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28 Feb 2020 at 01:30
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Bibliography on: Holobiont


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 28 Feb 2020 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: 2020-02-27

Suárez J (2020)

The stability of traits conception of the hologenome: An evolutionary account of holobiont individuality.

History and philosophy of the life sciences, 42(1):11 pii:10.1007/s40656-020-00305-2.

Bourrat and Griffiths (Hist Philos Life Sci 40(2):33, 2018) have recently argued that most of the evidence presented by holobiont defenders to support the thesis that holobionts are evolutionary individuals is not to the point and is not even adequate to discriminate multispecies evolutionary individuals from other multispecies assemblages that would not be considered evolutionary individuals by most holobiont defenders. They further argue that an adequate criterion to distinguish the two categories is fitness alignment, presenting the notion of fitness boundedness as a criterion that allows divorcing true multispecies evolutionary individuals from other multispecies assemblages and provides an adequate criterion to single out genuine evolutionary multispecies assemblages. A consequence of their criterion is that holobionts, as conventionally defined by hologenome defenders, are not evolutionary individuals except in very rare cases, and for very specific host-symbiont associations. This paper is a critical response to Bourrat and Griffiths' arguments and a defence of the arguments presented by holobiont defenders. Drawing upon the case of the hologenomic basis of the evolution of sanguivory in vampire bats (Nat Ecol Evol 2:659-668, 2018), I argue that Bourrat and Griffiths overlook some aspects of the biological nature of the microbiome that justifies the thesis that holobionts are evolutionarily different to other multispecies assemblages. I argue that the hologenome theory of evolution should not define the hologenome as a collection of genomes, but as the sum of the host genome plus some traits of the microbiome which together constitute an evolutionary individual, a conception I refer to as the stability of traits conception of the hologenome. Based on that conception I argue that the evidence presented by holobiont defenders is to the point, and supports the thesis that holobionts are evolutionary individuals. In this sense, the paper offers an account of the holobiont that aims to foster a dialogue between hologenome advocates and hologenome critics.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Greyson-Gaito CJ, Bartley TJ, Cottenie K, et al (2020)

Into the wild: microbiome transplant studies need broader ecological reality.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1921):20192834.

Gut microbial communities (microbiomes) profoundly shape the ecology and evolution of multicellular life. Interactions between host and microbiome appear to be reciprocal, and ecological theory is now being applied to better understand how hosts and their microbiome influence each other. However, some ecological processes that underlie reciprocal host-microbiome interactions may be obscured by the current convention of highly controlled transplantation experiments. Although these approaches have yielded invaluable insights, there is a need for a broader array of approaches to fully understand host-microbiome reciprocity. Using a directed review, we surveyed the breadth of ecological reality in the current literature on gut microbiome transplants with non-human recipients. For 55 studies, we categorized nine key experimental conditions that impact the ecological reality (EcoReality) of the transplant, including host taxon match and donor environment. Using these categories, we rated the EcoReality of each transplant. Encouragingly, the breadth of EcoReality has increased over time, but some components of EcoReality are still relatively unexplored, including recipient host environment and microbiome state. The conceptual framework we develop here maps the landscape of possible EcoReality to highlight where fundamental ecological processes can be considered in future transplant experiments.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Saurav K, Borbone N, Burgsdorf I, et al (2020)

Identification of Quorum Sensing Activators and Inhibitors in The Marine Sponge Sarcotragus spinosulus.

Marine drugs, 18(2): pii:md18020127.

Marine sponges, a well-documented prolific source of natural products, harbor highly diverse microbial communities. Their extracts were previously shown to contain quorum sensing (QS) signal molecules of the N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) type, known to orchestrate bacterial gene regulation. Some bacteria and eukaryotic organisms are known to produce molecules that can interfere with QS signaling, thus affecting microbial genetic regulation and function. In the present study, we established the production of both QS signal molecules as well as QS inhibitory (QSI) molecules in the sponge species Sarcotragus spinosulus. A total of eighteen saturated acyl chain AHLs were identified along with six unsaturated acyl chain AHLs. Bioassay-guided purification led to the isolation of two brominated metabolites with QSI activity. The structures of these compounds were elucidated by comparative spectral analysis of 1HNMR and HR-MS data and were identified as 3-bromo-4-methoxyphenethylamine (1) and 5,6-dibromo-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (2). The QSI activity of compounds 1 and 2 was evaluated using reporter gene assays for long- and short-chain AHL signals (Escherichia coli pSB1075 and E. coli pSB401, respectively). QSI activity was further confirmed by measuring dose-dependent inhibition of proteolytic activity and pyocyanin production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The obtained results show the coexistence of QS and QSI in S. spinosulus, a complex signal network that may mediate the orchestrated function of the microbiome within the sponge holobiont.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Mohanty I, Podell S, Biggs JS, et al (2020)

Multi-Omic Profiling of Melophlus Sponges Reveals Diverse Metabolomic and Microbiome Architectures that Are Non-overlapping with Ecological Neighbors.

Marine drugs, 18(2): pii:md18020124.

Marine sponge holobionts, defined as filter-feeding sponge hosts together with their associated microbiomes, are prolific sources of natural products. The inventory of natural products that have been isolated from marine sponges is extensive. Here, using untargeted mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that sponges harbor a far greater diversity of low-abundance natural products that have evaded discovery. While these low-abundance natural products may not be feasible to isolate, insights into their chemical structures can be gleaned by careful curation of mass fragmentation spectra. Sponges are also some of the most complex, multi-organismal holobiont communities in the oceans. We overlay sponge metabolomes with their microbiome structures and detailed metagenomic characterization to discover candidate gene clusters that encode production of sponge-derived natural products. The multi-omic profiling strategy for sponges that we describe here enables quantitative comparison of sponge metabolomes and microbiomes to address, among other questions, the ecological relevance of sponge natural products and for the phylochemical assignment of previously undescribed sponge identities.

RevDate: 2020-02-22

Musella M, Wathsala R, Tavella T, et al (2020)

Tissue-scale microbiota of the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and its relationship with the environment.

The Science of the total environment, 717:137209 pii:S0048-9697(20)30719-1 [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, we characterize the structural variation of the microbiota of Mytilus galloprovincialis at the tissue scale, also exploring the connection with the microbial ecosystem of the surrounding water. Mussels were sampled within a farm located in the North-Western Adriatic Sea and microbiota composition was analyzed in gills, hemolymph, digestive glands, stomach and foot by Next Generation Sequencing marker gene approach. Mussels showed a distinctive microbiota structure, with specific declinations at the tissue level. Indeed, each tissue is characterized by a distinct pattern of dominant families, reflecting a peculiar adaptation to the respective tissue niche. For instance, the microbiota of the digestive gland is characterized by Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae, being shaped to ferment complex polysaccharides of dietary origin into short-chain fatty acids, well matching the general asset of the animal gut microbiota. Conversely, the gill and hemolymph ecosystems are dominated by marine microorganisms with aerobic oxidative metabolism, consistent with the role played by these tissues as an interface with the external environment. Our findings highlight the putative importance of mussel microbiota for different aspects of host physiology, with ultimate repercussions on mussel health and productivity.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Lewandowska M, Hazan Y, Y Moran (2020)

Initial Virome Characterization of the Common Cnidarian Lab Model Nematostella vectensis.

Viruses, 12(2): pii:v12020218.

The role of viruses in forming a stable holobiont has been the subject of extensive research in recent years. However, many emerging model organisms still lack any data on the composition of the associated viral communities. Here, we re-analyzed seven publicly available transcriptome datasets of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, the most commonly used anthozoan lab model, and searched for viral sequences. We applied a straightforward, yet powerful approach of de novo assembly followed by homology-based virus identification and a multi-step, thorough taxonomic validation. The comparison of different lab populations of N. vectensis revealed the existence of the core virome composed of 21 viral sequences, present in all adult datasets. Unexpectedly, we observed an almost complete lack of viruses in the samples from the early developmental stages, which together with the identification of the viruses shared with the major source of the food in the lab, the brine shrimp Artemia salina, shed new light on the course of viral species acquisition in N. vectensis. Our study provides an initial, yet comprehensive insight into N. vectensis virome and sets the first foundation for the functional studies of viruses and antiviral systems in this lab model cnidarian.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Miyazaki J, Ikuta T, Watsuji TO, et al (2020)

Dual energy metabolism of the Campylobacterota endosymbiont in the chemosynthetic snail Alviniconcha marisindica.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-0605-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Some deep-sea chemosynthetic invertebrates and their symbiotic bacteria can use molecular hydrogen (H2) as their energy source. However, how much the chemosynthetic holobiont (endosymbiont-host association) physiologically depends on H2 oxidation has not yet been determined. Here, we demonstrate that the Campylobacterota endosymbionts of the gastropod Alviniconcha marisindica in the Kairei and Edmond fields (kAlv and eAlv populations, respectively) of the Indian Ocean, utilize H2 in response to their physical and environmental H2 conditions, although the 16S rRNA gene sequence of both the endosymbionts shared 99.6% identity. A thermodynamic calculation using in situ H2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) concentrations indicated that chemosynthetic symbiosis could be supported by metabolic energy via H2 oxidation, particularly for the kAlv holobiont. Metabolic activity measurements showed that both the living individuals and the gill tissues consumed H2 and H2S at similar levels. Moreover, a combination of fluorescence in situ hybridization, quantitative transcript analyses, and enzymatic activity measurements showed that the kAlv endosymbiont expressed the genes and enzymes for both H2- and sulfur-oxidations. These results suggest that both H2 and H2S could serve as the primary energy sources for the kAlv holobiont. The eAlv holobiont had the ability to utilize H2, but the gene expression and enzyme activity for hydrogenases were much lower than for sulfur-oxidation enzymes. These results suggest that the energy acquisitions of A. marisindica holobionts are dependent on H2- and sulfur-oxidation in the H2-enriched Kairei field and that the mechanism of dual metabolism is controlled by the in situ H2 concentration.

RevDate: 2020-02-12

Howe-Kerr LI, Bachelot B, Wright RM, et al (2020)

Symbiont community diversity is more variable in corals that respond poorly to stress.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs are declining globally as climate change and local water quality press environmental conditions beyond the physiological tolerances of holobionts-the collective of the host and its microbial symbionts. To assess the relationship between symbiont composition and holobiont stress tolerance, community diversity metrics were quantified for dinoflagellate endosymbionts (Family: Symbiodiniaceae) from eight Acropora millepora genets that thrived under or responded poorly to various stressors. These eight selected genets represent the upper and lower tails of the response distribution of 40 coral genets that were exposed to four stress treatments (and control conditions) in a 10-day experiment. Specifically, four 'best performer' coral genets were analyzed at the end of the experiment because they survived high temperature, high pCO2 , bacterial exposure, or combined stressors, whereas four 'worst performer' genets were characterized because they experienced substantial mortality under these stressors. At the end of the experiment, seven of eight coral genets mainly hosted Cladocopium symbionts, whereas the eighth genet was dominated by both Cladocopium and Durusdinium symbionts. Symbiodiniaceae alpha and beta diversity were higher in worst performing genets than in best performing genets. Symbiont communities in worst performers also differed more after stress exposure relative to their controls (based on normalized proportional differences in beta diversity), than did best performers. A generalized joint attribute model estimated the influence of host genet and treatment on Symbiodiniaceae community composition and identified strong associations among particular symbionts and host genet performance, as well as weaker associations with treatment. Although dominant symbiont physiology and function contribute to host performance, these findings emphasize the importance of symbiont community diversity and stochasticity as components of host performance. Our findings also suggest that symbiont community diversity metrics may function as indicators of resilience and have potential applications in diverse disciplines from climate change adaptation to agriculture and medicine.

RevDate: 2020-02-10

Brodin P (2020)

New approaches to the study of immune responses in humans.

Human genetics pii:10.1007/s00439-020-02129-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The human immune system consists of multiple, layered mechanisms of sensing and responding to cellular stress, infection and tissue damage to ensure defense from pathogens, maintenance of tissue homeostasis, and the integrity of the holobiont. Every single cell in the body has a role to play, but a few dozen, specialized white blood cells are particularly important in this respect. Understanding the overall state of this multifaceted system in a single individual is challenging, and we are only beginning to do this across populations of individuals, to understand the vast range of inter-individual variation, and the influences of genes and environmental factors that collectively shape the immune system in a given individual. We are also only beginning to understand the changes occurring within this system over time, and how this relates to health and disease susceptibility. Several technological breakthroughs in recent years have enabled these developments and the emergence of a new, complementary approach to studying human immune systems, namely systems immunology. In this paradigm, the focus is shifted from the understanding of individual immune system components and their mechanisms of action, towards analyses of cell-cell interactions, and mechanisms of coordination and regulation within the human immune system.

RevDate: 2020-02-10

Baedke J, Fábregas-Tejeda A, A Nieves Delgado (2020)

The holobiont concept before Margulis.

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

In recent years, Lynn Margulis has been credited in various articles as the person who introduced the concept of holobiont into biology in the early 1990s. Today, the origin of evolutionary studies on holobionts is closely linked to her name. However, Margulis was not the first person to use this concept in its current context. That honor goes to the German theoretical biologist Adolf Meyer-Abich, who introduced the holobiont concept nearly 50 years before her (in 1943). Although nearly completely forgotten today, in the 1940-60s he developed a comprehensive theory of evolutionary change through "holobiosis." It had a surprisingly modern outlook, as it not only addressed tenets of today's evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), like the origin of form and production of variation, but also anticipated key elements of Margulis' later endosymbiotic theory. As the holobiont concept has become an important guiding concept for organizing research, labeling conferences, and publishing articles on host-microbiota collectives and hologenomes, the field should become aware of the independent origin of this concept in the context of holistic biology of the 1940s.

RevDate: 2020-02-05

Wang GH, Berdy BM, Velasquez O, et al (2020)

Changes in Microbiome Confer Multigenerational Host Resistance after Sub-toxic Pesticide Exposure.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(20)30048-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The gut is a first point of contact with ingested xenobiotics, where chemicals are metabolized directly by the host or microbiota. Atrazine is a widely used pesticide, but the role of the microbiome metabolism of this xenobiotic and the impact on host responses is unclear. We exposed successive generations of the wasp Nasonia vitripennis to subtoxic levels of atrazine and observed changes in the structure and function of the gut microbiome that conveyed atrazine resistance. This microbiome-mediated resistance was maternally inherited and increased over successive generations, while also heightening the rate of host genome selection. The rare gut bacteria Serratia marcescens and Pseudomonas protegens contributed to atrazine metabolism. Both of these bacteria contain genes that are linked to atrazine degradation and were sufficient to confer resistance in experimental wasp populations. Thus, pesticide exposure causes functional, inherited changes in the microbiome that should be considered when assessing xenobiotic exposure and as potential countermeasures to toxicity.

RevDate: 2020-02-05

Mondo E, Barone M, Soverini M, et al (2020)

Gut microbiome structure and adrenocortical activity in dogs with aggressive and phobic behavioral disorders.

Heliyon, 6(1):e03311 pii:e03311.

Accompanying human beings since the Paleolithic period, dogs has been recently regarded as a reliable model for the study of the gut microbiome connections with health and disease. In order to provide some glimpses on the connections between the gut microbiome layout and host behavior, we profiled the phylogenetic composition and structure of the canine gut microbiome of dogs with aggressive (n = 11), phobic (n = 13) and normal behavior (n = 18). Hormones' determination was made through Radio Immuno-Assay (RIA), and next generation sequencing of the V3-V4 gene region of the bacterial 16S rRNA was employed to determine gut microbiome composition. Our results did not evidence any significant differences of hormonal levels between the three groups. According to our findings, aggressive behavioral disorder was found to be characterized by a peculiar gut microbiome structure, with high biodiversity and enrichment in generally subdominant bacterial genera (i.e. Catenibacterium and Megamonas). On the other hand, phobic dogs were enriched in Lactobacillus, a bacterial genus with known probiotic and psychobiotic properties. Although further studies are needed to validate our findings, our work supports the intriguing opportunity that different behavioral phenotypes in dogs may be associated with peculiar gut microbiome layouts, suggesting possible connections between the gut microbiome and the central nervous system and indicating the possible adoption of probiotic interventions aimed at restoring a balanced host-symbiont interplay for mitigating behavioral disorders.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Kennedy SR, Tsau S, Gillespie R, et al (2020)

Are you what you eat? A highly transient and prey-influenced gut microbiome in the grey house spider Badumna longinqua.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Stable core microbial communities have been described in numerous animal species and are commonly associated with fitness benefits for their hosts. Recent research, however, highlights examples of species whose microbiota are transient and environmentally derived. Here, we test the effect of diet on gut microbial community assembly in the spider Badumna longinqua. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing combined with quantitative PCR, we analyze diversity and abundance of the spider's gut microbes, and simultaneously characterize its prey communities using nuclear rRNA markers. We find a clear correlation between community similarity of the spider's insect prey and gut microbial DNA, suggesting that microbiome assembly is primarily diet-driven. This assumption is supported by a feeding experiment, in which two types of prey - crickets and fruit flies - both substantially altered microbial diversity and community similarity between spiders, but did so in different ways. After cricket consumption, numerous cricket-derived microbes appeared in the spider's gut, resulting in a rapid homogenization of microbial communities among spiders. In contrast, few prey-associated bacteria were detected after consumption of fruit flies; instead, the microbial community was remodeled by environmentally sourced microbes, or abundance shifts of rare taxa in the spider's gut. The reshaping of the microbiota by both prey taxa mimicked a stable core microbiome in the spiders for several weeks post feeding. Our results suggest that the spider's gut microbiome undergoes pronounced temporal fluctuations, that its assembly is dictated by the consumed prey, and that different prey taxa may remodel the microbiota in drastically different ways.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Flores-Núñez VM, Fonseca-García C, Desgarennes D, et al (2019)

Functional Signatures of the Epiphytic Prokaryotic Microbiome of Agaves and Cacti.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:3044.

