About | BLOGS | Portfolio | Misc | Recommended | What's New | What's Hot

About | BLOGS | Portfolio | Misc | Recommended | What's New | What's Hot


Bibliography Options Menu

15 Jul 2020 at 01:30
Hide Abstracts   |   Hide Additional Links
Long bibliographies are displayed in blocks of 100 citations at a time. At the end of each block there is an option to load the next block.

Bibliography on: Holobiont


Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 15 Jul 2020 at 01:30 Created: 


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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2020-07-09

Groussin M, Mazel F, EJ Alm (2020)

Co-evolution and Co-speciation of Host-Gut Bacteria Systems.

Cell host & microbe, 28(1):12-22.

Mammalian gut microbiomes profoundly influence host fitness, but the processes that drive the evolution of host-microbiome systems are poorly understood. Recent studies suggest that mammals and their individual gut symbionts can have parallel evolutionary histories, as represented by their congruent phylogenies. These "co-phylogenetic" patterns are signatures of ancient co-speciation events and illustrate the cohesiveness of the mammalian host-gut microbiome entity over evolutionary times. Theory predicts that co-speciation between mammals and their gut symbionts could result from their co-evolution. However, there is only limited evidence of such co-evolution. Here, we propose a model that explains cophylogenetic patterns without relying on co-evolution. Specifically, we suggest that individual gut bacteria are likely to diverge in patterns recapitulating host phylogeny when hosts undergo allopatric speciation, limiting inter-host bacterial dispersal and genomic recombination. We provide evidence that the model is empirically grounded and propose a series of observational and experimental approaches to test its validity.

RevDate: 2020-07-08

Bertazzon N, Chitarra W, Angelini E, et al (2020)

Two New Putative Plant Viruses from Wood Metagenomics Analysis of an Esca Diseased Vineyard.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(7): pii:plants9070835.

The concept of plant as a holobiont is now spreading among the scientific community and the importance to study plant-associated microorganisms is becoming more and more necessary. Along with bacteria and fungi, also viruses can play important roles during the holobiont-environment interactions. In grapevine, viruses are studied mainly as pathological agents, and many species (more than 80) are known to be able to replicate inside its tissues. In this study two new viral species associated with grape wood tissues are presented, one belongs to the Potyviridae family and one to the Bunyavirales order. Due to the ability of potyviruses to enhance heterologous virus replication, it will be important to assess the presence of such a virus in the grapevine population to understand its ecological role. Furthermore, the association of the cogu-like virus with esca symptomatic samples opens new questions and the necessity of a more detailed characterization of this virus.

RevDate: 2020-07-06

Herrera M, Klein SG, Schmidt-Roach S, et al (2020)

Unfamiliar partnerships limit cnidarian holobiont acclimation to warming.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Enhancing the resilience of corals to rising temperatures is now a matter of urgency, leading to growing efforts to explore the use of heat tolerant symbiont species to improve their thermal resilience. The notion that adaptive traits can be retained by transferring the symbionts alone, however, challenges the holobiont concept, a fundamental paradigm in coral research. Holobiont traits are products of a specific community (holobiont) and all its co-evolutionary and local adaptations, which might limit the retention or transference of holobiont traits by exchanging only one partner. Here, we evaluate how interchanging partners affect the short- and long-term performance of holobionts under heat stress using clonal lineages of the cnidarian model system Aiptasia (host and Symbiodiniaceae strains) originating from distinct thermal environments. Our results show that holobionts from more thermally variable environments have higher plasticity to heat stress, but this resilience could not be transferred to other host genotypes through the exchange of symbionts. Importantly, our findings highlight the role of the host in determining holobiont productivity in response to thermal stress and indicate that local adaptations of holobionts will likely limit the efficacy of interchanging unfamiliar compartments to enhance thermal tolerance.

RevDate: 2020-07-04

Clerissi C, Guillou L, Escoubas JM, et al (2020)

Unveiling protist diversity associated with the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas using blocking and excluding primers.

BMC microbiology, 20(1):193 pii:10.1186/s12866-020-01860-1.

BACKGROUND: Microbiome of macroorganisms might directly or indirectly influence host development and homeostasis. Many studies focused on the diversity and distribution of prokaryotes within these assemblages, but the eukaryotic microbial compartment remains underexplored so far.

RESULTS: To tackle this issue, we compared blocking and excluding primers to analyze microeukaryotic communities associated with Crassostrea gigas oysters. High-throughput sequencing of 18S rRNA genes variable loops revealed that excluding primers performed better by not amplifying oyster DNA, whereas the blocking primer did not totally prevent host contaminations. However, blocking and excluding primers showed similar pattern of alpha and beta diversities when protist communities were sequenced using metabarcoding. Alveolata, Stramenopiles and Archaeplastida were the main protist phyla associated with oysters. In particular, Codonellopsis, Cyclotella, Gymnodinium, Polarella, Trichodina, and Woloszynskia were the dominant genera. The potential pathogen Alexandrium was also found in high abundances within some samples.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed the main protist taxa within oysters as well as the occurrence of potential oyster pathogens. These new primer sets are promising tools to better understand oyster homeostasis and disease development, such as the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) targeting juveniles.

RevDate: 2020-07-03

Breusing C, Mitchell J, Delaney J, et al (2020)

Physiological dynamics of chemosynthetic symbionts in hydrothermal vent snails.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-0707-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Symbioses between invertebrate animals and chemosynthetic bacteria form the basis of hydrothermal vent ecosystems worldwide. In the Lau Basin, deep-sea vent snails of the genus Alviniconcha associate with either Gammaproteobacteria (A. kojimai, A. strummeri) or Campylobacteria (A. boucheti) that use sulfide and/or hydrogen as energy sources. While the A. boucheti host-symbiont combination (holobiont) dominates at vents with higher concentrations of sulfide and hydrogen, the A. kojimai and A. strummeri holobionts are more abundant at sites with lower concentrations of these reductants. We posit that adaptive differences in symbiont physiology and gene regulation might influence the observed niche partitioning between host taxa. To test this hypothesis, we used high-pressure respirometers to measure symbiont metabolic rates and examine changes in gene expression among holobionts exposed to in situ concentrations of hydrogen (H2: ~25 µM) or hydrogen sulfide (H2S: ~120 µM). The campylobacterial symbiont exhibited the lowest rate of H2S oxidation but the highest rate of H2 oxidation, with fewer transcriptional changes and less carbon fixation relative to the gammaproteobacterial symbionts under each experimental condition. These data reveal potential physiological adaptations among symbiont types, which may account for the observed net differences in metabolic activity and contribute to the observed niche segregation among holobionts.

RevDate: 2020-07-02

Vogel MA, Mason OU, TE Miller (2020)

Host and environmental determinants of microbial community structure in the marine phyllosphere.

PloS one, 15(7):e0235441 pii:PONE-D-20-04509.

Although seagrasses are economically and ecologically critical species, little is known about their blade surface microbial communities and how these communities relate to the plant host. To determine microbial community composition and diversity on seagrass blade surfaces and in the surrounding seawater,16S rRNA gene sequencing (iTag) was used for samples collected at five sites along a gradient of freshwater input in the northern Gulf of Mexico on three separate sampling dates. Additionally, seagrass surveys were performed and environmental parameters were measured to characterize host characteristics and the abiotic conditions at each site. Results showed that Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass) blades hosted unique microbial communities that were distinct in composition and diversity from the water column. Environmental conditions, including water depth, salinity, and temperature, influenced community structure as blade surface microbial communities varied among sites and sampling dates in correlation with changes in environmental parameters. Microbial community composition also correlated with seagrass host characteristics, including growth rates and blade nutrient composition. There is some evidence for a core community for T. testudinum as 21 microorganisms from five phyla (Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, and Bacteroidetes) were present in all blade surface samples. This study provides new insights and understanding of the processes that influence the structure of marine phyllosphere communities, how these microbial communities relate to their host, and their role as a part of the seagrass holobiont, which is an important contribution given the current decline of seagrass coverage worldwide.

RevDate: 2020-07-02

Dierking K, L Pita (2020)

Receptors Mediating Host-Microbiota Communication in the Metaorganism: The Invertebrate Perspective.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:1251.

Multicellular organisms live in close association with a plethora of microorganism, which have a profound effect on multiple host functions. As such, the microbiota and its host form an intimate functional entity, termed the metaorganism or holobiont. But how does the metaorganism communicate? Which receptors recognize microbial signals, mediate the effect of the microbiota on host physiology or regulate microbiota composition and homeostasis? In this review we provide an overview on the function of different receptor classes in animal host-microbiota communication. We put a special focus on invertebrate hosts, including both traditional invertebrate models such as Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans and "non-model" invertebrates in microbiota research. Finally, we highlight the potential of invertebrate systems in studying mechanism of host-microbiota interactions.

RevDate: 2020-06-26

Bourgin M, Labarthe S, Kriaa A, et al (2020)

Exploring the Bacterial Impact on Cholesterol Cycle: A Numerical Study.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1121.

High blood cholesterol levels are often associated with cardiovascular diseases. Therapeutic strategies, targeting different functions involved in cholesterol transport or synthesis, were developed to control cholesterolemia in human. However, the gut microbiota is also involved in cholesterol regulation by direct biotransformation of luminal cholesterol or conversion of bile salts, opening the way to the design of new strategies to manage cholesterol level. In this report, we developed for the first time a whole-body human model of cholesterol metabolism including the gut microbiota in order to investigate the relative impact of host and microbial pathways. We first used an animal model to investigate the ingested cholesterol distribution in vivo. Then, using in vitro bacterial growth experiments and metabolite measurements, we modeled the population dynamics of bacterial strains in the presence of cholesterol or bile salts, together with their bioconversion function. Next, after correct rescaling to mimic the activity of a complex microbiota, we developed a whole body model of cholesterol metabolism integrating host and microbiota mechanisms. This global model was validated with the animal experiments. Finally, the model was numerically explored to give a further insight into the different flux involved in cholesterol turn-over. According to this model, bacterial pathways appear as an important driver of cholesterol regulation, reinforcing the need for development of novel "bacteria-based" strategies for cholesterol management.

RevDate: 2020-06-22

Gacesa R, Hung JY, Bourne DG, et al (2020)

Horizontal transfer of a natterin-like toxin encoding gene within the holobiont of the reef building coral Acropora digitifera (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia) and across multiple animal linages.

Journal of venom research, 10:7-12.

Phylogenetic evidence is provided for horizontal transfer of a natterin-like toxin encoding gene from fungi into the genome of the coral Acropora digitifera. Sequencing analysis of the coral tissues supported that a fungal taxon predicted to be the most likely gene donor was represented in the coral microbiome. Further bioinformatics data suggested widespread recruitment of the natterin-like gene into venomous terrestrial invertebrates, and repositioning of this gene to non-toxic functions in non-venomous teleost fish.

RevDate: 2020-06-19

Chiba Y, Tomaru Y, Shimabukuro H, et al (2020)

Viral RNA Genomes Identified from Marine Macroalgae and a Diatom.

Microbes and environments, 35(3):.

Protists provide insights into the diversity and function of RNA viruses in marine systems. Among them, marine macroalgae are good targets for RNA virome analyses because they have a sufficient biomass in nature. However, RNA viruses in macroalgae have not yet been examined in detail, and only partial genome sequences have been reported for the majority of RNA viruses. Therefore, to obtain further insights into the distribution and diversity of RNA viruses associated with marine protists, we herein examined RNA viruses in macroalgae and a diatom. We report the putative complete genome sequences of six novel RNA viruses from two marine macroalgae and one diatom holobiont. Four viruses were not classified into established viral genera or families. Furthermore, a virus classified into Totiviridae showed a genome structure that has not yet been reported in this family. These results suggest that a number of distinct RNA viruses are widespread in a broad range of protists.

