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29 Sep 2023 at 01:31
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Bibliography on: Holobiont


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 29 Sep 2023 at 01:31 Created: 


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

Created with PubMed® Query: ( holobiont OR hologenome OR holospecies ) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-09-27

Ševčíková H, Malysheva EF, Antonín V, et al (2023)

Holarctic Species in the Pluteus podospileus Clade: Description of Six New Species and Reassessment of Old Names.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(9): pii:jof9090898.

We studied the taxonomy of Pluteus podospileus and similar species using morphological and molecular (nrITS, TEF1-α) data, including a detailed study of the type collections of P. inflatus var. alneus, Pluteus minutissimus f. major, and P. granulatus var. tenellus. Within the P. podospileus complex, we phylogenetically confirmed six species in Europe, five in Asia, and eight in North America. Based on our results, we recognize P. seticeps as a separate species occurring in North America, while P. podospileus is limited to Eurasia. We describe six new species and a new variety: P. absconditus, P. fuscodiscus, P. gausapatus, P. inexpectatus, P. millsii, and P. notabilis and its variety, P. notabilis var. insignis. We elevate Pluteus seticeps var. cystidiosus to species rank as Pluteus cystidiosus. Based on the holotype of P. inflatus var. alneus, collections of P. inflatus identified by Velenovský, and several modern collections, we resurrect the name P. inflatus. Based on molecular analyses of syntypes of Pluteus minutissimus f. major and a holotype of Pluteus granulatus var. tenellus, we synonymize them under P. inflatus. We also increase our knowledge about the morphology and distribution of P. cutefractus.

RevDate: 2023-09-27

Lyndby NH, Murthy S, Bessette S, et al (2023)

Non-invasive investigation of the morphology and optical properties of the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea with optical coherence tomography.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2007):20230127.

The jellyfish Cassiopea largely cover their carbon demand via photosynthates produced by microalgal endosymbionts, but how holobiont morphology and tissue optical properties affect the light microclimate and symbiont photosynthesis in Cassiopea remain unexplored. Here, we use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to study the morphology of Cassiopea medusae at high spatial resolution. We include detailed 3D reconstructions of external micromorphology, and show the spatial distribution of endosymbionts and white granules in the bell tissue. Furthermore, we use OCT data to extract inherent optical properties from light-scattering white granules in Cassiopea, and show that granules enhance local light-availability for symbionts in close proximity. Individual granules had a scattering coefficient of µs = 200-300 cm[-1], and scattering anisotropy factor of g = 0.7, while large tissue-regions filled with white granules had a lower µs = 40-100 cm[-1], and g = 0.8-0.9. We combined OCT information with isotopic labelling experiments to investigate the effect of enhanced light-availability in whitish tissue regions. Endosymbionts located in whitish tissue exhibited significantly higher carbon fixation compared to symbionts in anastomosing tissue (i.e. tissue without light-scattering white granules). Our findings support previous suggestions that white granules in Cassiopea play an important role in the host modulation of the light-microenvironment.

RevDate: 2023-09-26

Wang C, Zheng X, Kvitt H, et al (2023)

Lineage-specific symbionts mediate differential coral responses to thermal stress.

Microbiome, 11(1):211.

BACKGROUND: Ocean warming is a leading cause of increasing episodes of coral bleaching, the dissociation between coral hosts and their dinoflagellate algal symbionts in the family Symbiodiniaceae. While the diversity and flexibility of Symbiodiniaceae is presumably responsible for variations in coral response to physical stressors such as elevated temperature, there is little data directly comparing physiological performance that accounts for symbiont identity associated with the same coral host species. Here, using Pocillopora damicornis harboring genotypically distinct Symbiodiniaceae strains, we examined the physiological responses of the coral holobiont and the dynamics of symbiont community change under thermal stress in a laboratory-controlled experiment.

RESULTS: We found that P. damicornis dominated with symbionts of metahaplotype D1-D4-D6 in the genus Durusdinium (i.e., PdD holobiont) was more robust to thermal stress than its counterpart with symbionts of metahaplotype C42-C1-C1b-C1c in the genus Cladocopium (i.e., PdC holobiont). Under ambient temperature, however, the thermally sensitive Cladocopium spp. exhibited higher photosynthetic efficiency and translocated more fixed carbon to the host, likely facilitating faster coral growth and calcification. Moreover, we observed a thermally induced increase in Durusdinium proportion in the PdC holobiont; however, this "symbiont shuffling" in the background was overwhelmed by the overall Cladocopium dominance, which coincided with faster coral bleaching and reduced calcification.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings support that lineage-specific symbiont dominance is a driver of distinct coral responses to thermal stress. In addition, we found that "symbiont shuffling" may begin with stress-forced, subtle changes in the rare biosphere to eventually trade off growth for increased resilience. Furthermore, the flexibility in corals' association with thermally tolerant symbiont lineages to adapt or acclimatize to future warming oceans should be viewed with conservative optimism as the current rate of environmental changes may outpace the evolutionary capabilities of corals. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-09-26

Roach TNF, Matsuda SB, Martin C, et al (2023)

Single-polyp metabolomics reveals biochemical structuring of the coral holobiont at multiple scales.

Communications biology, 6(1):984.

All biology happens in space, and spatial structuring plays an important role in mediating biological processes at all scales from cells to ecosystems. However, the metabolomic structuring of the coral holobiont has yet to be fully explored. Here, we present a method to detect high-quality metabolomic data from individual coral polyps and apply this method to study the patterning of biochemicals across multiple spatial (~1 mm - ~100 m) and organizational scales (polyp to population). The data show a strong signature for individual coral colonies, a weaker signature of branches within colonies, and variation at the polyp level related to the polyps' location along a branch. Mapping metabolites to either the coral or algal components of the holobiont reveals that polyp-level variation along the length of a branch was largely driven by molecules associated with the cnidarian host as opposed to the algal symbiont, predominantly putative sulfur-containing metabolites. This work yields insights on the spatial structuring of biochemicals in the coral holobiont, which is critical for design, analysis, and interpretation of studies on coral reef biochemistry.

RevDate: 2023-09-25

Galià-Camps C, Baños E, Pascual M, et al (2023)

Multidimensional variability of the microbiome of an invasive ascidian species.

iScience, 26(10):107812.

Animals, including invasive species, are complex entities consisting of a host and its associated symbionts (holobiont). The interaction between the holobiont components is crucial for the host's survival. However, our understanding of how microbiomes of invasive species change across different tissues, localities, and ontogenetic stages, is limited. In the introduced ascidian Styela plicata, we found that its microbiome is highly distinct and specialized among compartments (tunic, gill, and gut). Smaller but significant differences were also found across harbors, suggesting local adaptation, and between juveniles and adults. Furthermore, we found a correlation between the microbiome and environmental trace element concentrations, especially in adults. Functional analyses showed that adult microbiomes possess specific metabolic pathways that may enhance fitness during the introduction process. These findings highlight the importance of integrated approaches in studying the interplay between animals and microbiomes, as a first step toward understanding how it can affect the species' invasive success.

RevDate: 2023-09-25

Flores GAM, Lopez RP, Cerrudo CS, et al (2022)

Culex quinquefasciatus Holobiont: A Fungal Metagenomic Approach.

Frontiers in fungal biology, 3:918052.

Microorganisms associated with mosquitoes have fundamental roles, not only in their nutrition, but also in physiological and immunological processes, and in their adaptation to the environment as well. Studies on mosquito hologenomes have increased significantly during the last years, achieving important advances in the characterization of the "core bacteriome" of some species of health importance. However, the fungal mycobiome has not been exhaustively researched, especially throughout the life cycle of some hematophagous mosquito species. In this work, the diversity and composition of fungal communities in different developmental stages, sexes, and adult nutrition of Culex quinquefasciatus reared on laboratory conditions were characterized, using internal transcribed spacer high throughput amplicon sequencing. Larvae presented a higher fungal richness, while sucrose-fed males and females showed a similar diversity between them. Blood-fed females presented few operational taxonomic units with an even distribution. Results are consistent with the reduction of larval microbiota after molting, observed for the bacterial microbiome in other mosquito species. The filamentous Ascomycota Penicillium polonicum and Cladosporium sp. were present in all stages of the mosquitoes; in addition, the presence of yeasts in the insects or their subsequent colonization associated with their diet is also discussed. These results suggest that some species of fungi could be essential for the nutrition and development of mosquitoes throughout their life cycle.

RevDate: 2023-09-21

Aizpurua O, Dunn RR, Hansen LH, et al (2023)

Field and laboratory guidelines for reliable bioinformatic and statistical analysis of bacterial shotgun metagenomic data.

Critical reviews in biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Shotgun metagenomics is an increasingly cost-effective approach for profiling environmental and host-associated microbial communities. However, due to the complexity of both microbiomes and the molecular techniques required to analyze them, the reliability and representativeness of the results are contingent upon the field, laboratory, and bioinformatic procedures employed. Here, we consider 15 field and laboratory issues that critically impact downstream bioinformatic and statistical data processing, as well as result interpretation, in bacterial shotgun metagenomic studies. The issues we consider encompass intrinsic properties of samples, study design, and laboratory-processing strategies. We identify the links of field and laboratory steps with downstream analytical procedures, explain the means for detecting potential pitfalls, and propose mitigation measures to overcome or minimize their impact in metagenomic studies. We anticipate that our guidelines will assist data scientists in appropriately processing and interpreting their data, while aiding field and laboratory researchers to implement strategies for improving the quality of the generated results.

RevDate: 2023-09-20

Markussen Bjorbaekmo MF, Brodie J, Krabberød AK, et al (2023)

18S rDNA gene metabarcoding of microeukaryotes and epi-endophytes in the holobiome of seven species of large brown algae.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

Brown algae (Phaeophyceae) are habitat-forming species in coastal ecosystems and include kelp forests and seaweed beds that support a wide diversity of marine life. Host-associated microbial communities are an integral part of phaeophyte biology, and whereas the bacterial microbial partners have received considerable attention, the microbial eukaryotes associated with brown algae have hardly been studied. Here, we used broadly targeted "pan-eukaryotic" primers (metabarcoding) to investigate brown algal-associated eukaryotes (the eukaryome). Using this approach, we aimed to investigate the eukaryome of seven large brown algae that are important and common species in coastal ecosystems. We also aimed to assess whether these macroalgae harbor novel eukaryotic diversity and to ascribe putative functional roles to the host-associated eukaryome based on taxonomic affiliation and phylogenetic placement. We detected a significant diversity of microeukaryotic and algal lineages associated with the brown algal species investigated. The operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were taxonomically assigned to 10 of the eukaryotic major supergroups, including taxonomic groups known to be associated with seaweeds as epibionts, endobionts, parasites, and commensals. Additionally, we revealed previously unrecorded sequence types, including novel phaeophyte OTUs, particularly in the Fucus spp. samples, that may represent fucoid genomic variants, sequencing artifacts, or undescribed epi-/endophytes. Our results provide baseline data and technical insights that will be useful for more comprehensive seaweed eukaryome studies investigating the evidently lineage-rich and functionally diverse symbionts of brown algae.

RevDate: 2023-09-18

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

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

PeerJ, 11:e15916.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-09-13

Rasmussen L, Fontsere C, Soto-Calderón ID, et al (2023)

Assessing the genetic composition of cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) before sweeping anthropogenic impact.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

During the last century, the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) has been threatened by multiple anthropogenic factors that drastically affected their habitat and population size. As the genetic impact of these pressures is largely unknown, this study aimed to establish a genetic baseline with the use of temporal sampling to determine the genetic makeup before detrimental anthropogenic impact. Genomes were resequenced from a combination of historical museum samples and modern wild samples at low-medium coverage, to unravel how the cotton-top tamarin population structure and genomic diversity may have changed during this period. Our data suggest two populations can be differentiated, probably separated historically by the mountain ranges of the Paramillo Massif in Colombia. Although this population structure persists in the current populations, modern samples exhibit genomic signals consistent with recent inbreeding, such as long runs of homozygosity and a reduction in genome-wide heterozygosity especially in the greater northeast population. This loss is likely the consequence of the population reduction following the mass exportation of cotton-top tamarins for biomedical research in the 1960s, coupled with the habitat loss this species continues to experience. However, current populations have not experienced an increase in genetic load. We propose that the historical genetic baseline established in this study can be used to provide insight into alteration in the modern population influenced by a drastic reduction in population size as well as providing background information to be used for future conservation decision-making for the species.

RevDate: 2023-09-13

Peng L, Hoban J, Joffe J, et al (2023)

Cryptic community structure and metabolic interactions among the heritable facultative symbionts of the pea aphid.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

Most insects harbour influential, yet non-essential heritable microbes in their hemocoel. Communities of these symbionts exhibit low diversity. But their frequent multi-species nature raises intriguing questions on roles for symbiont-symbiont synergies in host adaptation, and on the stability of the symbiont communities, themselves. In this study, we build on knowledge of species-defined symbiont community structure across US populations of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Through extensive symbiont genotyping, we show that pea aphids' microbiomes can be more precisely defined at the symbiont strain level, with strain variability shaping five out of nine previously reported co-infection trends. Field data provide a mixture of evidence for synergistic fitness effects and symbiont hitchhiking, revealing causes and consequences of these co-infection trends. To test whether within-host metabolic interactions predict common versus rare strain-defined communities, we leveraged the high relatedness of our dominant, community-defined symbiont strains vs. 12 pea aphid-derived Gammaproteobacteria with sequenced genomes. Genomic inference, using metabolic complementarity indices, revealed high potential for cooperation among one pair of symbionts-Serratia symbiotica and Rickettsiella viridis. Applying the expansion network algorithm, through additional use of pea aphid and obligate Buchnera symbiont genomes, Serratia and Rickettsiella emerged as the only symbiont community requiring both parties to expand holobiont metabolism. Through their joint expansion of the biotin biosynthesis pathway, these symbionts may span missing gaps, creating a multi-party mutualism within their nutrient-limited, phloem-feeding hosts. Recent, complementary gene inactivation, within the biotin pathways of Serratia and Rickettsiella, raises further questions on the origins of mutualisms and host-symbiont interdependencies.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Williams A, Stephens TG, Shumaker A, et al (2023)

Peeling back the layers of coral holobiont multi-omics data.

iScience, 26(9):107623 pii:S2589-0042(23)01700-5.

The integration of multiple 'omics' datasets is a promising avenue for answering many important and challenging questions in biology, particularly those relating to complex ecological systems. Although multi-omics was developed using data from model organisms with significant prior knowledge and resources, its application to non-model organisms, such as coral holobionts, is less clear-cut. We explore, in the emerging rice coral model Montipora capitata, the intersection of holobiont transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and microbiome amplicon data and investigate how well they correlate under high temperature treatment. Using a typical thermal stress regime, we show that transcriptomic and proteomic data broadly capture the stress response of the coral, whereas the metabolome and microbiome datasets show patterns that likely reflect stochastic and homeostatic processes associated with each sample. These results provide a framework for interpreting multi-omics data generated from non-model systems, particularly those with complex biotic interactions among microbial partners.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Senizza B, Araniti F, Lewin S, et al (2023)

Trichoderma spp.-mediated mitigation of heat, drought, and their combination on the Arabidopsis thaliana holobiont: a metabolomics and metabarcoding approach.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1190304.

INTRODUCTION: The use of substances to increase productivity and resource use efficiency is now essential to face the challenge of feeding the rising global population with the less environmental impact on the ecosystems. Trichoderma-based products have been used as biopesticides, to inhibit pathogenic microorganisms, and as biostimulants for crop growth, nutrient uptake promotion, and resistance to abiotic stresses.

METHODS: In this work, plant metabolomics combined with roots and rhizosphere bacterial metabarcoding were exploited to inspect the performance of Trichoderma spp. biostimulants on Arabidopsis thaliana under drought, heat and their combination and its impact on plant holobiont.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: An overall modulation of N-containing compounds, phenylpropanoids, terpenes and hormones could be pointed out by metabolomics. Moreover, metabarcoding outlined an impact on alpha and beta-diversity with an abundance of Proteobacteria, Pseudomonadales, Burkholderiales, Enterobacteriales and Azospirillales. A holobiont approach was applied as an integrated analytical strategy to resolve the coordinated and complex dynamic interactions between the plant and its rhizosphere bacteria using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model host species.

RevDate: 2023-09-06

Pérez-Llano Y, Yarzábal Rodríguez LA, Martínez-Romero E, et al (2023)

From friends to foes: fungi could be emerging marine sponge pathogens under global change scenarios.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1213340.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-09-04

Hill CEL, Abbass SG, Caporale G, et al (2023)

Physiology of the widespread pulsating soft coral Xenia umbellata is affected by food sources, but not by water flow.

Ecology and evolution, 13(9):e10483.

