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14 Nov 2022 at 01:30
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Bibliography on: Holobiont


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 14 Nov 2022 at 01:30 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: 2022-11-08

Rasmussen N (2022)

René Dubos, the Autochthonous Flora, and the Discovery of the Microbiome.

Journal of the history of biology [Epub ahead of print].

Now characterised by high-throughput sequencing methods that enable the study of microbes without lab culture, the human "microbiome" (the microbial flora of the body) is said to have revolutionary implications for biology and medicine. According to many experts, we must now understand ourselves as "holobionts" like lichen or coral, multispecies superorganisms that consist of animal and symbiotic microbes in combination, because normal physiological function depends on them. Here I explore the 1960s research of biologist René Dubos, a forerunner figure mentioned in some historical accounts of the microbiome, and argue that he arrived at the superorganism concept 40 years before the Human Microbiome Project. This raises the question of why his contribution was not hailed as revolutionary at the time and why Dubos is not remembered for it.

RevDate: 2022-11-05

Aubé J, Cambon-Bonavita MA, Velo-Suárez L, et al (2022)

A novel and dual digestive symbiosis scales up the nutrition and immune system of the holobiont Rimicaris exoculata.

Microbiome, 10(1):189.

BACKGROUND: In deep-sea hydrothermal vent areas, deprived of light, most animals rely on chemosynthetic symbionts for their nutrition. These symbionts may be located on their cuticle, inside modified organs, or in specialized cells. Nonetheless, many of these animals have an open and functional digestive tract. The vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata is fueled mainly by its gill chamber symbionts, but also has a complete digestive system with symbionts. These are found in the shrimp foregut and midgut, but their roles remain unknown. We used genome-resolved metagenomics on separate foregut and midgut samples, taken from specimens living at three contrasted sites along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (TAG, Rainbow, and Snake Pit) to reveal their genetic potential.

RESULTS: We reconstructed and studied 20 Metagenome-Assembled Genomes (MAGs), including novel lineages of Hepatoplasmataceae and Deferribacteres, abundant in the shrimp foregut and midgut, respectively. Although the former showed streamlined reduced genomes capable of using mostly broken-down complex molecules, Deferribacteres showed the ability to degrade complex polymers, synthesize vitamins, and encode numerous flagellar and chemotaxis genes for host-symbiont sensing. Both symbionts harbor a diverse set of immune system genes favoring holobiont defense. In addition, Deferribacteres were observed to particularly colonize the bacteria-free ectoperitrophic space, in direct contact with the host, elongating but not dividing despite possessing the complete genetic machinery necessary for this.

CONCLUSION: Overall, these data suggest that these digestive symbionts have key communication and defense roles, which contribute to the overall fitness of the Rimicaris holobiont. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2022-11-04

Shao Q, Dong C, Hu H, et al (2022)

Effects of Medicinal Plants on Fungal Community Structure and Function in Hospital Grassplot Soil.

Current microbiology, 79(12):377.

Hospital grassplot soil is an important repository of pathogenic fungi exposed to the hospital environment, and the diffusion of these fungi-containing soil particles in the air increases the risk of nosocomial fungal infections. In this study, from the perspective of soil microbes-plant holobiont, four medicinal plants Mirabilis jalapa, Artemisia argyi, Viola philippica, and Plantago depressa were used as materials, based on ITS high-throughput amplicon sequencing and simulated pot experiments to explore the effect of medicinal plants on the fungal community in hospital grassplot soil, in order to provide a new exploration for hospital grassplot soil remediation. The results showed that the fungal community ecological guilds in primary test soil was mainly pathogen, and the abundance of animal pathogen with potential threats to human reached 61.36%. After planting medicinal plants, the composition and function of soil fungal community changed significantly. Although this change varied with plant species and growth stages, all samples collected in the pot experiment showed that the pathogen abundance decreased and the saprotroph abundance increased. In addition, 45 of the 46 core fungal genera defined in all potted samples were present in primary test soil, and many of them were human potential pathogens. These findings imply that the idea of enhancing soil quality in hospital grassplot soil by planting specific plants is feasible. However, the initial fungal community of the hospital grassplot soil has a certain stability, and it is difficult to completely eliminate the threat of pathogenic fungi by planting medicinal plants.

RevDate: 2022-11-03

KleinJan H, Frioux C, Califano G, et al (2022)

Insights into the potential for mutualistic and harmful host-microbe interactions affecting brown alga freshwater acclimation.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbes can modify their hosts' stress tolerance, thus potentially enhancing their ecological range. An example of such interactions is Ectocarpus subulatus, one of the few freshwater-tolerant brown algae. This tolerance is partially due to its (un)cultivated microbiome. We investigated this phenomenon by modifying the microbiome of laboratory-grown E. subulatus using mild antibiotic treatments, which affected its ability to grow in low salinity. Low salinity acclimation of these algal-bacterial associations was then compared. Salinity significantly impacted bacterial and viral gene expression, albeit in different ways across algal-bacterial communities. In contrast, gene expression of the host and metabolite profiles were affected almost exclusively in the freshwater-intolerant algal-bacterial communities. We found no evidence of bacterial protein production that would directly improve algal stress tolerance. However, vitamin K synthesis is one possible bacterial service missing specifically in freshwater-intolerant cultures in low salinity. In this condition, we also observed a relative increase in bacterial transcriptomic activity and the induction of microbial genes involved in the biosynthesis of the autoinducer AI-1, a quorum-sensing regulator. This could have resulted in dysbiosis by causing a shift in bacterial behavior in the intolerant algal-bacterial community. Together, these results provide two promising hypotheses to be examined by future targeted experiments. Although they apply only to the specific study system, they offer an example of how bacteria may impact their host's stress response.

RevDate: 2022-11-02

Moffat JJ, Coffroth MA, Wallingford PD, et al (2022)

Symbiont genotype influences holobiont response to increased temperature.

Scientific reports, 12(1):18394.

As coral reefs face warming oceans and increased coral bleaching, a whitening of the coral due to loss of microalgal endosymbionts, the possibility of evolutionary rescue offers some hope for reef persistence. In tightly linked mutualisms, evolutionary rescue may occur through evolution of the host and/or endosymbionts. Many obligate mutualisms are composed of relatively small, fast-growing symbionts with greater potential to evolve on ecologically relevant time scales than their relatively large, slower growing hosts. Numerous jellyfish species harbor closely related endosymbiont taxa to other cnidarian species such as coral, and are commonly used as a model system for investigating cnidarian mutualisms. We examined the potential for adaptation of the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana to increased temperature via evolution of its microalgal endosymbiont, Symbiodinium microadriaticum. We quantified trait variation among five algal genotypes in response to three temperatures (26 °C, 30 °C, and 32 °C) and fitness of hosts infected with each genotype. All genotypes showed positive growth rates at each temperature, but rates of respiration and photosynthesis decreased with increased temperature. Responses varied among genotypes but were unrelated to genetic similarity. The effect of temperature on asexual reproduction and the timing of development in the host also depended on the genotype of the symbiont. Natural selection could favor different algal genotypes at different temperatures, affecting host fitness. This eco-evolutionary interaction may be a critical component of understanding species resilience in increasingly stressful environments.

RevDate: 2022-10-31

Shantz AA, Ladd MC, Ezzat L, et al (2022)

Positive interactions between corals and damselfish increase coral resistance to temperature stress.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

By the century's end, many tropical seas will reach temperatures exceeding most coral species' thermal tolerance on an annual basis. The persistence of corals in these regions will, therefore, depend on their abilities to tolerate recurrent thermal stress. Although ecologists have long recognized that positive interspecific interactions can ameliorate environmental stress to expand the realized niche of plants and animals, coral bleaching studies have largely overlooked how interactions with community members outside of the coral holobiont shape the bleaching response. Here, we subjected a common coral, Pocillopora grandis, to 10 days of thermal stress in aquaria with and without the damselfish Dascyllus flavicaudus (yellowtail dascyllus), which commonly shelter within these corals, to examine how interactions with damselfish impacted coral thermal tolerance. Corals often benefit from nutrients excreted by animals they interact with and prior to thermal stress, corals grown with damselfish showed improved photophysiology (Fv /Fm) and developed larger endosymbiont populations. When exposed to thermal stress, corals with fish performed as well as control corals maintained at ambient temperatures without fish. In contrast, corals exposed to thermal stress without fish experienced photophysiological impairment, a more than 50% decline in endosymbiont density, and a 36% decrease in tissue protein content. At the end of the experiment, thermal stress caused average calcification rates to decrease by over 80% when damselfish were absent but increase nearly 25% when damselfish were present. Our study indicates that damselfish-derived nutrients can increase coral thermal tolerance and are consistent with the Stress Gradient Hypothesis, which predicts that positive interactions become increasingly important for structuring communities as environmental stress increases. Because warming of just a few degrees can exceed corals' temperature tolerance to trigger bleaching and mortality, positive interactions could play a critical role in maintaining some coral species in warming regions until climate change is aggressively addressed.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Snelders NC, Boshoven JC, Song Y, et al (2022)

A highly polymorphic effector protein promotes fungal virulence through suppression of plant-associated Actinobacteria.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Plant pathogens secrete effector proteins to support host colonization through a wide range of molecular mechanisms, while plant immune systems evolved receptors to recognize effectors or their activities to mount immune responses to halt pathogens. Importantly, plants do not act as single organisms, but rather as holobionts that actively shape their microbiota as a determinant of health. The soil-borne fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae was recently demonstrated to exploit the VdAve1 effector to manipulate the host microbiota to promote vascular wilt disease in absence of the corresponding immune receptor Ve1. We identify a multiallelic V. dahliae gene displaying ~65% sequence similarity to VdAve1, named VdAve1-like (VdAve1L), which shows extreme sequence variation, including alleles that encode dysfunctional proteins, indicative of selection pressure to overcome host recognition. We show that the orphan cell surface receptor Ve2, encoded at the Ve locus, does not recognize VdAve1L. Additionally, we demonstrate that the full-length variant VdAve1L2 possesses antimicrobial activity, like VdAve1, yet with a divergent activity spectrum, that is exploited by V. dahliae to mediate tomato colonization through the direct suppression of antagonistic Actinobacteria in the host microbiota. Our findings open up strategies for more targeted biocontrol against microbial plant pathogens.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Carper DL, Appidi MR, Mudbhari S, et al (2022)

The Promises, Challenges, and Opportunities of Omics for Studying the Plant Holobiont.

Microorganisms, 10(10): pii:microorganisms10102013.

Microorganisms are critical drivers of biological processes that contribute significantly to plant sustainability and productivity. In recent years, emerging research on plant holobiont theory and microbial invasion ecology has radically transformed how we study plant-microbe interactions. Over the last few years, we have witnessed an accelerating pace of advancements and breadth of questions answered using omic technologies. Herein, we discuss how current state-of-the-art genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics techniques reliably transcend the task of studying plant-microbe interactions while acknowledging existing limitations impeding our understanding of plant holobionts.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Lim DW, JH Wang (2022)

Gut Microbiome: The Interplay of an "Invisible Organ" with Herbal Medicine and Its Derived Compounds in Chronic Metabolic Disorders.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(20): pii:ijerph192013076.