RevDate: 2020-06-18

Ul-Hasan S, Rodríguez-Román E, Reitzel AM, et al (2019)

The emerging field of venom-microbiomics for exploring venom as a microenvironment, and the corresponding Initiative for Venom Associated Microbes and Parasites (iVAMP).

Toxicon: X, 4:100016 pii:100016.

Venom is a known source of novel antimicrobial natural products. The substantial, increasing number of these discoveries have unintentionally culminated in the misconception that venom and venom-producing glands are largely sterile environments. Culture-dependent and -independent studies on the microbial communities in venom microenvironments reveal the presence of archaea, algae, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. Venom-centric microbiome studies are relatively sparse to date with the adaptive advantages that venom-associated microbes might offer to their hosts, or that hosts might provide to venom-associated microbes, remaining largely unknown. We highlight the potential for the discovery of venom microbiomes within the adaptive landscape of venom systems. The considerable number of convergently evolved venomous animals, juxtaposed with the comparatively few known studies to identify microbial communities in venom, provides new possibilities for both biodiversity and therapeutic discoveries. We present an evidence-based argument for integrating microbiology as part of venomics (i.e., venom-microbiomics) and introduce iVAMP, the Initiative for Venom Associated Microbes and Parasites (https://ivamp-consortium.github.io/), as a growing collaborative consortium. We express commitment to the diversity, inclusion and scientific collaboration among researchers interested in this emerging subdiscipline through expansion of the iVAMP consortium.

RevDate: 2020-06-17

Voolstra CR, M Ziegler (2020)

Adapting with Microbial Help: Microbiome Flexibility Facilitates Rapid Responses to Environmental Change.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

Animals and plants are metaorganisms and associate with microbes that affect their physiology, stress tolerance, and fitness. Here the hypothesis that alteration of the microbiome may constitute a fast-response mechanism to environmental change is examined. This is supported by recent reciprocal transplant experiments with reef corals, which have shown that their microbiome adapts to thermally variable habitats and changes over time when transplanted into different environments. Further, inoculation of corals with beneficial bacteria increases their stress tolerance. But corals differ in their ability to flexibly associate with different bacteria. How scales of microbiome flexibility may reflect different metaorganism adaptation mechanisms is discussed and future directions for research are pinpointed. It is posited that microbiome flexibility is a broad phenomenon that contributes to the ability of organisms to respond to environmental change. Importantly, adapting with microbial help may provide an alternate route to organismal adaptation that facilitates rapid responses.

RevDate: 2020-06-16

Zelante T, Costantini C, L Romani (2020)

Microbiome-mediated regulation of anti-fungal immunity.

Current opinion in microbiology, 58:8-14 pii:S1369-5274(20)30055-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Anti-fungal immunity is characterized by the continuous interplay between immune activation and immune regulation processes. These processes have now been clearly shown not only in animal pre-clinical models but also in humans. To create and maintain this immune homeostasis, reciprocal interactions among the host immune system, fungal pathogens, and the microbiome are crucial. Notably, the microbiome exerts multiple direct and indirect antifungal effects that are particularly aimed at minimizing host tissue damage. Thus, in this microbiome era, the architecture of 3D culture system or 'tissue organoids' might finally represent a simple but effective in vitro 'holobiont' to unravel the diverse interactions and adaptations that evolve to overcome fungal infections.

RevDate: 2020-06-15

Fields C, M Levin (2020)

Scale-Free Biology: Integrating Evolutionary and Developmental Thinking.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

When the history of life on earth is viewed as a history of cell division, all of life becomes a single cell lineage. The growth and differentiation of this lineage in reciprocal interaction with its environment can be viewed as a developmental process; hence the evolution of life on earth can also be seen as the development of life on earth. Here, in reviewing this field, some potentially fruitful research directions suggested by this change in perspective are highlighted. Variation and selection become, for example, bidirectional information flows between scales, while the notions of "cooperation" and "competition" become scale relative. The language of communication, inference, and information processing becomes more useful than the language of causation to describe the interactions of both homogeneous and heterogeneous living systems at any scale. Emerging scale-free theoretical frameworks such as predictive coding and active inference provide conceptual tools for reconceptualizing biology as the study of a unified, multiscale dynamical system.

RevDate: 2020-06-10

Vandehoef C, Molaei M, J Karpac (2020)

Dietary Adaptation of Microbiota in Drosophila Requires NF-κB-Dependent Control of the Translational Regulator 4E-BP.

Cell reports, 31(10):107736.

Dietary nutrients shape complex interactions between hosts and their commensal gut bacteria, further promoting flexibility in host-microbiota associations that can drive nutritional symbiosis. However, it remains less clear if diet-dependent host signaling mechanisms also influence these associations. Using Drosophila, we show here that nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)/Relish, an innate immune transcription factor emerging as a signaling node linking nutrient-immune-metabolic interactions, is vital to adapt gut microbiota species composition to host diet macronutrient composition. We find that Relish is required within midgut enterocytes to amplify host-Lactobacillus associations, an important bacterial mediator of nutritional symbiosis, and thus modulate microbiota composition in response to dietary adaptation. Relish limits diet-dependent transcriptional inducibility of the cap-dependent translation inhibitor 4E-BP/Thor to control microbiota composition. Furthermore, maintaining cap-dependent translation in response to dietary adaptation is critical to amplify host-Lactobacillus associations. These results highlight that NF-κB-dependent host signaling mechanisms, in coordination with host translation control, shape diet-microbiota interactions.

RevDate: 2020-06-10

Bovo S, Utzeri VJ, Ribani A, et al (2020)

Shotgun sequencing of honey DNA can describe honey bee derived environmental signatures and the honey bee hologenome complexity.

Scientific reports, 10(1):9279 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-66127-1.

Honey bees are large-scale monitoring tools due to their extensive environmental exploration. In their activities and from the hive ecosystem complex, they get in close contact with many organisms whose traces can be transferred into the honey, which can represent an interesting reservoir of environmental DNA (eDNA) signatures and information useful to analyse the honey bee hologenome complexity. In this study, we tested a deep shotgun sequencing approach of honey DNA coupled with a specifically adapted bioinformatic pipeline. This methodology was applied to a few honey samples pointing out DNA sequences from 191 organisms spanning different kingdoms or phyla (viruses, bacteria, plants, fungi, protozoans, arthropods, mammals). Bacteria included the largest number of species. These multi-kingdom signatures listed common hive and honey bee gut microorganisms, honey bee pathogens, parasites and pests, which resembled a complex interplay that might provide a general picture of the honey bee pathosphere. Based on the Apis mellifera filamentous virus genome diversity (the most abundant detected DNA source) we obtained information that could define the origin of the honey at the apiary level. Mining Apis mellifera sequences made it possible to identify the honey bee subspecies both at the mitochondrial and nuclear genome levels.

RevDate: 2020-06-10

Pagliai G, Dinu M, Fiorillo C, et al (2020)

Modulation of gut microbiota through nutritional interventions in Behçet's syndrome patients (the MAMBA study): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Trials, 21(1):511 pii:10.1186/s13063-020-04444-6.

BACKGROUND: Behçet's syndrome (BS) is a systemic inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology, and it is characterized by a wide range of potential clinical manifestations. Recent evidence suggests that the gut microbiota (GM) in BS has low biodiversity with a significant depletion in butyrate producers. The aim of the present project is to investigate whether a dietary intervention could ameliorate the clinical manifestations and modulate the GM of individuals with BS.

METHODS: This is a randomized, open, cross-over study that involves 90 individuals with BS, who will be randomly assigned to one of three different diets for 3 months: a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (VD), a Mediterranean diet (MD), or a Mediterranean diet supplemented with butyrate (MD-Bt). The VD will contain inulin-resistant and resistant-starch-rich foods, eggs, and dairy in addition to plant-based food, but it will not contain meat, poultry, or fish. The MD will contain all food categories and will provide two portions per week of fish and three portions per week of fresh and processed meat. The MD-Bt will be similar to the MD but supplemented with 1.8 g/day of oral butyrate. The three different diets will be isocaloric and related to the participants' nutritional requirements. Anthropometric measurements, body composition, blood, and fecal samples will be obtained from each participant at the beginning and the end of each intervention phase. The primary outcomes will be represented by the change from baseline of the BS gastrointestinal and systemic symptoms. Changes from baseline in GM composition, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production, and the inflammatory and antioxidant profile will be considered as secondary outcomes.

DISCUSSION: BS is a rare disease, and, actually, not all the available treatments are target therapies. A supportive treatment based on dietary and lifestyle issues, able to restore immune system homeostasis, could have a high impact on cost sustainability for the treatment of such a chronic and disabling inflammatory condition.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03962335. Registered on 21 May 2019.

RevDate: 2020-06-09

Douglas GM, Bielawski JP, MGI Langille (2020)

Re-evaluating the relationship between missing heritability and the microbiome.

Microbiome, 8(1):87 pii:10.1186/s40168-020-00839-4.

Human genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have recurrently estimated lower heritability estimates than familial studies. Many explanations have been suggested to explain these lower estimates, including that a substantial proportion of genetic variation and gene-by-environment interactions are unmeasured in typical GWASs. The human microbiome is potentially related to both of these explanations, but it has been more commonly considered as a source of unmeasured genetic variation. In particular, it has recently been argued that the genetic variation within the human microbiome should be included when estimating trait heritability. We outline issues with this argument, which in its strictest form depends on the holobiont model of human-microbiome interactions. Instead, we argue that the microbiome could be leveraged to help control for environmental variation across a population, although that remains to be determined. We discuss potential approaches that could be explored to determine whether integrating microbiome sequencing data into GWASs is useful. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2020-06-08

Alonso P, Blondin L, Gladieux P, et al (2020)

Heterogeneity of the rice microbial community of the Chinese centuries-old Honghe Hani rice terraces system.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The Honghe Hani rice terraces system (HHRTS) is a traditional rice cultivation system where Hani people cultivate remarkably diverse rice varieties. Recent introductions of modern rice varieties to the HHRTS have significantly increased the severity of rice diseases within the terraces. Here we determine the impacts of these recent introductions on the composition of the rice-associated microbial communities. We confirm that the HHRTS contains a range of both traditional HHRTS landraces and introduced modern rice varieties and find differences between the microbial communities of these two groups. However, this introduction of modern rice varieties has not strongly impacted the overall diversity of the HHRTS rice microbial community. Further, we find that the rice varieties (i.e. groups of closely related genotypes) have significantly structured the rice microbial community composition (accounting for 15%-22% of the variance) and that the core microbial community of HHRTS rice plants represents less than 3.3% of all the microbial taxa identified. Collectively, our study suggests a highly diverse HHRTS rice holobiont (host with its associated microbes) where the diversity of rice hosts mirrors the diversity of their microbial communities. Further studies will be needed to better determine how such changes might impact the sustainability of the HHRTS.

RevDate: 2020-06-08

Yu X, Yu K, Liao Z, et al (2020)

Potential molecular traits underlying environmental tolerance of Pavona decussata and Acropora pruinosa in Weizhou Island, northern South China Sea.

Marine pollution bulletin, 156:111199.

Coral species display varying susceptibilities to biotic or abiotic stress. To address the causes underlying this phenomenon, we profiled the Symbiodiniaceae clade type, bacterial communities and coral transcriptome responses in Pavona decussata and Acropora pruinosa, two species displaying different environmental tolerances in the Weizhou Island. We found that C1 was the most dominant Symbiodiniaceae subclade, with no difference detected between A. pruinosa and P. decussata. Nevertheless, P. decussata exhibited higher microbial diversity and significantly different community structure compared with that of A. pruinosa. Transcriptome analysis revealed that coral genes with significantly high expression in P. decussata were mostly related to immune and stress-resistance responses, whereas, those with significantly low expression were metabolism-related. We postulate that the higher tolerance of P. decussata as compared with that of A. pruinosa is the result of several traits, such as higher microbial diversity, different dominant bacteria, higher immune and stress-resistant response, and lower metabolic rate.

