a development of the polymicrobial infection and, accordingly, the development of purulent stage of acute pyelonephritis.

CONCLUSION: For the diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis, we suggest to use an additional criterion, which consists in applying of FISH method for the detection and simultaneous identification of bacteria that were adhered on the surface of erythrocytes and located intracellularly. This method may allow for the differential diagnosis of serous and purulent stages of acute pyelonephritis.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Prasad S, Pandey U, Saini J, et al (2019)

Atrophy of cerebellar peduncles in essential tremor: a machine learning-based volumetric analysis.

European radiology pii:10.1007/s00330-019-06269-7 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Subtle cerebellar signs are frequently observed in essential tremor (ET) and may be associated with cerebellar dysfunction. This study aims to evaluate the macrostructural integrity of the superior, middle, and inferior cerebellar peduncles (SCP, MCP, ICP) and cerebellar gray and white matter (GM, WM) volumes in patients with ET, and compare these volumes between patients with and without cerebellar signs (ETc and ETnc).

METHODS: Forty patients with ET and 37 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were recruited. Atlas-based region-of-interest analysis of the SCP, MCP, and ICP and automated analysis of cerebellar GM and WM volumes were performed. Peduncular volumes were employed in a multi-variate classification framework to attempt discrimination of ET from controls.

RESULTS: Significant atrophy of bilateral MCP and ICP and bilateral cerebellar GM was observed in ET. Cerebellar signs were present in 20% of subjects with ET. Comparison of peduncular and cerebellar volumes between ETnc and ETc revealed atrophy of right SCP, bilateral MCP and ICP, and left cerebellar WM in ETc. The multi-variate classifier could discriminate between ET and controls with a test accuracy of 86.66%.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with ET have significant atrophy of cerebellar peduncles, particularly the MCP and ICP. Additional atrophy of the SCP is observed in the ETc group. These abnormalities may contribute to the pathogenesis of cerebellar signs in ET.

KEY POINTS: • Patients with ET have significant atrophy of bilateral middle and inferior cerebellar peduncles and cerebellar gray matter in comparison with healthy controls. • Patients of ET with cerebellar signs have significant atrophy of right superior cerebellar peduncle, bilateral middle and inferior cerebellar peduncle, and left cerebellar white matter in comparison with ET without cerebellar signs. • A multi-variate classifier employing peduncular volumes could discriminate between ET and controls with a test accuracy of 86.66%.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Mu X, J Luo (2019)

Evolutionary analyses of NIN-like proteins in plants and their roles in nitrate signaling.

Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS pii:10.1007/s00018-019-03164-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrogen (N) is one of the most important essential macro-elements for plant growth and development, and nitrate represents the most abundant inorganic form of N in soils. The nitrate uptake and assimilation processes are finely tuned according to the available nitrate in the surroundings as well as by the internal finely coordinated signaling pathways. The NIN-like proteins (NLPs) harbor both RWP-RK, and Phox and Bem1 (PB1) domains, and they belong to the well-characterized plant-specific RWP-RK transcription factor gene family. NLPs are known to be involved in the nitrate signaling pathway by activating downstream target genes, and thus they are implicated in the primary nitrate response in the nucleus via their RWP-RK domains. The PB1 domain is a ubiquitous protein-protein interaction domain and it comprises another regulatory layer for NLPs via the protein interactions within NLPs or with other essential components. Recently, Ca2+-Ca2+ sensor protein kinase-NLP signaling cascades have been identified and they allow NLPs to have central roles in mediating the nitrate signaling pathway. NLPs play essential roles in many aspects of plant growth and development via the finely tuned nitrate signaling pathway. Furthermore, recent studies have highlighted the emerging roles played by NLPs in the N starvation response, nodule formation in legumes, N and P interactions, and root cap release in higher plants. In this review, we consider recent advances in the identification, evolution, molecular characteristics, and functions of the NLP gene family in plant growth and development.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Klimovich A, Wittlieb J, TCG Bosch (2019)

Transgenesis in Hydra to characterize gene function and visualize cell behavior.

Nature protocols pii:10.1038/s41596-019-0173-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The freshwater polyp Hydra is a cnidarian used as a model organism in a number of fields, including the study of the origin and evolution of developmental mechanisms, aging, symbiosis and host-microbe interactions. Here, we describe a procedure for the establishment of stable transgenic Hydra lines by embryo microinjection. The three-stage protocol comprises (i) the design and preparation of a transgenic construct, (ii) the microinjection of the vector into early embryos of Hydra vulgaris, and (iii) the selection and enrichment of mosaic animals in order to develop uniformly transgenic clonal lines. The preparation of a transgenic construct requires ~2 weeks, and transgenic lines can be obtained within 3 months. The method allows constitutive or inducible gain- and loss-of-function approaches, as well as in vivo tracing of individual cells. Hydra polyps carrying transgenic cells reveal functional properties of the ancestral circuitry controlling animal development.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Hambleton EA, Jones VAS, Maegele I, et al (2019)

Sterol transfer by atypical cholesterol-binding NPC2 proteins in coral-algal symbiosis.

eLife, 8: pii:43923.

Reef-building corals depend on intracellular dinoflagellate symbionts that provide nutrients. Besides sugars, the transfer of sterols is essential for corals and other sterol-auxotrophic cnidarians. Sterols are important cell components, and variants of the conserved Niemann-Pick Type C2 (NPC2) sterol transporter are vastly up-regulated in symbiotic cnidarians. Types and proportions of transferred sterols and the mechanism of their transfer, however, remain unknown. Using different pairings of symbiont strains with lines of Aiptasia anemones or Acropora corals, we observe both symbiont- and host-driven patterns of sterol transfer, revealing plasticity of sterol use and functional substitution. We propose that sterol transfer is mediated by the symbiosis-specific, non-canonical NPC2 proteins, which gradually accumulate in the symbiosome. Our data suggest that non-canonical NPCs are adapted to the symbiosome environment, including low pH, and play an important role in allowing corals to dominate nutrient-poor shallow tropical seas worldwide.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Shen G, Ju W, Liu Y, et al (2019)

Impact of Urea Addition and Rhizobium Inoculation on Plant Resistance in Metal Contaminated Soil.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(11): pii:ijerph16111955.

Legume-rhizobium symbiosis has been heavily investigated for their potential to enhance plant metal resistance in contaminated soil. However, the extent to which plant resistance is associated with the nitrogen (N) supply in symbiont is still uncertain. This study investigates the effect of urea or/and rhizobium (Sinorhizobium meliloti) application on the growth of Medicago sativa and resistance in metals contaminated soil (mainly with Cu). The results show that Cu uptake in plant shoots increased by 41.7%, 69%, and 89.3% with urea treatment, rhizobium inoculation, and their combined treatment, respectively, compared to the control group level. In plant roots, the corresponding values were 1.9-, 1.7-, and 1.5-fold higher than the control group values, respectively. Statistical analysis identified that N content was the dominant variable contributing to Cu uptake in plants. Additionally, a negative correlation was observed between plant oxidative stress and N content, indicating that N plays a key role in plant resistance. Oxidative damage decreased after rhizobium inoculation as the activities of antioxidant enzymes (catalase and superoxide dismutase in roots and peroxidase in plant shoots) were stimulated, enhancing plant resistance and promoting plant growth. Our results suggest that individual rhizobium inoculation, without urea treatment, is the most recommended approach for effective phytoremediation of contaminated land.

