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15 Sep 2019 at 01:31
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Bibliography on: Holobiont


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 15 Sep 2019 at 01:31 Created: 


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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2019-09-05

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

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

Journal of environmental management, 250:109459 pii:S0301-4797(19)31177-6 [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-09-05

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1860.

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

RevDate: 2019-09-05

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-08-19

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

An Ecological Loop: Host Microbiomes across Multitrophic Interactions.

Trends in ecology & evolution pii:S0169-5347(19)30223-X [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-08-18

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1693.

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

RevDate: 2019-08-25

Miller WB, Torday JS, F Baluška (2019)

The N-Space episenome unifies cellular information space-time within Cognition-Based Evolution.

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

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

RevDate: 2019-08-30

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-08-14

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

What Pediatricians Should Know Before Studying Gut Microbiota.

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

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

RevDate: 2019-08-14

Dalit M, Keren ML, Eviatar W, et al (2019)

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

Microorganisms, 7(8): pii:microorganisms7080256.

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

RevDate: 2019-08-15

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

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

Frontiers in plant science, 10:922.

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

RevDate: 2019-08-11

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1702.

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

RevDate: 2019-08-05

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

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

Microbes and environments [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-08-02

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-07-30

Carrasco J, GM Preston (2019)

Growing edible mushrooms: a conversation between bacteria and fungi.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-07-28

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-07-28

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-07-23

Gilbert SF (2019)

Developmental symbiosis facilitates the multiple origins of herbivory.

Evolution & development [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-08-25

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

Evolutionary Insights into the Tick Hologenome.

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

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

RevDate: 2019-08-10

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

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

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-08-10

Perez-Lamarque B, H Morlon (2019)

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

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-08-19

Rosenberg E, I Zilber-Rosenberg (2019)

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

BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-07-17

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-07-19

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-07-31

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-08-10

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

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

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2019-07-16

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2019-07-10

Uroz S, Courty PE, P Oger (2019)

Plant Symbionts Are Engineers of the Plant-Associated Microbiome.

Trends in plant science pii:S1360-1385(19)30155-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Plants interact throughout their lives with environmental microorganisms. These interactions determine plant development, nutrition, and fitness in a dynamic and stressful environment, forming the basis for the holobiont concept in which plants and plant-associated microbes are not considered as independent entities but as a single evolutionary unit. A primary open question concerns whether holobiont structure is shaped by its microbial members or solely by the plant. Current knowledge of plant-microbe interactions argues that the establishment of symbiosis directly and indirectly conditions the plant-associated microbiome. We propose to define the impact of the symbiont on the plant microbiome as the 'symbiosis cascade effect', in which the symbionts and their plant host jointly shape the plant microbiome.

RevDate: 2019-07-30

Björk JR, Díez-Vives C, Astudillo-García C, et al (2019)

Vertical transmission of sponge microbiota is inconsistent and unfaithful.

Nature ecology & evolution, 3(8):1172-1183.

Co-evolutionary theory predicts that if beneficial microbial symbionts improve host fitness, they should be faithfully transmitted to offspring. More recently, the hologenome theory of evolution predicts resemblance between parent and offspring microbiomes and high partner fidelity between host species and their vertically transmitted microbes. Here, we test these ideas in multiple coexisting host species with highly diverse microbiota, leveraging known parent-offspring pairs sampled from eight species of wild marine sponges (Porifera). We found that the processes governing vertical transmission were both neutral and selective. A neutral model was a better fit to larval (R2 = 0.66) than to the adult microbiota (R2 = 0.27), suggesting that the importance of non-neutral processes increases as the sponge host matures. Microbes that are enriched above neutral expectations in adults were disproportionately transferred to offspring. Patterns of vertical transmission were, however, incomplete: larval sponges shared, on average, 44.8% of microbes with their parents, which was not higher than the fraction they shared with nearby non-parental adults. Vertical transmission was also inconsistent across siblings, as larval sponges from the same parent shared only 17% of microbes. Finally, we found no evidence that vertically transmitted microbes are faithful to a single sponge host species. Surprisingly, larvae were as likely to share vertically transmitted microbes with larvae from other sponge species as they were with their own species. Our study demonstrates that common predictions of vertical transmission that stem from species-poor systems are not necessarily true when scaling up to diverse and complex microbiomes.

RevDate: 2019-07-09

Jurriaans S, MO Hoogenboom (2019)

Thermal performance of scleractinian corals along a latitudinal gradient on the Great Barrier Reef.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1778):20180546.

Species have evolved different mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal temperature variability. Species with broad geographical distributions may be thermal generalists that perform well across a broad range of temperatures, or they might contain subpopulations of locally adapted thermal specialists. We quantified the variation in thermal performance of two coral species, Porites cylindrica and Acropora spp., along a latitudinal gradient over which temperature varies by approximately 6°C. Photosynthesis rates, respiration rates, maximum quantum yield and maximum electron transport rates were measured on coral fragments exposed to an acute temperature increase and decrease up to 5°C above and below the local average temperature. Results showed geographical variation in the performance curves of both species at holobiont and symbiont level, but this did not lead to an alignment of the optimal temperature for performance with the average temperature of the local environment, suggesting suboptimal coral performance of these coral populations in summer. Furthermore, symbiont thermal performance generally had an optimum closer to the average environmental temperature than holobiont performance, suggesting that symbionts have a higher capacity for acclimatization than the coral host, and can aid the coral host when temperatures are unfavourable. This article is part of the theme issue 'Physiological diversity, biodiversity patterns and global climate change: testing key hypotheses involving temperature and oxygen'.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Lee SJ, Morse D, M Hijri (2019)

Holobiont chronobiology: mycorrhiza may be a key to linking aboveground and underground rhythms.

Mycorrhiza pii:10.1007/s00572-019-00903-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Circadian clocks are nearly ubiquitous timing mechanisms that can orchestrate rhythmic behavior and gene expression in a wide range of organisms. Clock mechanisms are becoming well understood in fungal, animal, and plant model systems, yet many of these organisms are surrounded by a complex and diverse microbiota which should be taken into account when examining their biology. Of particular interest are the symbiotic relationships between organisms that have coevolved over time, forming a unit called a holobiont. Several studies have now shown linkages between the circadian rhythms of symbiotic partners. Interrelated regulation of holobiont circadian rhythms seems thus important to coordinate shifts in activity over the day for all the partners. Therefore, we suggest that the classical view of "chronobiological individuals" should include "a holobiont" rather than an organism. Unfortunately, mechanisms that may regulate interspecies temporal acclimation and the evolution of the circadian clock in holobionts are far from being understood. For the plant holobiont, our understanding is particularly limited. In this case, the holobiont encompasses two different ecosystems, one above and the other below the ground, with the two potentially receiving timing information from different synchronizing signals (Zeitgebers). The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis, formed by plant roots and fungi, is one of the oldest and most widespread associations between organisms. By mediating the nutritional flux between the plant and the many microbes in the soil, AM symbiosis constitutes the backbone of the plant holobiont. Even though the importance of the AM symbiosis has been well recognized in agricultural and environmental sciences, its circadian chronobiology remains almost completely unknown. We have begun to study the circadian clock of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and we compile and here discuss the available information on the subject. We propose that analyzing the interrelated temporal organization of the AM symbiosis and determining its underlying mechanisms will advance our understanding of the role and coordination of circadian clocks in holobionts in general.

RevDate: 2019-06-19

Feng G, Zhang F, Banakar S, et al (2019)

Analysis of functional gene transcripts suggests active CO2 assimilation and CO oxidation by diverse bacteria in marine sponges.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 95(7):.

Bacteria are the dominant symbionts in sponges and are regarded as important contributors to ocean nutrient cycling; however, their roles in carbon utilization in sponge holobionts are seldom identified. Here, the in situ active bacteria and their CO2 assimilation and CO oxidation functions in sponges Theonella swinhoei, Plakortis simplex and Phakellia fusca were evaluated using the analysis of functional gene transcripts. Phylogenetically diverse bacteria belonging to 16 phyla were detected by 16S rRNA analysis. Particularly, some of the active bacteria appeared to be sponge-specific or even sponge species-specific. Transcribed autotrophic CO2 assimilation genes rbcL and rbcM, anaplerotic CO2 assimilation gene accC and aerobic CO oxidation gene coxL were uncovered and assigned to a wide variety of bacterial lineages. Some of these carbon metabolism genes showed specificity to sponge species or different transcriptional activity among the sponge species. This study uncovered the phylogenetic diversity of transcriptionally active bacteria especially with CO2 assimilation or CO oxidation functions, providing insights into the ecological functions of the sponge-symbiotic bacteria regarding carbon metabolism.

RevDate: 2019-06-14

Kellogg CA (2019)

Microbiomes of stony and soft deep-sea corals share rare core bacteria.

Microbiome, 7(1):90 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0697-3.

BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have shown that bacteria form stable associations with host corals and have focused on identifying conserved "core microbiomes" of bacterial associates inferred to be serving key roles in the coral holobiont. Because studies tend to focus on only stony corals (order Scleractinia) or soft corals (order Alcyonacea), it is currently unknown if there are conserved bacteria that are shared by both. A meta-analysis was done of 16S rRNA amplicon data from multiple studies generated via identical methodology to allow direct comparisons of bacterial associates across seven deep-sea corals, including both stony and soft species: Anthothela grandiflora, Anthothela sp., Lateothela grandiflora, Lophelia pertusa, Paramuricea placomus, Primnoa pacifica, and Primnoa resedaeformis.

RESULTS: Twenty-three operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were consistently present in greater than 50% of the coral samples. Seven amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), five of which corresponded to a conserved OTU, were consistently present in greater than 30% of the coral samples including five or greater coral species. A majority of the conserved sequences had close matches with previously identified coral-associated bacteria. While known to dominate tropical and temperate coral microbiomes, Endozoicomonas were extremely rare or absent from these deep-sea corals. An Endozoicomonas OTU associated with Lo. pertusa in this study was most similar to those from shallow-water stony corals, while an OTU associated with Anthothela spp. was most similar to those from shallow-water gorgonians.

CONCLUSIONS: Bacterial sequences have been identified that are conserved at the level of class Anthozoa (i.e., found in both stony and soft corals, shallow and deep). These bacterial associates are therefore hypothesized to play important symbiotic roles and are highlighted for targeted future study. These conserved bacterial associates include taxa with the potential for nitrogen and sulfur cycling, detoxification, and hydrocarbon degradation. There is also some overlap with kit contaminants that need to be resolved. Rarely detected Endozoicomonas sequences are partitioned by whether the host is a stony coral or a soft coral, and the finer clustering pattern reflects the hosts' phylogeny.

RevDate: 2019-06-27

Thapa S, Li H, OHair J, et al (2019)

Biochemical Characteristics of Microbial Enzymes and Their Significance from Industrial Perspectives.

Molecular biotechnology, 61(8):579-601.

Microbes are ubiquitously distributed in nature and are a critical part of the holobiont fitness. They are perceived as the most potential biochemical reservoir of inordinately diverse and multi-functional enzymes. The robust nature of the microbial enzymes with thermostability, pH stability and multi-functionality make them potential candidates for the efficient biotechnological processes under diverse physio-chemical conditions. The need for sustainable solutions to various environmental challenges has further surged the demand for industrial enzymes. Fueled by the recent advent of recombinant DNA technology, genetic engineering, and high-throughput sequencing and omics techniques, numerous microbial enzymes have been developed and further exploited for various industrial and therapeutic applications. Most of the hydrolytic enzymes (protease being the dominant hydrolytic enzyme) have broad range of industrial uses such as food and feed processing, polymer synthesis, production of pharmaceuticals, manufactures of detergents, paper and textiles, and bio-fuel refinery. In this review article, after a short overview of microbial enzymes, an approach has been made to highlight and discuss their potential relevance in biotechnological applications and industrial bio-processes, significant biochemical characteristics of the microbial enzymes, and various tools that are revitalizing the novel enzymes discovery.

