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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 18 Apr 2021 at 01:39 Created: 

Microbial Ecology

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

Created with PubMed® Query: "microbial ecology" NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-04-17

Rojas-Gätjens D, Fuentes-Schweizer P, Rojas-Jiménez K, et al (2021)

Methylotrophs and Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria Are Key Players in the Microbial Community of an Abandoned Century-Old Oil Exploration Well.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

In this work, we studied the microbial community and the physicochemical conditions prevailing in an exploratory oil well, abandoned a century ago, located in the Cahuita National Park (Costa Rica). According to our analysis, Cahuita well is characterized by a continuous efflux of methane and the presence of a mixture of hydrocarbons including phenanthrene/anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, dibenzothiophene, tricyclic terpanes, pyrene, sesquiterpenes, sterane, and n-alkanes. Based on the analysis of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, we detected a significant abundance of methylotrophic bacteria such as Methylobacillus (6.3-26.0% of total reads) and Methylococcus (4.1-30.6%) and the presence of common genera associated with hydrocarbon degradation, such as Comamonas (0.8-4.6%), Hydrogenophaga (1.5-3.3%) Rhodobacter (1.0-4.9%), and Flavobacterium (1.1-6.5%). The importance of C1 metabolism in this niche was confirmed by amplifying the methane monooxygenase (MMO)-encoding gene (pmo) from environmental DNA and the isolation of two strains closely related to Methylorubrum rhodesianum and Paracoccus communis with the ability to growth using methanol and formate as sole carbon source respectively. In addition, we were able to isolated 20 bacterial strains from the genera Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, and Microbacterium which showed the capability to grow using the hydrocarbons detected in the oil well as sole carbon source. This work describes the physicochemical properties and microbiota of an environment exposed to hydrocarbons for 100 years, and it not only represents a contribution to the understanding of microbial communities in environments with permanently high concentrations of these compounds but also has biotechnological implications for bioremediation of petroleum-polluted sites.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Álvarez-Pérez S, Tsuji K, Donald M, et al (2021)

Correction to: Nitrogen Assimilation Varies Among Clades of Nectar- and Insect-Associated Acinetobacters.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Pereira A, Figueiredo A, V Ferreira (2021)

Invasive Acacia Tree Species Affect Instream Litter Decomposition Through Changes in Water Nitrogen Concentration and Litter Characteristics.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Non-native nitrogen-fixing Acacia species have been invading riparian ecosystems worldwide, potentially threatening stream communities that strongly depend on allochthonous litter. We examined the effects of the invasion of native deciduous temperate forests by Acacia species on litter decomposition and associated fungal decomposers in streams. Litter of native (Alnus glutinosa and Quercus robur) and invasive (Acacia melanoxylon) species were enclosed in fine-mesh bags and immersed in three native and three invaded streams, for 14-98 days. Litter decomposition rates, fungal biomass, and aquatic hyphomycete sporulation rates were higher in invaded than in native streams, likely due to the higher water nitrogen concentration found in invaded streams. Alnus glutinosa litter had higher aquatic hyphomycete sporulation rates and species richness, and higher decomposition rates, probably because they were soft and nitrogen rich. Quercus robur litter also had high aquatic hyphomycete sporulation rates but lower decomposition rates than Al. glutinosa, probably due to high polyphenol concentration and carbon:nitrogen ratio. Acacia melanoxylon litter had lower aquatic hyphomycete sporulation rates and species richness, and lower decomposition rates, most likely because it was very tough. Thus, litter decomposition rates varied in the order: Al. glutinosa > Q. robur > Ac. melanoxylon. The aquatic hyphomycete community structure strongly differed between native and invaded streams, and among litter species, suggesting that microbes were sensitive to water nitrogen concentration and litter characteristics. Overall, increases in water nitrogen concentration and alterations in litter characteristics promoted by the invasion of native riparian forests by Acacia species may affect the activity and community structure of microbial decomposers, and instream litter decomposition, thus altering the functioning of stream ecosystems.

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

Ulrich K, Lentzsch P, W Seyfarth (1997)

Identification of cultivar-specific leghaemoglobin components in Pisum sativum.

The New phytologist, 137(2):285-291.

The components of leghaemoglobin (Lb) from twelve different Pisum sativum L. cvs and three near-isogenic foliar mutants were investigated by anion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Five different Lb component profiles could he found. The number of components varied from four to six dependent on cultivar used. An Lb pattern composed of four Lb components could be detected in thirteen P. sativum cultivars and lines. Ten of them showed an identical profile. In nodules of each cultivar, the two known major components, LbI and LbV, but also LbIV, could be detected. Additionally, cultivar-specific Lb components could be identified, each representing up to 10%, of total Lb. One of these components, LbIII, has been described previously, but three new Lb components (LbII, LbVI, and LbVII) were found. The presence of all Lb components detected by HPLC was confirmed by analytical isoelectric focusing. Further, it was shown that age-dependent changes in the relative concentrations of LbI and LbV are common in P. sativum and that these variations are independent of breeding lines and cultivars.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Caragata EP, Otero LM, Tikhe CV, et al (2021)

Microbial Diversity of Adult Aedes aegypti and Water Collected from Different Mosquito Aquatic Habitats in Puerto Rico.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquitoes, the major vectors of viruses like dengue, are naturally host to diverse microorganisms, which play an important role in their development, fecundity, immunity, and vector competence. The composition of their microbiota is strongly influenced by the environment, particularly their aquatic larval habitat. In this study, we used 2×300 bp 16s Illumina sequencing to compare the microbial profiles of emerging adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and the water collected from common types of aquatic habitat containers in Puerto Rico, which has endemic dengue transmission. We sequenced 141 mosquito and 46 water samples collected from plastic containers, septic tanks, discarded tires, underground trash cans, tree holes, or water meters. We identified 9 bacterial genera that were highly prevalent in the mosquito microbiome, and 77 for the microbiome of the aquatic habitat. The most abundant mosquito-associated bacterial OTUs were from the families Burkholderiaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Comamonadaceae, and Xanthomonadaceae. Microbial profiles varied greatly between mosquitoes, and there were few major differences explained by container type; however, the microbiome of mosquitoes from plastic containers was more diverse and contained more unique taxa than the other groups. Container water was significantly more diverse than mosquitoes, and our data suggest that mosquitoes filter out many bacteria, with Alphaproteobacteria in particular being far more abundant in water. These findings provide novel insight into the microbiome of mosquitoes in the region and provide a platform to improve our understanding of the fundamental mosquito-microbe interactions.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Parras-Moltó M, D Aguirre de Cárcer (2021)

Assessment of phylo-functional coherence along the bacterial phylogeny and taxonomy.

Scientific reports, 11(1):8299.

In this report we use available curated phylogenies, taxonomy, and genome annotations to assess the phylogenetic and gene content similarity associated with each different taxon and taxonomic rank. Subsequently, we employ the same data to assess the frontiers of functional coherence along the bacterial phylogeny. Our results show that within-group phylogenetic and gene content similarity of taxa in the same rank are not homogenous, and that these values show extensive overlap between ranks. Functional coherence along the 16S rRNA gene-based phylogeny was limited to 44 particular nodes presenting large variations in phylogenetic depth. For instance, the deep subtree affiliated to class Actinobacteria presented functional coherence, while the shallower family Enterobacteriaceae-affiliated subtree did not. On the other hand, functional coherence along the genome-based phylogeny delimited deep subtrees affiliated to phyla Actinobacteriota, Deinococcota, Chloroflexota, Firmicutes, and a subtree containing the rest of the bacterial phyla. The results presented here can be used to guide the exploration of results in many microbial ecology and evolution research scenarios. Moreover, we provide dedicated scripts and files that can be used to continue the exploration of functional coherence along the bacterial phylogeny employing different parameters or input data (

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Xue H, Kurokawa M, BW Ying (2021)

Correlation between the spatial distribution and colony size was common for monogenetic bacteria in laboratory conditions.

BMC microbiology, 21(1):114.

BACKGROUND: Geographically separated population growth of microbes is a common phenomenon in microbial ecology. Colonies are representative of the morphological characteristics of this structured population growth. Pattern formation by single colonies has been intensively studied, whereas the spatial distribution of colonies is poorly investigated.

RESULTS: The present study describes a first trial to address the questions of whether and how the spatial distribution of colonies determines the final colony size using the model microorganism Escherichia coli, colonies of which can be grown under well-controlled laboratory conditions. A computational tool for image processing was developed to evaluate colony density, colony size and size variation, and the Voronoi diagram was applied for spatial analysis of colonies with identical space resources. A positive correlation between the final colony size and the Voronoi area was commonly identified, independent of genomic and nutritional differences, which disturbed the colony size and size variation.

CONCLUSIONS: This novel finding of a universal correlation between the spatial distribution and colony size not only indicated the fair distribution of spatial resources for monogenetic colonies growing with identical space resources but also indicated that the initial localization of the microbial colonies decided by chance determined the fate of the subsequent population growth. This study provides a valuable example for quantitative analysis of the complex microbial ecosystems by means of experimental ecology.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Diego D, Hannisdal B, H Dahle (2021)

On how the power supply shapes microbial survival.

Mathematical biosciences pii:S0025-5564(21)00060-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding how environmental factors affect microbial survival is an important open problem in microbial ecology. Patterns of microbial community structure have been characterized across a wide range of different environmental settings, but the mechanisms generating these patterns remain poorly understood. Here, we use mathematical modelling to investigate fundamental connections between chemical power supply to a system and patterns of microbial survival. We reveal a complex set of interdependences between power supply and distributions of survival probability across microbial habitats, in a case without interspecific resource competition. We also find that different properties determining power supply, such as substrate fluxes and Gibbs energies of reactions, affect microbial survival in fundamentally different ways. Moreover, we show how simple connections between power supply and growth can give rise to complex patterns of microbial survival across physicochemical gradients, such as pH gradients. Our findings show the importance of taking energy fluxes into account in order to reveal fundamental connections between microbial survival and environmental conditions, and to obtain a better understanding of microbial population dynamics in natural environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Mahjoubi M, Aliyu H, Neifar M, et al (2021)

Genomic characterization of a polyvalent hydrocarbonoclastic bacterium Pseudomonas sp. strain BUN14.

Scientific reports, 11(1):8124.

Bioremediation offers a viable alternative for the reduction of contaminants from the environment, particularly petroleum and its recalcitrant derivatives. In this study, the ability of a strain of Pseudomonas BUN14 to degrade crude oil, pristane and dioxin compounds, and to produce biosurfactants, was investigated. BUN14 is a halotolerant strain isolated from polluted sediment recovered from the refinery harbor on the Bizerte coast, north Tunisia and capable of producing surfactants. The strain BUN14 was assembled into 22 contigs of 4,898,053 bp with a mean GC content of 62.4%. Whole genome phylogeny and comparative genome analyses showed that strain BUN14 could be affiliated with two validly described Pseudomonas Type Strains, P. kunmingensis DSM 25974T and P. chloritidismutans AW-1T. The current study, however, revealed that the two Type Strains are probably conspecific and, given the priority of the latter, we proposed that P. kunmingensis DSM 25974 is a heteronym of P. chloritidismutans AW-1T. Using GC-FID analysis, we determined that BUN14 was able to use a range of hydrocarbons (crude oil, pristane, dibenzofuran, dibenzothiophene, naphthalene) as a sole carbon source. Genome analysis of BUN14 revealed the presence of a large repertoire of proteins (154) related to xenobiotic biodegradation and metabolism. Thus, 44 proteins were linked to the pathways for complete degradation of benzoate and naphthalene. The annotation of conserved functional domains led to the detection of putative genes encoding enzymes of the rhamnolipid biosynthesis pathway. Overall, the polyvalent hydrocarbon degradation capacity of BUN14 makes it a promising candidate for application in the bioremediation of polluted saline environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Wallander H, Nilsson LO, Hagerberg D, et al (2001)

Estimation of the biomass and seasonal growth of external mycelium of ectomycorrhizal fungi in the field.

The New phytologist, 151(3):753-760.

• In-growth mesh bags were used to quantify the production of external mycelium of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi in the field. • Colonization of the mesh bags was followed by visual estimation of the amount of mycelium, and by measuring fungal biomarkers (the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) 18 : 2ω6,9 and ergosterol). Mesh bags were placed inside and outside plots that were root isolated in order to estimate the amount of saprotrophic mycelium in relation to EM mycelium. The majority of mycelium in the mesh bags were EM, and this was confirmed by analysis of the δ13 C value in mycelia. • Fungal colonization of mesh bags peaked during autumn. The total amount of EM mycelium produced in the mesh bags during a year was calculated to be between 125 and 200 kg ha-1 . The total amount of EM mycelium (including EM mantles) in the humus was estimated to be 700-900 kg ha-1 . • The biomass of EM mycelium in the soil was in the same range as the biomass of fine roots and peaks of mycelial growth coincided with periods of maximum growth of fine-roots.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Birhane E, Gebregergs T, Hailemariam M, et al (2021)

Root Colonization and Spore Abundance of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Along Altitudinal Gradients in Fragmented Church Natural Forest Remnants in Northern Ethiopia.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) spore density and root colonization are considered sensitive to host species and abiotic factors such as climate and soil. However, there is a knowledge gap about how fragmented native forest remnants might contribute to AMF conservation, what is the AMF spore density and root colonization, and to what extent climate change, particularly warming, might impact AMF. The aim of the study was to quantify the AMF spore density and root colonization along altitudinal gradients in three agro-ecological zones of nine church forests in northern Ethiopia. Data were collected from 45 plots. All the surveyed church forest species were colonized by AMF. However, we found a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in root colonization and AMF abundance in forests at high elevation. The topsoil had significantly (p < 0.05) higher root colonization and AMF abundance than subsurface soil. We found strong negative correlations between altitude and both spore density and root colonization and soil fertility. While we cannot separate whether spore density was temperature or soil limited, we can demonstrate the importance of conserving certain tree species, particularly Ficus species, which harbor high spore densities, in both lowland and midland church forests. In the highland, no Ficus species were found. However, Hagenia abyssinica, another Rosales, had the highest spore density in the highland ecoregion.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Altamia MA, Lin Z, Trindade-Silva AE, et al (2021)

Correction for Altamia et al., "Secondary Metabolism in the Gill Microbiota of Shipworms (Teredinidae) as Revealed by Comparison of Metagenomes and Nearly Complete Symbiont Genomes".

mSystems, 6(2): pii:6/2/e00288-21.

RevDate: 2021-04-14
CmpDate: 2010-09-20

Verbruggen E, Röling WFM, Gamper HA, et al (2010)

Positive effects of organic farming on below-ground mutualists: large-scale comparison of mycorrhizal fungal communities in agricultural soils.

The New phytologist, 186(4):968-979.

*The impact of various agricultural practices on soil biodiversity and, in particular, on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), is still poorly understood, although AMF can provide benefit to plants and ecosystems. Here, we tested whether organic farming enhances AMF diversity and whether AMF communities from organically managed fields are more similar to those of species-rich grasslands or conventionally managed fields. *To address this issue, the AMF community composition was assessed in 26 arable fields (13 pairs of organically and conventionally managed fields) and five semi-natural grasslands, all on sandy soil. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism community fingerprinting was used to characterize AMF community composition. *The average number of AMF taxa was highest in grasslands (8.8), intermediate in organically managed fields (6.4) and significantly lower in conventionally managed fields (3.9). Moreover, AMF richness increased significantly with the time since conversion to organic agriculture. AMF communities of organically managed fields were also more similar to those of natural grasslands when compared with those under conventional management, and were less uniform than their conventional counterparts, as expressed by higher beta-diversity (between-site diversity). *We suggest that organic management in agro-ecosystems contributes to the restoration and maintenance of these important below-ground mutualists.

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

Valencia EY, Barros JP, Ferenci T, et al (2021)

A Broad Continuum of E. coli Traits in Nature Associated with the Trade-off Between Self-preservation and Nutritional Competence.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

A trade-off between reproduction and survival is a characteristic of many organisms. In bacteria, growth is constrained when cellular resources are channelled towards environmental stress protection. At the core of this trade-off in Escherichia coli is RpoS, a sigma factor that diverts transcriptional resources towards general stress resistance. The constancy of RpoS levels in natural isolates is unknown. A uniform RpoS content in E. coli would impart a narrow range of resistance properties to the species, whereas a diverse set of RpoS levels in nature should result in a diverse range of stress susceptibilities. We explore the diversity of trade-off settings and phenotypes by measuring the level of RpoS protein in strains of E. coli cohabiting in a natural environment. Strains from a stream polluted with domestic waste were investigated in monthly samples. Analyses included E. coli phylogroup classification, RpoS protein level, RpoS-dependent stress phenotypes and the sequencing of rpoS mutations. The most striking finding was the continuum of RpoS levels, with a 100-fold range of RpoS amounts consistently found in individuals in the stream. Approximately 1.8% of the sampled strains carried null or non-synonymous mutations in rpoS. The natural isolates also exhibited a broad (>100-fold) range of stress resistance responses. Our results are consistent with the view that a multiplicity of survival-multiplication trade-off settings is a feature of the species E. coli. The phenotypic diversity resulting from the trade-off permits bet-hedging and the adaptation of E. coli strains to a very broad range of environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Deng X, Zhang N, Shen Z, et al (2021)

Soil microbiome manipulation triggers direct and possible indirect suppression against Ralstonia solanacearum and Fusarium oxysporum.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 7(1):33.

Soil microbiome manipulation can potentially reduce the use of pesticides by improving the ability of soils to resist or recover from pathogen infestation, thus generating natural suppressiveness. We simulated disturbance through soil fumigation and investigated how the subsequent application of bio-organic and organic amendments reshapes the taxonomic and functional potential of the soil microbiome to suppress the pathogens Ralstonia solanacearum and Fusarium oxysporum in tomato monocultures. The use of organic amendment alone generated smaller shifts in bacterial and fungal community composition and no suppressiveness. Fumigation directly decreased F. oxysporum and induced drastic changes in the soil microbiome. This was further converted from a disease conducive to a suppressive soil microbiome due to the application of organic amendment, which affected the way the bacterial and fungal communities were reassembled. These direct and possibly indirect effects resulted in a highly efficient disease control rate, providing a promising strategy for the control of the diseases caused by multiple pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Lui LM, Majumder EL, Smith HJ, et al (2021)

Mechanism Across Scales: A Holistic Modeling Framework Integrating Laboratory and Field Studies for Microbial Ecology.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:642422.