RevDate: 2019-06-03

Titus BM, Benedict C, Laroche R, et al (2019)

Phylogenetic relationships among the clownfish-hosting sea anemones.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(19)30157-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The clownfish-sea anemone symbiosis has been a model system for understanding fundamental evolutionary and ecological processes. However, our evolutionary understanding of this symbiosis comes entirely from studies of clownfishes. A holistic understanding of a model mutualism requires systematic, biogeographic, and phylogenetic insight into both partners. Here, we conduct the largest phylogenetic analysis of sea anemones (Order Actiniaria) to date, with a focus on expanding the biogeographic and taxonomic sampling of the 10 nominal clownfish-hosting species. Using a combination of mtDNA and nuDNA loci we test 1) the monophyly of each clownfish-hosting family and genus, 2) the current anemone taxonomy that suggests symbioses with clownfishes evolved multiple times within Actiniaria, and 3) whether, like the clownfishes, there is evidence that host anemones have a Coral Triangle biogeographic origin. Our phylogenetic reconstruction demonstrates widespread poly- and para-phyly at the family and genus level, particularly within the family Stichodactylidae and genus Stichodactyla, and suggests that symbioses with clownfishes evolved minimally three times within sea anemones. We further recover evidence for a Tethyan biogeographic origin for some clades. Our data provide the first evidence that clownfish and some sea anemone hosts have different biogeographic origins, and that there may be cryptic species of host anemones. Finally, our findings reflect the need for a major taxonomic revision of the clownfish-hosting sea anemones.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Gómez-Gallego T, Benabdellah K, Merlos MA, et al (2019)

The Rhizophagus irregularis Genome Encodes Two CTR Copper Transporters That Mediate Cu Import Into the Cytosol and a CTR-Like Protein Likely Involved in Copper Tolerance.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:604.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi increase fitness of their host plants under Cu deficient and toxic conditions. In this study, we have characterized two Cu transporters of the CTR family (RiCTR1 and RiCTR2) and a CTR-like protein (RiCTR3A) of Rhizophagus irregularis. Functional analyses in yeast revealed that RiCTR1 encodes a plasma membrane Cu transporter, RiCTR2 a vacuolar Cu transporter and RiCTR3A a plasma membrane protein involved in Cu tolerance. RiCTR1 was more highly expressed in the extraradical mycelia (ERM) and RiCTR2 in the intraradical mycelia (IRM). In the ERM, RiCTR1 expression was up-regulated by Cu deficiency and down-regulated by Cu toxicity. RiCTR2 expression increased only in the ERM grown under severe Cu-deficient conditions. These data suggest that RiCTR1 is involved in Cu uptake by the ERM and RiCTR2 in mobilization of vacuolar Cu stores. Cu deficiency decreased mycorrhizal colonization and arbuscule frequency, but increased RiCTR1 and RiCTR2 expression in the IRM, which suggest that the IRM has a high Cu demand. The two alternatively spliced products of RiCTR3, RiCTR3A and RiCTR3B, were more highly expressed in the ERM. Up-regulation of RiCTR3A by Cu toxicity and the yeast complementation assays suggest that RiCTR3A might function as a Cu receptor involved in Cu tolerance.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Pucciariello C, Boscari A, Tagliani A, et al (2019)

Exploring Legume-Rhizobia Symbiotic Models for Waterlogging Tolerance.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:578.

Unexpected and increasingly frequent extreme precipitation events result in soil flooding or waterlogging. Legumes have the capacity to establish a symbiotic relationship with endosymbiotic atmospheric dinitrogen-fixing rhizobia, thus contributing to natural nitrogen soil enrichment and reducing the need for chemical fertilization. The impact of waterlogging on nitrogen fixation and legume productivity needs to be considered for crop improvement. This review focuses on the legumes-rhizobia symbiotic models. We aim to summarize the mechanisms underlying symbiosis establishment, nodule development and functioning under waterlogging. The mechanisms of oxygen sensing of the host plant and symbiotic partner are considered in view of recent scientific advances.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

von Sivers L, Jaspar H, Johst B, et al (2019)

Brassinosteroids Affect the Symbiosis Between the AM Fungus Rhizoglomus irregularis and Solanaceous Host Plants.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:571.

Together with several proteins involved in brassinosteroid (BR) signaling and synthesis, the membrane steroid binding protein 1 (MSBP1) was identified within the interactome of the sucrose transporter of tomato (SlSUT2). We asked whether MSBP1 is also involved in BR signaling as assumed for the AtMSBP1 protein from Arabidopsis and whether it impacts root colonization with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in a similar way as shown previously for SlSUT2. In addition, we asked whether brassinosteroids per se affect efficiency of root colonization by AM fungi. We carried out a set of experiments with transgenic tobacco plants with increased and decreased MSBP1 expression levels. We investigated the plant and the mycorrhizal phenotype of these transgenic plants and tested the involvement of MSBP1 in BR metabolism by application of epi-brassinolide and brassinazole, an inhibitor of BR biosynthesis. We show that the phenotype of the transgenic tobacco plants with increased or reduced MSBP1 expression is consistent with an inhibitory role of MSBP1 in BR signaling. MSBP1 overexpression could be mimicked by brassinazole treatment. Interestingly, manipulation of MSBP1 expression in transgenic tobacco plants not only affected plant growth and development, but also the host plant responses toward colonization with AM fungi, as well as arbuscular architecture. Moreover, we observed that brassinosteroids indeed have a direct impact on the nutrient exchange in AM symbiosis and on the biomass production of colonized host plants. Furthermore, arbuscular morphology is affected by changes in MSBP1 expression and brassinolide or brassinazole treatments. We conclude that host plant growth responses and nutrient exchange within the symbiosis with AM fungi is controlled by brassinosteroids and might be impeded by the MSBP1 protein.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Bertolazi AA, de Souza SB, Ruas KF, et al (2019)

Inoculation With Piriformospora indica Is More Efficient in Wild-Type Rice Than in Transgenic Rice Over-Expressing the Vacuolar H+-PPase.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1087.

Achieving food security in a context of environmental sustainability is one of the main challenges of the XXI century. Two competing strategies to achieve this goal are the use of genetically modified plants and the use of plant growth promoting microorganisms (PGPMs). However, few studies assess the response of genetically modified plants to PGPMs. The aim of this study was to compare the response of over-expressing the vacuolar H+-PPase (AVP) and wild-type rice types to the endophytic fungus; Piriformospora indica. Oryza sativa plants (WT and AVP) were inoculated with P. indica and 30 days later, morphological, ecophysiological and bioenergetic parameters, and nutrient content were assessed. AVP and WT plant heights were strongly influenced by inoculation with P. indica, which also promoted increases in fresh and dry matter of shoot in both genotypes. This may be related with the stimulatory effect of P. indica on ecophysiological parameters, especially photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, intrinsic water use efficiency and carboxylation efficiency. However, there were differences between the genotypes concerning the physiological mechanisms leading to biomass increment. In WT plants, inoculation with P. indica stimulated all H+ pumps. However, in inoculated AVP plants, H+-PPase was stimulated, but P- and V-ATPases were inhibited. Fungal inoculation enhanced nutrient uptake in both shoots and roots of WT and AVP plants, compared to uninoculated plants; but among inoculated genotypes, the nutrient uptake was lower in AVP than in WT plants. These results clearly demonstrate that the symbiosis between P. indica and AVP plants did not benefit those plants, which may be related to the inefficient colonization of this fungus on the transgenic plants, demonstrating an incompatibility of this symbiosis, which needs to be further studied.

RevDate: 2019-06-02

Sobotková K, Parker W, Levá J, et al (2019)

Helminth Therapy - From the Parasite Perspective.

Trends in parasitology pii:S1471-4922(19)30085-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Studies in animal models and humans suggest that intentional exposure to helminths or helminth-derived products may hold promise for treating chronic inflammatory-associated diseases (CIADs). Although the mechanisms underlying 'helminth therapy' are being evaluated, little attention has been paid to the actual organisms in use. Here we examine the notion that, because of the complexity of biological symbiosis, intact helminths rather than helminth-derived products are likely to prove more useful for clinical purposes. Further, weighing potential cost/benefit ratios of various helminths along with other factors, such as feasibility of production, we argue that the four helminths currently in use for CIAD treatments in humans were selected more by happenstance than by design, and that other candidates not yet tested may prove superior.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Rostami M, S Rostami (2019)

Effect of salicylic acid and mycorrhizal symbiosis on improvement of fluoranthene phytoremediation using tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb).