Resembling a concealed "organ" in a holobiont, trillions of gut microbes play complex roles in the maintenance of homeostasis, including participating in drug metabolism. The conventional opinion is that most of any drug is metabolized by the host and that individual differences are principally due to host genetic factors. However, current evidence indicates that only about 60% of the individual differences in drug metabolism are attributable to host genetics. Although most common chemical drugs regulate the gut microbiota, the gut microbiota is also known to be involved in drug metabolism, like the host. Interestingly, many traditional herbal medicines and derived compounds are biotransformed by gut microbiota, manipulating the compounds' effects. Accordingly, the gut microbiota and its specified metabolic pathways can be deemed a promising target for promoting drug efficacy and safety. However, the evidence regarding causality and the corresponding mechanisms concerning gut microbiota and drug metabolism remains insufficient, especially regarding drugs used to treat metabolic disorders. Therefore, the present review aims to comprehensively summarize the bidirectional roles of gut microbiota in the effects of herbal medicine in metabolic diseases to provide vital clues for guiding the clinical application of precision medicine and personalized drug development.

RevDate: 2022-10-26

Puntin G, Sweet M, Fraune S, et al (2022)

Harnessing the Power of Model Organisms To Unravel Microbial Functions in the Coral Holobiont.

Microbiology and molecular biology reviews : MMBR [Epub ahead of print].

Stony corals build the framework of coral reefs, ecosystems of immense ecological and economic importance. The existence of these ecosystems is threatened by climate change and other anthropogenic stressors that manifest in microbial dysbiosis such as coral bleaching and disease, often leading to coral mortality. Despite a significant amount of research, the mechanisms ultimately underlying these destructive phenomena, and what could prevent or mitigate them, remain to be resolved. This is mostly due to practical challenges in experimentation on corals and the highly complex nature of the coral holobiont that also includes bacteria, archaea, protists, and viruses. While the overall importance of these partners is well recognized, their specific contributions to holobiont functioning and their interspecific dynamics remain largely unexplored. Here, we review the potential of adopting model organisms as more tractable systems to address these knowledge gaps. We draw on parallels from the broader biological and biomedical fields to guide the establishment, implementation, and integration of new and emerging model organisms with the aim of addressing the specific needs of coral research. We evaluate the cnidarian models Hydra, Aiptasia, Cassiopea, and Astrangia poculata; review the fast-evolving field of coral tissue and cell cultures; and propose a framework for the establishment of "true" tropical reef-building coral models. Based on this assessment, we also suggest future research to address key aspects limiting our ability to understand and hence improve the response of reef-building corals to future ocean conditions.

RevDate: 2022-10-24

Foucault P, Gallet A, Duval C, et al (2022)

Gut microbiota and holobiont metabolome composition of the medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) are affected by a short exposure to the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa.

Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 253:106329 pii:S0166-445X(22)00255-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria are a common stress encountered by aquatic fauna. Evidence indicates that long-lasting blooms affect fauna-associated microbiota. Because of their multiple roles, host-associated microbes are nowadays considered relevant to ecotoxicology, yet the respective timing of microbiota versus functional changes in holobionts response needs to be clarified. The response of gut microbiota and holobiont's metabolome to exposure to a dense culture of Microcystis aeruginosa was investigated as a microcosm-simulated bloom in the model fish species Oryzias latipes (medaka). Both gut microbiota and gut metabolome displayed significant composition changes after only 2 days of exposure. A dominant symbiont, member of the Firmicutes, plummeted whereas various genera of Proteobacteria and Actinobacteriota increased in relative abundance. Changes in microbiota composition occurred earlier and faster compared to metabolome composition. Liver and muscle metabolome were much less affected than guts, supporting that the gut and associated microbiota are in the front row upon exposure. This study highlights that even short cyanobacterial blooms, that are increasingly frequent, trigger changes in microbiota composition and holobiont metabolome. It emphasizes the relevance of multi-omics approaches to explore organism's response to an ecotoxicological stress.

RevDate: 2022-10-19

Siddique S, Radakovic ZS, Hiltl C, et al (2022)

The genome and lifestage-specific transcriptomes of a plant-parasitic nematode and its host reveal susceptibility genes involved in trans-kingdom synthesis of vitamin B5.

Nature communications, 13(1):6190.

Plant-parasitic nematodes are a major threat to crop production in all agricultural systems. The scarcity of classical resistance genes highlights a pressing need to find new ways to develop nematode-resistant germplasm. Here, we sequence and assemble a high-quality phased genome of the model cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii to provide a platform for the first system-wide dual analysis of host and parasite gene expression over time, covering all major parasitism stages. Analysis of the hologenome of the plant-nematode infection site identified metabolic pathways that were incomplete in the parasite but complemented by the host. Using a combination of bioinformatic, genetic, and biochemical approaches, we show that a highly atypical completion of vitamin B5 biosynthesis by the parasitic animal, putatively enabled by a horizontal gene transfer from a bacterium, is required for full pathogenicity. Knockout of either plant-encoded or now nematode-encoded steps in the pathway significantly reduces parasitic success. Our experiments establish a reference for cyst nematodes, further our understanding of the evolution of plant-parasitism by nematodes, and show that congruent differential expression of metabolic pathways in the infection hologenome represents a new way to find nematode susceptibility genes. The approach identifies genome-editing-amenable targets for future development of nematode-resistant crops.

RevDate: 2022-10-18

Armengaud J (2022)

Metaproteomics to understand how microbiota function: The crystal ball predicts a promising future.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

In the medical, environmental, and biotechnological fields, microbial communities have attracted much attention due to their roles and numerous possible applications. The study of these communities is challenging due to their diversity and complexity. Innovative methods are needed to identify the taxonomic components of individual microbiota, their changes over time, and to determine how microoorganisms interact and function. Metaproteomics is based on the identification and quantification of proteins, and can potentially provide this full picture. Due to the wide molecular panorama and functional insights it provides, metaproteomics is gaining momentum in microbiome and holobiont research. Its full potential should be unleashed in the coming years with progress in speed and cost of analyses. In this exploratory crystal ball exercise, I discuss the technical and conceptual advances in metaproteomics that I expect to drive innovative research over the next few years in microbiology. I also debate the concepts of 'microbial dark matter' and 'Metaproteomics-Assembled Proteomes (MAPs)' and present some long-term prospects for metaproteomics in clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine, environmental monitoring, agriculture, and biotechnology.

RevDate: 2022-10-17

Schmittmann L, Rahn T, Busch K, et al (2022)

Stability of a dominant sponge-symbiont in spite of antibiotic-induced microbiome disturbance.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Marine sponges are known for their complex and stable microbiomes. However, the lack of a gnotobiotic sponge-model and experimental methods to manipulate both the host and the microbial symbionts currently limit our mechanistic understanding of sponge-microbial symbioses. We have used the North Atlantic sponge species Halichondria panicea to evaluate the use of antibiotics to generate gnotobiotic sponges. We further asked whether the microbiome can be reestablished via recolonization with the natural microbiome. Experiments were performed in marine gnotobiotic facilities equipped with a custom-made, sterile, flow-through aquarium system. Bacterial abundance dynamics were monitored qualitatively and quantitatively by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and qPCR, respectively. Antibiotics induced dysbiosis by favoring increase of opportunistic, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, resulting in more complex, but less specific bacteria-bacteria interactions than in untreated sponges. The abundance of the dominant symbiont, Candidatus Halichondribacter symbioticus, remained overall unchanged, reflecting its obligately symbiotic nature. Recolonization with the natural microbiome could not reverse antibiotic-induced dysbiosis. However, single bacterial taxa that were transferred, successfully recolonized the sponge and affected bacteria-bacteria interactions. By experimentally manipulating microbiome composition, we could show the stability of a sponge-symbiont clade despite microbiome dysbiosis. This study contributes to understanding both host-bacteria and bacteria-bacteria interactions in the sponge holobiont. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-10-14

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

Full-Length Transcriptome Maps of Reef-Building Coral Illuminate the Molecular Basis of Calcification, Symbiosis, and Circadian Genes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(19): pii:ijms231911135.

Coral transcriptomic data largely rely on short-read sequencing, which severely limits the understanding of coral molecular mechanisms and leaves many important biological questions unresolved. Here, we sequence the full-length transcriptomes of four common and frequently dominant reef-building corals using the PacBio Sequel II platform. We obtain information on reported gene functions, structures, and expression profiles. Among them, a comparative analysis of biomineralization-related genes provides insights into the molecular basis of coral skeletal density. The gene expression profiles of the symbiont Symbiodiniaceae are also isolated and annotated from the holobiont sequence data. Finally, a phylogenetic analysis of key circadian clock genes among 40 evolutionarily representative species indicates that there are four key members in early metazoans, including cry genes; Clock or Npas2; cyc or Arntl; and tim, while per, as the fifth member, occurs in Bilateria. In summary, this work provides a foundation for further work on the manipulation of skeleton production or symbiosis to promote the survival of these important organisms.

RevDate: 2022-10-14

Ali H, Pei M, Li H, et al (2022)

The Wheat Head Blight Pathogen Fusarium graminearum Can Recruit Collaborating Bacteria from Soil.

Cells, 11(19): pii:cells11193004.

In nature, fungal endophytes often have facultative endohyphal bacteria (FEB). Can a model plant pathogenic fungus have them, and does it affect their phenotype? We constructed a growth system/microcosm to allow an F. graminearum isolate to grow through natural soil and then re-isolated it on a gentamicin-containing medium, allowing endohyphal growth of bacteria while killing other bacteria. F. graminearum PH-1 labelled with a His1mCherry gene staining the fungal nuclei fluorescent red was used to confirm the re-isolation of the fungus. Most new re-isolates contained about 10 16SrRNA genes per fungal mCherry gene determined by qPCR. The F. graminearum + FEB holobiont isolates containing the bacteria were sub-cultured several times, and their bacterial contents were stable. Sequencing the bacterial 16SrRNA gene from several Fg-FEB holobiont isolates revealed endophytic bacteria known to be capable of nitrogen fixation. We tested the pathogenicity of one common Fg-FEB holobiont association, F. graminearum + Stenatrophomonas maltophilia, and found increased pathogenicity. The 16SrRNA gene load per fungal His1mCherry gene inside the wheat stayed the same as previously found in vitro. Finally, strong evidence was found for Fg-S. maltophilia symbiotic nitrogen fixation benefitting the fungus.

RevDate: 2022-10-09

van Oppen MJH, JB Raina (2022)

Coral holobiont research needs spatial analyses at the microbial scale.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2022-10-07

Marco S, Loredana M, Riccardo V, et al (2022)

Microbe-assisted crop improvement: a sustainable weapon to restore holobiont functionality and resilience.