Coral energy and nutrient acquisition strategies are complex and sensitive to environmental conditions such as water flow. While high water flow can enhance feeding in hard corals, knowledge about the effects of water flow on the feeding of soft corals, particularly those pulsating, is still limited. In this study, we thus investigated the effects of feeding and water flow on the physiology of the pulsating soft coral Xenia umbellata. We crossed three feeding treatments: (i) no feeding, (ii) particulate organic matter (POM) in the form of phytoplankton and (iii) dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the form of glucose, with four water volume exchange rates (200, 350, 500 and 650 L h[-1]) over 15 days. Various ecophysiological parameters were assessed including pulsation rate, growth rate, isotopic and elemental ratios of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) as well as photo-physiological parameters of the Symbiodiniaceae (cell density, chlorophyll-a and mitotic index). Water flow had no significant effect but feeding had a substantial impact on the physiology of the X. umbellata holobiont. In the absence of food, corals exhibited significantly lower pulsation rates, lower Symbiodiniaceae cell density and lower mitotic indices compared to the fed treatments, yet significantly higher chlorophyll-a per cell and total N content. Differences were also observed between the two feeding treatments, with significantly higher pulsation rates and lower chlorophyll-a per cell in the DOC treatment, but higher C and N content in the POM treatment. Our findings suggest that the X. umbellata holobiont can be viable under different trophic strategies, though favouring mixotrophy. Additionally, the physiology of the X. umbellata may be regulated through its own pulsating behaviour without any positive or negative effects from different water flow. Therefore, this study contributes to our understanding of soft coral ecology, particularly regarding the competitive success and widespread distribution of X. umbellata.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Sun X, Liu YC, Tiunov MP, et al (2023)

Ancient DNA reveals genetic admixture in China during tiger evolution.

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is a charismatic megafauna species that originated and diversified in Asia and probably experienced population contraction and expansion during the Pleistocene, resulting in low genetic diversity of modern tigers. However, little is known about patterns of genomic diversity in ancient populations. Here we generated whole-genome sequences from ancient or historical (100-10,000 yr old) specimens collected across mainland Asia, including a 10,600-yr-old Russian Far East specimen (RUSA21, 8× coverage) plus six ancient mitogenomes, 14 South China tigers (0.1-12×) and three Caspian tigers (4-8×). Admixture analysis showed that RUSA21 clustered within modern Northeast Asian phylogroups and partially derived from an extinct Late Pleistocene lineage. While some of the 8,000-10,000-yr-old Russian Far East mitogenomes are basal to all tigers, one 2,000-yr-old specimen resembles present Amur tigers. Phylogenomic analyses suggested that the Caspian tiger probably dispersed from an ancestral Northeast Asian population and experienced gene flow from southern Bengal tigers. Lastly, genome-wide monophyly supported the South China tiger as a distinct subspecies, albeit with mitochondrial paraphyly, hence resolving its longstanding taxonomic controversy. The distribution of mitochondrial haplogroups corroborated by biogeographical modelling suggested that Southwest China was a Late Pleistocene refugium for a relic basal lineage. As suitable habitat returned, admixture between divergent lineages of South China tigers took place in Eastern China, promoting the evolution of other northern subspecies. Altogether, our analysis of ancient genomes sheds light on the evolutionary history of tigers and supports the existence of nine modern subspecies.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Mannochio-Russo H, Swift SOI, Nakayama KK, et al (2023)

Microbiomes and metabolomes of dominant coral reef primary producers illustrate a potential role for immunolipids in marine symbioses.

Communications biology, 6(1):896.

The dominant benthic primary producers in coral reef ecosystems are complex holobionts with diverse microbiomes and metabolomes. In this study, we characterize the tissue metabolomes and microbiomes of corals, macroalgae, and crustose coralline algae via an intensive, replicated synoptic survey of a single coral reef system (Waimea Bay, O'ahu, Hawaii) and use these results to define associations between microbial taxa and metabolites specific to different hosts. Our results quantify and constrain the degree of host specificity of tissue metabolomes and microbiomes at both phylum and genus level. Both microbiome and metabolomes were distinct between calcifiers (corals and CCA) and erect macroalgae. Moreover, our multi-omics investigations highlight common lipid-based immune response pathways across host organisms. In addition, we observed strong covariation among several specific microbial taxa and metabolite classes, suggesting new metabolic roles of symbiosis to further explore.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Koziol A, Odriozola I, Leonard A, et al (2023)

Mammals show distinct functional gut microbiome dynamics to identical series of environmental stressors.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

The ability of the gut microbiome has been posited as an additional axis of animals' phenotypic plasticity. However, whether and how such plasticity varies across hosts with different biological features remains unclear. We performed a captivity experiment to compare how the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional microbial dynamics varied across a series of temperature and dietary disturbances in two mammals: the insectivorous-specialist Crocidura russula and the omnivorous-generalist Apodemus sylvaticus. Combining genome-resolved metagenomics, metabolic pathway distillation and joint species distribution modeling, we observed that, although microbiome alpha diversity of both species remained stable, C. russula exhibited substantially higher variability and directionality of microbial responses than A. sylvaticus. Our results indicate that the intrinsic properties (e.g., diversity and functional redundancy) of microbial communities coupled with physiological attributes (e.g., thermal plasticity) of hosts shape the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional response of gut microbiomes to environmental stressors, which might influence their contribution to the acclimation and adaptation capacity of animal hosts. IMPORTANCE In our manuscript, we report the first interspecific comparative study about the plasticity of the gut microbiota. We conducted a captivity experiment that exposed wild-captured mammals to a series of environmental challenges over 45 days. We characterized their gut microbial communities using genome-resolved metagenomics and modeled how the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional microbial dynamics varied across a series of disturbances in both species. Our results indicate that the intrinsic properties (e.g., diversity and functional redundancy) of microbial communities coupled with physiological attributes (e.g., thermal plasticity) of hosts shape the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional response of gut microbiomes to environmental stressors, which might influence their contribution to the acclimation and adaptation capacity of animal hosts.

RevDate: 2023-08-30

Zhou K, Zhang T, Chen XW, et al (2023)

Viruses in Marine Invertebrate Holobionts: Complex Interactions Between Phages and Bacterial Symbionts.

Annual review of marine science [Epub ahead of print].

Marine invertebrates are ecologically and economically important and have formed holobionts by evolving symbiotic relationships with cellular and acellular microorganisms that reside in and on their tissues. In recent decades, significant focus on symbiotic cellular microorganisms has led to the discovery of various functions and a considerable expansion of our knowledge of holobiont functions. Despite this progress, our understanding of symbiotic acellular microorganisms remains insufficient, impeding our ability to achieve a comprehensive understanding of marine holobionts. In this review, we highlight the abundant viruses, with a particular emphasis on bacteriophages; provide an overview of their diversity, especially in extensively studied sponges and corals; and examine their potential life cycles. In addition, we discuss potential phage-holobiont interactions of various invertebrates, including participating in initial bacterial colonization, maintaining symbiotic relationships, and causing or exacerbating the diseases of marine invertebrates. Despite the importance of this subject, knowledge of how viruses contribute to marine invertebrate organisms remains limited. Advancements in technology and greater attention to viruses will enhance our understanding of marine invertebrate holobionts. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Marine Science, Volume 16 is January 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2023-08-30

Zuzolo D, Ranauda MA, Maisto M, et al (2023)

The rootstock shape microbial diversity and functionality in the rhizosphere of Vitis vinifera L. cultivar Falanghina.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1205451.

The rhizosphere effect occurring at the root-soil interface has increasingly been shown to play a key role in plant fitness and soil functionality, influencing plants resilience. Here, for the first time, we investigated whether the rootstock genotype on which Vitis vinifera L. cultivar Falanghina is grafted can influence the rhizosphere microbiome. Specifically, we evaluated to which extent the 5BB and 1103P rootstocks are able to shape microbial diversity of rhizosphere environment. Moreover, we explored the potential function of microbial community and its shift under plant genotype influence. We investigated seven vineyards subjected to the same pedo-climatic conditions, similar age, training system and management and collected twelve rhizosphere soil samples for metagenomic analyses and composite soil samples for physical-chemical properties. In this study, we used 16S rRNA gene-based metagenomic analysis to investigate the rhizosphere bacterial diversity and composition. Liner discriminant analysis effect size (LEFSe) was conducted for metagenomic biomarker discovery. The functional composition of sampled communities was determined using PICRUSt, which is based on marker gene sequencing profiles. Soil analyses involved the determination of texture, pH, Cation Exchange Capacity (CSC), Organic Carbon (OC), electrical conductivity (EC), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K) content, Phosphorous (P), nitrogen (N). The latter revealed that soil features were quite homogenous. The metagenomic data showed that the bacterial alpha-diversity (Observed OTUs) significantly increased in 1103P rhizosphere microbiota. Irrespective of cultivar, Pseudomonadota was the dominant phylum, followed by Actinomycetota > Bacteroidota > Thermoproteota. However, Actinomycetota was the major marker phyla differentiating the rhizosphere microbial communities associated with the different rootstock types. At the genus level, several taxa belonging to Actinomycetota and Alphaproteobacteria classes were enriched in 1103P genotype rhizosphere. Investigating the potential functional profile, we found that most key enzyme-encoding genes involved in N cycling were significantly more abundant in 5BB rootstock rhizosphere soil. However, we found that 1103P rhizosphere was enriched in genes involved in C cycle and Plant Growth Promotion (PGP) functionality. Our results suggest that the different rootstocks not only recruit specific bacterial communities, but also specific functional traits within the same environment.

RevDate: 2023-08-28

Chaturvedi A, Li X, Dhandapani V, et al (2023)

The hologenome of Daphnia magna reveals possible DNA methylation and microbiome-mediated evolution of the host genome.

Nucleic acids research pii:7252670 [Epub ahead of print].

Properties that make organisms ideal laboratory models in developmental and medical research are often the ones that also make them less representative of wild relatives. The waterflea Daphnia magna is an exception, by both sharing many properties with established laboratory models and being a keystone species, a sentinel species for assessing water quality, an indicator of environmental change and an established ecotoxicology model. Yet, Daphnia's full potential has not been fully exploited because of the challenges associated with assembling and annotating its gene-rich genome. Here, we present the first hologenome of Daphnia magna, consisting of a chromosomal-level assembly of the D. magna genome and the draft assembly of its metagenome. By sequencing and mapping transcriptomes from exposures to environmental conditions and from developmental morphological landmarks, we expand the previously annotates gene set for this species. We also provide evidence for the potential role of gene-body DNA-methylation as a mutagen mediating genome evolution. For the first time, our study shows that the gut microbes provide resistance to commonly used antibiotics and virulence factors, potentially mediating Daphnia's environmental-driven rapid evolution. Key findings in this study improve our understanding of the contribution of DNA methylation and gut microbiota to genome evolution in response to rapidly changing environments.

RevDate: 2023-08-25

Kelliher JM, Robinson AJ, Longley R, et al (2023)

The endohyphal microbiome: current progress and challenges for scaling down integrative multi-omic microbiome research.

Microbiome, 11(1):192.

As microbiome research has progressed, it has become clear that most, if not all, eukaryotic organisms are hosts to microbiomes composed of prokaryotes, other eukaryotes, and viruses. Fungi have only recently been considered holobionts with their own microbiomes, as filamentous fungi have been found to harbor bacteria (including cyanobacteria), mycoviruses, other fungi, and whole algal cells within their hyphae. Constituents of this complex endohyphal microbiome have been interrogated using multi-omic approaches. However, a lack of tools, techniques, and standardization for integrative multi-omics for small-scale microbiomes (e.g., intracellular microbiomes) has limited progress towards investigating and understanding the total diversity of the endohyphal microbiome and its functional impacts on fungal hosts. Understanding microbiome impacts on fungal hosts will advance explorations of how "microbiomes within microbiomes" affect broader microbial community dynamics and ecological functions. Progress to date as well as ongoing challenges of performing integrative multi-omics on the endohyphal microbiome is discussed herein. Addressing the challenges associated with the sample extraction, sample preparation, multi-omic data generation, and multi-omic data analysis and integration will help advance current knowledge of the endohyphal microbiome and provide a road map for shrinking microbiome investigations to smaller scales. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-08-25

Hussain A, Kumar SHK, Prathiviraj R, et al (2023)

The genome of Symbiodiniaceae-associated Stutzerimonas frequens CAM01 reveals a broad spectrum of antibiotic resistance genes indicating anthropogenic drift in the Palk Bay coral reef of south-eastern India.

Archives of microbiology, 205(9):319.

An increase in antibiotic pollution in reef areas will lead to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, leading to ecological disturbances in the sensitive coral holobiont. This study provides insights into the genome of antibiotics-resistant Stutzerimonas frequens CAM01, isolated from Favites-associated Symbiodiniaceae of a near-shore polluted reef of Palk Bay, India. The draft genome contains 4.67 Mbp in size with 52 contigs. Further genome analysis revealed the presence of four antibiotic-resistant genes, namely, adeF, rsmA, APH (3")-Ib, and APH (6)-Id that provide resistance by encoding resistance-nodulation-cell division (RND) antibiotic efflux pump and aminoglycoside phosphotransferase. The isolate showed resistance against 73% of the antibiotics tested, concurrent with the predicted AMR genes. Four secondary metabolites, namely Aryl polyene, NRPS-independent-siderophore, terpenes, and ectoine were detected in the isolate, which may play a role in virulence and pathogenicity adaptation in microbes. This study provides key insights into the genome of Stutzerimonas frequens CAM01 and highlights the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in coral reef ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-08-25

Prabhakaran P, Nazir MYM, Thananusak R, et al (2023)

Uncovering global lipid accumulation routes towards docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) production in Aurantiochytrium sp. SW1 using integrative proteomic analysis.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular and cell biology of lipids pii:S1388-1981(23)00105-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Aurantiochytrium sp., a marine thraustochytrid possesses a remarkable ability to produce lipid rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although gene regulation underlying lipid biosynthesis has been previously reported, proteomic analysis is still limited. In this study, high DHA accumulating strain Aurantiochytrium sp. SW1 has been used as a study model to elucidate the alteration in proteome profile under different cultivation phases i.e. growth, nitrogen-limitation and lipid accumulation. Of the total of 5146 identified proteins, 852 proteins were differentially expressed proteins (DEPs). The largest number of DEPs (488 proteins) was found to be uniquely expressed between lipid accumulating phase and growth phase. Interestingly, there were up-regulated proteins involved in glycolysis, glycerolipid, carotenoid and glutathione metabolism which were preferable metabolic routes towards lipid accumulation and DHA production as well as cellular oxidative defence. Integrated proteomic and transcriptomic data were also conducted to comprehend the gene and protein regulation underlying the lipid and DHA biosynthesis. A significant up-regulation of acetyl-CoA synthetase was observed which suggests alternative route of acetate metabolism for acetyl-CoA producer. This study presents the holistic routes underlying lipid accumulation and DHA production in Aurantiochytrium sp. SW1 and other relevant thraustochytrid.

RevDate: 2023-08-25

Petrushin IS, Vasilev IA, YA Markova (2023)

Drought Tolerance of Legumes: Physiology and the Role of the Microbiome.

Current issues in molecular biology, 45(8):6311-6324 pii:cimb45080398.

Water scarcity and global warming make drought-tolerant plant species more in-demand than ever. The most drastic damage exerted by drought occurs during the critical growth stages of seed development and reproduction. In the course of their evolution, plants form a variety of drought-tolerance mechanisms, including recruiting beneficial microorganisms. Legumes (one of the three largest groups of higher plants) have unique features and the potential to adapt to abiotic stress. The available literature discusses the genetic (breeding) and physiological aspects of drought tolerance in legumes, neglecting the role of the microbiome. Our review aims to fill this gap: starting with the physiological mechanisms of legume drought adaptation, we describe the symbiotic relationship of the plant host with the microbial community and its role in facing drought. We consider two types of studies related to microbiomes in low-water conditions: comparisons and microbiome engineering (modulation). The first type of research includes diversity shifts and the isolation of microorganisms from the various plant niches to which they belong. The second type focuses on manipulating the plant holobiont through microbiome engineering-a promising biotech strategy to improve the yield and stress-resistance of legumes.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Yu X, Yu K, Liao Z, et al (2023)

Adaptation strategies of relatively high-latitude marginal reef corals in response to severe temperature fluctuations.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)05064-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The large seasonal temperature fluctuations caused by global warming and frequent marine heatwaves pose new challenges to survival of relatively high-latitude marginal reef corals. However, the adaptation strategies of high-latitude marginal corals are not fully understood. We employed integrated approach to investigate the response mechanism of hosts, Symbiodiniaceae, and symbiotic bacteria of marginal reef corals Acropora pruinosa and Pavona decussate in response to large seasonal temperature fluctuations. The coral holobiont maintained a high level of immunity to adapt to seasonal pressure by increasing Symbiodiniaceae energy supply. The symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae of two coral was dominated by C1 subgroup, and was stable across seasons. The α-diversity of symbiotic bacteria P. decussata and A. pruinosa in summer was higher than that in winter. The symbiotic bacterial community of two coral reorganized during different seasons. Scleractinian corals improve adaptability to seasonal stress by increasing energy supply to maintain high levels of immunity, increasing symbiotic bacterial α-diversity, and changing dominant bacteria. This study demonstrates the adaptation strategies of marginal reef corals to seasonal temperature fluctuations and provides novel insights into the study of the adaptation of corals and relatively high-latitude coral refuges in the context of global warming and intensified marine heatwaves.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Mochales-Riaño G, Fontsere C, de Manuel M, et al (2023)

Genomics reveals introgression and purging of deleterious mutations in the Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr).

iScience, 26(9):107481.

In endangered species, low-genetic variation and inbreeding result from recent population declines. Genetic screenings in endangered populations help to assess their vulnerability to extinction and to create informed management actions toward their conservation efforts. The leopard, Panthera pardus, is a highly generalist predator with currently eight different subspecies. Yet, genomic data are still lacking for the Critically Endangered Arabian leopard (P. p. nimr). Here, we sequenced the whole genome of two Arabian leopards and assembled the most complete genomic dataset for leopards to date. Our phylogenomic analyses show that leopards are divided into two deeply divergent clades: the African and the Asian. Conservation genomic analyses indicate a prolonged population decline, which has led to an increase in inbreeding and runs of homozygosity, with consequent purging of deleterious mutations in both Arabian individuals. Our study represents the first attempt to genetically inform captive breeding programmes for this Critically Endangered subspecies.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Caetano-Anollés G, Claverie JM, A Nasir (2023)

A critical analysis of the current state of virus taxonomy.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1240993.