Chemosphere, 232:70-75 pii:S0045-6535(19)31083-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are an important group of pollutants that are widely distributed in the environment. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of salicylic acid (a phenolic phytohormone) and mycorrhizal fungi on the growth and phytoremediation ability of tall fescue in the soil contaminated by fluoranthene. The initial concentrations of fluoranthene in this study were 100, 200, and 300 mg kg-1. The experimental treatments were included: T0 uncultivated soil; T1 cultivated soil with tall fescue; T2 cultivated soil with tall fescue + salicylic acid application; T3 cultivated soil with tall fescue + application of mycorrhizal fungi; T4 cultivated soil with tall fescue + salicylic acid and mycorrhizal fungi application; and P planting tall fescue in uncontaminated soil. The removal of fluoranthene was measured after 90 days. Furthermore, at the end of the experiment, the amount of shoot and root biomass, soil bacteria, and dehydrogenase activity were measured. According to the results, in all levels of contamination, removal of fluoranthene in cultivated treatments significantly was higher than uncultivated treatments. Increasing the concentration of fluoranthene had a negative effect on the shoot and root biomass in different treatments. Salicylic acid and mycorrhizal fungi significantly increased the shoot and root biomass and also the number of soil bacteria, dehydrogenase activity, and fluoranthene removal in T2, T3, and T4 treatments compared to T1. At the highest concentration of fluoranthene, as a result of simultaneous application of salicylic acid and mycorrhizal fungi (T4), the fluoranthene removal increased by 63, 21, 13, and 16% in comparison with T0, T1, T2, and T3, respectively. Based on the results, salicylic acid and mycorrhizal fungi, either alone or in combination, have a significant effect on the improvement of phytoremediation potential in tall fescue.

RevDate: 2019-06-01

Pesce C, Oshone R, Hurst SG, et al (2019)

Stable transformation of the actinobacteria Frankia.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00957-19 [Epub ahead of print].

A stable and efficient plasmid transfer system was developed for the nitrogen-fixing symbiotic actinobacteria Frankia, a key first step in developing a genetic system. Four derivatives of the broad-host-range cloning vector pBBR1MCS were successfully introduced into different Frankia strains by a filter mating with Escherichia coli strain BW29427. Initially, the plasmid pHKT1 that expresses the green fluorescent protein (GFP) was introduced into Frankia casuarinae strain CcI3 at a frequency of 4.0 X 10-3 resulting in transformants that were tetracycline resistant and exhibited GFP fluorescence. The presence of the plasmid was confirmed by molecular approaches including visualization on agarose gel and PCR. Several other pBBR1MCS plasmids were also introduced into F. casuarinae strain CcI3 and other Frankia strains at frequencies ranging from 10-2 to 10-4, and the presence of the plasmids was confirmed by PCR. The plasmids were stably maintained for over 2 years and through the passage in a plant host. As a proof of concept, a salt-tolerance candidate gene from the high salt-tolerance Frankia sp. strain CcI6 was cloned into pBBR1MCS-3. The resulting construct was introduced into the salt-sensitive F. casuarinae strain CcI3. End-point RT PCR showed that the gene was expressed in F. casuarinae strain CcI3. The expression provided an increased level of salt tolerance for the transformant. These results represent stable plasmid transfer and exogenous gene expression in Frankia, overcoming a major hurdle in the field. This is a step in developing genetic tools in Frankia will open up new avenues for research for actinorhizal symbiosis.ImportanceThe absence of genetic tools for Frankia research has been a major hindrance to the associated field of actinorhizal symbiosis and the use of the nitrogen-fixing Actinobacteria. This study reports on the introduction of plasmids into Frankia and their functional expression of green fluorescent protein and a cloned gene. As the first step in developing genetic tools, this technique opens up the field to a wide array of approaches in an organism with great importance and potential in the environment.

RevDate: 2019-05-31

Zhang W, Mace WJ, Matthew C, et al (2019)

The impact of endophyte infection, seed aging and imbibition on selected sugar metabolite concentrations in seed.

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

This study investigated effects of seed aging and imbibition on sugar metabolite levels in Epichloë endophyte-infected and endophyte-free seed of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Gas chromatography with flame ionization detection was employed for analysis of sugar metabolites within the seed tissues, with embryo and endosperm tissues analyzed separately. Mannitol, ribitol and trehalose were more abundant in embryo than endosperm tissues and were identified at consistently higher levels within endophyte-infected compared to endophyte-free seeds. The ratio of raffinose to sucrose significantly increased with seed aging in both endophyte-free and endophyte-infected embryo tissues while significantly lower concentrations of trehalose were detected in tissues dissected from aged-seed regardless of endophyte status. This research provides fundamental insight into the metabolic details of endophyte survival in seed and provides a first evaluation of key carbohydrates present in the fungal-plant symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-05-31

Weis VM (2019)

Cell biology of coral symbiosis: Foundational study can inform solutions to the coral reef crisis.

Integrative and comparative biology pii:5509506 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs are faced with almost complete destruction by the end of the century due to global warming unless humanity can cap global temperature rise. There is now a race to develop a diverse set of solutions to save coral reefs. In this perspective, a case is made for understanding of the cell biology of coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis to help inform development of solutions for saving reefs. Laboratory model systems for the study of coral symbiosis, including the sea anemone Exaiptasia pallida, are featured as valuable tools in the fight to save corals. The roles of host innate immunity and inter-partner nutrient dynamics in the onset, ongoing maintenance and dysregulation of symbiosis are reviewed and discussed. Key innate immune genes and pathways, such as glycan-lectin interactions, the sphingosine rheostat and the cytokine TGFβ are shown to modulate a host immune response in the symbiotic state. An upset in the homeostatic inorganic nutrient balance during heat stress and high exogenous nutrient availability is credited with driving the partnership towards dysregulation and coral bleaching. Specific examples are given where knowledge of the cell biology of symbiosis is informing the development of solutions, including studies showing clear limitations in the value of partner switching and acclimatization protocols. Finally, emphasis is placed on rapid advancement of knowledge to try to meet the urgent need for solutions. This includes real-time open communication with colleagues on successes and failures, sharing of resources and information, and working together in the spirit of a collective mission to save coral reefs.

RevDate: 2019-05-31

Fernandes S, Vinnakota R, Kumar J, et al (2019)

Improved neural differentiation of normal and abnormal iPSC lines in the presence of valproic acid.

Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine [Epub ahead of print].

During the generation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from cord blood CD34+ cells, a line having complete trisomy of chromosome 1 and deletion of q23 to qTer of chromosome 11 was accidentally developed in our lab. The abnormality was consistently detected even at higher passages. These chromosomal anomalies are known to manifest neurological developmental defects. In order to examine if such defects occur during in vitro differentiation of the cell line, we set up a protocol for neural differentiation. Valproic acid (VPA) was earlier reported by us to enhance neural differentiation of placental mesenchymal stem cells. Here we induced normal and abnormal iPSC lines to neural lineage with/without VPA. Neural differentiation was observed in all 4 sets, but for both the iPSCs lines, VPA sets performed better. The characteristics tested were morphology, neural filament length, detection of neural markers and electrophysiology. In summary, the karyotypically abnormal line exhibited efficient neural differentiation. This iPSC line may serve as a useful tool to study abnormalities associated with trisomy 1 and deletion of q23 to qTer of chromosome 11.

RevDate: 2019-05-31

An J, Zeng T, Ji C, et al (2019)

A Medicago truncatula SWEET transporter implicated in arbuscule maintenance during arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

•Plants form a mutualistic symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, which facilitates the acquisition of scarce minerals from the soil. In return, the host plants provide sugars and lipids to its fungal partner. However, the mechanism by which the AM fungi obtain sugars from the plant has remained elusive. •In this study we investigated the role of potential SWEET family sugar exporters in AM symbiosis in Medicago truncatula. •We show that M. truncatula SWEET1b transporter is strongly upregulated in arbuscule-containing cells compared to roots and localizes to the peri-arbuscular membrane, across which nutrient exchange takes place. Heterologous expression of MtSWEET1b in a yeast hexose transport mutant showed that it mainly transports glucose. Overexpression of MtSWEET1b in M. truncatula roots promoted the growth of intraradical mycelium during AM symbiosis. Surprisingly, two independent Mtsweet1b mutants, which are predicted to produce truncated protein variants impaired in glucose transport, exhibited no significant defects in AM symbiosis. However, arbuscule-specific overexpression of MtSWEET1bY57A/G58D , which are considered to act in a dominant-negative manner, resulted in enhanced collapse of arbuscules. •Taken together, our results reveal a (redundant) role for MtSWEET1b in the transport of glucose across the peri-arbuscular membrane to maintain arbuscules for a healthy mutually beneficial symbiosis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-05-30

Ali A, Imran Ghani M, Li Y, et al (2019)

Hiseq Base Molecular Characterization of Soil Microbial Community, Diversity Structure, and Predictive Functional Profiling in Continuous Cucumber Planted Soil Affected by Diverse Cropping Systems in an Intensive Greenhouse Region of Northern China.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(11): pii:ijms20112619.