Microbial symbionts account for survival, development, fitness and evolution of eukaryotic hosts. These microorganisms together with their host form a biological unit known as holobiont. Recent studies have revealed that the holobiont of agaves and cacti comprises a diverse and structured microbiome, which might be important for its adaptation to drylands. Here, we investigated the functional signatures of the prokaryotic communities of the soil and the episphere, that includes the rhizosphere and phyllosphere, associated with the cultivated Agave tequilana and the native and sympatric Agave salmiana, Opuntia robusta and Myrtillocactus geometrizans by mining shotgun metagenomic data. Consistent with previous phylogenetic profiling, we found that Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes were the main represented phyla in the episphere of agaves and cacti, and that clustering of metagenomes correlated with the plant compartment. In native plants, genes related to aerobic anoxygenic phototrophy and photosynthesis were enriched in the phyllosphere and soil, while genes coding for biofilm formation and quorum sensing were enriched in both epiphytic communities. In the episphere of cultivated A. tequilana fewer genes were identified, but they belonged to similar pathways than those found in native plants. A. tequilana showed a depletion in several genes belonging to carbon metabolism, secondary metabolite biosynthesis and xenobiotic degradation suggesting that its lower microbial diversity might be linked to functional losses. However, this species also showed an enrichment in biofilm and quorum sensing in the epiphytic compartments, and evidence for nitrogen fixation in the rhizosphere. Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic markers were represented by Rhizobiales (Methylobacterium) and Rhodospirillales (Belnapia) in the phyllosphere, while photosystem genes were widespread in Bacillales and Cyanobacteria. Nitrogen fixation and biofilm formation genes were mostly related to Proteobacteria. These analyses support the idea of niche differentiation in the rhizosphere and phyllosphere of agaves and cacti and shed light on the potential mechanisms by which epiphytic microbial communities survive and colonize plants of arid and semiarid ecosystems. This study establishes a guideline for testing the relevance of the identified functional traits on the microbial community and the plant fitness.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Osman EO, Suggett DJ, Voolstra CR, et al (2020)

Coral microbiome composition along the northern Red Sea suggests high plasticity of bacterial and specificity of endosymbiotic dinoflagellate communities.

Microbiome, 8(1):8 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0776-5.

BACKGROUND: The capacity of reef-building corals to tolerate (or adapt to) heat stress is a key factor determining their resilience to future climate change. Changes in coral microbiome composition (particularly for microalgal endosymbionts and bacteria) is a potential mechanism that may assist corals to thrive in warm waters. The northern Red Sea experiences extreme temperatures anomalies, yet corals in this area rarely bleach suggesting possible refugia to climate change. However, the coral microbiome composition, and how it relates to the capacity to thrive in warm waters in this region, is entirely unknown.

RESULTS: We investigated microbiomes for six coral species (Porites nodifera, Favia favus, Pocillopora damicornis, Seriatopora hystrix, Xenia umbellata, and Sarcophyton trocheliophorum) from five sites in the northern Red Sea spanning 4° of latitude and summer mean temperature ranges from 26.6 °C to 29.3 °C. A total of 19 distinct dinoflagellate endosymbionts were identified as belonging to three genera in the family Symbiodiniaceae (Symbiodinium, Cladocopium, and Durusdinium). Of these, 86% belonged to the genus Cladocopium, with notably five novel types (19%). The endosymbiont community showed a high degree of host-specificity despite the latitudinal gradient. In contrast, the diversity and composition of bacterial communities of the surface mucus layer (SML)-a compartment particularly sensitive to environmental change-varied significantly between sites, however for any given coral was species-specific.

CONCLUSION: The conserved endosymbiotic community suggests high physiological plasticity to support holobiont productivity across the different latitudinal regimes. Further, the presence of five novel algal endosymbionts suggests selection of certain genotypes (or genetic adaptation) within the semi-isolated Red Sea. In contrast, the dynamic composition of bacteria associated with the SML across sites may contribute to holobiont function and broaden the ecological niche. In doing so, SML bacterial communities may aid holobiont local acclimatization (or adaptation) by readily responding to changes in the host environment. Our study provides novel insight about the selective and endemic nature of coral microbiomes along the northern Red Sea refugia.

RevDate: 2020-01-27

Bettenfeld P, Fontaine F, Trouvelot S, et al (2020)

Woody Plant Declines. What's Wrong with the Microbiome?.

Trends in plant science pii:S1360-1385(19)30349-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Woody plant (WP) declines have multifactorial determinants as well as a biological and economic reality. The vascular system of WPs involved in the transport of carbon, nitrogen, and water from sources to sinks has a seasonal activity, which places it at a central position for mediating plant-environment interactions from nutrient cycling to community assembly and for regulating a variety of processes. To limit effects and to fight against declines, we propose: (i) to consider the WP and its associated microbiota as an holobiont and as a set of functions; (ii) to consider simultaneously, without looking at what comes first, the physiological or pathogenic disorders; and (iii) to define pragmatic strategies, including preventive and curative agronomical practices based on microbiota engineering.

RevDate: 2020-01-23

Vincent D, Rafiqi M, D Job (2019)

The Multiple Facets of Plant-Fungal Interactions Revealed Through Plant and Fungal Secretomics.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:1626.

The plant secretome is usually considered in the frame of proteomics, aiming at characterizing extracellular proteins, their biological roles and the mechanisms accounting for their secretion in the extracellular space. In this review, we aim to highlight recent results pertaining to secretion through the conventional and unconventional protein secretion pathways notably those involving plant exosomes or extracellular vesicles. Furthermore, plants are well known to actively secrete a large array of different molecules from polymers (e.g. extracellular RNA and DNA) to small compounds (e.g. ATP, phytochemicals, secondary metabolites, phytohormones). All of these play pivotal roles in plant-fungi (or oomycetes) interactions, both for beneficial (mycorrhizal fungi) and deleterious outcomes (pathogens) for the plant. For instance, recent work reveals that such secretion of small molecules by roots is of paramount importance to sculpt the rhizospheric microbiota. Our aim in this review is to extend the definition of the plant and fungal secretomes to a broader sense to better understand the functioning of the plant/microorganisms holobiont. Fundamental perspectives will be brought to light along with the novel tools that should support establishing an environment-friendly and sustainable agriculture.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Motone K, Takagi T, Aburaya S, et al (2020)

A Zeaxanthin-Producing Bacterium Isolated from the Algal Phycosphere Protects Coral Endosymbionts from Environmental Stress.

mBio, 11(1): pii:mBio.01019-19.

Reef-building corals form a complex consortium with photosynthetic algae in the family Symbiodiniaceae and bacteria, collectively termed the coral holobiont. These bacteria are hypothesized to be involved in the stress resistance of the coral holobiont, but their functional roles remain largely elusive. Here, we show that cultured Symbiodiniaceae algae isolated from the reef-building coral Galaxea fascicularis are associated with novel bacteria affiliated with the family Flavobacteriaceae Antibiotic treatment eliminated the bacteria from cultured Symbiodiniaceae, resulting in a decreased maximum quantum yield of PSII (variable fluorescence divided by maximum fluorescence [Fv/Fm]) and an increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) under thermal and light stresses. We then isolated this bacterial strain, named GF1. GF1 inoculation in the antibiotic-treated Symbiodiniaceae cultures restored the Fv/Fm and reduced the ROS production. Furthermore, we found that GF1 produces the carotenoid zeaxanthin, which possesses potent antioxidant activity. Zeaxanthin supplementation to cultured Symbiodiniaceae ameliorated the Fv/Fm and ROS production, suggesting that GF1 mitigates thermal and light stresses in cultured Symbiodiniaceae via zeaxanthin production. These findings could advance our understanding of the roles of bacteria in Symbiodiniaceae and the coral holobiont, thereby contributing to the development of novel approaches toward coral protection through the use of symbiotic bacteria and their metabolites.IMPORTANCE Occupying less than 1% of the seas, coral reefs are estimated to harbor ∼25% of all marine species. However, the destruction of coral reefs has intensified in the face of global climate changes, such as rising seawater temperatures, which induce the overproduction of reactive oxygen species harmful to corals. Although reef-building corals form complex consortia with bacteria and photosynthetic endosymbiotic algae of the family Symbiodiniaceae, the functional roles of coral-associated bacteria remain largely elusive. By manipulating the Symbiodiniaceae bacterial community, we demonstrated that a bacterium that produces an antioxidant carotenoid could mitigate thermal and light stresses in cultured Symbiodiniaceae isolated from a reef-building coral. Therefore, this study illuminates the unexplored roles of coral-associated bacteria under stressful conditions.

RevDate: 2020-01-21

Bovio E, Sfecci E, Poli A, et al (2020)

The culturable mycobiota associated with the Mediterranean sponges Aplysina cavernicola, Crambe crambe and Phorbas tenacior.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:5710934 [Epub ahead of print].

Marine fungi are part of the huge and understudied biodiversity hosted in the sea. To broaden the knowledge on fungi inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea and their role in sponge holobiont, three sponges namely Aplysina cavernicola, Crambe crambe and Phorbas tenacior were collected in Villefranche sur Mer, (France) at about 25 m depth. The fungal communities associated with the sponges were isolated using different techniques to increase the numbers of fungi isolated. All fungi were identified to species level giving rise to 19, 13 and 3 species for P. tenacior, A. cavernicola and C. crambe, respectively. Of note, 35.7% and 50.0% of the species detected were either reported for the first time in the marine environment or in association with sponges. The mini-satellite analysis confirmed the uniqueness of the mycobiota of each sponge, leading to think that the sponge, with its metabolome, may shape the microbial community.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Meenatchi R, Thinesh T, Brindangnanam P, et al (2019)

Revealing the impact of global mass bleaching on coral microbiome through 16S rRNA gene-based metagenomic analysis.

Microbiological research, 233:126408 pii:S0944-5013(19)31312-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral bleaching, a phenomenon by which the expulsion of corals' alveolate endosymbiont (zooxanthellae) occurs when experiencing thermal stress is the major cause for devastation of corals. However, apart from this obligate symbiont of Scleractinian corals, there are different kinds of microbes that exist as stable, transient or sporadic members of the holobiont which reside within various microhabitats in the coral structures. Thus, this study aims to profile the coral bacterial community composition among different coral genera (thermally-sensitive (Acropora digetifera and A. noblis) and thermally resistant (Favites abdita) coral genera analyzed by field monitoring surveys) and also in a particular coral genus (thermally sensitive coral-A. digetifera) at two different sampling times (March 2016 and January 2017). A total of about 608695 paired end reads were obtained through Illumina MiSeq Sequencing platform. The alpha diversity indices (ACE, Chao1 and Shannon) were found to be higher in A. nobilis, followed by A. digetifera and Favites abdita, and the corresponding Simpson values were also found to follow the same trend, indicating that the samples are both rich in species diversity and species evenness. Proteobacteria was found to be the most dominant phylum and Gammaproteobacteria was the predominant class present in all the coral genera studied as also during different sampling time periods. As Vibrionaceae was previously reported to increase its abundance during bleaching stress conditions, bacterial profiling among different coral genera showed the presence of 86 % Vibrionaceae in A. digetifera colonies, and it was 93 % in A. digetifera samples collected during March 2016 whereas, it was found to decrease significantly (7 %) in same tagged colonies collected during January 2017. Thus, profiling of microbiome is of prime importance while studying the holobiont organism like the corals. Stress levels experienced by Palk Bay are even depicted in this microbiome study showing high alpha diversity indices that should alarm reef managers to pay attention to this precious stress tolerant reef community.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Matthews JL, Raina JB, Kahlke T, et al (2020)

Symbiodiniaceae-bacteria interactions: rethinking metabolite exchange in reef-building corals as multi-partner metabolic networks.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The intimate relationship between scleractinian corals and their associated microorganisms is fundamental to healthy coral reef ecosystems. Coral-associated microbes (Symbiodiniaceae and other protists, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) support coral health and resilience through metabolite transfer, inter-partner signalling, and genetic exchange. However, much of our understanding of the coral holobiont relationship has come from studies that have investigated either coral-Symbiodiniaceae or coral-bacteria interactions in isolation, while relatively little research has focused on other ecological and metabolic interactions potentially occurring within the coral multi-partner symbiotic network. Recent evidences of intimate coupling between phytoplankton and bacteria have demonstrated that obligate resource exchange between partners fundamentally drives their ecological success. Here, we posit that similar associations with bacterial consortia regulate Symbiodiniaceae productivity and are in turn central to the health of corals. Indeed, we propose that this bacteria-Symbiodiniaceae-coral relationship underpins the coral holobiont's nutrition, stress tolerance, and potentially influences the future survival of coral reef ecosystems under changing environmental conditions. Resolving Symbiodiniaceae-bacteria associations is therefore a logical next step towards understanding the complex multi-partner interactions occurring in the coral holobiont. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Gibbin E, Banc-Prandi G, Fine M, et al (2020)

A method to disentangle and quantify host anabolic turnover in photosymbiotic holobionts with subcellular resolution.

Communications biology, 3(1):14.

A wide range of organisms host photosynthesizing symbionts. In these animals the metabolic exchange between host and symbionts has prevented in situ host anabolic turnover to be studied without the confounding effect of translocated photosynthates. Using the symbiotic coral Stylophora pistillata as a model organism and [1-13C]-pyruvate and [2,3-13C]-pyruvate in different incubation conditions (light, light + DCMU, and darkness), we employed NanoSIMS isotopic imaging to quantify host anabolism, with and without translocated metabolites from their photosynthesizing dinoflagellate symbionts. Under our experimental conditions, host de novo lipid synthesis accounted for ~40% of the total holobiont lipid reserve, and dinoflagellate recycling of metabolic 13CO2 enhanced host tissue 13C-enrichment by 13-22% in the epidermis, 40-58% in the gastrodermis, and 135-169% in host lipid bodies. Furthermore, we show that host anabolic turnover in different tissue structures differs, in a manner consistent with the localisation, function and cellular composition of these structures.

RevDate: 2020-01-10

Pontarollo G, Kiouptsi K, C Reinhardt (2020)

A holobiont view on thrombosis: unravelling the microbiota's influence on arterial thrombus growth.

Microbial cell (Graz, Austria), 7(1):28-31 pii:MIC0179E148.

The commensal microbiota has co-evolved with its host, colonizing all body surfaces. Therefore, this microbial ecosystem is intertwined with host physiology at multiple levels. While it is evident that microbes that reach the blood stream can trigger thrombus formation, it remains poorly explored if the wealth of microbes that colonize the body surfaces of the mammalian host can be regarded as a modifier of cardiovascular disease (CVD) development. To experimentally address the microbiota's role in the development of atherosclerotic lesions and arterial thrombosis, we generated a germ-free (GF) low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr-/-) atherosclerosis mouse model (Kiouptsi et al., mBio, 2019) and explored the role of nutritional composition on arterial thrombogenesis.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Chialva M, Ghignone S, Novero M, et al (2019)

Tomato RNA-seq Data Mining Reveals the Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of Root-Associated Microbiota.

Microorganisms, 8(1): pii:microorganisms8010038.

Next-generation approaches have enabled researchers to deeply study the plant microbiota and to reveal how microbiota associated with plant roots has key effects on plant nutrition, disease resistance, and plant development. Although early "omics" experiments focused mainly on the species composition of microbial communities, new "meta-omics" approaches such as meta-transcriptomics provide hints about the functions of the microbes when interacting with their plant host. Here, we used an RNA-seq dataset previously generated for tomato (Solanumlycopersicum) plants growing on different native soils to test the hypothesis that host-targeted transcriptomics can detect the taxonomic and functional diversity of root microbiota. Even though the sequencing throughput for the microbial populations was limited, we were able to reconstruct the microbial communities and obtain an overview of their functional diversity. Comparisons of the host transcriptome and the meta-transcriptome suggested that the composition and the metabolic activities of the microbiota shape plant responses at the molecular level. Despite the limitations, mining available next-generation sequencing datasets can provide unexpected results and potential benefits for microbiota research.

