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30 Jun 2022 at 01:31
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Bibliography on: Holobiont


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Jun 2022 at 01:31 Created: 


Holobionts are assemblages of different species that form ecological units. Lynn Margulis proposed that any physical association between individuals of different species for significant portions of their life history is a symbiosis. All participants in the symbiosis are bionts, and therefore the resulting assemblage was first coined a holobiont by Lynn Margulis in 1991 in the book Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation. Holo is derived from the Ancient Greek word ὅλος (hólos) for “whole”. The entire assemblage of genomes in the holobiont is termed a hologenome.

Created with PubMed® Query: "holobiont" OR "hologenome" NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-06-29

Bendová B, Mikula O, Bímová BV, et al (2022)

Divergent gut microbiota in two closely related house mouse subspecies under common garden conditions.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:6620832 [Epub ahead of print].

The gastrointestinal microbiota (GM) is considered an important component of the vertebrate holobiont. GM-host interactions influence the fitness of holobionts and are therefore an integral part of evolution. The house mouse is a prominent model for GM-host interactions, and evidence suggests a role for GM in mouse speciation. However, previous studies based on short 16S rRNA GM profiles of wild house mouse subspecies failed to detect GM divergence, which is a prerequisite for the inclusion of GM in Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities. Here, we used standard 16S rRNA GM profiling in two mouse subspecies, Mus musculus musculus and M. m. domesticus, including the intestinal mucosa and content of three gut sections (ileum, caecum, and colon). We reduced environmental variability by sampling GM in the offspring of wild mice bred under semi-natural conditions. Although the breeding conditions allowed a contact between the subspecies, we found a clear differentiation of GM between them, in all three gut sections. Differentiation was mainly driven by several Helicobacters and two H. ganmani variants showed a signal of co-divergence with their hosts. Helicobacters represent promising candidates for studying GM-host co-adaptations and the fitness effects of their interactions.

RevDate: 2022-06-24

Poulin R, Jorge F, PM Salloum (2022)

Inter-individual variation in parasite manipulation of host phenotype: a role for parasite microbiomes?.

The Journal of animal ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Alterations in host phenotype induced by metazoan parasites are widespread in nature, yet the underlying mechanisms and the sources of intraspecific variation in the extent of those alterations remain poorly understood. In light of the microbiome revolution sweeping through ecology and evolutionary biology, we hypothesise that the composition of symbiotic microbial communities living within individual parasites influences the nature and extent of their effect on host phenotype. The interests of both the parasite and its symbionts are aligned through the latter's vertical transmission, favouring joint contributions to the manipulation of host phenotype. Our hypothesis can explain the variation in the extent to which parasites alter host phenotype, as microbiome composition varies among individual parasites. We propose two non-exclusive approaches to test the hypothesis, furthering the integration of microbiomes into studies of host-parasite interactions.

RevDate: 2022-06-24

Roik A, Reverter M, C Pogoreutz (2022)

A roadmap to understanding diversity and function of coral reef-associated fungi.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:6615459 [Epub ahead of print].

Tropical coral reefs are hotspots of marine productivity, owing to the association of reef-building corals with endosymbiotic algae and metabolically diverse bacterial communities. However, the functional importance of fungi, well known for their contribution to shaping terrestrial ecosystems and global nutrient cycles, remains underexplored on coral reefs. We here conceptualize how fungal functional traits may have facilitated the spread, diversification, and ecological adaptation of marine fungi on coral reefs. We propose that functions of reef-associated fungi may be diverse and go beyond their hitherto described roles of pathogens and bioeroders, including but not limited to reef-scale biogeochemical cycles and the structuring of coral-associated and environmental microbiomes via chemical mediation. Recent technological and conceptual advances will allow the elucidation of the physiological, ecological, and chemical contributions of understudied marine fungi to coral holobiont and reef ecosystem functioning and health and may help provide an outlook for reef management actions.

RevDate: 2022-06-22

Williams SD, Klinges JG, Zinman S, et al (2022)

Geographically driven differences in microbiomes of Acropora cervicornis originating from different regions of Florida's Coral Reef.

PeerJ, 10:e13574 pii:13574.

Effective coral restoration must include comprehensive investigations of the targeted coral community that consider all aspects of the coral holobiont-the coral host, symbiotic algae, and microbiome. For example, the richness and composition of microorganisms associated with corals may be indicative of the corals' health status and thus help guide restoration activities. Potential differences in microbiomes of restoration corals due to differences in host genetics, environmental condition, or geographic location, may then influence outplant success. The objective of the present study was to characterize and compare the microbiomes of apparently healthy Acropora cervicornis genotypes that were originally collected from environmentally distinct regions of Florida's Coral Reef and sampled after residing within Mote Marine Laboratory's in situ nursery near Looe Key, FL (USA) for multiple years. By using 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing, we described the microbial communities of 74 A. cervicornis genotypes originating from the Lower Florida Keys (n = 40 genotypes), the Middle Florida Keys (n = 15 genotypes), and the Upper Florida Keys (n = 19 genotypes). Our findings demonstrated that the bacterial communities of A. cervicornis originating from the Lower Keys were significantly different from the bacterial communities of those originating from the Upper and Middle Keys even after these corals were held within the same common garden nursery for an average of 3.4 years. However, the bacterial communities of corals originating in the Upper Keys were not significantly different from those in the Middle Keys. The majority of the genotypes, regardless of collection region, were dominated by Alphaproteobacteria, namely an obligate intracellular parasite of the genus Ca. Aquarickettsia. Genotypes from the Upper and Middle Keys also had high relative abundances of Spirochaeta bacteria. Several genotypes originating from both the Lower and Upper Keys had lower abundances of Aquarickettsia, resulting in significantly higher species richness and diversity. Low abundance of Aquarickettsia has been previously identified as a signature of disease resistance. While the low-Aquarickettsia corals from both the Upper and Lower Keys had high abundances of an unclassified Proteobacteria, the genotypes in the Upper Keys were also dominated by Spirochaeta. The results of this study suggest that the abundance of Aquarickettsia and Spirochaeta may play an important role in distinguishing bacterial communities among A. cervicornis populations and compositional differences of these bacterial communities may be driven by regional processes that are influenced by both the environmental history and genetic relatedness of the host. Additionally, the high microbial diversity of low-Aquarickettsia genotypes may provide resilience to their hosts, and these genotypes may be a potential resource for restoration practices and management.

RevDate: 2022-06-26

Chang J, van Veen JA, Tian C, et al (2022)

A review on the impact of domestication of the rhizosphere of grain crops and a perspective on the potential role of the rhizosphere microbial community for sustainable rice crop production.

The Science of the total environment, 842:156706 pii:S0048-9697(22)03803-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The rhizosphere-associated microbiome impacts plant performance and tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Despite increasing recognition of the enormous functional role of the rhizomicrobiome on the survival of wild plant species growing under harsh environmental conditions, such as nutrient, water, temperature, and pathogen stresses, the utilization of the rhizosphere microbial community in domesticated rice production systems has been limited. Better insight into how this role of the rhizomicrobiome for the performance and survival of wild plants has been changed during domestication and development of present domesticated crops, may help to assess the potential of the rhizomicrobial community to improve the sustainable production of these crops. Here, we review the current knowledge of the effect of domestication on the microbial rhizosphere community of rice and other crops by comparing its diversity, structure, and function in wild versus domesticated species. We also examine the existing information on the impact of the plant on their physico-chemical environment. We propose that a holobiont approach should be explored in future studies by combining detailed analysis of the dynamics of the physicochemical microenvironment surrounding roots to systematically investigate the microenvironment-plant-rhizomicrobe interactions during rice domestication, and suggest focusing on the use of beneficial microbes (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Nitrogen fixers), denitrifiers and methane consumers to improve the sustainable production of rice.

RevDate: 2022-06-19

Ricci F, Leggat W, Page CE, et al (2022)

Coral growth anomalies, neoplasms, and tumors in the Anthropocene.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(22)00139-1 [Epub ahead of print].

One of the most widespread coral diseases linked to anthropogenic activities and recorded on reefs worldwide is characterized by anomalous growth formations in stony corals, referred to as coral growth anomalies (GAs). The biological functions of GA tissue include limited reproduction, reduced access to resources, and weakened ability to defend against predators. Transcriptomic analyses have revealed that, in some cases, disease progression can involve host genes related to oncogenesis, suggesting that the GA tissues may be malignant neoplasms such as those developed by vertebrates. The number of studies reporting the presence of GAs in common reef-forming species highlights the urgency of a thorough understanding of the pathology and causative factors of this disease and its parallels to higher organism malignant tissue growth. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the etiology and holobiont features of GAs in reef-building corals.

RevDate: 2022-06-17

Lan Y, Sun J, Chen C, et al (2022)

Endosymbiont population genomics sheds light on transmission mode, partner specificity, and stability of the scaly-foot snail holobiont.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

The scaly-foot snail (Chrysomallon squamiferum) inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean relies on its sulphur-oxidising gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts for nutrition and energy. In this study, we investigate the specificity, transmission mode, and stability of multiple scaly-foot snail populations dwelling in five vent fields with considerably disparate geological, physical and chemical environmental conditions. Results of population genomics analyses reveal an incongruent phylogeny between the endosymbiont and mitochondrial genomes of the scaly-foot snails in the five vent fields sampled, indicating that the hosts obtain endosymbionts via horizontal transmission in each generation. However, the genetic homogeneity of many symbiont populations implies that vertical transmission cannot be ruled out either. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation of ovarian tissue yields symbiont signals around the oocytes, suggesting that vertical transmission co-occurs with horizontal transmission. Results of in situ environmental measurements and gene expression analyses from in situ fixed samples show that the snail host buffers the differences in environmental conditions to provide the endosymbionts with a stable intracellular micro-environment, where the symbionts serve key metabolic functions and benefit from the host's cushion. The mixed transmission mode, symbiont specificity at the species level, and stable intracellular environment provided by the host support the evolutionary, ecological, and physiological success of scaly-foot snail holobionts in different vents with unique environmental parameters.

RevDate: 2022-06-21
CmpDate: 2022-06-21

Shell WA, SM Rehan (2022)

Comparative metagenomics reveals expanded insights into intra- and interspecific variation among wild bee microbiomes.

Communications biology, 5(1):603.

The holobiont approach proposes that species are most fully understood within the context of their associated microbiomes, and that both host and microbial community are locked in a mutual circuit of co-evolutionary selection. Bees are an ideal group for this approach, as they comprise a critical group of pollinators that contribute to both ecological and agricultural health worldwide. Metagenomic analyses offer comprehensive insights into an organism's microbiome, diet, and viral load, but remain largely unapplied to wild bees. Here, we present metagenomic data from three species of carpenter bees sampled from around the globe, representative of the first ever carpenter bee core microbiome. Machine learning, co-occurrence, and network analyses reveal that wild bee metagenomes are unique to host species. Further, we find that microbiomes are likely strongly affected by features of their local environment, and feature evidence of plant pathogens previously known only in honey bees. Performing the most comprehensive comparative analysis of bee microbiomes to date we discover that microbiome diversity is inversely proportional to host species social complexity. Our study helps to establish some of the first wild bee hologenomic data while offering powerful empirical insights into the biology and health of vital pollinators.

RevDate: 2022-06-26

Zhu Y, Liao X, Han T, et al (2022)

Symbiodiniaceae microRNAs and their targeting sites in coral holobionts: A transcriptomics-based exploration.

Genomics, 114(4):110404 pii:S0888-7543(22)00149-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Corals should make excellent models for cross-kingdom research because of their natural animal-photobiont holobiont composition, yet a lack of studies and experimental data restricts their use. Here we integrate new full-length transcriptomes and small RNAs of four common reef-building corals with the published Cladocopium genomes to gain deeper insight into gene regulation in coral-Symbiodiniaceae holobionts. Eleven novel Symbiodiniaceae miRNAs get identified, and enrichment results of their target genes show that they might play a role in downregulating rejection from host coral cells, protecting symbiont from autophagy and apoptosis in parallel. This work provides evidence for the early origin of cross-kingdom regulation as a mechanism of self-defense autotrophs can use against heterotrophs, sheds more light on coral-Symbiodiniaceae holobionts, and contributes valuable data for further coral research.

RevDate: 2022-06-15
CmpDate: 2022-06-15

Wang K, Gao P, Geng L, et al (2022)

Lignocellulose degradation in Protaetia brevitarsis larvae digestive tract: refining on a tightly designed microbial fermentation production line.

Microbiome, 10(1):90.

BACKGROUND: The Scarabaeidae insect Protaetia brevitarsis (PB) has recently gained increasing research interest as a resource insect because its larvae can effectively convert decaying organic matter to plant growth-promoting frass with a high humic acid content and produce healthy, nutritional insect protein sources. Lignocellulose is the main component of PB larvae (PBL) feed, but PB genome annotation shows that PBL carbohydrate-active enzymes are not able to complete the lignocellulose degradation process. Thus, the mechanism by which PBL efficiently degrade lignocellulose is worthy of further study.

RESULTS: Herein, we used combined host genomic and gut metagenomic datasets to investigate the lignocellulose degradation activity of PBL, and a comprehensive reference catalog of gut microbial genes and host gut transcriptomic genes was first established. We characterized a gene repertoire comprising highly abundant and diversified lignocellulose-degrading enzymes and demonstrated that there was unique teamwork between PBL and their gut bacterial microbiota for efficient lignocellulose degradation. PBL selectively enriched lignocellulose-degrading microbial species, mainly from Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, which are capable of producing a broad array of cellulases and hemicellulases, thus playing a major role in lignocellulosic biomass degradation. In addition, most of the lignocellulose degradation-related module sequences in the PBL microbiome were novel. PBL provide organic functional complementarity for lignocellulose degradation via their evolved strong mouthparts, alkaline midgut, and mild stable hindgut microenvironment to facilitate lignocellulosic biomass grinding, dissolving, and symbiotic microbial fermentation, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: This work shows that PBL are a promising model to study lignocellulose degradation, which can provide highly abundant novel enzymes and relevant lignocellulose-degrading bacterial strains for biotechnological biomass conversion industries. The unique teamwork between PBL and their gut symbiotic bacterial microbiota for efficient lignocellulose degradation will expand the knowledge of holobionts and open a new beginning in the theory of holobionts. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2022-06-08

Low A, Soh M, Miyake S, et al (2022)

Host Age Prediction from Fecal Microbiota Composition in Male C57BL/6J Mice.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

The lifelong relationship between microorganisms and hosts has a profound impact on the overall health and physiology of the holobiont. Microbiome composition throughout the life span of a host remains largely understudied. Here, the fecal microbiota of conventionally raised C57BL/6J male mice was characterized throughout almost the entire adult life span, from "maturing" (9 weeks) until "very old" (112 weeks) age. Our results suggest that microbiota changes occur throughout life but are more pronounced in maturing to middle-age mice than in mice later in life. Phylum-level analysis indicates a shift of the Bacteroidota-to-Firmicutes ratio in favor of Firmicutes in old and very old mice. More Firmicutes amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were transient with varying successional patterns than Bacteroidota ASVs, which varied primarily during maturation. Microbiota configurations from five defined life phases were used as training sets in a Bayesian model, which effectively enabled the prediction of host age. These results suggest that age-associated compositional differences may have considerable implications for the interpretation and comparability of animal model-based microbiome studies. The sensitivity of the age prediction to dietary perturbations was tested by applying this approach to two age-matched groups of C57BL/6J mice that were fed either a standard or western diet. The predicted age for the western diet-fed animals was on average 27 ± 11 (mean ± standard deviation) weeks older than that of standard diet-fed animals. This indicates that the fecal microbiota-based predicted age may be influenced not only by the host age and physiology but also potentially by other factors such as diet. IMPORTANCE The gut microbiome of a host changes with age. Cross-sectional studies demonstrate that microbiota of different age groups are distinct but do not demonstrate the temporal change that a longitudinal study is able to show. Here, we performed a longitudinal study of adult mice for over 2 years. We identified life stages where compositional changes were more dynamic and showed temporal changes for the more abundant species. Using a Bayesian model, we could reliably predict the life stages of the mice. Application of the same training set to mice fed different dietary regimens revealed that life-stage age predictions were possible for mice fed the same diet but less so for mice fed different diets. This study sheds light on the temporal changes that occur within the gut microbiota of laboratory mice over their life span and may inform researchers on the appropriate mouse age for their research.

RevDate: 2022-05-30

Hernandez J, Rhimi S, Kriaa A, et al (2022)

Domestic Environment and Gut Microbiota: Lessons from Pet Dogs.

Microorganisms, 10(5): pii:microorganisms10050949.

Accumulating data show the involvement of intestinal microbiota in the development and maintenance of numerous diseases. Many environmental factors influence the composition and function of the gut microbiota. An animal model subjected to the same environmental constraints that will allow better characterization of the microbiota-host dialogue is awaited. The domestic dog has physiological, dietary and pathological characteristics similar to those of humans and shares the domestic environment and lifestyle of its owner. This review exposes how the domestication of dogs has brought them closer to humans based on their intrinsic and extrinsic similarities which were discerned through examining and comparing the current knowledge and data on the intestinal microbiota of humans and canines in the context of several spontaneous pathologies, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and diabetes mellitus.

RevDate: 2022-05-27

Lin S, Yu K, Z Zhou (2022)

Editorial: Physiological Regulation and Homeostasis Among Coral Holobiont Partners.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:921401 pii:921401.

RevDate: 2022-05-26

Sahu KP, Kumar A, Sakthivel K, et al (2022)

Deciphering core phyllomicrobiome assemblage on rice genotypes grown in contrasting agroclimatic zones: implications for phyllomicrobiome engineering against blast disease.

Environmental microbiome, 17(1):28.