Cover crops are key determinants of the ecological stability and sustainability of continuous cropping soils. However, their agro-ecological role in differentially reshaping the microbiome structure and functioning under a degraded agroecosystem remains poorly investigated. Therefore, structural and metabolic changes in soil bacterial community composition in response to diverse plant species were assessed. Winter catch leafy vegetables crops were introduced as cover plants in a cucumber-fallow period. The results indicate that cover crop diversification promoted beneficial changes in soil chemical and biological attributes, which increased crop yields in a cucumber double-cropping system. Illumina high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes indicated that the bacterial community composition and diversity changed through changes in the soil properties. Principal component analysis (PCA) coupled with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis reveals that the cover planting shaped the soil microbiome more than the fallow planting (FC). Among different cropping systems, spinach-cucumber (SC) and non-heading Chinese cabbage-cucumber (NCCC) planting systems greatly induced higher soil nutrient function, biological activity, and bacterial diversity, thus resulting in higher cucumber yield. Quantitative analysis of linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) indicated that Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Acidobacteria were the potentially functional and active soil microbial taxa. Rhizospheres of NCCC, leaf lettuce-cucumber (LLC), coriander-cucumber (CC), and SC planting systems created hotspots for metabolic capabilities of abundant functional genes, compared to FC. In addition, the predictive metabolic characteristics (metabolism and detoxification) associated with host-plant symbiosis could be an important ecological signal that provides direct evidence of mediation of soil structure stability. Interestingly, the plant density of non-heading Chinese cabbage and spinach species was capable of reducing the adverse effect of arsenic (As) accumulation by increasing the function of the arsenate reductase pathway. Redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated that the relative abundance of the core microbiome can be directly and indirectly influenced by certain environmental determinants. These short-term findings stress the importance of studying cover cropping systems as an efficient biological tool to protect the ecological environment. Therefore, we can speculate that leafy crop diversification is socially acceptable, economically justifiable, and ecologically adaptable to meet the urgent demand for intensive cropping systems to promote positive feedback between crop-soil sustainable intensification.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Liu XL, Ye S, Cheng CY, et al (2019)

Identification and characterization of a symbiotic agglutination-related C-type lectin from the hydrothermal vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 92:1-10 pii:S1050-4648(19)30625-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Rimicaris exoculata (Decapoda: Bresiliidae) is one of the dominant species of hydrothermal vent communities, which inside its gill chamber harbors ectosymbioses with taxonomic invariability while compositional flexibility. Several studies have revealed that the establishment of symbiosis can be initiated and selected by innate immunity-related pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), such as C-type lectins (CTLs). In this research, a CTL was identified in R. exoculata (termed RCTL), which showed high expression at both mRNA and protein levels in the scaphognathite, an organ where the ectosymbionts are attached outside its setae. Linear correlationships were observed between the relative quantities of two major symbionts and the expression of RCTL based on analyzing different shrimp individuals. The recombinant protein of RCTL could recognize and agglutinate the cultivable γ-proteobacterium of Escherichia coli in a Ca2+-dependent manner, obeying a dose-dependent and time-cumulative pattern. Unlike conventional crustacean CTLs, the involvement of RCTL could not affect the bacterial growth, which is a key issue for the successful establishment of symbiosis. These results implied that RCTL might play a critical role in symbiotic recognition and attachment to R. exoculata. It also provides insights to understand how R. exoculata adapted to such a chemosynthesis-based environment.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Pochon X, Wecker P, Stat M, et al (2019)

Towards an in-depth characterization of Symbiodiniaceae in tropical giant clams via metabarcoding of pooled multi-gene amplicons.

PeerJ, 7:e6898 pii:6898.

High-throughput sequencing is revolutionizing our ability to comprehensively characterize free-living and symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae, a diverse dinoflagellate group that plays a critical role in coral reef ecosystems. Most studies however, focus on a single marker for metabarcoding Symbiodiniaceae, potentially missing important ecological traits that a combination of markers may capture. In this proof-of-concept study, we used a small set of symbiotic giant clam (Tridacna maxima) samples obtained from nine French Polynesian locations and tested a dual-index sequence library preparation method that pools and simultaneously sequences multiple Symbiodiniaceae gene amplicons per sample for in-depth biodiversity assessments. The rationale for this approach was to allow the metabarcoding of multiple genes without extra costs associated with additional single amplicon dual indexing and library preparations. Our results showed that the technique effectively recovered very similar proportions of sequence reads and dominant Symbiodiniaceae clades among the three pooled gene amplicons investigated per sample, and captured varying levels of phylogenetic resolution enabling a more comprehensive assessment of the diversity present. The pooled Symbiodiniaceae multi-gene metabarcoding approach described here is readily scalable, offering considerable analytical cost savings while providing sufficient phylogenetic information and sequence coverage.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Ahmed HI, Herrera M, Liew YJ, et al (2019)

Long-Term Temperature Stress in the Coral Model Aiptasia Supports the "Anna Karenina Principle" for Bacterial Microbiomes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:975.

The understanding of host-microbial partnerships has become a hot topic during the last decade as it has been shown that associated microbiota play critical roles in the host physiological functions and susceptibility to diseases. Moreover, the microbiome may contribute to host resilience to environmental stressors. The sea anemone Aiptasia is a good laboratory model system to study corals and their microbial symbiosis. In this regard, studying its bacterial microbiota provides a better understanding of cnidarian metaorganisms as a whole. Here, we investigated the bacterial communities of different Aiptasia host-symbiont combinations under long-term heat stress in laboratory conditions. Following a 16S rRNA gene sequencing approach we were able to detect significant differences in the bacterial composition and structure of Aiptasia reared at different temperatures. A higher number of taxa (i.e., species richness), and consequently increased α-diversity and β-dispersion, were observed in the microbiomes of heat-stressed individuals across all host strains and experimental batches. Our findings are in line with the recently proposed Anna Karenina principle (AKP) for animal microbiomes, which states that dysbiotic or stressed organisms have a more variable and unstable microbiome than healthy ones. Microbial interactions affect the fitness and survival of their hosts, thus exploring the AKP effect on animal microbiomes is important to understand host resilience. Our data contributes to the current knowledge of the Aiptasia holobiont and to the growing field of study of host-associated microbiomes.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Saint-Leandre B, Nguyen SC, MT Levine (2019)

Diversification and collapse of a telomere elongation mechanism.

Genome research pii:gr.245001.118 [Epub ahead of print].

In most eukaryotes, telomerase counteracts chromosome erosion by adding repetitive sequence to terminal ends. Drosophila melanogaster instead relies on specialized retrotransposons that insert exclusively at telomeres. This exchange of goods between host and mobile element-wherein the mobile element provides an essential genome service and the host provides a hospitable niche for mobile element propagation-has been called a "genomic symbiosis." However, these telomere-specialized, jockey family retrotransposons may actually evolve to "selfishly" overreplicate in the genomes that they ostensibly serve. Under this model, we expect rapid diversification of telomere-specialized retrotransposon lineages and, possibly, the breakdown of this ostensibly symbiotic relationship. Here we report data consistent with both predictions. Searching the raw reads of the 15-Myr-old melanogaster species group, we generated de novo jockey retrotransposon consensus sequences and used phylogenetic tree-building to delineate four distinct telomere-associated lineages. Recurrent gains, losses, and replacements account for this retrotransposon lineage diversity. In Drosophila biarmipes, telomere-specialized elements have disappeared completely. De novo assembly of long reads and cytogenetics confirmed this species-specific collapse of retrotransposon-dependent telomere elongation. Instead, telomere-restricted satellite DNA and DNA transposon fragments occupy its terminal ends. We infer that D. biarmipes relies instead on a recombination-based mechanism conserved from yeast to flies to humans. Telomeric retrotransposon diversification and disappearance suggest that persistently "selfish" machinery shapes telomere elongation across Drosophila rather than completely domesticated, symbiotic mobile elements.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Fernández N, Cabrera JJ, Varadarajan AR, et al (2019)

An Integrated Systems Approach Unveils New Aspects of Microoxia-Mediated Regulation in Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:924.

