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Bibliography on: Symbiosis

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 17 Oct 2019 at 01:46 Created: 


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

Created with PubMed® Query: symbiosis NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2019-10-16

Moonjely S, Zhang X, Fang W, et al (2019)

Metarhizium robertsii ammonium permeases (MepC and Mep2) contribute to rhizoplane colonization and modulates the transfer of insect derived nitrogen to plants.

PloS one, 14(10):e0223718 pii:PONE-D-19-07421.

The endophytic insect pathogenic fungi (EIPF) Metarhizium promotes plant growth through symbiotic association and the transfer of insect-derived nitrogen. However, little is known about the genes involved in this association and the transfer of nitrogen. In this study, we assessed the involvement of six Metarhizium robertsii genes in endophytic, rhizoplane and rhizospheric colonization with barley roots. Two ammonium permeases (MepC and Mep2) and a urease, were selected since homologous genes in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were reported to play a pivotal role in nitrogen mobilization during plant root colonization. Three other genes were selected on the basis on RNA-Seq data that showed high expression levels on bean roots, and these encoded a hydrophobin (Hyd3), a subtilisin-like serine protease (Pr1A) and a hypothetical protein. The root colonization assays revealed that the deletion of urease, hydrophobin, subtilisin-like serine protease and hypothetical protein genes had no impact on endophytic, rhizoplane and rhizospheric colonization at 10 or 20 days. However, the deletion of MepC resulted in significantly increased rhizoplane colonization at 10 days whereas ΔMep2 showed increased rhizoplane colonization at 20 days. In addition, the nitrogen transporter mutants also showed significantly higher 15N incorporation of insect derived nitrogen in barley leaves in the presence of nutrients. Insect pathogenesis assay revealed that disruption of MepC, Mep2, urease did not reduce virulence toward insects. The enhanced rhizoplane colonization of ΔMep2 and ΔMepC and insect derived nitrogen transfer to plant hosts suggests the role of MepC and Mep2 in Metarhizium-plant symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-10-16

Daubech B, Poinsot V, Klonowska A, et al (2019)

noeM, a New Nodulation Gene Involved in the Biosynthesis of Nod Factors with an Open-Chain Oxidized Terminal Residue and in the Symbiosis with Mimosa pudica.

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

The β-rhizobium Cupriavidus taiwanensis is a nitrogen-fixing symbiont of Mimosa pudica. Nod factors produced by this species were previously found to be pentameric chitin-oligomers carrying common C18:1 or C16:0 fatty acyl chains, N-methylated and C-6 carbamoylated on the nonreducing terminal N-acetylglucosamine and sulfated on the reducing terminal residue. Here, we report that, in addition, C. taiwanensis LMG19424 produces molecules where the reducing sugar is open and oxidized. We identified a novel nodulation gene located on the symbiotic plasmid pRalta, called noeM, which is involved in this atypical Nod factor structure. noeM encodes a transmembrane protein bearing a fatty acid hydroxylase domain. This gene is expressed during symbiosis with M. pudica and requires NodD and luteolin for optimal expression. The closest noeM homologs formed a separate phylogenetic clade containing rhizobial genes only, which are located on symbiosis plasmids downstream from a nod box. Corresponding proteins, referred to as NoeM, may have specialized in symbiosis via the connection to the nodulation pathway and the spread in rhizobia. noeM was mostly found in isolates of the Mimoseae tribe, and specifically detected in all tested strains able to nodulate M. pudica. A noeM deletion mutant of C. taiwanensis was affected for the nodulation of M. pudica, confirming the role of noeM in the symbiosis with this legume.

RevDate: 2019-10-16

Deo D, Davray D, R Kulkarni (2019)

A Diverse Repertoire of Exopolysaccharide Biosynthesis Gene Clusters in Lactobacillus Revealed by Comparative Analysis in 106 Sequenced Genomes.

Microorganisms, 7(10): pii:microorganisms7100444.

Production of exopolysaccharides (EPS) is one of the unique features of Lactobacillus genus. EPS not only have many physiological roles such as in stress tolerance, quorum sensing and biofilm formation, but also have numerous applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In this study, we identified and compared EPS biosynthesis gene clusters in 106 sequenced Lactobacillus genomes representing 27 species. Of the 146 identified clusters, only 41 showed the typical generic organization of genes as reported earlier. Hierarchical clustering showed highly varied nature of the clusters in terms of the gene composition; nonetheless, habitat-wise grouping was observed for the gene clusters from host-adapted and nomadic strains. Of the core genes required for EPS biosynthesis, epsA, B, C, D and E showed higher conservation, whereas gt, wzx and wzy showed high variability in terms of the number and composition of the protein families. Analysis of the distribution pattern of the protein families indicated a higher proportion of mutually exclusive families in clusters from host-adapted and nomadic strains, whereas those from the free-living group had very few unique families. Taken together, this analysis highlights high variability in the EPS gene clusters amongst Lactobacillus with some of their properties correlated to the habitats.

RevDate: 2019-10-16
CmpDate: 2019-10-16

Wang G, Huang S, Wang Y, et al (2019)

Bridging intestinal immunity and gut microbiota by metabolites.

Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, 76(20):3917-3937.

The gastrointestinal tract is the site of nutrient digestion and absorption and is also colonized by diverse, highly mutualistic microbes. The intestinal microbiota has diverse effects on the development and function of the gut-specific immune system, and provides some protection from infectious pathogens. However, interactions between intestinal immunity and microorganisms are very complex, and recent studies have revealed that this intimate crosstalk may depend on the production and sensing abilities of multiple bioactive small molecule metabolites originating from direct produced by the gut microbiota or by the metabolism of dietary components. Here, we review the interplay between the host immune system and the microbiota, how commensal bacteria regulate the production of metabolites, and how these microbiota-derived products influence the function of several major innate and adaptive immune cells involved in modulating host immune homeostasis.

RevDate: 2019-10-16
CmpDate: 2019-10-16

Karimi S, Askari Seyahooei M, Izadi H, et al (2019)

Effect of Arsenophonus Endosymbiont Elimination on Fitness of the Date Palm Hopper, Ommatissus lybicus (Hemiptera: Tropiduchidae).

Environmental entomology, 48(3):614-622.

The date palm hopper, Ommatissus lybicus de Bergevin, is one of the most important pests of the date palm in the Middle East and North Africa. This insect uses its needle-like sucking mouthparts to feed on phloem, which is devoid of most essential amino acids and many vitamins. The absence of essential nutrient in its diet is suggested to be ameliorated by endosymbionts in O. lybicus. Arsenophonus is one of the main bacterial endosymbionts widely prevalent in O. lybicus. In this study, we used antibiotics to eliminate Arsenophonus from O. lybicus originating from three populations (Fin, Qale'e Qazi, and Roodan) and studied the effects on the fitness of the pest. Our results revealed that the removal of Arsenophonus increased the developmental time of the immature stages and reduced the values of different life-history parameters including nymphal survival rate and adult longevity in the host. Furthermore, elimination of Arsenophonus completely obliterated offspring production in all O. lybicus populations investigated. These results confirm the dependency of O. lybicus on Arsenophonus for fitness and give a new insight regarding the possibility of symbiotic control of O. lybicus.

RevDate: 2019-10-16
CmpDate: 2019-10-16

Powell DA, Ma M, So M, et al (2018)

The Commensal Neisseria musculi Modulates Host Innate Immunity To Promote Oral Colonization.

ImmunoHorizons, 2(9):305-313 pii:2/9/305.

Neisseria musculi, isolated from the oral cavity of wild-caught mice, does not colonize most inbred mouse strains. N. musculi does weakly (50%) colonize C57BL/6J (B6) mice but readily colonizes CAST/EiJ (CAST) mice. In this study, we examined whether differences in the CAST and B6 host response could elucidate mechanisms governing N. musculi colonization. In vivo stimulation of B6 or CAST splenocytes with wild type (WT) Neisseria or Escherichia coli LPS showed that CAST mice had a blunted inflammatory response, producing significantly lower levels of IL-6 than B6 mice. The use of specific genetic knockouts highlighted a need for an intact innate immune system to prevent colonization. B6-RAG-1-/- mice were colonized at a similar rate as WT B6 mice, whereas B6-MyD88-/- and TLR4-/- mice were readily colonized like CAST (100%) mice. Sequence analysis revealed a unique point mutation in TLR4 in CAST mice. However, crosses to TLR4-/- mice and analysis of recombinant inbred Collaborative Cross mice showed that TLR4 from CAST mice was not sufficient to allow Neisseria colonization. In vitro stimulation of B6 bone marrow-derived macrophages or splenocytes with WT Neisseria yielded low levels of IL-6 compared with LPS stimulation. Surprisingly, UV-inactivated Neisseria induced high levels of IL-6, suggesting suppression of IL-6 production is an active bacterial process. Consistent with a critical role for IL-6 in preventing colonization, mice deficient for the IL-6 receptor were efficiently colonized, indicating host IL-6 production plays a critical role in determining host colonization susceptibility.

RevDate: 2019-10-15

Panneerselvam P, Sahoo S, Senapati A, et al (2019)

Understanding interaction effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in rice under elevated carbon dioxide conditions.

Journal of basic microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), particularly the Glomerales group, play a paramount role in plant nutrient uptake, and abiotic and biotic stress management in rice, but recent evidence revealed that elevated CO2 concentration considerably reduces the Glomerales group in soil. In view of this, the present study was initiated to understand the interaction effect of native Glomerales species application in rice plants (cv. Naveen) under elevated CO2 concentrations (400 ± 10, 550 ± 20, and 700 ± 20 ppm) in open-top chambers. Three different modes of application of the AMF inoculum were evaluated, of which, combined application of AMF at the seedling production and transplanting stages showed increased AMF colonization, which significantly improved grain yield by 25.08% and also increased uptake of phosphorus by 18.2% and nitrogen by 49.5%, as observed at 700-ppm CO2 concentration. Organic acids secretion in rice root increased in AMF-inoculated plants exposed to 700-ppm CO2 concentration. To understand the overall effect of CO2 elevation on AMF interaction with the rice plant, principal component and partial least square regression analysis were performed, which found both positive and negative responses under elevated CO2 concentration.

RevDate: 2019-10-15

Singh MP, Saxena M, Saimbi CS, et al (2019)

Post-periodontal surgery propounds early repair salivary biomarkers by 1H NMR based metabolomics.

Metabolomics : Official journal of the Metabolomic Society, 15(11):141 pii:10.1007/s11306-019-1593-3.

INTRODUCTION: Oral microflora is a well-orchestrated and acts as a sequential defense mechanism for any infection related to oral disease. Chronic periodontitis is a disease of a microbial challenge to symbiosis and homeostasis. Periodontal surgery is the most promising cure with repair process during periodontal regeneration. It has an encouraging outcome in terms of early recovery biomarkers.

OBJECTIVE: Saliva of periodontal surgery subjects with the chronic periodontitis have been evaluated by 1H NMR spectroscopy in search of possible early metabolic differences that could be obtained in order to see the eradication of disease which favours the symbiotic condition.

METHOD: The study employed 1H NMR spectroscopy on 176 human saliva samples in search of distinctive differences and their spectral data were further subjected to multivariate and quantitative analysis.

RESULT: The 1H NMR study of periodontal surgery samples shows clear demarcation and profound metabolic differences when compared with the diseased condition. Several metabolites such as lactate, ethanol, succinate, and glutamate were found to be of higher significance in periodontal surgery in contrast to chronic periodontitis subjects. The PLS-DA model of the studied group resulted in R2 of 0.83 and Q2 of 0.70.

CONCLUSION: Significant metabolites could be considered as early repair markers for chronic periodontitis disease as they are being restored to achieve symbiosis. The study, therefore, concluded the early recovery process of the diseased subjects with the restoration of possible metabolomic profile similar to the healthy controls.

RevDate: 2019-10-15

Fiorilli V, Wang JY, Bonfante P, et al (2019)

Apocarotenoids: Old and New Mediators of the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:1186.

Plants utilize hormones and other small molecules to trigger and coordinate their growth and developmental processes, adapt and respond to environmental cues, and communicate with surrounding organisms. Some of these molecules originate from carotenoids that act as universal precursors of bioactive metabolites arising through oxidation of the carotenoid backbone. This metabolic conversion produces a large set of compounds known as apocarotenoids, which includes the plant hormones abscisic acid (ABA) and strigolactones (SLs) and different signaling molecules. An increasing body of evidence suggests a crucial role of previously identified and recently discovered carotenoid-derived metabolites in the communication with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and the establishment of the corresponding symbiosis, which is one of the most relevant plant-fungus mutualistic interactions in nature. In this review, we provide an update on the function of apocarotenoid hormones and regulatory metabolites in AM symbiosis, highlighting their effect on both partners.

RevDate: 2019-10-15
CmpDate: 2019-10-15

Oron S, Abramovich S, Almogi-Labin A, et al (2018)

Depth related adaptations in symbiont bearing benthic foraminifera: New insights from a field experiment on Operculina ammonoides.

Scientific reports, 8(1):9560.

Large benthic foraminifera (LBF) are marine calcifying protists that commonly harbor algae as symbionts. These organisms are major calcium carbonate producers and important contributors to primary production in the photic zones. Light is one of the main known factors limiting their distribution, and species of this group developed specific mechanisms that allow them to occupy different habitats across the light gradient. Operculina ammonoides (Gronovius, 1781) is a planispiral LBF that has two main shell morphotypes, thick involute and flat evolute. Earlier studies suggested morphologic changes with variation in water depth and presumably light. In this study, specimens of the two morphotypes were placed in the laboratory under artificial low light and near the sea floor at depths of 15 m, 30 m, and 45 m in the Gulf of Aqaba-Eilat for 23 days. Differences in growth and symbionts content were evaluated using weight, size, and chlorophyll a. Our results show that O. ammonoides exhibit morphological plasticity when constructing thinner chambers after relocation to low light conditions, and adding more weight per area after relocation to high light conditions. In addition, O. ammonoides exhibited chlorophyll content adaptation to a certain range of light conditions, and evolute specimens that were acclimatized to very low light did not survive relocation to a high light environment, possibly due to photo-oxidative stress.

RevDate: 2019-10-15
CmpDate: 2019-10-15

Förderer M, Rödder D, MR Langer (2018)

Patterns of species richness and the center of diversity in modern Indo-Pacific larger foraminifera.

Scientific reports, 8(1):8189.

Symbiont-bearing Larger Benthic Foraminifera (LBF) are ubiquitous components of shallow tropical and subtropical environments and contribute substantially to carbonaceous reef and shelf sediments. Climate change is dramatically affecting carbonate producing organisms and threatens the diversity and structural integrity of coral reef ecosystems. Recent invertebrate and vertebrate surveys have identified the Coral Triangle as the planet's richest center of marine life delineating the region as a top priority for conservation. We compiled and analyzed extensive occurrence records for 68 validly recognized species of LBF from the Indian and Pacific Ocean, established individual range maps and applied Minimum Convex Polygon (MCP) and Species Distribution Model (SDM) methodologies to create the first ocean-wide species richness maps. SDM output was further used for visualizing latitudinal and longitudinal diversity gradients. Our findings provide strong support for assigning the tropical Central Indo-Pacific as the world's species-richest marine region with the Central Philippines emerging as the bullseye of LBF diversity. Sea surface temperature and nutrient content were identified as the most influential environmental constraints exerting control over the distribution of LBF. Our findings contribute to the completion of worldwide research on tropical marine biodiversity patterns and the identification of targeting centers for conservation efforts.

RevDate: 2019-10-15
CmpDate: 2019-10-15

Osborne SJ, McMillan VE, White R, et al (2018)

Elite UK winter wheat cultivars differ in their ability to support the colonization of beneficial root-infecting fungi.

Journal of experimental botany, 69(12):3103-3115.

In numerous countries, Gaeumannomyces species, within the Magnaporthaceae family, have previously been implicated in the suppression of take-all root disease in wheat. A UK arable isolate collection (n=47) was gathered and shown to contain Gaeumannomyces hyphopodioides and an unnamed Magnaporthaceae species. A novel seedling pot bioassay revealed that both species had a similar ability to colonize cereal roots; however, rye (Secale cereale) was only poorly colonized by the Magnaporthaceae species. To evaluate the ability of 40 elite UK winter wheat cultivars to support soil inoculum of beneficial soil-dwelling fungi, two field experiments were carried out using a naturally infested arable site in south-east England. The elite cultivars grown in the first wheat situation differed in their ability to support G. hyphopodioides inoculum, measured by colonization on Hereward as the subsequent wheat in a seedling soil core bioassay. In addition, the root colonization ability of G. hyphopodioides was influenced by the choice of the second wheat cultivar. Nine cultivars supported the colonization of the beneficial root fungus. Our findings provide evidence of complex host genotype-G. hyphopodioides interactions occurring under field conditions. This new knowledge could provide an additional soil-based crop genetic management strategy to help combat take-all root disease.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

Biedermann PHW, FE Vega (2019)

Ecology and Evolution of Insect-Fungus Mutualisms.

Annual review of entomology [Epub ahead of print].

The evolution of a mutualism requires reciprocal interactions whereby one species provides a service that the other species cannot perform or performs less efficiently. Services exchanged in insect-fungus mutualisms include nutrition, protection, and dispersal. In ectosymbioses, which are the focus of this review, fungi can be consumed by insects or can degrade plant polymers or defensive compounds, thereby making a substrate available to insects. They can also protect against environmental factors and produce compounds antagonistic to microbial competitors. Insects disperse fungi and can also provide fungal growth substrates and protection. Insect-fungus mutualisms can transition from facultative to obligate, whereby each partner is no longer viable on its own. Obligate dependency has (a) resulted in the evolution of morphological adaptations in insects and fungi, (b) driven the evolution of social behaviors in some groups of insects, and (c) led to the loss of sexuality in some fungal mutualists. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 65 is January 7, 2020. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

Benezech C, Doudement M, B Gourion (2019)

Legumes tolerance to Rhizobia is not always observed and not always deserved.