Taxonomical classification has preceded evolutionary understanding. For that reason, taxonomy has become a battleground fueled by knowledge gaps, technical limitations, and a priorism. Here we assess the current state of the challenging field, focusing on fallacies that are common in viral classification. We emphasize that viruses are crucial contributors to the genomic and functional makeup of holobionts, organismal communities that behave as units of biological organization. Consequently, viruses cannot be considered taxonomic units because they challenge crucial concepts of organismality and individuality. Instead, they should be considered processes that integrate virions and their hosts into life cycles. Viruses harbor phylogenetic signatures of genetic transfer that compromise monophyly and the validity of deep taxonomic ranks. A focus on building phylogenetic networks using alignment-free methodologies and molecular structure can help mitigate the impasse, at least in part. Finally, structural phylogenomic analysis challenges the polyphyletic scenario of multiple viral origins adopted by virus taxonomy, defeating a polyphyletic origin and supporting instead an ancient cellular origin of viruses. We therefore, prompt abandoning deep ranks and urgently reevaluating the validity of taxonomic units and principles of virus classification.

RevDate: 2023-08-16

Gavriilidou A, Avcı B, Galani A, et al (2023)

Candidatus Nemesobacterales is a sponge-specific clade of the candidate phylum Desulfobacterota adapted to a symbiotic lifestyle.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Members of the candidate phylum Dadabacteria, recently reassigned to the phylum Candidatus Desulfobacterota, are cosmopolitan in the marine environment found both free-living and associated with hosts that are mainly marine sponges. Yet, these microorganisms are poorly characterized, with no cultured representatives and an ambiguous phylogenetic position in the tree of life. Here, we performed genome-centric metagenomics to elucidate their phylogenomic placement and predict the metabolism of the sponge-associated members of this lineage. Rank-based phylogenomics revealed several new species and a novel family (Candidatus Spongomicrobiaceae) within a sponge-specific order, named here Candidatus Nemesobacterales. Metabolic reconstruction suggests that Ca. Nemesobacterales are aerobic heterotrophs, capable of synthesizing most amino acids, vitamins and cofactors and degrading complex carbohydrates. We also report functional divergence between sponge- and seawater-associated metagenome-assembled genomes. Niche-specific adaptations to the sponge holobiont were evident from significantly enriched genes involved in defense mechanisms against foreign DNA and environmental stressors, host-symbiont interactions and secondary metabolite production. Fluorescence in situ hybridization gave a first glimpse of the morphology and lifestyle of a member of Ca. Desulfobacterota. Candidatus Nemesobacterales spp. were found both inside sponge cells centred around sponge nuclei and in the mesohyl of the sponge Geodia barretti. This study sheds light on the enigmatic group Ca. Nemesobacterales and their functional characteristics that reflect a symbiotic lifestyle.

RevDate: 2023-08-16

He R, Hu S, Li Q, et al (2023)

Greater transmission capacities and small-world characteristics of bacterial communities in the above- than those in the below- ground niches of a typical submerged macrophyte, Vallisneria natans.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)04854-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Leaves and roots of submerged macrophytes provide extended surfaces and stable internal tissues for distinct microorganisms to rest, but how these microorganisms interact with each other across different niches and ultimately drive the distribution through horizontal and vertical transmissions remains largely undetermined. Knowledge of the mechanisms of assemblage and transmission in aquatic macrophytes-associated microbial communities will help to better understanding their important roles in plant fitness and benefit ecological functions. Here, we conducted a microcosmic experiment based on in situ lake samples to investigate the bacterial community assemblage, transmission, and co-occurrence patterns in different niches of a typical submerged macrophyte, Vallisneria natans (V. natans), including seed endosphere, as well as environmental (water and bulk sediment), epiphytic (phyllosphere and rhizosphere), and endophytic (leaf and root endosphere) microhabitats of both leaves and roots representatives of the above- and below- ground niches (AGNs and BGNs), respectively. We found the bacterial communities colonized in epiphytic niches not only exhibited the highest diversity compared to adjacent environmental and endophytic niches, but also dominated the interactions between those bacterial members of neighboring niches in both AGNs and BGNs. The host plants promoted niche specificity at bacterial community-level, as confirmed by the proportion of bacterial specialists increased with plant proximity, especially in the BGNs. Furthermore, the bacterial taxa colonized in the AGNs exhibited higher horizontal and vertical transmission capacities than those in the BGNs, especially in the vertical transmission from seeds to leaves (41.38 %) and roots (0.42 %). Meanwhile, the bacterial co-occurrence network in AGNs was shown to have stronger small-world characteristics but weaker stability than those in the BGNs. Overall, this study cast new light on the plant microbiomes in the aquatic environment, thus better promoting the potential development of strategies for breeding aquatic macrophyte holobiont with enhanced water purification and pollutant removal capabilities in the future.

RevDate: 2023-08-14

Tignat-Perrier R, van de Water JAJM, Allemand D, et al (2023)

Holobiont responses of mesophotic precious red coral Corallium rubrum to thermal anomalies.

Environmental microbiome, 18(1):70.

Marine heat waves (MHWs) have increased in frequency and intensity worldwide, causing mass mortality of benthic organisms and loss of biodiversity in shallow waters. The Mediterranean Sea is no exception, with shallow populations of habitat-forming octocorals facing the threat of local extinction. The mesophotic zone, which is less affected by MHWs, may be of ecological importance in conservation strategies for these species. However, our understanding of the response of mesophotic octocoral holobionts to changes in seawater temperature remains limited. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a study on an iconic Mediterranean octocoral, the red coral Corallium rubrum sampled at 60 m depth and 15 °C. We exposed the colonies to temperatures they occasionally experience (18 °C) and temperatures that could occur at the end of the century if global warming continues (21 °C). We also tested their response to extremely cold and warm temperatures (12 °C and 24 °C). Our results show a high tolerance of C. rubrum to a two-month long exposure to temperatures ranging from 12 to 21 °C as no colony showed signs of tissue loss, reduced feeding ability, stress-induced gene expression, or disruption of host-bacterial symbioses. At 24 °C, however, we measured a sharp decrease in the relative abundance of Spirochaetaceae, which are the predominant bacterial symbionts under healthy conditions, along with a relative increase in Vibrionaceae. Tissue loss and overexpression of the tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 gene were also observed after two weeks of exposure. In light of ongoing global warming, our study helps predict the consequences of MHWs on mesophotic coralligenous reefs and the biodiversity that depends on them.

RevDate: 2023-08-12

Ujlaki G, Kovács T, Vida A, et al (2023)

Identification of Bacterial Metabolites Modulating Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 28(15):.

Breast cancer patients are characterized by the oncobiotic transformation of multiple microbiome communities, including the gut microbiome. Oncobiotic transformation of the gut microbiome impairs the production of antineoplastic bacterial metabolites. The goal of this study was to identify bacterial metabolites with antineoplastic properties. We constructed a 30-member bacterial metabolite library and screened the library compounds for effects on cell proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. The metabolites were applied to 4T1 murine breast cancer cells in concentrations corresponding to the reference serum concentrations. However, yric acid, glycolic acid, d-mannitol, 2,3-butanediol, and trans-ferulic acid exerted cytostatic effects, and 3-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, and vanillic acid exerted hyperproliferative effects. Furthermore, 3-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, 2,3-butanediol, and hydrocinnamic acid inhibited epithelial-to-mesenchymal (EMT) transition. We identified redox sets among the metabolites (d-mannitol-d-mannose, 1-butanol-butyric acid, ethylene glycol-glycolic acid-oxalic acid), wherein only one partner within the set (d-mannitol, butyric acid, glycolic acid) possessed bioactivity in our system, suggesting that changes to the local redox potential may affect the bacterial secretome. Of the nine bioactive metabolites, 2,3-butanediol was the only compound with both cytostatic and anti-EMT properties.

RevDate: 2023-08-08

Hernández M, Hereira-Pacheco S, Alberdi A, et al (2023)

DNA metabarcoding reveals seasonal changes in diet composition across four arthropod-eating lizard species (Phrynosomatidae: Sceloporus).

Integrative zoology [Epub ahead of print].

Diet composition and its ecological drivers are rarely investigated in coexisting closely related species. We used a molecular approach to characterize the seasonal variation in diet composition in four spiny lizard species inhabiting a mountainous ecosystem. DNA metabarcoding revealed that the lizards Sceloporus aeneus, S. bicanthalis, S. grammicus, and S. spinosus mostly consumed arthropods of the orders Hemiptera, Araneae, Hymenoptera, and Coleoptera. The terrestrial lizards S. aeneus and S. bicanthalis mostly predated ants and spiders, whereas the arboreal-saxicolous S. grammicus and saxicolous S. spinosus largely consumed grasshoppers and leafhoppers. The taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of the prey was higher during the dry season than the rainy season, likely because reduced prey availability in the dry season forced lizards to diversify their diets to meet their nutritional demands. Dietary and phylogenetic composition varied seasonally depending on the species, but only dietary composition varied with altitude. Seasonal dietary turnover was greater in S. spinosus than in S. bicanthalis, suggesting site-specific seasonal variability in prey availability; no other differences among species were observed. S. bicanthalis, which lives at the highest altitude in our study site, displayed interseasonal variation in diet breadth. Dietary differences were correlated with the species' feeding strategies and elevational distribution, which likely contributed to the coexistence of these lizard species in the studied geographic area and beyond.

RevDate: 2023-08-10
CmpDate: 2023-08-09

Hung TH, So T, Thammavong B, et al (2023)

Range-wide differential adaptation and genomic offset in critically endangered Asian rosewoods.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(33):e2301603120.

In the billion-dollar global illegal wildlife trade, rosewoods have been the world's most trafficked wild product since 2005. Dalbergia cochinchinensis and Dalbergia oliveri are the most sought-after rosewoods in the Greater Mekong Subregion. They are exposed to significant genetic risks and the lack of knowledge on their adaptability limits the effectiveness of conservation efforts. Here, we present genome assemblies and range-wide genomic scans of adaptive variation, together with predictions of genomic offset to climate change. Adaptive genomic variation was differentially associated with temperature and precipitation-related variables between the species, although their natural ranges overlap. The findings are consistent with differences in pioneering ability and in drought tolerance. We predict their genomic offsets will increase over time and with increasing carbon emission pathway but at a faster pace in D. cochinchinensis than in D. oliveri. These results and the distinct gene-environment association in the eastern coastal edge of Vietnam suggest species-specific conservation actions: germplasm representation across the range in D. cochinchinensis and focused on hotspots of genomic offset in D. oliveri. We translated our genomic models into a seed source matching application, seedeR, to rapidly inform restoration efforts. Our ecological genomic research uncovering contrasting selection forces acting in sympatric rosewoods is of relevance to conserving tropical trees globally and combating risks from climate change.

RevDate: 2023-08-07

Rotini A, Conte C, Winters G, et al (2023)

Undisturbed Posidonia oceanica meadows maintain the epiphytic bacterial community in different environments.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

Seagrasses harbour different and rich epiphytic bacterial communities. These microbes may establish intimate and symbiotic relationships with the seagrass plants and change according to host species, environmental conditions, and/or ecophysiological status of their seagrass host. Although Posidonia oceanica is one of the most studied seagrasses in the world, and bacteria associated with seagrasses have been studied for over a decade, P. oceanica's microbiome remains hitherto little explored. Here, we applied 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to explore the microbiome associated with the leaves of P. oceanica growing in two geomorphologically different meadows (e.g. depth, substrate, and turbidity) within the Limassol Bay (Cyprus). The morphometric (leaf area, meadow density) and biochemical (pigments, total phenols) descriptors highlighted the healthy conditions of both meadows. The leaf-associated bacterial communities showed similar structure and composition in the two sites; core microbiota members were dominated by bacteria belonging to the Thalassospiraceae, Microtrichaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, Saprospiraceae, and Hyphomonadaceae families. This analogy, even under different geomorphological conditions, suggest that in the absence of disturbances, P. oceanica maintains characteristic-associated bacterial communities. This study provides a baseline for the knowledge of the P. oceanica microbiome and further supports its use as a putative seagrass descriptor.

RevDate: 2023-08-08

Hernández-Alonso G, Ramos-Madrigal J, Sun X, et al (2023)

Conservation implications of elucidating the Korean wolf taxonomic ambiguity through whole-genome sequencing.

Ecology and evolution, 13(8):e10404.

The taxonomic status of the now likely extirpated Korean Peninsula wolf has been extensively debated, with some arguing it represents an independent wolf lineage, Canis coreanus. To investigate the Korean wolf's genetic affiliations and taxonomic status, we sequenced and analysed the genomes of a Korean wolf dated to the beginning of the 20th century, and a captive wolf originally from the Pyongyang Central Zoo. Our results indicated that the Korean wolf bears similar genetic ancestry to other regional East Asian populations, therefore suggesting it is not a distinct taxonomic lineage. We identified regional patterns of wolf population structure and admixture in East Asia with potential conservation consequences in the Korean Peninsula and on a regional scale. We find that the Korean wolf has similar genomic diversity and inbreeding to other East Asian wolves. Finally, we show that, in contrast to the historical sample, the captive wolf is genetically more similar to wolves from the Tibetan Plateau; hence, Korean wolf conservation programmes might not benefit from the inclusion of this specimen.

RevDate: 2023-08-04

Balasubramaniam HM, Tze Yan F, Michelle JiaMin L, et al (2023)

Genome characterization of Dickeya solani bacteriophage W2B.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

We have successfully characterized the complete genome sequence of the lytic Dickeya solani bacteriophage W2B, isolated from the Bunus Sewage Treatment Plant. The lytic phage from the Ningirsuvirus family has a 40,385-bp linear double-stranded DNA genome containing 51 coding sequences (CDSs).

RevDate: 2023-08-02

Jiménez-Guerrero I, López-Baena FJ, Borrero-de Acuña JM, et al (2023)

Membrane vesicle engineering with "à la carte" bacterial-immunogenic molecules for organism-free plant vaccination.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The United Nations heralds a world population exponential increase exceeding 9.7 billion by 2050. This poses the challenge of covering the nutritional needs of an overpopulated world by the hand of preserving the environment. Extensive agriculture practices harnessed the employment of fertilizers and pesticides to boost crop productivity and prevent economic and harvest yield losses attributed to plagues and diseases. Unfortunately, the concomitant hazardous effects stemmed from such agriculture techniques are cumbersome, that is, biodiversity loss, soils and waters contaminations, and human and animal poisoning. Hence, the so-called 'green agriculture' research revolves around designing novel biopesticides and plant growth-promoting bio-agents to the end of curbing the detrimental effects. In this field, microbe-plant interactions studies offer multiple possibilities for reshaping the plant holobiont physiology to its benefit. Along these lines, bacterial extracellular membrane vesicles emerge as an appealing molecular tool to capitalize on. These nanoparticles convey a manifold of molecules that mediate intricate bacteria-plant interactions including plant immunomodulation. Herein, we bring into the spotlight bacterial extracellular membrane vesicle engineering to encase immunomodulatory effectors into their cargo for their application as biocontrol agents. The overarching goal is achieving plant priming by deploying its innate immune responses thereby preventing upcoming infections.

RevDate: 2023-08-04
CmpDate: 2023-08-03

Giraud É, G Milon (2023)

[Elucidating and characterizing the dynamic biological processes that account for the sustainability of Leishmania populations].

Medecine tropicale et sante internationale, 3(2):.

To attempt resolving this issue accurately, it was necessary to anchor our experimental approaches in the observations and pioneering work of our predecessors, notably Alphonse Laveran, Louis Parrot, Edmond and Étienne Sergent. The latter, among other things, had identified as natural hosts of leishmaniasis, rodent populations with which hematophagous telmophagous sand fly populations cohabited closely.When human populations emerged in these natural ecosystems, after the sedentarization of Homo sapiens, more or less important disturbances would have led to a transition of sand fly hematophagy, from zoophilia, to zoo-anthropophilia and anthropophilia.The creation of infrastructures that allow the breeding and integration into experimental groups of both holobiont sand flies and holobiont laboratory rodents (rats, mice, hamsters, etc.) remains crucial. With such infrastructures, it becomes possible to grasp and characterize the multilateral dynamic processes - mostly clinically silent - that account for the biogenesis of tissue and/or cellular niches protecting populations of Leishmania developmental morphotypes, including those ensuring host-to-host transmission, albeit in small numbers.

RevDate: 2023-08-01

Roy A, Houot B, Kushwaha S, et al (2023)

Impact of transgenerational host switch on gut bacterial assemblage in generalist pest, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1172601.

Diet composition is vital in shaping gut microbial assemblage in many insects. Minimal knowledge is available about the influence of transgenerational diet transition on gut microbial community structure and function in polyphagous pests. This study investigated transgenerational diet-induced changes in Spodoptera littoralis larval gut bacteriome using 16S ribosomal sequencing. Our data revealed that 88% of bacterial populations in the S. littoralis larval gut comprise Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. The first diet transition experiment from an artificial diet (F0) to a plant diet (F1), cabbage and cotton, caused an alteration of bacterial communities in the S. littoralis larval gut. The second transgenerational diet switch, where F1 larvae feed on the same plant in the F2 generation, displayed a significant variation suggesting further restructuring of the microbial communities in the Spodoptera larval gut. F1 larvae were also challenged with the plant diet transition at the F2 generation (cabbage to cotton or cotton to cabbage). After feeding on different plant diets, the microbial assemblage of F2 larvae pointed to considerable differences from other F2 larvae that continued on the same diet. Our results showed that S. littoralis larval gut bacteriome responds rapidly and inexplicably to different diet changes. Further experiments must be conducted to determine the developmental and ecological consequences of such changes. Nevertheless, this study improves our perception of the impact of transgenerational diet switches on the resident gut bacteriome in S. littoralis larvae and could facilitate future research to understand the importance of symbiosis in lepidopteran generalists better.