BACKGROUND: With its adapted microbial diversity, the phyllosphere contributes microbial metagenome to the plant holobiont and modulates a host of ecological functions. Phyllosphere microbiome (hereafter termed phyllomicrobiome) structure and the consequent ecological functions are vulnerable to a host of biotic (Genotypes) and abiotic factors (Environment) which is further compounded by agronomic transactions. However, the ecological forces driving the phyllomicrobiome assemblage and functions are among the most understudied aspects of plant biology. Despite the reports on the occurrence of diverse prokaryotic phyla such as Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroides, and Actinobacteria in phyllosphere habitat, the functional characterization leading to their utilization for agricultural sustainability is not yet explored. Currently, the metabarcoding by Next-Generation-Sequencing (mNGS) technique is a widely practised strategy for microbiome investigations. However, the validation of mNGS annotations by culturomics methods is not integrated with the microbiome exploration program. In the present study, we combined the mNGS with culturomics to decipher the core functional phyllomicrobiome of rice genotypes varying for blast disease resistance planted in two agroclimatic zones in India. There is a growing consensus among the various stakeholder of rice farming for an ecofriendly method of disease management. Here, we proposed phyllomicrobiome assisted rice blast management as a novel strategy for rice farming in the future.

RESULTS: The tropical "Island Zone" displayed marginally more bacterial diversity than that of the temperate 'Mountain Zone' on the phyllosphere. Principal coordinate analysis indicated converging phyllomicrobiome profiles on rice genotypes sharing the same agroclimatic zone. Interestingly, the rice genotype grown in the contrasting zones displayed divergent phyllomicrobiomes suggestive of the role of environment on phyllomicrobiome assembly. The predominance of phyla such as Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes was observed in the phyllosphere irrespective of the genotypes and climatic zones. The core-microbiome analysis revealed an association of Acidovorax, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Clavibacter, Clostridium, Cronobacter, Curtobacterium, Deinococcus, Erwinia, Exiguobacterium, Hymenobacter, Kineococcus, Klebsiella, Methylobacterium, Methylocella, Microbacterium, Nocardioides, Pantoea, Pedobacter, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Serratia, Sphingomonas and Streptomyces on phyllosphere. The linear discriminant analysis (LDA) effect size (LEfSe) method revealed distinct bacterial genera in blast-resistant and susceptible genotypes, as well as mountain and island climate zones. SparCC based network analysis of phyllomicrobiome showed complex intra-microbial cooperative or competitive interactions on the rice genotypes. The culturomic validation of mNGS data confirmed the occurrence of Acinetobacter, Aureimonas, Curtobacterium, Enterobacter, Exiguobacterium, Microbacterium, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, and Sphingomonas in the phyllosphere. Strikingly, the contrasting agroclimatic zones showed genetically identical bacterial isolates suggestive of vertical microbiome transmission. The core-phyllobacterial communities showed secreted and volatile compound mediated antifungal activity on M. oryzae. Upon phyllobacterization (a term coined for spraying bacterial cells on the phyllosphere), Acinetobacter, Aureimonas, Pantoea, and Pseudomonas conferred immunocompetence against blast disease. Transcriptional analysis revealed activation of defense genes such as OsPR1.1, OsNPR1, OsPDF2.2, OsFMO, OsPAD4, OsCEBiP, and OsCERK1 in phyllobacterized rice seedlings.

CONCLUSIONS: PCoA indicated the key role of agro-climatic zones to drive phyllomicrobiome assembly on the rice genotypes. The mNGS and culturomic methods showed Acinetobacter, Aureimonas, Curtobacterium, Enterobacter, Exiguobacterium, Microbacterium, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, and Sphingomonas as core phyllomicrobiome of rice. Genetically identical Pantoea intercepted on the phyllosphere from the well-separated agroclimatic zones is suggestive of vertical transmission of phyllomicrobiome. The phyllobacterization showed potential for blast disease suppression by direct antibiosis and defense elicitation. Identification of functional core-bacterial communities on the phyllosphere and their co-occurrence dynamics presents an opportunity to devise novel strategies for rice blast management through phyllomicrobiome reengineering in the future.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Snelders NC, Rovenich H, BPHJ Thomma (2022)

Microbiota manipulation through the secretion of effector proteins is fundamental to the wealth of lifestyles in the fungal kingdom.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:6590816 [Epub ahead of print].

Fungi are well-known decomposers of organic matter that thrive in virtually any environment on earth where they encounter wealths of other microbes. Some fungi evolved symbiotic lifestyles, including pathogens and mutualists, that have mostly been studied in binary interactions with their hosts. However, we now appreciate that such interactions are greatly influenced by the ecological context in which they take place. While establishing their symbioses, fungi not only interact with their hosts, but also with the host-associated microbiota. Thus, they target the host and its associated microbiota as a single holobiont. Recent studies have shown that fungal pathogens manipulate the host microbiota by means of secreted effector proteins with selective antimicrobial activity to stimulate disease development. In this review we discuss the ecological contexts in which such effector-mediated microbiota manipulation is relevant for the fungal lifestyle and argue that this is not only relevant for pathogens of plants and animals, but beneficial in virtually any niche where fungi occur. Moreover, we reason that effector-mediated microbiota manipulation likely evolved already in fungal ancestors that encountered microbial competition long before symbiosis with land plants and mammalian animals evolved. Thus, we claim that effector-mediated microbiota manipulation is fundamental to fungal biology.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Ren CG, Kong CC, Liu ZY, et al (2022)

A Perspective on Developing a Plant 'Holobiont' for Future Saline Agriculture.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:763014.

Soil salinity adversely affects plant growth and has become a major limiting factor for agricultural development worldwide. There is a continuing demand for sustainable technology innovation in saline agriculture. Among various bio-techniques being used to reduce the salinity hazard, symbiotic microorganisms such as rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi have proved to be efficient. These symbiotic associations each deploy an array of well-tuned mechanisms to provide salinity tolerance for the plant. In this review, we first comprehensively cover major research advances in symbiont-induced salinity tolerance in plants. Second, we describe the common signaling process used by legumes to control symbiosis establishment with rhizobia and AM fungi. Multi-omics technologies have enabled us to identify and characterize more genes involved in symbiosis, and eventually, map out the key signaling pathways. These developments have laid the foundation for technological innovations that use symbiotic microorganisms to improve crop salt tolerance on a larger scale. Thus, with the aim of better utilizing symbiotic microorganisms in saline agriculture, we propose the possibility of developing non-legume 'holobionts' by taking advantage of newly developed genome editing technology. This will open a new avenue for capitalizing on symbiotic microorganisms to enhance plant saline tolerance for increased sustainability and yields in saline agriculture.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Unzueta-Martínez A, Scanes E, Parker LM, et al (2022)

Microbiomes of the Sydney Rock Oyster are acquired through both vertical and horizontal transmission.

Animal microbiome, 4(1):32.

BACKGROUND: The term holobiont is widely accepted to describe animal hosts and their associated microorganisms. The genomes of all that the holobiont encompasses, are termed the hologenome and it has been proposed as a unit of selection in evolution. To demonstrate that natural selection acts on the hologenome, a significant portion of the associated microbial genomes should be transferred between generations. Using the Sydney Rock Oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) as a model, we tested if the microbes of this broadcast spawning species could be passed down to the next generation by conducting single parent crosses and tracking the microbiome from parent to offspring and throughout early larval stages using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. From each cross, we sampled adult tissues (mantle, gill, stomach, gonad, eggs or sperm), larvae (D-veliger, umbo, eyed pediveliger, and spat), and the surrounding environment (water and algae feed) for microbial community analysis.

RESULTS: We found that each larval stage has a distinct microbiome that is partially influenced by their parental microbiome, particularly the maternal egg microbiome. We also demonstrate the presence of core microbes that are consistent across all families, persist throughout early life stages (from eggs to spat), and are not detected in the microbiomes of the surrounding environment. In addition to the core microbiomes that span all life cycle stages, there is also evidence of environmentally acquired microbial communities, with earlier larval stages (D-veliger and umbo), more influenced by seawater microbiomes, and later larval stages (eyed pediveliger and spat) dominated by microbial members that are specific to oysters and not detected in the surrounding environment.

CONCLUSION: Our study characterized the succession of oyster larvae microbiomes from gametes to spat and tracked selected members that persisted across multiple life stages. Overall our findings suggest that both horizontal and vertical transmission routes are possible for the complex microbial communities associated with a broadcast spawning marine invertebrate. We demonstrate that not all members of oyster-associated microbiomes are governed by the same ecological dynamics, which is critical for determining what constitutes a hologenome.

RevDate: 2022-05-19

King NG, Moore PJ, Thorpe JM, et al (2022)

Consistency and Variation in the Kelp Microbiota: Patterns of Bacterial Community Structure Across Spatial Scales.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Kelp species are distributed along ~ 25% of the world's coastlines and the forests they form represent some of the world's most productive and diverse ecosystems. Like other marine habitat-formers, the associated microbial community is fundamental for host and, in turn, wider ecosystem functioning. Given there are thousands of bacteria-host associations, determining which relationships are important remains a major challenge. We characterised the associated bacteria of two habitat-forming kelp species, Laminaria hyperborea and Saccharina latissima, from eight sites across a range of spatial scales (10 s of metres to 100 s of km) in the northeast Atlantic. We found no difference in diversity or community structure between the two kelps, but there was evidence of regional structuring (across 100 s km) and considerable variation between individuals (10 s of metres). Within sites, individuals shared few amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) and supported a very small proportion of diversity found across the wider study area. However, consistent characteristics between individuals were observed with individual host communities containing a small conserved "core" (8-11 ASVs comprising 25 and 32% of sample abundances for L. hyperborea and S. latissima, respectively). At a coarser taxonomic resolution, communities were dominated by four classes (Planctomycetes, Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidia) that made up ~ 84% of sample abundances. Remaining taxa (47 classes) made up very little contribution to overall abundance but the majority of taxonomic diversity. Overall, our study demonstrates the consistent features of kelp bacterial communities across large spatial scales and environmental gradients and provides an ecologically meaningful baseline to track environmental change.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Bashir F, Kovács S, Ábrahám Á, et al (2022)

Viable protoplast formation of the coral endosymbiont alga Symbiodinium spp. in a microfluidics platform.

Lab on a chip [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiodiniaceae is an important dinoflagellate family which lives in endosymbiosis with reef invertebrates, including coral polyps, making them central to the holobiont. With coral reefs currently under extreme threat from climate change, there is a pressing need to improve our understanding on the stress tolerance and stress avoidance mechanisms of Symbiodinium spp. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as singlet oxygen are central players in mediating various stress responses; however, the detection of ROS using specific dyes is still far from definitive in intact Symbiodinium cells due to the hindrance of uptake of certain fluorescent dyes because of the presence of the cell wall. Protoplast technology provides a promising platform for studying oxidative stress with the main advantage of removed cell wall, however the preparation of viable protoplasts remains a significant challenge. Previous studies have successfully applied cellulose-based protoplast preparation in Symbiodiniaceae; however, the protoplast formation and regeneration process was found to be suboptimal. Here, we present a microfluidics-based platform which allowed protoplast isolation from individually trapped Symbiodinium cells, by using a precisely adjusted flow of cell wall digestion enzymes (cellulase and macerozyme). Trapped single cells exhibited characteristic changes in their morphology, cessation of cell division and a slight decrease in photosynthetic activity during protoplast formation. Following digestion and transfer to regeneration medium, protoplasts remained photosynthetically active, regrew cell walls, regained motility, and entered exponential growth. Elevated flow rates in the microfluidic chambers resulted in somewhat faster protoplast formation; however, cell wall digestion at higher flow rates partially compromised photosynthetic activity. Physiologically competent protoplasts prepared from trapped cells in microfluidic chambers allowed for the first time the visualization of the intracellular localization of singlet oxygen (using Singlet Oxygen Sensor Green dye) in Symbiodiniaceae, potentially opening new avenues for studying oxidative stress.

RevDate: 2022-06-07

Soldan R, Fusi M, GM Preston (2022)

Approaching the domesticated plant holobiont from a community evolution perspective.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 168(5):.

Plants establish a pivotal relationship with their microbiome and are often conceptualized as holobionts. Nonetheless, holobiont theories have attracted much criticism, especially concerning the fact that the holobiont is rarely a unit of selection. In previous work, we discussed how the plant microbiome can be considered to be an 'ecosystem on a leash', which is subject to the influence of natural selection acting on plant traits. We proposed that in domesticated plants the assembly of the plant microbiome can usefully be conceptualized as being subject to a 'double leash', which encompasses both the effect of artificial selection imposed by the domesticator on plant traits and the leash from the plant to the microbiome. Here we approach the domesticated plant holobiont, simply defined as a community of organisms, from a community evolution point of view, and show how community heritability (a measure of community selection) complements the 'double-leash' framework in providing a community-level view of plant domestication and its impact on plant-microbe interactions. We also propose simple experiments that could be performed to investigate whether plant domestication has altered the potential for community selection at the holobiont level.

RevDate: 2022-05-17

de Oliveira BFR, Freitas-Silva J, Canellas ALB, et al (2022)

Time for a change! A spotlight on the many neglected facets of sponge microbial biotechnology.

Current pharmaceutical biotechnology pii:CPB-EPUB-123584 [Epub ahead of print].

The sponge-microorganism partnership is one the most successful symbiotic associations exploited under a biotechnological perspective. During the last thirty years, sponge-associated bacteria have been increasingly harnessed for bioactive molecules, notably antimicrobials and cytotoxic compounds. Unfortunately, there are gaps in sponge microbial biotechnology, with a multitude of applications being little investigated or even unregarded. In this context, the current Perspective aims to shed light on these underrated facets of sponge microbial biotechnology with a balance of existent reports and proposals for further research in the field. Our overview has showcased that the members of the sponge microbiome produce biomolecules which usage can be valuable for several economically-relevant and demanding sectors. Outside the exhaustive search for antimicrobial secondary metabolites, sponge-associated microorganisms are gifted producers of antibiofilm, antivirulence and chronic diseases-attenuating substances highly envisaged by the pharmaceutical industry. Despite still at an infant stage of research, anti-ageing enzymes and pigments of special interest for the cosmetic and cosmeceutical sectors have also been reported from the sponge microbial symbionts. In a world urging for sustainability, sponge-associated microorganisms have been proven as fruitful resources for bioremediation, including recovery of heavy-metal contaminated areas, bioleaching processes, and as bioindicators of environmental pollution. In conclusion, we propose alternatives to better assess these neglected biotechnological applications of the sponge microbiome in the hope of sparking the interest of the scientific community towards their deserved exploitation.

RevDate: 2022-06-22
CmpDate: 2022-06-21

Oláh P, Szlávicz E, Kuchner M, et al (2022)

Influence of FLG loss-of-function mutations in host-microbe interactions during atopic skin inflammation.

Journal of dermatological science, 106(3):132-140.

BACKGROUND: Loss-of-function mutations in the filaggrin (FLG) gene directly alter skin barrier function and critically influence atopic inflammation. While skin barrier dysfunction, Th2-associated inflammation and bacterial dysbiosis are well-known characteristics of atopic dermatitis (AD), the mechanisms interconnecting genotype, transcriptome and microbiome remain largely elusive.

OBJECTIVE: In-depth analysis of FLG genotype-associated skin gene expression alterations and host-microbe interactions in AD.

METHODS: Multi-omics characterization of a cohort of AD patients carrying heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the FLG gene (ADMut) (n = 15), along with matched wild-type (ADWt) patients and healthy controls. Detailed clinical characterization, microarray gene expression and 16 S rRNA-based microbial marker gene data were generated and analyzed.

RESULTS: In the context of filaggrin dysfunction, the transcriptome was characterized by dysregulation of barrier function and water homeostasis, while the lesional skin of ADWt demonstrated the specific upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and T-cell proliferation. S. aureus dominated the microbiome in both patient groups, however, shifting microbial communities could be observed when comparing healthy with non-lesional ADWt or ADMut skin, offering the opportunity to identify microbe-associated transcriptomic signatures. Moreover, an AD core signature with 28 genes, including CCL13, CCL18, BTC, SCIN, RAB31 and PCLO was identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Our integrative approach provides molecular insights for the concept that FLG loss-of-function mutations are a genetic shortcut to atopic inflammation and unravels the complex interplay between genotype, transcriptome and microbiome in the human holobiont.

RevDate: 2022-06-09

Carrier TJ, Maldonado M, Schmittmann L, et al (2022)

Symbiont transmission in marine sponges: reproduction, development, and metamorphosis.

BMC biology, 20(1):100.

Marine sponges (phylum Porifera) form symbioses with diverse microbial communities that can be transmitted between generations through their developmental stages. Here, we integrate embryology and microbiology to review how symbiotic microorganisms are transmitted in this early-diverging lineage. We describe that vertical transmission is widespread but not universal, that microbes are vertically transmitted during a select developmental window, and that properties of the developmental microbiome depends on whether a species is a high or low microbial abundance sponge. Reproduction, development, and symbiosis are thus deeply rooted, but why these partnerships form remains the central and elusive tenet of these developmental symbioses.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Brealey JC, Lecaudey LA, Kodama M, et al (2022)

Microbiome "Inception": an Intestinal Cestode Shapes a Hierarchy of Microbial Communities Nested within the Host.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

The concept of a holobiont, a host organism and its associated microbial communities, encapsulates the vital role the microbiome plays in the normal functioning of its host. Parasitic infections can disrupt this relationship, leading to dysbiosis. However, it is increasingly recognized that multicellular parasites are themselves holobionts. Intestinal parasites share space with the host gut microbiome, creating a system of nested microbiomes within the primary host. However, how the parasite, as a holobiont, interacts with the host holobiont remains unclear, as do the consequences of these interactions for host health. Here, we used 16S amplicon and shotgun metagenomics sequencing to characterize the microbiome of the intestinal cestode Eubothrium and its effect on the gut microbiome of its primary host, Atlantic salmon. Our results indicate that cestode infection is associated with salmon gut dysbiosis by acting as a selective force benefiting putative pathogens and potentially introducing novel bacterial species to the host. Our results suggest that parasitic cestodes may themselves be holobionts nested within the microbial community of their holobiont host, emphasizing the importance of also considering microbes associated with parasites when studying intestinal parasitic infections. IMPORTANCE The importance of the parasite microbiome is gaining recognition. Of particular concern is understanding how these parasite microbiomes influence host-parasite interactions and parasite interactions with the vertebrate host microbiome as part of a system of nested holobionts. However, there are still relatively few studies focusing on the microbiome of parasitic helminths in general and almost none on cestodes in particular, despite the significant burden of disease caused by these parasites globally. Our study provides insights into a system of significance to the aquaculture industry, cestode infections of Atlantic salmon and, more broadly, expands our general understanding of parasite-microbiome-host interactions and introduces a new element, the microbiome of the parasite itself, which may play a critical role in modulating the host microbiome, and, therefore, the host response, to parasite infection.