RevDate: 2019-06-03

Finlay BB, Pettersson S, Melby MK, et al (2019)

The Microbiome Mediates Environmental Effects on Aging.

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

Humans' indigenous microbes strongly influence organ functions in an age- and diet-dependent manner, adding an important dimension to aging biology that remains poorly understood. Although age-related differences in the gut microbiota composition correlate with age-related loss of organ function and diseases, including inflammation and frailty, variation exists among the elderly, especially centenarians and people living in areas of extreme longevity. Studies using short-lived as well as nonsenescent model organisms provide surprising functional insights into factors affecting aging and implicate attenuating effects of microbes as well as a crucial role for certain transcription factors like forkhead box O. The unexpected beneficial effects of microbes on aged animals imply an even more complex interplay between the gut microbiome and the host. The microbiome constitutes the major interface between humans and the environment, is influenced by biosocial stressors and behaviors, and mediates effects on health and aging processes, while being moderated by sex and developmental stages.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Ahmed HI, Herrera M, Liew YJ, et al (2019)

Long-Term Temperature Stress in the Coral Model Aiptasia Supports the "Anna Karenina Principle" for Bacterial Microbiomes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:975.

The understanding of host-microbial partnerships has become a hot topic during the last decade as it has been shown that associated microbiota play critical roles in the host physiological functions and susceptibility to diseases. Moreover, the microbiome may contribute to host resilience to environmental stressors. The sea anemone Aiptasia is a good laboratory model system to study corals and their microbial symbiosis. In this regard, studying its bacterial microbiota provides a better understanding of cnidarian metaorganisms as a whole. Here, we investigated the bacterial communities of different Aiptasia host-symbiont combinations under long-term heat stress in laboratory conditions. Following a 16S rRNA gene sequencing approach we were able to detect significant differences in the bacterial composition and structure of Aiptasia reared at different temperatures. A higher number of taxa (i.e., species richness), and consequently increased α-diversity and β-dispersion, were observed in the microbiomes of heat-stressed individuals across all host strains and experimental batches. Our findings are in line with the recently proposed Anna Karenina principle (AKP) for animal microbiomes, which states that dysbiotic or stressed organisms have a more variable and unstable microbiome than healthy ones. Microbial interactions affect the fitness and survival of their hosts, thus exploring the AKP effect on animal microbiomes is important to understand host resilience. Our data contributes to the current knowledge of the Aiptasia holobiont and to the growing field of study of host-associated microbiomes.

RevDate: 2019-06-16

Hammer TJ, Sanders JG, N Fierer (2019)

Not all animals need a microbiome.

FEMS microbiology letters, 366(10):.

It is often taken for granted that all animals host and depend upon a microbiome, yet this has only been shown for a small proportion of species. We propose that animals span a continuum of reliance on microbial symbionts. At one end are the famously symbiont-dependent species such as aphids, humans, corals and cows, in which microbes are abundant and important to host fitness. In the middle are species that may tolerate some microbial colonization but are only minimally or facultatively dependent. At the other end are species that lack beneficial symbionts altogether. While their existence may seem improbable, animals are capable of limiting microbial growth in and on their bodies, and a microbially independent lifestyle may be favored by selection under some circumstances. There is already evidence for several 'microbiome-free' lineages that represent distantly related branches in the animal phylogeny. We discuss why these animals have received such little attention, highlighting the potential for contaminants, transients, and parasites to masquerade as beneficial symbionts. We also suggest ways to explore microbiomes that address the limitations of DNA sequencing. We call for further research on microbiome-free taxa to provide a more complete understanding of the ecology and evolution of macrobe-microbe interactions.

RevDate: 2019-05-26

Horváthová T, Babik W, Kozłowski J, et al (2019)

Vanishing benefits - The loss of actinobacterial symbionts at elevated temperatures.

Journal of thermal biology, 82:222-228.

Only a few insect species are known to engage in symbiotic associations with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria and profit from this kind of protection against pathogens. However, it still remains elusive how widespread the symbiotic interactions with Actinobacteria in other organisms are and how these partnerships benefit the hosts in terms of the growth and survival. We characterized a drastic temperature-induced change in the occurrence of Actinobacteria in the gut of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber reared under two different temperature (15 °C and 22 °C) and oxygen conditions (10% and 22% O2) using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We show that the relative abundance of actinobacterial gut symbionts correlates with increased host growth at lower temperature. Actinobacterial symbionts were almost completely absent at 22 °C under both high and low oxygen conditions. In addition, we identified members of nearly half of the known actinobacterial families in the isopod microbiome, and most of these include members that are known to produce antibiotics. Our study suggests that hosting diverse actinobacterial symbionts may provide conditions favorable for host growth. These findings show how a temperature-driven decline in microbiome diversity may cause a loss of beneficial functions with negative effects on ectotherms.

RevDate: 2019-07-24

Sartor F, Eelderink-Chen Z, Aronson B, et al (2019)

Are There Circadian Clocks in Non-Photosynthetic Bacteria?.

Biology, 8(2): pii:biology8020041.

Circadian clocks in plants, animals, fungi, and in photosynthetic bacteria have been well-described. Observations of circadian rhythms in non-photosynthetic Eubacteria have been sporadic, and the molecular basis for these potential rhythms remains unclear. Here, we present the published experimental and bioinformatical evidence for circadian rhythms in these non-photosynthetic Eubacteria. From this, we suggest that the timekeeping functions of these organisms will be best observed and studied in their appropriate complex environments. Given the rich temporal changes that exist in these environments, it is proposed that microorganisms both adapt to and contribute to these daily dynamics through the process of temporal mutualism. Understanding the timekeeping and temporal interactions within these systems will enable a deeper understanding of circadian clocks and temporal programs and provide valuable insights for medicine and agriculture.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Bosch TCG, Guillemin K, M McFall-Ngai (2019)

Evolutionary "Experiments" in Symbiosis: The Study of Model Animals Provides Insights into the Mechanisms Underlying the Diversity of Host-Microbe Interactions.

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

Current work in experimental biology revolves around a handful of animal species. Studying only a few organisms limits science to the answers that those organisms can provide. Nature has given us an overwhelming diversity of animals to study, and recent technological advances have greatly accelerated the ability to generate genetic and genomic tools to develop model organisms for research on host-microbe interactions. With the help of such models the authors therefore hope to construct a more complete picture of the mechanisms that underlie crucial interactions in a given metaorganism (entity consisting of a eukaryotic host with all its associated microbial partners). As reviewed here, new knowledge of the diversity of host-microbe interactions found across the animal kingdom will provide new insights into how animals develop, evolve, and succumb to the disease.

RevDate: 2019-07-05
CmpDate: 2019-07-05

Lachnit T, Bosch TCG, P Deines (2019)

Exposure of the Host-Associated Microbiome to Nutrient-Rich Conditions May Lead to Dysbiosis and Disease Development-an Evolutionary Perspective.

mBio, 10(3): pii:mBio.00355-19.

Inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, are dramatically increasing worldwide, but an understanding of the underlying factors is lacking. We here present an ecoevolutionary perspective on the emergence of inflammatory diseases. We propose that adaptation has led to fine-tuned host-microbe interactions, which are maintained by secreted host metabolites nourishing the associated microbes. A constant elevation of nutrients in the gut environment leads to an increased activity and changed functionality of the microbiota, thus severely disturbing host-microbe interactions and leading to dysbiosis and disease development. In the past, starvation and pathogen infections, causing diarrhea, were common incidences that reset the gut bacterial community to its "human-specific-baseline." However, these natural clearing mechanisms have been virtually eradicated in developed countries, allowing a constant uncontrolled growth of bacteria. This leads to an increase of bacterial products that stimulate the immune system and ultimately might initiate inflammatory reactions.

RevDate: 2019-06-15

van der Loos LM, Eriksson BK, J Falcão Salles (2019)

The Macroalgal Holobiont in a Changing Sea.

Trends in microbiology, 27(7):635-650.

When studying the effects of climate change on eukaryotic organisms we often oversee a major ecological process: the interaction with microbes. Eukaryotic hosts and microbes form functional units, termed holobionts, where microbes play crucial roles in host functioning. Environmental stress may disturb these complex mutualistic relations. Macroalgae form the foundation of coastal ecosystems worldwide and provide important ecosystem services - services they could likely not provide without their microbial associates. Still, today we do not know how environmental stress will affect the macroalgal holobiont in an increasingly changing ocean. In this review, we provide a conceptual framework that contributes to understanding the different levels at which the holobiont and environment interact, and we suggest a manipulative experimental approach as a guideline for future research.

RevDate: 2019-04-28

Morrissey KL, Çavaş L, Willems A, et al (2019)

Disentangling the Influence of Environment, Host Specificity and Thallus Differentiation on Bacterial Communities in Siphonous Green Seaweeds.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:717.

Siphonous green seaweeds, such as Caulerpa, are among the most morphologically complex algae with differentiated algal structures (morphological niches). Caulerpa is also host to a rich diversity of bacterial endo- and epibionts. The degree to which these bacterial communities are species-, or even niche-specific remains largely unknown. To address this, we investigated the diversity of bacteria associated to different morphological niches of both native and invasive species of Caulerpa from different geographic locations along the Turkish coastline of the Aegean sea. Associated bacteria were identified using the 16S rDNA marker gene for three morphological niches, such as the endobiome, epibiome, and rhizobiome. Bacterial community structure was explored and deterministic factors behind bacterial variation were investigated. Of the total variation, only 21.5% could be explained. Pronounced differences in bacterial community composition were observed and variation was partly explained by a combination of host species, biogeography and nutrient levels. The majority of the explained bacterial variation within the algal holobiont was attributed to the micro-environments established by distinct morphological niches. This study further supports the hypothesis that the bacterial assembly is largely stochastic in nature and bacterial community structure is most likely linked to functional genes rather than taxonomy.

RevDate: 2019-07-23

Ye S, Badhiwala KN, Robinson JT, et al (2019)

Thermal plasticity of a freshwater cnidarian holobiont: detection of trans-generational effects in asexually reproducing hosts and symbionts.

The ISME journal, 13(8):2058-2067.

Understanding factors affecting the susceptibility of organisms to thermal stress is of enormous interest in light of our rapidly changing climate. When adaptation is limited, thermal acclimation and deacclimation abilities of organisms are critical for population persistence through a period of thermal stress. Holobionts (hosts plus associated symbionts) are key components of various ecosystems, such as coral reefs, yet the contributions of their two partners to holobiont thermal plasticity are poorly understood. Here, we tested thermal plasticity of the freshwater cnidarian Hydra viridissima (green hydra) using individual behavior and population responses. We found that algal presence initially reduced hydra thermal tolerance. Hydra with algae (symbiotic hydra) had comparable acclimation rates, deacclimation rates, and thermal tolerance after acclimation to those without algae (aposymbiotic hydra) but they had higher acclimation capacity. Acclimation of the host (hydra) and/or symbiont (algae) to elevated temperatures increased holobiont thermal tolerance and these effects persisted for multiple asexual generations. In addition, acclimated algae presence enhanced hydra fitness under prolonged sublethal thermal stress, especially when food was limited. Our study indicates while less intense but sublethal stress may favor symbiotic organisms by allowing them to acclimate, sudden large, potentially lethal fluctuations in climate stress likely favor aposymbiotic organisms. It also suggests that thermally stressed colonies of holobionts could disperse acclimated hosts and/or symbionts to other colonies, thereby reducing their vulnerability to climate change.