RevDate: 2023-07-29

Venegas L, López P, Derome N, et al (2023)

Leveraging microbiome information for animal genetic improvement.

Trends in genetics : TIG pii:S0168-9525(23)00162-2 [Epub ahead of print].

There is growing evidence that the microbiome influences host phenotypic variation. Incorporating information about the holobiont - the host and its microbiome - into genomic prediction models may accelerate genetic improvements in farmed animal populations. Importantly, these models must account for the indirect effects of the host genome on microbiome-mediated phenotypes.

RevDate: 2023-08-01

Costa DA, Dolbeth M, Christoffersen ML, et al (2023)

An Overview of Rhodoliths: Ecological Importance and Conservation Emergency.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 13(7):.

Red calcareous algae create bio-aggregations ecosystems constituted by carbonate calcium, with two main morphotypes: geniculate and non-geniculate structures (rhodoliths may form bio-encrustations on hard substrata or unattached nodules). This study presents a bibliographic review of the order Corallinales (specifically, rhodoliths), highlighting on morphology, ecology, diversity, related organisms, major anthropogenic influences on climate change and current conservation initiatives. These habitats are often widespread geographically and bathymetrically, occurring in the photic zone from the intertidal area to depths of 270 m. Due to its diverse morphology, this group offers a special biogenic environment that is favourable to epiphyte algae and a number of marine invertebrates. They also include holobiont microbiota made up of tiny eukaryotes, bacteria and viruses. The morphology of red calcareous algae and outside environmental conditions are thought to be the key forces regulating faunistic communities in algae reefs. The impacts of climate change, particularly those related to acidification, might substantially jeopardise the survival of the Corallinales. Despite the significance of these ecosystems, there are a number of anthropogenic stresses on them. Since there have been few attempts to conserve them, programs aimed at their conservation and management need to closely monitor their habitats, research the communities they are linked with and assess the effects they have on the environment.

RevDate: 2023-07-31

Wuerz M, Lawson CA, Oakley CA, et al (2023)

Symbiont Identity Impacts the Microbiome and Volatilome of a Model Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis.

Biology, 12(7):.

The symbiosis between cnidarians and dinoflagellates underpins the success of reef-building corals in otherwise nutrient-poor habitats. Alterations to symbiotic state can perturb metabolic homeostasis and thus alter the release of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). While BVOCs can play important roles in metabolic regulation and signalling, how the symbiotic state affects BVOC output remains unexplored. We therefore characterised the suite of BVOCs that comprise the volatilome of the sea anemone Exaiptasia diaphana ('Aiptasia') when aposymbiotic and in symbiosis with either its native dinoflagellate symbiont Breviolum minutum or the non-native symbiont Durusdinium trenchii. In parallel, the bacterial community structure in these different symbiotic states was fully characterised to resolve the holobiont microbiome. Based on rRNA analyses, 147 unique amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were observed across symbiotic states. Furthermore, the microbiomes were distinct across the different symbiotic states: bacteria in the family Vibrionaceae were the most abundant in aposymbiotic anemones; those in the family Crocinitomicaceae were the most abundant in anemones symbiotic with D. trenchii; and anemones symbiotic with B. minutum had the highest proportion of low-abundance ASVs. Across these different holobionts, 142 BVOCs were detected and classified into 17 groups based on their chemical structure, with BVOCs containing multiple functional groups being the most abundant. Isoprene was detected in higher abundance when anemones hosted their native symbiont, and dimethyl sulphide was detected in higher abundance in the volatilome of both Aiptasia-Symbiodiniaceae combinations relative to aposymbiotic anemones. The volatilomes of aposymbiotic anemones and anemones symbiotic with B. minutum were distinct, while the volatilome of anemones symbiotic with D. trenchii overlapped both of the others. Collectively, our results are consistent with previous reports that D. trenchii produces a metabolically sub-optimal symbiosis with Aiptasia, and add to our understanding of how symbiotic cnidarians, including corals, may respond to climate change should they acquire novel dinoflagellate partners.

RevDate: 2023-07-29
CmpDate: 2023-07-27

von der Dunk SHA, Hogeweg P, B Snel (2023)

Obligate endosymbiosis enables genome expansion during eukaryogenesis.

Communications biology, 6(1):777.

The endosymbiosis of an alpha-proteobacterium that gave rise to mitochondria was one of the key events in eukaryogenesis. One striking outcome of eukaryogenesis was a much more complex cell with a large genome. Despite the existence of many alternative hypotheses for this and other patterns potentially related to endosymbiosis, a constructive evolutionary model in which these hypotheses can be studied is still lacking. Here, we present a theoretical approach in which we focus on the consequences rather than the causes of mitochondrial endosymbiosis. Using a constructive evolutionary model of cell-cycle regulation, we find that genome expansion and genome size asymmetry arise from emergent host-symbiont cell-cycle coordination. We also find that holobionts with large host and small symbiont genomes perform best on long timescales and mimic the outcome of eukaryogenesis. By designing and studying a constructive evolutionary model of obligate endosymbiosis, we uncovered some of the forces that may drive the patterns observed in nature. Our results provide a theoretical foundation for patterns related to mitochondrial endosymbiosis, such as genome size asymmetry, and reveal evolutionary outcomes that have not been considered so far, such as cell-cycle coordination without direct communication.

RevDate: 2023-07-24

Li Y, He X, Lin Y, et al (2023)

Reduced chemosymbiont genome in the methane seep thyasirid and the cooperated metabolisms in the holobiont under anaerobic sediment.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Previous studies have deciphered the genomic basis of host-symbiont metabolic complementarity in vestimentiferans, bathymodioline mussels, vesicomyid clams and Alviniconcha snails, yet little is known about the chemosynthetic symbiosis in Thyasiridae-a family of Bivalvia regarded as an excellent model in chemosymbiosis research due to their wide distribution in both deep-sea and shallow-water habitats. We report the first circular thyasirid symbiont genome, named Candidatus Ruthturnera sp. Tsphm01, with a size of 1.53 Mb, 1521 coding genes and 100% completeness. Compared to its free-living relatives, Ca. Ruthturnera sp. Tsphm01 genome is reduced, lacking components for chemotaxis, citric acid cycle and de novo biosynthesis of small molecules (e.g. amino acids and cofactors), indicating it is likely an obligate intracellular symbiont. Nevertheless, the symbiont retains complete genomic components of sulphur oxidation and assimilation of inorganic carbon, and these systems were highly and actively expressed. Moreover, the symbiont appears well-adapted to anoxic environment, including capable of anaerobic respiration (i.e. reductions of DMSO and nitrate) and possession of a low oxygen-adapted type of cytochrome c oxidase. Analysis of the host transcriptome revealed its metabolic complementarity to the incomplete metabolic pathways of the symbiont and the acquisition of nutrients from the symbiont via phagocytosis and exosome. By providing the first complete genome of reduced size in a thyasirid symbiont, this study enhances our understanding of the diversity of symbiosis that has enabled bivalves to thrive in chemosynthetic habitats. The resources will be widely used in phylogenetic, geographic and evolutionary studies of chemosynthetic bacteria and bivalves.

RevDate: 2023-07-25

Sakai R, Goto-Inoue N, Yamashita H, et al (2023)

Smart utilization of betaine lipids in the giant clam Tridacna crocea.

iScience, 26(7):107250.

The giant clam Tridacna crocea thrives in poorly nourished coral reef water by forming a holobiont with zooxanthellae and utilizing photosynthetic products of the symbiont. However, detailed metabolic crosstalk between clams and symbionts is elusive. Here, we discovered that the nonphosphorous microalgal betaine lipid DGCC (diacylglycerylcarboxy-hydroxymethylcholine) and its deacylated derivative GCC are present in all tissues and organs, including algae-free sperm and eggs, and are metabolized. Colocalization of DGCC and PC (phosphatidylcholine) evidenced by MS imaging suggested that DGCC functions as a PC substitute. The high content of GCC in digestive diverticula (DD) suggests that the algal DGCC was digested in DD for further utilization. Lipidomics analysis showing the organ-specific distribution pattern of DGCC species suggests active utilization of DGCC as membrane lipids in the clam. Thus, the utilization of zooxanthellal DGCC in animal cells is a unique evolutionary outcome in phosphorous-deficient coral reef waters.

RevDate: 2023-07-25
CmpDate: 2023-07-24

Leiva C, Pérez-Portela R, S Lemer (2023)

Genomic signatures suggesting adaptation to ocean acidification in a coral holobiont from volcanic CO2 seeps.

Communications biology, 6(1):769.

Ocean acidification, caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, is predicted to have major consequences for reef-building corals, jeopardizing the scaffolding of the most biodiverse marine habitats. However, whether corals can adapt to ocean acidification and how remains unclear. We addressed these questions by re-examining transcriptome and genome data of Acropora millepora coral holobionts from volcanic CO2 seeps with end-of-century pH levels. We show that adaptation to ocean acidification is a wholistic process involving the three main compartments of the coral holobiont. We identified 441 coral host candidate adaptive genes involved in calcification, response to acidification, and symbiosis; population genetic differentiation in dinoflagellate photosymbionts; and consistent transcriptional microbiome activity despite microbial community shifts. Coral holobionts from natural analogues to future ocean conditions harbor beneficial genetic variants with far-reaching rapid adaptation potential. In the face of climate change, these populations require immediate conservation strategies as they could become key to coral reef survival.

RevDate: 2023-07-21

Carvalho J, Morales HE, Faria R, et al (2023)

Integrating Pool-seq uncertainties into demographic inference.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Next-generation sequencing of pooled samples (Pool-seq) is a popular method to assess genome-wide diversity patterns in natural and experimental populations. However, Pool-seq is associated with specific sources of noise, such as unequal individual contributions. Consequently, using Pool-seq for the reconstruction of evolutionary history has remained underexplored. Here we describe a novel Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) method to infer demographic history, explicitly modelling Pool-seq sources of error. By jointly modelling Pool-seq data, demographic history and the effects of selection due to barrier loci, we obtain estimates of demographic history parameters accounting for technical errors associated with Pool-seq. Our ABC approach is computationally efficient as it relies on simulating subsets of loci (rather than the whole-genome) and on using relative summary statistics and relative model parameters. Our simulation study results indicate Pool-seq data allows distinction between general scenarios of ecotype formation (single versus parallel origin) and to infer relevant demographic parameters (e.g. effective sizes and split times). We exemplify the application of our method to Pool-seq data from the rocky-shore gastropod Littorina saxatilis, sampled on a narrow geographical scale at two Swedish locations where two ecotypes (Wave and Crab) are found. Our model choice and parameter estimates show that ecotypes formed before colonization of the two locations (i.e. single origin) and are maintained despite gene flow. These results indicate that demographic modelling and inference can be successful based on pool-sequencing using ABC, contributing to the development of suitable null models that allow for a better understanding of the genetic basis of divergent adaptation.

RevDate: 2023-07-20

Mesny F, Hacquard S, BP Thomma (2023)

Co-evolution within the plant holobiont drives host performance.

EMBO reports [Epub ahead of print].

Plants interact with a diversity of microorganisms that influence their growth and resilience, and they can therefore be considered as ecological entities, namely "plant holobionts," rather than as singular organisms. In a plant holobiont, the assembly of above- and belowground microbiota is ruled by host, microbial, and environmental factors. Upon microorganism perception, plants activate immune signaling resulting in the secretion of factors that modulate microbiota composition. Additionally, metabolic interdependencies and antagonism between microbes are driving forces for community assemblies. We argue that complex plant-microbe and intermicrobial interactions have been selected for during evolution and may promote the survival and fitness of plants and their associated microorganisms as holobionts. As part of this process, plants evolved metabolite-mediated strategies to selectively recruit beneficial microorganisms in their microbiota. Some of these microbiota members show host-adaptation, from which mutualism may rapidly arise. In the holobiont, microbiota members also co-evolved antagonistic activities that restrict proliferation of microbes with high pathogenic potential and can therefore prevent disease development. Co-evolution within holobionts thus ultimately drives plant performance.

RevDate: 2023-07-18

Ferrarezi JA, Defant H, de Souza LF, et al (2023)

Meta-omics integration approach reveals the effect of soil native microbiome diversity in the performance of inoculant Azospirillum brasilense.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1172839.

Plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) have been used as integrative inputs to minimize the use of chemical fertilizers. However, a holistic comprehension about PGPB-plant-microbiome interactions is still incipient. Furthermore, the interaction among PGPB and the holobiont (host-microbiome association) represent a new frontier to plant breeding programs. We aimed to characterize maize bulk soil and rhizosphere microbiomes in irradiated soil (IS) and a native soil (NS) microbial community gradient (dilution-to-extinction) with Azospirillum brasilense Ab-V5, a PGPB commercial inoculant. Our hypothesis was that plant growth promotion efficiency is a result of PGPB niche occupation and persistence according to the holobiont conditions. The effects of Ab-V5 and NS microbial communities were evaluated in microcosms by a combined approach of microbiomics (species-specific qPCR, 16S rRNA metataxonomics and metagenomics) and plant phenomics (conventional and high-throughput methods). Our results revealed a weak maize growth promoting effect of Ab-V5 inoculation in undiluted NS, contrasting the positive effects of NS dilutions 10[-3], 10[-6], 10[-9] and IS with Ab-V5. Alpha diversity in NS + Ab-V5 soil samples was higher than in all other treatments in a time course of 25 days after sowing (DAS). At 15 DAS, alpha diversity indexes were different between NS and IS, but similar in all NS dilutions in rhizospheric samples. These differences were not persistent at 25 DAS, demonstrating a stabilization process in the rhizobiomes. In NS 10[-3] +Ab-V5 and NS 10[-6] Ab-V5, Ab-V5 persisted in the maize rhizosphere until 15 DAS in higher abundances compared to NS. In NS + Ab-V5, abundance of six taxa were positively correlated with response to (a)biotic stresses in plant-soil interface. Genes involved in bacterial metabolism of riboses and amino acids, and cresol degradation were abundant on NS 10[-3] + Ab-V5, indicating that these pathways can contribute to plant growth promotion and might be a result of Ab-V5 performance as a microbial recruiter of beneficial functions to the plant. Our results demonstrated the effects of holobiont on Ab-V5 performance. The meta-omics integration supported by plant phenomics opens new perspectives to better understanding of inoculants-holobiont interaction and for developing better strategies for optimization in the use of microbial products.

RevDate: 2023-07-28

Prosdocimi F, Cortines JR, José MV, et al (2023)

Decoding viruses: An alternative perspective on their history, origins and role in nature.

Bio Systems, 231:104960 pii:S0303-2647(23)00135-1 [Epub ahead of print].

This article provides an alternative perspective on viruses, exploring their origins, ecology, and evolution. Viruses are recognized as the most prevalent biological entities on Earth, permeating nearly all environments and forming the virosphere-a significant biological layer. They play a crucial role in regulating bacterial populations within ecosystems and holobionts, influencing microbial communities and nutrient recycling. Viruses are also key drivers of molecular evolution, actively participating in the maintenance and regulation of ecosystems and cellular organisms. Many eukaryotic genomes contain genomic elements with viral origins, which contribute to organismal equilibrium and fitness. Viruses are involved in the generation of species-specific orphan genes, facilitating adaptation and the development of unique traits in biological lineages. They have been implicated in the formation of vital structures like the eukaryotic nucleus and the mammalian placenta. The presence of virus-specific genes absent in cellular organisms suggests that viruses may pre-date cellular life. Like progenotes, viruses are ribonucleoprotein entities with simpler capsid architectures compared to proteolipidic membranes. This article presents a comprehensive scenario describing major transitions in prebiotic evolution and proposes that viruses emerged prior to the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) during the progenote era. However, it is important to note that viruses do not form a monophyletic clade, and many viral taxonomic groups originated more recently as reductions of cellular structures. Thus, viral architecture should be seen as an ancient and evolutionarily stable strategy adopted by biological systems. The goal of this article is to reshape perceptions of viruses, highlighting their multifaceted significance in the complex tapestry of life and fostering a deeper understanding of their origins, ecological impact, and evolutionary dynamics.

RevDate: 2023-07-30

Melo-Bolívar JF, Ruiz Pardo RY, Quintanilla-Carvajal MX, et al (2023)

Evaluation of dietary single probiotic isolates and probiotic multistrain consortia in growth performance, gut histology, gut microbiota, immune regulation, and infection resistance of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, shows superior monostrain performance.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 140:108928 pii:S1050-4648(23)00414-X [Epub ahead of print].