RevDate: 2022-06-07
CmpDate: 2022-05-02

Gennery AR (2022)

Seek and you shall find: immune lymphoid cells in holobiont health.

Blood, 139(17):2577-2578.

RevDate: 2022-06-22

Bell JK, Mamet SD, Helgason B, et al (2022)

Brassica napus Bacterial Assembly Processes Vary with Plant Compartment and Growth Stage but Not between Lines.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 88(10):e0027322.

Holobiont bacterial community assembly processes are an essential element to understanding the plant microbiome. To elucidate these processes, leaf, root, and rhizosphere samples were collected from eight lines of Brassica napus in Saskatchewan over the course of 10 weeks. We then used ecological null modeling to disentangle the community assembly processes over the growing season in each plant part. The root was primarily dominated by stochastic community assembly processes, which is inconsistent with previous studies that suggest of a highly selective root environment. Leaf assembly processes were primarily stochastic as well. In contrast, the rhizosphere was a highly selective environment. The dominant rhizosphere selection process leads to more similar communities. Assembly processes in all plant compartments were dependent on plant growth stage with little line effect on community assembly. The foundations of assembly in the leaf were due to the harsh environment, leading to dominance of stochastic effects, whereas the stochastic effects in the root interior likely arise due to competitive exclusion or priority effects. Engineering canola microbiomes should occur during periods of strong selection assuming strong selection could promote beneficial bacteria. For example, engineering the microbiome to resist pathogens, which are typically aerially born, should focus on the flowering period, whereas microbiomes to enhance yield should likely be engineered postflowering as the rhizosphere is undergoing strong selection. IMPORTANCE In order to harness the microbiome for more sustainable crop production, we must first have a better understanding of microbial community assembly processes that occurring during plant development. This study examines the bacterial community assembly processes of the leaf, root, and rhizosphere of eight different lines of Brassica napus over the growing season. The influence of growth stage and B. napus line were examined in conjunction with the assembly processes. Understanding what influences the assembly processes of crops might allow for more targeted breeding efforts by working with the plant to manipulate the microbiome when it is undergoing the strongest selection pressure.

RevDate: 2022-05-12

Weagley JS, Zaydman M, Venkatesh S, et al (2022)

Products of gut microbial Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domain NADase activities in gnotobiotic mice and Bangladeshi children with malnutrition.

Cell reports, 39(4):110738.

Perturbed gut microbiome development has been linked to childhood malnutrition. Here, we characterize bacterial Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) protein domains that metabolize nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a co-enzyme with far-reaching effects on human physiology. A consortium of 26 human gut bacterial strains, representing the diversity of TIRs observed in the microbiome and the NAD hydrolase (NADase) activities of a subset of 152 bacterial TIRs assayed in vitro, was introduced into germ-free mice. Integrating mass spectrometry and microbial RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) with consortium membership manipulation disclosed that a variant of cyclic-ADPR (v-cADPR-x) is a specific product of TIR NADase activity and a prominent, colonization-discriminatory, taxon-specific metabolite. Guided by bioinformatic analyses of biochemically validated TIRs, we find that acute malnutrition is associated with decreased fecal levels of genes encoding TIRs known or predicted to generate v-cADPR-x, as well as decreased levels of the metabolite itself. These results underscore the need to consider microbiome TIR NADases when evaluating NAD metabolism in the human holobiont.

RevDate: 2022-04-23

Happel L, Rondon R, Font A, et al (2022)

Stability of the Microbiome of the Sponge Mycale (Oxymycale) acerata in the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:827863.

The sponge microbiome, especially in Low Microbial Abundance (LMA) species, is expected to be influenced by the local environment; however, contrasting results exist with evidence showing that host specificity is also important, hence suggesting that the microbiome is influenced by host-specific and environmental factors. Despite sponges being important members of Southern Ocean benthic communities, their relationships with the microbial communities they host remain poorly studied. Here, we studied the spatial and temporal patterns of the microbiota associated with the ecologically important LMA sponge M. acerata at sites along ∼400 km of the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) to assess patterns in the core and variable microbial components of the symbiont communities of this sponge species. The analyses of 31 samples revealed that the microbiome of M. acerata is composed of 35 prokaryotic phyla (3 Archaea, 31 Bacteria, and one unaffiliated), being mainly dominated by Proteobacteria with Gammaproteobacteria as the most dominant class. The core community was composed of six prokaryotic OTUs, with gammaproteobacterial OTU (EC94 Family), showing a mean abundance over 65% of the total abundance. Despite some differences in rare OTUs, the core community did not show clear patterns in diversity and abundance associated with specific sites/environmental conditions, confirming a low variability in community structure of this species along the WAP. The analysis at small scale (Doumer Island, Palmer Archipelago) showed no differences in space and time in the microbiome M. acerata collected at sites around the island, sampled in three consecutive years (2016-2018). Our results highlight the existence of a low spatial and temporal variability in the microbiome of M. acerata, supporting previous suggestions based on limited studies on this and other Antarctic sponges.

RevDate: 2022-04-22

Pogoreutz C, Oakley CA, Rädecker N, et al (2022)

Coral holobiont cues prime Endozoicomonas for a symbiotic lifestyle.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Endozoicomonas are prevalent, abundant bacterial associates of marine animals, including corals. Their role in holobiont health and functioning, however, remains poorly understood. To identify potential interactions within the coral holobiont, we characterized the novel isolate Endozoicomonas marisrubri sp. nov. 6c and assessed its transcriptomic and proteomic response to tissue extracts of its native host, the Red Sea coral Acropora humilis. We show that coral tissue extracts stimulated differential expression of genes putatively involved in symbiosis establishment via the modulation of the host immune response by E. marisrubri 6c, such as genes for flagellar assembly, ankyrins, ephrins, and serpins. Proteome analyses revealed that E. marisrubri 6c upregulated vitamin B1 and B6 biosynthesis and glycolytic processes in response to holobiont cues. Our results suggest that the priming of Endozoicomonas for a symbiotic lifestyle involves the modulation of host immunity and the exchange of essential metabolites with other holobiont members. Consequently, Endozoicomonas may play an important role in holobiont nutrient cycling and may therefore contribute to coral health, acclimatization, and adaptation.

RevDate: 2022-05-18

Zhu W, Liu X, Zhu M, et al (2022)

Responses of Symbiodiniaceae Shuffling and Microbial Community Assembly in Thermally Stressed Acropora hyacinthus.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:832081.

Although the importance of coral holobionts is widely accepted, the relationship between the flexibility of the microbial structure and the coral host is very complicated. Particularly, the community dynamics of holobionts and the stability of host-microbe interactions under different thermal stresses remain largely unknown. In the present study, we holistically explored the physiology and growth of Acropora hyacinthus in response to increased temperatures (from 26 to 33°C). We observed that bleaching corals with loss of algal symbionts reduced lipids and proteins to maintain their survival, leading to decreased tissue biomass and retarded growth. The diversity of Symbiodiniaceae and symbiont shuffling in the community structure was mainly caused by alterations in the relative abundance of the thermally sensitive but dominant clade C symbionts and low abundance of "background types." Bacterial diversity showed a decreasing trend with increasing temperature, whereas no significant shifts were observed in the bacterial community structure. This finding might be attributed to the local adjustment of specific microbial community members that did not affect the overall metabolic state of the coral holobiont, and there was no increase in the proportion of sequences identified as typically pathogenic or opportunistic taxa. The Sloan neutral community model showed that neutral processes could explain 42.37-58.43% of bacterial community variation. The Stegen null model analysis indicates that the stochastic processes explain a significantly higher proportion of community assembly than deterministic processes when the temperature was elevated. The weak effect of temperature on the bacterial community structure and assembly might be related to an increase in stochastic dominance. The interaction of bacterial communities exhibits a fluctuating and simplistic trend with increasing temperature. Moreover, temperature increases were sufficient to establish the high stability of bacterial networks, and a non-linear response was found between the complexity and stability of the networks. Our findings collectively provide new insights into successive changes in the scleractinian coral host and holobionts in response to elevated seawater temperatures, especially the contribution of the community assembly process and species coexistence patterns to the maintenance of the coral-associated bacterial community.

RevDate: 2022-05-06

Quintanilla E, Rodrigues CF, Henriques I, et al (2022)

Microbial Associations of Abyssal Gorgonians and Anemones (>4,000 m Depth) at the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:828469.

Deep coral-dominated communities play paramount roles in benthic environments by increasing their complexity and biodiversity. Coral-associated microbes are crucial to maintain fitness and homeostasis at the holobiont level. However, deep-sea coral biology and their associated microbiomes remain largely understudied, and less from remote and abyssal environments such as those in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) in the tropical Northeast (NE) Pacific Ocean. Here, we study microbial-associated communities of abyssal gorgonian corals and anemones (>4,000 m depth) in the CCZ; an area harboring the largest known global reserve of polymetallic nodules that are commercially interesting for the deep-sea nodule mining. Coral samples (n = 25) belonged to Isididae and Primnoidae families, while anemones (n = 4) to Actinostolidae family. Significant differences in bacterial community compositions were obtained between these three families, despite sharing similar habitats. Anemones harbored bacterial microbiomes composed mainly of Hyphomicrobiaceae, Parvibaculales, and Pelagibius members. Core microbiomes of corals were mainly dominated by different Spongiibacteraceae and Terasakiellaceae bacterial members, depending on corals' taxonomy. Moreover, the predicted functional profiling suggests that deep-sea corals harbor bacterial communities that allow obtaining additional energy due to the scarce availability of nutrients. This study presents the first report of microbiomes associated with abyssal gorgonians and anemones and will serve as baseline data and crucial insights to evaluate and provide guidance on the impacts of deep-sea mining on these key abyssal communities.

RevDate: 2022-05-31

Berlinghof J, Peiffer F, Marzocchi U, et al (2022)

The role of epiphytes in seagrass productivity under ocean acidification.

Scientific reports, 12(1):6249.

Ocean Acidification (OA), due to rising atmospheric CO2, can affect the seagrass holobiont by changing the plant's ecophysiology and the composition and functioning of its epiphytic community. However, our knowledge of the role of epiphytes in the productivity of the seagrass holobiont in response to environmental changes is still very limited. CO2 vents off Ischia Island (Italy) naturally reduce seawater pH, allowing to investigate the adaptation of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica L. (Delile) to OA. Here, we analyzed the percent cover of different epiphytic groups and the epiphytic biomass of P. oceanica leaves, collected inside (pH 6.9-7.9) and outside (pH 8.1-8.2) the CO2 vents. We estimated the contribution of epiphytes to net primary production (NPP) and respiration (R) of leaf sections collected from the vent and ambient pH sites in laboratory incubations. Additionally, we quantified net community production (NCP) and community respiration (CR) of seagrass communities in situ at vent and ambient pH sites using benthic chambers. Leaves at ambient pH sites had a 25% higher total epiphytic cover with encrusting red algae (32%) dominating the community, while leaves at vent pH sites were dominated by hydrozoans (21%). Leaf sections with and without epiphytes from the vent pH site produced and respired significantly more oxygen than leaf sections from the ambient pH site, showing an average increase of 47 ± 21% (mean ± SE) in NPP and 50 ± 4% in R, respectively. Epiphytes contributed little to the increase in R; however, their contribution to NPP was important (56 ± 6% of the total flux). The increase in productivity of seagrass leaves adapted to OA was only marginally reflected by the results from the in situ benthic chambers, underlining the complexity of the seagrass community response to naturally occurring OA conditions.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Szitenberg A, Beca-Carretero P, Azcárate-García T, et al (2022)

Teasing apart the host-related, nutrient-related and temperature-related effects shaping the phenology and microbiome of the tropical seagrass Halophila stipulacea.

Environmental microbiome, 17(1):18.

BACKGROUND: Halophila stipulacea seagrass meadows are an ecologically important and threatened component of the ecosystem in the Gulf of Aqaba. Recent studies have demonstrated correlated geographic patterns for leaf epiphytic community composition and leaf morphology, also coinciding with different levels of water turbidity and nutrient concentrations. Based on these observations, workers have suggested an environmental microbial fingerprint, which may reflect various environmental stress factors seagrasses have experienced, and may add a holobiont level of plasticity to seagrasses, assisting their acclimation to changing environments and through range expansion. However, it is difficult to tease apart environmental effects from host-diversity dependent effects, which have covaried in field studies, although this is required in order to establish that differences in microbial community compositions among sites are driven by environmental conditions rather than by features governed by the host.

RESULTS: In this study we carried out a mesocosm experiment, in which we studied the effects of warming and nutrient stress on the composition of epiphytic bacterial communities and on some phenological traits. We studied H. stipulacea collected from two different meadows in the Gulf of Aqaba, representing differences in the host and the environment alike. We found that the source site from which seagrasses were collected was the major factor governing seagrass phenology, although heat increased shoot mortality and nutrient loading delayed new shoot emergence. Bacterial diversity, however, mostly depended on the environmental conditions. The most prominent pattern was the increase in Rhodobacteraceae under nutrient stress without heat stress, along with an increase in Microtrichaceae. Together, the two taxa have the potential to maintain nitrate reduction followed by an anammox process, which can together buffer the increase in nutrient concentrations across the leaf surface.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results thus corroborate the existence of environmental microbial fingerprints, which are independent from the host diversity, and support the notion of a holobiont level plasticity, both important to understand and monitor H. stipulacea ecology under the changing climate.

RevDate: 2022-06-20

Titus BM, M Daly (2022)

Population genomics for symbiotic anthozoans: can reduced representation approaches be used for taxa without reference genomes?.

Heredity, 128(5):338-351.

Population genetic studies of symbiotic anthozoans have been historically challenging because their endosymbioses with dinoflagellates have impeded marker development. Genomic approaches like reduced representation sequencing alleviate marker development issues but produce anonymous loci, and without a reference genome, it is unknown which organism is contributing to the observed patterns. Alternative methods such as bait-capture sequencing targeting Ultra-Conserved Elements are now possible but costly. Thus, RADseq remains attractive, but how useful are these methods for symbiotic anthozoan taxa without a reference genome to separate anthozoan from algal sequences? We explore this through a case-study using a double-digest RADseq dataset for the sea anemone Bartholomea annulata. We assembled a holobiont dataset (3854 loci) for 101 individuals, then used a reference genome to create an aposymbiotic dataset (1402 loci). For both datasets, we investigated population structure and used coalescent simulations to estimate demography and population parameters. We demonstrate complete overlap in the spatial patterns of genetic diversity, demographic histories, and population parameter estimates for holobiont and aposymbiotic datasets. We hypothesize that the unique combination of anthozoan biology, diversity of the endosymbionts, and the manner in which assembly programs identify orthologous loci alleviates the need for reference genomes in some circumstances. We explore this hypothesis by assembling an additional 21 datasets using the assembly programs pyRAD and Stacks. We conclude that RADseq methods are more tractable for symbiotic anthozoans without reference genomes than previously realized.

RevDate: 2022-04-23

Rolshausen G, Dal Grande F, Otte J, et al (2022)

Lichen holobionts show compositional structure along elevation.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Holobionts are dynamic ecosystems that may respond to abiotic drivers with compositional changes. Uncovering elevational diversity patterns within these microecosystems can further our understanding of community-environment interactions. Here, we assess how the major components of lichen holobionts-fungal hosts, green algal symbionts, and the bacterial community-collectively respond to an elevational gradient. We analyse populations of two lichen symbioses, Umbilicaria pustulata and U. hispanica, along an elevational gradient spanning 2100 altitudinal metres and covering three major biomes. Our study shows (i) discontinuous genomic variation in fungal hosts with one abrupt genomic differentiation within each of the two host species, (ii) altitudinally structured bacterial communities with pronounced turnover within and between hosts, and (iii) altitude-specific presence of algal symbionts. Alpha diversity of bacterial communities decreased with increasing elevation. A marked turnover in holobiont diversity occurred across two altitudinal belts: at 11°C-13°C average annual temperature (here: 800-1200 m a.s.l.), and at 7°C-9°C average annual temperature (here: 1500-1800 m a.s.l.). The two observed zones mark a clustering of distribution limits and community shifts. The three ensuing altitudinal classes, that is, the most frequent combinations of species in holobionts, approximately correspond to the Mediterranean, cool-temperate, and alpine climate zones. We conclude that multitrophic microecosystems, such as lichen holobionts, respond with concerted compositional changes to climatic factors that also structure communities of macroorganisms, for example, vascular plants.

RevDate: 2022-04-14
CmpDate: 2022-04-12

Strehlow BW, Schuster A, Francis WR, et al (2022)

Metagenomic data for Halichondria panicea from Illumina and nanopore sequencing and preliminary genome assemblies for the sponge and two microbial symbionts.

BMC research notes, 15(1):135.

OBJECTIVES: These data were collected to generate a novel reference metagenome for the sponge Halichondria panicea and its microbiome for subsequent differential expression analyses.

DATA DESCRIPTION: These data include raw sequences from four separate sequencing runs of the metagenome of a single individual of Halichondria panicea-one Illumina MiSeq (2 × 300 bp, paired-end) run and three Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) long-read sequencing runs, generating 53.8 and 7.42 Gbp respectively. Comparing assemblies of Illumina, ONT and an Illumina-ONT hybrid revealed the hybrid to be the 'best' assembly, comprising 163 Mbp in 63,555 scaffolds (N50: 3084). This assembly, however, was still highly fragmented and only contained 52% of core metazoan genes (with 77.9% partial genes), so it was also not complete. However, this sponge is an emerging model species for field and laboratory work, and there is considerable interest in genomic sequencing of this species. Although the resultant assemblies from the data presented here are suboptimal, this data note can inform future studies by providing an estimated genome size and coverage requirements for future sequencing, sharing additional data to potentially improve other suboptimal assemblies of this species, and outlining potential limitations and pitfalls of the combined Illumina and ONT approach to novel genome sequencing.