Over the last century, leaps in technology for imaging, sampling, detection, high-throughput sequencing, and -omics analyses have revolutionized microbial ecology to enable rapid acquisition of extensive datasets for microbial communities across the ever-increasing temporal and spatial scales. The present challenge is capitalizing on our enhanced abilities of observation and integrating diverse data types from different scales, resolutions, and disciplines to reach a causal and mechanistic understanding of how microbial communities transform and respond to perturbations in the environment. This type of causal and mechanistic understanding will make predictions of microbial community behavior more robust and actionable in addressing microbially mediated global problems. To discern drivers of microbial community assembly and function, we recognize the need for a conceptual, quantitative framework that connects measurements of genomic potential, the environment, and ecological and physical forces to rates of microbial growth at specific locations. We describe the Framework for Integrated, Conceptual, and Systematic Microbial Ecology (FICSME), an experimental design framework for conducting process-focused microbial ecology studies that incorporates biological, chemical, and physical drivers of a microbial system into a conceptual model. Through iterative cycles that advance our understanding of the coupling across scales and processes, we can reliably predict how perturbations to microbial systems impact ecosystem-scale processes or vice versa. We describe an approach and potential applications for using the FICSME to elucidate the mechanisms of globally important ecological and physical processes, toward attaining the goal of predicting the structure and function of microbial communities in chemically complex natural environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Iturbe-Espinoza P, Brandt BW, Braster M, et al (2021)

Effects of DNA preservation solution and DNA extraction methods on microbial community profiling of soil.

Folia microbiologica [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial community profiling using high-throughput sequencing relies in part on the preservation of the DNA and the effectiveness of the DNA extraction method. This study aimed at understanding to what extent these parameters affect the profiling. We obtained samples treated with and without a preservation solution. Also, we compared DNA extraction kits from Qiagen and Zymo-Research. The types of samples were defined strains, both as single species and mixtures, as well as undefined indigenous microbial communities from soil. We show that the use of a preservation solution resulted in substantial changes in the 16S rRNA gene profiles either due to an overrepresentation of Gram-positive bacteria or to an underrepresentation of Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, 16S rRNA gene profiles were substantially different depending on the type of kit that was used for extraction. The kit from Zymo extracted DNA from different types of bacteria in roughly equal amounts. In contrast, the kit from Qiagen preferentially extracted DNA from Gram-negative bacteria while DNA from Gram-positive bacteria was extracted less effectively. These differences in kit performance strongly influenced the interpretation of our microbial ecology studies.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Conacher CG, Luyt NA, Naidoo-Blassoples RK, et al (2021)

The ecology of wine fermentation: a model for the study of complex microbial ecosystems.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The general interest in microbial ecology has skyrocketed over the past decade, driven by technical advances and by the rapidly increasing appreciation of the fundamental services that these ecosystems provide. In biotechnology, ecosystems have many more functionalities than single species, and, if properly understood and harnessed, will be able to deliver better outcomes for almost all imaginable applications. However, the complexity of microbial ecosystems and of the interactions between species has limited their applicability. In research, next generation sequencing allows accurate mapping of the microbiomes that characterise ecosystems of biotechnological and/or medical relevance. But the gap between mapping and understanding, to be filled by "functional microbiomics", requires the collection and integration of many different layers of complex data sets, from molecular multi-omics to spatial imaging technologies to online ecosystem monitoring tools. Holistically, studying the complexity of most microbial ecosystems, consisting of hundreds of species in specific spatial arrangements, is beyond our current technical capabilities, and simpler model systems with fewer species and reduced spatial complexity are required to establish the fundamental rules of ecosystem functioning. One such ecosystem, the ecosystem responsible for natural alcoholic fermentation, can provide an excellent tool to study evolutionarily relevant interactions between multiple species within a relatively easily controlled environment. This review will critically evaluate the approaches that are currently implemented to dissect the cellular and molecular networks that govern this ecosystem. KEY POINTS: • Evolutionarily isolated fermentation ecosystem can be used as an ecological model. • Experimental toolbox is gearing towards mechanistic understanding of this ecosystem. • Integration of multidisciplinary datasets is key to predictive understanding.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Zama D, Gori D, Muratore E, et al (2021)

Enteral versus Parenteral Nutrition as Nutritional Support after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Transplantation and cellular therapy, 27(2):180.e1-180.e8.

Nutritional support for patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) has been widely debated. Enteral nutrition (EN) is recommended as first-line nutritional support by the main international guidelines. However, these recommendations are based on weak evidence, and there is wide variability in the types of nutritional support among transplantation centers, with the majority providing parenteral nutrition (PN) instead of EN. Here we provide an up-to-date systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing EN and PN for nutritional support during the neutropenic period after allo-HSCT. The literature search strategy identified 13 papers, of which 10 compared clinical transplantation outcomes, 2 compared gut microbiota (GM) compositions, and 1 compared systemic metabolic profiles. For the meta-analysis, among the 10 clinical studies, 8 studies in which 2 groups were compared were selected: in 1 group, EN was provided as primary nutritional support in the neutropenic phase after allo-HSCT with or without the addition of PN (EN group), whereas in the other group, only PN was provided as nutritional support. The incidence rates of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) (relative risk [RR], 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 0.86; P = .0007), aGVHD grade III-IV (RR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.64; P < .0001), and gut aGVHD (RR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.66; P < .0001) were lower in the EN group than in the PN group. No differences were found between the 2 groups with regard to the incidence of severe oral mucositis (RR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.09; P = .46) or overall survival at day +100 (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.21; P = .29). Other variables were too heterogeneous to perform quantitative analyses. The results of the meta-analysis showed that EN reduced the incidence of aGVHD, specifically grade III-IV and gut aGVHD. This result should prompt improved efforts to implement EN as first-line nutritional support in patients undergoing allo-HSCT. Considering the emerging evidence regarding the association between GM dysbiosis and aGVHD onset, we speculate that this protective effect could be attributed to the improved gut eubiosis observed in enterally fed patients. Further studies are warranted to better address the relationship between the GM composition, aGVHD, and the nutritional administration route during HSCT.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Gauthier J, N Derome (2021)

Evenness-Richness Scatter Plots: a Visual and Insightful Representation of Shannon Entropy Measurements for Ecological Community Analysis.

mSphere, 6(2):.

Shannon's entropy is a popular alpha diversity metric because it estimates both richness and evenness in a single equation. However, since its value is dependent on both those parameters, there is theoretically an infinite number of richness/evenness value combinations translating into the same index score. By decoupling both components measured by Shannon's entropy, two communities having identical indices can be differentiated by mapping richness and evenness coordinates on a scatter plot. In such graphs, confidence ellipses would allow testing significant differences between groups of samples. Multivariate statistical tests such as permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) can be performed on distance matrices calculated from richness and evenness coordinates and detect statistically significant differences that would have remained unforeseen otherwise. Therefore, plotting richness and evenness on two-dimensional (2D) graphs gives a more thorough understanding of how alpha diversity differs between groups of samples.

RevDate: 2021-04-09
CmpDate: 2021-04-09

Shanmugam G, Lee SH, J Jeon (2021)

EzMAP: Easy Microbiome Analysis Platform.

BMC bioinformatics, 22(1):179.

BACKGROUND: The rapid advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized the microbiome research by greatly increasing our ability to understand diversity of microbes in a given sample. Over the past decade, several computational pipelines have been developed to efficiently process and annotate these microbiome data. However, most of these pipelines require an implementation of additional tools for downstream analyses as well as advanced programming skills.

RESULTS: Here we introduce a user-friendly microbiome analysis platform, EzMAP (Easy Microbiome Analysis Platform), which was developed using Java Swings, Java Script and R programming language. EzMAP is a standalone package providing graphical user interface, enabling easy access to all the functionalities of QIIME2 (Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology) as well as streamlined downstream analyses using QIIME2 output as input. This platform is designed to give users the detailed reports and the intermediate output files that are generated progressively. The users are allowed to download the features/OTU table (.biom;.tsv;.xls), representative sequences (.fasta) and phylogenetic tree (.nwk), taxonomy assignment file (optional). For downstream analyses, users are allowed to perform relative abundances (at all taxonomical levels), community comparison (alpha and beta diversity, core microbiome), differential abundances (DESeq2 and linear discriminant analysis) and functional prediction (PICRust, Tax4Fun and FunGuilds). Our case study using a published rice microbiome dataset demonstrates intuitive user interface and great accessibility of the EzMAP.

CONCLUSIONS: This EzMAP allows users to consolidate the microbiome analysis processes from raw sequence processing to downstream analyses specific for individual projects. We believe that this will be an invaluable tool for the beginners in their microbiome data analysis. This platform is freely available at and will be continually updated for adoption of changes in methods and approaches.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Cooper RO, Vavra JM, CE Cressler (2021)

Targeted Manipulation of Abundant and Rare Taxa in the Daphnia magna Microbiota with Antibiotics Impacts Host Fitness Differentially.

mSystems, 6(2):.

Host-associated microbes contribute to host fitness, but it is unclear whether these contributions are from rare keystone taxa, numerically abundant taxa, or interactions among community members. Experimental perturbation of the microbiota can highlight functionally important taxa; however, this approach is primarily applied in systems with complex communities where the perturbation affects hundreds of taxa, making it difficult to pinpoint contributions of key community members. Here, we use the ecological model organism Daphnia magna to examine the importance of rare and abundant taxa by perturbing its relatively simple microbiota with targeted antibiotics. We used sublethal antibiotic doses to target either rare or abundant members across two temperatures and then measured key host life history metrics and shifts in microbial community composition. We find that removal of abundant taxa had greater impacts on host fitness than did removal of rare taxa and that the abundances of nontarget taxa were impacted by antibiotic treatment, suggesting that no rare keystone taxa exist in the Daphnia magna microbiota but that microbe-microbe interactions may play a role in host fitness. We also find that microbial community composition was impacted by antibiotics differently across temperatures, indicating that ecological context shapes within-host microbial responses and effects on host fitness.IMPORTANCE Understanding the contributions of rare and abundant taxa to host fitness is an outstanding question in host microbial ecology. In this study, we use the model zooplankton Daphnia magna and its relatively simple cohort of bacterial taxa to disentangle the roles of distinct taxa in host life history metrics, using a suite of antibiotics to selectively reduce the abundance of functionally important taxa. We also examine how environmental context shapes the importance of these bacterial taxa in host fitness.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Daisley BA, G Reid (2021)

BEExact: a Metataxonomic Database Tool for High-Resolution Inference of Bee-Associated Microbial Communities.

mSystems, 6(2):.

High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing technologies have robust potential to improve our understanding of bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)-associated microbial communities and their impact on hive health and disease. Despite recent computation algorithms now permitting exact inferencing of high-resolution exact amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), the taxonomic classification of these ASVs remains a challenge due to inadequate reference databases. To address this, we assemble a comprehensive data set of all publicly available bee-associated 16S rRNA gene sequences, systematically annotate poorly resolved identities via inclusion of 618 placeholder labels for uncultivated microbial dark matter, and correct for phylogenetic inconsistencies using a complementary set of distance-based and maximum likelihood correction strategies. To benchmark the resultant database (BEExact), we compare performance against all existing reference databases in silico using a variety of classifier algorithms to produce probabilistic confidence scores. We also validate realistic classification rates on an independent set of ∼234 million short-read sequences derived from 32 studies encompassing 50 different bee types (36 eusocial and 14 solitary). Species-level classification rates on short-read ASVs range from 80 to 90% using BEExact (with ∼20% due to "bxid" placeholder names), whereas only ∼30% at best can be resolved with current universal databases. A series of data-driven recommendations are developed for future studies. We conclude that BEExact ( enables accurate and standardized microbiota profiling across a broad range of bee species-two factors of key importance to reproducibility and meaningful knowledge exchange within the scientific community that together, can enhance the overall utility and ecological relevance of routine 16S rRNA gene-based sequencing endeavors.IMPORTANCE The failure of current universal taxonomic databases to support the rapidly expanding field of bee microbiota research has led to many investigators relying on "in-house" reference sets or manual classification of sequence reads (usually based on BLAST searches), often with vague identity thresholds and subjective taxonomy choices. This time-consuming, error- and bias-prone process lacks standardization, cripples the potential for comparative cross-study analysis, and in many cases is likely to incorrectly sway study conclusions. BEExact is structured on and leverages several complementary bioinformatic techniques to enable refined inference of bee host-associated microbial communities without any other methodological modifications necessary. It also bridges the gap between current practical outcomes (i.e., phylotype-to-genus level constraints with 97% operational taxonomic units [OTUs]) and the theoretical resolution (i.e., species-to-strain level classification with 100% ASVs) attainable in future microbiota investigations. Other niche habitats could also likely benefit from customized database curation via implementation of the novel approaches introduced in this study.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Deng Y, Huang Y, Che Y, et al (2021)

Microbiome assembly for sulfonamide subsistence and the transfer of genetic determinants.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic subsistence in bacteria represents an alternative resistance machinery, while paradoxically, it is also a cure for environmental resistance. Antibiotic-subsisting bacteria can detoxify antibiotic-polluted environments and prevent the development of antibiotic resistance in environments. However, progress toward efficient in situ engineering of antibiotic-subsisting bacteria is hindered by the lack of mechanistic and predictive understanding of the assembly of the functioning microbiome. By top-down manipulation of wastewater microbiomes using sulfadiazine as the single limiting source, we monitored the ecological selection process that forces the wastewater microbiome to perform efficient sulfadiazine subsistence. We found that the community-level assembly selects for the same three families rising to prominence across different initial pools of microbiomes. We further analyzed the assembly patterns using a linear model. Detailed inspections of the sulfonamide metabolic gene clusters in individual genomes of isolates and assembled metagenomes reveal limited transfer potential beyond the boundaries of the Micrococcaceae lineage. Our results open up new possibilities for engineering specialist bacteria for environmental applications.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Gwizdala M, Lebre PH, Maggs-Kölling G, et al (2021)

Sub-lithic photosynthesis in hot desert habitats.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

In hyper-arid soil environments, photosynthetic microorganisms are largely restricted to hypolithic (sub-lithic) habitats: i.e., on the ventral surfaces of translucent pebbles in desert pavements. Here, we combined fluorometric, spectroscopic, biochemical and metagenomic approaches to investigate in situ the light transmission properties of quartz stones in the Namib Desert, and assess the photosynthetic activity of the underlying hypolithic cyanobacterial biofilms. Quartz pebbles greatly reduced the total photon flux to the ventral surface biofilms and filtered out primarily the short wavelength portion of the solar spectrum. Chlorophylls d and f were not detected in biofilm pigment extracts; however, hypolithic cyanobacterial communities showed some evidence of adaptation to sub-lithic conditions, including the prevalence of genes encoding Helical Carotenoid Proteins, which are associated with desiccation stress. Under water-saturated conditions, hypolithic communities showed no evidence of light stress, even when the quartz stones were exposed to full midday sunlight. This initial study creates a foundation for future in-situ and laboratory exploration of various adaptation mechanisms employed by photosynthetic organisms forming hypolithic microbial communities. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-04-04

Camacho-Montealegre CM, Rodrigues EM, Morais DK, et al (2021)

Prokaryotic community diversity during bioremediation of crude oil contaminated oilfield soil: effects of hydrocarbon concentration and salinity.

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

Crude oil extracted from oilfield reservoirs brings together hypersaline produced water. Failure in pipelines transporting this mixture causes contamination of the soil with oil and hypersaline water. Soil salinization is harmful to biological populations, impairing the biodegradation of contaminants. We simulated the contamination of a soil from an oilfield with produced water containing different concentrations of NaCl and crude oil, in order to evaluate the effect of salinity and hydrocarbon concentration on prokaryote community structure and biodegradation activity. Microcosms were incubated in CO2-measuring respirometer. After the incubation, residual aliphatic hydrocarbons were quantified and were performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing. An increase in CO2 emission and hydrocarbon biodegradation was observed with increasing oil concentration up to 100 g kg-1. Alpha diversity decreased in oil-contaminated soils with an increase in the relative abundance of Actinobacteria and reduction of Bacteroidetes with increasing oil concentration. In the NaCl-contaminated soils, alpha diversity, CO2 emission, and hydrocarbon biodegradation decreased with increasing NaCl concentration. There was an increase in the relative abundance of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria and a reduction of Actinobacteria with increasing salt concentration. Our results highlight the need to adopt specific bioremediation strategies in soils impacted by mixtures of crude oil and hypersaline produced water.

RevDate: 2021-04-04

Glodowska M, Schneider M, Eiche E, et al (2021)

Microbial transformation of biogenic and abiogenic Fe minerals followed by in-situ incubations in an As-contaminated vs. non-contaminated aquifer.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 281:117012 pii:S0269-7491(21)00594-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Fe(III) minerals play a crucial role for arsenic (As) mobility in aquifers as they usually represent the main As-bearing phases. Microbial reductive dissolution of As-bearing Fe(III) minerals is responsible for the release of As and the resulting groundwater contamination in many sites worldwide. So far, in most studies mainly abiogenic iron minerals have been considered. Yet, biogenic minerals that possess different properties to their abiogenic counterparts are also present in the environment. In some environments they dominate the iron mineral inventory but so far, it is unclear what this means for the As mobility. We, therefore, performed an in-situ aquifer Fe(III) minerals exposure experiment i) to evaluate how different biogenic and abiogenic Fe(III) minerals are transformed in a strongly reducing, As-contaminated aquifer (25 m) compared to As-free moderately reducing aquifer (32 m) and ii) to assess which microbial taxa are involved in these Fe(III) minerals transformations. We found that higher numbers of bacteria and archaea were associated with the minerals incubated in the As-contaminated compared to the non-contaminated aquifer and that all Fe(III) minerals were mainly colonized by Fe(III)-reducing bacteria, with Geobacter being the most abundant taxon. Additionally, fermenting microorganisms were abundant on minerals incubated in the As-contaminated aquifer, while methanotrophs were identified on the minerals incubated in the As-free moderately reducing aquifer, implying involvement of these microorganisms in Fe(III) reduction. We observed that biogenic Fe(III) minerals generally tend to become more reduced and when incubated in the As-contaminated aquifer sorbed more As than the abiogenic ones. Most of abiogenic and biogenic Fe(III) minerals were transformed into magnetite while biogenic more crystalline mixed phases were not subjected to visible transformation. This in-situ Fe(III) minerals incubation approach shows that biogenic minerals are more prone to be colonized by (Fe(III)-reducing) microorganisms and bind more As, although ultimately produce similar minerals during Fe(III) reduction.