The probiotic potential of a designed bacterial consortia isolated from a competitive exclusion culture originally obtained from the intestinal contents of tilapia juveniles were evaluated on Nile tilapia alevins. The growth performance, intestinal histology, microbiota effects, resistance to Streptococcus agalactiae challenge, and immune response were assessed. In addition, the following treatments were included in a commercial feed: A12+M4+M10 (Lactococcus lactis A12, Priestia megaterium M4, and Priestia sp. M10), M4+M10 (P. megaterium M4, and Priestia sp. M10) and the single bacteria as controls; A12 (L. lactis A12), M4 (P. megaterium M4), M10 (Priestia sp. M10), also a commercial feed without any probiotic addition was included as a control. The results showed that all probiotic treatments improved the growth performance, intestinal histology, and resistance during experimental infection with S. agalactiae in comparison to the control fish. Also, the administration of probiotics resulted in the modulation of genes associated with the innate and adaptive immune systems that were non-dependent on microbial colonization. Surprisingly, L. lactis A12 alone induced benefits in fish compared to the microbial consortia, showing the highest increase in growth rate, survival during experimental infection with S. agalactiae, increased intestinal fold length, and the number of differentially expressed genes. Lastly, we conclude that a competitive exclusion culture is a reliable source of probiotics, and monostrain L. lactis A12 has comparable or even greater probiotic potential than the bacterial consortia.

RevDate: 2023-07-06

King NG, Uribe R, Moore PJ, et al (2023)

Multiscale Spatial Variability and Stability in the Structure and Diversity of Bacterial Communities Associated with the Kelp Eisenia cokeri in Peru.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Ecological communities are structured by a range of processes that operate over a range of spatial scales. While our understanding of such biodiversity patterns in macro-communities is well studied, our understanding at the microbial level is still lacking. Bacteria can be free living or associated with host eukaryotes, forming part of a wider "microbiome," which is fundamental for host performance and health. For habitat forming foundation-species, host-bacteria relationships likely play disproportionate roles in mediating processes for the wider ecosystem. Here, we describe host-bacteria communities across multiple spatial scales (i.e., from 10s of m to 100s of km) in the understudied kelp, Eisenia cokeri, in Peru. We found that E. cokeri supports a distinct bacterial community compared to the surrounding seawater, but the structure of these communities varied markedly at the regional (~480 km), site (1-10 km), and individual (10s of m) scale. The marked regional-scale differences we observed may be driven by a range of processes, including temperature, upwelling intensity, or regional connectivity patterns. However, despite this variability, we observed consistency in the form of a persistent core community at the genus level. Here, the genera Arenicella, Blastopirellula, Granulosicoccus, and Litorimonas were found in >80% of samples and comprised ~53% of total sample abundance. These genera have been documented within bacterial communities associated with kelps and other seaweed species from around the world and may be important for host function and wider ecosystem health in general.

RevDate: 2023-07-28
CmpDate: 2023-07-27

Hu S, He R, He X, et al (2023)

Niche-Specific Restructuring of Bacterial Communities Associated with Submerged Macrophyte under Ammonium Stress.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 89(7):e0071723.

Submerged macrophytes and their epiphytic microbes form a "holobiont" that plays crucial roles in regulating the biogeochemical cycles of aquatic ecosystems but is sensitive to environmental disturbances such as ammonium loadings. Increasingly more studies suggest that plants may actively seek help from surrounding microbial communities whereby conferring benefits in responding to particular abiotic stresses. However, empirical evidence is scarce regarding how aquatic plants reconstruct their microbiomes as a "cry-for-help" against acute ammonium stress. Here, we investigated the temporal dynamics of the phyllosphere and rhizosphere bacterial communities of Vallisneria natans following ammonium stress and recovery periods. The bacterial community diversity of different plant niches exhibited opposite patterns with ammonium stress, that is, decreasing in the phyllosphere while increasing in the rhizosphere. Furthermore, both phyllosphere and rhizosphere bacterial communities underwent large compositional changes at the end of ammonium stress, significantly enriching of several nitrifiers and denitrifiers. Meanwhile, bacterial legacies wrought by ammonium stress were detected for weeks; some plant growth-promoting and stress-relieving bacteria remained enriched even after stress disappeared. Structural equation model analysis showed that the reshaped bacterial communities in plant niches collectively had a positive effect on maintaining plant biomass. Additionally, we applied an age-prediction model to predict the bacterial community's successional trajectory, and the results revealed a persistent change in bacterial community development under ammonium treatment. Our findings highlight the importance of plant-microbe interactions in mitigating plant stress and fostering a better understanding of the assembly of plant-beneficial microbes under ammonium stress in aquatic ecosystems. IMPORTANCE Increasing anthropogenic input of ammonium is accelerating the decline of submerged macrophytes in aquatic ecosystems. Finding efficient ways to release submerged macrophytes from ammonium stress is crucial to maintain their ecological benefits. Microbial symbioses can alleviate abiotic stress in plants, but harnessing these beneficial interactions requires a detailed understanding of plant microbiome responses to ammonium stress, especially over a continuous time course. Here, we tracked the temporal changes in bacterial communities associated with the phyllosphere and rhizosphere of Vallisneria natans during ammonium stress and recovery periods. Our results showed that severe ammonium stress triggers a plant-driven timely reshaping of the associated bacterial community in a niche-specific strategy. The reassembled bacterial communities could potentially benefit the plant by positively contributing to nitrogen transformation and plant growth promotion. These findings provide empirical evidence regarding the adaptive strategy of aquatic plants whereby they recruit beneficial microbes against ammonium stress.

RevDate: 2023-08-02
CmpDate: 2023-08-02

Hardoim CCP, Hardoim PR, Lôbo-Hajdu G, et al (2023)

The microbiome of the sponge Aplysina caissara in two sites with different levels of anthropogenic impact.

FEMS microbiology letters, 370:.

Despite the important roles that marine sponges play in ecosystem functioning and structuring, little is known about how the sponge holobiont responds to local anthropogenic impacts. Here we assess the influence of an impacted environment (Praia Preta) on the microbial community associated with the endemic sponge Aplysina caissara in comparison to a less-impacted area (Praia do Guaecá) from the coast of São Paulo state (Brazil, southwestern Atlantic coast). We hypothesized that the local anthropogenic impacts will change the microbiome of A. caissara and that the community assembly will be driven by a different process (i.e. deterministic versus stochastic) under distinct levels of impact. The microbiome at the amplicon sequence variants level was found to be statistically distinct between sponges from the different sites, and this was also seen for the microbial communities of the surrounding seawater and sediments. Microbial communities of A. caissara from both sites were found to be assembled by deterministic processes, even though the sites presented distinct anthropogenic impacts, showing a pivotal role of the sponge host in selecting its own microbiome. Overall, this study revealed that local anthropogenic impacts altered the microbiome of A. caissara; however, assembly processes are largely determined by the sponge host.

RevDate: 2023-07-21

Liu W, Cui X, Wang X, et al (2023)

Sugarcane mosaic virus reduced bacterial diversity and network complexity in the maize root endosphere.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) causes mosaic disease in crops such as maize and sugarcane by its vector-an aphid-and is transmitted top-down into the root system. However, understanding of the effects of the aphid-borne virus on root-associated microbes after plant invasion remains limited. The current project investigated maize root-associated (rhizosphere and endosphere) bacterial communities, potential interspecies interaction, and assembly processes in response to SCMV invasion based on 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. SCMV was detected in the roots 9 days after inoculation, and leaf mosaic and chlorosis appeared. The SCMV invasion markedly reduced the α-diversity of endosphere bacteria compared with uninoculated controls (Mock). The connectivity and complexity of the bacterial co-occurrence network in the root endosphere decreased after SCMV invasion, implying that the plant virus may alter root endophyte-microbial interactions. Moreover, a signature that deviates more from stochastic processes was observed in virus-infected plants. Unexpectedly, the rhizosphere bacterial communities were rarely affected by the viral invasion. This study lays the foundation for elucidating the fate of the microbial component of the plant holobiont following aphid-borne virus exposure. IMPORTANCE Biotic (e.g., soil-borne viruses) stress can alter root-associated bacterial communities, essential in maintaining host plant growth and health. However, the regulation of root-associated microorganisms by plant viruses from shoots is still largely unknown. Our results show that plant virus invasion leads to reduced and simpler inter-microbial communication in the maize endosphere. In addition, stochastic processes act on bacterial community assembly in both rhizosphere and endosphere, and bacterial communities in virus-invaded plant endosphere tend to shift toward deterministic processes. Our study highlights the negative effects of plant viruses on root endophytes from the microbial ecology perspective, which may be microbially mediated mechanisms of plant diseases.

RevDate: 2023-07-01
CmpDate: 2023-06-29

Sikorskaya TV (2023)

Coral Lipidome: Molecular Species of Phospholipids, Glycolipids, Betaine Lipids, and Sphingophosphonolipids.

Marine drugs, 21(6):.

Coral reefs are the most biodiversity-rich ecosystems in the world's oceans. Coral establishes complex interactions with various microorganisms that constitute an important part of the coral holobiont. The best-known coral endosymbionts are Symbiodiniaceae dinoflagellates. Each member of the coral microbiome contributes to its total lipidome, which integrates many molecular species. The present study summarizes available information on the molecular species of the plasma membrane lipids of the coral host and its dinoflagellates (phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine (PS), phosphatidylinositol (PI), ceramideaminoethylphosphonate, and diacylglyceryl-3-O-carboxyhydroxymethylcholine), and the thylakoid membrane lipids of dinoflagellates (phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and glycolipids). Alkyl chains of PC and PE molecular species differ between tropical and cold-water coral species, and features of their acyl chains depend on the coral's taxonomic position. PS and PI structural features are associated with the presence of an exoskeleton in the corals. The dinoflagellate thermosensitivity affects the profiles of PG and glycolipid molecular species, which can be modified by the coral host. Coral microbiome members, such as bacteria and fungi, can also be the source of the alkyl and acyl chains of coral membrane lipids. The lipidomics approach, providing broader and more detailed information about coral lipid composition, opens up new opportunities in the study of biochemistry and ecology of corals.

RevDate: 2023-07-01

Monti M, Giorgi A, Kemp DW, et al (2023)

Spatial, temporal and network analyses provide insights into the dynamics of the bacterial communities associated with two species of Caribbean octocorals and indicate possible key taxa.

Symbiosis (Philadelphia, Pa.) [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Despite the current decline of scleractinian coral populations, octocorals are thriving on reefs in the Caribbean Sea and western North Atlantic Ocean. These cnidarians are holobiont entities, interacting with a diverse array of microorganisms. Few studies have investigated the spatial and temporal stability of the bacterial communities associated with octocoral species and information regarding the co-occurrence and potential interactions between specific members of these bacterial communities remain sparse. To address this knowledge gap, this study investigated the stability of the bacterial assemblages associated with two common Caribbean octocoral species, Eunicea flexuosa and Antillogorgia americana, across time and geographical locations and performed network analyses to investigate potential bacterial interactions. Results demonstrated that general inferences regarding the spatial and temporal stability of octocoral-associated bacterial communities should not be made, as host-specific characteristics may influence these factors. In addition, network analyses revealed differences in the complexity of the interactions between bacteria among the octocoral species analyzed, while highlighting the presence of genera known to produce bioactive secondary metabolites in both octocorals that may play fundamental roles in structuring the octocoral-associated bacteriome.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13199-023-00923-x.

RevDate: 2023-06-21

Dussex N, Morales HE, Grossen C, et al (2023)

Purging and accumulation of genetic load in conservation.

Trends in ecology & evolution pii:S0169-5347(23)00131-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Our ability to assess the threat posed by the genetic load to small and declining populations has been greatly improved by advances in genome sequencing and computational approaches. Yet, considerable confusion remains around the definitions of the genetic load and its dynamics, and how they impact individual fitness and population viability. We illustrate how both selective purging and drift affect the distribution of deleterious mutations during population size decline and recovery. We show how this impacts the composition of the genetic load, and how this affects the extinction risk and recovery potential of populations. We propose a framework to examine load dynamics and advocate for the introduction of load estimates in the management of endangered populations.

RevDate: 2023-07-01
CmpDate: 2023-06-21

Vinha B, Rossi S, Gori A, et al (2023)

Trophic ecology of Angolan cold-water coral reefs (SE Atlantic) based on stable isotope analyses.

Scientific reports, 13(1):9933.

Cold-water coral (CWC) reefs of the Angolan margin (SE Atlantic) are dominated by Desmophyllum pertusum and support a diverse community of associated fauna, despite hypoxic conditions. In this study, we use carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses (δ[13]C and δ[15]N) to decipher the trophic network of this relatively unknown CWC province. Although fresh phytodetritus is available to the reef, δ[15]N signatures indicate that CWCs (12.90 ± 1.00 ‰) sit two trophic levels above Suspended Particulate Organic Matter (SPOM) (4.23 ± 1.64 ‰) suggesting that CWCs are highly reliant on an intermediate food source, which may be zooplankton. Echinoderms and the polychaete Eunice norvegica occupy the same trophic guild, with high δ[13]C signatures (-14.00 ± 1.08 ‰) pointing to a predatory feeding behavior on CWCs and sponges, although detrital feeding on [13]C enriched particles might also be important for this group. Sponges presented the highest δ[15]N values (20.20 ± 1.87 ‰), which could be due to the role of the sponge holobiont and bacterial food in driving intense nitrogen cycling processes in sponges' tissue, helping to cope with the hypoxic conditions of the reef. Our study provides first insights to understand trophic interactions of CWC reefs under low-oxygen conditions.

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

Vadillo Gonzalez S, Vranken S, Coleman MA, et al (2023)

Host genotype and microbiome associations in co-occurring clonal and non-clonal kelp, Ecklonia radiata.

Molecular ecology, 32(16):4584-4598.

A fundamental question in holobiont biology is the extent to which microbiomes are determined by host characteristics regulated by their genotype. Studies on the interactions of host genotype and microbiomes are emerging but disentangling the role that host genotype has in shaping microbiomes remains challenging in natural settings. Host genotypes tend to be segregated in space and affected by different environments. Here we overcome this challenge by studying an unusual situation where host asexual (5 clonal lineages) and sexual genotypes (15 non-clonal lineages) of the same species co-occur under the same environment. This allowed us to partition the influence of morphological traits and genotype in shaping host-associated bacterial communities. Lamina-associated bacteria of co-occurring kelp sexual non-clonal (Ecklonia radiata) and asexual clonal (E. brevipes) morphs were compared to test whether host genotype influences microbiomes beyond morphology. Similarity of bacterial composition and predicted functions were evaluated among individuals within a single clonal genotype or among non-clonal genotypes of each morph. Higher similarity in bacterial composition and inferred functions were found among identical clones of E. brevipes compared to other clonal genotypes or unique non-clonal E. radiata genotypes. Additionally, bacterial diversity and composition differed significantly between the two morphs and were related with one morphological trait in E. brevipes (haptera). Thus, factors regulated by the host genotype (e.g. secondary metabolite production) likely drive differences in microbial communities between morphs. The strong association of genotype and microbiome found here highlights the importance of genetic relatedness of hosts in determining variability in their bacterial symbionts.

RevDate: 2023-07-18
CmpDate: 2023-07-10

Perez-Lamarque B, Sommeria-Klein G, Duret L, et al (2023)

Phylogenetic Comparative Approach Reveals Evolutionary Conservatism, Ancestral Composition, and Integration of Vertebrate Gut Microbiota.

Molecular biology and evolution, 40(7):.

How host-associated microbial communities evolve as their hosts diversify remains equivocal: how conserved is their composition? What was the composition of ancestral microbiota? Do microbial taxa covary in abundance over millions of years? Multivariate phylogenetic models of trait evolution are key to answering similar questions for complex host phenotypes, yet they are not directly applicable to relative abundances, which usually characterize microbiota. Here, we extend these models in this context, thereby providing a powerful approach for estimating phylosymbiosis (the extent to which closely related host species harbor similar microbiota), ancestral microbiota composition, and integration (evolutionary covariations in bacterial abundances). We apply our model to the gut microbiota of mammals and birds. We find significant phylosymbiosis that is not entirely explained by diet and geographic location, indicating that other evolutionary-conserved traits shape microbiota composition. We identify main shifts in microbiota composition during the evolution of the two groups and infer an ancestral mammalian microbiota consistent with an insectivorous diet. We also find remarkably consistent evolutionary covariations among bacterial orders in mammals and birds. Surprisingly, despite the substantial variability of present-day gut microbiota, some aspects of their composition are conserved over millions of years of host evolutionary history.

RevDate: 2023-08-10
CmpDate: 2023-08-09

Urban L, Perlas A, Francino O, et al (2023)

Real-time genomics for One Health.

Molecular systems biology, 19(8):e11686.

The ongoing degradation of natural systems and other environmental changes has put our society at a crossroad with respect to our future relationship with our planet. While the concept of One Health describes how human health is inextricably linked with environmental health, many of these complex interdependencies are still not well-understood. Here, we describe how the advent of real-time genomic analyses can benefit One Health and how it can enable timely, in-depth ecosystem health assessments. We introduce nanopore sequencing as the only disruptive technology that currently allows for real-time genomic analyses and that is already being used worldwide to improve the accessibility and versatility of genomic sequencing. We showcase real-time genomic studies on zoonotic disease, food security, environmental microbiome, emerging pathogens, and their antimicrobial resistances, and on environmental health itself - from genomic resource creation for wildlife conservation to the monitoring of biodiversity, invasive species, and wildlife trafficking. We stress why equitable access to real-time genomics in the context of One Health will be paramount and discuss related practical, legal, and ethical limitations.

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

Connelly MT, Snyder G, Palacio-Castro AM, et al (2023)

Antibiotics reduce Pocillopora coral-associated bacteria diversity, decrease holobiont oxygen consumption and activate immune gene expression.

Molecular ecology, 32(16):4677-4694.