Horticulture research, 9:uhac160 pii:uhac160.

In the past years, breeding programs have been mainly addressed on pushing the commercial features, forgetting important traits, such as those related to environmental stress resilience, that are instead present in wild relatives. Among the traits neglected by breeding processes, the ability to recruit beneficial microorganisms that recently is receiving a growing attention due to its potentiality. In this context, this review will provide a spotlight on critical issues of the anthropocentric point of view that, until now, has characterized the selection of elite plant genotypes. Its effects on the plant-microbiome interactions, and the possibility to develop novel strategies mediated by the exploitation of beneficial root-microbe interactions, will be discussed. More sustainable microbial-assisted strategies might in fact foster the green revolution and the achievement of a more sustainable agriculture in a climatic change scenario.

RevDate: 2022-10-04

Connor KL, Bloise E, DeSantis TZ, et al (2022)

Adaptation of the gut holobiont to malnutrition during mouse pregnancy depends on the type of nutritional adversity.

The Journal of nutritional biochemistry pii:S0955-2863(22)00240-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Malnutrition can influence maternal physiology and programme offspring development. Yet, in pregnancy, little is known about how dietary challenges that influence maternal phenotype affect gut structure and function. Emerging evidence suggests that interactions between the environment, multidrug resistance (MDR) transporters and microbes may influence maternal adaptation to pregnancy and regulate fetoplacental development. We hypothesised that the gut holobiont (host and microbes) during pregnancy adapts differently to suboptimal maternal diets, evidenced by changes in the gut microenvironment, morphology, and expression of key protective MDR transporters during pregnancy. Mice were fed a control diet (CON) during pregnancy, or undernourished (UN) by 30% of control intake from gestational day (GD)5.5-18.5, or fed 60% high fat diet (HF) for eight weeks before and during pregnancy. At GD18.5, maternal small intestinal (SI) architecture (H&E), proliferation (Ki67), P-glycoprotein (P-gp - encoded by Abcb1a/b) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/Abcg2) MDR transporter expression and levels of pro-inflammatory biomarkers were assessed. Circulating inflammatory biomarkers and maternal caecal microbiome composition (G3 PhyloChipTM) were measured. MDR transporter expression was also assessed in fetal gut. HF diet increased maternal SI crypt depth and proinflammatory load, and decreased SI expression of Abcb1a mRNA, whilst UN increased SI villi proliferation and Abcb1a, but decreased Abcg2, mRNA expression. There were significant associations between Abcb1a and Abcg2 mRNA levels with relative abundance of specific microbial taxa. Using a systems physiology approach we report that common nutritional adversities provoke adaptations in the pregnancy holobiont in mice, and reveal new mechanisms that could influence reproductive outcomes and fetal development.

RevDate: 2022-10-02

Nalley EM, Tuttle LJ, Conklin EE, et al (2022)

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the direct effects of nutrients on corals.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(22)06192-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Chronic exposure of coral reefs to elevated nutrient conditions can modify the performance of the coral holobiont and shift the competitive interactions of reef organisms. Many studies have now quantified the links between nutrients and coral performance, but few have translated these studies to directly address coastal water quality standards. To address this management need, we conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed studies, public reports, and gray literature that examined the impacts of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN: nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium) and dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP: phosphate) on scleractinian corals. The systematic review. resulted in 47 studies with comparable data on coral holobiont responses to nutrients: symbiont density, chlorophyll a (chl-a) concentration, photosynthesis, photosynthetic efficiency, growth, calcification, adult survival, juvenile survival, and fertilization. Mixed-effects meta-regression meta-analyses were used to determine the magnitude of the positive or negative effects of DIN and DIP on coral responses. Zooxanthellae density (DIN & DIP), chl-a concentration (DIN), photosynthetic rate (DIN), and growth (DIP) all exhibited positive responses to nutrient addition; maximum quantum yield (DIP), growth (DIN), larval survival (DIN), and fertilization (DIN) exhibited negative responses. In lieu of developing specific thresholds for the management of nutrients as a stressor on coral reefs, we highlight important inflection points in the magnitude and direction of the effects of inorganic nutrients and identify trends among coral responses. The responses of corals to nutrients are complex, warranting conservative guidelines for elevated nutrient concentrations on coral reefs.

RevDate: 2022-09-29

Campana S, Riesgo A, Jongepier E, et al (2022)

Meta-transcriptomic comparison of two sponge holobionts feeding on coral- and macroalgal-dissolved organic matter.

BMC genomics, 23(1):674.

BACKGROUND: Sponge holobionts (i.e., the host and its associated microbiota) play a key role in the cycling of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in marine ecosystems. On coral reefs, an ecological shift from coral-dominated to algal-dominated ecosystems is currently occurring. Given that benthic corals and macroalgae release different types of DOM, in different abundances and with different bioavailability to sponge holobionts, it is important to understand how the metabolic activity of the host and associated microbiota change in response to the exposure to both DOM sources. Here, we look at the differential gene expression of two sponge holobionts 6 hours after feeding on naturally sourced coral- and macroalgal-DOM using RNA sequencing and meta-transcriptomic analysis.

RESULTS: We found a slight, but significant differential gene expression in the comparison between the coral- and macroalgal-DOM treatments in both the high microbial abundance sponge Plakortis angulospiculatus and the low microbial abundance sponge Haliclona vansoesti. In the hosts, processes that regulate immune response, signal transduction, and metabolic pathways related to cell proliferation were elicited. In the associated microbiota carbohydrate metabolism was upregulated in both treatments, but coral-DOM induced further lipid and amino acids biosynthesis, while macroalgal-DOM caused a stress response. These differences could be driven by the presence of distinct organic macronutrients in the two DOM sources and of small pathogens or bacterial virulence factors in the macroalgal-DOM.

CONCLUSIONS: This work provides two new sponge meta-transcriptomes and a database of putative genes and genetic pathways that are involved in the differential processing of coral- versus macroalgal-DOM as food source to sponges with high and low abundances of associated microbes. These pathways include carbohydrate metabolism, signaling pathways, and immune responses. However, the differences in the meta-transcriptomic responses of the sponge holobionts after 6 hours of feeding on the two DOM sources were small. Longer-term responses to both DOM sources should be assessed to evaluate how the metabolism and the ecological function of sponges will be affected when reefs shift from coral towards algal dominance.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Sardar P, Šustr V, Chroňáková A, et al (2022)

De novo metatranscriptomic exploration of gene function in the millipede holobiont.

Scientific reports, 12(1):16173.

Invertebrate-microbial associations are widespread in the biosphere and are often related to the function of novel genes, fitness advantages, and even speciation events. Despite ~ 13,000 species of millipedes identified across the world, millipedes and their gut microbiota are markedly understudied compared to other arthropods. Exploring the contribution of individual host-associated microbes is often challenging as many are uncultivable. In this study, we conducted metatranscriptomic profiling of different body segments of a millipede at the holobiont level. This is the first reported transcriptome assembly of a tropical millipede Telodeinopus aoutii (Demange, 1971), as well as the first study on any Myriapoda holobiont. High-throughput RNA sequencing revealed that Telodeinopus aoutii contained > 90% of the core Arthropoda genes. Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Euryarchaeota represented dominant and functionally active phyla in the millipede gut, among which 97% of Bacteroidetes and 98% of Firmicutes were present exclusively in the hindgut. A total of 37,831 predicted protein-coding genes of millipede holobiont belonged to six enzyme classes. Around 35% of these proteins were produced by microbiota in the hindgut and 21% by the host in the midgut. Our results indicated that although major metabolic pathways operate at the holobiont level, the involvement of some host and microbial genes are mutually exclusive and microbes predominantly contribute to essential amino acid biosynthesis, short-chain fatty acid metabolism, and fermentation.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Wang M, T Cernava (2020)

Overhauling the assessment of agrochemical-driven interferences with microbial communities for improved global ecosystem integrity.

Environmental science and ecotechnology, 4:100061.

Recent studies have shown that various agrochemicals can substantially affect microbial communities; especially those that are associated with cultivated plants. Under certain circumstances, up to 50% of the naturally occurring microorganisms can be negatively affected by common agricultural practices such as seed coating with fungicide-based matrices. Nevertheless, the off-target effects of commonly applied agrochemicals are still understudied in terms of their interferences with microbial communities. At the same time, agrochemical inputs are steadily increasing due to the intensification of agriculture and the increasing pathogen pressure that is currently observed worldwide. In this article, we briefly reflect on the current knowledge related to pesticide interference with microbial communities and discuss negative implications for the plant holobiont as well as such that are spanning beyond local system borders. Cumulative effects of pesticide inputs that cause alterations in microbial functioning likely have unforeseen implications on geochemical cycles that should be addressed with a high priority in ongoing research. A holistic assessment of such implications will allow us to objectively select the most suitable means for food production under the scenario of a growing global population and aggravating climatic conditions. We present three hypothetical solutions that might facilitate a more sustainable and less damaging application of pesticides in the future.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Nie Y, Lau SYL, Tan X, et al (2022)

Sphagnum capillifolium holobiont from a subarctic palsa bog aggravates the potential of nitrous oxide emissions.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:974251.

Melting permafrost mounds in subarctic palsa mires are thawing under climate warming and have become a substantial source of N2O emissions. However, mechanistic insights into the permafrost thaw-induced N2O emissions in these unique habitats remain elusive. We demonstrated that N2O emission potential in palsa bogs was driven by the bacterial residents of two dominant Sphagnum mosses especially of Sphagnum capillifolium (SC) in the subarctic palsa bog, which responded to endogenous and exogenous Sphagnum factors such as secondary metabolites, nitrogen and carbon sources, temperature, and pH. SC's high N2O emission activity was linked with two classes of distinctive hyperactive N2O emitters, including Pseudomonas sp. and Enterobacteriaceae bacteria, whose hyperactive N2O emitting capability was characterized to be dominantly pH-responsive. As the nosZ gene-harboring emitter, Pseudomonas sp. SC-H2 reached a high level of N2O emissions that increased significantly with increasing pH. For emitters lacking the nosZ gene, an Enterobacteriaceae bacterium SC-L1 was more adaptive to natural acidic conditions, and N2O emissions also increased with pH. Our study revealed previously unknown hyperactive N2O emitters in Sphagnum capillifolium found in melting palsa mound environments, and provided novel insights into SC-associated N2O emissions.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Miral A, Kautsky A, Alves-Carvalho S, et al (2022)

Rhizocarpon geographicum Lichen Discloses a Highly Diversified Microbiota Carrying Antibiotic Resistance and Persistent Organic Pollutant Tolerance.

Microorganisms, 10(9): pii:microorganisms10091859.