The adaptation of rhizobia from the free-living state in soil to the endosymbiotic state comprises several physiological changes in order to cope with the extremely low oxygen availability (microoxia) within nodules. To uncover cellular functions required for bacterial adaptation to microoxia directly at the protein level, we applied a systems biology approach on the key rhizobial model and soybean endosymbiont Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens USDA 110 (formerly B. japonicum USDA 110). As a first step, the complete genome of B. diazoefficiens 110spc4, the model strain used in most prior functional genomics studies, was sequenced revealing a deletion of a ~202 kb fragment harboring 223 genes and several additional differences, compared to strain USDA 110. Importantly, the deletion strain showed no significantly different phenotype during symbiosis with several host plants, reinforcing the value of previous OMICS studies. We next performed shotgun proteomics and detected 2,900 and 2,826 proteins in oxically and microoxically grown cells, respectively, largely expanding our knowledge about the inventory of rhizobial proteins expressed in microoxia. A set of 62 proteins was significantly induced under microoxic conditions, including the two nitrogenase subunits NifDK, the nitrogenase reductase NifH, and several subunits of the high-affinity terminal cbb3 oxidase (FixNOQP) required for bacterial respiration inside nodules. Integration with the previously defined microoxia-induced transcriptome uncovered a set of 639 genes or proteins uniquely expressed in microoxia. Finally, besides providing proteogenomic evidence for novelties, we also identified proteins with a regulation similar to that of FixK2: transcript levels of these protein-coding genes were significantly induced, while the corresponding protein abundance remained unchanged or was down-regulated. This suggested that, apart from fixK2, additional B. diazoefficiens genes might be under microoxia-specific post-transcriptional control. This hypothesis was indeed confirmed for several targets (HemA, HemB, and ClpA) by immunoblot analysis.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Macedo-Raygoza GM, Valdez-Salas B, Prado FM, et al (2019)

Enterobacter cloacae, an Endophyte That Establishes a Nutrient-Transfer Symbiosis With Banana Plants and Protects Against the Black Sigatoka Pathogen.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:804.

Banana (Musa spp.) is an important crop worldwide, but black Sigatoka disease caused by the fungus Pseudocercospora fijiensis threatens fruit production. In this work, we examined the potential of the endophytes of banana plants Enterobacter cloacae and Klebsiella pneumoniae, as antagonists of P. fijiensis and support plant growth in nutrient limited soils by N-transfer. The two bacterial isolates were identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and corroborated by 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Both bacteria were positive for beneficial traits such as N-fixation, indole acetic acid production, phosphate solubilization, negative for 1-aminocyclopropane 1-carboxylic acid deaminase and were antagonistic to P. fijiensis. To measure the effects on plant growth, the two plant bacteria and an E. coli strain (as non-endophyte), were inoculated weekly for 60 days as active cells (AC) and heat-killed cells (HKC) into plant microcosms without nutrients and compared to a water only treatment, and a mineral nutrients solution (MMN) treatment. Bacterial treatments increased growth parameters and prevented accelerated senescence, which was observed for water and mineral nutrients solution (MMN) treatments used as controls. Plants died after the first 20 days of being irrigated with water; irrigation with MMN enabled plants to develop some new leaves, but plants lost weight (-30%) during the same period. Plants treated with bacteria showed good growth, but E. cloacae AC treated plants had significantly greater biomass than the E. cloacae HKC. After 60 days, plants inoculated with E. cloacae AC showed intracellular bacteria within root cells, suggesting that a stable symbiosis was established. To evaluate the transference of organic N from bacteria into the plants, the 3 bacteria were grown with 15NH4Cl or Na15NO3 as the nitrogen source. The 15N transferred from bacteria to plant tissues was measured by pheophytin isotopomer abundance. The relative abundance of the isotopomers m/z 872.57, 873.57, 874.57, 875.57, 876.57 unequivocally demonstrated that plants acquired 15N atoms directly from bacterial cells, using them as a source of N, to support plant growth in restricted nutrient soils. E. cloacae might be a new alternative to promote growth and health of banana crops.

RevDate: 2019-05-27

Hammer TJ, Sanders JG, N Fierer (2019)

Not all animals need a microbiome.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:5499024 [Epub ahead of print].

It is often taken for granted that all animals host and depend upon a microbiome, yet this has only been shown for a small proportion of species. We propose that animals span a continuum of reliance on microbial symbionts. At one end are the famously symbiont-dependent species such as aphids, humans, corals, and cows, in which microbes are abundant and important to host fitness. In the middle are species that may tolerate some microbial colonization but are only minimally or facultatively dependent. At the other end are species that lack beneficial symbionts altogether. While their existence may seem improbable, animals are capable of limiting microbial growth in and on their bodies, and a microbially independent lifestyle may be favored by selection under some circumstances. There is already evidence for several 'microbiome-free' lineages that represent distantly related branches in the animal phylogeny. We discuss why these animals have received such little attention, highlighting the potential for contaminants, transients, and parasites to masquerade as beneficial symbionts. We also suggest ways to explore microbiomes that address the limitations of DNA sequencing. By studying microbially independent animals, we will gain a more complete picture of the ecology and evolution of macrobe-microbe interactions.

RevDate: 2019-05-26

Yin Y, Tian L, Li X, et al (2019)

The role of endogenous thiamine produced via THIC in root nodule symbiosis in Lotus japonicus.

Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology, 283:311-320.

Thiamine is a pivotal primary metabolite which is indispensable to all organisms. Although its biosynthetic pathway has been well documented, the mechanism by which thiamine influences the legume-rhizobium symbiosis remains uncertain. Here, we used overexpressing transgenic plants, mutants and grafting experiments to investigate the roles played by thiamine in Lotus japonicus nodulation. ljthic mutants displayed lethal phenotypes and the defect could be overcome by supplementation of thiamine or by overexpression of LjTHIC. Reciprocal grafting between L. japonicus wild-type Gifu B-129 and ljthic showed that the photosynthetic products of the aerial part made a major contribution to overcoming the nodulation defect in ljthic. Overexpression of LjTHIC in Lotus japonicus (OE-LjTHIC) decreased shoot growth and increased the activity of the enzymes 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase and pyruvate dehydrogenase. OE-LjTHIC plants exhibited an increase in the number of infection threads and also developed more nodules, which were of smaller size but unchanged nitrogenase activity compared to the wildtype. Taken together, our results suggest that endogenous thiamine produced via LjTHIC acts as an essential nutrient provided by the host plant for rhizobial infection and nodule growth in the Lotus japonicus - rhizobium interaction.

RevDate: 2019-05-25

Symeonides D, Loizia P, AA Zorpas (2019)

Tire waste management system in Cyprus in the framework of circular economy strategy.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-019-05131-z [Epub ahead of print].

Worldwide, waste raised from tires counts 1.3-1.5 billion tonnes/year and by the end of 2025, is expected to be more than 2.5 billion tonnes. On 2013, the EU countries reached 3.6 million tonnes of used tires. However, the cheapest treatment method since now is landfilling and is considered to be a major threat for the environment and the public health. In Cyprus, the total tires that were imported on 2015 was 835,142 pieces (5.8% more than the 2014), which were equal to 9638 t, while at the same time, the total waste from those tires were 6629 tonnes. Moreover, the cement industry used 6691 tonnes of tires as alternative fuel. Until now, there are three management systems in place in Cyprus, for the end-of-life tires (ELTs). The collection of ELTs on 2011 was 1817 tonnes while at the end of 2016 was 7201 tonnes. The main treatment methods in Cyprus are the use of ELTs as alternative fuel in cement industry or to produce rubber granules (609-2738 tonnes/year) to be used to construct artificial surfaces or substrate for artificial lawn grounds and limited to pyrolysis (324-837 tonnes/year). At the same time, the environmental fees for the collection of tires varies and depends on the tire category. Furthermore, the market share of ELTs is up to 1.5 million € and the total recovery index from the market is closed to 90% the last 6 years (2013-2017). This paper evaluates and assess the existing tire waste management system (TWMS) in Cyprus in order to promote strength and weakness as well as to propose a holistic management system in insular communities in order to adopt the targets set by the concept of circular economy. The SWOT analysis identified as the main weaknesses the absence from the legislation of specific target for the recovery index of tires and the absence of any centralized logistic system to control the existing management systems while the main threats includes bureaucracy and the absence of technical and economic data which will guarantee the financial viability of a centralized treatment unit.