Cellular microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Rhizobia display dual lifestyle. These bacteria are soil inhabitants but can also elicit the formation of a special niche on the root of legume plants, the nodules. In such organs, rhizobia can promote the growth of their host by providing them nitrogen they captured from atmosphere. All along the infection process, the plant innate immunity has to be controlled to maintain compatible interaction. However, nodulation does not always result in profit for the plant as compatible interactions include both nitrogen-fixing and non-fixing associations. In recent years, our knowledge on the mechanisms involved in the control of plant innate immunity during rhizobia-legume interactions has greatly improved notably by the identification of bacterial and plant genes activating or suppressing the plant defenses. Surprisingly results also demonstrated that in some cases plant defense reactions result in abortion of the nodulation process despite that the rhizobial strain has all the genetic potential to establish mutualism. In such situation, experimental evolution approaches highlighted possible rapid switches of incompatible rhizobia either to mutualistic or parasitic behavior. Here we review this recent literature.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

Desai D, P Pethe (2019)

Polycomb repressive complex 1: Regulators of neurogenesis from embryonic to adult stage.

Journal of cellular physiology [Epub ahead of print].

Development of vertebrate nervous system is a complex process which involves differential gene expression and disruptions in this process or in the mature brain, may lead to neurological disorders and diseases. Extensive work that spanned several decades using rodent models and recent work on stem cells have helped uncover the intricate process of neuronal differentiation and maturation. There are various morphological changes, genetic and epigenetic modifications which occur during normal mammalian neural development, one of the chromatin modifications that controls vital gene expression are the posttranslational modifications on histone proteins, that controls accessibility of translational machinery. Among the histone modifiers, polycomb group proteins (PcGs), such as Ezh2, Eed and Suz12 form large protein complexes-polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2); while Ring1b and Bmi1 proteins form core of PRC1 along with accessory proteins such as Cbx, Hph, Rybp and Pcgfs catalyse histone modifications such as H3K27me3 and H2AK119ub1. PRC1 proteins are known to play critical role in X chromosome inactivation in females but they also repress the expression of key developmental genes and tightly regulate the mammalian neuronal development. In this review we have discussed the signalling pathways, morphogens and nuclear factors that initiate, regulate and maintain cells of the nervous system. Further, we have extensively reviewed the recent literature on the role of Ring1b and Bmi1 in mammalian neuronal development and differentiation; as well as highlighted questions that are still unanswered.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

Feng Z, Liu X, Feng G, et al (2019)

Linking lipid transfer with reduced arbuscule formation in tomato roots colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus under low pH stress.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscules are the core structures of arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM), and arbuscule development is regulated by environmental stress, e.g., low pH. Recent studies indicate that lipid transfer from plants is essential for AM fungal colonization; however, the role of lipid transfer in arbuscule formation and the dynamics of lipid accumulation in arbuscules under low pH stress are far from well understood. In the symbiosis of tomato and Rhizophagus intraradices under contrasting pH conditions (pH 4.5 vs. pH 6.5), we investigated arbuscule formation, nutrient uptake, alkaline phosphatase activity, and lipid accumulation; examined the gene expression involved in phosphate transport, lipid biosynthesis and transfer, and sugar metabolism; and visualized the lipid dynamics in arbuscules. Low pH greatly inhibited arbuscule formation, in parallel with reduced phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) accumulation in AM fungus and decreased P uptake. This reduction was supported by the decreased expression of plant genes encoding lipid biosynthesis and transfer. More degenerating arbuscules were observed under low pH conditions, and neutral lipid fatty acids (NLFAs) accumulated only in degenerating arbuscules. These data reveal that, under low pH stress, reduced lipid transfer from hosts to AM fungi is responsible for the inhibited arbuscule formation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

King E, Wallner A, Rimbault I, et al (2019)

Monitoring of Rice Transcriptional Responses to Contrasted Colonizing Patterns of Phytobeneficial Burkholderia s.l. Reveals a Temporal Shift in JA Systemic Response.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:1141.

In the context of plant-pathogen and plant-mutualist interactions, the underlying molecular bases associated with host colonization have been extensively studied. However, it is not the case for non-mutualistic beneficial interactions or associative symbiosis with plants. Particularly, little is known about the transcriptional regulations associated with the immune tolerance of plants towards beneficial microbes. In this context, the study of the Burkholderia rice model is very promising to describe the molecular mechanisms involved in associative symbiosis. Indeed, several species of the Burkholderia sensu lato (s.l.) genus can colonize rice tissues and have beneficial effects; particularly, two species have been thoroughly studied: Burkholderia vietnamiensis and Paraburkholderia kururiensis. This study aims to compare the interaction of these species with rice and especially to identify common or specific plant responses. Therefore, we analyzed root colonization of the rice cultivar Nipponbare using DsRed-tagged bacterial strains and produced the transcriptomes of both roots and leaves 7 days after root inoculation. This led us to the identification of a co-expression jasmonic acid (JA)-related network exhibiting opposite regulation in response to the two strains in the leaves of inoculated plants. We then monitored by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) the expression of JA-related genes during time course colonization by each strain. Our results reveal a temporal shift in this JA systemic response, which can be related to different colonization strategies of both strains.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

Romero-Contreras YJ, Ramírez-Valdespino CA, Guzmán-Guzmán P, et al (2019)

Tal6 From Trichoderma atroviride Is a LysM Effector Involved in Mycoparasitism and Plant Association.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2231.

LysM effectors play a relevant role during the plant colonization by successful phytopathogenic fungi, since they enable them to avoid either the triggering of plant defense mechanisms or their attack effects. Tal6, a LysM protein from Trichoderma atroviride, is capable of binding to complex chitin. However, until now its biological function is not completely known, particularly its participation in plant-Trichoderma interactions. We obtained T. atroviride Tal6 null mutant and Tal6 overexpressing strains and determined the role played by this protein during Trichoderma-plant interaction and mycoparasitism. LysM effector Tal6 from T. atroviride protects the hyphae from chitinases by binding to chitin of the fungal cell wall, increases the fungus mycoparasitic capacity, and modulates the activation of the plant defense system. These results show that beneficial fungi also employ LysM effectors to improve their association with plants.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

Gifford I, Vance S, Nguyen G, et al (2019)

A Stable Genetic Transformation System and Implications of the Type IV Restriction System in the Nitrogen-Fixing Plant Endosymbiont Frankia alni ACN14a.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2230.

Genus Frankia is comprised primarily of nitrogen-fixing actinobacteria that form root nodule symbioses with a group of hosts known as the actinorhizal plants. These plants are evolutionarily closely related to the legumes that are nodulated by the rhizobia. Both host groups utilize homologs of nodulation genes for root-nodule symbiosis, derived from common plant ancestors. The corresponding endosymbionts, Frankia and the rhizobia, however, are distantly related groups of bacteria, leading to questions about their symbiotic mechanisms and evolutionary history. To date, a stable system of electrotransformation has been lacking in Frankia despite numerous attempts by research groups worldwide. We have identified type IV methyl-directed restriction systems, highly-expressed in a range of actinobacteria, as a likely barrier to Frankia transformation. Here we report the successful electrotransformation of the model strain F. alni ACN14a with an unmethylated, broad host-range replicating plasmid, expressing chloramphenicol-resistance for selection and GFP as a marker of gene expression. This system circumvented the type IV restriction barrier and allowed the stable maintenance of the plasmid. During nitrogen limitation, Frankia differentiates into two cell types: the vegetative hyphae and nitrogen-fixing vesicles. When the expression of egfp under the control of the nif gene cluster promoter was localized using fluorescence imaging, the expression of nitrogen fixation in nitrogen-limited culture was localized in Frankia vesicles but not in hyphae. The ability to separate gene expression patterns between Frankia hyphae and vesicles will enable deeper comparisons of molecular signaling and metabolic exchange between Frankia-actinorhizal and rhizobia-legume symbioses to be made, and may broaden potential applications in agriculture. Further downstream applications are possible, including gene knock-outs and complementation, to open up a range of experiments in Frankia and its symbioses. Additionally, in the transcriptome of F. alni ACN14a, type IV restriction enzymes were highly expressed in nitrogen-replete culture but their expression strongly decreased during symbiosis. The down-regulation of type IV restriction enzymes in symbiosis suggests that horizontal gene transfer may occur more frequently inside the nodule, with possible new implications for the evolution of Frankia.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

Antoine R, Rivera-Millot A, Roy G, et al (2019)

Relationships Between Copper-Related Proteomes and Lifestyles in β Proteobacteria.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2217.

Copper is an essential transition metal whose redox properties are used for a variety of enzymatic oxido-reductions and in electron transfer chains. It is also toxic to living beings, and therefore its cellular concentration must be strictly controlled. We have performed in silico analyses of the predicted proteomes of more than one hundred species of β proteobacteria to characterize their copper-related proteomes, including cuproproteins, i.e., proteins with active-site copper ions, copper chaperones, and copper-homeostasis systems. Copper-related proteomes represent between 0 and 1.48% of the total proteomes of β proteobacteria. The numbers of cuproproteins are globally proportional to the proteome sizes in all phylogenetic groups and strongly linked to aerobic respiration. In contrast, environmental bacteria have considerably larger proportions of copper-homeostasis systems than the other groups of bacteria, irrespective of their proteome sizes. Evolution toward commensalism, obligate, host-restricted pathogenesis or symbiosis is globally reflected in the loss of copper-homeostasis systems. In endosymbionts, defense systems and copper chaperones have disappeared, whereas residual cuproenzymes are electron transfer proteins for aerobic respiration. Lifestyle is thus a major determinant of the size and composition of the copper-related proteome, and it is particularly reflected in systems involved in copper homeostasis. Analyses of the copper-related proteomes of a number of species belonging to the Burkholderia, Bordetella, and Neisseria genera indicates that commensals are in the process of shedding their copper-homeostasis systems and chaperones to greater extents yet than pathogens.

RevDate: 2019-10-14

Kavadi SN (2019)

V. R. Khanolkar and the Indian Cancer Research Centre, 1952-1962.

Indian journal of cancer, 56(4):364-367.

This note presents a brief account of the ideas and efforts of V.R. Khanolkar in the period 1952-1962 to develop the Indian Cancer Research Centre into a "center of excellence". Khanolkar, who is recognized as a pioneer in cancer research in India, focused on developing multidisciplinary medical research and mentored and trained young medical researchers. He sought and received aid from the Rockefeller Foundation, which was keen to support him in this task.

RevDate: 2019-10-14
CmpDate: 2019-10-14

Knobloch S, Jóhannsson R, V Marteinsson (2019)

Bacterial diversity in the marine sponge Halichondria panicea from Icelandic waters and host-specificity of its dominant symbiont "Candidatus Halichondribacter symbioticus".

FEMS microbiology ecology, 95(1):.

Marine sponges can harbour diverse bacteria that contribute to host metabolism and defence. Identifying these stable members of sponge bacterial communities remains a necessary step in understanding their ecological roles and underlying co-evolutionary processes. In this study, we applied high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, ribosomal nucleotide variant analysis and fluorescence in situ hybridisation to characterise the core members of the bacterial community in the marine sponge Halichondria panicea from Icelandic waters. We show that the core bacterial community across all samples consisted of a single, dominant bacterial taxon, for which we propose a candidate status 'Candidatus Halichondribacter symbioticus'. Comparison against public databases showed that 'Ca. H. symbioticus' is both a highly abundant specialist in H. panicea and a low abundant opportunist in other sponge species. Additionally, H. panicea with and without 'Ca. H. symbioticus' co-exist in similar locations in the North Atlantic. This dichotomy paired with the presence of geographically distinct ribosomal sequence variants of the symbiont make H. panicea an interesting sponge species for studying sponge-symbiont co-evolution and functional interactions.

RevDate: 2019-10-14
CmpDate: 2019-10-14

Balvín O, Roth S, Talbot B, et al (2018)

Co-speciation in bedbug Wolbachia parallel the pattern in nematode hosts.

Scientific reports, 8(1):8797.

Wolbachia bacteria, vertically transmitted intracellular endosymbionts, are associated with two major host taxa in which they show strikingly different symbiotic modes. In some taxa of filarial nematodes, where Wolbachia are strictly obligately beneficial to the host, they show complete within- and among-species prevalence as well as co-phylogeny with their hosts. In arthropods, Wolbachia usually are parasitic; if beneficial effects occurs, they can be facultative or obligate, related to host reproduction. In arthropods, the prevalence of Wolbachia varies within and among taxa, and no co-speciation events are known. However, one arthropod species, the common bedbug Cimex lectularius was recently found to be dependent on the provision of biotin and riboflavin by Wolbachia, representing a unique case of Wolbachia providing nutritional and obligate benefits to an arthropod host, perhaps even in a mutualistic manner. Using the presence of presumably functional biotin gene copies, our study demonstrates that the obligate relationship is maintained at least in 10 out of 15 species of the genera Cimex and Paracimex. The remaining five species harboured Wolbachia as well, demonstrating the first known case of 100% prevalence of Wolbachia among higher arthropod taxa. Moreover, we show the predicted co-cladogenesis between Wolbachia and their bedbug hosts, also as the first described case of Wolbachia co-speciation in arthropods.

RevDate: 2019-10-14
CmpDate: 2019-10-14

Aira M, Pérez-Losada M, J Domínguez (2018)

Diversity, structure and sources of bacterial communities in earthworm cocoons.

Scientific reports, 8(1):6632.

Animals start interactions with the bacteria that will constitute their microbiomes at embryonic stage. After mating, earthworms produce cocoons externally which will be colonized with bacteria from their parents and the environment. Due to the key role bacterial symbionts play on earthworm fitness, it is important to study bacterial colonization during cocoon formation. Here we describe the cocoon microbiome of the earthworms Eisenia andrei and E. fetida, which included 275 and 176 bacterial species, respectively. They were dominated by three vertically-transmitted symbionts, Microbacteriaceae, Verminephrobacter and Ca. Nephrothrix, which accounted for 88% and 66% of the sequences respectively. Verminephrobacter and Ca. Nephrothrix showed a high rate of sequence variation, suggesting that they could be biparentally acquired during mating. The other bacterial species inhabiting the cocoons came from the bedding, where they accounted for a small fraction of the diversity (27% and 7% of bacterial species for E. andrei and E. fetida bedding). Hence, earthworm cocoon microbiome includes a large fraction of the vertically-transmitted symbionts and a minor fraction, but more diverse, horizontally and non-randomly acquired from the environment. These data suggest that horizontally-transmitted bacteria to cocoons may play an important role in the adaptation of earthworms to new environments or diets.

RevDate: 2019-10-14
CmpDate: 2019-10-14

Goerzen DW, MA Erlandson (2018)

Infection of the chalcid parasitoid Pteromalus venustus Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) with the male-killing symbiont Arsenophonus nasoniae (Gamma-Proteobacteria: Enterobacteriaceae).

Journal of invertebrate pathology, 154:24-28.

The male-killing symbiont Arsenophonus nasoniae is a gamma-proteobacterium that infects parasitic wasps; the male progeny of infected females exhibit increased embryonic death. In this study, we examined methods to horizontally infect Pteromalus venustus (a parasitoid infesting populations of the alfalfa leafcutting bee Megachile rotundata) with A. nasoniae. We then tested the success of these methods via semi-quantitative PCR and quantitative digital PCR, using a molecular marker specific to A. nasoniae. Controlled parasitoid mating experiments were then undertaken to determine whether infections of A. nasoniae in P. venustus induce the male-killing phenotype as has been reported for other host species; evidence of this male-killing phenotype was observed in the current study. Over the course of the eight parasitoid generations following introduction of A. nasoniae infection in P. venustus, the male component of the parasitoid sex ratio was substantially reduced in the infected population (1.05 ♂: 1.00 ♀) compared to the control population (2.46 ♂: 1.00 ♀). Establishment of stable A. nasoniae infections in P. venustus populations could lower the proportion of male progeny, thus negatively impacting the mating success of females, and reducing overall populations of the parasitoid in alfalfa leafcutting bee populations.

RevDate: 2019-10-12

Carrère S, Verdenaud M, Gough C, et al (2019)

LeGOO: An Expertized Knowledge Database for the Model Legume Medicago truncatula.

Plant & cell physiology pii:5570989 [Epub ahead of print].

Medicago truncatula was proposed, about three decades ago, as a model legume to study the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis. It has now been adopted to study a wide range of biological questions, including various developmental processes (in particular root, symbiotic nodule and seed development), symbiotic (nitrogen-fixing and arbuscular mycorrhizal endosymbioses) and pathogenic interactions, as well as responses to abiotic stress. With a number of tools and resources set up in M. truncatula for omics, genetics and reverse genetics approaches, massive amounts of data have been produced, as well as four genome sequence releases. Many of these data were generated with heterogeneous tools, notably for transcriptomics studies, and are consequently difficult to integrate. This issue is addressed by the LeGOO (for Legume Graph-Oriented Organizer) knowledge base (, which finds the correspondence between the multiple identifiers of the same gene. Furthermore, an important goal of LeGOO is to collect and represent biological information from peer-reviewed publications, whatever the technical approaches used to obtain this information. The information is modeled in a graph-oriented database, which enables flexible representation, with currently over 200,000 relations retrieved from 298 publications. LeGOO also provides the user with mining tools, including links to the Mt5.0 genome browser and associated information (on gene functional annotation, expression, methylome, natural diversity and available insertion mutants), as well as tools to navigate through different model species. LeGOO is, therefore, an innovative database that will be useful to the Medicago and legume community to better exploit the wealth of data produced on this model species.

RevDate: 2019-10-11

Chen B, Xie S, Zhang X, et al (2019)

Gut microbiota metabolic potential correlates with body size between mulberry-feeding lepidopteran pest species.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Many insect pests rely on microbial symbionts to obtain nutrients or for defence, thereby allowing them to exploit novel food sources and degrade environmental xenobiotics including pesticides. Although Lepidoptera is one of the most diverse insect taxa and includes important agricultural pests, their microbiotas have not been studied much, particularly functional traits. Here, we provide a comprehensive characterization of the gut microbiota across multiple mulberry-feeding lepidopteran species, resolving both community structure and metabolic potential.

RESULTS: Our results indicate abundant bacteria inside the gut of larval Lepidoptera. However, even though they were fed the same diet, the structures of the bacterial communities differed in four major mulberry pest species, suggesting host-specific effects on microbial associations. Community-level metabolic reconstructions further showed that despite taxonomic composition varied greatly, carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism and membrane transporter were key functional capabilities of gut bacteria in all samples, which may play basic roles in the larval gut. In addition, principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) of gut bacterial predicted gene ontologies revealed specialized features of the microbiotas associated with these mulberry pests, which were divided into two distinct clusters (macrolepidopterans vs. microlepidopterans). This pattern became even more prominent when more Lepidoptera species involved.