As rock inhabitants, lichens are exposed to extreme and fluctuating abiotic conditions associated with poor sources of nutriments. These extreme conditions confer to lichens the unique ability to develop protective mechanisms. Consequently, lichen-associated microbes disclose highly versatile lifestyles and ecological plasticity, enabling them to withstand extreme environments. Because of their ability to grow in poor and extreme habitats, bacteria associated with lichens can tolerate a wide range of pollutants, and they are known to produce antimicrobial compounds. In addition, lichen-associated bacteria have been described to harbor ecological functions crucial for the evolution of the lichen holobiont. Nevertheless, the ecological features of lichen-associated microbes are still underestimated. To explore the untapped ecological diversity of lichen-associated bacteria, we adopted a novel culturomic approach on the crustose lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum. We sampled R. geographicum in French habitats exposed to oil spills, and we combined nine culturing methods with 16S rRNA sequencing to capture the greatest bacterial diversity. A deep functional analysis of the lichen-associated bacterial collection showed the presence of a set of bacterial strains resistant to a wide range of antibiotics and displaying tolerance to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Our study is a starting point to explore the ecological features of the lichen microbiota.

RevDate: 2022-09-22

Keller-Costa T, Kozma L, Silva SG, et al (2022)

Metagenomics-resolved genomics provides novel insights into chitin turnover, metabolic specialization, and niche partitioning in the octocoral microbiome.

Microbiome, 10(1):151.

BACKGROUND: The role of bacterial symbionts that populate octocorals (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) is still poorly understood. To shed light on their metabolic capacities, we examined 66 high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) spanning 30 prokaryotic species, retrieved from microbial metagenomes of three octocoral species and seawater.

RESULTS: Symbionts of healthy octocorals were affiliated with the taxa Endozoicomonadaceae, Candidatus Thioglobaceae, Metamycoplasmataceae, unclassified Pseudomonadales, Rhodobacteraceae, unclassified Alphaproteobacteria and Ca. Rhabdochlamydiaceae. Phylogenomics inference revealed that the Endozoicomonadaceae symbionts uncovered here represent two species of a novel genus unique to temperate octocorals, here denoted Ca. Gorgonimonas eunicellae and Ca. Gorgonimonas leptogorgiae. Their genomes revealed metabolic capacities to thrive under suboxic conditions and high gene copy numbers of serine-threonine protein kinases, type 3-secretion system, type-4 pili, and ankyrin-repeat proteins, suggesting excellent capabilities to colonize, aggregate, and persist inside their host. Contrarily, MAGs obtained from seawater frequently lacked symbiosis-related genes. All Endozoicomonadaceae symbionts harbored endo-chitinase and chitin-binging protein-encoding genes, indicating that they can hydrolyze the most abundant polysaccharide in the oceans. Other symbionts, including Metamycoplasmataceae and Ca. Thioglobaceae, may assimilate the smaller chitin oligosaccharides resulting from chitin breakdown and engage in chitin deacetylation, respectively, suggesting possibilities for substrate cross-feeding and a role for the coral microbiome in overall chitin turnover. We also observed sharp differences in secondary metabolite production potential between symbiotic lineages. Specific Proteobacteria taxa may specialize in chemical defense and guard other symbionts, including Endozoicomonadaceae, which lack such capacity.

CONCLUSION: This is the first study to recover MAGs from dominant symbionts of octocorals, including those of so-far unculturable Endozoicomonadaceae, Ca. Thioglobaceae and Metamycoplasmataceae symbionts. We identify a thus-far unanticipated, global role for Endozoicomonadaceae symbionts of corals in the processing of chitin, the most abundant natural polysaccharide in the oceans and major component of the natural zoo- and phytoplankton feed of octocorals. We conclude that niche partitioning, metabolic specialization, and adaptation to low oxygen conditions among prokaryotic symbionts likely contribute to the plasticity and adaptability of the octocoral holobiont in changing marine environments. These findings bear implications not only for our understanding of symbiotic relationships in the marine realm but also for the functioning of benthic ecosystems at large. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Favero C, Giordano L, Mihaila SM, et al (2022)

Postbiotics and Kidney Disease.

Toxins, 14(9): pii:toxins14090623.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is projected to become the fifth global cause of death by 2040 as a result of key shortcomings in the current methods available to diagnose and treat kidney diseases. In this regard, the novel holobiont concept, used to describe an individual host and its microbial community, may pave the way towards a better understanding of kidney disease pathogenesis and progression. Microbiota-modulating or -derived interventions include probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics and postbiotics. As of 2019, the concept of postbiotics was updated by the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) to refer to preparations of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confer a health benefit to the host. By explicitly excluding purified metabolites without a cellular biomass, any literature making use of such term is potentially rendered obsolete. We now review the revised concept of postbiotics concerning their potential clinical applications and research in kidney disease, by discussing in detail several formulations that are undergoing preclinical development such as GABA-salt for diet-induced hypertension and kidney injury, sonicated Lactobacillus paracasei in high fat diet-induced kidney injury, GABA-salt, lacto-GABA-salt and postbiotic-GABA-salt in acute kidney injury, and O. formigenes lysates for hyperoxaluria. Furthermore, we provide a roadmap for postbiotics research in kidney disease to expedite clinical translation.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Perera IU, Fujiyoshi S, Nishiuchi Y, et al (2022)

Zooplankton act as cruise ships promoting the survival and pathogenicity of pathogenic bacteria.

Microbiology and immunology [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteria in general interact with zooplankton in aquatic ecosystems. These zooplankton-bacterial interactions help shape the bacterial community by regulating bacterial abundances. Such interactions are even more significant and crucially in need of investigation in the case of pathogenic bacteria, which cause severe diseases in humans and animals. Among the many associations between a host metazoan and pathogenic bacteria, zooplankton provide nutrition and protection from stressful conditions, promote horizontal transfer of virulence genes, and act as a mode of pathogen transport. These interactions allow the pathogen to survive and proliferate in aquatic environments and endure water treatment processes, thereby creating a potential risk to human health. This review highlights current knowledge on the contributions of zooplankton to the survival and pathogenicity of pathogenic bacteria. We also discuss the need to consider these interactions as a risk factor in water treatment processes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Arnault G, Mony C, P Vandenkoornhuyse (2022)

Plant microbiota dysbiosis and the Anna Karenina Principle.

Trends in plant science pii:S1360-1385(22)00218-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms are associated with all plants, recently leading to the hologenome concept. We reviewed the assembly processes of plant microbiota and analyzed its structure during the emergence of dysbioses. In particular, we discussed the Anna Karenina Principle (AKP) based on Leo Tolstoy's assertion applied to plant microbiota: 'All healthy microbiota are alike; each disease-associated microbiota is sick in its own way.' We propose the AKP to explain how stochastic processes in plant microbiota assembly due to several external stressors could lead to plant diseases. Finally, we propose the AKP to conceptualize plant dysbioses as a transitory loss of host capacity to regulate its microbiota, implying a loss of function that leads to a reduction of the host's fitness.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Martinez S, Grover R, Baker DM, et al (2022)

Symbiodiniaceae Are the First Site of Heterotrophic Nitrogen Assimilation in Reef-Building Corals.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs depend on the highly optimized mutualistic relationship between corals and Symbiodiniaceae dinoflagellates. Both partners exchange nutrients obtained through heterotrophy of the host and autotrophy of the symbionts. While heterotrophy helps corals withstand the harmful effects of seawater warming, the exchange of heterotrophic nutrients between the two partners is poorly understood. Here, we used compound-specific δ15N and δ13C of amino acids (δ15NAA and δ13CAA) and a 15N pulse-chase experiment with Artemia salina nauplii in two coral-dinoflagellate associations to trace the assimilation and allocation of heterotrophic nutrients within the partners. We observed that changes in the trophic position (TPGlx-Phe), δ15NAA, and δ13CAA with heterotrophy were holobiont-dependent. Furthermore, while TPGlx-Phe and δ15N of all AAs significantly increased with heterotrophy in the symbionts and host of Stylophora pistillata, only the δ15NAA of the symbionts changed in Turbinaria reniformis. Together with the pulse-chase experiment, the results suggested a direct transfer of heterotrophically acquired AAs to the symbionts of S. pistillata and a transfer of ammonium to the symbionts of T. reniformis. Overall, we demonstrated that heterotrophy underpinned the nutrition of Symbiodinaceae and possibly influenced their stress tolerance under changing environmental conditions. IMPORTANCE Coral reefs rely upon the highly optimized nutritional symbiosis between corals and Symbiodiniaceae dinoflagellates. Heterotrophic feeding on plankton is key to the resistance of corals to environmental stress. Yet, a detailed understanding of heterotrophic nutrient assimilation and utilization within the symbiosis is lacking. Here, we used the advanced tools of compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids and 15N-labeling of plankton to show that heterotrophy underpinned the nutrition of Symbiodinaceae. Symbionts received either heterotrophically acquired amino acids or recycled ammonium due to their association with the coral host. This study brought new insight into the nutrient exchanges in coral-Symbiodiniaceae associations and allowed a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in coral resistance to environmental stress.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Drummond JS, BHP Rosado (2022)

On the role in the phyllosphere community to leaf wettability and water shedding.

Journal of experimental botany pii:6702375 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Rinsky M, Weizman E, Ben-Asher HW, et al (2022)

Temporal gene expression patterns in the coral Euphyllia paradivisa reveal the complexity of biological clocks in the cnidarian-algal symbiosis.

Science advances, 8(37):eabo6467.

Studying chronobiology in reef-building corals is challenging due to the tightly coupled symbiosis with their photosynthetic algae, Symbiodiniaceae. Although symbiosis requires metabolic synchronization and coordination of cellular processes in the holobiont, the cross-talk between the host and symbiont's clocks is still puzzling. Here, we use the mesophotic coral Euphyllia paradivisa to examine temporal gene expression patterns in symbiotic and aposymbiotic morphs exposed to natural light/dark cycles and constant darkness. Our comparative transcriptomic analyses revealed circadian and circatidal cycles of gene expression with a predominant diel pattern in both coral morphs. We found a substantial number of transcripts consistently rhythmic under both light conditions, including genes likely involved in the cnidarians' circadian clock, thus indicating that an endogenous clock, which can oscillate independently from the Symbiodiniaceae clock, exists in E. paradivisa. The analysis further manifests the remarkable impacts of symbiosis on transcriptional rhythms and implies that the algae's presence influences the host's biorhythm.

RevDate: 2022-09-17

Pinacho-Guendulain B, Montiel-Castro AJ, Ramos-Fernández G, et al (2022)

Social complexity as a driving force of gut microbiota exchange among conspecific hosts in non-human primates.

Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 16:876849.

The emergent concept of the social microbiome implies a view of a highly connected biological world, in which microbial interchange across organisms may be influenced by social and ecological connections occurring at different levels of biological organization. We explore this idea reviewing evidence of whether increasing social complexity in primate societies is associated with both higher diversity and greater similarity in the composition of the gut microbiota. By proposing a series of predictions regarding such relationship, we evaluate the existence of a link between gut microbiota and primate social behavior. Overall, we find that enough empirical evidence already supports these predictions. Nonetheless, we conclude that studies with the necessary, sufficient, explicit, and available evidence are still scarce. Therefore, we reflect on the benefit of founding future analyses on the utility of social complexity as a theoretical framework.