RevDate: 2019-04-21

Inkpen SA (2019)

Health, ecology and the microbiome.

eLife, 8: pii:47626.

Advances in microbiomics have changed the way in which many researchers think about health and disease. These changes have also raised a number of philosophical questions around these topics, such as the types of living systems to which these concepts can be applied. Here, I discuss the human microbiome from two perspectives: the first treats the microbiome as part of a larger system that includes the human; the second treats the microbiome as an independent ecosystem that provides services to humans. Drawing on the philosophy of medicine and ecology, I explore two questions: i) how can we make sense of disease and dysfunction in these two perspectives? ii) are these two perspectives complimentary or do they compete with each other?

RevDate: 2019-05-03
CmpDate: 2019-05-03

Jaspers C, Fraune S, Arnold AE, et al (2019)

Resolving structure and function of metaorganisms through a holistic framework combining reductionist and integrative approaches.

Zoology (Jena, Germany), 133:81-87.

Current research highlights the importance of associated microbes in contributing to the functioning, health, and even adaptation of their animal, plant, and fungal hosts. As such, we are witnessing a shift in research that moves away from focusing on the eukaryotic host sensu stricto to research into the complex conglomerate of the host and its associated microorganisms (i.e., microbial eukaryotes, archaea, bacteria, and viruses), the so-called metaorganism, as the biological entity. While recent research supports and encourages the adoption of such an integrative view, it must be understood that microorganisms are not involved in all host processes and not all associated microorganisms are functionally important. As such, our intention here is to provide a critical review and evaluation of perspectives and limitations relevant to studying organisms in a metaorganism framework and the functional toolbox available to do so. We note that marker gene-guided approaches that primarily characterize microbial diversity are a first step in delineating associated microbes but are not sufficient to establish proof of their functional relevance. More sophisticated tools and experiments are necessary to reveal the specific functions of associated microbes. This can be accomplished through the study of metaorganisms in less complex environments, the targeted manipulation of microbial associates, or work at the mechanistic level with the toolbox available in model systems. We conclude that the metaorganism framework is a powerful new concept to help provide answers to longstanding biological questions such as the evolution and ecology of organismal complexity and the importance of organismal symbioses to ecosystem functioning. The intricacy of the metaorganism requires a holistic framework combining reductionist and integrative approaches to resolve the structure and function of its member species and to disclose the various roles that microorganisms play in the biology of their hosts.

RevDate: 2019-06-21
CmpDate: 2019-06-21

Munzi S, Cruz C, A Corrêa (2019)

When the exception becomes the rule: An integrative approach to symbiosis.

The Science of the total environment, 672:855-861.

Symbiosis, mainly due to the advances in -omics technology and to the microbiome revolution, is being increasingly acknowledged as fundamental to explain any aspect of life existence. Previously considered an exception, a peculiar characteristic of few systems like lichens, corals and mycorrhizas, symbiosis is nowadays recognized as the rule, with the microbiome being part of all living entities and systems. However, our knowledge of the ecological meaning and functioning of many symbiotic systems is still limited. Here, we discuss a new, integrative approach based on current findings that looks at commonalities among symbiotic systems to produce theoretical models and conceptual knowledge that would allow a more efficient exploitation of symbiosis-based biotechnologies. The microbiome recruitment and assemblage processes are indicated as one of the potential targets where a holistic approach could bring advantages. Finally, we reflect on the potential socio-economic and environmental consequences of a symbiotic view of the world, where co-dependence is the matrix of life.

RevDate: 2019-04-14

Mills JG, Brookes JD, Gellie NJC, et al (2019)

Relating Urban Biodiversity to Human Health With the 'Holobiont' Concept.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:550.

A relatively unaccounted ecosystem service from biodiversity is the benefit to human health via symbiotic microbiota from our environment. This benefit occurs because humans evolved alongside microbes and have been constantly exposed to diverse microbiota. Plants and animals, including humans, are organised as a host with symbiotic microbiota, whose collective genome and life history form a single holobiont. As such, there are interdependencies between biodiversity, holobionts, and public health which lead us to argue that human health outcomes could be improved by increasing contact with biodiversity in an urban context. We propose that humans, like all holobionts, likely require a diverse microbial habitat to appropriate resources for living healthy, long lives. We discuss how industrial urbanisation likely disrupts the symbiosis between microbiota and their hosts, leading to negative health outcomes. The industrialised urban habitat is low in macro and microbial biodiversity and discourages contact with beneficial environmental microbiota. These habitat factors, alongside diet, antibiotics, and others, are associated with the epidemic of non-communicable diseases in these societies. We suggest that restoration of urban microbial biodiversity and micro-ecological processes through microbiome rewilding can benefit holobiont health and aid in treating the urban non-communicable disease epidemic. Further, we identify research gaps and some solutions to economic and strategic hurdles in applying microbiome rewilding into daily urban life.

RevDate: 2019-08-13
CmpDate: 2019-08-13

de Oliveira BFR, Cavalcanti MD, de Oliveira Nunes S, et al (2019)

Paraclostridium is the Main Genus of Anaerobic Bacteria Isolated from New Species of the Marine Sponge Plakina in the Brazilian Southeast Coast.

Current microbiology, 76(6):713-722.

Despite the broad assessment of sponge bacterial diversity through cultivation-independent and dependent strategies, the knowledge focusing on cultivable anaerobes from this holobiont is still incipient. Plakina is a genus with the highest number of described species from the smallest of poriferan classes, Homoscleromorpha. The Brazilian Atlantic coast has been presenting itself as a hotspot for the discovery of new plakinidae species, with initial surveys just now concerning to characterize their microbiome. The current study aimed to isolate and identify strict anaerobes from recently described species of Plakina collected at the coast of Cabo Frio, RJ. Samples of four sympatric morphotypes of Plakina cyanorosea and Plakina cabofriense were collected on the coast of Cabo Frio, RJ. Using five different culture media, a total of 93 bacterial isolates were recovered, among which 60 were strict anaerobes and, ultimately, 34 remaining viable. A total of 76.5% from these strains were mostly identified as Clostridium bifermentans by mass spectrometry and 82.4% identified by 16S rRNA sequencing, almost all of them affiliated to the genus Paraclostridium, and with one isolate identified as Clostridium butyricum by both techniques. None of the anaerobic bacteria exhibited antimicrobial activity by the adopted screening test. The present work highlights not only the need for cultivation and characterization of the anaerobic microbiota from marine sponges but also adds the existing scarce knowledge of culturable bacterial communities from Homoscleromorph sponges from Brazilian coast.

RevDate: 2019-04-11

Qiu Z, Coleman MA, Provost E, et al (2019)

Future climate change is predicted to affect the microbiome and condition of habitat-forming kelp.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1896):20181887.

Climate change is driving global declines of marine habitat-forming species through physiological effects and through changes to ecological interactions, with projected trajectories for ocean warming and acidification likely to exacerbate such impacts in coming decades. Interactions between habitat-formers and their microbiomes are fundamental for host functioning and resilience, but how such relationships will change in future conditions is largely unknown. We investigated independent and interactive effects of warming and acidification on a large brown seaweed, the kelp Ecklonia radiata, and its associated microbiome in experimental mesocosms. Microbial communities were affected by warming and, during the first week, by acidification. During the second week, kelp developed disease-like symptoms previously observed in the field. The tissue of some kelp blistered, bleached and eventually degraded, particularly under the acidification treatments, affecting photosynthetic efficiency. Microbial communities differed between blistered and healthy kelp for all treatments, except for those under future conditions of warming and acidification, which after two weeks resembled assemblages associated with healthy hosts. This indicates that changes in the microbiome were not easily predictable as the severity of future climate scenarios increased. Future ocean conditions can change kelp microbiomes and may lead to host disease, with potentially cascading impacts on associated ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-05-02

Paix B, Othmani A, Debroas D, et al (2019)

Temporal covariation of epibacterial community and surface metabolome in the Mediterranean seaweed holobiont Taonia atomaria.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

An integrative multi-omics approach allowed monthly variations for a year of the surface metabolome and the epibacterial community of the Mediterranean Phaeophyceae Taonia atomaria to be investigated. The LC-MS-based metabolomics and 16S rDNA metabarcoding data sets were integrated in a multivariate meta-omics analysis (multi-block PLS-DA from the MixOmic DIABLO analysis) showing a strong seasonal covariation (Mantel test: p < 0.01). A network based on positive and negative correlations between the two data sets revealed two clusters of variables, one relative to the 'spring period' and a second to the 'summer period'. The 'spring period' cluster was mainly characterized by dipeptides positively correlated with a single bacterial taxon of the Alteromonadaceae family (BD1-7 clade). Moreover, 'summer' dominant epibacterial taxa from the second cluster (including Erythrobacteraceae, Rhodospirillaceae, Oceanospirillaceae and Flammeovirgaceae) showed positive correlations with few metabolites known as macroalgal antifouling defences [e.g. dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) and proline] which exhibited a key role within the correlation network. Despite a core community that represents a significant part of the total epibacteria, changes in the microbiota structure associated with surface metabolome variations suggested that both environment and algal host shape the bacterial surface microbiota.

RevDate: 2019-04-07

Vannier N, Mony C, Bittebiere AK, et al (2019)

Clonal Plants as Meta-Holobionts.

mSystems, 4(2): pii:mSystems00213-18.

The holobiont concept defines a given organism and its associated symbionts as a potential level of selection over evolutionary time. In clonal plants, recent experiments demonstrated vertical transmission of part of the microbiota from one ramet (i.e., potentially autonomous individual) to another within the clonal network (i.e., connections by modified stems present in ∼35% of all plants). Because of this heritability, and potentially reciprocal exchange of microbes between generations of ramets, we propose to extend the existing holobiont framework to the concept of meta-holobiont. A meta-holobiont is a network of holobionts that can exchange biomolecules and microbiota across generations, thus impacting the fitness of both biological scales: holobionts and meta-holobionts. Specifically, meta-holobiont dynamics can result in sharing, specialization, and division of labor across plant clonal generations. This paper, which coins the meta-holobiont concept, is expected to stimulate discussion and to be applied beyond the context of networked clonal plants (e.g., to social insects).

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Bayliss SLJ, Scott ZR, Coffroth MA, et al (2019)

Genetic variation in Breviolum antillogorgium, a coral reef symbiont, in response to temperature and nutrients.

Ecology and evolution, 9(5):2803-2813 pii:ECE34959.

Symbionts within the family Symbiodiniaceae are important on coral reefs because they provide significant amounts of carbon to many different reef species. The breakdown of this mutualism that occurs as a result of increasingly warmer ocean temperatures is a major threat to coral reef ecosystems globally. Recombination during sexual reproduction and high rates of somatic mutation can lead to increased genetic variation within symbiont species, which may provide the fuel for natural selection and adaptation. However, few studies have asked whether such variation in functional traits exists within these symbionts. We used several genotypes of two closely related species, Breviolum antillogorgium and B. minutum, to examine variation of traits related to symbiosis in response to increases in temperature or nitrogen availability in laboratory cultures. We found significant genetic variation within and among symbiont species in chlorophyll content, photosynthetic efficiency, and growth rate. Two genotypes showed decreases in traits in response to increased temperatures predicted by climate change, but one genotype responded positively. Similarly, some genotypes within a species responded positively to high-nitrogen environments, such as those expected within hosts or eutrophication associated with global change, while other genotypes in the same species responded negatively, suggesting context-dependency in the strength of mutualism. Such variation in traits implies that there is potential for natural selection on symbionts in response to temperature and nutrients, which could confer an adaptive advantage to the holobiont.