RevDate: 2022-06-10
CmpDate: 2022-06-10

Sabrina Pankey M, Plachetzki DC, Macartney KJ, et al (2022)

Cophylogeny and convergence shape holobiont evolution in sponge-microbe symbioses.

Nature ecology & evolution, 6(6):750-762.

Symbiotic microbial communities of sponges serve critical functions that have shaped the evolution of reef ecosystems since their origins. Symbiont abundance varies tremendously among sponges, with many species classified as either low microbial abundance (LMA) or high microbial abundance (HMA), but the evolutionary dynamics of these symbiotic states remain unknown. This study examines the LMA/HMA dichotomy across an exhaustive sampling of Caribbean sponge biodiversity and predicts that the LMA symbiotic state is the ancestral state among sponges. Conversely, HMA symbioses, consisting of more specialized microorganisms, have evolved multiple times by recruiting similar assemblages, mostly since the rise of scleractinian-dominated reefs. Additionally, HMA symbioses show stronger signals of phylosymbiosis and cophylogeny, consistent with stronger co-evolutionary interaction in these complex holobionts. These results indicate that HMA holobionts are characterized by increased endemism, metabolic dependence and chemical defences. The selective forces driving these patterns may include the concurrent increase in dissolved organic matter in reef ecosystems or the diversification of spongivorous fishes.

RevDate: 2022-04-05

Marasco R, Fusi M, Mosqueira M, et al (2022)

Rhizosheath-root system changes exopolysaccharide content but stabilizes bacterial community across contrasting seasons in a desert environment.

Environmental microbiome, 17(1):14.

BACKGROUND: In hot deserts daily/seasonal fluctuations pose great challenges to the resident organisms. However, these extreme ecosystems host unique microenvironments, such as the rhizosheath-root system of desert speargrasses in which biological activities and interactions are facilitated by milder conditions and reduced fluctuations. Here, we examined the bacterial microbiota associated with this structure and its surrounding sand in the desert speargrass Stipagrostis pungens under the contrasting environmental conditions of summer and winter in the Sahara Desert.

RESULTS: The belowground rhizosheath-root system has higher nutrient and humidity contents, and cooler temperatures than the surrounding sand. The plant responds to the harsh environmental conditions of the summer by increasing the abundance and diversity of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) compared to the winter. On the contrary, the bacterial community associated with the rhizosheath-root system and its interactome remain stable and, unlike the bulk sand, are unaffected by the seasonal environmental variations. The rhizosheath-root system bacterial communities are consistently dominated by Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria and form distinct bacteria communities from those of bulk sand in the two seasons. The microbiome-stabilization mediated by the plant host acts to consistently retain beneficial bacteria with multiple plant growth promoting functions, including those capable to produce EPS, which increase the sand water holding capacity ameliorating the rhizosheath micro-environment.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results reveal the capability of plants in desert ecosystems to stabilize their below ground microbial community under seasonal contrasting environmental conditions, minimizing the heterogeneity of the surrounding bulk sand and contributing to the overall holobiont resilience under poly-extreme conditions.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Herrán N, Narayan GR, Doo SS, et al (2022)

High-resolution imaging sheds new light on a multi-tier symbiotic partnership between a "walking" solitary coral, a sipunculan, and a bivalve from East Africa.

Ecology and evolution, 12(3):e8633.

Marine symbioses are integral to the persistence of ecosystem functioning in coral reefs. Solitary corals of the species Heteropsammia cochlea and Heterocyathus aequicostatus have been observed to live in symbiosis with the sipunculan worm Aspidosiphon muelleri muelleri, which inhabits a cavity within the coral, in Zanzibar (Tanzania). The symbiosis of these photosymbiotic corals enables the coral holobiont to move, in fine to coarse unconsolidated substrata, a process termed as "walking." This allows the coral to escape sediment cover in turbid conditions which is crucial for these light-dependent species. An additional commensalistic symbiosis of this coral-worm holobiont is found between the Aspidosiphon worm and the cryptoendolithic bivalve Jousseaumiella sp., which resides within the cavity of the coral skeleton. To understand the morphological alterations caused by these symbioses, interspecific relationships, with respect to the carbonate structures between these three organisms, are documented using high-resolution imaging techniques (scanning electron microscopy and µCT scanning). Documenting multi-layered symbioses can shed light on how morphological plasticity interacts with environmental conditions to contribute to species persistence.

RevDate: 2022-03-28

Tandon K, Pasella MM, Iha C, et al (2022)

Every refuge has its price: Ostreobium as a model for understanding how algae can live in rock and stay in business.

Seminars in cell & developmental biology pii:S1084-9521(22)00077-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Ostreobium is a siphonous green alga in the Bryopsidales (Chlorophyta) that burrows into calcium carbonate (CaCO3) substrates. In this habitat, it lives under environmental conditions unusual for an alga (i.e., low light and low oxygen) and it is a major agent of carbonate reef bioerosion. In coral skeletons, Ostreobium can form conspicuous green bands recognizable by the naked eye and it is thought to contribute to the coral's nutritional needs. With coral reefs in global decline, there is a renewed focus on understanding Ostreobium biology and its roles in the coral holobiont. This review summarizes knowledge on Ostreobium's morphological structure, biodiversity and evolution, photosynthesis, mechanism of bioerosion and its role as a member of the coral holobiont. We discuss the resources available to study Ostreobium biology, lay out some of the uncharted territories in Ostreobium biology and offer perspectives for future research.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Ratiner K, Abdeen SK, Goldenberg K, et al (2022)

Utilization of Host and Microbiome Features in Determination of Biological Aging.

Microorganisms, 10(3):.

The term 'old age' generally refers to a period characterized by profound changes in human physiological functions and susceptibility to disease that accompanies the final years of a person's life. Despite the conventional definition of old age as exceeding the age of 65 years old, quantifying aging as a function of life years does not necessarily reflect how the human body ages. In contrast, characterizing biological (or physiological) aging based on functional parameters may better reflect a person's temporal physiological status and associated disease susceptibility state. As such, differentiating 'chronological aging' from 'biological aging' holds the key to identifying individuals featuring accelerated aging processes despite having a young chronological age and stratifying them to tailored surveillance, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. Emerging evidence suggests that the gut microbiome changes along with physiological aging and may play a pivotal role in a variety of age-related diseases, in a manner that does not necessarily correlate with chronological age. Harnessing of individualized gut microbiome data and integration of host and microbiome parameters using artificial intelligence and machine learning pipelines may enable us to more accurately define aging clocks. Such holobiont-based estimates of a person's physiological age may facilitate prediction of age-related physiological status and risk of development of age-associated diseases.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Ducousso-Détrez A, Fontaine J, Lounès-Hadj Sahraoui A, et al (2022)

Diversity of Phosphate Chemical Forms in Soils and Their Contributions on Soil Microbial Community Structure Changes.

Microorganisms, 10(3):.

In many soils, the bioavailability of Phosphorus (P), an essential macronutrient is a limiting factor for crop production. Among the mechanisms developed to facilitate the absorption of phosphorus, the plant, as a holobiont, can rely on its rhizospheric microbial partners. Therefore, microbial P-solubilizing inoculants are proposed to improve soil P fertility in agriculture. However, a better understanding of the interactions of the soil-plant-microorganism continuum with the phosphorus cycle is needed to propose efficient inoculants. Before proposing further methods of research, we carried out a critical review of the literature in two parts. First, we focused on the diversity of P-chemical forms. After a review of P forms in soils, we describe multiple factors that shape these forms in soil and their turnover. Second, we provide an analysis of P as a driver of microbial community diversity in soil. Even if no rule enabling to explain the changes in the composition of microbial communities according to phosphorus has been shown, this element has been perfectly targeted as linked to the presence/absence and/or abundance of particular bacterial taxa. In conclusion, we point out the need to link soil phosphorus chemistry with soil microbiology in order to understand the variations in the composition of microbial communities as a function of P bioavailability. This knowledge will make it possible to propose advanced microbial-based inoculant engineering for the improvement of bioavailable P for plants in sustainable agriculture.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Zommiti M, Chevalier S, Feuilloley MGJ, et al (2022)

Special Issue "Enterococci for Probiotic Use: Safety and Risk": Editorial.

Microorganisms, 10(3):.

Microorganisms, their activity, and metabolites are now considered as intrinsic elements of the human body and this awareness gave was leading to the concept of holobiont [...].

RevDate: 2022-06-16

Omae N, K Tsuda (2022)

Plant-Microbiota Interactions in Abiotic Stress Environments.

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

Abiotic stress adversely affects cellular homeostasis and ultimately impairs plant growth, posing a serious threat to agriculture. Climate change modeling predicts increasing occurrences of abiotic stresses such as drought and extreme temperature, resulting in decreasing the yields of major crops such as rice, wheat, and maize, which endangers food security for human populations. Plants are associated with diverse and taxonomically structured microbial communities that are called the plant microbiota. Plant microbiota often assist plant growth and abiotic stress tolerance by providing water and nutrients to plants and modulating plant metabolism and physiology and, thus, offer the potential to increase crop production under abiotic stress. In this review, we summarize recent progress on how abiotic stress affects plants, microbiota, plant-microbe interactions, and microbe-microbe interactions, and how microbes affect plant metabolism and physiology under abiotic stress conditions, with a focus on drought, salt, and temperature stress. We also discuss important steps to utilize plant microbiota in agriculture under abiotic stress.[Formula: see text] Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.

RevDate: 2022-03-22

Chen P, He W, Shen Y, et al (2022)

Interspecific Neighbor Stimulates Peanut Growth Through Modulating Root Endophytic Microbial Community Construction.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:830666.

Plants have evolved the capability to respond to interspecific neighbors by changing morphological performance and reshaping belowground microbiota. However, whether neighboring plants influence the microbial colonization of the host's root and further affect host performance is less understood. In this study, using 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) roots from over 5 years of mono- and intercropping field systems, we found that neighbor maize can alter the peanut root microbial composition and re-shape microbial community assembly. Interspecific maize coexistence increased the colonization of genera Bradyrhizobium and Streptomyces in intercropped peanut roots. Through endophytic bacterial isolation and isolate back inoculation experiments, we demonstrated that the functional potentials of available nutrient accumulation and phytohormones production from Bradyrhizobium and Streptomyces endowed them with the ability to act as keystones in the microbial network to benefit peanut growth and production with neighbor competition. Our results support the idea that plants establish a plant-endophytic microbial holobiont through root selective filtration to enhance host competitive dominance, and provide a promising direction to develop modern diversified planting for harnessing crop microbiomes for the promotion of crop growth and productivity in sustainable agriculture.

RevDate: 2022-03-22

Taubenheim J, Miklós M, Tökölyi J, et al (2022)

Population Differences and Host Species Predict Variation in the Diversity of Host-Associated Microbes in Hydra.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:799333.

Most animals co-exist with diverse host-associated microbial organisms that often form complex communities varying between individuals, habitats, species and higher taxonomic levels. Factors driving variation in the diversity of host-associated microbes are complex and still poorly understood. Here, we describe the bacterial composition of field-collected Hydra, a freshwater cnidarian that forms stable associations with microbial species in the laboratory and displays complex interactions with components of the microbiota. We sampled Hydra polyps from 21 Central European water bodies and identified bacterial taxa through 16S rRNA sequencing. We asked whether diversity and taxonomic composition of host-associated bacteria depends on sampling location, habitat type, host species or host reproductive mode (sexual vs. asexual). Bacterial diversity was most strongly explained by sampling location, suggesting that the source environment plays an important role in the assembly of bacterial communities associated with Hydra polyps. We also found significant differences between host species in their bacterial composition that partly mirrored variations observed in lab strains. Furthermore, we detected a minor effect of host reproductive mode on bacterial diversity. Overall, our results suggest that extrinsic (habitat identity) factors predict the diversity of host-associated bacterial communities more strongly than intrinsic (species identity) factors, however, only a combination of both factors determines microbiota composition in Hydra.

RevDate: 2022-03-24

Cambon-Bonavita MA, Aubé J, Cueff-Gauchard V, et al (2022)

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

Microbiome, 10(1):51.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Burgunter-Delamare B, Tanguy G, Legeay E, et al (2022)

Effects of sampling and storage procedures on 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing results of kelp microbiomes.

Marine genomics, 63:100944.

Brown macroalgae, including the kelp Saccharina latissima, are of both ecological and increasing economic interest. Together with their microbiota, these organisms form a singular entity, the holobiont. Sampling campaigns are required to study the microbiome of algae in natural populations, but freezing samples in liquid nitrogen is complex in the field, particularly at remote locations. Here we tested two simple alternative methods for sampling the microbial diversity associated with the kelp S. latissima: silica gel conservation of tissue and swab samples preserved in DNA/RNA shield solution. We used these techniques to compare apex and meristem samples from Roscoff (Brittany, France) and evaluated their impact on the results of 16S rDNA metabarcoding experiments. Both methods were able to separate apex and meristem microbiomes, and the results were concordant with results obtained for flash-frozen samples. However, differences were observed for several rare genera and ASVs, and the detection of contaminant sequences in the silica gel-preserved samples underline the importance of including blank samples for this method. Globally, our results confirm that the silica gel technique and swabbing combined with DNA/RNA shield preservation are valid alternatives to liquid nitrogen preservation when sampling brown macroalgae in the field. However, they also underline that, regardless of the method, caution should be taken when interpreting data on rare sequences.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Detmer AR, Cunning R, Pfab F, et al (2022)

Fertilization by coral-dwelling fish promotes coral growth but can exacerbate bleaching response.

Journal of theoretical biology, 541:111087.

Many corals form close associations with a diverse assortment of coral-dwelling fishes and other fauna. As coral reefs around the world are increasingly threatened by mass bleaching events, it is important to understand how these biotic interactions influence corals' susceptibility to bleaching. We used dynamic energy budget modeling to explore how nitrogen excreted by coral-dwelling fish affects the physiological performance of host corals. In our model, fish presence influenced the functioning of the coral-Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis by altering nitrogen availability, and the magnitude and sign of these effects depended on environmental conditions. Although our model predicted that fish-derived nitrogen can promote coral growth, the relationship between fish presence and coral tolerance of photo-oxidative stress was non-linear. Fish excretions supported denser symbiont populations that provided protection from incident light through self-shading. However, these symbionts also used more of their photosynthetic products for their own growth, rather than sharing with the coral host, putting the coral holobiont at a higher risk of becoming carbon-limited and bleaching. The balance between the benefits of increased symbiont shading and costs of reduced carbon sharing depended on environmental conditions. Thus, while there were some scenarios under which fish presence increased corals' tolerance of light stress, fish could also exacerbate bleaching and slow or prevent subsequent recovery. We discuss how the contrast between the potentially harmful effects of fish predicted by our model and results of empirical studies may relate to key model assumptions that warrant further investigation. Overall, this study provides a foundation for future work on how coral-associated fauna influence the bioenergetics of their host corals, which in turn has implications for how these corals respond to bleaching-inducing stressors.

RevDate: 2022-04-18
CmpDate: 2022-04-18

McLachlan RH, Price JT, Muñoz-Garcia A, et al (2022)

Physiological acclimatization in Hawaiian corals following a 22-month shift in baseline seawater temperature and pH.

Scientific reports, 12(1):3712.

Climate change poses a major threat to coral reefs. We conducted an outdoor 22-month experiment to investigate if coral could not just survive, but also physiologically cope, with chronic ocean warming and acidification conditions expected later this century under the Paris Climate Agreement. We recorded survivorship and measured eleven phenotypic traits to evaluate the holobiont responses of Hawaiian coral: color, Symbiodiniaceae density, calcification, photosynthesis, respiration, total organic carbon flux, carbon budget, biomass, lipids, protein, and maximum Artemia capture rate. Survivorship was lowest in Montipora capitata and only some survivors were able to meet metabolic demand and physiologically cope with future ocean conditions. Most M. capitata survivors bleached through loss of chlorophyll pigments and simultaneously experienced increased respiration rates and negative carbon budgets due to a 236% increase in total organic carbon losses under combined future ocean conditions. Porites compressa and Porites lobata had the highest survivorship and coped well under future ocean conditions with positive calcification and increased biomass, maintenance of lipids, and the capacity to exceed their metabolic demand through photosynthesis and heterotrophy. Thus, our findings show that significant biological diversity within resilient corals like Porites, and some genotypes of sensitive species, will persist this century provided atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are controlled. Since Porites corals are ubiquitous throughout the world's oceans and often major reef builders, the persistence of this resilient genus provides hope for future reef ecosystem function globally.

RevDate: 2022-04-11
CmpDate: 2022-04-11

Kriaa A, Mariaule V, Jablaoui A, et al (2022)

Bile Acids: Key Players in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases?.

Cells, 11(5):.

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) have emerged as a public health problem worldwide with a limited number of efficient therapeutic options despite advances in medical therapy. Although changes in the gut microbiota composition are recognized as key drivers of dysregulated intestinal immunity, alterations in bile acids (BAs) have been shown to influence gut homeostasis and contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease. In this review, we explore the interactions involving BAs and gut microbiota in IBDs, and discuss how the gut microbiota-BA-host axis may influence digestive inflammation.

RevDate: 2022-05-26

Lousada MB, Lachnit T, Edelkamp J, et al (2022)

Hydra and the hair follicle - An unconventional comparative biology approach to exploring the human holobiont.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 44(5):e2100233.