RevDate: 2019-12-26

Pausan MR, Csorba C, Singer G, et al (2019)

Exploring the Archaeome: Detection of Archaeal Signatures in the Human Body.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2796.

Due to their fundamentally different biology, archaea are consistently overlooked in conventional microbiome surveys. Using amplicon sequencing, we evaluated methodological set-ups to detect archaea in samples from five different body sites: respiratory tract (nasal cavity), digestive tract (mouth, appendix, and stool) and skin. With optimized protocols, the detection of archaeal ribosomal sequence variants (RSVs) was increased from one (found in currently used, so-called "universal" approach) to 81 RSVs in a representative sample set. The results from this extensive primer-evaluation led to the identification of the primer pair combination 344f-1041R/519F-806R which performed superior for the analysis of the archaeome of gastrointestinal tract, oral cavity and skin. The proposed protocol might not only prove useful for analyzing the human archaeome in more detail but could also be used for other holobiont samples.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Tilstra A, El-Khaled YC, Roth F, et al (2019)

Denitrification Aligns with N2 Fixation in Red Sea Corals.

Scientific reports, 9(1):19460.

Denitrification may potentially alleviate excess nitrogen (N) availability in coral holobionts to maintain a favourable N to phosphorous ratio in the coral tissue. However, little is known about the abundance and activity of denitrifiers in the coral holobiont. The present study used the nirS marker gene as a proxy for denitrification potential along with measurements of denitrification rates in a comparative coral taxonomic framework from the Red Sea: Acropora hemprichii, Millepora dichotoma, and Pleuractis granulosa. Relative nirS gene copy numbers associated with the tissues of these common corals were assessed and compared with denitrification rates on the holobiont level. In addition, dinitrogen (N2) fixation rates, Symbiodiniaceae cell density, and oxygen evolution were assessed to provide an environmental context for denitrification. We found that relative abundances of the nirS gene were 16- and 17-fold higher in A. hemprichii compared to M. dichotoma and P. granulosa, respectively. In concordance, highest denitrification rates were measured in A. hemprichii, followed by M. dichotoma and P. granulosa. Denitrification rates were positively correlated with N2 fixation rates and Symbiodiniaceae cell densities. Our results suggest that denitrification may counterbalance the N input from N2 fixation in the coral holobiont, and we hypothesize that these processes may be limited by photosynthates released by the Symbiodiniaceae.

RevDate: 2019-12-26

Singh BK, Liu H, P Trivedi (2019)

Eco-holobiont: A new concept to identify drivers of host-associated microorganisms.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Host microbiomes play a critical role in host fitness and health. Whilst the current 'holobiont' concept framework has greatly expanded eco-evolutionary and functional understanding of host-microbiome interactions, the important role of biotic interactions and microbial loop (compositional linkage between soil, plant and animal) in shaping host-microbiome are poorly understood. We proposed an 'eco-holobiont' concept to fill the knowledge gap.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Hinzke T, Kleiner M, Breusing C, et al (2019)

Host-Microbe Interactions in the Chemosynthetic Riftia pachyptila Symbiosis.

mBio, 10(6):.

The deep-sea tubeworm Riftia pachyptila lacks a digestive system but completely relies on bacterial endosymbionts for nutrition. Although the symbiont has been studied in detail on the molecular level, such analyses were unavailable for the animal host, because sequence information was lacking. To identify host-symbiont interaction mechanisms, we therefore sequenced the Riftia transcriptome, which served as a basis for comparative metaproteomic analyses of symbiont-containing versus symbiont-free tissues, both under energy-rich and energy-limited conditions. Our results suggest that metabolic interactions include nutrient allocation from symbiont to host by symbiont digestion and substrate transfer to the symbiont by abundant host proteins. We furthermore propose that Riftia maintains its symbiont by protecting the bacteria from oxidative damage while also exerting symbiont population control. Eukaryote-like symbiont proteins might facilitate intracellular symbiont persistence. Energy limitation apparently leads to reduced symbiont biomass and increased symbiont digestion. Our study provides unprecedented insights into host-microbe interactions that shape this highly efficient symbiosis.IMPORTANCE All animals are associated with microorganisms; hence, host-microbe interactions are of fundamental importance for life on earth. However, we know little about the molecular basis of these interactions. Therefore, we studied the deep-sea Riftia pachyptila symbiosis, a model association in which the tubeworm host is associated with only one phylotype of endosymbiotic bacteria and completely depends on this sulfur-oxidizing symbiont for nutrition. Using a metaproteomics approach, we identified both metabolic interaction processes, such as substrate transfer between the two partners, and interactions that serve to maintain the symbiotic balance, e.g., host efforts to control the symbiont population or symbiont strategies to modulate these host efforts. We suggest that these interactions are essential principles of mutualistic animal-microbe associations.

RevDate: 2019-12-19

Hussien E, Juhmani AS, AlMasri R, et al (2019)

Metagenomic analysis of microbial community associated with coral mucus from the Gulf of Aqaba.

Heliyon, 5(11):e02876.

Coral-associated microbial communities contribute to a wide variety of useful roles regarding the their host, and therefore, the arrangement of the general microbiome network can emphatically impact coral wellbeing and survival. Various pollution sources can interfere and disrupt the microbial relationship with corals. Here, we adopted the bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP®) technique to investigate the shift of microbial communities associated with the mucus of the coral Stylophora pistillata collected from five sites (Marine Science Station, Industrial Complex, Oil Terminal, Public Beach, and Phosphate Port) along the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea). Our results revealed a high diversity in bacterial populations associated with coral mucus. Proteobacteria were observed to be the dominating phylum among all sampling sites. The identified bacterial taxa belong to the pathogenic bacteria from the genus Vibrio was presented in varying abundances at all sampling sites. Diversity and similarity analysis of microbial communists based on rarefaction curve and UniFrac cluster respectively demonstrated that there are variances in microbial groups associated with coral mucus along sites. The pollution sources among different locations along the Gulf of Aqaba seem to affect the coral-associated holobiont leading to changes in bacterial populations due to increasing human activities.

RevDate: 2019-12-22

Edwards JM, Roy S, Tomcho JC, et al (2019)

Microbiota are critical for vascular physiology: Germ-free status weakens contractility and induces sex-specific vascular remodeling in mice.

Vascular pharmacology pii:S1537-1891(19)30279-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Commensal microbiota within a holobiont contribute to the overall health of the host via mutualistic symbiosis. Disturbances in such symbiosis is prominently correlated with a variety of diseases affecting the modern society of humans including cardiovascular diseases, which are the number one contributors to human mortality. Given that a hallmark of all cardiovascular diseases is changes in vascular function, we hypothesized that depleting microbiota from a holobiont would induce vascular dysfunction. To test this hypothesis, young mice of both sexes raised in germ-free conditions were examined vascular contractility and structure. Here we observed that male and female germ-free mice presented a decrease in contraction of resistance arteries. These changes were more pronounced in germ-free males than in germ-free females mice. Furthermore, there was a distinct change in vascular remodeling between males and females germ-free mice. Resistance arteries from male germ-free mice demonstrated increased vascular stiffness, as shown by the leftward shift in the stress-strain curve and inward hypotrophic remodeling, a characteristic of chronic reduction in blood flow. On the other hand, resistance arteries from germ-free female mice were similar in the stress-strain curves to that of conventionally raised mice, but were distinctly different and showed outward hypertrophic remodeling, a characteristic seen in aging. Interestingly, we observed that reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation from bone marrow derived neutrophils is blunted in female germ-free mice, but it is exacerbated in male germ-free mice. In conclusion, these observations indicate that commensal microbiota of a holobiont are central to maintain proper vascular function and structure homeostasis, especially in males.

RevDate: 2019-12-16

Martin BC, Alarcon MS, Gleeson D, et al (2019)

Root microbiomes as indicators of seagrass health.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5679015 [Epub ahead of print].

The development of early warning indicators that identify ecosystem stress is a priority for improving ecosystem management. As microbial communities respond rapidly to environmental disturbance, monitoring their composition could prove one such early indicator of environmental stress. We combined 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the seagrass root microbiome of Halophila ovalis with seagrass health metrics (biomass, productivity and Fsulphide) to develop microbial indicators for seagrass condition across the Swan-Canning Estuary and the Leschenault Estuary (south-west Western Australia); the former which had experienced an unseasonal rainfall event leading to declines in seagrass health. Microbial indicators detected sites of potential stress that other seagrass health metrics failed to detect. Genera that were more abundant in 'healthy' seagrasses included putative methylotrophic bacteria (e.g. Methylotenera and Methylophaga), iron cycling bacteria (e.g. Deferrisoma and Geothermobacter) and N2 fixing bacteria (e.g. Rhizobium). Conversely, genera that were more abundant in 'stressed' seagrasses were dominated by putative sulphur-cycling bacteria, both sulphide-oxidising (e.g. Candidatus Thiodiazotropha and Candidatus Electrothrix) and sulphate-reducing (e.g. SEEP-SRB1, Desulfomonile and Desulfonema). The sensitivity of the microbial indicators developed here highlights their potential to be further developed for use in adaptive seagrass management, and emphasises their capacity to be effective early warning indicators of stress.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Karimi E, Geslain E, KleinJan H, et al (2020)

Genome Sequences of 72 Bacterial Strains Isolated from Ectocarpus subulatus: A Resource for Algal Microbiology.

Genome biology and evolution, 12(1):3647-3655.

Brown algae are important primary producers and ecosystem engineers in the ocean, and Ectocarpus has been established as a laboratory model for this lineage. Like most multicellular organisms, Ectocarpus is associated with a community of microorganisms, a partnership frequently referred to as holobiont due to the tight interconnections between the components. Although genomic resources for the algal host are well established, its associated microbiome is poorly characterized from a genomic point of view, limiting the possibilities of using these types of data to study host-microbe interactions. To address this gap in knowledge, we present the annotated draft genome sequences of seventy-two cultivable Ectocarpus-associated bacteria. A screening of gene clusters related to the production of secondary metabolites revealed terpene, bacteriocin, NRPS, PKS-t3, siderophore, PKS-t1, and homoserine lactone clusters to be abundant among the sequenced genomes. These compounds may be used by the bacteria to communicate with the host and other microbes. Moreover, detoxification and provision of vitamin B pathways have been observed in most sequenced genomes, highlighting potential contributions of the bacterial metabolism toward host fitness and survival. The genomes sequenced in this study form a valuable resource for comparative genomic analyses and evolutionary surveys of alga-associated bacteria. They help establish Ectocarpus as a model for brown algal holobionts and will enable the research community to produce testable hypotheses about the molecular interactions within this complex system.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Ricci F, Rossetto Marcelino V, Blackall LL, et al (2019)

Beneath the surface: community assembly and functions of the coral skeleton microbiome.

Microbiome, 7(1):159.

Coral microbial ecology is a burgeoning field, driven by the urgency of understanding coral health and slowing reef loss due to climate change. Coral resilience depends on its microbiota, and both the tissue and the underlying skeleton are home to a rich biodiversity of eukaryotic, bacterial and archaeal species that form an integral part of the coral holobiont. New techniques now enable detailed studies of the endolithic habitat, and our knowledge of the skeletal microbial community and its eco-physiology is increasing rapidly, with multiple lines of evidence for the importance of the skeletal microbiota in coral health and functioning. Here, we review the roles these organisms play in the holobiont, including nutritional exchanges with the coral host and decalcification of the host skeleton. Microbial metabolism causes steep physico-chemical gradients in the skeleton, creating micro-niches that, along with dispersal limitation and priority effects, define the fine-scale microbial community assembly. Coral bleaching causes drastic changes in the skeletal microbiome, which can mitigate bleaching effects and promote coral survival during stress periods, but may also have detrimental effects. Finally, we discuss the idea that the skeleton may function as a microbial reservoir that can promote recolonization of the tissue microbiome following dysbiosis and help the coral holobiont return to homeostasis.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Maréchal E (2019)

Marine and Freshwater Plants: Challenges and Expectations.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:1545.

The past decades have seen an increasing interest on the biology of photosynthetic species living in aquatic environments, including diverse organisms collectively called "algae." If we consider the relative size of scientific communities, marine and freshwater plants have been overall less studied than terrestrial ones. The efforts put on land plants were motivated by agriculture and forestry, applications for human industry, easy access to terrestrial ecosystems, and convenient cultivation methods in fields or growth chambers. By contrast, the fragmentary knowledge on the biology of algae, the hope to find in this biodiversity inspiration for biotechnologies, and the emergency created by the environmental crisis affecting oceans, lakes, rivers, or melting glaciers, have stressed the importance to make up for lost time. Needed efforts embrace a broad spectrum of disciplines, from environmental and evolutionary sciences, to molecular and cell biology. In this multiscale view, functional genomics and ecophysiology occupy a pivotal position linking molecular and cellular analyses and ecosystem-level studies. Without pretending to be exhaustive and with few selected references, six grand challenges, requiring multidisciplinary approaches, are introduced below.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Luter HM, Whalan S, Andreakis N, et al (2019)

The Effects of Crude Oil and Dispersant on the Larval Sponge Holobiont.

mSystems, 4(6):.

Accidental oil spills from shipping and during extraction can threaten marine biota, particularly coral reef species which are already under pressure from anthropogenic disturbances. Marine sponges are an important structural and functional component of coral reef ecosystems; however, despite their ecological importance, little is known about how sponges and their microbial symbionts respond to petroleum products. Here, we use a systems biology-based approach to assess the effects of water-accommodated fractions (WAF) of crude oil, chemically enhanced water-accommodated fractions of crude oil (CWAF), and dispersant (Corexit EC9500A) on the survival, metamorphosis, gene expression, and microbial symbiosis of the abundant reef sponge Rhopaloeides odorabile in larval laboratory-based assays. Larval survival was unaffected by the 100% WAF treatment (107 μg liter-1 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon [PAH]), whereas significant decreases in metamorphosis were observed at 13% WAF (13.9 μg liter-1 PAH). The CWAF and dispersant treatments were more toxic, with decreases in metamorphosis identified at 0.8% (0.58 μg liter-1 PAH) and 1.6% (38 mg liter-1 Corexit EC9500A), respectively. In addition to the negative impact on larval settlement, significant changes in host gene expression and disruptions to the microbiome were evident, with microbial shifts detected at the lowest treatment level (1.6% WAF; 1.7 μg liter-1 PAH), including a significant reduction in the relative abundance of a previously described thaumarchaeal symbiont. The responsiveness of the R. odorabile microbial community to the lowest level of hydrocarbon treatment highlights the utility of the sponge microbiome as a sensitive marker for exposure to crude oils and dispersants.IMPORTANCE Larvae of the sponge R. odorabile survived exposure to high concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons; however, their ability to settle and metamorphose was adversely affected at environmentally relevant concentrations, and these effects were paralleled by marked changes in sponge gene expression and preceded by disruption of the symbiotic microbiome. Given the ecological importance of sponges, uncontrolled hydrocarbon releases from shipping accidents or production could affect sponge recruitment, which would have concomitant consequences for reef ecosystem function.

RevDate: 2019-12-05

Walker DM, Hill AJ, Albecker MA, et al (2019)

Variation in the Slimy Salamander (Plethodon spp.) Skin and Gut-Microbial Assemblages Is Explained by Geographic Distance and Host Affinity.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01456-x [Epub ahead of print].

A multicellular host and its microbial communities are recognized as a metaorganism-a composite unit of evolution. Microbial communities have a variety of positive and negative effects on the host life history, ecology, and evolution. This study used high-throughput amplicon sequencing to characterize the complete skin and gut microbial communities, including both bacteria and fungi, of a terrestrial salamander, Plethodon glutinosus (Family Plethodontidae). We assessed salamander populations, representing nine mitochondrial haplotypes ('clades'), for differences in microbial assemblages across 13 geographic locations in the Southeastern United States. We hypothesized that microbial assemblages were structured by both host factors and geographic distance. We found a strong correlation between all microbial assemblages at close geographic distances, whereas, as spatial distance increases, the patterns became increasingly discriminate. Network analyses revealed that gut-bacterial communities have the highest degree of connectedness across geographic space. Host salamander clade was explanatory of skin-bacterial and gut-fungal assemblages but not gut-bacterial assemblages, unless the latter were analyzed within a phylogenetic context. We also inferred the function of gut-fungal assemblages to understand how an understudied component of the gut microbiome may influence salamander life history. We concluded that dispersal limitation may in part describe patterns in microbial assemblages across space and also that the salamander host may select for skin and gut communities that are maintained over time in closely related salamander populations.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Alex A, A Antunes (2019)

Comparative Genomics Reveals Metabolic Specificity of Endozoicomonas Isolated from a Marine Sponge and the Genomic Repertoire for Host-Bacteria Symbioses.