RevDate: 2019-05-01

Tarquinio F, Hyndes GA, Laverock B, et al (2019)

The seagrass holobiont: understanding seagrass-bacteria interactions and their role in seagrass ecosystem functioning.

FEMS microbiology letters, 366(6):.

This review shows that the presence of seagrass microbial community is critical for the development of seagrasses; from seed germination, through to phytohormone production and enhanced nutrient availability, and defence against pathogens and saprophytes. The tight seagrass-bacterial relationship highlighted in this review supports the existence of a seagrass holobiont and adds to the growing evidence for the importance of marine eukaryotic microorganisms in sustaining vital ecosystems. Incorporating a micro-scale view on seagrass ecosystems substantially expands our understanding of ecosystem functioning and may have significant implications for future seagrass management and mitigation against human disturbance.

RevDate: 2019-08-12

Thomashow LS, Kwak YS, DM Weller (2019)

Root-associated microbes in sustainable agriculture: models, metabolites and mechanisms.

Pest management science, 75(9):2360-2367.

Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928 and throughout the 'age of antibiotics' from the 1940s until the 1980s, the detection of novel antibiotics was restricted by lack of knowledge about the distribution and ecology of antibiotic producers in nature. The discovery that a phenazine compound produced by Pseudomonas bacteria could suppress soilborne plant pathogens, and its recovery from rhizosphere soil in 1990, provided the first incontrovertible evidence that natural metabolites could control plant pathogens in the environment and opened a new era in biological control by root-associated rhizobacteria. More recently, the advent of genomics, the availability of highly sensitive bioanalytical instrumentation, and the discovery of protective endophytes have accelerated progress toward overcoming many of the impediments that until now have limited the exploitation of beneficial plant-associated microbes to enhance agricultural sustainability. Here, we present key developments that have established the importance of these microbes in the control of pathogens, discuss concepts resulting from the exploration of classical model systems, and highlight advances emerging from ongoing investigations. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Weigel BL, CA Pfister (2019)

Successional Dynamics and Seascape-Level Patterns of Microbial Communities on the Canopy-Forming Kelps Nereocystis luetkeana and Macrocystis pyrifera.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:346.

Canopy-forming kelps create underwater forests that are among the most productive marine ecosystems. On the Pacific coast of North America, two canopy-forming kelps with contrasting life histories co-occur; Macrocystis pyrifera, a perennial species, and Nereocystis luetkeana, an annual species. Kelp blade-associated microbes were sampled from 12 locations across a spatial gradient in Washington, United States, from the outer Pacific Coast to Puget Sound. Microbial communities were characterized using next-generation Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. At higher taxonomic levels (bacterial phylum and class), canopy-forming kelps hosted remarkably similar microbial communities, but at the amplicon sequence variant level, microbial communities on M. pyrifera and N. luetkeana were host-specific and distinct from free-living bacteria in the surrounding seawater. Microbial communities associated with blades of each kelp species displayed significant geographic variation. The microbiome of N. luetkeana changed along the spatial gradient and was significantly correlated to salinity, with outer Pacific coast sites enriched in Bacteroidetes (family Saprospiraceae) and Gammaproteobacteria (Granulosicoccus sp.), and southern Puget Sound sites enriched in Alphaproteobacteria (family Hyphomonadaceae). We also examined microbial community development and succession on meristematic and apical N. luetkeana blade tissues throughout the summer growing season on Tatoosh Island, WA. Across all dates, microbial communities were less diverse on younger, meristematic blade tissue compared to the older, apical tissues. In addition, phylogenetic relatedness among microbial taxa increased from meristematic to apical blade tissues, suggesting that the addition of microbial taxa to the community was a non-random process that selected for certain phylogenetic groups of microbes. Microbial communities on older, apical tissues displayed significant temporal variation throughout the summer and microbial taxa that were differentially abundant over time displayed clear patterns of community succession. Overall, we report that host species identity, geographic location, and blade tissue age shape the microbial communities on canopy-forming kelps.

RevDate: 2019-07-11

Reverter M, Tribalat MA, Pérez T, et al (2018)

Metabolome variability for two Mediterranean sponge species of the genus Haliclona: specificity, time, and space.

Metabolomics : Official journal of the Metabolomic Society, 14(9):114 pii:10.1007/s11306-018-1401-5.

INTRODUCTION: The study of natural variation of metabolites brings valuable information on the physiological state of the organisms as well as their phenotypic traits. In marine organisms, metabolome variability has mostly been addressed through targeted studies on metabolites of ecological or pharmaceutical interest. However, comparative metabolomics has demonstrated its potential to address the overall and complex metabolic variability of organisms.

OBJECTIVES: In this study, the intraspecific (temporal and spatial) variability of two Mediterranean Haliclona sponges (H. fulva and H. mucosa) was investigated through an untargeted and then targeted metabolomics approach and further compared to their interspecific variability.

METHODS: Samples of both species were collected monthly during 1 year in the coralligenous habitat of the Northwestern Mediterranean sae at Marseille and Nice. Their metabolomic profiles were obtained by UHPLC-QqToF analyses.

RESULTS: Marked variations were noticed in April and May for both species including a decrease in Shannon's diversity and concentration in specialized metabolites together with an increase in fatty acids and lyso-PAF like molecules. Spatial variations across different sampling sites could also be observed for both species, however in a lesser extent.

CONCLUSIONS: Synchronous metabolic changes possibly triggered by physiological factors like reproduction and/or environmental factors like an increase in the water temperature were highlighted for both Mediterranean Haliclona species inhabiting close habitats but displaying different biosynthetic pathways. Despite significative intraspecific variations, metabolomic variability remains minor when compared to interspecific variations for these congenerous species, therefore suggesting the predominance of genetic information of the holobiont in the observed metabolome.

RevDate: 2019-02-27

Kong HG, Kim HH, Chung JH, et al (2019)

The Galleria mellonella Hologenome Supports Microbiota-Independent Metabolism of Long-Chain Hydrocarbon Beeswax.

Cell reports, 26(9):2451-2464.e5.

The greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella, degrades wax and plastic molecules. Despite much interest, the genetic basis of these hallmark traits remains poorly understood. Herein, we assembled high-quality genome and transcriptome data from G. mellonella to investigate long-chain hydrocarbon wax metabolism strategies. Specific carboxylesterase and lipase and fatty-acid-metabolism-related enzymes in the G. mellonella genome are transcriptionally regulated during feeding on beeswax. Strikingly, G. mellonella lacking intestinal microbiota successfully decomposes long-chain fatty acids following wax metabolism, although the intestinal microbiome performs a supplementary role in short-chain fatty acid degradation. Notably, final wax derivatives were detected by gas chromatography even in the absence of gut microbiota. Our findings provide insight into wax moth adaptation and may assist in the development of unique wax-degradation strategies with a similar metabolic approach for a plastic molecule polyethylene biodegradation using organisms without intestinal microbiota.

RevDate: 2019-04-08
CmpDate: 2019-04-08

Fuentes A (2019)

Holobionts, Multispecies Ecologies, and the Biopolitics of Care: Emerging Landscapes of Praxis in a Medical Anthropology of the Anthropocene.

Medical anthropology quarterly, 33(1):156-162.

Medical anthropology, given its diversity of practical and historical entanglements with (and outside of) numerous threads of anthropology, is a key site for productive theoretical and methodological confluences in the Anthropocene. Multispecies approaches, ethnographically, theoretically and methodologically, are developing as central locations for the hybridization and mingling of diverse and innovative research questions, particularly those engaging the processes, patterns, and constructs of health.

RevDate: 2019-03-03

Chakravarti LJ, Negri AP, MJH van Oppen (2019)

Thermal and Herbicide Tolerances of Chromerid Algae and Their Ability to Form a Symbiosis With Corals.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:173.

Reef-building corals form an obligate symbiosis with photosynthetic microalgae in the family Symbiodiniaceae that meet most of their energy requirements. This symbiosis is under threat from the unprecedented rate of ocean warming as well as the simultaneous pressure of local stressors such as poor water quality. Only 1°C above mean summer sea surface temperatures (SSTs) on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) can trigger the loss of Symbiodiniaceae from the host, and very low concentrations of the most common herbicide, diuron, can disrupt the photosynthetic activity of microalgae. In an era of rapid environmental change, investigation into the assisted evolution of the coral holobiont is underway in an effort to enhance the resilience of corals. Apicomplexan-like microalgae were discovered in 2008 and the Phylum Chromerida (chromerids) was created. Chromerids have been isolated from corals and contain a functional photosynthetic plastid. Their discovery therefore opens a new avenue of research into the use of alternative/additional photosymbionts of corals. However, only two studies to-date have investigated the symbiotic nature of Chromera velia with corals and thus little is known about the coral-chromerid relationship. Furthermore, the response of chromerids to environmental stressors has not been examined. Here we tested the performance of four chromerid strains and the common dinoflagellate symbiont Cladocopium goreaui (formerly Symbiodinium goreaui, ITS2 type C1) in response to elevated temperature, diuron and their combined exposure. Three of the four chromerid strains exhibited high thermal tolerances and two strains showed exceptional herbicide tolerances, greater than observed for any photosynthetic microalgae, including C. goreaui. We also investigated the onset of symbiosis between the chromerids and larvae of two common GBR coral species under ambient and stress conditions. Levels of colonization of coral larvae with the chromerid strains were low compared to colonization with C. goreaui. We did not observe any overall negative or positive larval fitness effects of the inoculation with chromerid algae vs. C. goreaui. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that chromerid algae may have more important roles in later coral life stages and recommend this be the focus of future studies.

RevDate: 2019-06-04
CmpDate: 2019-06-04

Estellé J (2019)

Benefits from the joint analysis of host genomes and metagenomes: Select the holobiont.

Journal of animal breeding and genetics = Zeitschrift fur Tierzuchtung und Zuchtungsbiologie, 136(2):75-76.

RevDate: 2019-02-13

Glasl B, Smith CE, Bourne DG, et al (2019)

Disentangling the effect of host-genotype and environment on the microbiome of the coral Acropora tenuis.

PeerJ, 7:e6377 pii:6377.

Genotype-specific contributions to the environmental tolerance and disease susceptibility of corals are widely accepted. Yet our understanding of how host genotype influences the composition and stability of the coral microbiome subjected to environmental fluctuations is limited. To gain insight into the community dynamics and environmental stability of microbiomes associated with distinct coral genotypes, we assessed the microbial community associated with Acropora tenuis under single and cumulative pressure experiments. Experimental treatments comprised either a single pulse of reduced salinity (minimum of 28 psu) or exposure to the cumulative pressures of reduced salinity (minimum of 28 psu), elevated seawater temperature (+2 °C), elevated pCO2 (900 ppm), and the presence of macroalgae. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequence data revealed that A. tenuis microbiomes were highly host-genotype specific and maintained high compositional stability irrespective of experimental treatment. On average, 48% of the A. tenuis microbiome was dominated by Endozoicomonas. Amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) belonging to this genus were significantly different between host individuals. Although no signs of stress were evident in the coral holobiont and the vast majority of ASVs remained stable across treatments, a microbial indicator approach identified 26 ASVs belonging to Vibrionaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, Hahellaceae, Planctomycetes, Phylobacteriaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, and Cryomorphaceae that were significantly enriched in corals exposed to single and cumulative stressors. While several recent studies have highlighted the efficacy of microbial indicators as sensitive markers for environmental disturbance, the high host-genotype specificity of coral microbiomes may limit their utility and we therefore recommend meticulous control of host-genotype effects in coral microbiome research.