RevDate: 2022-09-19
CmpDate: 2022-09-15

Bettenfeld P, Cadena I Canals J, Jacquens L, et al (2022)

The microbiota of the grapevine holobiont: A key component of plant health.

Journal of advanced research, 40:1-15.

BACKGROUND: Grapevine is a woody, perennial plant of high economic importance worldwide. Like other plants, it lives in close association with large numbers of microorganisms. Bacteria, fungi and viruses are structured in communities, and each individual can be beneficial, neutral or harmful to the plant. In this sense, microorganisms can interact with each other and regulate plant functions (including immunity) and even provide new ones. Thus, the grapevine associated with its microbial communities constitutes a supra-organism, also called a holobiont, whose functioning is linked to established plant-microorganism interactions.

AIM OF REVIEW: The overall health of the plant may be conditioned by the diversity and structure of microbial communities. Consequently, an optimal microbial composition will consist of a microbial balance allowing the plant to be healthy. Conversely, an imbalance of microbial populations could lead to (or be generated by) a decline of the plant. The microbiome is an active component of the host also responsive to biotic and abiotic changes; in that respect, a better understanding of the most important drivers of the composition of plant microbiomes is needed.

This article presents the current state of the art about the grapevine microbiota and its composition according to the plant compartments and the influencing factors. We also focus on situations of imbalance, in particular during plant disease or decline. Finally, we discuss the possible interest of microbial engineering in an agrosystem such as viticulture.

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Bove CB, Ingersoll MV, SW Davies (2022)

Help me, symbionts, you're my only hope: Approaches to accelerate our understanding of coral holobiont interactions.

Integrative and comparative biology pii:6696962 [Epub ahead of print].

Tropical corals construct the three-dimensional framework for one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, providing habitat to a plethora of species across taxa. However, these ecosystem engineers are facing unprecedented challenges, such as increasing disease prevalence and marine heatwaves associated with anthropogenic global change. As a result, major declines in coral cover and health are being observed across the world's oceans, often due to the breakdown of coral-associated symbioses. Here, we review the interactions between the major symbiotic partners of the coral holobiont - the cnidarian host, algae in the family Symbiodiniaceae, and the microbiome - that influence trait variation, including the molecular mechanisms that underlie symbiosis and the resulting physiological benefits of different microbial partnerships. In doing so, we highlight the current framework for the formation and maintenance of cnidarian-Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis, and the role that immunity pathways play in this relationship. We emphasize that understanding these complex interactions is challenging when you consider the vast genetic variation of the cnidarian host and algal symbiont, as well as their highly diverse microbiome, which is also an important player in coral holobiont health. Given the complex interactions between and among symbiotic partners, we propose several research directions and approaches focused on symbiosis model systems and emerging technologies that will broaden our understanding of how these partner interactions may facilitate the prediction of coral holobiont phenotype, especially under rapid environmental change.

RevDate: 2022-09-04

Pei JY, Yu WF, Zhang JJ, et al (2022)

Mass spectrometry-based metabolomic signatures of coral bleaching under thermal stress.

Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Coral bleaching caused by climate change has resulted in large-scale coral reef decline worldwide. However, the knowledge of physiological response mechanisms of scleractinian corals under high-temperature stress is still challenging. Here, untargeted mass spectrometry-based metabolomics combining with Global Natural Product Social Molecular Networking (GNPS) was utilized to investigate the physiological response of the coral species Pavona decussata under thermal stress. A wide variety of metabolites (including lipids, fatty acids, amino acids, peptides, osmolytes) were identified as the potential biomarkers and subjected to metabolic pathway enrichment analysis. We discovered that, in the thermal-stressed P. decussata coral holobiont, (1) numerous metabolites in classes of lipids and amino acids significantly decreased, indicating an enhanced lipid hydrolysis and aminolysis that contributed to up-regulation in gluconeogenesis to meet energy demand for basic survival; (2) pantothenate and panthenol, two essential intermediates in tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, were up-regulated, implying enhanced efficiency in energy production; (3) small peptides (e.g., Glu-Leu and Glu-Glu-Glu-Glu) and lyso-platelet-activating factor (lysoPAF) possibly implicated a strengthened coral immune response; (4) the down-regulation of betaine and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), known as osmolyte compounds for maintaining holobiont homeostasis, might be the result of disruption of coral holobiont.

RevDate: 2022-08-23

Ide K, Nakano Y, Ito M, et al (2022)

The Effect of Co-Culture of Two Coral Species on Their Bacterial Composition Under Captive Environments.

Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.) [Epub ahead of print].

Coral symbionts are important members of the coral holobiont, and coral bacterial flora are essential in host health maintenance and coral conservation. Coral symbionts are affected by various environmental factors, such as seawater temperature, pH, and salinity. Although physicochemical and chemical factors have been highlighted as possible causes of these effects, the effects of water flow and the co-culture of different species corals have not been elucidated. In this study, we designed an artificial rearing environment to examine the impact of environmental and biological factors on Acropora tenuis, one of the major coral species in Okinawa, and Montipora digitata, during their co-culture. We intervened with the water flow to reveal that the movement of the rearing environment alters the bacterial flora of A. tenuis. During the rearing under captive environment, the alpha diversity of the coral microbiota increased, suggesting the establishment of rare bacteria from the ocean. No differences in the bacterial composition between the control and water flow groups were observed under the rearing conditions. However, the structure of the bacterial flora was significantly different in the co-culture group. Comparison of bacterial community succession strongly suggested that the differences observed were due to the suppressed transmission of bacteria from the ocean in the co-culture group. These results enhance our understanding of interactions between corals and shed light on the importance of regional differences and bacterial composition of coral flora.

RevDate: 2022-08-23

Stencel A, D Wloch-Salamon (2022)

A pluralistic view of holobionts in the context of process ontology.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:911577.

Developing precise definitions and fine categories is an important part of the scientific endeavour, enabling fidelity of transfers of knowledge and the progress of science. Currently, as a result of research on symbiotic microorganisms, science has been flooded with discoveries which appear to undermine many commonly accepted concepts and to introduce new ones that often require updated conceptualisations. One question currently being debated concerns whether or not a holobiont can be considered an organism. Based on which concept, physiology or evolutionary, of the organism is chosen, the verdict differs. We attempt here to show how a change in perspective, from that of substance ontology into that of process ontology, is capable of reconciling opposing positions within the existing discussion and enabling the implementation of conceptual pluralism.

RevDate: 2022-08-14

Lima LFO, Alker AT, Papudeshi B, et al (2022)

Coral and Seawater Metagenomes Reveal Key Microbial Functions to Coral Health and Ecosystem Functioning Shaped at Reef Scale.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The coral holobiont is comprised of a highly diverse microbial community that provides key services to corals such as protection against pathogens and nutrient cycling. The coral surface mucus layer (SML) microbiome is very sensitive to external changes, as it constitutes the direct interface between the coral host and the environment. Here, we investigate whether the bacterial taxonomic and functional profiles in the coral SML are shaped by the local reef zone and explore their role in coral health and ecosystem functioning. The analysis was conducted using metagenomes and metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) associated with the coral Pseudodiploria strigosa and the water column from two naturally distinct reef environments in Bermuda: inner patch reefs exposed to a fluctuating thermal regime and the more stable outer reefs. The microbial community structure in the coral SML varied according to the local environment, both at taxonomic and functional levels. The coral SML microbiome from inner reefs provides more gene functions that are involved in nutrient cycling (e.g., photosynthesis, phosphorus metabolism, sulfur assimilation) and those that are related to higher levels of microbial activity, competition, and stress response. In contrast, the coral SML microbiome from outer reefs contained genes indicative of a carbohydrate-rich mucus composition found in corals exposed to less stressful temperatures and showed high proportions of microbial gene functions that play a potential role in coral disease, such as degradation of lignin-derived compounds and sulfur oxidation. The fluctuating environment in the inner patch reefs of Bermuda could be driving a more beneficial coral SML microbiome, potentially increasing holobiont resilience to environmental changes and disease.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Johnston EC, Cunning R, SC Burgess (2022)

Cophylogeny and specificity between cryptic coral species (Pocillopora spp.) at Mo'orea and their symbionts (Symbiodiniaceae).

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The congruence between phylogenies of tightly associated groups of organisms (cophylogeny) reflects evolutionary links between ecologically important interactions. However, despite being a classic example of an obligate symbiosis, tests of cophylogeny between scleractinian corals and their photosynthetic algal symbionts have been hampered in the past because both corals and algae contain genetically unresolved and morphologically cryptic species. Here, we studied co-occurring, cryptic Pocillopora species from Mo'orea, French Polynesia, that differ in their relative abundance across depth. We constructed new phylogenies of the host Pocillopora (using complete mitochondrial genomes, genomic loci, and thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms) and their Symbiodiniaceae symbionts (using ITS2 and psbAncr markers) and tested for cophylogeny. The analysis supported the presence of five Pocillopora species on the fore reef at Mo'orea that mostly hosted either Cladocopium latusorum or C. pacificum. Only Pocillopora species hosting C. latusorum also hosted taxa from Symbiodinium and Durusdinium. In general, the Cladocopium phylogeny mirrored the Pocillopora phylogeny. Within Cladocopium species, lineages also differed in their associations with Pocillopora haplotypes, except those showing evidence of nuclear introgression, and with depth in the two most common Pocillopora species. We also found evidence for a new Pocillopora species (haplotype 10), that has so far only been sampled from French Polynesia, that warrants formal identification. The linked phylogenies of these Pocillopora and Cladocopium species and lineages suggest that symbiont speciation is driven by niche diversification in the host, but there is still evidence for symbiont flexibility in some cases.

RevDate: 2022-08-13

Somera TS, M Mazzola (2022)

Toward a holistic view of orchard ecosystem dynamics: A comprehensive review of the multiple factors governing development or suppression of apple replant disease.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:949404.

Replant diseases are a common occurrence in perennial cropping systems. In apple, progress toward the development of a universally effective disease management strategy, beyond the use of broad-spectrum soil fumigants, is impeded by inconsistencies in defining replant disease etiology. A preponderance of evidence attributes apple replant disease to plant-induced changes in the soil microbiome including the proliferation of soilborne plant pathogens. Findings from alternative studies suggest that the contribution of abiotic factors, such as the accumulation of phenolic detritus from previous orchard plantings, may play a part as well. Engineering of the resident soil microbiome using resource-based strategies is demonstrating potential to limit activity of replant pathogens and improve productivity in newly established orchards. An understanding of factors promoting the assembly of a disease-suppressive soil microbiome along with consideration of host factors that confer disease tolerance or resistance is imperative to the developing a more holistic view of orchard ecosystem dynamics. Here, we review the literature concerning the transition of orchard soil from a healthy state to a replant disease-conducive state. Included in the scope of this review are studies on the influence of soil type and geography on the apple replant pathogen complex. Furthermore, several tolerance and innate resistance mechanisms that have been described in apple to date, including the role of root chemistry/exudates are discussed. Finally, the interplay between apple rootstock genotype and key resource-based strategies which have been shown to "reshape" the plant holobiont in favor of a more prophylactic or disease-suppressive state is highlighted.