Corals are important models for understanding invertebrate host-microbe interactions; however, to fully discern mechanisms involved in these relationships, experimental approaches for manipulating coral-bacteria associations are needed. Coral-associated bacteria affect holobiont health via nutrient cycling, metabolic exchanges and pathogen exclusion, yet it is not fully understood how bacterial community shifts affect holobiont health and physiology. In this study, a combination of antibiotics (ampicillin, streptomycin and ciprofloxacin) was used to disrupt the bacterial communities of 14 colonies of the reef framework-building corals Pocillopora meandrina and P. verrucosa, originally collected from Panama and hosting diverse algal symbionts (family Symbiodiniaceae). Symbiodiniaceae photochemical efficiencies and holobiont oxygen consumption (as proxies for coral health) were measured throughout a 5-day exposure. Antibiotics altered bacterial community composition and reduced alpha and beta diversity, however, several bacteria persisted, leading to the hypothesis that these bacteria are either antibiotics resistant or occupy internal niches that are shielded from antibiotics. While antibiotics did not affect Symbiodiniaceae photochemical efficiency, antibiotics-treated corals had lower oxygen consumption rates. RNAseq revealed that antibiotics increased expression of Pocillopora immunity and stress response genes at the expense of cellular maintenance and metabolism functions. Together, these results reveal that antibiotic disruption of corals' native bacteria negatively impacts holobiont health by decreasing oxygen consumption and activating host immunity without directly impairing Symbiodiniaceae photosynthesis, underscoring the critical role of coral-associated bacteria in holobiont health. They also provide a baseline for future experiments that manipulate Pocillopora corals' symbioses by first reducing the diversity and complexity of coral-associated bacteria.

RevDate: 2023-06-17

Massé A, Detang J, Duval C, et al (2023)

Bacterial Microbiota of Ostreobium, the Coral-Isolated Chlorophyte Ectosymbiont, at Contrasted Salinities.

Microorganisms, 11(5):.

Microscopic filaments of the siphonous green algae Ostreobium (Ulvophyceae, Bryopsidales) colonize and dissolve the calcium carbonate skeletons of coral colonies in reefs of contrasted salinities. Here, we analyzed their bacterial community's composition and plasticity in response to salinity. Multiple cultures of Pocillopora coral-isolated Ostreobium strains from two distinct rbcL lineages representative of IndoPacific environmental phylotypes were pre-acclimatized (>9 months) to three ecologically relevant reef salinities: 32.9, 35.1, and 40.2 psu. Bacterial phylotypes were visualized for the first time at filament scale by CARD-FISH in algal tissue sections, within siphons, at their surface or in their mucilage. Ostreobium-associated microbiota, characterized by bacterial 16S rDNA metabarcoding of cultured thalli and their corresponding supernatants, were structured by host genotype (Ostreobium strain lineage), with dominant Kiloniellaceae or Rhodospirillaceae (Alphaproteobacteria, Rhodospirillales) depending on Ostreobium lineage, and shifted Rhizobiales' abundances in response to the salinity increase. A small core microbiota composed of seven ASVs (~1.5% of thalli ASVs, 19-36% cumulated proportions) was persistent across three salinities in both genotypes, with putative intracellular Amoebophilaceae and Rickettsiales_AB1, as well as Hyphomonadaceae and Rhodospirillaceae also detected within environmental (Ostreobium-colonized) Pocillopora coral skeletons. This novel knowledge on the taxonomic diversity of Ostreobium bacteria paves the way to functional interaction studies within the coral holobiont.

RevDate: 2023-06-16

Botté ES, Bennett H, Engelberts JP, et al (2023)

Future ocean conditions induce necrosis, microbial dysbiosis and nutrient cycling imbalance in the reef sponge Stylissa flabelliformis.

ISME communications, 3(1):53.

Oceans are rapidly warming and acidifying in the context of climate change, threatening sensitive marine biota including coral reef sponges. Ocean warming (OW) and ocean acidification (OA) can impact host health and associated microbiome, but few studies have investigated these effects, which are generally studied in isolation, on a specific component of the holobiont. Here we present a comprehensive view of the consequences of simultaneous OW and OA for the tropical sponge Stylissa flabelliformis. We found no interactive effect on the host health or microbiome. Furthermore, OA (pH 7.6 versus pH 8.0) had no impact, while OW (31.5 °C versus 28.5 °C) caused tissue necrosis, as well as dysbiosis and shifts in microbial functions in healthy tissue of necrotic sponges. Major taxonomic shifts included a complete loss of archaea, reduced proportions of Gammaproteobacteria and elevated relative abundances of Alphaproteobacteria. OW weakened sponge-microbe interactions, with a reduced capacity for nutrient exchange and phagocytosis evasion, indicating lower representations of stable symbionts. The potential for microbially-driven nitrogen and sulphur cycling was reduced, as was amino acid metabolism. Crucially, the dysbiosis annihilated the potential for ammonia detoxification, possibly leading to accumulation of toxic ammonia, nutrient imbalance, and host tissue necrosis. Putative defence against reactive oxygen species was greater at 31.5 °C, perhaps as microorganisms capable of resisting temperature-driven oxidative stress were favoured. We conclude that healthy symbiosis in S. flabelliformis is unlikely to be disrupted by future OA but will be deeply impacted by temperatures predicted for 2100 under a "business-as-usual" carbon emission scenario.

RevDate: 2023-06-13

Ma M, Zhuang Y, Chang L, et al (2023)

Naturally occurring beneficial bacteria Vibrio alginolyticus X-2 protects seaweed from bleaching disease.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Microbiome manipulation is gaining fresh attention as a way to mitigate diseases in aquaculture. The commercially farmed seaweed Saccharina japonica suffers from a bacterial-induced bleaching disease, which has major implications for the reliable supply of healthy sporelings. Here, we identify a beneficial bacterium, Vibrio alginolyticus X-2 that significantly reduces the risk of bleaching disease. By combining infection assays and multi-omic analyses, we provide evidence to suggest that the underlying protective mechanisms of V. alginolyticus X-2 involve maintaining epibacterial communities, increasing the gene expression of S. japonica related to immune and stress protection pathways, and stimulating betaine concentrations in S. japonica holobionts. Thus, V. alginolyticus X-2 can elicit a suite of microbial and host responses to mitigate the bleaching disease. Our study provides insights into disease control in farmed S. japonica through the application of beneficial bacteria. IMPORTANCE Beneficial bacteria can elicit a suite of microbial and host responses to enhance the resistance to bleaching disease.

RevDate: 2023-06-16

Mariadassou M, Nouvel LX, Constant F, et al (2023)

Microbiota members from body sites of dairy cows are largely shared within individual hosts throughout lactation but sharing is limited in the herd.

Animal microbiome, 5(1):32.

BACKGROUND: Host-associated microbes are major determinants of the host phenotypes. In the present study, we used dairy cows with different scores of susceptibility to mastitis with the aim to explore the relationships between microbiota composition and different factors in various body sites throughout lactation as well as the intra- and inter-animal microbial sharing.

RESULTS: Microbiotas from the mouth, nose, vagina and milk of 45 lactating dairy cows were characterized by metataxonomics at four time points during the first lactation, from 1-week pre-partum to 7 months post-partum. Each site harbored a specific community that changed with time, likely reflecting physiological changes in the transition period and changes in diet and housing. Importantly, we found a significant number of microbes shared among different anatomical sites within each animal. This was between nearby anatomic sites, with up to 32% of the total number of Amplicon Sequence Variants (ASVs) of the oral microbiota shared with the nasal microbiota but also between distant ones (e.g. milk with nasal and vaginal microbiotas). In contrast, the share of microbes between animals was limited (< 7% of ASVs shared by more than 50% of the herd for a given site and time point). The latter widely shared ASVs were mainly found in the oral and nasal microbiotas. These results thus indicate that despite a common environment and diet, each animal hosted a specific set of bacteria, supporting a tight interplay between each animal and its microbiota. The score of susceptibility to mastitis was slightly but significantly related to the microbiota associated to milk suggesting a link between host genetics and microbiota.

CONCLUSIONS: This work highlights an important sharing of microbes between relevant microbiotas involved in health and production at the animal level, whereas the presence of common microbes was limited between animals of the herd. This suggests a host regulation of body-associated microbiotas that seems to be differently expressed depending on the body site, as suggested by changes in the milk microbiota that were associated to genotypes of susceptibility to mastitis.

RevDate: 2023-06-12

Giannelli G, Potestio S, G Visioli (2023)

The Contribution of PGPR in Salt Stress Tolerance in Crops: Unravelling the Molecular Mechanisms of Cross-Talk between Plant and Bacteria.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(11):.

Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress in global agricultural productivity with an estimated 50% of arable land predicted to become salinized by 2050. Since most domesticated crops are glycophytes, they cannot be cultivated on salt soils. The use of beneficial microorganisms inhabiting the rhizosphere (PGPR) is a promising tool to alleviate salt stress in various crops and represents a strategy to increase agricultural productivity in salt soils. Increasing evidence underlines that PGPR affect plant physiological, biochemical, and molecular responses to salt stress. The mechanisms behind these phenomena include osmotic adjustment, modulation of the plant antioxidant system, ion homeostasis, modulation of the phytohormonal balance, increase in nutrient uptake, and the formation of biofilms. This review focuses on the recent literature regarding the molecular mechanisms that PGPR use to improve plant growth under salinity. In addition, very recent -OMICs approaches were reported, dissecting the role of PGPR in modulating plant genomes and epigenomes, opening up the possibility of combining the high genetic variations of plants with the action of PGPR for the selection of useful plant traits to cope with salt stress conditions.

RevDate: 2023-07-02
CmpDate: 2023-06-30

Vargas S, Leiva L, Eitel M, et al (2023)

Body-Plan Reorganization in a Sponge Correlates with Microbiome Change.

Molecular biology and evolution, 40(6):.

Mounting evidence suggests that animals and their associated bacteria interact via intricate molecular mechanisms, and it is hypothesized that disturbances to the microbiome influence animal development. Here, we show that the loss of a key photosymbiont (i.e., bleaching) upon shading correlates with a stark body-plan reorganization in the common aquarium cyanosponge Lendenfeldia chondrodes. The morphological changes observed in shaded sponges include the development of a thread-like morphology that contrasts with the flattened, foliose morphology of control specimens. The microanatomy of shaded sponges markedly differed from that of control sponges, with shaded specimens lacking a well-developed cortex and choanosome. Also, the palisade of polyvacuolar gland-like cells typical in control specimens was absent in shaded sponges. The morphological changes observed in shaded specimens are coupled with broad transcriptomic changes and include the modulation of signaling pathways involved in animal morphogenesis and immune response, such as the Wnt, transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), and TLR-ILR pathways. This study provides a genetic, physiological, and morphological assessment of the effect of microbiome changes on sponge postembryonic development and homeostasis. The correlated response of the sponge host to the collapse of the population of symbiotic cyanobacteria provides evidence for a coupling between the sponge transcriptomic state and the state of its microbiome. This coupling suggests that the ability of animals to interact with their microbiomes and respond to microbiome perturbations has deep evolutionary origins in this group.

RevDate: 2023-06-10

Li J, Chai G, Xiao Y, et al (2023)

The impacts of ocean acidification, warming and their interactive effects on coral prokaryotic symbionts.

Environmental microbiome, 18(1):49.

BACKGROUND: Reef-building corals, the foundation of tropical coral reefs, are vulnerable to climate change e.g. ocean acidification and elevated seawater temperature. Coral microbiome plays a key role in host acclimatization and maintenance of the coral holobiont's homeostasis under different environmental conditions, however, the response patterns of coral prokaryotic symbionts to ocean acidification and/or warming are rarely known at the metatranscriptional level, particularly the knowledge of interactive and persistent effects is limited. Using branching Acropora valida and massive Galaxea fascicularis as models in a lab system simulating extreme ocean acidification (pH 7.7) and/or warming (32 °C) in the future, we investigated the changes of in situ active prokaryotic symbionts community and gene expression of corals under/after (6/9 d) acidification (A), warming (H) and acidification-warming (AH) by metatranscriptome analysis with pH8.1, 26 °C as the control.

RESULTS: A, H and AH increased the relative abundance of in situ active pathogenic bacteria. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in virulence, stress resistance, and heat shock proteins were up-regulated. Many DEGs involved in photosynthesis, carbon dioxide fixation, amino acids, cofactors and vitamins, auxin synthesis were down-regulated. A broad array of new DEGs involved in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production emerged after the stress treatment. Different response patterns of prokaryotic symbionts of massive G. fascicularis and branching A. valida were suggested, as well as the interactive effects of combined AH and persistent effects.

CONCLUSIONS: The metatranscriptome-based study indicates that acidification and/or warming might change coral's in situ active prokaryotic microbial diversity and functional gene expression towards more pathogenic and destabilized coral-microbes symbioses, particularly combined acidification and warming show interactive effects. These findings will aid in comprehension of the coral holobiont's ability for acclimatization under future climate change.

RevDate: 2023-07-01
CmpDate: 2023-06-22

Rubin JD, Vogel NA, Gopalakrishnan S, et al (2023)

HaploCart: Human mtDNA haplogroup classification using a pangenomic reference graph.

PLoS computational biology, 19(6):e1011148.

Current mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup classification tools map reads to a single reference genome and perform inference based on the detected mutations to this reference. This approach biases haplogroup assignments towards the reference and prohibits accurate calculations of the uncertainty in assignment. We present HaploCart, a probabilistic mtDNA haplogroup classifier which uses a pangenomic reference graph framework together with principles of Bayesian inference. We demonstrate that our approach significantly outperforms available tools by being more robust to lower coverage or incomplete consensus sequences and producing phylogenetically-aware confidence scores that are unbiased towards any haplogroup. HaploCart is available both as a command-line tool and through a user-friendly web interface. The C++ program accepts as input consensus FASTA, FASTQ, or GAM files, and outputs a text file with the haplogroup assignments of the samples along with the level of confidence in the assignments. Our work considerably reduces the amount of data required to obtain a confident mitochondrial haplogroup assignment.

RevDate: 2023-06-11
CmpDate: 2023-06-09

McRae CJ, Keshavmurthy S, Chen HK, et al (2023)

Baseline dynamics of Symbiodiniaceae genera and photochemical efficiency in corals from reefs with different thermal histories.

PeerJ, 11:e15421.

Ocean warming and marine heatwaves induced by climate change are impacting coral reefs globally, leading to coral bleaching and mortality. Yet, coral resistance and resilience to warming are not uniform across reef sites and corals can show inter- and intraspecific variability. To understand changes in coral health and to elucidate mechanisms of coral thermal tolerance, baseline data on the dynamics of coral holobiont performance under non-stressed conditions are needed. We monitored the seasonal dynamics of algal symbionts (family Symbiodiniaceae) hosted by corals from a chronically warmed and thermally variable reef compared to a thermally stable reef in southern Taiwan over 15 months. We assessed the genera and photochemical efficiency of Symbiodiniaceae in three coral species: Acropora nana, Pocillopora acuta, and Porites lutea. Both Durusdinium and Cladocopium were present in all coral species at both reef sites across all seasons, but general trends in their detection (based on qPCR cycle) varied between sites and among species. Photochemical efficiency (i.e., maximum quantum yield; Fv/Fm) was relatively similar between reef sites but differed consistently among species; no clear evidence of seasonal trends in Fv/Fm was found. Quantifying natural Symbiodiniaceae dynamics can help facilitate a more comprehensive interpretation of thermal tolerance response as well as plasticity potential of the coral holobiont.

RevDate: 2023-07-18
CmpDate: 2023-07-07

Duval P, Antonelli P, Aschan-Leygonie C, et al (2023)

Impact of Human Activities on Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes in Urban Areas.

Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 100(3):591-611.

Urbanization is one of the leading global trends of the twenty-first century that has a significant impact on health. Among health challenges caused by urbanization, the relationship of urbanization between emergence and the spread of mosquito-borne infectious diseases (MBIDs) is a great public health concern. Urbanization processes encompass social, economic, and environmental changes that directly impact the biology of mosquito species. In particular, urbanized areas experience higher temperatures and pollution levels than outlying areas but also favor the development of infrastructures and objects that are favorable to mosquito development. All these modifications may influence mosquito life history traits and their ability to transmit diseases. This review aimed to summarize the impact of urbanization on mosquito spreading in urban areas and the risk associated with the emergence of MBIDs. Moreover, mosquitoes are considered as holobionts, as evidenced by numerous studies highlighting the role of mosquito-microbiota interactions in mosquito biology. Taking into account this new paradigm, this review also represents an initial synthesis on how human-driven transformations impact microbial communities in larval habitats and further interfere with mosquito behavior and life cycle in urban areas.

RevDate: 2023-06-07

Timmusk S, Pall T, Raz S, et al (2023)

The potential for plant growth-promoting bacteria to impact crop productivity in future agricultural systems is linked to understanding the principles of microbial ecology.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1141862.

Global climate change poses challenges to land use worldwide, and we need to reconsider agricultural practices. While it is generally accepted that biodiversity can be used as a biomarker for healthy agroecosystems, we must specify what specifically composes a healthy microbiome. Therefore, understanding how holobionts function in native, harsh, and wild habitats and how rhizobacteria mediate plant and ecosystem biodiversity in the systems enables us to identify key factors for plant fitness. A systems approach to engineering microbial communities by connecting host phenotype adaptive traits would help us understand the increased fitness of holobionts supported by genetic diversity. Identification of genetic loci controlling the interaction of beneficial microbiomes will allow the integration of genomic design into crop breeding programs. Bacteria beneficial to plants have traditionally been conceived as "promoting and regulating plant growth". The future perspective for agroecosystems should be that microbiomes, via multiple cascades, define plant phenotypes and provide genetic variability for agroecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-06-06
CmpDate: 2023-06-05

Khakisahneh S, Zhang XY, Han SY, et al (2023)

Yijung-tang improves thermogenesis and reduces inflammation associated with gut microbiota in hypothyroid rats.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 9(1):32.

