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Bibliography on: Holobiont

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

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 03 Dec 2021 at 01:30 Created: 

Holobiont

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®)

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RevDate: 2021-12-02

Wolinska KW, Vannier N, Thiergart T, et al (2021)

Tryptophan metabolism and bacterial commensals prevent fungal dysbiosis in Arabidopsis roots.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(49):.

In nature, roots of healthy plants are colonized by multikingdom microbial communities that include bacteria, fungi, and oomycetes. A key question is how plants control the assembly of these diverse microbes in roots to maintain host-microbe homeostasis and health. Using microbiota reconstitution experiments with a set of immunocompromised Arabidopsis thaliana mutants and a multikingdom synthetic microbial community (SynCom) representative of the natural A. thaliana root microbiota, we observed that microbiota-mediated plant growth promotion was abolished in most of the tested immunocompromised mutants. Notably, more than 40% of between-genotype variation in these microbiota-induced growth differences was explained by fungal but not bacterial or oomycete load in roots. Extensive fungal overgrowth in roots and altered plant growth was evident at both vegetative and reproductive stages for a mutant impaired in the production of tryptophan-derived, specialized metabolites (cyp79b2/b3). Microbiota manipulation experiments with single- and multikingdom microbial SynComs further demonstrated that 1) the presence of fungi in the multikingdom SynCom was the direct cause of the dysbiotic phenotype in the cyp79b2/b3 mutant and 2) bacterial commensals and host tryptophan metabolism are both necessary to control fungal load, thereby promoting A. thaliana growth and survival. Our results indicate that protective activities of bacterial root commensals are as critical as the host tryptophan metabolic pathway in preventing fungal dysbiosis in the A. thaliana root endosphere.

RevDate: 2021-11-25

Kopprio GA, Luyen ND, Cuong LH, et al (2021)

Insights into the bacterial community composition of farmed Caulerpa lentillifera: A comparison between contrasting health states.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

The bacterial communities of Caulerpa lentillifera were studied during an outbreak of an unknown disease in a sea grape farm from Vietnam. Clear differences between healthy and diseased cases were observed at the order, genus, and Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) level. A richer diversity was detected in the diseased thalli of C. lentillifera, as well as the dominance of the orders Flavobacteriales (phylum Bacteroidetes) and Phycisphaerales (Planctomycetes). Aquibacter, Winogradskyella, and other OTUs of the family Flavobacteriaceae were hypothesized as detrimental bacteria, this family comprises some well-known seaweed pathogens. Phycisphaera together with other Planctomycetes and Woeseia were probably saprophytes of C. lentillifera. The Rhodobacteraceae and Rhodovulum dominated the bacterial community composition of healthy C. lentillifera. The likely beneficial role of Bradyrhizobium, Paracoccus, and Brevundimonas strains on nutrient cycling and phytohormone production was discussed. The bleaching of diseased C. lentillifera might not only be associated with pathogens but also with an oxidative response. This study offers pioneering insights on the co-occurrence of C. lentillifera-attached bacteria, potential detrimental or beneficial microbes, and a baseline for understanding the C. lentillifera holobiont. Further applied and basic research is urgently needed on C. lentillifera microbiome, shotgun metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, and metabolomic studies as well as bioactivity assays are recommended.

RevDate: 2021-11-25

Price DC, Brennan JR, Wagner NE, et al (2021)

Comparative hologenomics of two Ixodes scapularis tick populations in New Jersey.

PeerJ, 9:e12313 pii:12313.

Tick-borne diseases, such as those transmitted by the blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis, are a significant and growing public health problem in the US. There is mounting evidence that co-occurring non-pathogenic microbes can also impact tick-borne disease transmission. Shotgun metagenome sequencing enables sampling of the complete tick hologenome-the collective genomes of the tick and all of the microbial species contained therein, whether pathogenic, commensal or symbiotic. This approach simultaneously uncovers taxonomic composition and allows the detection of intraspecific genetic variation, making it a useful tool to compare spatial differences across tick populations. We evaluated this approach by comparing hologenome data from two tick samples (N = 6 ticks per location) collected at a relatively fine spatial scale, approximately 23 km apart, within a single US county. Several intriguing variants in the data between the two sites were detected, including polymorphisms in both in the tick's own mitochondrial DNA and that of a rickettsial endosymbiont. The two samples were broadly similar in terms of the microbial species present, including multiple known tick-borne pathogens (Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia microti, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum), filarial nematodes, and Wolbachia and Babesia species. We assembled the complete genome of the rickettsial endosymbiont (most likely Rickettsia buchneri) from both populations. Our results provide further evidence for the use of shotgun metagenome sequencing as a tool to compare tick hologenomes and differentiate tick populations across localized spatial scales.

RevDate: 2021-11-25

Liu S, Zhang SM, Buddenborg SK, et al (2021)

Virus-derived sequences from the transcriptomes of two snail vectors of schistosomiasis, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Bulinus globosus from Kenya.

PeerJ, 9:e12290 pii:12290.

Schistosomiasis, which infects more than 230 million people, is vectored by freshwater snails. We identified viral sequences in the transcriptomes of Biomphalaria pfeifferi (BP) and Bulinus globosus (BuG), two of the world's most important schistosomiasis vectors in Africa. Sequences from 26 snails generated using Illumina Hi-Seq or 454 sequencing were assembled using Trinity and CAP3 and putative virus sequences were identified using a bioinformatics pipeline. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and coat protein sequences to establish relatedness between virus sequences identified and those of known viruses. Viral sequences were identified from the entire snail holobiont, including symbionts, ingested material and organisms passively associated with the snails. Sequences derived from more than 17 different viruses were found including five near full-length genomes, most of which were small RNA viruses with positive sense RNA genomes (i.e., picorna-like viruses) and some of which are likely derived from adherent or ingested diatoms. Based on phylogenetic analysis, five of these viruses (including BPV2 and BuGV2) along with four Biomphalaria glabrata viruses reported previously, cluster with known invertebrate viruses and are putative viruses of snails. The presence of RNA sequences derived from four of these novel viruses in samples was confirmed. Identification of the genome sequences of candidate snail viruses provides a first step toward characterization of additional gastropod viruses, including from species of biomedical significance.

RevDate: 2021-11-20

Cerrano C, Giovine M, L Steindler (2021)

Petrosia ficiformis (Poiret, 1789): an excellent model for holobiont and biotechnological studies.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 74:61-65 pii:S0958-1669(21)00209-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The aggregation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells has resulted in evolution of organisms with remarkable abilities to synthetize natural bioactive compounds of biotechnological relevance. Marine sponges such as Petrosia ficiformis are examples of this evolutionary strategy. The P. ficiformis microbiome, which produces a diversity of chemical compounds, plays a fundamental role in this sponge's extraordinary adaptation to various ecological conditions. The microbial community of P. ficiformis seems representative of sponge microbiomes, but it has an unusual exclusively horizontal transmission. This uncommon feature, together with its wide environmental distribution, its ability to generate 3D cell cultures that host symbionts, and the availability of meta-omics and physiology information make this sponge an effective model to study the complexity of holobionts.

RevDate: 2021-11-19

Decroës A, Li JM, Richardson L, et al (2021)

Metagenomics approach for Polymyxa betae genome assembly enables comparative analysis towards deciphering the intracellular parasitic lifestyle of the plasmodiophorids.

Genomics pii:S0888-7543(21)00397-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Genomic knowledge of the tree of life is biased to specific groups of organisms. For example, only six full genomes are currently available in the rhizaria clade. Here, we have applied metagenomic techniques enabling the assembly of the genome of Polymyxa betae (Rhizaria, Plasmodiophorida) RES F41 isolate from unpurified zoospore holobiont and comparison with the A26-41 isolate. Furthermore, the first P. betae mitochondrial genome was assembled. The two P. betae nuclear genomes were highly similar, each with just ~10.2 k predicted protein coding genes, ~3% of which were unique to each isolate. Extending genomic comparisons revealed a greater overlap with Spongospora subterranea than with Plasmodiophora brassicae, including orthologs of the mammalian cation channel sperm-associated proteins, raising some intriguing questions about zoospore physiology. This work validates our metagenomics pipeline for eukaryote genome assembly from unpurified samples and enriches plasmodiophorid genomics; providing the first full annotation of the P. betae genome.

RevDate: 2021-11-17

Xiang N, Hassenrück C, Pogoreutz C, et al (2021)

Contrasting microbiome dynamics of putative denitrifying bacteria in two octocoral species exposed to dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and warming.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Mutualistic nutrient cycling in the coral-algae symbiosis depends on limited nitrogen (N) availability for algal symbionts. Denitrifying prokaryotes capable of reducing nitrate or nitrite to dinitrogen could thus support coral holobiont functioning by limiting N availability. Octocorals show some of the highest denitrification rates among reef organisms, however little is known about the community structures of associated denitrifiers and their response to environmental fluctuations. Combining 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing with nirS in-silico PCR and quantitative PCR, we found differences in bacterial community dynamics between two octocorals exposed to excess dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and concomitant warming. While bacterial communities of the gorgonian Pinnigorgia flava remained largely unaffected by DOC and warming, the soft coral Xenia umbellata exhibited a pronounced shift towards Alphaproteobacteria dominance under excess DOC. Likewise, the relative abundance of denitrifiers was not altered in P. flava, but decreased by one order of magnitude in X. umbellata under excess DOC likely due to decreased proportions of Ruegeria spp. Given that holobiont C:N ratios remained stable in P. flava but showed a pronounced increase with excess DOC in X. umbellata host, our results suggest that microbial community dynamics may reflect the nutritional status of the holobiont. Hence, denitrifier abundance may be directly linked to N availability. This suggests a passive regulation of N cycling microbes, which could help stabilize nutrient limitation in the coral-algal symbiosis and thereby support holobiont functioning in a changing environment. Importance Octocorals are important members of reef-associated benthic communities that can rapidly replace scleractinian corals as the dominant ecosystem engineers on degraded reefs. Considering the substantial change in the (a)biotic environment that is commonly driving reef degradation, maintaining a dynamic and metabolically diverse microbial community might contribute to octocoral acclimatization and ecological adaptation. Nitrogen (N) cycling microbes, in particular denitrifying prokaryotes, may support holobiont functioning by limiting internal N availability, but little is known about the identity and (a)biotic drivers of octocoral-associated denitrifiers. Here, we show contrasting dynamics of bacterial communities associated with two common octocoral species, the soft coral Xenia umbellata and the gorgonian Pinnigorgia flava after a six-week exposure to excess dissolved organic carbon (DOC) under concomitant warming conditions. The specific responses of denitrifier communities associated with the two octocoral species aligned with the nutritional status of holobiont members. This suggests a passive regulation of this microbial trait based on N availability in the coral holobiont.

RevDate: 2021-11-13

Morrissey KL, Iveša L, Delva S, et al (2021)

Impacts of environmental stress on resistance and resilience of algal-associated bacterial communities.

Ecology and evolution, 11(21):15004-15019.

Algal-associated bacteria are fundamental to the ecological success of marine green macroalgae such as Caulerpa. The resistance and resilience of algal-associated microbiota to environmental stress can promote algal health and genetic adaptation to changing environments. The composition of bacterial communities has been shown to be unique to algal morphological niches. Therefore, the level of response to various environmental perturbations may in fact be different for each niche-specific community. Factorial in situ experiments were set up to investigate the effect of nutrient enrichment and temperature stress on the bacterial communities associated with Caulerpa cylindracea. Bacteria were characterized using the 16S rRNA gene, and the community compositions were compared between different parts of the algal thallus (endo-, epi-, and rhizomicrobiome). Resistance and resilience were calculated to further understand the changes of microbial composition in response to perturbations. The results of this study provide evidence that nutrient enrichment has a significant influence on the taxonomic and functional structure of the epimicrobiota, with a low community resistance index observed for both. Temperature and nutrient stress had a significant effect on the rhizomicrobiota taxonomic composition, exhibiting the lowest overall resistance to change. The functional performance of the rhizomicrobiota had low resilience to the combination of stressors, indicating potential additive effects. Interestingly, the endomicrobiota had the highest overall resistance, yet the lowest overall resilience to environmental stress. This further contributes to our understanding of algal microbiome dynamics in response to environmental changes.

RevDate: 2021-11-08

Thatcher C, Høj L, DG Bourne (2021)

Probiotics for coral aquaculture: challenges and considerations.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 73:380-386 pii:S0958-1669(21)00180-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Globally, coral reefs are under pressure from climate change, with concerning declines in coral abundance observed due to increasing cumulative impacts. Active intervention measures that mitigate the declines are increasingly being applied to buy time for coral reefs as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. One such mitigation strategy is coral restoration based on large-scale coral aquaculture to provide stock for reseeding reefs, with the added potential of selecting corals that better tolerate environmental stress. Application of probiotics during production and deployment, to modulate the naturally occurring bacteria associated with corals, may confer health benefits such as disease resistance, increased environmental tolerance or improved coral nutrition. Here, we briefly describe coral associated bacteria and their role in the coral holobiont, identify probiotics traits potentially beneficial to coral, and discuss current research directions required to develop, test and verify the feasibility for probiotics to improve coral aquaculture at industrial scales.

RevDate: 2021-11-05

Dubé CE, Ziegler M, Mercière A, et al (2021)

Naturally occurring fire coral clones demonstrate a genetic and environmental basis of microbiome composition.

Nature communications, 12(1):6402.

Coral microbiomes are critical to holobiont functioning, but much remains to be understood about how prevailing environment and host genotype affect microbial communities in ecosystems. Resembling human identical twin studies, we examined bacterial community differences of naturally occurring fire coral clones within and between contrasting reef habitats to assess the relative contribution of host genotype and environment to microbiome structure. Bacterial community composition of coral clones differed between reef habitats, highlighting the contribution of the environment. Similarly, but to a lesser extent, microbiomes varied across different genotypes in identical habitats, denoting the influence of host genotype. Predictions of genomic function based on taxonomic profiles suggest that environmentally determined taxa supported a functional restructuring of the microbial metabolic network. In contrast, bacteria determined by host genotype seemed to be functionally redundant. Our study suggests microbiome flexibility as a mechanism of environmental adaptation with association of different bacterial taxa partially dependent on host genotype.

RevDate: 2021-11-04

Astolfi A, Masetti R, Indio V, et al (2021)

Torque teno mini virus as a cause of childhood acute promyelocytic leukemia lacking PML/RARA fusion.

Blood, 138(18):1773-1777.

RevDate: 2021-11-01

Wale M, Daffonchio D, Fusi M, et al (2021)

The Importance of Larval Stages for Considering Crab Microbiomes as a Paradigm for the Evolution of Terrestrialization.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:770245.

RevDate: 2021-10-31

Banić M, Pleško S, Urek M, et al (2021)

Immunosenescence, Inflammaging and Resilience: An Evolutionary Perspective of Adaptation in the Light of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Psychiatria Danubina, 33(Suppl 4):427-431.

The evolution of immunology enabled the study of role of innate and adaptive immunity in systems biology network of immunosenescence and inflammaging. Due to global reduction in birth rates and reduced mortality, in year 2025 there will be about 1.2 billion of people over age of sixty, worldwide. The notion that the real age is not chronological, but the biological one led to the concept of "bioage", defining the biologic reactivity and resilience, including the immune competence of an individual. A competent immune network, systemic and mucosal is intrinsic to resilience and homeostasis of the human holobiont as the unit of evolution. In elderly, the immunosenescence could be associated with higher levels of proinflammatory mediators (such as IL-6), frialty and mortality. Proi-inflammatory state in elderly is denoted as inflammaging, characterized with low-grade (sterile) inflammation, as a physiologic response to life-long antigenic stimuli. When under control, inflammaging could be regarded as an efficient defense mechanism, oposed and regulated by anti-inflammatory pathways and molecules. Immunosensecence. The emerging concepts of "individual immunobiography" and "trained immunity" speak in favour that the immunological experience during the life would shape the ability of each individual to respond to various stimuli, strongly influencing the elements of innate and adaptive immunity, including macrophages and innate lymphoid cells. Older age is one of the main risk factors for the severe clinical picture and adverse outcome of COVID-19 infection, due to immunosenscence and chronic low-grade inflammation (inflammaging), both characterizing the immune reactioin in elderly. The senescent immune system, along with the advanced process of inflammaging is prone to react with uncontrolled activation of innate immune response that leads to cytokine release syndrome, tissue damage and adverse outcome of infection. Further research is aimed to nutritional and pharmacologic (immunomodulatory) interventions to influence the process of bioaging and immunosenscence, and to modulate the reaction of elderly to infection, including the COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-10-29

Czernik PJ, Golonka RM, Chakraborty S, et al (2021)

Reconstitution of the host holobiont in germ-free born male rats acutely increases bone growth and affects marrow cellular content.

Physiological genomics [Epub ahead of print].

