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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology

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


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 21 Sep 2023 at 01:50 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: 2023-09-18

Sasi R, TV Suchithra (2023)

Wastewater microbial diversity versus molecular analysis at a glance: a mini-review.

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

Microorganisms play a vital role in biological wastewater treatment by converting organic and toxic materials into harmless substances. Understanding microbial communities' structure, taxonomy, phylogeny, and metabolic activities is essential to improve these processes. Molecular microbial ecology employs molecular techniques to study community profiles and phylogenetic information since culture-dependent approaches have limitations in providing a comprehensive understanding of microbial diversity in a system. Genomic advancements such as DNA hybridization, microarray analysis, sequencing, and reverse sample genome probing have enabled the detailed characterization of microbial communities in wastewater treatment facilities. This mini-review summarizes the current state of knowledge on the diversity of microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants, emphasizing critical microbial processes such as nitrogen and phosphorus removal.

RevDate: 2023-09-18

Ye H, Borusak S, Eberl C, et al (2023)

Ecophysiology and interactions of a taurine-respiring bacterium in the mouse gut.

Nature communications, 14(1):5533.

Taurine-respiring gut bacteria produce H2S with ambivalent impact on host health. We report the isolation and ecophysiological characterization of a taurine-respiring mouse gut bacterium. Taurinivorans muris strain LT0009 represents a new widespread species that differs from the human gut sulfidogen Bilophila wadsworthia in its sulfur metabolism pathways and host distribution. T. muris specializes in taurine respiration in vivo, seemingly unaffected by mouse diet and genotype, but is dependent on other bacteria for release of taurine from bile acids. Colonization of T. muris in gnotobiotic mice increased deconjugation of taurine-conjugated bile acids and transcriptional activity of a sulfur metabolism gene-encoding prophage in other commensals, and slightly decreased the abundance of Salmonella enterica, which showed reduced expression of galactonate catabolism genes. Re-analysis of metagenome data from a previous study further suggested that T. muris can contribute to protection against pathogens by the commensal mouse gut microbiota. Together, we show the realized physiological niche of a key murine gut sulfidogen and its interactions with selected gut microbiota members.

RevDate: 2023-09-18

Jacobovitz MR, Hambleton EA, A Guse (2023)

Unlocking the Complex Cell Biology of Coral-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis: A Model Systems Approach.

Annual review of genetics [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic interactions occur in all domains of life, providing organisms with resources to adapt to new habitats. A prime example is the endosymbiosis between corals and photosynthetic dinoflagellates. Eukaryotic dinoflagellate symbionts reside inside coral cells and transfer essential nutrients to their hosts, driving the productivity of the most biodiverse marine ecosystem. Recent advances in molecular and genomic characterization have revealed symbiosis-specific genes and mechanisms shared among symbiotic cnidarians. In this review, we focus on the cellular and molecular processes that underpin the interaction between symbiont and host. We discuss symbiont acquisition via phagocytosis, modulation of host innate immunity, symbiont integration into host cell metabolism, and nutrient exchange as a fundamental aspect of stable symbiotic associations. We emphasize the importance of using model systems to dissect the cellular complexity of endosymbiosis, which ultimately serves as the basis for understanding its ecology and capacity to adapt in the face of climate change. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Genetics, Volume 57 is November 2023. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2023-09-19
CmpDate: 2023-09-19

Castañeda-Molina Y, Marulanda-Moreno SM, Saldamando-Benjumea C, et al (2023)

Microbiome analysis of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) larvae exposed to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) endotoxins.

PeerJ, 11:e15916.

BACKGROUND: Spodoptera frugiperda (or fall armyworm, FAW) is a polyphagous pest native to Western Hemisphere and recently discovered in the Eastern Hemisphere. In Colombia, S. frugiperda is recognized as a pest of economic importance in corn. The species has genetically differentiated into two host populations named "corn" and "rice" strains. In 2012, a study made in central Colombia demonstrated that the corn strain is less susceptible to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) endotoxins (Cry1Ac and Cry 1Ab) than the rice strain. In this country, Bt transgenic corn has been extensively produced over the last 15 years. Since gut microbiota plays a role in the physiology and immunity of insects, and has been implicated in promoting the insecticidal activity of Bt, in this study an analysis of the interaction between Bt endotoxins and FAW gut microbiota was made. Also, the detection of endosymbionts was performed here, as they might have important implications in the biological control of a pest.

METHODS: The composition and diversity of microbiomes associated with larval specimens of S. frugiperda(corn strain) was investigated in a bioassay based on six treatments in the presence/absence of Bt toxins and antibiotics (Ab) through bacterial isolate analyses and by high throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Additionally, species specific primers were used, to detect endosymbionts from gonads in S. frugiperda corn strain.

RESULTS: Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidota were the most dominant bacterial phyla found in S. frugiperda corn strain. No significant differences in bacteria species diversity and richness among the six treatments were found. Two species of Enterococcus spp., E. mundtii and E. casseliflavus were detected in treatments with Bt and antibiotics, suggesting that they are less susceptible to both of them. Additionally, the endosymbiont Arsenophonus was also identified on treatments in presence of Bt and antibiotics. The results obtained here are important since little knowledge exists about the gut microbiota on this pest and its interaction with Bt endotoxins. Previous studies made in Lepidoptera suggest that alteration of gut microbiota can be used to improve the management of pest populations, demonstrating the relevance of the results obtained in this work.

RevDate: 2023-09-17

Farrell ML, Chueiri A, Maguire M, et al (2023)

Longitudinal carriage of antimicrobial resistant Enterobacterales in healthy individuals in Ireland - Assessing the impact of recreational water use on duration of carriage.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)05727-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The increasing prevalence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-PE) and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) is a major public health concern worldwide. Despite the associated risk of infection from gut colonisation with a resistant Enterobacterales, the incidence and duration of carriage in healthy individuals is poorly studied. This "persistence study" is the first in Ireland to assess the longitudinal carriage of ESBL-PE and CPE in healthy individuals. A cohort of 45 participants, 22 of whom were colonised with ESBL-PE, was recruited from a recently completed point prevalence study that investigated colonisation in recreational water users (WU) versus controls. Six bi-monthly faecal samples per participant were analysed for CPE and ESBL-PE over one year and the relationship between persistent colonisation and exposure to natural waters was investigated. For 11 of 45 participants (24.4 %) ESBL-E. coli (ESBL-EC) was detected in at least one sample. Genomic analysis revealed that six participants harboured the same ESBL-EC strains as identified in the preceding study. ESBL-EC persisted in the gut for a median duration of 10.3 months (range 4-23 months), consistent with previous research. Five participants (11.1 %) carried ESBL-EC for the entire study year. The carbapenemase gene blaIMI-2 was detected once. Colonisation was higher in water users during the non-bathing season (n = 10, November 2021-April 2022), than during the bathing season (n = 5, May 2022-September 2022) [relative risk 1.99 (95 % CI 0.34-11.71)]. However, overall WU were less likely to be colonised with ESBL-EC than controls (19 % vs 25 % respectively, RR 0.76, CI 0.24-2.34). Further research is warranted to better understand the factors influencing the persistence of gut colonisation with ESBL-EC and CPE and to what extent bathing water quality impacts colonisation for those regularly exposed.

RevDate: 2023-09-17

Sandeep R, Muscolino JF, Macêdo WV, et al (2023)

Effect of biofilm thickness on the activity and community composition of phosphorus accumulating bacteria in a moving bed biofilm reactor.

Water research, 245:120599 pii:S0043-1354(23)01039-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Can biofilms enhance the rates of phosphorus removal in wastewater treatment? In order to narrow the scientific gap on the effect of biofilm thickness on the activity and microbial community of phosphorus-accumulating bacteria, this study investigated biofilms of 30 to 1000 µm thickness in a moving bed biofilm reactor. Measurements on 5 different biofilm carriers showed that biomass-specific phosphorus release and uptake rates increased as a function of biofilm thickness for biofilms thinner than about 110 µm but were lower for thicker biofilms of about 550-1000 µm. The reduced phosphorus uptake and release rates in the thickest biofilms can result from substrate mass transfer limitations whereas the low activity in the thinnest biofilms can be related to a too high turnover rate in the biofilm due to heterotrophic growth. Additionally, the microbial ecology of the different biofilms confirms the observed phosphorus uptake and release rates. The results from the full-length 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the bacterial community showed that the thicker biofilms were characterized by higher relative abundance (40-58%) of potential phosphorus accumulating genera Zoogloea, Acinetobacter, Dechloromonas and Ca. Accumulibacter. In contrast, the thinner biofilms were dominated by the genus Ferribacterium (34-60%), which might be competing with phosphorus-accumulating bacteria as indicated by the relatively high acetate uptake rates in the thinner biofilms. It is concluded that there is an optimal biofilm thickness of 100-500 µm, at which the phosphorus accumulating bacteria have the highest activity.

RevDate: 2023-09-15

Candry P, Chadwick GL, Caravajal-Arroyo JM, et al (2023)

Trophic interactions shape the spatial organization of medium-chain carboxylic acid producing granular biofilm communities.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Granular biofilms producing medium-chain carboxylic acids (MCCA) from carbohydrate-rich industrial feedstocks harbor highly streamlined communities converting sugars to MCCA either directly or via lactic acid as intermediate. We investigated the spatial organization and growth activity patterns of MCCA producing granular biofilms grown on an industrial side stream to test (i) whether key functional guilds (lactic acid producing Olsenella and MCCA producing Oscillospiraceae) stratified in the biofilm based on substrate usage, and (ii) whether spatial patterns of growth activity shaped the unique, lenticular morphology of these biofilms. First, three novel isolates (one Olsenella and two Oscillospiraceae species) representing over half of the granular biofilm community were obtained and used to develop FISH probes, revealing that key functional guilds were not stratified. Instead, the outer 150-500 µm of the granular biofilm consisted of a well-mixed community of Olsenella and Oscillospiraceae, while deeper layers were made up of other bacteria with lower activities. Second, nanoSIMS analysis of [15]N incorporation in biofilms grown in normal and lactic acid amended conditions suggested Oscillospiraceae switched from sugars to lactic acid as substrate. This suggests competitive-cooperative interactions may govern the spatial organization of these biofilms, and suggests that optimizing biofilm size may be a suitable process engineering strategy. Third, growth activities were similar in the polar and equatorial biofilm peripheries, leaving the mechanism behind the lenticular biofilm morphology unexplained. Physical processes (e.g., shear hydrodynamics, biofilm life cycles) may have contributed to lenticular biofilm development. Together, this study develops an ecological framework of MCCA-producing granular biofilms that informs bioprocess development.

RevDate: 2023-09-15

Cai X, Hu Y, Zhou S, et al (2023)

Unraveling bacterial and eukaryotic communities in secondary water supply systems: Dynamics, assembly, and health implications.

Water research, 245:120597 pii:S0043-1354(23)01037-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Secondary water supply systems (SWSSs) are crucial water supply infrastructures for high-rise buildings in metropolitan cities. In recent years, they have garnered public attention due to increased microbial risks. However, our understanding of SWSS microbial ecology, particularly concerning the composition of eukaryotes and the underlying mechanisms driving microbial dynamics and assembly in SWSSs, remains elusive. Herein, we conducted a comprehensive investigation on both eukaryotes and bacteria along the water transportation pathway and across various microbial habitats (water, biofilm, and sediment) in SWSSs. Sequencing results revealed that eukaryotes within SWSSs predominantly consist of protists (average abundance: 31.23%) and metazoans (20.91%), while amoebae accounted for 4.71% of the total. During water transportation from the distribution mains to taps, both bacterial and eukaryotic communities exhibited significant community shifts, and higher degrees of variation were observed for eukaryotic community among different locations within SWSSs. The normalized stochasticity ratio (NST) analysis demonstrated that bacterial community assembly was governed by stochastic processes, while eukaryotic community assembly was primarily shaped by deterministic processes. Within SWSS tanks, bacterial communities significantly varied across water, biofilm, and sediment, whereas eukaryotic communities showed minor differences among these habitats. The co-occurrence networks analysis revealed that tank biofilm and sediment harbored more eukaryote-bacterium linkages than water, suggesting biofilm and sediment might be hotspots for inter-kingdom interactions. We also applied FEAST analysis to track the source of tap water microbiota, results of which showed that household-tap bacteria mainly originated from tank water. In contrast, tank biofilm was identified as the primary microbial source to eukaryotes in household tap water. Additionally, engineering factors such as tank materials significantly affected amoeba community, and the SWSS configuration was found to influence Legionella and Mycobacterium abundances in SWSSs. Overall, results of our study shed light on the microbial ecology in SWSS and provide insights into SWSS management and health risk control.

RevDate: 2023-09-15

Li Y, Yang H, Su Y, et al (2023)

Phosphorus Coupled with High Nitrogen Addition Exerts a Great Influence on Soil Bacterial Community in a Semiarid Grassland.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) addition, either individually or in combination, has been demonstrated to enhance plant productivity in grassland ecosystems. Soil bacterial community, which is the driver of litter decomposition and nutrient cycling, is assumed to control responses of terrestrial ecosystem structure and function to N and P addition. Using a high-throughput Illumina MiSeq sequencing platform, we conducted a 9-year field experiment of N (0, 5, 10, and 20 g N m[-2] yr[-1]) and P (0 and 10 g P m[-2] yr[-1]) additions in the Inner Mongolian steppes to elucidate long-term effects of N and P addition on soil bacterial richness, diversity and composition. We found that N addition reduced the relative abundance of Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Nitrospirae, while increased that of Bacteroides. The results showed that the bacterial biomarker was enriched in P addition treatments, either individually or combined with N addition. Both N and P addition altered the bacterial community structure, while only N addition greatly decreased bacterial richness and diversity. More importantly, we showed that all of these effects were most significant in N3P treatment (20 g N m[-2] yr[-1] and 10 g P m[-2] yr[-1]), implying that P coupled with a high-level N addition exerted a great influence on soil bacterial community. Structural equation models revealed that N and P addition had a great direct effect on soil bacterial community and an indirect effect on it mainly by changing the litter biomass. Our findings highlighted that severe niche differentiation was induced by P along with a high-level N, further emphasizing the importance of simultaneously evaluating response of soil bacterial community to N and P addition, especially in the context of increasing anthropogenic nutrient additions.

RevDate: 2023-09-17

Rosel-Pech C, Pinto-Cardoso S, Chávez-Torres M, et al (2023)

Distinct fecal microbial signatures are linked to sex and chronic immune activation in pediatric HIV infection.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1244473.

INTRODUCTION: Our understanding of HIV-associated gut microbial dysbiosis in children perinatally-infected with HIV (CLWH) lags behind that of adults living with HIV. Childhood represents a critical window for the gut microbiota. Any disturbances, including prolonged exposure to HIV, antiretroviral drugs, and antibiotics are likely to have a significant impact on long-term health, resulting in a less resilient gut microbiome. The objective of our study was to characterize the gut microbiota in CLWH, and compare it with HIV-unexposed and -uninfected children.

METHODS: We enrolled 31 children aged 3 to 15 years; 15 were CLWH and 16 were HUU. We assessed dietary patterns and quality; quantified soluble and cellular markers of HIV disease progression by flow cytometry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent and multiplex-bead assays, and profiled the gut microbiota by 16S rRNA sequencing. We explored relationships between the gut microbiota, antibiotic exposure, dietary habits, soluble and cellular markers and host metadata.

RESULTS: Children had a Western-type diet, their median health eating index score was 67.06 (interquartile range 58.76-74.66). We found no discernable impact of HIV on the gut microbiota. Alpha diversity metrics did not differ between CLWH and HUU. Sex impacted the gut microbiota (R-squared= 0.052, PERMANOVA p=0.024). Male children had higher microbial richness compared with female children. Two taxa were found to discriminate female from male children independently from HIV status: Firmicutes for males, and Bacteroides for females. Markers of HIV disease progression were comparable between CLWH and HUU, except for the frequency of exhausted CD4+ T cells (PD-1+) which was increased in CLWH (p=0.0024 after adjusting for confounders). Both the frequency of exhausted CD4+ and activated CD4+ T cells (CD38+ HLADR+) correlated positively with the relative abundance of Proteobacteria (rho=0.568. false discovery rate (FDR)-adjusted p= 0.029, and rho=0.62, FDR-adjusted p=0.0126, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The gut microbiota of CLWH appears similar to that of HUU, and most markers of HIV disease progression are normalized with long-term ART, suggesting a beneficial effect of the latter on the gut microbial ecology. The relationship between exhausted and activated CD4+ T cells and Proteobacteria suggests a connection between the gut microbiome, and premature aging in CLWH.

RevDate: 2023-09-15

Vijay S, Nair RR, Sharan D, et al (2023)

Percoll discontinuous density gradient centrifugation method for the fractionation of the subpopulations of Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis from in vitro cultures.

MethodsX, 11:102344.

Bacterial populations in the in vitro laboratory cultures, environment, and patients contain metabolically different subpopulations that respond differently to stress agents, including antibiotics, and emerge as stress tolerant or resistant strains. To contain the emergence of such strains, it is important to study the features of the metabolic status and response of the subpopulations to stress agents. For this purpose, an efficient method is required for the fractionation and isolation of the subpopulations from the cultures. Here we describe in detail the manual setting up of a simple, easy-to-do, reproducibly robust Percoll discontinuous density gradient centrifugation for the fractionation of subpopulations of short-sized cells (SCs) and normal/long-sized cells (NCs) from Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures, which we had reported earlier. About 90-98% enrichment was obtained respectively for SCs and NCs for M. smegmatis and 69-67% enrichment was obtained respectively for the SCs and NCs for M. tuberculosis.•The Percoll discontinuous density gradient centrifugation helps the fractionation and isolation of mycobacterial subpopulations that differ in density.•The method offers a consistently reproducible high enrichment of the subpopulations of SCs and NCs from the in vitro cultures of M. smegmatis and M. tuberculosis.•Our earlier reports on the consistency in the differential response of the subpopulations, enriched using the method, to oxidative, nitrite, and antibiotic stress proves its validity.

RevDate: 2023-09-14

Sentenac H, Loyau A, Zoccarato L, et al (2023)

Biofilm community composition is changing in remote mountain lakes with a relative increase in potentially toxigenic algae.

