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Bibliography on: Metagenomics

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 18 Apr 2021 at 06:49 Created: 


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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-04-17

Saheb Kashaf S, Almeida A, Segre JA, et al (2021)

Recovering prokaryotic genomes from host-associated, short-read shotgun metagenomic sequencing data.

Nature protocols [Epub ahead of print].

Recovering genomes from shotgun metagenomic sequence data allows detailed taxonomic and functional characterization of individual species or strains in a microbial community. Retrieving these metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) involves seven stages. First, low-quality bases, along with adapter and host sequences, are removed. Second, overlapping sequences are assembled to create longer contiguous fragments. Third, these fragments are clustered based on sequence composition and abundance. Fourth, these sequence clusters, or bins, undergo rounds of quality assessment and refinement to yield MAGs. The optional fifth stage is dereplication of MAGs to select representatives. Next, each MAG is taxonomically classified. The optional seventh stage is assessing the fraction of diversity that has been recovered. The output of this protocol is draft genomes, which can provide invaluable clues about uncultured organisms. This protocol takes ~1 week to run, depending on computational resources available, and requires prior experience with high-performance computing, shell script programming and Python.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Larkin AA, Garcia CA, Garcia N, et al (2021)

High spatial resolution global ocean metagenomes from Bio-GO-SHIP repeat hydrography transects.

Scientific data, 8(1):107.

Detailed descriptions of microbial communities have lagged far behind physical and chemical measurements in the marine environment. Here, we present 971 globally distributed surface ocean metagenomes collected at high spatio-temporal resolution. Our low-cost metagenomic sequencing protocol produced 3.65 terabases of data, where the median number of base pairs per sample was 3.41 billion. The median distance between sampling stations was 26 km. The metagenomic libraries described here were collected as a part of a biological initiative for the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program, or "Bio-GO-SHIP." One of the primary aims of GO-SHIP is to produce high spatial and vertical resolution measurements of key state variables to directly quantify climate change impacts on ocean environments. By similarly collecting marine metagenomes at high spatiotemporal resolution, we expect that this dataset will help answer questions about the link between microbial communities and biogeochemical fluxes in a changing ocean.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Li X, Su C, Jiang Z, et al (2021)

Berberine attenuates choline-induced atherosclerosis by inhibiting trimethylamine and trimethylamine-N-oxide production via manipulating the gut microbiome.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 7(1):36.

Trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a derivative from the gut microbiota metabolite trimethylamine (TMA), has been identified to be an independent risk factor for promoting atherosclerosis. Evidences suggest that berberine (BBR) could be used to treat obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis, however, its mechanism is not clear mainly because of its poor oral bioavailability. Here, we show that BBR attenuated TMA/TMAO production in the C57BL/6J and ApoE KO mice fed with choline-supplemented chow diet, and mitigated atherosclerotic lesion areas in ApoE KO mice. Inhibition of TMA/TMAO production by BBR-modulated gut microbiota was proved by a single-dose administration of d9-choline in vivo. Metagenomic analysis of cecal contents demonstrated that BBR altered gut microbiota composition, microbiome functionality, and cutC/cntA gene abundance. Furthermore, BBR was shown to inhibit choline-to-TMA conversion in TMA-producing bacteria in vitro and in gut microbial consortium from fecal samples of choline-fed mice and human volunteers, and the result was confirmed by transplantation of TMA-producing bacteria in mice. These results offer new insights into the mechanisms responsible for the anti-atherosclerosis effects of BBR, which inhibits commensal microbial TMA production via gut microbiota remodeling.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Luhung I, Uchida A, Lim SBY, et al (2021)

Experimental parameters defining ultra-low biomass bioaerosol analysis.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 7(1):37.

Investigation of the microbial ecology of terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric ecosystems requires specific sampling and analytical technologies, owing to vastly different biomass densities typically encountered. In particular, the ultra-low biomass nature of air presents an inherent analytical challenge that is confounded by temporal fluctuations in community structure. Our ultra-low biomass pipeline advances the field of bioaerosol research by significantly reducing sampling times from days/weeks/months to minutes/hours, while maintaining the ability to perform species-level identification through direct metagenomic sequencing. The study further addresses all experimental factors contributing to analysis outcome, such as amassment, storage and extraction, as well as factors that impact on nucleic acid analysis. Quantity and quality of nucleic acid extracts from each optimisation step are evaluated using fluorometry, qPCR and sequencing. Both metagenomics and marker gene amplification-based (16S and ITS) sequencing are assessed with regard to their taxonomic resolution and inter-comparability. The pipeline is robust across a wide range of climatic settings, ranging from arctic to desert to tropical environments. Ultimately, the pipeline can be adapted to environmental settings, such as dust and surfaces, which also require ultra-low biomass analytics.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Strickland BA, Patel MC, Shilts MH, et al (2021)

Microbial community structure and composition is associated with host species and sex in Sigmodon cotton rats.

Animal microbiome, 3(1):29.

BACKGROUND: The cotton rat (genus Sigmodon) is an essential small animal model for the study of human infectious disease and viral therapeutic development. However, the impact of the host microbiome on infection outcomes has not been explored in this model, partly due to the lack of a comprehensive characterization of microbial communities across different cotton rat species. Understanding the dynamics of their microbiome could significantly help to better understand its role when modeling viral infections in this animal model.

RESULTS: We examined the bacterial communities of the gut and three external sites (skin, ear, and nose) of two inbred species of cotton rats commonly used in research (S. hispidus and S. fulviventer) by using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, constituting the first comprehensive characterization of the cotton rat microbiome. We showed that S. fulviventer maintained higher alpha diversity and richness than S. hispidus at external sites (skin, ear, nose), but there were no differentially abundant genera. However, S. fulviventer and S. hispidus had distinct fecal microbiomes composed of several significantly differentially abundant genera. Whole metagenomic shotgun sequencing of fecal samples identified species-level differences between S. hispidus and S. fulviventer, as well as different metabolic pathway functions as a result of differential host microbiome contributions. Furthermore, the microbiome composition of the external sites showed significant sex-based differences while fecal communities were not largely different.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that host genetic background potentially exerts homeostatic pressures, resulting in distinct microbiomes for two different inbred cotton rat species. Because of the numerous studies that have uncovered strong relationships between host microbiome, viral infection outcomes, and immune responses, our findings represent a strong contribution for understanding the impact of different microbial communities on viral pathogenesis. Furthermore, we provide novel cotton rat microbiome data as a springboard to uncover the full therapeutic potential of the microbiome against viral infections.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Molton JS, Lee IR, Bertrand D, et al (2021)

Stool metagenome analysis of patients with Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess and their domestic partners.

International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases pii:S1201-9712(21)00323-4 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Hypermucoviscous Klebsiella pneumoniae is an emerging cause of community-acquired liver abscess. We aimed to investigate if hypermucoviscous strains could be shared among households.

METHODS: We genotyped the clinical K. pneumoniae isolates in a cohort of 24 patients with Klebsiella liver abscess and analyzed the stool metagenomes of the index patients and their cohabiting domestic partners.

RESULTS: We identified K. pneumoniae in 33% of index patient's stools and identified one index patient's clinical isolate in their domestic partner's stool.

CONCLUSIONS: This could represent a transmission event or could represent exposure to a common environmental source.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Gui L, Wu Q, Hu Y, et al (2021)

Compensatory Transition of Bile Acid Metabolism from Fecal Disposition of Secondary Bile Acids to Urinary Excretion of Primary Bile Acids Underlies Rifampicin-Induced Cholestasis in Beagle Dogs.

ACS pharmacology & translational science, 4(2):1001-1013.

Drug induced cholestasis (DIC) is complexly associated with dysbiosis of the host-gut microbial cometabolism of bile acids (BAs). Murine animals are not suitable for transitional studies because the murine BA metabolism is quite different from human metabolism. In this work, the rifampicin (RFP) induced cholestasis was established in beagle dogs that have a humanlike BA profile to disclose how RFP affects the host-gut microbial cometabolism of BAs. The daily excretion of BA metabolites in urine and feces was extensively analyzed during cholestasis by quantitative BA profiling along the primary-secondary-tertiary axis. Oral midazolam clearance was also acquired to monitor the RFP-induced enterohepatic CYP3A activities because CYP3A is exclusively responsible for the tertiary oxidation of hydrophobic secondary BAs. RFP treatments caused a compensatory transition of the BA metabolism from the fecal disposition of secondary BAs to the urinary excretion of primary BAs in dogs, resulting in an infantile BA metabolism pattern recently disclosed in newborns. However, the tertiary BAs consistently constituted limitedly in the daily BA excretion, indicating that the detoxification role of the CYP3A catalyzed tertiary BA metabolism was not as strong as expected in this model. Multiple host-gut microbial factors might have contributed to the transition of the BA metabolism, such as inhibition of BA transporters, induction of liver-kidney interplaying detoxification mechanisms, and elimination of gut bacteria responsible for secondary BA production. Transitional studies involving more cholestatic drugs in preclinical animals with a humanlike BA profile and DIC patients may pave the way for understanding the complex mechanism of DIC in the era of metagenomics.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Jégousse C, Vannier P, Groben R, et al (2021)

A total of 219 metagenome-assembled genomes of microorganisms from Icelandic marine waters.

PeerJ, 9:e11112.

Marine microorganisms contribute to the health of the global ocean by supporting the marine food web and regulating biogeochemical cycles. Assessing marine microbial diversity is a crucial step towards understanding the global ocean. The waters surrounding Iceland are a complex environment where relatively warm salty waters from the Atlantic cool down and sink down to the deep. Microbial studies in this area have focused on photosynthetic micro- and nanoplankton mainly using microscopy and chlorophyll measurements. However, the diversity and function of the bacterial and archaeal picoplankton remains unknown. Here, we used a co-assembly approach supported by a marine mock community to reconstruct metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from 31 metagenomes from the sea surface and seafloor of four oceanographic sampling stations sampled between 2015 and 2018. The resulting 219 MAGs include 191 bacterial, 26 archaeal and two eukaryotic MAGs to bridge the gap in our current knowledge of the global marine microbiome.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Yasir M, Qureshi AK, EI Azhar (2021)

16S amplicon sequencing of microbial communities in enriched and non-enriched sediments of non-volcanic hot spring with temperature gradients.

PeerJ, 9:e10995.

Microorganisms in geothermal springs can offer insights into the fundamental and applied study of extremophiles. However, low microbial abundance and culturing requirements limit the ability to analyze microbial diversity in these ecosystems. In this study, culture-dependent and culture-independent techniques were used to analyze sediment samples from the non-volcanic Tatta Pani hot springs in district Poonch of Azad Kashmir. Microbial composition, temperature gradient, and enrichment effects on rare taxa were evaluated. In total, 31 distinct bacterial phyla and 725 genera were identified from the non-enriched Tatta Pani hot spring sediment samples, and 33 distinct bacterial phyla and 890 genera from the enriched sediment samples. Unique phyla specimens from the enriched samples included Candidatus Cloacimonetes, Caldiserica, and Korarchaeota archaea. The enriched samples yielded specific microbiota including 805 bacteria and 42 archaea operational taxonomic units with 97% similarity, though decreased thermophilic microbiota were observed in the enriched samples. Microbial diversity increased as temperature decreased. Candidate novel species were isolated from the culture-dependent screening, along with several genera that were not found in the 16S amplicon sequencing data. Overall, the enriched sediments showed high microbial diversity but with adverse changes in the composition of relatively dominant bacteria. Metagenomic analyses are needed to study the diversity, phylogeny, and functional investigation of hot spring microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Liu D, He X, Chater CCC, et al (2021)

Microbiome Community Structure and Functional Gene Partitioning in Different Micro-Niches Within a Sporocarp-Forming Fungus.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:629352.

Thelephora ganbajun is a wild edible mushroom highly appreciated throughout China. The microbiomes of some fungal sporocarps have been studied, however, their potential functional roles currently remain uncharacterized. Here, functional gene microarrays (GeoChip 5.0) and amplicon sequencing were employed to define the taxonomic and functional attributes within three micro-niches of T. ganbajun. The diversity and composition of bacterial taxa and their functional genes differed significantly (p < 0.01) among the compartments. Among 31,117 functional genes detected, some were exclusively recorded in one sporocarp compartment: 1,334 genes involved in carbon (mdh) and nitrogen fixation (nifH) in the context; 524 genes influencing carbon (apu) and sulfite reduction (dsrB, dsra) in the hymenophore; and 255 genes involved in sulfur oxidation (soxB and soxC) and polyphosphate degradation (ppx) in the pileipellis. These results shed light on a previously unknown microbiome and functional gene partitioning in sporome compartments of Basidiomycota. This also has great implications for their potential ecological and biogeochemical functions, demonstrating a higher genomic complexity than previously thought.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Sheik CS, Badalamenti JP, Telling J, et al (2021)

Novel Microbial Groups Drive Productivity in an Archean Iron Formation.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:627595.

Deep subsurface environments are decoupled from Earth's surface processes yet diverse, active, and abundant microbial communities thrive in these isolated environments. Microbes inhabiting the deep biosphere face unique challenges such as electron donor/acceptor limitations, pore space/fracture network limitations, and isolation from other microbes within the formation. Of the few systems that have been characterized, it is apparent that nutrient limitations likely facilitate diverse microbe-microbe interactions (i.e., syntrophic, symbiotic, or parasitic) and that these interactions drive biogeochemical cycling of major elements. Here we describe microbial communities living in low temperature, chemically reduced brines at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park, United States. The Soudan Iron mine intersects a massive hematite formation at the southern extent of the Canadian Shield. Fractured rock aquifer brines continuously flow from exploratory boreholes drilled circa 1960 and are enriched in deuterium compared to the global meteoric values, indicating brines have had little contact with surface derived waters, and continually degas low molecular weight hydrocarbons C1-C4. Microbial enrichments suggest that once brines exit the boreholes, oxidation of the hydrocarbons occur. Amplicon sequencing show these borehole communities are low in diversity and dominated by Firmicute and Proteobacteria phyla. From the metagenome assemblies, we recovered approximately thirty genomes with estimated completion over 50%. Analysis of genome taxonomy generally followed the amplicon data, and highlights that several of the genomes represent novel families and genera. Metabolic reconstruction shows two carbon-fixation pathways were dominant, the Wood-Ljungdahl (acetogenesis) and Calvin-Benson-Bassham (via RuBisCo), indicating that inorganic carbon likely enters into the microbial foodweb with differing carbon fractionation potentials. Interestingly, methanogenesis is likely driven by Methanolobus and suggests cycling of methylated compounds and not H2/CO2 or acetate. Furthermore, the abundance of sulfate in brines suggests cryptic sulfur cycling may occur, as we detect possible sulfate reducing and thiosulfate oxidizing microorganisms. Finally, a majority of the microorganisms identified contain genes that would allow them to participate in several element cycles, highlighting that in these deep isolated systems metabolic flexibility may be an important life history trait.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Grimm M, Grube M, Schiefelbein U, et al (2021)

The Lichens' Microbiota, Still a Mystery?.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:623839.

Lichens represent self-supporting symbioses, which occur in a wide range of terrestrial habitats and which contribute significantly to mineral cycling and energy flow at a global scale. Lichens usually grow much slower than higher plants. Nevertheless, lichens can contribute substantially to biomass production. This review focuses on the lichen symbiosis in general and especially on the model species Lobaria pulmonaria L. Hoffm., which is a large foliose lichen that occurs worldwide on tree trunks in undisturbed forests with long ecological continuity. In comparison to many other lichens, L. pulmonaria is less tolerant to desiccation and highly sensitive to air pollution. The name-giving mycobiont (belonging to the Ascomycota), provides a protective layer covering a layer of the green-algal photobiont (Dictyochloropsis reticulata) and interspersed cyanobacterial cell clusters (Nostoc spec.). Recently performed metaproteome analyses confirm the partition of functions in lichen partnerships. The ample functional diversity of the mycobiont contrasts the predominant function of the photobiont in production (and secretion) of energy-rich carbohydrates, and the cyanobiont's contribution by nitrogen fixation. In addition, high throughput and state-of-the-art metagenomics and community fingerprinting, metatranscriptomics, and MS-based metaproteomics identify the bacterial community present on L. pulmonaria as a surprisingly abundant and structurally integrated element of the lichen symbiosis. Comparative metaproteome analyses of lichens from different sampling sites suggest the presence of a relatively stable core microbiome and a sampling site-specific portion of the microbiome. Moreover, these studies indicate how the microbiota may contribute to the symbiotic system, to improve its health, growth and fitness.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Ustick LJ, Larkin AA, Garcia CA, et al (2021)

Metagenomic analysis reveals global-scale patterns of ocean nutrient limitation.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 372(6539):287-291.

Nutrient supply regulates the activity of phytoplankton, but the global biogeography of nutrient limitation and co-limitation is poorly understood. Prochlorococcus adapt to local environments by gene gains and losses, and we used genomic changes as an indicator of adaptation to nutrient stress. We collected metagenomes from all major ocean regions as part of the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (Bio-GO-SHIP) and quantified shifts in genes involved in nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron assimilation. We found regional transitions in stress type and severity as well as widespread co-stress. Prochlorococcus stress genes, bottle experiments, and Earth system model predictions were correlated. We propose that the biogeography of multinutrient stress is stoichiometrically linked by controls on nitrogen fixation. Our omics-based description of phytoplankton resource use provides a nuanced and highly resolved description of nutrient stress in the global ocean.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Li H, Xiao Y, Lü J, et al (2021)

Viral Metagenomic Analysis Reveals a Human Rhinovirus from Hospitalized Neonates.

Microbiology resource announcements, 10(15):.

Here, the coding-complete genome of a human rhinovirus (HRV) belonging to the HRV-A clade was determined from a pool containing nine nasopharyngeal secretion specimens from hospitalized neonates. PCR screening indicated that this HRV variant was present in a cohort of 45 hospitalized neonates, with a positivity rate of 11.1% (5/45 patients).

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Xie F, Duan Z, Zeng W, et al (2021)

Clinical metagenomics assessments improve diagnosis and outcomes in community-acquired pneumonia.

BMC infectious diseases, 21(1):352.