Microorganisms, 7(12): pii:microorganisms7120635.

The most recently described bacterial members of the genus Endozoicomonas have been found in association with a wide variety of marine invertebrates. Despite their ubiquity in the host holobiont, limited information is available on the molecular genomic signatures of the symbiotic association of Endozoicomonas with marine sponges. Here, we generated a draft genome of Endozoicomonas sp. OPT23 isolated from the intertidal marine sponge Ophlitaspongia papilla and performed comprehensive comparative genomics analyses. Genome-specific analysis and metabolic pathway comparison of the members of the genus Endozoicomonas revealed the presence of gene clusters encoding for unique metabolic features, such as the utilization of carbon sources through lactate, L-rhamnose metabolism, and a phenylacetic acid degradation pathway in Endozoicomonas sp. OPT23. Moreover, the genome harbors genes encoding for eukaryotic-like proteins, such as ankyrin repeats, tetratricopeptide repeats, and Sel1 repeats, which likely facilitate sponge-bacterium attachment. The genome also encodes major secretion systems and homologs of effector molecules that seem to enable the sponge-associated bacterium to interact with the sponge and deliver the virulence factors for successful colonization. In conclusion, the genome analysis of Endozoicomonas sp. OPT23 revealed the presence of adaptive genomic signatures that might favor their symbiotic lifestyle within the sponge host.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Achlatis M, Pernice M, Green K, et al (2019)

Single-cell visualization indicates direct role of sponge host in uptake of dissolved organic matter.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1916):20192153.

Marine sponges are set to become more abundant in many near-future oligotrophic environments, where they play crucial roles in nutrient cycling. Of high importance is their mass turnover of dissolved organic matter (DOM), a heterogeneous mixture that constitutes the largest fraction of organic matter in the ocean and is recycled primarily by bacterial mediation. Little is known, however, about the mechanism that enables sponges to incorporate large quantities of DOM in their nutrition, unlike most other invertebrates. Here, we examine the cellular capacity for direct processing of DOM, and the fate of the processed matter, inside a dinoflagellate-hosting bioeroding sponge that is prominent on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Integrating transmission electron microscopy with nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry, we track 15N- and 13C-enriched DOM over time at the individual cell level of an intact sponge holobiont. We show initial high enrichment in the filter-feeding cells of the sponge, providing visual evidence of their capacity to process DOM through pinocytosis without mediation of resident bacteria. Subsequent enrichment of the endosymbiotic dinoflagellates also suggests sharing of host nitrogenous wastes. Our results shed light on the physiological mechanism behind the ecologically important ability of sponges to cycle DOM via the recently described sponge loop.

RevDate: 2019-12-02

McIlroy SE, Cunning R, Baker AC, et al (2019)

Competition and succession among coral endosymbionts.

Ecology and evolution, 9(22):12767-12778 pii:ECE35749.

Host species often support a genetically diverse guild of symbionts, the identity and performance of which can determine holobiont fitness under particular environmental conditions. These symbiont communities are structured by a complex set of potential interactions, both positive and negative, between the host and symbionts and among symbionts. In reef-building corals, stable associations with specific symbiont species are common, and we hypothesize that this is partly due to ecological mechanisms, such as succession and competition, which drive patterns of symbiont winnowing in the initial colonization of new generations of coral recruits. We tested this hypothesis using the experimental framework of the de Wit replacement series and found that competitive interactions occurred among symbionts which were characterized by unique ecological strategies. Aposymbiotic octocoral recruits within high- and low-light environments were inoculated with one of three Symbiodiniaceae species as monocultures or with cross-paired mixtures, and we tracked symbiont uptake using quantitative genetic assays. Priority effects, in which early colonizers excluded competitive dominants, were evidenced under low light, but these early opportunistic species were later succeeded by competitive dominants. Under high light, a more consistent competitive hierarchy was established in which competitive dominants outgrew and limited the abundance of others. These findings provide insight into mechanisms of microbial community organization and symbiosis breakdown and recovery. Furthermore, transitions in competitive outcomes across spatial and temporal environmental variation may improve lifetime host fitness.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Kamm K, Osigus HJ, Stadler PF, et al (2019)

Genome analyses of a placozoan rickettsial endosymbiont show a combination of mutualistic and parasitic traits.

Scientific reports, 9(1):17561.

Symbiotic relationships between eukaryotic hosts and bacteria range from parasitism to mutualism and may deeply influence both partners' fitness. The presence of intracellular bacteria in the metazoan phylum Placozoa has been reported several times, but without any knowledge about the nature of this relationship and possible implications for the placozoan holobiont. This information may be of crucial significance since little is known about placozoan ecology and how different species adapt to different environmental conditions, despite being almost invariable at the morphological level. We here report on the novel genome of the rickettsial endosymbiont of Trichoplax sp. H2 (strain "Panama"). The combination of eliminated and retained metabolic pathways of the bacterium indicates a potential for a mutualistic as well as for a parasitic relationship, whose outcome could depend on the environmental context. In particular we show that the endosymbiont is dependent on the host for growth and reproduction and that the latter could benefit from a supply with essential amino acids and important cofactors. These findings call for further studies to clarify the actual benefit for the placozoan host and to investigate a possible role of the endosymbiont for ecological separation between placozoan species.

RevDate: 2020-01-02

Zhang Y, Kumarasamy S, Mell B, et al (2020)

Vertical selection for nuclear and mitochondrial genomes shapes gut microbiota and modifies risks for complex diseases.

Physiological genomics, 52(1):1-14.

Here we postulate that the heritability of complex disease traits previously ascribed solely to the inheritance of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes is broadened to encompass a third component of the holobiome, the microbiome. To test this, we expanded on the selectively bred low capacity runner/high capacity runner (LCR/HCR) rat exercise model system into four distinct rat holobiont model frameworks including matched and mismatched host nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Vertical selection of varying nuclear and mitochondrial genomes resulted in differential acquisition of the microbiome within each of these holobiont models. Polygenic disease risk of these novel models were assessed and subsequently correlated with patterns of acquisition and contributions of their microbiomes in controlled laboratory settings. Nuclear-mitochondrial-microbiotal interactions were not for exercise as a reporter of health, but significantly noted for increased adiposity, increased blood pressure, compromised cardiac function, and loss of long-term memory as reporters of disease susceptibility. These findings provide evidence for coselection of the microbiome with nuclear and mitochondrial genomes as an important feature impacting the heritability of complex diseases.

RevDate: 2019-11-29

Cooke I, Mead O, Whalen C, et al (2019)

Molecular techniques and their limitations shape our view of the holobiont.

Zoology (Jena, Germany), 137:125695.

It is now recognised that the biology of almost any organism cannot be fully understood without recognising the existence and potential functional importance of associated microbes. Arguably, the emergence of this holistic viewpoint may never have occurred without the development of a crucial molecular technique, 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing, which allowed microbial communities to be easily profiled across a broad range of contexts. A diverse array of molecular techniques are now used to profile microbial communities, infer their evolutionary histories, visualise them in host tissues, and measure their molecular activity. In this review, we examine each of these categories of measurement and inference with a focus on the questions they make tractable, and the degree to which their capabilities and limitations shape our view of the holobiont.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Sweet M, Burian A, Fifer J, et al (2019)

Compositional homogeneity in the pathobiome of a new, slow-spreading coral disease.

Microbiome, 7(1):139.

BACKGROUND: Coral reefs face unprecedented declines in diversity and cover, a development largely attributed to climate change-induced bleaching and subsequent disease outbreaks. Coral-associated microbiomes may strongly influence the fitness of their hosts and alter heat tolerance and disease susceptibility of coral colonies. Here, we describe a new coral disease found in Micronesia and present a detailed assessment of infection-driven changes in the coral microbiome.

RESULTS: Combining field monitoring and histological, microscopic and next-generation barcoding assessments, we demonstrate that the outbreak of the disease, named 'grey-patch disease', is associated with the establishment of cyanobacterial biofilm overgrowing coral tissue. The disease is characterised by slow progression rates, with coral tissue sometimes growing back over the GPD biofilm. Network analysis of the corals' microbiome highlighted the clustering of specific microbes which appeared to benefit from the onset of disease, resulting in the formation of 'infection clusters' in the microbiomes of apparently healthy corals.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results appear to be in contrast to the recently proposed Anna-Karenina principle, which states that disturbances (such as disease) trigger chaotic dynamics in microbial communities and increase β-diversity. Here, we show significantly higher community similarity (compositional homogeneity) in the pathobiome of diseased corals, compared to the microbiome associated with apparently healthy tissue. A possible explanation for this pattern is strong competition between the pathogenic community and those associated with the 'healthy' coral holobiont, homogenising the composition of the pathobiome. Further, one of our key findings is that multiple agents appear to be involved in degrading the corals' defences causing the onset of this disease. This supports recent findings indicating a need for a shift from the one-pathogen-one-disease paradigm to exploring the importance of multiple pathogenic players in any given disease.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Li Y, Tassia MG, Waits DS, et al (2019)

Genomic adaptations to chemosymbiosis in the deep-sea seep-dwelling tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi.

BMC biology, 17(1):91.

BACKGROUND: Symbiotic relationships between microbes and their hosts are widespread and diverse, often providing protection or nutrients, and may be either obligate or facultative. However, the genetic mechanisms allowing organisms to maintain host-symbiont associations at the molecular level are still mostly unknown, and in the case of bacterial-animal associations, most genetic studies have focused on adaptations and mechanisms of the bacterial partner. The gutless tubeworms (Siboglinidae, Annelida) are obligate hosts of chemoautotrophic endosymbionts (except for Osedax which houses heterotrophic Oceanospirillales), which rely on the sulfide-oxidizing symbionts for nutrition and growth. Whereas several siboglinid endosymbiont genomes have been characterized, genomes of hosts and their adaptations to this symbiosis remain unexplored.

RESULTS: Here, we present and characterize adaptations of the cold seep-dwelling tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi, one of the longest-lived solitary invertebrates. We sequenced the worm's ~ 688-Mb haploid genome with an overall completeness of ~ 95% and discovered that L. luymesi lacks many genes essential in amino acid biosynthesis, obligating them to products provided by symbionts. Interestingly, the host is known to carry hydrogen sulfide to thiotrophic endosymbionts using hemoglobin. We also found an expansion of hemoglobin B1 genes, many of which possess a free cysteine residue which is hypothesized to function in sulfide binding. Contrary to previous analyses, the sulfide binding mediated by zinc ions is not conserved across tubeworms. Thus, the sulfide-binding mechanisms in sibgolinids need to be further explored, and B1 globins might play a more important role than previously thought. Our comparative analyses also suggest the Toll-like receptor pathway may be essential for tolerance/sensitivity to symbionts and pathogens. Several genes related to the worm's unique life history which are known to play important roles in apoptosis, cell proliferation, and aging were also identified. Last, molecular clock analyses based on phylogenomic data suggest modern siboglinid diversity originated in 267 mya (± 70 my) support previous hypotheses indicating a Late Mesozoic or Cenozoic origins of approximately 50-126 mya for vestimentiferans.

CONCLUSIONS: Here, we elucidate several specific adaptations along various molecular pathways that link phenome to genome to improve understanding of holobiont evolution. Our findings of adaptation in genomic mechanisms to reducing environments likely extend to other chemosynthetic symbiotic systems.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Mitter B, Brader G, Pfaffenbichler N, et al (2019)

Next generation microbiome applications for crop production - limitations and the need of knowledge-based solutions.

Current opinion in microbiology, 49:59-65.

Plants are associated with highly diverse microbiota, which are crucial partners for their host carrying out important functions. Essentially, they are involved in nutrient supply, pathogen antagonism and protection of their host against different types of stress. The potential of microbial inoculants has been demonstrated in numerous studies, primarily under greenhouse conditions. However, field application, for example, as biofertilizer or biocontrol agent, is still a challenge as the applied microorganisms often are not provided in sufficiently high cell numbers, are rapidly outcompeted and cannot establish or require specific conditions to mediate the desired effects. We still have limited understanding on the fate of inoculants and on holobiont interactions, that is, interactions between plants, micro-biota and macro-biota and the environment, under field conditions. A better understanding will provide the basis for establishing models predicting the behaviour of strains or consortia and will help identifying microbiome members being able to establish and to mediate desired effects under certain conditions. Such models may also inform about the best management practices modulating microbiota in a desired way. Also, smart delivery approaches of microbial inoculants as well as the selection or breeding of plant genotypes better able to interact with microbiota may represent promising avenues.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Sauvage T, Schmidt WE, Yoon HS, et al (2019)

Promising prospects of nanopore sequencing for algal hologenomics and structural variation discovery.

BMC genomics, 20(1):850.

BACKGROUND: The MinION Access Program (MAP, 2014-2016) allowed selected users to test the prospects of long nanopore reads for diverse organisms and applications through the rapid development of improving chemistries. In 2014, faced with a fragmented Illumina assembly for the chloroplast genome of the green algal holobiont Caulerpa ashmeadii, we applied to the MAP to test the prospects of nanopore reads to investigate such intricacies, as well as further explore the hologenome of this species with native and hybrid approaches.

RESULTS: The chloroplast genome could only be resolved as a circular molecule in nanopore assemblies, which also revealed structural variants (i.e. chloroplast polymorphism or heteroplasmy). Signal and Illumina polishing of nanopore-assembled organelle genomes (chloroplast and mitochondrion) reflected the importance of coverage on final quality and current limitations. In hybrid assembly, our modest nanopore data sets showed encouraging results to improve assembly length, contiguity, repeat content, and binning of the larger nuclear and bacterial genomes. Profiling of the holobiont with nanopore or Illumina data unveiled a dominant Rhodospirillaceae (Alphaproteobacteria) species among six putative endosymbionts. While very fragmented, the cumulative hybrid assembly length of C. ashmeadii's nuclear genome reached 24.4 Mbp, including 2.1 Mbp in repeat, ranging closely with GenomeScope's estimate (> 26.3 Mbp, including 4.8 Mbp in repeat).

CONCLUSION: Our findings relying on a very modest number of nanopore R9 reads as compared to current output with newer chemistries demonstrate the promising prospects of the technology for the assembly and profiling of an algal hologenome and resolution of structural variation. The discovery of polymorphic 'chlorotypes' in C. ashmeadii, most likely mediated by homing endonucleases and/or retrohoming by reverse transcriptases, represents the first report of chloroplast heteroplasmy in the siphonous green algae. Improving contiguity of C. ashmeadii's nuclear and bacterial genomes will require deeper nanopore sequencing to greatly increase the coverage of these larger genomic compartments.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Collens A, Kelley E, LA Katz (2019)

The concept of the hologenome, an epigenetic phenomenon, challenges aspects of the modern evolutionary synthesis.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution, 332(8):349-355.

John Tyler Bonner's call to re-evaluate evolutionary theory in light of major transitions in life on Earth (e.g., from the first origins of microbial life to the evolution of sex, and the origins of multicellularity) resonate with recent discoveries on epigenetics and the concept of the hologenome. Current studies of genome evolution often mistakenly focus only on the inheritance of DNA between parent and offspring. These are in line with the widely accepted Neo-Darwinian framework that pairs Mendelian genetics with an emphasis on natural selection as explanations for the evolution of biodiversity on Earth. Increasing evidence for widespread symbioses complicates this narrative, as is seen in Scott Gilbert's discussion of the concept of the holobiont in this series: Organisms across the tree of life coexist with substantial influence on one another through endosymbiosis, symbioses, and host-associated microbiomes. The holobiont theory, coupled with observations from molecular studies, also requires us to understand genomes in a new way-by considering the interactions underlain by the genome of a host plus its associated microbes, a conglomerate entity referred to as the hologenome. We argue that the complex patterns of inheritance of these genomes coupled with the influence of symbionts on host gene expression make the concept of the hologenome an epigenetic phenomenon. We further argue that the aspects of the hologenome challenge of the modern evolutionary synthesis, which requires updating to remain consistent with Darwin's intent of providing natural laws that underlie the evolution of life on Earth.

RevDate: 2019-11-14

Lucaciu R, Pelikan C, Gerner SM, et al (2019)

A Bioinformatics Guide to Plant Microbiome Analysis.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:1313.