Water research, 245:120547 pii:S0043-1354(23)00987-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Mountain lakes provide clear drinking water to humankind but are strongly impacted by global change. Benthic biofilms are crucial for maintaining water quality in these oligotrophic lakes, yet little is known about the effects of global change on mountain biofilm communities. By combining analyses of metabarcoding data on 16S and 18S rRNA genes with climatic and environmental data, we investigated global change effects on the composition of biofilm prokaryotic and micro-eukaryotic assemblages in a five-year monitoring program of 26 Pyrenean lakes (2016-2020). Using time-decay relationships and within-lake dissimilarity modelling, we show that the composition of both prokaryotic and micro-eukaryotic biofilm communities significantly shifted and their biodiversity declined from 2016 to 2020. In particular, analyses of temporal trends with linear mixed models indicated an increase in the richness and relative abundance of cyanobacteria, including potentially toxigenic cyanobacteria, and a concomitant decrease in diatom richness and relative abundance. While these compositional shifts may be due to several drivers of global change acting simultaneously on mountain lake biota, water pH and hardness were, from our data, the main environmental variables associated with changes for both prokaryotic and micro-eukaryotic assemblages. Water pH and hardness increased in our lakes over the study period, and are known to increase in Pyrenean lakes due to the intensification of rock weathering as a result of climate change. Given predicted climate trends and if water pH and hardness do cause some changes in benthic biofilms, those changes might be further exacerbated in the future. Such biofilm compositional shifts may induce cascading effects in mountain food webs, threatening the resilience of the entire lake ecosystem. The rise in potentially toxigenic cyanobacteria also increases intoxication risks for humans, pets, wild animals, and livestock that use mountain lakes. Therefore, our study has implications for water quality, ecosystem health, public health, as well as local economies (pastoralism, tourism), and highlights the possible impacts of global change on mountain lakes.

RevDate: 2023-09-14

Mills S, Trego AC, Prevedello M, et al (2024)

Unifying concepts in methanogenic, aerobic, and anammox sludge granulation.

Environmental science and ecotechnology, 17:100310.

The retention of dense and well-functioning microbial biomass is crucial for effective pollutant removal in several biological wastewater treatment technologies. High solids retention is often achieved through aggregation of microbial communities into dense, spherical aggregates known as granules, which were initially discovered in the 1980s. These granules have since been widely applied in upflow anaerobic digesters for waste-to-energy conversions. Furthermore, granular biomass has been applied in aerobic wastewater treatment and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) technologies. The mechanisms underpinning the formation of methanogenic, aerobic, and anammox granules are the subject of ongoing research. Although each granule type has been extensively studied in isolation, there has been a lack of comparative studies among these granulation processes. It is likely that there are some unifying concepts that are shared by all three sludge types. Identifying these unifying concepts could allow a unified theory of granulation to be formed. Here, we review the granulation mechanisms of methanogenic, aerobic, and anammox granular sludge, highlighting several common concepts, such as the role of extracellular polymeric substances, cations, and operational parameters like upflow velocity and shear force. We have then identified some unique features of each granule type, such as different internal structures, microbial compositions, and quorum sensing systems. Finally, we propose that future research should prioritize aspects of microbial ecology, such as community assembly or interspecies interactions in individual granules during their formation and growth.

RevDate: 2023-09-13

Deng T, He Z, Xu M, et al (2023)

Species' functional traits and interactions drive nitrate-mediated sulfur-oxidizing community structure and functioning.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding processes and mechanisms governing microbial community structure and function is a central goal in microbial ecology. Previous studies disentangling the community assembly mechanisms were mainly based on taxonomic diversity but were rarely combined with species' functional traits and interactions. Here, we showed how species' functional traits and interactions determined microbial community structure and functions by a well-controlled laboratory experiment with nitrate-mediated sulfur oxidation systems using both culture-independent and culture-dependent technologies. The results showed that species were different in functional traits of nitrate-mediated sulfide and thiosulfate oxidation, which determined their relative abundance in the nitrate-mediated sulfur oxidation systems. Those thiosulfate-oxidizing microbes co-occurred with Thiobacillus by using intermediates (e.g., thiosulfate) secreted by Thiobacillus during sulfide oxidation process. Such metabolic dependencies exerted great effects on community functions. Metabolic dependencies between Thiobacillus and genera that oxidized thiosulfate to more sulfate (e.g., Ciceribacter) sustained high and stable oxidation activities of sulfide to sulfate. In contrast, metabolic dependencies between Thiobacillus and genera that oxidized thiosulfate to tetrathionate (e.g., Pseudoxanthomonas) slowed down the production of sulfate, indicating changes in the metabolic flow. In addition, competitions among species were mostly detrimental to the stability of community function. These results revealed that species' functional traits and interactions were the intrinsic factors determining community structure and functions. This study advances our understanding of microbial community assembly and functions of the nitrate-mediated sulfur oxidation process from the perspectives of species' functional traits and interactions and has important implications for designing and constructing microbiomes with expected functions. IMPORTANCE Understanding the processes and mechanisms governing microbial community assembly and their linkages to ecosystem functioning has long been a core issue in microbial ecology. An in-depth insight still requires combining with analyses of species' functional traits and microbial interactions. Our study showed how species' functional traits and interactions determined microbial community structure and functions by a well-controlled laboratory experiment with nitrate-mediated sulfur oxidation systems using high-throughput sequencing and culture-dependent technologies. The results provided solid evidences that species' functional traits and interactions were the intrinsic factors determining community structure and function. More importantly, our study established quantitative links between community structure and function based on species' functional traits and interactions, which would have important implications for the design and synthesis of microbiomes with expected functions.

RevDate: 2023-09-12

Wei N, J Tan (2023)

Correction to: Environment and Host Genetics Influence the Biogeography of Plant Microbiome Structure.

RevDate: 2023-09-15

McKinlay JB (2023)

Are Bacteria Leaky? Mechanisms of Metabolite Externalization in Bacterial Cross-Feeding.

Annual review of microbiology, 77:277-297.

The metabolism of a bacterial cell stretches beyond its boundaries, often connecting with the metabolism of other cells to form extended metabolic networks that stretch across communities, and even the globe. Among the least intuitive metabolic connections are those involving cross-feeding of canonically intracellular metabolites. How and why are these intracellular metabolites externalized? Are bacteria simply leaky? Here I consider what it means for a bacterium to be leaky, and I review mechanisms of metabolite externalization from the context of cross-feeding. Despite common claims, diffusion of most intracellular metabolites across a membrane is unlikely. Instead, passive and active transporters are likely involved, possibly purging excess metabolites as part of homeostasis. Re-acquisition of metabolites by a producer limits the opportunities for cross-feeding. However, a competitive recipient can stimulate metabolite externalization and initiate a positive-feedback loop of reciprocal cross-feeding.

RevDate: 2023-09-13

Fan R, Liu Y, Bin Y, et al (2023)

Identification of Colletotrichum aenigma as the new causal agent of leaf blight disease on Aucuba japonica Thunb., and screenings of effective fungicides for its sustainable management.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1222844.

Aucuba japonica Thunb is an evergreen woody ornamental plant with significant economic and ecological values. It also produces aucubin, showing a variety of biological activities. It is widely planted in the southwest region of China, including karst landscape areas in Guizhou Province. In January 2022, a serious leaf blight disease was observed on the leaves of A. japonica in the outdoor gardens of Guizhou University, Guiyang, Guizhou, China. The causal agent was identified as Colletotrichum aenigma through amplification and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, translation of the chitin synthase (CHS) and actin (ACT) genes, and morphological characterizations. Koch's postulates were confirmed by its pathogenicity on healthy leaves, including re-isolation and identification. To our knowledge, this is the first report of C. aenigma causing leaf blight on A. japonica worldwide. To identify pathogen characteristics that could be utilized for future disease management, the effects of temperature and light on mycelial growth, conidia production, and conidial germination, and the effects of humidity on conidial germination were studied. Optimal temperatures for mycelial growth of C. aenigma BY827 were 25-30°C, while 15°C and 35°C were favorable for conidia production. Concurrently, alternating 10-h light and 14-h dark, proved to be beneficial for mycelial growth and conidial germination. Additionally, conidial germination was enhanced at 90% humidity. In vitro screenings of ten chemical pesticides to assess their efficacy in suppressing C. aenigma representative strain BY827. Among them, difenoconazole showed the best inhibition rate, with an EC50 (concentration for 50% of maximal effect) value of 0.0148 μg/ml. Subsequently, field experiment results showed that difenoconazole had the highest control efficiency on A. japonica leaf blight (the decreasing rate of disease incidence and decreasing rate of disease index were 44.60 and 47.75%, respectively). Interestingly, we discovered that C. aenigma BY827 may develop resistance to mancozeb, which is not reported yet among Colletotrichum spp. strains. In conclusion, our study provided new insights into the causal agent of A. japonica leaf blight, and the effective fungicides evaluated provided an important basis and potential resource for the sustainable control of A. japonica leaf blight caused by C. aenigma in the field.

RevDate: 2023-09-14

Klapper FA, Kiel C, Bellstedt P, et al (2023)

Structure Elucidation of the First Sex-Inducing Pheromone of a Diatom.

Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English) [Epub ahead of print].

Diatoms are abundant unicellular microalgae, responsible for ≈20 % of global photosynthetic CO2 fixation. Nevertheless, we know little about fundamental aspects of their biology, such as their sexual reproduction. Pheromone-mediated chemical communication is crucial for successful mating. An attraction pheromone was identified in the diatom Seminavis robusta, but metabolites priming cells for sex and synchronizing search and mating behavior remained elusive. These sex-inducing pheromones (SIP) induce cell cycle arrest and trigger the production of the attraction pheromone. Here we describe the challenging structure elucidation of an S. robusta SIP. Guided by metabolomics, a candidate metabolite was identified and elucidated by labeling experiments, NMR, ESI MS[n] analyses, and chemical transformations. The use of negative ion mode MS was essential to decipher the unprecedented hydroxyproline and β-sulfated aspartate-containing cyclic heptapeptide that acts in femtomolar concentrations.

RevDate: 2023-09-13

Crous PW, Osieck ER, Jurjević Ž, et al (2021)

Fungal Planet description sheets: 1284-1382.

Persoonia, 47:178-374.

Novel species of fungi described in this study include those from various countries as follows: Antartica, Cladosporium austrolitorale from coastal sea sand. Australia, Austroboletus yourkae on soil, Crepidotus innuopurpureus on dead wood, Curvularia stenotaphri from roots and leaves of Stenotaphrum secundatum and Thecaphora stajsicii from capsules of Oxalis radicosa. Belgium, Paraxerochrysium coryli (incl. Paraxerochrysium gen. nov.) from Corylus avellana. Brazil, Calvatia nordestina on soil, Didymella tabebuiicola from leaf spots on Tabebuia aurea, Fusarium subflagellisporum from hypertrophied floral and vegetative branches of Mangifera indica and Microdochium maculosum from living leaves of Digitaria insularis. Canada, Cuphophyllus bondii from a grassland. Croatia, Mollisia inferiseptata from a rotten Laurus nobilis trunk. Cyprus, Amanita exilis on calcareous soil. Czech Republic, Cytospora hippophaicola from wood of symptomatic Vaccinium corymbosum. Denmark, Lasiosphaeria deviata on pieces of wood and herbaceous debris. Dominican Republic, Calocybella goethei among grass on a lawn. France (Corsica), Inocybe corsica on wet ground. France (French Guiana), Trechispora patawaensis on decayed branch of unknown angiosperm tree and Trechispora subregularis on decayed log of unknown angiosperm tree. Germany, Paramicrothecium sambuci (incl. Paramicrothecium gen. nov.) on dead stems of Sambucus nigra. India, Aureobasidium microtermitis from the gut of a Microtermes sp. termite, Laccaria diospyricola on soil and Phylloporia tamilnadensis on branches of Catunaregam spinosa. Iran, Pythium serotinoosporum from soil under Prunus dulcis. Italy, Pluteus brunneovenosus on twigs of broadleaved trees on the ground. Japan, Heterophoma rehmanniae on leaves of Rehmannia glutinosa f. hueichingensis. Kazakhstan, Murispora kazachstanica from healthy roots of Triticum aestivum. Namibia, Caespitomonium euphorbiae (incl. Caespitomonium gen. nov.) from stems of an Euphorbia sp. Netherlands, Alfaria junci, Myrmecridium junci, Myrmecridium juncicola, Myrmecridium juncigenum, Ophioceras junci, Paradinemasporium junci (incl. Paradinemasporium gen. nov.), Phialoseptomonium junci, Sporidesmiella juncicola, Xenopyricularia junci and Zaanenomyces quadripartis (incl. Zaanenomyces gen. nov.), from dead culms of Juncus effusus, Cylindromonium everniae and Rhodoveronaea everniae from Evernia prunastri, Cyphellophora sambuci and Myrmecridium sambuci from Sambucus nigra, Kiflimonium junci, Sarocladium junci, Zaanenomyces moderatricis-academiae and Zaanenomyces versatilis from dead culms of Juncus inflexus, Microcera physciae from Physcia tenella, Myrmecridium dactylidis from dead culms of Dactylis glomerata, Neochalara spiraeae and Sporidesmium spiraeae from leaves of Spiraea japonica, Neofabraea salicina from Salix sp., Paradissoconium narthecii (incl. Paradissoconium gen. nov.) from dead leaves of Narthecium ossifragum, Polyscytalum vaccinii from Vaccinium myrtillus, Pseudosoloacrosporiella cryptomeriae (incl. Pseudosoloacrosporiella gen. nov.) from leaves of Cryptomeria japonica, Ramularia pararhabdospora from Plantago lanceolata, Sporidesmiella pini from needles of Pinus sylvestris and Xenoacrodontium juglandis (incl. Xenoacrodontium gen. nov. and Xenoacrodontiaceae fam. nov.) from Juglans regia. New Zealand, Cryptometrion metrosideri from twigs of Metrosideros sp., Coccomyces pycnophyllocladi from dead leaves of Phyllocladus alpinus, Hypoderma aliforme from fallen leaves Fuscopora solandri and Hypoderma subiculatum from dead leaves Phormium tenax. Norway, Neodevriesia kalakoutskii from permafrost and Variabilispora viridis from driftwood of Picea abies. Portugal, Entomortierella hereditatis from a biofilm covering a deteriorated limestone wall. Russia, Colpoma junipericola from needles of Juniperus sabina, Entoloma cinnamomeum on soil in grasslands, Entoloma verae on soil in grasslands, Hyphodermella pallidostraminea on a dry dead branch of Actinidia sp., Lepiota sayanensis on litter in a mixed forest, Papiliotrema horticola from Malus communis, Paramacroventuria ribis (incl. Paramacroventuria gen. nov.) from leaves of Ribes aureum and Paramyrothecium lathyri from leaves of Lathyrus tuberosus. South Africa, Harzia combreti from leaf litter of Combretum collinum ssp. sulvense, Penicillium xyleborini from Xyleborinus saxesenii, Phaeoisaria dalbergiae from bark of Dalbergia armata, Protocreopsis euphorbiae from leaf litter of Euphorbia ingens and Roigiella syzygii from twigs of Syzygium chordatum. Spain, Genea zamorana on sandy soil, Gymnopus nigrescens on Scleropodium touretii, Hesperomyces parexochomi on Parexochomus quadriplagiatus, Paraphoma variabilis from dung, Phaeococcomyces kinklidomatophilus from a blackened metal railing of an industrial warehouse and Tuber suaveolens in soil under Quercus faginea. Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Inocybe nivea associated with Salix polaris. Thailand, Biscogniauxia whalleyi on corticated wood. UK, Parasitella quercicola from Quercus robur. USA, Aspergillus arizonicus from indoor air in a hospital, Caeliomyces tampanus (incl. Caeliomyces gen. nov.) from office dust, Cippumomyces mortalis (incl. Cippumomyces gen. nov.) from a tombstone, Cylindrium desperesense from air in a store, Tetracoccosporium pseudoaerium from air sample in house, Toxicocladosporium glendoranum from air in a brick room, Toxicocladosporium losalamitosense from air in a classroom, Valsonectria portsmouthensis from air in men's locker room and Varicosporellopsis americana from sludge in a water reservoir. Vietnam, Entoloma kovalenkoi on rotten wood, Fusarium chuoi inside seed of Musa itinerans, Micropsalliota albofelina on soil in tropical evergreen mixed forests and Phytophthora docyniae from soil and roots of Docynia indica. Morphological and culture characteristics are supported by DNA barcodes. Citation: Crous PW, Osieck ER, Jurjević Ž, et al. 2021. Fungal Planet description sheets: 1284-1382. Persoonia 47: 178-374.

RevDate: 2023-09-13

Mermans F, Mattelin V, Van den Eeckhoudt R, et al (2023)

Opportunities in optical and electrical single-cell technologies to study microbial ecosystems.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1233705.

New techniques are revolutionizing single-cell research, allowing us to study microbes at unprecedented scales and in unparalleled depth. This review highlights the state-of-the-art technologies in single-cell analysis in microbial ecology applications, with particular attention to both optical tools, i.e., specialized use of flow cytometry and Raman spectroscopy and emerging electrical techniques. The objectives of this review include showcasing the diversity of single-cell optical approaches for studying microbiological phenomena, highlighting successful applications in understanding microbial systems, discussing emerging techniques, and encouraging the combination of established and novel approaches to address research questions. The review aims to answer key questions such as how single-cell approaches have advanced our understanding of individual and interacting cells, how they have been used to study uncultured microbes, which new analysis tools will become widespread, and how they contribute to our knowledge of ecological interactions.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Amon CER, Fossou RK, Ebou AET, et al (2023)

The core bacteriobiome of Côte d'Ivoire soils across three vegetation zones.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1220655.

The growing understanding that soil bacteria play a critical role in ecosystem servicing has led to a number of large-scale biogeographical surveys of soil microbial diversity. However, most of such studies have focused on northern hemisphere regions and little is known of either the detailed structure or function of soil microbiomes of sub-Saharan African countries. In this paper, we report the use of high-throughput amplicon sequencing analyses to investigate the biogeography of soil bacteria in soils of Côte d'Ivoire. 45 surface soil samples were collected from Côte d'Ivoire, representing all major biomes, and bacterial community composition was assessed by targeting the V4-V5 hypervariable region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Causative relationships of both soil physicochemical properties and climatic data on bacterial community structure were infered. 48 phyla, 92 classes, 152 orders, 356 families, and 1,234 genera of bacteria were identified. The core bacteriobiome consisted of 10 genera ranked in the following order of total abundance: Gp6, Gaiella, Spartobacteria_genera_incertae_sedis, WPS-1_genera_incertae_sedis, Gp4, Rhodoplanes, Pseudorhodoplanes, Bradyrhizobium, Subdivision3_genera_incertae_sedis, and Gp3. Some of these genera, including Gp4 and WPS-1_genera_incertae_sedis, were unequally distributed between forest and savannah areas while other taxa (Bradyrhizobium and Rhodoplanes) were consistently found in all biomes. The distribution of the core genera, together with the 10 major phyla, was influenced by several environmental factors, including latitude, pH, Al and K. The main pattern of distribution that was observed for the core bacteriobiome was the vegetation-independent distribution scheme. In terms of predicted functions, all core bacterial taxa were involved in assimilatory sulfate reduction, while atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) reduction was only associated with the genus Bradyrhizobium. This work, which is one of the first such study to be undertaken at this scale in Côte d'Ivoire, provides insights into the distribution of bacterial taxa in Côte d'Ivoire soils, and the findings may serve as biological indicator for land management in Côte d'Ivoire.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Mödl B, Awad M, Zwolanek D, et al (2023)

Defects in microvillus crosslinking sensitize to colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

EMBO reports [Epub ahead of print].