CONCLUSIONS: A suite of gut microbiota metabolic functions significantly correlated with larval size; the metabolism of terpenoids and polyketides, xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism were specifically enriched in large species, while small larvae had enhanced nucleotide metabolism. Our report paves the way for uncovering the correlation between host phenotype and microbial symbiosis in this notorious insect pest group. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-10-11

Konwar P, Vyas N, Hossain SS, et al (2019)

Nutritional Status of Adolescent Girls Belonging to the Tea Garden Estates of Sivasagar District, Assam, India.

Indian journal of community medicine : official publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, 44(3):238-242.

Background: Any deficiency or inadequate dietary pattern can lead to poor nutrition which can further influence both growth and development throughout from infancy to adolescence. Since adolescents represent the next generation of parents, it is important to monitor their nutritional status at this crucial stage. Thus, this study aimed to explore the factors associated with nutritional status among adolescent girls belonging to these tea gardens.

Objective: The objective of this community-based cross-sectional study was to assess the nutritional status of adolescent girls belonging to the tea garden community and the association of the sociodemographic factors with it.

Materials and Methods: Anthropometric measurement was taken among adolescent girls in the tea estates of Nazira subdivision of Sivasagar district, Assam. The pattern of dietary intake among adolescents was also studied. The statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 15.

Results: The prevalence of thinness and stunting across 265 adolescent girls was 49.4% and 50.6%, respectively. Calorie and protein deficits were found to be 76.60% and 65%, respectively. Majority of the respondents, i.e., 66.80% of the participants, had a poor intake of essential food constituents. Moreover, 76.21% of the respondents were anemic. The association of different sociodemographic factors with thinness, inadequate protein intake, and anemia were found during the study.

Conclusion: Thinness and stunting along with protein-energy malnutrition and inadequate intake of important food groups were prevalent in adolescent tea community girls. Overall, the public health burden of malnutrition is still a persisting health problem in the tea gardens of Assam.

RevDate: 2019-10-11

Marangoni LFB, Mies M, Güth AZ, et al (2019)

Peroxynitrite Generation and Increased Heterotrophic Capacity Are Linked to the Disruption of the Coral-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis in a Scleractinian and Hydrocoral Species.

Microorganisms, 7(10): pii:microorganisms7100426.

Ocean warming is one of the greatest global threats to coral reef ecosystems; it leads to the disruption of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis (bleaching) and to nutrient starvation, because corals mostly rely on autotrophy (i.e., the supply of photosynthates from the dinoflagellate symbionts) for their energy requirements. Although coral bleaching has been well studied, the early warning signs of bleaching, as well as the capacity of corals to shift from autotrophy to heterotrophy, are still under investigation. In this study, we evaluated the bleaching occurrence of the scleractinian coral Mussismillia harttii and the hydrocoral Millepora alcicornis during a natural thermal stress event, under the 2015-2016 El Niño influence in three reef sites of the South Atlantic. We focused on the link between peroxynitrite (ONOO-) generation and coral bleaching, as ONOO- has been very poorly investigated in corals and never during a natural bleaching event. We also investigated the natural trophic plasticity of the two corals through the use of new lipid biomarkers. The results obtained first demonstrate that ONOO- is linked to the onset and intensity of bleaching in both scleractinian corals and hydrocorals. Indeed, ONOO- concentrations were correlated with bleaching intensity, with the highest levels preceding the highest bleaching intensity. The time lag between bleaching and ONOO- peak was, however, species-specific. In addition, we observed that elevated temperatures forced heterotrophy in scleractinian corals, as Mu. harttii presented high heterotrophic activity 15 to 30 days prior bleaching occurrence. On the contrary, a lower heterotrophic activity was monitored for the hydrocoral Mi. alicornis, which also experienced higher bleaching levels compared to Mu. hartii. Overall, we showed that the levels of ONOO- in coral tissue, combined to the heterotrophic capacity, are two good proxies explaining the intensity of coral bleaching.

RevDate: 2019-10-11
CmpDate: 2019-10-11

Greenler SM, Estrada LA, Kellner KF, et al (2019)

Prescribed fire and partial overstory removal alter an acorn-rodent conditional mutualism.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 29(7):e01958.

In eastern North America, oak (Quercus) regeneration failure has spurred management using silvicultural approaches better aligned with the autecology of oaks. In particular, shelterwood harvests can create favorable intermediate light conditions for oak establishment and prescribed fire is predicted (by the oak-fire hypothesis) to favor oak regeneration. These approaches substantially modify forest structure and may affect crucial trophic interactions including the conditional mutualism between oaks and granivorous rodents that scatterhoard acorns, which shifts along a continuum from antagonistic to mutualistic depending on external factors. We investigated how overwinter survival and dispersal of northern red oak (Quercus rubra) acorns were influenced by location within or outside of group shelterwood harvests (small canopy gaps created throughout an intact forest stand) with and without prescribed fire. We conducted two concurrent experiments to test (1) dispersal and survival of acorns presented on the forest floor and (2) acorn pilferage rates from caches that mimic squirrel scatterhoards in shelterwood gap/group interiors, edges, and the uncut forest matrix in burned and unburned forest stands. In both experiments, acorn survival was generally higher in burned than unburned stands. Acorn survival from forest floor presentations was higher in the unharvested forest matrix than harvest gap interiors; however, there was no effect of proximity to harvest gaps on survival of cached acorns. Survival of cached acorns was associated with understory vegetative cover (-), coarse woody debris cover (-), and distance to nearest tree (+), but uncorrelated with canopy cover above the cache. Our results suggest that reduced understory cover following prescribed fire may increase perceived habitat riskiness for granivores resulting in higher acorn survival up to 2 yr post-fire. These findings unify the oak-fire and oak-granivore conditional mutualism hypotheses, and suggest that the environmental conditions following prescribed fire and group shelterwood harvests may shift the oak-granivore conditional mutualism in a direction beneficial for oak regeneration.

RevDate: 2019-10-11
CmpDate: 2019-10-11

Glasl B, Smith CE, Bourne DG, et al (2018)

Exploring the diversity-stability paradigm using sponge microbial communities.

Scientific reports, 8(1):8425.

A key concept in theoretical ecology is the positive correlation between biodiversity and ecosystem stability. When applying this diversity-stability concept to host-associated microbiomes, the following questions emerge: (1) Does microbial diversity influence the stability of microbiomes upon environmental fluctuations? (2) Do hosts that harbor high versus low microbial diversity differ in their stress response? To test the diversity-stability concept in host-associated microbiomes, we exposed six marine sponge species with varying levels of microbial diversity to non-lethal salinity disturbances and followed their microbial composition over time using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. No signs of sponge stress were evident following salinity amendment and microbiomes exhibited compositional resistance irrespective of their microbial diversity. Compositional stability of the sponge microbiome manifests itself at distinct host taxonomic and host microbial diversity groups, with (1) stable host genotype-specific microbiomes at oligotype-level; (2) stable host species-specific microbiomes at genus-level; and (3) stable and specific microbiomes at phylum-level for hosts with high versus low microbial diversity. The resistance of sponge microbiomes together with the overall stability of sponge holobionts upon salinity fluctuations suggest that the stability-diversity concept does not appear to hold for sponge microbiomes and provides further evidence for the widely recognized environmental tolerance of sponges.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Zou YN, Wu HH, Giri B, et al (2019)

Mycorrhizal symbiosis down-regulates or does not change root aquaporin expression in trifoliate orange under drought stress.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 144:292-299 pii:S0981-9428(19)30402-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizas absorb water from soil to host plants, while the relationship between mycorrhizas and aquaporins (AQPs, membrane water channel proteins, which function in water transport) in mycorrhizal plants is unclear. In this study, Funneliformis mosseae-colonized trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) seedlings were grown in pots fitted with 37-μm nylon meshes at the bottom of each pot to allow mycorrhizal hyphae absorb water from an outer beaker. The expression of seven plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs) genes, six tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs) genes, and four nodulin-26 like intrinsic proteins (NIPs) genes were analyzed in roots of both well-watered (WW) and drought stressed (DS) plants. The six-week DS plants dramatically increased hyphal water absorption rate by 1.4 times, as compared with WW plants. Mycorrhizal plants exhibited greater plant growth performance, leaf water status (water potential and relative water content), and gas exchange under both WW and DS conditions. Mycorrhizal inoculation induced diverse expression patterns in these AQPs under WW: up-regulation of PtNIP1;1, PtPIP2;1, and PtPIP2;5, down-regulation of PtNIP1;2, PtNIP6;1, PtPIP1;2, PtPIP1;5, PtPIP2;8, PtTIP1;1, PtTIP1;2, PtTIP1;3, and PtTIP5;1, and no changes in other AQPs. However, the expression of PtPIPs and PtNIPs was down-regulated by mycorrhizal inoculation under DS, and PtTIPs was not induced by mycorrhizal colonization under DS. The expression pattern of AQPs in response to mycorrhizas under DS is a way of mycorrhizal plants to minimize water loss.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Chabaud M, Fournier J, Brichet L, et al (2019)

Chitotetraose activates the fungal-dependent endosymbiotic signaling pathway in actinorhizal plant species.

PloS one, 14(10):e0223149 pii:PONE-D-19-15221.

Mutualistic plant-microbe associations are widespread in natural ecosystems and have made major contributions throughout the evolutionary history of terrestrial plants. Amongst the most remarkable of these are the so-called root endosymbioses, resulting from the intracellular colonization of host tissues by either arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi or nitrogen-fixing bacteria that both provide key nutrients to the host in exchange for energy-rich photosynthates. Actinorhizal host plants, members of the Eurosid 1 clade, are able to associate with both AM fungi and nitrogen-fixing actinomycetes known as Frankia. Currently, little is known about the molecular signaling that allows these plants to recognize their fungal and bacterial partners. In this article, we describe the use of an in vivo Ca2+ reporter to identify symbiotic signaling responses to AM fungi in roots of both Casuarina glauca and Discaria trinervis, actinorhizal species with contrasting modes of Frankia colonization. This approach has revealed that, for both actinorhizal hosts, the short-chain chitin oligomer chitotetraose is able to mimic AM fungal exudates in activating the conserved symbiosis signaling pathway (CSSP) in epidermal root cells targeted by AM fungi. These results mirror findings in other AM host plants including legumes and the monocot rice. In addition, we show that chitotetraose is a more efficient elicitor of CSSP activation compared to AM fungal lipo-chitooligosaccharides. These findings reinforce the likely role of short-chain chitin oligomers during the initial stages of the AM association, and are discussed in relation to both our current knowledge about molecular signaling during Frankia recognition as well as the different microsymbiont root colonization mechanisms employed by actinorhizal hosts.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Becking T, Chebbi MA, Giraud I, et al (2019)

Sex chromosomes control vertical transmission of feminizing Wolbachia symbionts in an isopod.

PLoS biology, 17(10):e3000438 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-19-01022 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial endosymbiosis is widespread in animals, with major ecological and evolutionary implications. Successful symbiosis relies on efficient vertical transmission through host generations. However, when symbionts negatively affect host fitness, hosts are expected to evolve suppression of symbiont effects or transmission. Here, we show that sex chromosomes control vertical transmission of feminizing Wolbachia endosymbionts in the isopod Armadillidium nasatum. Theory predicts that the invasion of an XY/XX species by cytoplasmic sex ratio distorters is unlikely because it leads to fixation of the unusual (and often lethal or infertile) YY genotype. We demonstrate that A. nasatum X and Y sex chromosomes are genetically highly similar and that YY individuals are viable and fertile, thereby enabling Wolbachia spread in this XY-XX species. Nevertheless, we show that Wolbachia cannot drive fixation of YY individuals, because infected YY females do not transmit Wolbachia to their offspring, unlike XX and XY females. The genetic basis fits the model of a Y-linked recessive allele (associated with an X-linked dominant allele), in which the homozygous state suppresses Wolbachia transmission. Moreover, production of all-male progenies by infected YY females restores a balanced sex ratio at the host population level. This suggests that blocking of Wolbachia transmission by YY females may have evolved to suppress feminization, thereby offering a whole new perspective on the evolutionary interplay between microbial symbionts and host sex chromosomes.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Jono T, Kojima Y, T Mizuno (2019)

Novel cooperative antipredator tactics of an ant specialized against a snake.

Royal Society open science, 6(8):190283 pii:rsos190283.

Eusocial insects can express surprisingly complex cooperative defence of the colony. Brood and reproductive castes typically remain in the nest and are protected by workers' various antipredator tactics against intruders. In Madagascar, a myrmicine ant, Aphaenogaster swammerdami, occurs sympatrically with a large blindsnake, Madatyphlops decorsei. As blindsnakes generally specialize on feeding on termites and ants brood by intruding into the nest, these snakes are presumably a serious predator on the ant. Conversely, a lamprophiid snake, Madagascarophis colubrinus, is considered to occur often in active A. swammerdami nests without being attacked. By presenting M. colubrinus, M. decorsei and a control snake, Thamnosophis lateralis, at the entrance of the nest, we observed two highly specialized interactions between ants and snakes: the acceptance of M. colubrinus into the nest and the cooperative evacuation of the brood from the nest for protection against the ant-eating M. decorsei. Given that M. colubrinus is one of the few known predators of blindsnakes in this area, A. swammerdami may protect their colonies against this blindsnake by two antipredator tactics, symbiosis with M. colubrinus and evacuation in response to intrusion by blindsnakes. These findings demonstrate that specialized predators can drive evolution of complex cooperative defence in eusocial species.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Hashimoto S, Wongdee J, Songwattana P, et al (2019)

Homocitrate Synthase Genes of Two Wide-Host-Range Bradyrhizobium Strains are Differently Required for Symbiosis Depending on Host Plants.

Microbes and environments [Epub ahead of print].

The nifV gene encodes homocitrate synthase, the enzyme that catalyzes the formation of homocitrate, which is essential for arranging the FeMo-cofactor in the catalytic center of nitrogenase. Some host plants, such as Lotus japonicus, supply homocitrate to their symbionts, in this case, Mesorhizobium loti, which lacks nifV. In contrast, Bradyrhizobium ORS285, a symbiont of Aeschynomene cross-inoculation (CI) groups 2 and 3, requires nifV for symbiosis with Aeschynomene species that belong to CI group 3, and some species belonging to CI group 2. However, it currently remains unclear whether rhizobial nifV is required for symbiosis with Aeschynomene species belonging to CI group 1 or with other legumes. We generated nifV-disruption (ΔnifV) mutants of two wide-host-range rhizobia, Bradyrhizobium SUTN9-2 and DOA9, to investigate whether they require nifV for symbiosis. Both ΔnifV mutant strains showed significantly less nitrogenase activity in a free-living state than the respective wild-type strains. The symbiotic phenotypes of SUTN9-2, DOA9, and their ΔnifV mutants were examined with four legumes, Aeschynomene americana, Stylosanthes hamata, Indigofera tinctoria, and Desmodium tortuosum. nifV was required for the efficient symbiosis of SUTN9-2 with A. americana (CI group 1), but not for that of DOA9. SUTN9-2 established symbiosis with all three other legumes; nifV was required for symbiosis with I. tinctoria and D. tortuosum. These results suggest that, in addition to Aeschynomene CI groups 2 and 3, CI group 1 and several other legumes require the rhizobial nifV for symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Torres N, Hilbert G, Antolín MC, et al (2019)

Aminoacids and Flavonoids Profiling in Tempranillo Berries Can Be Modulated by the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 8(10): pii:plants8100400.

(1) Background: Vitisvinifera L. cv. Tempranillo is cultivated over the world for its wine of high quality. The association of Tempranillo with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) induced the accumulation of phenolics and carotenoids in leaves, affected the metabolism of abscisic acid (ABA) during berry ripening, and modulated some characteristics and quality aspects of grapes. The objective of this study was to elucidate if AMF influenced the profiles and the content of primary and secondary metabolites determinants for berry quality in Tempranillo. (2) Methods: Fruit-bearing cuttings inoculated with AMF or uninoculated were cultivated under controlled conditions. (3) Results: Mycorrhizal symbiosis modified the profile of metabolites in Tempranillo berries, especially those of the primary compounds. The levels of glucose and amino acids clearly increased in berries of mycorrhized Tempranillo grapevines, including those of the aromatic precursor amino acids. However, mycorrhizal inoculation barely influenced the total amount and the profiles of anthocyanins and flavonols in berries. (4) Conclusions: Mycorrhizal inoculation of Tempranillo grapevines may be an alternative to the exogenous application of nitrogen compounds in order to enhance the contents of amino acids in grapes, which may affect the aromatic characteristics of wines.

RevDate: 2019-10-10
CmpDate: 2019-10-09

O'Brien AM, Sawers RJH, Ross-Ibarra J, et al (2018)

Evolutionary Responses to Conditionality in Species Interactions across Environmental Gradients.

The American naturalist, 192(6):715-730.

The outcomes of many species interactions are conditional on the environments in which they occur. Often, interactions grade from being more positive under stressful or low-resource conditions to more antagonistic or neutral under benign conditions. Here, we take predictions about two well-supported ecological theories on conditionality-limiting resource models and the stress-gradient hypothesis-and combine them with those from the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution (GMTC) to generate predictions for systematic patterns of adaptation and coadaptation between partners along abiotic gradients. When interactions become more positive in stressful environments, mutations that increase fitness in one partner may also increase fitness in the other; because fitnesses are aligned, selection should favor greater mutualistic adaptation and coadaptation between interacting species in stressful ends of environmental gradients. As a corollary, in benign environments antagonistic coadaptation could result in Red Queen or arms-race dynamics or the reduction of antagonism through character displacement and niche partitioning. Here, we distinguish between generally mutualistic or antagonistic adaptation (i.e., mutations in one partner that have similar effects across multiple populations of the other) and specific adaptations to sympatric partners (local adaptation), which can occur either alone or simultaneously. We then outline the kinds of data required to test these predictions, develop experimental designs and statistical methods, and demonstrate these using simulations based on GMTC models. Our methods can be applied to a range of conditional outcomes and may also be useful in assisted translocation approaches in the face of climate change.

RevDate: 2019-10-10
CmpDate: 2019-10-09

Qin S, Feng WW, Zhang YJ, et al (2018)

Diversity of Bacterial Microbiota of Coastal Halophyte Limonium sinense and Amelioration of Salinity Stress Damage by Symbiotic Plant Growth-Promoting Actinobacterium Glutamicibacter halophytocola KLBMP 5180.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 84(19):.