RevDate: 2021-04-03

Han Y, Guo C, Guan X, et al (2021)

Comparison of Deep-Sea Picoeukaryotic Composition Estimated from the V4 and V9 Regions of 18S rRNA Gene with a Focus on the Hadal Zone of the Mariana Trench.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Diversity of microbial eukaryotes is estimated largely based on sequencing analysis of the hypervariable regions of 18S rRNA genes. But the use of different regions of 18S rRNA genes as molecular markers may generate bias in diversity estimation. Here, we compared the differences between the two most widely used markers, V4 and V9 regions of the 18S rRNA gene, in describing the diversity of epipelagic, bathypelagic, and hadal picoeukaryotes in the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench, which is a unique and little explored environment. Generally, the V9 region identified more OTUs in deeper waters than V4, while the V4 region provided greater Shannon diversity than V9. In the epipelagic zone, where Alveolata was the dominant group, picoeukaryotic community compositions identified by V4 and V9 markers are similar at different taxonomic levels. However, in the deep waters, the results of the two datasets show clear differences. These differences were mainly contributed by Retaria, Fungi, and Bicosoecida. The primer targeting the V9 region has an advantage in amplifying Bicosoecids in the bathypelagic and hadal zone of the Mariana Trench, and its high abundance in V9 dataset pointed out the possibility of Bicosoecids as a dominant group in this environment. Chrysophyceae, Fungi, MALV-I, and Retaria were identified as the dominant picoeukaryotes in the bathypelagic and hadal zone and potentially play important roles in deep-sea microbial food webs and biogeochemical cycling by their phagotrophic, saprotrophic, and parasitic life styles. Overall, the use of different markers of 18S rRNA gene allows a better assessment and understanding of the picoeukaryotic diversity in deep-sea environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-03

Rupp DL, Lamit LJ, Techtmann SM, et al (2021)

The rhizosphere responds: rich fen peat and root microbial ecology after long-term water table manipulation.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00241-21 [Epub ahead of print].

Hydrologic shifts due to climate change will affect the cycling of carbon (C) stored in boreal peatlands. Carbon cycling in these systems is carried out by microorganisms and plants in close association. This study investigated the effects of experimentally manipulated water tables (lowered, raised) and plant functional groups on the peat and root microbiomes in a boreal rich fen. All samples were sequenced and processed for bacterial, archaeal (16S rDNA-V4), and fungal (ITS2) DNA. Depth had a strong effect on microbial and fungal communities across all water table treatments. Bacterial and archaeal communities were most sensitive to the water table treatments, particularly at the 10-20 cm depth-this area coincides with the rhizosphere or rooting zone. Iron cyclers, particularly members of the family Geobacteraceae, were enriched around the roots of sedges, horsetails, and grasses. The fungal community was affected largely by plant functional group, especially cinquefoils. Fungal endophytes (particularly Acephala spp.) were enriched in sedge and grass roots, which may have underappreciated implications for organic matter breakdown and cycling. Fungal lignocellulose degraders were enriched in the lowered water table treatment. Our results were indicative of two main methanogen communities: a rooting zone community dominated by the archaeal family Methanobacteriaceae and a deep peat community dominated by family Methanomicrobiaceae.ImportanceThis study demonstrated that roots and the rooting zone in boreal fens support organisms likely capable of methanogenesis, iron cycling, and fungal endophytic association, and are directly or indirectly affecting carbon cycling in these ecosystems. These taxa, which react to changes in water table and associate with roots and particularly graminoids, may gain greater biogeochemical influence as projected higher precipitation rates could lead to an increased abundance of sedges and grasses in boreal fens.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Jesus HE, Carreira RS, Paiva SSM, et al (2021)

Microbial Succession under Freeze-Thaw Events and Its Potential for Hydrocarbon Degradation in Nutrient-Amended Antarctic Soil.

Microorganisms, 9(3): pii:microorganisms9030609.

The polar regions have relatively low richness and diversity of plants and animals, and the basis of the entire ecological chain is supported by microbial diversity. In these regions, understanding the microbial response against environmental factors and anthropogenic disturbances is essential to understand patterns better, prevent isolated events, and apply biotechnology strategies. The Antarctic continent has been increasingly affected by anthropogenic contamination, and its constant temperature fluctuations limit the application of clean recovery strategies, such as bioremediation. We evaluated the bacterial response in oil-contaminated soil through a nutrient-amended microcosm experiment using two temperature regimes: (i) 4 °C and (ii) a freeze-thaw cycle (FTC) alternating between -20 and 4 °C. Bacterial taxa, such as Myxococcales, Chitinophagaceae, and Acidimicrobiales, were strongly related to the FTC. Rhodococcus was positively related to contaminated soils and further stimulated under FTC conditions. Additionally, the nutrient-amended treatment under the FTC regime enhanced bacterial groups with known biodegradation potential and was efficient in removing hydrocarbons of diesel oil. The experimental design, rates of bacterial succession, and level of hydrocarbon transformation can be considered as a baseline for further studies aimed at improving bioremediation strategies in environments affected by FTC regimes.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Maes PW, Floyd AS, Mott BM, et al (2021)

Overwintering Honey Bee Colonies: Effect of Worker Age and Climate on the Hindgut Microbiota.

Insects, 12(3): pii:insects12030224.

Honey bee overwintering health is essential to meet the demands of spring pollination. Managed honey bee colonies are overwintered in a variety of climates, and increasing rates of winter colony loss have prompted investigations into overwintering management, including indoor climate controlled overwintering. Central to colony health, the worker hindgut gut microbiota has been largely ignored in this context. We sequenced the hindgut microbiota of overwintering workers from both a warm southern climate and controlled indoor cold climate. Congruently, we sampled a cohort of known chronological age to estimate worker longevity in southern climates, and assess age-associated changes in the core hindgut microbiota. We found that worker longevity over winter in southern climates was much lower than that recorded for northern climates. Workers showed decreased bacterial and fungal load with age, but the relative structure of the core hindgut microbiome remained stable. Compared to cold indoor wintering, collective microbiota changes in the southern outdoor climate suggest compromised host physiology. Fungal abundance increased by two orders of magnitude in southern climate hindguts and was positively correlated with non-core, likely opportunistic bacteria. Our results contribute to understanding overwintering honey bee biology and microbial ecology and provide insight into overwintering strategies.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Mulholland KA, Robinson MG, Keeler SJ, et al (2021)

Metagenomic Analysis of the Respiratory Microbiome of a Broiler Flock from Hatching to Processing.

Microorganisms, 9(4): pii:microorganisms9040721.

Elucidating the complex microbial interactions in biological environments requires the identification and characterization of not only the bacterial component but also the eukaryotic viruses, bacteriophage, and fungi. In a proof of concept experiment, next generation sequencing approaches, accompanied by the development of novel computational and bioinformatics tools, were utilized to examine the evolution of the microbial ecology of the avian trachea during the growth of a healthy commercial broiler flock. The flock was sampled weekly, beginning at placement and concluding at 49 days, the day before processing. Metagenomic sequencing of DNA and RNA was utilized to examine the bacteria, virus, bacteriophage, and fungal components during flock growth. The utility of using a metagenomic approach to study the avian respiratory virome was confirmed by detecting the dysbiosis in the avian respiratory virome of broiler chickens diagnosed with infection with infectious laryngotracheitis virus. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of the ecology of the avian respiratory microbiome and demonstrates the feasibility for the use of this approach in future investigations of avian respiratory diseases.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Pham VT, Calatayud M, Rotsaert C, et al (2021)

Antioxidant Vitamins and Prebiotic FOS and XOS Differentially Shift Microbiota Composition and Function and Improve Intestinal Epithelial Barrier In Vitro.

Nutrients, 13(4): pii:nu13041125.

Human gut microbiota (HGM) play a significant role in health and disease. Dietary components, including fiber, fat, proteins and micronutrients, can modulate HGM. Much research has been performed on conventional prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS), however, novel prebiotics or micronutrients still require further validation. We assessed the effect of FOS, xylooligosaccharides (XOS) and a mixture of an antioxidant vitamin blend (AOB) on gut microbiota composition and activity, and intestinal barrier in vitro. We used batch fermentations and tested the short-term effect of different products on microbial activity in six donors. Next, fecal inocula from two donors were used to inoculate the simulator of the human microbial ecosystem (SHIME) and after long-term exposure of FOS, XOS and AOB, microbial activity (short- and branched-chain fatty acids and lactate) and HGM composition were evaluated. Finally, in vitro assessment of intestinal barrier was performed in a Transwell setup of differentiated Caco-2 and HT29-MTX-E12 cells exposed to fermentation supernatants. Despite some donor-dependent differences, all three tested products showed beneficial modulatory effects on microbial activity represented by an increase in lactate and SCFA levels (acetate, butyrate and to a lesser extent also propionate), while decreasing proteolytic markers. Bifidogenic effect of XOS was consistent, while AOB supplementation appears to exert a specific impact on reducing F. nucleatum and increasing butyrate-producing B. wexlerae. Functional and compositional microbial changes were translated to an in vitro host response by increases of the intestinal barrier integrity by all the products and a decrease of the redox potential by AOB supplementation.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Panteli N, Mastoraki M, Lazarina M, et al (2021)

Configuration of Gut Microbiota Structure and Potential Functionality in Two Teleosts under the Influence of Dietary Insect Meals.

Microorganisms, 9(4): pii:microorganisms9040699.

Insect meals are considered promising, eco-friendly, alternative ingredients for aquafeed. Considering the dietary influence on establishment of functioning gut microbiota, the effect of the insect meal diets on the microbial ecology should be addressed. The present study assessed diet- and species-specific shifts in gut resident bacterial communities of juvenile reared Dicentrarchus labrax and Sparus aurata in response to three experimental diets with insect meals from three insects (Hermetia illucens, Tenebrio molitor, Musca domestica), using high-throughput Illumina sequencing of the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The dominant phyla were Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria in all dietary treatments. Anaerococcus sp., Cutibacterium sp. and Pseudomonas sp. in D. labrax, and Staphylococcus sp., Hafnia sp. and Aeromonas sp. in S. aurata were the most enriched shared species, following insect-meal inclusion. Network analysis of the dietary treatments highlighted diet-induced changes in the microbial community assemblies and revealed unique and shared microbe-to-microbe interactions. PICRUSt-predicted Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were significantly differentiated, including genes associated with metabolic pathways. The present findings strengthen the importance of diet in microbiota configuration and underline that different insects as fish feed ingredients elicit species-specific differential responses of structural and functional dynamics in gut microbial communities.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Rao Z, Li J, Shi B, et al (2021)

Dietary Tryptophan Levels Impact Growth Performance and Intestinal Microbial Ecology in Weaned Piglets via Tryptophan Metabolites and Intestinal Antimicrobial Peptides.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(3): pii:ani11030817.

Tryptophan (Trp) plays an important role in piglet growth. However, the effect of dietary Trp on microbial flora is still poorly understood. A total of 40 28-d weaned piglets were allocated to four groups with 10 barrows per group and one pig per replicate. Piglets were fed a corn and soybean meal-based diet with 0.14%, 0.21%, 0.28%, or 0.35% Trp for four weeks. Five piglets from each diet group were euthanized, and blood and tissue samples were collected. The average daily body weight gain, average daily feed intake, feed conversion ratio, spleen index, pancreas index, longissimus dorsi muscle index, plasma insulin, 5-hydroxytryptamine, kynurenine, and Trp concentrations of weaned piglets increased in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.05). Compared with the 0.14% Trp diet, the adequate-Trp diets (0.21%, 0.28%, or 0.35%) down-regulated the relative abundances of 12 genera including Turicibacter, Prevotella, Mitsuokella, Anaerovibrio, Megasphaera, Succinivibrio, Sutterella, Desulfovibrio, and Methanobrevibacter (p < 0.05); up-regulated the abundances of Ruminococcaceae, Lactobacillus, and Muribaculaceae in the colon (p < 0.05); and augmented the mRNA level and concentration of porcine β-defensin 2 in the small intestinal mucosa (p < 0.05). Moreover, Trp-adequate diets increased the abundances of Trp hydroxylase, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, porcine β-defensin 2, phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin, and phosphorylated protein kinase B in the small intestinal mucosa (p < 0.05). We noted that a corn and soybean meal-based diet with 0.35% Trp may be a nutritional strategy to improve growth performance, intestinal mucosal barrier integrity, and intestinal microbial ecology in weaned piglets.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Frankel-Bricker J, LK Frankel (2021)

Re-Analysis of 16S rRNA Gene Sequence Data Sets Uncovers Disparate Laboratory-Specific Microbiomes Associated with the Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti).

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Host-microbiome dynamics occurring in the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) contribute to host life history traits, and particular bacterial taxa are proposed to comprise a "core" microbiota that influences host physiology. Laboratory-based studies are frequently performed to investigate these processes; however, experimental results are often presumed to be generalizable across laboratories, and few efforts have been made to independently reproduce and replicate significant findings. A recent study by Muturi et al. (FEMS Microbiol Ecol 95 (1):213, 2019) demonstrated the food source imbibed by laboratory-reared adult female mosquitoes significantly impacted the host-associated microbiota-a foundational finding in the field of mosquito biology worthy of independent evaluation. Here, we coalesce these data with two additional mosquito-derived 16S rRNA gene sequence data sets using a unifying bioinformatics pipeline to reproduce the characterization of these microbiota, test for a significant food source effect when independent samples were added to the analyses, assess whether similarly fed mosquito microbiomes were comparable across laboratories, and identify conserved bacterial taxa. Our pipeline characterized similar microbiome composition and structure from the data published previously, and a significant food source effect was detected with the addition of independent samples, increasing the robustness of this previously discovered component of mosquito biology. However, distinct microbial communities were identified from similarly fed but independently reared mosquitoes, and surveys across all samples did not identify conserved bacterial taxa. These findings demonstrated that while the main effect of the food source was supported, laboratory-specific conditions may produce inherently differential microbiomes across independent laboratory environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-01

Xu Q, Ling N, Quaiser A, et al (2021)

Rare Bacterial Assembly in Soils Is Mainly Driven by Deterministic Processes.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Rare species are crucial components of the highly diverse soil microbial pool and over-proportionally contribute to the soil functions. However, much remains unknown about their assembling rules. The biogeographic patterns and species aggregations of the rare bacterial biosphere were assessed using 140 soil samples from a gradient of 2000 km across the main tea-producing areas in China. About 96% OTUs with ~40% sequences were classified as rare taxa. The rare bacterial communities were significantly affected by geographical regions and showed distance-decay effects, indicating that the rare bacteria are not cosmopolitan, they displayed a pattern of limited dispersal and were restricted to certain sites. Variation partitioning analysis (VPA) revealed that environmental variation and spatial factors explained 12.5% and 6.4%, respectively, of the variance in rare bacterial community. The Mantel and partial Mantel tests also showed that the environmental factors had stronger (~3 times) impacts than spatial factors. The null model showed that deterministic processes contributed more than stochastic processes in rare bacterial assembly (75% vs. 25%). There is likely an enrichment in ecological functions within the rare biosphere, considering this high contribution of deterministic processes in the assembly. In addition, the assembly of rare taxa was found to be mainly driven by soil pH. Overall, this study revealed that rare bacteria were not cosmopolitan, and their assembly was more driven by deterministic processes. These findings provided a new comprehensive understanding of rare bacterial biogeographic patterns and assembly rules.

RevDate: 2021-04-01

Hanson BT, Dimitri Kits K, Löffler J, et al (2021)

Sulfoquinovose is a select nutrient of prominent bacteria and a source of hydrogen sulfide in the human gut.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Responses of the microbiota to diet are highly personalized but mechanistically not well understood because many metabolic capabilities and interactions of human gut microorganisms are unknown. Here we show that sulfoquinovose (SQ), a sulfonated monosaccharide omnipresent in green vegetables, is a selective yet relevant substrate for few but ubiquitous bacteria in the human gut. In human feces and in defined co-culture, Eubacterium rectale and Bilophila wadsworthia used recently identified pathways to cooperatively catabolize SQ with 2,3-dihydroxypropane-1-sulfonate as a transient intermediate to hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a key intestinal metabolite with disparate effects on host health. SQ-degradation capability is encoded in almost half of E. rectale genomes but otherwise sparsely distributed among microbial species in the human intestine. However, re-analysis of fecal metatranscriptome datasets of four human cohorts showed that SQ degradation (mostly from E. rectale and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) and H2S production (mostly from B. wadsworthia) pathways were expressed abundantly across various health states, demonstrating that these microbial functions are core attributes of the human gut. The discovery of green-diet-derived SQ as an exclusive microbial nutrient and an additional source of H2S in the human gut highlights the role of individual dietary compounds and organosulfur metabolism on microbial activity and has implications for precision editing of the gut microbiota by dietary and prebiotic interventions.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Muñoz-Palazon B, Rodriguez-Sanchez A, Hurtado-Martinez M, et al (2021)

Evaluating the nitrogen-contaminated groundwater treatment by a denitrifying granular sludge bioreactor: effect of organic matter loading.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

A sequential bed granular bioreactor was adapted to treat nitrate-polluted synthetic groundwater under anaerobic conditions and agitation with denitrification gas, achieving very efficient performance in total nitrogen removal at influent organic carbon concentrations of 1 g L-1 (80-90%) and 0.5 g L-1 (70-80%) sodium acetate, but concentrations below 0.5 g L-1 caused accumulation of nitrite and nitrate and led to system failure (30-40% removal). Biomass size and settling velocity were higher above 0.5 g L-1 sodium acetate. Trichosporonaceae dominated the fungal populations at all times, while a dominance of terrestrial group Thaumarchaeota and Acidovorax at 1 and 0.5 g L-1 passed to a domination of Methanobrevibacter and an unclassified Comamonadaceae clone for NaAc lower than 0.5 g L-1. The results obtained pointed out that the denitrifying granular sludge technology is a feasible solution for the treatment of nitrogen-contaminated groundwater, and that influent organic matter plays an important role on the conformation of microbial communities within it and, therefore, on the overall efficiency of the system.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Khan S, JE Hill (2021)

Population Density Affects the Outcome of Competition in Co-cultures of Gardnerella Species Isolated from the Human Vaginal Microbiome.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Negative frequency-dependent selection is one possible mechanism for maintenance of rare species in communities, but the selective advantage of rare species may be checked at lower overall population densities where resources are abundant. Gardnerella spp. belonging to cpn60 subgroup D, are detected at low levels in vaginal microbiomes and are nutritional generalists relative to other more abundant Gardnerella spp., making them good candidates for negative frequency-dependent selection. The vaginal microbiome is a dynamic environment, and the resulting changes in density of the microbiota may explain why subgroup D never gains dominance. To test this, we co-cultured subgroup D isolates with isolates from the more common and abundant subgroup C. Deep amplicon sequencing of rpoB was used to determine proportional abundance of each isolate at 0 h and 72 h in 152 co-cultures and to calculate change in proportion. D isolates had a positive change in proportional abundance in most co-cultures regardless of initial proportion. Initial density affected the change in proportion of subgroup D isolates either positively or negatively depending on the particular isolates combined, suggesting that growth rate, population density and other intrinsic features of the isolates influenced the outcome. Our results demonstrate that population density is an important factor influencing the outcome of competition between Gardnerella spp. isolated from the human vaginal microbiome.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Scoma A (2021)

Functional groups in microbial ecology: updated definitions of piezophiles as suggested by hydrostatic pressure dependence on temperature.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-03-29

Gutiérrez-Chávez C, Benaud N, BC Ferrari (2021)

The ecological roles of microbial lipopeptides: Where are we going?.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:1400-1413 pii:S2001-0370(21)00068-4.