RevDate: 2019-02-24

Liu H, LE Brettell (2019)

Plant Defense by VOC-Induced Microbial Priming.

Trends in plant science, 24(3):187-189.

The plant holobiont extends the plant's capacity for nutrient acquisition and stress protection. Recent studies show that under biotic stress plants can promote the acquisition of certain beneficial bacteria to their rhizosphere. Active emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a newly identified mechanism utilized by plants for this process.

RevDate: 2019-05-20
CmpDate: 2019-05-20

Détrée C, Haddad I, Demey-Thomas E, et al (2019)

Global host molecular perturbations upon in situ loss of bacterial endosymbionts in the deep-sea mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus assessed using proteomics and transcriptomics.

BMC genomics, 20(1):109 pii:10.1186/s12864-019-5456-0.

BACKGROUND: Colonization of deep-sea hydrothermal vents by most invertebrates was made efficient through their adaptation to a symbiotic lifestyle with chemosynthetic bacteria, the primary producers in these ecosystems. Anatomical adaptations such as the establishment of specialized cells or organs have been evidenced in numerous deep-sea invertebrates. However, very few studies detailed global inter-dependencies between host and symbionts in these ecosystems. In this study, we proposed to describe, using a proteo-transcriptomic approach, the effects of symbionts loss on the deep-sea mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus' molecular biology. We induced an in situ depletion of symbionts and compared the proteo-transcriptome of the gills of mussels in three conditions: symbiotic mussels (natural population), symbiont-depleted mussels and aposymbiotic mussels.

RESULTS: Global proteomic and transcriptomic results evidenced a global disruption of host machinery in aposymbiotic organisms. We observed that the total number of proteins identified decreased from 1118 in symbiotic mussels to 790 in partially depleted mussels and 761 in aposymbiotic mussels. Using microarrays we identified 4300 transcripts differentially expressed between symbiont-depleted and symbiotic mussels. Among these transcripts, 799 were found differentially expressed in aposymbiotic mussels and almost twice as many in symbiont-depleted mussels as compared to symbiotic mussels. Regarding apoptotic and immune system processes - known to be largely involved in symbiotic interactions - an overall up-regulation of associated proteins and transcripts was observed in symbiont-depleted mussels.

CONCLUSION: Overall, our study showed a global impairment of host machinery and an activation of both the immune and apoptotic system following symbiont-depletion. One of the main assumptions is the involvement of symbiotic bacteria in the inhibition and regulation of immune and apoptotic systems. As such, symbiotic bacteria may increase their lifespan in gill cells while managing the defense of the holobiont against putative pathogens.

RevDate: 2019-02-19

Rosenberg E, I Zilber-Rosenberg (2019)

The Hologenome Concept of Evolution: Medical Implications.

Rambam Maimonides medical journal, 10(1): pii:RMMJ.10359.

All natural animals and plants are holobionts, consisting of the host and microbiome, which is composed of abundant and diverse microorganisms. Health and disease of holobionts depend as much on interactions between host and microbiome and within the microbiome, as on interactions between organs and body parts of the host. Recent evidence indicates that a significant fraction of the microbiome is transferred by a variety of mechanisms from parent to offspring for many generations. Genetic variation in holobionts can occur in the microbiome as well as in the host genome, and it occurs more rapidly and by more mechanisms in genomes of microbiomes than in host genomes (e.g. via acquisition of novel microbes and horizontal gene transfer of microbial genes into host chromosomes). Evidence discussed in this review supports the concept that holobionts with their hologenomes can be considered levels of selection in evolution. Though changes in the microbiome can lead to evolution of the holobiont, it can also lead to dysbiosis and diseases (e.g. obesity, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, and autism). In practice, the possibility of manipulating microbiomes offers the potential to prevent and cure diseases.

RevDate: 2019-02-07

Longford SR, Campbell AH, Nielsen S, et al (2019)

Interactions within the microbiome alter microbial interactions with host chemical defences and affect disease in a marine holobiont.

Scientific reports, 9(1):1363 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-37062-z.

Our understanding of diseases has been transformed by the realisation that people are holobionts, comprised of a host and its associated microbiome(s). Disease can also have devastating effects on populations of marine organisms, including dominant habitat formers such as seaweed holobionts. However, we know very little about how interactions between microorganisms within microbiomes - of humans or marine organisms - affect host health and there is no underpinning theoretical framework for exploring this. We applied ecological models of succession to bacterial communities to understand how interactions within a seaweed microbiome affect the host. We observed succession of surface microbiomes on the red seaweed Delisea pulchra in situ, following a disturbance, with communities 'recovering' to resemble undisturbed states after only 12 days. Further, if this recovery was perturbed, a bleaching disease previously described for this seaweed developed. Early successional strains of bacteria protected the host from colonisation by a pathogenic, later successional strain. Host chemical defences also prevented disease, such that within-microbiome interactions were most important when the host's chemical defences were inhibited. This is the first experimental evidence that interactions within microbiomes have important implications for host health and disease in a dominant marine habitat-forming organism.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Wemheuer B, Thomas T, F Wemheuer (2019)

Fungal Endophyte Communities of Three Agricultural Important Grass Species Differ in Their Response Towards Management Regimes.

Microorganisms, 7(2): pii:microorganisms7020037.

Despite the importance of endophytic fungi for plant health, it remains unclear how these fungi are influenced by grassland management practices. Here, we investigated the effect of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on fungal endophyte communities and their life strategies in aerial tissues of three agriculturally important grass species (Dactylisglomerata L., Festucarubra L. and Loliumperenne L.) over two consecutive years. Our results showed that the management practices influenced fungal communities in the plant holobiont, but observed effects differed between grass species and sampling year. Phylogenetic diversity of fungal endophytes in D. glomerata was significantly affected by mowing frequency in 2010, whereas fertilizer application and the interaction of fertilization with mowing frequency had a significant impact on community composition of L. perenne in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Taken together, our research provides a basis for future studies on responses of fungal endophytes towards management practices. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study simultaneously assessing fungal endophyte communities in aerial parts of three agriculturally important grass species over two consecutive years.

RevDate: 2019-01-29

Helmkampf M, Bellinger MR, Frazier M, et al (2019)

Symbiont type and environmental factors affect transcriptome-wide gene expression in the coral Montipora capitata.

Ecology and evolution, 9(1):378-392 pii:ECE34756.

Reef-building corals may harbor genetically distinct lineages of endosymbiotic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium, which have been shown to affect important colony properties, including growth rates and resilience against environmental stress. However, the molecular processes underlying these differences are not well understood. In this study, we used whole transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) to assess gene expression differences between 27 samples of the coral Montipora capitata predominantly hosting two different Symbiodinium types in clades C and D. The samples were further characterized by their origin from two field sites on Hawai'i Island with contrasting environmental conditions. We found that transcriptome-wide gene expression profiles clearly separated by field site first, and symbiont clade second. With 273 differentially expressed genes (DEGs, 1.3% of all host transcripts), symbiont clade had a measurable effect on host gene expression, but the effect of field site proved almost an order of magnitude higher (1,957 DEGs, 9.6%). According to SNP analysis, we found moderate evidence for host genetic differentiation between field sites (FST = 0.046) and among corals harboring alternative symbiont clades (FST = 0.036), suggesting that site-related gene expression differences are likely due to a combination of local adaptation and acclimatization to environmental factors. The correlation between host gene expression and symbiont clade may be due to several factors, including host genotype or microhabitat selecting for alternative clades, host physiology responding to different symbionts, or direct modulation of host gene expression by Symbiodinium. However, the magnitude of these effects at the level of transcription was unexpectedly small considering the contribution of symbiont type to holobiont phenotype.

RevDate: 2019-01-23

Töpel M, Pinder MIM, Johansson ON, et al (2019)

Complete Genome Sequence of Novel Sulfitobacter pseudonitzschiae Strain SMR1, Isolated from a Culture of the Marine Diatom Skeletonema marinoi.

Journal of genomics, 7:7-10 pii:jgenv07p0007.

When studying diatoms, an important consideration is the role of associated bacteria in the diatom-microbiome holobiont. To that end, bacteria isolated from a culture of Skeletonema marinoi strain R05AC were sequenced, one of which being bacterial strain SMR1, presented here. The genome consists of a circular chromosome and seven circular plasmids, totalling 5,121,602 bp. After phylotaxonomic analysis and 16S rRNA sequence comparison, we place this strain in the taxon Sulfitobacter pseudonitzschiae on account of similarity to the type strain. The annotated genome suggests similar interactions between strain SMR1 and its host diatom as have been shown previously in diatom-associated Sulfitobacter, for example bacterial production of growth hormone for its host, and breakdown of diatom-derived DMSP by Sulfitobacter for use as a sulfur source.

RevDate: 2019-04-15
CmpDate: 2019-04-15

Simon JC, Marchesi JR, Mougel C, et al (2019)

Host-microbiota interactions: from holobiont theory to analysis.

Microbiome, 7(1):5 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0619-4.

In the recent years, the holobiont concept has emerged as a theoretical and experimental framework to study the interactions between hosts and their associated microbial communities in all types of ecosystems. The spread of this concept in many branches of biology results from the fairly recent realization of the ubiquitous nature of host-associated microbes and their central role in host biology, ecology, and evolution. Through this special series "Host-microbiota interactions: from holobiont theory to analysis," we wanted to promote this field of research which has considerable implications for human health, food production, and ecosystem protection. In this preface, we highlight a collection of articles selected for this special issue that show, use, or debate the concept of holobiont to approach taxonomically and ecologically diverse organisms, from humans and plants to sponges and insects. We also identify some theoretical and methodological challenges and propose directions for future research on holobionts.

RevDate: 2019-05-31
CmpDate: 2019-05-31

Osmanovic D, Kessler DA, Rabin Y, et al (2018)

Darwinian selection of host and bacteria supports emergence of Lamarckian-like adaptation of the system as a whole.

Biology direct, 13(1):24 pii:10.1186/s13062-018-0224-7.

BACKGROUND: The relatively fast selection of symbiotic bacteria within hosts and the potential transmission of these bacteria across generations of hosts raise the question of whether interactions between host and bacteria support emergent adaptive capabilities beyond those of germ-free hosts.

RESULTS: To investigate possibilities for emergent adaptations that may distinguish composite host-microbiome systems from germ-free hosts, we introduce a population genetics model of a host-microbiome system with vertical transmission of bacteria. The host and its bacteria are jointly exposed to a toxic agent, creating a toxic stress that can be alleviated by selection of resistant individuals and by secretion of a detoxification agent ("detox"). We show that toxic exposure in one generation of hosts leads to selection of resistant bacteria, which in turn, increases the toxic tolerance of the host's offspring. Prolonged exposure to toxin over many host generations promotes anadditional form of emergent adaptation due to selection of hosts based on detox produced by their bacterial community as a whole (as opposed to properties of individual bacteria).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that interactions between pure Darwinian selections of host and its bacteria can give rise to emergent adaptive capabilities, including Lamarckian-like adaptation of the host-microbiome system.