Integration of microbiota in a host begins at birth and progresses during adolescence, forming a multidirectional system of physiologic interactions. Here, we present an instantaneous effect of natural, bacterial gut colonization on the acceleration of longitudinal and radial bone growth in germ-free born, 7-week-old male rats. Changes in bone mass and structure were analyzed after 10 days following the onset of colonization through cohousing with conventional rats and revealed unprecedented acceleration of bone accrual in cortical and trabecular compartments, increased bone tissue mineral density, improved proliferation and hypertrophy of growth plate chondrocytes, bone lengthening, and preferential deposition of periosteal bone in the tibia diaphysis. In addition, the number of small in size adipocytes increased, while the number of megakaryocytes decreased, in the bone marrow of conventionalized germ-free rats indicating that not only bone mass but also bone marrow environment is under control of gut microbiota signaling. The changes in bone status paralleled with a positive shift in microbiota composition toward short chain fatty acids (SCFA)-producing microbes and a considerable increase in cecal SCFA concentrations, specifically butyrate. Further, reconstitution of the host holobiont increased hepatic expression of IGF-1 and its circulating levels. Elevated serum levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D and alkaline phosphatase pointed toward an active process of bone formation. The acute stimulatory effect on bone growth occurred independently of body mass increase. Overall, the presented model of conventionalized germ-free rats could be used to study microbiota-based therapeutics for combatting dysbiosis-related bone disorders.

RevDate: 2021-10-29

Iltis C, Tougeron K, Hance T, et al (2021)

A perspective on insect-microbe holobionts facing thermal fluctuations in a climate-change context.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Temperature influences the ecology and evolution of insects and their symbionts by impacting each partner independently and their interactions, considering the holobiont as a primary unit of selection. There are sound data about the responses of these partnerships to constant temperatures and sporadic thermal stress (mostly heat shock). However, the current understanding of the thermal ecology of insect-microbe holobionts remains patchy because the complex thermal fluctuations (at different spatial and temporal scales) experienced by these organisms in nature have often been overlooked experimentally. This may drastically constrain our ability to predict the fate of mutualistic interactions under climate change, which will alter both mean temperatures and thermal variability. Here, we tackle down these issues by focusing on the effects of temperature fluctuations on the evolutionary ecology of insect-microbe holobionts. We propose potentially worth-investigating research avenues to (i) evaluate the relevance of theoretical concepts used to predict the biological impacts of temperature fluctuations when applied to holobionts; (ii) acknowledge the plastic (behavioural thermoregulation, physiological acclimation) and genetic responses (evolution) expressed by holobionts in fluctuating thermal environments; and (iii) explore the potential impacts of previously unconsidered patterns of temperature fluctuations on the outcomes and the dynamic of these insect-microbe associations.

RevDate: 2021-10-28

Varasteh T, Tschoeke D, Silva-Lima AW, et al (2021)

Transcriptome of the coral Mussismilia braziliensis symbiont Sargassococcus simulans.

Marine genomics, 61:100912 pii:S1874-7787(21)00078-7 [Epub ahead of print].

A transcriptomic profile of Sargassococcus simulans 103B3, isolated from the coral Mussismilia braziliensis in Abrolhos, Brazil, is presented. A total of 631.3 Mbp transcriptomic sequences were obtained. The transcriptomic analysis disclosed transcripts coding for enzymes relevant for holobiont health including genes involved in I. Light harvesting complex (LHC), II. Organic matter utilization and III. Oxidative stress and microbial defense (Oxidoreductases) enzymes. The isolate exhibited transcripts for uptake and utilization of a variety of carbon sources, such as sugars, oligopeptides, and amino acids by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and tripartite ATP-independent periplasmic (TRAP) type transporters. Collectively, these enzymes indicate a mixotrophic metabolism in S. simulans with metabolic capabilities for the degradation of an array of organic carbon compounds in the coral Mussismilia and light harvesting within the low-light environments of Abrolhos.

RevDate: 2021-10-28

Mead OL, Hahn EE, MA Adamska (2021)

Hybrid Genome Assemblies of Marine Bacteria Isolated from the Sponge Sycon capricorn.

Microbiology resource announcements, 10(43):e0085821.

Sponges have complex relationships with bacteria, the roles of which include food, important components of the holobiont, pathogens, and accidentally accumulated elements of the environment. Consequently, sponges are reservoirs of microbial genomes and novel compounds. Therefore, we isolated and sequenced the whole genomes of bacterial species from the calcareous sponge Sycon capricorn.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Merges D, Dal Grande F, Greve C, et al (2021)

Virus diversity in metagenomes of a lichen symbiosis (Umbilicaria phaea): complete viral genomes, putative hosts and elevational distributions.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Viruses can play critical roles in symbioses by initiating horizontal gene transfer, affecting host phenotypes, or expanding their host's ecological niche. However, knowledge of viral diversity and distribution in symbiotic organisms remains elusive. Here we use deep-sequenced metagenomic DNA (PacBio Sequel II; two individuals), paired with a population genomics approach (Pool-seq; 11 populations, 550 individuals) to understand viral distributions in the lichen Umbilicaria phaea. We assess (i) viral diversity in lichen thalli, (ii) putative viral hosts (fungi, algae, bacteria) and (iii) viral distributions along two replicated elevation gradients. We identified five novel viruses, showing 28%-40% amino acid identity to known viruses. They tentatively belong to the families Caulimoviridae, Myoviridae, Podoviridae and Siphoviridae. Our analysis suggests that the Caulimovirus is associated with green algal photobionts (Trebouxia) of the lichen, and the remaining viruses with bacterial hosts. We did not detect viral sequences in the mycobiont. Caulimovirus abundance decreased with increasing elevation, a pattern reflected by a specific algal lineage hosting this virus. Bacteriophages showed population-specific patterns. Our work provides the first comprehensive insights into viruses associated with a lichen holobiont and suggests an interplay of viral hosts and environment in structuring viral distributions.

RevDate: 2021-10-22

Zhu W, Xia J, Ren Y, et al (2021)

Coastal corals during heat stress and eutrophication: A case study in Northwest Hainan coastal areas.

Marine pollution bulletin, 173(Pt B):113048 pii:S0025-326X(21)01082-1 [Epub ahead of print].

This study initially investigated the coral status during the unexpected bleaching event in three coastal areas in Northwest Hainan coastal areas and analyzed changes in coral holobionts of the healthy and bleached Galaxea fascicularis. Coral coverage had declined severely, and the bleaching rate was extremely high during heat stress. The bleached corals had lower maximum photosynthetic yield, actual photosynthetic yield, zooxanthellae density, and chlorophyll a content than the healthy G. fascicularis, but there was no significant difference in protein, carbohydrate and lipid in eutrophic waters. The diversity and community composition of Symbiodiniaceae and symbiotic bacteria between healthy and bleached G. fascicularis showed no difference. Function prediction of the symbiotic bacteria revealed that the metabolism process was the main pathway of annotation. Present findings suggested that energy reserve functioning and high stability of the holobiont structure and might provide opportunities to G. fascicularis to adapt to eutrophication and heat stress.

RevDate: 2021-10-21

Bonthond G, Shalygin S, Bayer T, et al (2021)

Draft genome and description of Waterburya agarophytonicola gen. nov. sp. nov. (Pleurocapsales, Cyanobacteria): a seaweed symbiont.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek [Epub ahead of print].

This work introduces Waterburya agarophytonicola Bonthond and Shalygin gen. nov., sp. nov, a baeocyte producing cyanobacterium that was isolated from the rhodophyte Agarophyton vermiculophyllum (Ohmi) Gurgel et al., an invasive seaweed that has spread across the northern hemisphere. The new species genome reveals a diverse repertoire of chemotaxis and adhesion related genes, including genes coding for type IV pili assembly proteins and a high number of genes coding for filamentous hemagglutinin family (FHA) proteins. Among a genetic basis for the synthesis of siderophores, carotenoids and numerous vitamins, W. agarophytonicola is potentially capable of producing cobalamin (vitamin B12), for which A. vermiculophyllum is an auxotroph. With a taxonomic description of the genus and species and a draft genome, this study provides as a basis for future research, to uncover the nature of this geographically independent association between seaweed and cyanobiont.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Alotaibi F, Lee SJ, St-Arnaud M, et al (2021)

Salix purpurea and Eleocharis obtusa Rhizospheres Harbor a Diverse Rhizospheric Bacterial Community Characterized by Hydrocarbons Degradation Potentials and Plant Growth-Promoting Properties.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(10): pii:plants10101987.

Phytoremediation, a method of phytomanagement using the plant holobiont to clean up polluted soils, is particularly effective for degrading organic pollutants. However, the respective contributions of host plants and their associated microbiota within the holobiont to the efficiency of phytoremediation is poorly understood. The identification of plant-associated bacteria capable of efficiently utilizing these compounds as a carbon source while stimulating plant-growth is a keystone for phytomanagement engineering. In this study, we sampled the rhizosphere and the surrounding bulk soil of Salixpurpurea and Eleocharis obusta from the site of a former petrochemical plant in Varennes, QC, Canada. Our objectives were to: (i) isolate and identify indigenous bacteria inhabiting these biotopes; (ii) assess the ability of isolated bacteria to utilize alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) as the sole carbon source, and (iii) determine the plant growth-promoting (PGP) potential of the isolates using five key traits. A total of 438 morphologically different bacterial isolates were obtained, purified, preserved and identified through PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Identified isolates represent 62 genera. Approximately, 32% of bacterial isolates were able to utilize all five different hydrocarbons compounds. Additionally, 5% of tested isolates belonging to genera Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Serratia, Klebsiella, Microbacterium, Bacillus and Stenotrophomonas possessed all five of the tested PGP functional traits. This culture collection of diverse, petroleum-hydrocarbon degrading bacteria, with multiple PGP traits, represents a valuable resource for future use in environmental bio- and phyto-technology applications.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Kriaa A, Jablaoui A, Rhimi S, et al (2021)

SP-1, a Serine Protease from the Gut Microbiota, Influences Colitis and Drives Intestinal Dysbiosis in Mice.

Cells, 10(10): pii:cells10102658.

Increased protease activity has been linked to the pathogenesis of IBD. While most studies have been focusing on host proteases in gut inflammation, it remains unclear how to address the potential contribution of their bacterial counterparts. In the present study, we report a functional characterization of a newly identified serine protease, SP-1, from the human gut microbiota. The serine protease repertoire of gut Clostridium was first explored, and the specificity of SP-1 was analyzed using a combinatorial chemistry method. Combining in vitro analyses and a mouse model of colitis, we show that oral administration of recombinant bacteria secreting SP-1 (i) compromises the epithelial barrier, (ii) alters the microbial community, and (ii) exacerbates colitis. These findings suggest that gut microbial protease activity may constitute a valuable contributor to IBD and could, therefore, represent a promising target for the treatment of the disease.

RevDate: 2021-10-18

Bharadwaj R, Noceda C, Mohanapriya G, et al (2021)

Adaptive Reprogramming During Early Seed Germination Requires Temporarily Enhanced Fermentation-A Critical Role for Alternative Oxidase Regulation That Concerns Also Microbiota Effectiveness.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:686274.

Plants respond to environmental cues via adaptive cell reprogramming that can affect whole plant and ecosystem functionality. Microbiota constitutes part of the inner and outer environment of the plant. This Umwelt underlies steady dynamics, due to complex local and global biotic and abiotic changes. Hence, adaptive plant holobiont responses are crucial for continuous metabolic adjustment at the systems level. Plants require oxygen-dependent respiration for energy-dependent adaptive morphology, such as germination, root and shoot growth, and formation of adventitious, clonal, and reproductive organs, fruits, and seeds. Fermentative paths can help in acclimation and, to our view, the role of alternative oxidase (AOX) in coordinating complex metabolic and physiological adjustments is underestimated. Cellular levels of sucrose are an important sensor of environmental stress. We explored the role of exogenous sucrose and its interplay with AOX during early seed germination. We found that sucrose-dependent initiation of fermentation during the first 12 h after imbibition (HAI) was beneficial to germination. However, parallel upregulated AOX expression was essential to control negative effects by prolonged sucrose treatment. Early downregulated AOX activity until 12 HAI improved germination efficiency in the absence of sucrose but suppressed early germination in its presence. The results also suggest that seeds inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can buffer sucrose stress during germination to restore normal respiration more efficiently. Following this approach, we propose a simple method to identify organic seeds and low-cost on-farm perspectives for early identifying disease tolerance, predicting plant holobiont behavior, and improving germination. Furthermore, the research strengthens the view that AOX can serve as a powerful functional marker source for seed hologenomes.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Paix B, Layglon N, Le Poupon C, et al (2021)

Integration of spatio-temporal variations of surface metabolomes and epibacterial communities highlights the importance of copper stress as a major factor shaping host-microbiota interactions within a Mediterranean seaweed holobiont.

Microbiome, 9(1):201.

BACKGROUND: Although considered as holobionts, macroalgae and their surface microbiota share intimate interactions that are still poorly understood. Little is known on the effect of environmental parameters on the close relationships between the host and its surface-associated microbiota, and even more in a context of coastal pollutions. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to decipher the impact of local environmental parameters, especially trace metal concentrations, on an algal holobiont dynamics using the Phaeophyta Taonia atomaria as a model. Through a multidisciplinary multi-omics approach combining metabarcoding and untargeted LC-MS-based metabolomics, the epibacterial communities and the surface metabolome of T. atomaria were monitored along a spatio-temporal gradient in the bay of Toulon (Northwestern Mediterranean coast) and its surrounding. Indeed, this geographical area displays a well-described trace metal gradient particularly relevant to investigate the effect of such pollutants on marine organisms.

RESULTS: Epibacterial communities of T. atomaria exhibited a high specificity whatever the five environmentally contrasted collecting sites investigated on the NW Mediterranean coast. By integrating metabarcoding and metabolomics analyses, the holobiont dynamics varied as a whole. During the occurrence period of T. atomaria, epibacterial densities and α-diversity increased while the relative proportion of core communities decreased. Pioneer bacterial colonizers constituted a large part of the specific and core taxa, and their decrease might be linked to biofilm maturation through time. Then, the temporal increase of the Roseobacter was proposed to result from the higher temperature conditions, but also the increased production of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) at the algal surface which could constitute of the source of carbon and sulfur for the catabolism pathways of these taxa. Finally, as a major result of this study, copper concentration constituted a key factor shaping the holobiont system. Thus, the higher expression of carotenoids suggested an oxidative stress which might result from an adaptation of the algal surface metabolome to high copper levels. In turn, this change in the surface metabolome composition could result in the selection of particular epibacterial taxa.

CONCLUSION: We showed that associated epibacterial communities were highly specific to the algal host and that the holobiont dynamics varied as a whole. While temperature increase was confirmed to be one of the main parameters associated to Taonia dynamics, the originality of this study was highlighting copper-stress as a major driver of seaweed-epibacterial interactions. In a context of global change, this study brought new insights on the dynamics of a Mediterranean algal holobiont submitted to heavy anthropic pressures. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Muller EM, Dungan AM, Million WC, et al (2021)

Heritable variation and lack of tradeoffs suggest adaptive capacity in Acropora cervicornis despite negative synergism under climate change scenarios.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1960):20210923.

Knowledge of multi-stressor interactions and the potential for tradeoffs among tolerance traits is essential for developing intervention strategies for the conservation and restoration of reef ecosystems in a changing climate. Thermal extremes and acidification are two major co-occurring stresses predicted to limit the recovery of vital Caribbean reef-building corals. Here, we conducted an aquarium-based experiment to quantify the effects of increased water temperatures and pCO2 individually and in concert on 12 genotypes of the endangered branching coral Acropora cervicornis, currently being reared and outplanted for large-scale coral restoration. Quantification of 12 host, symbiont and holobiont traits throughout the two-month-long experiment showed several synergistic negative effects, where the combined stress treatment often caused a greater reduction in physiological function than the individual stressors alone. However, we found significant genetic variation for most traits and positive trait correlations among treatments indicating an apparent lack of tradeoffs, suggesting that adaptive evolution will not be constrained. Our results suggest that it may be possible to incorporate climate-resistant coral genotypes into restoration and selective breeding programmes, potentially accelerating adaptation.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Oldenburg M, Rüchel N, Janssen S, et al (2021)

The Microbiome in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Cancers, 13(19): pii:cancers13194947.

For almost 30 years, the term "holobiont" has referred to an ecological unit where a host (e.g., human) and all species living in or around it are considered together. The concept highlights the complex interactions between the host and the other species, which, if disturbed may lead to disease and premature aging. Specifically, the impact of microbiome alterations on the etiology of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children is not fully understood, but has been the focus of much research in recent years. In ALL patients, significant reductions in microbiome diversity are already observable at disease onset. It remains unclear whether such alterations at diagnosis are etiologically linked with leukemogenesis or simply due to immunological alteration preceding ALL onset. Regardless, all chemotherapeutic treatment regimens severely affect the microbiome, accompanied by severe side effects, including mucositis, systemic inflammation, and infection. In particular, dominance of Enterococcaceae is predictive of infections during chemotherapy. Long-term dysbiosis, like depletion of Faecalibacterium, has been observed in ALL survivors. Modulation of the microbiome (e.g., by fecal microbiota transplant, probiotics, or prebiotics) is currently being researched for potential protective effects. Herein, we review the latest microbiome studies in pediatric ALL patients.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Kaniewska P, EM Sampayo (2021)

Macro- and micro-scale adaptations allow distinct Stylophora pistillata-symbiodiniaceae holobionts to optimize performance across a broad light habitat.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

In sessile organisms, phenotypic plasticity represents an important strategy for dealing with environmental variability. Here we test if phenotypic plasticity enables the common coral Stylophora pistillata to occupy a broad niche. We find clear differences in the photo-physiology of four putative species of photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts associated with the coral S. pistillata, namely Cladocopium 'C35a', 'C79', 'C78a' and 'C8a'. Coral phenotypic responses were also tightly linked to symbiont identity. Corals with Cladocopium 'C8a' have more 'open' macro-morphology compared to colonies associating with depth restricted Cladocopium 'C35a' or 'C78a' in the same shallow water habitat. Corals with Cladocopium 'C8a' had 40 to 60% lower symbiont cell densities compared to other holobionts but were more efficient at acclimating over a range of light levels, with clear mechanisms to dissipate excess light energy. This holobiont contains host-based green fluorescent pigments, increased concentrations of symbiont-based mycosporine amino acids and xanthophyll cycling in high light habitats. Photosynthetic efficiency was also adjusted over the light habitat. In contrast, limited micro-scale responses were observed between three depth specialist symbionts: Cladocopium 'C79', 'C35a' and 'C78a'. These colonies rely on a more closed macro-morphology under high light levels leading to up to 43% reduction in incident light levels and higher symbiont densities to optimize light levels reaching the photosynthetic unit. Our results show that distinct macro- and micro-scale adaptations lead to functional differences between four distinct S. pistillata holobionts, allowing them to co-exist by filling specific niches on a small, but environmentally diverse, spatial scale.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Zhang Y, Ip JC, Xie JY, et al (2021)

Host-symbiont transcriptomic changes during natural bleaching and recovery in the leaf coral Pavona decussata.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(21)05734-X [Epub ahead of print].