Currently, considerable attention is focused on exploring the potential relationship between herbal medicine (HM) and the gut microbiome in terms of thermoregulation, which is an important aspect of human health, in modern system biology. However, our knowledge of the mechanisms of HM in thermoregulation is inadequate. Here, we demonstrate that the canonical herbal formula, Yijung-tang (YJT), protects against hypothermia, hyperinflammation, and intestinal microbiota dysbiosis in PTU-induced hypothyroid rats. Notably, these properties were associated with alterations in the gut microbiota and signaling crosstalk between the thermoregulatory and inflammatory mediators in the small intestine and brown adipose tissue (BAT). In contrast to the conventional drug L-thyroxine for curing hypothyroidism, YJT has an efficacy for attenuating systematic inflammatory responses, related with depression in intestinal TLR4 and Nod2/Pglyrp1 signaling pathways. Our findings suggest that YJT could promote BAT thermogenesis and prevent systemic inflammation in PTU-induced hypothyroid rats, which was associated with its prebiotic effect on modulating of the gut microbiota and gene expression with relevance in the enteroendocrine function and innate immune systems. These findings may strengthen the rationale of the microbiota-gut-BAT axis for a paradigm shift to enable holobiont-centric medicine.

RevDate: 2023-06-19
CmpDate: 2023-06-19

Kim SM, Park S, Hwang SH, et al (2023)

Secreted Akkermansia muciniphila threonyl-tRNA synthetase functions to monitor and modulate immune homeostasis.

Cell host & microbe, 31(6):1021-1037.e10.

Commensal bacteria are critically involved in the establishment of tolerance against inflammatory challenges, the molecular mechanisms of which are just being uncovered. All kingdoms of life produce aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs). Thus far, the non-translational roles of ARSs have largely been reported in eukaryotes. Here, we report that the threonyl-tRNA synthetase (AmTARS) of the gut-associated bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila is secreted and functions to monitor and modulate immune homeostasis. Secreted AmTARS triggers M2 macrophage polarization and orchestrates the production of anti-inflammatory IL-10 via its unique, evolutionary-acquired regions, which mediates specific interactions with TLR2. This interaction activates the MAPK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, which converge on CREB, leading to an efficient production of IL-10 and suppression of the central inflammatory mediator NF-κB. AmTARS restores IL-10-positive macrophages, increases IL-10 levels in the serum, and attenuates the pathological effects in colitis mice. Thus, commensal tRNA synthetases can act as intrinsic mediators that maintain homeostasis.

RevDate: 2023-06-09
CmpDate: 2023-06-05

de Souza MR, Caruso C, Ruiz-Jones L, et al (2023)

Importance of depth and temperature variability as drivers of coral symbiont composition despite a mass bleaching event.

Scientific reports, 13(1):8957.

Coral reefs are iconic examples of climate change impacts because climate-induced heat stress causes the breakdown of the coral-algal symbiosis leading to a spectacular loss of color, termed 'coral bleaching'. To examine the fine-scale dynamics of this process, we re-sampled 600 individually marked Montipora capitata colonies from across Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawai'i and compared the algal symbiont composition before and after the 2019 bleaching event. The relative proportion of the heat-tolerant symbiont Durusdinium in corals increased in most parts of the bay following the bleaching event. Despite this widespread increase in abundance of Durusdinium, the overall algal symbiont community composition was largely unchanged, and hydrodynamically defined regions of the bay retained their distinct pre-bleaching compositions. We explain ~ 21% of the total variation, of which depth and temperature variability were the most significant environmental drivers of Symbiodiniaceae community composition by site regardless of bleaching intensity or change in relative proportion of Durusdinium. We hypothesize that the plasticity of symbiont composition in corals may be constrained to adaptively match the long-term environmental conditions surrounding the holobiont, despite an individual coral's stress and bleaching response.

RevDate: 2023-06-16
CmpDate: 2023-06-05

Belser C, Poulain J, Labadie K, et al (2023)

Integrative omics framework for characterization of coral reef ecosystems from the Tara Pacific expedition.

Scientific data, 10(1):326.

Coral reef science is a fast-growing field propelled by the need to better understand coral health and resilience to devise strategies to slow reef loss resulting from environmental stresses. Key to coral resilience are the symbiotic interactions established within a complex holobiont, i.e. the multipartite assemblages comprising the coral host organism, endosymbiotic dinoflagellates, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses. Tara Pacific is an ambitious project built upon the experience of previous Tara Oceans expeditions, and leveraging state-of-the-art sequencing technologies and analyses to dissect the biodiversity and biocomplexity of the coral holobiont screened across most archipelagos spread throughout the entire Pacific Ocean. Here we detail the Tara Pacific workflow for multi-omics data generation, from sample handling to nucleotide sequence data generation and deposition. This unique multidimensional framework also includes a large amount of concomitant metadata collected side-by-side that provide new assessments of coral reef biodiversity including micro-biodiversity and shape future investigations of coral reef dynamics and their fate in the Anthropocene.

RevDate: 2023-06-12
CmpDate: 2023-06-05

Hochart C, Paoli L, Ruscheweyh HJ, et al (2023)

Ecology of Endozoicomonadaceae in three coral genera across the Pacific Ocean.

Nature communications, 14(1):3037.

Health and resilience of the coral holobiont depend on diverse bacterial communities often dominated by key marine symbionts of the Endozoicomonadaceae family. The factors controlling their distribution and their functional diversity remain, however, poorly known. Here, we study the ecology of Endozoicomonadaceae at an ocean basin-scale by sampling specimens from three coral genera (Pocillopora, Porites, Millepora) on 99 reefs from 32 islands across the Pacific Ocean. The analysis of 2447 metabarcoding and 270 metagenomic samples reveals that each coral genus harbored a distinct new species of Endozoicomonadaceae. These species are composed of nine lineages that have distinct biogeographic patterns. The most common one, found in Pocillopora, appears to be a globally distributed symbiont with distinct metabolic capabilities, including the synthesis of amino acids and vitamins not produced by the host. The other lineages are structured partly by the host genetic lineage in Pocillopora and mainly by the geographic location in Porites. Millepora is more rarely associated to Endozoicomonadaceae. Our results show that different coral genera exhibit distinct strategies of host-Endozoicomonadaceae associations that are defined at the bacteria lineage level.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Garritano AN, Majzoub ME, Ribeiro B, et al (2023)

Species-specific relationships between deep sea sponges and their symbiotic Nitrosopumilaceae.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Sponges thrive in the deep, dark and nutrient-depleted ocean and may rely on microbial symbionts for carbon acquisition and energy generation. However, these symbiotic relationships remain largely unexplored. In this study, we analyze the microbiome of deep-sea sponges and show that ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) of the family Nitrosopumilaceae make up at least 75% of the microbial communities of the sponges Aphrocallistes sp., Farrea sp. and Paratimea sp.. Given the known autotrophic metabolism of AOAs, this implies that these sponge holobionts can have the capacity for primary production in the deep-sea. We also show that specific AOA lineages are highly specific towards their hosts, hinting towards an unprecedent vertical transmission of these symbionts in deep-sea sponges. Our results show that the ecology and evolution of symbiotic relationships in deep-sea sponge is distinct from that of their shallow-water counterparts.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Ramayo-Caldas Y, Crespo-Piazuelo D, Morata J, et al (2023)

Copy Number Variation on ABCC2-DNMBP Loci Affects the Diversity and Composition of the Fecal Microbiota in Pigs.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Genetic variation in the pig genome partially modulates the composition of porcine gut microbial communities. Previous studies have been focused on the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the gut microbiota, but little is known about the relationship between structural variants and fecal microbial traits. The main goal of this study was to explore the association between porcine genome copy number variants (CNVs) and the diversity and composition of pig fecal microbiota. For this purpose, we used whole-genome sequencing data to undertake a comprehensive identification of CNVs followed by a genome-wide association analysis between the estimated CNV status and the fecal bacterial diversity in a commercial Duroc pig population. A CNV predicted as gain (DUP) partially harboring ABCC2-DNMBP loci was associated with richness (P = 5.41 × 10[-5], false discovery rate [FDR] = 0.022) and Shannon α-diversity (P = 1.42 × 10[-4], FDR = 0.057). The in silico predicted gain of copies was validated by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), and its segregation, and positive association with the richness and Shannon α-diversity of the porcine fecal bacterial ecosystem was confirmed in an unrelated F1 (Duroc × Iberian) cross. Our results advise the relevance of considering the role of host-genome structural variants as potential modulators of microbial ecosystems and suggest the ABCC2-DNMBP CNV as a host-genetic factor for the modulation of the diversity and composition of the fecal microbiota in pigs. IMPORTANCE A better understanding of the environmental and host factors modulating gut microbiomes is a topic of greatest interest. Recent evidence suggests that genetic variation in the pig genome partially controls the composition of porcine gut microbiota. However, since previous studies have been focused on the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms and the fecal microbiota, little is known about the relationship between other sources of genetic variation, like the structural variants and microbial traits. Here, we identified, experimentally validated, and replicated in an independent population a positive link between the gain of copies of ABCC2-DNMBP loci and the diversity and composition of pig fecal microbiota. Our results advise the relevance of considering the role of host-genome structural variants as putative modulators of microbial ecosystems and open the possibility of implementing novel holobiont-based management strategies in breeding programs for the simultaneous improvement of microbial traits and host performance.

RevDate: 2023-06-02
CmpDate: 2023-06-02

Azad AM, Bernhard A, Shen A, et al (2023)

Metabolic effects of diet containing blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and blue mussel-fed salmon in a mouse model of obesity.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 169:112927.

Alternative feed ingredients for farmed salmon are warranted due to increasing pressure on wild fish stocks. As locally farmed blue mussels may represent an environmentally sustainable substitute with a lower carbon footprint, we aimed to test the potential and safety of substituting fish meal with blue mussel meal in feed for Atlantic salmon. Salmon were fed diets in which fish meal was partially replaced with blue mussel meal in increments, accounting for up to 13.1 % of the ingredients. Fillets from the salmon were subsequently used to prepare obesity-promoting western diets for a 13-weeks mouse feeding trial. In a second mouse trial, we tested the effects of inclusion of up to 8% blue mussel meal directly in a meat-based western diet. Partial replacement of fish meal with blue mussel meal in fish feed preserved the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content in salmon fillets. The observed blue mussel-induced changes in the fatty acid profiles in salmon fillets did not translate into similar changes in the livers of mice that consumed the salmon, and no clear dose-dependent responses were found. The relative levels of the marine n-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA were not reduced, and the n-3/n-6 PUFA ratios in livers from all salmon-fed mice were unchanged. The inclusion of blue mussel meal in a meat-based western diet led to a small, but dose-dependent increase in the n-3/n-6 PUFA ratios in mice livers. Diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance, and hepatic steatosis were unaffected in both mice trials and no blue mussel-induced adverse effects were observed. In conclusion, our results suggest that replacing fish meal with blue mussel meal in salmon feed will not cause adverse effects in those who consume the salmon fillets.

RevDate: 2023-07-01

Kliver S, Houck ML, Perelman PL, et al (2023)

Chromosome-length genome assembly and karyotype of the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes).

The Journal of heredity pii:7186316 [Epub ahead of print].

The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) narrowly avoided extinction to become an oft-cited example of the benefits of intensive management, research, and collaboration to save a species through ex-situ conservation breeding and reintroduction into its former range. However, the species remains at risk due to possible inbreeding, disease susceptibility, and multiple fertility challenges. Here, we report the de novo genome assembly of a male black-footed ferret generated through a combination of linked read sequencing, optical mapping, and Hi-C proximity ligation. In addition, we report the karyotype for this species, which was used to anchor and assign chromosome numbers to the chromosome-length scaffolds. The draft assembly was ~2.5 Gb in length, with 95.6% of it anchored to 19 chromosome-length scaffolds, corresponding to the 2n = 38 chromosomes revealed by the karyotype. The assembly has contig and scaffold N50 values of 148.8 Kbp and 145.4 Mbp, respectively, and is up to 96% complete based on BUSCO analyses. Annotation of the assembly, including evidence from RNA-seq data, identified 21,406 protein-coding genes and a repeat content of 37.35%. Phylogenomic analyses indicated that the black-footed ferret diverged from the European polecat/domestic ferret lineage 1.6 million years ago. This assembly will enable research on the conservation genomics of black-footed ferrets and thereby aid in the further restoration of this endangered species.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Doering T, Maire J, Chan WY, et al (2023)

Comparing the Role of ROS and RNS in the Thermal Stress Response of Two Cnidarian Models, Exaiptasia diaphana and Galaxea fascicularis.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5):.

Coral reefs are threatened by climate change, because it causes increasingly frequent and severe summer heatwaves, resulting in mass coral bleaching and mortality. Coral bleaching is believed to be driven by an excess production of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen species (RNS), yet their relative roles during thermal stress remain understudied. Here, we measured ROS and RNS net production, as well as activities of key enzymes involved in ROS scavenging (superoxide dismutase and catalase) and RNS synthesis (nitric oxide synthase) and linked these metrics to physiological measurements of cnidarian holobiont health during thermal stress. We did this for both an established cnidarian model, the sea anemone Exaiptasia diaphana, and an emerging scleractinian model, the coral Galaxea fascicularis, both from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Increased ROS production was observed during thermal stress in both species, but it was more apparent in G. fascicularis, which also showed higher levels of physiological stress. RNS did not change in thermally stressed G. fascicularis and decreased in E. diaphana. Our findings in combination with variable ROS levels in previous studies on GBR-sourced E. diaphana suggest G. fascicularis is a more suitable model to study the cellular mechanisms of coral bleaching.

RevDate: 2023-05-30
CmpDate: 2023-05-29

De Domenico S, De Rinaldis G, Mammone M, et al (2023)

The Zooxanthellate Jellyfish Holobiont Cassiopea andromeda, a Source of Soluble Bioactive Compounds.

Marine drugs, 21(5):.

Cassiopea andromeda (Forsskål, 1775), commonly found across the Indo-Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, and now also in the warmest areas of the Mediterranean Sea, is a scyphozoan jellyfish that hosts autotrophic dinoflagellate symbionts (family Symbiodiniaceae). Besides supplying photosynthates to their host, these microalgae are known to produce bioactive compounds as long-chain unsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols, and pigments, including carotenoids, with antioxidant properties and other beneficial biological activities. By the present study, a fractionation method was applied on the hydroalcoholic extract from two main body parts (oral arms and umbrella) of the jellyfish holobiont to obtain an improved biochemical characterization of the obtained fractions from the two body parts. The composition of each fraction (i.e., proteins, phenols, fatty acids, and pigments) as well as the associated antioxidant activity were analyzed. The oral arms proved richer in zooxanthellae and pigments than the umbrella. The applied fractionation method was effective in separating pigments and fatty acids into a lipophilic fraction from proteins and pigment-protein complexes. Therefore, the C. andromeda-dinoflagellate holobiont might be considered as a promising natural source of multiple bioactive compounds produced through mixotrophic metabolism, which are of interest for a wide range of biotechnological applications.

RevDate: 2023-05-29

Ahmad N, Ritz M, Calchera A, et al (2023)

Biosynthetic Potential of Hypogymnia Holobionts: Insights into Secondary Metabolite Pathways.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(5):.

Lichens are symbiotic associations consisting of a photobiont (algae or cyanobacteria) and a mycobiont (fungus). They are known to produce a variety of unique secondary metabolites. To access this biosynthetic potential for biotechnological applications, deeper insights into the biosynthetic pathways and corresponding gene clusters are necessary. Here we provide a comprehensive view of the biosynthetic gene clusters of all organisms comprising a lichen thallus: fungi, green algae, and bacteria. We present two high-quality PacBio metagenomes, in which we identified a total of 460 biosynthetic gene clusters. Lichen mycobionts yielded 73-114 clusters, other lichen associated ascomycetes 8-40, green algae of the genus Trebouxia 14-19, and lichen-associated bacteria 101-105 clusters. The mycobionts contained mainly T1PKSs, followed by NRPSs, and terpenes; Trebouxia reads harbored mainly clusters linked to terpenes, followed by NRPSs and T3PKSs. Other lichen-associated ascomycetes and bacteria contained a mix of diverse biosynthetic gene clusters. In this study, we identified for the first time the biosynthetic gene clusters of entire lichen holobionts. The yet untapped biosynthetic potential of two species of the genus Hypogymnia is made accessible for further research.

RevDate: 2023-07-22
CmpDate: 2023-07-21

Zheng R, Wang Q, Wu R, et al (2023)

Holobiont perspectives on tripartite interactions among microbiota, mosquitoes, and pathogens.

The ISME journal, 17(8):1143-1152.

Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and malaria cause a significant global health burden. Unfortunately, current insecticides and environmental control strategies aimed at the vectors of these diseases are only moderately effective in decreasing disease burden. Understanding and manipulating the interaction between the mosquito holobiont (i.e., mosquitoes and their resident microbiota) and the pathogens transmitted by these mosquitoes to humans and animals could help in developing new disease control strategies. Different microorganisms found in the mosquito's microbiota affect traits related to mosquito survival, development, and reproduction. Here, we review the physiological effects of essential microbes on their mosquito hosts; the interactions between the mosquito holobiont and mosquito-borne pathogen (MBP) infections, including microbiota-induced host immune activation and Wolbachia-mediated pathogen blocking (PB); and the effects of environmental factors and host regulation on the composition of the microbiota. Finally, we briefly overview future directions in holobiont studies, and how these may lead to new effective control strategies against mosquitoes and their transmitted diseases.