Plant-associated microorganisms are considered a key determinant of plant health and growth. However, little information is available regarding the composition and ecological function of the roots' and leaves' bacterial microbiota of halophytes. Here, using both culture-dependent and culture-independent techniques, we characterized the bacterial communities of the roots and leaves as well as the rhizosphere and bulk soils of the coastal halophyte Limonium sinense in Jiangsu Province, China. We identified 49 representative bacterial strains belonging to 17 genera across all samples, with Glutamicibacter as the most dominant genus. All Glutamicibacter isolates showed multiple potential plant growth promotion traits and tolerated a high concentration of NaCl and a wide pH range. Interestingly, further inoculation experiments showed that the Glutamicibacter halophytocola strain KLBMP 5180 isolated from root tissue significantly promoted host growth under NaCl stress. Indeed, KLBMP 5180 inoculation increased the concentrations of total chlorophyll, proline, antioxidative enzymes, flavonoids, K+, and Ca2+ in the leaves; the concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA) and Na+ were reduced. A transcriptome analysis identified 1,359 and 328 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in inoculated seedlings treated with 0 and 250 mM NaCl, respectively. We found that pathways related to phenylpropanoid and flavonoid biosynthesis and ion transport and metabolism might play more important roles in host salt stress tolerance induced by KLBMP 5180 inoculation compared to that in noninoculated leaves. Our results provide novel insights into the complex composition and function of the bacterial microbiota of the coastal halophyte L. sinense and suggest that halophytes might recruit specific bacteria to enhance their tolerance of harsh environments.IMPORTANCE Halophytes are important coastal plants often used for the remediation of saline coastal soils. Limonium sinense is well known for its medical properties and phytoremediation of saline soils. However, excessive exploitation and utilization have made the wild resource endangered. The use of endophytic and rhizosphere bacteria may be one of the suitable ways to solve the problem. This study was undertaken to develop approaches to improve the growth of L. sinense using endophytes. The application of actinobacterial endophytes ameliorated salt stress damage of the host via complex physiological and molecular mechanisms. The results also highlight the potential of using habitat-adapted, symbiotic, indigenous endophytic bacteria to enhance the growth and ameliorate abiotic stress damage of host plants growing in special habitats.

RevDate: 2019-10-09

Zeng T, Rodriguez-Moreno L, Mansurkhodzaev A, et al (2019)

A LysM effector subverts chitin-triggered immunity to facilitate arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi greatly improve mineral uptake by host plants in nutrient-depleted soil and can intracellularly colonize root cortex cells in the vast majority of higher plants. However, AM fungi possess common fungal cell wall components such as chitin which can be recognized by plant chitin receptors to trigger immune responses, raising the question how AM fungi effectively evade chitin-triggered immune responses during symbiosis. In this study, we characterize a secreted LysM (Lysin motif) effector identified from the model AM fungal species Rhizophagus irregularis, called RiSLM. RiSLM is one of the highest expressed effector proteins in intraradical mycelium during the symbiosis. In vitro binding assays show that RiSLM binds chitin-oligosaccharides and can protect fungal cell walls from chitinases. Moreover, RiSLM efficiently interferes with chitin-triggered immune responses, such as defence gene induction and reactive oxygen species production in Medicago truncatula. Although RiSLM also binds to symbiotic (lipo-)chitooligosaccharides it does not interfere significantly with symbiotic signalling in Medicago. Host-induced gene silencing of RiSLM greatly reduces fungal colonization levels. Taken together, our results reveal a key role for AM fungal LysM effectors to subvert chitin-triggered immunity in symbiosis, pointing to a common role for LysM effectors in both symbiotic and pathogenic fungi.

RevDate: 2019-10-09

Payelleville A, Blackburn D, Lanois A, et al (2019)

Role of the Photorhabdus Dam methyltransferase during interactions with its invertebrate hosts.

PloS one, 14(10):e0212655 pii:PONE-D-19-03489.

Photorhabdus luminescens is an entomopathogenic bacterium found in symbiosis with the nematode Heterorhabditis. Dam DNA methylation is involved in the pathogenicity of many bacteria, including P. luminescens, whereas studies about the role of bacterial DNA methylation during symbiosis are scarce. The aim of this study was to determine the role of Dam DNA methylation in P. luminescens during the whole bacterial life cycle including during symbiosis with H. bacteriophora. We constructed a strain overexpressing dam by inserting an additional copy of the dam gene under the control of a constitutive promoter in the chromosome of P. luminescens and then achieved association between this recombinant strain and nematodes. The dam overexpressing strain was able to feed the nematode in vitro and in vivo similarly as a control strain, and to re-associate with Infective Juvenile (IJ) stages in the insect. No difference in the amount of emerging IJs from the cadaver was observed between the two strains. Compared to the nematode in symbiosis with the control strain, a significant increase in LT50 was observed during insect infestation with the nematode associated with the dam overexpressing strain. These results suggest that during the life cycle of P. luminescens, Dam is not involved the bacterial symbiosis with the nematode H. bacteriophora, but it contributes to the pathogenicity of the nemato-bacterial complex.

RevDate: 2019-10-09

Tak N, Bissa G, HS Gehlot (2020)

Methods for Isolation and Characterization of Nitrogen-Fixing Legume-Nodulating Bacteria.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2057:119-143.

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) is a characteristic feature of nodulating legumes. The wild legumes are comparatively less explored for their SNF ability; hence, it is essential to study nodulation and identify the microsymbiont diversity associated with them. This chapter aims to describe the methodology for nodule hunting; trapping, isolation, and characterization of root nodule bacteria (RNB) at phenotypic, genotypic, and symbiotic levels. The documentation of nodulating native legume species and the rhizobial diversity associated with them in various parts of world has gained attention as this symbiotic association provides fixed nitrogen, improves productivity of plants in an ecofriendly manner. Before field-based applications the symbiotic bacteria need to be assessed for their N fixing ability as well as characterized at molecular level. The phylogeny based on symbiosis-essential genes supplemented with the host-range studies helps in better understanding of the symbiotaxonomy of rhizobia. More efficient symbiotic couples need to be screened by cross-nodulation studies for their application in agricultural practices.

RevDate: 2019-10-09

Yang Y, Sun J, Sun Y, et al (2019)

Genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic insights into the symbiosis of deep-sea tubeworm holobionts.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-019-0520-y [Epub ahead of print].

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and methane seeps are often densely populated by animals that host chemosynthetic symbiotic bacteria, but the molecular mechanisms of such host-symbiont relationship remain largely unclear. We characterized the symbiont genome of the seep-living siboglinid Paraescarpia echinospica and compared seven siboglinid-symbiont genomes. Our comparative analyses indicate that seep-living siboglinid endosymbionts have more virulence traits for establishing infections and modulating host-bacterium interaction than the vent-dwelling species, and have a high potential to resist environmental hazards. Metatranscriptome and metaproteome analyses of the Paraescarpia holobiont reveal that the symbiont is highly versatile in its energy use and efficient in carbon fixation. There is close cooperation within the holobiont in production and supply of nutrients, and the symbiont may be able to obtain nutrients from host cells using virulence factors. Moreover, the symbiont is speculated to have evolved strategies to mediate host protective immunity, resulting in weak expression of host innate immunity genes in the trophosome. Overall, our results reveal the interdependence of the tubeworm holobiont through mutual nutrient supply, a pathogen-type regulatory mechanism, and host-symbiont cooperation in energy utilization and nutrient production, which is a key adaptation allowing the tubeworm to thrive in deep-sea chemosynthetic environments.

RevDate: 2019-10-09

Thiergart T, Zgadzaj R, Bozsóki Z, et al (2019)

Lotus japonicus Symbiosis Genes Impact Microbial Interactions between Symbionts and Multikingdom Commensal Communities.

mBio, 10(5): pii:mBio.01833-19.

The wild legume Lotus japonicus engages in mutualistic symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Using plants grown in natural soil and community profiling of bacterial 16S rRNA genes and fungal internal transcribed spacers (ITSs), we examined the role of the Lotus symbiosis genes RAM1, NFR5, SYMRK, and CCaMK in structuring bacterial and fungal root-associated communities. We found host genotype-dependent community shifts in the root and rhizosphere compartments that were mainly confined to bacteria in nfr5 or fungi in ram1 mutants, while symrk and ccamk plants displayed major changes across both microbial kingdoms. We observed in all AM mutant roots an almost complete depletion of a large number of Glomeromycota taxa that was accompanied by a concomitant enrichment of Helotiales and Nectriaceae fungi, suggesting compensatory niche replacement within the fungal community. A subset of Glomeromycota whose colonization is strictly dependent on the common symbiosis pathway was retained in ram1 mutants, indicating that RAM1 is dispensable for intraradical colonization by some Glomeromycota fungi. However, intraradical colonization by bacteria belonging to the Burkholderiaceae and Anaeroplasmataceae is dependent on AM root infection, revealing a microbial interkingdom interaction. Despite the overall robustness of the bacterial root microbiota against major changes in the composition of root-associated fungal assemblages, bacterial and fungal cooccurrence network analysis demonstrates that simultaneous disruption of AM and rhizobium symbiosis increases the connectivity among taxa of the bacterial root microbiota. Our findings imply a broad role for Lotus symbiosis genes in structuring the root microbiota and identify unexpected microbial interkingdom interactions between root symbionts and commensal communities.IMPORTANCE Studies on symbiosis genes in plants typically focus on binary interactions between roots and soilborne nitrogen-fixing rhizobia or mycorrhizal fungi in laboratory environments. We utilized wild type and symbiosis mutants of a model legume, grown in natural soil, in which bacterial, fungal, or both symbioses are impaired to examine potential interactions between the symbionts and commensal microorganisms of the root microbiota when grown in natural soil. This revealed microbial interkingdom interactions between the root symbionts and fungal as well as bacterial commensal communities. Nevertheless, the bacterial root microbiota remains largely robust when fungal symbiosis is impaired. Our work implies a broad role for host symbiosis genes in structuring the root microbiota of legumes.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Bongrand C, EG Ruby (2019)

The impact of Vibrio fischeri strain variation on host colonization.

Current opinion in microbiology, 50:15-19 pii:S1369-5274(19)30010-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Strain-level epidemiology is a key approach to understanding the mechanisms underlying establishment of any host-microbe association. The squid-vibrio light organ symbiosis has proven to be an informative and tractable experimental model in which to discover these mechanisms because it involves only one bacterial species, Vibrio fischeri. In this horizontally transmitted symbiosis, the squid presents nutrients to the bacteria located in a bilobed light-emitting organ, while the symbionts provide bioluminescence to their host. To initiate this association, V. fischeri cells go through several distinct stages: from free-living in the bacterioplankton, to forming a multicellular aggregation near pores on the light organ's surface, to migrating through the pores and into crypts deep in the light organ, where the symbiont population grows and luminesces. Because individual cells must successfully navigate these distinct regions, phenotypic differences between strains will have a strong impact on the composition of the population finally colonizing the squid. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of behavioral characteristics that differentially drive a strain's success, including its effectiveness of aggregation, the rapidity with which it reaches the deep crypts, and its deployment of type VI secretion.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Reynolds LA, Hornett EA, Jiggins CD, et al (2019)

Suppression of Wolbachia-mediated male-killing in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina involves a single genomic region.

PeerJ, 7:e7677 pii:7677.

Background: Sex ratio distorting agents (maternally inherited symbionts and meiotically-driving sex chromosomes) are common in insects. When these agents rise to high frequencies they create strong population sex ratio bias and selection then favours mutations that act to restore the rare sex. Despite this strong selection pressure, the evolution of mutations that suppress sex ratio distorting elements appears to be constrained in many cases, where sex-biased populations persist for many generations. This scenario has been observed in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina, where Wolbachia-mediated male killing endured for 800-1,000 generations across multiple populations before the evolution of suppression. Here we test the hypothesis that this evolutionary lag is the result of suppression being a multilocus trait requiring multiple mutations.

Methods: We developed genetic markers, based on conservation of synteny, for each H. bolina chromosome and verified coverage using recombinational mapping. We then used a Wolbachia-infected mapping family to assess each chromosome for the presence of loci required for male survival, as determined by the presence of markers in all surviving sons.

Results: Informative markers were obtained for each of the 31 chromosomes in H. bolina. The only marker that cosegregated with suppression was located on chromosome 25. A genomic region necessary for suppression has previously been located on this chromosome. We therefore conclude that a single genomic region of the H. bolina genome is necessary for male-killing suppression.

Discussion: The evolutionary lag observed in our system is not caused by a need for changes at multiple genomic locations. The findings favour hypotheses in which either multiple mutations are required within a single genomic region, or the suppressor mutation is a singularly rare event.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Ichikawa T, Hirahara K, Kokubo K, et al (2019)

CD103hi Treg cells constrain lung fibrosis induced by CD103lo tissue-resident pathogenic CD4 T cells.

Nature immunology pii:10.1038/s41590-019-0494-y [Epub ahead of print].

Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) are crucial mediators of adaptive immunity in nonlymphoid tissues. However, the functional heterogeneity and pathogenic roles of CD4+ TRM cells that reside within chronic inflammatory lesions remain unknown. We found that CD69hiCD103lo CD4+ TRM cells produced effector cytokines and promoted the inflammation and fibrotic responses induced by chronic exposure to Aspergillus fumigatus. Simultaneously, immunosuppressive CD69hiCD103hiFoxp3+ CD4+ regulatory T cells were induced and constrained the ability of pathogenic CD103lo TRM cells to cause fibrosis. Thus, lung tissue-resident CD4+ T cells play crucial roles in the pathology of chronic lung inflammation, and CD103 expression defines pathogenic effector and immunosuppressive tissue-resident cell subpopulations in the inflamed lung.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Teulet A, Busset N, Fardoux J, et al (2019)

The rhizobial type III effector ErnA confers the ability to form nodules in legumes.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1904456116 [Epub ahead of print].

Several Bradyrhizobium species nodulate the leguminous plant Aeschynomene indica in a type III secretion system-dependent manner, independently of Nod factors. To date, the underlying molecular determinants involved in this symbiotic process remain unknown. To identify the rhizobial effectors involved in nodulation, we mutated 23 out of the 27 effector genes predicted in Bradyrhizobium strain ORS3257. The mutation of nopAO increased nodulation and nitrogenase activity, whereas mutation of 5 other effector genes led to various symbiotic defects. The nopM1 and nopP1 mutants induced a reduced number of nodules, some of which displayed large necrotic zones. The nopT and nopAB mutants induced uninfected nodules, and a mutant in a yet-undescribed effector gene lost the capacity for nodule formation. This effector gene, widely conserved among bradyrhizobia, was named ernA for "effector required for nodulation-A." Remarkably, expressing ernA in a strain unable to nodulate A. indica conferred nodulation ability. Upon its delivery by Pseudomonas fluorescens into plant cells, ErnA was specifically targeted to the nucleus, and a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy approach supports the possibility that ErnA binds nucleic acids in the plant nuclei. Ectopic expression of ernA in A. indica roots activated organogenesis of root- and nodule-like structures. Collectively, this study unravels the symbiotic functions of rhizobial type III effectors playing distinct and complementary roles in suppression of host immune functions, infection, and nodule organogenesis, and suggests that ErnA triggers organ development in plants by a mechanism that remains to be elucidated.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Deng J, Zhu F, Liu J, et al (2019)

Transcription factor bHLH2 represses CYSTEINE PROTEASE 77 to negatively regulate nodule senescence.

Plant physiology pii:pp.19.00574 [Epub ahead of print].

Legume-rhizobia symbiosis is a time-limited process due to the onset of senescence, which results in the degradation of host plant cells and symbiosomes. A number of transcription factors, proteases, and functional genes have been associated with nodule senescence; however, whether other proteases or transcription factors are involved in nodule senescence remains poorly understood. In this study, we identified an early nodule senescence mutant in Medicago truncatula, denoted bhlh2 (basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor 2), that exhibits decreased nitrogenase activity, acceleration of plant programmed cell death (PCD), and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The results suggest that MtbHLH2 plays a negative role in nodule senescence. Nodules of wild-type and bhlh2-TALEN mutant plants at 28 days post inoculation were used for transcriptome sequencing. The transcriptome data analysis identified a papain-like cysteine protease gene, denoted MtCP77, that could serve as a potential target of MtbHLH2. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated that MtbHLH2 directly binds to the promoter of MtCP77 to inhibit its expression. MtCP77 positively regulates nodule senescence by accelerating plant PCD and ROS accumulation. In addition, the expression of MtbHLH2 in the nodules gradually decreased from the meristematic zone to the nitrogen fixation zone, whereas the expression of MtCP77 showed enhancement. These results indicate that MtbHLH2 and MtCP77 have opposite functions in the regulation of nodule senescence. These results reveal significant roles for MtbHLH2 and MtCP77 in plant PCD, ROS accumulation, and nodule senescence, and improve our understanding of the regulation of the nodule senescence process.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Msaddak A, Rejili M, Durán D, et al (2019)

Microvirga tunisiensis sp. nov., a root nodule symbiotic bacterium isolated from Lupinus micranthus and L. luteus grown in Northern Tunisia.

Systematic and applied microbiology pii:S0723-2020(19)30310-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Three bacterial strains, LmiM8T, LmiE10 and LluTb3, isolated from nitrogen-fixing nodules of Lupinus micranthus (Lmi strains) and L. luteus (Llu strain) growing in Northern Tunisia were analysed using genetic, phenotypic and symbiotic approaches. Phylogenetic analyses based on rrs and concatenated gyrB and dnaK genes suggested that these Lupinus strains constitute a new Microvirga species with identities ranging from 95 to 83% to its closest relatives Microvirga makkahensis, M. vignae, M. zambiensis, M. ossetica, and M. lotononidis. The genome sequences of strains LmiM8T and LmiE10 exhibited pairwise Average Nucleotide Identities (ANIb) above 99.5%, significantly distant (73-89% pairwise ANIb) from other Microvirga species sequenced (M. zambiensis and M. ossetica). A phylogenetic analysis based on the symbiosis-related gene nodA placed the sequences of the new species in a divergent clade close to Mesorhizobium, Microvirga and Bradyrhizobium strains, suggesting that the M. tunisiensis strains represent a new symbiovar different from the Bradyrhizobium symbiovars defined to date. In contrast, the phylogeny derived from another symbiosis-related gene, nifH, reproduced the housekeeping genes phylogenies. The study of morphological, phenotypical and physiological features, including cellular fatty acid composition of the novel isolates demonstrated their unique profile regarding close reference Microvirga strains. Strains LmiM8T, LmiE10 and LluTb3 were able to nodulate several Lupinus spp. Based on genetic, genomic and phenotypic data presented in this study, these strains should be grouped within a new species for which the name Microvirga tunisiensis sp. nov. is proposed (type strain LmiM8T=CECT 9163T, LMG 29689T).