Coral bleaching has become a major threat to coral reefs worldwide, but for most coral species little is known about their resilience to environmental changes. We aimed to understand the gene expressional regulation underlying natural bleaching and recovery in Pavona decussata, a dominant species of scleractinian coral in the northern South China Sea. Analyzing samples collected in 2017 from the field revealed distinct zooxanthellae density, chlorophyll a concentration and transcriptomic signatures corresponding to changes in health conditions of the coral holobiont. In the host, normal-looking tissues of partially bleached colonies were frontloaded with stress responsive genes, as indicated by upregulation of immune defense, response to endoplasmic reticulum, and oxidative stress genes. Bleaching was characterized by upregulation of apoptosis-related genes which could cause a reduction in algal symbionts, and downregulation of genes involved in stress responses and metabolic processes. The transcription factors stat5b and irf1 played key roles in bleaching by regulating immune and apoptosis pathways. Recovery from bleaching was characterized by enrichment of pathways involved in mitosis, DNA replication, and recombination for tissue repairing, as well as restoration of energy and metabolism. In the symbionts, bleaching corresponded to imbalance in photosystems I and II activities which enhanced oxidative stress and limited energy production and nutrient assimilation. Overall, our study revealed distinct gene expressional profiles and regulation in the different phases of the bleaching and recovery process, and provided new insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the holobiont's resilience that may determine the species' fate in response to global and regional environmental changes.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Avila-Magaña V, Kamel B, DeSalvo M, et al (2021)

Elucidating gene expression adaptation of phylogenetically divergent coral holobionts under heat stress.

Nature communications, 12(1):5731.

As coral reefs struggle to survive under climate change, it is crucial to know whether they have the capacity to withstand changing conditions, particularly increasing seawater temperatures. Thermal tolerance requires the integrative response of the different components of the coral holobiont (coral host, algal photosymbiont, and associated microbiome). Here, using a controlled thermal stress experiment across three divergent Caribbean coral species, we attempt to dissect holobiont member metatranscriptome responses from coral taxa with different sensitivities to heat stress and use phylogenetic ANOVA to study the evolution of gene expression adaptation. We show that coral response to heat stress is a complex trait derived from multiple interactions among holobiont members. We identify host and photosymbiont genes that exhibit lineage-specific expression level adaptation and uncover potential roles for bacterial associates in supplementing the metabolic needs of the coral-photosymbiont duo during heat stress. Our results stress the importance of integrative and comparative approaches across a wide range of species to better understand coral survival under the predicted rise in sea surface temperatures.

RevDate: 2021-09-28

Chinnarajan R, Raveendran HP, L Irudayarajan (2021)

Ciliated protozoan occurrence and association in the pathogenesis of coral disease.

Microbial pathogenesis pii:S0882-4010(21)00485-X [Epub ahead of print].

Various microbial infections have significantly contributed to disease progression leading to the mortality of corals. However, the holobiont and the external surfaces of coral, including the secreted mucus, provide a varied microenvironment that attracts ciliates based on their feeding preferences. Besides, some ciliates (e.g., Philasterine scuticociliate) may enter through the injuries or lesions on corals or through their indirect interactions with other types of microbes that influence coral health. Thus, ciliates occurrence and association are described with 12 different diseases worldwide. White syndrome disease lesions have diverse ciliate associations, and higher ciliate diversity was observed with diseased genera Acropora. Also, it was described, about sixteen ciliate species ingest coral Symbiodiniaceae and histophagous ciliates for coral tissue loss as secondary invaders. However, the ciliates nature of association with the coral disease remains unclear for primary or opportunistic secondary pathogenicity. Herein, we explore the urgent need to understand the complex interactions of ciliates in coral health.

RevDate: 2021-09-28

Kenigsberg C, Titelboim D, Ashckenazi-Polivoda S, et al (2021)

The combined effects of rising temperature and salinity may halt the future proliferation of symbiont-bearing foraminifera as ecosystem engineers.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(21)05658-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Rising sea surface temperatures and extreme heat waves are affecting symbiont-bearing tropical calcifiers such as corals and Large Benthic Foraminifera (LBF). In many ecosystems, parallel to warming, global change unleashes a host of additional changes to the marine environment, and the combined effect of such multiple stressors may be far greater than those of temperature alone. One such additional stressor, positively correlated to temperature in evaporation-dominated shallow-water settings is rising salinity. Here we used laboratory culture experiments to evaluate the combined thermohaline tolerance of one of the most common LBF species and carbonate producer, Amphistegina lobifera. The experiments were done under ambient (39 psu) and modified (30, 45, 50 psu) salinities and at optimum (25 °C) and warm temperatures (32 °C). Calcification of the A. lobifera holobiont was evaluated by measuring alkalinity loss in the culturing seawater, as an indication of carbonate ion uptake. The vitality of the symbionts was determined by monitoring pigment loss of the holobiont and their photosynthetic performances by measuring dissolved oxygen. We further evaluated the growth of Peneroplis (P. pertusus and P. planatus), a Rhodophyta bearing LBF, which is known to tolerate high temperatures, under elevated salinities. The results show that the A. lobifera holobiont exhibits optimal performance at 39 psu and 25 °C, and its growth is significantly reduced upon exposure to 30, 45, 50 psu and under all 32 °C treatments. Salinity and temperature exhibit a significant interaction, with synergic effects observed in most treatments. Our results confirm that Peneroplis has a higher tolerance to elevated temperature and salinity compared to A. lobifera, implying that a further increase of salinity and temperatures may result in a regime shift from Amphistegina- to Peneroplis-dominated assemblages.

RevDate: 2021-09-28

Liang J, Deng C, Yu K, et al (2021)

Cross-Linked Regulation of Coral-Associated Dinoflagellates and Bacteria in Pocillopora sp. during High-Temperature Stress and Recovery.

Microorganisms, 9(9): pii:microorganisms9091972.

As the problem of ocean warming worsens, the environmental adaptation potential of symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae and bacteria is directly related to the future and fate of corals. This study aimed to analyse the comprehensive community dynamics and physiology of these two groups of organisms in the coral Pocillopora sp. through indoor simulations of heat stress (which involved manually adjusting the temperature between both 26 °C and 34 °C). Heat treatment (≥30 °C) significantly reduced the abundance of Symbiodiniaceae and bacteria by more than 70%. After the temperature was returned to 26 °C for one month, the Symbiodiniaceae density was still low, while the absolute number of bacteria quickly recovered to 55% of that of the control. At this time point, the Fv/Fm value rose to 91% of the pretemperature value. The content of chlorophyll b associated with Cyanobacteria increased by 50% compared with that under the control conditions. Moreover, analysis of the Symbiodiniaceae subclade composition suggested that the relative abundance of C1c.C45, C1, and C1ca increased during heat treatment, indicating that they might constitute heat-resistant subgroups. We suggest that the increase in the absolute number of bacteria during the recovery period could be an important indicator of coral holobiont recovery after heat stress. This study provides insight into the cross-linked regulation of key symbiotic microbes in the coral Pocillopora sp. during high-temperature stress and recovery and provides a scientific basis for exploring the mechanism underlying coral adaptation to global warming.

RevDate: 2021-09-28

Dietert RR (2021)

Microbiome First Medicine in Health and Safety.

Biomedicines, 9(9): pii:biomedicines9091099.

Microbiome First Medicine is a suggested 21st century healthcare paradigm that prioritizes the entire human, the human superorganism, beginning with the microbiome. To date, much of medicine has protected and treated patients as if they were a single species. This has resulted in unintended damage to the microbiome and an epidemic of chronic disorders [e.g., noncommunicable diseases and conditions (NCDs)]. Along with NCDs came loss of colonization resistance, increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, and increasing multimorbidity and polypharmacy over the life course. To move toward sustainable healthcare, the human microbiome needs to be front and center. This paper presents microbiome-human physiology from the view of systems biology regulation. It also details the ongoing NCD epidemic including the role of existing drugs and other factors that damage the human microbiome. Examples are provided for two entryway NCDs, asthma and obesity, regarding their extensive network of comorbid NCDs. Finally, the challenges of ensuring safety for the microbiome are detailed. Under Microbiome-First Medicine and considering the importance of keystone bacteria and critical windows of development, changes in even a few microbiota-prioritized medical decisions could make a significant difference in health across the life course.

RevDate: 2021-09-27

Florez JZ, Camus C, Hengst MB, et al (2021)

A mesocosm study on kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera)-epiphytic bacteria interactions: Importance of nitrogen availability and kelp genetics.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

Macroalgal holobiont studies involve understanding interaction among the host, its microbiota and the environment. We analyzed the effect of bacteria-kelp interactions on phenotypic responses of two genetically-distinct populations of Macrocystis pyrifera (north and south) exposed to different nitrogen (N) concentrations. In co-culture experiments with different N concentration treatments, we evaluated kelp growth responses and changes in three specific molecular markers associated with the N cycle, both in epiphytic bacteria (relative abundance of nrfA-gene: cytochrome c nitrite reductase) and macroalgae (expression of NR-gene: nitrate reductase; GluSyn-gene: glutamate synthase). Both kelp populations responded differently to N limitation, with M. pyrifera-south sporophytes having a lower Specific Growth Rate (SGR) under N-limiting conditions than the northern population; M. pyrifera-north sporophytes showed no significant differences in SGR when exposed to low-N and high-N concentrations. This corresponded to a higher GluSyn-gene expression in the M. pyrifera-north sporophytes and the co-occurrence of specific nrfA bacterial taxa. These bacteria may increase ammonium availability under low-N concentrations, allowing M. pyrifera-north to optimize nutrient assimilation by increasing the expression of GluSyn. We conclude that bacteria-kelp interactions are important in enhancing kelp growth rates under low N availability, although this effect may be regulated by the genetic background of kelp populations.

RevDate: 2021-09-27

Oberemok V, Laikova K, Golovkin I, et al (2021)

Biotechnology of virus eradication and plant vaccination in phytobiome context.

Plant biology (Stuttgart, Germany) [Epub ahead of print].

A plant's associated biota plays an integral role in its metabolism, nutrient uptake, stress tolerance, pathogen resistance and other physiological processes. Although a virome is an integral part of the phytobiome, a major contradiction exists between the holobiont approach and the practical need to eradicate pathogens from agricultural crops. In this review, we discuss grapevine virus control, but the issue is also relevant for numerous other crops, including potato, cassava, citrus, cacao and other species. Grapevine diseases, especially viral infections, cause main crop losses. Methods have been developed to eliminate viruses and other microorganisms from plant material, but elimination of viruses from plant material does not guarantee protection from future reinfection. Elimination of viral particles in plant material could create genetic drift, leading in turn to an increase in the occurrence of pathogenic strains of viruses. A possible solution may be a combination of virus elimination and plant propagation in tissue culture with in vitro vaccination. In this context, possible strategies to control viral infections include application of plant resistance inducers, cross protection and vaccination using siRNA, dsRNA and viral replicons during plant 'cleaning' and in vitro propagation. The experience and knowledge accumulated in human immunization can help plant scientists to develop and employ new methods of protection, leading to more sustainable and healthier crop production.

RevDate: 2021-09-25

Varasteh T, Salazar V, Tschoeke D, et al (2021)

Breviolum and Cladocopium Are Dominant Among Symbiodiniaceae of the Coral Holobiont Madracis decactis.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The scleractinian reef building coral Madracis decactis is a cosmopolitan species. Understanding host-symbiont associations is critical for assessing coral's habitat requirements and its response to environmental changes. In this study, we performed a fine grained phylogenetic analyses of Symbiodiniaceae associated with Madracis in two locations in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean (Abrolhos Bank and St. Peter and St. Paul Archipelago). Previous studies have argued that Madracis is a specialist coral, with colonies harboring a single symbiont from the genus Breviolum (formerly clade B). However, these previous studies have not precisely addressed if Madracis is colonized by several types of Symbiodiniaceae simultaneously or whether this coral is a specialist. The hypothesis that Madracis is a generalist coral host was evaluated in the present study. A total of 1.9 million reads of ITS2 nuclear ribosomal DNA were obtained by Illumina MiSeq sequencing. While Symbiodiniaceae ITS2 sequences between two sampling depths were almost entirely (62%) from the genus Breviolum (formerly clade B), shallow (10-15 m) populations in Abrolhos had a greater diversity of ITS2 sequences in comparison to deeper (25-35 m) populations of St. Peter and St. Paul Archipelago. Cladocopium (formerly clade C) and Symbiodinium (formerly clade A) were also found in Abrolhos. A single Madracis colony can host different symbiont types with > 30 Symbiodiniaceae ITS2-type profiles. Abrolhos corals presented a higher photosynthetic potential as a possible result of co-occurrence of multiple Symbiodiniaceae in a single coral colony. Multiple genera/clades of Symbiodiniaceae possibly confer coral hosts with broader environmental tolerance and ability to occupy diverse or changing habitats.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Waterworth SC, Parker-Nance S, Kwan JC, et al (2021)

Comparative Genomics Provides Insight into the Function of Broad-Host Range Sponge Symbionts.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

The fossil record indicates that the earliest evidence of extant marine sponges (phylum Porifera) existed during the Cambrian explosion and that their symbiosis with microbes may have begun in their extinct ancestors during the Precambrian period. Many symbionts have adapted to their sponge host, where they perform specific, specialized functions. There are also widely distributed bacterial taxa such as Poribacteria, SAUL, and Tethybacterales that are found in a broad range of invertebrate hosts. Here, we added 11 new genomes to the Tethybacterales order, identified a novel family, and show that functional potential differs between the three Tethybacterales families. We compare the Tethybacterales with the well-characterized Entoporibacteria and show that these symbionts appear to preferentially associate with low-microbial abundance (LMA) and high-microbial abundance (HMA) sponges, respectively. Within these sponges, we show that these symbionts likely perform distinct functions and may have undergone multiple association events, rather than a single association event followed by coevolution. IMPORTANCE Marine sponges often form symbiotic relationships with bacteria that fulfil a specific need within the sponge holobiont, and these symbionts are often conserved within a narrow range of related taxa. To date, there exist only three known bacterial taxa (Entoporibacteria, SAUL, and Tethybacterales) that are globally distributed and found in a broad range of sponge hosts, and little is known about the latter two. We show that the functional potential of broad-host range symbionts is conserved at a family level and that these symbionts have been acquired several times over evolutionary history. Finally, it appears that the Entoporibacteria are associated primarily with high-microbial abundance sponges, while the Tethybacterales associate with low-microbial abundance sponges.

RevDate: 2021-09-11

Fernández-González AJ, Ramírez-Tejero JA, Nevado-Berzosa MP, et al (2021)

Coupling the endophytic microbiome with the host transcriptome in olive roots.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:4777-4789.

The connection between olive genetic responses to environmental and agro-climatic conditions and the composition, structure and functioning of host-associated, belowground microbiota has never been studied under the holobiont conceptual framework. Two groups of cultivars growing under the same environmental, pedological and agronomic conditions, and showing highest (AH) and lowest (AL) Actinophytocola relative abundances, were earlier identified. We aimed now to: i) compare the root transcriptome profiles of these two groups harboring significantly different relative abundances in the above-mentioned bacterial genus; ii) examine their rhizosphere and root-endosphere microbiota co-occurrence networks; and iii) connect the root host transcriptome pattern to the composition of the root microbial communities by correlation and co-occurrence network analyses. Significant differences in olive gene expression were found between the two groups. Co-occurrence networks of the root endosphere microbiota were clearly different as well. Pearson's correlation analysis enabled a first portray of the interaction occurring between the root host transcriptome and the endophytic community. To further identify keystone operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and genes, subsequent co-occurrence network analysis showed significant interactions between 32 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 19 OTUs. Overall, negative correlation was detected between all upregulated genes in the AH group and all OTUs except of Actinophytocola. While two groups of olive cultivars grown under the same conditions showed significantly different microbial profiles, the most remarkable finding was to unveil a strong correlation between these profiles and the differential gene expression pattern of each group. In conclusion, this study shows a holistic view of the plant-microbiome communication.

RevDate: 2021-09-11

Nobre T (2021)

Olive fruit fly and its obligate symbiont Candidatus Erwinia dacicola: Two new symbiont haplotypes in the Mediterranean basin.

PloS one, 16(9):e0256284.