Intestinal epithelial cells are covered by the brush border, which consists of densely packed microvilli. The Intermicrovillar Adhesion Complex (IMAC) links the microvilli and is required for proper brush border organization. Whether microvillus crosslinking is involved in the intestinal barrier function or colitis is currently unknown. We investigate the role of microvillus crosslinking in colitis in mice with deletion of the IMAC component CDHR5. Electron microscopy shows pronounced brush border defects in CDHR5-deficient mice. The defects result in severe mucosal damage after exposure to the colitis-inducing agent DSS. DSS increases the permeability of the mucus layer and brings bacteria in direct contact with the disorganized brush border of CDHR5-deficient mice. This correlates with bacterial invasion into the epithelial cell layer which precedes epithelial apoptosis and inflammation. Single-cell RNA sequencing data of patients with ulcerative colitis reveals downregulation of CDHR5 in enterocytes of diseased areas. Our results provide experimental evidence that a combination of microvillus crosslinking defects with increased permeability of the mucus layer sensitizes to inflammatory bowel disease.

RevDate: 2023-09-10

Cantu-Jungles TM, BR Hamaker (2023)

Tuning expectations to reality: don't expect increased gut microbiota diversity with dietary fiber.

The Journal of nutrition pii:S0022-3166(23)72590-X [Epub ahead of print].

Dietary approaches, particularly those including fiber supplementation, can be used to promote health benefits by shaping the gut microbial communities. Whereas community diversity measures, such as richness and evenness, are often used in microbial ecology to make sense of these complex and vast microbial ecosystems, it is less clear how these concepts apply when dietary fiber supplementation is given. In this perspective, we summarize and demonstrate how factors including experimental approach, number of bacteria sharing a dietary fiber, and initial relative abundances of bacteria that use a fiber can significantly affect diversity outcomes in fiber fermentation studies. We also show that a reduction in alpha diversity is possible, and perhaps expected, for most approaches that use fermentable fibers to beneficially shape the gut microbial community while still achieving health-related improvements.

RevDate: 2023-09-11
CmpDate: 2023-09-11

Wang S, De Paepe K, Van de Wiele T, et al (2023)

Starch-entrapped microspheres enhance gut microbiome-mediated anti-obesity effects of resistant starch in high-fat diet induced obese C57BL/6J mice.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 172:113215.

The prevalence of obesity is growing worldwide and has been extensively linked to gut microbiota dysbiosis. In addition to exercise and physical activity, fiber-rich foods may be a first-line prophylactic to manage obesity. This study investigated in vivo dietary intervention with high-amylose maize starch (HAMS) and starch-entrapped microspheres (MS) to treat high-fat diet induced metabolic disorder and gut microbiome dysbiosis in mice. MS more efficiently controlled body weight as well as adipose tissue mass compared to HAMS. Furthermore, MS significantly reduced blood glucose, insulin, lipid and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels compared to the high-fat diet, while the effects of HAMS were less pronounced. The MS-altered gut microbiota composition favoring Streptococcaceae, Bacilli, Firmicutes and unclassified Clostridiales was predicted to promote fatty acid, pantothenate and Coenzyme A biosynthesis. In line with this, elevated fecal short chain fatty acid (SCFA), in particular, propionate concentration was observed in MS-fed mice. Our study provides novel insights into the mechanistic action of MS on intestinal homeostasis, providing a basis for future dietary therapeutic applications.

RevDate: 2023-09-09

Garrido AG, Machado LF, Pereira CM, et al (2023)

Marine Heatwave Caused Differentiated Dysbiosis in Photosymbiont Assemblages of Corals and Hydrocorals During El Niño 2015/2016.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Reef corals have been threatened by climate change, with more frequent and intense bleaching events leading to extensive coral mortality and loss of coral cover worldwide. In the face of this, the corals' photosymbiont assemblages have received special attention as a key to better understand the bleaching process and its recovery. To assess the effects of thermal anomalies, the coral Mussismilia harttii and the hydrocoral Millepora alcicornis were monitored through the El Niño 2015/2016 at a Southwestern Atlantic (SWA) coral reef. A severe bleaching event (57% of colonies bleached) was documented, triggered by a < 3 °C-week heatwave, but no mortality was detected. The hydrocoral was more susceptible than the scleractinian, displaying bleaching symptoms earlier and experiencing a longer and more intense bleaching event. The composition of photosymbionts in the M. alcicornis population was affected only at the rare biosphere level (< 5% relative abundance), with the emergence of new symbionts after bleaching. Conversely, a temporary dysbiosis was observed in the M. harttii population, with one of the dominant symbiodiniaceans decreasing in relative abundance at the peak of the bleaching, which negatively affected the total β-diversity. After colonies' complete recovery, symbiodiniaceans' dominances returned to normal levels in both hosts. These results highlight critical differences in how the two coral species cope with bleaching and contribute to the understanding of the role of photosymbionts throughout the bleaching-recovery process.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Galinytė D, Balčiūnaitė-Murzienė G, Karosienė J, et al (2023)

Determination of Heavy Metal Content: Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury, and Lead in Cyano-Phycocyanin Isolated from the Cyanobacterial Biomass.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(17):.

Cyano-phycocyanin (C-PC) is a light-absorbing biliprotein found in cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. Due to its antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, this protein is a promising substance in medicine and pharmaceuticals. However, cyanobacteria tend to bind heavy metals from the environment, making it necessary to ensure the safety of C-PC for the development of pharmaceutical products, with C-PC isolated from naturally collected cyanobacterial biomass. This study aimed to determine the content of the most toxic heavy metals, arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb) in C-PC isolated from different cyanobacterial biomasses collected in the Kaunas Lagoon during 2019-2022, and compare them with the content of heavy metals in C-PC isolated from cultivated Spirulina platensis (S. platensis). Cyanobacteria of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (A. flos-aquae) dominated the biomass collected in 2019, while the genus Microcystis dominated the biomasses collected in the years 2020 and 2022. Heavy metals were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). ICP-MS analysis revealed higher levels of the most investigated heavy metals (Pb, Cd, and As) in C-PC isolated from the biomass with the dominant Microcystis spp. compared to C-PC isolated from the biomass with the predominant A. flos-aquae. Meanwhile, C-PC isolated from cultivated S. platensis exhibited lower concentrations of As and Pb than C-PC isolated from naturally collected cyanobacterial biomass.

RevDate: 2023-09-09

Tom A, Jacob J, Mathews M, et al (2023)

Synthesis of Bis-Chalcones and Evaluation of Its Effect on Peroxide-Induced Cell Death and Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Cytokine Production.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 28(17): pii:molecules28176354.

Plant secondary metabolites are important sources of biologically active compounds with wide pharmacological potentials. Among the different classes, the chalcones form integral pharmacologically active agents. Natural chalcones and bis-chalcones exhibit high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in various experiments. Studies are also underway to explore more biologically active bis-chalcones by chemical synthesis of these compounds. In this study, the effects of six synthetic bis-chalcones were evaluated in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC-6); further, the anti-inflammatory potentials were studied in lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine production in macrophages. The synthesized bis-chalcones differ from each other first of all by the nature of the aromatic cores (functional group substitution, and their position) and by the size of a central alicycle. The exposure of IEC-6 cells to peroxide radicals reduced the cell viability; however, pre-treatment with the bis-chalcones improved the cell viability in these cells. The mechanism of action was observed to be the increased levels of glutathione and antioxidant enzyme activities. Further, these bis-chalcones also inhibited the LPS-stimulation-induced inflammatory cytokine production in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Overall, the present study indicated the cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory abilities of synthetic bis-chalcones.

RevDate: 2023-09-08

Liu N, Huang Z, Fang Y, et al (2023)

Impacts of Thermal Drainage on Bacterial Diversity and Community Construction in Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

As one of the low-carbon and high-efficient energy sources, nuclear power is developing vigorously to alleviate the crisis of global climate warming and realize carbon neutrality goals. Meanwhile, the ecological effect of thermal drainage in the nuclear power plant is significantly remarkable, which environmental assessment system has not yet referred to microorganisms. The rapid response of microbial diversity and community structure to environmental changes is crucial for ecosystem stability. This study investigated the bacterial diversity, community construction, and the co-occurrence patterns by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing among gradient warming regions in Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant. The alpha diversity of the high warming region was the lowest in summer, which was dominated by Proteobacteria, whereas the highest bacterial diversity presented in high warming regions in winter, which harbored higher proportions of Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes. The spatial distribution of bacterial communities showed clear separation especially in summer. Strong correlations were between community compositions and environmental factors, such as salinity, DO, TN, and temperature in summer. Furthermore, remarkable seasonality in bacterial co-occurrence patterns was discovered: the robustness of the bacterial co-occurrence network was promoted in winter, while the complexity and robustness were decreased in summer due to the warming of thermal drainage. These findings reveal the potential factors underpinning the influence of thermal drainage on bacterial community structure, which make it possible to predict the ecological effect of the nuclear power plants by exploring how the microbial assembly is likely to respond to the temperature and other environmental changes.

RevDate: 2023-09-08

Huang R, Tang C, Zhao Y, et al (2023)

Unveiling the Biochar-Respiratory Growth of Methanosarcina acetivorans Involving Extracellular Polymeric Substances.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Biochar can be applied to diverse natural and engineered anaerobic systems. Biochar plays biogeochemical roles during its production, storage, and environmental dynamics, one of which is related to the global methane flux governed by methanotrophs and methanogens. Our understanding of relevant mechanisms is currently limited to the roles of biochar in methanotrophic growth, but less is known about the roles of biochar in methanogenic growth. Here, we demonstrated that biochar enhanced the methanogenic growth of a model methanogen, Methanosarcina acetivorans, and the role of biochar as an electron acceptor during methanogenic growth was confirmed, which is referred to as biochar-respiratory growth. The biochar-respiratory growth of M. acetivorans promoted the secretion of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) with augmented electron transfer capabilities, and the removal of EPS significantly attenuated extracellular electron transfer. Identification and quantification of prosthetic cofactors for EPS suggest an important role of flavin and F420 in extracellular electron transfer. Transcriptomic analysis provided additional insights into the biochar-respiratory growth of M. acetivorans, showing that there was a positive response in transcriptional regulation to the favorable growth environment provided by biochar, which stimulated global methanogenesis. Our results shed more light on the in situ roles of biochar in the ecophysiology of methanogens in diverse anaerobic environments.

RevDate: 2023-09-08

Wilberts L, Vuts J, Caulfield JC, et al (2023)

Effects of root inoculation of entomopathogenic fungi on olfactory-mediated behavior and life history traits of the parasitoid Aphidius ervi (Haliday) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae).

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Although most biological control programs use multiple biological agents to manage pest species, to date only a few programs have combined the use of agents from different guilds. Using sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), the entomopathogenic fungus Akanthomyces muscarius ARSEF 5128, the tobacco peach aphid Myzus persicae var. nicotianae and the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi as the experimental model, we explored whether root inoculation with an entomopathogenic fungus is compatible with parasitoid wasps for enhanced biocontrol of aphids.

RESULTS: In dual-choice behavior experiments, A. ervi was significantly attracted to the odor of M. persicae-infested C. annuum plants that had been inoculated with A. muscarius, compared to non-inoculated infested plants. There was no significant difference in attraction to the odor of uninfested plants. Myzus persicae-infested plants inoculated with A. muscarius emitted significantly higher amounts of indole, (E)-nerolidol, (3E,7E)-4,8,12-trimethyltrideca-1,3,7,11-tetraene (TMTT) and one unidentified terpene compared to non-inoculated infested plants. Coupled gas chromatography-electroantennography (GC-EAG), using the antennae of A. ervi, confirmed physiological activity of these elevated compounds. Inoculation of plants with A. muscarius did not affect parasitism rate nor parasitoid longevity, but significantly increased the speed of mummy formation in parasitized aphids on fungus-inoculated plants.

CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that root inoculation of C. annuum with A. muscarius ARSEF 5128 alters the olfactory-mediated behavior of parasitoids, but has little effect on parasitism efficiency or life history parameters. However, increased attraction of parasitoids towards M. persicae-infested plants when inoculated by entomopathogenic fungi can accelerate host localization and hence improve biocontrol efficacy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-09-08

You Y, Zhang W, Cai M, et al (2023)

Discovery of fecal microbial signatures in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

Archives of rheumatology, 38(2):217-229.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of the gut microbiota in Chinese patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and healthy controls in Quanzhou aiming to explore the correlation between microbiome changes and AS activities.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this study, high-throughput sequencing of the gene of 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) in fecal samples from 40 AS patients and 40 healthy controls, for a total of 80 participants (70 males, 10 females; mean age 33.7±10.7 years; range, 15 to 58 years), was conducted between January 2018 and January 2019. Alpha and beta diversity were analyzed using the QIIME (Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology) software, and differences were analyzed using Student's t-test, linear discriminant analysis coupled with effect size and Metastats. Finally, a correlation network was constructed using Pearson's analysis.

RESULTS: The alpha index values of the AS group were not significantly different from those of the control group. At the genus level, eight genera, Ruminiclostridium_9, Fusicatenibacter, Adlercreutzia, CAG-56, Intestinimonas, Lachnospira, Bacteroides, and Pseudoflavonifractor, were significantly enriched in patients with AS, whereas the abundance of uncultured_bacterium_f_Saccharimonadaceae, Prevotella_7, uncultured_bacterium_f_ Enterobacteriaceae, Cronobacter, Prevotellaceae_NK3B31_group, and Weissella were significantly decreased in patients with AS. In addition, diseaserelated gut microbial communities were detected in patients with AS.

CONCLUSION: We found differences in the gut microbiome between the patients with AS and controls and identified potential disease activity-related bacterial communities.

RevDate: 2023-09-09

Sun P, Wang M, Zheng W, et al (2023)

Unbalanced diets enhance the complexity of gut microbial network but destabilize its stability and resistance.

Stress biology, 3(1):20.

Stability is a fundamental ecological property of the gut microbiota and is associated with host health. Numerous studies have shown that unbalanced dietary components disturb the gut microbial composition and thereby contribute to the onset and progression of disease. However, the impact of unbalanced diets on the stability of the gut microbiota is poorly understood. In the present study, four-week-old mice were fed a plant-based diet high in refined carbohydrates or a high-fat diet for four weeks to simulate a persistent unbalanced diet. We found that persistent unbalanced diets significantly reduced the gut bacterial richness and increased the complexity of bacterial co-occurrence networks. Furthermore, the gut bacterial response to unbalanced diets was phylogenetically conserved, which reduced network modularity and enhanced the proportion of positive associations between community taxon, thereby amplifying the co-oscillation of perturbations among community species to destabilize gut microbial communities. The disturbance test revealed that the gut microbiota of mice fed with unbalanced diets was less resistant to antibiotic perturbation and pathogenic bacteria invasion. This study may fill a gap in the mechanistic understanding of the gut microbiota stability in response to diet and provide new insights into the gut microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2023-09-07

Danevčič T, Spacapan M, Dragoš A, et al (2023)

DegQ is an important policing link between quorum sensing and regulated adaptative traits in Bacillus subtilis.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Quorum sensing (QS) is a widespread bacterial communication system that controls important adaptive traits in a cell density-dependent manner. However, mechanisms by which QS-regulated traits are linked within the cell and mechanisms by which these links affect adaptation are not well understood. In this study, Bacillus subtilis was used as a model bacterium to investigate the link between the ComQXPA QS system, DegQ, surfactin and protease production in planktonic and biofilm cultures. The work tests two alternative hypotheses predicting that hypersensitivity of the QS signal-deficient mutant (comQ::kan) to exogenously added ComX, resulting in increased surfactin production, is linked to an additional genetic locus, or alternatively, to overexpression of the ComX receptor ComP. Results are in agreement with the first hypothesis and show that the P srfAA hypersensitivity of the comQ::kan mutant is linked to a 168 strain-specific mutation in the P degQ region. Hence, the markerless ΔcomQ mutant lacking this mutation is not overresponsive to ComX. Such hyper-responsiveness is specific for the P srfAA and not detected in another ComX-regulated promoter, the P aprE , which is under the positive control by DegQ. Our results suggest that DegQ by exerting differential effect on P srfAA and P aprE acts as a policing mechanism and the intracellular link, which guards the cell from an overinvestment into surfactin production. IMPORTANCE DegQ levels are known to regulate surfactin synthesis and extracellular protease production, and DegQ is under the control of the ComX-dependent QS. DegQ also serves as an important policing link between these QS-regulated processes, preventing overinvestment in these costly processes. This work highlights the importance of DegQ, which acts as the intracellular link between ComX production and the response by regulating extracellular degradative enzyme synthesis and surfactin production.

RevDate: 2023-09-08

Edwards J, Hoffbeck C, West AG, et al (2023)

16S rRNA gene-based microbiota profiles from diverse avian faeces are largely independent of DNA preservation and extraction method.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1239167.

The avian gut microbiota has been the subject of considerable recent attention, with potential implications for diverse fields such as the poultry industry, microbial ecology, and conservation. Faecal microbiotas are frequently used as a non-invasive proxy for the gut microbiota, however the extraction of high-quality microbial DNA from avian faeces has often proven challenging. Here we aimed to evaluate the performance of two DNA preservation methods (95% ethanol and RNAlater) and five extraction approaches (IndiSpin Pathogen Kit, QIAamp PowerFecal Pro DNA Kit, MicroGEM PrepGEM Bacteria Kit, ZymoBIOMICS DNA Miniprep Kit, and an in-house phase separation-based method) for studying the avian gut microbiota. Systematic testing of the efficacy of these approaches on faecal samples from an initial three avian species (chicken, ostrich, and the flightless parrot kākāpō) revealed substantial differences in the quality, quantity and integrity of extracted DNA, but negligible influence of applied method on 16S rRNA gene-based microbiota profiles. Subsequent testing with a selected combination of preservation and extraction method on 10 further phylogenetically and ecologically diverse avian species reiterated the efficacy of the chosen approach, with bacterial community structure clustering strongly by technical replicates for a given avian species. Our finding that marked differences in extraction efficacy do not appear to influence 16S rRNA gene-based bacterial community profiles provides an important foundation for ongoing research on the avian gut microbiota.