Lipopeptides (LPs) are secondary metabolites produced by a diversity of bacteria and fungi. Their unique chemical structure comprises both a peptide and a lipid moiety. LPs are of major biotechnological interest owing to their emulsification, antitumor, immunomodulatory, and antimicrobial activities. To date, these versatile compounds have been applied across multiple industries, from pharmaceuticals through to food processing, cosmetics, agriculture, heavy metal, and hydrocarbon bioremediation. The variety of LP structures and the diversity of the environments from which LP-producing microorganisms have been isolated suggest important functions in their natural environment. However, our understanding of the ecological role of LPs is limited. In this review, the mode of action and the role of LPs in motility, antimicrobial activity, heavy metals removal and biofilm formation are addressed. We include discussion on the need to characterise LPs from a diversity of microorganisms, with a focus on taxa inhabiting 'extreme' environments. We introduce the use of computational target fishing and molecular dynamics simulations as powerful tools to investigate the process of interaction between LPs and cell membranes. Together, these advances will provide new understanding of the mechanism of action of novel LPs, providing greater insights into the roles of LPs in the natural environment.

RevDate: 2021-03-29

Stice SP, Shin GY, De Armas S, et al (2021)

The Distribution of Onion Virulence Gene Clusters Among Pantoea spp.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:643787.

Pantoea ananatis is a gram-negative bacterium and the primary causal agent of center rot of onions in Georgia. Previous genomic studies identified two virulence gene clusters, HiVir and alt, associated with center rot. The HiVir gene cluster is required to induce necrosis on onion tissues via synthesis of pantaphos, (2-hydroxy[phosphono-methyl)maleate), a phosphonate phytotoxin. The alt gene cluster aids in tolerance to thiosulfinates generated during onion tissue damage. Whole genome sequencing of other Pantoea species suggests that these gene clusters are present outside of P. ananatis. To assess the distribution of these gene clusters, two PCR primer sets were designed to detect the presence of HiVir and alt. Two hundred fifty-two strains of Pantoea spp. were phenotyped using the red onion scale necrosis (RSN) assay and were genotyped using PCR for the presence of these virulence genes. A diverse panel of strains from three distinct culture collections comprised of 24 Pantoea species, 41 isolation sources, and 23 countries, collected from 1946-2019, was tested. There is a significant association between the alt PCR assay and Pantoea strains recovered from symptomatic onion (P < 0.001). There is also a significant association of a positive HiVir PCR and RSN assay among P. ananatis strains but not among Pantoea spp., congeners. This may indicate a divergent HiVir cluster or different pathogenicity and virulence mechanisms. Last, we describe natural alt positive [RSN+/HiVir+/alt+] P. ananatis strains, which cause extensive bulb necrosis in a neck-to-bulb infection assay compared to alt negative [RSN+/HiVir+/alt-] P. ananatis strains. A combination of assays that include PCR of virulence genes [HiVir and alt] and an RSN assay can potentially aid in identification of onion-bulb-rotting pathogenic P. ananatis strains.

RevDate: 2021-03-29

Nakato GV, Studholme DJ, Blomme G, et al (2021)

SNP-based genotyping and whole-genome sequencing reveal previously unknown genetic diversity in Xanthomonas vasicola pv. musacearum, causal agent of banana xanthomonas wilt, in its presumed Ethiopian origin.

Plant pathology, 70(3):534-543.

For decades, Xanthomonas vasicola pv. musacearum (Xvm) has been an economically important bacterial pathogen on enset in Ethiopia. Since 2001, Xvm has also been responsible for significant losses to banana crops in several East and Central African countries, with devastating consequences for smallholder farmers. Understanding the genetic diversity within Xvm populations is essential for the smart design of transnationally reasoned, durable, and effective management practices. Previous studies have revealed limited genetic diversity in Xvm, with East African isolates from banana each falling into one of two closely related clades previously designated as sublineages SL 1 and SL 2, the former of which had also been detected on banana and enset in Ethiopia. Given the presumed origin of Xvm in Ethiopia, we hypothesized that both clades might be found in that country, along with additional genotypes not seen in Central and East African bananas. Genotyping of 97 isolates and whole-genome sequencing of 15 isolates revealed not only the presence of SL 2 in Ethiopia, but additional diversity beyond SL 1 and SL 2 in four new clades. Moreover, SL 2 was detected in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where previously SL 1 was the only clade reported. These results demonstrate a greater range of genetic diversity among Xvm isolates than previously reported, especially in Ethiopia, and further support the hypothesis that the East/Central Africa xanthomonas wilt epidemic has been caused by a restricted set of genotypes drawn from a highly diverse pathogen pool in Ethiopia.

RevDate: 2021-03-28

Jungreis I, Nelson CW, Ardern Z, et al (2021)

Conflicting and ambiguous names of overlapping ORFs in the SARS-CoV-2 genome: A homology-based resolution.

Virology, 558:145-151 pii:S0042-6822(21)00053-2 [Epub ahead of print].

At least six small alternative-frame open reading frames (ORFs) overlapping well-characterized SARS-CoV-2 genes have been hypothesized to encode accessory proteins. Researchers have used different names for the same ORF or the same name for different ORFs, resulting in erroneous homological and functional inferences. We propose standard names for these ORFs and their shorter isoforms, developed in consultation with the Coronaviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. We recommend calling the 39 codon Spike-overlapping ORF ORF2b; the 41, 57, and 22 codon ORF3a-overlapping ORFs ORF3c, ORF3d, and ORF3b; the 33 codon ORF3d isoform ORF3d-2; and the 97 and 73 codon Nucleocapsid-overlapping ORFs ORF9b and ORF9c. Finally, we document conflicting usage of the name ORF3b in 32 studies, and consequent erroneous inferences, stressing the importance of reserving identical names for homologs. We recommend that authors referring to these ORFs provide lengths and coordinates to minimize ambiguity caused by prior usage of alternative names.

RevDate: 2021-03-28

Van Hecke T, Vossen E, Goethals S, et al (2021)

In vitro and in vivo digestion of red cured cooked meat: oxidation, intestinal microbiota and fecal metabolites.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 142:110203.

Mechanisms explaining epidemiological associations between red (processed) meat consumption and chronic disease risk are not yet elucidated, but may involve oxidative reactions, microbial composition alterations, inflammation and/or the formation of toxic bacterial metabolites. First, in vitro gastrointestinal digestion of 23 cooked beef-lard minces, to which varying doses of nitrite salt (range 0-40 g/kg) and sodium ascorbate (range 0-2 g/kg) were added, showed that nitrite salt decreased protein carbonylation up to 3-fold, and inhibited lipid oxidation, demonstrated by up to 4-fold lower levels of 'thiobarbituric acid reactive substances', 32-fold lower 4-hydroxynonenal, and 21-fold lower hexanal values. The use of ascorbate increased the antioxidant effect of low nitrite salt levels, whereas it slightly increased protein carbonylation at higher doses of nitrite salt. The addition of a low dose of ascorbate without nitrite salt slightly promoted oxidation during digestion, whereas higher doses had varying antioxidant effects. Second, 40 rats were fed a diet of cooked chicken- or beef-lard minces, either or not cured, for three weeks. Beef, compared to chicken, consumption increased lipid oxidation (2- to 4-fold) during digestion, and gut protein fermentation (cecal iso-butyrate, (iso-)valerate, and fecal indole, cresol), but oxidative stress and inflammation were generally not affected. Cured, compared to fresh, meat consumption significantly increased stomach protein carbonylation (+16%), colonic Ruminococcaceae (2.1-fold) and cecal propionate (+18%), whereas it decreased cecal butyrate (-25%), fecal phenol (-69%) and dimethyl disulfide (-61%) levels. Fecal acetaldehyde and diacetyl levels were increased in beef-fed rats by 2.8-fold and 5.9-fold respectively, and fecal carbon disulfide was 4-fold higher in rats consuming cured beef vs. fresh chicken. Given their known toxicity, the role of acetaldehyde and carbon disulfide in the relation between meat consumption and health should be investigated in future studies.

RevDate: 2021-03-27

El Alaoui A, Raklami A, Bechtaoui N, et al (2021)

Use of native plants and their associated bacteria rhizobiomes to remediate-restore Draa Sfar and Kettara mining sites, Morocco.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 193(4):232.

Soil and mine tailings are unreceptive to plant growth representing an imminent threat to the environment and resource sustainability. Using indigenous plants and their associated rhizobacteria to restore mining sites would be an eco-friendly solution to mitigate soil-metal toxicity. Soil prospection from Draa Sfar and Kettara mining sites in Morocco was carried out during different seasons for native plant sampling and rhizobacteria screening. The sites have been colonized by fifteen tolerant plant species having different capacities to accumulate Cu, Zn, and P in their shoots/root systems. In Draa Sfar mine, Suaeda vera J.F. Gmel., Sarcocornia fruticosa (L.) A.J. Scott., and Frankenia corymbosa Desf. accumulated mainly Cu (more than 90 mg kg-1), Atriplex halimus L. accumulated Zn (mg kg-1), and Frankenia corymbosa Desf. accumulated Pb (14 mg kg-1). As for Kettara mine, Aizoon canariense L. mainly accumulated Zn (270 mg kg-1), whereas Forsskalea tenacissima L. was the best shoot Cu accumulator with up to 50 mg kg-1, whereas Cu accumulation in roots was 21 mg kg-1. The bacterial screening revealed the strains' abilities to tolerate heavy metals up to 50 mg kg-1 Cu, 250 mg kg-1 Pb, and 150 mg kg-1 Zn. Isolated strains belonged mainly to Bacillaceae (73.33%) and Pseudomonadaceae (10%) and expressed different plant growth-promoting traits, alongside their antifungal activity. Results from this study will provide an insight into the ability of native plants and their associated rhizobacteria to serve as a basis for remediation-restoration strategies.

RevDate: 2021-03-27

Andreo-Jimenez B, Schilder MT, Nijhuis EH, et al (2021)

Chitin- and keratin-rich soil amendments suppress Rhizoctonia solani disease via changes to the soil microbial community.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00318-21 [Epub ahead of print].

Enhancing soil suppressiveness against plant pathogens or pests is a promising alternative strategy to chemical pesticides. Organic amendments have been shown to reduce crop diseases and pests, with chitin products the most efficient against fungal pathogens. To study what organic products characteristics are correlated with disease suppression, an experiment was designed where ten types of organic amendments with different physico-chemical properties were tested against the soil borne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani in sugar beet seedlings. Organic amendments rich in keratin or chitin reduced Rhizoctonia solani disease symptoms in sugar beet plants. The bacterial and fungal microbial communities in amended soils were distinct from the microbial communities in non-amended soil, as well as in soils that received other non-suppressive treatments. The Rhizoctonia-suppressive amended soils were rich in saprophytic bacteria and fungi that are known for their keratinolytic and chitinolytic properties (i.e., Oxalobacteraceae and Mortierellaceae). The microbial community in keratin- and chitin-amended soils was associated with higher zinc, and copper and selenium respectively.ImportanceOur results highlight the importance of soil microorganisms in plant disease suppression and the possibility to steer the soil microbial community composition by applying organic amendments to the soil.

RevDate: 2021-03-27

Yang X, Wang H, Hrycauk S, et al (2021)

Effect of peroxyacetic acid spray and storage temperature on the microbiota and sensory properties of vacuum packed subprimal cuts.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.03143-20 [Epub ahead of print].

We investigated the impact of peroxyacetic acid (PAA; 200 ppm) spray on the microbiota and shelf life of commercial vacuum packed beef stored at chiller temperatures. Ribeye cuts (n=147) were collected from a local beef plant on the day of production for two consecutive days, with one set collected at the start of work with the PAA spray nozzles turned off (control) and during the routine production with the PAA spray nozzles turned on (PAA) on each day. Packs were stored at 4, 2 and -1°C for up to 34, 104 and 180 days, and sampled at appropriate intervals for sensory assessment, microbial enumeration and microbial profiling by 16S rRNA gene amplicon analysis. Treatment with PAA did not affect the initial meat pH, the initial numbers of total aerobes, lactic acid bacteria or Enterobacteriaceae (p>0.05) before storage; however, it delayed the onset of spoilage by 7, 21 and 54 days at 4, 2 and -1°C, respectively. Square root models of the variation of growth rate with temperature indicated lactic acid bacteria grew faster and Enterobacteriaceae grew slower on PAA treated than not treated meat. Negative associations between pH and deterioration of meat during storage were observed for PAA treated meat. During storage, the microbiota were primarily dominated by Carnobacterium and Lactobacillus/Lactococcus on control meat, but by Leuconostoc on PAA treated meat. Serratia, Yersinia and Clostridium were identified by LEfSe analysis as biomarkers for control meat, the latter of which was found in high abundance in samples that had the highest spoilage scores.IMPORTANCEThe findings of this study show that PAA solutions applied at low concentrations under commercial settings positively modulated the meat microbiota. It did not have bactericidal effects for beef subprimals with very low microbial load. However, it differentially impacted the members of the microbiota, which resulted in delayed onset of spoilage of vacuum packed beef subprimal stored at all three temperatures (4, 2 and -1°C). This differential impact could be through one or a combination of the following factors: favoring the growth of lactic acid bacteria which may in turn exert a competitive exclusion that might be due to production of antimicrobial compounds such as organic acids and bacteriocins; exerting synergistic antimicrobial effects with low temperatures against members of Enterobacteriaceae; direct or indirect inhibitory effects against members of clostridia. These findings not only advance our understanding of the microbial ecology of vacuum packed meat stored at chiller temperatures, but also suggest bacteriostatic concentrations of antimicrobial interventions can be explored for shelf life extension.

RevDate: 2021-03-26

Wang Y, K Xue (2021)

Linkage between microbial shift and ecosystem functionality Commentary on "Large-scale evidence for microbial response and associated carbon release after permafrost thaw".

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Permafrost carbon-climate feedbacks are determined, or at least mediated, by not only how microbes respond to permafrost thaw, but also what microbial responses mean for ecosystem functionality. Chen et al. (2020) provide experimental evidence demonstrating that increases in microbial functional diversity and carbon decomposition gene abundances, rather than taxonomic shifts, are associated with permafrost carbon release upon permafrost thaw. As permafrost thaw is predicted to become more extensive under climate change, this work represents a valuable step towards elucidating the ecological consequences of microbial shifts, thus detangling uncertainties in understanding and predicting the potentially greatest permafrost carbon-climate feedback on the earth. Exploring the linkage between microbial shifts and ecological processes or ecosystem functionality is a central focus in microbial ecology, but faces considerable obstacles, including the gap between DNA-based information and biochemical processes, as well as the asynchronization in microbial shifts and their functionality change. Despite these issues, the well-established linkage between functional genes (reflecting genetic potential) and carbon release via laboratory incubation (reflecting field potential) is a good preliminary step that provides clues about the magnitude of in situ permafrost carbon release under permafrost thaw on the basis of microbial functional gene changes. Such work could inspire the possible adoption of microbial functional gene information as a proxy for field potential in Earth system models to predict future climate scenarios. However, attention must be paid when extrapolating conclusions across various scales that are likely regulated by distinct laws. For future perspective, non-linear linkages between microbial shifts and ecosystem functionality should be considered, and novel methods for elucidating their cause and effect would be needed to overcome the current bottleneck of research in microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2021-03-26

Pascual-García A (2021)

Phylogenetic Core Groups: a promising concept in search of a consistent methodological framework : Comment to ``A conceptual framework for the phylogenetically-constrained assembly of microbial communities''.

Microbiome, 9(1):73.

In this comment, we analyse the conceptual framework proposed by Aguirre de Cárcer (Microbiome 7:142, 2019), introducing the novel concept of Phylogenetic Core Groups (PCGs). This notion aims to complement the traditional classification in operational taxonomic units (OTUs), widely used in microbial ecology, to provide a more intrinsic taxonomical classification which avoids the use of pre-determined thresholds. However, to introduce this concept, the author frames his proposal in a wider theoretical framework based on a conceptualization of selection that we argue is a tautology. This blurs the subsequent formulation of an assembly principle for microbial communities, favouring that some contradictory examples introduced to support the framework appear aligned in their conclusions. And more importantly, under this framework and its derived methodology, it is not possible to infer PCGs from data in a consistent way. We reanalyse the proposal to identify its logical and methodological flaws and, through the analysis of synthetic scenarios, we propose a number of methodological refinements to contribute towards the determination of PCGs in a consistent way. We hope our analysis will promote the exploration of PCGs as a potentially valuable tool, helping to bridge the gap between environmental conditions and community composition in microbial ecology. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-03-24

Campos AB, Cavalcante LC, de Azevedo AR, et al (2021)

CPR and DPANN Have an Overlooked Role in Corals' Microbial Community Structure.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding how microbial communities are structured in coral holobionts is important to estimate local and global impacts and provide efficient environment management strategies. Several studies investigated the relationship between corals and their microbial communities, including the environmental drivers of shifts in this relationship, associated with diseases and coral cover loss. However, these studies are often geographically or taxonomically restricted and usually focused on the most abundant microbial groups, neglecting the rare biosphere, including archaea in the group DPANN and the recently discovered bacterial members of the candidate phyla radiation (CPR). Although it is known that rare microbes can play essential roles in several environments, we still lack understanding about which taxa comprise the rare biosphere of corals' microbiome. Here, we investigated the host-related and technical factors influencing coral microbial community structure and the importance of CPR and DPANN in this context by analyzing more than a hundred coral metagenomes from independent studies worldwide. We show that coral genera are the main biotic factor shaping coral microbial communities. We also detected several CPR and DPANN phyla comprising corals' rare biosphere for the first time and showed that they significantly contribute to shaping coral microbial communities.