The olive fruit fly, specialized to become monophagous during several life stages, remains the most important olive tree pest with high direct production losses, but also affecting the quality, composition, and inherent properties of the olives. Thought to have originated in Africa is nowadays present wherever olive groves are grown. The olive fruit fly evolved to harbor a vertically transmitted and obligate bacterial symbiont -Candidatus Erwinia dacicola- leading thus to a tight evolutionary history between olive tree, fruit fly and obligate, vertical transmitted symbiotic bacterium. Considering this linkage, the genetic diversity (at a 16S fragment) of this obligate symbiont was added in the understanding of the distribution pattern of the holobiont at nine locations throughout four countries in the Mediterranean Basin. This was complemented with mitochondrial (four mtDNA fragments) and nuclear (ten microsatellites) data of the host. We focused on the previously established Iberian cluster for the B. oleae structure and hypothesised that the Tunisian samples would fall into a differentiated cluster. From the host point of view, we were unable to confirm this hypothesis. Looking at the symbiont, however, two new 16S haplotypes were found exclusively in the populations from Tunisia. This finding is discussed in the frame of host-symbiont specificity and transmission mode. To understand olive fruit fly population diversity and dispersion, the dynamics of the symbiont also needs to be taken into consideration, as it enables the fly to, so efficiently and uniquely, exploit the olive fruit resource.

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Paix B, Potin P, Schires G, et al (2021)

Synergistic effects of temperature and light affect the relationship between Taonia atomaria and its epibacterial community: a controlled conditions study.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

In the context of global warming, this study aimed to assess the effect of temperature and irradiance on the macroalgal Taonia atomaria holobiont dynamics. We developed an experimental set-up using aquaria supplied by natural seawater with three temperatures combined with three irradiances. The holobiont response was monitored over 14 days using a multi-omics approach coupling algal surface metabolomics and metabarcoding. Both temperature and irradiance appeared to shape the microbiota and the surface metabolome, but with a distinct temporality. Epibacterial community first changed according to temperature, and later in relation to irradiance, while the opposite occurred for the surface metabolome. An increased temperature revealed a decreasing richness of the epiphytic community together with an increase of several bacterial taxa. Irradiance changes appeared to quickly impact surface metabolites production linked with the algal host photosynthesis (e.g. mannitol, fucoxanthin, dimethylsulfoniopropionate), which was hypothesized to explain modifications of the structure of the epiphytic community. Algal host may also directly adapt its surface metabolome to changing temperature with time (e.g. lipids content) and also in response to changing microbiota (e.g. chemical defences). Finally, this study brought new insights highlighting complex direct and indirect responses of seaweeds and their associated microbiota under changing environments.

RevDate: 2021-09-25

Marasco R, Fusi M, Rolli E, et al (2021)

Aridity modulates belowground bacterial community dynamics in olive tree.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Aridity negatively affects the diversity and abundance of edaphic microbial communities and their multiple ecosystem services, ultimately impacting vegetation productivity and biotic interactions. Investigation about how plant-associated microbial communities respond to increasing aridity is of particular importance, especially in light of the global climate change predictions. To assess the effect of aridity on plant associated bacterial communities, we investigated the diversity and co-occurrence of bacteria associated with the bulk soil and the root system of olive trees cultivated in orchards located in higher, middle and lower arid regions of Tunisia. The results indicated that the selective process mediated by the plant root system is amplified with the increment of aridity, defining distinct bacterial communities, dominated by aridity-winner and aridity-loser bacteria negatively and positively correlated with increasing annual rainfall, respectively. Aridity regulated also the co-occurrence interactions among bacteria by determining specific modules enriched with one of the two categories (aridity-winners or aridity-losers), which included bacteria with multiple PGP functions against aridity. Our findings provide new insights into the process of bacterial assembly and interactions with the host plant in response to aridity, contributing to understand how the increasing aridity predicted by climate changes may affect the resilience of the plant holobiont.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Ahmed T, Noman M, Rizwan M, et al (2021)

Green molybdenum nanoparticles-mediated bio-stimulation of Bacillus sp. strain ZH16 improved the wheat growth by managing in planta nutrients supply, ionic homeostasis and arsenic accumulation.

Journal of hazardous materials, 423(Pt A):127024 pii:S0304-3894(21)01992-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The present work mechanistically addressed the problem of arsenic (As) contamination in agricultural soils by using locally isolated Bacillus sp. strain ZH16 and biogenic molybdenum nanoparticles (MoNPs) simultaneously for the first time. The interactions of MoNPs with strain ZH16 and ZH16-inoculated wheat plants were examined under As non-spiked and spiked conditions. The biogenic MoNPs showed efficient biocompatibility with strain ZH16 by promoting indole-3-acetic acid synthesis, phosphate solubilization and ACC deaminase activity without and with As stress. The results from greenhouse experiment revealed that co-application of biogenic MoNPs and bacterial strain ZH16 significantly promoted the morphological parameters, nutrients content and ionic balance of wheat plants under normal and As spiked conditions. Furthermore, combining the bacterial strain ZH16 with biogenic MoNPs dramatically reduced As translocation in plants (30.3%) as compared to ZH16-inoculated wheat plants. Conclusively, our results elucidate the importance of synergistic application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and biogenic MoNPs to counteract global food safety issues in a sustainable manner. The biogenic NPs could serve as stabilizing agent for PGPR by facilitating their colonization in plant holobiont regardless of environmental conditions. These novel advancements will provide new insights into nano-oriented PGPR research in the agricultural sector.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Filek K, Trotta A, Gračan R, et al (2021)

Characterization of oral and cloacal microbial communities of wild and rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

Animal microbiome, 3(1):59.

BACKGROUND: Microbial communities of wild animals are being increasingly investigated to provide information about the hosts' biology and promote conservation. Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) are a keystone species in marine ecosystems and are considered vulnerable in the IUCN Red List, which led to growing efforts in sea turtle conservation by rescue centers around the world. Understanding the microbial communities of sea turtles in the wild and how affected they are by captivity, is one of the stepping stones in improving the conservation efforts. Describing oral and cloacal microbiota of wild animals could shed light on the previously unknown aspects of sea turtle holobiont biology, ecology, and contribute to best practices for husbandry conditions.

RESULTS: We describe the oral and cloacal microbiota of Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles by 16S rRNA gene sequencing to compare the microbial communities of wild versus turtles in, or after, rehabilitation at the Adriatic Sea rescue centers and clinics. Our results show that the oral microbiota is more sensitive to environmental shifts than the cloacal microbiota, and that it does retain a portion of microbial taxa regardless of the shift from the wild and into rehabilitation. Additionally, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes dominated oral and cloacal microbiota, while Kiritimatiellaeota were abundant in cloacal samples. Unclassified reads were abundant in the aforementioned groups, which indicates high incidence of yet undiscovered bacteria of the marine reptile microbial communities.

CONCLUSIONS: We provide the first insights into the oral microbial communities of wild and rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtles, and establish a framework for quick and non-invasive sampling of oral and cloacal microbial communities, useful for the expansion of the sample collection in wild loggerhead sea turtles. Finally, our investigation of effects of captivity on the gut-associated microbial community provides a baseline for studying the impact of husbandry conditions on turtles' health and survival upon their return to the wild.

RevDate: 2021-09-02

Meunier V, Geissler L, Bonnet S, et al (2021)

Microbes support enhanced nitrogen requirements of coral holobionts in a high CO2 environment.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Ocean acidification is posing a threat to calcifying organisms due to the increased energy requirements of calcification under high CO2 conditions. The ability of scleractinian corals to cope with future ocean conditions will thus depend on their ability to fulfill their carbon requirement. However, the primary productivity of coral holobionts is limited by low nitrogen (N) availability in coral reef waters. Here, we employed CO2 seeps of Tutum Bay (Papua New Guinea) as a natural laboratory to understand how coral holobionts offset their increased energy requirements under high CO2 conditions. Our results demonstrate for the first time that under high pCO2 conditions, N assimilation pathways of Pocillopora damicornis are jointly modified. We found that diazotroph-derived N assimilation rates in the Symbiodiniaceae were significantly higher in comparison to an ambient CO2 control site, concomitant with a restructured diazotroph community and the specific prevalence of an alpha-proteobacterium. Further, corals at the high CO2 site also had increased feeding rates on picoplankton and in particular exhibited selective feeding on Synechococcus sp., known to be rich in N. Given the high abundance of picoplankton in oligotrophic waters at large, our results suggest that corals exhibiting flexible diazotrophic communities and capable of exploiting N-rich picoplankton sources to offset their increased N requirements may be able to cope better in a high pCO2 world.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Kapun M, Nunez JCB, Bogaerts-Márquez M, et al (2021)

Drosophila Evolution over Space and Time (DEST) - A New Population Genomics Resource.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6361628 [Epub ahead of print].

Drosophila melanogaster is a leading model in population genetics and genomics, and a growing number of whole-genome datasets from natural populations of this species have been published over the last years. A major challenge is the integration of disparate datasets, often generated using different sequencing technologies and bioinformatic pipelines, which hampers our ability to address questions about the evolution of this species. Here we address these issues by developing a bioinformatics pipeline that maps pooled sequencing (Pool-Seq) reads from D. melanogaster to a hologenome consisting of fly and symbiont genomes and estimates allele frequencies using either a heuristic (PoolSNP) or a probabilistic variant caller (SNAPE-pooled). We use this pipeline to generate the largest data repository of genomic data available for D. melanogaster to date, encompassing 271 previously published and unpublished population samples from over 100 locations in > 20 countries on four continents. Several of these locations have been sampled at different seasons across multiple years. This dataset, which we call Drosophila Evolution over Space and Time (DEST), is coupled with sampling and environmental meta-data. A web-based genome browser and web portal provide easy access to the SNP dataset. We further provide guidelines on how to use Pool-Seq data for model-based demographic inference. Our aim is to provide this scalable platform as a community resource which can be easily extended via future efforts for an even more extensive cosmopolitan dataset. Our resource will enable population geneticists to analyze spatio-temporal genetic patterns and evolutionary dynamics of D. melanogaster populations in unprecedented detail.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Wahdan SFM, Tanunchai B, Wu YT, et al (2021)

Deciphering Trifolium pratense L. holobiont reveals a microbiome resilient to future climate changes.

MicrobiologyOpen, 10(4):e1217.

The plant microbiome supports plant growth, fitness, and resistance against climate change. Trifolium pratense (red clover), an important forage legume crop, positively contributes to ecosystem sustainability. However, T. pratense is known to have limited adaptive ability toward climate change. Here, the T. pratense microbiomes (including both bacteria and fungi) of the rhizosphere and the root, shoot, and flower endospheres were comparatively examined using metabarcoding in a field located in Central Germany that mimics the climate conditions projected for the next 50-70 years in comparison with the current climate conditions. Additionally, the ecological functions and metabolic genes of the microbial communities colonizing each plant compartment were predicted using FUNGuild, FAPROTAX, and Tax4Fun annotation tools. Our results showed that the individual plant compartments were colonized by specific microbes. The bacterial and fungal community compositions of the belowground plant compartments did not vary under future climate conditions. However, future climate conditions slightly altered the relative abundances of specific fungal classes of the aboveground compartments. We predicted several microbial functional genes of the T. pratense microbiome involved in plant growth processes, such as biofertilization (nitrogen fixation, phosphorus solubilization, and siderophore biosynthesis) and biostimulation (phytohormone and auxin production). Our findings indicated that T. pratense microbiomes show a degree of resilience to future climate changes. Additionally, microbes inhabiting T. pratense may not only contribute to plant growth promotion but also to ecosystem sustainability.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Rumbou A, Vainio EJ, C Büttner (2021)

Towards the Forest Virome: High-Throughput Sequencing Drastically Expands Our Understanding on Virosphere in Temperate Forest Ecosystems.

Microorganisms, 9(8):.

Thanks to the development of HTS technologies, a vast amount of genetic information on the virosphere of temperate forests has been gained in the last seven years. To estimate the qualitative/quantitative impact of HTS on forest virology, we have summarized viruses affecting major tree/shrub species and their fungal associates, including fungal plant pathogens, mutualists and saprotrophs. The contribution of HTS methods is extremely significant for forest virology. Reviewed data on viral presence in holobionts allowed us a first attempt to address the role of virome in holobionts. Forest health is dependent on the variability of microorganisms interacting with the host tree/holobiont; symbiotic microbiota and pathogens engage in a permanent interplay, which influences the host. Through virus-virus interplays synergistic or antagonistic relations may evolve, which may drastically affect the health of the holobiont. Novel insights of these interplays may allow practical applications for forest plant protection based on endophytes and mycovirus biocontrol agents. The current analysis is conceived in light of the prospect that novel viruses may initiate an emergent infectious disease and that measures for the avoidance of future outbreaks in forests should be considered.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Malassigné S, Minard G, Vallon L, et al (2021)

Diversity and Functions of Yeast Communities Associated with Insects.

Microorganisms, 9(8):.

Following the concept of the holobiont, insect-microbiota interactions play an important role in insect biology. Many examples of host-associated microorganisms have been reported to drastically influence insect biological processes such as development, physiology, nutrition, survival, immunity, or even vector competence. While a huge number of studies on insect-associated microbiota have focused on bacteria, other microbial partners including fungi have been comparatively neglected. Yeasts, which establish mostly commensal or symbiotic relationships with their host, can dominate the mycobiota of certain insects. This review presents key advances and progress in the research field highlighting the diversity of yeast communities associated with insects, as well as their impact on insect life-history traits, immunity, and behavior.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Motaung TE, ET Steenkamp (2021)

Extracellular Vesicles in Teasing Apart Complex Plant-Microbiota Links: Implications for Microbiome-Based Biotechnology.

mSystems, 6(4):e0073421.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are subcellular carriers of bioactive compounds with a complex array of functional effects on target cells. In mammals, circulating bodily fluid microbiota EVs (mbEVs) deliver cargo from source cells and adversely or favorably alter the physiology of the same source, neighboring, and distant recipient cells in an autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine fashion, respectively. Plant mbEVs may similarly mediate these interactive effects within the holobiont framework. However, the majority of plant EV research has focused on a small number of individual microbes, thus failing to reflect the importance of EVs in a community and consequently leaving a wide gap in scientific knowledge. Addressing this gap should entail a systems-level approach that combines vesicle characterization with microbiome analyses. This would certainly usher in a new age in microbial biotechnology entailing EVs as a microbiome manipulation strategy, a biomarker for stable microbiomes, and a diagnostic tool for plant infectious diseases.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Garg N (2021)

Metabolomics in Functional Interrogation of Individual Holobiont Members.

mSystems, 6(4):e0084121.

Eukaryotes and their environments serve as petri dishes, hosting an abundant and a rich prokaryotic microbiome. The assemblage of a eukaryotic host and its microbiome is referred to as a holobiont. The holobiont's microbiome interacts within itself, with the environment, and with the host at the chemical level through production of specialized metabolites resulting in homeostasis or dysbiosis. These interactions are triggered by a multitude of factors, such as community composition, age, presence of nutrients, xenobiotics, and change in physical conditions, such as temperature and oxygen. Understanding how holobionts respond and adapt to diverse triggers is necessary to uncover mechanisms of resilience or susceptibility to dysbiosis and to modulate the collective functioning of microbiome in health and disease. This article highlights the challenges associated with uncovering chemical contributions of individual holobiont members and the applicability of metabolomics-based approaches to uncover chemical signatures of microbial processes in the natural environment.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Leite MFA, Dimitrov MR, Freitas-Iório RP, et al (2021)

Rearranging the sugarcane holobiont via plant growth-promoting bacteria and nitrogen input.

The Science of the total environment, 800:149493 pii:S0048-9697(21)04567-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The development and productivity of plants are governed by their genetic background, nutrient input, and the microbial communities they host, i.e. the holobiont. Accordingly, engineering beneficial root microbiomes has emerged as a novel and sustainable approach to crop production with reduced nutrient input. Here, we tested the effects of six bacterial strains isolated from sugarcane stalks on sugarcane growth and physiology as well as the dynamics of prokaryote community assembly in the rhizosphere and root endosphere under two N fertilization regimes. All six strains, Paraburkholderia caribensis IAC/BECa 88, Kosakonia oryzae IAC/BECa 90, Kosakonia radicincitans IAC/BECa 95, Paraburkholderia tropica IAC/BECa 135, Pseudomonas fluorescens IAC/BECa 141 and Herbaspirillum frisingense IAC/BECa 152, increased in shoot and root dry mass, and influenced the concentration and accumulation of important macro- and micronutrients. However, N input reduced the impact of inoculation by shifting the sugarcane microbiome (rhizosphere and root endosphere) and weakening the co-dependence between soil microbes and sugarcane biomass and nutrients. The results show that these beneficial microbes improved plant nutrient uptake conditioned to a reduced N nutrient input. Therefore, reduced fertilization is not only desirable consequence of bacterial inoculation but essential for higher impact of these beneficial bacteria on the sugarcane microbiome.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Schapheer C, Pellens R, R Scherson (2021)

Arthropod-Microbiota Integration: Its Importance for Ecosystem Conservation.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:702763.