BACKGROUND: Identifying the causes of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is challenging due to the disease's complex etiology and the limitations of traditional microbiological diagnostic methods. Recent advances in next generation sequencing (NGS)-based metagenomics allow pan-pathogen detection in a single assay, and may have significant advantages over culture-based techniques.

RESULTS: We conducted a cohort study of 159 CAP patients to assess the diagnostic performance of a clinical metagenomics assay and its impact on clinical management and patient outcomes. When compared to other techniques, clinical metagenomics detected more pathogens in more CAP cases, and identified a substantial number of polymicrobial infections. Moreover, metagenomics results led to changes in or confirmation of clinical management in 35 of 59 cases; these 35 cases also had significantly improved patient outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Clinical metagenomics could be a valuable tool for the diagnosis and treatment of CAP.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial registration number with the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry: ChiCTR2100043628 .

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Zeng H, Xu H, Liu G, et al (2021)

Physiological and metagenomic strategies uncover the rhizosphere bacterial microbiome succession underlying three common environmental stresses in cassava.

Journal of hazardous materials, 411:125143.

The most common environmental pollutants such as cadmium (Cd), glyphosate and tetracycline have led to profoundly adverse impacts on plant productivity. However, how tropical crops such as cassava sense these pollutants via roots and how rhizosphere microbiome interacts with the host and pollutants remain largely unknown. In this study, we found these stresses significantly inhibited plant growth and triggered cell damage in a dosage-dependent manner, and the toxic effect on redox homeostasis was correlated with antioxidant metabolism. Using metagenomics technique, we found the rhizosphere microbiomes dynamically altered as the dose of these stresses increased. We also identified stressor-associated metagenome-assembled genomes and microbial metabolic pathways as well as mobile genetic elements in the rhizosphere microbiomes. Next, a co-occurrence network of both physiological and microbiome features was constructed to explore how these pollutants derived oxidative damage through the microbiome succession. Notably, phyllosphere transplantation of Agrobacterium tumefaciens or Pseudomonas stutzeri can significantly alleviate the negative effects of stresses on cassava growth and redox homeostasis. Collectively, this study demonstrated the dynamics of rhizosphere bacterial microbiome of cassava under three common environmental stresses, and A. tumefaciens and P. stutzeri could be developed as potential beneficial bacteria to alleviate Cd, glyphosate and tetracycline-triggered damage to cassava.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Wang X, Lan B, Fei H, et al (2021)

Heavy metal could drive co-selection of antibiotic resistance in terrestrial subsurface soils.

Journal of hazardous materials, 411:124848.

Terrestrial surface ecosystems are important sinks for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) due to the continuous discharge of contaminants from human-impacted ecosystems. However, the abundance and resistance types of ARGs and their influencing factors in terrestrial subsurface soils are not well known. In this study, we investigated the abundance and diversity of ARGs, and their correlations with metal resistance genes (MRGs), mobile genetic elements (MGEs), bacteria, and heavy metals in subsurface soils using high throughput quantitative PCR and metagenomic sequencing approaches. Abundant and diverse ARGs were detected with high spatial heterogeneity among sampling sites. Vertically, there was no significant difference in ARG profiles between the aquifer and non-aquifer soils. Heavy metals were key factors shaping ARG profiles in soils with high heavy metal contents, while they showed no significant effect in low contents. Moreover, heavy metals could trigger the proliferation of antibiotic resistance by increasing MGE abundance or influencing bacterial communities. Metagenomic analysis also revealed the widespread co-occurrence of ARGs and MRGs, with heavy metals possibly enhancing the co-selection of ARGs and MRGs in soils with high heavy metal contents. This study highlighted the heavy metal-driven co-selection of ARGs and revealed the occurrence of ARG pollution in terrestrial subsurface soils.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Shamsaddini A, Gillevet PM, Acharya C, et al (2021)

Impact of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Gut Microbiome of Patients with Cirrhosis.

Gastroenterology pii:S0016-5085(21)00634-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Cirrhosis is associated with changes in intestinal microbiota that can lead to hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and infections, especially with antibiotic-resistant organisms. However, the impact of gut microbial antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) burden on clinical outcomes is unclear.

AIMS: Determine the impact of ARGs in cirrhosis-related gut metagenome on outcomes and disease progression, study the effect of rifaximin on ARG burden, and compare ARGs in cirrhosis with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetes.

METHODS: In cirrhotic outpatients who underwent metagenomics, we evaluated change in ARG abundances with progression and their multi-variable impact on 90-day hospitalizations and deaths over 1 year. We also studied ARGs pre and 8-weeks post-rifaximin in compensated cirrhotics in an open-label trial. Finally, ARGs from CKD and diabetes studies were compared to cirrhosis on machine learning.

RESULTS: 163 cirrhotics (43 compensated, 20 ascites-only, 30 HE-only, 70 both) and 40 controls were included. ARG abundances were higher in cirrhosis versus controls and worsened with advancing cirrhosis severity. 44 patients were hospitalized and 14 died. ARG abundances were associated with hospitalizations and mortality while controlling for cirrhosis complications, medications and demographics. Rifaximin trial: ARG abundance patterns were minimally affected in 19 patients post-rifaximin. CKD/diabetes comparison: ARG abundance patterns in cirrhosis are distinguishable on machine learning and include more gram-positive ARGs.

CONCLUSIONS: Cirrhosis is associated with high gut microbial ARG gene burden compared to controls, which worsens with disease progression and may be different from CKD and diabetes. ARGs are not affected by rifaximin and are associated with hospitalizations and death.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Liu S, Chen Y, L Xiao (2021)

Metagenomic insights into mixotrophic denitrification facilitated nitrogen removal in a full-scale A2/O wastewater treatment plant.

PloS one, 16(4):e0250283 pii:PONE-D-20-32434.

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are important for pollutant removal from wastewater, elimination of point discharges of nutrients into the environment and water resource protection. The anaerobic/anoxic/oxic (A2/O) process is widely used in WWTPs for nitrogen removal, but the requirement for additional organics to ensure a suitable nitrogen removal efficiency makes this process costly and energy consuming. In this study, we report mixotrophic denitrification at a low COD (chemical oxygen demand)/TN (total nitrogen) ratio in a full-scale A2/O WWTP with relatively high sulfate in the inlet. Nitrogen and sulfur species analysis in different units of this A2/O WWTP showed that the internal sulfur cycle of sulfate reduction and reoxidation occurred and that the reduced sulfur species might contribute to denitrification. Microbial community analysis revealed that Thiobacillus, an autotrophic sulfur-oxidizing denitrifier, dominated the activated sludge bacterial community. Metagenomics data also supported the potential of sulfur-based denitrification when high levels of denitrification occurred, and sulfur oxidation and sulfate reduction genes coexisted in the activated sludge. Although most of the denitrification genes were affiliated with heterotrophic denitrifiers with high abundance, the narG and napA genes were mainly associated with autotrophic sulfur-oxidizing denitrifiers. The functional genes related to nitrogen removal were actively expressed even in the unit containing relatively highly reduced sulfur species, indicating that the mixotrophic denitrification process in A2/O could overcome not only a shortage of carbon sources but also the inhibition by reduced sulfur of nitrification and denitrification. Our results indicate that a mixotrophic denitrification process could be developed in full-scale WWTPs and reduce the requirement for additional carbon sources, which could endow WWTPs with more flexible and adaptable nitrogen removal.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Parrello B, Butler R, Chlenski P, et al (2021)

Supervised extraction of near-complete genomes from metagenomic samples: A new service in PATRIC.

PloS one, 16(4):e0250092 pii:PONE-D-20-39369.

Large amounts of metagenomically-derived data are submitted to PATRIC for analysis. In the future, we expect even more jobs submitted to PATRIC will use metagenomic data. One in-demand use case is the extraction of near-complete draft genomes from assembled contigs of metagenomic origin. The PATRIC metagenome binning service utilizes the PATRIC database to furnish a large, diverse set of reference genomes. We provide a new service for supervised extraction and annotation of high-quality, near-complete genomes from metagenomically-derived contigs. Reference genomes are assigned to putative draft genome bins based on the presence of single-copy universal marker roles in the sample, and contigs are sorted into these bins by their similarity to reference genomes in PATRIC. Each set of binned contigs represents a draft genome that will be annotated by RASTtk in PATRIC. A structured-language binning report is provided containing quality measurements and taxonomic information about the contig bins. The PATRIC metagenome binning service emphasizes extraction of high-quality genomes for downstream analysis using other PATRIC tools and services. Due to its supervised nature, the binning service is not appropriate for mining novel or extremely low-coverage genomes from metagenomic samples.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Mao YC, Chuang HN, Shih CH, et al (2021)

An investigation of conventional microbial culture for the Naja atra bite wound, and the comparison between culture-based 16S Sanger sequencing and 16S metagenomics of the snake oropharyngeal bacterial microbiota.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(4):e0009331 pii:PNTD-D-20-02011 [Epub ahead of print].

Naja atra is a major venomous snake found in Taiwan. The bite of this snake causes extensive wound necrosis or necrotizing soft tissue infection. Conventional microbial culture-based techniques may fail to identify potential human pathogens and render antibiotics ineffective in the management of wound infection. Therefore, we evaluated 16S Sanger sequencing and next-generation sequencing (NGS) to identify bacterial species in the oropharynx of N. atra. Using conventional microbial culture methods and the VITEK 2 system, we isolated nine species from snakebite wounds. On the basis of the 16S Sanger sequencing of bacterial clones from agar plates, we identified 18 bacterial species in the oropharynx of N. atra, including Morganella morganii, Proteus vulgaris, and Proteus mirabilis, which were also present in the infected bite wound. Using NGS of 16S metagenomics, we uncovered more than 286 bacterial species in the oropharynx of N. atra. In addition, the bacterial species identified using 16S Sanger sequencing accounted for only 2% of those identified through NGS of 16S metagenomics. The bacterial microbiota of the oropharynx of N. atra were modeled better using NGS of 16S metagenomics compared to microbial culture-based techniques. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Proteus penneri were also identified in the NGS of 16S metagenomics. Understanding the bacterial microbiota that are native to the oropharynx of N. atra, in addition to the bite wound, may have additional therapeutic implications regarding empiric antibiotic selection for managing N. atra bites.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Jiang J, Zhou Z, Jiang L, et al (2021)

Bacterial and Microfauna Mechanisms for Sludge Reduction in Carrier-Enhanced Anaerobic Side-Stream Reactors Revealed by Metagenomic Sequencing Analysis.

Environmental science & technology [Epub ahead of print].

Packing carriers into the anaerobic side-stream reactor (ASSR) can enhance sludge reduction and save footprint by investigating ASSR-coupled membrane bioreactors (AP-MBRs) under different hydraulic residence times of the ASSR (HRTSR). Three AP-MBRs and an anoxic-aerobic MBR (AO-MBR) showed efficient chemical oxygen demand (>94.2%) and ammonium nitrogen removal (>99.3%). AP-MBRs have higher (p < 0.05) total nitrogen (61.4-67.7%) and total phosphorus (57.5-63.8%) removal than AO-MBRs (47.8 and 47.7%). AP-MBRs achieved sludge reduction efficiencies of 11.8, 31.8, and 36.2% at HRTSR values of 2.5, 5.0, and 6.7 h. Packing carriers greatly improved sludge reduction under low HRTSR and is promising for accelerating sludge reduction in compact space. Metagenomic sequencing analysis showed that genes responsible for metabolism were enriched in AO-MBRs, while genes related to cellular motility and cell signaling were more abundant in the AP-MBRs. A longevity-regulating pathway showed that long lifespan provided more opportunities for worms to prey bacteria. Microscopic examination revealed that some specific protozoa (Arcella, Clathrulina, Aspidisca, Litonotus, Chiloclonella, and Vorticella) and metazoa (Rotaria and Aeolosoma hemprichi) were enriched in ASSRs. Aeolosoma hemprichi was only detected in ASSRs, and unique Cylops appeared on carriers. These results contribute to growing understanding of micrometabolic mechanisms including functional genes and microfauna-driving sludge reduction.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Maddamsetti R (2021)

Universal constraints on protein evolution in the long-term evolution experiment with Escherichia coli.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6226398 [Epub ahead of print].

Although it is well known that abundant proteins evolve slowly across the tree of life, there is little consensus for why this is true. Here, I report that abundant proteins evolve slowly in the hypermutator populations of Lenski's long-term evolution experiment with Escherichia coli (LTEE). Specifically, the density of all observed mutations per gene, as measured in metagenomic time series covering 60,000 generations of the LTEE, significantly anti-correlates with mRNA abundance, protein abundance, and degree of protein-protein interaction. The same pattern holds for nonsynonymous mutation density. However, synonymous mutation density, measured across the LTEE hypermutator populations, positively correlates with protein abundance. These results show that universal constraints on protein evolution are visible in data spanning three decades of experimental evolution. Therefore, it should be possible to design experiments to answer why abundant proteins evolve slowly.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Shi J, Yang N, G Qian (2021)

Case Report: Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing in Diagnosis of Talaromycosis of an Immunocompetent Patient.

Frontiers in medicine, 8:656194.

Background: Talaromycosis is a serious fungal infection which is rare in immunocompetent people. Since its clinical manifestations lack specificity, it is easy to escape diagnosis or be misdiagnosed leading to high mortality and poor prognosis. It is necessary to be alert to the disease when broad-spectrum antibiotics do not work well in immunocompetent patients. Case Presentation: A 79-year-old man was admitted to our Infectious Diseases Department for recurrent fever and cough. Before admission he has been treated with piperacillin-tazobactam, moxifloxacin followed by antituberculous agents in other hospitals while his symptoms were not thoroughly eased. During the first hospitalization in another hospital, he has been ordered a series of examination including radionuclide whole body bone imaging, transbronchial needle aspiration for subcarinal nodes. However, the results were negative showing no neoplasm. After being admitted to our hospital, he underwent various routine examinations. The initial diagnosis was bacterial pneumonia, and he was given meropenem injection and tigecycline injection successively, but there were no improvement of symptoms and inflammatory indicators. In the end, the main pathogen Talaromyces marneffei was confirmed using Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing (mNGS), and his clinical symptoms gradually relieved after targeted antifungal treatment using voriconazole. Conclusion: When empirical anti-infective treatment is ineffective, it is necessary to consider the possibility of opportunistic fungal infections on immunocompetent patients. mNGS, as a new generation of pathogenic testing methods, can often detect pathogenic bacteria faster than traditional methods, providing important help for clinical decision-making.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Shen Y, Li Y, Li H, et al (2021)

Diagnosing MonoMAC Syndrome in GATA2 Germline Mutated Myelodysplastic Syndrome via Next-Generation Sequencing in a Patient with Refractory and Complex Infection: Case Report and Literature Review.

Infection and drug resistance, 14:1311-1317.

Monocytopenia and mycobacterial infection (MonoMAC) syndrome is a rare disease. Herein, we reported a 65-year-old Asian woman, previously diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), suffering from recurrent pneumonia, intermittent fever, fatigue, and chest tightness lasting for five months. She was ultimately diagnosed with MonoMAC syndrome with Mycobacterium kansasii (M. kansasii) infection and GATA2 mutation through metagenomic generation sequencing (mNGS) of peripheral blood specimen, for which she was given anti-NTM therapy. Her situation significantly improved within 2 weeks of therapy. We discussed the clinical features, genetic characteristic, and prognosis of this disorder, aiming to further elucidate this rare syndrome. For MDS/AML patient with recurrent mixed infection and pancytopenia (especially with monocyte absence), MonoMAC syndrome should be highly suspected, and germline mutation and pathogen sequencing should be performed.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Mesnage R, Teixeira M, Mandrioli D, et al (2021)

Multi-omics phenotyping of the gut-liver axis reveals metabolic perturbations from a low-dose pesticide mixture in rats.

Communications biology, 4(1):471.

Health effects of pesticides are not always accurately detected using the current battery of regulatory toxicity tests. We compared standard histopathology and serum biochemistry measures and multi-omics analyses in a subchronic toxicity test of a mixture of six pesticides frequently detected in foodstuffs (azoxystrobin, boscalid, chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, imidacloprid and thiabendazole) in Sprague-Dawley rats. Analysis of water and feed consumption, body weight, histopathology and serum biochemistry showed little effect. Contrastingly, serum and caecum metabolomics revealed that nicotinamide and tryptophan metabolism were affected, which suggested activation of an oxidative stress response. This was not reflected by gut microbial community composition changes evaluated by shotgun metagenomics. Transcriptomics of the liver showed that 257 genes had their expression changed. Gene functions affected included the regulation of response to steroid hormones and the activation of stress response pathways. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of the same liver samples showed that 4,255 CpG sites were differentially methylated. Overall, we demonstrated that in-depth molecular profiling in laboratory animals exposed to low concentrations of pesticides allows the detection of metabolic perturbations that would remain undetected by standard regulatory biochemical measures and which could thus improve the predictability of health risks from exposure to chemical pollutants.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Zuo T, Liu Q, Zhang F, et al (2021)

Temporal landscape of human gut RNA and DNA virome in SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity.

Microbiome, 9(1):91.

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the enveloped RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from fecal samples, and active viral replication was reported in human intestinal cells. The human gut also harbors an enormous amount of resident viruses (collectively known as the virome) that play a role in regulating host immunity and disease pathophysiology. Understanding gut virome perturbation that underlies SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity is an unmet need.

METHODS: We enrolled 98 COVID-19 patients with varying disease severity (3 asymptomatic, 53 mild, 34 moderate, 5 severe, 3 critical) and 78 non-COVID-19 controls matched for gender and co-morbidities. All subjects had fecal specimens sampled at inclusion. Blood specimens were collected for COVID-19 patients at admission to test for inflammatory markers and white cell counts. Among COVID-19 cases, 37 (38%) patients had serial fecal samples collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until after discharge. Using shotgun metagenomics sequencing, we sequenced and profiled the fecal RNA and DNA virome. We investigated alterations and longitudinal dynamics of the gut virome in association with disease severity and blood parameters.

RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 showed underrepresentation of Pepper mild mottle virus (RNA virus) and multiple bacteriophage lineages (DNA viruses) and enrichment of environment-derived eukaryotic DNA viruses in fecal samples, compared to non-COVID-19 subjects. Such gut virome alterations persisted up to 30 days after disease resolution. Fecal virome in SARS-CoV-2 infection harbored more stress-, inflammation-, and virulence-associated gene encoding capacities including those pertaining to bacteriophage integration, DNA repair, and metabolism and virulence associated with their bacterial host. Baseline fecal abundance of 10 virus species (1 RNA virus, pepper chlorotic spot virus, and 9 DNA virus species) inversely correlated with disease COVID-19 severity. These viruses inversely correlated with blood levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, white cells, and neutrophils. Among the 10 COVID-19 severity-associated DNA virus species, 4 showed inverse correlation with age; 5 showed persistent lower abundance both during disease course and after disease resolution relative to non-COVID-19 subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: Both enteric RNA and DNA virome in COVID-19 patients were different from non-COVID-19 subjects, which persisted after disease resolution of COVID-19. Gut virome may calibrate host immunity and regulate severity to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our observation that gut viruses inversely correlated with both severity of COVID-19 and host age may partly explain that older subjects are prone to severe and worse COVID-19 outcomes. Altogether, our data highlight the importance of human gut virome in severity and potentially therapeutics of COVID-19. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Mu A, McDonald D, Jarmusch AK, et al (2021)

Assessment of the microbiome during bacteriophage therapy in combination with systemic antibiotics to treat a case of staphylococcal device infection.

Microbiome, 9(1):92.

BACKGROUND: Infectious bacterial diseases exhibiting increasing resistance to antibiotics are a serious global health issue. Bacteriophage therapy is an anti-microbial alternative to treat patients with serious bacterial infections. However, the impacts to the host microbiome in response to clinical use of phage therapy are not well understood.

RESULTS: Our paper demonstrates a largely unchanged microbiota profile during 4 weeks of phage therapy when added to systemic antibiotics in a single patient with Staphylococcus aureus device infection. Metabolomic analyses suggest potential indirect cascading ecological impacts to the host (skin) microbiome. We did not detect genomes of the three phages used to treat the patient in metagenomic samples taken from saliva, stool, and skin; however, phages were detected using endpoint-PCR in patient serum.

CONCLUSION: Results from our proof-of-principal study supports the use of bacteriophages as a microbiome-sparing approach to treat bacterial infections. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Oyetibo GO, Ige OO, Obinani PK, et al (2021)

Ecological risk potentials of petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals shape the bacterial communities of marine hydrosphere at Atlantic Ocean, Atlas Cove, Nigeria.

Journal of environmental management, 289:112563 pii:S0301-4797(21)00625-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Trans-Atlantic voyage of petroleum often leads to marine pollution with petroleum hydrocarbons (PHs) and heavy metals (HMs) that defines structures of autochthonous bacteria in the hydrosphere. Bacterial taxa of marine sediments exposed to petroleum transport activities were profiled using 16S rDNA metagenomics and correlated with the geochemistry to establish their impact on the microbiome. The physico-chemistry of the marine systems revealed varied degrees of contamination with PHs and HMs exceeding recommended threshold for aquatic life. Ecological risk assessment based on organic carbon of the sediment established phenanthrene, anthracene, and pyrene posed high risks (index risk quotient >32) to marine life. The most dominant phylum of the 44 bacterial phyla in the marine-sphere was Proteobacteria with relative abundance of 45-77% in the sampling locations. Relative dominance of Proteobacteria in the sediments spanned Gammaproteobacteria (17-25%), Deltaproteobacteria (12-20%), and Alphaproteobacteria (7-14%). Whereas, more operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to Epsilonproteobacteria (19 ± 2.4%) were found in estuarine sediment unlike < 0.5% relative abundances obtained from oceanic sediments. Sulfurimonas apparently dominated the bacterial genera with up to 2.16 ± 0.19% abundance in oceanic sediments. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that PHs shaped the structure of bacterial OTUs in oceanic sediments where petroleum loading/offloading occurs unlike in some kilometres a yonder where HMs correlated with the bacteria structure. The dominant bacteria might possibly pivotal to ecophysiologies of hydrocarbon contaminated marine environment, and would be pertinent to biotechnological applications for possible bioremediation campaign.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Yuan D, He X, Han X, et al (2021)

Comprehensive review and evaluation of computational methods for identifying FLT3-internal tandem duplication in acute myeloid leukaemia.

Briefings in bioinformatics pii:6225087 [Epub ahead of print].

Internal tandem duplication (ITD) of FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3-ITD) constitutes an independent indicator of poor prognosis in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). AML with FLT3-ITD usually presents with poor treatment outcomes, high recurrence rate and short overall survival. Currently, polymerase chain reaction and capillary electrophoresis are widely adopted for the clinical detection of FLT3-ITD, whereas the length and mutation frequency of ITD are evaluated using fragment analysis. With the development of sequencing technology and the high incidence of FLT3-ITD mutations, a multitude of bioinformatics tools and pipelines have been developed to detect FLT3-ITD using next-generation sequencing data. However, systematic comparison and evaluation of the methods or software have not been performed. In this study, we provided a comprehensive review of the principles, functionality and limitations of the existing methods for detecting FLT3-ITD. We further compared the qualitative and quantitative detection capabilities of six representative tools using simulated and biological data. Our results will provide practical guidance for researchers and clinicians to select the appropriate FLT3-ITD detection tools and highlight the direction of future developments in this field. Availability: A Docker image with several programs pre-installed is available at to facilitate the application of FLT3-ITD detection tools.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Chen J, Xi Z, Shi Y, et al (2021)

Highly homogeneous microbial communities dominated by Mycoplasma pneumoniae instead of increased resistance to macrolide antibiotics is the characteristic of lower respiratory tract microbiome of children with refractory Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia.

Translational pediatrics, 10(3):604-615.

Background: Although researchers have found that the microbiota changed during the lower respiratory tract (LRT) infection, little was known about the association between LRT microbiome and refractory M. pneumoniae pneumonia (RMPP).

Methods: From June 28th, 2019 to March 23rd, 2020, we enrolled fifty-two children diagnosed with RMPP or non-refractory M. pneumoniae pneumonia (NRMPP), and characterized the structure and function of microbiota in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) by metagenomic next generation sequencing (mNGS).

Results: Based on Bray-Curtis distance between samples, samples in RMPP group were highly homogeneous, and Shannon index in the RMPP group was much lower than NRMPP group while Simpson index, which presents the degree of dominance, was higher in RMPP group. The dominant taxon with relative abundance greater than 50% was merely Mycoplasma among RMPP and NRMPP patients, but the proportions of other taxonomic distribution were different. M. pneumoniae was the dominant species and occupied almost all niches in the vast majority of RMPP patients, whereas the other genera were dramatically lower. The NRMPP group was more enriched in antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) than the RMPP group, and also exhibited a greater relative abundance of macrolide antibiotics resistance gene (macB) and fluoroquinolone antibiotic resistance genes (patA-B) in M. pneumoniae genome. In RMPP patients, higher relative abundance of Streptococcus pneumoniae had a strong correlation with increased hospitalization days while higher relative abundance of Streptococcus pneumoniae had a negative correlation with hospitalization days among NRMPP patients.

Conclusions: The microbiota of LRT in children with RMPP was much more homogeneous and simpler than that of the NRMPP group and with lower relative abundance of macrolide antibiotics resistance gene in M. pneumoniae genome. M. pneumoniae was absolutely dominant in the vast majority of RMPP patients. Prolonged hospitalization days was associated with relative abundance of M. pneumoniae in NRMPP patients while it was related with other pathogens' relative abundance (e.g., Streptococcus pneumoniae) in RMPP patients.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Zablocki O, Michelsen M, Burris M, et al (2021)

VirION2: a short- and long-read sequencing and informatics workflow to study the genomic diversity of viruses in nature.

PeerJ, 9:e11088.

Microbes play fundamental roles in shaping natural ecosystem properties and functions, but do so under constraints imposed by their viral predators. However, studying viruses in nature can be challenging due to low biomass and the lack of universal gene markers. Though metagenomic short-read sequencing has greatly improved our virus ecology toolkit-and revealed many critical ecosystem roles for viruses-microdiverse populations and fine-scale genomic traits are missed. Some of these microdiverse populations are abundant and the missed regions may be of interest for identifying selection pressures that underpin evolutionary constraints associated with hosts and environments. Though long-read sequencing promises complete virus genomes on single reads, it currently suffers from high DNA requirements and sequencing errors that limit accurate gene prediction. Here we introduce VirION2, an integrated short- and long-read metagenomic wet-lab and informatics pipeline that updates our previous method (VirION) to further enhance the utility of long-read viral metagenomics. Using a viral mock community, we first optimized laboratory protocols (polymerase choice, DNA shearing size, PCR cycling) to enable 76% longer reads (now median length of 6,965 bp) from 100-fold less input DNA (now 1 nanogram). Using a virome from a natural seawater sample, we compared viromes generated with VirION2 against other library preparation options (unamplified, original VirION, and short-read), and optimized downstream informatics for improved long-read error correction and assembly. VirION2 assemblies combined with short-read based data ('enhanced' viromes), provided significant improvements over VirION libraries in the recovery of longer and more complete viral genomes, and our optimized error-correction strategy using long- and short-read data achieved 99.97% accuracy. In the seawater virome, VirION2 assemblies captured 5,161 viral populations (including all of the virus populations observed in the other assemblies), 30% of which were uniquely assembled through inclusion of long-reads, and 22% of the top 10% most abundant virus populations derived from assembly of long-reads. Viral populations unique to VirION2 assemblies had significantly higher microdiversity means, which may explain why short-read virome approaches failed to capture them. These findings suggest the VirION2 sample prep and workflow can help researchers better investigate the virosphere, even from challenging low-biomass samples. Our new protocols are available to the research community on as a 'living document' to facilitate dissemination of updates to keep pace with the rapid evolution of long-read sequencing technology.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Raes EJ, Karsh K, Sow SLS, et al (2021)

Metabolic pathways inferred from a bacterial marker gene illuminate ecological changes across South Pacific frontal boundaries.

Nature communications, 12(1):2213.

Global oceanographic monitoring initiatives originally measured abiotic essential ocean variables but are currently incorporating biological and metagenomic sampling programs. There is, however, a large knowledge gap on how to infer bacterial functions, the information sought by biogeochemists, ecologists, and modelers, from the bacterial taxonomic information (produced by bacterial marker gene surveys). Here, we provide a correlative understanding of how a bacterial marker gene (16S rRNA) can be used to infer latitudinal trends for metabolic pathways in global monitoring campaigns. From a transect spanning 7000 km in the South Pacific Ocean we infer ten metabolic pathways from 16S rRNA gene sequences and 11 corresponding metagenome samples, which relate to metabolic processes of primary productivity, temperature-regulated thermodynamic effects, coping strategies for nutrient limitation, energy metabolism, and organic matter degradation. This study demonstrates that low-cost, high-throughput bacterial marker gene data, can be used to infer shifts in the metabolic strategies at the community scale.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Qi YH, Xu LY, Zhai J, et al (2021)

Complete genome sequence of a novel nege-like virus in aphids (genus Indomegoura).

Virology journal, 18(1):76.

BACKGROUND: Aphids are important vectors of numerous plant viruses. Besides plant viruses, a number of insect specific viruses (ISVs), such as nege/nege-like viruses, have been recently discovered in aphids of the genera Aphis, Rhopalosiphum, and Sitobion.

FINDINGS: In this study, the complete genome sequence of a novel nege-like virus, tentatively named "Indomegoura nege-like virus 1" (INLV1), was identified in aphids of the genus Indomegoura. INLV1 possessed a single positive-stranded RNA genome with 8945 nucleotides, which was predicted to contain three typical open reading frames (ORFs) of negeviruses (including ORF1, ORF2, and ORF3), a 44-nt 5' untranslated region (UTR) and a 98-nt 3' UTR. Five conserved domains were predicted for INLV1, including an Alphavirus-like methyltransferase domain, a RNA virus helicase core domain, and a RNA-dependent RNA polymerase domain (RdRP) in ORF1, a DISB-ORF2_chro domain in ORF2, and a SP24 domain in ORF3. According to the maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree based on RdRP, INLV1 was grouped with barley aphid RNA virus 1 and Hubei virga-like virus 4, together with another two invertebrate viruses, which formed a distinct clade in the proposed group Centivirus. The alignment of RdRP domains for INLV1 and other nege/kita-like viruses suggested that RdRP of INLV1 contained the permuted C (GDD)- A [DX(4-5)D] -B [GX(2-3)TX(3)N] motifs, which were conserved in the Centivirus and Sandewavirus groups. Furthermore, the high abundance and typical characteristics of INLV1 derived small interfering RNAs clearly showed the active replication of INLV1 in the aphid Indomegoura.

CONCLUSION: INLV1 is the first nege-like virus infecting aphids of the genus Indomegoura. As far as we know, it is also the first ISV revealed in this aphid genus.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Arif M, Zhang C, Li X, et al (2021)

iNetModels 2.0: an interactive visualization and database of multi-omics data.

Nucleic acids research pii:6225230 [Epub ahead of print].

It is essential to reveal the associations between various omics data for a comprehensive understanding of the altered biological process in human wellness and disease. To date, very few studies have focused on collecting and exhibiting multi-omics associations in a single database. Here, we present iNetModels, an interactive database and visualization platform of Multi-Omics Biological Networks (MOBNs). This platform describes the associations between the clinical chemistry, anthropometric parameters, plasma proteomics, plasma metabolomics, as well as metagenomics for oral and gut microbiome obtained from the same individuals. Moreover, iNetModels includes tissue- and cancer-specific Gene Co-expression Networks (GCNs) for exploring the connections between the specific genes. This platform allows the user to interactively explore a single feature's association with other omics data and customize its particular context (e.g. male/female specific). The users can also register their data for sharing and visualization of the MOBNs and GCNs. Moreover, iNetModels allows users who do not have a bioinformatics background to facilitate human wellness and disease research. iNetModels can be accessed freely at without any limitation.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Rajeev AC, Sahu N, Arvind K, et al (2021)

Exploring prevalence of potential pathogens and fecal indicators in geographically distinct river systems through comparative metagenomics.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 282:117003 pii:S0269-7491(21)00585-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial communities are considered as vital members to reflect the health of a riverine system. Among them, pathogenic and fecal indicators imply health risks involved with potability of river water. The present study explores the diverse microbial communities, distribution pattern of potential pathogens, and fecal indicators between the geographically distinct Himalayan and Peninsular river systems of India. It also inquires into the environmental factors associated with community variance and distribution pattern of microbial indicators. The application of high-throughput amplicon sequencing approach unveiled significant demarcation (p < 0.004, Anosim R = 0.62) of samples suggesting unique microbial diversities in these two river sediments. Random forest analysis revealed Desulfobulbulus, PSB_M_3, and Opitutus in Himalayan, while DA101, Bacillus, and Streptomyces in the Peninsular as significant contributors to develop overall dissimilarity between the river systems. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance and co-occurrence network analysis were used to study the relationships between microbial taxa and environmental factors. Amongst the various studied environmental parameters, pH, K, Ca, Mg, Ba, and Al in the Himalayan and salinity, Na, temperature, and Th in the Peninsular significantly influenced shaping of distinct microbial communities. Furthermore, the potential pathogenic genera, including Flavobacterium, Clostridium, Arcobacter, Pseudomonas, and Bacillus were highly prevalent in both the river systems. Arcobacter, Clostridium, Acinetobacter, Bacteroides, and Caloramator were the prominent fecal indicators in these river systems. Our findings provide salient information about the crucial role and interplay between various environmental factors and anthropogenic influences in framing the microbiome of the distinct river systems in India. Moreover, assessing potential pathogenic and fecal indicators suggest the public health risk associated with untreated sewage discharge into these water sources. The detection of various F/S indicators and potentially pathogenic bacteria in Himalayan and Peninsular river systems emphasize the urgent need for future monitoring and management of major riverine systems in India.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Canova R, Budaszewski RF, Weber MN, et al (2021)

Spleen and lung virome analysis of South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis) collected on the southern Brazilian coast.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases pii:S1567-1348(21)00159-3 [Epub ahead of print].

South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis) are believed to reach the coast of Rio Grande do Sul (RS) through sea currents. They live in colonies and are frequently found resting on the beach. However, it is also common to find dead pinnipeds on beaches, sharing the environment with humans, domestic animals and other wild species on the coast and facilitating the transmission of pathogens. In the present study, a metagenomic approach was applied to evaluate the viral diversity in organs of fur seals found deceased along the coast of the state of RS, southern Brazil. The lungs and spleens of 29 animals were collected, macerated individually, pooled separately (one pool for lungs and another for spleens) and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Sequences more closely related to members of the Anelloviridae and Circoviridae families were detected. Nine putative new species of anellovirus and one putative new genus, named Nitorquevirus, were described. Additionally, the circovirus sequences found in the lungs of A. australis have a common ancestor with PCV3, a proposed swine pathogen. Our study expanded the knowledge about viral communities in pinnipeds and could be useful for monitoring new viruses and potential viral sharing among wildlife, domestic animals, and humans.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Perez-Mon C, Qi W, Vikram S, et al (2021)

Shotgun metagenomics reveals distinct functional diversity and metabolic capabilities between 12 000-year-old permafrost and active layers on Muot da Barba Peider (Swiss Alps).

Microbial genomics, 7(4):.

The warming-induced thawing of permafrost promotes microbial activity, often resulting in enhanced greenhouse gas emissions. The ability of permafrost microorganisms to survive the in situ sub-zero temperatures, their energetic strategies and their metabolic versatility in using soil organic materials determine their growth and functionality upon thawing. Hence, functional characterization of the permafrost microbiome, particularly in the underexplored mid-latitudinal alpine regions, is a crucial first step in predicting its responses to the changing climate, and the consequences for soil-climate feedbacks. In this study, for the first time, the functional potential and metabolic capabilities of a temperate mountain permafrost microbiome from central Europe has been analysed using shotgun metagenomics. Permafrost and active layers from the summit of Muot da Barba Peider (MBP) [Swiss Alps, 2979 m above sea level (a.s.l.)] revealed a strikingly high functional diversity in the permafrost (north-facing soils at a depth of 160 cm). Permafrost metagenomes were enriched in stress-response genes (e.g. cold-shock genes, chaperones), as well as in genes involved in cell defence and competition (e.g. antiviral proteins, antibiotics, motility, nutrient-uptake ABC transporters), compared with active-layer metagenomes. Permafrost also showed a higher potential for the synthesis of carbohydrate-active enzymes, and an overrepresentation of genes involved in fermentation, carbon fixation, denitrification and nitrogen reduction reactions. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the potential capabilities of permafrost microorganisms to thrive in cold and oligotrophic conditions, and highlight their metabolic versatility in carbon and nitrogen cycling. Our study provides a first insight into the high functional gene diversity of the central European mountain permafrost microbiome. Our findings extend our understanding of the microbial ecology of permafrost and represent a baseline for future investigations comparing the functional profiles of permafrost microbial communities at different latitudes.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Huang W, MA Kane (2021)

MAPLE: A Microbiome Analysis Pipeline Enabling Optimal Peptide Search and Comparative Taxonomic and Functional Analysis.

Journal of proteome research [Epub ahead of print].

Metaproteomics by mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful approach to profile a large number of proteins expressed by all organisms in a highly complex biological or ecological sample, which is able to provide a direct and quantitative assessment of the functional makeup of a microbiota. The human gastrointestinal microbiota has been found playing important roles in human physiology and health, and metaproteomics has been shown to shed light on multiple novel associations between microbiota and diseases. MS-powered proteomics generally relies on genome data to define search space. However, metaproteomics, which simultaneously analyzes all proteins from hundreds to thousands of species, faces significant challenges regarding database search and interpretation of results. To overcome these obstacles, we have developed a user-friendly microbiome analysis pipeline (MAPLE, freely downloadable at, which is able to define an optimal search space by inferring proteomes specific to samples following the principle of parsimony. MAPLE facilitates highly comparable or better peptide identification compared to a sample-specific metagenome-guided search. In addition, we implemented an automated peptide-centric enrichment analysis function in MAPLE to address issues of traditional protein-centric comparison, enabling straightforward and comprehensive comparison of taxonomic and functional makeup between microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Thompson TP, Kelly SA, Skvortsov T, et al (2021)

Microbiology of a NaCl stalactite 'salticle' formed within Triassic halite.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Large regions of Earth's surface are underlain by salt deposits that evaporated from ancient oceans and are populated by extreme halophilic microbes. Some of these halophiles may have been preserved over geological timescales within hypersaline fluid inclusions, but ingresses of water and/or anthropogenic activities can lead to the formation of alternative habitats, including NaCl stalactites or speleothems. While the microbiology of ancient evaporites has been well-studied, the ecology of these recently formed structures is less-well understood. Here, the microbiology of a NaCl stalactite ('salticle') in a Triassic halite mine is characterised. The specific aims were to: determine the presence of fluid inclusions; determine the microbial structure of the salticle compared with a nearby brine-pool and surficial soil; and characterise the ecophysiological capabilities of this unique ecosystem. The salticle contained fluid inclusions, and their microbiome was composed of Euryarchaetota, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria, with Haloarchaea in greater abundance than brine-pool or soil microbiomes. The salticle metagenome exhibited a greater abundance of genes involved in osmoregulation, anaerobic respiration, UV resistance, oxidative stress, and stress-protein synthesis relative to the soil microbiome. We discuss the potential astrobiological implications of salticles as enclosed salt-saturated habitats that are protected from ionising radiation and have a stable water-activity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Chen Z, Zhong X, Zheng M, et al (2021)

Indicator species drive the key ecological functions of microbiota in a river impacted by rare earth elements acid mine drainage in South China.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Acid mine drainage (AMD) generated by rare earth elements (REEs) deposits exploration contains high concentrations of REEs, ammonium and sulfates, which is quite different from typical metallic AMD. Currently, microbial responses and ecological functions in REEs-AMD impacted rivers are unknown. Here, 16S rRNA analysis and genome-resolved metagenomics were performed on microbial community collected from a REEs-AMD contaminated river. The results showed that REEs-AMD significantly changed river microbial diversity and shaped unique indicator species (e.g., Thaumarchaeota, Methylophilales, Rhodospirillales and Burkholderiales). The main environmental factors regulating community were pH, ammonium and REEs, among which high concentration of REEs increased REEs-dependent enzyme-encoding genes (XoxF and ExaF/PedH). Additionally, we reconstructed 566 metagenome-assembled genomes covering 70.4% of identifying indicators. Genome-centric analysis revealed the abundant archaea Thaumarchaeota and Xanthomonadaceae which were often involved in nitrification and denitrification, while family Burkholderiaceae were capable of sulfide oxidation coupled with dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium. These indicators play crucial roles in nitrogen and sulfur cycling as well as REEs immobilization in REEs-AMD contaminated rivers. This study confirmed the potential dual effect of REEs on microbial community at functional gene level. Our investigation on the ecological roles of indicators further provided new insights for the development of REEs-AMD bioremediation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Duan M, T Bau (2021)

Grassland fairy rings of Leucocalocybe mongolica represent the center of a rich soil microbial community.

Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology] [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The ecological phenomenon of fungal fairy rings is usually found in grasslands and caused by the growth of specific fairy ring fungi in soil. The fairy rings are classified into three zones (DARK, DEAD, and OUT), and they have the potential to increase crop yield. Among these fairy rings, distinct characteristics of type I fairy rings can be seen in the rings formed by Leucocalocybe mongolica (LM). Our studies addressed changes in the soil microbial structure due to LM fairy rings to enhance understand of this ecological phenomenon.

METHODS: In the present study, we report the soil microbial analysis results (fungi and bacteria), including those of metabarcoding (16s rRNA, ITS), microbial quantity, and metagenomics surveys of soils collected from various fairy ring zones, of 6 LM fairy rings. All sampling sites cover the grasslands of Mongolian Plateau in China.

RESULTS: First, we found through metabarcoding surveys that the difference in microbial diversity is relatively less in bacteria and that the abundance of fairy ring fungi (LM) is relatively high in DEAD zones. We also identified eight bacterial and fungal families, including Sphingobacteriaceae and Sphingomonadaceae that were enriched within the soils of fairy ring zones. Second, we found that the abundance of soil bacteria in the DEAD zones is sharply increased along with the growth of fairy ring fungi (LM). Third, we found through shotgun sequencing that fairy ring-infected zones, DARK and DEAD, exhibit greater genetic diversity than OUT zones. Finally, we showed that the fairy ring ecosystem is the center for a rich grassland microbial community.

CONCLUSIONS: The reported data can improve our understanding of type I fairy rings and will be further insightful to the research on crop production.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Chang FY, Siuti P, Laurent S, et al (2021)

Gut-inhabiting Clostridia build human GPCR ligands by conjugating neurotransmitters with diet- and human-derived fatty acids.

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Human physiology is regulated by endogenous signalling compounds, including fatty acid amides (FAAs), chemical mimics of which are made by bacteria. The molecules produced by human-associated microbes are difficult to identify because they may only be made in a local niche or they require a substrate sourced from the host, diet or other microbes. We identified a set of uncharacterized gene clusters in metagenomics data from the human gut microbiome. These clusters were discovered to make FAAs by fusing exogenous fatty acids with amines. Using an in vitro assay, we tested their ability to incorporate 25 fatty acids and 53 amines known to be present in the human gut, from which the production of six FAAs was deduced (oleoyl dopamine, oleoyl tyramine, lauroyl tryptamine, oleoyl aminovaleric acid, α-linolenoyl phenylethylamine and caproyl tryptamine). These molecules were screened against panels of human G-protein-coupled receptors to deduce their putative human targets. Lauroyl tryptamine is found to be an antagonist to the immunomodulatory receptor EBI2 against its native oxysterol ligand (0.98 μM half-maximal inhibitory concentration), is produced in culture by Eubacterium rectale and is present in human faecal samples. FAAs produced by Clostridia may serve as a mechanism to modulate their host by mimicking human signalling molecules.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Restrepo L, Domínguez-Borbor C, Bajaña L, et al (2021)

Microbial community characterization of shrimp survivors to AHPND challenge test treated with an effective shrimp probiotic (Vibrio diabolicus).

Microbiome, 9(1):88.

BACKGROUND: Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is an important shrimp bacterial disease caused by some Vibrio species. The severity of the impact of this disease on aquaculture worldwide has made it necessary to develop alternatives to prophylactic antibiotics use, such as the application of probiotics. To assess the potential to use probiotics in order to limit the detrimental effects of AHNPD, we evaluated the effect of the ILI strain, a Vibrio sp. bacterium and efficient shrimp probiotic, using metabarcoding (16S rRNA gene) on the gastrointestinal microbiota of shrimp after being challenged with AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus.

RESULTS: We showed how the gastrointestinal microbiome of shrimp varied between healthy and infected organisms. Nevertheless, a challenge of working with AHPND-causing Vibrio pathogens and Vibrio-related bacteria as probiotics is the potential risk of the probiotic strain becoming pathogenic. Consequently, we evaluated whether ILI strain can acquire the plasmid pV-AHPND via horizontal transfer and further cause the disease in shrimp. Conjugation assays were performed resulting in a high frequency (70%) of colonies harboring the pv-AHPND. However, no shrimp mortality was observed when transconjugant colonies of the ILI strain were used in a challenge test using healthy shrimp. We sequenced the genome of the ILI strain and performed comparative genomics analyses using AHPND and non-AHPND Vibrio isolates. Using available phylogenetic and phylogenomics analyses, we reclassified the ILI strain as Vibrio diabolicus. In summary, this work represents an effort to study the role that probiotics play in the normal gastrointestinal shrimp microbiome and in AHPND-infected shrimp, showing that the ILI probiotic was able to control pathogenic bacterial populations in the host's gastrointestinal tract and stimulate the shrimp's survival. The identification of probiotic bacterial species that are effective in the host's colonization is important to promote animal health and prevent disease.

CONCLUSIONS: This study describes probiotic bacteria capable of controlling pathogenic populations of bacteria in the shrimp gastrointestinal tract. Our work provides new insights into the complex dynamics between shrimp and the changes in the microbiota. It also addresses the practical application of probiotics to solve problems with pathogens that cause high mortality-rate in shrimp farming around the world. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Cambon-Bonavita MA, Aubé J, Cueff-Gauchard V, et al (2021)

Niche partitioning in the Rimicaris exoculata holobiont: the case of the first symbiotic Zetaproteobacteria.

Microbiome, 9(1):87.

BACKGROUND: Free-living and symbiotic chemosynthetic microbial communities support primary production and higher trophic levels in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. The shrimp Rimicaris exoculata, which dominates animal communities along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, houses a complex bacterial community in its enlarged cephalothorax. The dominant bacteria present are from the taxonomic groups Campylobacteria, Desulfobulbia (formerly Deltaproteobacteria), Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and some recently discovered iron oxyhydroxide-coated Zetaproteobacteria. This epibiotic consortium uses iron, sulfide, methane, and hydrogen as energy sources. Here, we generated shotgun metagenomes from Rimicaris exoculata cephalothoracic epibiotic communities to reconstruct and investigate symbiotic genomes. We collected specimens from three geochemically contrasted vent fields, TAG, Rainbow, and Snake Pit, to unravel the specificity, variability, and adaptation of Rimicaris-microbe associations.

RESULTS: Our data enabled us to reconstruct 49 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from the TAG and Rainbow vent fields, including 16 with more than 90% completion and less than 5% contamination based on single copy core genes. These MAGs belonged to the dominant Campylobacteria, Desulfobulbia, Thiotrichaceae, and some novel candidate phyla radiation (CPR) lineages. In addition, most importantly, two MAGs in our collection were affiliated to Zetaproteobacteria and had no close relatives (average nucleotide identity ANI < 77% with the closest relative Ghiorsea bivora isolated from TAG, and 88% with each other), suggesting potential novel species. Genes for Calvin-Benson Bassham (CBB) carbon fixation, iron, and sulfur oxidation, as well as nitrate reduction, occurred in both MAGs. However, genes for hydrogen oxidation and multicopper oxidases occurred in one MAG only, suggesting shared and specific potential functions for these two novel Zetaproteobacteria symbiotic lineages. Overall, we observed highly similar symbionts co-existing in a single shrimp at both the basaltic TAG and ultramafic Rainbow vent sites. Nevertheless, further examination of the seeming functional redundancy among these epibionts revealed important differences.

CONCLUSION: These data highlight microniche partitioning in the Rimicaris holobiont and support recent studies showing that functional diversity enables multiple symbiont strains to coexist in animals colonizing hydrothermal vents. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Guerin E, Shkoporov AN, Stockdale SR, et al (2021)

Isolation and characterisation of ΦcrAss002, a crAss-like phage from the human gut that infects Bacteroides xylanisolvens.

Microbiome, 9(1):89.

BACKGROUND: The gut phageome comprises a complex phage community of thousands of individual strains, with a few highly abundant bacteriophages. CrAss-like phages, which infect bacteria of the order Bacteroidales, are the most abundant bacteriophage family in the human gut and make an important contribution to an individual's core virome. Based on metagenomic data, crAss-like phages form a family, with four sub-families and ten candidate genera. To date, only three representatives isolated in pure culture have been reported: ΦcrAss001 and two closely related phages DAC15 and DAC17; all are members of the less abundant candidate genus VI. The persistence at high levels of both crAss-like phage and their Bacteroidales hosts in the human gut has not been explained mechanistically, and this phage-host relationship can only be properly studied with isolated phage-host pairs from as many genera as possible.

RESULTS: Faeces from a healthy donor with high levels of crAss-like phage was used to initiate a faecal fermentation in a chemostat, with selected antibiotics chosen to inhibit rapidly growing bacteria and selectively enrich for Gram-negative Bacteroidales. This had the objective of promoting the simultaneous expansion of crAss-like phages on their native hosts. The levels of seven different crAss-like phages expanded during the fermentation, indicating that their hosts were also present in the fermenter. The enriched supernatant was then tested against individual Bacteroidales strains isolated from the same faecal sample. This resulted in the isolation of a previously uncharacterised crAss-like phage of candidate genus IV of the proposed Alphacrassvirinae sub-family, ΦcrAss002, that infects the gut commensal Bacteroides xylanisolvens. ΦcrAss002 does not form plaques or spots on lawns of sensitive cells, nor does it lyse liquid cultures, even at high titres. In keeping with the co-abundance of phage and host in the human gut, ΦcrAss002 and Bacteroides xylanisolvens can also co-exist at high levels when co-cultured in laboratory media.

CONCLUSIONS: We report the isolation and characterisation of ΦcrAss002, the first representative of the proposed Alphacrassvirinae sub-family of crAss-like phages. ΦcrAss002 cannot form plaques or spots on bacterial lawns but can co-exist with its host, Bacteroides xylanisolvens, at very high levels in liquid culture without impacting on bacterial numbers. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Fremin BJ, AS Bhatt (2021)

Comparative genomics identifies thousands of candidate structured RNAs in human microbiomes.

Genome biology, 22(1):100.

BACKGROUND: Structured RNAs play varied bioregulatory roles within microbes. To date, hundreds of candidate structured RNAs have been predicted using informatic approaches that search for motif structures in genomic sequence data. The human microbiome contains thousands of species and strains of microbes. Yet, much of the metagenomic data from the human microbiome remains unmined for structured RNA motifs primarily due to computational limitations.

RESULTS: We sought to apply a large-scale, comparative genomics approach to these organisms to identify candidate structured RNAs. With a carefully constructed, though computationally intensive automated analysis, we identify 3161 conserved candidate structured RNAs in intergenic regions, as well as 2022 additional candidate structured RNAs that may overlap coding regions. We validate the RNA expression of 177 of these candidate structures by analyzing small fragment RNA-seq data from four human fecal samples.

CONCLUSIONS: This approach identifies a wide variety of candidate structured RNAs, including tmRNAs, antitoxins, and likely ribosome protein leaders, from a wide variety of taxa. Overall, our pipeline enables conservative predictions of thousands of novel candidate structured RNAs from human microbiomes.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Imwattana K, Knight DR, TV Riley (2021)

Can sequencing improve the diagnosis and management of Clostridioides difficile infection?.

Expert review of molecular diagnostics [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Zhang Y, Chen H, Wang J, et al (2021)

Emergence and Autochthonous Transmission of Dengue Virus Type I in a Low-Epidemic Region in Southeast China.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:638785.

Background: Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne febrile illness. Southeast Asia experienced severe dengue outbreaks in 2019, and over 1000 cases had been reported in Jiangxi, a previously known low-epidemic region in China. However, the emergence of a dengue virus epidemic in a non-epidemic region remains unclear.

Methods: We enrolled 154 dengue fever patients from four hospitals in Jiangxi, from April 2019 to September 2019. Real-time PCR, NS1 antigen rapid test, and IgM, IgG tests were performed, and 14 samples were outsourced to be sequenced metagenomically.

Results: Among the 154 cases, 42 were identified as imported and most of them returned from Cambodia. A total of 113 blood samples were obtained and 106 were identified as DENV-1, two as DENV-2, and five were negative through RT-PCR. All DENV-1 strains sequenced in this study were all classified to one cluster and owned a high similarity with a Cambodia strain isolated in 2019. The evolutionary relationships of amino acid were consistent with that of nucleotide genome result. The sequence-based findings of Jiangxi strains were consistent with epidemiological investigation.

Conclusion: Epidemiological analysis demonstrated that the emergence of dengue cases led to autochthonous transmission in several cities in Jiangxi, a low-epidemic region before. This study emphasized future prevention and control of dengue fever in both epidemic and non-epidemic regions.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Zhong C, Chen C, Wang L, et al (2021)

Integrating pan-genome with metagenome for microbial community profiling.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:1458-1466.