Recent evidence for intimate relationship of plants with their microbiota shows that plants host individual and diverse microbial communities that are essential for their survival. Understanding their relatedness using genome-based and high-throughput techniques remains a hot topic in microbiome research. Molecular analysis of the plant holobiont necessitates the application of specific sampling and preparatory steps that also consider sources of unwanted information, such as soil, co-amplified plant organelles, human DNA, and other contaminations. Here, we review state-of-the-art and present practical guidelines regarding experimental and computational aspects to be considered in molecular plant-microbiome studies. We discuss sequencing and "omics" techniques with a focus on the requirements needed to adapt these methods to individual research approaches. The choice of primers and sequence databases is of utmost importance for amplicon sequencing, while the assembly and binning of shotgun metagenomic sequences is crucial to obtain quality data. We discuss specific bioinformatic workflows to overcome the limitation of genome database resources and for covering large eukaryotic genomes such as fungi. In transcriptomics, it is necessary to account for the separation of host mRNA or dual-RNAseq data. Metaproteomics approaches provide a snapshot of the protein abundances within a plant tissue which requires the knowledge of complete and well-annotated plant genomes, as well as microbial genomes. Metabolomics offers a powerful tool to detect and quantify small molecules and molecular changes at the plant-bacteria interface if the necessary requirements with regard to (secondary) metabolite databases are considered. We highlight data integration and complementarity which should help to widen our understanding of the interactions among individual players of the plant holobiont in the future.

RevDate: 2020-01-10

Staples R, LaDuca RL, Roze LV, et al (2019)

Structure and Chemical Analysis of Major Specialized Metabolites Produced by the Lichen Evernia prunastri.

Chemistry & biodiversity [Epub ahead of print].

We performed comparative profiling of four specialized metabolites in the lichen Evernia prunastri, collected at three different geographic locations, California and Maine, USA, and Yoshkar Ola, Mari El, Russia. Among the compounds produced at high concentrations that were identified in all three specimens, evernic acid, usnic acid, lecanoric acid and chloroatranorin, evernic acid was the most abundant. Two depsidones, salazinic acid and physodic acid, were detected in the Yoshkar-Ola collection only. The crystalline structure of evernic acid (2-hydroxy-4-[(2-hydroxy-4-methoxy-6-methylbenzoyl)oxy]-6-methylbenzoate) (hmb) revealed two crystallographically and conformationally distinct hmb anions, along with two monovalent sodium atoms. One hmb moiety contained an exotetradentate binding mode to sodium, whereas the other exhibited an exohexadentate binding mode to sodium. Embedded edge-sharing {Na2 O8 }n sodium-oxygen chains connected the hmb anions into the full three-dimensional crystal structure of the title compound. The crystal used for single-crystal X-ray diffraction exhibited non-merohedral twinning. The data suggest the importance of the acetyl-polymalonyl pathway products to processes of maintaining integrity of the lichen holobiont community.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Weishaar R, Wellmann R, Camarinha-Silva A, et al (2020)

Selecting the hologenome to breed for an improved feed efficiency in pigs-A novel selection index.

Journal of animal breeding and genetics = Zeitschrift fur Tierzuchtung und Zuchtungsbiologie, 137(1):14-22.

Most traits in animal breeding, including feed efficiency traits in pigs, are affected by many genes with small effect and have a moderately high heritability between 0.1 and 0.5, which enables efficient selection. Since the microbiota composition in the gastrointestinal tract is also partly heritable and was shown to have a substantial effect on feed efficiency, the host genes affect the phenotype not only directly by altering metabolic pathways, but also indirectly by changing the microbiota composition. The effect m i of the microbiota composition on the breeding value g i of an animal i is the conditional expectation of its breeding value, given the vector φ i with microbiota frequencies, that is m i = E g i | φ i . The breeding value g i of an animal can therefore be decomposed into a heritable contribution m i that arises from an altered microbiota composition and a heritable contribution p i that arises from altered metabolic pathways within the animal, so g i = m i + p i . Instead of selecting for breeding value g ^ i , an index comprising the two components m ^ i and p ^ i with appropriate weights, that is I i = λ 1 m ^ i + λ 2 p ^ i , can be used. The present study shows how this breeding strategy can be applied in pig genomic selection breeding scheme for two feed efficiency traits and daily gain.

RevDate: 2019-12-19

Alves Monteiro HJ, Brahmi C, Mayfield AB, et al (2019)

Molecular mechanisms of acclimation to long-term elevated temperature exposure in marine symbioses.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Seawater temperature rise in French Polynesia has repeatedly resulted in the bleaching of corals and giant clams. Because giant clams possess distinctive ectosymbiotic features, they represent a unique and powerful model for comparing molecular pathways involved in (a) maintenance of symbiosis and (b) acquisition of thermotolerance among coral reef organisms. Herein, we explored the physiological and transcriptomic responses of the clam hosts and their photosynthetically active symbionts over a 65 day experiment in which clams were exposed to either normal or environmentally relevant elevated seawater temperatures. Additionally, we used metabarcoding data coupled with in situ sampling/survey data to explore the relative importance of holobiont adaptation (i.e., a symbiont community shift) versus acclimation (i.e., physiological changes at the molecular level) in the clams' responses to environmental change. We finally compared transcriptomic data to publicly available genomic datasets for Symbiodiniaceae dinoflagellates (both cultured and in hospite with the coral Pocillopora damicornis) to better tease apart the responses of both hosts and specific symbiont genotypes in this mutualistic association. Gene module preservation analysis revealed that the function of the symbionts' photosystem II was impaired at high temperature, and this response was also found across all holobionts and Symbiodiniaceae lineages examined. Similarly, epigenetic modulation appeared to be a key response mechanism for symbionts in hospite with giant clams exposed to high temperatures, and such modulation was able to distinguish thermotolerant from thermosensitive Cladocopium goreaui ecotypes; epigenetic processes may, then, represent a promising research avenue for those interested in coral reef conservation in this era of changing global climate.

RevDate: 2020-01-07
CmpDate: 2020-01-07

Newbold LK, Robinson A, Rasnaca I, et al (2019)

Genetic, epigenetic and microbiome characterisation of an earthworm species (Octolasion lacteum) along a radiation exposure gradient at Chernobyl.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 255(Pt 1):113238.

The effects of exposure to different levels of ionising radiation were assessed on the genetic, epigenetic and microbiome characteristics of the "hologenome" of earthworms collected at sites within the Chernobyl exclusion zone (CEZ). The earthworms Aporrectodea caliginosa (Savigny, 1826) and Octolasion lacteum (Örley, 1881) were the two species that were most frequently found at visited sites, however, only O. lacteum was present at sufficient number across different exposure levels to enable comparative hologenome analysis. The identification of morphotype O. lacteum as a probable single clade was established using a combination of mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase I) and nuclear genome (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) using MspI loci). No clear site associated differences in population genetic structure was found between populations using the AFLP marker loci. Further, no relationship between ionising radiation exposure levels and the percentage of methylated loci or pattern of distribution of DNA methylation marks was found. Microbiome structure was clearly site dependent, with gut microbiome community structure and diversity being systematically associated with calculated site-specific earthworm dose rates. There was, however, also co-correlation between earthworm dose rates and other soil properties, notably soil pH; a property known to affect soil bacterial community structure. Such co-correlation means that it is not possible to attribute microbiome changes unequivocally to radionuclide exposure. A better understanding of the relationship between radionuclide exposure soil properties and their interactions on bacterial microbiome community response is, therefore, needed to establish whether these the observed microbiome changes are attributed directly to radiation exposure, other soil properties or to an interaction between multiple variables at sites within the CEZ.

RevDate: 2020-01-08
CmpDate: 2020-01-06

Le Pennec G, EA Gall (2019)

The microbiome of Codium tomentosum: original state and in the presence of copper.

World journal of microbiology & biotechnology, 35(11):167.

Codium tomentosum, as all organisms, hosts transiently and permanently numerous microorganisms. These holobionts can undergo environmental pressures influencing both partners creating modifications/imbalances within the associations, which may directly influence their physiological status by selecting tolerant bacteria. Furthermore, the capability of remediation of the associated bacterioflora, in particular of metallic trace elements, may provide the host with survival potential in polluted environments. In this context, we incubated C. tomentosum thalli in the presence of copper and studied its influence on the reference bacteriome. Whatever the concentration of copper, no shift was evidenced on the bacteriome at the phylum level. However, a high copper concentration enriched the bacteriome of C. tomentosum in both the genera Clostridium and Pseudolteromonas.

RevDate: 2019-11-17

Stothart MR, Palme R, AEM Newman (2019)

It's what's on the inside that counts: stress physiology and the bacterial microbiome of a wild urban mammal.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1913):20192111.

The microbiome's capacity to shape the host phenotype and its mutability underlie theorization that the microbiome might facilitate host acclimation to rapid environmental change. However, when environmental change occurs, it is unclear whether resultant microbiome restructuring is proximately driven by this changing external environment or by the host's physiological response to this change. We leveraged urbanization to compare the ability of host environment (urban or forest) versus multi-scale biological measures of host hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis physiology (neutrophil : lymphocyte ratio, faecal glucocorticoid metabolites, hair cortisol) to explain variation in the eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) faecal microbiome. Urban and forest squirrels differed across all three of the interpretations of HPA axis activity we measured. Direct consideration of these physiological measures better explained greater phylogenetic turnover between squirrels than environment. This pattern was strongly driven by trade-offs between bacteria which specialize on metabolizing digesta versus host-derived nutrient sources. Drawing on ecological theory to explain patterns in intestinal bacterial communities, we conclude that although environmental change can affect the microbiome, it might primarily do so indirectly by altering host physiology. We demonstrate that the inclusion and careful consideration of dynamic, rather than fixed (e.g. sex), dimensions of host physiology are essential for the study of host-microbe symbioses at the micro-evolutionary scale.

RevDate: 2019-12-17
CmpDate: 2019-12-16

Trevathan-Tackett SM, Sherman CDH, Huggett MJ, et al (2019)

A horizon scan of priorities for coastal marine microbiome research.

Nature ecology & evolution, 3(11):1509-1520.

Research into the microbiomes of natural environments is changing the way ecologists and evolutionary biologists view the importance of microorganisms in ecosystem function. This is particularly relevant in ocean environments, where microorganisms constitute the majority of biomass and control most of the major biogeochemical cycles, including those that regulate Earth's climate. Coastal marine environments provide goods and services that are imperative to human survival and well-being (for example, fisheries and water purification), and emerging evidence indicates that these ecosystem services often depend on complex relationships between communities of microorganisms (the 'microbiome') and the environment or their hosts - termed the 'holobiont'. Understanding of coastal ecosystem function must therefore be framed under the holobiont concept, whereby macroorganisms and their associated microbiomes are considered as a synergistic ecological unit. Here, we evaluate the current state of knowledge on coastal marine microbiome research and identify key questions within this growing research area. Although the list of questions is broad and ambitious, progress in the field is increasing exponentially, and the emergence of large, international collaborative networks and well-executed manipulative experiments are rapidly advancing the field of coastal marine microbiome research.

RevDate: 2019-12-21

Liu C, Cheng SH, S Lin (2020)

Illuminating the dark depths inside coral.

Cellular microbiology, 22(1):e13122.

The ability to observe in situ 3D distribution and dynamics of endosymbionts in corals is crucial for gaining a mechanistic understanding of coral bleaching and reef degradation. Here, we report the development of a tissue clearing (TC) coupled with light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) method for 3D imaging of the coral holobiont at single-cell resolution. The initial applications have demonstrated the ability of this technique to provide high spatial resolution quantitative information of endosymbiont abundance and distribution within corals. With specific fluorescent probes or assays, TC-LSFM also revealed spatial distribution and dynamics of physiological conditions (such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, and hypoxia response) in both corals and their endosymbionts. This tool is highly promising for in situ and in-depth data acquisition to illuminate coral symbiosis and health conditions in the changing marine environment, providing fundamental information for coral reef conservation and restoration.

RevDate: 2019-10-31

Fiori J, Turroni S, Candela M, et al (2020)

Assessment of gut microbiota fecal metabolites by chromatographic targeted approaches.

Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis, 177:112867.

Gut microbiota, the specific microbial community of the gastrointestinal tract, by means of the production of microbial metabolites provides the host with several functions affecting metabolic and immunological homeostasis. Insights into the intricate relationships between gut microbiota and the host require not only the understanding of its structure and function but also the measurement of effector molecules acting along the gut microbiota axis. This article reviews the literature on targeted chromatographic approaches in analysis of gut microbiota specific metabolites in feces as the most accessible biological matrix which can directly probe the connection between intestinal bacteria and the (patho)physiology of the holobiont. Together with a discussion on sample collection and preparation, the chromatographic methods targeted to determination of some classes of microbiota-derived metabolites (e.g., short-chain fatty acids, bile acids, low molecular masses amines and polyamines, vitamins, neurotransmitters and related compounds) are discussed and their main characteristics, summarized in Tables.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Wada N, Ishimochi M, Matsui T, et al (2019)

Characterization of coral-associated microbial aggregates (CAMAs) within tissues of the coral Acropora hyacinthus.

Scientific reports, 9(1):14662.

Bacterial diversity associated with corals has been studied extensively, however, localization of bacterial associations within the holobiont is still poorly resolved. Here we provide novel insight into the localization of coral-associated microbial aggregates (CAMAs) within tissues of the coral Acropora hyacinthus. In total, 318 and 308 CAMAs were characterized via histological and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) approaches respectively, and shown to be distributed extensively throughout coral tissues collected from five sites in Japan and Australia. The densities of CAMAs within the tissues were negatively correlated with the distance from the coastline (i.e. lowest densities at offshore sites). CAMAs were randomly distributed across the six coral tissue regions investigated. Within each CAMA, bacterial cells had similar morphological characteristics, but bacterial morphologies varied among CAMAs, with at least five distinct types identified. Identifying the location of microorganisms associated with the coral host is a prerequisite for understanding their contributions to fitness. Localization of tissue-specific communities housed within CAMAs is particularly important, as these communities are potentially important contributors to vital metabolic functions of the holobiont.

RevDate: 2020-01-08
CmpDate: 2019-10-14

Leigh BA (2019)

Cooperation among Conflict: Prophages Protect Bacteria from Phagocytosis.

Cell host & microbe, 26(4):450-452.

Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, are the most abundant biological entities within the holobiont. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Jahn et al. (2019) describe a group of phages that can suppress immune cell function in marine sponges using secreted ankyrin proteins. They call these phages Ankyphages.

RevDate: 2019-12-22

Walker NS, Fernández R, Sneed JM, et al (2019)

Differential gene expression during substrate probing in larvae of the Caribbean coral Porites astreoides.

Molecular ecology, 28(22):4899-4913.

The transition from larva to adult is a critical step in the life history strategy of most marine animals. However, the genetic basis of this life history change remains poorly understood in many taxa, including most coral species. Recent evidence suggests that coral planula larvae undergo significant changes at the physiological and molecular levels throughout the development. To investigate this, we characterized differential gene expression (DGE) during the transition from planula to adult polyp in the abundant Caribbean reef-building coral Porites astreoides, that is from nonprobing to actively substrate-probing larva, a stage required for colony initiation. This period is crucial for the coral, because it demonstrates preparedness to locate appropriate substrata for settlement based on vital environmental cues. Through RNA-Seq, we identified 860 differentially expressed holobiont genes between probing and nonprobing larvae (p ≤ .01), the majority of which were upregulated in probing larvae. Surprisingly, differentially expressed genes of endosymbiotic dinoflagellate origin greatly outnumbered coral genes, compared with a nearly 1:1 ratio of coral-to-dinoflagellate gene representation in the holobiont transcriptome. This unanticipated result suggests that dinoflagellate endosymbionts may play a significant role in the transition from nonprobing to probing behaviour in dinoflagellate-rich larvae. Putative holobiont genes were largely involved in protein and nucleotide binding, metabolism and transport. Genes were also linked to environmental sensing and response and integral signalling pathways. Our results thus provide detailed insight into molecular changes prior to larval settlement and highlight the complex physiological and biochemical changes that occur in early transition stages from pelagic to benthic stages in corals, and perhaps more importantly, in their endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Yang Y, Sun J, Sun Y, et al (2020)

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

The ISME journal, 14(1):135-150.

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

RevDate: 2019-10-23

Freire I, Gutner-Hoch E, Muras A, et al (2019)

The effect of bacteria on planula-larvae settlement and metamorphosis in the octocoral Rhytisma fulvum fulvum.

PloS one, 14(9):e0223214.

While increasing evidence supports a key role of bacteria in coral larvae settlement and development, the relative importance of environmentally-acquired versus vertically-transferred bacterial population is not clear. Here we have attempted to elucidate the role of post-brooding-acquired bacteria on the development of planula-larvae of the octocoral Rhytisma f. fulvum, in an in vitro cultivation system employing different types of filtered (FSW) and autoclaved (ASW) seawater and with the addition of native bacteria. A good development of larvae was obtained in polystyrene 6-well cell culture plates in the absence of natural reef substrata, achieving a 60-80% of larvae entering metamorphosis after 32 days, even in bacteria-free seawater, indicating that the bacteria acquired during the brooding period are sufficient to support planulae development. No significant difference in planulae attachment and development was observed when using 0.45 μm or 0.22 μm FSW, although autoclaving the 0.45 μm FSW negatively affected larval development, indicating the presence of beneficial bacteria. Autoclaving the different FSW homogenized the development of the larvae among the different treatments. The addition of bacterial strains isolated from the different FSW did not cause any significant effect on planulae development, although some specific strains of the genus Alteromonas seem to be beneficial for larvae development. Light was beneficial for planulae development after day 20, although no Symbiodinium cells could be observed, indicating either that light acts as a positive cue for larval development or the presence of beneficial phototrophic bacteria in the coral microbiome. The feasibility of obtaining advanced metamorphosed larvae in sterilized water provides an invaluable tool for studying the physiological role of the bacterial symbionts in the coral holobiont and the specificity of bacteria-coral interactions.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Gilbert SF (2019)

Evolutionary transitions revisited: Holobiont evo-devo.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution, 332(8):307-314.