Recent reports indicate that the health of our planet is getting worse and that genuine transformative changes are pressing. So far, efforts to ameliorate Earth's ecosystem crises have been insufficient, as these often depart from current knowledge of the underlying ecological processes. Nowadays, biodiversity loss and the alterations in biogeochemical cycles are reaching thresholds that put the survival of our species at risk. Biological interactions are fundamental for achieving biological conservation and restoration of ecological processes, especially those that contribute to nutrient cycles. Microorganism are recognized as key players in ecological interactions and nutrient cycling, both free-living and in symbiotic associations with multicellular organisms. This latter assemblage work as a functional ecological unit called "holobiont." Here, we review the emergent ecosystem properties derived from holobionts, with special emphasis on detritivorous terrestrial arthropods and their symbiotic microorganisms. We revisit their relevance in the cycling of recalcitrant organic compounds (e.g., lignin and cellulose). Finally, based on the interconnection between biodiversity and nutrient cycling, we propose that a multicellular organism and its associates constitute an Ecosystem Holobiont (EH). This EH is the functional unit characterized by carrying out key ecosystem processes. We emphasize that in order to meet the challenge to restore the health of our planet it is critical to reduce anthropic pressures that may threaten not only individual entities (known as "bionts") but also the stability of the associations that give rise to EH and their ecological functions.

RevDate: 2021-08-17

Kostygov AY, Alves JMP, V Yurchenko (2021)

Editorial: Symbioses Between Protists and Bacteria/Archaea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:709184.

RevDate: 2021-08-12

Ferreira V, Pavlaki MD, Martins R, et al (2021)

Effects of nanostructure antifouling biocides towards a coral species in the context of global changes.

The Science of the total environment, 799:149324 pii:S0048-9697(21)04397-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Biofouling prevention is one of the biggest challenges faced by the maritime industry, but antifouling agents commonly impact marine ecosystems. Advances in antifouling technology include the use of nanomaterials. Herein we test an antifouling nano-additive based on the encapsulation of the biocide 4,5-dichloro-2-octyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (DCOIT) in engineered silica nanocontainers (SiNC). The work aims to assess the biochemical and physiological effects on the symbiotic coral Sarcophyton cf. glaucum caused by (1) thermal stress and (2) DCOIT exposure (free or nanoencapsulated forms), in a climate change scenario. Accordingly, the following hypotheses were addressed: (H1) ocean warming can cause toxicity on S. cf. glaucum; (H2) the nanoencapsulation process decreases DCOIT toxicity towards this species; (H3) the biocide toxicity, free or encapsulated forms, can be affected by ocean warming. Coral fragments were exposed for seven days to DCOIT in both free and encapsulated forms, SiNC and negative controls, under two water temperature regimes (26 °C and 30.5 °C). Coral polyp behavior and photosynthetic efficiency were determined in the holobiont, while biochemical markers were assessed individually in the endosymbiont and coral host. Results showed transient coral polyp retraction and diminished photosynthetic efficiency in the presence of heat stress or free DCOIT, with effects being magnified in the presence of both stressors. The activity of catalase and glutathione-S-transferase were modulated by temperature in each partner of the symbiosis. The shifts in enzymatic activity were more pronounced in the presence of free DCOIT, but to a lower extent for encapsulated DCOIT. Increased levels of oxidative damage were detected under heat conditions. The findings highlight the physiological constrains elicited by the increase of seawater temperature to symbiotic corals and demonstrate that DCOIT toxicity can be minimized through encapsulation in SiNC. The presence of both stressors magnifies toxicity and confirm that ocean warming enhances the vulnerability of tropical photosynthetic corals to local stressors.

RevDate: 2021-08-20
CmpDate: 2021-08-20

Schneider T (2021)

The holobiont self: understanding immunity in context.

History and philosophy of the life sciences, 43(3):99.

Both concepts of the holobiont and the immune system are at the heart of an ongoing scientific and philosophical examination concerning questions of the organism's individuality and identity as well as the relations between organisms and their environment. Examining the holobiont, the question of boundaries and individuality is challenging because it is both an assemblage of organisms with physiological cohesive aspects. I discuss the concept of immunity and the immune system function from the holobiont perspective. Because of the host-microbial close relations of codependence and interdependence, the holobiont is more often than not confused with the host, as the host is the domain in which this entity exists. I discuss the holobiont unique ecological characteristics of microbial assemblages connected to a host in a network of interactions in which the host is one of the organisms in the community but also its landscape. Therefore, I suggest viewing the holobiont as a host-ecosystem and discuss the implication of such a view on the concept of immunity and the meaning of protection. Furthermore, I show that viewing the holobiont as a host ecosystem opens the possibility of using the same ecological definition of boundaries and immunity dealing with an ecological system. Thus, the holobiont's boundaries and immunity are defined by the persistence of its complex system of interactions integrating existing and new interactions. This way of thinking presents a notion of immunity that materializes as the result of the complex interdependence relations between the different organisms composing the holobiont similar to that of an ecosystem. Taking this view further, I discuss the notion of immunogenicity that is ontologically heterogeneous with various causal explanations of the processes of tolerance and targeted immune response. Finally, I discuss the possible conceptualization of already existing and new biomedical practices.

RevDate: 2021-08-10

Legüe M, Aguila B, A Calixto (2021)

Interspecies RNA Interactome of Pathogen and Host in a Heritable Defensive Strategy.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:649858.

Communication with bacteria deeply impacts the life history traits of their hosts. Through specific molecules and metabolites, bacteria can promote short- and long-term phenotypic and behavioral changes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The chronic exposure of C. elegans to pathogens promotes the adaptive behavior in the host's progeny called pathogen-induced diapause formation (PIDF). PIDF is a pathogen avoidance strategy induced in the second generation of animals infected and can be recalled transgenerationally. This behavior requires the RNA interference machinery and specific nematode and bacteria small RNAs (sRNAs). In this work, we assume that RNAs from both species co-exist and can interact with each other. Under this principle, we explore the potential interspecies RNA interactions during PIDF-triggering conditions, using transcriptomic data from the holobiont. We study two transcriptomics datasets: first, the dual sRNA expression of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and C. elegans in a transgenerational paradigm for six generations and second, the simultaneous expression of sRNAs and mRNA in intergenerational PIDF. We focus on those bacterial sRNAs that are systematically overexpressed in the intestines of animals compared with sRNAs expressed in host-naïve bacteria. We selected diverse in silico methods that represent putative mechanisms of RNA-mediated interspecies interaction. These interactions are as follows: heterologous perfect and incomplete pairing between bacterial RNA and host mRNA; sRNAs of similar sequence expressed in both species that could mimic each other; and known or predicted eukaryotic motifs present in bacterial transcripts. We conclude that a broad spectrum of tools can be applied for the identification of potential sRNA and mRNA targets of the interspecies RNA interaction that can be subsequently tested experimentally.

RevDate: 2021-08-09

Barra Caracciolo A, V Terenzi (2021)

Rhizosphere Microbial Communities and Heavy Metals.

Microorganisms, 9(7):.

The rhizosphere is a microhabitat where there is an intense chemical dialogue between plants and microorganisms. The two coexist and develop synergistic actions, which can promote plants' functions and productivity, but also their capacity to respond to stress conditions, including heavy metal (HM) contamination. If HMs are present in soils used for agriculture, there is a risk of metal uptake by edible plants with subsequent bioaccumulation in humans and animals and detrimental consequences for their health. Plant productivity can also be negatively affected. Many bacteria have defensive mechanisms for resisting heavy metals and, through various complex processes, can improve plant response to HM stress. Bacteria-plant synergic interactions in the rhizosphere, as a homeostatic ecosystem response to HM disturbance, are common in soil. However, this is hard to achieve in agroecosystems managed with traditional practices, because concentrating on maximizing crop yield does not make it possible to establish rhizosphere interactions. Improving knowledge of the complex interactions mediated by plant exudates and secondary metabolites can lead to nature-based solutions for plant health in HM contaminated soils. This paper reports the main ecotoxicological effects of HMs and the various compounds (including several secondary metabolites) produced by plant-microorganism holobionts for removing, immobilizing and containing toxic elements.

RevDate: 2021-08-06

Herrera M, Liew YJ, Venn A, et al (2021)

New Insights From Transcriptomic Data Reveal Differential Effects of CO2 Acidification Stress on Photosynthesis of an Endosymbiotic Dinoflagellate in hospite.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:666510.

Ocean acidification (OA) has both detrimental as well as beneficial effects on marine life; it negatively affects calcifiers while enhancing the productivity of photosynthetic organisms. To date, many studies have focused on the impacts of OA on calcification in reef-building corals, a process particularly susceptible to acidification. However, little is known about the effects of OA on their photosynthetic algal partners, with some studies suggesting potential benefits for symbiont productivity. Here, we investigated the transcriptomic response of the endosymbiont Symbiodinium microadriaticum (CCMP2467) in the Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata subjected to different long-term (2 years) OA treatments (pH 8.0, 7.8, 7.4, 7.2). Transcriptomic analyses revealed that symbionts from corals under lower pH treatments responded to acidification by increasing the expression of genes related to photosynthesis and carbon-concentrating mechanisms. These processes were mostly up-regulated and associated metabolic pathways were significantly enriched, suggesting an overall positive effect of OA on the expression of photosynthesis-related genes. To test this conclusion on a physiological level, we analyzed the symbiont's photochemical performance across treatments. However, in contrast to the beneficial effects suggested by the observed gene expression changes, we found significant impairment of photosynthesis with increasing pCO2. Collectively, our data suggest that over-expression of photosynthesis-related genes is not a beneficial effect of OA but rather an acclimation response of the holobiont to different water chemistries. Our study highlights the complex effects of ocean acidification on these symbiotic organisms and the role of the host in determining symbiont productivity and performance.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Voolstra CR, Valenzuela JJ, Turkarslan S, et al (2021)

Contrasting heat stress response patterns of coral holobionts across the Red Sea suggest distinct mechanisms of thermal tolerance.

Molecular ecology, 30(18):4466-4480.

Corals from the northern Red Sea, in particular the Gulf of Aqaba (GoA), have exceptionally high bleaching thresholds approaching >5℃ above their maximum monthly mean (MMM) temperatures. These elevated thresholds are thought to be due to historical selection, as corals passed through the warmer Southern Red Sea during recolonization from the Arabian Sea. To test this hypothesis, we determined thermal tolerance thresholds of GoA versus central Red Sea (CRS) Stylophora pistillata corals using multi-temperature acute thermal stress assays to determine thermal thresholds. Relative thermal thresholds of GoA and CRS corals were indeed similar and exceptionally high (~7℃ above MMM). However, absolute thermal thresholds of CRS corals were on average 3℃ above those of GoA corals. To explore the molecular underpinnings, we determined gene expression and microbiome response of the coral holobiont. Transcriptomic responses differed markedly, with a strong response to the thermal stress in GoA corals and their symbiotic algae versus a remarkably muted response in CRS colonies. Concomitant to this, coral and algal genes showed temperature-induced expression in GoA corals, while exhibiting fixed high expression (front-loading) in CRS corals. Bacterial community composition of GoA corals changed dramatically under heat stress, whereas CRS corals displayed stable assemblages. We interpret the response of GoA corals as that of a resilient population approaching a tipping point in contrast to a pattern of consistently elevated thermal resistance in CRS corals that cannot further attune. Such response differences suggest distinct thermal tolerance mechanisms that may affect the response of coral populations to ocean warming.

RevDate: 2021-07-31

Haydon TD, Suggett DJ, Siboni N, et al (2021)

Temporal Variation in the Microbiome of Tropical and Temperate Octocorals.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial members of the coral holobiont play an important role in determining coral fitness. However, most knowledge of the coral microbiome has come from reef-building scleractinian corals, with far less known about the nature and importance of the microbiome of octocorals (subclass Octocorallia), which contribute significantly to reef biodiversity and functional complexity. We examined the diversity and structure of the bacterial component of octocoral microbiomes over summer and winter, with a focus on two temperate (Erythropodium hicksoni, Capnella gaboensis; Sydney Harbour) and two tropical (Sinularia sp., Sarcophyton sp.; Heron Island) species common to reefs in eastern Australia. Bacterial communities associated with these octocorals were also compared to common temperate (Plesiastrea versipora) and tropical (Acropora aspera) hard corals from the same reefs. Using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, bacterial diversity was found to be heterogeneous among octocorals, but we observed changes in composition between summer and winter for some species (C. gaboensis and Sinularia sp.), but not for others (E. hicksoni and Sarcophyton sp.). Bacterial community structure differed significantly between all octocoral species within both the temperate and tropical environments. However, on a seasonal basis, those differences were less pronounced. The microbiomes of C. gaboensis and Sinularia sp. were dominated by bacteria belonging to the genus Endozoicomonas, which were a key conserved feature of their core microbiomes. In contrast to previous studies, our analysis revealed that Endozoicomonas phylotypes are shared across different octocoral species, inhabiting different environments. Together, our data demonstrates that octocorals harbour a broad diversity of bacterial partners, some of which comprise 'core microbiomes' that potentially impart important functional roles to their hosts.

RevDate: 2021-07-31

Gaete A, Pulgar R, Hodar C, et al (2021)

Tomato Cultivars With Variable Tolerances to Water Deficit Differentially Modulate the Composition and Interaction Patterns of Their Rhizosphere Microbial Communities.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:688533.

Since drought is the leading environmental factor limiting crop productivity, and plants have a significant impact in defining the assembly of plant-specific microbial communities associated with roots, we aimed to determine the effect of thoroughly selected water deficit tolerant and susceptible Solanum lycopersicum cultivars on their rhizosphere microbiome and compared their response with plant-free soil microbial communities. We identified a total of 4,248 bacterial and 276 fungal different operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in soils by massive sequencing. We observed that tomato cultivars significantly affected the alpha and beta diversity of their bacterial rhizosphere communities but not their fungal communities compared with bulk soils (BSs), showing a plant effect exclusively on the bacterial soil community. Also, an increase in alpha diversity in response to water deficit of both bacteria and fungi was observed in the susceptible rhizosphere (SRz) but not in the tolerant rhizosphere (TRz) cultivar, implying a buffering effect of the tolerant cultivar on its rhizosphere microbial communities. Even though water deficit did not affect the microbial diversity of the tolerant cultivar, the interaction network analysis revealed that the TRz microbiota displayed the smallest and least complex soil network in response to water deficit with the least number of connected components, nodes, and edges. This reduction of the TRz network also correlated with a more efficient community, reflected in increased cooperation within kingdoms. Furthermore, we identified some specific bacteria and fungi in the TRz in response to water deficit, which, given that they belong to taxa with known beneficial characteristics for plants, could be contributing to the tolerant phenotype, highlighting the metabolic bidirectionality of the holobiont system. Future assays involving characterization of root exudates and exchange of rhizospheres between drought-tolerant and susceptible cultivars could determine the effect of specific metabolites on the microbiome community and may elucidate their functional contribution to the tolerance of plants to water deficit.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Kaur J, J Sharma (2021)

Orchid Root Associated Bacteria: Linchpins or Accessories?.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:661966.

Besides the plant-fungus symbiosis in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EM) plants, many endorhizal and rhizosphere bacteria (Root Associated Bacteria, or RAB) also enhance plant fitness, diversity, and coexistence among plants via bi- or tripartite interactions with plant hosts and mycorrhizal fungi. Assuming that bacterial associations are just as important for the obligate mycorrhizal plant family Orchidaceae, surprisingly little is known about the RAB associated with orchids. Herein, we first present the current, underwhelming state of RAB research including their interactions with fungi and the influence of holobionts on plant fitness. We then delineate the need for novel investigations specifically in orchid RAB ecology, and sketch out questions and hypotheses which, when addressed, will advance plant-microbial ecology. We specifically discuss the potential effects of beneficial RAB on orchids as: (1) Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR), (2) Mycorrhization Helper Bacteria (MHB), and (3) constituents of an orchid holobiont. We further posit that a hologenomic view should be considered as a framework for addressing co-evolution of the plant host, their obligate Orchid Mycorrhizal Fungi (OMF), and orchid RAB. We conclude by discussing implications of the suggested research for conservation of orchids, their microbial partners, and their collective habitats.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Bednarz VN, van de Water JAJM, Grover R, et al (2021)

Unravelling the Importance of Diazotrophy in Corals - Combined Assessment of Nitrogen Assimilation, Diazotrophic Community and Natural Stable Isotope Signatures.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:631244.

There is an increasing interest in understanding the structure and function of the microbiota associated with marine and terrestrial organisms, because it can play a major role in host nutrition and resistance to environmental stress. Reef-building corals live in association with diazotrophs, which are microbes able to fix dinitrogen. Corals are known to assimilate diazotrophically-derived nitrogen (DDN), but it is still not clear whether this nitrogen source is derived from coral-associated diazotrophs and whether it substantially contributes to the coral's nitrogen budget. In this study, we aimed to provide a better understanding of the importance of DDN for corals using a holistic approach by simultaneously assessing DDN assimilation rates (using 15N2 tracer technique), the diazotrophic bacterial community (using nifH gene amplicon sequencing) and the natural δ15N signature in Stylophora pistillata corals from the Northern Red Sea along a depth gradient in winter and summer. Overall, our results show a discrepancy between the three parameters. DDN was assimilated by the coral holobiont during winter only, with an increased assimilation with depth. Assimilation rates were, however, not linked to the presence of coral-associated diazotrophs, suggesting that the presence of nifH genes does not necessarily imply functionality. It also suggests that DDN assimilation was independent from coral-associated diazotrophs and may instead result from nitrogen derived from planktonic diazotrophs. In addition, the δ15N signature presented negative values in almost all coral samples in both seasons, suggesting that nitrogen sources other than DDN contribute to the nitrogen budget of corals from this region. This study yields novel insight into the origin and importance of diazotrophy for scleractinian corals from the Northern Red Sea using multiple proxies.