The microbiome of human hair follicles (HFs) has emerged as an important player in different HF and skin pathologies, yet awaits in-depth exploration. This raises questions regarding the tightly linked interactions between host environment, nutrient dependency of host-associated microbes, microbial metabolism, microbe-microbe interactions and host immunity. The use of simple model systems facilitates addressing generally important questions and testing overarching, therapeutically relevant principles that likely transcend obvious interspecies differences. Here, we evaluate the potential of the freshwater polyp Hydra, to dissect fundamental principles of microbiome regulation by the host, that is the human HF. In particular, we focus on therapeutically targetable host-microbiome interactions, such as nutrient dependency, microbial interactions and host defence. Offering a new lens into the study of HF - microbiota interactions, we argue that general principles of how Hydra manages its microbiota can inform the development of novel, microbiome-targeting therapeutic interventions in human skin disease.

RevDate: 2022-04-29

Ricci F, Tandon K, Black JR, et al (2022)

Host Traits and Phylogeny Contribute to Shaping Coral-Bacterial Symbioses.

mSystems, 7(2):e0004422.

The success of tropical scleractinian corals depends on their ability to establish symbioses with microbial partners. Host phylogeny and traits are known to shape the coral microbiome, but to what extent they affect its composition remains unclear. Here, by using 12 coral species representing the complex and robust clades, we explored the influence of host phylogeny, skeletal architecture, and reproductive mode on the microbiome composition, and further investigated the structure of the tissue and skeleton bacterial communities. Our results show that host phylogeny and traits explained 14% of the tissue and 13% of the skeletal microbiome composition, providing evidence that these predictors contributed to shaping the holobiont in terms of presence and relative abundance of bacterial symbionts. Based on our data, we conclude that host phylogeny affects the presence of specific microbial lineages, reproductive mode predictably influences the microbiome composition, and skeletal architecture works like a filter that affects bacterial relative abundance. We show that the β-diversity of coral tissue and skeleton microbiomes differed, but we found that a large overlapping fraction of bacterial sequences were recovered from both anatomical compartments, supporting the hypothesis that the skeleton can function as a microbial reservoir. Additionally, our analysis of the microbiome structure shows that 99.6% of tissue and 99.7% of skeletal amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were not consistently present in at least 30% of the samples, suggesting that the coral tissue and skeleton are dominated by rare bacteria. Together, these results provide novel insights into the processes driving coral-bacterial symbioses, along with an improved understanding of the scleractinian microbiome.

RevDate: 2022-03-05

Gómez-Lama Cabanás C, Wentzien NM, Zorrilla-Fontanesi Y, et al (2022)

Impacts of the Biocontrol Strain Pseudomonas simiae PICF7 on the Banana Holobiont: Alteration of Root Microbial Co-occurrence Networks and Effect on Host Defense Responses.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:809126.

The impact of the versatile biocontrol and plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria Pseudomonas simiae PICF7 on the banana holobiont under controlled conditions was investigated. We examine the fate of this biological control agent (BCA) upon introduction in the soil, the effect on the banana root microbiota, and the influence on specific host genetic defense responses. While the presence of strain PICF7 significantly altered neither the composition nor the structure of the root microbiota, a significant shift in microbial community interactions through co-occurrence network analysis was observed. Despite the fact that PICF7 did not constitute a keystone, the topology of this network was significantly modified-the BCA being identified as a constituent of one of the main network modules in bacterized plants. Gene expression analysis showed the early suppression of several systemic acquired resistance and induced systemic resistance (ISR) markers. This outcome occurred at the time in which the highest relative abundance of PICF7 was detected. The absence of major and permanent changes on the banana holobiont upon PICF7 introduction poses advantages regarding the use of this beneficial rhizobacteria under field conditions. Indeed a BCA able to control the target pathogen while altering as little as possible the natural host-associated microbiome should be a requisite when developing effective bio-inoculants.

RevDate: 2022-03-04

Li J, Wei X, Huang D, et al (2021)

The Phylosymbiosis Pattern Between the Fig Wasps of the Same Genus and Their Associated Microbiota.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:800190.

Microbial communities can be critical for many metazoans, which can lead to the observation of phylosymbiosis with phylogenetically related species sharing similar microbial communities. Most of the previous studies on phylosymbiosis were conducted across the host families or genera. However, it is unclear whether the phylosymbiosis signal is still prevalent at lower taxonomic levels. In this study, 54 individuals from six species of the fig wasp genus Ceratosolen (Hymenoptera: Agaonidae) collected from nine natural populations and their associated microbiota were investigated. The fig wasp species were morphologically identified and further determined by mitochondrial CO1 gene fragments and nuclear ITS2 sequences, and the V4 region of 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to analyze the bacterial communities. The results suggest a significant positive correlation between host genetic characteristics and microbial diversity characteristics, indicating the phylosymbiosis signal between the phylogeny of insect hosts and the associated microbiota in the lower classification level within a genus. Moreover, we found that the endosymbiotic Wolbachia carried by fig wasps led to a decrease in bacterial diversity of host-associated microbial communities. This study contributes to our understanding of the role of host phylogeny, as well as the role of endosymbionts in shaping the host-associated microbial community.

RevDate: 2022-06-02
CmpDate: 2022-06-02

Taylor JA, Díez-Vives C, Nielsen S, et al (2022)

Communality in microbial stress response and differential metabolic interactions revealed by time-series analysis of sponge symbionts.

Environmental microbiology, 24(5):2299-2314.

The diversity and function of sponge-associated symbionts is now increasingly understood; however, we lack an understanding of how they dynamically behave to ensure holobiont stability in the face of environmental variation. Here, we performed a metatransciptomic analysis on three microbial symbionts of the sponge Cymbastela concentrica in situ over 14 months and through differential gene expression and correlation analysis to environmental variables uncovered differences that speak to their metabolic activities and level of symbiotic and environmental interactions. The nitrite-oxidizing Ca. Porinitrospira cymbastela maintained a seemingly stable metabolism, with the few differentially expressed genes related only to stress responses. The heterotrophic Ca. Porivivens multivorans displayed differential use of holobiont-derived compounds and respiration modes, while the ammonium-oxidizing archaeon Ca. Nitrosopumilus cymbastelus differentially expressed genes related to phosphate metabolism and symbiosis effectors. One striking similarity between the symbionts was their similar variation in expression of stress-related genes. Our time-series study showed that the microbial community of C. concentrica undertakes dynamic gene expression adjustments in response to the surroundings, tuned to deal with general stress and metabolic interactions between holobiont members. The success of these dynamic adjustments likely underpins the stability of the sponge holobiont and may provide resilience against environmental change.

RevDate: 2022-03-01

Cotinat P, Fricano C, Toullec G, et al (2022)

Intrinsically High Capacity of Animal Cells From a Symbiotic Cnidarian to Deal With Pro-Oxidative Conditions.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:819111.

The cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis is a mutualistic intracellular association based on the photosynthetic activity of the endosymbiont. This relationship involves significant constraints and requires co-evolution processes, such as an extensive capacity of the holobiont to counteract pro-oxidative conditions induced by hyperoxia generated during photosynthesis. In this study, we analyzed the capacity of Anemonia viridis cells to deal with pro-oxidative conditions by in vivo and in vitro approaches. Whole specimens and animal primary cell cultures were submitted to 200 and 500 μM of H2O2 during 7 days. Then, we monitored global health parameters (symbiotic state, viability, and cell growth) and stress biomarkers (global antioxidant capacity, oxidative protein damages, and protein ubiquitination). In animal primary cell cultures, the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were also evaluated under H2O2 treatments. At the whole organism scale, both H2O2 concentrations didn't affect the survival and animal tissues exhibited a high resistance to H2O2 treatments. Moreover, no bleaching has been observed, even at high H2O2 concentration and after long exposure (7 days). Although, the community has suggested the role of ROS as the cause of bleaching, our results indicating the absence of bleaching under high H2O2 concentration may exculpate this specific ROS from being involved in the molecular processes inducing bleaching. However, counterintuitively, the symbiont compartment appeared sensitive to an H2O2 burst as it displayed oxidative protein damages, despite an enhancement of antioxidant capacity. The in vitro assays allowed highlighting an intrinsic high capacity of isolated animal cells to deal with pro-oxidative conditions, although we observed differences on tolerance between H2O2 treatments. The 200 μM H2O2 concentration appeared to correspond to the tolerance threshold of animal cells. Indeed, no disequilibrium on redox state was observed and only a cell growth decrease was measured. Contrarily, the 500 μM H2O2 concentration induced a stress state, characterized by a cell viability decrease from 1 day and a drastic cell growth arrest after 7 days leading to an uncomplete recovery after treatment. In conclusion, this study highlights the overall high capacity of cnidarian cells to cope with H2O2 and opens new perspective to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in this peculiar resistance.

RevDate: 2022-05-14
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Rosenberg Y, Simon-Blecher N, Lalzar M, et al (2022)

Urbanization comprehensively impairs biological rhythms in coral holobionts.

Global change biology, 28(10):3349-3364.

Coral reefs are in global decline due to climate change and anthropogenic influences (Hughes et al., Conservation Biology, 27: 261-269, 2013). Near coastal cities or other densely populated areas, coral reefs face a range of additional challenges. While considerable progress has been made in understanding coral responses to acute individual stressors (Dominoni et al., Nature Ecology & Evolution, 4: 502-511, 2020), the impacts of chronic exposure to varying combinations of sensory pollutants are largely unknown. To investigate the impacts of urban proximity on corals, we conducted a year-long in-natura study-incorporating sampling at diel, monthly, and seasonal time points-in which we compared corals from an urban area to corals from a proximal non-urban area. Here we reveal that despite appearing relatively healthy, natural biorhythms and environmental sensory systems were extensively disturbed in corals from the urban environment. Transcriptomic data indicated poor symbiont performance, disturbance to gametogenic cycles, and loss or shifted seasonality of vital biological processes. Altered seasonality patterns were also observed in the microbiomes of the urban coral population, signifying the impact of urbanization on the holobiont, rather than the coral host alone. These results should raise alarm regarding the largely unknown long-term impacts of sensory pollution on the resilience and survival of coral reefs close to coastal communities.

RevDate: 2022-03-01

Butina TV, Petrushin IS, Khanaev IV, et al (2022)

Metagenomic Assessment of DNA Viral Diversity in Freshwater Sponges, Baikalospongia bacillifera.

Microorganisms, 10(2):.

Sponges (type Porifera) are multicellular organisms that give shelter to a variety of microorganisms: fungi, algae, archaea, bacteria, and viruses. The studies concerning the composition of viral communities in sponges have appeared rather recently, and the diversity and role of viruses in sponge holobionts remain largely undisclosed. In this study, we assessed the diversity of DNA viruses in the associated community of the Baikal endemic sponge, Baikalospongia bacillifera, using a metagenomic approach, and compared the virome data from samples of sponges and Baikal water (control sample). Significant differences in terms of taxonomy, putative host range of identified scaffolds, and functional annotation of predicted viral proteins were revealed in viromes of sponge B. bacillifera and the Baikal water. This is the evidence in favor of specificity of viral communities in sponges. The diversity shift of viral communities in a diseased specimen, in comparison with a visually healthy sponge, probably reflects the changes in the composition of microbial communities in affected sponges. We identified many viral genes encoding the proteins with metabolic functions; therefore, viruses in Baikal sponges regulate the number and diversity of their associated community, and also take a part in the vital activity of the holobiont, and this is especially significant in the case of damage (or disease) of these organisms in unfavorable conditions. When comparing the Baikal viromes with similar datasets of marine sponge (Ianthella basta), in addition to significant differences in the taxonomic and functional composition of viral communities, we revealed common scaffolds/virotypes in the cross-assembly of reads, which may indicate the presence of some closely related sponge-specific viruses in marine and freshwater sponges.

RevDate: 2022-03-01

Dietert RR, JM Dietert (2022)

Using Microbiome-Based Approaches to Deprogram Chronic Disorders and Extend the Healthspan following Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Microorganisms, 10(2):.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which can include child trafficking, are known to program children for disrupted biological cycles, premature aging, microbiome dysbiosis, immune-inflammatory misregulation, and chronic disease multimorbidity. To date, the microbiome has not been a major focus of deprogramming efforts despite its emerging role in every aspect of ACE-related dysbiosis and dysfunction. This article examines: (1) the utility of incorporating microorganism-based, anti-aging approaches to combat ACE-programmed chronic diseases (also known as noncommunicable diseases and conditions, NCDs) and (2) microbiome regulation of core systems biology cycles that affect NCD comorbid risk. In this review, microbiota influence over three key cyclic rhythms (circadian cycles, the sleep cycle, and the lifespan/longevity cycle) as well as tissue inflammation and oxidative stress are discussed as an opportunity to deprogram ACE-driven chronic disorders. Microbiota, particularly those in the gut, have been shown to affect host-microbe interactions regulating the circadian clock, sleep quality, as well as immune function/senescence, and regulation of tissue inflammation. The microimmunosome is one of several systems biology targets of gut microbiota regulation. Furthermore, correcting misregulated inflammation and increased oxidative stress is key to protecting telomere length and lifespan/longevity and extending what has become known as the healthspan. This review article concludes that to reverse the tragedy of ACE-programmed NCDs and premature aging, managing the human holobiont microbiome should become a routine part of healthcare and preventative medicine across the life course.

RevDate: 2022-05-02
CmpDate: 2022-05-02

Tougeron K (2022)

Homeostasis theory: What can we learn from dormancy and symbiotic associations?.

Physiology & behavior, 249:113749.

In this letter, I discuss the notion of dormancy that De Luca Jr. relies on to criticize the theory of homeostasis. In particular, I try to qualify the issues related to the fact that dormancy is not always a free behavior but is in most situations under the influence of environmental factors. To this end, I discuss diapause in arthropods, which can be obligatory (under the influence of endogenous commands) but which is in most cases facultative (under external command). I emphasize that the notion of stability of a dormant organism must be taken with caution. I briefly mention what the study of sleep in animals can contribute to the notion of homeostasis. Finally, I focus on the role of microbial symbionts and the notion of holobiont. Through this, I question the future of the notions of internal environment and homeostasis and I propose to revisit them in the context of the effects of species interactions on the physiology of organisms.

RevDate: 2022-05-31
CmpDate: 2022-05-10

Roggatz CC, Hardege JD, M Saha (2022)

Modelling Antifouling compounds of Macroalgal Holobionts in Current and Future pH Conditions.

Journal of chemical ecology, 48(4):455-473.

Marine macroalgae are important ecosystem engineers in marine coastal habitats. Macroalgae can be negatively impacted through excessive colonization by harmful bacteria, fungi, microalgae, and macro-colonisers and thus employ a range of chemical compounds to minimize such colonization. Recent research suggests that environmental pH conditions potentially impact the functionality of such chemical compounds. Here we predict if and how naturally fluctuating pH conditions and future conditions caused by ocean acidification will affect macroalgal (antifouling) compounds and thereby potentially alter the chemical defence mediated by these compounds. We defined the relevant ecological pH range, analysed and scored the pH-sensitivity of compounds with antifouling functions based on their modelled chemical properties before assessing their distribution across the phylogenetic macroalgal groups, and the proportion of sensitive compounds for each investigated function. For some key compounds, we also predicted in detail how the associated ecological function may develop across the pH range. The majority of compounds were unaffected by pH, but compounds containing phenolic and amine groups were found to be particularly sensitive to pH. Future pH changes due to predicted average open ocean acidification pH were found to have little effect. Compounds from Rhodophyta were mainly pH-stable. However, key algal species amongst Phaeophyceae and Chlorophyta were found to rely on highly pH-sensitive compounds for their chemical defence against harmful bacteria, microalgae, fungi, and biofouling by macro-organisms. All quorum sensing disruptive compounds were found the be unaffected by pH, but the other ecological functions were all conveyed in part by pH-sensitive compounds. For some ecological keystone species, all of their compounds mediating defence functions were found to be pH-sensitive based on our calculations, which may not only affect the health and fitness of the host alga resulting in host breakdown but also alter the associated ecological interactions of the macroalgal holobiont with micro and macrocolonisers, eventually causing ecosystem restructuring and the functions (e.g. habitat provision) provided by macroalgal hosts. Our study investigates a question of fundamental importance because environments with fluctuating or changing pH are common and apply not only to coastal marine habitats and estuaries but also to freshwater environments or terrestrial systems that are subject to acid rain. Hence, whilst warranting experimental validation, this investigation with macroalgae as model organisms can serve as a basis for future investigations in other aquatic or even terrestrial systems.

RevDate: 2022-02-19

Ünüvar ÖC, Zencirci N, ES Ünlü (2022)

Bacteria isolated from Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum roots can improve wheat hologenome in agriculture.

Molecular biology reports [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum is an ancestral wheat species originated from Karacadağ Mountain of Turkey more than ten thousand years ago. Because of environmental and anthropogenic effects, food supply and demand are not balanced. Agricultural activities such as breeding, and fertilization are important to sustain the balance. Conventional breeding and fertilization applications usually neglect contribution of plant related hologenomes in agricultural yield. The disruption of plant growth promoting microorganisms results in intensive usage of chemical fertilizers. The harmony between plant and plant-associated microorganisms is important for sustainability. In this study, isolation, biochemical characterization, and impact on plant growth parameters of natural bacteria associated with Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum hologenome were aimed.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The collection of root samples and isolations of the root-associated bacterial species were carried out from local wheat lands. According to interpretation of three identification methods (MALDI-TOF, 16S rDNA, 16S-23S rDNA) eight isolates are Arthrobacter spp. ESU164, Arthrobacter spp. ESU193, Pseudomonas spp. ESU131, Pseudomonas spp. ESU141, Pseudomonas poae strain ESU182, Pseudomonas thivervalensis strain ESU192, Pseudomonas spp. ESU1531, Bacillus subtilis strain ESU181. For each isolate we investigated biochemical properties especially nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, and indole-3-acetic acid production abilities. The results show that all isolates are nitrogen fixers and the best phosphate solubilizer have been reported as Pseudomonas spp. ESU131 with 2.805 ± 0.439.

CONCLUSIONS: All isolates are indole-3-acetic acid productors. 2 isolates affected the coleoptile lengths, 7 bacterial isolates showed statistically positive effect on root number, and 5 isolates promote the root lengths and the root fresh weights.