RevDate: 2022-08-19

Scott CB, Cárdenas A, Mah M, et al (2022)

Millennia-old coral holobiont DNA provides insight into future adaptive trajectories.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Ancient DNA (aDNA) has been applied to evolutionary questions across a wide variety of taxa. Here, for the first time, we utilized aDNA from millennia-old fossil coral fragments to gain new insights into a rapidly declining western Atlantic reef ecosystem. We sampled four Acropora palmata fragments (dated 4215 BCE to 1099 CE) obtained from two Florida Keys reef cores. From these samples, we established that it is possible both to sequence aDNA from reef cores and place the data in the context of modern-day genetic variation. We recovered varying amounts of nuclear DNA exhibiting the characteristic signatures of aDNA from the A. palmata fragments. To describe the holobiont sensu lato, which plays a crucial role in reef health, we utilized metagenome-assembled genomes as a reference to identify a large additional proportion of ancient microbial DNA from the samples. The samples shared many common microbes with modern-day coral holobionts from the same region, suggesting remarkable holobiont stability over time. Despite efforts, we were unable to recover ancient Symbiodiniaceae reads from the samples. Comparing the ancient A. palmata data to whole-genome sequencing data from living acroporids, we found that while slightly distinct, ancient samples were most closely related to individuals of their own species. Together, these results provide a proof-of-principle showing that it is possible to carry out direct analysis of coral holobiont change over time, which lays a foundation for studying the impacts of environmental stress and evolutionary constraints.

RevDate: 2022-08-02

Vad J, Duran Suja L, Summers S, et al (2022)

Marine Sponges in a Snowstorm - Extreme Sensitivity of a Sponge Holobiont to Marine Oil Snow and Chemically Dispersed Oil Pollution.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:909853.

Holobionts formed by a host organism and associated symbionts are key biological units in marine ecosystems where they are responsible for fundamental ecosystem services. Therefore, understanding anthropogenic impacts on holobionts is essential. Sponges (Phylum Porifera) are ideal holobiont models. They host a complex microbial community and provide ecosystem services including nutrient cycling. At bathyal depths, sponges can accumulate forming dense sponge ground habitats supporting biodiverse associated communities. However, the impacts of spilled oil and dispersants on sponge grounds cannot be understood without considering exposures mediated through sponge filtration of marine snow particles. To examine this, we exposed the model sponge Halichondria panicea to oil, dispersant and "marine oil snow" contaminated seawater and elucidate the complex molecular response of the holobiont through metatranscriptomics. While the host response included detoxification and immune response pathways, the bacterial symbiotic response differed and was at least partially the result of a change in the host environment rather than a direct response to hydrocarbon exposure. As the sponge host reduced its pumping activity and internal tissue oxygen levels declined, the symbionts changed their metabolism from aerobic to anaerobic pathways possibly via quorum sensing. Furthermore, we found evidence of hydrocarbon degradation by sponge symbionts, but sponge mortality (even when exposed to low concentrations of hydrocarbons) implied this may not provide the holobiont with sufficient resilience against contaminants. Given the continued proposed expansion of hydrocarbon production into deep continental shelf and slope settings where sponge grounds form significant habitats it is important that dispersant use is minimised and that environmental impact assessments carefully consider the vulnerability of sponge holobionts.

RevDate: 2022-08-02

Morrow KM, Pankey MS, MP Lesser (2022)

Community structure of coral microbiomes is dependent on host morphology.

Microbiome, 10(1):113.

BACKGROUND: The importance of symbiosis has long been recognized on coral reefs, where the photosynthetic dinoflagellates of corals (Symbiodiniaceae) are the primary symbiont. Numerous studies have now shown that a diverse assemblage of prokaryotes also make-up part of the microbiome of corals. A subset of these prokaryotes is capable of fixing nitrogen, known as diazotrophs, and is also present in the microbiome of scleractinian corals where they have been shown to supplement the holobiont nitrogen budget. Here, an analysis of the microbiomes of 16 coral species collected from Australia, Curaçao, and Hawai'i using three different marker genes (16S rRNA, nifH, and ITS2) is presented. These data were used to examine the effects of biogeography, coral traits, and ecological life history characteristics on the composition and diversity of the microbiome in corals and their diazotrophic communities.

RESULTS: The prokaryotic microbiome community composition (i.e., beta diversity) based on the 16S rRNA gene varied between sites and ecological life history characteristics, but coral morphology was the most significant factor affecting the microbiome of the corals studied. For 15 of the corals studied, only two species Pocillopora acuta and Seriotopora hystrix, both brooders, showed a weak relationship between the 16S rRNA gene community structure and the diazotrophic members of the microbiome using the nifH marker gene, suggesting that many corals support a microbiome with diazotrophic capabilities. The order Rhizobiales, a taxon that contains primarily diazotrophs, are common members of the coral microbiome and were eight times greater in relative abundances in Hawai'i compared to corals from either Curacao or Australia. However, for the diazotrophic component of the coral microbiome, only host species significantly influenced the composition and diversity of the community.

CONCLUSIONS: The roles and interactions between members of the coral holobiont are still not well understood, especially critical functions provided by the coral microbiome (e.g., nitrogen fixation), and the variation of these functions across species. The findings presented here show the significant effect of morphology, a coral "super trait," on the overall community structure of the microbiome in corals and that there is a strong association of the diazotrophic community within the microbiome of corals. However, the underlying coral traits linking the effects of host species on diazotrophic communities remain unknown. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2022-08-20
CmpDate: 2022-08-19

Xiang X, Poli D, Degnan BM, et al (2022)

Ribosomal RNA-Depletion Provides an Efficient Method for Successful Dual RNA-Seq Expression Profiling of a Marine Sponge Holobiont.

Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.), 24(4):722-732.

Investigations of host-symbiont interactions can benefit enormously from a complete and reliable holobiont gene expression profiling. The most efficient way to acquire holobiont transcriptomes is to perform RNA-Seq on both host and symbionts simultaneously. However, optimal methods for capturing both host and symbiont mRNAs are still under development, particularly when the host is a eukaryote and the symbionts are bacteria or archaea. Traditionally, poly(A)-enriched libraries have been used to capture eukaryotic mRNA, but the ability of this method to adequately capture bacterial mRNAs is unclear because of the short half-life of the bacterial transcripts. Here, we address this gap in knowledge with the aim of helping others to choose an appropriate RNA-Seq approach for analysis of animal host-bacterial symbiont transcriptomes. Specifically, we compared transcriptome bias, depth and coverage achieved by two different mRNA capture and sequencing strategies applied to the marine demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica holobiont. Annotated genomes of the sponge host and the three most abundant bacterial symbionts, which can comprise up to 95% of the adult microbiome, are available. Importantly, this allows for transcriptomes to be accurately mapped to these genomes, and thus quantitatively assessed and compared. The two strategies that we compare here are (i) poly(A) captured mRNA-Seq (Poly(A)-RNA-Seq) and (ii) ribosomal RNA depleted RNA-Seq (rRNA-depleted-RNA-Seq). For the host sponge, we find no significant difference in transcriptomes generated by the two different mRNA capture methods. However, for the symbiont transcriptomes, we confirm the expectation that the rRNA-depleted-RNA-Seq performs much better than the Poly(A)-RNA-Seq. This comparison demonstrates that RNA-Seq by ribosomal RNA depletion is an effective and reliable method to simultaneously capture gene expression in host and symbionts and thus to analyse holobiont transcriptomes.

RevDate: 2022-09-08
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

Tanabe N, Takasu R, Hirose Y, et al (2022)

Diaphorin, a Polyketide Produced by a Bacterial Symbiont of the Asian Citrus Psyllid, Inhibits the Growth and Cell Division of Bacillus subtilis but Promotes the Growth and Metabolic Activity of Escherichia coli.

Microbiology spectrum, 10(4):e0175722.

Diaphorin is a polyketide produced by "Candidatus Profftella armatura" (Gammaproteobacteria: Burkholderiales), an obligate symbiont of a notorious agricultural pest, the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Diaphorin belongs to the pederin family of bioactive agents found in various host-symbiont systems, including beetles, lichens, and sponges, harboring phylogenetically diverse bacterial producers. Previous studies showed that diaphorin, which is present in D. citri at concentrations of 2 to 20 mM, has inhibitory effects on various eukaryotes, including the natural enemies of D. citri. However, little is known about its effects on prokaryotic organisms. To address this issue, the present study assessed the biological activities of diaphorin on two model prokaryotes, Escherichia coli (Gammaproteobacteria: Enterobacterales) and Bacillus subtilis (Firmicutes: Bacilli). Their growth and morphological features were analyzed using spectrophotometry, optical microscopy followed by image analysis, and transmission electron microscopy. The metabolic activity of E. coli was further assessed using the β-galactosidase assay. The results revealed that physiological concentrations of diaphorin inhibit the growth and cell division of B. subtilis but promote the growth and metabolic activity of E. coli. This finding implies that diaphorin functions as a defensive agent of the holobiont (host plus symbionts) against some bacterial lineages but is metabolically beneficial for others, which potentially include obligate symbionts of D. citri. IMPORTANCE Certain secondary metabolites, including antibiotics, evolve to mediate interactions among organisms. These molecules have distinct spectra for microorganisms and are often more effective against Gram-positive bacteria than Gram-negative ones. However, it is rare that a single molecule has completely opposite activities on distinct bacterial lineages. The present study revealed that a secondary metabolite synthesized by an organelle-like bacterial symbiont of psyllids inhibits the growth of Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis but promotes the growth of Gram-negative Escherichia coli. This finding not only provides insights into the evolution of microbiomes in animal hosts but also may potentially be exploited to promote the effectiveness of industrial material production by microorganisms.

RevDate: 2022-07-31

Amedei A (2022)

Editorial of Special Issue "Pharmacomicrobiomics in Non-Communicable Disease".

Biomedicines, 10(7):.

The human superorganism, also known as the human holobiont, is a complex organism made up of host body as well as the bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi that live inside it along with their genes [...].