RevDate: 2023-09-06

Cornish CM, Bergholz P, Schmidt K, et al (2023)

How Benthic Sediment Microbial Communities Respond to Glyphosate and Its Metabolite: a Microcosm Experiment.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Glyphosate is the most commonly used agricultural herbicide in the world. In aquatic ecosystems, glyphosate often adsorbs to benthic substrates or is metabolized and degraded by microorganisms. The effects of glyphosate on microbial communities vary widely as microorganisms respond differently to exposure. To help understand the impacts of glyphosate on the sediment microbiome, we conducted a microcosm experiment examining the responses of benthic sediment microbial communities to herbicide treatments. Sediments from a prairie pothole wetland were collected, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to analyze community composition 2-h and 14-days after a single treatment of low (0.07 ppm), medium (0.7 ppm), or high (7 ppm) glyphosate, aminomethylphosphonic acid (glyphosate metabolite), or a glyphosate-based commercial formula. We found no significant differences in microbial community composition across treatments, concentration levels, or day of sampling. These findings suggest that microbial species in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America may be tolerant to glyphosate exposure.

RevDate: 2023-09-06

Roller BRK, Hellerschmied C, Wu Y, et al (2023)

Single-cell mass distributions reveal simple rules for achieving steady-state growth.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Optical density is a proxy of total biomass concentration and is commonly used for measuring the growth of bacterial cultures. However, there is a misconception that exponential optical density growth is equivalent to steady-state population growth. Many cells comprise a culture and individuals can differ from one another. Hallmarks of steady-state population growth are stable frequency distributions of cellular properties over time, something total biomass growth alone cannot quantify. Using single-cell mass sensors paired with optical density measurements, we explore when steady-state population growth prevails in typical batch cultures. We find the average cell mass of Escherichia coli and Vibrio cyclitrophicus growing in several media increases by 0.5-1 orders of magnitude within a few hours of inoculation, and that time-invariant mass distributions are only achieved for short periods when cultures are inoculated with low initial biomass concentrations from overnight cultures. These species achieve an effective steady-state after approximately 2.5-4 total biomass doublings in rich media, which can be decomposed to 1 doubling of cell number and 1.5-3 doublings of average cell mass. We also show that typical batch cultures in rich media depart steady-state early in their growth curves at low cell and biomass concentrations. Achieving steady-state population growth in batch culture is a delicate balancing act, so we provide general guidance for commonly used rich media. Quantifying single-cell mass outside of steady-state population growth is an important first step toward understanding how microbes grow in their natural context, where fluctuations pervade at the scale of individuals. IMPORTANCE Microbiologists have watched clear liquid turn cloudy for over 100 years. While the cloudiness of a culture is proportional to its total biomass, growth rates from optical density measurements are challenging to interpret when cells change size. Many bacteria adjust their size at different steady-state growth rates, but also when shifting between starvation and growth. Optical density cannot disentangle how mass is distributed among cells. Here, we use single-cell mass measurements to demonstrate that a population of cells in batch culture achieves a stable mass distribution for only a short period of time. Achieving steady-state growth in rich medium requires low initial biomass concentrations and enough time for individual cell mass accumulation and cell number increase via cell division to balance out. Steady-state growth is important for reliable cell mass distributions and experimental reproducibility. We discuss how mass variation outside of steady-state can impact physiology, ecology, and evolution experiments.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

Hellal J, Barthelmebs L, Bérard A, et al (2023)

Unlocking secrets of microbial ecotoxicology: recent achievements and future challenges.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7260845 [Epub ahead of print].

Environmental pollution is one of the main challenges faced by humanity. By their ubiquity and vast range of metabolic capabilities, microorganisms are affected by pollution with consequences on their host organisms and on the functioning of their environment and also play key roles in the fate of pollutants through the degradation, transformation and transfer of organic or inorganic compounds. They are thus crucial for the development of nature-based solutions to reduce pollution and of bio-based solutions for environmental risk assessment of chemicals. At the intersection between microbial ecology, toxicology and biogeochemistry, microbial ecotoxicology is a fast-expanding research area aiming to decipher the interactions between pollutants and microorganisms. This perspective paper gives an overview of the main research challenges identified by the Ecotoxicomic network within the emerging One Health framework and in the light of ongoing interest in biological approaches to environmental remediation and of the current state of the art in microbial ecology. We highlight prevailing knowledge gaps and pitfalls in exploring complex interactions among microorganisms and their environment in the context of chemical pollution and pinpoint areas of research where future efforts are needed.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

Du H, Pan J, Zhang C, et al (2023)

Analogous assembly mechanisms and functional guilds govern prokaryotic communities in mangrove ecosystems of China and South America.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

As an important coastal "blue carbon sink," mangrove ecosystems contain microbial communities with an as-yet-unknown high species diversity. Exploring the assemblage and structure of sediment microbial communities therein can aid in a better understanding of their ecosystem functioning, such as carbon sequestration and other biogeochemical cycles in mangrove wetlands. However, compared to other biomes, the study of mangrove sediment microbiomes is limited, especially in diverse mangrove ecosystems at a large spatial scale, which may harbor microbial communities with distinct compositions and functioning. Here, we analyzed 380 sediment samples from 13 and 8 representative mangrove ecosystems, respectively, in China and South America and compared their microbial features. Although the microbial community compositions exhibited strong distinctions, the community assemblage in the two locations followed analogous patterns: the assemblages of the entire community, abundant taxa, rare taxa, and generalists were predominantly driven by stochastic processes with significant distance-decay patterns, while the assembly of specialists was more likely related to the behaviors of other organisms in or surrounding the mangrove ecosystems. In addition, co-occurrence and topological network analysis of mangrove sediment microbiomes underlined the dominance of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes in both the regions. Moreover, we found that more than 70% of the keystone and hub taxa were sulfate-reducing prokaryotes, implying their important roles in maintaining the linkage and stability of the mangrove sediment microbial communities. This study fills a gap in the large-scale analysis of microbiome features covering distantly located and diverse mangrove ecosystems. Here, we propose a suggestion to the Mangrove Microbiome Initiative that 16S rRNA sequencing protocols should be standardized with a unified primer to facilitate the global-scale analysis of mangrove microbiomes and further comparisons with the reference data sets from other biomes.IMPORTANCEMangrove wetlands are important ecosystems possessing valuable ecological functions for carbon storage, species diversity maintenance, and coastline stabilization. These functions are greatly driven or supported by microorganisms that make essential contributions to biogeochemical cycles in mangrove ecosystems. The mechanisms governing the microbial community assembly, structure, and functions are vital to microbial ecology but remain unclear. Moreover, studying these mechanisms of mangrove microbiomes at a large spatial scale can provide a more comprehensive insight into their universal features and can help untangle microbial interaction patterns and microbiome functions. In this study, we compared the mangrove microbiomes in a large spatial range and found that the assembly patterns and key functional guilds of the Chinese and South American mangrove microbiomes were analogous. The entire communities exhibited significant distance-decay patterns and were strongly governed by stochastic processes, while the assemblage of specialists may be merely associated with the behaviors of the organisms in mangrove ecosystems. Furthermore, our results highlight the dominance of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes in mangrove microbiomes and their key roles in maintaining the stability of community structure and functions.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

Van den Eeckhoudt R, Christiaens AS, Ceyssens F, et al (2023)

Full-electric microfluidic platform to capture, analyze and selectively release single cells.

Lab on a chip [Epub ahead of print].

Current single-cell technologies require large and expensive equipment, limiting their use to specialized labs. In this paper, we present for the first time a microfluidic device which demonstrates a combined method for full-electric cell capturing, analyzing, and selectively releasing with single-cell resolution. All functionalities are experimentally demonstrated on Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our microfluidic platform consists of traps centered around a pair of individually accessible coplanar electrodes, positioned under a microfluidic channel. Using this device, we validate our novel Two-Voltage method for trapping single cells by positive dielectrophoresis (pDEP). Cells are attracted to the trap when a high voltage (VH) is applied. A low voltage (VL) holds the already trapped cell in place without attracting additional cells, allowing full control over the number of trapped cells. After trapping, the cells are analyzed by broadband electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. These measurements allow the detection of single cells and the extraction of cell parameters. Additionally, these measurements show a strong correlation between average phase change and cell size, enabling the use of our system for size measurements in biological applications. Finally, our device allows selectively releasing trapped cells by turning off the pDEP signal in their trap. The experimental results show the techniques potential as a full-electric single-cell analysis tool with potential for miniaturization and automation which opens new avenues towards small-scale, high throughput single-cell analysis and sorting lab-on-CMOS devices.

RevDate: 2023-09-06
CmpDate: 2023-09-06

Rodríguez-Pastor R, Hasik AZ, Knossow N, et al (2023)

Bartonella infections are prevalent in rodents despite efficient immune responses.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):315.

BACKGROUND: Pathogens face strong selection from host immune responses, yet many host populations support pervasive pathogen populations. We investigated this puzzle in a model system of Bartonella and rodents from Israel's northwestern Negev Desert. We chose to study this system because, in this region, 75-100% of rodents are infected with Bartonella at any given time, despite an efficient immunological response. In this region, Bartonella species circulate in three rodent species, and we tested the hypothesis that at least one of these hosts exhibits a waning immune response to Bartonella, which allows reinfections.

METHODS: We inoculated captive animals of all three rodent species with the same Bartonella strain, and we quantified the bacterial dynamics and Bartonella-specific immunoglobulin G antibody kinetics over a period of 139 days after the primary inoculation, and then for 60 days following reinoculation with the same strain.

RESULTS: Contrary to our hypothesis, we found a strong, long-lasting immunoglobulin G antibody response, with protective immunological memory in all three rodent species. That response prevented reinfection upon exposure of the rodents to the same Bartonella strain.

CONCLUSIONS: This study constitutes an initial step toward understanding how the interplay between traits of Bartonella and their hosts influences the epidemiological dynamics of these pathogens in nature.

RevDate: 2023-09-04

Lv H, Li X, He D, et al (2023)

Genotype-Controlled Vertical Transmission Exerts Selective Pressure on Community Assembly of Salvia miltiorrhiza.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The plant's endophytic fungi play an important role in promoting host development and metabolism. Studies have shown that the factors affecting the assembly of the endophyte community mainly include host genotype, vertical transmission, and soil origin. However, we do not know the role of vertically transmitted endohytic fungi influences on the host-plant's endophytic community assembly. Salvia miltiorrhiza from three production areas were used as research objects; we constructed three production area genotypes of S. miltiorrhiza regenerated seedlings simultaneously. Based on high-throughput sequencing, we analyzed the effects of genotype, soil origin, and vertical transmission on endophytic fungal communities. The results show that the community of soil origins significantly affected the endophytic fungal community in the regenerated seedlings of S. miltiorrhiza. The influence of genotype on community composition occurs through a specific mechanism. Genotype may selectively screen certain communities into the seed, thereby exerting selection pressure on the community composition process of offspring. As the number of offspring increases gradually, the microbiota, controlled by genotype and transmitted vertically, stabilizes, ultimately resulting in a significant effect of genotype on community composition.Furthermore, we observed that the taxa influencing the active ingredients are also selected as the vertically transmitted community. Moreover, the absence of an initial vertically transmitted community in S. miltiorrhiza makes it more vulnerable to infection by pathogenic fungi. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate and comprehend the selection model of the vertically transmitted community under varying genotypes and soil conditions. This research holds significant implications for enhancing the quality and yield of medicinal plants and economic crops.

RevDate: 2023-09-04

Lin Q, Li L, De Vrieze J, et al (2023)

Functional conservation of microbial communities determines composition predictability in anaerobic digestion.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

A major challenge in managing and engineering microbial communities is determining whether and how microbial community responses to environmental alterations can be predicted and explained, especially in microorganism-driven systems. We addressed this challenge by monitoring microbial community responses to the periodic addition of the same feedstock throughout anaerobic digestion, a typical microorganism-driven system where microorganisms degrade and transform the feedstock. The immediate and delayed response consortia were assemblages of microorganisms whose abundances significantly increased on the first or third day after feedstock addition. The immediate response consortia were more predictable than the delayed response consortia and showed a reproducible and predictable order-level composition across multiple feedstock additions. These results stood in both present (16 S rRNA gene) and potentially active (16 S rRNA) microbial communities and in different feedstocks with different biodegradability and were validated by simulation modeling. Despite substantial species variability, the immediate response consortia aligned well with the reproducible CH4 production, which was attributed to the conservation of expressed functions by the response consortia throughout anaerobic digestion, based on metatranscriptomic data analyses. The high species variability might be attributed to intraspecific competition and contribute to biodiversity maintenance and functional redundancy. Our results demonstrate reproducible and predictable microbial community responses and their importance in stabilizing system functions.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

Simon LM, Flocco C, Burkart F, et al (2023)

Microbial fingerprints reveal interaction between museum objects, curators, and visitors.

iScience, 26(9):107578.

Microbial communities reside at the interface between humans and their environment. Whether the microbiome can be leveraged to gain information on human interaction with museum objects is unclear. To investigate this, we selected objects from the Museum für Naturkunde and the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin, Germany, varying in material and size. Using swabs, we collected 126 samples from natural and cultural heritage objects, which were analyzed through 16S rRNA sequencing. By comparing the microbial composition of touched and untouched objects, we identified a microbial signature associated with human skin microbes. Applying this signature to cultural heritage objects, we identified areas with varying degrees of exposure to human contact on the Ishtar gate and Sam'al gate lions. Furthermore, we differentiated objects touched by two different individuals. Our findings demonstrate that the microbiome of museum objects provides insights into the level of human contact, crucial for conservation, heritage science, and potentially provenance research.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

Dundore-Arias JP, Michalska-Smith M, Millican M, et al (2023)

More Than the Sum of Its Parts: Unlocking the Power of Network Structure for Understanding Organization and Function in Microbiomes.

Annual review of phytopathology, 61:403-423.

Plant and soil microbiomes are integral to the health and productivity of plants and ecosystems, yet researchers struggle to identify microbiome characteristics important for providing beneficial outcomes. Network analysis offers a shift in analytical framework beyond "who is present" to the organization or patterns of coexistence between microbes within the microbiome. Because microbial phenotypes are often significantly impacted by coexisting populations, patterns of coexistence within microbiomes are likely to be especially important in predicting functional outcomes. Here, we provide an overview of the how and why of network analysis in microbiome research, highlighting the ways in which network analyses have provided novel insights into microbiome organization and functional capacities, the diverse network roles of different microbial populations, and the eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant and soil microbiomes.

RevDate: 2023-09-04

Hoang DQ, Wilson LR, Scheftgen AJ, et al (2023)

Disturbance-Diversity Relationships of Microbial Communities Change Based on Growth Substrate.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.08.25.554838.

UNLABELLED: Disturbance events can impact ecological community dynamics. Understanding how communities respond to disturbances, and how those responses can vary, is a challenge in microbial ecology. In this study, we grew a previously enriched specialized microbial community on either cellulose or glucose as a sole carbon source, and subjected them to one of five different disturbance regimes of varying frequencies ranging from low to high. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, we show that community structure is largely driven by substrate, but disturbance frequency affects community composition and successional dynamics. When grown on cellulose, bacteria in the genera Cellvibrio , Lacunisphaera , and Asticaccacaulis are the most abundant microbes. However, Lacunisphaera is only abundant in the lower disturbance frequency treatments, while Asticaccaulis is more abundant in the highest disturbance frequency treatment. When grown on glucose, the most abundant microbes are two Pseudomonas sequence variants, and a Cohnella sequence variant that is only abundant in the highest disturbance frequency treatment. Communities grown on cellulose exhibited a greater range of diversity (0.67-1.99 Shannon diversity and 1.38-5.25 Inverse Simpson diversity) that peak at the intermediate disturbance frequency treatment, or 1 disturbance every 3 days. Communities grown on glucose, however, ranged from 0.49-1.43 Shannon diversity and 1.37-3.52 Inverse Simpson with peak diversity at the greatest disturbance frequency treatment. These results demonstrate that the dynamics of a microbial community can vary depending on substrate and the disturbance frequency, and may potentially explain the variety of diversity-disturbance relationships observed in microbial ecosystems.

ABSTRACT IMPORTANCE: A generalizable diversity-disturbance relationship (DDR) of microbial communities remains a contentious topic. Various microbial systems have different DDRs. Rather than finding support or refuting specific DDRs, we investigated the underlying factors that lead to different DDRs. In this study, we measured a cellulose-enriched microbial community's response to a range of disturbance frequencies from high to low, across two different substrates: cellulose and glucose. We demonstrate that the community displays a unimodal DDR when grown on cellulose, and a monotonically increasing DDR when grown on glucose. Our findings suggest that the same community can display different DDRs. These results suggest that the range of DDRs we observe across different microbial systems may be due to the nutritional resources microbial communities can access and the interactions between bacteria and their environment.

RevDate: 2023-09-02

Owashi Y, Minami T, Kikuchi T, et al (2023)

Microbiome of Zoophytophagous Biological Control Agent Nesidiocoris tenuis.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Many insects are associated with endosymbionts that influence the feeding, reproduction, and distribution of their hosts. Although the small green mirid, Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae), a zoophytophagous predator that feeds on plants as well as arthropods, is a globally important biological control agent, its microbiome has not been sufficiently studied. In the present study, we assessed the microbiome variation in 96 N. tenuis individuals from 14 locations throughout Japan, based on amplicon sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Nine major bacteria associated with N. tenuis were identified: Rickettsia, two strains of Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, Providencia, Serratia, Pseudochrobactrum, Lactococcus, and Stenotrophomonas. Additionally, a diagnostic PCR analysis for three typical insect reproductive manipulators, Rickettsia, Wolbachia, and Spiroplasma, was performed on a larger sample size (n = 360) of N. tenuis individuals; the most prevalent symbiont was Rickettsia (69.7%), followed by Wolbachia (39.2%) and Spiroplasma (6.1%). Although some symbionts were co-infected, their prevalence did not exhibit any specific tendency, such as a high frequency in specific infection combinations. The infection frequency of Rickettsia was significantly correlated with latitude and temperature, while that of Wolbachia and Spiroplasma was significantly correlated with host plants. The predominance of these bacteria and the absence of obligate symbionts suggested that the N. tenuis microbiome is typical for predatory arthropods rather than sap-feeding insects. Rickettsia and Wolbachia were vertically transmitted rather than horizontally transmitted from the prey. The functional validation of each symbiont would be warranted to develop N. tenuis as a biological control agent.