RevDate: 2019-05-25

Li J, Zhao T, M Shirolkar M, et al (2019)

CuO/ZnO Heterojunction Nanorod Arrays Prepared by Photochemical Method with Improved UV Detecting Performance.

Nanomaterials (Basel, Switzerland), 9(5): pii:nano9050790.

CuO/ZnO heterojunction nanorod arrays were synthesized using a facile photochemical deposition strategy. The morphology of CuO was related to the concentration of Cu2+ in the Cu(NO3)2 solution, UV illumination time, and the air annealing temperature. A possible reaction mechanism was proposed. In the photochemical deposition process, the OH- was generated in the vicinity of the ZnO nanorod arrays and reacted with Cu2+ and NO3- in the solution to form Cu2(NO3)(OH)3/ZnO heterojunction nanorod arrays firstly, which were converted into CuO/ZnO heterojunction nanorod arrays completely after air annealing at a low temperature. The fabricated CuO/ZnO heterojunction nanorod arrays exhibits a well-defined rectifying characteristic and an improved photo-response performance compared with pure ZnO nanorod arrays.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Zhang X, Han C, Gao H, et al (2019)

Comparative transcriptome analysis of the garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) reveals the molecular mechanism for growth with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi under salinity stress.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 141:20-29 pii:S0981-9428(19)30201-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Soil salinity is one of the most abiotic stress factors that severely affects the growth and development of many plants, which can ultimately threaten crop yield. Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) has been proven to be effective in mitigating salinity stress by symbiosis in many crops. Asparagus officinalis are perennial plants grown in saline-alkaline soil, however, limited information on their molecular mechanisms has restricted efficient application of AMF to garden asparagus under salinity stress. In this study, we conducted a transcriptome analysis on the leaves of garden asparagus to identify gene expression under salinity stress. Seedlings were grown in 4 treatments, including non-inoculated AMF using distilled water (NI), inoculated AMF using distilled water (AMF), non-inoculated with salinity stress (NI + S), and inoculated with salinity stress (AMF + S). A total of 6019 novel genes were obtained based on the reference-guided assembly of the garden asparagus transcriptome. Results revealed that 455 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified when comparing NI + S to AMF + S. However, among the up-regulated DEGs, 41 DEGs were down-regulated, while 242 DEGs had no differences in their expression levels when comparing NI to NI + S. These DEGs' expression patterns may be key induced by AMF under salinity stress. Additionally, the GO and KEGG enrichment analyses of 455 DEGs revealed that these genes mainly participate in the improvement of the internal environment in plant cells, nitrogen metabolic-related processes, and possible photoprotection mechanisms. These findings provide insight into enhanced salinity stress adaptation by AMF inoculation, as well as salt-tolerant candidate genes for further functional analyses.

RevDate: 2019-05-24

Lahari Z, Ullah C, Kyndt T, et al (2019)

Strigolactones enhance root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne graminicola) infection in rice by antagonizing the jasmonate pathway.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

•Strigolactones (SLs) are carotenoid-derived plant hormones that also act in the rhizosphere to stimulate germination of root-parasitic plants and enhance plant symbiosis with beneficial microbes. Here, the role of SLs was investigated in the interaction of rice roots with the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne graminicola. •Genetic approaches and chemical sprays were used to manipulate SL signaling in rice prior to infection with M. graminicola. Then, nematode performance was evaluated and plant defense hormones were quantified. •Meloidogyne graminicola infection induced SL biosynthesis and signaling and suppressed jasmonic acid (JA)-based defense in rice roots suggesting a potential role of SLs during nematode infection. While the application of low dose of the SL analog GR24 increased nematode infection and decreased jasmonate accumulation, the SL biosynthesis and signaling d mutants were less susceptible to M. graminicola, and constitutively accumulated JA and JA-isoleucine compared to wild-type plants. Spraying with 0.1 μM GR24 restored nematode susceptibility in SL-biosynthesis mutants but not in the signaling mutant. Furthermore, foliar application of the SL biosynthesis inhibitor TIS108 impeded nematode infection and increased jasmonate levels in rice roots. •In conclusion, SL signaling in rice suppresses jasmonate accumulation and promotes root-knot nematode infection. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-05-24

Xue L, Almario J, Fabiańska I, et al (2019)

Dysfunction in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis has consistent but small effects on the establishment of the fungal microbiota in Lotus japonicus.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

•Most land plants establish mutualistic interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Intracellular accommodation of AM fungal symbionts remodels important host traits like root morphology and nutrient acquisition. How mycorrhizal colonization impacts plant microbiota is unclear. •To understand the impact of AM symbiosis on fungal microbiota, ten Lotus japonicus mutants impaired at different stages of AM formation were grown in non-sterile natural soil and their root-associated fungal communities were studied. •Plant mutants lacking the capacity to form mature arbuscules (arb-) exhibited limited growth performance associated to altered phosphorus (P) acquisition and reduction-oxidation (redox) processes. Furthermore, arb- plants assembled moderately but consistently different root-associated fungal microbiota, characterized by the depletion of Glomeromycota and the concomitant enrichment of Ascomycota, including Dactylonectria torresensis. Single and co-inoculation experiments showed strong reduction of root colonization by D. torresensis in the presence of AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis, particularly in arbuscule-forming plants. •Our results suggest that impairment of central symbiotic functions in AM host plants leads to specific changes in root microbiomes and in tripartite interactions between the host plant, AM and non-AM fungi. This lays the foundation for mechanistic studies on microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions in AM symbiosis of the model L. japonicus. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-06-07

McIntosh M, Serrania J, E Lacanna (2019)

A novel LuxR-type solo of Sinorhizobium meliloti, NurR, is regulated by the chromosome replication coordinator, DnaA and activates quorum sensing.

Molecular microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The genome of Sinorhizobium meliloti, a model for studying plant-bacteria symbiosis, contains eight genes coding for LuxR-like proteins. Two of these, SinR and ExpR, are essential for quorum sensing (QS). Roles and regulation surrounding the others are mostly unknown. Here, we reveal the DNA recognition sequence and regulon of the LuxR-like protein SMc00877. Unlike ExpR, which uses the long-chain acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) as inducers, SMc00877 functioned independently of AHLs and was even functional in Escherichia coli. A target of SMc00877 is SinR, the major regulator of AHL production in S. meliloti. Disruption of SMc00877 decreased AHL production. A weaker production of AHLs resulted in smaller microcolonies, starting from single cells, and delayed AHL-dependent regulation. SMc00877 was expressed only in growing cells in the presence of replete nutrients. Therefore, we renamed it NurR (nutrient sensitive LuxR-like regulator). We traced this nutrient-sensitive expression to transcription control by the DNA replication initiation factor, DnaA, which is essential for growth. These results indicate that NurR has a role in modulating the threshold of QS activation according to growth. We propose growth behavior as an additional prerequisite to population density for the activation of QS in S. meliloti.

RevDate: 2019-05-24

Zhang Y, Hu L, Yu D, et al (2019)

Integrative Analysis of the Wheat PHT1 Gene Family Reveals A Novel Member Involved in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Phosphate Transport and Immunity.

Cells, 8(5): pii:cells8050490.