RevDate: 2022-07-26

King NG, Smale DA, Thorpe JM, et al (2022)

Core Community Persistence Despite Dynamic Spatiotemporal Responses in the Associated Bacterial Communities of Farmed Pacific Oysters.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

A breakdown in host-bacteria relationships has been associated with the progression of a number of marine diseases and subsequent mortality events. For the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, summer mortality syndrome (SMS) is one of the biggest constraints to the growth of the sector and is set to expand into temperate systems as ocean temperatures rise. Currently, a lack of understanding of natural spatiotemporal dynamics of the host-bacteria relationship limits our ability to develop microbially based monitoring approaches. Here, we characterised the associated bacterial community of C. gigas, at two Irish oyster farms, unaffected by SMS, over the course of a year. We found C. gigas harboured spatiotemporally variable bacterial communities that were distinct from bacterioplankton in surrounding seawater. Whilst the majority of bacteria-oyster associations were transient and highly variable, we observed clear patterns of stability in the form of a small core consisting of six persistent amplicon sequence variants (ASVs). This core made up a disproportionately large contribution to sample abundance (34 ± 0.14%), despite representing only 0.034% of species richness across the study, and has been associated with healthy oysters in other systems. Overall, our study demonstrates the consistent features of oyster bacterial communities across spatial and temporal scales and provides an ecologically meaningful baseline to track environmental change.

RevDate: 2022-07-26

Chun SJ, Cui Y, Yoo SH, et al (2022)

Organic Connection of Holobiont Components and the Essential Roles of Core Microbes in the Holobiont Formation of Feral Brassica napus.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:920759.

Brassica napus (Rapeseed) is an econfomically important oil-producing crop. The microbial interactions in the plant holobiont are fundamental to the understanding of plant growth and health. To investigate the microbial dynamics in the holobiont of feral B. napus, a total of 215 holobiont samples, comprised of bulk soil, primary root, lateral root, dead leaf, caulosphere, basal leaf, apical leaf, carposphere, and anthosphere, were collected from five different grassland sites in South Korea. The soil properties differed in different sampling sites, but prokaryotic communities were segregated according to plant holobiont components. The structures of the site-specific SparCC networks were similar across the regions. Recurrent patterns were found in the plant holobionts in the recurrent network. Ralstonia sp., Massilia sp., and Rhizobium clusters were observed consistently and were identified as core taxa in the phyllosphere, dead leaf microbiome, and rhizosphere, respectively. Arthropod-related microbes, such as Wolbachia sp., Gilliamella sp., and Corynebacteriales amplicon sequence variants, were found in the anthosphere. PICRUSt2 analysis revealed that microbes also possessed specific functions related to holobiont components, such as functions related to degradation pathways in the dead leaf microbiome. Structural equation modeling analysis showed the organic connections among holobiont components and the essential roles of the core microbes in the holobiont formations in natural ecosystem. Microbes coexisting in a specific plant showed relatively stable community structures, even though the regions and soil characteristics were different. Microbes in each plant component were organically connected to form their own plant holobiont. In addition, plant-related microbes, especially core microbes in each holobiont, showed recurrent interaction patterns that are essential to an understanding of the survival and coexistence of plant microbes in natural ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Martínez-Arias C, Witzell J, Solla A, et al (2022)

Beneficial and pathogenic plant-microbe interactions during flooding stress.

Plant, cell & environment, 45(10):2875-2897.

The number and intensity of flood events will likely increase in the future, raising the risk of flooding stress in terrestrial plants. Understanding flood effects on plant physiology and plant-associated microbes is key to alleviate flooding stress in sensitive species and ecosystems. Reduced oxygen supply is the main constrain to the plant and its associated microbiome. Hypoxic conditions hamper root aerobic respiration and, consequently, hydraulic conductance, nutrient uptake, and plant growth and development. Hypoxia favours the presence of anaerobic microbes in the rhizosphere and roots with potential negative effects to the plant due to their pathogenic behaviour or their soil denitrification ability. Moreover, plant physiological and metabolic changes induced by flooding stress may also cause dysbiotic changes in endosphere and rhizosphere microbial composition. The negative effects of flooding stress on the holobiont (i.e., the host plant and its associated microbiome) can be mitigated once the plant displays adaptive responses to increase oxygen uptake. Stress relief could also arise from the positive effect of certain beneficial microbes, such as mycorrhiza or dark septate endophytes. More research is needed to explore the spiralling, feedback flood responses of plant and microbes if we want to promote plant flood tolerance from a holobiont perspective.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Loureiro C, Galani A, Gavriilidou A, et al (2022)

Comparative Metagenomic Analysis of Biosynthetic Diversity across Sponge Microbiomes Highlights Metabolic Novelty, Conservation, and Diversification.

mSystems, 7(4):e0035722.

Marine sponges and their microbial symbiotic communities are rich sources of diverse natural products (NPs) that often display biological activity, yet little is known about the global distribution of NPs and the symbionts that produce them. Since the majority of sponge symbionts remain uncultured, it is a challenge to characterize their NP biosynthetic pathways, assess their prevalence within the holobiont, and measure the diversity of NP biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) across sponge taxa and environments. Here, we explore the microbial biosynthetic landscapes of three high-microbial-abundance (HMA) sponges from the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. This data set reveals striking novelty, with <1% of the recovered gene cluster families (GCFs) showing similarity to any characterized BGC. When zooming in on the microbial communities of each sponge, we observed higher variability of specialized metabolic and taxonomic profiles between sponge species than within species. Nonetheless, we identified conservation of GCFs, with 20% of sponge GCFs being shared between at least two sponge species and a GCF core comprised of 6% of GCFs shared across all species. Within this functional core, we identified a set of widespread and diverse GCFs encoding nonribosomal peptide synthetases that are potentially involved in the production of diversified ether lipids, as well as GCFs putatively encoding the production of highly modified proteusins. The present work contributes to the small, yet growing body of data characterizing NP landscapes of marine sponge symbionts and to the cryptic biosynthetic potential contained in this environmental niche. IMPORTANCE Marine sponges and their microbial symbiotic communities are a rich source of diverse natural products (NPs). However, little is known about the sponge NP global distribution landscape and the symbionts that produce them. Here, we make use of recently developed tools to perform untargeted mining and comparative analysis of sponge microbiome metagenomes of three sponge species in the first study considering replicate metagenomes of multiple sponge species. We present an overview of the biosynthetic diversity across these sponge holobionts, which displays extreme biosynthetic novelty. We report not only the conservation of biosynthetic and taxonomic diversity but also a core of conserved specialized metabolic pathways. Finally, we highlight several novel GCFs with unknown ecological function, and observe particularly high biosynthetic potential in Acidobacteriota and Latescibacteria symbionts. This study paves the way toward a better understanding of the marine sponge holobionts' biosynthetic potential and the functional and ecological role of sponge microbiomes.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Dove NC, Carrell AA, Engle NL, et al (2022)

Relationships between Sphaerulina musiva Infection and the Populus Microbiome and Metabolome.

mSystems, 7(4):e0012022.

Pathogenic fungal infections in plants may, in some cases, lead to downstream systematic impacts on the plant metabolome and microbiome that may either alleviate or exacerbate the effects of the fungal pathogen. While Sphaerulina musiva is a well-characterized fungal pathogen which infects Populus tree species, an important wood fiber and biofuel feedstock, little is known about its systematic effects on the metabolome and microbiome of Populus. Here, we investigated the metabolome of Populus trichocarpa and Populus deltoides leaves and roots and the microbiome of the leaf and root endospheres, phylloplane, and rhizosphere to understand the systematic impacts of S. musiva abundance and infection on Populus species in a common garden field setting. We found that S. musiva is indeed present in both P. deltoides and P. trichocarpa, but S. musiva abundance was not statistically related to stem canker onset. We also found that the leaf and root metabolomes significantly differ between the two Populus species and that certain leaf metabolites, particularly the phenolic glycosides salirepin and salireposide, are diminished in canker-infected P. trichocarpa trees compared to their uninfected counterparts. Furthermore, we found significant associations between the metabolome, S. musiva abundance, and microbiome composition and α-diversity, particularly in P. trichocarpa leaves. Our results show that S. musiva colonizes both resistant and susceptible hosts and that the effects of S. musiva on susceptible trees are not confined to the site of canker infection. IMPORTANCE Poplar (Populus spp.) trees are ecologically and economically important trees throughout North America. However, many western North American poplar plantations are at risk due to the introduction of the nonnative fungal pathogen Sphaerulina musiva, which causes leaf spot and cankers, limiting their production. To better understand the interactions among the pathogen S. musiva, the poplar metabolome, and the poplar microbiome, we collected leaf, root, and rhizosphere samples from poplar trees consisting of 10 genotypes and two species with differential resistance to S. musiva in a common garden experiment. Here, we outline the nuanced relationships between the poplar metabolome, microbiome, and S. musiva, showing that S. musiva may affect poplar trees in tissues distal to the site of infection (i.e., stem). Our research contributes to improving the fundamental understanding of S. musiva and Populus sp. ecology and the utility of a holobiont approach in understanding plant disease.

RevDate: 2022-07-21

Miral A, Jargeat P, Mambu L, et al (2022)

Microbial community associated with the crustose lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum L. (DC.) living on oceanic seashore: A large source of diversity revealed by using multiple isolation methods.

Environmental microbiology reports [Epub ahead of print].

Recently, the study of the interactions within a microcosm between hosts and their associated microbial communities drew an unprecedented interest arising from the holobiont concept. Lichens, a symbiotic association between a fungus and an alga, are redefined as complex ecosystems considering the tremendous array of associated microorganisms that satisfy this concept. The present study focuses on the diversity of the microbiota associated with the seashore located lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum, recovered by different culture-dependent methods. Samples harvested from two sites allowed the isolation and the molecular identification of 68 fungal isolates distributed in 43 phylogenetic groups, 15 bacterial isolates distributed in five taxonomic groups and three microalgae belonging to two species. Moreover, for 12 fungal isolates belonging to 10 different taxa, the genus was not described in GenBank. These fungal species have never been sequenced or described and therefore non-studied. All these findings highlight the novel and high diversity of the microflora associated with R. geographicum. While many species disappear every day, this work suggests that coastal and wild environments still contain an unrevealed variety to offer and that lichens constitute a great reservoir of new microbial taxa which can be recovered by multiplying the culture-dependent techniques.

RevDate: 2022-07-24

Wada N, Hsu MT, Tandon K, et al (2022)

High-resolution spatial and genomic characterization of coral-associated microbial aggregates in the coral Stylophora pistillata.

Science advances, 8(27):eabo2431.

Bacteria commonly form aggregates in a range of coral species [termed coral-associated microbial aggregates (CAMAs)], although these structures remain poorly characterized despite extensive efforts studying the coral microbiome. Here, we comprehensively characterize CAMAs associated with Stylophora pistillata and quantify their cell abundance. Our analysis reveals that multiple Endozoicomonas phylotypes coexist inside a single CAMA. Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry imaging revealed that the Endozoicomonas cells were enriched with phosphorus, with the elemental compositions of CAMAs different from coral tissues and endosymbiotic Symbiodiniaceae, highlighting a role in sequestering and cycling phosphate between coral holobiont partners. Consensus metagenome-assembled genomes of the two dominant Endozoicomonas phylotypes confirmed their metabolic potential for polyphosphate accumulation along with genomic signatures including type VI secretion systems allowing host association. Our findings provide unprecedented insights into Endozoicomonas-dominated CAMAs and the first direct physiological and genomic linked evidence of their biological role in the coral holobiont.