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

RevDate: 2019-10-23

Bordoni B, Simonelli M, B Morabito (2019)

The Fascial Breath.

Cureus, 11(7):e5208.

The word diaphragm comes from the Greek (διάϕραγμα), which meant something that divides, but also expressed a concept related to emotions and intellect. Breath is part of a concept of symmorphosis, that is the maximum ability to adapt to multiple functional questions in a defined biological context. The act of breathing determines and defines our holobiont: how we react and who we are. The article reviews the fascial structure that involves and forms the diaphragm muscle with the aim of changing the vision of this complex muscle: from an anatomical and mechanistic form to a fractal and asynchronous form. Another step forward for understanding the diaphragm muscle is that it is not only covered, penetrated and made up of connective tissue, but the contractile tissue itself is a fascial tissue with the same embryological derivation. All the diaphragm muscle is fascia.

RevDate: 2019-11-26

Robbins SJ, Singleton CM, Chan CX, et al (2019)

A genomic view of the reef-building coral Porites lutea and its microbial symbionts.

Nature microbiology, 4(12):2090-2100.

Corals and the reef ecosystems that they support are in global decline due to increasing anthropogenic pressures such as climate change1. However, effective reef conservation strategies are hampered by a limited mechanistic understanding of coral biology and the functional roles of the diverse microbial communities that underpin coral health2,3. Here, we present an integrated genomic characterization of the coral species Porites lutea and its microbial partners. High-quality genomes were recovered from P. lutea, as well as a metagenome-assembled Cladocopium C15 (the dinoflagellate symbiont) and 52 bacterial and archaeal populations. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that many of the bacterial and archaeal genomes encode motifs that may be involved in maintaining association with the coral host and in supplying fixed carbon, B-vitamins and amino acids to their eukaryotic partners. Furthermore, mechanisms for ammonia, urea, nitrate, dimethylsulfoniopropionate and taurine transformation were identified that interlink members of the holobiont and may be important for nutrient acquisition and retention in oligotrophic waters. Our findings demonstrate the critical and diverse roles that microorganisms play within the coral holobiont and underscore the need to consider all of the components of the holobiont if we are to effectively inform reef conservation strategies.

RevDate: 2019-10-23

van Vliet S, M Doebeli (2019)

The role of multilevel selection in host microbiome evolution.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(41):20591-20597.

Animals are associated with a microbiome that can affect their reproductive success. It is, therefore, important to understand how a host and its microbiome coevolve. According to the hologenome concept, hosts and their microbiome form an integrated evolutionary entity, a holobiont, on which selection can potentially act directly. However, this view is controversial, and there is an active debate on whether the association between hosts and their microbiomes is strong enough to allow for selection at the holobiont level. Much of this debate is based on verbal arguments, but a quantitative framework is needed to investigate the conditions under which selection can act at the holobiont level. Here, we use multilevel selection theory to develop such a framework. We found that selection at the holobiont level can in principle favor a trait that is costly to the microbes but that provides a benefit to the host. However, such scenarios require rather stringent conditions. The degree to which microbiome composition is heritable decays with time, and selection can only act at the holobiont level when this decay is slow enough, which occurs when vertical transmission is stronger than horizontal transmission. Moreover, the host generation time has to be short enough compared with the timescale of the evolutionary dynamics at the microbe level. Our framework thus allows us to quantitatively predict for what kind of systems selection could act at the holobiont level.

RevDate: 2019-11-26

Kormas KA (2019)

Editorial for the Special Issue: Gut Microorganisms of Aquatic Animals.

Microorganisms, 7(10):.

Since the introduction of the term holobiont [...].

RevDate: 2019-10-23

Planes S, Allemand D, Agostini S, et al (2019)

The Tara Pacific expedition-A pan-ecosystemic approach of the "-omics" complexity of coral reef holobionts across the Pacific Ocean.

PLoS biology, 17(9):e3000483.

Coral reefs are the most diverse habitats in the marine realm. Their productivity, structural complexity, and biodiversity critically depend on ecosystem services provided by corals that are threatened because of climate change effects-in particular, ocean warming and acidification. The coral holobiont is composed of the coral animal host, endosymbiotic dinoflagellates, associated viruses, bacteria, and other microeukaryotes. In particular, the mandatory photosymbiosis with microalgae of the family Symbiodiniaceae and its consequences on the evolution, physiology, and stress resilience of the coral holobiont have yet to be fully elucidated. The functioning of the holobiont as a whole is largely unknown, although bacteria and viruses are presumed to play roles in metabolic interactions, immunity, and stress tolerance. In the context of climate change and anthropogenic threats on coral reef ecosystems, the Tara Pacific project aims to provide a baseline of the "-omics" complexity of the coral holobiont and its ecosystem across the Pacific Ocean and for various oceanographically distinct defined areas. Inspired by the previous Tara Oceans expeditions, the Tara Pacific expedition (2016-2018) has applied a pan-ecosystemic approach on coral reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean, drawing an east-west transect from Panama to Papua New Guinea and a south-north transect from Australia to Japan, sampling corals throughout 32 island systems with local replicates. Tara Pacific has developed and applied state-of-the-art technologies in very-high-throughput genetic sequencing and molecular analysis to reveal the entire microbial and chemical diversity as well as functional traits associated with coral holobionts, together with various measures on environmental forcing. This ambitious project aims at revealing a massive amount of novel biodiversity, shedding light on the complex links between genomes, transcriptomes, metabolomes, organisms, and ecosystem functions in coral reefs and providing a reference of the biological state of modern coral reefs in the Anthropocene.

RevDate: 2019-12-25

Pootakham W, Mhuantong W, Yoocha T, et al (2019)

Heat-induced shift in coral microbiome reveals several members of the Rhodobacteraceae family as indicator species for thermal stress in Porites lutea.

MicrobiologyOpen, 8(12):e935.

The coral holobiont is a complex ecosystem consisting of coral animals and a highly diverse consortium of associated microorganisms including algae, fungi, and bacteria. Several studies have highlighted the importance of coral-associated bacteria and their potential roles in promoting the host fitness and survival. Recently, dynamics of coral-associated microbiomes have been demonstrated to be linked to patterns of coral heat tolerance. Here, we examined the effect of elevated seawater temperature on the structure and diversity of bacterial populations associated with Porites lutea, using full-length 16S rRNA sequences obtained from Pacific Biosciences circular consensus sequencing. We observed a significant increase in alpha diversity indices and a distinct shift in microbiome composition during thermal stress. There was a marked decline in the apparent relative abundance of Gammaproteobacteria family Endozoicomonadaceae after P. lutea had been exposed to elevated seawater temperature. Concomitantly, the bacterial community structure shifted toward the predominance of Alphaproteobacteria family Rhodobacteraceae. Interestingly, we did not observe an increase in relative abundance of Vibrio-related sequences in our heat-stressed samples even though the appearance of Vibrio spp. has often been detected in parallel with the increase in the relative abundance of Rhodobacteraceae during thermal bleaching in other coral species. The ability of full-length 16S rRNA sequences in resolving taxonomic uncertainty of associated bacteria at a species level enabled us to identify 24 robust indicator bacterial species for thermally stressed corals. It is worth noting that the majority of those indicator species were members of the family Rhodobacteraceae. The comparison of bacterial community structure and diversity between corals in ambient water temperature and thermally stressed corals may provide a better understanding on how bacteria symbionts contribute to the resilience of their coral hosts to ocean warming.

RevDate: 2019-09-21

Thomas-Vaslin V (2019)

Individuation and the Organization in Complex Living Ecosystem: Recursive Integration and Self-assertion by Holon-Lymphocytes.

Acta biotheoretica pii:10.1007/s10441-019-09364-w [Epub ahead of print].

Individuation and organization in complex living multi-level ecosystem occurs as dynamical processes from early ontogeny. The notion of living "holon" displaying dynamic self-assertion and integration is used here to explain the ecosystems dynamic processes. The update of the living holon state according to the continuous change of the dynamic system allows for its viability. This is interpreted as adaptation, selection and organization by the human that observes the system a posteriori from its level. Our model concerns the complex dynamics of the adaptive immune system, integrating holon-lymphocytes that collectively preserve the identity and integrity of the organism. Each lymphocyte individualizes as a dynamic holon-lymphocyte, with somatic gene individuation leading to an individual, singular antigen immunoreceptor type, promoting the self-assertion. In turn, the "Immunoception" allows for perception of the environmental antigenic context, thus integration of the holon in its environment. The self-assertion/integration of holon-lymphocyte starts from fetal stages and is influenced by mother Lamarckian acquired historicity transmissions, a requisite for the integrity of the holobiont-organism. We propose a dynamic model of the perception by holon-lymphocyte, and at the supra-clonal level of the immune system functions that sustain the identity and integrity of the holon-holobiont organism.

RevDate: 2019-09-20

García-López R, Pérez-Brocal V, A Moya (2019)

Beyond cells - The virome in the human holobiont.

Microbial cell (Graz, Austria), 6(9):373-396 pii:MIC0179E109.

Viromics, or viral metagenomics, is a relatively new and burgeoning field of research that studies the complete collection of viruses forming part of the microbiota in any given niche. It has strong foundations rooted in over a century of discoveries in the field of virology and recent advances in molecular biology and sequencing technologies. Historically, most studies have deconstructed the concept of viruses into a simplified perception of viral agents as mere pathogens, which demerits the scope of large-scale viromic analyses. Viruses are, in fact, much more than regular parasites. They are by far the most dynamic and abundant entity and the greatest killers on the planet, as well as the most effective geo-transforming genetic engineers and resource recyclers, acting on all life strata in any habitat. Yet, most of this uncanny viral world remains vastly unexplored to date, greatly hindered by the bewildering complexity inherent to such studies and the methodological and conceptual limitations. Viromic studies are just starting to address some of these issues but they still lag behind microbial metagenomics. In recent years, however, higher-throughput analysis and resequencing have rekindled interest in a field that is just starting to show its true potential. In this review, we take a look at the scientific and technological developments that led to the advent of viral and bacterial metagenomics with a particular, but not exclusive, focus on human viromics from an ecological perspective. We also address some of the most relevant challenges that current viral studies face and ponder on the future directions of the field.

RevDate: 2019-09-18

Porro B, Mallien C, Hume BCC, et al (2019)

The many faced symbiotic snakelocks anemone (Anemonia viridis, Anthozoa): host and symbiont genetic differentiation among colour morphs.

Heredity pii:10.1038/s41437-019-0266-3 [Epub ahead of print].

How can we explain morphological variations in a holobiont? The genetic determinism of phenotypes is not always obvious and could be circumstantial in complex organisms. In symbiotic cnidarians, it is known that morphology or colour can misrepresent a complex genetic and symbiotic diversity. Anemonia viridis is a symbiotic sea anemone from temperate seas. This species displays different colour morphs based on pigment content and lives in a wide geographical range. Here, we investigated whether colour morph differentiation correlated with host genetic diversity or associated symbiotic genetic diversity by using RAD sequencing and symbiotic dinoflagellate typing of 140 sea anemones from the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea. We did not observe genetic differentiation among colour morphs of A. viridis at the animal host or symbiont level, rejecting the hypothesis that A. viridis colour morphs correspond to species level differences. Interestingly, we however identified at least four independent animal host genetic lineages in A. viridis that differed in their associated symbiont populations. In conclusion, although the functional role of the different morphotypes of A. viridis remains to be determined, our approach provides new insights on the existence of cryptic species within A. viridis.

RevDate: 2019-09-20

Rausch P, Rühlemann M, Hermes BM, et al (2019)

Comparative analysis of amplicon and metagenomic sequencing methods reveals key features in the evolution of animal metaorganisms.

Microbiome, 7(1):133 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0743-1.

BACKGROUND: The interplay between hosts and their associated microbiome is now recognized as a fundamental basis of the ecology, evolution, and development of both players. These interdependencies inspired a new view of multicellular organisms as "metaorganisms." The goal of the Collaborative Research Center "Origin and Function of Metaorganisms" is to understand why and how microbial communities form long-term associations with hosts from diverse taxonomic groups, ranging from sponges to humans in addition to plants.

METHODS: In order to optimize the choice of analysis procedures, which may differ according to the host organism and question at hand, we systematically compared the two main technical approaches for profiling microbial communities, 16S rRNA gene amplicon and metagenomic shotgun sequencing across our panel of ten host taxa. This includes two commonly used 16S rRNA gene regions and two amplification procedures, thus totaling five different microbial profiles per host sample.

CONCLUSION: While 16S rRNA gene-based analyses are subject to much skepticism, we demonstrate that many aspects of bacterial community characterization are consistent across methods. The resulting insight facilitates the selection of appropriate methods across a wide range of host taxa. Overall, we recommend single- over multi-step amplification procedures, and although exceptions and trade-offs exist, the V3 V4 over the V1 V2 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Finally, by contrasting taxonomic and functional profiles and performing phylogenetic analysis, we provide important and novel insight into broad evolutionary patterns among metaorganisms, whereby the transition of animals from an aquatic to a terrestrial habitat marks a major event in the evolution of host-associated microbial composition.

RevDate: 2019-12-21

Bana B, F Cabreiro (2019)

The Microbiome and Aging.

Annual review of genetics, 53:239-261.

Aging is a natural process of organismal decay that underpins the development of myriad diseases and disorders. Extensive efforts have been made to understand the biology of aging and its regulation, but most studies focus solely on the host organism. Considering the pivotal role of the microbiota in host health and metabolism, we propose viewing the host and its microbiota as a single biological entity whose aging phenotype is influenced by the complex interplay between host and bacterial genetics. In this review we present how the microbiota changes as the host ages, but also how the intricate relationship between host and indigenous bacteria impacts organismal aging and life span. In addition, we highlight other microbiota-dependent mechanisms that potentially regulate aging, and present experimental animal models for addressing these questions. Importantly, we propose microbiome dysbiosis as an additional hallmark and biomarker of aging.

RevDate: 2019-11-08
CmpDate: 2019-11-08

Li J, Wang T, Yu S, et al (2019)

Community characteristics and ecological roles of bacterial biofilms associated with various algal settlements on coastal reefs.

Journal of environmental management, 250:109459.

Bacterial biofilms, which are a group of bacteria attaching to and ultimately forming communities on reefs, perform essential ecological functions in coastal ecosystems. Particularly, they may attract or repulse the settling down of opportunistic algae. However, this phenomenon and the interaction mechanism are not fully understood. This study investigated reefs from the Changdao coastal zone to determine the structures and functions of bacterial biofilms symbiosing with various algae using high-throughput sequencing analysis. The Shannon diversity index of microbiota with algal symbiosis reached 5.34, which was higher than that of microbiota wherein algae were absent (4.80). The beta diversity results for 11 samples revealed that there existed a separation between bacterial communities on reefs with and without attached algae, while communities with similar algae clustered together. The taxa mostly associated with algae-symbiotic microbiota are the Actinobacteria phylum, and the Flavobacteriia and Gammaproteobacteria classes. The Cyanobacteria phylum was not associated with algae-symbiotic microbiota. As revealed by functional analysis, the bacteria mostly involved in the metabolism of sulfur were represented by brown and red algae in the biofilm symbiosis. Bacteria related to the metabolism of certain trace elements were observed only in specific groups. Moreover, phototrophy-related bacteria were less abundant in samples coexisting with algae. This study established the link between bacterial biofilms and algal settlements on costal reefs, and revealed the possible holobiont relationship between them. This may provide new technical directions toward realizing algal cultivation and management during the construction of artificial reef ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Pupier CA, Bednarz VN, Grover R, et al (2019)

Divergent Capacity of Scleractinian and Soft Corals to Assimilate and Transfer Diazotrophically Derived Nitrogen to the Reef Environment.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1860.