RevDate: 2021-07-12
CmpDate: 2021-07-12

Paglia L (2021)

From native core micriobiome to milk-oriented microbiome.

European journal of paediatric dentistry, 22(2):89.

The human microbiome is the full set of microorganisms (microbiota) present on and in our body. Its importance is such that the human being has been defined as a holobiont, that is, a superorganism made up of human eukaryotic cells and microbial cells. A balanced microbiota (eubiosis) is a prerequisite for health and well-being; on the contrary, an altered microbiota (dysbiosis) is the cause of pathological conditions. This concept is the cornerstone of the "microbiota revolution": Currently there is no disease that cannot be re- interpreted as a function of microbiome. While all human beings have similar DNA, it is the microbiome that make every person genetically unique; therefore the microbiome is the variable component of the genome which characterises each one of us. About one third of the microbiome is common to all individuals, while two thirds are specific to each subject and constitute a sort of fingerprint that forms and stabilises in the first 2-3 years of life. This timeframe is extremely important since it has been shown that the structure of the microbiome is already acquired in the embryonic-fetal period, it is completed within 3 years and lasts a lifetime. The native core microbiome is the first microbiota and characterises individuals for their whole life. It is affected by four main variables: The quality of family and social life of the mother-to-be, the intake of drugs during pregnancy, as well as the type of birth and breastfeeding. It is renowned that breast milk is a complex, unique and essential food for the growth of the child, but one of its functions - which is still under investigation today - is to feed and guide the formation of the microbiome of the newborn even after the introduction of solid foods, during the first 3 years of life. This function is carried out by the over one hundred different types of oligosaccharides that are present in breast milk, which is why these days we talk about the so-called MOM (milk-oriented microbiome). The correct formation of the microbiome affects the entire life of an individual. This is a more than valid reason to promote breastfeeding even after eruption of baby teeth and throughout the weaning period. The role of pediatric dentists, together with hygienists and pediatricians, is to spread and stress out the importance of oral hygiene so that breastfeeding can only bring benefits and not carious lesions!

RevDate: 2021-08-23

Thompson HF, T Gutierrez (2021)

Detection of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria on deepwater corals of the northeast Atlantic using CARD-FISH.

Journal of microbiological methods, 187:106277.

Recently, studies have begun to identify oil-degrading bacteria and host-taxon specific bacterial assemblages associated with the coral holobiont, including deep-sea cold-water corals, which are thought to provide metabolic functions and additional carbon sources to their coral hosts. Here, we describe the identification of Marinobacter on the soft tissue of Lophelia pertusa coral polyps by Catalyzed Reporter Deposition Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (CARD-FISH). L. pertusa samples from three reef sites in the northeast Atlantic (Logachev, Mingulay and Pisces) were collected at depth by vacuum seal to eliminate contamination issues. After decalcification, histological processing and sagittal sectioning of the soft coral polyp tissues, the 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide HRP-labelled probe Mrb-0625-a, and Cyanine 3 (Cy3)-labelled tyramides, were used to identify members of the hydrocarbon-degrading genus Marinobacter. Mrb-0625-a-hybridized bacterial cell signals were detected in different anatomical sites of all polyps collected from each of the three reef sites, suggesting a close, possibly intimate, association between them, but the purpose of which remains unknown. We posit that Marinobacter, and possibly other hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria associated with Lophelia, may confer the coral with the ability to cope with toxic levels of hydrocarbons in regions of natural oil seepage and where there is an active oil and gas industry presence.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Glaze TD, Erler DV, HMP Siljanen (2021)

Microbially facilitated nitrogen cycling in tropical corals.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Tropical scleractinian corals support a diverse assemblage of microbial symbionts. This 'microbiome' possesses the requisite functional diversity to conduct a range of nitrogen (N) transformations including denitrification, nitrification, nitrogen fixation and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Very little direct evidence has been presented to date verifying that these processes are active within tropical corals. Here we use a combination of stable isotope techniques, nutrient uptake calculations and captured metagenomics to quantify rates of nitrogen cycling processes in a selection of tropical scleractinian corals. Denitrification activity was detected in all species, albeit with very low rates, signifying limited importance in holobiont N removal. Relatively greater nitrogen fixation activity confirms that corals are net N importers to reef systems. Low net nitrification activity suggests limited N regeneration capacity; however substantial gross nitrification activity may be concealed through nitrate consumption. Based on nrfA gene abundance and measured inorganic N fluxes, we calculated significant DNRA activity in the studied corals, which has important implications for coral reef N cycling and warrants more targeted investigation. Through the quantification and characterisation of all relevant N-cycling processes, this study provides clarity on the subject of tropical coral-associated biogeochemical N-cycling.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Schmittmann L, Franzenburg S, L Pita (2021)

Individuality in the Immune Repertoire and Induced Response of the Sponge Halichondria panicea.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:689051.

The animal immune system mediates host-microbe interactions from the host perspective. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and the downstream signaling cascades they induce are a central part of animal innate immunity. These molecular immune mechanisms are still not fully understood, particularly in terms of baseline immunity vs induced specific responses regulated upon microbial signals. Early-divergent phyla like sponges (Porifera) can help to identify the evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of immune signaling. We characterized both the expressed immune gene repertoire and the induced response to lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in Halichondria panicea, a promising model for sponge symbioses. We exposed sponges under controlled experimental conditions to bacterial LPS and performed RNA-seq on samples taken 1h and 6h after exposure. H. panicea possesses a diverse array of putative PRRs. While part of those PRRs was constitutively expressed in all analyzed sponges, the majority was expressed individual-specific and regardless of LPS treatment or timepoint. The induced immune response by LPS involved differential regulation of genes related to signaling and recognition, more specifically GTPases and post-translational regulation mechanisms like ubiquitination and phosphorylation. We have discovered individuality in both the immune receptor repertoire and the response to LPS, which may translate into holobiont fitness and susceptibility to stress. The three different layers of immune gene control observed in this study, - namely constitutive expression, individual-specific expression, and induced genes -, draw a complex picture of the innate immune gene regulation in H. panicea. Most likely this reflects synergistic interactions among the different components of immunity in their role to control and respond to a stable microbiome, seawater bacteria, and potential pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-07-04

Posadas N, Baquiran JIP, Nada MAL, et al (2021)

Microbiome diversity and host immune functions influence survivorship of sponge holobionts under future ocean conditions.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

The sponge-associated microbial community contributes to the overall health and adaptive capacity of the sponge holobiont. This community is regulated by the environment and the immune system of the host. However, little is known about the effect of environmental stress on the regulation of host immune functions and how this may, in turn, affect sponge-microbe interactions. In this study, we compared the bacterial diversity and immune repertoire of the demosponge, Neopetrosia compacta, and the calcareous sponge, Leucetta chagosensis, under varying levels of acidification and warming stress based on climate scenarios predicted for 2100. Neopetrosia compacta harbors a diverse microbial community and possesses a rich repertoire of scavenger receptors while L. chagosensis has a less diverse microbiome and an expanded range of pattern recognition receptors and immune response-related genes. Upon exposure to RCP 8.5 conditions, the microbiome composition and host transcriptome of N. compacta remained stable, which correlated with high survival (75%). In contrast, tissue necrosis and low survival (25%) of L. chagosensis was accompanied by microbial community shifts and downregulation of host immune-related pathways. Meta-analysis of microbiome diversity and immunological repertoire across poriferan classes further highlights the importance of host-microbe interactions in predicting the fate of sponges under future ocean conditions.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Van Gerrewey T, El-Nakhel C, De Pascale S, et al (2021)

Root-Associated Bacterial Community Shifts in Hydroponic Lettuce Cultured with Urine-Derived Fertilizer.

Microorganisms, 9(6):.

Recovery of nutrients from source-separated urine can truncate our dependency on synthetic fertilizers, contributing to more sustainable food production. Urine-derived fertilizers have been successfully applied in soilless cultures. However, little is known about the adaptation of the plant to the nutrient environment. This study investigated the impact of urine-derived fertilizers on plant performance and the root-associated bacterial community of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Shoot biomass, chlorophyll, phenolic, antioxidant, and mineral content were associated with shifts in the root-associated bacterial community structures. K-struvite, a high-performing urine-derived fertilizer, supported root-associated bacterial communities that overlapped most strongly with control NPK fertilizer. Contrarily, lettuce performed poorly with electrodialysis (ED) concentrate and hydrolyzed urine and hosted distinct root-associated bacterial communities. Comparing the identified operational taxonomic units (OTU) across the fertilizer conditions revealed strong correlations between specific bacterial genera and the plant physiological characteristics, salinity, and NO3-/NH4+ ratio. The root-associated bacterial community networks of K-struvite and NPK control fertilized plants displayed fewer nodes and node edges, suggesting that good plant growth performance does not require highly complex ecological interactions in hydroponic growth conditions.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Bona E, Massa N, Toumatia O, et al (2021)

Climatic Zone and Soil Properties Determine the Biodiversity of the Soil Bacterial Communities Associated to Native Plants from Desert Areas of North-Central Algeria.

Microorganisms, 9(7):.

Algeria is the largest country in Africa characterized by semi-arid and arid sites, located in the North, and hypersaline zones in the center and South of the country. Several autochthonous plants are well known as medicinal plants, having in common tolerance to aridity, drought and salinity. In their natural environment, they live with a great amount of microbial species that altogether are indicated as plant microbiota, while the plants are now viewed as a "holobiont". In this work, the microbiota of the soil associated to the roots of fourteen economically relevant autochthonous plants from Algeria have been characterized by an innovative metagenomic approach with a dual purpose: (i) to deepen the knowledge of the arid and semi-arid environment and (ii) to characterize the composition of bacterial communities associated with indigenous plants with a strong economic/commercial interest, in order to make possible the improvement of their cultivation. The results presented in this work highlighted specific signatures which are mainly determined by climatic zone and soil properties more than by the plant species.

RevDate: 2021-07-26
CmpDate: 2021-07-26

Fetsiukh A, Conrad J, Bergquist J, et al (2021)

Silica Particles Trigger the Exopolysaccharide Production of Harsh Environment Isolates of Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria and Increase Their Ability to Enhance Wheat Biomass in Drought-Stressed Soils.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(12):.

In coming decades, drought is expected to expand globally owing to increased evaporation and reduced rainfall. Understanding, predicting, and controlling crop plants' rhizosphere has the potential to manipulate its responses to environmental stress. Our plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are isolated from a natural laboratory, 'The Evolution Canyon', Israel, (EC), from the wild progenitors of cereals, where they have been co-habituating with their hosts for long periods of time. The study revealed that commercial TM50 silica particles (SN) triggered the PGPR production of exopolysaccharides (EPS) containing D-glucuronate (D-GA). The increased EPS content increased the PGPR water-holding capacity (WHC) and osmotic pressure of the biofilm matrix, which led to enhanced plant biomass in drought-stressed growth environments. Light- and cryo-electron- microscopic studies showed that, in the presence of silica (SN) particles, bacterial morphology is changed, indicating that SNs are associated with significant reprogramming in bacteria. The findings encourage the development of large-scale methods for isolate formulation with natural silicas that ensure higher WHC and hyperosmolarity under field conditions. Osmotic pressure involvement of holobiont cohabitation is also discussed.

RevDate: 2021-07-26
CmpDate: 2021-07-26

Mkaouar H, Mariaule V, Rhimi S, et al (2021)

Gut Serpinome: Emerging Evidence in IBD.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(11):.

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are incurable disorders whose prevalence and global socioeconomic impact are increasing. While the role of host genetics and immunity is well documented, that of gut microbiota dysbiosis is increasingly being studied. However, the molecular basis of the dialogue between the gut microbiota and the host remains poorly understood. Increased activity of serine proteases is demonstrated in IBD patients and may contribute to the onset and the maintenance of the disease. The intestinal proteolytic balance is the result of an equilibrium between the proteases and their corresponding inhibitors. Interestingly, the serine protease inhibitors (serpins) encoded by the host are well reported; in contrast, those from the gut microbiota remain poorly studied. In this review, we provide a concise analysis of the roles of serine protease in IBD physiopathology and we focus on the serpins from the gut microbiota (gut serpinome) and their relevance as a promising therapeutic approach.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Salsbery ME, JP DeLong (2021)

Thermal adaptation in a holobiont accompanied by phenotypic changes in an endosymbiont.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 75(8):2074-2084.

How and if organisms can adapt to changing temperatures has drastic consequences for the natural world. Thermal adaptation involves finding a match between temperatures permitting growth and the expected temperature distribution of the environment. However, if and how this match is achieved, and how tightly linked species change together, is poorly understood. Paramecium bursaria is a ciliate that has a tight physiological interaction with endosymbiotic green algae (zoochlorellae). We subjected a wild population of P. bursaria to a cold and warm climate (20 and 32℃) for ∼300 generations. We then measured the thermal performance curve (TPC) for intrinsic rate of growth (rmax) for these evolved lines across temperatures. We also evaluated number and size of the zoochlorellae populations within paramecia cells. TPCs for warm-adapted populations were shallower and broader than TPCs of cold-adapted populations, indicating that the warm populations adapted by moving along a thermal generalist/specialist trade off rather than right-shifting the TPC. Zoochlorellae populations within cold-adapted paramecia had fewer and larger zoochlorellae than hot-adapted paramecia, indicating phenotypic shifts in the endosymbiont accompany thermal adaptation in the host. Our results provide new and novel insight into how species involved in complex interactions will be affected by continuing increasing global temperatures.

RevDate: 2021-07-12
CmpDate: 2021-07-12

Ingham AC, Kielsen K, Mordhorst H, et al (2021)

Microbiota long-term dynamics and prediction of acute graft-versus-host disease in pediatric allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Microbiome, 9(1):148.

BACKGROUND: Patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) exhibit changes in their gut microbiota and are experiencing a range of complications, including acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD). It is unknown if, when, and under which conditions a re-establishment of microbial and immunological homeostasis occurs. It is also unclear whether microbiota long-term dynamics occur at other body sites than the gut such as the mouth or nose. Moreover, it is not known whether the patients' microbiota prior to HSCT holds clues to whether the patient would suffer from severe complications subsequent to HSCT. Here, we take a holobiont perspective and performed an integrated host-microbiota analysis of the gut, oral, and nasal microbiota in 29 children undergoing allo-HSCT.

RESULTS: The bacterial diversity decreased in the gut, nose, and mouth during the first month and reconstituted again 1-3 months after allo-HSCT. The microbial community composition traversed three phases over 1 year. Distinct taxa discriminated the microbiota temporally at all three body sides, including Enterococcus spp., Lactobacillus spp., and Blautia spp. in the gut. Of note, certain microbial taxa appeared already changed in the patients prior to allo-HSCT as compared with healthy children. Acute GvHD occurring after allo-HSCT could be predicted from the microbiota composition at all three body sites prior to HSCT. The reconstitution of CD4+ T cells, TH17, and B cells was associated with distinct taxa of the gut, oral, and nasal microbiota.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals for the first time bacteria in the mouth and nose that may predict aGvHD. Monitoring of the microbiota at different body sites in HSCT patients and particularly through involvement of samples prior to transplantation may be of prognostic value and could assist in guiding personalized treatment strategies. The identification of distinct bacteria that have a potential to predict post-transplant aGvHD might provide opportunities for an improved preventive clinical management, including a modulation of microbiomes. The host-microbiota associations shared between several body sites might also support an implementation of more feasible oral and nasal swab sampling-based analyses. Altogether, the findings suggest that the microbiota and host factors together could provide actionable information to guiding precision medicine. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Capistrant-Fossa KA, Morrison HG, Engelen AH, et al (2021)

The microbiome of the habitat-forming brown alga Fucus vesiculosus (Phaeophyceae) has similar cross-Atlantic structure that reflects past and present drivers1.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

Latitudinal diversity gradients have provided many insights into species differentiation and community processes. In the well-studied intertidal zone, however, little is known about latitudinal diversity in microbiomes associated with habitat-forming hosts. We investigated microbiomes of Fucus vesiculosus because of deep understanding of this model system and its latitudinally large, cross-Atlantic range. Given multiple effects of photoperiod, we predicted that cross-Atlantic microbiomes of the Fucus microbiome would be similar at similar latitudes and correlate with environmental factors. We found that community structure and individual amplicon sequencing variants (ASVs) showed distinctive latitudinal distributions, but alpha diversity did not. Latitudinal differentiation was mostly driven by ASVs that were more abundant in cold temperate to subarctic (e.g., Granulosicoccus_t3260, Burkholderia/Caballeronia/Paraburkholderia_t8371) or warm temperate (Pleurocapsa_t10392) latitudes. Their latitudinal distributions correlated with different humidity, tidal heights, and air/sea temperatures, but rarely with irradiance or photoperiod. Many ASVs in potentially symbiotic genera displayed novel phylogenetic biodiversity with differential distributions among tissues and regions, including closely related ASVs with differing north-south distributions that correlated with Fucus phylogeography. An apparent southern range contraction of F. vesiculosus in the NW Atlantic on the North Carolina coast mimics that recently observed in the NE Atlantic. We suggest cross-Atlantic microbial structure of F. vesiculosus is related to a combination of past (glacial-cycle) and contemporary environmental drivers.

RevDate: 2021-06-25

Dellisanti W, Chung JTH, Chow CFY, et al (2021)

Experimental Techniques to Assess Coral Physiology in situ Under Global and Local Stressors: Current Approaches and Novel Insights.