RevDate: 2021-03-24

Liu Y, Xu L, Zhang Z, et al (2021)

Isolation, Identification, and Analysis of Potential Functions of Culturable Bacteria Associated with an Invasive Gall Wasp, Leptocybe invasa.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Symbioses between invasive insects and bacteria are one of the key drivers of insect invasion success. Gall-inducing insects stimulate host plants to produce galls, which affects the normal growth of plants. Leptocybe invasa Fisher et La Salle, an invasive gall-inducing wasp, mainly damages Eucalyptus plantations in Southern China, but little is known about its associated bacteria. The aim of this study was to assess the diversity of bacterial communities at different developmental stages of L. invasa and to identify possible ecological functions of the associated bacteria. Bacteria associated with L. invasa were isolated using culture-dependent methods and their taxonomic statuses were determined by sequencing the 16S rRNA gene. A total of 88 species belonging to four phyla, 27 families, and 44 genera were identified by phylogenetic analysis. The four phyla were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes, mainly from the genera Pantoea, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Acinetobacter, Curtobacterium, Sphingobium, Klebsiella, and Rhizobium. Among them, 72 species were isolated in the insect gall stage and 46 species were isolated from the adult stage. The most abundant bacterial species were γ-Proteobacteria. We found significant differences in total bacterial counts and community compositions at different developmental stages, and identified possible ecological roles of L. invasa-associated bacteria. This study is the first to systematically investigate the associated bacteria of L. invasa using culture-dependent methods, and provides a reference for other gall-inducing insects and associated bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-03-24

Norte AC, Araújo PM, Augusto L, et al (2021)

Effects of stress exposure in captivity on physiology and infection in avian hosts: no evidence of increased Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infectivity to vector ticks.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Exposure to environmental stressors, an increasingly recurring event in natural communities due to anthropogenic-induced environmental change, profoundly impacts disease emergence and spread. One mechanism through which this occurs is through stress-induced immunosuppression increasing disease susceptibility, prevalence, intensity and reactivation in hosts. We experimentally evaluated how exposure to stressors affected both the physiology of avian hosts and the prevalence of the zoonotic bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), in two model species-the blackbird Turdus merula and the robin Erithacus rubecula captured in the wild, using xenodiagnoses and analysis of skin biopsies and blood. Although exposure to stressors in captivity induced physiological stress in birds (increased the number of circulating heterophils), there was no evidence of increased infectivity to xenodiagnostic ticks. However, Borrelia detection in the blood for both experimental groups of blackbirds was higher by the end of the captivity period. The infectivity and efficiency of transmission were higher for blackbirds than robins. When comparing different methodologies to determine infection status, xenodiagnosis was a more sensitive method than skin biopsies and blood samples, which could be attributed to mild levels of infection in these avian hosts and/or dynamics and timing of Borrelia infection relapses and redistribution in tissues.

RevDate: 2021-03-24

Jiao S, Peng Z, Qi J, et al (2021)

Linking Bacterial-Fungal Relationships to Microbial Diversity and Soil Nutrient Cycling.

mSystems, 6(2):.

Biodiversity is important for supporting ecosystem functioning. To evaluate the factors contributing to the strength of microbial diversity-function relationships in complex terrestrial ecosystems, we conducted a soil survey over different habitats, including an agricultural field, forest, wetland, grassland, and desert. Soil microbial multidiversity was estimated by the combination of bacterial and fungal diversity. Soil ecosystem functions were evaluated using a multinutrient cycling index (MNC) in relation to carbon, nitrate, phosphorus, and potassium cycling. Significant positive relationships between soil multidiversity and multinutrient cycling were observed in all habitats, except the grassland and desert. Specifically, community compositions showed stronger correlations with multinutrient cycling than α-diversity, indicating the crucial role of microbial community composition differences on soil nutrient cycling. Importantly, we revealed that changes in both the neutral processes (Sloan neutral modeling) and the proportion of negative bacterial-fungal associations were linked to the magnitude and direction of the diversity-MNC relationships. The habitats less governed by neutral processes and dominated by negative bacterial-fungal associations exhibited stronger negative microbial α-diversity-MNC relationships. Our findings suggested that the balance between positive and negative bacterial-fungal associations was connected to the link between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function in complex terrestrial ecosystems. This study elucidates the potential factors influencing diversity-function relationships, thereby enabling future studies to forecast the effects of belowground biodiversity on ecosystem function.IMPORTANCE The relationships between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functions are an important yet poorly understood topic in microbial ecology. This study presents an exploratory effort to gain predictive understanding of the factors driving the relationships between microbial diversity and potential soil nutrient cycling in complex terrestrial ecosystems. Our structural equation modeling and random forest analysis revealed that the balance between positive and negative bacterial-fungal associations was clearly linked to the strength of the relationships between soil microbial diversity and multiple nutrients cycling across different habitats. This study revealed the potential factors underpinning diversity-function relationships in terrestrial ecosystems and thus helps us to manage soil microbial communities for better provisioning of key ecosystem services.

RevDate: 2021-03-23

Gorfer M, Mayer M, Berger H, et al (2021)

High Fungal Diversity but Low Seasonal Dynamics and Ectomycorrhizal Abundance in a Mountain Beech Forest.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Forests on steep slopes constitute a significant proportion of European mountain areas and are important as production and protection forests. This study describes the soil fungal community structure in a European beech-dominated mountain forest stands in the Northern Calcareous Alps and investigates how it is determined by season and soil properties. Samples were collected at high spatial resolution in an area of ca. 100 m × 700 m in May (spring) and August (summer). Illumina MiSeq high-throughput sequencing of the ITS2-region revealed distinct patterns for the soil fungal communities. In contrast to other studies from temperate European beech forest stands, Ascomycota dominated the highly diverse fungal community, while ectomycorrhizal fungi were of lower abundance. Russulaceae, which are often among the dominant ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with European beech, were absent from all samples. Potentially plant pathogenic fungi were more prevalent than previously reported. Only subtle seasonal differences were found between fungal communities in spring and summer. Especially, dominant saprotrophic taxa were largely unaffected by season, while slightly stronger effects were observed for ectomycorrhizal fungi. Soil characteristics like pH and organic carbon content, on the other hand, strongly shaped abundant taxa among the saprotrophic fungal community.

RevDate: 2021-03-23
CmpDate: 1998-05-12

Bogdanova ES, Bass IA, Minakhin LS, et al (1998)

Horizontal spread of mer operons among gram-positive bacteria in natural environments.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 144 (Pt 3):609-620.

Horizontal dissemination of the genes responsible for resistance to toxic pollutants may play a key role in the adaptation of bacterial populations to environmental contaminants. However, the frequency and extent of gene dissemination in natural environments is not known. A natural horizontal spread of two distinct mercury resistance (mer) operon variants, which occurred amongst diverse Bacillus and related species over wide geographical areas, is reported. One mer variant encodes a mercuric reductase with a single N-terminal domain, whilst the other encodes a reductase with a duplicated N-terminal domain. The strains containing the former mer operon types are sensitive to organomercurials, and are most common in the terrestrial mercury-resistant Bacillus populations studied in this work. The strains containing the latter operon types are resistant to organomercurials, and dominate in a Minamata Bay mercury-resistant Bacillus population, previously described in the literature. At least three distinct transposons (related to a class II vancomycin-resistance transposon, Tn1546, from a clinical Enterococcus strain) and conjugative plasmids are implicated as mediators of the spread of these mer operons.

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Aponte H, Mondaca P, Santander C, et al (2021)

Enzyme activities and microbial functional diversity in metal(loid) contaminated soils near to a copper smelter.

The Science of the total environment, 779:146423 pii:S0048-9697(21)01491-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The monitoring of soil metal(loid) contamination is of global significance due to deleterious effects that metal(loid)s have on living organisms. Soil biological properties such as enzyme activities (EAs) are good indicators of metal(loid) contamination due to their high sensitivity, fast response, and low-cost. Here, the effect of metal(loid) contamination on physicochemical properties and microbial functionality in soils sampled from within 10 km of a Cu smelter is investigated. Soil composite samples were randomly taken within 2, 4, 6, 8 and10 km zones from a mining industry Cu smelter. The EAs of dehydrogenase (DHA), arylsulfatase (ARY), β-glucosidase, urease, and arginine ammonification (AA) were studied as indicators of metal(loid) contamination, which included the ecological dose (ED50) with respect to Cu and As contents. The community level physiological profile (CLPP), functional diversity, and catabolic evenness were evaluated based on the C-substrate utilisation. All EAs decreased in zones with high degrees of metal(loid) contamination, which also had low TOC and clay contents, reflecting long term processes of soil degradation. Positive and strong relationships between EAs and TOC were found. DHA and ARY activities decreased by approximately 85-90% in highly metal(loid) contaminated soils. DHA and AA showed significant ED50 values associated with available Cu (112.8 and 121.6 mg CuDTPA kg-1, respectively) and total As contents (30.8 and 31.8 mg As kg-1, respectively). The CLPP showed different metabolic profiles along the metal(loid) contamination gradients. Long-term stress conditions in soils close to industrial areas resulted in the decreasing of general biological activity, catabolic capacity, and functional diversity.

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Matysik S, Krautbauer S, Liebisch G, et al (2021)

Short chain fatty acids and bile acids in human faeces are associated with the intestinal cholesterol conversion status.

British journal of pharmacology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The analysis of human faecal metabolites can provide an insight into metabolic interactions between gut microbiota and host organism. The creation of metabolic profiles in faeces has received little attention until now and reference values, especially in the context of dietary and therapeutic interventions, are missing. Exposure to xenobiotics significantly affects the physiology of the microbiome and microbiota manipulation as well as short chain fatty acids administration have been proposed as treatment targets for several diseases. The aim of the present study is to give concomitant concentration ranges of faecal sterol species, bile acids and short chain fatty acids based on a large cohort.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Sterol species, bile acids and short chain fatty acids in human faeces from 165 study participants were quantified by LC-MS/MS. For standardization, we refer all values to dry weight of faeces. Based on the individual intestinal sterol conversion we classified participants into low and high converters according to their coprostanol/cholesterol ratio.

KEY RESULTS: Low converters excrete more straight chain fatty acids and bile acids than high converters. 5th , 95th percentile and median of bile acids and short chain fatty acids were calculated for both groups.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: We give concentration ranges for 16 faecal metabolites that can serve as reference values. Patient stratification into high or low sterol converter groups is associated with significant differences in faecal metabolites with biological activities. Such stratification should then allow assessing faecal metabolites better before therapeutic interventions.

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Foley KM, Beard KH, Atwood TB, et al (2021)

Herbivory changes soil microbial communities and greenhouse gas fluxes in a high-latitude wetland.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Herbivory can have strong impacts on greenhouse gas fluxes in high-latitude ecosystems. For example, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta in western Alaska, migratory goose grazing affects the magnitude of soil carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes. However, the underlying drivers of this relationship are unclear, as few studies systematically tease apart the processes by which herbivores influences soil biogeochemistry. To examine these mechanisms in detail, we conducted a laboratory incubation experiment to quantify changes in greenhouse gas fluxes in response to three parameters altered by herbivores in situ: temperature, soil moisture content, and nutrient inputs. These treatments were applied to soils collected in grazing lawns and nearby ungrazed habitat, allowing us to assess how variation in microbial community structure influenced observed responses. We found pronounced differences in both fungal and prokaryotic community composition between grazed and ungrazed areas. In the laboratory incubation experiment, CO2 and CH4 fluxes increased with temperature, soil moisture, and goose fecal addition, suggesting that grazing-related changes in the soil abiotic environment may enhance soil C losses. Yet, these abiotic drivers were insufficient to explain variation in fluxes between soils with and without prior grazing. Differences in trace gas fluxes between grazed and ungrazed areas may result both from herbivore-induced shifts in abiotic parameters and grazing-related alterations in microbial community structure. Our findings suggest that relationships among herbivores and soil microbial communities could mediate carbon-climate feedbacks in rapidly changing high-latitude ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Wang S, Tang W, Delage E, et al (2021)

Investigating the microbial ecology of coastal hotspots of marine nitrogen fixation in the western North Atlantic.

Scientific reports, 11(1):5508.

Variation in the microbial cycling of nutrients and carbon in the ocean is an emergent property of complex planktonic communities. While recent findings have considerably expanded our understanding of the diversity and distribution of nitrogen (N2) fixing marine diazotrophs, knowledge gaps remain regarding ecological interactions between diazotrophs and other community members. Using quantitative 16S and 18S V4 rDNA amplicon sequencing, we surveyed eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial communities from samples collected in August 2016 and 2017 across the Western North Atlantic. Leveraging and significantly expanding an earlier published 2015 molecular dataset, we examined microbial community structure and ecological co-occurrence relationships associated with intense hotspots of N2 fixation previously reported at sites off the Southern New England Shelf and Mid-Atlantic Bight. Overall, we observed a negative relationship between eukaryotic diversity and both N2 fixation and net community production (NCP). Maximum N2 fixation rates occurred at sites with high abundances of mixotrophic stramenopiles, notably Chrysophyceae. Network analysis revealed such stramenopiles to be keystone taxa alongside the haptophyte diazotroph host Braarudosphaera bigelowii and chlorophytes. Our findings highlight an intriguing relationship between marine stramenopiles and high N2 fixation coastal sites.

RevDate: 2021-03-21

Glaeser SP, Silva LMR, Prieto R, et al (2021)

A Preliminary Comparison on Faecal Microbiomes of Free-Ranging Large Baleen (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, B. borealis) and Toothed (Physeter macrocephalus) Whales.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Large baleen and toothed whales play crucial ecological roles in oceans; nonetheless, very little is known about their intestinal microbiomes. Based on striking differences in natural history and thus in feeding behaviours, it can be expected that intestinal microbiomes of large baleen whales and toothed whales are different. To test this hypothesis, the phylogenetic composition of faecal microbiomes was investigated by a 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequence-based approach for Bacteria and Archaea. Faecal samples from free-ranging large whales collected off the Azores Archipelago (Portugal) were used, comprising 13 individual baleen whales (one sei, two blue and ten fin whales) and four sperm whales. The phylogenetic composition of the Bacteria faecal microbiomes of baleen and toothed whales showed no significant differences at the phylum level. However, significant differences were detected at the family and genus levels. Most abundant phyla were Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Tenericutes and Spirochaeta. Few highly abundant bacterial genera were identified as key taxa with a high contribution to differences among baleen and toothed whales microbiomes. Only few archaeal sequences were detected, primarily Methanomassiliicoccales representing potential methanogenic Archaea. This is the first study that directly compares the faecal bacterial and archaeal microbiomes of free-ranging baleen and toothed whales which represent the two parvorders of Cetacea which members are fully aquatic large mammals which were evolutionary split millions of years ago.

RevDate: 2021-03-22
CmpDate: 1999-01-13

Galbraith MP, Feng SF, Borneman J, et al (1998)

A functional myo-inositol catabolism pathway is essential for rhizopine utilization by Sinorhizobium meliloti.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 144 (Pt 10):2915-2924.

Rhizopine (L-3-O-methyl-scyllo-inosamine) is a symbiosis-specific compound found in alfalfa nodules induced by specific Sinorhizobium meliloti strains. It has been postulated that rhizobial strains able to synthesize and catabolize rhizopine gain a competitive advantage in the rhizosphere. The pathway of rhizopine degradation is analysed here. Since rhizopine is an inositol derivative, it was tested whether inositol catabolism is involved in rhizopine utilization. A genetic locus required for the catabolism of inositol as sole carbon source was cloned from S. meliloti. This locus was delimited by transposon Tn5 mutagenesis and its DNA sequence was determined. Based on DNA similarity studies and enzyme assays, this genetic region was shown to encode an S. meliloti myo-inositol dehydrogenase. Strains that harboured a mutation in the myo-inositol dehydrogenase gene (idhA) did not display myo-inositol dehydrogenase activity, were unable to utilize myo-inositol as sole carbon/energy source, and were unable to catabolize rhizopine. Thus, myo-inositol dehydrogenase activity is essential for rhizopine utilization in S. meliloti.

RevDate: 2021-03-20

Xu MP, Wang JY, Zhu YF, et al (2021)

Plant Biomass and Soil Nutrients Mainly Explain the Variation of Soil Microbial Communities During Secondary Succession on the Loess Plateau.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Soil microorganisms play an important role in the circulation of materials and nutrients between plants and soil ecosystems, but the drivers of microbial community composition and diversity remain uncertain in different vegetation restoration patterns. We studied soil physicochemical properties (i.e., soil moisture, bulk density, pH, soil nutrients, available nutrients), plant characteristics (i.e., Shannon index [HPlant] and Richness index [SPlant], litter biomass [LB], and fine root biomass [FRB]), and microbial variables (biomass, enzyme activity, diversity, and composition of bacterial and fungal communities) in different plant succession patterns (Robinia pseudoacacia [MF], Caragana korshinskii [SF], and grassland [GL]) on the Loess Plateau. The herb communities, soil microbial biomass, and enzyme activities were strongly affected by vegetation restoration, and soil bacterial and fungal communities were significantly different from each other at the sites. Correlation analysis showed that LB and FRB were significantly positively correlated with the Chao index of soil bacteria, soil microbial biomass, enzyme activities, Proteobacteria, Zygomycota, and Cercozoa, while negatively correlated with Actinobacteria and Basidiomycota. In addition, soil water content (SW), pH, and nutrients have important effects on the bacterial and fungal diversities, as well as Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Nitrospirae, Zygomycota, and microbial biomass. Furthermore, plant characteristics and soil properties modulated the composition and diversity of soil microorganisms, respectively. Overall, the relative contribution of vegetation and soil to the diversity and composition of soil bacterial and fungal communities illustrated that plant characteristics and soil properties may synergistically modulate soil microbial communities, and the composition and diversity of soil bacterial and fungal communities mainly depend on plant biomass and soil nutrients.