REVIEWERS: This article was reviewed by Eugene Koonin, Yuri Wolf and Philippe Huneman.

RevDate: 2019-01-10

Huitzil S, Sandoval-Motta S, Frank A, et al (2018)

Modeling the Role of the Microbiome in Evolution.

Frontiers in physiology, 9:1836.

There is undeniable evidence showing that bacteria have strongly influenced the evolution and biological functions of multicellular organisms. It has been hypothesized that many host-microbial interactions have emerged so as to increase the adaptive fitness of the holobiont (the host plus its microbiota). Although this association has been corroborated for many specific cases, general mechanisms explaining the role of the microbiota in the evolution of the host are yet to be understood. Here we present an evolutionary model in which a network representing the host adapts in order to perform a predefined function. During its adaptation, the host network (HN) can interact with other networks representing its microbiota. We show that this interaction greatly accelerates and improves the adaptability of the HN without decreasing the adaptation of the microbial networks. Furthermore, the adaptation of the HN to perform several functions is possible only when it interacts with many different bacterial networks in a specialized way (each bacterial network participating in the adaptation of one function). Disrupting these interactions often leads to non-adaptive states, reminiscent of dysbiosis, where none of the networks the holobiont consists of can perform their respective functions. By considering the holobiont as a unit of selection and focusing on the adaptation of the host to predefined but arbitrary functions, our model predicts the need for specialized diversity in the microbiota. This structural and dynamical complexity in the holobiont facilitates its adaptation, whereas a homogeneous (non-specialized) microbiota is inconsequential or even detrimental to the holobiont's evolution. To our knowledge, this is the first model in which symbiotic interactions, diversity, specialization and dysbiosis in an ecosystem emerge as a result of coevolution. It also helps us understand the emergence of complex organisms, as they adapt more easily to perform multiple tasks than non-complex ones.

RevDate: 2019-02-28
CmpDate: 2019-02-28

Ye S, Bhattacharjee M, E Siemann (2019)

Thermal Tolerance in Green Hydra: Identifying the Roles of Algal Endosymbionts and Hosts in a Freshwater Holobiont Under Stress.

Microbial ecology, 77(2):537-545.

It has been proposed that holobionts (host-symbiont units) could swap endosymbionts, rapidly alter the hologenome (host plus symbiont genome), and increase their stress tolerance. However, experimental tests of individual and combined contributions of hosts and endosymbionts to holobiont stress tolerance are needed to test this hypothesis. Here, we used six green hydra (Hydra viridissima) strains to tease apart host (hydra) and symbiont (algae) contributions to thermal tolerance. Heat shock experiments with (1) hydra with their original symbionts, (2) aposymbiotic hydra (algae removed), (3) novel associations (a single hydra strain hosting different algae individually), and (4) control hydra (aposymbiotic hydra re-associated with their original algae) showed high variation in thermal tolerance in each group. Relative tolerances of strains were the same within original, aposymbiotic, and control treatments, but reversed in the novel associations group. Aposymbiotic hydra had similar or higher thermal tolerance than hydra with algal symbionts. Selection on the holobiont appears to be stronger than on either partner alone, suggesting endosymbiosis could become an evolutionary trap under climate change. Our results suggest that green hydra thermal tolerance is strongly determined by the host, with a smaller, non-positive role for the algal symbiont. Once temperatures exceed host tolerance limits, swapping symbionts is unlikely to allow these holobionts to persist. Rather, increases in host tolerance through in situ adaptation or migration of pre-adapted host strains appear more likely to increase local thermal tolerance. Overall, our results indicate green hydra is a valuable system for studying aquatic endosymbiosis under changing environmental conditions, and demonstrate how the host and the endosymbiont contribute to holobiont stress tolerance.

RevDate: 2019-04-08
CmpDate: 2019-04-08

Kamm K, Schierwater B, R DeSalle (2019)

Innate immunity in the simplest animals - placozoans.

BMC genomics, 20(1):5 pii:10.1186/s12864-018-5377-3.

BACKGROUND: Innate immunity provides the core recognition system in animals for preventing infection, but also plays an important role in managing the relationship between an animal host and its symbiont. Most of our knowledge about innate immunity stems from a few animal model systems, but substantial variation between metazoan phyla has been revealed by comparative genomic studies. The exploration of more taxa is still needed to better understand the evolution of immunity related mechanisms. Placozoans are morphologically the simplest organized metazoans and the association between these enigmatic animals and their rickettsial endosymbionts has recently been elucidated. Our analyses of the novel placozoan nuclear genome of Trichoplax sp. H2 and its associated rickettsial endosymbiont genome clearly pointed to a mutualistic and co-evolutionary relationship. This discovery raises the question of how the placozoan holobiont manages symbiosis and, conversely, how it defends against harmful microorganisms. In this study, we examined the annotated genome of Trichoplax sp. H2 for the presence of genes involved in innate immune recognition and downstream signaling.

RESULTS: A rich repertoire of genes belonging to the Toll-like and NOD-like receptor pathways, to scavenger receptors and to secreted fibrinogen-related domain genes was identified in the genome of Trichoplax sp. H2. Nevertheless, the innate immunity related pathways in placozoans deviate in several instances from well investigated vertebrates and invertebrates. While true Toll- and NOD-like receptors are absent, the presence of many genes of the downstream signaling cascade suggests at least primordial Toll-like receptor signaling in Placozoa. An abundance of scavenger receptors, fibrinogen-related domain genes and Apaf-1 genes clearly constitutes an expansion of the immunity related gene repertoire specific to Placozoa.

CONCLUSIONS: The found wealth of immunity related genes present in Placozoa is surprising and quite striking in light of the extremely simple placozoan body plan and their sparse cell type makeup. Research is warranted to reveal how Placozoa utilize this immune repertoire to manage and maintain their associated microbiota as well as to fend-off pathogens.

RevDate: 2019-01-08

Rodriguez-Casariego JA, Ladd MC, Shantz AA, et al (2018)

Coral epigenetic responses to nutrient stress: Histone H2A.X phosphorylation dynamics and DNA methylation in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis.

Ecology and evolution, 8(23):12193-12207 pii:ECE34678.

Nutrient pollution and thermal stress constitute two of the main drivers of global change in the coastal oceans. While different studies have addressed the physiological effects and ecological consequences of these stressors in corals, the role of acquired modifications in the coral epigenome during acclimatory and adaptive responses remains unknown. The present work aims to address that gap by monitoring two types of epigenetic mechanisms, namely histone modifications and DNA methylation, during a 7-week-long experiment in which staghorn coral fragments (Acropora cervicornis) were exposed to nutrient stress (nitrogen, nitrogen + phosphorus) in the presence of thermal stress. The major conclusion of this experiment can be summarized by two main results: First, coral holobiont responses to the combined effects of nutrient enrichment and thermal stress involve the post-translational phosphorylation of the histone variant H2A.X (involved in responses to DNA damage), as well as nonsignificant modifications in DNA methylation trends. Second, the reduction in H2A.X phosphorylation (and the subsequent potential impairment of DNA repair mechanisms) observed after prolonged coral exposure to nitrogen enrichment and thermal stress is consistent with the symbiont-driven phosphorus limitation previously observed in corals subject to nitrogen enrichment. The alteration of this epigenetic mechanism could help to explain the synergistic effects of nutrient imbalance and thermal stress on coral fitness (i.e., increased bleaching and mortality) while supporting the positive effect of phosphorus addition to improving coral resilience to thermal stress. Overall, this work provides new insights into the role of epigenetic mechanisms during coral responses to global change, discussing future research directions and the potential benefits for improving restoration, management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems worldwide.

RevDate: 2019-07-09

Esser D, Lange J, Marinos G, et al (2019)

Functions of the Microbiota for the Physiology of Animal Metaorganisms.

Journal of innate immunity, 11(5):393-404.

Animals are usually regarded as independent entities within their respective environments. However, within an organism, eukaryotes and prokaryotes interact dynamically to form the so-called metaorganism or holobiont, where each partner fulfils its versatile and crucial role. This review focuses on the interplay between microorganisms and multicellular eukaryotes in the context of host physiology, in particular aging and mucus-associated crosstalk. In addition to the interactions between bacteria and the host, we highlight the importance of viruses and nonmodel organisms. Moreover, we discuss current culturing and computational methodologies that allow a deeper understanding of underlying mechanisms controlling the physiology of metaorganisms.

RevDate: 2018-12-21

Proal A, T Marshall (2018)

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the Era of the Human Microbiome: Persistent Pathogens Drive Chronic Symptoms by Interfering With Host Metabolism, Gene Expression, and Immunity.

Frontiers in pediatrics, 6:373.

The illness ME/CFS has been repeatedly tied to infectious agents such as Epstein Barr Virus. Expanding research on the human microbiome now allows ME/CFS-associated pathogens to be studied as interacting members of human microbiome communities. Humans harbor these vast ecosystems of bacteria, viruses and fungi in nearly all tissue and blood. Most well-studied inflammatory conditions are tied to dysbiosis or imbalance of the human microbiome. While gut microbiome dysbiosis has been identified in ME/CFS, microbes and viruses outside the gut can also contribute to the illness. Pathobionts, and their associated proteins/metabolites, often control human metabolism and gene expression in a manner that pushes the body toward a state of illness. Intracellular pathogens, including many associated with ME/CFS, drive microbiome dysbiosis by directly interfering with human transcription, translation, and DNA repair processes. Molecular mimicry between host and pathogen proteins/metabolites further complicates this interference. Other human pathogens disable mitochondria or dysregulate host nervous system signaling. Antibodies and/or clonal T cells identified in patients with ME/CFS are likely activated in response to these persistent microbiome pathogens. Different human pathogens have evolved similar survival mechanisms to disable the host immune response and host metabolic pathways. The metabolic dysfunction driven by these organisms can result in similar clusters of inflammatory symptoms. ME/CFS may be driven by this pathogen-induced dysfunction, with the nature of dysbiosis and symptom presentation varying based on a patient's unique infectious and environmental history. Under such conditions, patients would benefit from treatments that support the human immune system in an effort to reverse the infectious disease process.

RevDate: 2018-12-19

Cernava T, Vasfiu Q, Erlacher A, et al (2018)

Adaptions of Lichen Microbiota Functioning Under Persistent Exposure to Arsenic Contamination.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2959.

Host-associated microbiota play an important role in the health and persistence of more complex organisms. In this study, metagenomic analyses were used to reveal microbial community adaptations in three lichen samples as a response to different arsenic concentrations at the sampling sites. Elevated arsenic concentrations at a former mining site expanded the spectrum and number of relevant functions in the lichen-associated microorganisms. Apparent changes affected the abundance of numerous detoxification-related genes, they were substantially enhanced in arsenic-polluted samples. Complementary quantifications of the arsenite S-adenosylmethionine methyltransferase (arsM) gene showed that its abundance is not strictly responding to the environmental arsenic concentrations. The analyzed samples contained rather low numbers of the arsM gene with a maximum of 202 gene copies μl-1 in total community DNA extracts. In addition, bacterial isolates were screened for the presence of arsM. Positive isolates were exposed to different As(III) and As(V) concentrations and tolerated up to 30 mM inorganic arsenic in fluid media, while no substantial biotransformations were observed. Obtained data deepens our understanding related to adaptions of whole microbial communities to adverse environmental conditions. Moreover, this study provides the first evidence that the integrity of bacteria in the lichen holobiont is maintained by acquisition of specific resistances.