RevDate: 2023-09-02

Kazmi SSUH, Saqib HSA, Pastorino P, et al (2023)

Influence of the antibiotic nitrofurazone on community dynamics of marine periphytic ciliates: Evidence from community-based bioassays.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)05312-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Marine periphytic ciliates play a pivotal role in shaping coastal ecosystems dynamics, thereby acting as robust biological indicators of aquatic ecosystem health and functionality. However, the understanding of the effects of veterinary antibiotics on composition and structure of periphytic ciliate communities remains limited. Therefore, this research investigates the influence of the veterinary antibiotic nitrofurazone on the community dynamics of marine periphytic ciliates through bioassay experiments conducted over a one-year cycle. Various concentrations of nitrofurazone were administered to the tested ciliate assemblages, and subsequent changes in community composition, abundance, and diversity were quantitatively analyzed. The research revealed significant alterations in periphytic ciliate communities following exposure to nitrofurazone. Concentration-dependent (0-8 mg L[-1]) decrease in ciliates abundance, accompanied by shifts in species composition, community structure, and community patterns were observed. Comprehensive assessment of diversity metrics indicated significant changes in species richness and evenness in the presence of nitrofurazone, potentially disrupting the stability of ciliate communities. Furthermore, nitrofurazone significantly influenced the community structure of ciliates in all seasons (winter: R[2] = 0.489; spring: R[2] = 0.666; summer: R[2] = 0.700, autumn: R[2] = 0.450), with high toxic potential in treatments 4 and 8 mg L[-1]. Differential abundances of ciliates varied across seasons and nitrofurazone treatments, some orders like Pleurostomatida were consistently affected, while others (i.e., Strombidida and Philasterida) showed irregular distributions or were evenly affected (e.g., Urostylida and Synhymeniida). Retrieved contrasting patterns between nitrofurazone and community responses underscore the broad response repertoire exhibited by ciliates to antibiotic exposure, suggesting potential cascading effects on associated ecological processes in the periphyton community. These findings significantly enhance the understanding of the ecological impacts of nitrofurazone on marine periphytic ciliate communities, emphasizing the imperative for vigilant monitoring and regulation of veterinary antibiotics to protect marine ecosystem health and biodiversity. Further research is required to explore the long-term effects of nitrofurazone exposure and evaluate potential strategies to reduce the ecological repercussions of antibiotics in aquatic environments, with a particular focus on nitrofurazone.

RevDate: 2023-09-02

Schulz G, van Beusekom JEE, Jacob J, et al (2023)

Low discharge intensifies nitrogen retention in rivers - A case study in the Elbe River.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)05365-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Eutrophication due to excessive nutrient inputs is a major threat to coastal ecosystems worldwide, causing harmful algae blooms, seagrass loss and hypoxia. Decisions to combat eutrophication in the North Sea were made in the 1980s. Despite significant improvements during recent decades, high nitrogen loads and resulting eutrophication problems remain. In this study, long-term changes in nitrogen inputs to the Elbe Estuary (Germany) were characterized based on nitrogen data provided by the Elbe River Basin Community from 1985 to 2019. Additionally, surface water samples were taken at the weir separating the river from the estuary from 2011 to 2021 to characterize dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentrations and nitrate stable isotope composition. The findings suggest a close coupling of river discharge with the riverine nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen loads decreased disproportionately with decreasing discharge. This decrease is due to intensified nitrogen retention in the Elbe catchment, which can double nitrogen retention compared to average discharge conditions. Phytoplankton growth was enhanced by long residence times and high light availability at low water levels. This suggests that the recent decreases in nitrogen loads in the Elbe River were not only a result of management measures in the catchment but were also amplified by a recent long-lasting drought in the catchment. Based on projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, more frequent and extensive droughts are anticipated, which may lead to future seasonal shifts to nitrate limitation in the lower Elbe River.

RevDate: 2023-09-02

Ahmmed MK, Bhowmik S, Ahmmed F, et al (2023)

Utilisation of probiotics for disease management in giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii): Administration methods, antagonistic effects and immune response.

Journal of fish diseases [Epub ahead of print].

The giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) is a high-yielding prawn variety well-received worldwide due to its ability to adapt to freshwater culture systems. Macrobrachium rosenbergii is an alternative to shrimp typically obtained from marine and brackish aquaculture systems. However, the use of intensive culture systems can lead to disease outbreaks, particularly in larval and post-larval stages, caused by pathogenic agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, yeasts and protozoans. White tail disease (viral), white spot syndrome (viral) and bacterial necrosis are examples of economically significant diseases. Given the increasing antibiotic resistance of disease-causing microorganisms, probiotics have emerged as promising alternatives for disease control. Probiotics are live active microbes that are introduced into a target host in an adequate number or dose to promote its health. In the present paper, we first discuss the diseases that occur in M. rosenbergii production, followed by an in-depth discussion on probiotics. We elaborate on the common methods of probiotics administration and explain the beneficial health effects of probiotics as immunity enhancers. Moreover, we discuss the antagonistic effects of probiotics on pathogenic microorganisms. Altogether, this paper provides a comprehensive overview of disease control in M. rosenbergii aquaculture through the use of probiotics, which could enhance the sustainability of prawn culture.

RevDate: 2023-09-01

Fu S, Zhang Y, Wang R, et al (2023)

A novel culture-enriched metagenomic sequencing strategy effectively guarantee the microbial safety of drinking water by uncovering the low abundance pathogens.

Journal of environmental management, 345:118737 pii:S0301-4797(23)01525-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Assessing the presence of waterborne pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) is crucial for managing the environmental quality of drinking water sources. However, detecting low abundance pathogens in such settings is challenging. In this study, a workflow was developed to enrich for broad spectrum pathogens from drinking water samples. A mock community was used to evaluate the effectiveness of various enrichment broths in detecting low-abundance pathogens. Monthly metagenomic surveillance was conducted in a drinking water source from May to September 2021, and water samples were subjected to five enrichment procedures for 6 h to recover the majority of waterborne bacterial pathogens. Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT) was used for metagenomic sequencing of enriched samples to obtain high-quality pathogen genomes. The results showed that selective enrichment significantly increased the proportions of targeted bacterial pathogens. Compared to direct metagenomic sequencing of untreated water samples, targeted enrichment followed by ONT sequencing significantly improved the detection of waterborne pathogens and the quality of metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs). Eighty-six high-quality MAGs, including 70 pathogen MAGs, were obtained from ONT sequencing, while only 12 MAGs representing 10 species were obtained from direct metagenomic sequencing of untreated water samples. In addition, ONT sequencing improved the recovery of mobile genetic elements and the accuracy of phylogenetic analysis. This study highlights the urgent need for efficient methodologies to detect and manage microbial risks in drinking water sources. The developed workflow provides a cost-effective approach for environmental management of drinking water sources with microbial risks. The study also uncovered pathogens that were not detected by traditional methods, thereby advancing microbial risk management of drinking water sources.

RevDate: 2023-09-01

Cantoran A, Maillard F, Baldrian P, et al (2023)

Defining a core microbial necrobiome associated with decomposing fungal necromass.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7258626 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite growing interest in fungal necromass decomposition due to its importance in soil carbon retention, whether a consistent group of microorganisms is associated with decomposing necromass remains unresolved. Here we synthesize knowledge on the composition of the bacterial and fungal communities present on decomposing fungal necromass from a variety of fungal species, geographic locations, habitats, and incubation times. We found that there is a core group of both bacterial and fungal genera (i.e. a core fungal necrobiome), although the specific size of the core depended on definition. Based on a metric that included both microbial frequency and abundance, we demonstrate that the core is taxonomically and functionally diverse, including bacterial copiotrophs and oligotrophs as well as fungal saprotrophs, ectomycorrhizal fungi, and both fungal and animal parasites. We also show that the composition of the core necrobiome is notably dynamic over time, with many core bacterial and fungal genera having specific associations with the early, middle, or late stages of necromass decomposition. While this study establishes the existence of a core fungal necrobiome, we advocate that profiling the composition of fungal necromass decomposer communities in tropical environments and other terrestrial biomes beyond forests is needed to fill key knowledge gaps regarding the global nature of the fungal necrobiome.

RevDate: 2023-09-01

Fagre AC, Islam A, Reeves WK, et al (2023)

Bartonella Infection in Fruit Bats and Bat Flies, Bangladesh.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Bats harbor diverse intracellular Bartonella bacteria, but there is limited understanding of the factors that influence transmission over time. Investigation of Bartonella dynamics in bats could reveal general factors that control transmission of multiple bat-borne pathogens, including viruses. We used molecular methods to detect Bartonella DNA in paired bat (Pteropus medius) blood and bat flies in the family Nycteribiidae collected from a roost in Faridpur, Bangladesh between September 2020 and January 2021. We detected high prevalence of Bartonella DNA in bat blood (35/55, 64%) and bat flies (59/60, 98%), with sequences grouping into three phylogenetic clades. Prevalence in bat blood increased over the study period (33% to 90%), reflecting an influx of juvenile bats in the population and an increase in the prevalence of bat flies. Discordance between infection status and the clade/genotype of detected Bartonella was also observed in pairs of bats and their flies, providing evidence that bat flies take blood meals from multiple bat hosts. This evidence of bat fly transfer between hosts and the changes in Bartonella prevalence during a period of increasing nycteribiid density support the role of bat flies as vectors of bartonellae. The study provides novel information on comparative prevalence and genetic diversity of Bartonella in pteropodid bats and their ectoparasites, as well as demographic factors that affect Bartonella transmission and potentially other bat-borne pathogens.

RevDate: 2023-09-01

Wang Y, Li Q, Zhang J, et al (2023)

Ring1a protects against colitis through regulating mucosal immune system and colonic microbial ecology.

Gut microbes, 15(2):2251646.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) represents a prominent chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disorder, yet its etiology remains poorly comprehended, encompassing intricate interactions between genetics, immunity, and the gut microbiome. This study uncovers a novel colitis-associated risk gene, namely Ring1a, which regulates the mucosal immune response and intestinal microbiota. Ring1a deficiency exacerbates colitis by impairing the immune system. Concomitantly, Ring1a deficiency led to a Prevotella genus-dominated pathogenic microenvironment, which can be horizontally transmitted to co-housed wild type (WT) mice, consequently intensifying dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis. Furthermore, we identified a potential mechanism linking the altered microbiota in Ring1aKO mice to decreased levels of IgA, and we demonstrated that metronidazole administration could ameliorate colitis progression in Ring1aKO mice, likely by reducing the abundance of the Prevotella genus. We also elucidated the immune landscape of DSS colitis and revealed the disruption of intestinal immune homeostasis associated with Ring1a deficiency. Collectively, these findings highlight Ring1a as a prospective candidate risk gene for colitis and suggest metronidazole as a potential therapeutic option for clinically managing Prevotella genus-dominated colitis.

RevDate: 2023-09-01

Gutierrez T, H Liu (2023)

Editorial: Rising stars in aquatic microbiology: 2022.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1265720.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Zehentner B, Scherer S, K Neuhaus (2023)

Non-canonical transcriptional start sites in E. coli O157:H7 EDL933 are regulated and appear in surprisingly high numbers.

BMC microbiology, 23(1):243.

Analysis of genome wide transcription start sites (TSSs) revealed an unexpected complexity since not only canonical TSS of annotated genes are recognized by RNA polymerase. Non-canonical TSS were detected antisense to, or within, annotated genes as well new intergenic (orphan) TSS, not associated with known genes. Previously, it was hypothesized that many such signals represent noise or pervasive transcription, not associated with a biological function. Here, a modified Cappable-seq protocol allows determining the primary transcriptome of the enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 EDL933 (EHEC). We used four different growth media, both in exponential and stationary growth phase, replicated each thrice. This yielded 19,975 EHEC canonical and non-canonical TSS, which reproducibly occurring in three biological replicates. This questions the hypothesis of experimental noise or pervasive transcription. Accordingly, conserved promoter motifs were found upstream indicating proper TSSs. More than 50% of 5,567 canonical and between 32% and 47% of 10,355 non-canonical TSS were differentially expressed in different media and growth phases, providing evidence for a potential biological function also of non-canonical TSS. Thus, reproducible and environmentally regulated expression suggests that a substantial number of the non-canonical TSSs may be of unknown function rather than being the result of noise or pervasive transcription.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Gralka M, Pollak S, OX Cordero (2023)

Genome content predicts the carbon catabolic preferences of heterotrophic bacteria.

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Heterotrophic bacteria-bacteria that utilize organic carbon sources-are taxonomically and functionally diverse across environments. It is challenging to map metabolic interactions and niches within microbial communities due to the large number of metabolites that could serve as potential carbon and energy sources for heterotrophs. Whether their metabolic niches can be understood using general principles, such as a small number of simplified metabolic categories, is unclear. Here we perform high-throughput metabolic profiling of 186 marine heterotrophic bacterial strains cultured in media containing one of 135 carbon substrates to determine growth rates, lag times and yields. We show that, despite high variability at all levels of taxonomy, the catabolic niches of heterotrophic bacteria can be understood in terms of their preference for either glycolytic (sugars) or gluconeogenic (amino and organic acids) carbon sources. This preference is encoded by the total number of genes found in pathways that feed into the two modes of carbon utilization and can be predicted using a simple linear model based on gene counts. This allows for coarse-grained descriptions of microbial communities in terms of prevalent modes of carbon catabolism. The sugar-acid preference is also associated with genomic GC content and thus with the carbon-nitrogen requirements of their encoded proteome. Our work reveals how the evolution of bacterial genomes is structured by fundamental constraints rooted in metabolism.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Low KE, Tingley JP, Klassen L, et al (2023)

Carbohydrate flow through agricultural ecosystems: Implications for synthesis and microbial conversion of carbohydrates.

Biotechnology advances pii:S0734-9750(23)00152-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Carbohydrates are chemically and structurally diverse biomolecules, serving numerous and varied roles in agricultural ecosystems. Crops and horticulture products are inherent sources of carbohydrates that are consumed by humans and non-human animals alike; however carbohydrates are also present in other agricultural materials, such as soil and compost, human and animal tissues, milk and dairy products, and honey. The biosynthesis, modification, and flow of carbohydrates within and between agricultural ecosystems is intimately related with microbial communities that colonize and thrive within these environments. Recent advances in -omics techniques have ushered in a new era for microbial ecology by illuminating the functional potential for carbohydrate metabolism encoded within microbial genomes, while agricultural glycomics is providing fresh perspective on carbohydrate-microbe interactions and how they influence the flow of functionalized carbon. Indeed, carbohydrates and carbohydrate-active enzymes are interventions with unrealized potential for improving carbon sequestration, soil fertility and stability, developing alternatives to antimicrobials, and circular production systems. In this manner, glycomics represents a new frontier for carbohydrate-based biotechnological solutions for agricultural systems facing escalating challenges, such as the changing climate.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Ho HVN, Dunigan DD, Salsbery ME, et al (2023)

Viral Chemotaxis of Paramecium Bursaria Altered by Algal Endosymbionts.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Chemotaxis is widespread across many taxa and often aids resource acquisition or predator avoidance. Species interactions can modify the degree of movement facilitated by chemotaxis. In this study, we investigated the influence of symbionts on Paramecium bursaria's chemotactic behavior toward chloroviruses. To achieve this, we performed choice experiments using chlorovirus and control candidate attractors (virus stabilization buffer and pond water). We quantified the movement of Paramecia grown with or without algal and viral symbionts toward each attractor. All Paramecia showed some chemotaxis toward viruses, but cells without algae and viruses showed the most movement toward viruses. Thus, the endosymbiotic algae (zoochlorellae) appeared to alter the movement of Paramecia toward chloroviruses, but it was not clear that ectosymbiotic viruses (chlorovirus) also had this effect. The change in behavior was consistent with a change in swimming speed, but a change in attraction remains possible. The potential costs and benefits of chemotactic movement toward chloroviruses for either the Paramecia hosts or its symbionts remain unclear.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Levante A, Bertani G, Marrella M, et al (2023)

The microbiota of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO cheese: a study across the manufacturing process.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1196879.

INTRODUCTION: Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO cheese (MBC) is a globally esteemed Italian cheese. The traditional cheesemaking process of MBC relies on natural whey starter culture, water buffalo's milk, and the local agroecosystem.

METHODS: In this study, the microbial ecology of intermediate samples of MBC production, coming from two dairies with slightly different cheesemaking technology (dairy M large producer, and dairy C medium-small), was investigated using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. This research aimed to provide insights into the dynamics of microbial consortia involved in various cheesemaking steps.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: All samples, except for raw buffalo milk, exhibited a core microbiome predominantly composed of Streptococcus spp. and Lactobacillus spp., albeit with different ratios between the two genera across the two MBC producers. Notably, the microbiota of the brine from both dairies, analyzed using 16S amplicon sequencing for the first time, was dominated by the Lactobacillus and Streptococcus genera, while only dairy C showed the presence of minor genera such as Pediococcus and Lentilactobacillus. Intriguingly, the final mozzarella samples from both producers displayed an inversion in the dominance of Lactobacillus spp. over Streptococcus spp. in the microbiota compared to curd samples, possibly attributable to the alleviation of thermal stress following the curd stretching step. In conclusion, the different samples from the two production facilities did not exhibit significant differences in terms of the species involved in MBC cheesemaking. This finding confirms that the key role in the MBC cheesemaking process lies with a small-sized microbiome primarily composed of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus spp.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Mariën Q, Regueira A, R Ganigué (2023)

Steerable isobutyric and butyric acid production from CO2 and H2 by Clostridium luticellarii.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Clostridium luticellarii is a recently discovered acetogen that is uniquely capable of producing butyric and isobutyric acid from various substrates (e.g. methanol), but it is unclear which factors influence its (iso)butyric acid production from H2 and CO2 . We aimed to investigate the autotrophic metabolism of C. luticellarii by identifying the necessary growth conditions and examining the effects of pH and metabolite levels on product titers and selectivity. Results show that autotrophic growth of C. luticellarii requires the addition of complex nutrient sources and the absence of shaking conditions. Further experiments combined with thermodynamic calculations identified pH as a key parameter governing the direction of metabolic fluxes. At circumneutral pH (~6.5), acetic acid is the sole metabolic end product but C. luticellarii possesses the unique ability to co-oxidize organic acids such as valeric acid under high H2 partial pressures (>1 bar). Conversely, mildly acidic pH (≤5.5) stimulates the production of butyric and isobutyric acid while partly halting the oxidation of organic acids. Additionally, elevated acetic acid concentrations stimulated butyric and isobutyric acid production up to a combined selectivity of 53 ± 3%. Finally, our results suggest that isobutyric acid is produced by a reversible isomerization of butyric acid, but valeric and caproic acid are not isomerized. These combined insights can inform future efforts to optimize and scale-up the production of valuable chemicals from CO2 using C. luticellarii.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

McEvoy N, O'Connor A, McDonagh F, et al (2023)

Complete genome of an inhibitor resistant blaTEM-30 encoding Escherichia coli sequence type 127 isolate identified in human saliva with a high genotypic virulence load.

Journal of global antimicrobial resistance pii:S2213-7165(23)00139-X [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Escherichia coli ST 127 is a pandemic clone that belongs to the extraintestial pathogenic (ExPEC) family, associated with urinary tract infections and bloodstream infections. Here, we report the complete genome of an E. coli ST127 isolate which was identified in the saliva of a patient with Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia (TRS) exhibting no signs of infection. The objective of this work is to determine the mobile genetic elements (MGEs), antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), and virulence factors (VFs) that contribute to the pathogenicity of such ST127 isolates.