RevDate: 2020-06-08

Jorge F, Dheilly NM, R Poulin (2020)

Persistence of a Core Microbiome Through the Ontogeny of a Multi-Host Parasite.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:954.

Animal microbiomes influence their development, behavior and interactions with other organisms. Parasitic metazoans also harbor microbial communities; although they are likely to modulate host-parasite interactions, little is known about parasite microbiomes. The persistence of microbial communities throughout the life of a parasite is particularly challenging for helminths with complex life cycles. These parasites undergo major morphological changes during their life, and parasitize host species that are immunologically, physiologically, and phylogenetically very different. Here, using 16S amplicon sequencing, we characterize the microbiome of the trematode Coitocaecum parvum across four of its life stages: sporocysts, metacercariae and adults inhabiting (respectively) snails, crustaceans and fish, as well as free-living cercariae. Our results demonstrate that, at each life stage, the parasite possesses a phylogenetically diverse microbiome, distinct from that of its hosts or the external environment. The parasite's microbiome comprises bacterial taxa specific to each life stage in different hosts, as well as a small core set of taxa that persists across the parasite's whole life. The apparent existence of an ontogenetically and vertically transmitted core microbiome is supported by the findings that the diversity and taxonomic composition of the microbiome does not vary significantly among life stages, and that the main source of microbial taxa at any life stage is the previous life stage. Our results suggest that microbes are an integrated component of the trematode, possibly shaping its phenotype and host-parasite interactions.

RevDate: 2020-06-06

Gouveia D, Pible O, Culotta K, et al (2020)

Combining proteogenomics and metaproteomics for deep taxonomic and functional characterization of microbiomes from a non-sequenced host.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 6(1):23 pii:10.1038/s41522-020-0133-2.

Metaproteomics of gut microbiomes from animal hosts lacking a reference genome is challenging. Here we describe a strategy combining high-resolution metaproteomics and host RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) with generalist database searching to survey the digestive tract of Gammarus fossarum, a small crustacean used as a sentinel species in ecotoxicology. This approach provides a deep insight into the full range of biomasses and metabolic activities of the holobiont components, and differentiates between the intestine and hepatopancreatic caecum.

RevDate: 2020-06-05

Murray AE, Avalon NE, Bishop L, et al (2020)

Uncovering the Core Microbiome and Distribution of Palmerolide in Synoicum adareanum Across the Anvers Island Archipelago, Antarctica.

Marine drugs, 18(6): pii:md18060298.

Polar marine ecosystems hold the potential for bioactive compound biodiscovery, based on their untapped macro- and microorganism diversity. Characterization of polar benthic marine invertebrate-associated microbiomes is limited to few studies. This study was motivated by our interest in better understanding the microbiome structure and composition of the ascidian, Synoicum adareanum, in which palmerolide A (PalA), a bioactive macrolide with specificity against melanoma, was isolated. PalA bears structural resemblance to a hybrid nonribosomal peptide-polyketide that has similarities to microbially-produced macrolides. We conducted a spatial survey to assess both PalA levels and microbiome composition in S. adareanum in a region of the Antarctic Peninsula near Anvers Island (64° 46'S, 64° 03'W). PalA was ubiquitous and abundant across a collection of 21 ascidians (3 subsamples each) sampled from seven sites across the Anvers Island Archipelago. The microbiome composition (V3-V4 16S rRNA gene sequence variants) of these 63 samples revealed a core suite of 21 bacterial amplicon sequence variants (ASVs)-20 of which were distinct from regional bacterioplankton. ASV co-occurrence analysis across all 63 samples yielded subgroups of taxa that may be interacting biologically (interacting subsystems) and, although the levels of PalA detected were not found to correlate with specific sequence variants, the core members appeared to occur in a preferred optimum and tolerance range of PalA levels. These results, together with an analysis of the biosynthetic potential of related microbiome taxa, describe a conserved, high-latitude core microbiome with unique composition and substantial promise for natural product biosynthesis that likely influences the ecology of the holobiont.

RevDate: 2020-06-05

Gamalero E, Bona E, Todeschini V, et al (2020)

Saline and Arid Soils: Impact on Bacteria, Plants, and their Interaction.

Biology, 9(6): pii:biology9060116.

Salinity and drought are the most important abiotic stresses hampering crop growth and yield. It has been estimated that arid areas cover between 41% and 45% of the total Earth area worldwide. At the same time, the world's population is going to soon reach 9 billion and the survival of this huge amount of people is dependent on agricultural products. Plants growing in saline/arid soil shows low germination rate, short roots, reduced shoot biomass, and serious impairment of photosynthetic efficiency, thus leading to a substantial loss of crop productivity, resulting in significant economic damage. However, plants should not be considered as single entities, but as a superorganism, or a holobiont, resulting from the intimate interactions occurring between the plant and the associated microbiota. Consequently, it is very complex to define how the plant responds to stress on the basis of the interaction with its associated plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB). This review provides an overview of the physiological mechanisms involved in plant survival in arid and saline soils and aims at describing the interactions occurring between plants and its bacteriome in such perturbed environments. The potential of PGPB in supporting plant survival and fitness in these environmental conditions has been discussed.

RevDate: 2020-06-04

Speare L, Davies SW, Paul Balmonte J, et al (2020)

Patterns of environmental variability influence coral-associated bacterial and algal communities on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

A coral's capacity to alter its microbial symbionts may enhance its fitness in the face of climate change. Recent work predicts exposure to high environmental variability may increase coral resilience and adaptability to future climate conditions. However, how this heightened environmental variability impacts coral-associated microbial communities remains largely unexplored. Here, we examined the bacterial and algal symbionts associated with two coral species of the genus Siderastrea with distinct life history strategies from three reef sites on the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System with low or high environmental variability. Our results reveal bacterial community structure, as well as alpha- and beta-diversity patterns, vary by host species. Differences in bacterial communities between host species were partially explained by high abundance of Deltaproteobacteria and Rhodospirillales and high bacterial diversity in Siderastrea radians. Our findings also suggest Siderastrea spp. have dynamic core bacterial communities that likely drive differences observed in the entire bacterial community, which may play a critical role in rapid acclimatization to environmental change. Unlike the bacterial community, Symbiodiniaceae composition was only distinct between host species at high thermal variability sites, suggesting that different factors shape bacterial versus algal communities within the coral holobiont. Our findings shed light on how domain-specific shifts in dynamic microbiomes may allow for unique methods of enhanced host fitness.

RevDate: 2020-06-02

Hawksworth DL, M Grube (2020)

Lichens redefined as complex ecosystems.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2020-06-02

Calusinska M, Marynowska M, Bertucci M, et al (2020)

Integrative omics analysis of the termite gut system adaptation to Miscanthus diet identifies lignocellulose degradation enzymes.

Communications biology, 3(1):275 pii:10.1038/s42003-020-1004-3.

Miscanthus sp. biomass could satisfy future biorefinery value chains. However, its use is largely untapped due to high recalcitrance. The termite and its gut microbiome are considered the most efficient lignocellulose degrading system in nature. Here, we investigate at holobiont level the dynamic adaptation of Cortaritermes sp. to imposed Miscanthus diet, with a long-term objective of overcoming lignocellulose recalcitrance. We use an integrative omics approach combined with enzymatic characterisation of carbohydrate active enzymes from termite gut Fibrobacteres and Spirochaetae. Modified gene expression profiles of gut bacteria suggest a shift towards utilisation of cellulose and arabinoxylan, two main components of Miscanthus lignocellulose. Low identity of reconstructed microbial genomes to closely related species supports the hypothesis of a strong phylogenetic relationship between host and its gut microbiome. This study provides a framework for better understanding the complex lignocellulose degradation by the higher termite gut system and paves a road towards its future bioprospecting.

RevDate: 2020-06-02

Roach TNF, Little M, Arts MGI, et al (2020)

A multiomic analysis of in situ coral-turf algal interactions.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1915455117 [Epub ahead of print].

Viruses, microbes, and host macroorganisms form ecological units called holobionts. Here, a combination of metagenomic sequencing, metabolomic profiling, and epifluorescence microscopy was used to investigate how the different components of the holobiont including bacteria, viruses, and their associated metabolites mediate ecological interactions between corals and turf algae. The data demonstrate that there was a microbial assemblage unique to the coral-turf algae interface displaying higher microbial abundances and larger microbial cells. This was consistent with previous studies showing that turf algae exudates feed interface and coral-associated microbial communities, often at the detriment of the coral. Further supporting this hypothesis, when the metabolites were assigned a nominal oxidation state of carbon (NOSC), we found that the turf algal metabolites were significantly more reduced (i.e., have higher potential energy) compared to the corals and interfaces. The algae feeding hypothesis was further supported when the ecological outcomes of interactions (e.g., whether coral was winning or losing) were considered. For example, coral holobionts losing the competition with turf algae had higher Bacteroidetes-to-Firmicutes ratios and an elevated abundance of genes involved in bacterial growth and division. These changes were similar to trends observed in the obese human gut microbiome, where overfeeding of the microbiome creates a dysbiosis detrimental to the long-term health of the metazoan host. Together these results show that there are specific biogeochemical changes at coral-turf algal interfaces that predict the competitive outcomes between holobionts and are consistent with algal exudates feeding coral-associated microbes.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

Corbin KR, Bolt B, CM Rodríguez López (2020)

Breeding for Beneficial Microbial Communities Using Epigenomics.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:937.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

Daybog I, O Kolodny (2020)

Simplified model assumptions artificially constrain the parameter range in which selection at the holobiont level can occur.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

van Vliet S, M Doebeli (2020)

Reply to Daybog and Kolodny: Necessary requirements for holobiont-level selection are robust to model assumptions.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:2005559117 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2020-05-29

Ben-Eliahu N, Herut B, Rahav E, et al (2020)

Shell Growth of Large Benthic Foraminifera under Heavy Metals Pollution: Implications for Geochemical Monitoring of Coastal Environments.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(10): pii:ijerph17103741.

This study was promoted by the recent efforts using larger benthic foraminiferal (LBF) shells geochemistry for the monitoring of heavy metals (HMs) pollution in the marine environment. The shell itself acts as a recorder of the ambient water chemistry in low to extreme HMs-polluted environments, allowing the monitoring of recent-past pollution events. This concept, known as sclerochronology, requires the addition of new parts (i.e., new shell) even in extreme pollution events. We evaluated the physiological resilience of three LBF species with different shell types and symbionts to enriched concentrations of Cd, Cu, and Pb at levels several folds higher than the ecological criteria maximum concentration (CMC) (165-166, 33-43, 1001-1206 µg L-1, respectively), which is derived from aquatic organisms' toxicity tests. The physiological response of the holobiont was expressed by growth rates quantified by the addition of new chambers (new shell parts), and by the chlorophyll a of the algal symbionts. The growth rate decrease varied between 0% and 30% compared to the unamended control for all HMs tested, whereas the algal symbionts exhibited a general non-fatal but significant response to Pb and Cu. Our results highlight that shell growth inhibition of LBF is predicted in extreme concentrations of 57 × CMC of Cu and 523 × CMC of Cd, providing a proof of concept for shell geochemistry monitoring, which is currently not used in the regulatory sectors.

RevDate: 2020-05-26

Arif I, Batool M, PM Schenk (2020)

Plant Microbiome Engineering: Expected Benefits for Improved Crop Growth and Resilience.