RevDate: 2022-02-16

Martínez M, Postolache TT, García-Bueno B, et al (2021)

The Role of the Oral Microbiota Related to Periodontal Diseases in Anxiety, Mood and Trauma- and Stress-Related Disorders.

Frontiers in psychiatry, 12:814177.

The prevalence of anxiety, mood and trauma- and stress-related disorders are on the rise; however, efforts to develop new and effective treatment strategies have had limited success. To identify novel therapeutic targets, a comprehensive understanding of the disease etiology is needed, especially in the context of the holobiont, i.e., the superorganism consisting of a human and its microbiotas. Much emphasis has been placed on the role of the gut microbiota in the development, exacerbation, and persistence of psychiatric disorders; however, data for the oral microbiota are limited. The oral cavity houses the second most diverse microbial community in the body, with over 700 bacterial species that colonize the soft and hard tissues. Periodontal diseases encompass a group of infectious and inflammatory diseases that affect the periodontium. Among them, periodontitis is defined as a chronic, multi-bacterial infection that elicits low-grade systemic inflammation via the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, as well as local invasion and long-distance translocation of periodontal pathogens. Periodontitis can also induce or exacerbate other chronic systemic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes and can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Recently, periodontal pathogens have been implicated in the etiology and pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders (such as depression and schizophrenia), especially as dysregulation of the immune system also plays an integral role in the etiology and pathophysiology of these disorders. This review will discuss the role of the oral microbiota associated with periodontal diseases in anxiety, mood and trauma- and stress-related disorders. Epidemiological data of periodontal diseases in individuals with these disorders will be presented, followed by a discussion of the microbiological and immunological links between the oral microbiota and the central nervous system. Pre-clinical and clinical findings on the oral microbiota related to periodontal diseases in anxiety, mood and trauma- and stress-related phenotypes will be reviewed, followed by a discussion on the bi-directionality of the oral-brain axis. Lastly, we will focus on the oral microbiota associated with periodontal diseases as a target for future therapeutic interventions to alleviate symptoms of these debilitating psychiatric disorders.

RevDate: 2022-04-07
CmpDate: 2022-04-07

Zouache K, Martin E, Rahola N, et al (2022)

Larval habitat determines the bacterial and fungal microbiota of the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 98(1):.

Mosquito larvae are naturally exposed to microbial communities present in a variety of larval development sites. Several earlier studies have highlighted that the larval habitat influences the composition of the larval bacterial microbiota. However, little information is available on their fungal microbiota, i.e. the mycobiota. In this study, we provide the first simultaneous characterization of the bacterial and fungal microbiota in field-collected Aedes aegypti larvae and their respective aquatic habitats. We evaluated whether the microbial communities associated with the breeding site may affect the composition of both the bacterial and fungal communities in Ae. aegypti larvae. Our results show a higher similarity in microbial community structure for both bacteria and fungi between larvae and the water in which larvae develop than between larvae from different breeding sites. This supports the hypothesis that larval habitat is a major factor driving microbial composition in mosquito larvae. Since the microbiota plays an important role in mosquito biology, unravelling the network of interactions that operate between bacteria and fungi is essential to better understand the functioning of the mosquito holobiont.

RevDate: 2022-03-29
CmpDate: 2022-03-25

Riva V, Mapelli F, Bagnasco A, et al (2022)

A Meta-Analysis Approach to Defining the Culturable Core of Plant Endophytic Bacterial Communities.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 88(6):e0253721.

Endophytic bacteria are key members of the plant microbiome, which phylogenetic diversity has been widely described through next-generation sequencing technologies in the last decades. On the other side, a synopsis of culturable plant endophytic bacteria is still lacking in the literature. However, culturability is necessary for biotechnology innovations related to sustainable agriculture, such as biofertilizer and biostimulant agents' development. In this review, 148 scientific papers were analyzed to establish a large data set of cultured endophytic bacteria, reported at the genus level, inhabiting different compartments of wild and farmed plants, sampled around the world from different soil types and isolated using various growth media. To the best of our knowledge, this work provides the first overview of the current repertoire of cultured plant endophytic bacteria. Results indicate the presence of a recurrent set of culturable bacterial genera regardless of factors known to influence the plant bacterial community composition and the growth media used for the bacterial isolation. Moreover, a wide variety of bacterial genera that are currently rarely isolated from the plant endosphere was identified, demonstrating that culturomics can catch previously uncultured bacteria from the plant microbiome, widening the panorama of strains exploitable to support plant holobiont health and production.

RevDate: 2022-04-15
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Ren CG, Liu ZY, Wang XL, et al (2022)

The seaweed holobiont: from microecology to biotechnological applications.

Microbial biotechnology, 15(3):738-754.

In the ocean, seaweed and microorganisms have coexisted since the earliest stages of evolution and formed an inextricable relationship. Recently, seaweed has attracted extensive attention worldwide for ecological and industrial purposes, but the function of its closely related microbes is often ignored. Microbes play an indispensable role in different stages of seaweed growth, development and maturity. A very diverse group of seaweed-associated microbes have important functions and are dynamically reconstructed as the marine environment fluctuates, forming an inseparable 'holobiont' with their host. To further understand the function and significance of holobionts, this review first reports on recent advances in revealing seaweed-associated microbe spatial and temporal distribution. Then, this review discusses the microbe and seaweed interactions and their ecological significance, and summarizes the current applications of the seaweed-microbe relationship in various environmental and biological technologies. Sustainable industries based on seaweed holobionts could become an integral part of the future bioeconomy because they can provide more resource-efficient food, high-value chemicals and medical materials. Moreover, holobionts may provide a new approach to marine environment restoration.

RevDate: 2022-05-05
CmpDate: 2022-05-05

Tran C (2022)

Coral-microbe interactions: their importance to reef function and survival.

Emerging topics in life sciences, 6(1):33-44.

Many different microorganisms associate with the coral host in a single entity known as the holobiont, and their interactions with the host contribute to coral health, thereby making them a fundamental part of reef function, survival, and conservation. As corals continue to be susceptible to bleaching due to environmental stress, coral-associated bacteria may have a potential role in alleviating bleaching. This review provides a synthesis of the various roles bacteria have in coral physiology and development, and explores the possibility that changes in the microbiome with environmental stress could have major implications in how corals acclimatize and survive. Recent studies on the interactions between the coral's algal and bacterial symbionts elucidate how bacteria may stabilize algal health and, therefore, mitigate bleaching. A summary of the innovative tools and experiments to examine host-microbe interactions in other cnidarians (a temperate coral, a jellyfish, two anemones, and a freshwater hydroid) is offered in this review to delineate our current knowledge of mechanisms underlying microbial establishment and maintenance in the animal host. A better understanding of these mechanisms may enhance the success of maintaining probiotics long-term in corals as a conservation strategy.

RevDate: 2022-04-28
CmpDate: 2022-04-28

Deutsch JM, Mandelare-Ruiz P, Yang Y, et al (2022)

Metabolomics Approaches to Dereplicate Natural Products from Coral-Derived Bioactive Bacteria.

Journal of natural products, 85(3):462-478.

Stony corals (Scleractinia) are invertebrates that form symbiotic relationships with eukaryotic algal endosymbionts and the prokaryotic microbiome. The microbiome has the potential to produce bioactive natural products providing defense and resilience to the coral host against pathogenic microorganisms, but this potential has not been extensively explored. Bacterial pathogens can pose a significant threat to corals, with some species implicated in primary and opportunistic infections of various corals. In response, probiotics have been proposed as a potential strategy to protect corals in the face of increased incidence of disease outbreaks. In this study, we screened bacterial isolates from healthy and diseased corals for antibacterial activity. The bioactive extracts were analyzed using untargeted metabolomics. Herein, an UpSet plot and hierarchical clustering analyses were performed to identify isolates with the largest number of unique metabolites. These isolates also displayed different antibacterial activities. Through application of in silico and experimental approaches coupled with genome analysis, we dereplicated natural products from these coral-derived bacteria from Florida's coral reef environments. The metabolomics approach highlighted in this study serves as a useful resource to select probiotic candidates and enables insights into natural product-mediated chemical ecology in holobiont symbiosis.

RevDate: 2022-03-29
CmpDate: 2022-03-25

Tignat-Perrier R, van de Water JAJM, Guillemain D, et al (2022)

The Effect of Thermal Stress on the Physiology and Bacterial Communities of Two Key Mediterranean Gorgonians.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 88(6):e0234021.

Gorgonians are important habitat-providing species in the Mediterranean Sea, but their populations are declining due to microbial diseases and repeated mass mortality events caused by summer heat waves. Elevated seawater temperatures may impact the stress tolerance and disease resistance of gorgonians and lead to disturbances in their microbiota. However, our knowledge of the biological response of the gorgonian holobiont (i.e., the host and its microbiota) to thermal stress remains limited. Here, we investigated how the holobiont of two gorgonian species (Paramuricea clavata and Eunicella cavolini) are affected throughout a 7-week thermal stress event by following both the corals' physiology and the composition of their bacterial communities. We found that P. clavata was more sensitive to elevated seawater temperatures than E. cavolini, showing a greater loss in energy reserves, reduced feeding ability, and partial mortality. This lower thermotolerance may be linked to the ∼20× lower antioxidant defense capacity in P. clavata compared with E. cavolini. In the first 4 weeks of thermal stress, we also observed minor shifts in the microbiota of both species, suggesting that the microbiota likely plays a limited role in thermal acclimation of the holobiont. However, major stochastic changes occurred later on in some colonies, which were of a transient nature in E. cavolini, but were linked to partial colony mortality in P. clavata. Overall, our results show significant, but differential, effects of thermal stress on the holobionts of both E. cavolini and P. clavata and predict potentially severe impacts on gorgonian populations under future climate scenarios. IMPORTANCE In the Mediterranean Sea, the tree-shaped gorgonian corals form large forests that provide a place to live for many species. Because of this important ecological role, it is crucial to understand how common habitat-forming gorgonians, like Eunicella cavolini and Paramuricea clavata, are affected by high seawater temperatures that are expected in the future due to climate change. We found that both species lost biomass, but P. clavata was more affected, being also unable to feed and showing signs of mortality. The microbiota of both gorgonians also changed substantively under high temperatures. Although this could be linked to partial colony mortality in P. clavata, the changes were temporary in E. cavolini. The overall higher resistance of E. cavolini may be related to its much higher antioxidant defense levels than P. clavata. Climate change may thus have severe impacts on gorgonian populations and the habitats they provide.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Nerva L, Garcia JF, Favaretto F, et al (2022)

The hidden world within plants: metatranscriptomics unveils the complexity of wood microbiomes.

Journal of experimental botany, 73(8):2682-2697.

The importance of plants as complex entities influenced by genomes of the associated microorganisms is now seen as a new source of variability for a more sustainable agriculture, also in the light of ongoing climate change. For this reason, we investigated through metatranscriptomics whether the taxa profile and behaviour of microbial communities associated with the wood of 20-year-old grapevine plants are influenced by the health status of the host. We report for the first time a metatranscriptome from a complex tissue in a real environment, highlighting that this approach is able to define the microbial community better than referenced transcriptomic approaches. In parallel, the use of total RNA enabled the identification of bacterial taxa in healthy samples that, once isolated from the original wood tissue, displayed potential biocontrol activities against a wood-degrading fungal taxon. Furthermore, we revealed an unprecedented high number of new viral entities (~120 new viral species among 180 identified) associated with a single and limited environment and with potential impact on the whole holobiont. Taken together, our results suggest a complex multitrophic interaction in which the viral community also plays a crucial role in raising new ecological questions for the exploitation of microbial-assisted sustainable agriculture.

RevDate: 2022-03-21
CmpDate: 2022-03-21

Zhang S, Song W, Nothias LF, et al (2022)

Comparative metabolomic analysis reveals shared and unique chemical interactions in sponge holobionts.

Microbiome, 10(1):22.

BACKGROUND: Sponges are ancient sessile metazoans, which form with their associated microbial symbionts a complex functional unit called a holobiont. Sponges are a rich source of chemical diversity; however, there is limited knowledge of which holobiont members produce certain metabolites and how they may contribute to chemical interactions. To address this issue, we applied non-targeted liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to either whole sponge tissue or fractionated microbial cells from six different, co-occurring sponge species.

RESULTS: Several metabolites were commonly found or enriched in whole sponge tissue, supporting the notion that sponge cells produce them. These include 2-methylbutyryl-carnitine, hexanoyl-carnitine and various carbohydrates, which may be potential food sources for microorganisms, as well as the antagonistic compounds hymenialdisine and eicosatrienoic acid methyl ester. Metabolites that were mostly observed or enriched in microbial cells include the antioxidant didodecyl 3,3'-thiodipropionate, the antagonistic compounds docosatetraenoic acid, and immune-suppressor phenylethylamide. This suggests that these compounds are mainly produced by the microbial members in the sponge holobiont, and are potentially either involved in inter-microbial competitions or in defenses against intruding organisms.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows how different chemical functionality is compartmentalized between sponge hosts and their microbial symbionts and provides new insights into how chemical interactions underpin the function of sponge holobionts. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Yoksan R, Boontanimitr A, Klompong N, et al (2022)

Poly(lactic acid)/thermoplastic cassava starch blends filled with duckweed biomass.

International journal of biological macromolecules, 203:369-378.

Duckweed (DW) is a highly small, free-floating aquatic plant. It grows and reproduces rapidly, comprises mainly protein and carbohydrate, and has substantial potential as a feedstock to produce bioplastics due to its renewability and having very little impact on the food chain. The aim of this work was to analyze the effect of DW biomass on the characteristics and properties of bio-based and biodegradable plastics based on a poly(lactic acid)/thermoplastic cassava starch (PLA/TPS) blend. Various amounts of DW biomass were compounded with PLA and TPS in a twin-screw extruder and then converted into dumbbell-shaped specimens using an injection molding machine. The obtained PLA/TPS blends filled with DW biomass exhibited a lower melt flow ability, higher moisture content, and increased surface hydrophilicity than the neat PLA/TPS blend. Incorporation of DW with low concentrations of 2.3 and 4.6 wt% increased the tensile strength, Young's modulus, and hardness of the PLA/TPS blend. Moisture and glycerol from DW and TPS played important roles in reducing the Tg, Tcc, Tm, and Td of PLA in the blends. The current work demonstrated that DW could be used as a biofiller for PLA/TPS blends, and the resulting PLA/TPS blends filled with DW biomass have potential in manufacturing injection-molded articles for sustainable, biodegradable, and short-term use.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Dungan AM, Hartman LM, Blackall LL, et al (2022)

Exploring microbiome engineering as a strategy for improved thermal tolerance in Exaiptasia diaphana.

Journal of applied microbiology, 132(4):2940-2956.

AIMS: Fourteen percent of all living coral, equivalent to more than all the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, has died in the past decade as a result of climate change-driven bleaching. Inspired by the 'oxidative stress theory of coral bleaching', we investigated whether a bacterial consortium designed to scavenge free radicals could integrate into the host microbiome and improve thermal tolerance of the coral model, Exaiptasia diaphana.

METHODS AND RESULTS: E. diaphana anemones were inoculated with a consortium of high free radical scavenging (FRS) bacteria, a consortium of congeneric low FRS bacteria, or sterile seawater as a control, then exposed to elevated temperature. Increases in the relative abundance of Labrenzia during the first 2 weeks following the last inoculation provided evidence for temporary inoculum integration into the E. diaphana microbiome. Initial uptake of other consortium members was inconsistent, and these bacteria did not persist either in E. diaphana's microbiome over time. Given their non-integration into the host microbiome, the ability of the FRS consortium to mitigate thermal stress could not be assessed. Importantly, there were no physiological impacts (negative or positive) of the bacterial inoculations on the holobiont.

CONCLUSIONS: The introduced bacteria were not maintained in the anemone microbiome over time, thus, their protective effect is unknown. Achieving long-term integration of bacteria into cnidarian microbiomes remains a research priority.

Microbiome engineering strategies to mitigate coral bleaching may assist coral reefs in their persistence until climate change has been curbed. This study provides insights that will inform microbiome manipulation approaches in coral bleaching mitigation research.

RevDate: 2022-05-02
CmpDate: 2022-05-02

Wood G, Steinberg PD, Campbell AH, et al (2022)

Host genetics, phenotype and geography structure the microbiome of a foundational seaweed.

Molecular ecology, 31(7):2189-2206.

Interactions between hosts and their microbiota are vital to the functioning and resilience of macro-organisms. Critically, for hosts that play foundational roles in communities, understanding what drives host-microbiota interactions is essential for informing ecosystem restoration and conservation. We investigated the relative influence of host traits and the surrounding environment on microbial communities associated with the foundational seaweed Phyllospora comosa. We quantified 16 morphological and functional phenotypic traits, including host genetics (using 354 single nucleotide polymorphisms) and surface-associated microbial communities (using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing) from 160 individuals sampled from eight sites spanning Phyllospora's entire latitudinal distribution (1,300 km). Combined, these factors explained 54% of the overall variation in Phyllospora's associated microbial community structure, much of which was related to the local environment (~32%). We found that putative "core" microbial taxa (i.e., present on all Phyllospora individuals sampled) exhibited slightly higher associations with host traits when compared to "variable" taxa (not present on all individuals). We identified several key genetic loci and phenotypic traits in Phyllospora that were strongly related to multiple microbial amplicon sequence variants, including taxa with known associations to seaweed defence, disease and tissue degradation. This information on how host-associated microbial communities vary with host traits and the environment enhances our current understanding of how "holobionts" (hosts plus their microbiota) are structured. Such understanding can be used to inform management strategies of these important and vulnerable habitats.

RevDate: 2022-02-01

Abdullaeva Y, Ratering S, Ambika Manirajan B, et al (2021)

Domestication Impacts the Wheat-Associated Microbiota and the Rhizosphere Colonization by Seed- and Soil-Originated Microbiomes, Across Different Fields.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:806915.