METHODS: Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of isolate GABEEC10 was performed using DNABseq and Nanopore MinION platforms. Hybrid assembly of GABEEC10 was conducted with Unicycler v 0.5.0. and annotated using PROKKA v1.14.5. Comparative genomics and phylogenomics were conducted using average nucleotide identity (ANI) and approximately-maximum-likelihood phylogenetic inference. ARGs, VFs and serotyping were identified with Abricate v1.0.0 using CARD, vfdb and EcOH databases respectively.

RESULTS: E. coli salivary isolate GABEEC10 was identfied to belong to phylogroup B2 and have a serotype of O6 H31 with a total genome length of 4 940 530 bp and a mean GC content of 50.40 %. GABEEC10 was identified to have a highly virulent genotype with the presence of 84 VFs in addition to 44 ARGs, including an acquired blaTEM-30. The strain was identified to additionally carry four mobilisable plasmids.

CONCLUSION: We report the complete genome of E. coli GABAEEC10 that can be used to aid in understanding the pathogenicity, drug resistance and dissemination of the emerging pandemic lineage ST 127.

RevDate: 2023-08-28

Ikeda T, Ogawa T, T Aono (2023)

Dethiobiotin uptake and utilization by bacteria possessing bioYB operon.

Research in microbiology pii:S0923-2508(23)00106-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Biotin is an essential vitamin for all organisms. Some bacteria cannot synthesize biotin and live by acquiring biotin from the environment. Bacterial biotin transporters (BioY) are classified into three mechanistic types. The first forms the BioMNY complex with ATPase (BioM) and transmembrane protein (BioN). The second relies on a promiscuous energy coupling module. The third functions independently. One-third of bioY genes spread in bacteria cluster with bioM and bioN on the genomes, and the rest does not. Interestingly, some bacteria have the bioY gene clustering with bioB gene, which encodes biotin synthase, an enzyme that converts dethiobiotin to biotin, on their genome. This bioY-bioB cluster is observed even though these bacteria cannot synthesize biotin. Azorhizobium caulinodans ORS571, a rhizobium of tropical legume Sesbania rostrata, is one of such bacteria. In this study using this bacterium, we demonstrated that the BioY linked to BioB could transport not only biotin but also dethiobiotin, and the combination of BioY and BioB contributed to the growth of A. caulinodans ORS571 in a biotin-deficient but dethiobiotin-sufficient environment. We propose that such environment universally exists in the natural world, and the identification of such environment will be a new subject in the field of microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2023-08-28

Mei Z, Fu Y, Wang F, et al (2023)

Magnetic biochar/quaternary phosphonium salt reduced antibiotic resistome and pathobiome on pakchoi leaves.

Journal of hazardous materials, 460:132388 pii:S0304-3894(23)01671-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and human pathogenic bacteria (HPB) in leafy vegetable is a matter of concern as they can be transferred from soil, atmosphere, and foliar sprays, and poses a potential risk to public health. While traditional disinfection technologies are effective in reducing the presence of ARGs and HPB in soil. A new technology, foliar spraying with magnetic biochar/quaternary ammonium salt (MBQ), was demonstrated and applied to the leaf surface. High-throughput quantitative PCR targeting 96 valid ARGs and 16 S rRNA sequencing were used to assess its efficacy in reducing ARGs and HPB. The results showed that spraying MBQ reduced 97.0 ± 0.81% of "high-risk ARGs", associated with seven classes of antibiotic resistance in pakchoi leaves within two weeks. Water washing could further reduce "high-risk ARGs" from pakchoi leaves by 19.8%- 24.6%. The relative abundance of HPB closely related to numerous ARGs was reduced by 15.2 ± 0.23% with MBQ application. Overall, this study identified the potential risk of ARGs from leafy vegetables and clarified the significant implications of MBQ application for human health as it offers a promising strategy for reducing ARGs and HPB in leafy vegetables.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

Ratna HVK, Jeyaraman M, Yadav S, et al (2023)

Is Dysbiotic Gut the Cause of Low Back Pain?.

Cureus, 15(7):e42496.

Low back pain (LBP) is the foremost cause of disability that affects the day-to-day activities of millions of people worldwide. The putative trigger of LBP is linked to the gut microbiome (GM) and its dysbiotic environment. With the concept of GM, various disease pathogenesis has been revisited with plausible crosstalks and micromolecular mimicry. In the normal intervertebral disc (IVD), Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were found in abundance. The blood-disc barrier protects IVD from systemic infection, resists inflammation, and halts the immune surveillance of the inner aspects of IVD. The insights into microbial ecology will broaden our horizons in GM and IVD degeneration in LBP cases. However, an improved understanding of GM and back pain has to be explored in large-scale individuals with varied timescales to validate the above findings. The role of GM (diet, prebiotics, probiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation) in pain modulation can form novel therapies in cases of LBP.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

White C, Antell E, Schwartz SL, et al (2023)

Synergistic interactions between anammox and dissimilatory nitrate reducing bacteria sustains reactor performance across variable nitrogen loading ratios.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1243410.

Anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria are utilized for high efficiency nitrogen removal from nitrogen-laden sidestreams in wastewater treatment plants. The anammox bacteria form a variety of competitive and mutualistic interactions with heterotrophic bacteria that often employ denitrification or dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) for energy generation. These interactions can be heavily influenced by the influent ratio of ammonium to nitrite, NH4[+]:NO2[-], where deviations from the widely acknowledged stoichiometric ratio (1:1.32) have been demonstrated to have deleterious effects on anammox efficiency. Thus, it is important to understand how variable NH4[+]:NO2[-] ratios impact the microbial ecology of anammox reactors. We observed the response of the microbial community in a lab scale anammox membrane bioreactor (MBR) to changes in the influent NH4[+]:NO2[-] ratio using both 16S rRNA gene and shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Ammonium removal efficiency decreased from 99.77 ± 0.04% when the ratio was 1:1.32 (prior to day 89) to 90.85 ± 0.29% when the ratio was decreased to 1:1.1 (day 89-202) and 90.14 ± 0.09% when the ratio was changed to 1:1.13 (day 169-200). Over this same timespan, the overall nitrogen removal efficiency (NRE) remained relatively unchanged (85.26 ± 0.01% from day 0-89, compared to 85.49 ± 0.01% from day 89-169, and 83.04 ± 0.01% from day 169-200). When the ratio was slightly increased to 1:1.17-1:1.2 (day 202-253), the ammonium removal efficiency increased to 97.28 ± 0.45% and the NRE increased to 88.21 ± 0.01%. Analysis of 16 S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated increased relative abundance of taxa belonging to Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, and Ignavibacteriae over the course of the experiment. The relative abundance of Planctomycetes, the phylum to which anammox bacteria belong, decreased from 77.19% at the beginning of the experiment to 12.24% by the end of the experiment. Analysis of metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) indicated increased abundance of bacteria with nrfAH genes used for DNRA after the introduction of lower influent NH4[+]:NO2[-] ratios. The high relative abundance of DNRA bacteria coinciding with sustained bioreactor performance indicates a mutualistic relationship between the anammox and DNRA bacteria. Understanding these interactions could support more robust bioreactor operation at variable nitrogen loading ratios.

RevDate: 2023-08-28

Huang J, Li J, Zhou W, et al (2023)

Effect of different rice transplanting patterns on microbial community in water, sediment, and Procambarus clarkii intestine in rice-crayfish system.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1233815.

Although the microbial ecology of integrated rice-crayfish farming systems is receiving increasing attention with the expanding application area in China, the effects of rice transplanting patterns on the microbial community of water, sediment and Procambarus clarkii intestine in rice-crayfish system has yet to be determined. This study explored the microbial community present in water, sediment and intestine samples from three transplant patterns (rice crayfish with wide-narrow row transplanting, rice-crayfish with normal transplanting and pond-crayfish, abbreviated as RC-W, RC, and PC, respectively) using high-throughput sequencing. The results showed that the dominant microbial taxa from sediment, surrounding water, and intestine at phylum level were Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes. The patterns of rice transplanting had significant effects on microbial biodiversity and species composition in surrounding water. The OTUs community richness of water under RC group was significantly higher than that of PC group and RC-W group. The OTU relative abundance of top 10 operational taxonomic units had significantly different (p < 0.05) in the water samples from the three groups. The intestinal OTU community richness of Procambarus clarkii in the three groups was positively correlated with the community richness of water. The proximity between intestinal and water samples in PCA diagram indicated that their species composition was more similar. The results also showed that rice transplanting patterns can affect intestinal microbial biodiversity of Procambarus clarkii and the intestinal microbial biodiversity correlated with water bodies. Although the intestinal microbial diversity of crayfish in RC-W group was lower than that in RC group, the relative abundance of potential pathogenic bacteria, such as Vibrio, Aeromonas, in intestine of the crayfish in the RC-W group was significantly decreased under rice wide-narrow row transplanting model. Redundancy analysis revealed that environmental parameters, such as pH, DO, nitrate, which regulate the composition of microbial community structures. This study provides an understanding for microbial response to different rice transplanting pattern in rice-crayfish farming system.

RevDate: 2023-08-28

Romans-Casas M, Feliu-Paradeda L, Tedesco M, et al (2024)

Selective butyric acid production from CO2 and its upgrade to butanol in microbial electrosynthesis cells.

Environmental science and ecotechnology, 17:100303.

Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is a promising carbon utilization technology, but the low-value products (i.e., acetate or methane) and the high electric power demand hinder its industrial adoption. In this study, electrically efficient MES cells with a low ohmic resistance of 15.7 mΩ m[2] were operated galvanostatically in fed-batch mode, alternating periods of high CO2 and H2 availability. This promoted acetic acid and ethanol production, ultimately triggering selective (78% on a carbon basis) butyric acid production via chain elongation. An average production rate of 14.5 g m[-2] d[-1] was obtained at an applied current of 1.0 or 1.5 mA cm[-2], being Megasphaera sp. the key chain elongating player. Inoculating a second cell with the catholyte containing the enriched community resulted in butyric acid production at the same rate as the previous cell, but the lag phase was reduced by 82%. Furthermore, interrupting the CO2 feeding and setting a constant pH2 of 1.7-1.8 atm in the cathode compartment triggered solventogenic butanol production at a pH below 4.8. The efficient cell design resulted in average cell voltages of 2.6-2.8 V and a remarkably low electric energy requirement of 34.6 kWhel kg[-1] of butyric acid produced, despite coulombic efficiencies being restricted to 45% due to the cross-over of O2 and H2 through the membrane. In conclusion, this study revealed the optimal operating conditions to achieve energy-efficient butyric acid production from CO2 and suggested a strategy to further upgrade it to valuable butanol.

RevDate: 2023-08-27

Zhai X, Castro-Mejía JL, Gobbi A, et al (2023)

The impact of storage buffer and storage conditions on fecal samples for bacteriophage infectivity and metavirome analyses.

Microbiome, 11(1):193.

BACKGROUND: There is an increasing interest in investigating the human gut virome for its influence on the gut bacterial community and its putative influence on the trajectory towards health or disease. Most gut virome studies are based on sequencing of stored fecal samples. However, relatively little is known about how conventional storage buffers and storage conditions affect the infectivity of bacteriophages and influence the downstream metavirome sequencing.

RESULTS: We demonstrate that the infectivity and genome recovery rate of different spiked bacteriophages (T4, c2 and Phi X174) are variable and highly dependent on storage buffers. Regardless of the storage temperature and timespan, all tested phages immediately lost 100% (DNA/RNA Shield) or more than 90% (StayRNA and RNAlater) of their infectivity. Generally, in SM buffer at 4 °C phage infectivity was preserved for up to 30 days and phage DNA integrity was maintained for up to 100 days. While in CANVAX, the most effective buffer, all spiked phage genomes were preserved for at least 100 days. Prolonged storage time (500 days) at - 80 °C impacted viral diversity differently in the different buffers. Samples stored in CANVAX or DNA/RNA Shield buffer had the least shifts in metavirome composition, after prolonged storage, but they yielded more contigs classified as "uncharacterised". Moreover, in contrast to the SM buffer, these storage buffers yielded a higher fraction of bacterial DNA in metavirome-sequencing libraries. We demonstrated that the latter was due to inactivation of the DNases employed to remove extra-cellular DNA during virome extraction. The latter could be partly avoided by employing additional washing steps prior to virome extraction.

CONCLUSION: Fecal sample storage buffers and storage conditions (time and temperature) strongly influence bacteriophage infectivity and viral composition as determined by plaque assay and metavirome sequencing. The choice of buffer had a larger effect than storage temperature and storage time on the quality of the viral sequences and analyses. Based on these results, we recommend storage of fecal virome samples at in SM buffer at 4 °C for the isolation of viruses and at - 80 °C for metagenomic applications if practically feasible (i.e., access to cold storage). For fecal samples stored in other buffers, samples should be cleared of these buffers before viral extraction and sequencing. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-08-27

Barman D, MS Dkhar (2023)

Purification and characterization of moderately thermostable raw-starch digesting α-amylase from endophytic Streptomyces mobaraensis DB13 associated with Costus speciosus.

The Journal of general and applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Endophytic actinobacteria are known to produce various enzymes with potential industrial applications. Alpha-amylase is an important class of industrial enzyme with a multi-dimensional utility. The present experiment was designed to characterize a moderately thermostable α-amylase producing endophytic Streptomyces mobaraensis DB13 isolated from Costus speciosus (J. Koenig) Sm. The enzyme was purified using 60% ammonium sulphate precipitation, dialysis, and Sephadex G-100 column chromatography. Based on 12% SDS-PAGE, the molecular weight of the purified α-amylase was estimated to be 55 kDa. The maximum α-amylase activity was achieved at pH 7.0, 50°C and it retained 80% of its activity at both pH 7.0 and 8.0 after incubation for 2 h. The α-mylase activity is strongly enhanced by Ca[2+], Mg[2+], and inhibited by Ba[2+]. The activity remains stable in the presence of Tween-80, SDS, PMSF, and Triton X-100; however, β-mercaptoethanol, EDTA, and H2O2 reduced the activity. The kinetic parameters Km and Vmax values for this α-amylase were calculated as 2.53 mM and 29.42 U/mL respectively. The α-amylase had the ability to digest various raw starches at a concentration of 10 mg/mL at pH 7.0, 50°C, where maize and rice are the preferred substrates. The digestion starts after 4 h of incubation, which reaches maximum after 48 h of incubation. These results suggest that S. mobaraensis DB13 is a potential source of moderately thermostable α-amylase enzyme, that effciently hydrolyzes raw starch. It suggesting that this α-amylase is a promising candidate to be use for industrial purposes.

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Pérez-Cobas AE, Ginevra C, Rusniok C, et al (2023)

The respiratory tract microbiome, the pathogen load, and clinical interventions define severity of bacterial pneumonia.

Cell reports. Medicine pii:S2666-3791(23)00320-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial pneumonia is a considerable problem worldwide. Here, we follow the inter-kingdom respiratory tract microbiome (RTM) of a unique cohort of 38 hospitalized patients (n = 97 samples) with pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila. The RTM composition is characterized by diversity drops early in hospitalization and ecological species replacement. RTMs with the highest bacterial and fungal loads show low diversity and pathogen enrichment, suggesting high biomass as a biomarker for secondary and/or co-infections. The RTM structure is defined by a "commensal" cluster associated with a healthy RTM and a "pathogen" enriched one, suggesting that the cluster equilibrium drives the microbiome to recovery or dysbiosis. Legionella biomass correlates with disease severity and co-morbidities, while clinical interventions influence the RTM dynamics. Fungi, archaea, and protozoa seem to contribute to progress of pneumonia. Thus, the interplay of the RTM equilibrium, the pathogen load dynamics, and clinical interventions play a critical role in patient recovery.

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Guo T, Wang T, Chen L, et al (2023)

Whole-grain highland barley premade biscuit prepared by hot-extrusion 3D printing: Printability and nutritional assessment.

Food chemistry, 432:137226 pii:S0308-8146(23)01844-7 [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, to explore the possibility of applying whole-grain highland barley (HB) in functional food, HB premade biscuit was created by hot-extrusion 3D printing (HEP) for the first time, and its printability and nutritional functions were evaluated. The rheology results showed 20% (w/w) HB suspension with 9% corn oil addition had better printability due to the formation of a structure with higher elasticity and stronger resistance to deformation. Moreover, the obtained premade biscuit had lower predicted glycemic index (pGI) and starch digestibility. Meanwhile, in vivo experiment results showed it could affect the glycolipid metabolism, ameliorate the high fat diet (HFD)-induced metabolic disorders and maintain the balance of the gut microbial ecology. This could be attributed to the decrease in Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio and the proliferation of propionate-producing probiotics, especially Veilonella, Weissella and Desulfovibrio. Overall, this study could provide basic data and innovative approaches to prepare nutritional whole-grain foods.

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Seward J, Bräuer S, Beckett P, et al (2023)

Recovery of Smelter-Impacted Peat and Sphagnum Moss: a Microbial Perspective.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Peatlands store approximately one-half of terrestrial soil carbon and one-tenth of non-glacial freshwater. Some of these important ecosystems are located near heavy metal emitting smelters. To improve the understanding of smelter impacts and potential recovery after initial pollution controls in the 1970s (roughly 50 years of potential recovery), we sampled peatlands along a distance gradient of 134 km from a smelter in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, an area with over a century of nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) mining activity. This work is aimed at evaluating potential shifts in bacterial and archaeal community structures in Sphagnum moss and its underlying peat within smelter-impacted poor fens. In peat, total Ni and Cu concentrations were higher (0.062-0.067 and 0.110-0.208 mg/g, respectively) at sites close to the smelter and exponentially dropped with distance from the smelter. This exponential decrease in Ni concentrations was also observed in Sphagnum. 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing showed that peat and Sphagnum moss host distinct microbiomes with peat accommodating a more diverse community structure. The microbiomes of Sphagnum were dominated by Proteobacteria (62.5%), followed by Acidobacteria (11.9%), with no observable trends with distance from the smelter. Dominance of Acidobacteria (32.4%) and Proteobacteria (29.6%) in peat was reported across all sites. No drift in taxonomy was seen across the distance gradient or from the reference sites, suggesting a potential microbiome recovery toward that of the reference peatlands microbiomes after decades of pollution controls. These results advance the understanding of peat and Sphagnum moss microbiomes, as well as depict the sensitivities and the resilience of peatland ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Won S, Shin C, HY Kang (2023)

Potential Self-Attenuation of Arsenic by Indigenous Microorganisms in the Nakdong River.

Microorganisms, 11(8):.