RevDate: 2021-03-20

Tipton L, Zahn GL, Darcy JL, et al (2021)

Hawaiian Fungal Amplicon Sequence Variants Reveal Otherwise Hidden Biogeography.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

To study biogeography and other ecological patterns of microorganisms, including fungi, scientists have been using operational taxonomic units (OTUs) as representations of species or species hypotheses. However, when defined by 97% sequence similarity cutoff at an accepted barcode locus such as 16S in bacteria or ITS in fungi, these OTUs can obscure biogeographic patterns, mask taxonomic diversity, and hinder meta-analyses. Amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) have been proposed to alleviate all of these issues and have been shown to do so in bacteria. Analyzing ASVs is just emerging as a common practice among fungal studies, and it is unclear whether the benefits found in bacterial studies of using such an approach carryover to fungi. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis of Hawaiian fungi by analyzing ITS1 amplicon sequencing data as ASVs and exploring ecological patterns. These surveys spanned three island groups and five ecosystems combined into the first comprehensive Hawaiian Mycobiome ASV Database. Our results show that ASVs can be used to combine fungal ITS surveys, increase reproducibility, and maintain the broad ecological patterns observed with OTUs, including diversity orderings. Additionally, the ASVs that comprise some of the most common OTUs in our database reveals some island specialists, indicating that traditional OTU clustering can obscure important biogeographic patterns. We recommend that future fungal studies, especially those aimed at assessing biogeography, analyze ASVs rather than OTUs. We conclude that similar to bacterial studies, ASVs improve reproducibility and data sharing for fungal studies.

RevDate: 2021-03-20

Zhu X, Feng X, Liang C, et al (2021)

Microbial ecological mechanism for long-term production of high concentrations of n-caproate via lactate-driven chain elongation.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.03075-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Lactate-driven chain elongation (LCE) has emerged as a new biotechnology to upgrade organic waste streams into valuable biochemical and fuel precursor, medium chain carboxylate, n-caproate. Considering that a low cost of downstream extraction is critical for biorefinery technology, a high concentration of n-caproate production is very important to improve the scale-up of the LCE process. We report here that in a nonsterile open environment, the n-caproate concentration was increased from the previous record of 25.7 g·L - 1 to a new high level of 33.7 g·L - 1 (76.8 g COD·L - 1), with the highest production rate of 11.5 g·L - 1·d - 1 (26.2 g COD·L - 1·d - 1). In addition, the LCE process remained stable with an average concentration of n-caproate production of 20.2 ± 5.62 g·L - 1 (46.1 ± 12.8 g COD·L - 1) for 780 days. Dynamic changes in taxonomic composition integrated with metagenomic data reveal the microbial ecology for long-term production of high concentrations of n-caproate: 1) the core microbiome is related to efficient functional groups, such as Ruminococcaceae (with functional strain CPB6); 2) the core bacteria can maintain stability for long-term operation; 3) the microbial network has relatively low microbe-microbe interaction strength; and 4) low relative abundance and variety of competitors. The network structure could be shaped by hydraulic retention time (HRT) over time, and long-term operation at an HRT of 8 days displayed higher efficacy.IMPORTANCEOur research revealed the microbial network of LCE reactor microbiome for n-caproate production at high concentrations, which will provide a foundation for designing or engineering the LCE reactor microbiome to recover n-caproate from organic waste streams in the future. In addition, the hypothetical model of the reactor microbiome that we proposed may offer guidance for researchers to find the underlying microbial mechanism when they encounter low-efficiency n-caproate production from the LCE process. We anticipate that our research will rapidly advance LCE biotechnology with the goal of promoting the sustainable development of human society.

RevDate: 2021-03-18

Ruuskanen MO, Sommeria-Klein G, Havulinna AS, et al (2021)

Modeling spatial patterns in host-associated microbial communities.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial communities exhibit spatial structure at different scales, due to constant interactions with their environment and dispersal limitation. While this spatial structure is often considered in studies focusing on free-living environmental communities, it has received less attention in the context of host-associated microbial communities, or microbiota. The wider adoption of methods accounting for spatial variation in these communities will help to address open questions in basic microbial ecology as well as realize the full potential of microbiome-aided medicine. Here, we first overview known factors affecting the composition of microbiota across diverse host types and at different scales, with a focus on the human gut as one of the most actively studied microbiota. We outline a number of topical open questions in the field related to spatial variation and patterns. We then review existing methodology for the spatial modeling of microbiota. We suggest that methodology from related fields, such as systems biology and macro-organismal ecology, could be adapted to obtain more accurate models of spatial structure. We further posit that methodological developments in the spatial modeling and analysis of microbiota could in turn broadly benefit theoretical and applied ecology and contribute to the development of novel industrial and clinical applications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-03-18

da Silva TH, Câmara PEAS, Pinto OHB, et al (2021)

Diversity of Fungi Present in Permafrost in the South Shetland Islands, Maritime Antarctic.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

We assess the fungal diversity present in permafrost from different islands in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, maritime Antarctic, using next-generation sequencing (NGS). We detected 1,003,637 fungal DNA reads representing, in rank abundance order, the phyla Ascomycota, Mortierellomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, Rozellomycota, Mucoromycota, Calcarisporiellomycota and Zoopagomycota. Ten taxa were dominant these being, in order of abundance, Pseudogymnoascus appendiculatus, Penicillium sp., Pseudogymnoascus roseus, Penicillium herquei, Curvularia lunata, Leotiomycetes sp., Mortierella sp. 1, Mortierella fimbricystis, Fungal sp. 1 and Fungal sp. 2. A further 38 taxa had intermediate abundance and 345 were classified as rare. The total fungal community detected in the permafrost showed high indices of diversity, richness and dominance, although these varied between the sampling locations. The use of a metabarcoding approach revealed the presence of DNA of a complex fungal assemblage in the permafrost of the South Shetland Islands including taxa with a range of ecological functions among which were multiple animal, human and plant pathogenic fungi. Further studies are required to determine whether the taxa identified are present in the form of viable cells or propagules and which might be released from melting permafrost to other Antarctic habitats and potentially dispersed more widely.

RevDate: 2021-03-18

Yang H, C Hu (2021)

Soil Chemistry and Nutrients Influence the Distribution of Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacteria and Eukaryotic Phototrophic Microorganisms of Physical Soil Crusts at Different Elevations on the Tibetan Plateau.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Photosynthetic microorganisms are widely distributed in the soil and play an important role in plant-free soil crusts. However, the distribution and environmental drivers of phototrophic microbial communities in physical soil crusts, where the abundance of cyanobacteria is low, are scarcely understood. Here, we performed high-throughput sequencing of pufM and 18S rRNA genes in soil crusts at different elevations on the Tibetan Plateau and used the data combined with environmental variables to analyze the diversity and structure of phototrophic microbial communities. We found that the dominant taxa of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria (AAPB) and eukaryotic phototrophic microorganisms (EPM) were shown to shift with elevation. The phototrophic microbial diversity showed a single-peak pattern, with the lowest diversity of AAPB and highest diversity of EPM at middle elevations. Moreover, the elevation and soil property determined the phototrophic microbial community. Soil salts, especially Cl-, were the most important for AAPB. Likewise, soil nutrients, especially carbon, were the most important for EPM. The relationship between high-abundance taxa and environmental variables showed that Rhizobiales was significantly negatively correlated with salt ions and positively correlated with chlorophyll. Rhodobacterales showed the strongest and significant positive associations with Cl-. Chlorophyceae and Bacillariophyceae were positively correlated with CO32-. These results indicated that salinity and soil nutrients affected the diversity and structure of microbial communities. This study contributes to our understanding of the diversity, composition, and structure of photosynthetic microorganisms in physical soil crusts and helps in developing new approaches for controlling desertification and salinization and improving the desert ecological environment.

RevDate: 2021-03-18

Swaney MH, LR Kalan (2021)

Living in Your Skin: Microbes, Molecules, and Mechanisms.

Infection and immunity, 89(4):.

Human skin functions as a physical, chemical, and immune barrier against the external environment while also providing a protective niche for its resident microbiota, known as the skin microbiome. Cooperation between the microbiota, host skin cells, and the immune system is responsible for maintenance of skin health, and a disruption to this delicate balance, such as by pathogen invasion or a breach in the skin barrier, may lead to impaired skin function. In this minireview, we describe the role of the microbiome in microbe, host, and immune interactions under distinct skin states, including homeostasis, tissue repair, and wound infection. Furthermore, we highlight the growing number of diverse microbial metabolites and products that have been identified to mediate these interactions, particularly those involved in host-microbe communication and defensive symbiosis. We also address the contextual pathogenicity exhibited by many skin commensals and provide insight into future directions in the skin microbiome field.

RevDate: 2021-03-17

Vignale FA, Lencina AI, Stepanenko TM, et al (2021)

Lithifying and Non-Lithifying Microbial Ecosystems in the Wetlands and Salt Flats of the Central Andes.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The wetlands and salt flats of the Central Andes region are unique extreme environments as they are located in high-altitude saline deserts, largely influenced by volcanic activity. Environmental factors, such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, arsenic content, high salinity, low dissolved oxygen content, extreme daily temperature fluctuation, and oligotrophic conditions, resemble the early Earth and potentially extraterrestrial conditions. The discovery of modern microbialites and microbial mats in the Central Andes during the past decade has increased the interest in this area as an early Earth analog. In this work, we review the current state of knowledge of Central Andes region environments found within lakes, small ponds or puquios, and salt flats of Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, many of them harboring a diverse range of microbial communities that we have termed Andean Microbial Ecosystems (AMEs). We have integrated the data recovered from all the known AMEs and compared their biogeochemistry and microbial diversity to achieve a better understanding of them and, consequently, facilitate their protection.

RevDate: 2021-03-17

Mujakić I, Andrei AŞ, Shabarova T, et al (2021)

Common Presence of Phototrophic Gemmatimonadota in Temperate Freshwater Lakes.

mSystems, 6(2):.

Members of the bacterial phylum Gemmatimonadota are ubiquitous in most natural environments and represent one of the top 10 most abundant bacterial phyla in soil. Sequences affiliated with Gemmatimonadota were also reported from diverse aquatic habitats; however, it remains unknown whether they are native organisms or represent bacteria passively transported from sediment or soil. To address this question, we analyzed metagenomes constructed from five freshwater lakes in central Europe. Based on the 16S rRNA gene frequency, Gemmatimonadota represented from 0.02 to 0.6% of all bacteria in the epilimnion and between 0.1 and 1% in the hypolimnion. These proportions were independently confirmed using catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH). Some cells in the epilimnion were attached to diatoms (Fragilaria sp.) or cyanobacteria (Microcystis sp.), which suggests a close association with phytoplankton. In addition, we reconstructed 45 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) related to Gemmatimonadota They represent several novel lineages, which persist in the studied lakes during the seasons. Three lineages contained photosynthesis gene clusters. One of these lineages was related to Gemmatimonas phototrophica and represented the majority of Gemmatimonadota retrieved from the lakes' epilimnion. The other two lineages came from hypolimnion and probably represented novel photoheterotrophic genera. None of these phototrophic MAGs contained genes for carbon fixation. Since most of the identified MAGs were present during the whole year and cells associated with phytoplankton were observed, we conclude that they represent truly limnic Gemmatimonadota distinct from the previously described species isolated from soils or sediments.IMPORTANCE Photoheterotrophic bacterial phyla such as Gemmatimonadota are key components of many natural environments. Its first photoheterotrophic cultured member, Gemmatimonas phototrophica, was isolated in 2014 from a shallow lake in the Gobi Desert. It contains a unique type of photosynthetic complex encoded by a set of genes which were likely received via horizontal transfer from Proteobacteria We were intrigued to discover how widespread this group is in the natural environment. In the presented study, we analyzed 45 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) that were obtained from five freshwater lakes in Switzerland and Czechia. Interestingly, it was found that phototrophic Gemmatimonadota are relatively common in euphotic zones of the studied lakes, whereas heterotrophic Gemmatimonadota prevail in deeper waters. Moreover, our analysis of the MAGs documented that these freshwater species contain almost the same set of photosynthesis genes identified before in Gemmatimonas phototrophica originating from the Gobi Desert.

RevDate: 2021-03-17

Cantrell K, Fedarko MW, Rahman G, et al (2021)

EMPress Enables Tree-Guided, Interactive, and Exploratory Analyses of Multi-omic Data Sets.

mSystems, 6(2):.

Standard workflows for analyzing microbiomes often include the creation and curation of phylogenetic trees. Here we present EMPress, an interactive web tool for visualizing trees in the context of microbiome, metabolome, and other community data scalable to trees with well over 500,000 nodes. EMPress provides novel functionality-including ordination integration and animations-alongside many standard tree visualization features and thus simplifies exploratory analyses of many forms of 'omic data.IMPORTANCE Phylogenetic trees are integral data structures for the analysis of microbial communities. Recent work has also shown the utility of trees constructed from certain metabolomic data sets, further highlighting their importance in microbiome research. The ever-growing scale of modern microbiome surveys has led to numerous challenges in visualizing these data. In this paper we used five diverse data sets to showcase the versatility and scalability of EMPress, an interactive web visualization tool. EMPress addresses the growing need for exploratory analysis tools that can accommodate large, complex multi-omic data sets.

RevDate: 2021-03-17

Sun M, Zhan Y, Marsan D, et al (2021)

Uncultivated Viral Populations Dominate Estuarine Viromes on the Spatiotemporal Scale.

mSystems, 6(2):.

Viruses are ubiquitous and abundant in the oceans, and viral metagenomes (viromes) have been investigated extensively via several large-scale ocean sequencing projects. However, there have not been any systematic viromic studies in estuaries. Here, we investigated the viromes of the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay, two Mid-Atlantic estuaries. Deep sequencing generated a total of 48,190 assembled viral sequences (>5 kb) and 26,487 viral populations (9,204 virus clusters and 17,845 singletons), including 319 circular viral contigs between 7.5 kb and 161.8 kb. Unknown viruses represented the vast majority of the dominant populations, while the composition of known viruses, such as pelagiphage and cyanophage, appeared to be relatively consistent across a wide range of salinity gradients and in different seasons. A difference between estuarine and ocean viromes was reflected by the proportions of Myoviridae, Podoviridae, Siphoviridae, Phycodnaviridae, and a few well-studied virus representatives. The difference in viral community between the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay is significantly more pronounced than the difference caused by temperature or salinity, indicating strong local profiles caused by the unique ecology of each estuary. Interestingly, a viral contig similar to phages infecting Acinetobacter baumannii ("Iraqibacter") was found to be highly abundant in the Delaware Bay but not in the Chesapeake Bay, the source of which is yet to be identified. Highly abundant viruses in both estuaries have close hits to viral sequences derived from the marine single-cell genomes or long-read single-molecule sequencing, suggesting that important viruses are still waiting to be discovered in the estuarine environment.IMPORTANCE This is the first systematic study about spatial and temporal variation of virioplankton communities in estuaries using deep metagenomics sequencing. It is among the highest-quality viromic data sets to date, showing remarkably consistent sequencing depth and quality across samples. Our results indicate that there exists a large pool of abundant and diverse viruses in estuaries that have not yet been cultivated, their genomes only available thanks to single-cell genomics or single-molecule sequencing, demonstrating the importance of these methods for viral discovery. The spatiotemporal pattern of these abundant uncultivated viruses is more variable than that of cultured viruses. Despite strong environmental gradients, season and location had surprisingly little impact on the viral community within an estuary, but we saw a significant distinction between the two estuaries and also between estuarine and open ocean viromes.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Menéndez-Serra M, Triadó-Margarit X, EO Casamayor (2021)

Ecological and Metabolic Thresholds in the Bacterial, Protist, and Fungal Microbiome of Ephemeral Saline Lakes (Monegros Desert, Spain).