RevDate: 2022-07-19

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

Dynamics of Small Non-coding RNA Profiles and the Intestinal Microbiome of High and Low Weight Chickens.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:916280.

The host and its symbiotic bacteria form a biological entity, holobiont, in which they share a dynamic connection characterized by symbiosis, co-metabolism, and coevolution. However, how these collaborative relationships were maintained over evolutionary time remains unclear. In this research, the small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) profiles of cecum and their bacteria contents were measured from lines of chickens that have undergone long-term selection for high (HWS) or low (LWS) 56-day body weight. The results from these lines that originated from a common founder population and maintained under the same husbandry showed an association between host intestinal sncRNA expression profile (miRNA, lncRNA fragment, mRNA fragment, snoRNA, and snRNA) and intestinal microbiota. Correlation analyses suggested that some central miRNAs and mRNA fragments had interactions with the abundance of intestinal microbial species and microbiota functions. miR-6622-3p, a significantly differentially expressed (DE) miRNA was correlated with a body weight gain related bacterium, Alistipes putredinis. Our results showed that host sncRNAs may be mediators of interaction between the host and its intestinal microbiome. This provides additional clue for holobiont concepts.

RevDate: 2022-09-21
CmpDate: 2022-07-15

Hernández M, Mayer MPA, J Santi-Rocca (2022)

Editorial: The Human Microbiota in Periodontitis.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:952205.

RevDate: 2022-08-16
CmpDate: 2022-07-19

Griffin ME, HC Hang (2022)

Microbial mechanisms to improve immune checkpoint blockade responsiveness.

Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 31:100818.

The human microbiota acts as a diverse source of molecular cues that influence the development and homeostasis of the immune system. Beyond endogenous roles in the human holobiont, host-microbial interactions also alter outcomes for immune-related diseases and treatment regimens. Over the past decade, sequencing analyses of cancer patients have revealed correlations between microbiota composition and the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitors. However, very little is known about the exact mechanisms that link specific microbiota with patient responses, limiting our ability to exploit these microbial agents for improved oncology care. Here, we summarize current progress towards a molecular understanding of host-microbial interactions in the context of checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies. By highlighting the successes of a limited number of studies focused on identifying specific, causal molecules, we underscore how the exploration of specific microbial features such as proteins, enzymes, and metabolites may translate into precise and actionable therapies for personalized patient care in the clinic.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Plaszkó T, Szűcs Z, Cziáky Z, et al (2022)

Correlations Between the Metabolome and the Endophytic Fungal Metagenome Suggests Importance of Various Metabolite Classes in Community Assembly in Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, Brassicaceae) Roots.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:921008.

The plant microbiome is an increasingly intensive research area, with significance in agriculture, general plant health, and production of bioactive natural products. Correlations between the fungal endophytic communities and plant chemistry can provide insight into these interactions, and suggest key contributors on both the chemical and fungal side. In this study, roots of various horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) accessions grown under the same conditions were sampled in two consecutive years and chemically characterized using a quality controlled, untargeted metabolomics approach by LC-ESI-MS/MS. Sinigrin, gluconasturtiin, glucoiberin, and glucobrassicin were also quantified. Thereafter, a subset of roots from eight accessions (n = 64) with considerable chemical variability was assessed for their endophytic fungal community, using an ITS2 amplicon-based metagenomic approach using a custom primer with high coverage on fungi, but no amplification of host internal transcribed spacer (ITS). A set of 335 chemical features, including putatively identified flavonoids, phospholipids, peptides, amino acid derivatives, indolic phytoalexins, a glucosinolate, and a glucosinolate downstream product was detected. Major taxa in horseradish roots belonged to Cantharellales, Glomerellales, Hypocreales, Pleosporales, Saccharomycetales, and Sordariales. Most abundant genera included typical endophytes such as Plectosphaerella, Thanatephorus, Podospora, Monosporascus, Exophiala, and Setophoma. A surprising dominance of single taxa was observed for many samples. In summary, 35.23% of reads of the plant endophytic fungal microbiome correlated with changes in the plant metabolome. While the concentration of flavonoid kaempferol glycosides positively correlated with the abundance of many fungal strains, many compounds showed negative correlations with fungi including indolic phytoalexins, a putative glucosinolate but not major glucosinolates and a glutathione isothiocyanate adduct. The latter is likely an in vivo glucosinolate decomposition product important in fungal arrest. Our results show the potency of the untargeted metabolomics approach in deciphering plant-microbe interactions and depicts a complex array of various metabolite classes in shaping the endophytic fungal community.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-07-07

Xu P, Fan X, Mao Y, et al (2022)

Temporal metabolite responsiveness of microbiota in the tea plant phyllosphere promotes continuous suppression of fungal pathogens.

Journal of advanced research, 39:49-60.

INTRODUCTION: A broad spectrum of rhizosphere bacteria and fungi were shown to play a central role for health, fitness and productivity of their host plants. However, implications of host metabolism on microbiota assembly in the phyllosphere and potential consequences for holobiont functioning were sparsely addressed. Previous observations indicated that tea plants might reduce disease occurrence in various forests located in their proximity; the underlying mechanisms and potential implications of the phyllosphere microbiota remained elusive.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed atdeciphering microbiome assembly in the tea plant phyllosphere throughout shoot development as well as elucidating potential implications of host metabolites in this process. The main focus was to explore hidden interconnections between the homeostasis of the phyllosphere microbiome and resistance to fungal pathogens.

METHODS: Profiling of host metabolites and microbiome analyses based on high-throughput sequencing were integrated to identify drivers of microbiome assembly throughout shoot development in the phyllosphere of tea plants. This was complemented by tracking of beneficial microorganisms in all compartments of the plant. Synthetic assemblages (SynAss), bioassays and field surveys were implemented to verify functioning of the phyllosphere microbiota.

RESULTS: Theophylline and epigallocatechin gallate, two prevalent metabolites at the early and late shoot development stage respectively, were identified as the main drivers of microbial community assembly. Flavobacterium and Myriangium were distinct microbial responders at the early stage, while Parabacteroides and Mortierella were more enriched at the late stage. Reconstructed, stage-specific SynAss suppressed various tree phytopathogens by 13.0%-69.3% in vitro and reduced disease incidence by 8.24%-41.3% in vivo.

CONCLUSION: The findings indicate that a functional phyllosphere microbiota was assembled along with development-specific metabolites in tea plants, which continuously suppressed prevalent fungal pathogens. The insights gained into the temporally resolved metabolite response of the tea plant microbiota could provide novel solutions for disease management.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-07-04

Gilbert SF, MG Hadfield (2022)

Symbiosis of disciplines: how can developmental biologists join conservationists in sustaining and restoring earth's biodiversity?.

Development (Cambridge, England), 149(13):.

What can developmental biology contribute toward mitigating the consequences of anthropogenic assaults on the environment and climate change? In this Spotlight article, we advocate a developmental biology that takes seriously Lynn Margulis' claim that 'the environment is part of the body'. We believe this to be a pre-condition for developmental biology playing important roles in conservation and environmental restoration. We need to forge a developmental biology of the holobiont - the multi-genomic physiologically integrated organism that is also a functional biome. To this end, we highlight how developmental biology needs to explore more deeply the interactions between developing organisms, and their chemical, physical and biotic environments.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-08-05

Wang W, Tang K, Wang P, et al (2022)

The coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus kills non-pathogenic holobiont competitors by triggering prophage induction.

Nature ecology & evolution, 6(8):1132-1144.

The coral reef microbiome is central to reef health and resilience. Competitive interactions between opportunistic coral pathogens and other commensal microbes affect the health of coral. Despite great advances over the years in sequencing-based microbial profiling of healthy and diseased coral, the molecular mechanism underlying colonization competition has been much less explored. In this study, by examining the culturable bacteria inhabiting the gastric cavity of healthy Galaxea fascicularis, a scleractinian coral, we found that temperate phages played a major role in mediating colonization competition in the coral microbiota. Specifically, the non-toxigenic Vibrio sp. inhabiting the healthy coral had a much higher colonization capacity than the coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus, yet this advantage was diminished by the latter killing the former. Pathogen-encoded LodAB, which produces hydrogen peroxide, triggers the lytic cycle of prophage in the non-toxicogenic Vibrio sp. Importantly, V. coralliilyticus could outcompete other coral symbiotic bacteria (for example, Endozoicomonas sp.) through LodAB-dependent prophage induction. Overall, we reveal that LodAB can be used by pathogens as an important weapon to gain a competitive advantage over lysogenic competitors when colonizing corals.

RevDate: 2022-09-15
CmpDate: 2022-08-18

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

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

FEMS microbiology ecology, 98(8):.

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 seminatural 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 codivergence with their hosts. Helicobacters represent promising candidates for studying GM-host coadaptations and the fitness effects of their interactions.

RevDate: 2022-06-30

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: 2022-07-16

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.

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: 2022-08-17
CmpDate: 2022-08-17

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.

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: 2022-08-19
CmpDate: 2022-08-18

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, 16(9):2132-2143.

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: 2022-08-17
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: 2022-09-17
CmpDate: 2022-08-23

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.

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: 2022-07-16
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: 2022-08-01

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

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

Microbiology spectrum, 10(3):e0073522.

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: 2022-07-16

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

Domestic Environment and Gut Microbiota: Lessons from Pet Dogs.

Microorganisms, 10(5):.

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: 2022-07-16

Lin S, Yu K, Z Zhou (2022)

Editorial: Physiological Regulation and Homeostasis Among Coral Holobiont Partners.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:921401.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

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: 2022-09-08
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

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, 46(5):.

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 also 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: 2022-07-16

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: 2022-07-16

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: 2022-08-24
CmpDate: 2022-08-11

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, 22(16):2986-2999.

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
CmpDate: 2022-05-19

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: 2022-08-16
CmpDate: 2022-08-12

Cowen LJ, HM Putnam (2022)

Bioinformatics of Corals: Investigating Heterogeneous Omics Data from Coral Holobionts for Insight into Reef Health and Resilience.

Annual review of biomedical data science, 5:205-231.

Coral reefs are home to over two million species and provide habitat for roughly 25% of all marine animals, but they are being severely threatened by pollution and climate change. A large amount of genomic, transcriptomic, and other omics data is becoming increasingly available from different species of reef-building corals, the unicellular dinoflagellates, and the coral microbiome (bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, etc.). Such new data present an opportunity for bioinformatics researchers and computational biologists to contribute to a timely, compelling, and urgent investigation of critical factors that influence reef health and resilience.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-10

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: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-06-30

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, 13(3):e0067922.

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: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-26

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: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-04-29

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: 2022-07-16

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: 2022-09-14
CmpDate: 2022-07-21

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

Coral holobiont cues prime Endozoicomonas for a symbiotic lifestyle.

The ISME journal, 16(8):1883-1895.

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: 2022-07-16

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: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-04-19

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: 2022-07-16

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: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-10

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: 2022-07-21
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.


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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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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