The seed-transmitted microorganisms and the microbiome of the soil in which the plant grows are major drivers of the rhizosphere microbiome, a crucial component of the plant holobiont. The seed-borne microbiome can be even coevolved with the host plant as a result of adaptation and vertical transmission over generations. The reduced genome diversity and crossing events during domestication might have influenced plant traits that are important for root colonization by seed-borne microbes and also rhizosphere recruitment of microbes from the bulk soil. However, the impact of the breeding on seed-transmitted microbiome composition and the plant ability of microbiome selection from the soil remain unknown. Here, we analyzed both endorhiza and rhizosphere microbiome of two couples of genetically related wild and cultivated wheat species (Aegilops tauschii/Triticum aestivum and T. dicoccoides/T. durum) grown in three locations, using 16S rRNA gene and ITS2 metabarcoding, to assess the relative contribution of seed-borne and soil-derived microbes to the assemblage of the rhizosphere microbiome. We found that more bacterial and fungal ASVs are transmitted from seed to the endosphere of all species compared with the rhizosphere, and these transmitted ASVs were species-specific regardless of location. Only in one location, more microbial seed transmission occurred also in the rhizosphere of A. tauschii compared with other species. Concerning soil-derived microbiome, the most distinct microbial genera occurred in the rhizosphere of A. tauschii compared with other species in all locations. The rhizosphere of genetically connected wheat species was enriched with similar taxa, differently between locations. Our results demonstrate that host plant criteria for soil bank's and seed-originated microbiome recruitment depend on both plants' genotype and availability of microorganisms in a particular environment. This study also provides indications of coevolution between the host plant and its associated microbiome resulting from the vertical transmission of seed-originated taxa.

RevDate: 2022-06-06

Bonthond G, Barilo A, Allen RJ, et al (2022)

Fungal endophytes vary by species, tissue type, and life cycle stage in intertidal macroalgae.

Journal of phycology, 58(2):330-342.

Fungal symbionts of terrestrial plants are among the most widespread and well-studied symbioses, relatively little is known about fungi that are associated with macroalgae. To fill the gap in marine fungal taxonomy, we combined simple culture methods with amplicon sequencing to characterize the fungal communities associated with three brown (Sargassum muticum, Pelvetia canaliculata, and Himanthalia elongata) and two red (Mastocarpus stellatus and Chondrus crispus) macroalgae from one intertidal zone. In addition to characterizing novel fungal diversity, we tested three hypotheses: fungal diversity and community composition vary (i) among species distributed at different tidal heights, (ii) among tissue types (apices, mid-thallus, and stipe), and (iii) among "isomorphic" C. crispus life cycle stages. Almost 70% of our reads were classified as Ascomycota, 29% as Basidiomycota, and 1% that could not be classified to a phylum. Thirty fungal isolates were obtained, 18 of which were also detected with amplicon sequencing. Fungal communities differed by host and tissue type. Interestingly, P. canaliculata, a fucoid at the extreme high intertidal, did not show differences in fungal diversity across the thallus. As found in filamentous algal endophytes, fungal diversity varied among the three life cycle stages in C. crispus. Female gametophytes were also compositionally more dispersed as compared to the fewer variable tetrasporophytes and male gametophytes. We demonstrate the utility of combining relatively simple cultivation and sequencing approaches to characterize and study macroalgal-fungal associations and highlight the need to understand the role of fungi in near-shore marine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-01-28

Rosenberg E, I Zilber-Rosenberg (2021)

Reconstitution and Transmission of Gut Microbiomes and Their Genes between Generations.

Microorganisms, 10(1):.

Microbiomes are transmitted between generations by a variety of different vertical and/or horizontal modes, including vegetative reproduction (vertical), via female germ cells (vertical), coprophagy and regurgitation (vertical and horizontal), physical contact starting at birth (vertical and horizontal), breast-feeding (vertical), and via the environment (horizontal). Analyses of vertical transmission can result in false negatives (failure to detect rare microbes) and false positives (strain variants). In humans, offspring receive most of their initial gut microbiota vertically from mothers during birth, via breast-feeding and close contact. Horizontal transmission is common in marine organisms and involves selectivity in determining which environmental microbes can colonize the organism's microbiome. The following arguments are put forth concerning accurate microbial transmission: First, the transmission may be of functions, not necessarily of species; second, horizontal transmission may be as accurate as vertical transmission; third, detection techniques may fail to detect rare microbes; lastly, microbiomes develop and reach maturity with their hosts. In spite of the great variation in means of transmission discussed in this paper, microbiomes and their functions are transferred from one generation of holobionts to the next with fidelity. This provides a strong basis for each holobiont to be considered a unique biological entity and a level of selection in evolution, largely maintaining the uniqueness of the entity and conserving the species from one generation to the next.

RevDate: 2022-01-28

Rusanova A, Fedorchuk V, Toshchakov S, et al (2021)

An Interplay between Viruses and Bacteria Associated with the White Sea Sponges Revealed by Metagenomics.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 12(1):.

Sponges are remarkable holobionts harboring extremely diverse microbial and viral communities. However, the interactions between the components within holobionts and between a holobiont and environment are largely unknown, especially for polar organisms. To investigate possible interactions within and between sponge-associated communities, we probed the microbiomes and viromes of cold-water sympatric sponges Isodictya palmata (n = 2), Halichondria panicea (n = 3), and Halichondria sitiens (n = 3) by 16S and shotgun metagenomics. We showed that the bacterial and viral communities associated with these White Sea sponges are species-specific and different from the surrounding water. Extensive mining of bacterial antiphage defense systems in the metagenomes revealed a variety of defense mechanisms. The abundance of defense systems was comparable in the metagenomes of the sponges and the surrounding water, thus distinguishing the White Sea sponges from those inhabiting the tropical seas. We developed a network-based approach for the combined analysis of CRISPR-spacers and protospacers. Using this approach, we showed that the virus-host interactions within the sponge-associated community are typically more abundant (three out of four interactions studied) than the inter-community interactions. Additionally, we detected the occurrence of viral exchanges between the communities. Our work provides the first insight into the metagenomics of the three cold-water sponge species from the White Sea and paves the way for a comprehensive analysis of the interactions between microbial communities and associated viruses.

RevDate: 2022-01-23

Ortega MA, Alvarez-Mon MA, García-Montero C, et al (2022)

Gut Microbiota Metabolites in Major Depressive Disorder-Deep Insights into Their Pathophysiological Role and Potential Translational Applications.

Metabolites, 12(1):.

The gut microbiota is a complex and dynamic ecosystem essential for the proper functioning of the organism, affecting the health and disease status of the individuals. There is continuous and bidirectional communication between gut microbiota and the host, conforming to a unique entity known as "holobiont". Among these crosstalk mechanisms, the gut microbiota synthesizes a broad spectrum of bioactive compounds or metabolites which exert pleiotropic effects on the human organism. Many of these microbial metabolites can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or have significant effects on the brain, playing a key role in the so-called microbiota-gut-brain axis. An altered microbiota-gut-brain (MGB) axis is a major characteristic of many neuropsychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder (MDD). Significative differences between gut eubiosis and dysbiosis in mental disorders like MDD with their different metabolite composition and concentrations are being discussed. In the present review, the main microbial metabolites (short-chain fatty acids -SCFAs-, bile acids, amino acids, tryptophan -trp- derivatives, and more), their signaling pathways and functions will be summarized to explain part of MDD pathophysiology. Conclusions from promising translational approaches related to microbial metabolome will be addressed in more depth to discuss their possible clinical value in the management of MDD patients.

RevDate: 2022-01-23

Liang J, Luo W, Yu K, et al (2021)

Multi-Omics Revealing the Response Patterns of Symbiotic Microorganisms and Host Metabolism in Scleractinian Coral Pavona minuta to Temperature Stresses.

Metabolites, 12(1):.

Global climate change has resulted in large-scale coral reef decline worldwide, for which the ocean warming has paid more attention. Coral is a typical mutually beneficial symbiotic organism with diverse symbiotic microorganisms, which maintain the stability of physiological functions. This study compared the responses of symbiotic microorganisms and host metabolism in a common coral species, Pavona minuta, under indoor simulated thermal and cold temperatures. The results showed that abnormal temperature stresses had unfavorable impact on the phenotypes of corals, resulting in bleaching and color change. The compositions of symbiotic bacteria and dinoflagellate communities only presented tiny changes under temperature stresses. However, some rare symbiotic members have been showed to be significantly influenced by water temperatures. Finally, by using ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) method, we found that different temperature stresses had very different impacts on the metabolism of coral holobiont. The thermal and cold stresses induced the decrease of anti-oxidation metabolites, several monogalactosyldiacylglycerols (MGDGs), and the increase of lipotoxic metabolite, 10-oxo-nonadecanoic acid, in the coral holobiont, respectively. Our study indicated the response patterns of symbiotic microorganisms and host metabolism in coral to the thermal and cold stresses, providing theoretical data for the adaptation and evolution of coral to a different climate in the future.

RevDate: 2022-01-19

Kanisan DP, Quek ZBR, Oh RM, et al (2022)

Diversity and Distribution of Microbial Communities Associated with Reef Corals of the Malay Peninsula.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Coral-associated bacteria play critical roles in the regulation of coral health and function. Environmental perturbations that alter the bacterial community structure can render the coral holobiont more susceptible and less resilient to disease. Understanding the natural variation of the coral microbiome across space and host species provides a baseline that can be used to distinguish shifts in community structure. Using a 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding approach, this study examines bacterial community structure across three scleractinian coral hosts. Our results show that corals of three regions-eastern and western Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore-host distinct bacterial communities; despite these differences, we were able to identify a core microbiome shared across all three species. This core microbiome was also present in samples previously collected in Thailand, suggesting that these core microbes play an important role in promoting and maintaining host health. For example, several have been identified as dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) metabolizers that have roles in sulfur cycling and the suppression of bacterial pathogens. Pachyseris speciosa has the most variable microbiome, followed by Porites lutea, with the composition of the Diploastrea heliopora microbiome the least variable throughout all locations. Microbial taxa associated with each region or site are likely shaped by local environmental conditions. Taken together, host identity is a major driver of differences in microbial community structure, while environmental heterogeneity shapes communities at finer scales.

RevDate: 2022-05-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-16

Kriefall NG, Kanke MR, Aglyamova GV, et al (2022)

Reef environments shape microbial partners in a highly connected coral population.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1967):20212459.

Evidence is mounting that composition of microorganisms within a host can play an essential role in total holobiont health. In corals, for instance, studies have identified algal and bacterial taxa that can significantly influence coral host function and these communities depend on environmental context. However, few studies have linked host genetics to algal and microbial partners across environments within a single coral population. Here, using 2b-RAD sequencing of corals and metabarcoding of their associated algal (ITS2) and bacterial (16S) communities, we show evidence that reef zones (locales that differ in proximity to shore and other environmental characteristics) structure algal and bacterial communities at different scales in a highly connected coral population (Acropora hyacinthus) in French Polynesia. Fore reef (FR) algal communities in Mo'orea were more diverse than back reef (BR) communities, suggesting that these BR conditions constrain diversity. Interestingly, in FR corals, host genetic diversity correlated with bacterial diversity, which could imply genotype by genotype interactions between these holobiont members. Our results illuminate that local reef conditions play an important role in shaping unique host-microbial partner combinations, which may have fitness consequences for dispersive coral populations arriving in novel environments.

RevDate: 2022-02-23

Zhou H, Yang L, Ding J, et al (2022)

Intestinal Microbiota and Host Cooperate for Adaptation as a Hologenome.

mSystems, 7(1):e0126121.

Multiomic analyses reported here involved two lines of chickens, from a common founder population, that had undergone long-term selection for high (HWS) or low (LWS) 56-day body weight. In these lines that differ by around 15-fold in body weight, we observed different compositions of intestinal microbiota in the holobionts and variation in DNA methylation, mRNA expression, and microRNA profiles in the ceca. Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1) was the most upregulated gene in HWS ceca with its expression likely affected by the upregulation of expression of gga-miR-2128 and a methylated region near its transcription start site (388 bp). Correlation analysis showed that IGF2BP1 expression was associated with an abundance of microbes, such as Lactobacillus and Methanocorpusculum. These findings suggest that IGF2BP1 was regulated in the hologenome in adapting to long-term artificial selection for body weight. Our study provides evidence that adaptation of the holobiont can occur in the microbiome as well as in the epigenetic profile of the host. IMPORTANCE The hologenome concept has broadened our perspectives for studying host-microbe coevolution. The multiomic analyses reported here involved two lines of chickens, from a common founder population, that had undergone long-term selection for high (HWS) or low (LWS) 56-day body weight. In these lines that differ by around 15-fold in body weight, we observed different compositions of intestinal microbiota in the holobionts, and variation in DNA methylation, mRNA expression, and microRNA profiles in ceca. The insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1) was the most upregulated gene in HWS ceca with its expression likely affected by a methylated region near its transcription start site and the upregulation of expression of gga-miR-2128. Correlation analysis also showed that IGF2BP1 expression was associated with the abundance of microbes, such as Lactobacillus and Methanocorpusculum. These findings suggest that IGF2BP1 was regulated in the hologenome in response to long-term artificial selection for body weight. Our study shows that the holobiont may adapt in both the microbiome and the host's epigenetic profile.

RevDate: 2022-01-07

Lombardi N, Woo SL, Vinale F, et al (2021)

Editorial: The Plant Holobiont Volume II: Impacts of the Rhizosphere on Plant Health.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:809291.

RevDate: 2022-03-16
CmpDate: 2022-03-16

Marasco R, Fusi M, Callegari M, et al (2022)

Destabilization of the Bacterial Interactome Identifies Nutrient Restriction-Induced Dysbiosis in Insect Guts.

Microbiology spectrum, 10(1):e0158021.

Stress-associated dysbiosis of microbiome can have several configurations that, under an energy landscape conceptual framework, can change from one configuration to another due to different alternating selective forces. It has been proposed-according to the Anna Karenina Principle-that in stressed individuals the microbiome are more dispersed (i.e., with a higher within-beta diversity), evidencing the grade of dispersion as indicator of microbiome dysbiosis. We hypothesize that although dysbiosis leads to different microbial communities in terms of beta diversity, these are not necessarily differently dispersed (within-beta diversity), but they form disrupted networks that make them less resilient to stress. To test our hypothesis, we select nutrient restriction (NR) stress that impairs host fitness but does not introduce overt microbiome selectors, such as toxic compounds and pathogens. We fed the polyphagous black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, with two NR diets and a control full-nutrient (FN) diet. NR diets were dysbiotic because they strongly affected insect growth and development, inducing significant microscale changes in physiochemical conditions of the gut compartments. NR diets established new configurations of the gut microbiome compared to FN-fed guts but with similar dispersion. However, these new configurations driven by the deterministic changes induced by NR diets were reflected in rarefied, less structured, and less connected bacterial interactomes. These results suggested that while the dispersion cannot be considered a consistent indicator of the unhealthy state of dysbiotic microbiomes, the capacity of the community members to maintain network connections and stability can be an indicator of the microbial dysbiotic conditions and their incapacity to sustain the holobiont resilience and host homeostasis. IMPORTANCE Changes in diet play a role in reshaping the gut microbiome in animals, inducing dysbiotic configurations of the associated microbiome. Although studies have reported on the effects of specific nutrient contents on the diet, studies regarding the conditions altering the microbiome configurations and networking in response to diet changes are limited. Our results showed that nutrient poor diets determine dysbiotic states of the host with reduction of insect weight and size, and increase of the times for developmental stage. Moreover, the poor nutrient diets lead to changes in the compositional diversity and network interaction properties of the gut microbial communities. Our study adds a new component to the understanding of the ecological processes associated with dysbiosis, by disentangling consequences of diets on microbiome dysbiosis that is manifested with the disruption of microbiome networking properties rather than changes in microbiome dispersion and beta diversity.

RevDate: 2022-01-04

Jomori T, Matsuda K, Egami Y, et al (2021)

Insights into phosphatase-activated chemical defense in a marine sponge holobiont.

RSC chemical biology, 2(6):1600-1607.

Marine sponges often contain potent cytotoxic compounds, which in turn evokes the principle question of how marine sponges avoid self-toxicity. In a marine sponge Discodermia calyx, the highly toxic calyculin A is detoxified by the phosphorylation, which is catalyzed by the phosphotransferase CalQ of a producer symbiont, "Candidatus Entotheonella" sp. Here we show the activating mechanism to dephosphorylate the stored phosphocalyculin A protoxin. The phosphatase specific to phosphocalyculin A is CalL, which is also encoded in the calyculin biosynthetic gene cluster. CalL represents a new clade and unprecedently coordinates the heteronuclear metals Cu and Zn. CalL is localized in the periplasmic space of the sponge symbiont, where it is ready for the on-demand production of calyculin A in response to sponge tissue disruption.

RevDate: 2022-01-04

Ge R, Liang J, Yu K, et al (2021)

Regulation of the Coral-Associated Bacteria and Symbiodiniaceae in Acropora valida Under Ocean Acidification.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:767174.

Ocean acidification is one of many stressors that coral reef ecosystems are currently contending with. Thus, understanding the response of key symbiotic microbes to ocean acidification is of great significance for understanding the adaptation mechanism and development trend of coral holobionts. Here, high-throughput sequencing technology was employed to investigate the coral-associated bacteria and Symbiodiniaceae of the ecologically important coral Acropora valida exposed to different pH gradients. After 30 days of acclimatization, we set four acidification gradients (pH 8.2, 7.8, 7.4, and 7.2, respectively), and each pH condition was applied for 10 days, with the whole experiment lasting for 70 days. Although the Symbiodiniaceae density decreased significantly, the coral did not appear to be bleached, and the real-time photosynthetic rate did not change significantly, indicating that A. valida has strong tolerance to acidification. Moreover, the Symbiodiniaceae community composition was hardly affected by ocean acidification, with the C1 subclade (Cladocopium goreaui) being dominant among the Symbiodiniaceae dominant types. The relative abundance of the Symbiodiniaceae background types was significantly higher at pH 7.2, indicating that ocean acidification might increase the stability of the community composition by regulating the Symbiodiniaceae rare biosphere. Furthermore, the stable symbiosis between the C1 subclade and coral host may contribute to the stability of the real-time photosynthetic efficiency. Finally, concerning the coral-associated bacteria, the stable symbiosis between Endozoicomonas and coral host is likely to help them adapt to ocean acidification. The significant increase in the relative abundance of Cyanobacteria at pH 7.2 may also compensate for the photosynthesis efficiency of a coral holobiont. In summary, this study suggests that the combined response of key symbiotic microbes helps the whole coral host resist the threats of ocean acidification.