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

We studied the 16S and 18S rRNA genes of the bacterial, protist, and fungal microbiomes of 131 samples collected in 14 ephemeral small inland lakes located in the endorheic area of the Monegros Desert (NE Spain). The sampling covered different temporal flooding/desiccation cycles that created natural salinity gradients between 0.1% (w/v) and salt saturation. We aimed to test the hypothesis of a lack of competitive advantage for microorganisms using the "salt-in" strategy in highly fluctuating hypersaline environments where temperature and salinity transitions widely vary within short time periods, as in ephemeral inland lakes. Overall, 5653 bacterial zOTUs and 2658 eukaryal zOTUs were detected heterogeneously distributed with significant variations on taxonomy and general energy-yielding metabolisms and trophic strategies along the gradient. We observed a more diverse bacterial assembly than initially expected at extreme salinities and a lack of dominance of a few "salt-in" organisms. Microbial thresholds were unveiled for these highly fluctuating hypersaline environments with high selective pressures. We conclude that the extremely high dynamism observed in the ephemeral lakes of Monegros may have given a competitive advantage for more versatile ("salt-out") organisms compared to those better adapted to stable high salinities usually more common in solar salterns. Ephemeral inland saline lakes offered a well-suited natural framework for highly detailed evolutionary and ecological studies.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Chen X, Krug L, Yang M, et al (2021)

The Himalayan Onion (Allium wallichii Kunth) Harbors Unique Spatially Organized Bacterial Communities.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Plant-associated microorganisms are known to contribute with various beneficial functions to the health and productivity of their hosts, yet the microbiome of most plants remains unexplored. This especially applies to wild relatives of cultivated plants, which might harbor beneficial microorganisms that were lost during intensive breeding. We studied bacterial communities of the Himalayan onion (Allium wallichii Kunth), a wild relative of onion native to mountains in East Asia. The bacterial community structure was assessed in different plant microhabitats (rhizosphere, endosphere, anthosphere) by sequencing of 16S rRNA gene fragment amplicons. Targeted bioinformatic analyses were implemented in order to identify unique features in each habitat and to map the overall community in the first representative of the Amaryllidaceae plant family. The highest bacterial diversity was found for bulk soil (Shannon index, H' 9.3) at the high-altitude sampling location. It was followed by the plant rhizosphere (H' 8.9) while communities colonizing flowers (H' 6.1) and the endosphere (H' 6.5 and 5.6) where less diverse. Interestingly, we observed a non-significant rhizosphere effect. Another specificity of the microbiome was its high evenness in taxonomic distribution, which was so far not observed in plant microbiomes. Pseudomonas was identified among additional 10 bacterial genera as a plant-specific signature. The first insights into the microbiome of a plant in the widespread Allium genus will facilitate upcoming comparisons with its domesticated relatives while additionally providing a detailed microbiome mapping of the plant's microhabitats to facilitate bioresource mining.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Sidrim JJC, de Maria GL, Paiva MAN, et al (2021)

Azole-Resilient Biofilms and Non-wild Type C. albicans Among Candida Species Isolated from Agricultural Soils Cultivated with Azole Fungicides: an Environmental Issue?.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

This study aimed to identify Candida spp. from agricultural soils cultivated with azole fungicides and investigate their susceptibility to clinical (fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, and amphotericin B) and agricultural (tetraconazole and tebuconazole) antifungals in planktonic form. Additionally, Candida biofilm-forming ability and biofilm susceptibility to agricultural antifungals and voriconazole were analyzed. Species identification was performed by phenotypic and molecular assays. The susceptibility of planktonic cells was evaluated by the broth microdilution method. The biofilm metabolic activity was evaluated by the XTT reduction assay. The recovered Candida spp. were identified as C. parapsilosis sensu stricto (n = 14), C. albicans (n = 5), C. tropicalis (n = 2), C. fermentati (n = 1), and C. metapsilosis (n = 2). Minimum inhibitory concentration ranges for clinical and agricultural antifungals were ≤ 0.03-4 μg/mL and 1-128 μg/mL, respectively. Two and one C. albicans strains were considered non-wild type for voriconazole and fluconazole, respectively. All strains were biofilm producers. The minimum biofilm inhibitory concentration ranges for tetraconazole and tebuconazole were 128-> 1024 μg/mL, while for voriconazole was 512-> 1024 μg/mL. In summary, this study shows that non-wild type and azole-resilient biofilm-producing Candida species colonize agricultural soils cultivated with azole fungicides.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Castilleux R, Plancot B, Vicré M, et al (2021)

Extensin, an underestimated key component of cell wall defence?.

Annals of botany pii:6173801 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Extensins are plant cell wall hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins known to be involved in cell wall reinforcement in higher plants, and in defence against pathogen attacks. The ability of extensins to form intra- and intermolecular cross-links is directly related to their role in cell wall reinforcement. Formation of such cross-links requires appropriate glycosylation and structural conformation of the glycoprotein.

SCOPE: Although the role of cell wall components in plant defence has drawn increasing interest over recent years, relatively little focus has been dedicated to extensins. Nevertheless, new insights were recently provided regarding the structure and the role of extensins and their glycosylation in plant-microbe interactions, stimulating an interesting debate from fellow cell wall community experts. We have previously revealed a distinct distribution of extensin epitopes in Arabidopsis thaliana wild-type roots and in mutants impaired in extensin arabinosylation, in response to elicitation with flagellin 22. That study was recently debated in a Commentary by Tan and Mort (Tan L, Mort A. 2020. Extensins at the front line of plant defence. A commentary on: 'Extensin arabinosylation is involved in root response to elicitors and limits oomycete colonization'. Annals of Botany 125: vii-viii) and several points regarding our results were discussed. As a response, we herein clarify the points raised by Tan and Mort, and update the possible epitope structure recognized by the anti-extensin monoclonal antibodies. We also provide additional data showing differential distribution of LM1 extensin epitopes in roots between a mutant defective in PEROXIDASES 33 and 34 and the wild type, similarly to previous observations from the rra2 mutant defective in extensin arabinosylation. We propose these two peroxidases as potential candidates to specifically catalyse the cross-linking of extensins within the cell wall.

CONCLUSIONS: Extensins play a major role within the cell wall to ensure root protection. The cross-linking of extensins, which requires correct glycosylation and specific peroxidases, is most likely to result in modulation of cell wall architecture that allows enhanced protection of root cells against invading pathogens. Study of the relationship between extensin glycosylation and their cross-linking is a very promising approach to further understand how the cell wall influences root immunity.

RevDate: 2021-03-15

Paul B, Sierra MA, Xu F, et al (2021)

Microbial population shift and metabolic characterization of silver diamine fluoride treatment failure on dental caries.

PloS one, 16(3):e0242396 pii:PONE-D-20-34812.

The objective of this pilot study was to describe the microbial profiles present in the plaque and saliva of children who continued to develop new carious lesions following treatment with silver diamine fluoride ("nonresponders") compared to caries active, caries-free, and children immediately receiving SDF treatment for untreated caries in order to identify potential microbial differences that may relate to a re-incidence of caries. Saliva and plaque samples from infected and contralateral sites were obtained from twenty children who were either caries free, had active carious lesions, were caries active and received SDF treatment immediately before sampling, or had previously received SDF treatment and developed new caries. In total, 8,057,899 Illumina-generated sequence reads from 60 samples were obtained. Reads were processed using the Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology pipeline. Group differences were assessed using Analysis of Variance Models and Tukey Honest Significant Differences. To identify significant taxa between treatment groups, Linear discriminant analysis Effect Size (LefSe) and Analysis of Differential Abundance Taking Sample Variation Into Account were used. Differential abundant analysis indicated that members of the Lachnospiraceae family were significantly enriched in non-responders and the genus Tannerella and species Granulicatella adiances were also highly abundant in this group. LefSe analysis between non-responders and SDF-treated groups revealed that genera Leptotrichia and Granulicatella were enriched in non-responders. We observed the highest abundance of phosphotransferase system and lowest abundance of lipopolysaccharide synthesis in non-responders. The microbiome in dental biofilms is responsible for initiation and progression of dental caries. SDF has been shown to be effective in arresting the progression carious lesions, in part due to its antimicrobial properties. Findings suggest that the differential abundance of select microbiota and specific pathway functioning in individuals that present with recurrent decay after SDF treatment may contribute to a potential failure of silver diamine fluoride to arrest dental caries. However, the short duration of sample collection following SDF application and the small sample size emphasize the need for further data and additional analysis.

RevDate: 2021-03-15

Wang L, Yin Y, Jing X, et al (2021)

Profiling of MicroRNAs Involved in Mepiquat Chloride-Mediated Inhibition of Internode Elongation in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Seedlings.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:643213.

Mepiquat chloride (MC) is the most important plant growth retardant that is widely used in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) production to suppress excessive vegetative growth and improve plant architecture. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important gene expression regulators that control plant growth and development. However, miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation in MC-induced growth inhibition remains unclear. In this study, the dynamic expression profiles of miRNAs responsive to MC in cotton internodes were investigated. A total of 508 known miRNAs belonging to 197 families and five novel miRNAs were identified. Among them, 104 miRNAs were differentially expressed at 48, 72, or 96 h post MC treatment compared with the control (0 h); majority of them were highly conserved miRNAs. The number of differentially expressed miRNAs increased with time after treatment. The expression of 14 known miRNAs was continuously suppressed, whereas 12 known miRNAs and one novel miRNA were continuously induced by MC. The expression patterns of the nine differentially expressed miRNAs were verified using qRT-PCR. The targets of the known and novel miRNAs were predicted. Four conserved and six novel targets were validated using the RLM-5' RACE assay. This study revealed that miRNAs play crucial regulatory roles in the MC-induced inhibition of internode elongation. It can improve our understanding of post-transcriptional gene regulation in MC-mediated growth inhibition and could potentially facilitate the breeding of dwarf cotton.

RevDate: 2021-03-15

Esquivel-Hernández DA, García-Pérez JS, Xu X, et al (2021)

Microbial ecology in selenate-reducing biofilm communities: rare biosphere and their interactions with abundant phylotypes.

Biotechnology and bioengineering [Epub ahead of print].

Selenate (SeO42-) reduction in hydrogen (H2)-fed membrane biofilm reactors (H2 -MBfRs) was studied in combinations with other common electron acceptors. We employed H2 -MBfRs with two distinctly different conditions: R1, with ample electron-donor availability and acceptors SeO42- and sulfate (SO42-), and R2, with electron-donor limitation and the presence of electron acceptors SeO42- , nitrate (NO3-), and SO42- . Even though H2 was available to reduce all input SeO42- and SO42- in R1, SeO42- reduction was preferred over SO42- reduction. In R2, co-reduction of NO3- and SeO42- occurred, and SO42- reduction was mostly suppressed. Biofilms in all MBfRs had high microbial diversity that was influenced by the "rare biosphere" (RB), phylotypes with relative abundance less than 1%. While all MBfR biofilms had abundant members, such as Dechloromonas and Methyloversatilis, the bacterial communities were significantly different between R1 and R2. For R1, abundant genera were Methyloversatilis, Melioribacter, and Propionivibrio; for R2, abundant genera were Dechloromonas, Hydrogenophaga, Cystobacter, Methyloversatilis, and Thauera. Although changes in electron-acceptor or -donor loading altered the phylogenetic structure of the microbial communities, the biofilm communities were resilient in terms of SeO42- and NO3- reductions, because interacting members of the RB had capacity of respiring these electron acceptors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-03-15

Messer LF, Brown MV, Van Ruth PD, et al (2021)

Temperate southern Australian coastal waters are characterised by surprisingly high rates of nitrogen fixation and diversity of diazotrophs.

PeerJ, 9:e10809 pii:10809.

Biological dinitrogen (N2) fixation is one mechanism by which specific microorganisms (diazotrophs) can ameliorate nitrogen (N) limitation. Historically, rates of N2 fixation were believed to be limited outside of the low nutrient tropical and subtropical open ocean; however, emerging evidence suggests that N2 fixation is also a significant process within temperate coastal waters. Using a combination of amplicon sequencing, targeting the nitrogenase reductase gene (nifH), quantitative nifH PCR, and 15N2 stable isotope tracer experiments, we investigated spatial patterns of diazotroph assemblage structure and N2 fixation rates within the temperate coastal waters of southern Australia during Austral autumn and summer. Relative to previous studies in open ocean environments, including tropical northern Australia, and tropical and temperate estuaries, our results indicate that high rates of N2 fixation (10-64 nmol L-1 d-1) can occur within the large inverse estuary Spencer Gulf, while comparatively low rates of N2 fixation (2 nmol L-1 d-1) were observed in the adjacent continental shelf waters. Across the dataset, low concentrations of NO3/NO2 were significantly correlated with the highest N2 fixation rates, suggesting that N2 fixation could be an important source of new N in the region as dissolved inorganic N concentrations are typically limiting. Overall, the underlying diazotrophic community was dominated by nifH sequences from Cluster 1 unicellular cyanobacteria of the UCYN-A clade, as well as non-cyanobacterial diazotrophs related to Pseudomonas stutzeri, and Cluster 3 sulfate-reducing deltaproteobacteria. Diazotroph community composition was significantly influenced by salinity and SiO4 concentrations, reflecting the transition from UCYN-A-dominated assemblages in the continental shelf waters, to Cluster 3-dominated assemblages in the hypersaline waters of the inverse estuary. Diverse, transitional diazotrophic communities, comprised of a mixture of UCYN-A and putative heterotrophic bacteria, were observed at the mouth and southern edge of Spencer Gulf, where the highest N2 fixation rates were observed. In contrast to observations in other environments, no seasonal patterns in N2 fixation rates and diazotroph community structure were apparent. Collectively, our findings are consistent with the emerging view that N2 fixation within temperate coastal waters is a previously overlooked dynamic and potentially important component of the marine N cycle.

RevDate: 2021-03-12

Wang X, Chen S, Ma X, et al (2021)

Genome sequence and genetic diversity analysis of an under-domesticated orphan crop, white fonio (Digitaria exilis).

GigaScience, 10(3):.

BACKGROUND: Digitaria exilis, white fonio, is a minor but vital crop of West Africa that is valued for its resilience in hot, dry, and low-fertility environments and for the exceptional quality of its grain for human nutrition. Its success is hindered, however, by a low degree of plant breeding and improvement.

FINDINGS: We sequenced the fonio genome with long-read SMRT-cell technology, yielding a ∼761 Mb assembly in 3,329 contigs (N50, 1.73 Mb; L50, 126). The assembly approaches a high level of completion, with a BUSCO score of >99%. The fonio genome was found to be a tetraploid, with most of the genome retained as homoeologous duplications that differ overall by ∼4.3%, neglecting indels. The 2 genomes within fonio were found to have begun their independent divergence ∼3.1 million years ago. The repeat content (>49%) is fairly standard for a grass genome of this size, but the ratio of Gypsy to Copia long terminal repeat retrotransposons (∼6.7) was found to be exceptionally high. Several genes related to future improvement of the crop were identified including shattering, plant height, and grain size. Analysis of fonio population genetics, primarily in Mali, indicated that the crop has extensive genetic diversity that is largely partitioned across a north-south gradient coinciding with the Sahel and Sudan grassland domains.

CONCLUSIONS: We provide a high-quality assembly, annotation, and diversity analysis for a vital African crop. The availability of this information should empower future research into further domestication and improvement of fonio.

RevDate: 2021-03-12

Yang ZW, Men Y, Zhang J, et al (2021)

Evaluation of Sample Preservation Approaches for Better Insect Microbiome Research According to Next-Generation and Third-Generation Sequencing.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The microbial communities associated with insects play critical roles in many physiological functions such as digestion, nutrition, and defense. Meanwhile, with the development of sequencing technology, more and more studies begin to focus on broader biodiversity of insects and the corresponding mechanisms of insect microbial symbiosis, which need longer time collecting in the field. However, few studies have evaluated the effect of insect microbiome sample preservation approaches especially in different time durations or have assessed whether these approaches are appropriate for both next-generation sequencing (NGS) and third-generation sequencing (TGS) technologies. Here, we used Tessaratoma papillosa (Hemiptera: Tessaratomidae), an important litchi pest, as the model insect and adopted two sequencing technologies to evaluate the effect of four different preservation approaches (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), ethanol, air dried, and RNAlater). We found the samples treated by air dried method, which entomologists adopted for morphological observation and classical taxonomy, would get worse soon. RNAlater as the most expensive approaches for insect microbiome sample preservation did not suit for field works longer than 1 month. We recommended CTAB and ethanol as better preservatives in longer time field work for their effectiveness and low cost. Comparing with the full-length 16S rRNA gene sequenced by TGS, the V4 region of 16S rRNA gene sequenced by NGS has a lower resolution trait and may misestimate the composition of microbial communities. Our results provided recommendations for suitable preservation approaches applied to insect microbiome studies based on two sequencing technologies, which can help researchers properly preserve samples in field works.

RevDate: 2021-03-11

Hooban B, Fitzhenry K, Cahill N, et al (2021)

A Point Prevalence Survey of Antibiotic Resistance in the Irish Environment, 2018-2019.

Environment international, 152:106466 pii:S0160-4120(21)00091-X [Epub ahead of print].

Water bodies worldwide have proven to be vast reservoirs of clinically significant antibiotic resistant organisms. Contamination of waters by anthropogenic discharges is a significant contributor to the widespread dissemination of antibiotic resistance. The aim of this research was to investigate multiple different anthropogenic sources on a national scale for the role they play in the environmental propagation of antibiotic resistance. A total of 39 water and 25 sewage samples were collected across four local authority areas in the West, East and South of Ireland. In total, 211 Enterobacterales were isolated (139 water, 72 sewage) and characterised. A subset of isolates (n=60) were chosen for whole genome sequencing. Direct comparisons of the water versus sewage isolate collections revealed a higher percentage of sewage isolates displayed resistance to cefoxitin (46%) and ertapenem (32%), while a higher percentage of water isolates displayed resistance to tetracycline (55%) and ciprofloxacin (71%). Half of all isolates displayed extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production phenotypically (n = 105/211; 50%), with blaCTX-M detected in 99/105 isolates by PCR. Carbapenemase genes were identified in 11 isolates (6 sewage, 5 water). The most common variant was blaOXA-48 (n=6), followed by blaNDM-5 (n=2) and blaKPC-2 (n=2). Whole genome sequencing analysis revealed numerous different sequence types in circulation in both waters and sewage including E. coli ST131 (n=15), ST38 (n=8), ST10 (n=4) along with Klebsiella ST405 (n=3) and ST11 (n=2). Core genome MLST (cgMLST) comparisons uncovered three highly similar Klebsiella isolates originating from hospital sewage and two nearby waters. The Klebsiella isolates from an estuary and seawater displayed 99.1% and 98.8% cgMLST identity to the hospital sewage isolate respectively. In addition, three pairs of E. coli isolates from different waters also revealed cgMLST similarities, indicating widespread dissemination and persistence of certain strains in the aquatic environment. These findings highlight the need for routine monitoring of water bodies used for recreational and drinking purposes for the presence of multi-drug resistant organisms.

RevDate: 2021-03-11

Hicks LC, Lajtha K, J Rousk (2021)

Nutrient limitation may induce microbial mining for resources from persistent soil organic matter.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Fungi and bacteria are the two principal microbial groups in soil, responsible for the breakdown of organic matter (OM). The relative contribution of fungi and bacteria to decomposition is thought to impact biogeochemical cycling at the ecosystem scale, whereby bacterially dominated decomposition supports the fast turnover of easily available substrates, whereas fungal-dominated decomposition leads to the slower turnover of more complex OM. However, empirical support for this is lacking. We used soils from a detritus-input-and-removal treatment experiment in an old-growth coniferous forest, where above- and belowground litter inputs have been manipulated for 20 years. These manipulations have generated variation in OM quality, as defined by energetic content and proxied as respiration per g soil organic matter (SOM) and the δ13 C signature in respired CO2 and microbial PLFAs. Respiration per g SOM reflects the availability and lability of C substrate to microorganisms, and the δ13 C signature indicates whether the C used by microorganisms is plant-derived and higher quality (more δ13 C depleted) or more microbially processed and lower quality (more δ13 C enriched). Surprisingly, higher quality C did not disproportionately benefit bacterial decomposers. Both fungal and bacterial growth increased with C quality, with no systematic change in the fungal-to-bacterial growth ratio, reflecting the relative contribution of fungi and bacteria to decomposition. There was also no difference in the quality of C targeted by bacterial and fungal decomposers either for catabolism or anabolism. Interestingly, respired CO2 was more δ13 C enriched than soil C, suggesting preferential use of more microbially processed C, despite its lower quality. Gross N mineralization and consumption were also unaffected by differences in the ratio of fungal-to-bacterial growth. However, the C/N ratio of mineralization was lower than the average C/N of SOM, meaning that microorganisms specifically targeted N-rich components of OM, suggesting selective microbial N-mining. Consistent with the δ13 C data, this reinforces evidence for the use of more microbially processed OM with a lower C/N ratio, rather than plant-derived OM. These results challenge the widely held assumption that microorganisms favor high-quality C sources and suggest that there is a trade-off in OM use which may be related to the growth-limiting factor for microorganisms in the ecosystem.