Trends in biotechnology pii:S0167-7799(20)30121-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Plant-associated microbiomes can boost plant growth or control pathogens. Altering the microbiome by inoculation with a consortium of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can enhance plant development and mitigate against pathogens as well as abiotic stresses. Manipulating the plant holobiont by microbiome engineering is an emerging biotechnological strategy to improve crop yields and resilience. Indirect approaches to microbiome engineering include the use of soil amendments or selective substrates, and direct approaches include inoculation with specific probiotic microbes, artificial microbial consortia, and microbiome breeding and transplantation. We highlight why and how microbiome services could be incorporated into traditional agricultural practices and the gaps in knowledge that must be answered before these approaches can be commercialized in field applications.

RevDate: 2020-05-23

Yu X, Yu K, Huang W, et al (2020)

Thermal acclimation increases heat tolerance of the scleractinian coral Acropora pruinosa.

The Science of the total environment, 733:139319 pii:S0048-9697(20)32836-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Field ecological observations indicate that scleractinian coral exposed to early thermal stress are likely to develop higher tolerance to subsequent heat stress. The causes of this phenomenon, however, remain enigmatic. To unravel the mechanisms underlying the increased heat tolerance, we applied different thermal treatments to the scleractinian coral Acropora pruinosa and studied the resulting differences in appearance, physiological index, Symbiodiniaceae and bacterial communities, and transcriptome response. We found that early heat stress improved the thermal tolerance of the coral holobiont. After thermal acclimation, the community structure and symbiotic bacterial diversity in the microbiota were reorganized, whereas those of Symbiodiniaceae remained stable. RNA-seq analysis revealed that the downregulated coral host genes were mainly involved in pathways relating to metabolism, particularly the nitrogen metabolism pathway. This indicates that thermal acclimation led to decrease in the metabolism level in the coral host, which might be a self-protection mechanism. We suggest that thermal acclimation may increase scleractinian coral thermal tolerance by slowing host metabolism, altering the dominant bacterial population, and increasing bacterial diversity. This study offers new insights into the adaptive potential of scleractinian coral to heat stress from global warming.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Newkirk CR, Frazer TK, Martindale MQ, et al (2020)

Adaptation to Bleaching: Are Thermotolerant Symbiodiniaceae Strains More Successful Than Other Strains Under Elevated Temperatures in a Model Symbiotic Cnidarian?.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:822.

The ability of some symbiotic cnidarians to resist and better withstand stress factors that cause bleaching is a trait that is receiving increased attention. The adaptive bleaching hypothesis postulates that cnidarians that can form a stable symbiosis with thermotolerant Symbiodiniaceae strains may cope better with increasing seawater temperatures. We used polyps of the scyphozoan, Cassiopea xamachana, as a model system to test symbiosis success under heat stress. We sought to determine: (1) if aposymbiotic C. xamachana polyps could establish and maintain a symbiosis with both native and non-native strains of Symbiodiniaceae that all exhibit different tolerances to heat, (2) whether polyps with these newly acquired Symbiodiniaceae strains would strobilate (produce ephyra), and (3) if thermally tolerant Symbiodiniaceae strains that established and maintained a symbiosis exhibited greater success in response to heat stress (even if they are not naturally occurring in Cassiopea). Following recolonization of aposymbiotic C. xamachana polyps with different strains, we found that: (1) strains Smic, Stri, Slin, and Spil all established a stable symbiosis that promoted strobilation and (2) strains Bmin1 and Bmin2 did not establish a stable symbiosis and strobilation did not occur. Strains Smic, Stri, Slin, and Spil were used in a subsequent bleaching experiment; each of the strains was introduced to a subset of aposymbiotic polyps and once polyp tissues were saturated with symbionts they were subjected to elevated temperatures - 32°C and 34°C - for 2 weeks. Our findings indicate that, in general, pairings of polyps with Symbiodiniaceae strains that are native to Cassiopea (Stri and Smic) performed better than a non-native strain (Slin) even though this strain has a high thermotolerance. This suggests a degree of partner specificity that may limit the adaptive potential of certain cnidarians to increased ocean warming. We also observed that the free-living, non-native thermotolerant strain Spil was relatively successful in resisting bleaching during experimental trials. This suggests that free-living Symbiodiniaceae may provide a supply of potentially "new" thermotolerant strains to cnidarians following a bleaching event.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Sariola S, SF Gilbert (2020)

Toward a Symbiotic Perspective on Public Health: Recognizing the Ambivalence of Microbes in the Anthropocene.

Microorganisms, 8(5): pii:microorganisms8050746.

Microbes evolve in complex environments that are often fashioned, in part, by human desires. In a global perspective, public health has played major roles in structuring how microbes are perceived, cultivated, and destroyed. The germ theory of disease cast microbes as enemies of the body and the body politic. Antibiotics have altered microbial development by providing stringent natural selection on bacterial species, and this has led to the formation of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Public health perspectives such as "Precision Public Health" and "One Health" have recently been proposed to further manage microbial populations. However, neither of these take into account the symbiotic relationships that exist between bacterial species and between bacteria, viruses, and their eukaryotic hosts. We propose a perspective on public health that recognizes microbial evolution through symbiotic associations (the hologenome theory) and through lateral gene transfer. This perspective has the advantage of including both the pathogenic and beneficial interactions of humans with bacteria, as well as combining the outlook of the "One Health" model with the genomic methodologies utilized in the "Precision Public Health" model. In the Anthropocene, the conditions for microbial evolution have been altered by human interventions, and public health initiatives must recognize both the beneficial (indeed, necessary) interactions of microbes with their hosts as well as their pathogenic interactions.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Pavagadhi S, S Swarup (2020)

Metabolomics for Evaluating Flavor-Associated Metabolites in Plant-Based Products.

Metabolites, 10(5): pii:metabo10050197.

Plant-based diets (PBDs) are associated with environmental benefits, human health promotion and animal welfare. There is a worldwide shift towards PBDs, evident from the increased global demand for fresh plant-based products (PBPs). Such shifts in dietary preferences accompanied by evolving food palates, create opportunities to leverage technological advancements and strict quality controls in developing PBPs that can drive consumer acceptance. Flavor, color and texture are important sensory attributes of a food product and, have the largest influence on consumer appeal and acceptance. Among these, flavor is considered the most dominating quality attribute that significantly affects overall eating experience. Current state-of-art technologies rely on physicochemical estimations and sensory-based tests to assess flavor-related attributes in fresh PBPs. However, these methodologies often do not provide any indication about the metabolic features associated with unique flavor profiles and, consequently, can be used in a limited way to define the quality attributes of PBPs. To this end, a systematic understanding of metabolites that contribute to the flavor profiles of PBPs is warranted to complement the existing methodologies. This review will discuss the use of metabolomics for evaluating flavor-associated metabolites in fresh PBPs at post-harvest stage, alongside its applications for quality assessment and grading. We will summarize the current research in this area, discuss technical challenges and considerations pertaining to sampling and analytical techniques, as well as s provide future perspectives and directions for government organizations, industries and other stakeholders associated with the quality assessment of fresh PBPs.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Bonthond G, Bayer T, Krueger-Hadfield SA, et al (2020)

How do microbiota associated with an invasive seaweed vary across scales?.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Communities are shaped by scale dependent processes. To study the diversity and variation of microbial communities across scales, the invasive and widespread seaweed Agarophyton vermiculophyllum presents a unique opportunity. We characterized pro- and eukaryotic communities associated with this holobiont across its known distribution range, which stretches over the northern hemisphere. Our data reveal that community composition and diversity in the holobiont vary at local but also larger geographic scales. While processes acting at the local scale (i.e., within population) are the main structuring drivers of associated microbial communities, changes in community composition also depend on processes acting at larger geographic scales. Interestingly, the largest analyzed scale (i.e., native and nonnative ranges) explained variation in the prevalence of predicted functional groups, which could suggest a functional shift in microbiota occurred over the course of the invasion process. While high variability in microbiota at the local scale supports A. vermiculophyllum to be a generalist host, we also identified a number of core taxa. These geographically independent holobiont members imply that co-introduction of specific microbiota may have additionally promoted the invasion process.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Suárez J, A Stencel (2020)

A part-dependent account of biological individuality: why holobionts are individuals and ecosystems simultaneously.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Given one conception of biological individuality (evolutionary, physiological, etc.), can a holobiont - that is the host + its symbiotic (mutualistic, commensalist and parasitic) microbiome - be simultaneously a biological individual and an ecological community? Herein, we support this possibility by arguing that the notion of biological individuality is part-dependent. In our account, the individuality of a biological ensemble should not only be determined by the conception of biological individuality in use, but also by the biological characteristics of the part of the ensemble under investigation. In the specific case of holobionts, evaluations of their individuality should be made either host-relative or microbe-relative. We support the claim that biological individuality is part-dependent by drawing upon recent empirical evidence regarding the physiology of hosts and microbes, and the recent characterization of the 'demibiont'. Our account shows that contemporary disagreements about the individuality of the holobiont derive from an incorrect understanding of the ontology of biological individuality. We show that collaboration between philosophers and biologists can be very fruitful in attempts to solve some contemporary biological debates.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Tong H, Cai L, Zhou G, et al (2020)

Correlations Between Prokaryotic Microbes and Stress-Resistant Algae in Different Corals Subjected to Environmental Stress in Hong Kong.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:686.

Coral reefs are extremely vulnerable to global climate change, as evidenced by increasing bleaching events. Previous studies suggest that both algal and microbial partners benefit coral hosts, but the nature of interactions between Symbiodiniaceae and prokaryotic microbes and their effects on coral hosts remains unclear. In the present study, we examined correlations between Symbiodiniaceae and prokaryotic microbes in Montipora spp. and Porites lutea sampled from two sites in Hong Kong with contrasting environmental conditions in March and October 2014. The results showed that the prokaryotic microbial communities had adaptable structures in both Montipora spp. and P. lutea, and environmental conditions had greater effects on the algal/microbial communities in Montipora spp. than in P. lutea. Further network analysis revealed a greater number of prokaryotic microbes were significantly correlated with potentially stress-resistant Symbiodiniaceae in P. lutea than in Montipora spp. Stress-resistant Symbiodiniaceae played more important roles in the community and in the algal-microbial correlations in P. lutea than in Montipora spp. Since P. lutea is faring better in Hong Kong as the seawater temperature gradually increases, the results suggest that the correlations between stress-resistant algae and prokaryotic microbes could provide a compensation mechanism allowing coral hosts to adapt to higher temperatures, particularly as the prokaryotic microbes correlated with Symbiodiniaceae provide the ecological functions of photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Zhang R, Gao X, Bai H, et al (2020)

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Gut Microbiome: Their Respective and Concert Effects on Healthcare.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 11:538.

Advances in systems biology, particularly based on the omics approaches, have resulted in a paradigm shift in both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and the gut microbiome research. In line with this paradigm shift, the importance of TCM and gut microbiome in healthcare, as well as their interplay, has become clearer. Firstly, we briefly summarize the current status of three topics in this review: microbiome, TCM, and relationship of TCM and microbiome. Second, we focused on TCM's therapeutic effects and gut microbiome's mediation roles, including the relationships among diet, gut microbiome, and health care. Third, we have summarized some databases and tools to help understand the impact of TCM and gut microbiome on diagnosis and treatment at the molecular level. Finally, we introduce the effects of gut microbiome on TCM and host health, with two case studies, one on the metabolic effect of gut microbiome on TCM, and another on cancer treatment. In summary, we have reviewed the current status of the two components of healthcare: TCM and gut microbiome, as well as their concert effects. It is quite clear that as the holobiont, the maintenance of the health status of human would depend heavily on TCM, gut microbiome, and their combined effects.

RevDate: 2020-05-06

Perry WB, Lindsay E, Payne CJ, et al (2020)

The role of the gut microbiome in sustainable teleost aquaculture.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1926):20200184.