RevDate: 2021-12-31

Hartmann A, Klink S, M Rothballer (2021)

Importance of N-Acyl-Homoserine Lactone-Based Quorum Sensing and Quorum Quenching in Pathogen Control and Plant Growth Promotion.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12):.

The biological control of plant pathogens is linked to the composition and activity of the plant microbiome. Plant-associated microbiomes co-evolved with land plants, leading to plant holobionts with plant-beneficial microbes but also with plant pathogens. A diverse range of plant-beneficial microbes assists plants to reach their optimal development and growth under both abiotic and biotic stress conditions. Communication within the plant holobiont plays an important role, and besides plant hormonal interactions, quorum-sensing signalling of plant-associated microbes plays a central role. Quorum-sensing (QS) autoinducers, such as N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHL) of Gram-negative bacteria, cause a pronounced interkingdom signalling effect on plants, provoking priming processes of pathogen defence and insect pest control. However, plant pathogenic bacteria also use QS signalling to optimise their virulence; these QS activities can be controlled by quorum quenching (QQ) and quorum-sensing inhibition (QSI) approaches by accompanying microbes and also by plants. Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) have also been shown to demonstrate QQ activity. In addition, some PGPB only harbour genes for AHL receptors, so-called luxR-solo genes, which can contribute to plant growth promotion and biological control. The presence of autoinducer solo receptors may reflect ongoing microevolution processes in microbe-plant interactions. Different aspects of QS systems in bacteria-plant interactions of plant-beneficial and pathogenic bacteria will be discussed, and practical applications of bacteria with AHL-producing or -quenching activity; QS signal molecules stimulating pathogen control and plant growth promotion will also be presented.

RevDate: 2022-03-17
CmpDate: 2022-03-17

Rolli E, de Zélicourt A, Alzubaidy H, et al (2022)

The Lys-motif receptor LYK4 mediates Enterobacter sp. SA187 triggered salt tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Environmental microbiology, 24(1):223-239.

Root endophytes establish beneficial interactions with plants, improving holobiont resilience and fitness, but how plant immunity accommodates beneficial microbes is poorly understood. The multi-stress tolerance-inducing endophyte Enterobacter sp. SA187 triggers a canonical immune response in Arabidopsis only at high bacterial dosage (>108 CFUs ml-1), suggesting that SA187 is able to evade or suppress the plant defence system at lower titres. Although SA187 flagellin epitopes are recognized by the FLS2 receptor, SA187-triggered salt tolerance functions independently of the FLS2 system. In contrast, overexpression of the chitin receptor components LYK4 and LYK5 compromised the beneficial effect of SA187 on Arabidopsis, while it was enhanced in lyk4 mutant plants. Transcriptome analysis revealed that the role of LYK4 is intertwined with a function in remodelling defence responses with growth and root developmental processes. LYK4 interferes with modification of plant ethylene homeostasis by Enterobacter SA187 to boost salt stress resistance. Collectively, these results contribute to unlock the crosstalk between components of the plant immune system and beneficial microbes and point to a new role for the Lys-motif receptor LYK4 in beneficial plant-microbe interaction.

RevDate: 2021-12-25

Iannello M, Mezzelani M, Dalla Rovere G, et al (2021)

Long-lasting effects of chronic exposure to chemical pollution on the hologenome of the Manila clam.

Evolutionary applications, 14(12):2864-2880.

Chronic exposure to pollutants affects natural populations, creating specific molecular and biochemical signatures. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that chronic exposure to pollutants might have substantial effects on the Manila clam hologenome long after removal from contaminated sites. To reach this goal, a highly integrative approach was implemented, combining transcriptome, genetic and microbiota analyses with the evaluation of biochemical and histological profiles of the edible Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum, as it was transplanted for 6 months from the polluted area of Porto Marghera (PM) to the clean area of Chioggia (Venice lagoon, Italy). One month post-transplantation, PM clams showed several modifications to its resident microbiota, including an overrepresentation of the opportunistic pathogen Arcobacter spp. This may be related to the upregulation of several immune genes in the PM clams, potentially representing a host response to the increased abundance of deleterious bacteria. Six months after transplantation, PM clams demonstrated a lower ability to respond to environmental/physiological stressors related to the summer season, and the hepatopancreas-associated microbiota still showed different compositions among PM and CH clams. This study confirms that different stressors have predictable effects in clams at different biological levels and demonstrates that chronic exposure to pollutants leads to long-lasting effects on the animal hologenome. In addition, no genetic differentiation between samples from the two areas was detected, confirming that PM and CH clams belong to a single population. Overall, the obtained responses were largely reversible and potentially related to phenotypic plasticity rather than genetic adaptation. The results here presented will be functional for the assessment of the environmental risk imposed by chemicals on an economically important bivalve species.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Singh S, Singh A, Baweja V, et al (2021)

Molecular Rationale of Insect-Microbes Symbiosis-From Insect Behaviour to Mechanism.

Microorganisms, 9(12):.

Insects nurture a panoply of microbial populations that are often obligatory and exist mutually with their hosts. Symbionts not only impact their host fitness but also shape the trajectory of their phenotype. This co-constructed niche successfully evolved long in the past to mark advanced ecological specialization. The resident microbes regulate insect nutrition by controlling their host plant specialization and immunity. It enhances the host fitness and performance by detoxifying toxins secreted by the predators and abstains them. The profound effect of a microbial population on insect physiology and behaviour is exploited to understand the host-microbial system in diverse taxa. Emergent research of insect-associated microbes has revealed their potential to modulate insect brain functions and, ultimately, control their behaviours, including social interactions. The revelation of the gut microbiota-brain axis has now unravelled insects as a cost-effective potential model to study neurodegenerative disorders and behavioural dysfunctions in humans. This article reviewed our knowledge about the insect-microbial system, an exquisite network of interactions operating between insects and microbes, its mechanistic insight that holds intricate multi-organismal systems in harmony, and its future perspectives. The demystification of molecular networks governing insect-microbial symbiosis will reveal the perplexing behaviours of insects that could be utilized in managing insect pests.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Liu Y, Liao X, Han T, et al (2021)

Full-Length Transcriptome Sequencing of the Scleractinian Coral Montipora foliosa Reveals the Gene Expression Profile of Coral-Zooxanthellae Holobiont.

Biology, 10(12):.

Coral-zooxanthellae holobionts are one of the most productive ecosystems in the ocean. With global warming and ocean acidification, coral ecosystems are facing unprecedented challenges. To save the coral ecosystems, we need to understand the symbiosis of coral-zooxanthellae. Although some Scleractinia (stony corals) transcriptomes have been sequenced, the reliable full-length transcriptome is still lacking due to the short-read length of second-generation sequencing and the uncertainty of the assembly results. Herein, PacBio Sequel II sequencing technology polished with the Illumina RNA-seq platform was used to obtain relatively complete scleractinian coral M. foliosa transcriptome data and to quantify M. foliosa gene expression. A total of 38,365 consensus sequences and 20,751 unique genes were identified. Seven databases were used for the gene function annotation, and 19,972 genes were annotated in at least one database. We found 131 zooxanthellae transcripts and 18,829 M. foliosa transcripts. A total of 6328 lncRNAs, 847 M. foliosa transcription factors (TFs), and 2 zooxanthellae TF were identified. In zooxanthellae we found pathways related to symbiosis, such as photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism. Pathways related to symbiosis in M. foliosa include oxidative phosphorylation and nitrogen metabolism, etc. We summarized the isoforms and expression level of the symbiont recognition genes. Among the membrane proteins, we found three pathways of glycan biosynthesis, which may be involved in the organic matter storage and monosaccharide stabilization in M. foliosa. Our results provide better material for studying coral symbiosis.

RevDate: 2022-01-10
CmpDate: 2022-01-10

Maltseva AL, Varfolomeeva MA, Gafarova ER, et al (2021)

Divergence together with microbes: A comparative study of the associated microbiomes in the closely related Littorina species.

PloS one, 16(12):e0260792.

Any multicellular organism during its life is involved in relatively stable interactions with microorganisms. The organism and its microbiome make up a holobiont, possessing a unique set of characteristics and evolving as a whole system. This study aimed to evaluate the degree of the conservativeness of microbiomes associated with intertidal gastropods. We studied the composition and the geographic and phylogenetic variability of the gut and body surface microbiomes of five closely related sympatric Littorina (Neritrema) spp. and a more distant species, L. littorea, from the sister subgenus Littorina (Littorina). Although snail-associated microbiomes included many lineages (207-603), they were dominated by a small number of OTUs of the genera Psychromonas, Vibrio, and Psychrilyobacter. The geographic variability was greater than the interspecific differences at the same collection site. While the microbiomes of the six Littorina spp. did not differ at the high taxonomic level, the OTU composition differed between groups of cryptic species and subgenera. A few species-specific OTUs were detected within the collection sites; notably, such OTUs never dominated microbiomes. We conclude that the composition of the high-rank taxa of the associated microbiome ("scaffolding enterotype") is more evolutionarily conserved than the composition of the low-rank individual OTUs, which may be site- and / or species-specific.

RevDate: 2022-03-25
CmpDate: 2022-03-25

Formosinho J, Bencard A, L Whiteley (2022)

Environmentality in biomedicine: microbiome research and the perspectival body.

Studies in history and philosophy of science, 91:148-158.

Microbiome research shows that human health is foundationally intertwined with the ecology of microbial communities living on and in our bodies. This challenges the categorical separation of organisms from environments that has been central to biomedicine, and questions the boundaries between them. Biomedicine is left with an empirical problem: how to understand causal pathways between host health, microbiota and environment? We propose a conceptual tool - environmentality - to think through this problem. Environmentality is the state or quality of being an environment for something else in a particular context: a fully perspectival proposition. Its power lies partly in what Isabelle Stengers has called the efficacy of the word itself, contrasting the dominant sense of the word environment as something both external and fixed. Through three case studies, we argue that environmentality can help think about the causality of microbiota vis-a-vis host health in a processual, relational and situated manner, across scales and temporalities. We situate this intervention within historical trajectories of thought in biomedicine, focusing on the challenge microbiome research poses to an aperspectival body. We argue that addressing entanglements between microbial and human lives requires that the environment is brought into the clinic, thus shortening the conceptual gap between medicine and public health.

RevDate: 2021-12-18

Cesaro P, Gamalero E, Zhang J, et al (2021)

Editorial: The Plant Holobiont Volume I: Microbiota as Part of the Holobiont; Challenges for Agriculture.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:799168.

RevDate: 2021-12-17

Watson SA, ML Neo (2021)

Conserving threatened species during rapid environmental change: using biological responses to inform management strategies of giant clams.

Conservation physiology, 9(1):coab082.

Giant clams are threatened by overexploitation for human consumption, their valuable shells and the aquarium trade. Consequently, these iconic coral reef megafauna are extinct in some former areas of their range and are included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Now, giant clams are also threatened by rapid environmental change from both a suite of local and regional scale stressors and global change, including climate change, global warming, marine heatwaves and ocean acidification. The interplay between local- to regional-scale and global-scale drivers is likely to cause an array of lethal and sub-lethal effects on giant clams, potentially limiting their depth distribution on coral reefs and decreasing suitable habitat area within natural ranges of species. Global change stressors, pervasive both in unprotected and protected areas, threaten to diminish conservation efforts to date. International efforts urgently need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to avoid lethal and sub-lethal effects of global change on giant clams. Meanwhile, knowledge of giant clam physiological and ecological responses to local-regional and global stressors could play a critical role in conservation strategies of these threatened species through rapid environmental change. Further work on how biological responses translate into habitat requirements as global change progresses, selective breeding for resilience, the capacity for rapid adaptive responses of the giant clam holobiont and valuing tourism potential, including recognizing giant clams as a flagship species for coral reefs, may help improve the prospects of these charismatic megafauna over the coming decades.

RevDate: 2021-12-15

Barreto MM, Ziegler M, Venn A, et al (2021)

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Resident and Active Microbial Communities of Stylophora pistillata.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:707674.

Ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA) are direct consequences of climate change and affect coral reefs worldwide. While the effect of ocean warming manifests itself in increased frequency and severity of coral bleaching, the effects of ocean acidification on corals are less clear. In particular, long-term effects of OA on the bacterial communities associated with corals are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of ocean acidification on the resident and active microbiome of long-term aquaria-maintained Stylophora pistillata colonies by assessing 16S rRNA gene diversity on the DNA (resident community) and RNA level (active community). Coral colony fragments of S. pistillata were kept in aquaria for 2 years at four different pCO2 levels ranging from current pH conditions to increased acidification scenarios (i.e., pH 7.2, 7.4, 7.8, and 8). We identified 154 bacterial families encompassing 2,047 taxa (OTUs) in the resident and 89 bacterial families including 1,659 OTUs in the active communities. Resident communities were dominated by members of Alteromonadaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, and Colwelliaceae, while active communities were dominated by families Cyclobacteriacea and Amoebophilaceae. Besides the overall differences between resident and active community composition, significant differences were seen between the control (pH 8) and the two lower pH treatments (7.2 and 7.4) in the active community, but only between pH 8 and 7.2 in the resident community. Our analyses revealed profound differences between the resident and active microbial communities, and we found that OA exerted stronger effects on the active community. Further, our results suggest that rDNA- and rRNA-based sequencing should be considered complementary tools to investigate the effects of environmental change on microbial assemblage structure and activity.

RevDate: 2022-01-20
CmpDate: 2022-01-20

Lin Z, Wang L, Chen M, et al (2022)

Proteome and microbiota analyses characterizing dynamic coral-algae-microbe tripartite interactions under simulated rapid ocean acidification.

The Science of the total environment, 810:152266.

Ocean acidification (OA) is a pressing issue currently and in the future for coral reefs. The importance of maintenance interactions among partners of the holobiont association in the stress response is well appreciated; however, the candidate molecular and microbial mechanisms that underlie holobiont stress resilience or susceptibility remain unclear. Here, to assess the effects of rapid pH change on coral holobionts at both the protein and microbe levels, combined proteomics and microbiota analyses of the scleractinian coral Galaxea fascicularis exposed to three relevant OA scenarios, including current (pHT = 8.15), preindustrial (pHT = 8.45) and future IPCC-2100 scenarios (pHT = 7.85), were conducted. The results demonstrated that pH changes had no significant effect on the physiological calcification rate of G. fascicularis in a 10-day experiment; however, significant differences were recorded in the proteome and 16S profiling. Proteome variance analysis identified some of the core biological pathways in coral holobionts, including coral host infection and immune defence, and maintaining metabolic compatibility involved in energy homeostasis, nutrient cycling, antibiotic activity and carbon budgets of coral-Symbiodiniaceae interactions were key mechanisms in the early OA stress response. Furthermore, microbiota changes indicate substantial microbial community and functional disturbances in response to OA stress, potentially compromising holobiont health and fitness. Our results may help to elucidate many complex mechanisms to describe scleractinian coral holobiont responses to OA and raise interesting questions for future studies.

RevDate: 2022-03-21
CmpDate: 2022-03-21

Armstrong EE, Perez-Lamarque B, Bi K, et al (2022)

A holobiont view of island biogeography: Unravelling patterns driving the nascent diversification of a Hawaiian spider and its microbial associates.

Molecular ecology, 31(4):1299-1316.

The diversification of a host lineage can be influenced by both the external environment and its assemblage of microbes. Here, we use a young lineage of spiders, distributed along a chronologically arranged series of volcanic mountains, to investigate how their associated microbial communities have changed as the spiders colonized new locations. Using the stick spider Ariamnes waikula (Araneae, Theridiidae) on the island of Hawai'i, and outgroup taxa on older islands, we tested whether each component of the "holobiont" (spider hosts, intracellular endosymbionts and gut microbial communities) showed correlated signatures of diversity due to sequential colonization from older to younger volcanoes. To investigate this, we generated ddRAD data for the host spiders and 16S rRNA gene amplicon data from their microbiota. We expected sequential colonizations to result in a (phylo)genetic structuring of the host spiders and in a diversity gradient in microbial communities. The results showed that the host A. waikula is indeed structured by geographical isolation, suggesting sequential colonization from older to younger volcanoes. Similarly, the endosymbiont communities were markedly different between Ariamnes species on different islands, but more homogeneous among A. waikula populations on the island of Hawai'i. Conversely, the gut microbiota, which we suspect is generally environmentally derived, was largely conserved across all populations and species. Our results show that different components of the holobiont respond in distinct ways to the dynamic environment of the volcanic archipelago. This highlights the necessity of understanding the interplay between different components of the holobiont, to properly characterize its evolution.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.


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This book examines how the growing knowledge of the huge range of animal-bacterial interactions, whether in shared ecosystems or intimate symbioses, is fundamentally altering our understanding of animal biology. Individuals from simple invertebrates to human are not solitary, homogenous entities but consist of complex communities of many species that likely evolved during a billion years of coexistence. Defining the individual microbe-host conversations in these consortia, is a challenging but necessary step on the path to understanding the function of the associations as a whole. The hologenome theory of evolution considers the holobiont with its hologenome as a unit of selection in evolution. This new view may have profound impact on understanding a strictly microbe/symbiont-dependent life style and its evolutionary consequences. It may also affect the way how we approach complex environmental diseases from corals (coral bleaching) to human (inflammatory bowel disease etc). The book is written for scientists as well as medically interested persons in the field of immunobiology, microbiology, evolutionary biology, evolutionary medicine and corals. R. Robbins

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

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