Frontiers in physiology, 12:656562.

Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to global changes in the marine environment. The increasing frequency of massive bleaching events in the tropics is highlighting the need to better understand the stages of coral physiological responses to extreme conditions. Moreover, like many other coastal regions, coral reef ecosystems are facing additional localized anthropogenic stressors such as nutrient loading, increased turbidity, and coastal development. Different strategies have been developed to measure the health status of a damaged reef, ranging from the resolution of individual polyps to the entire coral community, but techniques for measuring coral physiology in situ are not yet widely implemented. For instance, while there are many studies of the coral holobiont response in single or limited-number multiple stressor experiments, they provide only partial insights into metabolic performance under more complex and temporally and spatially variable natural conditions. Here, we discuss the current status of coral reefs and their global and local stressors in the context of experimental techniques that measure core processes in coral metabolism (respiration, photosynthesis, and biocalcification) in situ, and their role in indicating the health status of colonies and communities. We highlight the need to improve the capability of in situ studies in order to better understand the resilience and stress response of corals under multiple global and local scale stressors.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Campana S, Busch K, Hentschel U, et al (2021)

DNA-stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP) identifies marine sponge-associated bacteria actively utilizing dissolved organic matter (DOM).

Environmental microbiology, 23(8):4489-4504.

Sponges possess exceptionally diverse associated microbial communities and play a major role in (re)cycling of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in marine ecosystems. Linking sponge-associated community structure with DOM utilization is essential to understand host-microbe interactions in the uptake, processing, and exchange of resources. We coupled, for the first time, DNA-stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP) with 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing in a sponge holobiont to identify which symbiotic bacterial taxa are metabolically active in DOM uptake. Parallel incubation experiments with the sponge Plakortis angulospiculatus were amended with equimolar quantities of unlabelled (12 C) and labelled (13 C) DOM. Seven bacterial amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), belonging to the phyla PAUC34f, Proteobacteria, Poribacteria, Nitrospirae, and Chloroflexi, were identified as the first active consumers of DOM. Our results support the predictions that PAUC34f, Poribacteria, and Chloroflexi are capable of organic matter degradation through heterotrophic carbon metabolism, while Nitrospirae may have a potential mixotrophic metabolism. We present a new analytical application of DNA-SIP to detect substrate incorporation into a marine holobiont with a complex associated bacterial community and provide new experimental evidence that links the identity of diverse sponge-associated bacteria to the consumption of DOM.

RevDate: 2021-08-04

Sweet M, Villela H, Keller-Costa T, et al (2021)

Insights into the Cultured Bacterial Fraction of Corals.

mSystems, 6(3):e0124920.

Bacteria associated with coral hosts are diverse and abundant, with recent studies suggesting involvement of these symbionts in host resilience to anthropogenic stress. Despite their putative importance, the work dedicated to culturing coral-associated bacteria has received little attention. Combining published and unpublished data, here we report a comprehensive overview of the diversity and function of culturable bacteria isolated from corals originating from tropical, temperate, and cold-water habitats. A total of 3,055 isolates from 52 studies were considered by our metasurvey. Of these, 1,045 had full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences, spanning 138 formally described and 12 putatively novel bacterial genera across the Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria phyla. We performed comparative genomic analysis using the available genomes of 74 strains and identified potential signatures of beneficial bacterium-coral symbioses among the strains. Our analysis revealed >400 biosynthetic gene clusters that underlie the biosynthesis of antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and other secondary metabolites. Moreover, we uncovered genomic features-not previously described for coral-bacterium symbioses-potentially involved in host colonization and host-symbiont recognition, antiviral defense mechanisms, and/or integrated metabolic interactions, which we suggest as novel targets for the screening of coral probiotics. Our results highlight the importance of bacterial cultures to elucidate coral holobiont functioning and guide the selection of probiotic candidates to promote coral resilience and improve holistic and customized reef restoration and rehabilitation efforts. IMPORTANCE Our paper is the first study to synthesize currently available but decentralized data of cultured microbes associated with corals. We were able to collate 3,055 isolates across a number of published studies and unpublished collections from various laboratories and researchers around the world. This equated to 1,045 individual isolates which had full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences, after filtering of the original 3,055. We also explored which of these had genomes available. Originally, only 36 were available, and as part of this study, we added a further 38-equating to 74 in total. From this, we investigated potential genetic signatures that may facilitate a host-associated lifestyle. Further, such a resource is an important step in the selection of probiotic candidates, which are being investigated for promoting coral resilience and potentially applied as a novel strategy in reef restoration and rehabilitation efforts. In the spirit of open access, we have ensured this collection is available to the wider research community through the web site http://isolates.reefgenomics.org/ with the hope many scientists across the globe will ask for access to these cultures for future studies.

RevDate: 2021-08-31
CmpDate: 2021-08-31

Yu X, Yu K, Liao Z, et al (2021)

Seasonal fluctuations in symbiotic bacteria and their role in environmental adaptation of the scleractinian coral Acropora pruinosa in high-latitude coral reef area of the South China Sea.

The Science of the total environment, 792:148438.

Coral-associated bacterial communities are paramount for coral ecosystems and holobiont health. However, the role of symbiotic bacteria in the adaptation of high-latitude corals to seasonal fluctuations remains underexplored. Therefore, we used 16S rRNA-based high-throughput sequencing to analyze the symbiotic bacterial diversity, composition, and core bacterial community in high-latitude coral and explored the seasonal fluctuation characteristics of symbiotic bacterial communities. We found that bacterial richness and α-diversity changed significantly across different seasons. Additionally, the community structure recombined seasonally, with different dominant bacterial phyla and genera in different seasons. However, the symbiotic bacterial community structures of Acropora pruinosa in winter and spring were similar. Proteobacteria were the dominant bacteria in spring, autumn, and winter. In summer, the dominant bacterial taxa were Bacteroidota and Proteobacteria. Ralstonia was the dominant bacterial genus in spring and winter, whereas in autumn, BD1-7_clade was dominant. Linear discriminant analysis effect size identified 20 abundant genera between the different groups. Core microbiome analysis revealed that 12 core bacterial operational taxonomic units were associated with A. pruinosa in all seasons, seven of which varied with the seasons, changing between dominant and rare. Distance-based redundancy and variation partitioning analyses revealed that sea surface temperature was the major contributor of variation in the microbial community structure. We hypothesized that the high diversity and abundance of symbiotic bacteria and the increase in Prosthecochloris abundance in coral in summer can help A. pruinosa maintain its physiological functions, ameliorating the negative physiological effects of the decrease in Symbiodiniaceae density under high-temperature stress. Thus, the rapid reorganization of the symbiotic bacterial community structure and core microflora in different seasons may allow the corals to adapt to large seasonal environmental fluctuations. In conclusion, seasonal variation of bacteria plays an important role in coral adaptation to large environmental fluctuations.

RevDate: 2021-07-16

Nguyen KU, Zhang R, Taniguchi M, et al (2021)

Fluorescence Assay for Tolyporphins Amidst Abundant Chlorophyll in Crude Cyanobacterial Extracts.

Photochemistry and photobiology [Epub ahead of print].

Tolyporphins are distinctive tetrapyrrole natural products found singularly in a filamentous cyanobacterial-microbial holobiont (termed HT-58-2) from Micronesia. The absorption and fluorescence features of tolyporphins resemble those of chlorophyll a, complicating direct analysis of culture samples. Treatment of the crude (unfractionated) organic extract (CH2 Cl2 /2-propanol, 1:1) of HT-58-2 cultures with NaBH4 in methanol causes reduction of the peripheral ketone auxochromes, whereupon tolyporphins (predominantly 7,17-dioxobacteriochlorins) exhibit a bathochromic shift (λabs ~ 676 → ~ 700 nm) and chlorophyll a (a 131 -oxochlorin) exhibits a hypsochromic shift (λabs 665 → 634 nm). Fluorescence excitation spectroscopy (at 368 and 491 nm with λem 710 nm) enabled detection of reduced tolyporphins amidst abundant reduced chlorophyll a (1:19 ratio), a detection sensitivity >5 times that without reduction. The resulting assay combines simple sample preparation from non-axenic cultures at microscale quantities (2 mL, 2 μm), absence of any fractionation procedures, and fluorescence detection. Tolyporphins were readily detected in cultures of HT-58-2 at reasonable growth periods in the absence of environmental stressors, which was not possible previously.

RevDate: 2021-06-22

Brahmi C, Chapron L, Le Moullac G, et al (2021)

Effects of elevated temperature and pCO2 on the respiration, biomineralization and photophysiology of the giant clam Tridacna maxima.

Conservation physiology, 9(1):coab041.

Many reef organisms, such as the giant clams, are confronted with global change effects. Abnormally high seawater temperatures can lead to mass bleaching events and subsequent mortality, while ocean acidification may impact biomineralization processes. Despite its strong ecological and socio-economic importance, its responses to these threats still need to be explored. We investigated physiological responses of 4-year-old Tridacna maxima to realistic levels of temperature (+1.5°C) and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) (+800 μatm of CO2) predicted for 2100 in French Polynesian lagoons during the warmer season. During a 65-day crossed-factorial experiment, individuals were exposed to two temperatures (29.2°C, 30.7°C) and two pCO2 (430 μatm, 1212 μatm) conditions. The impact of each environmental parameter and their potential synergetic effect were evaluated based on respiration, biomineralization and photophysiology. Kinetics of thermal and/or acidification stress were evaluated by performing measurements at different times of exposure (29, 41, 53, 65 days). At 30.7°C, the holobiont O2 production, symbiont photosynthetic yield and density were negatively impacted. High pCO2 had a significant negative effect on shell growth rate, symbiont photosynthetic yield and density. No significant differences of the shell microstructure were observed between control and experimental conditions in the first 29 days; however, modifications (i.e. less-cohesive lamellae) appeared from 41 days in all temperature and pCO2 conditions. No significant synergetic effect was found. Present thermal conditions (29.2°C) appeared to be sufficiently stressful to induce a host acclimatization response. All these observations indicate that temperature and pCO2 are both forcing variables affecting T. maxima's physiology and jeopardize its survival under environmental conditions predicted for the end of this century.

RevDate: 2021-06-22

Marín O, González B, MJ Poupin (2021)

From Microbial Dynamics to Functionality in the Rhizosphere: A Systematic Review of the Opportunities With Synthetic Microbial Communities.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:650609.

Synthetic microbial communities (SynComs) are a useful tool for a more realistic understanding of the outcomes of multiple biotic interactions where microbes, plants, and the environment are players in time and space of a multidimensional and complex system. Toward a more in-depth overview of the knowledge that has been achieved using SynComs in the rhizosphere, a systematic review of the literature on SynComs was performed to identify the overall rationale, design criteria, experimental procedures, and outcomes of in vitro or in planta tests using this strategy. After an extensive bibliography search and a specific selection process, a total of 30 articles were chosen for further analysis, grouping them by their reported SynCom size. The reported SynComs were constituted with a highly variable number of members, ranging from 3 to 190 strains, with a total of 1,393 bacterial isolates, where the three most represented phyla were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes. Only four articles did not reference experiments with SynCom on plants, as they considered only microbial in vitro studies, whereas the others chose different plant models and plant-growth systems; some of them are described and reviewed in this article. Besides, a discussion on different approaches (bottom-up and top-down) to study the microbiome role in the rhizosphere is provided, highlighting how SynComs are an effective system to connect and fill some knowledge gaps and to have a better understanding of the mechanisms governing these multiple interactions. Although the SynCom approach is already helpful and has a promising future, more systematic and standardized studies are needed to harness its full potential.

RevDate: 2021-09-20
CmpDate: 2021-09-20

Silva CBP, Elias-Oliveira J, McCarthy CG, et al (2021)

Ethanol: striking the cardiovascular system by harming the gut microbiota.

American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology, 321(2):H275-H291.

Ethanol consumption represents a significant public health problem, and excessive ethanol intake is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. The mechanisms underlying the effects of ethanol on the cardiovascular system are complex and not fully comprehended. The gut microbiota and their metabolites are indispensable symbionts essential for health and homeostasis and therefore, have emerged as potential contributors to ethanol-induced cardiovascular system dysfunction. By mechanisms that are not completely understood, the gut microbiota modulates the immune system and activates several signaling pathways that stimulate inflammatory responses, which in turn, contribute to the development and progression of CVD. This review summarizes preclinical and clinical evidence on the effects of ethanol in the gut microbiota and discusses the mechanisms by which ethanol-induced gut dysbiosis leads to the activation of the immune system and cardiovascular dysfunction. The cross talk between ethanol consumption and the gut microbiota and its implications are detailed. In summary, an imbalance in the symbiotic relationship between the host and the commensal microbiota in a holobiont, as seen with ethanol consumption, may contribute to CVD. Therefore, manipulating the gut microbiota, by using antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation might prove a valuable opportunity to prevent/mitigate the deleterious effects of ethanol and improve cardiovascular health and risk prevention.

RevDate: 2021-06-24

Rolli E, Vergani L, Ghitti E, et al (2021)

'Cry-for-help' in contaminated soil: a dialogue among plants and soil microbiome to survive in hostile conditions.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

An open question in environmental ecology regards the mechanisms triggered by root chemistry to drive the assembly and functionality of a beneficial microbiome to rapidly adapt to stress conditions. This phenomenon, originally described in plant defence against pathogens and predators, is encompassed in the 'cry-for-help' hypothesis. Evidence suggests that this mechanism may be part of the adaptation strategy to ensure the holobiont fitness in polluted environments. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were considered as model pollutants due to their toxicity, recalcitrance and poor phyto-extraction potential, which lead to a plethora of phytotoxic effects and rise environmental safety concerns. Plants have inefficient detoxification processes to catabolize PCBs, even leading to by-products with a higher toxicity. We propose that the 'cry-for-help' mechanism could drive the exudation-mediated recruitment and sustainment of the microbial services for PCBs removal, exerted by an array of anaerobic and aerobic microbial degrading populations working in a complex metabolic network. Through this synergistic interaction, the holobiont copes with the soil contamination, releasing the plant from the pollutant stress by the ecological services provided by the boosted metabolism of PCBs microbial degraders. Improving knowledge of root chemistry under PCBs stress is, therefore, advocated to design rhizoremediation strategies based on plant microbiome engineering.

RevDate: 2021-06-19

Vallet M, Kaftan F, Grabe V, et al (2021)

A new glance at the chemosphere of macroalgal-bacterial interactions: In situ profiling of metabolites in symbiosis by mass spectrometry.

Beilstein journal of organic chemistry, 17:1313-1322.

Symbiosis is a dominant form of life that has been observed numerous times in marine ecosystems. For example, macroalgae coexist with bacteria that produce factors that promote algal growth and morphogenesis. The green macroalga Ulva mutabilis (Chlorophyta) develops into a callus-like phenotype in the absence of its essential bacterial symbionts Roseovarius sp. MS2 and Maribacter sp. MS6. Spatially resolved studies are required to understand symbiont interactions at the microscale level. Therefore, we used mass spectrometry profiling and imaging techniques with high spatial resolution and sensitivity to gain a new perspective on the mutualistic interactions between bacteria and macroalgae. Using atmospheric pressure scanning microprobe matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation high-resolution mass spectrometry (AP-SMALDI-HRMS), low-molecular-weight polar compounds were identified by comparative metabolomics in the chemosphere of Ulva. Choline (2-hydroxy-N,N,N-trimethylethan-1-aminium) was only determined in the alga grown under axenic conditions, whereas ectoine (1,4,5,6-tetrahydro-2-methyl-4-pyrimidinecarboxylic acid) was found in bacterial presence. Ectoine was used as a metabolic marker for localisation studies of Roseovarius sp. within the tripartite community because it was produced exclusively by these bacteria. By combining confocal laser scanning microscopy (cLSM) and AP-SMALDI-HRMS, we proved that Roseovarius sp. MS2 settled mainly in the rhizoidal zone (holdfast) of U. mutabilis. Our findings provide the fundament to decipher bacterial symbioses with multicellular hosts in aquatic ecosystems in an ecologically relevant context. As a versatile tool for microbiome research, the combined AP-SMALDI and cLSM imaging analysis with a resolution to level of a single bacterial cell can be easily applied to other microbial consortia and their hosts. The novelty of this contribution is the use of an in situ setup designed to avoid all types of external contamination and interferences while resolving spatial distributions of metabolites and identifying specific symbiotic bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Sugiyama A (2021)

Flavonoids and saponins in plant rhizospheres: roles, dynamics, and the potential for agriculture.

Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry, 85(9):1919-1931.

Plants are in constant interaction with a myriad of soil microorganisms in the rhizosphere, an area of soil in close contact with plant roots. Recent research has highlighted the importance of plant-specialized metabolites (PSMs) in shaping and modulating the rhizosphere microbiota; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment and function of the microbiota mostly remain unaddressed. Flavonoids and saponins are a group of PSMs whose biosynthetic pathways have largely been revealed. Although these PSMs are abundantly secreted into the rhizosphere and exert various functions, the secretion mechanisms have not been clarified. This review summarizes the roles of flavonoids and saponins in the rhizosphere with a special focus on interactions between plants and the rhizosphere microbiota. Furthermore, this review introduces recent advancements in the dynamics of these metabolites in the rhizosphere and indicates potential applications of PSMs for crop production and discusses perspectives in this emerging research field.