Corals are associated with dinitrogen (N2)-fixing bacteria that potentially represent an additional nitrogen (N) source for the coral holobiont in oligotrophic reef environments. Nevertheless, the few studies investigating the assimilation of diazotrophically derived nitrogen (DDN) by tropical corals are limited to a single scleractinian species (i.e., Stylophora pistillata). The present study quantified DDN assimilation rates in four scleractinian and three soft coral species from the shallow waters of the oligotrophic Northern Red Sea using the 15N2 tracer technique. All scleractinian species significantly stimulated N2 fixation in the coral-surrounding seawater (and mucus) and assimilated DDN into their tissue. Interestingly, N2 fixation was not detected in the tissue and surrounding seawater of soft corals, despite the fact that soft corals were able to take up DDN from a culture of free-living diazotrophs. Soft coral mucus likely represents an unfavorable habitat for the colonization and activity of diazotrophs as it contains a low amount of particulate organic matter, with a relatively high N content, compared to the mucus of scleractinian corals. In addition, it is known to present antimicrobial properties. Overall, this study suggests that DDN assimilation into coral tissues depends on the presence of active diazotrophs in the coral's mucus layer and/or surrounding seawater. Since N is often a limiting nutrient for primary productivity in oligotrophic reef waters, the divergent capacity of scleractinian and soft corals to promote N2 fixation may have implications for N availability and reef biogeochemistry in scleractinian versus soft coral-dominated reefs.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Gantt SE, McMurray SE, Stubler AD, et al (2019)

Testing the relationship between microbiome composition and flux of carbon and nutrients in Caribbean coral reef sponges.

Microbiome, 7(1):124 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0739-x.

BACKGROUND: Sponges are important suspension-feeding members of reef communities, with the collective capacity to overturn the entire water column on shallow Caribbean reefs every day. The sponge-loop hypothesis suggests that sponges take up dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and, via assimilation and shedding of cells, return carbon to the reef ecosystem as particulate organic carbon (POC). Sponges host complex microbial communities within their tissues that may play a role in carbon and nutrient cycling within the sponge holobiont. To investigate this relationship, we paired microbial community characterization (16S rRNA analysis, Illumina Mi-Seq platform) with carbon (DOC, POC) and nutrient (PO4, NOx, NH4) flux data (specific filtration rate) for 10 common Caribbean sponge species at two distant sites (Florida Keys vs. Belize, ~ 1203 km apart).

RESULTS: Distance-based linear modeling revealed weak relationships overall between symbiont structure and carbon and nutrient flux, suggesting that the observed differences in POC, DOC, PO4, and NOx flux among sponges are not caused by variations in the composition of symbiont communities. In contrast, significant correlations between symbiont structure and NH4 flux occurred consistently across the dataset. Further, several individual symbiont taxa (OTUs) exhibited relative abundances that correlated with NH4 flux, including one OTU affiliated with the ammonia-oxidizing genus Cenarchaeum.

CONCLUSIONS: Combined, these results indicate that microbiome structure is uncoupled from sponge carbon cycling and does not explain variation in DOC uptake among Caribbean coral reef sponges. Accordingly, differential DOC assimilation by sponge cells or stable microbiome components may ultimately drive carbon flux in the sponge holobiont.

RevDate: 2019-12-17
CmpDate: 2019-12-17

Liu H, Macdonald CA, Cook J, et al (2019)

An Ecological Loop: Host Microbiomes across Multitrophic Interactions.

Trends in ecology & evolution, 34(12):1118-1130.

Our knowledge of host-associated microorganisms and their role in host functions is rapidly evolving. Stress-affected plants assemble beneficial microbes in their rhizosphere to maximize survival and growth. Similarly, insects have gut microbiomes that extend their functional repertoire in fighting stress. A strong microbial linkage between soil, plants, and pollinators is emerging and this can influence pollination services and overall ecosystem health. Yet, the nature of microbial interactions between different ecosystem components remains poorly understood. Here we highlight the acquisition pathways of beneficial microbes and their functions in protecting hosts against stress. By adopting a new 'eco-holobiont' approach, which explicitly incorporates biotic feedbacks, we can significantly expand our ecological understanding and better develop sustainable environmental management.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Tourneroche A, Lami R, Hubas C, et al (2019)

Bacterial-Fungal Interactions in the Kelp Endomicrobiota Drive Autoinducer-2 Quorum Sensing.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1693.

Brown macroalgae are an essential component of temperate coastal ecosystems and a growing economic sector. They harbor diverse microbial communities that regulate algal development and health. This algal holobiont is dynamic and achieves equilibrium via a complex network of microbial and host interactions. We now report that bacterial and fungal endophytes associated with four brown algae (Ascophyllum nodosum, Pelvetia canaliculata, Laminaria digitata, and Saccharina latissima) produce metabolites that interfere with bacterial autoinducer-2 quorum sensing, a signaling system implicated in virulence and host colonization. Additionally, we performed co-culture experiments combined to a metabolomic approach and demonstrated that microbial interactions influence production of metabolites, including metabolites involved in quorum sensing. Collectively, the data highlight autoinducer-2 quorum sensing as a key metabolite in the complex network of interactions within the algal holobiont.

RevDate: 2019-09-16

Miller WB, Torday JS, F Baluška (2019)

The N-space Episenome unifies cellular information space-time within cognition-based evolution.

Progress in biophysics and molecular biology pii:S0079-6107(19)30148-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Self-referential cellular homeostasis is maintained by the measured assessment of both internal status and external conditions based within an integrated cellular information field. This cellular field attachment to biologic information space-time coordinates environmental inputs by connecting the cellular senome, as the sum of the sensory experiences of the cell, with its genome and epigenome. In multicellular organisms, individual cellular information fields aggregate into a collective information architectural matrix, termed a N-space Episenome, that enables mutualized organism-wide information management. It is hypothesized that biological organization represents a dual heritable system constituted by both its biological materiality and a conjoining N-space Episenome. It is further proposed that morphogenesis derives from reciprocations between these inter-related facets to yield coordinated multicellular growth and development. The N-space Episenome is conceived as a whole cell informational projection that is heritable, transferable via cell division and essential for the synchronous integration of the diverse self-referential cells that constitute holobionts.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Zhang S, Song W, Wemheuer B, et al (2019)

Comparative Genomics Reveals Ecological and Evolutionary Insights into Sponge-Associated Thaumarchaeota.

mSystems, 4(4): pii:4/4/e00288-19.

Thaumarchaeota are frequently reported to associate with marine sponges (phylum Porifera); however, little is known about the features that distinguish them from their free-living thaumarchaeal counterparts. In this study, thaumarchaeal metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) were reconstructed from metagenomic data sets derived from the marine sponges Hexadella detritifera, Hexadella cf. detritifera, and Stylissa flabelliformis Phylogenetic and taxonomic analyses revealed that the three thaumarchaeal MAGs represent two new species within the genus Nitrosopumilus and one novel genus, for which we propose the names "CandidatusUNitrosopumilus hexadellus," "CandidatusUNitrosopumilus detritiferus," and "CandidatusUCenporiarchaeum stylissum" (the U superscript indicates that the taxon is uncultured). Comparison of these genomes to data from the Sponge Earth Microbiome Project revealed that "CaUCenporiarchaeum stylissum" has been exclusively detected in sponges and can hence be classified as a specialist, while "CaUNitrosopumilus detritiferus" and "CaUNitrosopumilus hexadellus" are also detected outside the sponge holobiont and likely lead a generalist lifestyle. Comparison of the sponge-associated MAGs to genomes of free-living Thaumarchaeota revealed signatures that indicate functional features of a sponge-associated lifestyle, and these features were related to nutrient transport and metabolism, restriction-modification, defense mechanisms, and host interactions. Each species exhibited distinct functional traits, suggesting that they have reached different stages of evolutionary adaptation and/or occupy distinct ecological niches within their sponge hosts. Our study therefore offers new evolutionary and ecological insights into the symbiosis between sponges and their thaumarchaeal symbionts.IMPORTANCE Sponges represent ecologically important models to understand the evolution of symbiotic interactions of metazoans with microbial symbionts. Thaumarchaeota are commonly found in sponges, but their potential adaptations to a host-associated lifestyle are largely unknown. Here, we present three novel sponge-associated thaumarchaeal species and compare their genomic and predicted functional features with those of closely related free-living counterparts. We found different degrees of specialization of these thaumarchaeal species to the sponge environment that is reflected in their host distribution and their predicted molecular and metabolic properties. Our results indicate that Thaumarchaeota may have reached different stages of evolutionary adaptation in their symbiosis with sponges.

RevDate: 2019-09-11

Drago L, Panelli S, Bandi C, et al (2019)

What Pediatricians Should Know Before Studying Gut Microbiota.

Journal of clinical medicine, 8(8): pii:jcm8081206.

Billions of microorganisms, or "microbiota", inhabit the gut and affect its homeostasis, influencing, and sometimes causing if altered, a multitude of diseases. The genomes of the microbes that form the gut ecosystem should be summed to the human genome to form the hologenome due to their influence on human physiology; hence the term "microbiome" is commonly used to refer to the genetic make-up and gene-gene interactions of microbes. This review attempts to provide insight into this recently discovered vital organ of the human body, which has yet to be fully explored. We herein discuss the rhythm and shaping of the microbiome at birth and during the first years leading up to adolescence. Furthermore, important issues to consider for conducting a reliable microbiome study including study design, inclusion/exclusion criteria, sample collection, storage, and variability of different sampling methods as well as the basic terminology of molecular approaches, data analysis, and clinical interpretation of results are addressed. This basic knowledge aims to provide the pediatricians with a key tool to avoid data dispersion and pitfalls during child microbiota study.

RevDate: 2019-10-29

Meron D, Maor-Landaw K, Weizman E, et al (2019)

The Algal Symbiont Modifies the Transcriptome of the Scleractinian Coral Euphyllia paradivisa During Heat Stress.

Microorganisms, 7(8): pii:microorganisms7080256.

The profound mutualistic symbiosis between corals and their endosymbiotic counterparts, Symbiodiniaceae algae, has been threatened by the increase in seawater temperatures, leading to breakdown of the symbiotic relationship-coral bleaching. To characterize the heat-stress response of the holobiont, we generated vital apo-symbiotic Euphylliaparadivisa corals that lacked the endosymbiotic algae. Using RNA sequencing, we analyzed the gene expression of these apo-symbionts vs. symbiotic ones, to test the effect of the algal presence on the tolerance of the coral. We utilized literature-derived lists of "symbiosis differentially expressed genes" and "coral heat-stress genes" in order to compare between the treatments. The symbiotic and apo-symbiotic samples were segregated into two separate groups with several different enriched gene ontologies. Our findings suggest that the presence of endosymbionts has a greater negative impact on the host than the environmental temperature conditions experienced by the holobiont. The peak of the stress reaction was identified as 28 °C, with the highest number of differentially expressed genes. We suggest that the algal symbionts increase coral holobiont susceptibility to elevated temperatures. Currently, we can only speculate whether coral species, such as E.paradivisa, with the plasticity to also flourish as apo-symbionts, may have a greater chance to withstand the upcoming global climate change challenge.

RevDate: 2019-08-15

Abdelfattah A, Sanzani SM, Wisniewski M, et al (2019)

Revealing Cues for Fungal Interplay in the Plant-Air Interface in Vineyards.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:922.

Plant-associated microorganisms play a crucial role in plant health and productivity. Belowground microbial diversity is widely reported as a major factor in determining the composition of the plant microbiome. In contrast, much less is known about the role of the atmosphere in relation to the plant microbiome. The current study examined the hypothesis that the atmospheric microbiome influences the composition of fungal communities of the aboveground organs (flowers, fruit, and leaves) of table grape and vice versa. The atmosphere surrounding grape plantings exhibited a significantly higher level of fungal diversity relative to the nearby plant organs and shared a higher number of phylotypes (5,536 OTUs, 40.3%) with the plant than between organs of the same plant. Using a Bayesian source tracking approach, plant organs were determined to be the major source of the atmospheric fungal community (92%). In contrast, airborne microbiota had only a minor contribution to the grape microbiome, representing the source of 15, 4, and 35% of the fungal communities of leaves, flowers, and fruits, respectively. Moreover, data indicate that plant organs and the surrounding atmosphere shared a fraction of each other's fungal communities, and this shared pool of fungal taxa serves as a two-way reservoir of microorganisms. Microbial association analysis highlighted more positive than negative interactions between fungal phylotypes. Positive interactions were more common within the same environment, while negative interactions appeared to occur more frequently between different environments, i.e., atmosphere, leaf, flower, and fruit. The current study revealed the interplay between the fungal communities of the grape phyllosphere with the surrounding air. Plants were identified as a major source of recruitment for the atmospheric microbiome, while the surrounding atmosphere contributed only a small fraction of the plant fungal community. The results of the study suggested that the plant-air interface modulates the plant recruitment of atmospheric fungi, taking a step forward in understanding the plant holobiont assembly and how the atmosphere surrounding plants plays a role in this process. The impact of plants on the atmospheric microbiota has several biological and epidemiological implications for plants and humans.

RevDate: 2019-08-11

Damjanovic K, van Oppen MJH, Menéndez P, et al (2019)

Experimental Inoculation of Coral Recruits With Marine Bacteria Indicates Scope for Microbiome Manipulation in Acropora tenuis and Platygyra daedalea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1702.

Coral-associated microorganisms are essential for maintaining the health of the coral holobiont by participating in nutrient cycling and protecting the coral host from pathogens. Under stressful conditions, disruption of the coral prokaryotic microbiome is linked to increased susceptibility to diseases and mortality. Inoculation of corals with beneficial microbes could confer enhanced stress tolerance to the host and may be a powerful tool to help corals thrive under challenging environmental conditions. Here, we explored the feasibility of coral early life stage microbiome manipulation by repeatedly inoculating coral recruits with a bacterial cocktail generated in the laboratory. Co-culturing the two species Acropora tenuis and Platygyra daedalea allowed us to simultaneously investigate the effect of host factors on the coral microbiome. Inoculation cocktails were regularly prepared from freshly grown pure bacterial cultures, which were hence assumed viable, and characterized via the optical density measurement of each individual strain put in suspension. Coral early recruits were inoculated seven times over 3 weeks and sampled once 36 h following the last inoculation event. At this time point, the cumulative inoculations with the bacterial cocktails had a strong effect on the bacterial community composition in recruits of both coral species. While the location of bacterial cells within the coral hosts was not assessed, metabarcoding using the 16S rRNA gene revealed that two and six of the seven bacterial strains administered through the cocktails were significantly enriched in inoculated recruits of A. tenuis and P. daedalea, respectively, compared to control recruits. Despite being reared in the same environment, A. tenuis and P. daedalea established significantly different bacterial communities, both in terms of taxonomic composition and diversity measurements. These findings indicate that coral host factors as well as the environmental bacterial pool play a role in shaping coral-associated bacterial community composition. Host factors may include microbe transmission mode (horizontal versus maternal) and host specificity. While the long-term stability of taxa included in the bacterial inocula as members of the host-associated microbiome remains to be evaluated, our results provide support for the feasibility of coral microbiome manipulation, at least in a laboratory setting.

RevDate: 2019-11-27
CmpDate: 2019-11-27

Rouzé R, Moné A, Delbac F, et al (2019)

The Honeybee Gut Microbiota Is Altered after Chronic Exposure to Different Families of Insecticides and Infection by Nosema ceranae.

Microbes and environments, 34(3):226-233.

The gut of the European honeybee Apis mellifera is the site of exposure to multiple stressors, such as pathogens and ingested chemicals. Therefore, the gut microbiota, which contributes to host homeostasis, may be altered by these stressors. The abundance of major bacterial taxa in the gut was evaluated in response to infection with the intestinal parasite Nosema ceranae or chronic exposure to low doses of the neurotoxic insecticides coumaphos, fipronil, thiamethoxam, and imidacloprid. Experiments were performed under laboratory conditions on adult workers collected from hives in February (winter bees) and July (summer bees) and revealed season-dependent changes in the bacterial community composition. N. ceranae and a lethal fipronil treatment increased the relative abundance of both Gilliamella apicola and Snodgrassella alvi in surviving winter honeybees. The parasite and a sublethal exposure to all insecticides decreased the abundance of Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. regardless of the season. The similar effects induced by insecticides belonging to distinct molecular families suggested a shared and indirect mode of action on the gut microbiota, possibly through aspecific alterations in gut homeostasis. These results demonstrate that infection and chronic exposure to low concentrations of insecticides may affect the honeybee holobiont.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Geva-Zatorsky N, Elinav E, S Pettersson (2019)

When Cultures Meet: The Landscape of "Social" Interactions between the Host and Its Indigenous Microbes.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 41(10):e1900002.