Advances in sequencing technology have led to the increased availability of genomes and metagenomes, which has greatly facilitated microbial pan-genome and metagenome analysis in the community. In line with this trend, studies on microbial genomes and phenotypes have gradually shifted from individuals to environmental communities. Pan-genomics and metagenomics are powerful strategies for in-depth profiling study of microbial communities. Pan-genomics focuses on genetic diversity, dynamics, and phylogeny at the multi-genome level, while metagenomics profiles the distribution and function of culture-free microbial communities in special environments. Combining pan-genome and metagenome analysis can reveal the microbial complicated connections from an individual complete genome to a mixture of genomes, thereby extending the catalog of traditional individual genomic profile to community microbial profile. Therefore, the combination of pan-genome and metagenome approaches has become a promising method to track the sources of various microbes and decipher the population-level evolution and ecosystem functions. This review summarized the pan-genome and metagenome approaches, the combined strategies of pan-genome and metagenome, and applications of these combined strategies in studies of microbial dynamics, evolution, and function in communities. We discussed emerging strategies for the study of microbial communities that integrate information in both pan-genome and metagenome. We emphasized studies in which the integrating pan-genome with metagenome approach improved the understanding of models of microbial community profiles, both structural and functional. Finally, we illustrated future perspectives of microbial community profile: more advanced analytical techniques, including big-data based artificial intelligence, will lead to an even better understanding of the patterns of microbial communities.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Zhou M, Wu Y, Kudinha T, et al (2021)

Comprehensive Pathogen Identification, Antibiotic Resistance, and Virulence Genes Prediction Directly From Simulated Blood Samples and Positive Blood Cultures by Nanopore Metagenomic Sequencing.

Frontiers in genetics, 12:620009.

Bloodstream infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. We explored whether MinION nanopore sequencing could accelerate diagnosis, resistance, and virulence profiling prediction in simulated blood samples and blood cultures. One milliliter of healthy blood samples each from direct spike (sample 1), anaerobic (sample 2), and aerobic (sample 3) blood cultures with initial inoculation of ∼30 CFU/ml of a clinically isolated Klebsiella pneumoniae strain was subjected to DNA extraction and nanopore sequencing. Hybrid assembly of Illumina and nanopore reads from pure colonies of the isolate (sample 4) was used as a reference for comparison. Hybrid assembly of the reference genome identified a total of 39 antibiotic resistance genes and 77 virulence genes through alignment with the CARD and VFDB databases. Nanopore correctly detected K. pneumoniae in all three blood samples. The fastest identification was achieved within 8 h from specimen to result in sample 1 without blood culture. However, direct sequencing in sample 1 only identified seven resistance genes (20.6%) but 28 genes in samples 2-4 (82.4%) compared to the reference within 2 h of sequencing time. Similarly, 11 (14.3%) and 74 (96.1%) of the virulence genes were detected in samples 1 and 2-4 within 2 h of sequencing time, respectively. Direct nanopore sequencing from positive blood cultures allowed comprehensive pathogen identification, resistance, and virulence genes prediction within 2 h, which shows its promising use in point-of-care clinical settings.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Yang M, Xia Q, Du S, et al (2021)

Genomic Characterization and Distribution Pattern of a Novel Marine OM43 Phage.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:651326.

Bacteriophages have a significant impact on the structure and function of marine microbial communities. Phages of some major bacterial lineages have recently been shown to dominate the marine viral communities. However, phages that infect many important bacterial clades still remained unexplored. Members of the marine OM43 clade are methylotrophs that play important roles in C1 metabolism. OM43 phages (phages that infect the OM43 bacteria) represent an understudied viral group with only one known isolate. In this study, we describe the genomic characterization and biogeography of an OM43 phage that infects the strain HTCC2181, designated MEP301. MEP301 has a genome size of 34,774 bp. We found that MEP301 is genetically distinct from other known phage isolates and only displays significant sequence similarity with some metagenomic viral genomes (MVGs). A total of 12 MEP301-type MVGs were identified from metagenomic datasets. Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses revealed that MEP301-type phages can be separated into two subgroups (subgroup I and subgroup II). We also performed a metagenomic recruitment analysis to determine the relative abundance of reads mapped to these MEP301-type phages, which suggested that subgroup I MEP301-type phages are present predominantly in the cold upper waters with lower salinity. Notably, subgroup II phages have an inverse different distribution pattern, implying that they may infect hosts from a distinct OM43 subcluster. Our study has expanded the knowledge about the genomic diversity of marine OM43 phages and identified a new phage group that is widespread in the ocean.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Wei ZG, Zhang XD, Cao M, et al (2021)

Comparison of Methods for Picking the Operational Taxonomic Units From Amplicon Sequences.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:644012.

With the advent of next-generation sequencing technology, it has become convenient and cost efficient to thoroughly characterize the microbial diversity and taxonomic composition in various environmental samples. Millions of sequencing data can be generated, and how to utilize this enormous sequence resource has become a critical concern for microbial ecologists. One particular challenge is the OTUs (operational taxonomic units) picking in 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Lucky, this challenge can be directly addressed by sequence clustering that attempts to group similar sequences. Therefore, numerous clustering methods have been proposed to help to cluster 16S rRNA sequences into OTUs. However, each method has its clustering mechanism, and different methods produce diverse outputs. Even a slight parameter change for the same method can also generate distinct results, and how to choose an appropriate method has become a challenge for inexperienced users. A lot of time and resources can be wasted in selecting clustering tools and analyzing the clustering results. In this study, we introduced the recent advance of clustering methods for OTUs picking, which mainly focus on three aspects: (i) the principles of existing clustering algorithms, (ii) benchmark dataset construction for OTU picking and evaluation metrics, and (iii) the performance of different methods with various distance thresholds on benchmark datasets. This paper aims to assist biological researchers to select the reasonable clustering methods for analyzing their collected sequences and help algorithm developers to design more efficient sequences clustering methods.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Zhang X, Chen S, Duan F, et al (2021)

Prebiotics enhance the biotransformation and bioavailability of ginsenosides in rats by modulating gut microbiota.

Journal of ginseng research, 45(2):334-343.

Background: Gut microbiota mainly function in the biotransformation of primary ginsenosides into bioactive metabolites. Herein, we investigated the effects of three prebiotic fibers by targeting gut microbiota on the metabolism of ginsenoside Rb1 in vivo.

Methods: Sprague Dawley rats were administered with ginsenoside Rb1 after a two-week prebiotic intervention of fructooligosaccharide, galactooligosaccharide, and fibersol-2, respectively. Pharmacokinetic analysis of ginsenoside Rb1 and its metabolites was performed, whilst the microbial composition and metabolic function of gut microbiota were examined by 16S rRNA gene amplicon and metagenomic shotgun sequencing.

Results: The results showed that peak plasma concentration and area under concentration time curve of ginsenoside Rb1 and its intermediate metabolites, ginsenoside Rd, F2, and compound K (CK), in the prebiotic intervention groups were increased at various degrees compared with those in the control group. Gut microbiota dramatically responded to the prebiotic treatment at both taxonomical and functional levels. The abundance of Prevotella, which possesses potential function to hydrolyze ginsenoside Rb1 into CK, was significantly elevated in the three prebiotic groups (P < 0.05). The gut metagenomic analysis also revealed the functional gene enrichment for terpenoid/polyketide metabolism, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, propanoate metabolism, etc.

Conclusion: These findings imply that prebiotics may selectively promote the proliferation of certain bacterial stains with glycoside hydrolysis capacity, thereby, subsequently improving the biotransformation and bioavailability of primary ginsenosides in vivo.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Liu D, Yang Y, Ai J, et al (2021)

Research on microbial structures, functions and metabolic pathways in an advanced denitrification system coupled with aerobic methane oxidation based on metagenomics.

Bioresource technology, 332:125047 pii:S0960-8524(21)00386-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Methanotrophs can oxidize methane as the sole carbon and energy, and the resulting intermediate products can be simultaneously utilized by coexistent denitrifying bacteria to remove the nitrogen, which named Aerobic Methane Oxidation Coupled to Denitrification (AME-D). In this paper, an AME-D system was built in an improved denitrification bio-filter, to analyze the nitrogen removal efficiency and mechanism. The maximum TN removal rate reached 95.05%. As shown in Raman spectroscopy, in the effluent wave crests generated by the symmetric expansion and contraction of NO3- disappeared, and the distortion of olefin CH2 and C-OH stretching of alcohols appeared. Metagenomics revealed Methylotenera and Methylobacter were the dominated methanotrophs. There was a completed methane and nitrogen metabolism pathway with the synergism of nxrAB, narGHI, nasAB, pmo-amoABC and mmo genes. Dissimilatory reduction pathway was the primary nitrate removal pathway. Moreover, Bradyrhizobium could participate in methane and nitrogen metabolism simultaneously.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Granato D, Neves LX, Trino LD, et al (2021)

Meta-omics analysis indicates the saliva microbiome and its proteins associated with the prognosis of oral cancer patients.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Proteins and proteomics pii:S1570-9639(21)00065-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Saliva is a biofluid that maintains the health of oral tissues and the homeostasis of oral microbiota. Studies have demonstrated that Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients have different salivary microbiota than healthy individuals. However, the relationship between these microbial differences and clinicopathological outcomes is still far from conclusive. Herein, we investigate the capability of using metagenomic and metaproteomic saliva profiles to distinguish between Control (C), OSCC without active lesion (L0), and OSCC with active lesion (L1) patients. The results show that there are significantly distinct taxonomies and functional changes in L1 patients compared to C and L0 patients, suggesting compositional modulation of the oral microbiome, as the relative abundances of Centipeda, Veillonella, and Gemella suggested by metagenomics are correlated with tumor size, clinical stage, and active lesion. Metagenomics results also demonstrated that poor overall patient survival is associated with a higher relative abundance of Stenophotromonas, Staphylococcus, Centipeda, Selenomonas, Alloscordovia, and Acitenobacter. Finally, compositional and functional differences in the saliva content by metaproteomics analysis can distinguish healthy individuals from OSCC patients. In summary, our study suggests that oral microbiota and their protein abundance have potential diagnosis and prognosis value for oral cancer patients. Further studies are necessary to understand the role of uniquely detected metaproteins in the microbiota of healthy and OSCC patients as well as the crosstalk between saliva host proteins and the oral microbiome present in OSCC.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Priya P, Aneesh B, K Harikrishnan (2021)

Genomics as a potential tool to unravel the rhizosphere microbiome interactions on plant health.

Journal of microbiological methods pii:S0167-7012(21)00083-X [Epub ahead of print].

Intense agricultural practices to meet rising food demands have caused ecosystem perturbations. For sustainable crop production, biological agents are gaining attention, but exploring their functional potential on a multi-layered complex ecosystem like the rhizosphere is challenging. This review explains the significance of genomics as a culture-independent molecular tool to understand the diversity and functional significance of the rhizosphere microbiome for sustainable agriculture. It discusses the recent significant studies in the rhizosphere environment carried out using evolving techniques like metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and metaproteomics, their challenges, constraints in-field application, and prospective solutions. The recent advances in techniques such as nanotechnology for the development of bioformulations and visualization techniques contemplating environmental safety were also discussed. The need for development of metagenomic data sets of regionally important crops, their plant microbial interactions and agricultural practices for narrowing down significant data from huge databases have been suggested. The role of taxonomical and functional diversity of soil microbiota in understanding soil suppression and part played by the microbial metabolites in the process have been analyzed and discussed in the context of 'omics' approach. 'Omics' studies have revealed important information about microbial diversity, their responses to various biotic and abiotic stimuli, and the physiology of disease suppression. This can be translated to crop sustainability and combinational approaches with advancing visualization and analysis methodologies to fix the existing knowledge gap to a huge extend. With improved data processing and standardization of the methods, details of plant-microbe interactions can be successfully decoded to develop sustainable agricultural practices.

RevDate: 2021-04-10

Chen L, Wang D, Garmaeva S, et al (2021)

The long-term genetic stability and individual specificity of the human gut microbiome.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(21)00352-4 [Epub ahead of print].

By following up the gut microbiome, 51 human phenotypes and plasma levels of 1,183 metabolites in 338 individuals after 4 years, we characterize microbial stability and variation in relation to host physiology. Using these individual-specific and temporally stable microbial profiles, including bacterial SNPs and structural variations, we develop a microbial fingerprinting method that shows up to 85% accuracy in classifying metagenomic samples taken 4 years apart. Application of our fingerprinting method to the independent HMP cohort results in 95% accuracy for samples taken 1 year apart. We further observe temporal changes in the abundance of multiple bacterial species, metabolic pathways, and structural variation, as well as strain replacement. We report 190 longitudinal microbial associations with host phenotypes and 519 associations with plasma metabolites. These associations are enriched for cardiometabolic traits, vitamin B, and uremic toxins. Finally, mediation analysis suggests that the gut microbiome may influence cardiometabolic health through its metabolites.

RevDate: 2021-04-10

Schuele L, Lizarazo-Forero E, Cassidy H, et al (2021)

First detection of porcine respirovirus 1 in Germany and the Netherlands.

Transboundary and emerging diseases [Epub ahead of print].

Porcine respirovirus 1, also referred to as porcine parainfluenza virus 1 (PPIV-1), was first detected in deceased pigs from Hong Kong in 2013. It has since then been found in the USA, Chile, and most recently in Hungary. Information on the pathogenicity and global spread is sparse. However, it has been speculated to play a role in the porcine respiratory disease complex. To investigate the porcine virome, we screened 53 pig samples from 26 farms within the Dutch-German border region using shotgun metagenomic sequencing (SMg). After detecting PPIV-1 in five farms through SMg, a real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-qPCR) assay was designed, which not only confirmed the presence of the virus in 1 of the 5 farms but found an additional 6 positive farms. Phylogenetic analysis found the closest match to be the first detected PPIV-1 strain in Hong Kong. The Dutch-German region represents a significant area of pig farming within Europe and could provide important information on the characterization and circulation of porcine viruses, such as PPIV-1. With its recent detection in Hungary, these findings suggest widespread circulation of PPIV-1 in Central Europe, highlighting the need for further research on persistence, pathogenicity, and transmission in Europe.

RevDate: 2021-04-10

Kaushik R, Pandit MK, Meyerson LA, et al (2021)

Contrasting Composition, Diversity and Predictive Metabolic Potential of the Rhizobacterial Microbiomes Associated with Native and Invasive Prosopis Congeners.

Current microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive plants are known to alter the soil microbial communities; however, the effects of co-occurring native and invasive congeners on the soil bacterial diversity and their predictive metabolic profiles are not known. Here, we compared the rhizosphere bacterial communities of invasive Prosopis juliflora and its native congener Prosopis cineraria using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) based dendrogram revealed significant variation in the communities of these co-occurring Prosopis species. Additionally, Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) based on microbial communities in addition to the soil physiochemical parameters viz. soil pH, electrical conductivity, moisture content and sampling depth showed ~ 80% of the variation in bacterial communities of the rhizosphere and control soil. We observed that Proteobacteria was the predominant phylum of P. juliflora rhizosphere and the control soil, while P. cineraria rhizosphere was dominated by Cyanobacteria. Notably, the invasive P. juliflora rhizosphere showed an enhanced abundance of bacterial phyla like Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes and Acidobacteria compared to the native P. cineraria as well as the control soil. Predictive metagenomics revealed that the bacterial communities of the P. juliflora rhizosphere had a higher abundance of pathways involved in antimicrobial biosynthesis and degradation, suggesting probable exposure to enemy attack and an active response mechanism to counter it as compared to native P. cineraria. Interestingly, the higher antimicrobial biosynthesis predicted in the invasive rhizosphere microbiome is further corroborated by the fact that the bacterial isolates purified from the rhizosphere of P. juliflora belonged to genera like Streptomyces, Isoptericola and Brevibacterium from the phylum Actinobacteria, which are widely reported for their antibiotic production ability. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the co-occurring native and invasive Prosopis species have significantly different rhizosphere bacterial communities in terms of composition, diversity and their predictive metabolic potentials. In addition, the rhizosphere microbiome of invasive Prosopis proffers it a fitness advantage and influences invasion success of the species.

RevDate: 2021-04-10

Thomas AM, Asnicar F, Kroemer G, et al (2021)

Microbial ACBP/DBI-like genes are rare in the human gut microbiome and show no links with obesity.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00471-21 [Epub ahead of print].

Acyl coenzyme A (CoA) binding protein (ACBP), also called diazepam-binding inhibitor (DBI) is a phylogenetically conserved protein that is expressed by all eukaryotic species as well as by some bacteria. Since elevated ACBP/DBI levels play a major role in the inhibition of autophagy, increase in appetite and lipoanabolism that accompany obesity, we wondered whether ACBP/DBI produced by the human microbiome might affect host weight. We found that the genomes of bacterial commensals rarely contain ACBP/DBI homologues, which are rather encoded by genomes of some pathogenic or environmental taxa that were not prevalent in human feces. Exhaustive bioinformatic analyses of 1,899 gut samples from healthy individuals refuted the hypothesis that bacterial ACBP/DBI might affect the BMI in a physiological context. Thus, the physiological regulation of BMI is unlikely to be affected by microbial ACBP/DBI-like proteins. However, at the speculative level, it remains possible that ACBP/DBI produced by potential pathogenic bacteria might enhance their virulence by inhibiting autophagy and hence subverting innate immune responses.ImportanceAcyl coenzyme A (CoA) binding protein (ACBP) can be encoded by several organisms across the domains of life, including microbes, and has shown to play major roles in human metabolic processes. However, little is known about its presence in the human gut microbiome and whether its microbial counterpart could also play a role in human metabolism. In the present study, we found that microbial ACBP/DBI sequences were rarely present in the gut microbiome across multiple metagenomic datasets. Microbes that carried ACBP/DBI in the human gut microbiome included Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lautropia mirabilis and Comamonas kerstersii, but these microorganisms were not associated with body-mass index, further indicating an unconvincing role for microbial ACBP/DBI in human metabolism.

RevDate: 2021-04-10

Karthikeyan S, Orellana LH, Johnston ER, et al (2021)

Metagenomic characterization of soil microbial communities in the Luquillo experimental forest (Puerto Rico) and implications for nitrogen cycling.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00546-21 [Epub ahead of print].