Phosphorus (P) deficiency is one of the main growth-limiting factors for plants. However, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis can significantly promote P uptake. Generally, PHT1 transporters play key roles in plants' P uptake, and thus, PHT1 genes have been investigated in some plants, but the regulation and functions of these genes in wheat (TaPHT1) during AM symbiosis have not been studied in depth. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of TaPHT1 genes was performed, including sequence, phylogeny, cis-elements, expression, subcellular localization and functions, to elucidate their roles in AM-associated phosphate transport and immunity. In total, 35 TaPHT1s were identified in the latest high-quality bread wheat genome, 34 of which were unevenly distributed on 13 chromosomes, and divided into five groups. Sequence analysis indicated that there are 11 types of motif architectures and five types of exon-intron structures in the TaPHT1 family. Duplication mode analysis indicated that the TaPHT1 family has expanded mainly through segmental and tandem duplication events, and that all duplicated gene pairs have been under purifying selection. Transcription analysis of the 35 TaPHT1s revealed that not only known the mycorrhizal-specific genes TaPht-myc, TaPT15-4B (TaPT11) and TaPT19-4D (TaPT10), but also four novel mycorrhizal-specific/inducible genes (TaPT3-2D, TaPT11-4A, TaPT29-6A, and TaPT31-7A) are highly up-regulated in AM wheat roots. Furthermore, the mycorrhizal-specific/inducible genes are significantly induced in wheat roots at different stages of infection by colonizing fungi. Transient Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation expression in onion epidermal cells showed that TaPT29-6A is a membrane-localized protein. In contrast to other AM-specific/inducible PHT1 genes, TaPT29-6A is apparently required for the symbiotic and direct Pi pathway. TaPT29-6A-silenced lines exhibited reduced levels of AM fungal colonization and arbuscules, but increased susceptibility to biotrophic, hemi-biotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens. In conclusion, TaPT29-6A was not only essential for the AM symbiosis, but also played vital roles in immunity.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Jian L, Bai X, Zhang H, et al (2019)

Promotion of growth and metal accumulation of alfalfa by coinoculation with Sinorhizobium and Agrobacterium under copper and zinc stress.

PeerJ, 7:e6875 pii:6875.

The Legume-Rhizobium symbiosis has been proposed as a promising technique for the phytoremediation of contaminated soils due to its beneficial activity in symbiotic nitrogen fixation. However, numerous studies have shown that excessive heavy metals reduce the efficiency of symbiotic nodulation with Rhizobium and inhibit plant growth. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the synergistic effects of IAA-producing bacteria and Rhizobium on Medicago lupulina growth under Cu and Zn stress. Pot experiments showed that 400 mg kg-1 Cu2 + and Zn2 + greatly inhibited plant growth, but dual inoculation of Medicago lupulina with Sinorhizobium meliloti CCNWSX0020 and Agrobacterium tumefaciens CCNWGS0286 significantly increased the number of nodules and plant biomass by enhancing antioxidant activities. Under double stress of 400 mg kg-1 Cu2 + and Zn2 +, the nodule number and nitrogenase activities of dual-inoculated plants were 48.5% and 154.4% higher, respectively, than those of plants inoculated with Sinorhizobium meliloti. The root and above-ground portion lengths of the dual-inoculated plants were 32.6% and 14.1% greater, respectively, than those of the control, while the root and above-ground portion dry weights were 34.3% and 32.2% greater, respectively, than those of the control. Compared with S. meliloti and A. tumefaciens single inoculation, coinoculation increased total Cu uptake by 39.1% and 47.5% and increased total Zn uptake by 35.4% and 44.2%, respectively, under double metal stress conditions. Therefore, coinoculation with Sinorhizobium meliloti and Agrobacterium tumefaciens enhances metal phytoextraction by increasing plant growth and antioxidant activities under Cu/Zn stress, which provides a new approach for bioremediation in heavy metal-contaminated soil.

RevDate: 2019-05-23

Sproles AE, Oakley CA, Matthews JL, et al (2019)

Proteomics quantifies protein expression changes in a model cnidarian colonised by a thermally tolerant but suboptimal symbiont.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-019-0437-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The acquisition of thermally tolerant algal symbionts by corals has been proposed as a natural or assisted mechanism of increasing coral reef resilience to anthropogenic climate change, but the cell-level processes determining the performance of new symbiotic associations are poorly understood. We used liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to investigate the effects of an experimentally induced symbiosis on the host proteome of the model sea anemone Exaiptasia pallida. Aposymbiotic specimens were colonised by either the homologous dinoflagellate symbiont (Breviolum minutum) or a thermally tolerant, ecologically invasive heterologous symbiont (Durusdinium trenchii). Anemones containing D. trenchii exhibited minimal expression of Niemann-Pick C2 proteins, which have predicted biochemical roles in sterol transport and cell recognition, and glutamine synthetases, which are thought to be involved in nitrogen assimilation and recycling between partners. D. trenchii-colonised anemones had higher expression of methionine-synthesising betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferases and proteins with predicted oxidative stress response functions. Multiple lysosome-associated proteins were less abundant in both symbiotic treatments compared with the aposymbiotic treatment. The differentially abundant proteins are predicted to represent pathways that may be involved in nutrient transport or resource allocation between partners. These results provide targets for specific experiments to elucidate the mechanisms underpinning compensatory physiology in the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Beinart RA (2019)

The Significance of Microbial Symbionts in Ecosystem Processes.

mSystems, 4(3): pii:4/3/e00127-19.

It is increasingly accepted that the microbial symbionts of eukaryotes can have profound effects on host ecology and evolution. However, the relative contribution that they make directly to ecosystem processes, like energy and nutrient flows, is less explicitly acknowledged and, in many cases, only poorly constrained. Here, I explore the idea that, in some habitats, host-associated microbes may have an outsized role in ecosystem processes relative to functionally equivalent free-living microbes due to key aspects of the physiology, ecology, and evolution of symbiotic interactions. My research quantifying symbiont metabolism has shown that microbial symbionts have the potential to make a substantial impact on carbon and sulfur cycling. It is my perspective that direct measurement of symbiont activity and comparison to free-living counterparts will expand our understanding of the significance of microbial symbioses and, more broadly, the role of microbial processes in ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Kleiner M (2019)

Metaproteomics: Much More than Measuring Gene Expression in Microbial Communities.

mSystems, 4(3): pii:4/3/e00115-19.

Metaproteomics is the large-scale identification and quantification of proteins from microbial communities and thus provides direct insight into the phenotypes of microorganisms on the molecular level. Initially, metaproteomics was mainly used to assess the "expressed" metabolism and physiology of microbial community members. However, recently developed metaproteomic tools allow quantification of per-species biomass to determine community structure, in situ carbon sources of community members, and the uptake of labeled substrates by community members. In this perspective, I provide a brief overview of the questions that we can currently address, as well as new metaproteomics-based approaches that we and others are developing to address even more questions in the study of microbial communities and plant and animal microbiota. I also highlight some areas and technologies where I anticipate developments and potentially major breakthroughs in the next 5 years and beyond.

RevDate: 2019-06-10
CmpDate: 2019-05-31

Gómez-Díaz JS, Montoya-Lerma J, V Muñoz Valencia (2019)

Prevalence and Diversity of Endosymbionts in Cassava Whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) From Colombia.

Journal of insect science (Online), 19(3):.

Whiteflies cause huge economic losses for cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) cultivation. Damage can be caused directly when the insects feed on the phloem and/or indirectly by the transmission of viruses. It has been found that whiteflies maintain a close relationship with some endosymbiotic bacteria and that this interaction produces different effects on host biology and can also facilitate viral transmission. This study aimed to characterize the diversity of secondary endosymbionts (SE) present in whiteflies associated with cassava. Whitefly adults and nymphs were collected from cassava crops at nine locations in Southwestern Colombia. Molecular identification of insects and endosymbionts was carried out using specific mtCOI, wsp, 23s rRNA, and 16s rRNA primers. Phylogenetic trees were constructed from these sequences, both for whitefly species and the endosymbionts found. In addition, morphological identification of whitefly species was made using last instar nymphs. Molecular and morphological evaluation revealed that the most abundant whitefly species was Trialeurodes variabilis (Quaintance) followed by Aleurotrachelus socialis Bondar and Bemisia tuberculata Bondar. One hundred percent of the individuals contained the primary endosymbiont Portiera. The SE Rickettsia, Hamiltonella, Wolbachia, and Fritschea were not detected in the samples tested. Prevalence of Cardinium and Arsenophonus were variable at each locality, Cardinium being most prevalent in A. socialis adults. This study is the first report on the presence of Cardinium and Arsenophonus in A. socialis and T. variabilis. It is also the first report of endosymbiotic diversity in whiteflies associated with cassava in Colombia.