As the most diverse vertebrate group and a major component of a growing global aquaculture industry, teleosts continue to attract significant scientific attention. The growth in global aquaculture, driven by declines in wild stocks, has provided additional empirical demand, and thus opportunities, to explore teleost diversity. Among key developments is the recent growth in microbiome exploration, facilitated by advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies. Here, we consider studies on teleost gut microbiomes in the context of sustainable aquaculture, which we have discussed in four themes: diet, immunity, artificial selection and closed-loop systems. We demonstrate the influence aquaculture has had on gut microbiome research, while also providing a road map for the main deterministic forces that influence the gut microbiome, with topical applications to aquaculture. Functional significance is considered within an aquaculture context with reference to impacts on nutrition and immunity. Finally, we identify key knowledge gaps, both methodological and conceptual, and propose promising applications of gut microbiome manipulation to aquaculture, and future priorities in microbiome research. These include insect-based feeds, vaccination, mechanism of pro- and prebiotics, artificial selection on the hologenome, in-water bacteriophages in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), physiochemical properties of water and dysbiosis as a biomarker.

RevDate: 2020-05-01

Roberty S, Béraud E, Grover R, et al (2020)

Coral Productivity Is Co-Limited by Bicarbonate and Ammonium Availability.

Microorganisms, 8(5): pii:microorganisms8050640.

The nitrogen environment and nitrogen status of reef-building coral endosymbionts is one of the important factors determining the optimal assimilation of phototrophic carbon and hence the growth of the holobiont. However, the impact of inorganic nutrient availability on the photosynthesis and physiological state of the coral holobiont is partly understood. This study aimed to determine if photosynthesis of the endosymbionts associated with the coral Stylophora pistillata and the overall growth of the holobiont were limited by the availability of dissolved inorganic carbon and nitrogen in seawater. For this purpose, colonies were incubated in absence or presence of 4 µM ammonium and/or 6 mM bicarbonate. Photosynthetic performances, pigments content, endosymbionts density and growth rate of the coral colonies were monitored for 3 weeks. Positive effects were observed on coral physiology with the supplementation of one or the other nutrient, but the most important changes were observed when both nutrients were provided. The increased availability of DIC and NH4+ significantly improved the photosynthetic efficiency and capacity of endosymbionts, in turn enhancing the host calcification rate. Overall, these results suggest that in hospite symbionts are co-limited by nitrogen and carbon availability for an optimal photosynthesis.

RevDate: 2020-04-24

Gong S, Jin X, Ren L, et al (2020)

Unraveling Heterogeneity of Coral Microbiome Assemblages in Tropical and Subtropical Corals in the South China Sea.

Microorganisms, 8(4): pii:microorganisms8040604.

Understanding the coral microbiome is critical for predicting the fidelity of coral symbiosis with growing surface seawater temperature (SST). However, how the coral microbiome will respond to increasing SST is still understudied. Here, we compared the coral microbiome assemblages among 73 samples across six typical South China Sea coral species in two thermal regimes. The results revealed that the composition of microbiome varied across both coral species and thermal regimes, except for Porites lutea. The tropical coral microbiome displayed stronger heterogeneity and had a more un-compacted ecological network than subtropical coral microbiome. The coral microbiome was more strongly determined by environmental factors than host specificity. γ- (32%) and α-proteobacteria (19%), Bacteroidetes (14%), Firmicutes (14%), Actinobacteria (6%) and Cyanobacteria (2%) dominated the coral microbiome. Additionally, bacteria inferred to play potential roles in host nutrients metabolism, several keystone bacteria detected in human and plant rhizospheric microbiome were retrieved in explored corals. This study not only disentangles how different host taxa and microbiome interact and how such an interaction is affected by thermal regimes, but also identifies previously unrecognized keystone bacteria in corals, and also infers the community structure of coral microbiome will be changed from a compacted to an un-compacted network under elevated SST.

RevDate: 2020-04-21

Parker ES, Newton ILG, AP Moczek (2020)

(My Microbiome) Would Walk 10,000 miles: Maintenance and Turnover of Microbial Communities in Introduced Dung Beetles.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01514-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Host-associated microbes facilitate diverse biotic and abiotic interactions between hosts and their environments. Experimental alterations of host-associated microbial communities frequently decrease host fitness, yet much less is known about if and how host-microbiome interactions are altered by natural perturbations, such as introduction events. Here, we begin to assess this question in Onthophagus dung beetles, a species-rich and geographically widely distributed genus whose members rely on vertically transmitted microbiota to support normal development. Specifically, we investigated to what extent microbiome community membership shifts during host introduction events and the relative significance of ancestral associations and novel environmental conditions in the structuring of microbial communities of introduced host species. Our results demonstrate that both evolutionary history and local environmental forces structure the microbial communities of these animals, but that their relative importance is shaped by the specific circumstances that characterize individual introduction events. Furthermore, we identify microbial taxa such as Dysgonomonas that may constitute members of the core Onthophagus microbiome regardless of host population or species, but also Wolbachia which associates with Onthophagus beetles in a species or even population-specific manner. We discuss the implications of our results for our understanding of the evolutionary ecology of symbiosis in dung beetles and beyond.

RevDate: 2020-04-20

Kriaa A, Jablaoui A, Mkaouar H, et al (2020)

Serine proteases at the cutting edge of IBD: Focus on gastrointestinal inflammation.

FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology [Epub ahead of print].

Serine proteases have been long recognized to coordinate many physiological processes and play key roles in regulating the inflammatory response. Accordingly, their dysregulation has been regularly associated with several inflammatory disorders and suggested as a central mechanism in the pathophysiology of digestive inflammation. So far, studies addressing the proteolytic homeostasis in the gut have mainly focused on host serine proteases as candidates of interest, while largely ignoring the potential contribution of their bacterial counterparts. The human gut microbiota comprises a complex ecosystem that contributes to host health and disease. Yet, our understanding of microbially produced serine proteases and investigation of whether they are causally linked to IBD is still in its infancy. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the emerging roles of host and bacterial serine proteases in digestive inflammation. We also discuss the application of available tools in the gut to monitor disease-related serine proteases. An exhaustive representation and understanding of such functional potential would help in closing existing gaps in mechanistic knowledge.

RevDate: 2020-04-15

Muggia L, Nelsen MP, Kirika PM, et al (2020)

Formally described species woefully underrepresent phylogenetic diversity in the common lichen photobiont genus Trebouxia (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta): An impetus for developing an integrated taxonomy.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(20)30093-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Lichens provide valuable systems for studying symbiotic interactions. In lichens, these interactions are frequently described in terms of availability, selectivity and specificity of the mycobionts and photobionts towards one another. The lichen-forming, green algal genus Trebouxia Puymaly is among the most widespread photobiont, associating with a broad range of lichen-forming fungi. To date, 29 species have been described, but studies consistently indicate that the vast majority of species-level lineages still lack formal description, and new, previously unrecognized lineages are frequently reported. To reappraise the diversity and the evolutionary relationships of species-level lineages in Trebouxia, we assembled DNA sequence data from over 1600 specimens, compiled from a range of sequences from previously published studies, axenic algal cultures, and lichens collected from poorly sampled regions. From these samples, we selected representatives of the currently known genetic diversity in the lichenized Trebouxia and inferred a phylogeny from multi-locus sequence data (ITS, rbcL, cox2). We demonstrate that the current formally described species woefully underrepresent overall species-level diversity in this important lichen-forming algal genus. We anticipate that an integrative taxonomic approach, incorporating morphological and physiological data from axenic cultures with genetic data, will be required to establish a robust, comprehensive taxonomy for Trebouxia. The data presented here provide an important impetus and reference dataset for more reliably characterizing diversity in lichenized algae and in using lichens to investigate the evolution of symbioses and holobionts.

RevDate: 2020-04-13

Lin D, Lacey EA, Bach BH, et al (2020)

Gut microbial diversity across a contact zone for California voles: implications for lineage divergence of hosts and mito-nuclear mismatch in the assembly of the mammalian gut microbiome.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Gut microbial diversity is thought to reflect the co-evolution of microbes and their hosts as well as current host-specific attributes such as genetic background and environmental setting. To explore interactions among these parameters, we characterized variation in gut microbiome composition in California voles (Microtus californicus) across a contact zone between two recently diverged lineages of this species. Because this contact zone contains individuals with mismatched mitochondrial-nuclear genomes (cybrids), it provides an important opportunity to explore how different components of the genotype contribute to gut microbial diversity. Analyses of bacterial 16S rRNA sequences and joint species distribution modeling revealed that host genotypes and genetic differentiation among host populations together explained more than 50% of microbial community variation across our sampling transect. The ranked importance (most to least) of factors contributing to gut microbial diversity in our study populations were: genome-wide population differentiation, local environmental conditions, and host genotypes. However, differences in microbial communities among vole populations (β-diversity) did not follow patterns of lineage divergence (i.e. phylosymbiosis). Instead, among-population variation was best explained by the spatial distribution of hosts, as expected if the environment is a primary source of gut microbial diversity (i.e. dispersal limitation hypothesis). Across the contact zone, several bacterial taxa differed in relative abundance between the two parental lineages as well as among individuals with mismatched mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Thus, genetic divergence among host lineages and mito-nuclear genomic mismatches may also contribute to microbial diversity by altering interactions between host genomes and gut microbiota (i.e. hologenome speciation hypothesis).

RevDate: 2020-04-10

Renoud S, Bouffaud ML, Dubost A, et al (2020)

Co-occurrence of rhizobacteria with nitrogen fixation and/or 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deamination abilities in the maize rhizosphere.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5818760 [Epub ahead of print].

The plant microbiota may differ depending on soil type, but these microbiota probably share the same functions necessary for holobiont fitness. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that phytostimulatory microbial functional groups are likely to co-occur in the rhizosphere, using groups corresponding to nitrogen fixation (nifH) and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deamination (acdS), i.e. two key modes of action in plant-beneficial rhizobacteria. The analysis of three maize fields in two consecutive years showed that quantitative PCR numbers of nifH and of acdS alleles differed according to field site, but a positive correlation was found overall when comparing nifH and acdS numbers. Metabarcoding analyses in the second year indicated that the diversity level of acdS but not nifH rhizobacteria in the rhizosphere differed across fields. Furthermore, between-class analysis showed that the three sites differed from one another based on nifH or acdS sequence data (or rrs data), and the bacterial genera contributing most to field differentiation were not the same for the three bacterial groups. However, co-inertia analysis indicated that the genetic structures of both functional groups and of the whole bacterial community were similar across the three fields. Therefore, results point to co-selection of rhizobacteria harboring nitrogen fixation and/or 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deamination abilities.

RevDate: 2020-04-10

Simonin M, Dasilva C, Terzi V, et al (2020)

Influence of plant genotype and soil on the wheat rhizosphere microbiome: Evidences for a core microbiome across eight African and European soils.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5818757 [Epub ahead of print].

Here, we assessed the relative influence of wheat genotype, agricultural practices (conventional vs organic) and soil type on the rhizosphere microbiome. We characterized the prokaryotic (archaea, bacteria) and eukaryotic (fungi, protists) communities in soils from four different countries (Cameroon, France, Italy, Senegal) and determined if a rhizosphere core microbiome existed across these different countries. The wheat genotype had a limited effect on the rhizosphere microbiome (2% of variance) as the majority of the microbial taxa were consistently associated to multiple wheat genotypes grown in the same soil. Large differences in taxa richness and in community structure were observed between the eight soils studied (57% variance) and the two agricultural practices (10% variance). Despite these differences between soils, we observed that 177 taxa (2 archaea, 103 bacteria, 41 fungi, 31 protists) were consistently detected in the rhizosphere, constituting a core microbiome. In addition to being prevalent, these core taxa were highly abundant and collectively represented 50% of the reads in our dataset. Based on these results, we identify a list of key taxa as future targets of culturomics, metagenomics and wheat synthetic microbiomes. Additionally, we show that protists are an integral part of the wheat holobiont that is currently overlooked.