The phylogenetic and functional diversity of microbial communities in tropical rainforests, and how these differ from temperate communities remain poorly described but are directly related to the increased fluxes of greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O) from the tropics. Towards closing these knowledge gaps, we analyzed replicated shotgun metagenomes representing distinct life zones and an elevation gradient from four locations in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), Puerto Rico. These soils had a distinct microbial community composition and lower species diversity when compared to temperate grasslands or agricultural soils. In contrast to the overall distinct community composition, the relative abundances and nucleotide sequences of N2O reductases (nosZ) were highly similar between tropical forest and temperate soils. However, respiratory NO reductase (norB) was 2-fold more abundant in the tropical soils, which might be relatable to their greater N2O emissions. Nitrogen fixation (nifH) also showed higher relative abundance in rainforest compared to temperate soils, i.e., 20% vs. 0.1-0.3% of bacterial genomes in each soil type harbored the gene, respectively. Finally, unlike temperate soils, LEF soils showed little stratification with depth in the first 0-30cm, with ∼45% of community composition differences explained solely by location. Collectively, these results advance our understanding of spatial diversity and metabolic repertoire of tropical rainforest soil communities, and should facilitate future ecological studies of these ecosystems.Importance:Tropical rainforests are the largest terrestrial sinks of atmospheric CO2 and the largest natural source of N2O emissions, two critical greenhouse gases for the climate. The microbial communities of rainforest soils that directly or indirectly, through affecting plant growth, contribute to these fluxes remain poorly described by cultured-independent methods. To close this knowledge gap, the present study applied shotgun metagenomics to samples selected from three distinct life zones within the Puerto Rico rainforest. The results advance our understanding of microbial community diversity in rainforest soils and should facilitate future studies of natural or manipulated perturbations of these critical ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Epihov DZ, Saltonstall K, Batterman SA, et al (2021)

Legume-microbiome interactions unlock mineral nutrients in regrowing tropical forests.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(11):.

Legume trees form an abundant and functionally important component of tropical forests worldwide with N2-fixing symbioses linked to enhanced growth and recruitment in early secondary succession. However, it remains unclear how N2-fixers meet the high demands for inorganic nutrients imposed by rapid biomass accumulation on nutrient-poor tropical soils. Here, we show that N2-fixing trees in secondary Neotropical forests triggered twofold higher in situ weathering of fresh primary silicates compared to non-N2-fixing trees and induced locally enhanced nutrient cycling by the soil microbiome community. Shotgun metagenomic data from weathered minerals support the role of enhanced nitrogen and carbon cycling in increasing acidity and weathering. Metagenomic and marker gene analyses further revealed increased microbial potential beneath N2-fixers for anaerobic iron reduction, a process regulating the pool of phosphorus bound to iron-bearing soil minerals. We find that the Fe(III)-reducing gene pool in soil is dominated by acidophilic Acidobacteria, including a highly abundant genus of previously undescribed bacteria, Candidatus Acidoferrum, genus novus. The resulting dependence of the Fe-cycling gene pool to pH determines the high iron-reducing potential encoded in the metagenome of the more acidic soils of N2-fixers and their nonfixing neighbors. We infer that by promoting the activities of a specialized local microbiome through changes in soil pH and C:N ratios, N2-fixing trees can influence the wider biogeochemical functioning of tropical forest ecosystems in a manner that enhances their ability to assimilate and store atmospheric carbon.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Madeira CL, Menezes O, Park D, et al (2021)

Bacteria Make a Living Breathing the Nitroheterocyclic Insensitive Munitions Compound 3-Nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO).

Environmental science & technology [Epub ahead of print].

The nitroheterocyclic 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) is an ingredient of insensitive explosives increasingly used by the military, becoming an emergent environmental pollutant. Cometabolic biotransformation of NTO occurs in mixed microbial cultures in soils and sludges with excess electron-donating substrates. Herein, we present the unusual energy-yielding metabolic process of NTO respiration, in which the NTO reduction to 3-amino-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (ATO) is linked to the anoxic acetate oxidation to CO2 by a culture enriched from municipal anaerobic digester sludge. Cell growth was observed simultaneously with NTO reduction, whereas the culture was unable to grow in the presence of acetate only. Extremely low concentrations (0.06 mg L-1) of the uncoupler carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone inhibited NTO reduction, indicating that the process was linked to respiration. The ultimate evidence of NTO respiration was adenosine triphosphate production due to simultaneous exposure to NTO and acetate. Metagenome sequencing revealed that the main microorganisms (and relative abundances) were Geobacter anodireducens (89.3%) and Thauera sp. (5.5%). This study is the first description of a nitroheterocyclic compound being reduced by anaerobic respiration, shedding light on creative microbial processes that enable bacteria to make a living reducing NTO.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Perazza LR, Mitchell PL, Lizotte F, et al (2021)

Fish oil replacement prevents, while docosahexaenoic acid-derived protectin DX mitigates end-stage-renal-disease in atherosclerotic diabetic mice.

FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 35(5):e21559.

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) remains the major cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We used high-fat/high-sucrose (HFHS)-fed LDLr-/- /ApoB100/100 mice with transgenic overexpression of IGFII in pancreatic β-cells (LRKOB100/IGFII) as a model of ESRD to test whether dietary long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids LCω3FA-rich fish oil (FO) could prevent ESRD development. We further evaluated the potential of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-derived pro-resolving lipid mediators, 17-hydroxy-DHA (17-HDHA) and Protectin DX (PDX), to reverse established ESRD damage. HFHS-fed vehicle-treated LRKOB100/IGFII mice developed severe kidney dysfunction leading to ESRD, as revealed by advanced glomerular fibrosis and mesangial expansion along with reduced percent survival. The kidney failure outcome was associated with cardiac dysfunction, revealed by reduced heart rate and prolonged diastolic and systolic time. Dietary FO prevented kidney damage, lean mass loss, cardiac dysfunction, and death. 17-HDHA reduced podocyte foot process effacement while PDX treatment alleviated kidney fibrosis and mesangial expansion as compared to vehicle treatment. Only PDX therapy was effective at preserving the heart function and survival rate. These results show that dietary LCω3FA intake can prevent ESRD and cardiac dysfunction in LRKOB100/IGFII diabetic mice. Our data further reveals that PDX can protect against renal failure and cardiac dysfunction, offering a potential new therapeutic strategy against ESRD.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Dudeja SS, Suneja-Madan P, Paul M, et al (2021)

Bacterial endophytes: Molecular interactions with their hosts.

Journal of basic microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Plant growth promotion has been found associated with plants on the surface (epiphytic), inside (endophytic), or close to the plant roots (rhizospheric). Endophytic bacteria mainly have been researched for their beneficial activities in terms of nutrient availability, plant growth hormones, and control of soil-borne and systemic pathogens. Molecular communications leading to these interactions between plants and endophytic bacteria are now being unrevealed using multidisciplinary approaches with advanced techniques such as metagenomics, metaproteomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteogenomic, microRNAs, microarray, chips as well as the comparison of complete genome sequences. More than 400 genes in both the genomes of host plant and bacterial endophyte are up- or downregulated for the establishment of endophytism and plant growth-promoting activity. The involvement of more than 20 genes for endophytism, about 50 genes for direct plant growth promotion, about 25 genes for biocontrol activity, and about 10 genes for mitigation of different stresses has been identified in various bacterial endophytes. This review summarizes the progress that has been made in recent years by these modern techniques and approaches.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Monnet P, Rodriguez C, Gaudin O, et al (2021)

Toward a better understanding of adult idiopathic epidermal necrolysis. A retrospective study of 19 cases.

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Most cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are drug-induced. A small subset of cases remain with unknown etiology (idiopathic epidermal necrolysis [IEN]).

OBJECTIVE: We sought to better describe adult IEN and understand the etiology.

METHODS: This retrospective study was conducted in 4 centers of the French national reference center for epidermal necrolysis. Clinical data were collected for the 19 adults hospitalized for IEN between January 2015 and December 2019. Wide toxicology analysis of blood samples was performed. Histology of IEN cases was compared with blinding to skin biopsies of drug-induced EN (DIEN, "controls"). Available baseline skin biopsies were analyzed by shotgun metagenomics and transcriptomics and compared to controls.

RESULTS: IEN cases represented 15.6% of all EN cases in these centers. The median age of patients was 38 (range 16-51) years; 68.4% were women. Overall, 63.2% (n=12) of cases required intensive care unit admission and 15.8% (n=3) died at the acute phase. Histology showed the same patterns of early to late stage EN with no difference between DIEN and IEN cases. One toxicology analysis showed unexpected traces of carbamazepine; results for other cases were negative. Metagenomics analysis revealed no unexpected pathological microorganism. Transcriptomic analysis highlighted a different pro-apoptotic pathway in IEN compared to DIEN, with an overexpression of apoptosis effectors TWEAK/TRAIL.

CONCLUSIONS: IEN affects young people and is a severe form of EN. A large toxicologic investigation is warranted. Different pathways seem involved in IEN and DIEN, leading to the same apoptotic effect, but the primary trigger remains unknown.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Chang Y, Fan Q, Hou J, et al (2021)

A community-supported metaproteomic pipeline for improving peptide identifications in hydrothermal vent microbiota.

Briefings in bioinformatics pii:6214661 [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms in deep-sea hydrothermal vents provide valuable insights into life under extreme conditions. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics has been widely used to identify protein expression and function. However, the metaproteomic studies in deep-sea microbiota have been constrained largely by the low identification rates of protein or peptide. To improve the efficiency of metaproteomics for hydrothermal vent microbiota, we firstly constructed a microbial gene database (HVentDB) based on 117 public metagenomic samples from hydrothermal vents and proposed a metaproteomic analysis strategy, which takes the advantages of not only the sample-matched metagenome, but also the metagenomic information released publicly in the community of hydrothermal vents. A two-stage false discovery rate method was followed up to control the risk of false positive. By applying our community-supported strategy to a hydrothermal vent sediment sample, about twice as many peptides were identified when compared with the ways against the sample-matched metagenome or the public reference database. In addition, more enriched and explainable taxonomic and functional profiles were detected by the HVentDB-based approach exclusively, as well as many important proteins involved in methane, amino acid, sugar, glycan metabolism and DNA repair, etc. The new metaproteomic analysis strategy will enhance our understanding of microbiota, including their lifestyles and metabolic capabilities in extreme environments. The database HVentDB is freely accessible from

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Yang F, Q Zou (2021)

DisBalance: a platform to automatically build balance-based disease prediction models and discover microbial biomarkers from microbiome data.

Briefings in bioinformatics pii:6217721 [Epub ahead of print].

How best to utilize the microbial taxonomic abundances in regard to the prediction and explanation of human diseases remains appealing and challenging, and the relative nature of microbiome data necessitates a proper feature selection method to resolve the compositional problem. In this study, we developed an all-in-one platform to address a series of issues in microbiome-based human disease prediction and taxonomic biomarkers discovery. We prioritize the interpretation, runtime and classification accuracy of the distal discriminative balances analysis (DBA-distal) method in selecting a set of distal discriminative balances, and develop DisBalance, a comprehensive platform, to integrate and streamline the workflows of disease model building, disease risk prediction and disease-related biomarker discovery for microbiome-based binary classifications. DisBalance allows the de novo model-building and disease risk prediction in a very fast and convenient way. To facilitate the model-driven and knowledge-driven discoveries, DisBalance dedicates multiple strategies for the mining of microbial biomarkers. The independent validation of the models constructed by the DisBalance pipeline is performed on seven microbiome datasets from the original article of DBA-distal. The implementation of the DisBalance platform is demonstrated by a complete analysis of a shotgun metagenomic dataset of Ulcerative Colitis (UC). As a free and open-source, DisBlance can be accessed at The source code and demo data for Disbalance are available at

RevDate: 2021-04-10

Lapidus AL, AI Korobeynikov (2021)

Metagenomic Data Assembly - The Way of Decoding Unknown Microorganisms.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:613791.

Metagenomics is a segment of conventional microbial genomics dedicated to the sequencing and analysis of combined genomic DNA of entire environmental samples. The most critical step of the metagenomic data analysis is the reconstruction of individual genes and genomes of the microorganisms in the communities using metagenomic assemblers - computational programs that put together small fragments of sequenced DNA generated by sequencing instruments. Here, we describe the challenges of metagenomic assembly, a wide spectrum of applications in which metagenomic assemblies were used to better understand the ecology and evolution of microbial ecosystems, and present one of the most efficient microbial assemblers, SPAdes that was upgraded to become applicable for metagenomics.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Radwan O, ON Ruiz (2021)

Black Yeast Genomes Assembled from Plastic Fabric Metagenomes Reveal an Abundance of Hydrocarbon Degradation Genes.

Microbiology resource announcements, 10(14):.

We report the assembly and annotation of 10 different black yeast genomes from microbiome metagenomic data derived from biofouled plastic fabrics. The draft genomes are estimated to be 9 to 33.2 Mb, with 357 to 5,108 contigs and G+C contents of 43.9% to 57.4%, and they harbor multiple genes for hydrocarbon adaptation and degradation.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Pandit PR, Kumar R, Kumar D, et al (2021)

Deciphering the black box of microbial community of common effluent treatment plant through integrated metagenomics: Tackling industrial effluent.

Journal of environmental management, 289:112448 pii:S0301-4797(21)00510-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Identifying the microbial community and their functional potential from different stages of common effluent treatment plants (CETP) can enhance the efficiency of wastewater treatment systems. In this study, wastewater metagenomes from 8 stages of CETP were screened for microbial diversity and gene profiling along with their corresponding degradation activities. The microbial community displayed 98.46% of bacterial species, followed by Eukarya (0.10%) and Archaea 0.02%. At the Phylum level, Proteobacteria (28.8%) was dominant, followed by Bacteroidetes (16.1%), Firmicutes (11.7%), and Fusobacteria (6.9%) which are mainly capable of degrading the aromatic compounds. Klebsiella pneumoniae, Wolinella succinogenes, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Desulfovibrio vulgaris, and Clostridium sticklandii were the most prevalent species. The functional analysis further demonstrated the presence of enzymes linked with genes/pathways known to be involved in the degradation/metabolization of aromatic compounds like benzoate, bisphenol, 1,2-dichloroethane phenylalanine. This information was further validated with the whole genome analysis of the bacteria isolated from the CETP. We anticipate that integrating both shotgun and whole-genome analyses can reveal the rich reservoir for novel enzymes and genes present in CETP effluent that can contribute to designing efficient bioremediation strategies for the environment in general CETP system, in particular.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Yin X, Rahaman MH, Liu W, et al (2021)

Comparison of nitrogen and VFA removal pathways in autotrophic and organotrophic anammox reactors.

Environmental research, 197:111065 pii:S0013-9351(21)00359-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Organotrophic anammox is a promising process for treating both nitrogen and organic containing wastewater than that of the traditional autotrophic anammox for sole nitrogen removal. However pathways of nitrogen removal particularly at metagenomic level in both processes are still unknown. Here we report, metabolic pathways of nitrogen removal in two lab-scale sequencing batch reactors (SBR), one autotrophic and another organotrophic (TOC/TN = 0.1) anammox bacteria incubated over 220 days. Both reactors showed satisfactory nitrogen removal with 840.31 mg N/L.d and 786.81 mg N/L.d for autotrophic and organotrophic anammox reactors respectively. Four anammox species namely Candidatus B. fulgida, B. sinica, J. caeni and Candidatus K. stuttgartiensis were identified in both reactors. The Candidatus K. stuttgartiensis (4%) was dominant in autotrophic reactor whereas Candidatus J. caeni (10%) in the organotrophic reactor. The supply of organic promoted the growth of anammox bacteria more than three times higher than that of the autotrophic anammox reactor. The functional genes related to the DNRA pathway was obtained in all anammox species except for Candidatus K. stuttgartiensis. The co-existence of other DNRA (Armatimonadetes and Thauera) and partial denitrifying bacteria (Chloroflexi) was also found in both reactors. Moreover, functional genes related to acetate metabolism by acetyl-CoA way were obtained in all anammox bacteria except Candidatus B. fulgida which showed alternative ackA/Pac-t pathways in organic anammox reactor. Overall current results suggest that the anammox, DNRA and partial denitrification were the key nitrogen transformation pathways, particularly in organotrophic anammox reactor. Our findings will improve understanding of the practical application of organotrophic anammox for wider wastewater treatment.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Crowe SA, Simister RL, Spence JS, et al (2021)

Microbial community compositions in breast implant biofilms associated with contracted capsules.

PloS one, 16(4):e0249261 pii:PONE-D-20-16064.

Subclinical bacterial infections (biofilms) are strongly implicated in breast augmentation failure due to capsular contracture, and while these infections are generally ascribed to common skin commensals, this remains largely unsubstantiated through robust cultivation independent analyses. To determine capsule biofilm microbial community compositions, we employed amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene using DNA extracted from breast implant capsule samples. These cultivation independent analyses revealed that capsule associated biofilms are more diverse than canonical single-species infections, but have relatively low diversity (~ <100 species) compared to many host-associated microbial communities. In addition to taxa commonly associated with capsular contracture, the biofilms analyzed comprised a number of taxa that escaped detection in cultivation-dependent work. We have also isolated several key taxa identified through the culture-independent analyses. Together our analyses reveal that capsule biofilms are more diverse than cultivation studies suggest and can be heterogeneous within an individual capsule, between breasts of the same patient, across similar implant types, and over a range in severity of contracture. The complex nature of these communities requires further study across a broader suite of patients in addition to higher resolution analyses including metagenomics to better assess the fundamental role of microorganisms in capsular contracture.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Ishak S, Dormontt E, JM Young (2021)

Microbiomes in forensic botany: a review.

Forensic science, medicine, and pathology [Epub ahead of print].