The toxic element arsenic (As) has become the major focus of global research owing to its harmful effects on human health, resulting in the establishment of several guidelines to prevent As contamination. The widespread industrial use of As has led to its accumulation in the environment, increasing the necessity to develop effective remediation technologies. Among various treatments, such as chemical, physical, and biological treatments, used to remediate As-contaminated environments, biological methods are the most economical and eco-friendly. Microbial oxidation of arsenite (As(III)) to arsenate (As(V)) is a primary detoxification strategy for As remediation as it reduces As toxicity and alters its mobility in the environment. Here, we evaluated the self-detoxification potential of microcosms isolated from Nakdong River water by investigating the autotrophic and heterotrophic oxidation of As(III) to As(V). Experimental data revealed that As(III) was oxidized to As(V) during the autotrophic and heterotrophic growth of river water microcosms. However, the rate of oxidation was significantly higher under heterotrophic conditions because of the higher cell growth and density in an organic-matter-rich environment compared to that under autotrophic conditions without the addition of external organic matter. At an As(III) concentration > 5 mM, autotrophic As(III) oxidation remained incomplete, even after an extended incubation time. This inhibition can be attributed to the toxic effect of the high contaminant concentration on bacterial growth and the acidification of the growth medium with the oxidation of As(III) to As(V). Furthermore, we isolated representative pure cultures from both heterotrophic- and autotrophic-enriched cultures. The new isolates revealed new members of As(III)-oxidizing bacteria in the diversified bacterial community. This study highlights the natural process of As attenuation within river systems, showing that microcosms in river water can detoxify As under both organic-matter-rich and -deficient conditions. Additionally, we isolated the bacterial strains HTAs10 and ATAs5 from the microcosm which can be further investigated for potential use in As remediation systems. Our findings provide insights into the microbial ecology of As(III) oxidation in river ecosystems and provide a foundation for further investigations into the application of these bacteria for bioremediation.

RevDate: 2023-08-25

Pinheiro Alves de Souza Y, Schloter M, Weisser W, et al (2023)

Deterministic Development of Soil Microbial Communities in Disturbed Soils Depends on Microbial Biomass of the Bioinoculum.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Despite its enormous importance for ecosystem services, factors driving microbial recolonization of soils after disturbance are still poorly understood. Here, we compared the microbial recolonization patterns of a disturbed, autoclaved soil using different amounts of the original non-disturbed soil as inoculum. By using this approach, we manipulated microbial biomass, but did not change microbial diversity of the inoculum. We followed the development of a new soil microbiome after reinoculation over a period of 4 weeks using a molecular barcoding approach as well as qPCR. Focus was given on the assessment of bacteria and archaea. We could show that 1 week after inoculation in all inoculated treatments bacterial biomass exceeded the values from the original soil as a consequence of high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in the disturbed soil resulting from the disturbance. This high biomass was persistent over the complete experimental period. In line with the high DOC concentrations, in the first 2 weeks of incubation, copiotrophic bacteria dominated the community, which derived from the inoculum used. Only in the disturbed control soils which did not receive a microbial inoculum, recolonization pattern differed. In contrast, archaeal biomass did not recover over the experimental period and recolonization was strongly triggered by amount of inoculated original soil added. Interestingly, the variability between replicates of the same inoculation density decreased with increasing biomass in the inoculum, indicating a deterministic development of soil microbiomes if higher numbers of cells are used for reinoculation.

RevDate: 2023-08-27

Cao Y, Wang R, Liu Y, et al (2023)

Improved Calculations of Heavy Metal Toxicity Coefficients for Evaluating Potential Ecological Risk in Sediments Based on Seven Major Chinese Water Systems.

Toxics, 11(8):.

Several methods have been used to assess heavy metal contamination in sediments. However, an assessment that considers both composite heavy metal speciation and concentration is necessary to accurately study ecological risks. This study improved the potential ecological risk index method and calculated the toxicity coefficients of seven heavy metals: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb), and Zinc (Zn). The newly calculated toxicity coefficients were validated by using previously published heavy metal distribution data of the Henan section of the Yellow River. The calculation procedure is based on the principle that the abundance of heavy metals in the environment and their bioavailable forms affect the toxicity of heavy metals. The toxicity coefficients for the seven heavy metals were calculated as follows: As = 10, Cd = 20, Cr = 5, Cu = 2, Ni = 5, Pb = 5, Zn = 1. Ecological risk assessment of the Henan section of the Yellow River using the improved toxicity coefficients revealed that the ecological risk of Cd and total heavy metals is higher than previous calculations, reaching the strength and moderate risk levels, respectively. The improved potential ecological risk index method is more sensitive to heavy metal pollution and thus provides a better indication of ecological risk. This is a necessary improvement to provide more accurate pollution assessments.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Chen X, Li Q, Chen D, et al (2023)

Restoration Measures of Fencing after Tilling Guided Succession of Grassland Soil Microbial Community Structure to Natural Grassland in the Sanjiangyuan Agro-pasture Ecotone of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

In the fragile Sanjiangyuan (SJY) agro-pasture ecotone of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), planting and fencing have been used to alleviate grassland degradation and to provide high-quality grass seeds for the implementation of the project of "grain for green". The soil microbe is the major driving factor in maintaining plant productivity and soil nutrient cycling. However, few studies have explored the effects of planting and fencing on soil microorganisms in the SJY agro-pasture ecotone. We explored the effects of tilling (TG) and fencing after tilling (FTG) on soil microbial communities to reveal the effects of restoration measures on soil microbes and to provide a reference in assessing and improving ecosystem structure. The results showed that restoration measures increased soil microbial species diversity and significantly changed their community structure. We found, the microbial composition was more complex under FTG, and its fungal variability was higher and more similar to that of natural grassland. Additionally, restoration measures resulted in fungal co-occurrence network was more edges, higher density, larger diameter and more positive interactions. This was due to the management of the vegetation-soil microenvironment by FTG inducing a differentiation of microbial community structure. In summary, the implementation of FTG could change the microenvironment in the SJY agro-pasture ecotone, so that variation in the structure of microbial community tended toward that of natural grassland, and increased the stability of microbial co-occurrence network, which was more obvious in the fungal community. HIGHLIGHTS: • Restoration measures have changed the vegetation characteristics and soil microenvironment. • Fencing after tilling (FTG) has brought the microenvironment closer to natural grassland. • FTG significantly increased microbial unique ASVs. The number of fungal unique ASVs was similar to that of natural grassland. • FTG resulted in changes in microbial community structure towards natural grasslands and increased the stability of the microbial co-occurrence network, which was more apparent in the fungal community.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

De Micco V, Amitrano C, Mastroleo F, et al (2023)

Plant and microbial science and technology as cornerstones to Bioregenerative Life Support Systems in space.

NPJ microgravity, 9(1):69.

Long-term human space exploration missions require environmental control and closed Life Support Systems (LSS) capable of producing and recycling resources, thus fulfilling all the essential metabolic needs for human survival in harsh space environments, both during travel and on orbital/planetary stations. This will become increasingly necessary as missions reach farther away from Earth, thereby limiting the technical and economic feasibility of resupplying resources from Earth. Further incorporation of biological elements into state-of-the-art (mostly abiotic) LSS, leading to bioregenerative LSS (BLSS), is needed for additional resource recovery, food production, and waste treatment solutions, and to enable more self-sustainable missions to the Moon and Mars. There is a whole suite of functions crucial to sustain human presence in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and successful settlement on Moon or Mars such as environmental control, air regeneration, waste management, water supply, food production, cabin/habitat pressurization, radiation protection, energy supply, and means for transportation, communication, and recreation. In this paper, we focus on air, water and food production, and waste management, and address some aspects of radiation protection and recreation. We briefly discuss existing knowledge, highlight open gaps, and propose possible future experiments in the short-, medium-, and long-term to achieve the targets of crewed space exploration also leading to possible benefits on Earth.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Wang SH, Yuan SW, Che FF, et al (2023)

Strong bacterial stochasticity and fast fungal turnover in Taihu Lake sediments, China.

Environmental research pii:S0013-9351(23)01758-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the assembly and turnover of microbial communities is crucial for gaining insights into the diversity and functioning of lake ecosystems, a fundamental and central issue in microbial ecology. The ecosystem of Taihu Lake has been significantly jeopardized due to urbanization and industrialization. In this study, we examined the diversity, assembly, and turnover of bacterial and fungal communities in Taihu Lake sediment. The results revealed strong bacterial stochasticity and fast fungal turnover in the sediment. Significant heterogeneity was observed among all sediment samples in terms of environmental factors, especially ORP, TOC, and TN, as well as microbial community composition and alpha diversity. For instance, the fungal richness index exhibited an approximate 3-fold variation. Among the environmental factors, TOC, TN, and pH had a more pronounced influence on the bacterial community composition compared to the fungal community composition. Interestingly, species replacement played a dominant role in microbial beta diversity, with fungi exhibiting a stronger pattern. In contrast, stochastic processes governed the community assembly of both bacteria and fungi, but were more pronounced for bacteria (R[2] = 0.7 vs. 0.5). These findings deepen the understanding of microbial assembly and turnover in sediments under environmental stress and provide essential insights for maintaining the multifunctionality of lake ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Armour CR, Sovacool KL, Close WL, et al (2023)

Machine learning classification by fitting amplicon sequences to existing OTUs.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

The ability to use 16S rRNA gene sequence data to train machine learning classification models offers the opportunity to diagnose patients based on the composition of their microbiome. In some applications, the taxonomic resolution that provides the best models may require the use of de novo operational taxonomic units (OTUs) whose composition changes when new data are added. We previously developed a new reference-based approach, OptiFit, that fits new sequence data to existing de novo OTUs without changing the composition of the original OTUs. While OptiFit produces OTUs that are as high quality as de novo OTUs, it is unclear whether this method for fitting new sequence data into existing OTUs will impact the performance of classification models relative to models trained and tested only using de novo OTUs. We used OptiFit to cluster sequences into existing OTUs and evaluated model performance in classifying a dataset containing samples from patients with and without colonic screen relevant neoplasia (SRN). We compared the performance of this model to standard methods including de novo and database-reference-based clustering. We found that using OptiFit performed as well or better in classifying SRNs. OptiFit can streamline the process of classifying new samples by avoiding the need to retrain models using reclustered sequences. IMPORTANCE There is great potential for using microbiome data to aid in diagnosis. A challenge with de novo operational taxonomic unit (OTU)-based classification models is that 16S rRNA gene sequences are often assigned to OTUs based on similarity to other sequences in the dataset. If data are generated from new patients, the old and new sequences must be reclustered to OTUs and the classification model retrained. Yet there is a desire to have a single, validated model that can be widely deployed. To overcome this obstacle, we applied the OptiFit clustering algorithm to fit new sequence data to existing OTUs allowing for reuse of the model. A random forest model implemented using OptiFit performed as well as the traditional reassign and retrain approach. This result shows that it is possible to train and apply machine learning models based on OTU relative abundance data that do not require retraining or the use of a reference database.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Kandeel SA, AA Megahed (2023)

Editorial: Infectious diseases, microbial ecology, and antimicrobial resistance dynamics in food animals.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 10:1266980.

RevDate: 2023-08-23

Wei N, J Tan (2023)

Environment and Host Genetics Influence the Biogeography of Plant Microbiome Structure.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

To understand how microbiota influence plant populations in nature, it is important to examine the biogeographic distribution of plant-associated microbiomes and the underlying mechanisms. However, we currently lack a fundamental understanding of the biogeography of plant microbiomes across populations and the environmental and host genetic factors that shape their distribution. Leveraging the broad distribution and extensive genetic variation in duckweeds (the Lemna species complex), we identified key factors that governed plant microbiome diversity and compositional variation geographically. In line with the microbial biogeography of free-living microbiomes, we observed higher bacterial richness in temperate regions relative to lower latitudes in duckweed microbiomes (with 10% higher in temperate populations). Our analyses revealed that higher temperature and sodium concentration in aquatic environments showed a negative impact on duckweed bacterial richness, whereas temperature, precipitation, pH, and concentrations of phosphorus and calcium, along with duckweed genetic variation, influenced the biogeographic variation of duckweed bacterial community composition. Analyses of plant microbiome assembly processes further revealed that niche-based selection played an important role (26%) in driving the biogeographic variation of duckweed bacterial communities, alongside the contributions of dispersal limitation (33%) and drift (39%). These findings add significantly to our understanding of host-associated microbial biogeography and provide important insights for predicting plant microbiome vulnerability and resilience under changing climates and intensifying anthropogenic activities.

RevDate: 2023-08-22

Fecchio A, Bell JA, Williams EJ, et al (2023)

Co-infection with Leucocytozoon and Other Haemosporidian Parasites Increases with Latitude and Altitude in New World Bird Communities.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Establishing how environmental gradients and host ecology drive spatial variation in infection rates and diversity of pathogenic organisms is one of the central goals in disease ecology. Here, we identified the predictors of concomitant infection and lineage richness of blood parasites in New Word bird communities. Our multi-level Bayesian models revealed that higher latitudes and elevations played a determinant role in increasing the probability of a bird being co-infected with Leucocytozoon and other haemosporidian parasites. The heterogeneity in both single and co-infection rates was similarly driven by host attributes and temperature, with higher probabilities of infection in heavier migratory host species and at cooler localities. Latitude, elevation, host body mass, migratory behavior, and climate were also predictors of Leucocytozoon lineage richness across the New World avian communities, with decreasing parasite richness at higher elevations, rainy and warmer localities, and in heavier and resident host species. Increased parasite richness was found farther from the equator, confirming a reverse Latitudinal Diversity Gradient pattern for this parasite group. The increased rates of Leucocytozoon co-infection and lineage richness with increased latitude are in opposition with the pervasive assumption that pathogen infection rates and diversity are higher in tropical host communities.

RevDate: 2023-08-24
CmpDate: 2023-08-24

Li X, Chen D, Carrión VJ, et al (2023)

Acidification suppresses the natural capacity of soil microbiome to fight pathogenic Fusarium infections.

Nature communications, 14(1):5090.

Soil-borne pathogens pose a major threat to food production worldwide, particularly under global change and with growing populations. Yet, we still know very little about how the soil microbiome regulates the abundance of soil pathogens and their impact on plant health. Here we combined field surveys with experiments to investigate the relationships of soil properties and the structure and function of the soil microbiome with contrasting plant health outcomes. We find that soil acidification largely impacts bacterial communities and reduces the capacity of soils to combat fungal pathogens. In vitro assays with microbiomes from acidified soils further highlight a declined ability to suppress Fusarium, a globally important plant pathogen. Similarly, when we inoculate healthy plants with an acidified soil microbiome, we show a greatly reduced capacity to prevent pathogen invasion. Finally, metagenome sequencing of the soil microbiome and untargeted metabolomics reveals a down regulation of genes associated with the synthesis of sulfur compounds and reduction of key traits related to sulfur metabolism in acidic soils. Our findings suggest that changes in the soil microbiome and disruption of specific microbial processes induced by soil acidification can play a critical role for plant health.

RevDate: 2023-08-23
CmpDate: 2023-08-23

Ricks KD, Ricks NJ, AC Yannarell (2023)

Patterns of Plant Salinity Adaptation Depend on Interactions with Soil Microbes.

The American naturalist, 202(3):276-287.

AbstractAs plant-microbe interactions are both ubiquitous and critical in shaping plant fitness, patterns of plant adaptation to their local environment may be influenced by these interactions. Identifying the contribution of soil microbes to plant adaptation may provide insight into the evolution of plant traits and their microbial symbioses. To this end, we assessed the contribution of soil microbes to plant salinity adaptation by growing 10 populations of Bromus tectorum, collected from habitats differing in their salinity, in the greenhouse under either high-salinity or nonsaline conditions and with or without soil microbial partners. Across two live soil inoculum treatments, we found evidence for adaptation of these populations to their home salinity environment. However, when grown in sterile soils, plants were slightly maladapted to their home salinity environment. As plants were on average more fit in sterile soils, pathogenic microbes may have been significant drivers of plant fitness herein. Consequently, we hypothesized that the plant fitness advantage in their home salinity may have been due to increased plant resistance to pathogenic attack in those salinity environments. Our results highlight that plant-microbe interactions may partially mediate patterns of plant adaptation as well as be important selective agents in plant evolution.

RevDate: 2023-08-22

Theodorescu M, Bucur R, Bulzu PA, et al (2023)

Environmental Drivers of the Moonmilk Microbiome Diversity in Some Temperate and Tropical Caves.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Moonmilk is a cave deposit that was used for medical and cosmetic purposes and has lately raised interest for its antimicrobial potential. We studied five moonmilk samples from four caves with different microclimatic conditions, two temperate in north-western and northern Romania (Ferice, Fața Apei, and Izvorul Tăușoarelor caves) and one tropical in Minas Gerais, Brazil (Nestor Cave). The physicochemical and mineralogical analyses confirmed the presence of calcite and dolomite as the main phase in the moonmilk. A 16S rRNA gene-based metabarcoding approach showed the most abundant bacteria phyla Proteobacteria, GAL15, Actinobacteriota, and Acidobacteriota. The investigated caves differed in the dominant orders of bacteria, with the highest distance between the Romanian and Nestor Cave samples. Climate and, implicitly, the soil microbiome can be responsible for some differences we found between all the samples. However, other factors can be involved in shaping the moonmilk microbiome, as differences were found between samples in the same cave (Ferice). In our five moonmilk samples, 1 phylum, 70 orders (~ 36%), and 252 genera (~ 47%) were unclassified, which hints at the great potential of cave microorganisms for future uses.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Utzeri VJ, Cilli E, Fontani F, et al (2023)

Ancient DNA re-opens the question of the phylogenetic position of the Sardinian pika Prolagus sardus (Wagner, 1829), an extinct lagomorph.

Scientific reports, 13(1):13635.