RevDate: 2019-05-22

Vaidya A, Singh S, Limaye L, et al (2019)

Chimeric feeders of mesenchymal stromal cells and stromal cells modified with constitutively active AKT expand hematopoietic stem cells.

Regenerative medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Aim: To examine whether AKT-modified stromal cells expand human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Methods: Coculture, in vitro functional assays, immuno-fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry. Results: M2-10B4 stromal cells (M2) modified with AKT1 (M2-AKT) expanded primitive CD34+38- HSCs, but affected their functionality. A chimeric feeder layer comprising naive human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells and M2-AKT not only overcame the negative effects of M2-AKT, but, unexpectedly, also gave a synergistic effect on the growth and functionality of the HSCs. Conditioned medium of bone marrow stromal cells worked as effectively, but cell-cell contact between HSCs and M2-AKT cells was necessary for the synergistic effect of M2-AKT and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells or their CM. Conclusion: Chimeric feeders expand HSCs.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Liu YS, Geng JC, Sha XY, et al (2019)

Effect of Rhizobium Symbiosis on Low-Temperature Tolerance and Antioxidant Response in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.).

Frontiers in plant science, 10:538.

Low temperature-induced stress is a major environmental factor limiting the growth and development of plants. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a legume well known for its tolerance of extreme environments. In this study, we sought to experimentally investigate the role of rhizobium symbiosis in alfalfa's performance under a low-temperature stress condition. To do this, alfalfa "Ladak+" plants carrying active nodules (AN), inactive nodules (IN), or no nodules (NN) were exposed to an imposed low temperature stress and their survivorship calculated. The antioxidant defense responses, the accumulation of osmotic regulation substances, the cell membrane damage, and the expression of low temperature stress-related genes were determined in both the roots and the shoots of alfalfa plants. We found that more plants with AN survived than those with IN or NN under the same low temperature-stress condition. Greater activity of oxidation protective enzymes was observed in the AN and IN groups, conferring higher tolerance to low temperature in these plants. In addition, rhizobia nodulation also enhanced alfalfa's ability to tolerate low temperature by altering the expression of regulatory and metabolism-associated genes, which resulted in the accumulation of soluble proteins and sugars in the nodulated plants. Taken together, the findings of this study indicate that rhizobium inoculation offers a practical way to promote the persistence and growth potential of alfalfa "Ladak+" in cold areas.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

González V, Santamaría RI, Bustos P, et al (2019)

Phylogenomic Rhizobium Species Are Structured by a Continuum of Diversity and Genomic Clusters.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:910.

The bacterial genus Rhizobium comprises diverse symbiotic nitrogen-fixing species associated with the roots of plants in the Leguminosae family. Multiple genomic clusters defined by whole genome comparisons occur within Rhizobium, but their equivalence to species is controversial. In this study we investigated such genomic clusters to ascertain their significance in a species phylogeny context. Phylogenomic inferences based on complete sets of ribosomal proteins and stringent core genome markers revealed the main lineages of Rhizobium. The clades corresponding to R. etli and R. leguminosarum species show several genomic clusters with average genomic nucleotide identities (ANI > 95%), and a continuum of divergent strains, respectively. They were found to be inversely correlated with the genetic distance estimated from concatenated ribosomal proteins. We uncovered evidence of a Rhizobium pangenome that was greatly expanded, both in its chromosomes and plasmids. Despite the variability of extra-chromosomal elements, our genomic comparisons revealed only a few chromid and plasmid families. The presence/absence profile of genes in the complete Rhizobium genomes agreed with the phylogenomic pattern of species divergence. Symbiotic genes were distributed according to the principal phylogenomic Rhizobium clades but did not resolve genome clusters within the clades. We distinguished some types of symbiotic plasmids within Rhizobium that displayed different rates of synonymous nucleotide substitutions in comparison to chromosomal genes. Symbiotic plasmids may have been repeatedly transferred horizontally between strains and species, in the process displacing and substituting pre-existing symbiotic plasmids. In summary, the results indicate that Rhizobium genomic clusters, as defined by whole genomic identities, might be part of a continuous process of evolutionary divergence that includes the core and the extrachromosomal elements leading to species formation.

RevDate: 2019-05-22

Serra L, Macchietto M, Macias-Muñoz A, et al (2019)

Hybrid Assembly of the Genome of the Entomopathogenic Nematode Steinernema carpocapsae Identifies the X-chromosome.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:g3.119.400180 [Epub ahead of print].

Entomopathogenic nematodes from the genus Steinernema are lethal insect parasites that quickly kill their insect hosts with the help of their symbiotic bacteria. Steinernema carpocapsae is one of the most studied entomopathogens due to its broad lethality to diverse insect species and its effective commercial use as a biological control agent for insect pests, as well as a genetic model for studying parasitism, pathogenesis, and symbiosis. In this study, we used long-reads from the Pacific Biosciences platform and BioNano Genomics Irys system to assemble the most complete genome of the S. carpocapsae ALL strain to date, comprising 84.5 Mb in 16 scaffolds, with an N50 of 7.36 Mb. The largest scaffold, with 20.9 Mb, was identified as chromosome X based on sex-specific genome sequencing. The high level of contiguity allowed us to characterize gene density, repeat content, and GC content. RNA-seq data from 17 developmental stages, spanning from embryo to adult, were used to predict 30,957 gene models. Using this improved genome, we performed a macrosyntenic analysis to Caenorhabditis elegans and Pristionchus pacificus and found S. carpocapsae's chromosome X to be primarily orthologous to C. elegans' and P. pacificus' chromosome II and IV. We also investigated the expansion of protein families and gene expression differences between adult male and female stage nematodes. This new genome and more accurate set of annotations provide a foundation for additional comparative genomic and gene expression studies within the Steinernema clade and across the Nematoda phylum.

RevDate: 2019-05-22

Ballinger MJ, SJ Perlman (2019)

The defensive Spiroplasma.

Current opinion in insect science, 32:36-41.

Defensive microbes are of great interest for their roles in arthropod health, disease transmission, and biocontrol efforts. Obligate bacterial passengers of arthropods, such as Spiroplasma, confer protection against the natural enemies of their hosts to improve their own fitness. Although known for less than a decade, Spiroplasma's defensive reach extends to diverse parasites, both microbial and multicellular. We provide an overview of known defensive phenotypes against nematodes, parasitoid wasps, and fungi, and highlight recent studies supporting the role of Spiroplasma-encoded ribosome-inactivating proteins in protection. With cellular features well-suited for life in the hemolymph, broad distribution among invertebrate hosts, and the capacity to repeatedly evolve vertical transmission, Spiroplasma may be uniquely equipped to form intimate, defensive associations to combat extracellular parasites. Along with insights into defensive mechanisms, recent significant advances have been made in male-killing - a phenotype with interesting evolutionary ties to defense. Finally, we look forward to an exciting decade using the genetic tools of Drosophila, and the rapidly-advancing tractability of Spiroplasma itself, to better understand mechanisms and evolution in defensive symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-05-21

Ji J, Zhang C, Sun Z, et al (2019)

Genome Editing in Cowpea Vigna unguiculata Using CRISPR-Cas9.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(10): pii:ijms20102471.

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is widely cultivated across the world. Due to its symbiotic nitrogen fixation capability and many agronomically important traits, such as tolerance to low rainfall and low fertilization requirements, as well as its high nutrition and health benefits, cowpea is an important legume crop, especially in many semi-arid countries. However, research in Vigna unguiculata is dramatically hampered by the lack of mutant resources and efficient tools for gene inactivation in vivo. In this study, we used clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9). We applied the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing technology to efficiently disrupt the representative symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) gene in Vigna unguiculata. Our customized guide RNAs (gRNAs) targeting symbiosis receptor-like kinase (SYMRK) achieved ~67% mutagenic efficiency in hairy-root-transformed plants, and nodule formation was completely blocked in the mutants with both alleles disrupted. Various types of mutations were observed near the PAM region of the respective gRNA. These results demonstrate the applicability of the CRISPR/Cas9 system in Vigna unguiculata, and therefore should significantly stimulate functional genomics analyses of many important agronomical traits in this unique crop legume.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

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

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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