Fragments of botanical material can often be found at crime scenes (on live and dead bodies, or on incriminating objects) and can provide circumstantial evidence on various aspects of forensic investigations such as determining crime scene locations, times of death or possession of illegal species. Morphological and genetic analysis are the most commonly applied methods to analyze plant fragment evidence but are limited by their low capacity to differentiate between potential source locations, especially at local scales. Here, we review the current applications and limitations of current plant fragment analysis for forensic investigations and introduce the potential of microbiome analysis to complement the existing forensic plant fragment analysis toolkit. The potential for plant fragment provenance identification at geographic scales meaningful to forensic investigations warrants further investigation of the phyllosphere microbiome in this context. To that end we identify three key areas of future research: 1) Retrieval of microbial DNA of sufficient quality and quantity from botanical material; 2) Variability of the phyllosphere microbiome at different taxonomic and spatial scales, with explicit reference to assignment capacity; 3) Impacts on assignment capacity of time, seasonality and movement of fragments between locations. The development of robust microbiome analysis tools for forensic purposes in botanical material could increase the evidentiary value of the botanical evidence commonly encountered in casework, aiding in the identification of crime scene locations.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Desdouits M, de Graaf M, Strubbia S, et al (2020)

Novel opportunities for NGS-based one health surveillance of foodborne viruses.

One health outlook, 2:14.

Foodborne viral infections rank among the top 5 causes of disease, with noroviruses and hepatitis A causing the greatest burden globally. Contamination of foods by infected food handlers or through environmental pollution are the main sources of foodborne illness, with a lesser role for consumption of products from infected animals. Viral partial genomic sequencing has been used for more than two decades to track foodborne outbreaks and whole genome or metagenomics next-generation-sequencing (NGS) are new additions to the toolbox of food microbiology laboratories. We discuss developments in the field of targeted and metagenomic NGS, with an emphasis on application in food virology, the challenges and possible solutions towards future routine application.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Esteban J, E Gómez-Barrena (2021)

An update about molecular biology techniques to detect orthopaedic implant-related infections.

EFORT open reviews, 6(2):93-100.

Despite different criteria to diagnose a prosthetic joint infection (PJI), aetiological diagnosis of the causing microorganism remains essential to guide treatment.Molecular-biology-based PJI diagnosis is progressing (faster, higher specificity) in different techniques, from the experimental laboratory into clinical use.Multiplex polymerase chain reaction techniques (custom-made or commercial) provide satisfactory results in clinical series of cases, with specificity close to 100% and sensitivity over 70-80%.Next-generation metagenomics may increase sensitivity while maintaining high specificity.Molecular biology techniques may represent, in the next five years, a significant transformation of the currently available microbiological diagnosis in PJI. Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:93-100. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.200118.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Khoiri AN, Cheevadhanarak S, Jirakkakul J, et al (2021)

Comparative Metagenomics Reveals Microbial Signatures of Sugarcane Phyllosphere in Organic Management.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:623799.

Converting conventional farms to organic systems to improve ecosystem health is an emerging trend in recent decades, yet little is explored to what extent and how this process drives the taxonomic diversity and functional capacity of above-ground microbes. This study was, therefore, conducted to investigate the effects of agricultural management, i.e., organic, transition, and conventional, on the structure and function of sugarcane phyllosphere microbial community using the shotgun metagenomics approach. Comparative metagenome analysis exhibited that farming practices strongly influenced taxonomic and functional diversities, as well as co-occurrence interactions of phyllosphere microbes. A complex microbial network with the highest connectivity was observed in organic farming, indicating strong resilient capabilities of its microbial community to cope with the dynamic environmental stressors. Organic farming also harbored genus Streptomyces as the potential keystone species and plant growth-promoting bacteria as microbial signatures, including Mesorhizobium loti, Bradyrhizobium sp. SG09, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Bacillus cellulosilyticus. Interestingly, numerous toxic compound-degrading species were specifically enriched in transition farming, which might suggest their essential roles in the transformation of conventional to organic farming. Moreover, conventional practice diminished the abundance of genes related to cell motility and energy metabolism of phyllosphere microbes, which could negatively contribute to lower microbial diversity in this habitat. Altogether, our results demonstrated the response of sugarcane-associated phyllosphere microbiota to specific agricultural managements that played vital roles in sustainable sugarcane production.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Benjamino J, Leopold B, Phillips D, et al (2021)

Genome-Based Targeted Sequencing as a Reproducible Microbial Community Profiling Assay.

mSphere, 6(2):.

Current sequencing-based methods for profiling microbial communities rely on marker gene (e.g., 16S rRNA) or metagenome shotgun sequencing (mWGS) analysis. We present an approach based on a single-primer extension reaction using a highly multiplexed oligonucleotide probe pool. This approach, termed MA-GenTA (microbial abundances from genome tagged analysis), enables quantitative, straightforward, cost-effective microbiome profiling that combines desirable features of both 16S rRNA and mWGS strategies. The use of multiple probes per target genome and rigorous probe design criteria enabled robust determination of relative abundance. To test the utility of the MA-GenTA assay, probes were designed for 830 genome sequences representing bacteria present in mouse stool specimens. Comparison of the MA-GenTA data with mWGS data demonstrated excellent correlation down to 0.01% relative abundance and a similar number of organisms detected per sample. Despite the incompleteness of the reference database, nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) clustering based on the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity metric of sample groups was consistent between MA-GenTA, mWGS, and 16S rRNA data sets. MA-GenTA represents a potentially useful new method for microbiome community profiling based on reference genomes.IMPORTANCE New methods for profiling the microbial communities can create new approaches to understanding the composition and function of those communities. In this study, we combined bacterial genome-specific probe design with a highly multiplexed single primer extension reaction as a new method to profile microbial communities, using stool from various mouse strains as a test case. This method, termed MA-GenTA, was benchmarked against 16S rRNA gene sequencing and metagenome sequencing methods and delivered similar relative abundance and clustering data. Since the probes were generated from reference genomes, MA-GenTA was also able to provide functional pathway data for the stool microbiome in the assayed samples. The method is more informative than 16S rRNA analysis while being less costly than metagenome shotgun sequencing.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Bao Y, Dolfing J, Guo Z, et al (2021)

Important ecophysiological roles of non-dominant Actinobacteria in plant residue decomposition, especially in less fertile soils.

Microbiome, 9(1):84.

BACKGROUND: Microbial-driven decomposition of plant residues is integral to carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. Actinobacteria, one of the most widely distributed bacterial phyla in soils, are known for their ability to degrade plant residues in vitro. However, their in situ importance and specific activity across contrasting ecological environments are not known. Here, we conducted three field experiments with buried straw in combination with microcosm experiments with 13C-straw in paddy soils under different soil fertility levels to reveal the ecophysiological roles of Actinobacteria in plant residue decomposition.

RESULTS: While accounting for only 4.6% of the total bacterial abundance, the Actinobacteria encoded 16% of total abundance of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). The taxonomic and functional compositions of the Actinobacteria were, surprisingly, relatively stable during straw decomposition. Slopes of linear regression models between straw chemical composition and Actinobacterial traits were flatter than those for other taxonomic groups at both local and regional scales due to holding genes encoding for full set of CAZymes, nitrogenases, and antibiotic synthetases. Ecological co-occurrence network and 13C-based metagenomic analyses both indicated that their importance for straw degradation increased in less fertile soils, as both links between Actinobacteria and other community members and relative abundances of their functional genes increased with decreasing soil fertility.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provided DNA-based evidence that non-dominant Actinobacteria plays a key ecophysiological role in plant residue decomposition as their members possess high proportions of CAZymes and as a group maintain a relatively stable presence during plant residue decomposition both in terms of taxonomic composition and functional roles. Their importance for decomposition was more pronounced in less fertile soils where their possession functional genes and interspecies interactions stood out more. Our work provides new ecophysiological angles for the understanding of the importance of Actinobacteria in global carbon cycling. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Ducarmon QR, Terveer EM, Nooij S, et al (2021)

Microbiota-associated risk factors for asymptomatic gut colonisation with multi-drug-resistant organisms in a Dutch nursing home.

Genome medicine, 13(1):54.

BACKGROUND: Nursing home residents have increased rates of intestinal colonisation with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). We assessed the colonisation and spread of MDROs among this population, determined clinical risk factors for MDRO colonisation and investigated the role of the gut microbiota in providing colonisation resistance against MDROs.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study in a Dutch nursing home. Demographical, epidemiological and clinical data were collected at four time points with 2-month intervals (October 2016-April 2017). To obtain longitudinal data, faecal samples from residents were collected for at least two time points. Ultimately, twenty-seven residents were included in the study and 93 faecal samples were analysed, of which 27 (29.0%) were MDRO-positive. Twelve residents (44.4%) were colonised with an MDRO at at least one time point throughout the 6-month study.

RESULTS: Univariable generalised estimating equation logistic regression indicated that antibiotic use in the previous 2 months and hospital admittance in the previous year were associated with MDRO colonisation. Characterisation of MDRO isolates through whole-genome sequencing revealed Escherichia coli sequence type (ST)131 to be the most prevalent MDRO and ward-specific clusters of E. coli ST131 were identified. Microbiota analysis by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed no differences in alpha or beta diversity between MDRO-positive and negative samples, nor between residents who were ever or never colonised. Three bacterial taxa (Dorea, Atopobiaceae and Lachnospiraceae ND3007 group) were more abundant in residents never colonised with an MDRO throughout the 6-month study. An unexpectedly high abundance of Bifidobacterium was observed in several residents. Further investigation of a subset of samples with metagenomics showed that various Bifidobacterium species were highly abundant, of which B. longum strains remained identical within residents over time, but were different between residents.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides new evidence for the role of the gut microbiota in colonisation resistance against MDROs in the elderly living in a nursing home setting. Dorea, Atopobiaceae and Lachnospiraceae ND3007 group may be associated with protection against MDRO colonisation. Furthermore, we report a uniquely high abundance of several Bifidobacterium species in multiple residents and excluded the possibility that this was due to probiotic supplementation.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Buytaers FE, Saltykova A, Mattheus W, et al (2021)

Application of a strain-level shotgun metagenomics approach on food samples: resolution of the source of a Salmonella food-borne outbreak.

Microbial genomics, 7(4):.

Food-borne outbreak investigation currently relies on the time-consuming and challenging bacterial isolation from food, to be able to link food-derived strains to more easily obtained isolates from infected people. When no food isolate can be obtained, the source of the outbreak cannot be unambiguously determined. Shotgun metagenomics approaches applied to the food samples could circumvent this need for isolation from the suspected source, but require downstream strain-level data analysis to be able to accurately link to the human isolate. Until now, this approach has not yet been applied outside research settings to analyse real food-borne outbreak samples. In September 2019, a Salmonella outbreak occurred in a hotel school in Bruges, Belgium, affecting over 200 students and teachers. Following standard procedures, the Belgian National Reference Center for human salmonellosis and the National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella in food and feed used conventional analysis based on isolation, serotyping and MLVA (multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis) comparison, followed by whole-genome sequencing, to confirm the source of the contamination over 2 weeks after receipt of the sample, which was freshly prepared tartar sauce in a meal cooked at the school. Our team used this outbreak as a case study to deliver a proof of concept for a short-read strain-level shotgun metagenomics approach for source tracking. We received two suspect food samples: the full meal and some freshly made tartar sauce served with this meal, requiring the use of raw eggs. After analysis, we could prove, without isolation, that Salmonella was present in both samples, and we obtained an inferred genome of a Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis that could be linked back to the human isolates of the outbreak in a phylogenetic tree. These metagenomics-derived outbreak strains were separated from sporadic cases as well as from another outbreak circulating in Europe at the same time period. This is, to our knowledge, the first Salmonella food-borne outbreak investigation uniquely linking the food source using a metagenomics approach and this in a fast time frame.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Zhang Y, Huang Q, Zhou Z, et al (2021)

Prognosis of severe lower respiratory tract infected patients with virus detected: a retrospective observational study.

Infectious diseases (London, England) [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: To compare the prognosis of severe lower respiratory tract infected patients with virus detected and patients with virus undetected by using metagenomic sequencing technology and a series of traditional serological tests.

METHODS: A total of 51 consecutive lower respiratory tract infected patients were enrolled in this study and samples were obtained to perform metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) and other traditional tests for virus detection. According to the results, patients were divided into a virus-detected (VD) group and a virus-undetected (VUD) group. Meanwhile, patients' demographic information, relevant baseline indicators and outcome indicators were also collected.

RESULTS: There were 27 patients in the VD group and 24 patients in the VUD group. Patients in the VD group had a longer mechanical ventilation (MV) supporting time [528.0 h (216.0, 997.0) vs 235.5 h (119.3, 421.3), p = .003], a higher tracheotomy rate [(63.0 vs. 29.2%), p = .016] and red blood cell (RBC) transfusion rate [(66.7 vs. 33.3%), p = .017] compared to the VUD group. The two groups had no significant difference in mortality rate, hospital length of stay (HLOS) or ICU length of stay (ICULOS).

CONCLUSIONS: Virus detected in patients with severe lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) was not related to a poorer prognosis, but patients in the VD group did need more clinical resources, such as more MV support and RBC transfusion.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Liu W, Fan Z, Zhang Y, et al (2021)

Metagenomic next-generation sequencing for identifying pathogens in central nervous system complications after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Bone marrow transplantation [Epub ahead of print].

A prospective study was conducted to compare metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) and conventional testing in investigating the pathogens of central nervous system (CNS) infections in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) recipients. A total of 53 patients with CNS disorders after allo-HSCT were enrolled in this study. A total of 35 patients were diagnosed as CNS infections, including 28 viral, 2 bacterial, 1 fungal, 3 mixed infections, and 1 infection with unknown pathogen. Among these 35 patients with CNS infections, mNGS identified 5 patients who were not identified by conventional testing. For the remaining 30 infections, mNGS made concurrent diagnoses with conventional testing in 29, while 1 was diagnosed according to the good response to the antimicrobial treatment without etiological evidence. The presence of Aspergillus detected by mNGS only in one patient was considered false positive due to lack of validation. The sensitivity of mNGS and conventional testing for diagnosing CNS infections post transplant were 97.1% and 82.9%, respectively (P = 0.106), while the specificity of mNGS and conventional testing were 94.4% and 100%, respectively (P = 1.000). These results suggest that mNGS might be a promising technology for diagnosis of CNS infections post transplant. Viruses were the most common pathogens of CNS infections in allo-HSCT recipients.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Becraft ED, Lau Vetter MCY, Bezuidt OKI, et al (2021)

Evolutionary stasis of a deep subsurface microbial lineage.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Sulfate-reducing bacteria Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator (CDA) were originally discovered in deep fracture fluids accessed via South African gold mines and have since been found in geographically widespread deep subsurface locations. In order to constrain models for subsurface microbial evolution, we compared CDA genomes from Africa, North America and Eurasia using single cell genomics. Unexpectedly, 126 partial single amplified genomes from the three continents, a complete genome from of an isolate from Eurasia, and metagenome-assembled genomes from Africa and Eurasia shared >99.2% average nucleotide identity, low frequency of SNP's, and near-perfectly conserved prophages and CRISPRs. Our analyses reject sample cross-contamination, recent natural dispersal, and unusually strong purifying selection as likely explanations for these unexpected results. We therefore conclude that the analyzed CDA populations underwent only minimal evolution since their physical separation, potentially as far back as the breakup of Pangea between 165 and 55 Ma ago. High-fidelity DNA replication and repair mechanisms are the most plausible explanation for the highly conserved genome of CDA. CDA presents a stark contrast to the current model organisms in microbial evolutionary studies, which often develop adaptive traits over far shorter periods of time.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Vera-Ponce León A, Dominguez-Mirazo M, Bustamante-Brito R, et al (2021)

Functional genomics of a Spiroplasma associated with the carmine cochineals Dactylopius coccus and Dactylopius opuntiae.

BMC genomics, 22(1):240.

BACKGROUND: Spiroplasma is a widely distributed endosymbiont of insects, arthropods, and plants. In insects, Spiroplasma colonizes the gut, hemolymph, and reproductive organs of the host. Previous metagenomic surveys of the domesticated carmine cochineal Dactylopius coccus and the wild cochineal D. opuntiae reported sequences of Spiroplasma associated with these insects. However, there is no analysis of the genomic capabilities and the interaction of this Spiroplasma with Dactylopius.

RESULTS: Here we present three Spiroplasma genomes independently recovered from metagenomes of adult males and females of D. coccus, from two different populations, as well as from adult females of D. opuntiae. Single-copy gene analysis showed that these genomes were > 92% complete. Phylogenomic analyses classified these genomes as new members of Spiroplasma ixodetis. Comparative genome analysis indicated that they exhibit fewer genes involved in amino acid and carbon catabolism compared to other spiroplasmas. Moreover, virulence factor-encoding genes (i.e., glpO, spaid and rip2) were found incomplete in these S. ixodetis genomes. We also detected an enrichment of genes encoding the type IV secretion system (T4SS) in S. ixodetis genomes of Dactylopius. A metratranscriptomic analysis of D. coccus showed that some of these T4SS genes (i.e., traG, virB4 and virD4) in addition to the superoxide dismutase sodA of S. ixodetis were overexpressed in the ovaries.

CONCLUSION: The symbiont S. ixodetis is a new member of the bacterial community of D. coccus and D. opuntiae. The recovery of incomplete virulence factor-encoding genes in S. ixodetis of Dactylopius suggests that this bacterium is a non-pathogenic symbiont. A high number of genes encoding the T4SS, in the S. ixodetis genomes and the overexpression of these genes in the ovary and hemolymph of the host suggest that S. ixodetis use the T4SS to interact with the Dactylopius cells. Moreover, the transcriptional differences of S. ixodetis among the gut, hemolymph and ovary tissues of D. coccus indicate that this bacterium can respond and adapt to the different conditions (e.g., oxidative stress) present within the host. All this evidence proposes that there is a strong interaction and molecular signaling in the symbiosis between S. ixodetis and the carmine cochineal Dactylopius.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Okumura T, Horiba K, Kamei H, et al (2021)

Temporal dynamics of the plasma microbiome in recipients at early post-liver transplantation: a retrospective study.

BMC microbiology, 21(1):104.

BACKGROUND: Immunosuppression during liver transplantation (LT) enables the prevention and treatment of organ rejection but poses a risk for severe infectious diseases. Immune modulation and antimicrobials affect the plasma microbiome. Thus, determining the impact of immunosuppression on the microbiome may be important to understand immunocompetence, elucidate the source of infection, and predict the risk of infection in LT recipients. We characterized the plasma microbiome of LT recipients at early post-LT and assessed the association between the microbiome and clinical events.