RevDate: 2021-03-11

Sochard C, Dupont C, Simon JC, et al (2021)

Secondary Symbionts Affect Foraging Capacities of Plant-Specialized Genotypes of the Pea Aphid.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Ecological specialization is widespread in animals, especially in phytophagous insects, which have often a limited range of host plant species. This host plant specialization results from divergent selection on insect populations, which differ consequently in traits like behaviors involved in plant use. Although recent studies highlighted the influence of symbionts on dietary breadth of their insect hosts, whether these microbial partners influence the foraging capacities of plant-specialized insects has received little attention. In this study, we used the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, which presents distinct plant-specialized lineages and several secondary bacterial symbionts, to examine the possible effects of symbionts on the different foraging steps from plant searching to host plant selection. In particular, we tested the effect of secondary symbionts on the aphid capacity (1) to explore habitat at long distance (estimated through the production of winged offspring), (2) to explore habitat at short distance, and (3) to select its host plant. We found that secondary symbionts had a variable influence on the production of winged offspring in some genotypes, with potential consequences on dispersal and survival. By contrast, symbionts influenced both short-distance exploration and host plant selection only marginally. The implication of symbionts' influence on insect foraging capacities is discussed.

RevDate: 2021-03-11

Ionescu D, Zoccarato L, Zaduryan A, et al (2021)

Heterozygous, Polyploid, Giant Bacterium, Achromatium, Possesses an Identical Functional Inventory Worldwide across Drastically Different Ecosystems.

Molecular biology and evolution, 38(3):1040-1059.

Achromatium is large, hyperpolyploid and the only known heterozygous bacterium. Single cells contain approximately 300 different chromosomes with allelic diversity far exceeding that typically harbored by single bacteria genera. Surveying all publicly available sediment sequence archives, we show that Achromatium is common worldwide, spanning temperature, salinity, pH, and depth ranges normally resulting in bacterial speciation. Although saline and freshwater Achromatium spp. appear phylogenetically separated, the genus Achromatium contains a globally identical, complete functional inventory regardless of habitat. Achromatium spp. cells from differing ecosystems (e.g., from freshwater to saline) are, unexpectedly, equally functionally equipped but differ in gene expression patterns by transcribing only relevant genes. We suggest that environmental adaptation occurs by increasing the copy number of relevant genes across the cell's hundreds of chromosomes, without losing irrelevant ones, thus maintaining the ability to survive in any ecosystem type. The functional versatility of Achromatium and its genomic features reveal alternative genetic and evolutionary mechanisms, expanding our understanding of the role and evolution of polyploidy in bacteria while challenging the bacterial species concept and drivers of bacterial speciation.

RevDate: 2021-03-10

Wade WG (2021)

Resilience of the oral microbiome.

Periodontology 2000 [Epub ahead of print].

The human mouth harbors a complex microbiota, the composition of which is potentially influenced by a wide range of factors, including the intake of food and drink, the availability of endogenous nutrients, the host immune system, drug treatments, and systemic diseases. Despite these possible influences, the oral microbiota is remarkably resilient, particularly in comparison with the microbiota of the large intestine. Diet, with the exception of excessive and/or frequent consumption of fermentable carbohydrate or supplementation with nitrate, has minimal impact on the composition of the oral bacterial community. The common oral diseases dental caries and the periodontal diseases is associated with modification of the oral microbiota primarily as a result of the ecological changes induced by excessive acid production and inflammation, respectively. Systemically-administered antimicrobials have only a small effect on the composition of the oral bacterial community, and while locally delivered antimicrobials can have some clinical benefits, the biofilm lifestyle of oral bacteria lends them substantial resistance to the agents used. Saliva plays an important role in oral microbial ecology, by supplying nutrients and providing protection against colonization by nonoral organisms. Dry mouth is one condition that has a major effect on the microbiota, resulting in increased colonization by opportunistic pathogens. Some systemic diseases do affect the oral microbiome, notably diabetes, in which raised levels of glucose in saliva and tissue impact on bacterial nutrition.

RevDate: 2021-03-10

Huang S, He T, Yue F, et al (2021)

Longitudinal Multi-omics and Microbiome Meta-analysis Identify an Asymptomatic Gingival State That Links Gingivitis, Periodontitis, and Aging.

mBio, 12(2):.

Most adults experience episodes of gingivitis, which can progress to the irreversible, chronic state of periodontitis, yet roles of plaque in gingivitis onset and progression to periodontitis remain elusive. Here, we longitudinally profiled the plaque metagenome, the plaque metabolome, and salivary cytokines in 40 adults who transited from naturally occurring gingivitis (NG) to healthy gingivae (baseline) and then to experimental gingivitis (EG). During EG, rapid and consistent alterations in plaque microbiota, metabolites, and salivary cytokines emerged as early as 24 to 72 h after oral-hygiene pause, defining an asymptomatic suboptimal health (SoH) stage of the gingivae. SoH features a swift, full activation of 11 salivary cytokines but a steep synergetic decrease of plaque-derived betaine and Rothia spp., suggesting an anti-gum inflammation mechanism by health-promoting symbionts. Global, cross-cohort meta-analysis revealed, at SoH, a greatly elevated microbiome-based periodontitis index driven by its convergence of both taxonomical and functional profiles toward the periodontitis microbiome. Finally, post-SoH gingivitis development accelerates oral microbiota aging by over 1 year within 28 days, with Rothia spp. depletion and Porphyromonas gingivalis elevation as hallmarks. Thus, the microbiome-defined, transient gum SoH stage is a crucial link among gingivitis, periodontitis, and aging.IMPORTANCE A significant portion of world population still fails to brush teeth daily. As a result, the majority of the global adult population is afflicted with chronic gingivitis, and if it is left untreated, some of them will eventually suffer from periodontitis. Here, we identified periodontitis-like microbiome dysbiosis in an asymptomatic SoH stage as early as 24 to 72 h after oral-hygiene pause. SoH features a swift, full activation of multiple salivary cytokines but a steep synergetic decrease of plaque-derived betaine and Rothia spp. The microbial ecology during early gingivitis is highly similar to that in periodontitis under both taxonomical and functional contexts. Unexpectedly, exposures to gingivitis can accelerate over 10-fold the normal rate of oral microbiota aging. Our findings underscore the importance of intervening at the SoH stage of gingivitis via proper oral-hygiene practices on a daily basis, so as to maintain a periodontitis-preventive plaque and ensure the healthy aging of the oral ecosystem.

RevDate: 2021-03-09

Lietaer L, Bogado Pascottini O, Hernandez-Sanabria E, et al (2021)

Low microbial biomass within the reproductive tract of mid-lactation dairy cows: A study approach.

Journal of dairy science pii:S0022-0302(21)00253-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The microbiome from the reproductive tract is being investigated for its putative effect on fertility, embryo development, and health status of the human or animal host postpartum. Besides the presence of a vaginal microbiome, recent studies have claimed the existence and putative role of the uterine microbiome. Yet, the extremely low bacterial numbers and high eukaryotic/prokaryotic DNA ratio make this a highly challenging environment to study with next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques. Here, we describe the methodological challenges that are typically encountered when performing an accurate analysis of low microbial biomass samples, illustrated by data of our own observational study. In terms of the research question, we compared the microbial composition throughout different parts of the reproductive tract of clinically healthy, mid-lactation Holstein-Friesian cows. Samples were collected from 5 dairy cows immediately after killing. Swabs were taken from the vagina, and from 4 pre-established locations of the uterine endometrium. In addition to the conventional DNA extraction blank controls, sterile swabs rubbed over disinfected disposable gloves and the disinfected surface of the uterus (tunica serosa) before incision were taken as sampling controls. The DNA extraction, DNA quantification, quantitative PCR of the 16S rRNA genes, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing were performed. In terms of NGS data analysis, we performed prevalence-based filtering of putative contaminant operational taxonomic units (OTU) using the decontam R package. Although the bacterial composition differed between the vagina and uterus, no differences in bacterial community structure (α and β diversity) were found among the different locations in the uterus. At phylum level, uterine samples had a greater relative abundance of Proteobacteria, and a lesser relative abundance of Firmicutes than vaginal samples. The number of shared OTU between vagina and uterus was limited, suggesting the existence of bacterial transmission routes other than the transcervical one to the uterus. The mid-lactation bovine genital tract is a low microbial biomass environment, which makes it difficult to distinguish between its constitutive versus contaminant microbiome. The integration of key controls is therefore strictly necessary to decrease the effect of accidentally introduced contaminant sequences and improve the reliability of results in samples with low microbial biomass.

RevDate: 2021-03-09

Zhang X, Shi L, Sun T, et al (2021)

Dysbiosis of gut microbiota and its correlation with dysregulation of cytokines in psoriasis patients.

BMC microbiology, 21(1):78.

BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease associated with multiple comorbidities and substantially diminishes patients' quality of life. The gut microbiome has become a hot topic in psoriasis as it has been shown to affect both allergy and autoimmunity diseases in recent studies. Our objective was to identify differences in the fecal microbial composition of patients with psoriasis compared with healthy individuals to unravel the microbiota profiling in this autoimmune disease.

RESULTS: We collected fecal samples from 30 psoriasis patients and 30 healthy controls, sequenced them by 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing, and identified the gut microbial composition using bioinformatic analyses including Quantitative Insights into Microbial Ecology (QIIME) and Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt). Our results showed that different relative abundance of certain bacterial taxa between psoriasis patients and healthy individuals, including Faecalibacterium and Megamonas, were increased in patients with psoriasis. It's also implicated that many cytokines act as main effect molecules in the pathology of psoriasis. We selected the inflammation-related indicators that were abnormal in psoriasis patients and found the microbiome variations were associated with the level of them, especially interleukin-2 receptor showed a positive relationship with Phascolarctobacterium and a negative relationship with the Dialister. The relative abundance of Phascolarctobacterium and Dialister can be regard as predictors of psoriasis activity. The correlation analysis based on microbiota and Inflammation-related indicators showed that microbiota dysbiosis might induce an abnormal immune response in psoriasis.

CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that the gut microbiome composition in psoriasis patients has been altered markedly and provides evidence to understand the relationship between gut microbiota and psoriasis. More mechanistic experiments are needed to determine whether the differences observed in gut microbiota are the cause or consequences of psoriasis and whether the relationship between gut microbiota and cytokines was involved.

RevDate: 2021-03-09

Sibinelli-Sousa S, Hespanhol JT, E Bayer-Santos (2021)

Targeting the Achilles' Heel of Bacteria: Different Mechanisms To Break Down the Peptidoglycan Cell Wall during Bacterial Warfare.

Journal of bacteriology, 203(7):.

Bacteria commonly live in dense polymicrobial communities and compete for scarce resources. Consequently, they employ a diverse array of mechanisms to harm, inhibit, and kill their competitors. The cell wall is essential for bacterial survival by providing mechanical strength to resist osmotic stress. Because peptidoglycan is the major component of the cell wall and its synthesis is a complex multistep pathway that requires the coordinate action of several enzymes, it provides a target for rival bacteria, which have developed a large arsenal of antibacterial molecules to attack the peptidoglycan of competitors. These molecules include antibiotics, bacteriocins, and contact-dependent effectors that are either secreted into the medium or directly translocated into a target cell. In this minireview, we summarize the diversity of these molecules and highlight distinct mechanisms to disrupt the peptidoglycan, giving special attention to molecules that are known or have the potential to be used during interbacterial competitions.

RevDate: 2021-03-08

Song C, Jin K, JM Raaijmakers (2021)

Designing a home for beneficial plant microbiomes.

Current opinion in plant biology, 62:102025 pii:S1369-5266(21)00025-X [Epub ahead of print].

The plant microbiome comprises a highly diverse community of saprotrophic, mutualistic, and pathogenic microbes that can affect plant growth and plant health. There is substantial interest to exploit beneficial members of plant microbiomes for new sustainable management strategies in crop production. However, poor survival and colonization of plant tissues by introduced microbial isolates as well as lack of expression of the plant growth-promoting or disease-suppressive traits at the right time and place are still major limitations for successful implementation of microbiomes in future agricultural practices and plant breeding programs. Similar to building a home for humans, we discuss different strategies of building a home for beneficial plant microbiomes, here referred to as the 'MicrobiHome'.

RevDate: 2021-03-08

Sperlea T, Kreuder N, Beisser D, et al (2021)

Quantification of the covariation of lake microbiomes and environmental variables using a machine learning-based framework.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

It is known that microorganisms are essential for the functioning of ecosystems, but the extent to which microorganisms respond to different environmental variables in their natural habitats is not clear. In the current study, we present a methodological framework to quantify the covariation of the microbial community of a habitat and environmental variables of this habitat. It is built on theoretical considerations of systems ecology, makes use of state-of-the-art machine learning techniques and can be used to identify bioindicators. We apply the framework to a dataset containing operational taxonomic units (OTUs) as well as more than twenty physico-chemical and geographic variables measured in a large-scale survey of European lakes. While a large part of variation (up to 61%) in many environmental variables can be explained by microbial community composition, some variables do not show significant covariation with the microbial lake community. Moreover, we have identified OTUs that act as 'multi-task' bioindicators, i.e. that are indicative for multiple environmental variables, and thus could be candidates for lake water monitoring schemes. Our results represent, for the first time, a quantification of the covariation of the lake microbiome and a wide array of environmental variables for lake ecosystems. Building on the results and methodology presented here, it will be possible to identify microbial taxa and processes that are essential for functioning and stability of lake ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-03-08

Ghannam RB, SM Techtmann (2021)

Machine learning applications in microbial ecology, human microbiome studies, and environmental monitoring.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:1092-1107 pii:S2001-0370(21)00032-5.

Advances in nucleic acid sequencing technology have enabled expansion of our ability to profile microbial diversity. These large datasets of taxonomic and functional diversity are key to better understanding microbial ecology. Machine learning has proven to be a useful approach for analyzing microbial community data and making predictions about outcomes including human and environmental health. Machine learning applied to microbial community profiles has been used to predict disease states in human health, environmental quality and presence of contamination in the environment, and as trace evidence in forensics. Machine learning has appeal as a powerful tool that can provide deep insights into microbial communities and identify patterns in microbial community data. However, often machine learning models can be used as black boxes to predict a specific outcome, with little understanding of how the models arrived at predictions. Complex machine learning algorithms often may value higher accuracy and performance at the sacrifice of interpretability. In order to leverage machine learning into more translational research related to the microbiome and strengthen our ability to extract meaningful biological information, it is important for models to be interpretable. Here we review current trends in machine learning applications in microbial ecology as well as some of the important challenges and opportunities for more broad application of machine learning to understanding microbial communities.

RevDate: 2021-03-08

Muandze-Nzambe JU, Onanga R, Yala JF, et al (2021)

Technological and microbiological characteristics of indigenous food produced in Gabon.

Journal of food science and technology, 58(3):1027-1041.

The purpose of this study was to provide contextual information on indigenous food's technologies and safety from Gabon. The strategic focus being to promote local food with enhanced nutritional value and improved safety. An investigation and monitoring were carried out to elucidate their process flow diagrams and to identify safety failures. Samples were taken for microbiological analysis using conventional culture-based techniques. Detection and identification of Salmonella in samples were confirmed using PCR based method by targeting invasion plasmid antigen B (IpaB) gene. The investigation shows that women play a protagonist role in the technical know-how of Gabonese indigenous foods in a context that is evolving towards the disappearance of this knowledge. The food production process remains archaic, which makes the environment impact on food safety. Indeed, the proximity of food manufacturing environment to animals, waste, or latrines coupled with the lack of hygiene and manufacturing practices affect the quality of these foods. This is reflected in our study's microbiological results, namely, Aerobic Mesophilic Bacteria ranged from 3.53 to 11.96 log CFU/g and indicators of fecal contaminations of up to 8.21 log CFU/g. Salmonella is detected in 18.69% of samples. The presence of these bacteria is a risk for consumer health. Although some of these foods can be considered as a fermented food, the producers should be further educated and encouraged to take preventive measures to ensure the quality of these food products. A much more subtle approach based on microbial ecology of these foods should be explored for better exploitation.

RevDate: 2021-03-08

Acosta N, Duh Kang I, Rabaey K, et al (2021)

Cow manure stabilizes anaerobic digestion of cocoa waste.

Waste management (New York, N.Y.) pii:S0956-053X(21)00073-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Anaerobic digestion of a mono-feedstock often causes low methane yields and process instability. An effective strategy to overcome these barriers is co-digestion with animal manure. The obtained process improvement is often attributed to buffer capacity, nutrients, vitamins and trace metals, and microorganisms present in manure, but it remains unknown which factor plays the key role in digester performance. Here, we investigated anaerobic digestion of cocoa waste in four different treatments: mono-digestion, addition of synthetic nutrients, co-digestion with sterile cow manure, and co-digestion with raw cow manure. Co-digestion with raw manure resulted in the highest methane yield of 181 ± 39 L kg-1 VS (volatile solids), similar to the co-digestion with sterile manure, i.e., 162 ± 52 L kg-1 VS. The supplementation of synthetic nutrients to the anaerobic digestion of cocoa waste only temporarily increased methane yield, indicating that this will tackle a lack of nutrients in the short term, but has a limited long-term contribution to the stabilization of the process. Hence, because of the inability of synthetic nutrients to stabilize the digestion process and the similarity between the digesters fed sterile and raw manure, both at the physico-chemical and microbial level, the key contribution of manure co-digestion with cocoa seems to be the provision of buffering capacity.


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 )