RevDate: 2020-04-09

Paix B, Carriot N, Barry-Martinet R, et al (2020)

A Multi-Omics Analysis Suggests Links Between the Differentiated Surface Metabolome and Epiphytic Microbiota Along the Thallus of a Mediterranean Seaweed Holobiont.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:494.

Marine macroalgae constitute an important living resource in marine ecosystems and complex ecological interactions occur at their surfaces with microbial communities. In this context, the present study aimed to investigate how the surface metabolome of the algal holobiont Taonia atomaria could drive epiphytic microbiota variations at the thallus scale. First, a clear discrimination was observed between algal surface, planktonic and rocky prokaryotic communities. These data strengthened the hypothesis of an active role of the algal host in the selection of epiphytic communities. Moreover, significant higher epibacterial density and α-diversity were found at the basal algal parts compared to the apical ones, suggesting a maturation gradient of the community along the thallus. In parallel, a multiplatform mass spectrometry-based metabolomics study, using molecular networking to annotate relevant metabolites, highlighted a clear chemical differentiation at the algal surface along the thallus with similar clustering as for microbial communities. In that respect, higher amounts of sesquiterpenes, phosphatidylcholines (PCs), and diacylglycerylhydroxymethyl-N,N,N-trimethyl-β-alanines (DGTAs) were observed at the apical regions while dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and carotenoids were predominantly found at the basal parts of the thalli. A weighted UniFrac distance-based redundancy analysis linking the metabolomics and metabarcoding datasets indicated that these surface compounds, presumably of algal origin, may drive the zonal variability of the epibacterial communities. As only few studies were focused on microbiota and metabolome variation along a single algal thallus, these results improved our understanding about seaweed holobionts. Through this multi-omics approach at the thallus scale, we suggested a plausible scenario where the chemical production at the surface of T. atomaria, mainly induced by the algal physiology, could explain the specificity and the variations of the surface microbiota along the thallus.

RevDate: 2020-04-08

Boem F, Nannini G, A Amedei (2020)

Not just 'immunity': how the microbiota can reshape our approach to cancer immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy [Epub ahead of print].

Cancer immunotherapy refers to a set of approaches aiming at enhancing the immune system to fight cancer growth and spread. This variety of therapeutic approaches, especially those inhibiting immune checkpoints, have shown very promising results. Nevertheless, patients may respond differently to treatments and the efficacy of immunotherapy seems to be dependent on several factors that go beyond the molecular targeting of immune cells modulation. Here, we review how the activity of gut microbiota appears to be crucial in determining the effectiveness of some immunotherapeutic treatments, fostering or impeding the conditions under which treatments can work or not. Moreover, we discuss how these findings suggest not only extending the range of immunotherapeutic approaches but also reshaping our understanding of immunotherapy itself.

RevDate: 2020-04-06

Biagi E, Caroselli E, Barone M, et al (2020)

Patterns in microbiome composition differ with ocean acidification in anatomic compartments of the Mediterranean coral Astroides calycularis living at CO2 vents.

The Science of the total environment, 724:138048 pii:S0048-9697(20)31561-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral microbiomes, the complex microbial communities associated with the different anatomic compartments of the coral, provide important functions for the host's survival, such as nutrient cycling at the host's surface, prevention of pathogens colonization, and promotion of nutrient uptake. Microbiomes are generally referred to as plastic entities, able to adapt their composition and functionality in response to environmental change, with a possible impact on coral acclimatization to phenomena related to climate change, such as ocean acidification. Ocean sites characterized by natural gradients of pCO2 provide models for investigating the ability of marine organisms to acclimatize to decreasing seawater pH. Here we compared the microbiome of the temperate, shallow water, non-symbiotic solitary coral Astroides calycularis that naturally lives at a volcanic CO2 vent in Ischia Island (Naples, Italy), with that of corals living in non-acidified sites at the same island. Bacterial DNA associated with the different anatomic compartments (mucus, tissue and skeleton) of A. calycularis was differentially extracted and a total of 68 samples were analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. In terms of phylogenetic composition, the microbiomes associated with the different coral anatomic compartments were different from each other and from the microbial communities of the surrounding seawater. Of all the anatomic compartments, the mucus-associated microbiome differed the most between the control and acidified sites. The differences detected in the microbial communities associated to the three anatomic compartments included a general increase in subdominant bacterial groups, some of which are known to be involved in different stages of the nitrogen cycle, such as potential nitrogen fixing bacteria and bacteria able to degrade organic nitrogen. Our data therefore suggests a potential increase of nitrogen fixation and recycling in A. calycularis living close to the CO2 vent system.

RevDate: 2020-04-04

Corona G, Kreimes A, Barone M, et al (2020)

Impact of lignans in oilseed mix on gut microbiome composition and enterolignan production in younger healthy and premenopausal women: an in vitro pilot study.

Microbial cell factories, 19(1):82 pii:10.1186/s12934-020-01341-0.

BACKGROUND: Dietary lignans belong to the group of phytoestrogens together with coumestans, stilbenes and isoflavones, and themselves do not exhibit oestrogen-like properties. Nonetheless, the gut microbiota converts them into enterolignans, which show chemical similarity to the human oestrogen molecule. One of the richest dietary sources of lignans are oilseeds, including flaxseed. The aim of this pilot study was to determine the concentration of the main dietary lignans in an oilseed mix, and explore the gut microbiota-dependent production of enterolignans for oestrogen substitution in young and premenopausal women. The oilseed mix was fermented in a pH-controlled batch culture system inoculated with women's faecal samples. The lignan content and enterolignan production were measured by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS), and the faecal-derived microbial communities were profiled by 16S rRNA gene-based next-generation sequencing.

RESULTS: In vitro batch culture fermentation of faecal samples inoculated with oilseed mix for 24 h resulted in a substantial increase in enterolactone production in younger women and an increase in enterodiol in the premenopausal group. As for the gut microbiota, different baseline profiles were observed as well as different temporal dynamics, mainly related to Clostridiaceae, and Klebsiella and Collinsella spp.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the small sample size, our pilot study revealed that lignan-rich oilseeds could strongly influence the faecal microbiota of both younger and premenopausal females, leading to a different enterolignan profile being produced. Further studies in larger cohorts are needed to evaluate the long-term effects of lignan-rich diets on the gut microbiota and find out how enterolactone-producing bacterial species could be increased. Diets rich in lignans could potentially serve as a safe supplement of oestrogen analogues to meet the cellular needs of endogenous oestrogen and deliver numerous health benefits, provided that the premenopausal woman microbiota is capable of converting dietary precursors into enterolignans.

RevDate: 2020-04-01

Leitão AL, Costa MC, Gabriel AF, et al (2020)

Interspecies Communication in Holobionts by Non-Coding RNA Exchange.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(7): pii:ijms21072333.

Complex organisms are associations of different cells that coexist and collaborate creating a living consortium, the holobiont. The relationships between the holobiont members are essential for proper homeostasis of the organisms, and they are founded on the establishment of complex inter-connections between all the cells. Non-coding RNAs are regulatory molecules that can also act as communication signals between cells, being involved in either homeostasis or dysbiosis of the holobionts. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells can transmit signals via non-coding RNAs while using specific extracellular conveyors that travel to the target cell and can be translated into a regulatory response by dedicated molecular machinery. Within holobionts, non-coding RNA regulatory signaling is involved in symbiotic and pathogenic relationships among the cells. This review analyzes current knowledge regarding the role of non-coding RNAs in cell-to-cell communication, with a special focus on the signaling between cells in multi-organism consortia.

RevDate: 2020-03-27

Hewson I, Brown JM, Burge CA, et al (2012)

Description of viral assemblages associated with the Gorgonia ventalina holobiont.

Coral reefs (Online), 31(2):487-491.

The diversity and function of viruses in coral holobionts has only recently received attention. The non-reef building gorgonian octocoral, Gorgonia ventalina, is a major constituent of Caribbean reefs. We investigated viral communities associated with G. ventalina tissues to understand their role in gorgonian ecology. Pyrosequencing was used to prepare a total of 514,632 sequence reads of DNA- and RNA-based mixed-community viral genomes (metaviromes). RNA viral assemblages were comprised of primarily unidentifiable reads, with most matching host transcripts and other RNA metaviromes. DNA metaviromes were similar between healthy and diseased tissues and comprised of contiguous sequences (contigs) that matched primarily metazoan and bacterial proteins. Only ~5% of contigs matched viral proteins that were primarily cyanophage and viruses of Chlorella and Ostreococcus. Our results confirm that DNA and RNA viruses comprise a component of the gorgonian holobiont, suggesting that they may play a role in the ecology of G. ventalina.

RevDate: 2020-03-26

Storey MA, Andreassend SK, Bracegirdle J, et al (2020)

Metagenomic Exploration of the Marine Sponge Mycale hentscheli Uncovers Multiple Polyketide-Producing Bacterial Symbionts.

mBio, 11(2): pii:mBio.02997-19.

Marine sponges have been a prolific source of unique bioactive compounds that are presumed to act as a deterrent to predation. Many of these compounds have potential therapeutic applications; however, the lack of efficient and sustainable synthetic routes frequently limits clinical development. Here, we describe a metagenomic investigation of Mycale hentscheli, a chemically gifted marine sponge that possesses multiple distinct chemotypes. We applied shotgun metagenomic sequencing, hybrid assembly of short- and long-read data, and metagenomic binning to obtain a comprehensive picture of the microbiome of five specimens, spanning three chemotypes. Our data revealed multiple producing species, each having relatively modest secondary metabolomes, that contribute collectively to the chemical arsenal of the holobiont. We assembled complete genomes for multiple new genera, including two species that produce the cytotoxic polyketides pateamine and mycalamide, as well as a third high-abundance symbiont harboring a proteusin-type biosynthetic pathway that appears to encode a new polytheonamide-like compound. We also identified an additional 188 biosynthetic gene clusters, including a pathway for biosynthesis of peloruside. These results suggest that multiple species cooperatively contribute to defensive symbiosis in M. hentscheli and reveal that the taxonomic diversity of secondary-metabolite-producing sponge symbionts is larger and richer than previously recognized.IMPORTANCEMycale hentscheli is a marine sponge that is rich in bioactive small molecules. Here, we use direct metagenomic sequencing to elucidate highly complete and contiguous genomes for the major symbiotic bacteria of this sponge. We identify complete biosynthetic pathways for the three potent cytotoxic polyketides which have previously been isolated from M. hentscheli Remarkably, and in contrast to previous studies of marine sponges, we attribute each of these metabolites to a different producing microbe. We also find that the microbiome of M. hentscheli is stably maintained among individuals, even over long periods of time. Collectively, our data suggest a cooperative mode of defensive symbiosis in which multiple symbiotic bacterial species cooperatively contribute to the defensive chemical arsenal of the holobiont.

RevDate: 2020-03-25

Vanwonterghem I, NS Webster (2020)

Coral Reef Microorganisms in a Changing Climate.

iScience, 23(4):100972 pii:S2589-0042(20)30156-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs are one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet, yet they have suffered tremendous losses due to anthropogenic disturbances and are predicted to be one of the most adversely affected habitats under future climate change conditions. Coral reefs can be viewed as microbially driven ecosystems that rely on the efficient capture, retention, and recycling of nutrients in order to thrive in oligotrophic waters. Microorganisms play vital roles in maintaining holobiont health and ecosystem resilience under environmental stress; however, they are also key players in positive feedback loops that intensify coral reef decline, with cascading effects on biogeochemical cycles and marine food webs. There is an urgent need to develop a fundamental understanding of the complex microbial interactions within coral reefs and their role in ecosystem acclimatization, and it is important to include microorganisms in reef conservation in order to secure a future for these unique environments.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Suárez J, V Triviño (2020)

What Is a Hologenomic Adaptation? Emergent Individuality and Inter-Identity in Multispecies Systems.