Animals exist as biodiverse composite organisms that include microbial residents, eukaryotic cells, and organs that collectively form a human being. Through an interdependent relationship and an inherent ability to transmit and reciprocate stimuli in a bidirectional way, a human body or the holobiont secures growth, health, and reproduction. As such, the survival of a holobiont is dependent on the maintenance of biological order including metabolic homeostasis by tight regulation of the communication between its eukaryotic and prokaryotic residents. In this review an overview and perspective are provided on the bidirectional communication between microbes and their host in mutually nurturing biochemical, biological, and social interconnected relationships between the components of the holobiont. An emphasis is placed on exemplifying microbiome-mediated effects on host functions-aiming to integrate microbiome functionality to host physiology, be it health or disease. Nutrition, immunology, and sexual dimorphism have been traversed extensively to reflect on health and mind states, social interactions, and urbanization defects/effects. Finally, examples of molecular mechanisms potentially orchestrating these complex transkingdom interactions are provided.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Carrasco J, GM Preston (2019)

Growing edible mushrooms: a conversation between bacteria and fungi.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Mushroom cropping consists of the development and fructification of different fungal species in soil or selective substrates that provide nutrients and support for the crop. The microorganisms present in these environments strongly influence, and in some cases are required for the growth and fructification of cultivated mushrooms. Some fungi such as truffles and morels form ectomycorrhizal associations with host plants. For these fungi, helper bacteria play an important role in the establishment of plant-fungal symbioses. Selective processes acting on the microbiota present in substrates and soils determine the composition of the microbiota inhabiting the fruit bodies or interacting with fungal hyphae, and both configure the mushroom holobiont, understood as the fungus plus associated microorganisms. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the cross-talk between bacteria and fungi during mushroom cultivation. We highlight the potential use of bioinoculants as agronomical amendments to increase mushroom productivity through growth promotion or as biocontrol agents to control pests and diseases.

RevDate: 2019-07-28

Taffner J, Cernava T, Erlacher A, et al (2019)

Novel insights into plant-associated archaea and their functioning in arugula (Eruca sativa Mill.).

Journal of advanced research, 19:39-48 pii:S2090-1232(19)30086-4.

A plant's microbiota has various implications for the plant's health and performance; however, the roles of many microbial lineages, particularly Archaea, have not been explored in detail. In the present study, analysis of archaea-specific 16S rRNA gene fragments and shotgun-sequenced metagenomes was combined with visualization techniques to obtain the first insights into the archaeome of a common salad plant, arugula (Eruca sativa Mill.). The archaeal communities associated with the soil, rhizosphere and phyllosphere were distinct, but a high proportion of community members were shared among all analysed habitats. Soil habitats exhibited the highest diversity of Archaea, followed by the rhizosphere and the phyllosphere. The archaeal community was dominated by Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota, with the most abundant taxa assigned to Candidatus Nitrosocosmicus, species of the 'Soil Crenarchaeotic Group' and, interestingly, Methanosarcina. Moreover, a large number of archaea-assigned sequences remained unassigned at lower taxonomic levels. Overall, analysis of shotgun-sequenced total-community DNA revealed a more diverse archaeome. Differences were evident at the class level and at higher taxonomic resolutions when compared to results from the 16S rRNA gene fragment amplicon library. Functional assessments primarily revealed archaeal genes related to response to stress (especially oxidative stress), CO2 fixation, and glycogen degradation. Microscopic visualizations of fluorescently labelled archaea in the phyllosphere revealed small scattered colonies, while archaea in the rhizosphere were found to be embedded within large bacterial biofilms. Altogether, Archaea were identified as a rather small but niche-specific component of the microbiomes of the widespread leafy green plant arugula.

RevDate: 2019-07-28

Hartmann A, Fischer D, Kinzel L, et al (2019)

Assessment of the structural and functional diversities of plant microbiota: Achievements and challenges - A review.

Journal of advanced research, 19:3-13 pii:S2090-1232(19)30085-2.

Analyses of the spatial localization and the functions of bacteria in host plant habitats through in situ identification by immunological and molecular genetic techniques combined with high resolving microscopic tools and 3D-image analysis contributed substantially to a better understanding of the functional interplay of the microbiota in plants. Among the molecular genetic methods, 16S-rRNA genes were of central importance to reconstruct the phylogeny of newly isolated bacteria and to localize them in situ. However, they usually do not allow resolution for phylogenetic affiliations below genus level. Especially, the separation of opportunistic human pathogens from plant beneficial strains, currently allocated to the same species, needs genome-based resolving techniques. Whole bacterial genome sequences allow to discriminate phylogenetically closely related strains. In addition, complete genome sequences enable strain-specific monitoring for biotechnologically relevant strains. In this mini-review we present high resolving approaches for analysis of the composition and key functions of plant microbiota, focusing on interactions of diazotrophic plant growth promoting bacteria, like Azospirillum brasilense, with non-legume host plants. Combining high resolving microscopic analyses with specific immunological detection methods and molecular genetic tools, including especially transcriptome analyses of both the bacterial and plant partners, enables new insights into key traits of beneficial bacteria-plant interactions in holobiontic systems.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Gilbert SF (2020)

Developmental symbiosis facilitates the multiple origins of herbivory.

Evolution & development, 22(1-2):154-164.

Developmental bias toward particular evolutionary trajectories can be facilitated through symbiosis. Organisms are holobionts, consisting of zygote-derived cells and a consortia of microbes, and the development, physiology, and immunity of animals are properties of complex interactions between the zygote-derived cells and microbial symbionts. Such symbionts can be agents of developmental plasticity, allowing an organism to develop in particular directions. This plasticity can lead to genetic assimilation either through the incorporation of microbial genes into host genomes or through the direct maternal transmission of the microbes. Such plasticity can lead to niche construction, enabling the microbes to remodel host anatomy and/or physiology. In this article, I will focus on the ability of symbionts to bias development toward the evolution of herbivory. I will posit that the behavioral and morphological manifestations of herbivorous phenotypes must be preceded by the successful establishment of a community of symbiotic microbes that can digest cell walls and detoxify plant poisons. The ability of holobionts to digest plant materials can range from being a plastic trait, dependent on the transient incorporation of environmental microbes, to becoming a heritable trait of the holobiont organism, transmitted through the maternal propagation of symbionts or their genes.

RevDate: 2019-08-25

Díaz-Sánchez S, Estrada-Peña A, Cabezas-Cruz A, et al (2019)

Evolutionary Insights into the Tick Hologenome.

Trends in parasitology, 35(9):725-737.

Recently, our knowledge of the composition and complexity of tick microbial communities has increased and supports microbial impact on tick biology. Results support a phylogenetic association between ticks and their microbiota across evolution; this is known as phylosymbiosis. Herein, using published datasets, we confirm the existence of phylosymbiosis between Ixodes ticks and their microbial communities. The strong phylosymbiotic signal and the phylogenetic structure of microbial communities associated with Ixodid ticks revealed that phylosymbiosis may be a widespread phenomenon in tick-microbiota evolution. This finding supports the existence of a species-specific tick hologenome with a largely unexplored influence on tick biology and pathogen transmission. These results may provide potential targets for the construction of paratransgenic ticks to control tick infestations and tick-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Chan WY, Peplow LM, Menéndez P, et al (2019)

The roles of age, parentage and environment on bacterial and algal endosymbiont communities in Acropora corals.

Molecular ecology, 28(16):3830-3843.

The bacterial and microalgal endosymbiont (Symbiodiniaceae spp.) communities associated with corals have important roles in their health and resilience, yet little is known about the factors driving their succession during early coral life stages. Using 16S rRNA gene and ITS2 metabarcoding, we compared these communities in four Acropora coral species and their hybrids obtained from two laboratory crosses (Acropora tenuis × Acropora loripes and Acropora sarmentosa × Acropora florida) across the parental, recruit (7 months old) and juvenile (2 years old) life stages. We tested whether microbiomes differed between (a) life stages, (b) hybrids and purebreds, and (c) treatment conditions (ambient/elevated temperature and pCO2). Microbial communities of early life stage corals were highly diverse, lacked host specificity and were primarily determined by treatment conditions. Over time, a winnowing process occurred, and distinct microbial communities developed between the two species pair crosses by 2 years of age, irrespective of hybrid or purebred status. These findings suggest that the microbial communities of corals have a period of flexibility prior to adulthood, which can be valuable to future research aimed at the manipulation of coral microbial communities.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Perez-Lamarque B, H Morlon (2019)

Characterizing symbiont inheritance during host-microbiota evolution: Application to the great apes gut microbiota.

Molecular ecology resources, 19(6):1659-1671.

Microbiota play a central role in the functioning of multicellular life, yet understanding their inheritance during host evolutionary history remains an important challenge. Symbiotic microorganisms are either acquired from the environment during the life of the host (i.e. environmental acquisition), transmitted across generations with a faithful association with their hosts (i.e. strict vertical transmission), or transmitted with occasional host switches (i.e. vertical transmission with horizontal switches). These different modes of inheritance affect microbes' diversification, which at the two extremes can be independent from that of their associated host or follow host diversification. The few existing quantitative tools for investigating the inheritance of symbiotic organisms rely on cophylogenetic approaches, which require knowledge of both host and symbiont phylogenies, and are therefore often not well adapted to DNA metabarcoding microbial data. Here, we develop a model-based framework for identifying vertically transmitted microbial taxa. We consider a model for the evolution of microbial sequences on a fixed host phylogeny that includes vertical transmission and horizontal host switches. This model allows estimating the number of host switches and testing for strict vertical transmission and independent evolution. We test our approach using simulations. Finally, we illustrate our framework on gut microbiota high-throughput sequencing data of the family Hominidae and identify several microbial taxonomic units, including fibrolytic bacteria involved in carbohydrate digestion, that tend to be vertically transmitted.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Rosenberg E, I Zilber-Rosenberg (2020)

The hologenome concept of evolution: do mothers matter most?.

BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, 127(2):129-137.

The hologenome concept of evolution is discussed, with special emphasis placed upon the microbiome of women. The microbiome is dynamic, changing under different conditions, and differs between women and men. Genetic variation occurs not only in the host, but also in the microbiome by the acquisition of novel microbes, the amplification of specific microbes, and horizontal gene transfer. The majority of unique genes in human holobionts are found in microbiomes, and mothers are responsible for transferring most of these to their offspring during birth, breastfeeding, and physical contact. Thus, mothers are likely to be the primary providers of the majority of genetic information to offspring via mitochondria and the microbiome. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: Microbiomes differ between women and men. Most genes in humans are in the microbiome. Mothers transfer most of these genes to offspring.

RevDate: 2019-07-17

Shih JL, Selph KE, Wall CB, et al (2019)

Trophic Ecology of the Tropical Pacific Sponge Mycale grandis Inferred from Amino Acid Compound-Specific Isotopic Analyses.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01410-x [Epub ahead of print].

Many sponges host abundant and active microbial communities that may play a role in the uptake of dissolved organic matter (DOM) by the sponge holobiont, although the mechanism of DOM uptake and metabolism is uncertain. Bulk and compound-specific isotopic analysis of whole sponge, isolated sponge cells, and isolated symbiotic microbial cells of the shallow water tropical Pacific sponge Mycale grandis were used to elucidate the trophic relationships between the host sponge and its associated microbial community. δ15N and δ13C values of amino acids in M. grandis isolated sponge cells are not different from those of its bacterial symbionts. Consequently, there is no difference in trophic position of the sponge and its symbiotic microbes indicating that M. grandis sponge cell isolates do not display amino acid isotopic characteristics typical of metazoan feeding. Furthermore, both the isolated microbial and sponge cell fractions were characterized by a similarly high ΣV value-a measure of bacterial-re-synthesis of organic matter calculated from the sum of variance among individual δ15N values of trophic amino acids. These high ΣV values observed in the sponge suggest that M. grandis is not reliant on translocated photosynthate from photosymbionts or feeding on water column picoplankton, but obtains nutrition through the uptake of amino acids of bacterial origin. Our results suggest that direct assimilation of bacterially synthesized amino acids from its symbionts, either in a manner similar to translocation observed in the coral holobiont or through phagotrophic feeding, is an important if not primary pathway of amino acid acquisition for M. grandis.

RevDate: 2019-07-19

Pollock FJ, Lamb JB, van de Water JAJM, et al (2019)

Reduced diversity and stability of coral-associated bacterial communities and suppressed immune function precedes disease onset in corals.

Royal Society open science, 6(6):190355 pii:rsos190355.

Disease is an emerging threat to coral reef ecosystems worldwide, highlighting the need to understand how environmental conditions interact with coral immune function and associated microbial communities to affect holobiont health. Increased coral disease incidence on reefs adjacent to permanently moored platforms on Australia's Great Barrier Reef provided a unique case study to investigate environment-host-microbe interactions in situ. Here, we evaluate coral-associated bacterial community (16S rRNA amplicon sequencing), immune function (protein-based prophenoloxidase-activating system), and water quality parameters before, during and after a disease event. Over the course of the study, 31% of tagged colonies adjacent to platforms developed signs of white syndrome (WS), while all control colonies on a platform-free reef remained visually healthy. Corals adjacent to platforms experienced significant reductions in coral immune function. Additionally, the corals at platform sites that remained visually healthy throughout the study had reduced bacterial diversity compared to healthy colonies at the platform-free site. Interestingly, prior to the observation of macroscopic disease, corals that would develop WS had reduced bacterial diversity and significantly greater community heterogeneity between colonies compared to healthy corals at the same location. These results suggest that activities associated with offshore marine infrastructure impacts coral immunocompetence and associated bacterial community, which affects the susceptibility of corals to disease.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

McIlroy SE, Thompson PD, Yuan FL, et al (2019)

Subtropical thermal variation supports persistence of corals but limits productivity of coral reefs.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1907):20190882.

Concomitant to the decline of tropical corals caused by increasing global sea temperatures is the potential removal of barriers to species range expansions into subtropical and temperate habitats. In these habitats, species must tolerate lower annual mean temperature, wider annual temperature ranges and lower minimum temperatures. To understand ecophysiological traits that will impact geographical range boundaries, we monitored populations of five coral species within a marginal habitat and used a year of in situ measures to model thermal performance of vital host, symbiont and holobiont physiology. Metabolic responses to temperature revealed two acclimatization strategies: peak productivity occurring at annual midpoint temperatures (4-6°C lower than tropical counterparts), or at annual maxima. Modelled relationships between temperature and P:R were compared to a year of daily subtropical sea temperatures and revealed that the relatively short time spent at any one temperature, limited optimal performance of all strategies to approximately half the days of the year. Thus, while subtropical corals can adjust their physiology to persist through seasonal lows, seasonal variation seems to be the key factor limiting coral productivity. This constraint on rapid reef accretion within subtropical environments provides insight into the global distribution of future coral reefs and their ecosystem services.

RevDate: 2020-01-08
CmpDate: 2019-10-25

Wright RM, Mera H, Kenkel CD, et al (2019)

Positive genetic associations among fitness traits support evolvability of a reef-building coral under multiple stressors.

Global change biology, 25(10):3294-3304.

Climate change threatens organisms in a variety of interactive ways that requires simultaneous adaptation of multiple traits. Predicting evolutionary responses requires an understanding of the potential for interactions among stressors and the genetic variance and covariance among fitness-related traits that may reinforce or constrain an adaptive response. Here we investigate the capacity of Acropora millepora, a reef-building coral, to adapt to multiple environmental stressors: rising sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, and increased prevalence of infectious diseases. We measured growth rates (weight gain), coral color (a proxy for Symbiodiniaceae density), and survival, in addition to nine physiological indicators of coral and algal health in 40 coral genets exposed to each of these three stressors singly and combined. Individual stressors resulted in predicted responses (e.g., corals developed lesions after bacterial challenge and bleached under thermal stress). However, corals did not suffer substantially more when all three stressors were combined. Nor were trade-offs observed between tolerances to different stressors; instead, individuals performing well under one stressor also tended to perform well under every other stressor. An analysis of genetic correlations between traits revealed positive covariances, suggesting that selection to multiple stressors will reinforce rather than constrain the simultaneous evolution of traits related to holobiont health (e.g., weight gain and algal density). These findings support the potential for rapid coral adaptation under climate change and emphasize the importance of accounting for corals' adaptive capacity when predicting the future of coral reefs.

RevDate: 2019-10-25
CmpDate: 2019-10-25

Ziegler M, Grupstra CGB, Barreto MM, et al (2019)

Coral bacterial community structure responds to environmental change in a host-specific manner.

Nature communications, 10(1):3092 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-10969-5.

The global decline of coral reefs heightens the need to understand how corals respond to changing environmental conditions. Corals are metaorganisms, so-called holobionts, and restructuring of the associated bacterial community has been suggested as a means of holobiont adaptation. However, the potential for restructuring of bacterial communities across coral species in different environments has not been systematically investigated. Here we show that bacterial community structure responds in a coral host-specific manner upon cross-transplantation between reef sites with differing levels of anthropogenic impact. The coral Acropora hemprichii harbors a highly flexible microbiome that differs between each level of anthropogenic impact to which the corals had been transplanted. In contrast, the microbiome of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa remains remarkably stable. Interestingly, upon cross-transplantation to unaffected sites, we find that microbiomes become indistinguishable from back-transplanted controls, suggesting the ability of microbiomes to recover. It remains unclear whether differences to associate with bacteria flexibly reflects different holobiont adaptation mechanisms to respond to environmental change.


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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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

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.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )