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17 May 2021 at 01:30
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Bibliography on: Holobiont


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 17 May 2021 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: 2021-05-15

Zhang Y, Yang Q, Zhang Y, et al (2021)

The diversity and metabolic potential of the microbial functional gene associated with Porites pukoensis.

Ecotoxicology (London, England) [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reef ecosystems usually distribute in oligotrophic tropical and subtropical marine environments, but they possess great biodiversity and high productivity. It may attribute to its efficient internal nutrient cycle system. However, the knowledge of functional microbial community structure is still limited. In this study, both functional gene array (Geochip 5.0) and nifH Illumina sequencing were used to profile the overall functional genes and diazotrophic communities associated with coral Porites pukoensis. More than 7500 microbial functional genes were detected from archaea, bacteria, and fungi. Most of these genes are related to the transformation of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus, providing evidence that microbes in the coral holobiont play important roles in the biogeochemical cycle of coral reef ecosystems. Our results indicated a high diversity of diazotrophs associated with corals. The dominant diazotrophic groups were related to phyla Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria. And the dominant diazotrophic communities were divided into four clusters. They were affiliated with nifH sequences from genera Zymomonas, Halorhodospira, Leptolyngbya, Trichormus, and Desulfovibrio, indicating these groups may play a more important role in the nitrogen-fixing process in the coral holobiont. This study revealed functional gene diversity and suggested the roles they played in the biogeochemical cycling of the coral holobiont.

RevDate: 2021-05-15

Aguirre-von-Wobeser E (2021)

Type II Photosynthetic Reaction Center Genes of Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) Bark Microbial Communities are Dominated by Aerobic Anoxygenic Alphaproteobacteria.

Current microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The tree bark environment is an important microbial habitat distributed worldwide on thrillions of trees. However, the microbial communities of tree bark are largely unknown, with most studies on plant aerial surfaces focused on the leaves. Recently, we presented a metagenomic study of bark microbial communities from avocado. In these communities, oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis genes were very abundant, especially when compared to rhizospheric soil from the same trees. In this work, Evolutionary Placement Algorithm analysis was performed on metagenomic reads orthologous to the PufLM gene cluster, encoding for the bacterial type II photosynthetic reaction center. These photosynthetic genes were found affiliated to different groups of bacteria, mostly aerobic anoxygenic photosynthetic Alphaproteobacteria, including Sphingomonas, Methylobacterium and several Rhodospirillales. These results suggest that anoxygenic photosynthesis in avocado bark microbial communities functions primarily as additional energy source for heterotrophic growth. Together with our previous results, showing a large abundance of cyanobacteria in these communities, a picture emerges of the tree holobiont, where light penetrating the tree canopies and reaching the inner stems, including the trunk, is probably utilized by cyanobacteria for oxygenic photosynthesis, and the far-red light aids the growth of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-05-15

Nagpal J, JF Cryan (2021)

Host genetics, the microbiome & behaviour-a 'Holobiont' perspective.

Cell research [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Doering T, Wall M, Putchim L, et al (2021)

Towards enhancing coral heat tolerance: a "microbiome transplantation" treatment using inoculations of homogenized coral tissues.

Microbiome, 9(1):102.

BACKGROUND: Microbiome manipulation could enhance heat tolerance and help corals survive the pressures of ocean warming. We conducted coral microbiome transplantation (CMT) experiments using the reef-building corals, Pocillopora and Porites, and investigated whether this technique can benefit coral heat resistance while modifying the bacterial microbiome. Initially, heat-tolerant donors were identified in the wild. We then used fresh homogenates made from coral donor tissues to inoculate conspecific, heat-susceptible recipients and documented their bleaching responses and microbiomes by 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding.

RESULTS: Recipients of both coral species bleached at lower rates compared to the control group when exposed to short-term heat stress (34 °C). One hundred twelve (Pocillopora sp.) and sixteen (Porites sp.) donor-specific bacterial species were identified in the microbiomes of recipients indicating transmission of bacteria. The amplicon sequence variants of the majority of these transmitted bacteria belonged to known, putatively symbiotic bacterial taxa of corals and were linked to the observed beneficial effect on the coral stress response. Microbiome dynamics in our experiments support the notion that microbiome community evenness and dominance of one or few bacterial species, rather than host-species identity, were drivers for microbiome stability in a holobiont context.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that coral recipients likely favor the uptake of putative bacterial symbionts, recommending to include these taxonomic groups in future coral probiotics screening efforts. Our study suggests a scenario where these donor-specific bacterial symbionts might have been more efficient in supporting the recipients to resist heat stress compared to the native symbionts present in the control group. These findings urgently call for further experimental investigation of the mechanisms of action underlying the beneficial effect of CMT and for field-based long-term studies testing the persistence of the effect. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-05-06

Rinkevich B (2021)

Augmenting coral adaptation to climate change via coral gardening (the nursery phase).

Journal of environmental management, 291:112727 pii:S0301-4797(21)00789-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Unceasing climate change and anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs worldwide lead the needs for augmenting adaptive potential of corals. Currently, the most successful approach for restoring degraded reefs is 'coral gardening', where corals are farmed in underwater nurseries, then outplanted to damaged reefs. Dealing with enhanced coral adaptation, the 'coral gardening' approach is conceptually structured here within a hierarchical list of five encircling tiers that include all restoration activities, focusing on the nursery phase. Each tier encompasses all the activities performed in the levels below it hierarchically. The first is the 'coral mariculture' tier, followed by the 'ecological engineering' tier. The third is the adaptation-based reef restoration (ABRR) tier, preceding the fourth ('ecosystem seascape') and the fifth ('ecosystem services') tiers. The ABRR tier is further conceptualized and its constituent five classes (phenotypic plasticity, assisted migration, epigenetics, coral chimerism, holobiont modification) are detailed. It is concluded that the nursery phase of the 'gardening' tenet may further serve as a platform to enhance the adaptation capacities of corals to climate change through the five ABBR classes. Employing the 'gardening' tiers in reef restoration without considering ABRR will scarcely be able to meet global targets for healthy reef ecosystems in the future.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Swain TD, Lax S, Gilbert J, et al (2021)

A Phylogeny-Informed Analysis of the Global Coral-Symbiodiniaceae Interaction Network Reveals that Traits Correlated with Thermal Bleaching Are Specific to Symbiont Transmission Mode.

mSystems, 6(3):.

The complex network of associations between corals and their dinoflagellates (family Symbiodiniaceae) are the basis of coral reef ecosystems but are sensitive to increasing global temperatures. Coral-symbiont interactions are restricted by ecological and evolutionary determinants that constrain partner choice and influence holobiont response to environmental stress; however, little is known about how these processes shape thermal resilience of the holobiont. Here, we built a network of global coral-Symbiodiniaceae associations, mapped species traits (e.g., symbiont transmission mode and biogeography) and phylogenetic relationships of both partners onto the network, and assigned thermotolerance to both host and symbiont nodes. Using network analysis and phylogenetic comparative methods, we determined the contribution of species traits to thermal resilience of the holobiont, while accounting for evolutionary patterns among species. We found that the network shows nonrandom interactions among species, which are shaped by evolutionary history, symbiont transmission mode (horizontally transmitted [HT] or vertically transmitted [VT] corals) and biogeography. Coral phylogeny, but not Symbiodiniaceae phylogeny, symbiont transmission mode, or biogeography, was a good predictor of thermal resilience. Closely related corals have similar Symbiodiniaceae interaction patterns and bleaching susceptibilities. Nevertheless, the association patterns that explain increased host thermal resilience are not generalizable across the entire network but are instead unique to HT and VT corals. Under nonstress conditions, thermally resilient VT coral species associate with thermotolerant phylotypes and limit their number of unique symbionts and overall symbiont thermotolerance diversity, while thermally resilient HT coral species associate with a few host-specific symbiont phylotypes.IMPORTANCE Recent advances have revealed a complex network of interactions between coral and Symbiodiniaceae. Specifically, nonrandom association patterns, which are determined in part by restrictions imposed by symbiont transmission mode, increase the sensitivity of the overall network to thermal stress. However, little is known about the extent to which coral-Symbiodiniaceae network resistance to thermal stress is shaped by host and symbiont species phylogenetic relationships and host and symbiont species traits, such as symbiont transmission mode. We built a frequency-weighted global coral-Symbiodiniaceae network and used network analysis and phylogenetic comparative methods to show that evolutionary relatedness, but not transmission mode, predicts thermal resilience of the coral-Symbiodiniaceae holobiont. Consequently, thermal stress events could result in nonrandom pruning of susceptible lineages and loss of taxonomic diversity with catastrophic effects on community resilience to future events. Our results show that inclusion of the contribution of evolutionary and ecological processes will further our understanding of the fate of coral assemblages under climate change.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Embacher J, Neuhauser S, Zeilinger S, et al (2021)

Microbiota Associated with Different Developmental Stages of the Dry Rot Fungus Serpula lacrymans.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 7(5): pii:jof7050354.

The dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans causes significant structural damage by decaying construction timber, resulting in costly restoration procedures. Dry rot fungi decompose cellulose and hemicellulose and are often accompanied by a succession of bacteria and other fungi. Bacterial-fungal interactions (BFI) have a considerable impact on all the partners, ranging from antagonistic to beneficial relationships. Using a cultivation-based approach, we show that S. lacrymans has many co-existing, mainly Gram-positive, bacteria and demonstrate differences in the communities associated with distinct fungal parts. Bacteria isolated from the fruiting bodies and mycelia were dominated by Firmicutes, while bacteria isolated from rhizomorphs were dominated by Proteobacteria. Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were less abundant. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis revealed that bacteria were not present biofilm-like, but occurred as independent cells scattered across and within tissues, sometimes also attached to fungal spores. In co-culture, some bacterial isolates caused growth inhibition of S. lacrymans, and vice versa, and some induced fungal pigment production. It was found that 25% of the isolates could degrade pectin, 43% xylan, 17% carboxymethylcellulose, and 66% were able to depolymerize starch. Our results provide first insights for a better understanding of the holobiont S. lacrymans and give hints that bacteria influence the behavior of S. lacrymans in culture.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Zilber-Rosenberg I, E Rosenberg (2021)

Microbial driven genetic variation in holobionts.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:6261188 [Epub ahead of print].

Genetic variation in holobionts, (host and microbiome), occurring by changes in both host and microbiome genomes, can be observed from two perspectives: observable variations and the processes that bring about the variation. The observable includes the enormous genetic diversity of prokaryotes, which gave rise to eukaryotic organisms. Holobionts then evolved a rich microbiome with a stable core containing essential genes, less so common taxa, and a more diverse non-core enabling considerable genetic variation. The result being that, the human gut microbiome, for example, contains 1,000 times more unique genes than are present in the human genome. Microbial driven genetic variation processes in holobionts include: (1) Acquisition of novel microbes from the environment, which bring in multiple genes in one step, (2) amplification/reduction of certain microbes in the microbiome, that contribute to holobiont` s adaptation to changing conditions, (3) horizontal gene transfer between microbes and between microbes and host, (4) mutation, which plays an important role in optimizing interactions between different microbiota and between microbiota and host. We suggest that invertebrates and plants, where microbes can live intracellularly, have a greater chance of genetic exchange between microbiota and host, thus a greater chance of vertical transmission and a greater effect of microbiome on evolution of host than vertebrates. However, even in vertebrates the microbiome can aid in environmental fluctuations by amplification/reduction and by acquisition of novel microorganisms.

RevDate: 2021-04-29

Wong KH, Goodbody-Gringley G, de Putron SJ, et al (2021)

Brooded coral offspring physiology depends on the combined effects of parental press and pulse thermal history.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Reef-building corals respond to the temporal integration of both pulse events (i.e., heat waves) and press thermal history (i.e., local environment) via physiological changes, with ecological consequences. We used a "press-pulse-press" experimental framework to expose the brooding coral Porites astreoides to various thermal histories to understand the physiological response of temporal dynamics within and across generations. We collected adult colonies from two reefs (outer Rim reef and inner Patch reef) in Bermuda with naturally contrasting thermal regimes as our initial "press" scenario, followed by a 21-day ex situ "pulse" thermal stress of 30.4°C during larval brooding, and a "press" year-long adult reciprocal transplant between the original sites. Higher endosymbiont density and holobiont protein was found in corals originating from the lower thermal variability site (Rim) compared to the higher thermal variability site (Patch). The thermal pulse event drove significant declines in photosynthesis, endosymbiont density, and chlorophyll a, with bleaching phenotype convergence for adults from both histories. Following the reciprocal transplant, photosynthesis was higher in previously heated corals, indicating recovery from the thermal pulse. The effect of origin (initial press) modulated the response to transplant site for endosymbiont density and chlorophyll a, suggesting contrasting acclimation strategies. Higher respiration and photosynthetic rates were found in corals originating from the Rim site, indicating greater energy available for reproduction, supported by larger larvae released from Rim corals post-transplantation. Notably, parental exposure to the pulse thermal event resulted in increased offspring plasticity when parents were transplanted to foreign sites, highlighting the legacy of the pulse event and the importance of the environment during recovery in contributing to cross-generational or developmental plasticity. Together, these findings provide novel insight into the role of historical disturbance events in driving differential outcomes within and across generations, which is of critical importance in forecasting reef futures.

RevDate: 2021-04-29

Harman G, Khadka R, Doni F, et al (2020)

Benefits to Plant Health and Productivity From Enhancing Plant Microbial Symbionts.

Frontiers in plant science, 11:610065.

Plants exist in close association with uncountable numbers of microorganisms around, on, and within them. Some of these endophytically colonize plant roots. The colonization of roots by certain symbiotic strains of plant-associated bacteria and fungi results in these plants performing better than plants whose roots are colonized by only the wild populations of microbes. We consider here crop plants whose roots are inhabited by introduced organisms, referring to them as Enhanced Plant Holobionts (EPHs). EPHs frequently exhibit resistance to specific plant diseases and pests (biotic stresses); resistance to abiotic stresses such as drought, cold, salinity, and flooding; enhanced nutrient acquisition and nutrient use efficiency; increased photosynthetic capability; and enhanced ability to maintain efficient internal cellular functioning. The microbes described here generate effects in part through their production of Symbiont-Associated Molecular Patterns (SAMPs) that interact with receptors in plant cell membranes. Such interaction results in the transduction of systemic signals that cause plant-wide changes in the plants' gene expression and physiology. EPH effects arise not only from plant-microbe interactions, but also from microbe-microbe interactions like competition, mycoparasitism, and antibiotic production. When root and shoot growth are enhanced as a consequence of these root endophytes, this increases the yield from EPH plants. An additional benefit from growing larger root systems and having greater photosynthetic capability is greater sequestration of atmospheric CO2. This is transferred to roots where sequestered C, through exudation or root decomposition, becomes part of the total soil carbon, which reduces global warming potential in the atmosphere. Forming EPHs requires selection and introduction of appropriate strains of microorganisms, with EPH performance affected also by the delivery and management practices.

RevDate: 2021-04-29

Zhang Y, Yang Q, Ling J, et al (2021)

Shifting the microbiome of a coral holobiont and improving host physiology by inoculation with a potentially beneficial bacterial consortium.

BMC microbiology, 21(1):130.

BACKGROUND: The coral microbiome plays a key role in host health by being involved in energy metabolism, nutrient cycling, and immune system formation. Inoculating coral with beneficial bacterial consortia may enhance the ability of this host to cope with complex and changing marine environments. In this study, the coral Pocillopora damicornis was inoculated with a beneficial microorganisms for corals (BMC) consortium to investigate how the coral host and its associated microbial community would respond.

RESULTS: High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed no significant differences in bacterial community α-diversity. However, the bacterial community structure differed significantly between the BMC and placebo groups at the end of the experiment. Addition of the BMC consortium significantly increased the relative abundance of potentially beneficial bacteria, including the genera Mameliella and Endozoicomonas. Energy reserves and calcification rates of the coral host were also improved by the addition of the BMC consortium. Co-occurrence network analysis indicated that inoculation of coral with the exogenous BMC consortium improved the physiological status of the host by shifting the coral-associated microbial community structure.

CONCLUSIONS: Manipulating the coral-associated microbial community may enhance the physiology of coral in normal aquarium conditions (no stress applied), which may hypothetically contribute to resilience and resistance in this host.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Mayer T, Mari A, Almario J, et al (2021)

Obtaining deeper insights into microbiome diversity using a simple method to block host and non-targets in amplicon sequencing.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Profiling diverse microbiomes is revolutionizing our understanding of biological mechanisms and ecologically relevant problems, including metaorganism (host+microbiome) assembly, functions and adaptation. Amplicon sequencing of multiple conserved, phylogenetically informative loci has therefore become an instrumental tool for many researchers. Investigations in many systems are hindered, however, since essential sequencing depth can be lost by amplification of non-target DNA from hosts or overabundant microorganisms. Here, we introduce "blocking oligos", a low-cost and flexible method using standard oligonucleotides to block amplification of diverse non-targets and software to aid their design. We apply them primarily in leaves, where exceptional challenges with host amplification prevail. A. thaliana-specific blocking oligos applied in eight different target loci reduce undesirable host amplification by up to 90%. To expand applicability, we designed "universal" 16S and 18S rRNA gene plant blocking oligos for targets that are conserved in diverse plant species and demonstrate that they efficiently block five plant species from five orders spanning monocots and dicots (Bromus erectus, Plantago lanceolata, Lotus corniculatus, Amaranth spec., Arabidopsis thaliana). These can increase alpha diversity discovery without biasing beta diversity patterns and do not compromise microbial load information inherent to plant-derived 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing data. Finally, we designed and tested blocking oligos to avoid amplification of 18S rRNA genes of a sporulating oomycete pathogen, demonstrating their effectiveness in applications well beyond plants. Using these tools, we generated a survey of the A. thaliana leaf microbiome based on eight loci targeting bacterial, fungal, oomycete and other eukaryotic microorganisms and discuss complementarity of commonly used amplicon sequencing regions for describing leaf microbiota. This approach has potential to make questions in a variety of study systems more tractable by making amplicon sequencing more targeted, leading to deeper, systems-based insights into microbial discovery. For fast and easy design for blocking oligos for any non-target DNA in other study systems, we developed a publicly available R package.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Mach N, Moroldo M, Rau A, et al (2021)

Understanding the Holobiont: Crosstalk Between Gut Microbiota and Mitochondria During Long Exercise in Horse.

Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 8:656204 pii:656204.

Endurance exercise has a dramatic impact on the functionality of mitochondria and on the composition of the intestinal microbiome, but the mechanisms regulating the crosstalk between these two components are still largely unknown. Here, we sampled 20 elite horses before and after an endurance race and used blood transcriptome, blood metabolome and fecal microbiome to describe the gut-mitochondria crosstalk. A subset of mitochondria-related differentially expressed genes involved in pathways such as energy metabolism, oxidative stress and inflammation was discovered and then shown to be associated with butyrate-producing bacteria of the Lachnospiraceae family, especially Eubacterium. The mechanisms involved were not fully understood, but through the action of their metabolites likely acted on PPARγ, the FRX-CREB axis and their downstream targets to delay the onset of hypoglycemia, inflammation and extend running time. Our results also suggested that circulating free fatty acids may act not merely as fuel but drive mitochondrial inflammatory responses triggered by the translocation of gut bacterial polysaccharides following endurance. Targeting the gut-mitochondria axis therefore appears to be a potential strategy to enhance athletic performance.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Berg G, Kusstatscher P, Abdelfattah A, et al (2021)

Microbiome Modulation-Toward a Better Understanding of Plant Microbiome Response to Microbial Inoculants.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:650610.

Plant-associated microorganisms are involved in important functions related to growth, performance and health of their hosts. Understanding their modes of action is important for the design of promising microbial inoculants for sustainable agriculture. Plant-associated microorganisms are able to interact with their hosts and often exert specific functions toward potential pathogens; the underlying in vitro interactions are well studied. In contrast, in situ effects of inoculants, and especially their impact on the plant indigenous microbiome was mostly neglected so far. Recently, microbiome research has revolutionized our understanding of plants as coevolved holobionts but also of indigenous microbiome-inoculant interactions. Here we disentangle the effects of microbial inoculants on the indigenous plant microbiome and point out the following types of plant microbiome modulations: (i) transient microbiome shifts, (ii) stabilization or increase of microbial diversity, (iii) stabilization or increase of plant microbiome evenness, (iv) restoration of a dysbiosis/compensation or reduction of a pathogen-induced shift, (v) targeted shifts toward plant beneficial members of the indigenous microbiota, and (vi) suppression of potential pathogens. Therefore, we suggest microbiome modulations as novel and efficient mode of action for microbial inoculants that can also be mediated via the plant.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Costa RM, Cárdenas A, Loussert-Fonta C, et al (2021)

Surface Topography, Bacterial Carrying Capacity, and the Prospect of Microbiome Manipulation in the Sea Anemone Coral Model Aiptasia.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:637834.

Aiptasia is an emerging model organism to study cnidarian symbioses due to its taxonomic relatedness to other anthozoans such as stony corals and similarities of its microalgal and bacterial partners, complementing the existing Hydra (Hydrozoa) and Nematostella (Anthozoa) model systems. Despite the availability of studies characterizing the microbiomes of several natural Aiptasia populations and laboratory strains, knowledge on basic information, such as surface topography, bacterial carrying capacity, or the prospect of microbiome manipulation is lacking. Here we address these knowledge gaps. Our results show that the surface topographies of the model hydrozoan Hydra and anthozoans differ substantially, whereas the ultrastructural surface architecture of Aiptasia and stony corals is highly similar. Further, we determined a bacterial carrying capacity of ∼104 and ∼105 bacteria (i.e., colony forming units, CFUs) per polyp for aposymbiotic and symbiotic Aiptasia anemones, respectively, suggesting that the symbiotic status changes bacterial association/density. Microbiome transplants from Acropora humilis and Porites sp. to gnotobiotic Aiptasia showed that only a few foreign bacterial taxa were effective colonizers. Our results shed light on the putative difficulties of transplanting microbiomes between cnidarians in a manner that consistently changes microbial host association at large. At the same time, our study provides an avenue to identify bacterial taxa that exhibit broad ability to colonize different hosts as a starting point for cross-species microbiome manipulation. Our work is relevant in the context of microbial therapy (probiotics) and microbiome manipulation in corals and answers to the need of having cnidarian model systems to test the function of bacteria and their effect on holobiont biology. Taken together, we provide important foundation data to extend Aiptasia as a coral model for bacterial functional studies.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Saborío-Montero A, López-García A, Gutiérrez-Rivas M, et al (2021)

A dimensional reduction approach to modulate the core ruminal microbiome associated with methane emissions via selective breeding.

Journal of dairy science pii:S0022-0302(21)00550-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The rumen is a complex microbial system of substantial importance in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and feed efficiency. This study proposes combining metagenomic and host genomic data for selective breeding of the cow hologenome toward reduced methane emissions. We analyzed nanopore long reads from the rumen metagenome of 437 Holstein cows from 14 commercial herds in 4 northern regions in Spain. After filtering, data were treated as compositional. The large complexity of the rumen microbiota was aggregated, through principal component analysis (PCA), into few principal components (PC) that were used as proxies of the core metagenome. The PCA allowed us to condense the huge and fuzzy taxonomical and functional information from the metagenome into a few PC. Bivariate animal models were applied using these PC and methane production as phenotypes. The variability condensed in these PC is controlled by the cow genome, with heritability estimates for the first PC of ∼0.30 at all taxonomic levels, with a large probability (>83%) of the posterior distribution being >0.20 and with the 95% highest posterior density interval (95%HPD) not containing zero. Most genetic correlation estimates between PC1 and methane were large (≥0.70), with most of the posterior distribution (>82%) being >0.50 and with its 95%HPD not containing zero. Enteric methane production was positively associated with relative abundance of eukaryotes (protozoa and fungi) through the first component of the PCA at phylum, class, order, family, and genus. Nanopore long reads allowed the characterization of the core rumen metagenome using whole-metagenome sequencing, and the purposed aggregated variables could be used in animal breeding programs to reduce methane emissions in future generations.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Cambon-Bonavita MA, Aubé J, Cueff-Gauchard V, et al (2021)

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

Microbiome, 9(1):87.

BACKGROUND: Free-living and symbiotic chemosynthetic microbial communities support primary production and higher trophic levels in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. The shrimp Rimicaris exoculata, which dominates animal communities along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, houses a complex bacterial community in its enlarged cephalothorax. The dominant bacteria present are from the taxonomic groups Campylobacteria, Desulfobulbia (formerly Deltaproteobacteria), Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and some recently discovered iron oxyhydroxide-coated Zetaproteobacteria. This epibiotic consortium uses iron, sulfide, methane, and hydrogen as energy sources. Here, we generated shotgun metagenomes from Rimicaris exoculata cephalothoracic epibiotic communities to reconstruct and investigate symbiotic genomes. We collected specimens from three geochemically contrasted vent fields, TAG, Rainbow, and Snake Pit, to unravel the specificity, variability, and adaptation of Rimicaris-microbe associations.

RESULTS: Our data enabled us to reconstruct 49 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from the TAG and Rainbow vent fields, including 16 with more than 90% completion and less than 5% contamination based on single copy core genes. These MAGs belonged to the dominant Campylobacteria, Desulfobulbia, Thiotrichaceae, and some novel candidate phyla radiation (CPR) lineages. In addition, most importantly, two MAGs in our collection were affiliated to Zetaproteobacteria and had no close relatives (average nucleotide identity ANI < 77% with the closest relative Ghiorsea bivora isolated from TAG, and 88% with each other), suggesting potential novel species. Genes for Calvin-Benson Bassham (CBB) carbon fixation, iron, and sulfur oxidation, as well as nitrate reduction, occurred in both MAGs. However, genes for hydrogen oxidation and multicopper oxidases occurred in one MAG only, suggesting shared and specific potential functions for these two novel Zetaproteobacteria symbiotic lineages. Overall, we observed highly similar symbionts co-existing in a single shrimp at both the basaltic TAG and ultramafic Rainbow vent sites. Nevertheless, further examination of the seeming functional redundancy among these epibionts revealed important differences.

CONCLUSION: These data highlight microniche partitioning in the Rimicaris holobiont and support recent studies showing that functional diversity enables multiple symbiont strains to coexist in animals colonizing hydrothermal vents. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Aldana M, R Robeva (2021)

New Challenges in Systems Biology: Understanding the Holobiont.

Frontiers in physiology, 12:662878.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Li S, Roger LM, Kumar L, et al (2021)

Digital image processing to detect subtle motion in stony coral.

Scientific reports, 11(1):7722.

Coral reef ecosystems support significant biological activities and harbor huge diversity, but they are facing a severe crisis driven by anthropogenic activities and climate change. An important behavioral trait of the coral holobiont is coral motion, which may play an essential role in feeding, competition, reproduction, and thus survival and fitness. Therefore, characterizing coral behavior through motion analysis will aid our understanding of basic biological and physical coral functions. However, tissue motion in the stony scleractinian corals that contribute most to coral reef construction are subtle and may be imperceptible to both the human eye and commonly used imaging techniques. Here we propose and apply a systematic approach to quantify and visualize subtle coral motion across a series of light and dark cycles in the scleractinian coral Montipora capricornis. We use digital image correlation and optical flow techniques to quantify and characterize minute coral motions under different light conditions. In addition, as a visualization tool, motion magnification algorithm magnifies coral motions in different frequencies, which explicitly displays the distinctive dynamic modes of coral movement. Specifically, our assessment of displacement, strain, optical flow, and mode shape quantify coral motion under different light conditions, and they all show that M. capricornis exhibits more active motions at night compared to day. Our approach provides an unprecedented insight into micro-scale coral movement and behavior through macro-scale digital imaging, thus offering a useful empirical toolset for the coral research community.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Catania F, Baedke J, Fábregas-Tejeda A, et al (2021)

Global climate change, diet, and the complex relationship between human host and microbiome: Towards an integrated picture.

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

Dietary changes can alter the human microbiome with potential detrimental consequences for health. Given that environment, health, and evolution are interconnected, we ask: Could diet-driven microbiome perturbations have consequences that extend beyond their immediate impact on human health? We address this question in the context of the urgent health challenges posed by global climate change. Drawing on recent studies, we propose that not only can diet-driven microbiome changes lead to dysbiosis, they can also shape life-history traits and fuel human evolution. We posit that dietary shifts prompt mismatched microbiome-host genetics configurations that modulate human longevity and reproductive success. These mismatches can also induce a heritable intra-holobiont stress response, which encourages the holobiont to re-establish equilibrium within the changed nutritional environment. Thus, while mismatches between climate change-related genetic and epigenetic configurations within the holobiont increase the risk and severity of diseases, they may also affect life-history traits and facilitate adaptive responses. These propositions form a framework that can help systematize and address climate-related dietary challenges for policy and health interventions.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Cross KL, Leigh BA, Hatmaker EA, et al (2021)

Genomes of Gut Bacteria from Nasonia Wasps Shed Light on Phylosymbiosis and Microbe-Assisted Hybrid Breakdown.

mSystems, 6(2):.

Phylosymbiosis is a cross-system trend whereby microbial community relationships recapitulate the host phylogeny. In Nasonia parasitoid wasps, phylosymbiosis occurs throughout development, is distinguishable between sexes, and benefits host development and survival. Moreover, the microbiome shifts in hybrids as a rare Proteus bacterium in the microbiome becomes dominant. The larval hybrids then catastrophically succumb to bacterium-assisted lethality and reproductive isolation between the species. Two important questions for understanding phylosymbiosis and bacterium-assisted lethality in hybrids are (i) do the Nasonia bacterial genomes differ from other animal isolates and (ii) are the hybrid bacterial genomes the same as those in the parental species? Here, we report the cultivation, whole-genome sequencing, and comparative analyses of the most abundant gut bacteria in Nasonia larvae, Providencia rettgeri and Proteus mirabilis Characterization of new isolates shows Proteus mirabilis forms a more robust biofilm than Providencia rettgeri and that, when grown in coculture, Proteus mirabilis significantly outcompetes Providencia rettgeriProvidencia rettgeri genomes from Nasonia are similar to each other and more divergent from pathogenic, human associates. Proteus mirabilis from Nasonia vitripennis, Nasonia giraulti, and their hybrid offspring are nearly identical and relatively distinct from human isolates. These results indicate that members of the larval gut microbiome within Nasonia are most similar to each other, and the strain of the dominant Proteus mirabilis in hybrids is resident in parental species. Holobiont interactions between shared, resident members of the wasp microbiome and the host underpin phylosymbiosis and hybrid breakdown.IMPORTANCE Animal and plant hosts often establish intimate relationships with their microbiomes. In varied environments, closely related host species share more similar microbiomes, a pattern termed phylosymbiosis. When phylosymbiosis is functionally significant and beneficial, microbial transplants between host species and host hybridization can have detrimental consequences on host biology. In the Nasonia parasitoid wasp genus, which contains a phylosymbiotic gut community, both effects occur and provide evidence for selective pressures on the holobiont. Here, we show that bacterial genomes in Nasonia differ from other environments and harbor genes with unique functions that may regulate phylosymbiotic relationships. Furthermore, the bacteria in hybrids are identical to those in parental species, thus supporting a hologenomic tenet that the same members of the microbiome and the host genome impact phylosymbiosis, hybrid breakdown, and speciation.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Lyu D, Zajonc J, Pagé A, et al (2021)

Plant Holobiont Theory: The Phytomicrobiome Plays a Central Role in Evolution and Success.

Microorganisms, 9(4): pii:microorganisms9040675.

Under natural conditions, plants are always associated with a well-orchestrated community of microbes-the phytomicrobiome. The nature and degree of microbial effect on the plant host can be positive, neutral, or negative, and depends largely on the environment. The phytomicrobiome is integral for plant growth and function; microbes play a key role in plant nutrient acquisition, biotic and abiotic stress management, physiology regulation through microbe-to-plant signals, and growth regulation via the production of phytohormones. Relationships between the plant and phytomicrobiome members vary in intimacy, ranging from casual associations between roots and the rhizosphere microbial community, to endophytes that live between plant cells, to the endosymbiosis of microbes by the plant cell resulting in mitochondria and chloroplasts. If we consider these key organelles to also be members of the phytomicrobiome, how do we distinguish between the two? If we accept the mitochondria and chloroplasts as both members of the phytomicrobiome and the plant (entrained microbes), the influence of microbes on the evolution of plants becomes so profound that without microbes, the concept of the "plant" is not viable. This paper argues that the holobiont concept should take greater precedence in the plant sciences when referring to a host and its associated microbial community. The inclusivity of this concept accounts for the ambiguous nature of the entrained microbes and the wide range of functions played by the phytomicrobiome in plant holobiont homeostasis.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Cuffaro B, Assohoun ALW, Boutillier D, et al (2021)

Identification of New Potential Biotherapeutics from Human Gut Microbiota-Derived Bacteria.

Microorganisms, 9(3): pii:microorganisms9030565.

The role of the gut microbiota in health and disease is well recognized and the microbiota dysbiosis observed in many chronic diseases became a new therapeutic target. The challenge is to get a better insight into the functionality of commensal bacteria and to use this knowledge to select live biotherapeutics as new preventive or therapeutic products. In this study, we set up a screening approach to evaluate the functional capacities of a set of 21 strains isolated from the gut microbiota of neonates and adults. For this purpose, we selected key biological processes involved in the microbiome-host symbiosis and known to impact the host physiology i.e., the production of short-chain fatty acids and the ability to strengthen an epithelial barrier (Caco-2), to induce the release of the anti-inflammatory IL-10 cytokine after co-culture with human immune cells (PBMC) or to increase GLP-1 production from STC-1 endocrine cell line. This strategy highlighted fifteen strains exhibiting beneficial activities among which seven strains combined several of them. Interestingly, this work revealed for the first time a high prevalence of potential health-promoting functions among intestinal commensal strains and identified several appealing novel candidates for the management of chronic diseases, notably obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Mariaule V, Kriaa A, Soussou S, et al (2021)

Digestive Inflammation: Role of Proteolytic Dysregulation.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(6): pii:ijms22062817.

Dysregulation of the proteolytic balance is often associated with diseases. Serine proteases and matrix metalloproteases are involved in a multitude of biological processes and notably in the inflammatory response. Within the framework of digestive inflammation, several studies have stressed the role of serine proteases and matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) as key actors in its pathogenesis and pointed to the unbalance between these proteases and their respective inhibitors. Substantial efforts have been made in developing new inhibitors, some of which have reached clinical trial phases, notwithstanding that unwanted side effects remain a major issue. However, studies on the proteolytic imbalance and inhibitors conception are directed toward host serine/MMPs proteases revealing a hitherto overlooked factor, the potential contribution of their bacterial counterpart. In this review, we highlight the role of proteolytic imbalance in human digestive inflammation focusing on serine proteases and MMPs and their respective inhibitors considering both host and bacterial origin.

RevDate: 2021-03-31

Bo TB, KD Kohl (2021)

Stabilization and optimization of host-microbe-environment interactions as a potential reason for the behavior of natal philopatry.

Animal microbiome, 3(1):26.

Many animals engage in a behavior known as natal philopatry, where after sexual maturity they return to their own birthplaces for subsequent reproduction. There are many proposed ultimate factors that may underlie the evolution of natal philopatry, such as genetic optimization, suitable living conditions, and friendly neighbors, which can improve the survival rates of offspring. However, here we propose that a key factor that has been overlooked could be the colonization of gut microbiota during early life and the effects these microorganisms have on host performance and fitness. In addition to the bacteria transmitted from the mother to offspring, microbes from the surrounding environment also account for a large proportion of the developing gut microbiome. While it was long believed that microbial species all have global distributions, we now know that there are substantial geographic differences and dispersal limitations to environmental microbes. The establishment of gut microbiota during early life has enormous impacts on animal development, including energy metabolism, training of the immune system, and cognitive development. Moreover, these microbial effects scale to influence animal performance and fitness, raising the possibility for natural selection to act on the integrated combination of gut microbial communities and host genetics (i.e. the holobiont). Therefore, in this paper, we propose a hypothesis: that optimization of host-microbe-environment interactions represents a potentially important yet overlooked reason for natal philopatry. Microbiota obtained by natal philopatry could help animals adapt to the environment and improve the survival rates of their young. We propose future directions to test these ideas, and the implications that this hypothesis has for our understanding of host-microbe interactions.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Guo J, Ling N, Li Y, et al (2021)

Seed-borne, endospheric and rhizospheric core microbiota as predictors of plant functional traits across rice cultivars are dominated by deterministic processes.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

A host-plant and its associated microbiota depend on one another. However, the assembly process and the functioning of host-associated microbiota are poorly understood. Herein, rice was used as model plant to investigate the assemblage of bacterial microbiota, including those in the seed, root endosphere and rhizosphere. We also assessed the degree to which endosphere and rhizosphere communities were influenced by vertical transmission through seed and identified the core microbes that potentially associated with plant phenotypic properties. Plant microhabitat, rather than subspecies type, was the major driver shaping plant-associated bacterial microbiota. Deterministic processes were primarily responsible for community assembly in all microhabitats. The influence of vertical transmission from seed to root-associated bacterial communities appeared to be quite weak (endosphere) or even absent (rhizosphere). A core microbial community composed of 15 generalist species persisted across different microhabitats and represented key connectors in networks. Host-plant functional traits were linked to the relative abundance of these generalist core microbes and could be predicted from them using machine learning algorithms. Overall, bacterial microbiota is assembled by host-plant interactions in a deterministic-based manner. This study enhances our understanding of the driving mechanisms and associations of microbiota in various plant microhabitats and provides new perspectives to improve plant performance.

RevDate: 2021-03-26

Zhu L, Zhang Z, Chen H, et al (2021)

Gut microbiomes of bigheaded carps and hybrids provide insights into invasion: A hologenome perspective.

Evolutionary applications, 14(3):735-745 pii:EVA13152.

Gut microbiomes play an essential role in host survival and local adaptation and thus can facilitate the invasion of host species. Biological invasions have been shown to be linked to the genetic properties of alien host species. It is thus plausible that the holobiont, the host, and its associated microbiome act as an entity to drive invasion success. The bighead carp and silver carp (bigheaded carps), invasive species that exhibit extensive hybridization in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), provided a unique model to test the holobiont hypothesis of invasion. Here, we investigated the microbiomes of foreguts and hindguts in bigheaded carps and their reciprocal hybrids reared in aquaculture ponds using 16S amplicons and the associated gene prediction. We found an admixed pattern in the gut microbiome community in bigheaded carp hybrids. The hybrid gut microbiomes showed special characteristics such as relatively high alpha diversity in the foregut, an increasing dissimilarity between foreguts and hindguts, and a remarkable proportion of genes coding for putative enzymes related to their digestion of main food resources (Cyanobacteria, cellulose, and chitin). The pond-reared hybrids had advantageous features in genes coding for putative enzymes related to their diet. The above results collectively suggested that the gut microbiomes of hybrids could be beneficial to their local adaptation (e.g., food resource utilization), which might have facilitated their invasion in the MRB. The gut microbial findings, along with the intrinsic genomic features likely associated with life-history traits revealed in our recent study, provide preliminary evidence supporting the holobiont hypothesis of invasion.

RevDate: 2021-03-26

Keller-Costa T, Lago-Lestón A, Saraiva JP, et al (2021)

Metagenomic insights into the taxonomy, function, and dysbiosis of prokaryotic communities in octocorals.

Microbiome, 9(1):72.

BACKGROUND: In octocorals (Cnidaria Octocorallia), the functional relationship between host health and its symbiotic consortium has yet to be determined. Here, we employed comparative metagenomics to uncover the distinct functional and phylogenetic features of the microbiomes of healthy Eunicella gazella, Eunicella verrucosa, and Leptogorgia sarmentosa tissues, in contrast with the microbiomes found in seawater and sediments. We further explored how the octocoral microbiome shifts to a pathobiome state in E. gazella.

RESULTS: Multivariate analyses based on 16S rRNA genes, Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins (COGs), Protein families (Pfams), and secondary metabolite-biosynthetic gene clusters annotated from 20 Illumina-sequenced metagenomes each revealed separate clustering of the prokaryotic communities of healthy tissue samples of the three octocoral species from those of necrotic E. gazella tissue and surrounding environments. While the healthy octocoral microbiome was distinguished by so-far uncultivated Endozoicomonadaceae, Oceanospirillales, and Alteromonadales phylotypes in all host species, a pronounced increase of Flavobacteriaceae and Alphaproteobacteria, originating from seawater, was observed in necrotic E. gazella tissue. Increased abundances of eukaryotic-like proteins, exonucleases, restriction endonucleases, CRISPR/Cas proteins, and genes encoding for heat-shock proteins, inorganic ion transport, and iron storage distinguished the prokaryotic communities of healthy octocoral tissue regardless of the host species. An increase of arginase and nitric oxide reductase genes, observed in necrotic E. gazella tissues, suggests the existence of a mechanism for suppression of nitrite oxide production by which octocoral pathogens may overcome the host's immune system.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to employ primer-less, shotgun metagenome sequencing to unveil the taxonomic, functional, and secondary metabolism features of prokaryotic communities in octocorals. Our analyses reveal that the octocoral microbiome is distinct from those of the environmental surroundings, is host genus (but not species) specific, and undergoes large, complex structural changes in the transition to the dysbiotic state. Host-symbiont recognition, abiotic-stress response, micronutrient acquisition, and an antiviral defense arsenal comprising multiple restriction endonucleases, CRISPR/Cas systems, and phage lysogenization regulators are signatures of prokaryotic communities in octocorals. We argue that these features collectively contribute to the stabilization of symbiosis in the octocoral holobiont and constitute beneficial traits that can guide future studies on coral reef conservation and microbiome therapy. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-03-24

Campos AB, Cavalcante LC, de Azevedo AR, et al (2021)

CPR and DPANN Have an Overlooked Role in Corals' Microbial Community Structure.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding how microbial communities are structured in coral holobionts is important to estimate local and global impacts and provide efficient environment management strategies. Several studies investigated the relationship between corals and their microbial communities, including the environmental drivers of shifts in this relationship, associated with diseases and coral cover loss. However, these studies are often geographically or taxonomically restricted and usually focused on the most abundant microbial groups, neglecting the rare biosphere, including archaea in the group DPANN and the recently discovered bacterial members of the candidate phyla radiation (CPR). Although it is known that rare microbes can play essential roles in several environments, we still lack understanding about which taxa comprise the rare biosphere of corals' microbiome. Here, we investigated the host-related and technical factors influencing coral microbial community structure and the importance of CPR and DPANN in this context by analyzing more than a hundred coral metagenomes from independent studies worldwide. We show that coral genera are the main biotic factor shaping coral microbial communities. We also detected several CPR and DPANN phyla comprising corals' rare biosphere for the first time and showed that they significantly contribute to shaping coral microbial communities.

RevDate: 2021-03-23

Baum L, Nguyen MT, Jia Y, et al (2021)

Characterization of a novel roseophage and the morphological and transcriptional response of the sponge symbiont Ruegeria AU67 to infection.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Sponges have recently been recognized to contain complex communities of bacteriophages, however little is known about how they interact with their bacterial hosts. Here we isolated a novel phage, called Ruegeria phage Tedan, and characterized its impact on the bacterial sponge symbiont Ruegeria AU67 on a morphological and molecular level. Phage Tedan was structurally, genomically and phylogenetically characterized to be affiliated with the genus Xiamenvirus of the family Siphoviridae. Through microscopic observations and transcriptomic analysis we show that phage Tedan upon infection induces a process leading to metabolic and morphological changes in its host. These changes would render Ruegeria AU67 better adapted to inhabit the sponge holobiont due to an improved utilization of ecologically relevant energy and carbon sources as well as a potential impediment of phagocytosis by the sponge through cellular enlargement. An increased survival or better growth of the bacterium in the sponge environment will likely benefit the phage reproduction. Our results point towards the possibility that phages from host-associated environments require, and have thus evolved, different strategies to interact with their host when compared to those phages from free-living or planktonic environments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Lemay MA, Davis KM, Martone PT, et al (2021)

Kelp-associated microbiota are structured by host anatomy.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

Seaweed-associated microbiota are essential for the health and resilience of nearshore ecosystems, marine biogeochemical cycling, and host health. Yet much remains unknown about the ecology of seaweed-microbe symbioses. In this study, we quantified fine-scale patterns of microbial community structure across distinct anatomical regions of the kelp Laminaria setchellii. These anatomical regions represent a gradient of tissue ages: perennial holdfasts can be several years old, whereas stipe epicortex and blades are younger annual structures. Within blades, new growth occurs at the base, while the blade-tips may be several months old and undergoing senescence. We hypothesized that microbial communities will differ across anatomical region (holdfast, stipe, blade base, blade tip), such that younger tissues will harbor fewer microbes that are more consistent across replicate individuals. Our data support this hypothesis, with the composition of bacterial (16S rRNA gene) and microeukaryote (18S rRNA gene) communities showing significant differences across four anatomical regions and the surfaces of older tissues (holdfast and blade tips) harboring significantly greater microbial richness compared to the younger tissues of the meristematic region. Additional samples collected from the surfaces of new L. setchellii recruits (<1 year old) also showed differences in microbial community structure across anatomical regions, which demonstrates that these microbial differences are established early. We also observed this pattern in two additional algal species, suggesting that microbial community structure across host anatomy may be a common feature of the seaweed microbiome.

RevDate: 2021-03-18

Fiuza BSD, Fonseca HF, Meirelles PM, et al (2021)

Understanding Asthma and Allergies by the Lens of Biodiversity and Epigenetic Changes.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:623737.

Exposure to different organisms (bacteria, mold, virus, protozoan, helminths, among others) can induce epigenetic changes affecting the modulation of immune responses and consequently increasing the susceptibility to inflammatory diseases. Epigenomic regulatory features are highly affected during embryonic development and are responsible for the expression or repression of different genes associated with cell development and targeting/conducting immune responses. The well-known, "window of opportunity" that includes maternal and post-natal environmental exposures, which include maternal infections, microbiota, diet, drugs, and pollutant exposures are of fundamental importance to immune modulation and these events are almost always accompanied by epigenetic changes. Recently, it has been shown that these alterations could be involved in both risk and protection of allergic diseases through mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, which can enhance Th2 responses and maintain memory Th2 cells or decrease Treg cells differentiation. In addition, epigenetic changes may differ according to the microbial agent involved and may even influence different asthma or allergy phenotypes. In this review, we discuss how exposure to different organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and helminths can lead to epigenetic modulations and how this correlates with allergic diseases considering different genetic backgrounds of several ancestral populations.

RevDate: 2021-03-15

Cornwell BH, L Hernández (2021)

Genetic structure in the endosymbiont Breviolum 'muscatinei' is correlated with geographical location, environment and host species.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1946):20202896.

Corals and cnidarians form symbioses with dinoflagellates across a wide range of habitats from the tropics to temperate zones. Notably, these partnerships create the foundation of coral reef ecosystems and are at risk of breaking down due to climate change. This symbiosis couples the fitness of the partners, where adaptations in one species can benefit the holobiont. However, the scales over which each partner can match their current-and future-environment are largely unknown. We investigated population genetic patterns of temperate anemones (Anthopleura spp.) and their endosymbiont Breviolum 'muscatinei', across an extensive geographical range to identify the spatial scales over which local adaptation is possible. Similar to previously published results, two solitary host species exhibited isolation by distance across hundreds of kilometres. However, symbionts exhibited genetic structure across multiple spatial scales, from geographical location to depth in the intertidal zone, and host species, suggesting that symbiont populations are more likely than their hosts to adaptively mitigate the impact of increasing temperatures.

RevDate: 2021-03-11

Buffington SA, Dooling SW, Sgritta M, et al (2021)

Dissecting the contribution of host genetics and the microbiome in complex behaviors.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(21)00159-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The core symptoms of many neurological disorders have traditionally been thought to be caused by genetic variants affecting brain development and function. However, the gut microbiome, another important source of variation, can also influence specific behaviors. Thus, it is critical to unravel the contributions of host genetic variation, the microbiome, and their interactions to complex behaviors. Unexpectedly, we discovered that different maladaptive behaviors are interdependently regulated by the microbiome and host genes in the Cntnap2-/- model for neurodevelopmental disorders. The hyperactivity phenotype of Cntnap2-/- mice is caused by host genetics, whereas the social-behavior phenotype is mediated by the gut microbiome. Interestingly, specific microbial intervention selectively rescued the social deficits in Cntnap2-/- mice through upregulation of metabolites in the tetrahydrobiopterin synthesis pathway. Our findings that behavioral abnormalities could have distinct origins (host genetic versus microbial) may change the way we think about neurological disorders and how to treat them.

RevDate: 2021-03-09

Borrero-de Acuña JM, P Bernal (2021)

Plant holobiont interactions mediated by the type VI secretion system and the membrane vesicles: promising tools for a greener agriculture.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

A deeper understanding of the complex relationship between plants and their microbiota is allowing researchers to appreciate a plethora of possibilities to improve crops using chemical-free alternatives based on beneficial microorganisms. An increase in crop yield from the promotion of plant growth or even simultaneous protection of the plants from the attack of phytopathogens can be achieved in the presence of different plant-associated microorganisms known as plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and biocontrol agents (BCAs), respectively. Thus, the study of the great diversity of plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions is an attention-grabbing topic covering studies of interactions since the plant seed and through all developmental stages, from root to shoot. The intricate communication systems that plant holobionts co-evolved has resulted in many different strategies and interplays between these organisms shaping the bacterial communities and the plant fitness simultaneously. Herein, we emphasize two understudied delivery systems existing in plant-associated bacteria: the type VI secretion system (T6SS) and the membrane vesicles with a huge potential to boost a highly demanded and necessary green agriculture. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Varasteh T, Tschoeke D, Garcia G, et al (2021)

Insights into the genomic repertoire of Aquimarina litoralis CCMR20, a symbiont of coral Mussismilia braziliensis.

Archives of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Aquimarina litoralis CCMR20 originated from the coral Mussismilia braziliensis (Sebastião Gomes Reef, Brazil, summer 2010). To gain new insights into the genomic repertoire associated with symbioses, we obtained the genome sequence of this strains using Illumina sequencing. CCMR20 has a genome size of 6.3 Mb, 32.6%GC, and 5513 genes (37 tRNA and 4 rRNA). A more fine-grained examination of the gene repertoire of CCMR20 disclosed genes engaged with symbiosis (heterotrophic carbon metabolism, CAZymes, B-vitamins group, carotenoid pigment and antioxidant molecules production). Genomic evidence further expand the possible relevance of this symbiont in the health of Mussismilia holobiont.Whole Genome Shotgun project has been deposited at DDBJ/ENA/GeneBank under the accession number WEKL00000000.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Palladino G, Rampelli S, Scicchitano D, et al (2021)

Impact of Marine Aquaculture on the Microbiome Associated with Nearby Holobionts: The Case of Patella caerulea Living in Proximity of Sea Bream Aquaculture Cages.

Microorganisms, 9(2): pii:microorganisms9020455.

Aquaculture plays a major role in the coastal economy of the Mediterranean Sea. This raises the issue of the impact of fish cages on the surrounding environment. Here, we explore the impact of aquaculture on the composition of the digestive gland microbiome of a representative locally dwelling wild holobiont, the grazer gastropod Patella caerulea, at an aquaculture facility located in Southern Sicily, Italy. The microbiome was assessed in individuals collected on sea bream aquaculture cages and on a rocky coastal tract located about 1.2 km from the cages, as the control site. Patella caerulea microbiome variations were explained in the broad marine metacommunity context, assessing the water and sediment microbiome composition at both sites, and characterizing the microbiome associated with the farmed sea bream. The P. caerulea digestive gland microbiome at the aquaculture site was characterized by a lower diversity, the loss of microorganisms sensitive to heavy metal contamination, and by the acquisition of fish pathogens and parasites. However, we also observed possible adaptive responses of the P. caerulea digestive gland microbiome at the aquaculture site, including the acquisition of putative bacteria able to deal with metal and sulfide accumulation, highlighting the inherent microbiome potential to drive the host acclimation to stressful conditions.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Saati-Santamaría Z, Rivas R, Kolařik M, et al (2021)

A New Perspective of Pseudomonas-Host Interactions: Distribution and Potential Ecological Functions of the Genus Pseudomonas within the Bark Beetle Holobiont.

Biology, 10(2): pii:biology10020164.

Symbiosis between microbes and insects has been raised as a promising area for understanding biological implications of microbe-host interactions. Among them, the association between fungi and bark beetles has been generally recognized as essential for the bark beetle ecology. However, many works investigating bark beetle bacterial communities and their functions usually meet in a common finding: Pseudomonas is a broadly represented genus within this holobiont and it may provide beneficial roles to its host. Thus, we aimed to review available research on this microbe-host interaction and point out the probable relevance of Pseudomonas strains for these insects, in order to guide future research toward a deeper analysis of the importance of these bacteria for the beetle's life cycle.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Dittami SM, Arboleda E, Auguet JC, et al (2021)

A community perspective on the concept of marine holobionts: current status, challenges, and future directions.

PeerJ, 9:e10911 pii:10911.

Host-microbe interactions play crucial roles in marine ecosystems. However, we still have very little understanding of the mechanisms that govern these relationships, the evolutionary processes that shape them, and their ecological consequences. The holobiont concept is a renewed paradigm in biology that can help to describe and understand these complex systems. It posits that a host and its associated microbiota with which it interacts, form a holobiont, and have to be studied together as a coherent biological and functional unit to understand its biology, ecology, and evolution. Here we discuss critical concepts and opportunities in marine holobiont research and identify key challenges in the field. We highlight the potential economic, sociological, and environmental impacts of the holobiont concept in marine biological, evolutionary, and environmental sciences. Given the connectivity and the unexplored biodiversity specific to marine ecosystems, a deeper understanding of such complex systems requires further technological and conceptual advances, e.g., the development of controlled experimental model systems for holobionts from all major lineages and the modeling of (info)chemical-mediated interactions between organisms. Here we propose that one significant challenge is to bridge cross-disciplinary research on tractable model systems in order to address key ecological and evolutionary questions. This first step is crucial to decipher the main drivers of the dynamics and evolution of holobionts and to account for the holobiont concept in applied areas, such as the conservation, management, and exploitation of marine ecosystems and resources, where practical solutions to predict and mitigate the impact of human activities are more important than ever.

RevDate: 2021-03-04

Onyango CA, Glassom D, A MacDonald (2021)

De novo assembly of the transcriptome of scleractinian coral, Anomastraea irregularis and analyses of its response to thermal stress.

Molecular biology reports [Epub ahead of print].

Rising seawater temperatures cause coral bleaching. The molecular responses of the coral holobiont under stress conditions, determine the success of the symbiosis. Anomastraea irregularis is a hard coral commonly found in the harsh intertidal zones of the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa, where it thrives at the very margins of hard coral distribution in the Western Indian Ocean. To identify the possible molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying its resilience to heat stress, experimental and control nubbins were exposed to temperatures of 29 and 19 °C respectively for 24 h. The transcriptome was assembled de novo from 42.8 million quality controlled 63 bp paired-end short sequence reads obtained via RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). The assembly yielded 333,057 contigs (> 500 bp = 55,626, Largest = 6341 bp N50 = 747 bp). 1362 (1.23%) of the transcripts were significantly differentially expressed between heat stressed and control samples. Log fold change magnitudes among individual genes ranged from - 4.6 to 7.2. Overall, the heat stress response in the A. irregularis constituted a protective response involving up regulation of apoptosis and SUMOylation. Gene ontology (GO) analyses revealed that heat stress in the coral affected the metabolism, protein synthesis, photosynthesis, transport and cytoskeleton. This is the first study to produce a reference transcriptome of this coral species and analyze its response to heat stress. The assembled transcriptome also presents a valuable resource for further transcriptomic and genomic studies.

RevDate: 2021-03-01

Storo R, Easson C, Shivji M, et al (2021)

Microbiome Analyses Demonstrate Specific Communities Within Five Shark Species.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:605285.

Profiles of symbiotic microbial communities ("microbiomes") can provide insight into the natural history and ecology of their hosts. Using high throughput DNA sequencing of the 16S rRNA V4 region, microbiomes of five shark species in South Florida (nurse, lemon, sandbar, Caribbean reef, and tiger) have been characterized for the first time. The microbiomes show species specific microbiome composition, distinct from surrounding seawater. Shark anatomical location (gills, teeth, skin, cloaca) affected the diversity of microbiomes. An in-depth analysis of teeth communities revealed species specific microbial communities. For example, the genus Haemophilus, explained 7.0% of the differences of the teeth microbiomes of lemon and Caribbean reef sharks. Lemon shark teeth communities (n = 11) contained a high abundance of both Vibrio (10.8 ± 26.0%) and Corynebacterium (1.6 ± 5.1%), genera that can include human pathogenic taxa. The Vibrio (2.8 ± 6.34%) and Kordia (3.1 ± 6.0%) genera and Salmonella enterica (2.6 ± 6.4%) were the most abundant members of nurse shark teeth microbial communities. The Vibrio genus was highly represented in the sandbar shark (54.0 ± 46.0%) and tiger shark (5.8 ± 12.3%) teeth microbiomes. The prevalence of genera containing potential human pathogens could be informative in shark bite treatment protocols and future research to confirm or deny human pathogenicity. We conclude that South Florida sharks host species specific microbiomes that are distinct from their surrounding environment and vary due to differences in microbial community composition among shark species and diversity and composition among anatomical locations. Additionally, when considering the confounding effects of both species and location, microbial community diversity and composition varies.

RevDate: 2021-02-24

Choi K, Khan R, SW Lee (2021)

Dissection of plant microbiota and plant-microbiome interactions.

Journal of microbiology (Seoul, Korea), 59(3):281-291.

Plants rooted in soil have intimate associations with a diverse array of soil microorganisms. While the microbial diversity of soil is enormous, the predominant bacterial phyla associated with plants include Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia. Plants supply nutrient niches for microbes, and microbes support plant functions such as plant growth, development, and stress tolerance. The interdependent interaction between the host plant and its microbes sculpts the plant microbiota. Plant and microbiome interactions are a good model system for understanding the traits in eukaryotic organisms from a holobiont perspective. The holobiont concept of plants, as a consequence of co-evolution of plant host and microbiota, treats plants as a discrete ecological unit assembled with their microbiota. Dissection of plant-microbiome interactions is highly complicated; however, some reductionist approaches are useful, such as the synthetic community method in a gnotobiotic system. Deciphering the interactions between plant and microbiome by this reductionist approach could lead to better elucidation of the functions of microbiota in plants. In addition, analysis of microbial communities' interactions would further enhance our understanding of coordinated plant microbiota functions. Ultimately, better understanding of plantmicrobiome interactions could be translated to improvements in plant productivity.

RevDate: 2021-02-20

Lan Y, Sun J, Chen C, et al (2021)

Hologenome analysis reveals dual symbiosis in the deep-sea hydrothermal vent snail Gigantopelta aegis.

Nature communications, 12(1):1165.

Animals endemic to deep-sea hydrothermal vents often form obligatory symbioses with bacteria, maintained by intricate host-symbiont interactions. Most genomic studies on holobionts have not investigated both sides to similar depths. Here, we report dual symbiosis in the peltospirid snail Gigantopelta aegis with two gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts: a sulfur oxidiser and a methane oxidiser. We assemble high-quality genomes for all three parties, including a chromosome-level host genome. Hologenomic analyses reveal mutualism with nutritional complementarity and metabolic co-dependency, highly versatile in transporting and using chemical energy. Gigantopelta aegis likely remodels its immune system to facilitate dual symbiosis. Comparisons with Chrysomallon squamiferum, a confamilial snail with a single sulfur-oxidising gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont, show that their sulfur-oxidising endosymbionts are phylogenetically distant. This is consistent with previous findings that they evolved endosymbiosis convergently. Notably, the two sulfur-oxidisers share the same capabilities in biosynthesising nutrients lacking in the host genomes, potentially a key criterion in symbiont selection.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Nguyen M, Wemheuer B, Laffy PW, et al (2021)

Taxonomic, functional and expression analysis of viral communities associated with marine sponges.

PeerJ, 9:e10715 pii:10715.

Viruses play an essential role in shaping the structure and function of ecological communities. Marine sponges have the capacity to filter large volumes of 'virus-laden' seawater through their bodies and host dense communities of microbial symbionts, which are likely accessible to viral infection. However, despite the potential of sponges and their symbionts to act as viral reservoirs, little is known about the sponge-associated virome. Here we address this knowledge gap by analysing metagenomic and (meta-) transcriptomic datasets from several sponge species to determine what viruses are present and elucidate their predicted and expressed functionality. Sponges were found to carry diverse, abundant and active bacteriophages as well as eukaryotic viruses belonging to the Megavirales and Phycodnaviridae. These viruses contain and express auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) for photosynthesis and vitamin synthesis as well as for the production of antimicrobials and the defence against toxins. These viral AMGs can therefore contribute to the metabolic capacities of their hosts and also potentially enhance the survival of infected cells. This suggest that viruses may play a key role in regulating the abundance and activities of members of the sponge holobiont.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Jahn MT, Lachnit T, Markert SM, et al (2021)

Lifestyle of sponge symbiont phages by host prediction and correlative microscopy.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteriophages (phages) are ubiquitous elements in nature, but their ecology and role in animals remains little understood. Sponges represent the oldest known extant animal-microbe symbiosis and are associated with dense and diverse microbial consortia. Here we investigate the tripartite interaction between phages, bacterial symbionts, and the sponge host. We combined imaging and bioinformatics to tackle important questions on who the phage hosts are and what the replication mode and spatial distribution within the animal is. This approach led to the discovery of distinct phage-microbe infection networks in sponge versus seawater microbiomes. A new correlative in situ imaging approach ('PhageFISH-CLEM') localised phages within bacterial symbiont cells, but also within phagocytotically active sponge cells. We postulate that the phagocytosis of free virions by sponge cells modulates phage-bacteria ratios and ultimately controls infection dynamics. Prediction of phage replication strategies indicated a distinct pattern, where lysogeny dominates the sponge microbiome, likely fostered by sponge host-mediated virion clearance, while lysis dominates in seawater. Collectively, this work provides new insights into phage ecology within sponges, highlighting the importance of tripartite animal-phage-bacterium interplay in holobiont functioning. We anticipate that our imaging approach will be instrumental to further understanding of viral distribution and cellular association in animal hosts.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

McFall-Ngai M, TCG Bosch (2021)

Animal development in the microbial world: The power of experimental model systems.

Current topics in developmental biology, 141:371-397.

The development of powerful model systems has been a critical strategy for understanding the mechanisms underlying the progression of an animal through its ontogeny. Here we provide two examples that allow deep and mechanistic insight into the development of specific animal systems. Species of the cnidarian genus Hydra have provided excellent models for studying host-microbe interactions and how metaorganisms function in vivo. Studies of the Hawaiian bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes and its luminous bacterial partner Vibrio fischeri have been used for over 30 years to understand the impact of a broad array of levels, from ecology to genomics, on the development and persistence of symbiosis. These examples provide an integrated perspective of how developmental processes work and evolve within the context of a microbial world, a new view that opens vast horizons for developmental biology research. The Hydra and the squid systems also lend an example of how profound insights can be discovered by taking advantage of the "experiments" that evolution had done in shaping conserved developmental processes.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

Peixoto RS, Sweet M, Villela HDM, et al (2021)

Coral Probiotics: Premise, Promise, Prospects.

Annual review of animal biosciences, 9:265-288.

The use of Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMCs) has been proposed recently as a tool for the improvement of coral health, with knowledge in this research topic advancing rapidly. BMCs are defined as consortia of microorganisms that contribute to coral health through mechanisms that include (a) promoting coral nutrition and growth, (b) mitigating stress and impacts of toxic compounds, (c) deterring pathogens, and (d) benefiting early life-stage development. Here, we review the current proposed BMC approach and outline the studies that have proven its potential to increase coral resilience to stress. We revisit and expand the list of putative beneficial microorganisms associated with corals and their proposed mechanismsthat facilitate improved host performance. Further, we discuss the caveats and bottlenecks affecting the efficacy of BMCs and close by focusing on the next steps to facilitate application at larger scales that can improve outcomes for corals and reefs globally.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Hudspith M, Rix L, Achlatis M, et al (2021)

Subcellular view of host-microbiome nutrient exchange in sponges: insights into the ecological success of an early metazoan-microbe symbiosis.

Microbiome, 9(1):44.

BACKGROUND: Sponges are increasingly recognised as key ecosystem engineers in many aquatic habitats. They play an important role in nutrient cycling due to their unrivalled capacity for processing both dissolved and particulate organic matter (DOM and POM) and the exceptional metabolic repertoire of their diverse and abundant microbial communities. Functional studies determining the role of host and microbiome in organic nutrient uptake and exchange, however, are limited. Therefore, we coupled pulse-chase isotopic tracer techniques with nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) to visualise the uptake and translocation of 13C- and 15N-labelled dissolved and particulate organic food at subcellular level in the high microbial abundance sponge Plakortis angulospiculatus and the low microbial abundance sponge Halisarca caerulea.

RESULTS: The two sponge species showed significant enrichment of DOM- and POM-derived 13C and 15N into their tissue over time. Microbial symbionts were actively involved in the assimilation of DOM, but host filtering cells (choanocytes) appeared to be the primary site of DOM and POM uptake in both sponge species overall, via pinocytosis and phagocytosis, respectively. Translocation of carbon and nitrogen from choanocytes to microbial symbionts occurred over time, irrespective of microbial abundance, reflecting recycling of host waste products by the microbiome.

CONCLUSIONS: Here, we provide empirical evidence indicating that the prokaryotic communities of a high and a low microbial abundance sponge obtain nutritional benefits from their host-associated lifestyle. The metabolic interaction between the highly efficient filter-feeding host and its microbial symbionts likely provides a competitive advantage to the sponge holobiont in the oligotrophic environments in which they thrive, by retaining and recycling limiting nutrients. Sponges present a unique model to link nutritional symbiotic interactions to holobiont function, and, via cascading effects, ecosystem functioning, in one of the earliest metazoan-microbe symbioses. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Zhou G, Tong H, Cai L, et al (2021)

Transgenerational Effects on the Coral Pocillopora damicornis Microbiome Under Ocean Acidification.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Reef-building corals are inhabited by functionally diverse microorganisms which play important roles in coral health and persistence in the Anthropocene. However, our understanding of the complex associations within coral holobionts is largely limited, particularly transgenerational exposure to environmental stress, like ocean acidification. Here we investigated the microbiome development of an ecologically important coral Pocillopora damicornis following transgenerational exposure to moderate and high pCO2 (partial pressure of CO2) levels, using amplicon sequencing and analysis. Our results showed that the Symbiodiniaceae community structures in adult and juvenile had similar patterns, all of which were dominated by Durusdinium spp., previously known as clade D. Conversely, prokaryotic communities varied between adults and juveniles, possibly driven by the effect of host development. Surprisingly, there were no significant changes in both Symbiodiniaceae and prokaryotic communities with different pCO2 treatments, which was independent of the life history stage. This study shows that ocean acidification has no significant effect on P. damicornis microbiome, and warrants further research to test whether transgenerational acclimation exists in coral holobiont to projected future climate change.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Iha C, Dougan KE, Varela JA, et al (2021)

Genomic adaptations to an endolithic lifestyle in the coral-associated alga Ostreobium.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)00051-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The green alga Ostreobium is an important coral holobiont member, playing key roles in skeletal decalcification and providing photosynthate to bleached corals that have lost their dinoflagellate endosymbionts. Ostreobium lives in the coral's skeleton, a low-light environment with variable pH and O2 availability. We present the Ostreobium nuclear genome and a metatranscriptomic analysis of healthy and bleached corals to improve our understanding of Ostreobium's adaptations to its extreme environment and its roles as a coral holobiont member. The Ostreobium genome has 10,663 predicted protein-coding genes and shows adaptations for life in low and variable light conditions and other stressors in the endolithic environment. This alga presents a rich repertoire of light-harvesting complex proteins but lacks many genes for photoprotection and photoreceptors. It also has a large arsenal of genes for oxidative stress response. An expansion of extracellular peptidases suggests that Ostreobium may supplement its energy needs by feeding on the organic skeletal matrix, and a diverse set of fermentation pathways allows it to live in the anoxic skeleton at night. Ostreobium depends on other holobiont members for vitamin B12, and our metatranscriptomes identify potential bacterial sources. Metatranscriptomes showed Ostreobium becoming a dominant agent of photosynthesis in bleached corals and provided evidence for variable responses among coral samples and different Ostreobium genotypes. Our work provides a comprehensive understanding of the adaptations of Ostreobium to its extreme environment and an important genomic resource to improve our comprehension of coral holobiont resilience, bleaching, and recovery.

RevDate: 2021-02-11

Piccinni MZ, Watts JEM, Fourny M, et al (2021)

The skin microbiome of Xenopus laevis and the effects of husbandry conditions.

Animal microbiome, 3(1):17.

BACKGROUND: Historically the main source of laboratory Xenopus laevis was the environment. The increase in genetically altered animals and evolving governmental constraints around using wild-caught animals for research has led to the establishment of resource centres that supply animals and reagents worldwide, such as the European Xenopus Resource Centre. In the last decade, centres were encouraged to keep animals in a "low microbial load" or "clean" state, where embryos are surface sterilized before entering the housing system; instead of the conventional, "standard" conditions where frogs and embryos are kept without prior surface treatment. Despite Xenopus laevis having been kept in captivity for almost a century, surprisingly little is known about the frogs as a holobiont and how changing the microbiome may affect resistance to disease. This study examines how the different treatment conditions, "clean" and "standard" husbandry in recirculating housing, affects the skin microbiome of tadpoles and female adults. This is particularly important when considering the potential for poor welfare caused by a change in husbandry method as animals move from resource centres to smaller research colonies.

RESULTS: We found strong evidence for developmental control of the surface microbiome on Xenopus laevis; adults had extremely similar microbial communities independent of their housing, while both tadpole and environmental microbiome communities were less resilient and showed greater diversity.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the adult Xenopus laevis microbiome is controlled and selected by the host. This indicates that the surface microbiome of adult Xenopus laevis is stable and defined independently of the environment in which it is housed, suggesting that the use of clean husbandry conditions poses little risk to the skin microbiome when transferring adult frogs to research laboratories. This will have important implications for frog health applicable to Xenopus laevis research centres throughout the world.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Marzocchi U, Bonaglia S, Zaiko A, et al (2020)

Zebra Mussel Holobionts Fix and Recycle Nitrogen in Lagoon Sediments.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:610269.

Bivalves are ubiquitous filter-feeders able to alter ecosystems functions. Their impact on nitrogen (N) cycling is commonly related to their filter-feeding activity, biodeposition, and excretion. A so far understudied impact is linked to the metabolism of the associated microbiome that together with the host constitute the mussel's holobiont. Here we investigated how colonies of the invasive zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) alter benthic N cycling in the shallow water sediment of the largest European lagoon (the Curonian Lagoon). A set of incubations was conducted to quantify the holobiont's impact and to quantitatively compare it with the indirect influence of the mussel on sedimentary N transformations. Zebra mussels primarily enhanced the recycling of N to the water column by releasing mineralized algal biomass in the form of ammonium and by stimulating dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Notably, however, not only denitrification and DNRA, but also dinitrogen (N2) fixation was measured in association with the holobiont. The diazotrophic community of the holobiont diverged substantially from that of the water column, suggesting a unique niche for N2 fixation associated with the mussels. At the densities reported in the lagoon, mussel-associated N2 fixation may account for a substantial (and so far, overlooked) source of bioavailable N. Our findings contribute to improve our understanding on the ecosystem-level impact of zebra mussel, and potentially, of its ability to adapt to and colonize oligotrophic environments.

RevDate: 2021-02-04

Overby HB, JF Ferguson (2021)

Gut Microbiota-Derived Short-Chain Fatty Acids Facilitate Microbiota:Host Cross talk and Modulate Obesity and Hypertension.

Current hypertension reports, 23(2):8.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to summarize the evidence supporting a role of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as messengers facilitating cross talk between the host and gut microbiota and discuss the effects of altered SCFA signaling in obesity and hypertension.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent evidence suggests there to be a significant contribution of gut microbiota-derived SCFAs to microbe:host communication and host metabolism. SCFA production within the intestine modulates intestinal pH, microbial composition, and intestinal barrier integrity. SCFA signaling through host receptors, such as PPARγ and GPCRs, modulates host health and disease physiology. Alterations in SCFA signaling and downstream effects on inflammation are implicated in the development of obesity and hypertension. SCFAs are crucial components of the holobiont relationship; in the proper environment, they support normal gut, immune, and metabolic function. Dysregulation of microbial SCFA signaling affects downstream host metabolism, with implications in obesity and hypertension.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Williams A, Chiles EN, Conetta D, et al (2021)

Metabolomic shifts associated with heat stress in coral holobionts.

Science advances, 7(1):.

Understanding the response of the coral holobiont to environmental change is crucial to inform conservation efforts. The most pressing problem is "coral bleaching," usually precipitated by prolonged thermal stress. We used untargeted, polar metabolite profiling to investigate the physiological response of the coral species Montipora capitata and Pocillopora acuta to heat stress. Our goal was to identify diagnostic markers present early in the bleaching response. From the untargeted UHPLC-MS data, a variety of co-regulated dipeptides were found that have the highest differential accumulation in both species. The structures of four dipeptides were determined and showed differential accumulation in symbiotic and aposymbiotic (alga-free) populations of the sea anemone Aiptasia (Exaiptasia pallida), suggesting the deep evolutionary origins of these dipeptides and their involvement in symbiosis. These and other metabolites may be used as diagnostic markers for thermal stress in wild coral.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Alibrandi P, Schnell S, Perotto S, et al (2020)

Diversity and Structure of the Endophytic Bacterial Communities Associated With Three Terrestrial Orchid Species as Revealed by 16S rRNA Gene Metabarcoding.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:604964.

The endophytic microbiota can establish mutualistic or commensalistic interactions within the host plant tissues. We investigated the bacterial endophytic microbiota in three species of Mediterranean orchids (Neottia ovata, Serapias vomeracea, and Spiranthes spiralis) by metabarcoding of the 16S rRNA gene. We examined whether the different orchid species and organs, both underground and aboveground, influenced the endophytic bacterial communities. A total of 1,930 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were obtained, mainly Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria, whose distribution model indicated that the plant organ was the main determinant of the bacterial community structure. The co-occurrence network was not modular, suggesting a relative homogeneity of the microbiota between both plant species and organs. Moreover, the decrease in species richness and diversity in the aerial vegetative organs may indicate a filtering effect by the host plant. We identified four hub OTUs, three of them already reported as plant-associated taxa (Pseudoxanthomonas, Rhizobium, and Mitsuaria), whereas Thermus was an unusual member of the plant microbiota. Core microbiota analysis revealed a selective and systemic ascent of bacterial communities from the vegetative to the reproductive organs. The core microbiota was also maintained in the S. spiralis seeds, suggesting a potential vertical transfer of the microbiota. Surprisingly, some S. spiralis seed samples displayed a very rich endophytic microbiota, with a large number of OTUs shared with the roots, a situation that may lead to a putative restoring process of the root-associated microbiota in the progeny. Our results indicate that the bacterial community has adapted to colonize the orchid organs selectively and systemically, suggesting an active involvement in the orchid holobiont.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Wicaksono WA, Kusstatscher P, Erschen S, et al (2021)

Antimicrobial-specific response from resistance gene carriers studied in a natural, highly diverse microbiome.

Microbiome, 9(1):29.

BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to public health. Microorganisms equipped with AMR genes are suggested to have partially emerged from natural habitats; however, this hypothesis remains inconclusive so far. To understand the consequences of the introduction of exogenic antimicrobials into natural environments, we exposed lichen thalli of Peltigera polydactylon, which represent defined, highly diverse miniature ecosystems, to clinical (colistin, tetracycline), and non-clinical (glyphosate, alkylpyrazine) antimicrobials. We studied microbiome responses by analysing DNA- and RNA-based amplicon libraries and metagenomic datasets.

RESULTS: The analyzed samples consisted of the thallus-forming fungus that is associated with cyanobacteria as well as other diverse and abundant bacterial communities (up to 108 16S rRNA gene copies ng-1 DNA) dominated by Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Moreover, the natural resistome of this meta-community encompassed 728 AMR genes spanning 30 antimicrobial classes. Following 10 days of exposure to the selected antimicrobials at four different concentrations (full therapeutic dosage and a gradient of sub-therapeutic dosages), we observed statistically significant, antimicrobial-specific shifts in the structure and function but not in bacterial abundances within the microbiota. We observed a relatively lower response after the exposure to the non-clinical compared to the clinical antimicrobial compounds. Furthermore, we observed specific bacterial responders, e.g., Pseudomonas and Burkholderia to clinical antimicrobials. Interestingly, the main positive responders naturally occur in low proportions in the lichen holobiont. Moreover, metagenomic recovery of the responders' genomes suggested that they are all naturally equipped with specific genetic repertoires that allow them to thrive and bloom when exposed to antimicrobials. Of the responders, Sphingomonas, Pseudomonas, and Methylobacterium showed the highest potential.

CONCLUSIONS: Antimicrobial exposure resulted in a microbial dysbiosis due to a bloom of naturally low abundant taxa (positive responders) with specific AMR features. Overall, this study provides mechanistic insights into community-level responses of a native microbiota to antimicrobials and suggests novel strategies for AMR prediction and management. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Sivaguru M, Todorov LG, Fouke CE, et al (2021)

Corals regulate the distribution and abundance of Symbiodiniaceae and biomolecules in response to changing water depth and sea surface temperature.

Scientific reports, 11(1):2230.

The Scleractinian corals Orbicella annularis and O. faveolata have survived by acclimatizing to environmental changes in water depth and sea surface temperature (SST). However, the complex physiological mechanisms by which this is achieved remain only partially understood, limiting the accurate prediction of coral response to future climate change. This study quantitatively tracks spatial and temporal changes in Symbiodiniaceae and biomolecule (chromatophores, calmodulin, carbonic anhydrase and mucus) abundance that are essential to the processes of acclimatization and biomineralization. Decalcified tissues from intact healthy Orbicella biopsies, collected across water depths and seasonal SST changes on Curaçao, were analyzed with novel autofluorescence and immunofluorescence histology techniques that included the use of custom antibodies. O. annularis at 5 m water depth exhibited decreased Symbiodiniaceae and increased chromatophore abundances, while O. faveolata at 12 m water depth exhibited inverse relationships. Analysis of seasonal acclimatization of the O. faveolata holobiont in this study, combined with previous reports, suggests that biomolecules are differentially modulated during transition from cooler to warmer SST. Warmer SST was also accompanied by decreased mucus production and decreased Symbiodiniaceae abundance, which is compensated by increased photosynthetic activity enhanced calcification. These interacting processes have facilitated the remarkable resiliency of the corals through geological time.

RevDate: 2021-01-27

Rädecker N, Pogoreutz C, Gegner HM, et al (2021)

Heat stress destabilizes symbiotic nutrient cycling in corals.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(5):.

Recurrent mass bleaching events are pushing coral reefs worldwide to the brink of ecological collapse. While the symptoms and consequences of this breakdown of the coral-algal symbiosis have been extensively characterized, our understanding of the underlying causes remains incomplete. Here, we investigated the nutrient fluxes and the physiological as well as molecular responses of the widespread coral Stylophora pistillata to heat stress prior to the onset of bleaching to identify processes involved in the breakdown of the coral-algal symbiosis. We show that altered nutrient cycling during heat stress is a primary driver of the functional breakdown of the symbiosis. Heat stress increased the metabolic energy demand of the coral host, which was compensated by the catabolic degradation of amino acids. The resulting shift from net uptake to release of ammonium by the coral holobiont subsequently promoted the growth of algal symbionts and retention of photosynthates. Together, these processes form a feedback loop that will gradually lead to the decoupling of carbon translocation from the symbiont to the host. Energy limitation and altered symbiotic nutrient cycling are thus key factors in the early heat stress response, directly contributing to the breakdown of the coral-algal symbiosis. Interpreting the stability of the coral holobiont in light of its metabolic interactions provides a missing link in our understanding of the environmental drivers of bleaching and may ultimately help uncover fundamental processes underpinning the functioning of endosymbioses in general.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Zanotti AA, Gregoracci GB, Capel KCC, et al (2020)

Microbiome of the Southwestern Atlantic invasive scleractinian coral, Tubastraea tagusensis.

Animal microbiome, 2(1):29.

BACKGROUND: Commonly known as sun-coral, Tubastraea tagusensis is an azooxanthellate scleractinian coral that successfully invaded the Southwestern Atlantic causing significant seascape changes. Today it is reported to over 3500 km along the Brazilian coast, with several rocky shores displaying high substrate coverage. Apart from its singular invasiveness capacity, the documentation and, therefore, understanding of the role of symbiotic microorganisms in the sun-coral invasion is still scarce. However, in general, the broad and constant relationship between corals and microorganisms led to the development of co-evolution hypotheses. As such, it has been shown that the microbial community responds to environmental factors, adjustment of the holobiont, adapting its microbiome, and improving the hosts' fitness in a short space of time. Here we describe the microbial community (i.e. Bacteria) associated with sun-coral larvae and adult colonies from a locality displaying a high invasion development.

RESULTS: The usage of high throughput sequencing indicates a great diversity of Bacteria associated with T. tagusensis, with Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Firmicutes corresponding to the majority of the microbiome in all samples. However, T. tagusensis' microbial core consists of only eight genera for colonies, and, within them, three are also present in the sequenced larvae. Overall, the microbiome from colonies sampled at different depths did not show significant differences. The microbiome of the larvae suggests a partial vertical transfer of the microbial core in this species.

CONCLUSION: Although diverse, the microbiome core of adult Tubastraea tagusensis is composed of only eight genera, of which three are transferred from the mother colony to their larvae. The remaining bacteria genera are acquired from the seawater, indicating that they might play a role in the host fitness and, therefore, facilitate the sun-coral invasion in the Southwestern Atlantic.

RevDate: 2021-01-26

Freitas-Silva J, de Oliveira BFR, Vigoder FM, et al (2020)

Peeling the Layers Away: The Genomic Characterization of Bacillus pumilus 64-1, an Isolate With Antimicrobial Activity From the Marine Sponge Plakina cyanorosea (Porifera, Homoscleromorpha).

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:592735.

Bacillus pumilus 64-1, a bacterial strain isolated from the marine sponge Plakina cyanorosea, which exhibits antimicrobial activity against both pathogenic and drug-resistant Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. This study aimed to conduct an in-depth genomic analysis of this bioactive sponge-derived strain. The nearly complete genome of strain 64-1 consists of 3.6 Mbp (41.5% GC), which includes 3,705 coding sequences (CDS). An open pangenome was observed when limiting to the type strains of the B. pumilus group and aquatic-derived B. pumilus representatives. The genome appears to encode for at least 12 potential biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), including both types I and III polyketide synthases (PKS), non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), and one NRPS-T1PKS hybrid, among others. In particular, bacilysin and other bacteriocin-coding genes were found and may be associated with the detected antimicrobial activity. Strain 64-1 also appears to possess a broad repertoire of genes encoding for plant cell wall-degrading carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). A myriad of genes which may be involved in various process required by the strain in its marine habitat, such as those encoding for osmoprotectory transport systems and the biosynthesis of compatible solutes were also present. Several heavy metal tolerance genes are also present, together with various mobile elements including a region encoding for a type III-B Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) region, four prophage segments and transposase elements. This is the first report on the genomic characterization of a cultivable bacterial member of the Plakina cyanorosea holobiont.

RevDate: 2021-01-23

Eckert EM, Anicic N, D Fontaneto (2021)

Freshwater zooplankton microbiome composition is highly flexible and strongly influenced by the environment.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The association with microbes in plants and animals is known to be beneficial for the host's survival and fitness, but the generality of the effect of the microbiome is still debated. For some animals, similarities in microbiome composition reflect taxonomic relatedness of the hosts, a pattern termed phylosymbiosis. The mechanisms behind the pattern could be due to coevolution and/or to correlated ecological constraints. General conclusions are hampered by the fact that the available knowledge is highly dominated by microbiomes from model species. We addressed the issue of the generality of phylosymbiosis by analysing the species-specificity of microbiomes across different species of freshwater zooplankton, including rotifers, cladocerans, and copepods, coupling field surveys and experimental manipulations. We found that no signal of phylosymbiosis is present, and that the proportion of 'core' microbial taxa, stable and consistent within each species, is very low. Changes in food and temperature under laboratory experimental settings revealed that the microbiome of freshwater zooplankton is highly flexible and can be influenced by the external environment. Thus, the role of coevolution, strict association, and interaction with microbes within the holobiont concept highlighted for vertebrates, corals, sponges, and other animals does not seem to be supported for all animals, at least not for freshwater zooplankton. Zooplankton floats in the environment where both food and bacteria that can provide help in digesting such food are available. In addition, there is likely redundancy for beneficial bacterial functions in the environment, not allowing a strict host-microbiome association to originate and persist.

RevDate: 2021-01-22

Bonthond G, Bayer T, Krueger-Hadfield SA, et al (2021)

The role of host promiscuity in the invasion process of a seaweed holobiont.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species are co-introduced with microbiota from their native range and also interact with microbiota found in the novel environment to which they are introduced. Host flexibility toward microbiota, or host promiscuity, is an important trait underlying terrestrial plant invasions. To test whether host promiscuity may be important in macroalgal invasions, we experimentally simulated an invasion in a common garden setting, using the widespread invasive macroalga Agarophyton vermiculophyllum as a model invasive seaweed holobiont. After disturbing the microbiota of individuals from native and non-native populations with antibiotics, we monitored the microbial succession trajectories in the presence of a new source of microbes. Microbial communities were strongly impacted by the treatment and changed compositionally and in terms of diversity but recovered functionally by the end of the experiment in most respects. Beta-diversity in disturbed holobionts strongly decreased, indicating that different populations configure more similar -or more common- microbial communities when exposed to the same conditions. This decline in beta-diversity occurred not only more rapidly, but was also more pronounced in non-native populations, while individuals from native populations retained communities more similar to those observed in the field. This study demonstrates that microbial communities of non-native A. vermiculophyllum are more flexibly adjusted to the environment and suggests that an intraspecific increase in host promiscuity has promoted the invasion process of A. vermiculophyllum. This phenomenon may be important among invasive macroalgal holobionts in general.

RevDate: 2021-01-26

Bredon M, Depuydt E, Brisson L, et al (2021)

Effects of Dysbiosis and Dietary Manipulation on the Digestive Microbiota of a Detritivorous Arthropod.

Microorganisms, 9(1):.

The crucial role of microbes in the evolution, development, health, and ecological interactions of multicellular organisms is now widely recognized in the holobiont concept. However, the structure and stability of microbiota are highly dependent on abiotic and biotic factors, especially in the gut, which can be colonized by transient bacteria depending on the host's diet. We studied these impacts by manipulating the digestive microbiota of the detritivore Armadillidium vulgare and analyzing the consequences on its structure and function. Hosts were exposed to initial starvation and then were fed diets that varied the different components of lignocellulose. A total of 72 digestive microbiota were analyzed according to the type of the diet (standard or enriched in cellulose, lignin, or hemicellulose) and the period following dysbiosis. The results showed that microbiota from the hepatopancreas were very stable and resilient, while the most diverse and labile over time were found in the hindgut. Dysbiosis and selective diets may have affected the host fitness by altering the structure of the microbiota and its predicted functions. Overall, these modifications can therefore have effects not only on the holobiont, but also on the "eco-holobiont" conceptualization of macroorganisms.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Fagorzi C, Bacci G, Huang R, et al (2021)

Nonadditive Transcriptomic Signatures of Genotype-by-Genotype Interactions during the Initiation of Plant-Rhizobium Symbiosis.

mSystems, 6(1):.

Rhizobia are ecologically important, facultative plant-symbiotic microbes. In nature, there is a large variability in the association of rhizobial strains and host plants of the same species. Here, we evaluated whether plant and rhizobial genotypes influence the initial transcriptional response of rhizobium following perception of a host plant. RNA sequencing of the model rhizobium Sinorhizobium meliloti exposed to root exudates or luteolin (an inducer of nod genes, involved in the early steps of symbiotic interaction) was performed on a combination of three S. meliloti strains and three alfalfa varieties as host plants. The response to root exudates involved hundreds of changes in the rhizobium transcriptome. Of the differentially expressed genes, 35% were influenced by the strain genotype, 16% were influenced by the plant genotype, and 29% were influenced by strain-by-host plant genotype interactions. We also examined the response of a hybrid S. meliloti strain in which the symbiotic megaplasmid (∼20% of the genome) was mobilized between two of the above-mentioned strains. Dozens of genes were upregulated in the hybrid strain, indicative of nonadditive variation in the transcriptome. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that transcriptional responses of rhizobia upon perception of legumes are influenced by the genotypes of both symbiotic partners and their interaction, suggesting a wide spectrum of genetic determinants involved in the phenotypic variation of plant-rhizobium symbiosis.IMPORTANCE A sustainable way for meeting the need of an increased global food demand should be based on a holobiont perspective, viewing crop plants as intimately associated with their microbiome, which helps improve plant nutrition, tolerance to pests, and adverse climate conditions. However, the genetic repertoire needed for efficient association with plants by the microbial symbionts is still poorly understood. The rhizobia are an exemplary model of facultative plant symbiotic microbes. Here, we evaluated whether genotype-by-genotype interactions could be identified in the initial transcriptional response of rhizobium perception of a host plant. We performed an RNA sequencing study to analyze the transcriptomes of different rhizobial strains elicited by root exudates of three alfalfa varieties as a proxy of an early step of the symbiotic interaction. The results indicated strain- and plant variety-dependent variability in the observed transcriptional changes, providing fundamentally novel insights into the genetic basis of rhizobium-plant interactions. Our results provide genetic insights and perspective to aid in the exploitation of natural rhizobium variation for improvement of legume growth in agricultural ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-01-26

Mannaa M, YS Seo (2021)

Plants under the Attack of Allies: Moving towards the Plant Pathobiome Paradigm.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(1):.

Plants are functional macrobes living in a close association with diverse communities of microbes and viruses as complex systems that continuously interact with the surrounding environment. The microbiota within the plant holobiont serves various essential and beneficial roles, such as in plant growth at different stages, starting from seed germination. Meanwhile, pathogenic microbes-differentiated from the rest of the plant microbiome based on their ability to damage the plant tissues through transient blooming under specific conditions-are also a part of the plant microbiome. Recent advances in multi-omics have furthered our understanding of the structure and functions of plant-associated microbes, and a pathobiome paradigm has emerged as a set of organisms (i.e., complex eukaryotic, microbial, and viral communities) within the plant's biotic environment which interact with the host to deteriorate its health status. Recent studies have demonstrated that the one pathogen-one disease hypothesis is insufficient to describe the disease process in many cases, particularly when complex organismic communities are involved. The present review discusses the plant holobiont and covers the steady transition of plant pathology from the one pathogen-one disease hypothesis to the pathobiome paradigm. Moreover, previous reports on model plant diseases, in which more than one pathogen or co-operative interaction amongst pathogenic microbes is implicated, are reviewed and discussed.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Zhang Y, Yang Q, Zhang Y, et al (2021)

Shifts in abundance and network complexity of coral bacteria in response to elevated ammonium stress.

The Science of the total environment, 768:144631 pii:S0048-9697(20)38162-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral bacteria are highly dynamic and acutely affected by host health and environmental conditions. However, there is limited knowledge of how the dynamics of coral-associated bacterial communities and interactions among bacterial members change in response to dissolved inorganic nutrient stressors. Here, we used high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to examine dynamic changes in coral-associated bacterial communities under elevated ammonium stress. Short-term exposure to high levels of ammonium does not significantly harm coral holobiont. Physiological parameters such as carbohydrate, chlorophyll a, and lipid content of coral holobiont were not affected. After three weeks of elevated ammonium stress, however, the coral-associated bacterial community changed significantly. The abundance of certain bacterial populations increased significantly, with enrichment of pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria and a decrease in defensive and core bacteria. Keystone bacterial species in the co-occurrence network changed considerably. Under elevated ammonium stress, the abundance of keystone species associated with corals was lower and the complexity of keystone bacterial relationships decreased significantly. Our results indicate that bacteria respond to elevated ammonium stress through changes in abundance and co-occurrence among bacterial members. This precedes visual symptoms of changes in coral physiological conditions and could be used as an early warning indicator of elevated ammonium stress in coastal coral reef management.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Bonacolta AM, Connelly MT, M Rosales S, et al (2021)

The starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, possesses body region-specific bacterial associations with spirochetes dominating the capitulum.

FEMS microbiology letters, 368(3):.

Sampling of different body regions can reveal highly specialized bacterial associations within the holobiont and facilitate identification of core microbial symbionts that would otherwise be overlooked by bulk sampling methods. Here, we characterized compartment-specific associations present within the model cnidarian Nematostella vectensis by dividing its morphology into three distinct microhabitats. This sampling design allowed us to uncover a capitulum-specific dominance of spirochetes within N. vectensis. Bacteria from the family Spirochaetaceae made up 66% of the community in the capitulum, while only representing 1.2% and 0.1% of the communities in the mesenteries and physa, respectively. A phylogenetic analysis of the predominant spirochete sequence recovered from N. vectensis showed a close relation to spirochetes previously recovered from wild N. vectensis. These sequences clustered closer to the recently described genus Oceanispirochaeta, rather than Spirochaeta perfilievii, supporting them as members of this clade. This suggests a prevalent and yet uncharacterized association between N. vectensis and spirochetes from the order Spirochaetales.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Martinez S, Kolodny Y, Shemesh E, et al (2020)

Energy Sources of the Depth-Generalist Mixotrophic Coral Stylophora pistillata.

Frontiers in Marine Science, 7:988.

Energy sources of corals, ultimately sunlight and plankton availability, change dramatically from shallow to mesophotic (30-150 m) reefs. Depth-generalist corals, those that occupy both of these two distinct ecosystems, are adapted to cope with such extremely diverse conditions. In this study, we investigated the trophic strategy of the depth-generalist hermatypic coral Stylophora pistillata and the ability of mesophotic colonies to adapt to shallow reefs. We compared symbiont genera composition, photosynthetic traits and the holobiont trophic position and carbon sources, calculated from amino acids compound-specific stable isotope analysis (AA-CSIA), of shallow, mesophotic and translocated corals. This species harbors different Symbiodiniaceae genera at the two depths: Cladocopium goreaui (dominant in mesophotic colonies) and Symbiodinium microadriaticum (dominant in shallow colonies) with a limited change after transplantation. This allowed us to determine which traits stem from hosting different symbiont species compositions across the depth gradient. Calculation of holobiont trophic position based on amino acid δ15N revealed that heterotrophy represents the same portion of the total energy budget in both depths, in contrast to the dogma that predation is higher in corals growing in low light conditions. Photosynthesis is the major carbon source to corals growing at both depths, but the photosynthetic rate is higher in the shallow reef corals, implicating both higher energy consumption and higher predation rate in the shallow habitat. In the corals transplanted from deep to shallow reef, we observed extensive photo-acclimation by the Symbiodiniaceae cells, including substantial cellular morphological modifications, increased cellular chlorophyll a, lower antennae to photosystems ratios and carbon signature similar to the local shallow colonies. In contrast, non-photochemical quenching remains low and does not increase to cope with the high light regime of the shallow reef. Furthermore, host acclimation is much slower in these deep-to-shallow transplanted corals as evident from the lower trophic position and tissue density compared to the shallow-water corals, even after long-term transplantation (18 months). Our results suggest that while mesophotic reefs could serve as a potential refuge for shallow corals, the transition is complex, as even after a year and a half the acclimation is only partial.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Taulé C, Vaz-Jauri P, F Battistoni (2021)

Insights into the early stages of plant-endophytic bacteria interaction.

World journal of microbiology & biotechnology, 37(1):13.

The plant holobiont is a complex entity composed of the plant and the organisms that live in and on it including its microbiota. The plant microbiota includes, among other microorganisms, bacterial endophytes, which are bacteria that can invade living plant tissues without causing symptoms of disease. The interaction between the endophytic bacterial microbiota and their plant host has profound influences on their fitness and depends on biotic and abiotic factors. For these interactions to be established, the bacteria have to be present at the right time, in the right place either colonizing the soil or the seed. In this review we summarize the current knowledge regarding the sources of the bacterial endophytic microbiome and the processes involved in the assemblage of the resulting community during the initial stages of plant development. The adaptations that allow the spatial approximation of soil- and seed-borne bacteria towards infection and colonization of the internal tissues of plants will be addressed in this review.

RevDate: 2021-01-03

Miquel PA, SY Hwang (2021)

On biological individuation.

Theory in biosciences = Theorie in den Biowissenschaften [Epub ahead of print].

In this paper, we understand the emergence of life as a pure individuation process. Individuation already occurs in open thermodynamics systems near equilibrium. We understand such open systems, as already recursively characterized (R1) by the relation between their internal properties, and their boundary conditions. Second, global properties emerge in such physical systems. We interpret this change as the fact that their structure is the recursive result of their operations (R2). We propose a simulation of the emergence of life in Earth by a mapping (R) through which (R1R2) operators are applied to themselves, so that RN = (R1R2)N. We suggest that under specific thermodynamic (open systems out of equilibrium) and chemical conditions (autocatalysis, kinetic dynamic stability), this mapping can go up to a limit characterized by a fixed-point equation: [Formula: see text]. In this equation, ([Formula: see text]) symbolizes a regime of permanent resonance characterizing the biosphere, as open from inside, by the recursive differential relation between the biosphere and all its holobionts. As such the biosphere is closed on itself as a pure differential entity. ([Formula: see text]) symbolizes the regime of permanent change characterizing the emergence of evolution in the biosphere. As such the biosphere is closed on itself, by the principle of descent with modifications, and by the fact that every holobiont evolves in a niche, while evolving with it.

RevDate: 2020-12-21

Babbin AR, Tamasi T, Dumit D, et al (2020)

Discovery and quantification of anaerobic nitrogen metabolisms among oxygenated tropical Cuban stony corals.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reef health depends on an intricate relationship among the coral animal, photosynthetic algae, and a complex microbial community. The holobiont can impact the nutrient balance of their hosts amid an otherwise oligotrophic environment, including by cycling physiologically important nitrogen compounds. Here we use 15N-tracer experiments to produce the first simultaneous measurements of ammonium oxidation, nitrate reduction, and nitrous oxide (N2O) production among five iconic species of reef-building corals (Acropora palmata, Diploria labyrinthiformis, Orbicella faveolata, Porites astreoides, and Porites porites) in the highly protected Jardines de la Reina reefs of Cuba. Nitrate reduction is present in most species, but ammonium oxidation is low potentially due to photoinhibition and assimilatory competition. Coral-associated rates of N2O production indicate a widespread potential for denitrification, especially among D. labyrinthiformis, at rates of ~1 nmol cm-2 d-1. In contrast, A. palmata displays minimal active nitrogen metabolism. Enhanced rates of nitrate reduction and N2O production are observed coincident with dark net respiration periods. Genomes of bacterial cultures isolated from multiple coral species confirm that microorganisms with the ability to respire nitrate anaerobically to either dinitrogen gas or ammonium exist within the holobiont. This confirmation of anaerobic nitrogen metabolisms by coral-associated microorganisms sheds new light on coral and reef productivity.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Menaa F, Wijesinghe PAUI, Thiripuranathar G, et al (2020)

Ecological and Industrial Implications of Dynamic Seaweed-Associated Microbiota Interactions.

Marine drugs, 18(12):.

Seaweeds are broadly distributed and represent an important source of secondary metabolites (e.g., halogenated compounds, polyphenols) eliciting various pharmacological activities and playing a relevant ecological role in the anti-epibiosis. Importantly, host (as known as basibiont such as algae)-microbe (as known as epibiont such as bacteria) interaction (as known as halobiont) is a driving force for coevolution in the marine environment. Nevertheless, halobionts may be fundamental (harmless) or detrimental (harmful) to the functioning of the host. In addition to biotic factors, abiotic factors (e.g., pH, salinity, temperature, nutrients) regulate halobionts. Spatiotemporal and functional exploration of such dynamic interactions appear crucial. Indeed, environmental stress in a constantly changing ocean may disturb complex mutualistic relations, through mechanisms involving host chemical defense strategies (e.g., secretion of secondary metabolites and antifouling chemicals by quorum sensing). It is worth mentioning that many of bioactive compounds, such as terpenoids, previously attributed to macroalgae are in fact produced or metabolized by their associated microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites). Eventually, recent metagenomics analyses suggest that microbes may have acquired seaweed associated genes because of increased seaweed in diets. This article retrospectively reviews pertinent studies on the spatiotemporal and functional seaweed-associated microbiota interactions which can lead to the production of bioactive compounds with high antifouling, theranostic, and biotechnological potential.

RevDate: 2020-12-17

Mironov T, E Sabaneyeva (2020)

A Robust Symbiotic Relationship Between the Ciliate Paramecium multimicronucleatum and the Bacterium Ca. Trichorickettsia Mobilis.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:603335.

Close reciprocal interactions in symbiotic systems have suggested the holobiont concept, in which the host and its microbiota are considered as a single entity. Ciliates are known for their ability to form symbiotic associations with prokaryotes. Relationships between the partners in such systems vary from mutualism to parasitism and differ significantly in their robustness. We assessed the viability of the ciliate Paramecium multimicronucleatum and its ability to maintain its intranuclear endosymbiont Ca. Trichorickettsia mobilis (Rickettsiaceae) after treatment with antibiotics characterized by different mode of action, such as ampicillin, streptomycin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline. The presence of endosymbionts in the host cell was determined by means of living cell observations made using differential interference contrast or fluorescence in situ hybridization with the species-specific oligonucleotide probe (FISH). Administration of antibiotics traditionally used in treatments of rickettsioses, tetracycline and chloramphenicol, depending on the concentration used and the ciliate strain treated, either caused death of both, infected and control cells, or did not affect the ability of the host to maintain the intranuclear endosymbiont. The surviving cells always manifested motile bacteria in the macronucleus. Streptomycin treatment never led to the loss of endosymbionts in any of the four infected strains, and nearly all ciliates remained viable. Ampicillin treatment never caused host cell death, but resulted in formation of filamentous and immobile oval bacterial forms. Under repeated ampicillin treatments, a part of endosymbionts was registered in the host cytoplasm, as evidenced both by FISH and transmission electron microscopy. Endosymbionts located in the host cytoplasm were enclosed in vacuoles, apparently, corresponding to autophagosomes. Nevertheless, the bacteria seemed to persist in this compartment and might cause relapse of the infection. Although the antibiotic sensitivity profile of Trichorickettsia seems to resemble that of other representatives of Rickettsiaceae, causative agents of severe diseases in humans, neither of the antibiotic treatments used in this study resulted in an aposymbiotic cell line, apparently, due to the protists' sensitivity to tetracyclines, the drugs of preference in rickettsiosis treatment. The observed robustness of this symbiotic system makes it a good model for further elaboration of the holobiont concept.

RevDate: 2020-12-29

Oliveira BFR, Lopes IR, Canellas ALB, et al (2020)

Not That Close to Mommy: Horizontal Transmission Seeds the Microbiome Associated with the Marine Sponge Plakina cyanorosea.

Microorganisms, 8(12):.

Marine sponges are excellent examples of invertebrate-microbe symbioses. In this holobiont, the partnership has elegantly evolved by either transmitting key microbial associates through the host germline and/or capturing microorganisms from the surrounding seawater. We report here on the prokaryotic microbiota during different developmental stages of Plakina cyanorosea and their surrounding environmental samples by a 16S rRNA metabarcoding approach. In comparison with their source adults, larvae housed slightly richer and more diverse microbial communities, which are structurally more related to the environmental microbiota. In addition to the thaumarchaeal Nitrosopumilus, parental sponges were broadly dominated by Alpha- and Gamma-proteobacteria, while the offspring were particularly enriched in the Vibrionales, Alteromonodales, Enterobacterales orders and the Clostridia and Bacteroidia classes. An enterobacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) was the dominant member of the strict core microbiota. The most abundant and unique OTUs were not significantly enriched amongst the microbiomes from host specimens included in the sponge microbiome project. In a wider context, Oscarella and Plakina are the sponge genera with higher divergence in their associated microbiota compared to their Homoscleromorpha counterparts. Our results indicate that P. cyanorosea is a low microbial abundance sponge (LMA), which appears to heavily depend on the horizontal transmission of its microbial partners that likely help the sponge host in the adaptation to its habitat.

RevDate: 2020-12-30

Bombin A, Cunneely O, Eickman K, et al (2020)

Influence of Lab Adapted Natural Diet and Microbiota on Life History and Metabolic Phenotype of Drosophila melanogaster.

Microorganisms, 8(12):.

Symbiotic microbiota can help its host to overcome nutritional challenges, which is consistent with a holobiont theory of evolution. Our project investigated the effects produced by the microbiota community, acquired from the environment and horizontal transfer, on metabolic traits related to obesity. The study applied a novel approach of raising Drosophila melanogaster, from ten wild-derived genetic lines on naturally fermented peaches, preserving genuine microbial conditions. Larvae raised on the natural and standard lab diets were significantly different in every tested phenotype. Frozen peach food provided nutritional conditions similar to the natural ones and preserved key microbial taxa necessary for survival and development. On the peach diet, the presence of parental microbiota increased the weight and development rate. Larvae raised on each tested diet formed microbial communities distinct from each other. The effect that individual microbial taxa produced on the host varied significantly with changing environmental and genetic conditions, occasionally to the degree of opposite correlations.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Sukhoverkhov AV, N Gontier (2021)

Non-genetic inheritance: Evolution above the organismal level.

Bio Systems, 200:104325.

The article proposes to further develop the ideas of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis by including into evolutionary research an analysis of phenomena that occur above the organismal level. We demonstrate that the current Extended Synthesis is focused more on individual traits (genetically or non-genetically inherited) and less on community system traits (synergetic/organizational traits) that characterize transgenerational biological, ecological, social, and cultural systems. In this regard, we will consider various communities that are made up of interacting populations, and for which the individual members can belong to the same or to different species. Examples of communities include biofilms, ant colonies, symbiotic associations resulting in holobiont formation, and human societies. The proposed model of evolution at the level of communities revises classic theorizing on the major transitions in evolution by analyzing the interplay between community/social traits and individual traits, and how this brings forth ideas of top-down regulations of bottom-up evolutionary processes (collaboration of downward and upward causation). The work demonstrates that such interplay also includes reticulate interactions and reticulate causation. In this regard, we exemplify how community systems provide various non-genetic 'scaffoldings', 'constraints', and 'affordances' for individual and sociocultural evolutionary development. Such research complements prevailing models that focus on the vertical transmission of heritable information, from parent to offspring, with research that instead focusses on horizontal, oblique and even reverse information transmission, going from offspring to parent. We call this reversed information transfer the 'offspring effect' to contrast it from the 'parental effect'. We argue that the proposed approach to inheritance is effective for modelling cumulative and distributed developmental process and for explaining the biological origins and evolution of language.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

Wang X, Feng H, Wang Y, et al (2020)

Mycorrhizal symbiosis modulates the rhizosphere microbiota to promote rhizobia-legume symbiosis.

Molecular plant pii:S1674-2052(20)30433-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Plants establish symbioses with mutualistic fungi, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and bacteria, such as rhizobia, to exchange key nutrients and thrive. Plants and symbionts have coevolved and represent vital components of terrestrial ecosystems. Plants employ an ancestral AM signaling pathway to establish intracellular symbioses, including the legume-rhizobia symbiosis, in their roots. Nevertheless, the relationship between the AM and rhizobial symbioses in native soil is poorly understood. Here, we examined how these distinct symbioses affect root-associated bacterial communities in Medicago truncatula by performing quantitative microbiota profiling (QMP) of 16S rRNA genes. We found that M. truncatula mutants that cannot establish AM or rhizobia symbiosis have an altered microbial load (quantitative abundance) in the rhizosphere and roots, and in particular that AM symbiosis is required to assemble a normal quantitative root-associated microbiota in native soil. Moreover, quantitative microbial co-abundance network analyses revealed that AM symbiosis affects Rhizobiales hubs among plant microbiota and benefits the plant holobiont. Through QMP of rhizobial rpoB and AM fungal SSU rRNA genes, we revealed a new layer of interaction whereby AM symbiosis promotes rhizobia accumulation in the rhizosphere of M. truncatula. We further showed that AM symbiosis-conditioned microbial communities within the M. truncatula rhizosphere could promote nodulation in different legume plants in native soil. Given that the AM and rhizobial symbioses are critical for crop growth, our findings might inform strategies to improve agricultural management. Moreover, our work sheds light on the co-evolution of these intracellular symbioses during plant adaptation to native soil conditions.

RevDate: 2020-12-08

Robinson JM, R Cameron (2020)

The Holobiont Blindspot: Relating Host-Microbiome Interactions to Cognitive Biases and the Concept of the "Umwelt".

Frontiers in psychology, 11:591071.

Cognitive biases can lead to misinterpretations of human and non-human biology and behavior. The concept of the Umwelt describes phylogenetic contrasts in the sensory realms of different species and has important implications for evolutionary studies of cognition (including biases) and social behavior. It has recently been suggested that the microbiome (the diverse network of microorganisms in a given environment, including those within a host organism such as humans) has an influential role in host behavior and health. In this paper, we discuss the host's microbiome in relation to cognitive biases and the concept of the Umwelt. Failing to consider the role of host-microbiome (collectively termed a "holobiont") interactions in a given behavior, may underpin a potentially important cognitive bias - which we refer to as the Holobiont Blindspot. We also suggest that microbially mediated behavioral responses could augment our understanding of the Umwelt. For example, the potential role of the microbiome in perception and action could be an important component of the system that gives rise to the Umwelt. We also discuss whether microbial symbionts could be considered in System 1 thinking - that is, decisions driven by perception, intuition and associative memory. Recognizing Holobiont Blindspots and considering the microbiome as a key factor in the Umwelt and System 1 thinking has the potential to advance studies of cognition. Furthermore, investigating Holobiont Blindspots could have important implications for our understanding of social behaviors and mental health. Indeed, the way we think about how we think may need to be revisited.

RevDate: 2020-12-23

Sharifi R, CM Ryu (2020)

Social networking in crop plants: Wired and wireless cross-plant communications.

Plant, cell & environment [Epub ahead of print].

The plant-associated microbial community (microbiome) has an important role in plant-plant communications. Plants decipher their complex habitat situations by sensing the environmental stimuli and molecular patterns and associated with microbes, herbivores and dangers. Perception of these cues generates inter/intracellular signals that induce modifications of plant metabolism and physiology. Signals can also be transferred between plants via different mechanisms, which we classify as wired- and wireless communications. Wired communications involve direct signal transfers between plants mediated by mycorrhizal hyphae and parasitic plant stems. Wireless communications involve plant volatile emissions and root exudates elicited by microbes/insects, which enable inter-plant signalling without physical contact. These producer-plant signals induce microbiome adaptation in receiver plants via facilitative or competitive mechanisms. Receiver plants eavesdrop to anticipate responses to improve fitness against stresses. An emerging body of information in plant-plant communication can be leveraged to improve integrated crop management under field conditions.

RevDate: 2020-12-26

Saha M, Dove S, F Weinberger (2020)

Chemically Mediated Microbial "Gardening" Capacity of a Seaweed Holobiont Is Dynamic.

Microorganisms, 8(12):.

Terrestrial plants are known to "garden" the microbiota of their rhizosphere via released metabolites (that can attract beneficial microbes and deter pathogenic microbes). Such a "gardening" capacity is also known to be dynamic in plants. Although microbial "gardening" has been recently demonstrated for seaweeds, we do not know whether this capacity is a dynamic property in any aquatic flora like in terrestrial plants. Here, we tested the dynamic microbial "gardening" capacity of seaweeds using the model invasive red seaweed Agarophyton vermiculophyllum. Following an initial extraction of surface-associated metabolites (immediately after field collection), we conducted a long-term mesocosm experiment for 5 months to test the effect of two different salinities (low = 8.5 and medium = 16.5) on the microbial "gardening" capacity of the alga over time. We tested "gardening" capacity of A. vermiculophyllum originating from two different salinity levels (after 5 months treatments) in settlement assays against three disease causing pathogenic bacteria and seven protective bacteria. We also compared the capacity of the alga with field-collected samples. Abiotic factors like low salinity significantly increased the capacity of the alga to deter colonization by pathogenic bacteria while medium salinity significantly decreased the capacity of the alga over time when compared to field-collected samples. However, capacity to attract beneficial bacteria significantly decreased at both tested salinity levels when compared to field-collected samples. Dynamic microbial "gardening" capacity of a seaweed to attract beneficial bacteria and deter pathogenic bacteria is demonstrated for the first time. Such a dynamic capacity as found in the current study could also be applicable to other aquatic host-microbe interactions. Our results may provide an attractive direction of research towards manipulation of salinity and other abiotic factors leading to better defended A. vermiculophyllum towards pathogenic bacteria thereby enhancing sustained production of healthy A. vermiculophyllum in farms.

RevDate: 2021-01-27
CmpDate: 2021-01-27

Ye S, E Siemann (2020)

Endosymbiont-Mediated Adaptive Responses to Stress in Holobionts.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:559-580.

Endosymbiosis is found in all types of ecosystems and it can be sensitive to environmental changes due to the intimate interaction between the endosymbiont and the host. Indeed, global climate change disturbs the local ambient environment and threatens endosymbiotic species, and in some cases leads to local ecosystem collapse. Recent studies have revealed that the endosymbiont can affect holobiont (endosymbiont and host together) stress tolerance as much as the host does, and manipulation of the microbial partners in holobionts may mitigate the impacts of the environmental stress. Here, we first show how the endosymbiont presence affects holobiont stress tolerance by discussing three well-studied endosymbiotic systems, which include plant-fungi, aquatic organism-algae, and insect-bacteria systems. We then review how holobionts are able to alter their stress tolerance via associated endosymbionts by changing their endosymbiont composition, by adaptation of their endosymbionts, or by acclimation of their endosymbionts. Finally, we discuss how different transmission modes (vertical or horizontal transmission) might affect the adaptability of holobionts. We propose that the endosymbiont is a good target for modifying holobiont stress tolerance, which makes it critical to more fully investigate the role of endosymbionts in the adaptive responses of holobionts to stress.

RevDate: 2021-01-27
CmpDate: 2021-01-27

Huitzil S, Sandoval-Motta S, Frank A, et al (2020)

Phenotype Heritability in Holobionts: An Evolutionary Model.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:199-223.

Many complex diseases are expressed with high incidence only in certain populations. Genealogy studies determine that these diseases are inherited with a high probability. However, genetic studies have been unable to identify the genomic signatures responsible for such heritability, as identifying the genetic variants that make a population prone to a given disease is not enough to explain its high occurrence within the population. This gap is known as the missing heritability problem. We know that the microbiota plays a very important role in determining many important phenotypic characteristics of its host, in particular the complex diseases for which the missing heritability occurs. Therefore, when computing the heritability of a phenotype, it is important to consider not only the genetic variation in the host but also in its microbiota. Here we test this hypothesis by studying an evolutionary model based on gene regulatory networks. Our results show that the holobiont (the host plus its microbiota) is capable of generating a much larger variability than the host alone, greatly reducing the missing heritability of the phenotype. This result strongly suggests that a considerably large part of the missing heritability can be attributed to the microbiome.

RevDate: 2020-12-14

Porro B, Zamoum T, Mallien C, et al (2020)

Horizontal acquisition of Symbiodiniaceae in the Anemonia viridis (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) species complex.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

All metazoans are in fact holobionts, resulting from the association of several organisms, and organismal adaptation is then due to the composite response of this association to the environment. Deciphering the mechanisms of symbiont acquisition in a holobiont is therefore essential to understanding the extent of its adaptive capacities. In cnidarians, some species acquire their photosynthetic symbionts directly from their parents (vertical transmission) but may also acquire symbionts from the environment (horizontal acquisition) at the adult stage. The Mediterranean snakelocks sea anemone, Anemonia viridis (Forskål, 1775), passes down symbionts from one generation to the next by vertical transmission, but the capacity for such horizontal acquisition is still unexplored. To unravel the flexibility of the association between the different host lineages identified in A. viridis and its Symbiodiniaceae, we genotyped both the animal hosts and their symbiont communities in members of host clones in five different locations in the North Western Mediterranean Sea. The composition of within-host-symbiont populations was more dependent on the geographical origin of the hosts than their membership to a given lineage or even to a given clone. Additionally, similarities in host-symbiont communities were greater among genets (i.e. among different clones) than among ramets (i.e. among members of the same given clonal genotype). Taken together, our results demonstrate that A. viridis may form associations with a range of symbiotic dinoflagellates and suggest a capacity for horizontal acquisition. A mixed-mode transmission strategy in A. viridis, as we posit here, may help explain the large phenotypic plasticity that characterizes this anemone.

RevDate: 2020-12-07

Cooke I, Ying H, Forêt S, et al (2020)

Genomic signatures in the coral holobiont reveal host adaptations driven by Holocene climate change and reef specific symbionts.

Science advances, 6(48):.

Genetic signatures caused by demographic and adaptive processes during past climatic shifts can inform predictions of species' responses to anthropogenic climate change. To identify these signatures in Acropora tenuis, a reef-building coral threatened by global warming, we first assembled the genome from long reads and then used shallow whole-genome resequencing of 150 colonies from the central inshore Great Barrier Reef to inform population genomic analyses. We identify population structure in the host that reflects a Pleistocene split, whereas photosymbiont differences between reefs most likely reflect contemporary (Holocene) conditions. Signatures of selection in the host were associated with genes linked to diverse processes including osmotic regulation, skeletal development, and the establishment and maintenance of symbiosis. Our results suggest that adaptation to post-glacial climate change in A. tenuis has involved selection on many genes, while differences in symbiont specificity between reefs appear to be unrelated to host population structure.

RevDate: 2021-01-19
CmpDate: 2021-01-19

Calegario G, Freitas L, Appolinario LR, et al (2021)

Conserved rhodolith microbiomes across environmental gradients of the Great Amazon Reef.

The Science of the total environment, 760:143411.

The Great Amazon Reef System (GARS) covers an estimated area of 56,000 km2 off the mouth of the Amazon River. Living rhodolith holobionts are major benthic components of the GARS. However, it is unclear whether environmental conditions modulate the rhodolith microbiomes. Previous studies suggest that environmental parameters such as light, temperature, depth, and nutrients are drivers of rhodolith health. However, it is unclear whether rhodoliths from different sectors (northern, central, and southern) from the GARS have different microbiomes. We analysed metagenomes of rhodoliths (n = 10) and seawater (n = 6), obtained from the three sectors, by illumina shotgun sequencing (total read counts: 25.73 million). Suspended particulate material and isotopic composition of dissolved organic carbon (δ13C) indicated a strong influence of the Amazon river plume over the entire study area. However, photosynthetically active radiation at the bottom (PARb) was higher in the southern sector reefs, ranging from 10.1 to 14.3 E.m-2 day-1. The coralline calcareous red algae (CCA) Corallina caespitosa, Corallina officinalis, Lithophyllum cabiochiae, and Hapalidiales were present in the three sectors and in most rhodolith samples. Rhodolith microbiomes were very homogeneous across the studied area and differed significantly from seawater microbiomes. However, some subtle differences were found when comparing the rhodolith microbiomes from the northern and central sectors to the ones from the southern. Consistent with the higher light availability, two phyla were more abundant in rhodolith microbiomes from southern sites (Bacteroidetes, and Cyanobacteria). In addition, two functional categories were enhanced in southern rhodolith microbiomes (iron acquisition and metabolism, and photosynthesis). Phycobiliprotein-coding genes were also more abundant in southern locations, while the functional categories of respiration and sulfur metabolism were enhanced in northern and central rhodolith microbiomes, consistent with higher nutrient loads. The results confirm the conserved nature of rhodolith microbiomes even under pronounced environmental gradients. Subtle taxonomic and functional differences observed in rhodolith microbiomes may enable rhodoliths to thrive in changing environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2020-11-27

Aichelman HE, DJ Barshis (2020)

Adaptive divergence, neutral panmixia, and algal symbiont population structure in the temperate coral Astrangia poculata along the Mid-Atlantic United States.

PeerJ, 8:e10201.

Astrangia poculata is a temperate scleractinian coral that exists in facultative symbiosis with the dinoflagellate alga Breviolum psygmophilum across a range spanning the Gulf of Mexico to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Our previous work on metabolic thermal performance of Virginia (VA) and Rhode Island (RI) populations of A. poculata revealed physiological signatures of cold (RI) and warm (VA) adaptation of these populations to their respective local thermal environments. Here, we used whole-transcriptome sequencing (mRNA-Seq) to evaluate genetic differences and identify potential loci involved in the adaptive signature of VA and RI populations. Sequencing data from 40 A. poculata individuals, including 10 colonies from each population and symbiotic state (VA-white, VA-brown, RI-white, and RI-brown), yielded a total of 1,808 host-associated and 59 algal symbiont-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) post filtration. Fst outlier analysis identified 66 putative high outlier SNPs in the coral host and 4 in the algal symbiont. Differentiation of VA and RI populations in the coral host was driven by putatively adaptive loci, not neutral divergence (Fst = 0.16, p = 0.001 and Fst = 0.002, p = 0.269 for outlier and neutral SNPs respectively). In contrast, we found evidence of neutral population differentiation in B. psygmophilum (Fst = 0.093, p = 0.001). Several putatively adaptive host loci occur on genes previously associated with the coral stress response. In the symbiont, three of four putatively adaptive loci are associated with photosystem proteins. The opposing pattern of neutral differentiation in B. psygmophilum, but not the A. poculata host, reflects the contrasting dynamics of coral host and algal symbiont population connectivity, dispersal, and gene by environment interactions.

RevDate: 2020-12-15

Garcias-Bonet N, Eguíluz VM, Díaz-Rúa R, et al (2020)

Host-association as major driver of microbiome structure and composition in Red Sea seagrass ecosystems.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The role of the microbiome in sustaining seagrasses has recently been highlighted. However, our understanding of the seagrass microbiome lacks behind that of other organisms. Here, we analyse the endophytic and total bacterial communities of leaves, rhizomes, and roots of six Red Sea seagrass species and their sediments. The structure of seagrass bacterial communities revealed that the 1% most abundant OTUs accounted for 87.9% and 74.8% of the total numbers of reads in sediment and plant tissue samples, respectively. We found taxonomically distinct bacterial communities in vegetated and bare sediments. Yet, our results suggest that lifestyle (i.e. free-living or host-association) is the main driver of bacterial community composition. Seagrass bacterial communities were tissue- and species-specific and differed from those of surrounding sediments. We identified OTUs belonging to genera related to N and S cycles in roots, and members of Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes phyla as particularly enriched in root endosphere. The finding of highly similar OTUs in well-defined sub-clusters by network analysis suggests the co-occurrence of highly connected key members within Red Sea seagrass bacterial communities. These results provide key information towards the understanding of the role of microorganisms in seagrass ecosystem functioning framed under the seagrass holobiont concept.

RevDate: 2020-11-22

Grottoli AG, Toonen RJ, van Woesik R, et al (2020)

Increasing comparability among coral bleaching experiments.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America [Epub ahead of print].

Coral bleaching is the single largest global threat to coral reefs worldwide. Integrating the diverse body of work on coral bleaching is critical to understanding and combating this global problem. Yet investigating the drivers, patterns, and processes of coral bleaching poses a major challenge. A recent review of published experiments revealed a wide range of experimental variables used across studies. Such a wide range of approaches enhances discovery, but without full transparency in the experimental and analytical methods used, can also make comparisons among studies challenging. To increase comparability but not stifle innovation, we propose a common framework for coral bleaching experiments that includes consideration of coral provenance, experimental conditions, and husbandry. For example, reporting the number of genets used, collection site conditions, the experimental temperature offset(s) from the maximum monthly mean (MMM) of the collection site, experimental light conditions, flow, and the feeding regime will greatly facilitate comparability across studies. Similarly, quantifying common response variables of endosymbiont (Symbiodiniaceae) and holobiont phenotypes (i.e., color, chlorophyll, endosymbiont cell density, mortality, and skeletal growth) could further facilitate cross-study comparisons. While no single bleaching experiment can provide the data necessary to determine global coral responses of all corals to current and future ocean warming, linking studies through a common framework as outlined here, would help increase comparability among experiments, facilitate synthetic insights into the causes and underlying mechanisms of coral bleaching, and reveal unique bleaching responses among genets, species, and regions. Such a collaborative framework that fosters transparency in methods used would strengthen comparisons among studies that can help inform coral reef management and facilitate conservation strategies to mitigate coral bleaching worldwide.

RevDate: 2021-01-27

Song H, Hewitt OH, SM Degnan (2021)

Arginine Biosynthesis by a Bacterial Symbiont Enables Nitric Oxide Production and Facilitates Larval Settlement in the Marine-Sponge Host.

Current biology : CB, 31(2):433-437.e3.

Larval settlement and metamorphosis are regulated by nitric oxide (NO) signaling in a wide diversity of marine invertebrates.1-10 It is thus surprising that, in most invertebrates, the substrate for NO synthesis-arginine-cannot be biosynthesized but instead must be exogenously sourced.11 In the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica, vertically inherited proteobacterial symbionts in the larva are able to biosynthesize arginine.12,13 Here, we test the hypothesis that symbionts provide arginine to the sponge host so that nitric oxide synthase expressed in the larva can produce NO, which regulates metamorphosis,8 and the byproduct citrulline (Figure 1). First, we find support for an arginine-citrulline biosynthetic loop in this sponge larval holobiont by using stable isotope tracing. In symbionts, incorporated 13C-citrulline decreases as 13C-arginine increases, consistent with the use of exogenous citrulline for arginine synthesis. In contrast, 13C-citrulline accumulates in larvae as 13C-arginine decreases, demonstrating the uptake of exogenous arginine and its conversion to NO and citrulline. Second, we show that, although Amphimedon larvae can derive arginine directly from seawater, normal settlement and metamorphosis can occur in artificial sea water lacking arginine. Together, these results support holobiont complementation of the arginine-citrulline loop and NO biosynthesis in Amphimedon larvae, suggesting a critical role for bacterial symbionts in the development of this marine sponge. Given that NO regulates settlement and metamorphosis in diverse animal phyla1-10 and arginine is procured externally in most animals,11 we propose that symbionts might play an equally critical regulatory role in this essential life cycle transition in other metazoans.

RevDate: 2020-12-21

Kelly VW, Liang BK, SJ Sirk (2020)

Living Therapeutics: The Next Frontier of Precision Medicine.

ACS synthetic biology, 9(12):3184-3201.

Modern medicine has long studied the mechanism and impact of pathogenic microbes on human hosts, but has only recently shifted attention toward the complex and vital roles that commensal and probiotic microbes play in both health and dysbiosis. Fueled by an enhanced appreciation of the human-microbe holobiont, the past decade has yielded countless insights and established many new avenues of investigation in this area. In this review, we discuss advances, limitations, and emerging frontiers for microbes as agents of health maintenance, disease prevention, and cure. We highlight the flexibility of microbial therapeutics across disease states, with special consideration for the rational engineering of microbes toward precision medicine outcomes. As the field advances, we anticipate that tools of synthetic biology will be increasingly employed to engineer functional living therapeutics with the potential to address longstanding limitations of traditional drugs.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Djemiel C, Goulas E, Badalato N, et al (2020)

Targeted Metagenomics of Retting in Flax: The Beginning of the Quest to Harness the Secret Powers of the Microbiota.

Frontiers in genetics, 11:581664.

The mechanical and chemical properties of natural plant fibers are determined by many different factors, both intrinsic and extrinsic to the plant, during growth but also after harvest. A better understanding of how all these factors exert their effect and how they interact is necessary to be able to optimize fiber quality for use in different industries. One important factor is the post-harvest process known as retting, representing the first step in the extraction of bast fibers from the stem of species such as flax and hemp. During this process microorganisms colonize the stem and produce hydrolytic enzymes that target cell wall polymers thereby facilitating the progressive destruction of the stem and fiber bundles. Recent advances in sequencing technology have allowed researchers to implement targeted metagenomics leading to a much better characterization of the microbial communities involved in retting, as well as an improved understanding of microbial dynamics. In this paper we review how our current knowledge of the microbiology of retting has been improved by targeted metagenomics and discuss how related '-omics' approaches might be used to fully characterize the functional capability of the retting microbiome.

RevDate: 2020-12-15

Parras-Moltó M, D Aguirre de Cárcer (2020)

A comprehensive human minimal gut metagenome extends the host's metabolic potential.

Microbial genomics, 6(11):.

Accumulating evidence suggests that humans could be considered as holobionts in which the gut microbiota play essential functions. Initial metagenomic studies reported a pattern of shared genes in the gut microbiome of different individuals, leading to the definition of the minimal gut metagenome as the set of microbial genes necessary for homeostasis and present in all healthy individuals. This study analyses the minimal gut metagenome of the most comprehensive dataset available, including individuals from agriculturalist and industrialist societies, also embodying highly diverse ethnic and geographical backgrounds. The outcome, based on metagenomic predictions for community composition data, resulted in a minimal metagenome comprising 3412 genes, mapping to 1856 reactions and 128 metabolic pathways predicted to occur across all individuals. These results were substantiated by the analysis of two additional datasets describing the microbial community compositions of larger Western cohorts, as well as a substantial shotgun metagenomics dataset. Subsequent analyses showed the plausible metabolic complementarity provided by the minimal gut metagenome to the human genome.

RevDate: 2020-11-03

Mote S, Gupta V, De K, et al (2020)

Bacterial diversity associated with a newly described bioeroding sponge, Cliona thomasi, from the coral reefs on the West Coast of India.

Folia microbiologica pii:10.1007/s12223-020-00830-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The bacterial diversity associated with eroding sponges belonging to the Cliona viridis species complex is scarcely known. Cliona thomasi described from the West Coast of India is a new introduction to the viridis species complex. In this study, we determined the bacterial diversity associated with C. thomasi using next-generation sequencing. The results revealed the dominance of Proteobacteria followed by Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. Among Proteobacteria, the Alphaproteobacteria were found to be the most dominant class. Furthermore, at the genus level, Rhodothalassium were highly abundant followed by Endozoicomonas in sponge samples. The beta-diversity and species richness measures showed remarkably lower diversity in Cliona thomasi than the ambient environment. The determined lower bacterial diversity in C. thomasi than the environmental samples, thus, categorized it as a low microbial abundance (LMA). Functional annotation of the C. thomasi-associated bacterial community indicates their possible role in photo-autotrophy, aerobic nitrification, coupling of sulphate reduction and sulphide oxidization. The present study unveils the bacterial diversity in bioeroding C. thomasi, which is a crucial step to determine the functions of the sponge holobiont in coral reef ecosystem.

RevDate: 2020-11-28

Boilard A, Dubé CE, Gruet C, et al (2020)

Defining Coral Bleaching as a Microbial Dysbiosis within the Coral Holobiont.

Microorganisms, 8(11):.

Coral microbiomes are critical to holobiont health and functioning, but the stability of host-microbial interactions is fragile, easily shifting from eubiosis to dysbiosis. The heat-induced breakdown of the symbiosis between the host and its dinoflagellate algae (that is, "bleaching"), is one of the most devastating outcomes for reef ecosystems. Yet, bleaching tolerance has been observed in some coral species. This review provides an overview of the holobiont's diversity, explores coral thermal tolerance in relation to their associated microorganisms, discusses the hypothesis of adaptive dysbiosis as a mechanism of environmental adaptation, mentions potential solutions to mitigate bleaching, and suggests new research avenues. More specifically, we define coral bleaching as the succession of three holobiont stages, where the microbiota can (i) maintain essential functions for holobiont homeostasis during stress and/or (ii) act as a buffer to mitigate bleaching by favoring the recruitment of thermally tolerant Symbiodiniaceae species (adaptive dysbiosis), and where (iii) environmental stressors exceed the buffering capacity of both microbial and dinoflagellate partners leading to coral death.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-09

Panelli S, Corbella M, Gazzola A, et al (2020)

Tracking over time the developing gut microbiota in newborns admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit during an outbreak caused by ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae.

The new microbiologica, 43(4):186-190.

The establishment of gut microbiota is reportedly aberrant in newborns admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), with detrimental long-term health impacts. Here, we vertically tracked the developing gut bacterial communities of newborns hosted in an NICU during an outbreak sustained by ESBL Klebsiella pneumoniae and compared colonized and non-colonized patients. Most communities were highly variable from one sampling point to the next, and dominated by few taxa, often Proteobacteria and Enterobacteriaceae, with marked interindividual variability. This picture was retrieved independently of colonization status or clinical covariates. Our data support the emerging idea of preterm infants as a population in which no defined microbial signatures are clearly associated to clinical status. Instead, the strong pressure of the nosocomial environment, antibiotics and, in this case, the ongoing outbreak, possibly drive the evolution of microbiota patterns according to individual conditions, also in non-colonized patients.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Goddard-Dwyer M, López-Legentil S, PM Erwin (2021)

Microbiome Variability across the Native and Invasive Ranges of the Ascidian Clavelina oblonga.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 87(2):.

Ascidians are prolific colonizers of new environments and possess a range of well-studied features that contribute to their successful spread, but the role of their symbiotic microbial communities in their long-term establishment is mostly unknown. In this study, we utilized next-generation amplicon sequencing to provide a comprehensive description of the microbiome in the colonial ascidian Clavelina oblonga and examined differences in the composition, diversity, and structure of symbiont communities in the host's native and invasive ranges. To identify host haplotypes, we sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI). C. oblonga harbored a diverse microbiome spanning 42 bacterial and three archaeal phyla. Colonies in the invasive range hosted significantly less diverse symbiont communities and exhibited lower COI haplotype diversity than colonies in the native range. Differences in microbiome structure were also detected across colonies in the native and invasive range, driven largely by novel bacteria representing symbiont lineages with putative roles in nitrogen cycling. Variability in symbiont composition was also observed among sites within each range. Together, these data suggest that C. oblonga hosts a dynamic microbiome resulting from (i) reductions in symbiont diversity due to founder effects in host populations and (ii) environmental selection of symbiont taxa in response to new habitats within a range. Further investigation is required to document the mechanisms behind these changes and to determine how changes in microbiome structure relate to holobiont function and the successful establishment of C. oblonga worldwide.IMPORTANCE Nonnative species destabilize coastal ecosystems and microbial symbionts may facilitate their spread by enhancing host survival and fitness. However, we know little of the microorganisms that live inside invasive species and whether they change as the host spreads to new areas. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities of an introduced ascidian (Clavelina oblonga) and tracked symbiont changes across locations within the host's native and invasive ranges. Ascidians in the invasive range had less-diverse microbiomes, as well as lower host haplotype diversity, suggesting that specific colonies reach new locations and carry select symbionts from native populations (i.e., founder effects). Further, ascidians in the invasive range hosted a different composition of symbionts, including microbes with the potential to aid in processes related to invasion success (e.g., nutrient cycling). We conclude that the putative functionality and observed flexibility of this introduced ascidian microbiome may represent an underappreciated factor in the successful establishment of nonnative species in new environments.

RevDate: 2020-10-31

van de Water JAJM, Coppari M, Enrichetti F, et al (2020)

Local Conditions Influence the Prokaryotic Communities Associated With the Mesophotic Black Coral Antipathella subpinnata.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:537813.

Black corals are important habitat-forming species in the mesophotic and deep-sea zones of the world's oceans because of their arborescent colony structure and tendency to form animal forests. Although we have started unraveling the ecology of mesophotic black corals, the importance of the associated microbes to their health has remained unexplored. Here, we provide in-depth assessments of black coral-microbe symbioses by investigating the spatial and temporal stability of these associations, and make comparisons with a sympatric octocoral with similar colony structure. To this end, we collected samples of Antipathella subpinnata colonies from three mesophotic shoals situated along the Ligurian Coast of the Mediterranean Sea (Bordighera, Portofino, Savona) in the spring of 2017. At the Portofino shoal, samples of A. subpinnata and the gorgonian Eunicella cavolini were collected in November 2016 and May 2017. Bacterial communities were profiled using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The bacterial community of E. cavolini was consistently dominated by Endozoicomonas. Contrastingly, the black coral microbiome was more diverse, and was primarily composed of numerous Bacteroidetes, Alpha- and Gammaproteobacterial taxa, putatively involved in all steps of the nitrogen and sulfur cycles. Compositional differences in the A. subpinnata microbiome existed between all locations and both time points, and no phylotypes were consistently associated with A. subpinnata. This highlights that local conditions may influence the bacterial community structure and potentially nutrient cycling within the A. subpinnata holobiont. But it also suggests that this coral holobiont possesses a high degree of microbiome flexibility, which may be a mechanism to acclimate to environmental change.

RevDate: 2020-11-12

Chakraborty A, Ashraf MZ, Modlinger R, et al (2020)

Unravelling the gut bacteriome of Ips (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae): identifying core bacterial assemblage and their ecological relevance.

Scientific reports, 10(1):18572.

Bark beetles often serve as forest damaging agents, causing landscape-level mortality. Understanding the biology and ecology of beetles are important for both, gathering knowledge about important forest insects and forest protection. Knowledge about the bark beetle gut-associated bacteria is one of the crucial yet surprisingly neglected areas of research with European tree-killing bark beetles. Hence, in this study, we survey the gut bacteriome from five Ips and one non-Ips bark beetles from Scolytinae. Results reveal 69 core bacterial genera among five Ips beetles that may perform conserved functions within the bark beetle holobiont. The most abundant bacterial genera from different bark beetle gut include Erwinia, Sodalis, Serratia, Tyzzerella, Raoultella, Rahnella, Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, Vibrio, and Pseudoxanthomonas. Notable differences in gut-associated bacterial community richness and diversity among the beetle species are observed. Furthermore, the impact of sampling location on the overall bark beetle gut bacterial community assemblage is also documented, which warrants further investigations. Nevertheless, our data expanded the current knowledge about core gut bacterial communities in Ips bark beetles and their putative function such as cellulose degradation, nitrogen fixation, detoxification of defensive plant compounds, and inhibition of pathogens, which could serve as a basis for further metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics investigations.

RevDate: 2020-12-18
CmpDate: 2020-12-18

da Silva Fonseca J, Mies M, Paranhos A, et al (2021)

Isolated and combined effects of thermal stress and copper exposure on the trophic behavior and oxidative status of the reef-building coral Mussismilia harttii.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 268(Pt B):115892.

Global warming and local disturbances such as pollution cause several impacts on coral reefs. Among them is the breakdown of the symbiosis between host corals and photosynthetic symbionts, which is often a consequence of oxidative stress. Therefore, we investigated if the combined effects of thermal stress and copper (Cu) exposure change the trophic behavior and oxidative status of the reef-building coral Mussismilia harttii. Coral fragments were exposed in a mesocosm system to three temperatures (25.0, 26.6 and 27.3 °C) and three Cu concentrations (2.9, 5.4 and 8.6 μg L-1). Samples were collected after 4 and 12 days of exposure. We then (i) performed fatty acid analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to quantify changes in stearidonic acid and docosapentaenoic acid (autotrophy markers) and cis-gondoic acid (heterotrophy marker), and (ii) assessed the oxidative status of both host and symbiont through analyses of lipid peroxidation (LPO) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Our findings show that trophic behavior was predominantly autotrophic and remained unchanged under individual and combined stressors for both 4- and 12-day experiments; for the latter, however, there was an increase in the heterotrophy marker. Results also show that 4 days was not enough to trigger changes in LPO or TAC for both coral and symbiont. However, the 12-day experiment showed a reduction in symbiont LPO associated with thermal stress alone, and the combination of stressors increased their TAC. For the coral, the isolated effects of increase in Cu and temperature led to an increase in LPO. The effects of combined stressors on trophic behavior and oxidative status were not much different than those from the isolated effects of each stressor. These findings highlight that host and symbionts respond differently to stress and are relevant as they show the physiological response of individual holobiont compartments to both global and local stressors.

RevDate: 2020-10-30

Cannicci S, Fratini S, Meriggi N, et al (2020)

To the Land and Beyond: Crab Microbiomes as a Paradigm for the Evolution of Terrestrialization.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:575372.

The transition to terrestrial environments by formerly aquatic species has occurred repeatedly in many animal phyla and lead to the vast diversity of extant terrestrial species. The differences between aquatic and terrestrial habitats are enormous and involved remarkable morphological and physiological changes. Convergent evolution of various traits is evident among phylogenetically distant taxa, but almost no information is available about the role of symbiotic microbiota in such transition. Here, we suggest that intertidal and terrestrial brachyuran crabs are a perfect model to study the evolutionary pathways and the ecological role of animal-microbiome symbioses, since their transition to land is happening right now, through a number of independent lineages. The microorganisms colonizing the gut of intertidal and terrestrial crabs are expected to play a major role to conquer the land, by reducing water losses and permitting the utilization of novel food sources. Indeed, it has been shown that the microbiomes hosted in the digestive system of terrestrial isopods has been critical to digest plant items, but nothing is known about the microbiomes present in the gut of truly terrestrial crabs. Other important physiological regulations that could be facilitated by microbiomes are nitrogen excretion and osmoregulation in the new environment. We also advocate for advances in comparative and functional genomics to uncover physiological aspects of these ongoing evolutionary processes. We think that the multidisciplinary study of microorganisms associated with terrestrial crabs will shed a completely new light on the biological and physiological processes involved in the sea-land transition.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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