Frontiers in psychology, 11:187.

Contemporary biological research has suggested that some host-microbiome multispecies systems (referred to as "holobionts") can in certain circumstances evolve as unique biological individual, thus being a unit of selection in evolution. If this is so, then it is arguably the case that some biological adaptations have evolved at the level of the multispecies system, what we call hologenomic adaptations. However, no research has yet been devoted to investigating their nature, or how these adaptations can be distinguished from adaptations at the species-level (genomic adaptations). In this paper, we cover this gap by investigating the nature of hologenomic adaptations. By drawing on the case of the evolution of sanguivory diet in vampire bats, we argue that a trait constitutes a hologenomic adaptation when its evolution can only be explained if the holobiont is considered the biological individual that manifests this adaptation, while the bacterial taxa that bear the trait are only opportunistic beneficiaries of it. We then use the philosophical notions of emergence and inter-identity to explain the nature of this form of individuality and argue why it is special of holobionts. Overall, our paper illustrates how the use of philosophical concepts can illuminate scientific discussions, in the trend of what has recently been called metaphysics of biology.

RevDate: 2020-03-19

Bredon M, Herran B, Bertaux J, et al (2020)

Isopod holobionts as promising models for lignocellulose degradation.

Biotechnology for biofuels, 13:49 pii:1683.

Background: Isopods have colonized all environments, partly thanks to their ability to decompose the organic matter. Their enzymatic repertoire, as well as the one of their associated microbiota, has contributed to their colonization success. Together, these holobionts have evolved several interesting life history traits to degrade the plant cell walls, mainly composed of lignocellulose. It has been shown that terrestrial isopods achieve lignocellulose degradation thanks to numerous and diverse CAZymes provided by both the host and its microbiota. Nevertheless, the strategies for lignocellulose degradation seem more diversified in isopods, in particular in aquatic species which are the least studied. Isopods could be an interesting source of valuable enzymes for biotechnological industries of biomass conversion.

Results: To provide new features on the lignocellulose degradation in isopod holobionts, shotgun sequencing of 36 metagenomes of digestive and non-digestive tissues was performed from several populations of four aquatic and terrestrial isopod species. Combined to the 15 metagenomes of an additional species from our previous study, as well as the host transcriptomes, this large dataset allowed us to identify the CAZymes in both the host and the associated microbial communities. Analyses revealed the dominance of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria in the five species, covering 36% and 56% of the total bacterial community, respectively. The identification of CAZymes and new enzymatic systems for lignocellulose degradation, such as PULs, cellulosomes and LPMOs, highlights the richness of the strategies used by the isopods and their associated microbiota.

Conclusions: Altogether, our results show that the isopod holobionts are promising models to study lignocellulose degradation. These models can provide new enzymes and relevant lignocellulose-degrading bacteria strains for the biotechnological industries of biomass conversion.

RevDate: 2020-03-17

Gaona O, Cerqueda-García D, Moya A, et al (2020)

Geographical separation and physiology drive differentiation of microbial communities of two discrete populations of the bat Leptonycteris yerbabuenae.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

In this paper, we explore how two discrete and geographically separated populations of the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae)-one in central and the other in the Pacific region of Mexico-differ in their fecal microbiota composition. Considering the microbiota-host as a unity, in which extrinsic (as food availability and geography) or intrinsic factors (as physiology) play an important role in the microbiota composition, we would expect differentiation in the microbiota of two geographically separated populations. The Amplicon Sequences Variants (ASVs) of the V4 region of the 16s rRNA gene from 68 individuals were analyzed using alpha and beta diversity metrics. We obtained a total of 11 566 (ASVs). The bacterial communities in the Central and Pacific populations had a diversity of 6,939 and 4,088 ASVs, respectively, sharing a core microbiota of 539 ASVs accounting for 75% of the relative abundance, suggesting stability over evolutionary time. The Weighted UniFrac metrics tested by a PERMANOVA showed that lactating and pregnant females had significant beta diversity differences in the two populations compared with other reproductive stages. This could be a consequence of the increased energy requirements of these physiological stages, more than the variation due to geographical separation. In contrast, a positive correlation of the observed ASVs of fecal microbiota with the observed ASVs of plastids related to the diet was observed in the juveniles and adults, suggesting that in these physiological stages an extrinsic factor as the diet shapes the microbiota composition. The results provide a baseline for future studies of the microbiome in these two wild populations of the lesser long-nosed bat, the main pollinator of the Agaves from which the beverages tequila and mezcal are made.

RevDate: 2020-03-16

Clerissi C, de Lorgeril J, Petton B, et al (2020)

Microbiota Composition and Evenness Predict Survival Rate of Oysters Confronted to Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:311.

Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) affects Crassostrea gigas oysters worldwide and causes important economic losses. Disease dynamic was recently deciphered and revealed a multiple and progressive infection caused by the Ostreid herpesvirus OsHV-1 μVar, triggering an immunosuppression followed by microbiota destabilization and bacteraemia by opportunistic bacterial pathogens. However, it remains unknown if microbiota might participate to protect oysters against POMS, and if microbiota characteristics might be predictive of oyster mortalities. To tackle this issue, we transferred full-sib progenies of resistant and susceptible oyster families from hatchery to the field during a period in favor of POMS. After 5 days of transplantation, oysters from each family were either sampled for individual microbiota analyses using 16S rRNA gene-metabarcoding or transferred into facilities to record their survival using controlled condition. As expected, all oysters from susceptible families died, and all oysters from the resistant family survived. Quantification of OsHV-1 and bacteria showed that 5 days of transplantation were long enough to contaminate oysters by POMS, but not for entering the pathogenesis process. Thus, it was possible to compare microbiota characteristics between resistant and susceptible oysters families at the early steps of infection. Strikingly, we found that microbiota evenness and abundances of Cyanobacteria (Subsection III, family I), Mycoplasmataceae, Rhodobacteraceae, and Rhodospirillaceae were significantly different between resistant and susceptible oyster families. We concluded that these microbiota characteristics might predict oyster mortalities.

RevDate: 2020-03-13

Donovan SM (2020)

Evolution of the gut microbiome in infancy within an ecological context.

Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Humans and their commensal microbiota coexist in a complex ecosystem molded by evolutionary and ecological factors. Ecological opportunity is the prospective, lineage-specific characteristic of an environment that contains both niche availability leading to persistence coupled with niche discordance that drives selection within that lineage. The newborn gut ecosystem presents vast ecological opportunity. Herein, factors affecting perinatal infant microbiome composition are discussed.

RECENT FINDINGS: Establishing a healthy microbiota in early life is required for immunological programming and prevention of both short-term and long-term health outcomes. The holobiont theory infers that host genetics contributes to microbiome composition. However, in most human studies, environmental factors are predominantly responsible for microbiome composition and function. Key perinatal elements are route of delivery, diet and the environment in which that infant resides. Vaginal delivery seeds an initial microbiome, and breastfeeding refines the community by providing additional microbes, human milk oligosaccharides and immunological proteins.

SUMMARY: Early life represents an opportunity to implement clinical practices that promote the optimal seeding and feeding of the gut microbial ecosystem. These include reducing nonemergent cesarean deliveries, avoiding the use of antibiotics, and promoting exclusive breastfeeding.

RevDate: 2020-03-11

Meron D, Maor-Landaw K, Eyal G, et al (2020)

The Complexity of the Holobiont in the Red Sea Coral Euphyllia paradivisa under Heat Stress.

Microorganisms, 8(3): pii:microorganisms8030372.

The recognition of the microbiota complexity and their role in the evolution of their host is leading to the popularization of the holobiont concept. However, the coral holobiont (host and its microbiota) is still enigmatic and unclear. Here, we explore the complex relations between different holobiont members of a mesophotic coral Euphyllia paradivisa. We subjected two lines of the coral-with photosymbionts, and without photosymbionts (apo-symbiotic)-to increasing temperatures and to antibiotics. The different symbiotic states were characterized using transcriptomics, microbiology and physiology techniques. The bacterial community's composition is dominated by bacteroidetes, alphaproteobacteria, and gammaproteobacteria, but is dependent upon the symbiont state, colony, temperature treatment, and antibiotic exposure. Overall, the most important parameter determining the response was whether the coral was a symbiont/apo-symbiotic, while the colony and bacterial composition were secondary factors. Enrichment Gene Ontology analysis of coral host's differentially expressed genes demonstrated the cellular differences between symbiotic and apo-symbiotic samples. Our results demonstrate the significance of each component of the holobiont consortium and imply a coherent link between them, which dramatically impacts the molecular and cellular processes of the coral host, which possibly affect its fitness, particularly under environmental stress.

RevDate: 2020-03-08

Robinson JM, MF Breed (2020)

The Lovebug Effect: Is the human biophilic drive influenced by interactions between the host, the environment, and the microbiome?.

The Science of the total environment, 720:137626 pii:S0048-9697(20)31137-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Psychological frameworks are often used to investigate the mechanisms involved with our affinity towards, and connection with nature--such as the Biophilia Hypothesis and Nature Connectedness. Recent revelations from microbiome science suggest that animal behaviour can be strongly influenced by the host's microbiome--for example, via the bidirectional communication properties of the gut-brain axis. Here, we build on this theory to hypothesise that a microbially-influenced mechanism could also contribute to the human biophilic drive - the tendency for humans to affiliate and connect with nature. Humans may be at an evolutionary advantage through health-regulating exchange of environmental microbiota, which in turn could influence our nature affinity. We present a conceptual model for microbially-influenced nature affinity, calling it the Lovebug Effect. We present an overview of the potential mechanistic pathways involved in the Lovebug Effect, and consider its dependence on the hologenome concept of evolution, direct behavioural manipulation, and host-microbiota associated phenotypes independent of these concepts. We also discuss its implications for human health and ecological resilience. Finally, we highlight several possible approaches to scrutinise the hypothesis. The Lovebug Effect could have important implications for our understanding of exposure to natural environments for health and wellbeing, and could contribute to an ecologically resilient future.

RevDate: 2020-03-05

Gignoux-Wolfsohn SA, Precht WF, Peters EC, et al (2020)

Ecology, histopathology, and microbial ecology of a white-band disease outbreak in the threatened staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis.

Diseases of aquatic organisms, 137(3):217-237.

This study is a multi-pronged description of a temperature-induced outbreak of white-band disease (WBD) that occurred in Acropora cervicornis off northern Miami Beach, Florida (USA), from July to October 2014. We describe the ecology of the disease and examine diseased corals using both histopathology and next-generation bacterial 16S gene sequencing, making it possible to better understand the effect this disease has on the coral holobiont, and to address some of the seeming contradictions among previous studies of WBD that employed either a purely histological or molecular approach. The outbreak began in July 2014, as sea surface temperatures reached 29°C, and peaked in mid-September, a month after the sea surface temperature maximum. The microscopic anatomy of apparently healthy portions of colonies displaying active disease signs appeared normal except for some tissue atrophy and dissociation of mesenterial filaments deep within the branch. Structural changes were more pronounced in visibly diseased fragments, with atrophy, necrosis, and lysing of surface and basal body wall and polyp structures at the tissue-loss margin. The only bacteria evident microscopically in both diseased and apparently healthy tissues with Giemsa staining was a Rickettsiales-like organism (RLO) occupying mucocytes. Sequencing also identified bacteria belonging to the order Rickettsiales in all fragments. When compared to apparently healthy fragments, diseased fragments had more diverse bacterial communities made up of many previously suggested potential primary pathogens and secondary (opportunistic) colonizers. Interactions between elevated seawater temperatures, the coral host, and pathogenic members of the diseased microbiome all contribute to the coral displaying signs of WBD.

RevDate: 2020-03-04

Baffy G (2020)

Gut Microbiota and Cancer of the Host: Colliding Interests.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1219:93-107.