RevDate: 2019-10-08
CmpDate: 2019-10-08

Pietras M (2019)

First record of North American fungus Rhizopogon pseudoroseolus in Australia and prediction of its occurrence based on climatic niche and symbiotic partner preferences.

Mycorrhiza, 29(4):397-401.

In 2017 a North American fungus, Rhizopogon pseudoroseolus (Boletales, Basidiomycota), formerly known in Oceania as only occurring in New Zealand, was found for the first time in South Australia. The morphological identification of collected specimens was confirmed using an internal transcribed spacer barcoding approach. In this study, the biogeography of R. pseudoroseolus is also presented, based on sporocarp and ectomycorrhiza records. Species distribution modeling implemented in MaxEnt was used to estimate the distribution of the potential range of R. pseudoroseolus in Australia and New Zealand. The obtained model illustrates, in the background of climatic variables and distribution of a symbiotic partner, its wide range of suitable habitats in New Zealand, South-East Australia, and Tasmania. Precipitation of the coldest quarters and annual mean temperature are important factors influencing the potential distribution of the fungus. The occurrence of Pinus radiata, the ectomycorrhizal partner of R. pseudoroseolus, is also an important factor limiting expansion of the fungus' invasion range.

RevDate: 2019-10-08
CmpDate: 2019-10-08

Ertz D, Guzow-Krzemińska B, Thor G, et al (2018)

Photobiont switching causes changes in the reproduction strategy and phenotypic dimorphism in the Arthoniomycetes.

Scientific reports, 8(1):4952.

Phylogenetic analyses using mtSSU and nuITS sequences of Buellia violaceofusca (previously placed in Lecanoromycetes), a sterile, sorediate lichen having a trebouxioid photobiont, surprisingly prove that the species is conspecific with Lecanographa amylacea (Arthoniomycetes), a fertile, esorediate species with a trentepohlioid photobiont. These results suggest that L. amylacea and B. violaceofusca are photomorphs of the same mycobiont species, which, depending on the photobiont type, changes the morphology and the reproduction strategy. This is the first example of a lichenized fungus that can select between Trebouxia (Trebouxiophyceae) and trentepohlioid (Ulvophyceae) photobionts. Trebouxia photobionts from the sorediate morphotype belong to at least three different phylogenetic clades, and the results suggest that Lecanographa amylacea can capture the photobiont of other lichens such as Chrysothrix candelaris to form the sorediate morphotype. Phylogenetic analyses based on rbcL DNA data suggest that the trentepohlioid photobiont of L. amylacea is closely related to Trentepohlia isolated from fruticose lichens. The flexibility in the photobiont choice enables L. amylacea to use a larger range of tree hosts. This strategy helps the lichen to withstand changes of environmental conditions, to widen its distribution range and to increase its population size, which is particularly important for the survival of this rare species.

RevDate: 2019-10-08
CmpDate: 2019-10-08

Turelli M, Cooper BS, Richardson KM, et al (2018)

Rapid Global Spread of wRi-like Wolbachia across Multiple Drosophila.

Current biology : CB, 28(6):963-971.e8.

Maternally transmitted Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, and Cardinium bacteria are common in insects [1], but their interspecific spread is poorly understood. Endosymbionts can spread rapidly within host species by manipulating host reproduction, as typified by the global spread of wRi Wolbachia observed in Drosophila simulans [2, 3]. However, because Wolbachia cannot survive outside host cells, spread between distantly related host species requires horizontal transfers that are presumably rare [4-7]. Here, we document spread of wRi-like Wolbachia among eight highly diverged Drosophila hosts (10-50 million years) over only about 14,000 years (5,000-27,000). Comparing 110 wRi-like genomes, we find ≤0.02% divergence from the wRi variant that spread rapidly through California populations of D. simulans. The hosts include both globally invasive species (D. simulans, D. suzukii, and D. ananassae) and narrowly distributed Australian endemics (D. anomalata and D. pandora) [8]. Phylogenetic analyses that include mtDNA genomes indicate introgressive transfer of wRi-like Wolbachia between closely related species D. ananassae, D. anomalata, and D. pandora but no horizontal transmission within species. Our analyses suggest D. ananassae as the Wolbachia source for the recent wRi invasion of D. simulans and D. suzukii as the source of Wolbachia in its sister species D. subpulchrella. Although six of these wRi-like variants cause strong cytoplasmic incompatibility, two cause no detectable reproductive effects, indicating that pervasive mutualistic effects [9, 10] complement the reproductive manipulations for which Wolbachia are best known. "Super spreader" variants like wRi may be particularly useful for controlling insect pests and vector-borne diseases with Wolbachia transinfections [11].

RevDate: 2019-10-08
CmpDate: 2019-10-08

Nunes CEP, Maruyama PK, Azevedo-Silva M, et al (2018)

Parasitoids Turn Herbivores into Mutualists in a Nursery System Involving Active Pollination.

Current biology : CB, 28(6):980-986.e3.

Nursery pollination involves pollinators that lay eggs on the flowers they pollinate and have their brood fed on flower parts or developing ovules [1-4]. Active pollination, a ritualistic behavioral sequence shown by nursery pollinators when transferring pollen from anthers to stigmas, is known in only four plant lineages [5-8], including the classical examples of fig trees-fig wasps and yuccas-yucca moths [5, 6]. We report in detail a system in which weevils actively pollinate orchids prior to having their larvae fed on the developing fruits. Sampling over five years revealed that although weevils trigger fruit set, this interaction is negative for the plant as weevil larvae often consume all contents of infested fruits. However, part of weevil-infested fruits is often "rescued" by parasitoid wasps, which kill the weevil larvae before all fruit content is consumed (Figure 1). "Rescued" fruits present high seed viability and biomass similar to that of non-infested fruits, much higher than that of fruits with weevils only. Hence, parasitoids mediate the fitness consequences of the interaction between the plant and its parasitic pollinator. Weevils constitute a megadiverse group of herbivores commonly reported as florivores [9] but are also appreciated as flower-ovipositing pollinators of cycads and palms [4, 10-13] and were previously recorded carrying orchid pollinaria [14-16]. The orchid-weevil system presented here shows that plant-floral visitor interaction outcome can be mediated by a third party (parasitoids) and illustrates a way by which the biological context may allow the emergence and persistence of active nursery pollination behavior in nature.

RevDate: 2019-10-07

Richards TA, Massana R, Pagliara S, et al (2019)

Single cell ecology.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1786):20190076.

Cells are the building blocks of life, from single-celled microbes through to multi-cellular organisms. To understand a multitude of biological processes we need to understand how cells behave, how they interact with each other and how they respond to their environment. The use of new methodologies is changing the way we study cells allowing us to study them on minute scales and in unprecedented detail. These same methods are allowing researchers to begin to sample the vast diversity of microbes that dominate natural environments. The aim of this special issue is to bring together research and perspectives on the application of new approaches to understand the biological properties of cells, including how they interact with other biological entities. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Single cell ecology'.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-07

Clark RE, Gutierrez Illan J, Comerford MS, et al (2019)

Keystone mutualism influences forest tree growth at a landscape scale.

Ecology letters, 22(10):1599-1607.

Interactions between ants and phloem-feeding herbivores are characterised as a keystone mutualism because they restructure arthropod communities and generate trophic cascades. Keystone interactions in terrestrial food webs are hypothesised to depend on herbivore community structure and bottom-up effects on plant growth. Here, we tested this prediction at a landscape scale with a long-term ant-exclusion experiment on hickory saplings in the context of spatial variation in herbivore community structure and habitat quality. We quantified top-down effects of ants, herbivore communities as well as abiotic factors impacting hickory shoot growth. We found that ants influenced shoot growth via strong, context-dependent, compensatory effects, with clear cascading benefits only when phloem-feeders were present and chewing herbivore abundance was high. By contrast, while several landscape variables predicted hickory growth, they did not mediate the strength of cascading effects of ants. These results suggest that ant/sap-feeder mutualisms may regulate forest productivity by mediating effects of multiple herbivore guilds.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-04

Valdovinos FS (2019)

Mutualistic networks: moving closer to a predictive theory.

Ecology letters, 22(9):1517-1534.

Plant-animal mutualistic networks sustain terrestrial biodiversity and human food security. Global environmental changes threaten these networks, underscoring the urgency for developing a predictive theory on how networks respond to perturbations. Here, I synthesise theoretical advances towards predicting network structure, dynamics, interaction strengths and responses to perturbations. I find that mathematical models incorporating biological mechanisms of mutualistic interactions provide better predictions of network dynamics. Those mechanisms include trait matching, adaptive foraging, and the dynamic consumption and production of both resources and services provided by mutualisms. Models incorporating species traits better predict the potential structure of networks (fundamental niche), while theory based on the dynamics of species abundances, rewards, foraging preferences and reproductive services can predict the extremely dynamic realised structures of networks, and may successfully predict network responses to perturbations. From a theoretician's standpoint, model development must more realistically represent empirical data on interaction strengths, population dynamics and how these vary with perturbations from global change. From an empiricist's standpoint, theory needs to make specific predictions that can be tested by observation or experiments. Developing models using short-term empirical data allows models to make longer term predictions of community dynamics. As more longer term data become available, rigorous tests of model predictions will improve.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-07

Xu J, Koyanagi Y, Isogai E, et al (2019)

Effects of fermentation products of the commensal bacterium Clostridium ramosum on motility, intracellular pH, and flagellar synthesis of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

Archives of microbiology, 201(6):841-846.

The flagellum and motility are crucial virulence factors for many pathogenic bacteria. In general, pathogens invade and translocate through motility and adhere to specific tissue via flagella. Therefore, the motility and flagella of pathogens are effectual targets for attenuation. Here, we show that the fermentation products of Clostridium ramosum, a commensal intestinal bacterium, decrease the intracellular pH of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) and influence its swimming motility. Quantifications of flagellar rotation in individual EHEC cells showed an increase in reversal frequency and a decrease in rotation rate in the presence of C. ramosum fermentation products. Furthermore, the C. ramosum fermentation products affected synthesis of flagellar filaments. The results were reproduced by a combination of organic acids under acidic conditions. Short-chain fatty acids produced by microbes in the gut flora are beneficial for the host, e.g. they prevent infection. Thus, C. ramosum could affect the physiologies of other enteric microbes and host tissues.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-07

Liu X, Qiu W, Rao B, et al (2019)

Bacterioferritin comigratory protein is important in hydrogen peroxide resistance, nodulation, and nitrogen fixation in Azorhizobium caulinodans.

Archives of microbiology, 201(6):823-831.

Reactive oxygen species are not only harmful for rhizobia but also required for the establishment of symbiotic interactions between rhizobia and their legume hosts. In this work, we first investigated the preliminary role of the bacterioferritin comigratory protein (BCP), a member of the peroxiredoxin family, in the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azorhizobium caulinodans. Our data revealed that the bcp-deficient strain of A. caulinodans displayed an increased sensitivity to inorganic hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) but not to two organic peroxides in a growth-phase-dependent manner. Meanwhile, BCP was found to be involved in catalase activity under relatively low H2O2 conditions. Furthermore, nodulation and N2 fixation were significantly impaired by mutation of the bcp gene in A. caulinodans. Our work initially documented the importance of BCP in the bacterial defence against H2O2 in the free-living stage of rhizobia and during their symbiotic interactions with legumes. Molecular signalling in vivo is required to decipher the holistic functions of BCP in A. caulinodans as well as in other rhizobia.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-04

Reiter N, Lawrie AC, CC Linde (2018)

Matching symbiotic associations of an endangered orchid to habitat to improve conservation outcomes.

Annals of botany, 122(6):947-959.

Background and Aims: An understanding of mycorrhizal variation, orchid seed germination temperature and the effect of co-occurring plant species could be critical for optimizing conservation translocations of endangered plants with specialized mycorrhizal associations.

Methods: Focusing on the orchid Thelymitra epipactoides, we isolated mycorrhizal fungi from ten plants within each of three sites; Shallow Sands Woodland (SSW), Damp Heathland (DH) and Coastal Heathland Scrub (CHS). Twenty-seven fungal isolates were tested for symbiotic germination under three 24 h temperature cycles: 12 °C for 16 h-16 °C for 8 h, 16 °C for 16 h-24 °C for 8 h or 27 °C constant. Fungi were sequenced using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), nuclear large subunit 1 (nLSU1), nLSU2 and mitochondrial large rRNA gene (mtLSU). Orchids were grown to maturity and co-planted with each of ten associated plant species in a glasshouse experiment with tuber width measured at 12 months after co-planting.

Key Results: Two Tulasnella fungal lineages were isolated and identified by phylogenetic analyses, operational taxonomic unit 1 (OTU1) and 'T. asymmetrica'. Fungal lineages were specific to sites and did not co-occur. OTU1 (from the SSW site) germinated seed predominantly at 12-16 °C (typical of autumn-winter temperature) whereas 'T. asymmetrica' (from the DH and CHS sites) germinated seed across all three temperature ranges. There was no difference in the growth of adult orchids germinated with different OTUs. There was a significant reduction in tuber size of T. epipactoides when co-planted with six of the commonly co-occurring plant species.

Conclusions: We found that orchid fungal lineages and their germination temperature can change with habitat, and established that translocation sites can be optimized with knowledge of co-occurring plant interactions. For conservation translocations, particularly under a changing climate, we recommend that plants should be grown with mycorrhizal fungi tailored to the recipient site.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-03

Lugli GA, Mancino W, Milani C, et al (2018)

Reconstruction of the Bifidobacterial Pan-Secretome Reveals the Network of Extracellular Interactions between Bifidobacteria and the Infant Gut.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 84(16):.

The repertoire of secreted proteins decoded by a microorganism represents proteins released from or associated with the cell surface. In gut commensals, such as bifidobacteria, these proteins are perceived to be functionally relevant, as they regulate the interaction with the gut environment. In the current study, we screened the predicted proteome of over 300 bifidobacterial strains among the currently recognized bifidobacterial species to generate a comprehensive database encompassing bifidobacterial extracellular proteins. A glycobiome analysis of this predicted bifidobacterial secretome revealed that a correlation exists between particular bifidobacterial species and their capability to hydrolyze human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and intestinal glycoconjugates, such as mucin. Furthermore, an exploration of metatranscriptomic data sets of the infant gut microbiota allowed the evaluation of the expression of bifidobacterial genes encoding extracellular proteins, represented by ABC transporter substrate-binding proteins and glycoside hydrolases enzymes involved in the degradation of human milk oligosaccharides and mucin. Overall, this study provides insights into how bifidobacteria interact with their natural yet highly complex environment, the infant gut.IMPORTANCE The ecological success of bifidobacteria relies on the activity of extracellular proteins that are involved in the metabolism of nutrients and the interaction with the environment. To date, information on secreted proteins encoded by bifidobacteria is incomplete and just related to few species. In this study, we reconstructed the bifidobacterial pan-secretome, revealing extracellular proteins that modulate the interaction of bifidobacteria with their natural environment. Furthermore, a survey of the secretion systems between bifidobacterial genomes allowed the identification of a conserved Sec-dependent secretion machinery in all the analyzed genomes and the Tat protein translocation system in the chromosomes of 23 strains belonging to Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum and Bifidobacterium aesculapii.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-04

Izzo TJ, Fernandez Piedade MT, W Dáttilo (2018)

Postponing the production of ant domatia as a strategy promoting an escape from flooding in an Amazonian myrmecophyte.

Annals of botany, 122(6):985-991.

Background and Aims: Even when adapted to flooding environments, the spatial distribution, growing strategies and anti-herbivore defences of plants face stressful conditions. Here we describe the effects of flooding on carbon allocation on growth, domatia and leaf production, and the herbivory on the myrmecophyte domatia-bearing Tococa coronata Benth. (Melastomataceae) growing along river banks in the Amazon region.

Methods: In an area of 80 000 m2 of riparian forest along the Juruena River we actively searched for individuals of T. coronata. In each plant we evaluated the size of the plant when producing the first domatium and determined its best predictor: (1) plant total height; (2) size of plants above flood level; or (3) length of time each plant spent underwater. We also compared the herbivory, internode elongation, foliar asymmetry and specific leaf weight between T. coronata individuals growing above and below the maximum flooding level. The distance to the river and the height of the first domatium produced were compared between T. coronata and its sympatric congener, T. bulifera.

Key Results: We found that T. coronata invests in rapid growth in the early ontogenetic stages through an elongation of internodes rather than in constitutive anti-herbivore defences to leaves or domatia to exceed the maximum flooding level. Consequently, its leaf herbivory was higher when compared with those produced above the flooding level. Individuals with leaves above flood levels produce coriaceous leaves and ant-domatias. Thus, flooding seems to trigger changes in growth strategies of the species. Furthermore, T. coronata occurs within the flood level, whereas its congener T. bullifera invariably occurs at sites unreachable by floods.

Conclusion: Even in conditions of high stress, T. coronata presents both physiological and adaptive strategies that allow for colonization and establishment within flooded regions. These mechanisms involve an extreme trade-off of postponing adult plant characteristics to rapid growth to escape flooding while minimizing carbon allocation to defence.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-07

González-Escobar JL, Grajales-Lagunes A, Smoliński A, et al (2018)

Microbiota of edible Liometopum apiculatum ant larvae reveals potential functions related to their nutritional value.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 109:497-505.

Edible insects, due to their high nutritive value, are currently considered as a potential renewable source for food and feed production. Liometopum apiculatum ants are widely distributed in arid and semi-arid ecosystems and their larvae (escamoles) are considered as a delicacy, however the microbial importance in L. apiculatum nutritional ecology is unknown. The aim of this research was to characterize the microorganisms associated with both L. apiculatum larvae and the reproductive adult ants using the 16S rRNA gene sequencing and culturomics approaches. The obligate endosymbionts were also investigated through microscopic analysis. The most abundant Phylum identified by sequencing in the larvae was Firmicutes while in adult ants was Proteobacteria. Interestingly, the culturomics results showed 15 genera corresponding to the bacteria identified by sequencing analysis. Particularly, it was observed a large population of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which could be linked with the high protein content in escamoles. Endosymbionts were detected in bacteoriocytes, these bacteria are related with vitamins and essential amino acids biosynthesis, and both compounds contributing to the high nutritional value of escamoles. This is the first report of the microorganisms present in the escamolera ant ensuring their safety as food and opening new areas of nutritional ecological and food processing.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-07

Stoudenmire JL, Essock-Burns T, Weathers EN, et al (2018)

An Iterative, Synthetic Approach To Engineer a High-Performance PhoB-Specific Reporter.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 84(14):.

Transcriptional reporters are common tools for analyzing either the transcription of a gene of interest or the activity of a specific transcriptional regulator. Unfortunately, the latter application has the shortcoming that native promoters did not evolve as optimal readouts for the activity of a particular regulator. We sought to synthesize an optimized transcriptional reporter for assessing PhoB activity, aiming for maximal "on" expression when PhoB is active, minimal background in the "off" state, and no control elements for other regulators. We designed specific sequences for promoter elements with appropriately spaced PhoB-binding sites, and at 19 additional intervening nucleotide positions for which we did not predict sequence-specific effects, the bases were randomized. Eighty-three such constructs were screened in Vibrio fischeri, enabling us to identify bases at particular randomized positions that significantly correlated with high-level "on" or low-level "off" expression. A second round of promoter design rationally constrained 13 additional positions, leading to a reporter with high-level PhoB-dependent expression, essentially no background, and no other known regulatory elements. As expressed reporters, we used both stable and destabilized variants of green fluorescent protein (GFP), the latter of which has a half-life of 81 min in V. fischeri In culture, PhoB induced the reporter when phosphate was depleted to a concentration below 10 μM. During symbiotic colonization of its host squid, Euprymna scolopes, the reporter indicated heterogeneous phosphate availability in different light-organ microenvironments. Finally, testing this construct in other members of the Proteobacteria demonstrated its broader utility. The results illustrate how a limited ability to predict synthetic promoter-reporter performance can be overcome through iterative screening and reengineering.IMPORTANCE Transcriptional reporters can be powerful tools for assessing when a particular regulator is active; however, native promoters may not be ideal for this purpose. Optimal reporters should be specific to the regulator being examined and should maximize the difference between the "on" and "off" states; however, these properties are distinct from the selective pressures driving the evolution of natural promoters. Synthetic promoters offer a promising alternative, but our understanding often does not enable fully predictive promoter design, and the large number of alternative sequence possibilities can be intractable. In a synthetic promoter region with over 34 billion sequence variants, we identified bases correlated with favorable performance by screening only 83 candidates, allowing us to rationally constrain our design. We thereby generated an optimized reporter that is induced by PhoB and used it to explore the low-phosphate response of V. fischeri This promoter design strategy will facilitate the engineering of other regulator-specific reporters.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-07

McCully AL, Behringer MG, Gliessman JR, et al (2018)

An Escherichia coli Nitrogen Starvation Response Is Important for Mutualistic Coexistence with Rhodopseudomonas palustris.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 84(14):.

Microbial mutualistic cross-feeding interactions are ubiquitous and can drive important community functions. Engaging in cross-feeding undoubtedly affects the physiology and metabolism of individual species involved. However, the nature in which an individual species' physiology is influenced by cross-feeding and the importance of those physiological changes for the mutualism have received little attention. We previously developed a genetically tractable coculture to study bacterial mutualisms. The coculture consists of fermentative Escherichia coli and phototrophic Rhodopseudomonas palustris In this coculture, E. coli anaerobically ferments sugars into excreted organic acids as a carbon source for R. palustris In return, a genetically engineered R. palustris strain constitutively converts N2 into NH4+, providing E. coli with essential nitrogen. Using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) and proteomics, we identified transcript and protein levels that differ in each partner when grown in coculture versus monoculture. When in coculture with R. palustris, E. coli gene expression changes resembled a nitrogen starvation response under the control of the transcriptional regulator NtrC. By genetically disrupting E. coli NtrC, we determined that a nitrogen starvation response is important for a stable coexistence, especially at low R. palustris NH4+ excretion levels. Destabilization of the nitrogen starvation regulatory network resulted in variable growth trends and, in some cases, extinction. Our results highlight that alternative physiological states can be important for survival within cooperative cross-feeding relationships.IMPORTANCE Mutualistic cross-feeding between microbes within multispecies communities is widespread. Studying how mutualistic interactions influence the physiology of each species involved is important for understanding how mutualisms function and persist in both natural and applied settings. Using a bacterial mutualism consisting of Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Escherichia coli growing cooperatively through bidirectional nutrient exchange, we determined that an E. coli nitrogen starvation response is important for maintaining a stable coexistence. The lack of an E. coli nitrogen starvation response ultimately destabilized the mutualism and, in some cases, led to community collapse after serial transfers. Our findings thus inform on the potential necessity of an alternative physiological state for mutualistic coexistence with another species compared to the physiology of species grown in isolation.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-07

Høj L, Levy N, Baillie BK, et al (2018)

Crown-of-Thorns Sea Star Acanthaster cf. solaris Has Tissue-Characteristic Microbiomes with Potential Roles in Health and Reproduction.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 84(13):.

Outbreaks of coral-eating crown-of-thorns sea stars (CoTS; Acanthaster species complex) cause substantial coral loss; hence, there is considerable interest in developing prevention and control strategies. We characterized the microbiome of captive CoTS and assessed whether dysbiosis was evident in sea stars during a disease event. Most tissue types had a distinct microbiome. The exception was female gonads, in which the microbiomes were highly variable among individuals. Male gonads were dominated (>97% of reads) by a single Mollicutes-related operational taxonomic unit (OTU). Detailed phylogenetic and microscopy analysis demonstrated the presence of a novel Spiroplasma-related bacterium in the spermatogenic layer. Body wall samples had high relative abundance (43 to 64% of reads) of spirochetes, likely corresponding to subcuticular symbionts reported from many echinoderms. Tube feet were characterized by Hyphomonadaceae (24 to 55% of reads). Pyloric cecal microbiomes had high alpha diversity, comprising many taxa commonly found in gastrointestinal systems. The order Oceanospirillales (genera Endozoicomonas and Kistimonas) was detected in all tissues. A microbiome shift occurred in diseased individuals although differences between tissue types were retained. The relative abundance of spirochetes was significantly reduced in diseased individuals. Kistimonas was present in all diseased individuals and significantly associated with diseased tube feet, but its role in disease causation is unknown. While Arcobacter was significantly associated with diseased tissues and Vibrionaceae increased in diversity, no single OTU was detected in all diseased individuals, suggesting opportunistic proliferation of these taxa in this case. This study shows that CoTS have tissue-characteristic bacterial communities and identifies taxa that could play a role in reproduction and host health.IMPORTANCE Coral-eating crown-of-thorns sea stars (CoTS; Acanthaster species complex) are native to the Indo-Pacific, but during periodic population outbreaks they can reach extreme densities (>1,000 starfish per hectare) and function as a pest species. On the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, CoTS have long been considered one of the major contributors to coral loss. There has been significant investment in a targeted control program using lethal injection, and there is interest in developing additional and complementary technologies that can increase culling efficiencies. The biology of CoTS has been studied extensively, but little is known about their associated microbiome. This cultivation-independent analysis of the CoTS microbiome provides a baseline for future analyses targeting the functional role of symbionts, the identification of pathogens, or the development of reproduction manipulators.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-03

Pereira TN, Rocha MN, Sucupira PHF, et al (2018)

Wolbachia significantly impacts the vector competence of Aedes aegypti for Mayaro virus.

Scientific reports, 8(1):6889.

Wolbachia, an intracellular endosymbiont present in up to 70% of all insect species, has been suggested as a sustainable strategy for the control of arboviruses such as Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. As Mayaro virus outbreaks have also been reported in Latin American countries, the objective of this study was to evaluate the vector competence of Brazilian field-collected Ae. aegypti and the impact of Wolbachia (wMel strain) upon this virus. Our in vitro studies with Aag2 cells showed that Mayaro virus can rapidly multiply, whereas in wMel-infected Aag2 cells, viral growth was significantly impaired. In addition, C6/36 cells seem to have alterations when infected by Mayaro virus. In vivo experiments showed that field-collected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes are highly permissive to Mayaro virus infection, and high viral prevalence was observed in the saliva. On the other hand, Wolbachia-harboring mosquitoes showed significantly impaired capability to transmit Mayaro virus. Our results suggest that the use of Wolbachia-harboring mosquitoes may represent an effective mechanism for the reduction of Mayaro virus transmission throughout Latin America.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-07

de Vries J, JM Archibald (2018)

Plastid genomes.

Current biology : CB, 28(8):R336-R337.

de Vries and Archibald introduce the topic of plastid genomes - prokaryotic genomes housed within eukaryotic algae and plants.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-04

Pandey SS, Singh S, Pandey H, et al (2018)

Endophytes of Withania somnifera modulate in planta content and the site of withanolide biosynthesis.

Scientific reports, 8(1):5450.

Tissue specific biosynthesis of secondary metabolites is a distinguished feature of medicinal plants. Withania somnifera, source of pharmaceutically important withanolides biosynthesizes withaferin-A in leaves and withanolide-A in roots. To increase the in planta withanolides production, a sustainable approach needs to be explored. Here, we isolated endophytes from different parts of W. somnifera plants and their promising role in in planta withanolide biosynthesis was established in both in-vivo grown as well in in-vitro raised composite W. somnifera plants. Overall, the fungal endophytes improved photosynthesis, plant growth and biomass, and the root-associated bacterial endophytes enhanced the withanolide content in both in-vivo and in-vitro grown plants by modulating the expression of withanolide biosynthesis genes in leaves and roots. Surprisingly, a few indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-producing and nitrogen-fixing root-associated endophytes could induce the biosynthesis of withaferin-A in roots by inducing in planta IAA-production and upregulating the expression of withanolide biosynthesis genes especially MEP-pathway genes (DXS and DXR) in roots as well. Results indicate the role of endophytes in modulating the synthesis and site of withanolides production and the selected endophytes can be used for enhancing the in planta withanolide production and enriching roots with pharmaceutically important withaferin-A which is generally absent in roots.

RevDate: 2019-10-07
CmpDate: 2019-10-03

Slullitel PA, Buttaro MA, Greco G, et al (2018)

No lower bacterial adhesion for ceramics compared to other biomaterials: An in vitro analysis.

Orthopaedics & traumatology, surgery & research : OTSR, 104(4):439-443.

BACKGROUND: Although there is some clinical evidence of ceramic bearings being associated with a lower infection rate after total hip arthroplasty (THA), available data remains controversial since this surface is usually reserved for young, healthy patients. Therefore, we investigated the influence of five commonly used biomaterials on the adhesion potential of four biofilm-producing bacteria usually detected in infected THAs.

HYPOTHESIS: Ceramic biomaterials exhibit less bacterial adherence than other biomaterials.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this in vitro research, we evaluated the ability of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 35984, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to adhere to the surface of a cobalt-chromium metal head, a fourth-generation ceramic head, a fourth-generation ceramic insert, a highly-crossed linked polyethylene insert and a titanium porous-coated acetabular component. After an initial washing step, bacterial separation from the surface of each specimen was done with a vortex agitator. The colony-forming units were counted to determine the number of viable adherent bacteria.

RESULTS: We found no differences on global bacterial adhesion between the different surfaces (p=0.5). E. coli presented the least adherence potential among the analysed pathogens (p<0.001). The combination of E. coli and S. epidermidis generated an antagonist effect over the adherence potential of S. epidermidis individually (58±4% vs. 48±5%; p=0.007). The combination of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus presented a trend to an increased adherence of P. aeruginosa independently, suggesting an agonist effect (71% vs. 62%; p=0.07).

DISCUSSION: Ceramic bearings appeared not to be related to a lower bacterial adhesion than other biomaterials. However, different adhesive potentials among bacteria may play a major role on infection's inception.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV, in vitro study.

RevDate: 2019-10-05

Takeshita K, Yamada T, Kawahara Y, et al (2019)

Tripartite Symbiosis of an Anaerobic Scuticociliate with two Hydrogenosome-Associated Endosymbionts, a Holospora-related Alphaproteobacterium and a Methanogenic Archaeon.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00854-19 [Epub ahead of print].

A number of anaerobic ciliates, unicellular eukaryote, intracellularly possess methanogenic archaea and bacteria as symbiotic partners. Although this tripartite relationship is of interest in terms of the fact that each participant is from three different domains, the difficulty in culture and maintenance of those host species with symbiotic partners has disturbed both ecological and functional studies so far. In this study, we obtained a stable culture of a small anaerobic scuticociliate, strain GW7. By transmission electron microscopic observation and fluorescent in situ hybridization with domain-specific probes, we demonstrated that GW7 possessed both archaeal and bacterial endosymbionts in its cytoplasm. These endosymbionts were independently associated with hydrogenosomes, which are organelle producing hydrogen and ATP in anaerobic condition. Clone library analyses targeting prokaryotic 16S rRNA genes, fluorescent in situ hybridization with endosymbiont-specific probes, and molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed phylogenetic affiliation and intracellular localization of these endosymbionts. The endosymbiotic archaeon is a methanogen belonging to the genus Methanoregula (order Methanomicrobiales); a member of this genus has been previously described as the endosymbiont of an anaerobic ciliate from the genus Metopus (class Armophorea), which is only distantly related to strain GW7 (class Oligohymenophorea). The endosymbiotic bacterium belongs to the family Holosporaceae of the class Alphaproteobacteria, which also comprises several endosymbionts of various aerobic ciliates. For this endosymbiotic bacterium, we proposed the novel candidate species in the novel candidate genus "Candidatus Hydrogenosomobacter endosymbioticus."Importance Tripartite symbioses between anaerobic ciliated protists and their intracellular archaeal and bacterial symbionts are not uncommon, but most reports have been based mainly on microscopic observations. Deeper insights into the function, ecology, and evolution of these fascinating symbioses involving partners from all three domains of life have been hampered by the difficulties of culturing anaerobic ciliates in the laboratory and the frequent loss of their prokaryotic partners during long-term cultivation. In the present study, we report the isolation of an anaerobic scuticociliate, strain GW7, which has been stably maintained in our laboratory for more than three years without losing either of its endosymbionts. Unexpectedly, molecular characterization of the endosymbionts revealed that bacterial partner of GW7 is phylogenetically related to intranuclear endosymbionts of aerobic ciliates. This strain will enable future genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses of the interactions in this tripartite symbiosis and a comparison with the endosymbioses in aerobic ciliates.

RevDate: 2019-10-04

Kudryavtsev A, Volkova E, A Plotnikov (2019)

Vannella samoroda n. sp. (Amoebozoa) - First member of the genus from a continental saline habitat placed in a molecular tree.

European journal of protistology, 71:125634 pii:S0932-4739(19)30071-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Vannella samoroda n. sp. (Amoebozoa, Vannellida) was isolated from the mouth of the Malaya Samoroda river flowing into Elton, the largest European hypersaline lake (Russia). Among all rivers of the area, it has the highest salt content (ca. 110‰). Amoebae maintained in seawater medium with ca. 77‰ salts concentration had a set of morphological characters typical of Vannella spp.: rounded, fan-shaped, or spatulate locomotive form, floating form with bent, blunt-ended hyaline pseudopodia, and a cell coat consisting of regularly packed palisade elements and scarce simple filaments. Phylogenetic analyses based on SSU rRNA and cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 genes show that the amoeba is most closely related to Vannella ebro Smirnov, 2001, but represents a distinct species. The clade of V. ebro and V. samoroda branches among marine species of Vannella. The studied species is the first member of the genus Vannella from a continental saline habitat described using molecular data. Interestingly, it has a broad range of salinity tolerance: cells reproduce above 18‰, while survival of a few cells regularly occurs even in highly diluted Prescott and James medium. The normal culture restores itself when PJ medium is substituted with 77‰ seawater medium even after months of experimental incubation.

RevDate: 2019-10-04

La Carpia F, Wojczyk BS, Annavajhala MK, et al (2019)

Transfusional iron overload and intravenous iron infusions modify the mouse gut microbiota similarly to dietary iron.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 5:26 pii:97.

Iron is essential for both microorganisms and their hosts. Although effects of dietary iron on gut microbiota have been described, the effect of systemic iron administration has yet to be explored. Here, we show that dietary iron, intravenous iron administration, and chronic transfusion in mice increase the availability of iron in the gut. These iron interventions have consistent and reproducible effects on the murine gut microbiota; specifically, relative abundance of the Parabacteroides and Lactobacillus genera negatively correlate with increased iron stores, whereas members of the Clostridia class positively correlate with iron stores regardless of the route of iron administration. Iron levels also affected microbial metabolites, in general, and indoles, in particular, circulating in host plasma and in stool pellets. Taken together, these results suggest that by shifting the balance of the microbiota, clinical interventions that affect iron status have the potential to alter biologically relevant microbial metabolites in the host.

RevDate: 2019-10-04

Su Z, Kuscu C, Malik A, et al (2019)

Angiogenin generates specific stress-induced tRNA halves and is not involved in tRF-3-mediated gene silencing.

The Journal of biological chemistry pii:RA119.009272 [Epub ahead of print].

tRNA fragments (tRFs) and tRNA halves have been implicated in various cellular processes, including gene silencing, translation, stress granule assembly, cell differentiation, retrotransposon activity, symbiosis, apoptosis and more. Overexpressed angiogenin (ANG) cleaves tRNA anticodons and produces tRNA halves similar to those produced in response to stress. However, it is not clear whether endogenous ANG is essential for producing the stress-induced tRNA halves. It is also not clear whether smaller tRFs are generated from the tRNA halves. Here, using global short RNA-Seq approach, we found that ANG overexpression selectively cleaves a subset of tRNAs, including tRNAGlu, tRNAGly, tRNALys, tRNAVal, tRNAHis, tRNAAsp, and tRNASeC to produce tRNA halves and tRF-5s that are 26-30 bases long. Surprisingly, ANG knockout revealed that the majority of stress-induced tRNA halves, except for the 5' half from tRNAHisGTG and the 3' half from tRNAAspGTC, are ANG independent, suggesting there are other RNases that produce tRNA halves. We also found that the 17-25-bases-long tRF-3s and tRF-5s that could enter into Argonaute complexes are not induced by ANG overexpression, suggesting that they are generated independently from tRNA halves. Consistent with this, ANG knockout did not decrease tRF-3 levels or gene-silencing activity. We conclude that ANG cleaves specific tRNAs and is not the only RNAse that creates tRNA halves and that the shorter tRFs are not generated from the tRNA halves or from independent tRNA cleavage by ANG.

RevDate: 2019-10-04

Mazzocca A (2019)

The Systemic-Evolutionary Theory of the Origin of Cancer (SETOC): A New Interpretative Model of Cancer as a Complex Biological System.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(19): pii:ijms20194885.

The Systemic-Evolutionary Theory of Cancer (SETOC) is a recently proposed theory based on two important concepts: (i) Evolution, understood as a process of cooperation and symbiosis (Margulian-like), and (ii) The system, in terms of the integration of the various cellular components, so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, as in any complex system. The SETOC posits that cancer is generated by the de-emergence of the "eukaryotic cell system" and by the re-emergence of cellular subsystems such as archaea-like (genetic information) and/or prokaryotic-like (mitochondria) subsystems, featuring uncoordinated behaviors. One of the consequences is a sort of "cellular regression" towards ancestral or atavistic biological functions or behaviors similar to those of protists or unicellular organisms in general. This de-emergence is caused by the progressive breakdown of the endosymbiotic cellular subsystem integration (mainly, information = nucleus and energy = mitochondria) as a consequence of long-term injuries. Known cancer-promoting factors, including inflammation, chronic fibrosis, and chronic degenerative processes, cause prolonged damage that leads to the breakdown or failure of this form of integration/endosymbiosis. In normal cells, the cellular "subsystems" must be fully integrated in order to maintain the differentiated state, and this integration is ensured by a constant energy intake. In contrast, when organ or tissue damage occurs, the constant energy intake declines, leading, over time, to energy shortage, failure of endosymbiosis, and the de-differentiated state observed in dysplasia and cancer.

RevDate: 2019-10-03

Dias AS, Almeida CR, Helguero LA, et al (2019)

Metabolic crosstalk in the breast cancer microenvironment.

European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990), 121:154-171 pii:S0959-8049(19)30502-7 [Epub ahead of print].

During tumorigenesis, breast tumour cells undergo metabolic reprogramming, which generally includes enhanced glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid cycle activity, glutaminolysis and fatty acid biosynthesis. However, the extension and functional importance of these metabolic alterations may diverge not only according to breast cancer subtypes, but also depending on the interaction of cancer cells with the complex surrounding microenvironment. This microenvironment comprises a variety of non-cancerous cells, such as immune cells (e.g. macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer cells), fibroblasts, adipocytes and endothelial cells, together with extracellular matrix components and soluble factors, which influence cancer progression and are predictive of clinical outcome. The continuous interaction between cancer and stromal cells results in metabolic competition and symbiosis, with oncogenic-driven metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells shaping the metabolism of neighbouring cells and vice versa. This review addresses current knowledge on this metabolic crosstalk within the breast tumour microenvironment (TME). Improved understanding of how metabolism in the TME modulates cancer development and evasion of tumour-suppressive mechanisms may provide clues for novel anticancer therapeutics directed to metabolic targets.

RevDate: 2019-10-02

Xi P, Wang D, Liu W, et al (2019)

DFT Study into the Influence of Carbon Material on the Hydrophobicity of a Coal Pyrite Surface.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(19): pii:molecules24193534.

From the macroscopic point of view, the hydrophilicity of symbiotic carbon pyrite is weakened overall compared to that of pure pyrite. It is very important to explain the impact of elemental carbon accreted on a pyrite surface on the surface's hydrophobicity from the perspective of quantum chemistry. To study the influence of adsorbed carbon atoms on the hydrophilicity of a coal pyrite surface versus a pyrite surface, the adsorption of a single water molecule at an adjacent Fe site of a one-carbon-atom-covered pyrite surface and a carbon atom monolayer were simulated and calculated with the first-principles method of density functional theory (DFT). The water molecules can be stably adsorbed at the adjacent Fe site of the carbon-atom-covered pyrite surface. The hybridization of the O 2p (H2O) and Fe 3d (pyrite surface) orbitals was the main interaction between the water molecule and the pyrite surface, forming a strong Fe-O covalent bond. The water molecule only slightly adsorbs above a C atom on the carbon-atom-covered pyrite and the carbon atom monolayer surfaces. The valence bond between the water molecule and the pyrite surface changed from an Fe-O bond to an Fe-C-O bond, in which the C-O bond is very weak, resulting in a weaker interaction between water and the surface.

RevDate: 2019-10-01

Baker LJ, Freed LL, Easson CG, et al (2019)

Diverse deep-sea anglerfishes share a genetically reduced luminous symbiont that is acquired from the environment.

eLife, 8: pii:47606.

Deep-sea anglerfishes are relatively abundant and diverse, but their luminescent bacterial symbionts remain enigmatic. The genomes of two symbiont species have qualities common to vertically transmitted, host-dependent bacteria. However, a number of traits suggest that these symbionts may be environmentally acquired. To determine how anglerfish symbionts are transmitted, we analyzed bacteria-host codivergence across six diverse anglerfish genera. Most of the anglerfish species surveyed shared a common species of symbiont. Only one other symbiont species was found, which had a specific relationship with one anglerfish species, Cryptopsaras couesii. Host and symbiont phylogenies lacked congruence, and there was no statistical support for codivergence broadly. We also recovered symbiont-specific gene sequences from water collected near hosts, suggesting environmental persistence of symbionts. Based on these results we conclude that diverse anglerfishes share symbionts that are acquired from the environment, and that these bacteria have undergone extreme genome reduction although they are not vertically transmitted.

RevDate: 2019-10-02
CmpDate: 2019-10-02

Zhang YJ, Han Y, Sun YZ, et al (2019)

Extracellular vesicles derived from Malassezia furfur stimulate IL-6 production in keratinocytes as demonstrated in in vitro and in vivo models.

Journal of dermatological science, 93(3):168-175.

BACKGROUND: Malassezia is one of the commensal microorganisms colonized on human skin and has been shown to be related to several inflammatory cutaneous disorders. Previous studies indicated that Malassezia. sympodialis (M. sympodialis) can produce extracellular vesicles, however, the immunoregulatory function of Malassezia extracellular vesicles on keratinocytes has not been studied.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the extracellular vesicular production capability of Malassezia. furfur (M. furfur) and examine their immunoregulatory effects both in vitro and in vivo.

METHODS: Extracellular vesicles derived from M. furfur were isolated by sequential ultracentrifugation procedure. Their structure and diameter were determined by negative stain TEM and NTA, respectively. Confocal microscopy was used to visualize the internalization of these nanoparticles into HaCaT cells and mice epidermal keratinocytes. The expressions of inflammatory cytokines were screened using PCR Array assay and validated in vitro by qPCR and ELISA assays. In vivo cytokine production was measured by the IHC method. The role of NF-κB in such process was evaluated in HaCaT cells by western blot assay.

RESULTS: Our results showed that M. furfur produced ovoid-shaped nanoparticles, which could be then internalized into HaCaT cells, as well as mice epidermal keratinocytes. IL-6 expression was significantly enhanced in response to extracellular vesicular stimulation both in vitro and in vivo, in which process the activation of NF-κB was involved.

CONCLUSION: M. furfur has the ability to release extracellular vesicles, which can be internalized into keratinocytes and promote the production of IL-6 with the involvement of NF-κB dependent pathway. Such findings reveal some important new insights into Malassezia pathogenesis and therapy.

RevDate: 2019-10-02
CmpDate: 2019-10-02

Nuismer SL, Week B, MA Aizen (2018)

Coevolution Slows the Disassembly of Mutualistic Networks.

The American naturalist, 192(4):490-502.

Important groups of mutualistic species are threatened worldwide, and identifying factors that make them more or less fragile in the face of disturbance is becoming increasingly critical. Although much research has focused on identifying the ecological factors that favor the stability of communities rich in mutualists, much less has been devoted to understanding the role played by historical and contemporary evolution. Here we develop mathematical models and computer simulations of coevolving mutualistic communities that allow us to explore the importance of coevolution in stabilizing communities against anthropogenic disturbance. Our results demonstrate that communities with a long history of coevolution are substantially more robust to disturbance, losing individual species and interactions at lower rates. In addition, our results identify a novel phenomenon-coevolutionary rescue-that mitigates the impacts of ongoing anthropogenic disturbance by rewiring the network structure of the community in a way that compensates for the extinction of individual species and interactions.

RevDate: 2019-10-02
CmpDate: 2019-10-02

Huang C, Wang J, Zheng X, et al (2018)

Commensal bacteria aggravate allergic asthma via NLRP3/IL-1β signaling in post-weaning mice.

Journal of autoimmunity, 93:104-113.

Perturbation of commensal bacteria by antibiotic exposure aggravates ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic asthma in pre-weaning mice. However, the influence of dysbiosis of commensal bacteria on asthma development in post-weaning mice is still limited. Here, we treated 3-week-old post-weaning mice with antibiotics to disrupt commensal bacteria and then established OVA-induced allergic asthma by peritoneal sensitization using OVA/alum and intranasal challenge with OVA. Contrary to the protective function in pre-weaning mice, commensal bacteria in post-weaning mice aggravated OVA-induced asthma. Commensal bacteria in post-weaning mice promoted OVA-induced allergic asthma through maintenance of NLRP3/IL-1β expression in peritoneal macrophages (pMφ), which promoted recruitment of inflammatory cells, especially inflammatory monocytes, into the peritoneal cavity after OVA/alum sensitization. Further study showed that metronidazole- and vancomycin-sensitive bacteria are involved in maintenance of NLRP3/IL-1β signal in pMφ. Our results suggest that certain species of commensal bacteria in post-weaning mice aggravate OVA-induced allergic asthma through NLRP3/IL-1β signal pathway.

RevDate: 2019-10-02
CmpDate: 2019-10-02

Zaheer M, Wang C, Bian F, et al (2018)

Protective role of commensal bacteria in Sjögren Syndrome.

Journal of autoimmunity, 93:45-56.

CD25 knock-out (CD25KO) mice spontaneously develop Sjögren Syndrome (SS)-like inflammation. We investigated the role of commensal bacteria by comparing CD25KO mice housed in conventional or germ-free conditions. Germ-free CD25KO mice have greater corneal barrier dysfunction, lower goblet cell density, increased total lymphocytic infiltration score, increased expression of IFN-γ, IL-12 and higher a frequency of CD4+IFN-γ+ cells than conventional mice. CD4+ T cells isolated from female germ-free CD25KO mice adoptively transferred to naive immunodeficient RAG1KO recipients caused more severe Sjögren-like disease than CD4+ T cells transferred from conventional CD25KO mice. Fecal transplant in germ-free CD25KO mice reversed the spontaneous dry eye phenotype and decreased the generation of pathogenic CD4+IFN-γ+ cells. Our studies indicate that lack of commensal bacteria accelerates the onset and severity of dacryoadenitis and generates autoreactive CD4+T cells with greater pathogenicity in the CD25KO model, suggesting that the commensal bacteria or their metabolites products have immunoregulatory properties that protect exocrine glands in the CD25KO SS model.

RevDate: 2019-10-01
CmpDate: 2019-10-01

Kauko A, K Lehto (2018)

Eukaryote specific folds: Part of the whole.

Proteins, 86(8):868-881.

The origin of eukaryotes is one of the central transitions in the history of life; without eukaryotes there would be no complex multicellular life. The most accepted scenarios suggest the endosymbiosis of a mitochondrial ancestor with a complex archaeon, even though the details regarding the host and the triggering factors are still being discussed. Accordingly, phylogenetic analyses have demonstrated archaeal affiliations with key informational systems, while metabolic genes are often related to bacteria, mostly to the mitochondrial ancestor. Despite of this, there exists a large number of protein families and folds found only in eukaryotes. In this study, we have analyzed structural superfamilies and folds that probably appeared during eukaryogenesis. These folds typically represent relatively small binding domains of larger multidomain proteins. They are commonly involved in biological processes that are particularly complex in eukaryotes, such as signaling, trafficking/cytoskeleton, ubiquitination, transcription and RNA processing, but according to recent studies, these processes also have prokaryotic roots. Thus the folds originating from an eukaryotic stem seem to represent accessory parts that have contributed in the expansion of several prokaryotic processes to a new level of complexity. This might have taken place as a co-evolutionary process where increasing complexity and fold innovations have supported each other.

RevDate: 2019-10-01
CmpDate: 2019-10-01

Lu KJ, Danila FR, Cho Y, et al (2018)

Peeking at a plant through the holes in the wall - exploring the roles of plasmodesmata.

The New phytologist, 218(4):1310-1314.

Plasmodesmata (PD) are membrane-lined pores that connect neighbouring plant cells and allow molecular exchange via the symplast. Past studies have revealed the basic structure of PD, some of the transport mechanisms for molecules through PD, and a variety of physiological processes in which they function. Recently, with the help of newly developed technologies, several exciting new features of PD have been revealed. New PD structures were observed during early formation of PD and between phloem sieve elements and phloem pole pericycle cells in roots. Both observations challenge our current understanding of PD structure and function. Research into novel physiological responses, which are regulated by PD, indicates that we have not yet fully explored the potential contribution of PD to overall plant function. In this Viewpoint article, we summarize some of the recent advances in understanding the structure and function of PD and propose the challenges ahead for the community.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Sebastiana M, Duarte B, Monteiro F, et al (2019)

The leaf lipid composition of ectomycorrhizal oak plants shows a drought-tolerance signature.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 144:157-165 pii:S0981-9428(19)30376-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Ectomycorrhizas have been reported to increase plant tolerance to drought. However, the mechanisms involved are not yet fully understood. Membranes are the first targets of degradation during drought, and growing evidences support a role for membrane lipids in plant tolerance and adaptation to drought. We have previously shown that improved tolerance of ectomycorrhizal oak plants to drought could be related to leaf membrane lipid metabolism, namely through an increased ability to sustain fatty acid content and composition, indicative of a higher membrane stability under stress. Here, we analysed in deeper detail the modulation of leaf lipid metabolism in oak plants mycorrhized with Pisolithus tinctorius and subjected to drought stress. Results show that mycorrhizal plants show patterns associated with water deficit tolerance, like a higher content of chloroplast lipids, whose levels are maintained upon drought stress. Likewise, mycorrhizal plants show increased levels of unsaturated fatty acids in the chloroplast phosphatidylglycerol lipid fraction. As a common response to drought, the digalactosyldiacyloglycerol/monogalactosyldiacyloglycerol ratio increased in the non-mycorrhizal plants, but not in the mycorrhizal plants, associated to smaller alterations in the expression of galactolipid metabolism genes, indicative of a higher drought tolerance. Under drought, inoculated plants showed increased expression of genes involved in neutral lipids biosynthesis, which could be related to an increased ability to tolerate drought stress. Overall, results from this study provide evidences of the involvement of lipid metabolism in the response of ectomycorrhizal plants to water deficit and point to an increased ability to maintain a stable chloroplast membrane functional integrity under stress.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Voronin D, Schnall E, Grote A, et al (2019)

Pyruvate produced by Brugia spp. via glycolysis is essential for maintaining the mutualistic association between the parasite and its endosymbiont, Wolbachia.

PLoS pathogens, 15(9):e1008085 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-19-01315 [Epub ahead of print].

Human parasitic nematodes are the causative agents of lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) and onchocerciasis (river blindness), diseases that are endemic to more than 80 countries and that consistently rank in the top ten for the highest number of years lived with disability. These filarial nematodes have evolved an obligate mutualistic association with an intracellular bacterium, Wolbachia, a symbiont that is essential for the successful development, reproduction, and survival of adult filarial worms. Elimination of the bacteria causes adult worms to die, making Wolbachia a primary target for developing new interventional tools to combat filariases. To further explore Wolbachia as a promising indirect macrofilaricidal drug target, the essential cellular processes that define the symbiotic Wolbachia-host interactions need to be identified. Genomic analyses revealed that while filarial nematodes encode all the enzymes necessary for glycolysis, Wolbachia does not encode the genes for three glycolytic enzymes: hexokinase, 6-phosphofructokinase, and pyruvate kinase. These enzymes are necessary for converting glucose into pyruvate. Wolbachia, however, has the full complement of genes required for gluconeogenesis starting with pyruvate, and for energy metabolism via the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Therefore, we hypothesized that Wolbachia might depend on host glycolysis to maintain a mutualistic association with their parasitic host. We did conditional experiments in vitro that confirmed that glycolysis and its end-product, pyruvate, sustain this symbiotic relationship. Analysis of alternative sources of pyruvate within the worm indicated that the filarial lactate dehydrogenase could also regulate the local intracellular concentration of pyruvate in proximity to Wolbachia and thus help control bacterial growth via molecular interactions with the bacteria. Lastly, we have shown that the parasite's pyruvate kinase, the enzyme that performs the last step in glycolysis, could be a potential novel anti-filarial drug target. Establishing that glycolysis is an essential component of symbiosis in filarial worms could have a broader impact on research focused on other intracellular bacteria-host interactions where the role of glycolysis in supporting intracellular survival of bacteria has been reported.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Gilbert SF (2019)

Evolutionary transitions revisited: Holobiont evo-devo.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution [Epub ahead of print].

John T. Bonner lists four essential transformations in the evolution of life: the emergence of the eukaryotic cell, meiosis, multicellularity, and the nervous system. This paper analyses the mechanisms for those transitions in light of three of Dr. Bonner's earlier hypotheses: (a) that the organism is its life cycle, (b) that evolution consists of alterations of the life cycle, and (c) that development extends beyond the body and into interactions with other organisms. Using the notion of the holobiont life cycle, this paper attempts to show that these evolutionary transitions can be accomplished through various means of symbiosis. Perceiving the organism both as an interspecies consortium and as a life cycle supports a twofold redefinition of the organism as a holobiont constructed by integrating together the life cycles of several species. These findings highlight the importance of symbiosis and the holobiont development in analyses of evolution.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Feng H, Park JS, Zhai RG, et al (2019)

microRNA-92a regulates the expression of aphid bacteriocyte-specific secreted protein 1.

BMC research notes, 12(1):638 pii:10.1186/s13104-019-4665-6.

OBJECTIVE: Aphids harbor a nutritional obligate endosymbiont in specialized cells called bacteriocytes, which aggregate to form an organ known as the bacteriome. Aphid bacteriomes display distinct gene expression profiles that facilitate the symbiotic relationship. Currently, the mechanisms that regulate these patterns of gene expression are unknown. Recently using computational pipelines, we identified miRNAs that are conserved in expression in the bacteriomes of two aphid species and proposed that they function as important regulators of bacteriocyte gene expression. Here using a dual luciferase assay in mouse NIH/3T3 cell culture, we aimed to experimentally validate the computationally predicted interaction between Myzus persicae miR-92a and the predicted target region of M. persicae bacteriocyte-specific secreted protein 1 (SP1) mRNA.

RESULTS: In the dual luciferase assay, miR-92a interacted with the SP1 target region resulting in a significant downregulation of the luciferase signal. Our results demonstrate that miR-92a interacts with SP1 to alter expression in a heterologous expression system, thereby supporting our earlier assertion that miRNAs are regulators of the aphid/Buchnera symbiotic interaction.

RevDate: 2019-09-30
CmpDate: 2019-09-30

Vitetta L, Vitetta G, S Hall (2018)

Immunological Tolerance and Function: Associations Between Intestinal Bacteria, Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Phages.

Frontiers in immunology, 9:2240.

Post-birth there is a bacterial assault on all mucosal surfaces. The intestinal microbiome is an important participant in health and disease. The pattern of composition and concentration of the intestinal microbiome varies greatly. Therefore, achieving immunological tolerance in the first 3-4 years of life is critical for maintaining health throughout a lifetime. Probiotic bacteria are organisms that afford beneficial health effects to the host and in certain instances may protect against the development of disease. The potential benefits of modifying the composition of the intestinal microbial cohort for therapeutic benefit is evident in the use in high risks groups such as premature infants, children receiving antibiotics, rotavirus infections in non-vaccinated children and traveler's diarrhea in adults. Probiotics and prebiotics are postulated to have immunomodulating capabilities by influencing the intestinal microbial cohort and dampening the activity of pathobiont intestinal microbes, such as Klebsiella pneumonia and Clostridia perfringens. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are examples of probiotics found in the large intestine and so far, the benefits afforded to probiotics have varied in efficacy. Most likely the efficacy of probiotic bacteria has a multifactorial dependency, namely on a number of factors that include agents used, the dose, the pattern of dosing, and the characteristics of the host and the underlying luminal microbial environment and the activity of bacteriophages. Bacteriophages, are small viruses that infect and lyse intestinal bacteria. As such it can be posited that these viruses display an effective local protective control mechanism for the intestinal barrier against commensal pathobionts that indirectly may assist the host in controlling bacterial concentrations in the gut. A co-operative activity may be envisaged between the intestinal epithelia, mucosal immunity and the activity of bacteriophages to eliminate pathobiots, highlighting the potential role of bacteriophages in assisting with maintaining intestinal homeostasis. Hence bacteriophage local control of inflammation and immune responses may be an additional immunological defense mechanism that exploits bacteriophage-mucin glycoprotein interactions that controls bacterial diversity and abundance in the mucin layers of the gut. Moreover, and importantly the efficacy of probiotics may be dependent on the symbiotic incorporation of prebiotics, and the abundance and diversity of the intestinal microbiome encountered. The virome may be an important factor that determines the efficacy of some probiotic formulations.

RevDate: 2019-09-30
CmpDate: 2019-09-30

Lange A, Schäfer A, Bender A, et al (2018)

Galleria mellonella: A Novel Invertebrate Model to Distinguish Intestinal Symbionts From Pathobionts.

Frontiers in immunology, 9:2114.

Insects and mammals share evolutionary conserved innate immune responses to maintain intestinal homeostasis. We investigated whether the larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella may be used as an experimental organism to distinguish between symbiotic Bacteroides vulgatus and pathobiotic Escherichia coli, which are mammalian intestinal commensals. Oral application of the symbiont or pathobiont to G. mellonella resulted in clearly distinguishable innate immune responses that could be verified by analyzing similar innate immune components in mice in vivo and in vitro. The differential innate immune responses were initiated by the recognition of bacterial components via pattern recognition receptors. The pathobiont detection resulted in increased expression of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species related genes as well as antimicrobial peptide gene expression. In contrast, the treatment/application with symbiotic bacteria led to weakened immune responses in both mammalian and insect models. As symbionts and pathobionts play a crucial role in development of inflammatory bowel diseases, we hence suggest G. mellonella as a future replacement organism in inflammatory bowel disease research.

RevDate: 2019-09-30
CmpDate: 2019-09-30

Niehs SP, Dose B, Scherlach K, et al (2018)

Genomics-Driven Discovery of a Symbiont-Specific Cyclopeptide from Bacteria Residing in the Rice Seedling Blight Fungus.

Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology, 19(20):2167-2172.

The rice seedling blight fungus Rhizopus microsporus harbors endosymbiotic bacteria (Burkholderia rhizoxinica) that produce the virulence factor rhizoxin and control host development. Genome mining indicated a massive inventory of cryptic nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes, which have not yet been linked to any natural products. The discovery and full characterization of a novel cyclopeptide from endofungal bacteria is reported. In silico analysis of an orphan, symbiont-specific NRPS predicted the structure of a nonribosomal peptide, which was targeted by LC-MS/MS profiling of wild-type and engineered null mutants. NMR spectroscopy and chemical derivatization elucidated the structure of the bacterial cyclopeptide. Phylogenetic analyses revealed the relationship of starter C domains for rare N-acetyl-capped peptides. Heptarhizin is produced under symbiotic conditions in geographically constrained strains from the Pacific clade; this indicates a potential ecological role of the peptide.

RevDate: 2019-09-30
CmpDate: 2019-09-30

Arenas A, F Roces (2018)

Appetitive and aversive learning of plants odors inside different nest compartments by foraging leaf-cutting ants.

Journal of insect physiology, 109:85-92.

Cues inside the nest provide social insect foragers with information about resources currently exploited that may influence their decisions outside. Leaf-cutting ants harvest leaf fragments that are either further processed as substrate for their symbiotic fungus, or disposed of if unsuitable. We investigated whether Acromyrmex ambiguus foragers develop learned preferences for olfactory cues they experienced either in the fungus or in the waste chamber of the nest. Foragers' olfactory preferences were quantified as a choice between sugared papers disks scented with a novel odor and with the odor experienced in one of the nest compartments, before and after odor addition. Odors incorporated in the fungus chamber led to preferences towards paper disks smelling of them. Conversely, odors experienced in the waste chambers led to avoidance of similarly-scented disks. To investigate context-specificity of responses, we quantified learned preferences towards an odor that occurred first in the fungus chamber, and 14 h later in the waste chamber. Foragers initially developed a preference for the odor added in the fungus chamber that turned into avoidance when the same odor solely occurred later in the waste chamber. Avoidance of plants could also be induced in a more natural context, when fresh leaf disks of novel plants, privet or firethorn, were presented in the waste chamber. We conclude that learned acceptance or rejection of suitable plants by foragers depend on the learning context: smells can lead to appetitive learning when present in the fungus garden, or to avoidance learning when they occur at the dump.

RevDate: 2019-09-30
CmpDate: 2019-09-30

Onuț-Brännström I, Benjamin M, Scofield DG, et al (2018)

Sharing of photobionts in sympatric populations of Thamnolia and Cetraria lichens: evidence from high-throughput sequencing.

Scientific reports, 8(1):4406.

In this study, we explored the diversity of green algal symbionts (photobionts) in sympatric populations of the cosmopolitan lichen-forming fungi Thamnolia and Cetraria. We sequenced with both Sanger and Ion Torrent High-Throughput Sequencing technologies the photobiont ITS-region of 30 lichen thalli from two islands: Iceland and Öland. While Sanger recovered just one photobiont genotype from each thallus, the Ion Torrent data recovered 10-18 OTUs for each pool of 5 lichen thalli, suggesting that individual lichens can contain heterogeneous photobiont populations. Both methods showed evidence for photobiont sharing between Thamnolia and Cetraria on Iceland. In contrast, our data suggest that on Öland the two mycobionts associate with distinct photobiont communities, with few shared OTUs revealed by Ion Torrent sequencing. Furthermore, by comparing our sequences with public data, we identified closely related photobionts from geographically distant localities. Taken together, we suggest that the photobiont composition in Thamnolia and Cetraria results from both photobiont-mycobiont codispersal and local acquisition during mycobiont establishment and/or lichen growth. We hypothesize that this is a successful strategy for lichens to be flexible in the use of the most adapted photobiont for the environment.

RevDate: 2019-09-30
CmpDate: 2019-09-30

Pozzi AC, Roy M, Nagati M, et al (2018)

Patterns of diversity, endemism and specialization in the root symbiont communities of alder species on the island of Corsica.

The New phytologist, 219(1):336-349.

We investigated whether the diversity, endemicity and specificity of alder symbionts could be changed by isolation in a Mediterranean glacial refugium. We studied both ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi and nitrogen-fixing actinobacteria associated with alders, and compared their communities in Corsica and on the European continent. Nodules and root tips were sampled on the three alder species present in Corsica and continental France and Italy. Phylogenies based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and a multilocus sequence analysis approach were used to characterize fungal and Frankia species, respectively. Patterns of diversity, endemism and specialization were compared between hosts and regions for each symbiont community. In Corsica, communities were not generally richer than on the mainland. The species richness per site depended mainly on host identity: Alnus glutinosa and Alnus cordata hosted richer Frankia and EM communities, respectively. Half of the Frankia species were endemic to Corsica against only 4% of EM species. Corsica is not a hotspot of diversity for all alder symbionts but sustains an increased frequency of poor-dispersers such as hypogeous fungi. Generalist EM fungi and host-dependent profusely sporulating (Sp+) Frankia were abundantly associated with Corsican A. cordata, a pattern related to a more thermophilic and xerophylic climate and to the co-occurrence with other host trees.

RevDate: 2019-09-29

Cao C, Li H, Jones MGK, et al (2019)

Challenges to elucidating how endornaviruses influence fungal hosts: creating mycovirus-free isogenic fungal lines and testing them.

Journal of virological methods pii:S0166-0934(19)30271-X [Epub ahead of print].

Determining roles of mycoviruses in fungal biology is complicated, especially when fungi are co-infected with multiple viruses. Genetically identical (isogenic) fungal lines that are infected by and uninfected by viruses must be created and compared. Here, we study an isolate of Ceratobasidium sp., a fungus isolated from pelotons in roots of a wild terrestrial orchid. The fungal isolate was co-infected with three distinct endornaviruses, isolates of Ceratobasidium endonarvirus B (CbEVB), Ceratobasidium endonarvirus C (CbEVC) and Ceratobasidium endonarvirus D (CbEVD). An experiment to reveal natural distribution of the three mycoviruses within a fungal colony revealed no sectoring; they were all evenly distributed throughout the colony. Hyphal tipping and treatments with one of five antibiotics (kanamycin, streptomycin, cycloheximide, rifampicin and ampicillin) were applied in attempts to 'cure' fungal lines of one, two or three of the viruses present. Surprisingly, the three mycoviruses responded differentially to each curing approach. The isolate of CbEVC was eliminated upon treatment with cycloheximide, but not with kanamycin or streptomycin, whereas the isolate of CbEVD did not respond to cycloheximide. The isolate of CbEVB was eliminated upon all treatments. In some cases, a virus was undetectable by RT-PCR after treatment, but when the fungus was cultured for a period on non-selective medium, the virus was detected again. Effects of mycoviruses on growth characteristics of isogenic fungal lines on two media were studied. Co-infection by the three viruses reduced mycelial growth rate on both media. In contrast, some fungal lines infected with one or two mycoviruses grew more rapidly than virus-free lines.

RevDate: 2019-09-28

Speck JJ, James EK, Sugawara M, et al (2019)

An Alkane Sulfonate Monooxygenase is Required for Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation by Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens (syn. Bradyrhizobium japonicum) USDA110T.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.01552-19 [Epub ahead of print].

Sulfur (S) containing molecules play an important role in symbiotic nitrogen fixation, and are critical components of nitrogenase and other iron-S proteins. S deficiency inhibits symbiotic nitrogen fixation by rhizobia. However, despite its importance, little is known about the sources of S that rhizobia utilize during symbiosis. We previously showed that Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens USDA110T can assimilate both inorganic and organic S and that genes involved in organic S utilization are expressed during symbiosis. Here we show that a B. diazoefficiens USDA110 T insertion mutant in sulfonate monooxygenase (ssuD) is defective in nitrogen fixation. Microscopy analyses revealed that the ssuD- was defective in root hair infection and that bacteroids of the ssuD- showed degradation as compared to the wild type strain. Moreover, the ssuD- was significantly more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide-mediated oxidative stress than was the wild type strain. Taken together, these results show that the ability of rhizobia to utilize organic S plays an important role in symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Since nodules have been reported to be an important source of reduced S used during symbiosis and nitrogen fixation, further research will be needed to determine the mechanisms involved in regulation of S assimilation by rhizobia.IMPORTANCE Rhizobia form symbiotic association with legumes that lead to formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules. Sulfur-containing molecules play crucial role in nitrogen fixation and thus the rhizobia inside nodules require high amounts of sulfur. Rhizobia can assimilate both inorganic (sulfate) and organic (sulfonates) sources of sulfur. However, very little is known about rhizobial sulfur metabolism during symbiosis. In this report, we show that sulfonate utilization by Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens is important for symbiotic nitrogen fixation in both soybean and cowpea. The symbiotic defect is probably due to increased sensitivity to oxidative stress from sulfur deficiency in the mutant strain defective for sulfonate utilization. The results of this study can be extended to other rhizobia-legume symbioses as sulfonate utilization genes are widespread in these bacteria.

RevDate: 2019-09-28

Jahn MT, Arkhipova K, Markert SM, et al (2019)

A Phage Protein Aids Bacterial Symbionts in Eukaryote Immune Evasion.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(19)30428-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Phages are increasingly recognized as important members of host-associated microbiomes, with a vast genomic diversity. The new frontier is to understand how phages may affect higher order processes, such as in the context of host-microbe interactions. Here, we use marine sponges as a model to investigate the interplay between phages, bacterial symbionts, and eukaryotic hosts. Using viral metagenomics, we find that sponges, although massively filtering seawater, harbor species-specific and even individually unique viral signatures that are taxonomically distinct from other environments. We further discover a symbiont phage-encoded ankyrin-domain-containing protein, which is widely spread in phages of many host-associated contexts including human. We confirm in macrophage infection assays that the ankyrin protein (ANKp) modulates the eukaryotic host immune response against bacteria. We predict that the role of ANKp in nature is to facilitate coexistence in the tripartite interplay between phages, symbionts, and sponges and possibly many other host-microbe associations.

RevDate: 2019-09-27

Brisbois BW, Spiegel JM, L Harris (2019)

Health, environment and colonial legacies: Situating the science of pesticides, bananas and bodies in Ecuador.

Social science & medicine (1982), 239:112529 pii:S0277-9536(19)30523-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Pesticide-related health impacts in Ecuador's banana industry illustrate the need to understand science's social production in the context of major North-South inequities. This paper explores colonialism's ongoing context-specific relationships to science, and what these imply for population health inquiry and praxis. Themes in postcolonial science and technology studies and critical Latin American scholarship guide this exploration, oriented around an ethnographic case study of bananas, pesticides and health in Ecuador. The challenge of explaining these impacts prompts us to explore discursive and contextual dynamics of pesticide toxicology and phytopathology, two disciplines integral to understanding pesticide-health linkages. The evolution of banana phytopathology reflects patterns of banana production and plant science in settings made accessible to scientists by European colonialism and American military interventions. Similarly, American foreign policy in Cold War-era Latin America created conditions for widespread pesticide exposures and accompanying health science research. Neocolonial representations of the global South interacted with these material realities in fostering generation of scientific knowledge. Implications for health praxis include troubling celebratory portrayals of global interconnectedness in the field of global health, motivating critical political economy and radical community-based approaches in their place. Another implication is a challenge to conciliatory corporate engagement approaches in health research, given banana production's symbiosis of scientifically 'productive' military and corporate initiatives. Similarly, the origins and evolution of toxicology should promote humility and precautionary approaches in addressing environmental injustices such as pesticide toxicity, given the role of corporate actors in promoting systematic underestimation of risk to vulnerable populations. Perhaps most unsettlingly, the very structures and processes that drive health inequities in Ecuador's banana industry simultaneously shape production of knowledge about those inequities. Public health scholars should thus move beyond simply carrying out more, or better, studies, and pursue the structural changes needed to redress historical and ongoing injustices.

RevDate: 2019-09-27

Mee ED, Gaylor MG, Jasso-Selles DE, et al (2019)

Molecular phylogenetic position of Hoplonympha natator (Trichonymphea, Parabasalia).

The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Hoplonympha natator is an obligate symbiont of Paraneotermes simplicicornis (Kalotermitidae), from southwestern North America. Another Hoplonympha species inhabits Hodotermopsis sjostedti (Archotermopsidae), from montane Southeast Asia. The large phylogenetic and geographical distance between the hosts makes the distribution of Hoplonympha puzzling. Here we report the phylogenetic position of H. natator from P. simplicicornis through maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis of 18S rRNA genes. The two Hoplonympha species form a clade with a deep node, making a recent symbiont transfer unlikely. The distribution of Hoplonympha may be due to an ancient transfer or strict vertical inheritance with differential loss from other hosts.

RevDate: 2019-09-27

Aoki T, Smith JA, Kasson MT, et al (2019)

Three novel Ambrosia Fusarium Clade species producing clavate macroconidia known (F. floridanum and F. obliquiseptatum) or predicted (F. tuaranense) to be farmed by Euwallacea spp. (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) on woody hosts.

Mycologia [Epub ahead of print].

The Ambrosia Fusarium Clade (AFC) comprises at least 16 genealogically exclusive species-level lineages within clade 3 of the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC). These fungi are either known or predicted to be farmed by Asian Euwallacea ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in the tribe Xyleborini as a source of nutrition. To date, only 4 of the 16 AFC lineages have been described formally. In the absence of Latin binomials, an ad hoc nomenclature was developed to distinguish the 16 species lineages as AF-1 to AF-16. Herein, Fusarium species AF-3, AF-5, and AF-7 were formally described as F. floridanum, F. tuaranense, and F. obliquiseptatum, respectively. Fusarium floridanum farmed by E. interjectus on box elder (Acer negundo) in Gainesville, Florida, was distinguished morphologically by the production of sporodochial conidia that were highly variable in size and shape together with greenish-pigmented chlamydospores. Fusarium tuaranense was isolated from a beetle-damaged Paŕa rubber tree (Hevea brasiliense) in North Borneo, Malaysia, and was diagnosed by production of the smallest sporodochial conidia of any species within the AFC. Lastly, F. obliquiseptatum was farmed by an unnamed ambrosia beetle designated Euwallacea sp. 3 (E. fornicatus species complex) on avocado (Persea americana) in Queensland, Australia. It uniquely produces some clavate sporodochial conidia with oblique septa. Maximum likelihood analysis of a multilocus data set resolved these three novel AFC taxa as phylogenetically distinct species based on genealogical concordance. Particularly where introduced into exotic environments, these exotic mutualists pose a serious threat to the avocado industry, native forests, and urban landscapes in diverse regions throughout the world.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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