RevDate: 2021-06-12

Tilstra A, Roth F, El-Khaled YC, et al (2021)

Relative abundance of nitrogen cycling microbes in coral holobionts reflects environmental nitrate availability.

Royal Society open science, 8(6):201835.

Recent research suggests that nitrogen (N) cycling microbes are important for coral holobiont functioning. In particular, coral holobionts may acquire bioavailable N via prokaryotic dinitrogen (N2) fixation or remove excess N via denitrification activity. However, our understanding of environmental drivers on these processes in hospite remains limited. Employing the strong seasonality of the central Red Sea, this study assessed the effects of environmental parameters on the proportional abundances of N cycling microbes associated with the hard corals Acropora hemprichii and Stylophora pistillata. Specifically, we quantified changes in the relative ratio between nirS and nifH gene copy numbers, as a proxy for seasonal shifts in denitrification and N2 fixation potential in corals, respectively. In addition, we assessed coral tissue-associated Symbiodiniaceae cell densities and monitored environmental parameters to provide a holobiont and environmental context, respectively. While ratios of nirS to nifH gene copy numbers varied between seasons, they revealed similar seasonal patterns in both coral species, with ratios closely following patterns in environmental nitrate availability. Symbiodiniaceae cell densities aligned with environmental nitrate availability, suggesting that the seasonal shifts in nirS to nifH gene abundance ratios were probably driven by nitrate availability in the coral holobiont. Thereby, our results suggest that N cycling in coral holobionts probably adjusts to environmental conditions by increasing and/or decreasing denitrification and N2 fixation potential according to environmental nitrate availability. Microbial N cycling may, thus, extenuate the effects of changes in environmental nitrate availability on coral holobionts to support the maintenance of the coral-Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Pootakham W, Mhuantong W, Yoocha T, et al (2021)

Taxonomic profiling of Symbiodiniaceae and bacterial communities associated with Indo-Pacific corals in the Gulf of Thailand using PacBio sequencing of full-length ITS and 16S rRNA genes.

Genomics, 113(4):2717-2729.

Corals live with complex assemblages of microbes including bacteria, the dinoflagellate Symbiodiniaceae, fungi and viruses in a coral holobiont. These coral-associated microorganisms play an important role in their host fitness and survival. Here, we investigated the structure and diversity of algal and bacterial communities associated with five Indo-Pacific coral species, using full-length 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer sequences. While the dinoflagellate communities associated with Poriteslutea were dominated with Symbiodiniaceae genus Cladocopium, the other four coral hosts were associated mainly with members of the Durusdinium genus, suggesting that host species was one of the underlying factors influencing the structure and composition of dinoflagellate communities associated with corals in the Gulf of Thailand. Alphaproteobacteria dominated the microbiomes of Pocillopora spp. while Pavonafrondifera and P. lutea were associated primarily with Gammaproteobacteria. Finally, we demonstrated a superior performance of full-length 16S rRNA sequences in achieving species-resolution taxonomic classification of coral-associated microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-06-25
CmpDate: 2021-06-25

Röthig T, Puntin G, Wong JCY, et al (2021)

Holobiont nitrogen control and its potential for eutrophication resistance in an obligate photosymbiotic jellyfish.

Microbiome, 9(1):127.

BACKGROUND: Marine holobionts depend on microbial members for health and nutrient cycling. This is particularly evident in cnidarian-algae symbioses that facilitate energy and nutrient acquisition. However, this partnership is highly sensitive to environmental change-including eutrophication-that causes dysbiosis and contributes to global coral reef decline. Yet, some holobionts exhibit resistance to dysbiosis in eutrophic environments, including the obligate photosymbiotic scyphomedusa Cassiopea xamachana.

METHODS: Our aim was to assess the mechanisms in C. xamachana that stabilize symbiotic relationships. We combined labelled bicarbonate (13C) and nitrate (15N) with metabarcoding approaches to evaluate nutrient cycling and microbial community composition in symbiotic and aposymbiotic medusae.

RESULTS: C-fixation and cycling by algal Symbiodiniaceae was essential for C. xamachana as even at high heterotrophic feeding rates aposymbiotic medusae continuously lost weight. Heterotrophically acquired C and N were readily shared among host and algae. This was in sharp contrast to nitrate assimilation by Symbiodiniaceae, which appeared to be strongly restricted. Instead, the bacterial microbiome seemed to play a major role in the holobiont's DIN assimilation as uptake rates showed a significant positive relationship with phylogenetic diversity of medusa-associated bacteria. This is corroborated by inferred functional capacity that links the dominant bacterial taxa (~90 %) to nitrogen cycling. Observed bacterial community structure differed between apo- and symbiotic C. xamachana putatively highlighting enrichment of ammonium oxidizers and nitrite reducers and depletion of nitrogen-fixers in symbiotic medusae.

CONCLUSION: Host, algal symbionts, and bacterial associates contribute to regulated nutrient assimilation and cycling in C. xamachana. We found that the bacterial microbiome of symbiotic medusae was seemingly structured to increase DIN removal and enforce algal N-limitation-a mechanism that would help to stabilize the host-algae relationship even under eutrophic conditions. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-08-27

Moitinho-Silva L, Wegener M, May S, et al (2021)

Short-term physical exercise impacts on the human holobiont obtained by a randomised intervention study.

BMC microbiology, 21(1):162.

BACKGROUND: Human well-being has been linked to the composition and functional capacity of the intestinal microbiota. As regular exercise is known to improve human health, it is not surprising that exercise was previously described to positively modulate the gut microbiota, too. However, most previous studies mainly focused on either elite athletes or animal models. Thus, we conducted a randomised intervention study that focused on the effects of different types of training (endurance and strength) in previously physically inactive, healthy adults in comparison to controls that did not perform regular exercise. Overall study duration was ten weeks including six weeks of intervention period. In addition to 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing of longitudinally sampled faecal material of participants (six time points), detailed body composition measurements and analysis of blood samples (at baseline and after the intervention) were performed to obtain overall physiological changes within the intervention period. Activity tracker devices (wrist-band wearables) provided activity status and sleeping patterns of participants as well as exercise intensity and heart measurements.

RESULTS: Different biometric responses between endurance and strength activities were identified, such as a significant increase of lymphocytes and decrease of mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) only within the strength intervention group. In the endurance group, we observed a significant reduction in hip circumference and an increase in physical working capacity (PWC). Though a large variation of microbiota changes were observed between individuals of the same group, we did not find specific collective alterations in the endurance nor the strength groups, arguing for microbiome variations specific to individuals, and therefore, were not captured in our analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: We could show that different types of exercise have distinct but moderate effects on the overall physiology of humans and very distinct microbial changes in the gut. The observed overall changes during the intervention highlight the importance of physical activity on well-being. Future studies should investigate the effect of exercise on a longer timescale, investigate different training intensities and consider high-resolution shotgun metagenomics technology.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: DRKS, DRKS00015873 . Registered 12 December 2018; Retrospectively registered.

RevDate: 2021-07-23
CmpDate: 2021-07-23

Liu Y, Palaniveloo K, Alias SA, et al (2021)

Species Diversity and Secondary Metabolites of Sarcophyton-Associated Marine Fungi.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(11):.

Soft corals are widely distributed across the globe, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, with Sarcophyton being one of the most abundant genera. To date, there have been 50 species of identified Sarcophyton. These soft corals host a diverse range of marine fungi, which produce chemically diverse, bioactive secondary metabolites as part of their symbiotic nature with the soft coral hosts. The most prolific groups of compounds are terpenoids and indole alkaloids. Annually, there are more bio-active compounds being isolated and characterised. Thus, the importance of the metabolite compilation is very much important for future reference. This paper compiles the diversity of Sarcophyton species and metabolites produced by their associated marine fungi, as well as the bioactivity of these identified compounds. A total of 88 metabolites of structural diversity are highlighted, indicating the huge potential these symbiotic relationships hold for future research.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Bourgin M, Kriaa A, Mkaouar H, et al (2021)

Bile Salt Hydrolases: At the Crossroads of Microbiota and Human Health.

Microorganisms, 9(6):.

The gut microbiota has been increasingly linked to metabolic health and disease over the last few decades. Several factors have been suggested to be involved in lipid metabolism and metabolic responses. One mediator that has gained great interest as a clinically important enzyme is bile salt hydrolase (BSH). BSH enzymes are widely distributed in human gastrointestinal microbial communities and are believed to play key roles in both microbial and host physiology. In this review, we discuss the current evidence related to the role of BSHs in health and provide useful insights that may pave the way for new therapeutic targets in human diseases.

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Miller WB, Enguita FJ, AL Leitão (2021)

Non-Random Genome Editing and Natural Cellular Engineering in Cognition-Based Evolution.

Cells, 10(5):.

Neo-Darwinism presumes that biological variation is a product of random genetic replication errors and natural selection. Cognition-Based Evolution (CBE) asserts a comprehensive alternative approach to phenotypic variation and the generation of biological novelty. In CBE, evolutionary variation is the product of natural cellular engineering that permits purposive genetic adjustments as cellular problem-solving. CBE upholds that the cornerstone of biology is the intelligent measuring cell. Since all biological information that is available to cells is ambiguous, multicellularity arises from the cellular requirement to maximize the validity of available environmental information. This is best accomplished through collective measurement purposed towards maintaining and optimizing individual cellular states of homeorhesis as dynamic flux that sustains cellular equipoise. The collective action of the multicellular measurement and assessment of information and its collaborative communication is natural cellular engineering. Its yield is linked cellular ecologies and mutualized niche constructions that comprise biofilms and holobionts. In this context, biological variation is the product of collective differential assessment of ambiguous environmental cues by networking intelligent cells. Such concerted action is enabled by non-random natural genomic editing in response to epigenetic impacts and environmental stresses. Random genetic activity can be either constrained or deployed as a 'harnessing of stochasticity'. Therefore, genes are cellular tools. Selection filters cellular solutions to environmental stresses to assure continuous cellular-organismal-environmental complementarity. Since all multicellular eukaryotes are holobionts as vast assemblages of participants of each of the three cellular domains (Prokaryota, Archaea, Eukaryota) and the virome, multicellular variation is necessarily a product of co-engineering among them.

RevDate: 2021-06-15

Lyu D, Msimbira LA, Nazari M, et al (2021)

The Coevolution of Plants and Microbes Underpins Sustainable Agriculture.

Microorganisms, 9(5):.

Terrestrial plants evolution occurred in the presence of microbes, the phytomicrobiome. The rhizosphere microbial community is the most abundant and diverse subset of the phytomicrobiome and can include both beneficial and parasitic/pathogenic microbes. Prokaryotes of the phytomicrobiome have evolved relationships with plants that range from non-dependent interactions to dependent endosymbionts. The most extreme endosymbiotic examples are the chloroplasts and mitochondria, which have become organelles and integral parts of the plant, leading to some similarity in DNA sequence between plant tissues and cyanobacteria, the prokaryotic symbiont of ancestral plants. Microbes were associated with the precursors of land plants, green algae, and helped algae transition from aquatic to terrestrial environments. In the terrestrial setting the phytomicrobiome contributes to plant growth and development by (1) establishing symbiotic relationships between plant growth-promoting microbes, including rhizobacteria and mycorrhizal fungi, (2) conferring biotic stress resistance by producing antibiotic compounds, and (3) secreting microbe-to-plant signal compounds, such as phytohormones or their analogues, that regulate aspects of plant physiology, including stress resistance. As plants have evolved, they recruited microbes to assist in the adaptation to available growing environments. Microbes serve themselves by promoting plant growth, which in turn provides microbes with nutrition (root exudates, a source of reduced carbon) and a desirable habitat (the rhizosphere or within plant tissues). The outcome of this coevolution is the diverse and metabolically rich microbial community that now exists in the rhizosphere of terrestrial plants. The holobiont, the unit made up of the phytomicrobiome and the plant host, results from this wide range of coevolved relationships. We are just beginning to appreciate the many ways in which this complex and subtle coevolution acts in agricultural systems.

RevDate: 2021-07-16
CmpDate: 2021-06-02

Medina Munoz M, Brenner C, Richmond D, et al (2021)

The holobiont transcriptome of teneral tsetse fly species of varying vector competence.

BMC genomics, 22(1):400.

BACKGROUND: Tsetse flies are the obligate vectors of African trypanosomes, which cause Human and Animal African Trypanosomiasis. Teneral flies (newly eclosed adults) are especially susceptible to parasite establishment and development, yet our understanding of why remains fragmentary. The tsetse gut microbiome is dominated by two Gammaproteobacteria, an essential and ancient mutualist Wigglesworthia glossinidia and a commensal Sodalis glossinidius. Here, we characterize and compare the metatranscriptome of teneral Glossina morsitans to that of G. brevipalpis and describe unique immunological, physiological, and metabolic landscapes that may impact vector competence differences between these two species.

RESULTS: An active expression profile was observed for Wigglesworthia immediately following host adult metamorphosis. Specifically, 'translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis' followed by 'coenzyme transport and metabolism' were the most enriched clusters of orthologous genes (COGs), highlighting the importance of nutrient transport and metabolism even following host species diversification. Despite the significantly smaller Wigglesworthia genome more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between interspecific isolates (n = 326, ~ 55% of protein coding genes) than between the corresponding Sodalis isolates (n = 235, ~ 5% of protein coding genes) likely reflecting distinctions in host co-evolution and adaptation. DEGs between Sodalis isolates included genes involved in chitin degradation that may contribute towards trypanosome susceptibility by compromising the immunological protection provided by the peritrophic matrix. Lastly, G. brevipalpis tenerals demonstrate a more immunologically robust background with significant upregulation of IMD and melanization pathways.

CONCLUSIONS: These transcriptomic differences may collectively contribute to vector competence differences between tsetse species and offers translational relevance towards the design of novel vector control strategies.

RevDate: 2021-05-31

Traylor-Knowles N (2021)

Unlocking the single-cell mysteries of a reef-building coral.

Cell, 184(11):2802-2804.

Coral reefs are one of the most important ecosystems in the world but least understood from a cellular level. In this issue of Cell, Levy et al. unravel the single-cell gene expression of the coral holobiont and open the doors to better understand the novel diversity of cell types.

RevDate: 2021-05-26

Manriquez B, Muller D, C Prigent-Combaret (2021)

Experimental Evolution in Plant-Microbe Systems: A Tool for Deciphering the Functioning and Evolution of Plant-Associated Microbial Communities.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:619122.

In natural environments, microbial communities must constantly adapt to stressful environmental conditions. The genetic and phenotypic mechanisms underlying the adaptive response of microbial communities to new (and often complex) environments can be tackled with a combination of experimental evolution and next generation sequencing. This combination allows to analyse the real-time evolution of microbial populations in response to imposed environmental factors or during the interaction with a host, by screening for phenotypic and genotypic changes over a multitude of identical experimental cycles. Experimental evolution (EE) coupled with comparative genomics has indeed facilitated the monitoring of bacterial genetic evolution and the understanding of adaptive evolution processes. Basically, EE studies had long been done on single strains, allowing to reveal the dynamics and genetic targets of natural selection and to uncover the correlation between genetic and phenotypic adaptive changes. However, species are always evolving in relation with other species and have to adapt not only to the environment itself but also to the biotic environment dynamically shaped by the other species. Nowadays, there is a growing interest to apply EE on microbial communities evolving under natural environments. In this paper, we provide a non-exhaustive review of microbial EE studies done with systems of increasing complexity (from single species, to synthetic communities and natural communities) and with a particular focus on studies between plants and plant-associated microorganisms. We highlight some of the mechanisms controlling the functioning of microbial species and their adaptive responses to environment changes and emphasize the importance of considering bacterial communities and complex environments in EE studies.

RevDate: 2021-08-27

Maire J, Blackall LL, MJH van Oppen (2021)

Microbiome characterization of defensive tissues in the model anemone Exaiptasia diaphana.

BMC microbiology, 21(1):152.

BACKGROUND: Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. This success relies on the coral's association with a wide range of microorganisms, including dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae that provide coral hosts with most of their organic carbon requirements. While bacterial associates have long been overlooked, research on these microorganisms is gaining traction, and deciphering bacterial identity and function is greatly enhancing our understanding of cnidarian biology. Here, we investigated bacterial communities in defensive tissues (acontia) of the coral model, the sea anemone Exaiptasia diaphana. Acontia are internal filaments that are ejected upon detection of an external threat and release toxins to repel predators.

RESULTS: Using culturing techniques and 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding we identified bacterial communities associated with acontia of four Great Barrier Reef-sourced E. diaphana genotypes. We show that bacterial communities are similar across genotypes, and dominated by Alteromonadaceae, Vibrionaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, and Saprospiraceae. By analyzing abundant amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) from metabarcoding data from acontia and comparing these to data from whole anemones, we identified five potentially important bacterial genera of the acontia microbiome: Vibrio, Sulfitobacter, Marivita, Alteromonas, and Lewinella. The role of these bacteria within the acontia remains uninvestigated but could entail assistance in defense processes such as toxin production.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insight into potential bacterial involvement in cnidarian defense tissues and highlights the need to study bacterial communities in individual compartments within a holobiont.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

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

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

BMC microbiology, 21(1):150.

RevDate: 2021-05-28
CmpDate: 2021-05-28

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), 30(5):986-995.

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.

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RJR Experience and Expertise

Researcher

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.

Educator

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.

Administrator

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.

Technologist

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.

Publisher

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.

Speaker

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.

Facilitator

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.

Designer

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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