Palaeogenomics is contributing to refine our understanding of many major evolutionary events at an unprecedented resolution, with relevant impacts in several fields, including phylogenetics of extinct species. Few extant and extinct animal species from Mediterranean regions have been characterised at the DNA level thus far. The Sardinian pika, Prolagus sardus (Wagner, 1829), was an iconic lagomorph species that populated Sardinia and Corsica and became extinct during the Holocene. There is a certain scientific debate on the phylogenetic assignment of the extinct genus Prolagus to the family Ochotonidae (one of the only two extant families of the order Lagomorpha) or to a separated family Prolagidae, or to the subfamily Prolaginae within the family Ochotonidae. In this study, we successfully reconstructed a portion of the mitogenome of a Sardinian pika dated to the Neolithic period and recovered from the Cabaddaris cave, an archaeological site in Sardinia. Our calibrated phylogeny may support the hypothesis that the genus Prolagus is an independent sister group to the family Ochotonidae that diverged from the Ochotona genus lineage about 30 million years ago. These results may contribute to refine the phylogenetic interpretation of the morphological peculiarities of the Prolagus genus already described by palaeontological studies.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Kuzyk SB, Messner K, Plouffe J, et al (2023)

Diverse aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs synthesize bacteriochlorophyll in oligotrophic rather than copiotrophic conditions, suggesting ecological niche.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

While investigating aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs (AAP) from Lake Winnipeg's bacterial community, over 500 isolates were obtained. Relatives of 20 different species were examined simultaneously, identifying conditions for optimal growth or pigment production to determine features that may unify this group of phototrophs. All were distributed among assorted α-Proteobacterial families including Erythrobacteraceae, Sphingomonadaceae, Sphingosinicellaceae, Acetobacteraceae, Methylobacteriaceae, and Rhodobacteraceae. Major phenotypic characteristics matched phylogenetic association, including pigmentation, morphology, metal transformations, tolerances, lipid configurations, and enzyme activities, which distinctly separated each taxonomic family. While varying pH and temperature had a limited independent impact on pigment production, bacteriochlorophyll synthesis was distinctly promoted under low nutrient conditions, whereas copiotrophy repressed its production but enhanced carotenoid yield. New AAP diversity was also reported by revealing strains related to non-phototrophic Rubellimicrobium and Sphingorhabdus, as well as spread throughout Roseomonas, Sphingomonas, and Methylobacterium/Methylorubrum, which previously only had a few known photosynthetic members. This study exemplified the overwhelming diversity of AAP in a single aquatic environment, confirming cultivation continues to be of importance in microbial ecology to discover functionality in both new and previously reported cohorts of bacteria as specific laboratory conditions were required to promote aerobic bacteriochlorophyll production.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Lee H, Bloxham B, J Gore (2023)

Resource competition can explain simplicity in microbial community assembly.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(35):e2212113120.

Predicting the composition and diversity of communities is a central goal in ecology. While community assembly is considered hard to predict, laboratory microcosms often follow a simple assembly rule based on the outcome of pairwise competitions. This assembly rule predicts that a species that is excluded by another species in pairwise competition cannot survive in a multispecies community with that species. Despite the empirical success of this bottom-up prediction, its mechanistic origin has remained elusive. In this study, we elucidate how this simple pattern in community assembly can emerge from resource competition. Our geometric analysis of a consumer-resource model shows that trio community assembly is always predictable from pairwise outcomes when one species grows faster than another species on every resource. We also identify all possible trio assembly outcomes under three resources and find that only two outcomes violate the assembly rule. Simulations demonstrate that pairwise competitions accurately predict trio assembly with up to 100 resources and the assembly of larger communities containing up to twelve species. We then further demonstrate accurate quantitative prediction of community composition using the harmonic mean of pairwise fractions. Finally, we show that cross-feeding between species does not decrease assembly rule prediction accuracy. Our findings highlight that simple community assembly can emerge even in ecosystems with complex underlying dynamics.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Flocco CG, Methner A, Burkart F, et al (2023)

Touching the (almost) untouchable: a minimally invasive workflow for microbiological and biomolecular analyses of cultural heritage objects.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1197837.

Microbiological and biomolecular approaches to cultural heritage research have expanded the established research horizon from the prevalent focus on the cultural objects' conservation and human health protection to the relatively recent applications to provenance inquiry and assessment of environmental impacts in a global context of a changing climate. Standard microbiology and molecular biology methods developed for other materials, specimens, and contexts could, in principle, be applied to cultural heritage research. However, given certain characteristics common to several heritage objects-such as uniqueness, fragility, high value, and restricted access, tailored approaches are required. In addition, samples of heritage objects may yield low microbial biomass, rendering them highly susceptible to cross-contamination. Therefore, dedicated methodology addressing these limitations and operational hurdles is needed. Here, we review the main experimental challenges and propose a standardized workflow to study the microbiome of cultural heritage objects, illustrated by the exploration of bacterial taxa. The methodology was developed targeting the challenging side of the spectrum of cultural heritage objects, such as the delicate written record, while retaining flexibility to adapt and/or upscale it to heritage artifacts of a more robust constitution or larger dimensions. We hope this tailored review and workflow will facilitate the interdisciplinary inquiry and interactions among the cultural heritage research community.

RevDate: 2023-08-19

Cleary DFR, de Voogd NJ, Stuij TM, et al (2023)

A Study of Sponge Symbionts from Different Light Habitats.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The amount of available light plays a key role in the growth and development of microbial communities. In the present study, we tested to what extent sponge-associated prokaryotic communities differed between specimens of the sponge species Cinachyrella kuekenthali and Xestospongia muta collected in dimly lit (caves and at greater depths) versus illuminated (shallow water) habitats. In addition to this, we also collected samples of water, sediment, and another species of Cinachyrella, C. alloclada. Overall, the biotope (sponge host species, sediment, and seawater) proved the major driver of variation in prokaryotic community composition. The light habitat, however, also proved a predictor of compositional variation in prokaryotic communities of both C. kuekenthali and X. muta. We used an exploratory technique based on machine learning to identify features (classes, orders, and OTUs), which distinguished X. muta specimens sampled in dimly lit versus illuminated habitat. We found that the classes Alphaproteobacteria and Rhodothermia and orders Puniceispirillales, Rhodospirillales, Rhodobacterales, and Thalassobaculales were associated with specimens from illuminated, i.e., shallow water habitat, while the classes Dehalococcoidia, Spirochaetia, Entotheonellia, Nitrospiria, Schekmanbacteria, and Poribacteria, and orders Sneathiellales and Actinomarinales were associated with specimens sampled from dimly lit habitat. There was, however, considerable variation within the different light habitats highlighting the importance of other factors in structuring sponge-associated bacterial communities.

RevDate: 2023-08-18

Martínez LT, Marchant M, Díaz RTA, et al (2023)

Benthic Foraminifera as Pollution Biomarkers: a Morphological Approach.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Coastal areas are often intervened by anthropic activities, which increase the contamination of toxic agents such as heavy metals. This causes adverse morphological effects on benthic microorganisms, such as foraminifera. This group is one of the most susceptible to environmental deterioration, so they can be used as pollution biomarkers by identifying shell abnormalities. Therefore, 28 sediment samples from northern Chile were analyzed, calculating the Abnormality Index-FAI and its spatio-temporal distributions in benthic foraminifera, as well as the minimum and maximum abnormality percentages and their relationship with heavy metal concentrations, using a generalized non-linear model and a principal component analysis. The results indicated a proportion of abnormal shells within the ranges described for polluted areas conditions, revealing environmental stress conditions. This reflected a change in the environmental conditions in the most recent sediments of the bay. The highest FAI values were observed to the southwest of the bay, caused by the local current system. The species Bolivina seminuda, Buliminella elegantissima, and Epistominella exigua presented a greater number of deformities, allowing them to be used as contamination biomarkers. A significant correlation was found between Ti, Mn, Ni, Va, and Ba with decreased chamber sizes, wrong coiling, scars, and number of abnormality types. This suggests the effect of the particular geochemical conditions of the area on the heavy metals that cause toxic effects on foraminifera. These analyses are an efficient tool for identifying the effects of environmental stress before they occur in higher organisms, mitigating the environmental impact on marine biodiversity.

RevDate: 2023-08-21
CmpDate: 2023-08-21

Hambleton EA (2023)

How corals get their nutrients.

eLife, 12:.

Algae living inside corals provide sugars for their host by digesting their own cell walls.

RevDate: 2023-08-21
CmpDate: 2023-08-21

de Almeida OGG, ECP De Martinis (2022)

Multitargeted Analyses are Instrumental for Microbial Ecology Studies.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

RevDate: 2023-08-16

Bai X, Dinkla IJT, G Muyzer (2023)

Shedding light on the total and active core microbiomes in slow sand filters for drinking water production.

Water research, 243:120404 pii:S0043-1354(23)00840-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Slow sand filters (SSF) are widely used in the production of drinking water as a last barrier in the removal of pathogens. This removal mainly depends on the 'Schmutzdecke', a biofilm-like layer on the surface of the sand bed. Most previous studies focused on the total community as revealed by DNA analysis rather than on the active community, which may lead to an incorrect understanding of the SSF ecology. In the current study, we determined and compared the DNA- (total) and RNA-displayed (active) communities in the Schmutzdecke layer from 10 full-scale slow sand filters and further explored the SSF core microbiome in terms of both presence (DNA) and activity (RNA). Discrepancies were observed between the total and the active community, although there was a consistent grouping in the PCoA analysis. The DNA-displayed community may be somewhat inflated, while the RNA-displayed community could reveal low abundance (or rare) but active community members. The overall results imply that both DNA (presence) and RNA (activity) data should be considered to prevent the underestimation of organisms of functional importance but lower abundance. Microbial communities of studied mature Schmutzdecke were shaped by the influent water. Nevertheless, a core microbiome was shared by the mature Schmutzdeckes from independent filters, representing the dominant and consistent microbial community composition in slow sand filters. In the DNA samples, a total of 33 VSC families ('very strict core', with a relative abundance >0.1% and 100% prevalence) were observed across all filters. Among the RNA samples, there were 18 VSC families, including 16 families that overlapped with the DNA VSC families and 2 unique RNA VSC families. The core microbial community structure was influenced by the operational parameters, including the Schmutzdecke age and the sand size, and was less influenced by water flow. In addition, indicator organisms ('biomarkers') for the Schmutzdecke age, which show the longest duration that SSF can maintain a good operation, were observed in our study. The abundant presence of bacteria belonging to bacteriap25 and Caldilineaceae was associated with older Schmutzdeckes, revealing longer periods of stable operation performance of the filter, while the high abundance of bacteria belonging to Bdellovibrionaceae and Bryobacteraceae related to short periods of stable operation performance.

RevDate: 2023-08-14

Li Z, Wang J, Fan J, et al (2023)

Marine toxin domoic acid alters protistan community structure and assembly process in sediments.

Marine environmental research, 191:106131 pii:S0141-1136(23)00259-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Domoic acid (DA)-producing algal blooms have been the issue of worldwide concerns in recent decades, but there has never been any attempt to investigate the effects of DA on microbial ecology in marine environments. Protists are considered to be key regulators of microbial activity, community structure and evolution, we therefore explore the effect of DA on the ecology of protists via metagenome in this work. The results indicate that trace amounts of DA can act as a stressor to alter alpha and beta diversity of protistan community. Among trophic functional groups, consumers and phototrophs are negative responders of DA, implying DA is potentially capable of functional-level effects in the ocean. Moreover, microecological theory reveals that induction of DA increases the role of deterministic processes in microbial community assembly, thus altering the biotic relationships and successional processes in symbiotic patterns. Finally, we demonstrate that the mechanism by which DA shapes protistan ecological network is by acting on phototrophs, which triggers cascading effects in networks and eventually leading to shifts in ecological succession of protists. Overall, our results present the first perspective regarding the effects of DA on marine microbial ecology, which will supplement timely information on the ecological impacts of DA in the ocean.

RevDate: 2023-08-13

Song Y, Zhang S, Lu J, et al (2023)

Reed restoration decreased nutrients in wetlands with dredged sediments: Microbial community assembly and function in rhizosphere.

Journal of environmental management, 344:118700 pii:S0301-4797(23)01488-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Using dredged sediments as substrate for aquatic plants is a low-cost and ecological friendly way for in situ aquatic ecological restoration. However, the limited information available about how aquatic plant restoration affects the microbial ecology and nutrients in dredged sediments. In this study, nutrient contents, enzyme activities, and bacterial and archaeal communities in vertical sediment layers were determined in bulk and reed zones of wetlands constructed with dredged sediments in west Lake Taihu for three years. Reed restoration significantly decreased total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and organic carbon contents and increased alkaline phosphatase, urease, and sucrase activities compared to bulk area. Bacterial communities in vertical sediment layers had higher similarity in reed zone in comparison to bulk zone, and many bacterial and archaeal genera were only detected in reed rhizosphere zones. Compared with the bulk zone, the reed restoration area has a higher abundance of phylum Actinobacteriota, Hydrothermarchaeota, and class α-proteobacteria. The assembly process of the bacterial and archaeal communities was primarily shaped by dispersal limitation (67.03% and 32.97%, respectively), and stochastic processes were enhanced in the reed recovery area. Network analysis show that there were more complicated interactions among bacteria and archaea and low-abundance taxa were crucial in maintaining the microbial community stability in rhizosphere of reed zone. PICRUST2 analysis demonstrate that reed restoration promotes metabolic pathways related to C and N cycle in dredged sediments. These data highlight that using dredged sediments as substrates for aquatic plants can transform waste material into a valuable resource, enhancing the benefits to the environment.

RevDate: 2023-08-16
CmpDate: 2023-08-16

Molbert N, Ghanavi HR, Johansson T, et al (2023)

An evaluation of DNA extraction methods on historical and roadkill mammalian specimen.

Scientific reports, 13(1):13080.

Guidelines identifying appropriate DNA extraction methods for both museum and modern biological samples are scarce or non-existent for mammalian species. Yet, obtaining large-scale genetic material collections are vital for conservation and management purposes. In this study, we evaluated five protocols making use of either spin-column, organic solvents, or magnetic bead-based methods for DNA extraction on skin samples from both modern, traffic-killed (n = 10) and museum (n = 10) samples of European hedgehogs, Ericaneus europaeus. We showed that phenol-chloroform or silica column (NucleoSpin Tissue) protocols yielded the highest amount of DNA with satisfactory purity compared with magnetic bead-based protocols, especially for museum samples. Furthermore, extractions using the silica column protocol appeared to produce longer DNA fragments on average than the other methods tested. Our investigation demonstrates that both commercial extraction kits and phenol-chloroform protocol retrieve acceptable DNA concentrations for downstream processes, from degraded remnants of traffic-killed and museum samples of mammalian specimens. Although all the tested methods could be applied depending on the research questions and laboratory conditions, commercial extraction kits may be preferred due to their effectiveness, safety and the higher quality of the DNA extractions.

RevDate: 2023-08-11

Schroll M, Liu L, Einzmann T, et al (2023)

Methane accumulation and its potential precursor compounds in the oxic surface water layer of two contrasting stratified lakes.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)04830-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Methane (CH4) supersaturation in oxygenated waters is a widespread phenomenon despite the traditional perception of strict anoxic methanogenesis. This notion has recently been challenged by successive findings of processes and mechanisms that produce CH4 in oxic environments. While some of the processes contributing to the vertical accumulation of CH4 in the oxygenated upper water layers of freshwater lakes have been identified, temporal variations as well as drivers are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the accumulation of CH4 in oxic water layers of two contrasting lakes in Germany: Lake Willersinnweiher (shallow, monomictic, eutrophic) and Lake Stechlin (deep, dimictic, mesotrophic) from 2019 to 2020. The dynamics of isotopic values of CH4 and the role of potential precursor compounds of oxic CH4 production were explored. During the study period, persistent strong CH4 supersaturation (relative to air) was observed in the surface waters, mostly concentrated around the thermocline. The magnitude of vertical CH4 accumulation strongly varied over season and was generally more pronounced in shallow Lake Willersinnweiher. In both lakes, increases in CH4 concentrations from the surface to the thermocline mostly coincided with an enrichment in [13]C-CH4 and [2]H-CH4, indicating a complex interaction of multiple processes such as CH4 oxidation, CH4 transport from littoral sediments and oxic CH4 production, sustaining and controlling this CH4 supersaturation. Furthermore, incubation experiments with [13]C and [2]H labelled methylated P-, N- and C- compounds clearly showed that methylphosphonate, methylamine and methionine acted as potent precursors of accumulating CH4 and at least partly sustained CH4 supersaturation. This highlights the need to better understand the mechanisms underlying CH4 accumulation by focusing on production and transport pathways of CH4 and its precursor compounds, e.g., produced via phytoplankton. Such knowledge forms the foundation to better predict aquatic CH4 dynamics and its subsequent rates of emissions to the atmosphere.

RevDate: 2023-08-12

Michoud G, Kohler TJ, Ezzat L, et al (2023)

The dark side of the moon: first insights into the microbiome structure and function of one of the last glacier-fed streams in Africa.

Royal Society open science, 10(8):230329.

The glaciers on Africa's 'Mountains of the Moon' (Rwenzori National Park, Uganda) are predicted to disappear within the next decades owing to climate change. Consequently, the glacier-fed streams (GFSs) that drain them will vanish, along with their resident microbial communities. Despite the relevance of microbial communities for performing ecosystem processes in equatorial GFSs, their ecology remains understudied. Here, we show that the benthic microbiome from the Mt. Stanley GFS is distinct at several levels from other GFSs. Specifically, several novel taxa were present, and usually common groups such as Chrysophytes and Polaromonas exhibited lower relative abundances compared to higher-latitude GFSs, while cyanobacteria and diatoms were more abundant. The rich primary producer community in this GFS likely results from the greater environmental stability of the Afrotropics, and accordingly, heterotrophic processes dominated in the bacterial community. Metagenomics revealed that almost all prokaryotes in the Mt. Stanley GFS are capable of organic carbon oxidation, while greater than 80% have the potential for fermentation and acetate oxidation. Our findings suggest a close coupling between photoautotrophs and other microbes in this GFS, and provide a glimpse into the future for high-latitude GFSs globally where primary production is projected to increase with ongoing glacier shrinkage.

RevDate: 2023-08-10

Epp Schmidt D, Maul JE, SA Yarwood (2023)

Quantitative Amplicon Sequencing Is Necessary to Identify Differential Taxa and Correlated Taxa Where Population Sizes Differ.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

High-throughput, multiplexed-amplicon sequencing has become a core tool for understanding environmental microbiomes. As researchers have widely adopted sequencing, many open-source analysis pipelines have been developed to compare microbiomes using compositional analysis frameworks. However, there is increasing evidence that compositional analyses do not provide the information necessary to accurately interpret many community assembly processes. This is especially true when there are large gradients that drive distinct community assembly processes. Recently, sequencing has been combined with Q-PCR (among other sources of total quantitation) to generate "Quantitative Sequencing" (QSeq) data. QSeq more accurately estimates the true abundance of taxa, is a more reliable basis for inferring correlation, and, ultimately, can be more reliably related to environmental data to infer community assembly processes. In this paper, we use a combination of published data sets, synthesis, and empirical modeling to offer guidance for which contexts QSeq is advantageous. As little as 5% variation in total abundance among experimental groups resulted in more accurate inference by QSeq than compositional methods. Compositional methods for differential abundance and correlation unreliably detected patterns in abundance and covariance when there was greater than 20% variation in total abundance among experimental groups. Whether QSeq performs better for beta diversity analysis depends on the question being asked, and the analytic strategy (e.g., what distance metric is being used); for many questions and methods, QSeq and compositional analysis are equivalent for beta diversity analysis. QSeq is especially useful for taxon-specific analysis; QSeq transformation and analysis should be the default for answering taxon-specific questions of amplicon sequence data. Publicly available bioinformatics pipelines should incorporate support for QSeq transformation and analysis.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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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 )