Cancer develops in multicellular organisms from cells that ignore the rules of cooperation and escape the mechanisms of anti-cancer surveillance. Tumorigenesis is jointly encountered by the host and microbiota, a vast collection of microorganisms that live on the external and internal epithelial surfaces of the body. The largest community of human microbiota resides in the gastrointestinal tract where commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms interact with the intestinal barrier and gut mucosal lymphoid tissue, creating a tumor microenvironment in which cancer cells thrive or perish. Aberrant composition and function of the gut microbiota (dysbiosis) has been associated with tumorigenesis by inducing inflammation, promoting cell growth and proliferation, weakening immunosurveillance, and altering food and drug metabolism or other biochemical functions of the host. However, recent research has also identified several mechanisms through which gut microbiota support the host in the fight against cancer. These mechanisms include the use of antigenic mimicry, biotransformation of chemotherapeutic agents, and other mechanisms to boost anti-cancer immune responses and improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. Further research in this rapidly advancing field is expected to identify additional microbial metabolites with tumor suppressing properties, map the complex interactions of host-microbe 'transkingdom network' with cancer cells, and elucidate cellular and molecular pathways underlying the impact of specific intestinal microbial configurations on immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

RevDate: 2020-03-04

Lima LFO, Weissman M, Reed M, et al (2020)

Modeling of the Coral Microbiome: the Influence of Temperature and Microbial Network.

mBio, 11(2): pii:mBio.02691-19.

Host-associated microbial communities are shaped by extrinsic and intrinsic factors to the holobiont organism. Environmental factors and microbe-microbe interactions act simultaneously on the microbial community structure, making the microbiome dynamics challenging to predict. The coral microbiome is essential to the health of coral reefs and sensitive to environmental changes. Here, we develop a dynamic model to determine the microbial community structure associated with the surface mucus layer (SML) of corals using temperature as an extrinsic factor and microbial network as an intrinsic factor. The model was validated by comparing the predicted relative abundances of microbial taxa to the relative abundances of microbial taxa from the sample data. The SML microbiome from Pseudodiploria strigosa was collected across reef zones in Bermuda, where inner and outer reefs are exposed to distinct thermal profiles. A shotgun metagenomics approach was used to describe the taxonomic composition and the microbial network of the coral SML microbiome. By simulating the annual temperature fluctuations at each reef zone, the model output is statistically identical to the observed data. The model was further applied to six scenarios that combined different profiles of temperature and microbial network to investigate the influence of each of these two factors on the model accuracy. The SML microbiome was best predicted by model scenarios with the temperature profile that was closest to the local thermal environment, regardless of the microbial network profile. Our model shows that the SML microbiome of P. strigosa in Bermuda is primarily structured by seasonal fluctuations in temperature at a reef scale, while the microbial network is a secondary driver.IMPORTANCE Coral microbiome dysbiosis (i.e., shifts in the microbial community structure or complete loss of microbial symbionts) caused by environmental changes is a key player in the decline of coral health worldwide. Multiple factors in the water column and the surrounding biological community influence the dynamics of the coral microbiome. However, by including only temperature as an external factor, our model proved to be successful in describing the microbial community associated with the surface mucus layer (SML) of the coral P. strigosa The dynamic model developed and validated in this study is a potential tool to predict the coral microbiome under different temperature conditions.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Yin J, Yu Y, Zhang Z, et al (2020)

Enrichment of potentially beneficial bacteria from the consistent microbial community confers canker resistance on tomato.

Microbiological research, 234:126446 pii:S0944-5013(19)31488-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The soil microbiota interacts with plants closely and exerts strong influences on plant health and productivity. However, the relationship between the microbiota and the bacterial canker of tomato that is caused by Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm) is still unclear. In order to establish causal relationship between the microbiota and plant phenotypes, the microbial communities of 49 tomato samples (including 15 cultivars) with different canker symptoms collected from the greenhouse in Gansu province, China were investigated via 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing. Roots exhibited a strong filter effect in the process of root colonization by microorganisms according to the α-diversity and the separation patterns of the microbiota in bulk soil, rhizosphere and endosphere. In addition, the gradually decreased cluster extent from bulk soil to endosphere indicating the selective effect of tomato on microbiota. Although the composition of the microbiota is similar, the potential beneficial bacteria and functions (e.g. antibiotics production, pollution degradation, nutrition acquisition) enriched in the rhizosphere and endosphere of healthy samples compared to those in the diseased ones. Furthermore, more robust networks occurred in the rhizosphere and endosphere of healthy samples compared to the diseased ones. Our research provided substantial evidence that although the plant genotype is the dominant factor of phenotype, the rhizosphere and endosphere microbiota, as part of phytobiomes or holobiont, could contribute to the host's phenotype. This causal relationship between microbiota and host phenotypes could guide us in rationally designing novel synthetic communities (SynComs) for tomato canker biocontrol in the near future.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Butina TV, Khanaev IV, Kravtsova LS, et al (2020)

Metavirome datasets from two endemic Baikal sponges Baikalospongia bacillifera.

Data in brief, 29:105260 pii:105260.

Sponges are ecologically important components of marine and freshwater benthic environments; these holobionts contain a variety of microorganisms and viruses. For the metagenomic characterization of potential taxonomic and functional diversity of sponge-associated dsDNA viruses, we surveyed two samples of Baikal endemic sponge Baikalospongia bacillifera (diseased and visually healthy). In total, after quality processing, we have obtained 3 375 063 and 4 063 311 reads; of these 97 557 and 88 517 sequences, accounting for ca. 2.9 and 2.2% of datasets, have been identified as viral. We have revealed approximately 28 viral families, among which the bacteriophages of the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae and Podoviridae families, as well as the viruses of the Phycodnaviridae and Poxviridae families, dominated in the samples. Analysis of viral sequences using the COG database has indicated 22 functional categories of proteins. Viral communities of visually healthy and diseased Baikal sponges were significantly different. The metagenome sequence data were deposited to NCBI SRA as BioProject PRJNA577390.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Glasl B, Robbins S, Frade PR, et al (2020)

Comparative genome-centric analysis reveals seasonal variation in the function of coral reef microbiomes.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-0622-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbially mediated processes contribute to coral reef resilience yet, despite extensive characterisation of microbial community variation following environmental perturbation, the effect on microbiome function is poorly understood. We undertook metagenomic sequencing of sponge, macroalgae and seawater microbiomes from a macroalgae-dominated inshore coral reef to define their functional potential and evaluate seasonal shifts in microbially mediated processes. In total, 125 high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes were reconstructed, spanning 15 bacterial and 3 archaeal phyla. Multivariate analysis of the genomes relative abundance revealed changes in the functional potential of reef microbiomes in relation to seasonal environmental fluctuations (e.g. macroalgae biomass, temperature). For example, a shift from Alphaproteobacteria to Bacteroidota-dominated seawater microbiomes occurred during summer, resulting in an increased genomic potential to degrade macroalgal-derived polysaccharides. An 85% reduction of Chloroflexota was observed in the sponge microbiome during summer, with potential consequences for nutrition, waste product removal, and detoxification in the sponge holobiont. A shift in the Firmicutes:Bacteroidota ratio was detected on macroalgae over summer with potential implications for polysaccharide degradation in macroalgal microbiomes. These results highlight that seasonal shifts in the dominant microbial taxa alter the functional repertoire of host-associated and seawater microbiomes, and highlight how environmental perturbation can affect microbially mediated processes in coral reef ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-03-02

Jablaoui A, Kriaa A, Mkaouar H, et al (2020)

Fecal Serine Protease Profiling in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:21.

Serine proteases are extensively known to play key roles in many physiological processes. However, their dysregulation is often associated to several diseases including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Here, we used specific substrates to monitor fecal protease activities in a large cohort of healthy and IBD patients. Of interest, serine protease activity was 10-fold higher in IBD fecal samples compared to healthy controls. Moreover, functional analysis of these fecal proteolytic activities revealed that the most increased activities are trypsin-like, elastase-like and cathepsin G-like. We also show for the first time, an increase of proteinase 3-like activity in these samples compared to controls. Results presented here will guide further investigations to better understand the relevance of these peptidases in IBD.

RevDate: 2020-03-02

Urayama SI, Takaki Y, Hagiwara D, et al (2020)

dsRNA-seq Reveals Novel RNA Virus and Virus-Like Putative Complete Genome Sequences from Hymeniacidon sp. Sponge.

Microbes and environments, 35(2):.

Invertebrates are a source of previously unknown RNA viruses that fill gaps in the viral phylogenetic tree. Although limited information is currently available on RNA viral diversity in the marine sponge, a primordial multicellular animal that belongs to the phylum Porifera, the marine sponge is one of the well-studied holobiont systems. In the present study, we elucidated the putative complete genome sequences of five novel RNA viruses from Hymeniacidon sponge using a combination of double-stranded RNA sequencing, called fragmented and primer ligated dsRNA sequencing, and a conventional transcriptome method targeting single-stranded RNA. We identified highly diverged RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequences, including a potential novel RNA viral lineage, in the sponge and three viruses presumed to infect sponge cells.

RevDate: 2020-02-28

Shoguchi E, Yoshioka Y, Shinzato C, et al (2020)

Correlation between organelle genetic variation and RNA editing in dinoflagellates associated with the coral Acropora digitifera.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5762615 [Epub ahead of print].

In order to develop successful strategies for coral reef preservation, it is critical that the biology of both host corals and symbiotic algae are investigated. In the Ryukyu Archipelago, which encompasses many islands spread over approximately 500 km of the Pacific Ocean, four major populations of the coral Acropora digitifera have been studied using whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequence analysis (Shinzato et al. 2015). In contrast, the diversity of the symbiotic dinoflagellates associated with these A. digitifera populations is unknown. It is therefore unclear if these two core components of the coral holobiont share a common evolutionary history. This issue can be addressed for the symbiotic algal populations by studying the organelle genomes of their mitochondria and plastids. Here we analyzed WGS data from ∼150 adult A. digitifera, and by mapping reads to the available reference genome sequences, we extracted 2,250 sequences representing 15 organelle genes of Symbiodiniaceae. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of these mitochondrial and plastid gene sets revealed that A. digitifera from the southern Yaeyama islands harbor a different Symbiodiniaceae population than the islands of Okinawa and Kerama in the north, indicating that the distribution of symbiont populations partially matches that of the four host populations. Interestingly, we found that numerous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) correspond to known RNA-edited sites in 14 of the Symbiodiniaceae organelle genes, with mitochondrial genes showing a stronger correspondence than plastid genes. These results suggest a possible correlation between RNA editing and SNPs in the two organelle genomes of symbiotic dinoflagellates.

RevDate: 2020-02-27

Suárez J (2020)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-22

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Lewandowska M, Hazan Y, Y Moran (2020)

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

Viruses, 12(2): pii:v12020218.

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

RevDate: 2020-02-13

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-12

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

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

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2020-02-10

Brodin P (2020)

New approaches to the study of immune responses in humans.

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-10

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

The holobiont concept before Margulis.

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-05

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-05

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-02-03

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

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

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2020-02-03

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:3044.

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

RevDate: 2020-02-03

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-01-27

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-01-23

Vincent D, Rafiqi M, D Job (2019)

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

Frontiers in plant science, 10:1626.

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

RevDate: 2020-01-22

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-01-21

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-01-16

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-01-16

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

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

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2020-01-14

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

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

Communications biology, 3(1):14.

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

RevDate: 2020-01-10

Pontarollo G, Kiouptsi K, C Reinhardt (2020)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-01-08

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

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

Microorganisms, 8(1): pii:microorganisms8010038.

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

RevDate: 2019-12-26

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2796.

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

RevDate: 2020-01-08

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

Denitrification Aligns with N2 Fixation in Red Sea Corals.

Scientific reports, 9(1):19460.

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


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.

963 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226


E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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