RESULTS: In this study, 51 patients who received LT at Nagoya University Hospital from 2016 to 2018 were enrolled. Plasma samples were retrospectively collected at the following time points: 1) within a week after LT; 2) 4 ± 1 weeks after LT; 3) 8 ± 1 weeks after LT; and 4) within 2 days after a positive blood culture. A total of 111 plasma samples were analyzed using shotgun next-generation sequencing (NGS) with the PATHDET pipeline. Relative abundance of Anelloviridae, Nocardiaceae, Microbacteriaceae, and Enterobacteriaceae significantly changed during the postoperative period. Microbiome diversity was higher within a week after LT than that at 8 weeks after LT. Antimicrobials were significantly associated with the microbiome of LT recipients. In addition, the proportion of Enterobacteriaceae was significantly increased and the plasma microbiome diversity was significantly lower in patients with acute cellular rejection (ACR) than non-ACR patients. Sequencing reads of bacteria isolated from blood cultures were predominantly identified by NGS in 8 of 16 samples, and human herpesvirus 6 was detected as a causative pathogen in one recipient with severe clinical condition.

CONCLUSIONS: The metagenomic NGS technique has great potential in revealing the plasma microbiome and is useful as a comprehensive diagnostic procedure in clinical settings. Temporal dynamics of specific microorganisms may be used as indirect markers for the determination of immunocompetence and ACR in LT recipients.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Santin A, Caputi L, Longo A, et al (2021)

Integrative omics identification, evolutionary and structural analysis of low affinity nitrate transporters in diatoms, diNPFs.

Open biology, 11(4):200395.

Diatoms are one of the major and most diverse groups of phytoplankton, with chimeric genomes harbouring a combination of genes of bacterial, animal and plant origin. They have developed sophisticated mechanisms to face environmental variations. In marine environments, nutrients concentration shows significant temporal and spatial variability, influencing phytoplankton growth. Among nutrients, nitrogen, present at micromolar levels, is often a limiting resource. Here, we report a comprehensive characterization of the Nitrate Transporter 1/Peptide Transporter Family (NPF) in diatoms, diNPFs. NPFs are well characterized in many organisms where they recognize a broad range of substrates, ranging from short-chained di- and tri-peptides in bacteria, fungi and mammals to a wide variety of molecules including nitrate in higher plants. Scarce information is available for diNPFs. We integrated-omics, phylogenetic, structural and expression analyses, to infer information on their role in diatoms. diNPF genes diverged to produce two distinct clades with strong sequence and structural homology with either bacterial or plant NPFs, with different predicted sub-cellular localization, suggesting that the divergence resulted in functional diversification. Moreover, transcription analysis of diNPF genes under different laboratory and environmental growth conditions suggests that diNPF diversification led to genetic adaptations that might contribute to diatoms ability to flourish in diverse environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Conte A, Chiaberge S, Pedron F, et al (2021)

Dealing with complex contamination: A novel approach with a combined bio-phytoremediation strategy and effective analytical techniques.

Journal of environmental management, 288:112381 pii:S0301-4797(21)00443-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Phytoremediation is a sustainable technology capable of efficiently removing low or moderate contamination. However, complex pollution conditions can drastically reduce efficiency, as plants can show themselves sensitive to organic contaminants, growing slowly and thus impairing metals' absorption. In cases where the action of indigenous bacteria degrading hydrocarbons and promoting plant growth is not sufficient, more sophisticated strategies are necessary. This investigation aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a train of technologies that sees advanced phytoremediation in combination with other biological approaches to remediate soil from a disused industrial area contaminated by N-containing compounds, alkyl aromatic hydrocarbons, copper, and nickel. In particular, a stepwise procedure was used with a pre-treatment (landfarming and bioaugmentation), significantly affecting the soil's fertility, increasing germinability up to 85%, and allowing the plants to extract the metals adequately. Furthermore, with EDTA as a mobilizing agent, nickel absorption has increased up to 36% in Helianthus annuus and up to 88% in Zea mays. For copper, an increase of up to 262% in Helianthus annuus and up to 202% in Zea Mays was obtained. Analysis through Fourier-Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry highlighted the biodegradation of some of the N-containing compounds recording, after phytoremediation, a decrease of up to almost 90%. Metagenomic analysis of the soil showed a typical microbial population of oxidizing hydrocarbon strains with a prevalence of the Nocardiaceae family (43%). The results obtained appear to confirm the usefulness of the approach developed, and the employed cutting-edge analytical techniques allowed a top-notch characterization of the remediation scenario.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Hsu CC, Okumura R, Motooka D, et al (2021)

Alleviation of colonic inflammation by Lypd8 in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

International immunology pii:6211059 [Epub ahead of print].

Dysfunction of the intestinal mucosal barrier causes inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Indeed, mucosal barrier impairment in the gut of IBD patients results from decreased expression of barrier molecules. Lypd8 segregates microbiota from the colonic epithelial layer. In this study, we found that Lypd8-/- mice, in which flagellated bacteria invaded the mucosal surface of the colon, developed spontaneous colitis when dysbiosis was induced by a high-fat diet (HFD). Based on this finding, we assessed whether the application of human LYPD8 (hLYPD8) protein exhibiting the glycan-dependent inhibition of bacterial motility is effective in a colitis model. Oral and anal treatment with hLYPD8 protein ameliorates dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis and HFD-induced colitis in Lypd8-/- mice. These results indicate a therapeutic potential of hLYPD8 protein supplementation for IBD.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Pennycook JH, PD Scanlan (2021)

Ecological and evolutionary responses to antibiotic treatment in the human gut microbiota.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:6212228 [Epub ahead of print].

The potential for antibiotics to affect the ecology and evolution of the human gut microbiota is well recognised and has wide-ranging implications for host health. Here, we review the findings of key studies that surveyed the human gut microbiota during antibiotic treatment. We find several broad patterns including the loss of diversity, disturbance of community composition, suppression of bacteria in the Actinobacteria phylum, amplification of bacteria in the Bacteroidetes phylum, and promotion of antibiotic resistance. Such changes to the microbiota were often, but not always, recovered following the end of treatment. However, many studies reported unique and/or contradictory results, which highlights our inability to meaningfully predict or explain the effects of antibiotic treatment on the human gut microbiome. This problem arises from variation between existing studies in three major categories: differences in dose, class, and combinations of antibiotic treatments used; differences in demographics, lifestyles, and locations of subjects; and differences in measurements, analyses, and reporting styles used by researchers. To overcome this, we suggest two integrated approaches: (i) a top-down approach focused on building predictive models through large sample sizes, deep metagenomic sequencing, and effective collaboration; and (ii) a bottom-up reductionist approach focused on testing hypotheses using model systems.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Huang L, Hong B, Yang W, et al (2021)

Snipe: highly sensitive pathogen detection from metagenomic sequencing data.

Briefings in bioinformatics pii:6210456 [Epub ahead of print].

Metagenomics data provide rich information for the detection of foodborne pathogens from food and environmental samples that are mixed with complex background bacteria strains. While pathogen detection from metagenomic sequencing data has become an activity of increasing interest, shotgun sequencing of uncultured food samples typically produces data that contain reads from many different organisms, making accurate strain typing a challenging task. Particularly, as many pathogens may contain a common set of genes that are highly similar to those from normal bacteria in food samples, traditional strain-level abundance profiling approaches do not perform well at detecting pathogens of very low abundance levels. To overcome this limitation, we propose an abundance correction method based on species-specific genomic regions to achieve high sensitivity and high specificity in target pathogen detection at low abundance.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Arisdakessian CG, Nigro O, Steward G, et al (2021)

CoCoNet: An Efficient Deep Learning Tool for Viral Metagenome Binning.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) pii:6211156 [Epub ahead of print].

MOTIVATION: Metagenomic approaches hold the potential to characterize microbial communities and unravel the intricate link between the microbiome and biological processes. Assembly is one of the most critical steps in metagenomics experiments. It consists of transforming overlapping DNA sequencing reads into sufficiently accurate representations of the community's genomes. This process is computationally difficult and commonly results in genomes fragmented across many contigs. Computational binning methods are used to mitigate fragmentation by partitioning contigs based on their sequence composition, abundance, or chromosome organization into bins representing the community's genomes. Existing binning methods have been principally tuned for bacterial genomes and do not perform favorably on viral metagenomes.

RESULTS: We propose CoCoNet (Composition and Coverage Network), a new binning method for viral metagenomes that leverages the flexibility and the effectiveness of deep learning to model the co-occurrence of contigs belonging to the same viral genome and provide a rigorous framework for binning viral contigs. Our results show that CoCoNet substantially outperforms existing binning methods on viral datasets.

AVAILABILITY: CoCoNet was implemented in Python and is available for download on PyPi. ( The source code is hosted on GitHub at and the documentation is available at

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Islam R, Raju RS, Tasnim N, et al (2021)

Choice of assemblers has a critical impact on de novo assembly of SARS-CoV-2 genome and characterizing variants.

Briefings in bioinformatics pii:6210065 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a global pandemic following its initial emergence in China. SARS-CoV-2 has a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus genome of around 30Kb. Using next-generation sequencing technologies, a large number of SARS-CoV-2 genomes are being sequenced at an unprecedented rate and being deposited in public repositories. For the de novo assembly of the SARS-CoV-2 genomes, a myriad of assemblers is being used, although their impact on the assembly quality has not been characterized for this virus. In this study, we aim to understand the variabilities on assembly qualities due to the choice of the assemblers.

RESULTS: We performed 6648 de novo assemblies of 416 SARS-CoV-2 samples using eight different assemblers with different k-mer lengths. We used Illumina paired-end sequencing reads and compared the assembly quality of those assemblers. We showed that the choice of assembler plays a significant role in reconstructing the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Two metagenomic assemblers, e.g. MEGAHIT and metaSPAdes, performed better compared with others in most of the assembly quality metrics including, recovery of a larger fraction of the genome, constructing larger contigs and higher N50, NA50 values, etc. We showed that at least 09% (259/2873) of the variants present in the assemblies between MEGAHIT and metaSPAdes are unique to one of the assembly methods.

CONCLUSION: Our analyses indicate the critical role of assembly methods for assembling SARS-CoV-2 genome using short reads and their impact on variant characterization. This study could help guide future studies to determine the best-suited assembler for the de novo assembly of virus genomes.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Zylberberg M, Van Hemert C, Handel CM, et al (2021)


Journal of wildlife diseases, 57(2):273-281.

Avian keratin disorder (AKD), a disease of unknown etiology characterized by debilitating beak overgrowth, has increasingly affected wild bird populations since the 1990s. A novel picornavirus, poecivirus, is closely correlated with disease status in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in Alaska, US. However, our knowledge of the relationship between poecivirus and beak deformities in other species and other geographic areas remains limited. The growing geographic scope and number of species affected by AKD-like beak deformities require a better understanding of the causative agent to evaluate the population-level impacts of this epizootic. Here, we tested eight individuals from six avian species with AKD-consistent deformities for the presence of poecivirus: Mew Gull (Larus canus), Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus), Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia), American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), and Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata). The birds were sampled in Alaska and Maine (1999-2016). We used targeted PCR followed by Sanger sequencing to test for the presence of poecivirus in each specimen and to obtain viral genome sequence from virus-positive host individuals. We detected poecivirus in all individuals tested, but not in negative controls (water and tissue samples). Furthermore, we used unbiased metagenomic sequencing to test for the presence of other pathogens in six of these specimens (Hairy Woodpecker, two American Crows, two Red-breasted Nuthatches, Blackpoll Warbler). This analysis yielded additional viral sequences from several specimens, including the complete coding region of poecivirus from one Red-breasted Nuthatch, which we confirmed via targeted PCR followed by Sanger sequencing. This study demonstrates that poecivirus is present in individuals with AKD-consistent deformities from six avian species other than Black-capped Chickadee. While further investigation will be required to explore whether there exists a causal link between this virus and AKD, this study demonstrates that poecivirus is not geographically restricted to Alaska, but rather occurs elsewhere in North America.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Marchet C, Kerbiriou M, A Limasset (2021)

BLight: Efficient exact associative structure for k-mers.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) pii:6209734 [Epub ahead of print].

MOTIVATION: A plethora of methods and applications share the fundamental need to associate information to words for high throughput sequence analysis. Doing so for billions of k-mers is commonly a scalability problem, as exact associative indexes can be memory expensive. Recent works take advantage of overlaps between k-mers to leverage this challenge. Yet existing data structures are either unable to associate information to k-mers or are not lightweight enough.

RESULTS: We present BLight, a static and exact data structure able to associate unique identifiers to k-mers and determine their membership in a set without false positive, that scales to huge k-mer sets with a low memory cost. This index combines an extremely compact representation along with very fast queries. Besides, its construction is efficient and needs no additional memory. Our implementation achieves to index the k-mers from the human genome using 8GB of RAM (23 bits per k-mer) within 10 minutes and the k-mers from the large axolotl genome using 63 GB of memory (27 bits per k-mer) within 76 minutes. Furthermore, while being memory efficient, the index provides a very high throughput: 1.4 million queries per second on a single CPU or 16.1 million using 12 cores. Finally, we also present how BLight can practically represent metagenomic and transcriptomic sequencing data to highlight its wide applicative range.

AVAILABILITY: We wrote the BLight index as an open source C ++ library under the AGPL3 license available at It is designed as a user-friendly library and comes along with code usage samples.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Mac Aogáin M, Narayana JK, Tiew PY, et al (2021)

Integrative microbiomics in bronchiectasis exacerbations.

Nature medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Bronchiectasis, a progressive chronic airway disease, is characterized by microbial colonization and infection. We present an approach to the multi-biome that integrates bacterial, viral and fungal communities in bronchiectasis through weighted similarity network fusion ( Patients at greatest risk of exacerbation have less complex microbial co-occurrence networks, reduced diversity and a higher degree of antagonistic interactions in their airway microbiome. Furthermore, longitudinal interactome dynamics reveals microbial antagonism during exacerbation, which resolves following treatment in an otherwise stable multi-biome. Assessment of the Pseudomonas interactome shows that interaction networks, rather than abundance alone, are associated with exacerbation risk, and that incorporation of microbial interaction data improves clinical prediction models. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing of an independent cohort validated the multi-biome interactions detected in targeted analysis and confirmed the association with exacerbation. Integrative microbiomics captures microbial interactions to determine exacerbation risk, which cannot be appreciated by the study of a single microbial group. Antibiotic strategies probably target the interaction networks rather than individual microbes, providing a fresh approach to the understanding of respiratory infection.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Tourancheau A, Mead EA, Zhang XS, et al (2021)

Discovering multiple types of DNA methylation from bacteria and microbiome using nanopore sequencing.

Nature methods [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial DNA methylation occurs at diverse sequence contexts and plays important functional roles in cellular defense and gene regulation. Existing methods for detecting DNA modification from nanopore sequencing data do not effectively support de novo study of unknown bacterial methylomes. In this work, we observed that a nanopore sequencing signal displays complex heterogeneity across methylation events of the same type. To enable nanopore sequencing for broadly applicable methylation discovery, we generated a training dataset from an assortment of bacterial species and developed a method, named nanodisco (, that couples the identification and fine mapping of the three forms of methylation into a multi-label classification framework. We applied it to individual bacteria and the mouse gut microbiome for reliable methylation discovery. In addition, we demonstrated the use of DNA methylation for binning metagenomic contigs, associating mobile genetic elements with their host genomes and identifying misassembled metagenomic contigs.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

de Vries JJC, Brown JR, Couto N, et al (2021)

Recommendations for the introduction of metagenomic next-generation sequencing in clinical virology, part II: bioinformatic analysis and reporting.

Journal of clinical virology : the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology, 138:104812 pii:S1386-6532(21)00079-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) is an untargeted technique for determination of microbial DNA/RNA sequences in a variety of sample types from patients with infectious syndromes. mNGS is still in its early stages of broader translation into clinical applications. To further support the development, implementation, optimization and standardization of mNGS procedures for virus diagnostics, the European Society for Clinical Virology (ESCV) Network on Next-Generation Sequencing (ENNGS) has been established. The aim of ENNGS is to bring together professionals involved in mNGS for viral diagnostics to share methodologies and experiences, and to develop application guidelines. Following the ENNGS publication Recommendations for the introduction of mNGS in clinical virology, part I: wet lab procedure in this journal, the current manuscript aims to provide practical recommendations for the bioinformatic analysis of mNGS data and reporting of results to clinicians.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Zhang Z, Wan J, Liu L, et al (2021)

Metagenomics reveals functional profiling of microbial communities in OCP contaminated sites with rapeseed oil and tartaric acid biostimulation.

Journal of environmental management, 289:112515 pii:S0301-4797(21)00577-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) contaminated sites pose great threats to both human health and environmental safety. Targeted bioremediation in these regions largely depends on microbial diversity and activity. This study applied metagenomics to characterize the microbial communities and functional groups composition features during independent or simultaneous rapeseed oil and tartaric acid applications, as well as the degradation kinetics of OCPs. Results showed that: the degradation rates of α-chlordane, β-chlordane and mirex were better when (0.50% w/w) rapeseed oil and (0.05 mol L-1) tartaric acid were applied simultaneously than singular use, yielding removal rates of 56.4%, 53.9%, and 49.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, bio-stimulation facilitated microbial enzyme (catalase/superoxide dismutase/peroxidase) activity in soils significantly, promoting the growth of dominant bacterial communities. Classification at phylum level showed that the relative abundance of Proteobacteria was significantly increased (p < 0.05). Network analysis showed that bio-stimulation substantially increased the dominant bacterial community's proportion, especially Proteobacteria. The functional gene results illustrated that bio-stimulation facilitated total relative abundance of degradation genes, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur metabolic genes, and iron transporting genes (p < 0.05). In metabolic pathways, functional genes related to methanogenesis and ammonia generation were markedly upregulated, indicating that bio-stimulation promoted the transformation of metabolic genes, such as carbon and nitrogen. This research is conducive to exploring the microbiological response mechanisms of bio-stimulation in indigenous flora, which may provide technical support for assessing the microbial ecological remediation outcomes of bio-stimulation in OCP contaminated sites.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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