RevDate: 2023-06-07
CmpDate: 2023-05-29

Roughgarden J (2023)

Holobiont Evolution: Population Theory for the Hologenome.

The American naturalist, 201(6):763-778.

AbstractThis article develops mathematical theory for the population dynamics of microbiomes with their hosts and for holobiont evolution caused by holobiont selection. The objective is to account for the formation of microbiome-host integration. Microbial population dynamic parameters must mesh with the host's for coexistence. A horizontally transmitted microbiome is a genetic system with "collective inheritance." The microbial source pool in the environment corresponds to the gamete pool for nuclear genes. Poisson sampling of the microbial source pool corresponds to binomial sampling of the gamete pool. However, holobiont selection on the microbiome does not lead to a counterpart of the Hardy-Weinberg law or to directional selection that always fixes microbial genes conferring the highest holobiont fitness. A microbe might strike an optimal fitness balance between lowering its within-host fitness while increasing holobiont fitness. Such microbes are replaced by otherwise identical microbes that contribute nothing to holobiont fitness. This replacement can be reversed by hosts that initiate immune responses to nonhelpful microbes. This discrimination leads to microbial species sorting. Host-orchestrated species sorting followed by microbial competition, rather than coevolution or multilevel selection, is predicted to be the cause of microbiome-host integration.

RevDate: 2023-06-17
CmpDate: 2023-05-29

Young BD, Rosales SM, Enochs IC, et al (2023)

Different disease inoculations cause common responses of the host immune system and prokaryotic component of the microbiome in Acropora palmata.

PloS one, 18(5):e0286293.

Reef-building corals contain a complex consortium of organisms, a holobiont, which responds dynamically to disease, making pathogen identification difficult. While coral transcriptomics and microbiome communities have previously been characterized, similarities and differences in their responses to different pathogenic sources has not yet been assessed. In this study, we inoculated four genets of the Caribbean branching coral Acropora palmata with a known coral pathogen (Serratia marcescens) and white band disease. We then characterized the coral's transcriptomic and prokaryotic microbiomes' (prokaryiome) responses to the disease inoculations, as well as how these responses were affected by a short-term heat stress prior to disease inoculation. We found strong commonality in both the transcriptomic and prokaryiomes responses, regardless of disease inoculation. Differences, however, were observed between inoculated corals that either remained healthy or developed active disease signs. Transcriptomic co-expression analysis identified that corals inoculated with disease increased gene expression of immune, wound healing, and fatty acid metabolic processes. Co-abundance analysis of the prokaryiome identified sets of both healthy-and-disease-state bacteria, while co-expression analysis of the prokaryiomes' inferred metagenomic function revealed infected corals' prokaryiomes shifted from free-living to biofilm states, as well as increasing metabolic processes. The short-term heat stress did not increase disease susceptibility for any of the four genets with any of the disease inoculations, and there was only a weak effect captured in the coral hosts' transcriptomic and prokaryiomes response. Genet identity, however, was a major driver of the transcriptomic variance, primarily due to differences in baseline immune gene expression. Despite genotypic differences in baseline gene expression, we have identified a common response for components of the coral holobiont to different disease inoculations. This work has identified genes and prokaryiome members that can be focused on for future coral disease work, specifically, putative disease diagnostic tools.

RevDate: 2023-06-08
CmpDate: 2023-05-24

Lintner M, Lintner B, Schagerl M, et al (2023)

The change in metabolic activity of a large benthic foraminifera as a function of light supply.

Scientific reports, 13(1):8240.

We studied metabolic activity of the symbiont-bearing large benthic foraminifer Heterostegina depressa under different light conditions. Besides the overall photosynthetic performance of the photosymbionts estimated by means of variable fluorescence, the isotope uptake ([13]C and [15]N) of the specimens (= holobionts) was measured. Heterostegina depressa was either incubated in darkness over a period of 15 days or exposed to an 16:8 h light:dark cycle mimicking natural light conditions. We found photosynthetic performance to be highly related to light supply. The photosymbionts, however, survived prolonged darkness and could be reactivated after 15 days of darkness. The same pattern was found in the isotope uptake of the holobionts. Based on these results, we propose that [13]C-carbonate and [15]N-nitrate assimilation is mainly controlled by the photosymbionts, whereas [15]N-ammonium and [13]C-glucose utilization is regulated by both, the symbiont and the host cells.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Aizpurua O, Blijleven K, Trivedi U, et al (2023)

Unravelling animal-microbiota evolution on a chip.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(23)00148-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Whether and how microorganisms have shaped the evolution of their animal hosts is a major question in biology. Although many animal evolutionary processes appear to correlate with changes in their associated microbial communities, the mechanistic processes leading to these patterns and their causal relationships are still far from being resolved. Gut-on-a-chip models provide an innovative approach that expands beyond the potential of conventional microbiome profiling to study how different animals sense and react to microbes by comparing responses of animal intestinal tissue models to different microbial stimuli. This complementary knowledge can contribute to our understanding of how host genetic features facilitate or prevent different microbiomes from being assembled, and in doing so elucidate the role of host-microbiota interactions in animal evolution.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Clokie M, T Sicheritz-Pontén (2023)

Lungs, Liposomes, Libraries, and Likely Interactions Between Phages and Eukaryotic Cells.

PHAGE (New Rochelle, N.Y.), 4(1):1-2.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Zvi-Kedem T, Vintila S, Kleiner M, et al (2023)

Metabolic handoffs between multiple symbionts may benefit the deep-sea bathymodioline mussels.

ISME communications, 3(1):48.

Bathymodioline mussels rely on thiotrophic and/or methanotrophic chemosynthetic symbionts for nutrition, yet, secondary heterotrophic symbionts are often present and play an unknown role in the fitness of the organism. The bathymodioline Idas mussels that thrive in gas seeps and on sunken wood in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, host at least six symbiont lineages that often co-occur. These lineages include the primary symbionts chemosynthetic methane- and sulfur-oxidizing gammaproteobacteria, and the secondary symbionts, Methylophagaceae, Nitrincolaceae and Flavobacteriaceae, whose physiology and metabolism are obscure. Little is known about if and how these symbionts interact or exchange metabolites. Here we curated metagenome-assembled genomes of Idas modiolaeformis symbionts and used genome-centered metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics to assess key symbiont functions. The Methylophagaceae symbiont is a methylotrophic autotroph, as it encoded and expressed the ribulose monophosphate and Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle enzymes, particularly RuBisCO. The Nitrincolaceae ASP10-02a symbiont likely fuels its metabolism with nitrogen-rich macromolecules and may provide the holobiont with vitamin B12. The Urechidicola (Flavobacteriaceae) symbionts likely degrade glycans and may remove NO. Our findings indicate that these flexible associations allow for expanding the range of substrates and environmental niches, via new metabolic functions and handoffs.

RevDate: 2023-06-19
CmpDate: 2023-06-19

Núñez-Pons L, Cunning R, Nelson CE, et al (2023)

Hawaiian coral holobionts reveal algal and prokaryotic host specificity, intraspecific variability in bleaching resistance, and common interspecific microbial consortia modulating thermal stress responses.

The Science of the total environment, 889:164040.

Historically, Hawai'i had few massive coral bleaching events, until two consecutive heatwaves in 2014-2015. Consequent mortality and thermal stress were observed in Kāne'ohe Bay (O'ahu). The two most dominant local species exhibited a phenotypic dichotomy of either bleaching resistance or susceptibility (Montipora capitata and Porites compressa), while the third predominant species (Pocillopora acuta) was broadly susceptible to bleaching. In order to survey shifts in coral microbiomes during bleaching and recovery, 50 colonies were tagged and periodically monitored. Metabarcoding of three genetic markers (16S rRNA gene ITS1 and ITS2) followed by compositional approaches for community structure analysis, differential abundance and correlations for longitudinal data were used to temporally compare Bacteria/Archaea, Fungi and Symbiodiniaceae dynamics. P. compressa corals recovered faster than P. acuta and Montipora capitata. Prokaryotic and algal communities were majorly shaped by host species, and had no apparent pattern of temporal acclimatization. Symbiodiniaceae signatures were identified at the colony scale, and were often related to bleaching susceptibility. Bacterial compositions were practically constant between bleaching phenotypes, and more diverse in P. acuta and M. capitata. P. compressa's prokaryotic community was dominated by a single bacterium. Compositional approaches (via microbial balances) allowed the identification of fine-scale differences in the abundance of a consortium of microbes, driving changes by bleaching susceptibility and time across all hosts. The three major coral reef founder-species in Kāne'ohe Bay revealed different phenotypic and microbiome responses after 2014-2015 heatwaves. It is difficult to forecast, a more successful strategy towards future scenarios of global warming. Differentially abundant microbial taxa across time and/or bleaching susceptibility were broadly shared among all hosts, suggesting that locally, the same microbes may modulate stress responses in sympatric coral species. Our study highlights the potential of investigating microbial balances to identify fine-scale microbiome changes, serving as local diagnostic tools of coral reef fitness.

RevDate: 2023-07-18
CmpDate: 2023-07-10

Sun H, Xie Z, Yang X, et al (2023)

New insights into microbial and metabolite signatures of coral bleaching.

The Science of the total environment, 892:164258.

Coral bleaching and coral reef degradation have been severely increased due to anthropogenic impacts, especially global warming. Studies have indicated the key role of host-microbiome symbiotic relationships for the coral holobiont health and development, although not all of the mechanisms of interaction have been fully explored. Here, we explore bacterial and metabolic shifts within coral holobionts under thermal stress, and its correlation with bleaching. Our results showed obvious signs of coral bleaching after 13 days of heating treatment, and a more-complex co-occurrence network was observed in the coral-associated bacterial community of the heating group. The bacterial community and metabolites changed significantly under thermal stress, and genera Flavobacterium, Shewanella and Psychrobacter increased from <0.1 % to 43.58 %, 6.95 % and 6.35 %, respectively. Bacteria potentially associated with stress tolerance, biofilm formation and mobile elements decreased from 80.93 %, 62.15 % and 49.27 % to 56.28 %, 28.41 % and 18.76 %, respectively. The differentially expressed metabolites of corals after heating treatment, such as Cer(d18:0/17:0), 1-Methyladenosine, Trp-P-1 and Marasmal, were associated with cell cycle regulation and antioxidant properties. Our results can contribute to our current understanding on the correlations between coral-symbiotic bacteria, metabolites and the coral physiological response to thermal stress. These new insights into the metabolomics of heat-stressed coral holobionts may expand our knowledge on the mechanisms underlying bleaching.

RevDate: 2023-05-19
CmpDate: 2023-05-18

Gallet A, Halary S, Duval C, et al (2023)

Disruption of fish gut microbiota composition and holobiont's metabolome during a simulated Microcystis aeruginosa (Cyanobacteria) bloom.

Microbiome, 11(1):108.

BACKGROUND: Cyanobacterial blooms are one of the most common stressors encountered by metazoans living in freshwater lentic systems such as lakes and ponds. Blooms reportedly impair fish health, notably through oxygen depletion and production of bioactive compounds including cyanotoxins. However, in the times of the "microbiome revolution", it is surprising that so little is still known regarding the influence of blooms on fish microbiota. In this study, an experimental approach is used to demonstrate that blooms affect fish microbiome composition and functions, as well as the metabolome of holobionts. To this end, the model teleost Oryzias latipes is exposed to simulated Microcystis aeruginosa blooms of various intensities in a microcosm setting, and the response of bacterial gut communities is evaluated in terms of composition and metabolome profiling. Metagenome-encoded functions are compared after 28 days between control individuals and those exposed to highest bloom level.

RESULTS: The gut bacterial community of O. latipes exhibits marked responses to the presence of M. aeruginosa blooms in a dose-dependent manner. Notably, abundant gut-associated Firmicutes almost disappear, while potential opportunists increase. The holobiont's gut metabolome displays major changes, while functions encoded in the metagenome of bacterial partners are more marginally affected. Bacterial communities tend to return to original composition after the end of the bloom and remain sensitive in case of a second bloom, reflecting a highly reactive gut community.

CONCLUSION: Gut-associated bacterial communities and holobiont functioning are affected by both short and long exposure to M. aeruginosa, and show evidence of post-bloom resilience. These findings point to the significance of bloom events to fish health and fitness, including survival and reproduction, through microbiome-related effects. In the context of increasingly frequent and intense blooms worldwide, potential outcomes relevant to conservation biology as well as aquaculture warrant further investigation. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-06-19
CmpDate: 2023-06-19

Xu M, Cheng K, Xiao B, et al (2023)

Bacterial Communities Vary from Different Scleractinian Coral Species and between Bleached and Non-Bleached Corals.

Microbiology spectrum, 11(3):e0491022.

Bleaching is one of the most relevant factors implicated in the integrity of coral reef ecosystems, with the increasing frequency and intensity of damaging events representing a serious threat to reef biodiversity. Here, we analyzed changes in coral-associated bacteria from three types of non-bleached and bleached scleractinian corals (Acropora digitifera, Galaxea fascicularis, and Porites pukoensis) in Hainan Luhuitou peninsula coastal areas. The community structure of symbiotic bacteria differed significantly among the three apparently healthy corals. The bleached corals had higher bacterial alpha diversity and some specific bacteria genera, including Ruegeria, Methyloceanibacter, Filomicrobium, Halioglobus, Rubripirellula, Rhodopirellula, Silicimonas, Blastopirellula, Sva0996 marine group, Woeseia, and unclassified_c_Gammaproteobacteria, were consistently increased in bleached groups. Network analysis revealed significantly different degrees of modularity between bleached and non-bleached groups at the bacterial genus level, and a higher proportion of links was dominated by positive co-occurrences. Functional prediction analysis illustrated that coral-associated bacteria remained relatively consistent in the bleached and non-bleached groups. Structure equation modeling revealed that the bacterial community diversity and function were directly influenced by host and environment factors. These findings suggested that coral-associated bacterial responses to bleaching occur in a host-dependent manner, informing novel strategies for restoring coral and aiding adaption to bleaching stress. IMPORTANCE Accumulating evidence indicates that coral-associated bacteria play an important role in the health of holobionts. However, the variability of the symbiotic bacterial community structure among coral species with different coral health statuses remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated three apparent non-bleached (healthy) and bleached coral species (sampled in situ), involving related symbiotic bacterial profiles, including composition, alpha diversity, network relationship, and potential function. Structural equation modeling analysis was used to analyze the relationship between coral status and abiotic and biotic factors. The bacterial community structure of different groups was shown to exhibit host-specific traits. Both host and environmental impacts had primary effects on coral-associated microbial communities. Future studies are needed to identify the mechanisms that mediate divergent microbial consortia.

RevDate: 2023-07-05
CmpDate: 2023-06-30

Norfolk WA, Melendez-Declet C, EK Lipp (2023)

Coral Disease and Ingestion: Investigating the Role of Heterotrophy in the Transmission of Pathogenic Vibrio spp. using a Sea Anemone (Exaiptasia pallida) Model System.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 89(6):e0018723.

Understanding disease transmission in corals can be complicated given the intricacy of the holobiont and difficulties associated with ex situ coral cultivation. As a result, most of the established transmission pathways for coral disease are associated with perturbance (i.e., damage) rather than evasion of immune defenses. Here, we investigate ingestion as a potential pathway for the transmission of coral pathogens that evades the mucus membrane. Using sea anemones (Exaiptasia pallida) and brine shrimp (Artemia sp.) to model coral feeding, we tracked the acquisition of the putative pathogens, Vibrio alginolyticus, V. harveyi, and V. mediterranei using GFP-tagged strains. Vibrio sp. were provided to anemones using 3 experimental exposures (i) direct water exposure alone, (ii) water exposure in the presence of a food source (non-spiked Artemia), and (iii) through a "spiked" food source (Vibrio-colonized Artemia) created by exposing Artemia cultures to GFP-Vibrio via the ambient water overnight. Following a 3 h feeding/exposure duration, the level of acquired GFP-Vibrio was quantified from anemone tissue homogenate. Ingestion of spiked Artemia resulted in a significantly greater burden of GFP-Vibrio equating to an 830-fold, 3,108-fold, and 435-fold increase in CFU mL[-1] when compared to water exposed trials and a 207-fold, 62-fold, and 27-fold increase in CFU mL[-1] compared to water exposed with food trials for V. alginolyticus, V. harveyi, and V. mediterranei, respectively. These data suggest that ingestion can facilitate delivery of an elevated dose of pathogenic bacteria in cnidarians and may describe an important portal of entry for pathogens in the absence of perturbing conditions. IMPORTANCE The front line of pathogen defense in corals is the mucus membrane. This membrane coats the surface body wall creating a semi-impermeable layer that inhibits pathogen entry from the ambient water both physically and biologically through mutualistic antagonism from resident mucus microbes. To date, much of the coral disease transmission research has been focused on mechanisms associated with perturbance of this membrane such as direct contact, vector lesions (predation/biting), and waterborne exposure through preexisting lesions. The present research describes a potential transmission pathway that evades the defenses provided by this membrane allowing unencumbered entry of bacteria as in association with food. This pathway may explain an important portal of entry for emergence of idiopathic infections in otherwise healthy corals and can be used to improve management practices for coral conservation.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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