RevDate: 2019-08-29
CmpDate: 2019-08-29

Gibbin E, Gavish A, Krueger T, et al (2019)

Vibrio coralliilyticus infection triggers a behavioural response and perturbs nutritional exchange and tissue integrity in a symbiotic coral.

The ISME journal, 13(4):989-1003.

Under homoeostatic conditions, the relationship between the coral Pocillopora damicornis and Vibrio coralliilyticus is commensal. An increase in temperature, or in the abundance of V. coralliilyticus, can turn this association pathogenic, causing tissue lysis, expulsion of the corals' symbiotic algae (genus Symbiodinium), and eventually coral death. Using a combination of microfluidics, fluorescence microscopy, stable isotopes, electron microscopy and NanoSIMS isotopic imaging, we provide insights into the onset and progression of V. coralliilyticus infection in the daytime and at night, at the tissue and (sub-)cellular level. The objective of our study was to connect the macro-scale behavioural response of the coral to the micro-scale nutritional interactions that occur between the host and its symbiont. In the daytime, polyps enhanced their mucus production, and actively spewed pathogens. Vibrio infection primarily resulted in the formation of tissue lesions in the coenosarc. NanoSIMS analysis revealed infection reduced 13C-assimilation in Symbiodinium, but increased 13C-assimilation in the host. In the night incubations, no mucus spewing was observed, and a mucus film was formed on the coral surface. Vibrio inoculation and infection at night showed reduced 13C-turnover in Symbiodinium, but did not impact host 13C-turnover. Our results show that both the nutritional interactions that occur between the two symbiotic partners and the behavioural response of the host organism play key roles in determining the progression and severity of host-pathogen interactions. More generally, our approach provides a new means of studying interactions (ranging from behavioural to metabolic scales) between partners involved in complex holobiont systems, under both homoeostatic and pathogenic conditions.

RevDate: 2018-12-17

Gobet A, Barbeyron T, Matard-Mann M, et al (2018)

Evolutionary Evidence of Algal Polysaccharide Degradation Acquisition by Pseudoalteromonas carrageenovora 9T to Adapt to Macroalgal Niches.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2740.

About half of seaweed biomass is composed of polysaccharides. Most of these complex polymers have a marked polyanionic character. For instance, the red algal cell wall is mainly composed of sulfated galactans, agars and carrageenans, while brown algae contain alginate and fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharides (FCSP) as cell wall polysaccharides. Some marine heterotrophic bacteria have developed abilities to grow on such macroalgal polysaccharides. This is the case of Pseudoalteromonas carrageenovora 9T (ATCC 43555T), a marine gammaproteobacterium isolated in 1955 and which was an early model organism for studying carrageenan catabolism. We present here the genomic analysis of P. carrageenovora. Its genome is composed of two chromosomes and of a large plasmid encompassing 109 protein-coding genes. P. carrageenovora possesses a diverse repertoire of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes), notably specific for the degradation of macroalgal polysaccharides (laminarin, alginate, FCSP, carrageenans). We confirm these predicted capacities by screening the growth of P. carrageenovora with a large collection of carbohydrates. Most of these CAZyme genes constitute clusters located either in the large chromosome or in the small one. Unexpectedly, all the carrageenan catabolism-related genes are found in the plasmid, suggesting that P. carrageenovora acquired its hallmark capacity for carrageenan degradation by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Whereas P. carrageenovora is able to use lambda-carrageenan as a sole carbon source, genomic and physiological analyses demonstrate that its catabolic pathway for kappa- and iota-carrageenan is incomplete. This is due to the absence of the recently discovered 3,6-anhydro-D-galactosidase genes (GH127 and GH129 families). A genomic comparison with 52 Pseudoalteromonas strains confirms that carrageenan catabolism has been recently acquired only in a few species. Even though the loci for cellulose biosynthesis and alginate utilization are located on the chromosomes, they were also horizontally acquired. However, these HGTs occurred earlier in the evolution of the Pseudoalteromonas genus, the cellulose- and alginate-related loci being essentially present in one large, late-diverging clade (LDC). Altogether, the capacities to degrade cell wall polysaccharides from macroalgae are not ancestral in the Pseudoalteromonas genus. Such catabolism in P. carrageenovora resulted from a succession of HGTs, likely allowing an adaptation to the life on the macroalgal surface.

RevDate: 2018-12-17

Kenkel CD, LK Bay (2018)

Exploring mechanisms that affect coral cooperation: symbiont transmission mode, cell density and community composition.

PeerJ, 6:e6047.

The coral symbiosis is the linchpin of the reef ecosystem, yet the mechanisms that promote and maintain cooperation between hosts and symbionts have not been fully resolved. We used a phylogenetically controlled design to investigate the role of vertical symbiont transmission, an evolutionary mechanism in which symbionts are inherited directly from parents, predicted to enhance cooperation and holobiont fitness. Six species of coral, three vertical transmitters and their closest horizontally transmitting relatives, which exhibit environmental acquisition of symbionts, were fragmented and subjected to a 2-week thermal stress experiment. Symbiont cell density, photosynthetic function and translocation of photosynthetically fixed carbon between symbionts and hosts were quantified to assess changes in physiological performance and cooperation. All species exhibited similar decreases in symbiont cell density and net photosynthesis in response to elevated temperature, consistent with the onset of bleaching. Yet baseline cooperation, or translocation of photosynthate, in ambient conditions and the reduction in cooperation in response to elevated temperature differed among species. Although Porites lobata and Galaxea acrhelia did exhibit the highest levels of baseline cooperation, we did not observe universally higher levels of cooperation in vertically transmitting species. Post hoc sequencing of the Symbiodinium ITS-2 locus was used to investigate the potential role of differences in symbiont community composition. Interestingly, reductions in cooperation at the onset of bleaching tended to be associated with increased symbiont community diversity among coral species. The theoretical benefits of evolving vertical transmission are based on the underlying assumption that the host-symbiont relationship becomes genetically uniform, thereby reducing competition among symbionts. Taken together, our results suggest that it may not be vertical transmission per se that influences host-symbiont cooperation, but genetic uniformity of the symbiont community, although additional work is needed to test this hypothesis.

RevDate: 2019-04-03
CmpDate: 2019-04-03

Marasco R, Mosqueira MJ, Fusi M, et al (2018)

Rhizosheath microbial community assembly of sympatric desert speargrasses is independent of the plant host.

Microbiome, 6(1):215.

BACKGROUND: The rhizosheath-root system is an adaptive trait of sandy-desert speargrasses in response to unfavourable moisture and nutritional conditions. Under the deserts' polyextreme conditions, plants interact with edaphic microorganisms that positively affect their fitness and resistance. However, the trophic simplicity and environmental harshness of desert ecosystems have previously been shown to strongly influence soil microbial community assembly. We hypothesize that sand-driven ecological filtering constrains the microbial recruitment processes in the speargrass rhizosheath-root niche, prevailing over the plant-induced selection.

METHODS: Bacterial and fungal communities from the rhizosheath-root compartments (endosphere root tissues, rhizosheath and rhizosphere) of three Namib Desert speargrass species (Stipagrostis sabulicola, S. seelyae and Cladoraphis spinosa) along with bulk sand have been studied to test our hypothesis. To minimize the variability determined by edaphic and climatic factors, plants living in a single dune were studied. We assessed the role of plant species vs the sandy substrate on the recruitment and selection, phylogenetic diversity and co-occurrence microbial networks of the rhizosheath-root system microbial communities.

RESULTS: Microorganisms associated with the speargrass rhizosheath-root system were recruited from the surrounding bulk sand population and were significantly enriched in the rhizosheath compartments (105 and 104 of bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal ITS copies per gram of sand to up to 108 and 107 copies per gram, respectively). Furthermore, each rhizosheath-root system compartment hosted a specific microbial community demonstrating strong niche-partitioning. The rhizosheath-root systems of the three speargrass species studied were dominated by desert-adapted Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria (e.g. Lechevalieria, Streptomyces and Microvirga) as well as saprophytic Ascomycota fungi (e.g. Curvularia, Aspergillus and Thielavia). Our results clearly showed a random phylogenetic turnover of rhizosheath-root system associated microbial communities, independent of the plant species, where stochastic factors drive neutral assembly. Co-occurrence network analyses also indicated that the bacterial and fungal community members of the rhizosheath-root systems established a higher number of interactions than those in the barren bulk sand, suggesting that the former are more stable and functional than the latter.

CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that the rhizosheath-root system microbial communities of desert dune speargrasses are stochastically assembled and host-independent. This finding supports the concept that the selection determined by the desert sand prevails over that imposed by the genotype of the different plant species.

RevDate: 2019-02-01
CmpDate: 2019-02-01

Baquiran JIP, C Conaco (2018)

Sponge-microbe partnerships are stable under eutrophication pressure from mariculture.

Marine pollution bulletin, 136:125-134.

Sponges harbor a great diversity of symbiotic microorganisms. However, environmental stresses can affect this partnership and influence the health and abundance of the host sponges. In Bolinao, Pangasinan, Philippines, chronic input of organic materials from mariculture activities contributes to a eutrophic coastal environment. To understand how these conditions might affect sponge-microbial partnerships, transplantation experiments were conducted with the marine sponge Gelliodes obtusa. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA revealed that the associated microbial community of the sponges did not exhibit significant shifts after six weeks of transplantation at a eutrophic fish farm site compared to sponges grown at a coral reef or a seagrass area. However, sponges at the fish farm revealed higher abundance of the amoA gene, suggesting that microbiome members are responsive to increased ammonium levels at the site. The stable association between G. obtusa and its microbiome indicates that the sponge holobiont can withstand eutrophication pressure from mariculture.

RevDate: 2019-09-04
CmpDate: 2019-09-04

Matthews JL, Oakley CA, Lutz A, et al (2018)

Partner switching and metabolic flux in a model cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 285(1892):.

Metabolite exchange is fundamental to the viability of the cnidarian-Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis and survival of coral reefs. Coral holobiont tolerance to environmental change might be achieved through changes in Symbiodiniaceae species composition, but differences in the metabolites supplied by different Symbiodiniaceae species could influence holobiont fitness. Using 13C stable-isotope labelling coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we characterized newly fixed carbon fate in the model cnidarian Exaiptasia pallida (Aiptasia) when experimentally colonized with either native Breviolum minutum or non-native Durusdinium trenchii Relative to anemones containing B. minutum, D. trenchii-colonized hosts exhibited a 4.5-fold reduction in 13C-labelled glucose and reduced abundance and diversity of 13C-labelled carbohydrates and lipogenesis precursors, indicating symbiont species-specific modifications to carbohydrate availability and lipid storage. Mapping carbon fate also revealed significant alterations to host molecular signalling pathways. In particular, D. trenchii-colonized hosts exhibited a 40-fold reduction in 13C-labelled scyllo-inositol, a potential interpartner signalling molecule in symbiosis specificity. 13C-labelling also highlighted differential antioxidant- and ammonium-producing pathway activities, suggesting physiological responses to different symbiont species. Such differences in symbiont metabolite contribution and host utilization may limit the proliferation of stress-driven symbioses; this contributes valuable information towards future scenarios that select in favour of less-competent symbionts in response to environmental change.

RevDate: 2019-02-15
CmpDate: 2019-02-12

Marangoni LFB, Pinto MMAN, Marques JA, et al (2019)

Copper exposure and seawater acidification interaction: Antagonistic effects on biomarkers in the zooxanthellate scleractinian coral Mussismilia harttii.

Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 206:123-133.

Coral reefs are threatened by global and local impacts, such as ocean acidification (OA) and metal contamination. Toxicity of metals, such as copper (Cu), is expected to be enhanced with OA. However, the interaction between these environmental stressors is still poorly evaluated. In the present study, the interactive effects of seawater acidification and increasing Cu concentrations were evaluated in a zooxanthellate scleractinian coral (Mussismilia harttii), using biochemical biomarkers involved in the coral calcification process and the photosynthetic metabolism of endosymbionts. Corals were kept under control conditions (no seawater acidification and no Cu addition in seawater) or exposed to combined treatments of reduced seawater pH (8.1, 7.8, 7.5 and 7.2) and environmentally relevant concentrations of dissolved Cu (measured: 1.0, 1.6, 2.3 and 3.2 μg/L) in a mesocosm system. After 15- and 35-days exposure, corals were analyzed for photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), chlorophyll a content, Ca-ATPase and carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity. Results showed that 76% of the interactions between reduced seawater pH and increasing Cu concentrations were antagonistic. Only 24% of these interactions were additive or synergistic. In general, the combination of stressors had no significant deleterious effects in the photosynthetic metabolism of endosymbionts or Ca-ATPase activity. In fact, the lowest dissolved Cu concentration tested had a consistent positive effect on Ca-ATPase activity in corals facing any of the reduced seawater pH conditions tested. In turn, potentially deleterious effects on acid-base balance in M. harttii, associated with changes in CA activity, were intensified by the combination of stressors. Findings reported here indicate that Cu toxicity in future OA scenarios can be less severe than previously suggested in this coral holobiont.

RevDate: 2019-06-10
CmpDate: 2019-03-28

Kokou F, Sasson G, Nitzan T, et al (2018)

Host genetic selection for cold tolerance shapes microbiome composition and modulates its response to temperature.

eLife, 7:.

The hologenome concept proposes that microbes and their host organism are an independent unit of selection. Motivated by this concept, we hypothesized that thermal acclimation in poikilothermic organisms, owing to their inability to maintain their body temperature, is connected to their microbiome composition. To test this hypothesis, we used a unique experimental setup with a transgenerational selective breeding scheme for cold tolerance in tropical tilapias. We tested the effects of the selection on the gut microbiome and on host transcriptomic response. Interestingly, we found that host genetic selection for thermal tolerance shapes the microbiome composition and its response to cold. The microbiomes of cold-resistant fish showed higher resilience to temperature changes, indicating that the microbiome is shaped by its host's selection. These findings are consistent with the hologenome concept and highlight the connection between the host and its microbiome's response to the environment.

RevDate: 2018-12-07

O'Brien PA, Smith HA, Fallon S, et al (2018)

Elevated CO2 Has Little Influence on the Bacterial Communities Associated With the pH-Tolerant Coral, Massive Porites spp.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2621.

Ocean acidification (OA) as a result of increased anthropogenic CO2 input into the atmosphere carries consequences for all ocean life. Low pH can cause a shift in coral-associated microbial communities of pCO2-sensitive corals, however, it remains unknown whether the microbial community is also influenced in corals known to be more tolerant to high pCO2/low pH. This study profiles the bacterial communities associated with the tissues of the pCO2-tolerant coral, massive Porites spp., from two natural CO2 seep sites in Papua New Guinea. Amplicon sequencing of the hypervariable V3-V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that microbial communities remained stable across CO2 seep sites (pH = 7.44-7.85) and adjacent control sites (ambient pH = 8.0-8.1). Microbial communities were more significantly influenced by reef location than pH, with the relative abundance of dominant microbial taxa differing between reefs. These results directly contrast with previous findings that increased CO2 has a strong effect on structuring microbial communities. The stable structure of microbial communities associated with the tissues of massive Porites spp. under high pCO2/low pH conditions confirms a high degree of tolerance by the whole Porites holobiont to OA, and suggest that pH tolerant corals such as Porites may dominate reef assemblages in an increasingly acidic ocean.

RevDate: 2019-07-29
CmpDate: 2019-07-29

Goüy de Bellocq J, Wasimuddin , Ribas A, et al (2018)

Holobiont suture zones: Parasite evidence across the European house mouse hybrid zone.

Molecular ecology, 27(24):5214-5227.

Parasite hybrid zones resulting from host secondary contact have never been described in nature although parasite hybridization is well known and secondary contact should affect them similarly to free-living organisms. When host populations are isolated, diverge and recontact, intimate parasites (host specific, direct life cycle) carried during isolation will also meet and so may form parasite hybrid zones. If so, we hypothesize these should be narrower than the host's hybrid zone as shorter parasite generation time allows potentially higher divergence. We investigate multilocus genetics of two parasites across the European house mouse hybrid zone. We find each host taxon harbours its own parasite taxa. These also hybridize: Parasite hybrid zones are significantly narrower than the host's. Here, we show a host hybrid zone is a suture zone for a subset of its parasite community and highlight the potential of such systems as windows on the evolutionary processes of host-parasite interactions and recombinant pathogen emergence.

RevDate: 2019-02-03

Castillo-Álvarez F, ME Marzo-Sola (2019)

Disease of the holobiont, the example of multiple sclerosis.

Medicina clinica, 152(4):147-153.

In recent years there has been a revolution regarding the role of the microbiota in different diseases, most of them within the spectrum of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, associated with the development of metagenomics and the concept of holobiont, a large organism together with its microbiota. Specifically, in Multiple Sclerosis, multiple evidence points to the role of the microbiota in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, animal model of the disease, and several articles have been published in recent years about differences in intestinal microbiota among patients with multiple sclerosis and control subjects. We review in this article the concept of holobiont and the gut microbiota functions, as well as the evidence accumulated about the role of the microbiota in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis. Nowadays, there is a lot of evidence showing the role of the microbiota in the genesis, prevention and treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis based mainly on three immunological pillars, the Th1-Th17 / Th2 balance, the Treg cells and the humoral immunity. It is also well documented that there are differences in the microbiota of patients with MS that are associated with a different expression of genes related to inflammation.

RevDate: 2018-12-07

Galand PE, Chapron L, Meistertzheim AL, et al (2018)

The Effect of Captivity on the Dynamics of Active Bacterial Communities Differs Between Two Deep-Sea Coral Species.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2565.

Microbes play a crucial role in sustaining the coral holobiont's functions and in particular under the pressure of environmental stressors. The effect of a changing environment on coral health is now a major branch of research that relies heavily on aquarium experiments. However, the effect of captivity on the coral microbiome remains poorly known. Here we show that different cold-water corals species have different microbiome responses to captivity. For both the DNA and the RNA fraction, Madrepora oculata bacterial communities were maintained for at least 6 months of aquarium rearing, while Lophelia pertusa bacteria changed within a day. Interestingly, bacteria from the genus Endozoicomonas, a ubiquitous symbiont of numerous marine hosts, were resilient and remained active in M. oculata for several months. Our results demonstrate that a good knowledge of the coral microbiome and an understanding of the ecological strategy of the holobiont is needed before designing aquarium experiments.

RevDate: 2018-12-07

Ochsenkühn MA, Schmitt-Kopplin P, Harir M, et al (2018)

Coral metabolite gradients affect microbial community structures and act as a disease cue.

Communications biology, 1:184.

Corals are threatened worldwide due to prevalence of disease and bleaching. Recent studies suggest the ability of corals to resist disease is dependent on maintaining healthy microbiomes that span coral tissues and surfaces, the holobiont. Although our understanding of the role endosymbiotic microbes play in coral health has advanced, the role surface-associated microbes and their chemical signatures play in coral health is limited. Using minimally invasive water sampling, we show that the corals Acropora and Platygyra harbor unique bacteria and metabolites at their surface, distinctly different from surrounding seawater. The surface metabolites released by the holobiont create concentration gradients at 0-5 cm away from the coral surface. These molecules are identified as chemo-attractants, antibacterials, and infochemicals, suggesting they may structure coral surface-associated microbes. Further, we detect surface-associated metabolites characteristic of healthy or white syndrome disease infected corals, a finding which may aid in describing effects of diseases.

RevDate: 2018-12-07

Mazel F, Davis KM, Loudon A, et al (2018)

Is Host Filtering the Main Driver of Phylosymbiosis across the Tree of Life?.

mSystems, 3(5):.

Host-associated microbiota composition can be conserved over evolutionary time scales. Indeed, closely related species often host similar microbiota; i.e., the composition of their microbiota harbors a phylogenetic signal, a pattern sometimes referred to as "phylosymbiosis." Elucidating the origins of this pattern is important to better understand microbiota ecology and evolution. However, this is hampered by our lack of theoretical expectations and a comprehensive overview of phylosymbiosis prevalence in nature. Here, we use simulations to provide a simple expectation for when we should expect this pattern to occur and then review the literature to document the prevalence and strength of phylosymbiosis across the host tree of life. We demonstrate that phylosymbiosis can readily emerge from a simple ecological filtering process, whereby a given host trait (e.g., gut pH) that varies with host phylogeny (i.e., harbors a phylogenetic signal) filters preadapted microbes. We found marked differences between methods used to detect phylosymbiosis, so we proposed a series of practical recommendations based on using multiple best-performing approaches. Importantly, we found that, while the prevalence of phylosymbiosis is mixed in nature, it appears to be stronger for microbiotas living in internal host compartments (e.g., the gut) than those living in external compartments (e.g., the rhizosphere). We show that phylosymbiosis can theoretically emerge without any intimate, long-term coevolutionary mechanisms and that most phylosymbiosis patterns observed in nature are compatible with a simple ecological process. Deviations from baseline ecological expectations might be used to further explore more complex hypotheses, such as codiversification. IMPORTANCE Phylosymbiosis is a pattern defined as the tendency of closely related species to host microbiota whose compositions resemble each other more than host species drawn at random from the same tree. Understanding the mechanisms behind phylosymbiosis is important because it can shed light on rules governing the assembly of host-associated microbiotas and, potentially, their coevolutionary dynamics with hosts. For example, is phylosymbiosis a result of coevolution, or can it be generated by simple ecological filtering processes? Beyond qualitative theoretical models, quantitative theoretical expectations can provide new insights. For example, deviations from a simple baseline of ecological filtering may be used to test more-complex hypotheses (e.g., coevolution). Here, we use simulations to provide evidence that simple host-related ecological filtering can readily generate phylosymbiosis, and we contrast these predictions with real-world data. We find that while phylosymbiosis is widespread in nature, phylosymbiosis patterns are compatible with a simple ecological model in the majority of taxa. Internal compartments of hosts, such as the animal gut, often display stronger phylosymbiosis than expected from a purely ecological filtering process, suggesting that other mechanisms are also involved.

RevDate: 2019-07-19
CmpDate: 2019-07-19

Villegas-Plazas M, Wos-Oxley ML, Sanchez JA, et al (2019)

Variations in Microbial Diversity and Metabolite Profiles of the Tropical Marine Sponge Xestospongia muta with Season and Depth.

Microbial ecology, 78(1):243-256.

Xestospongia muta is among the most emblematic sponge species inhabiting coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea. Besides being the largest sponge species growing in the Caribbean, it is also known to produce secondary metabolites. This study aimed to assess the effect of depth and season on the symbiotic bacterial dynamics and major metabolite profiles of specimens of X. muta thriving in a tropical marine biome (Portobelo Bay, Panamá), which allow us to determine whether variability patterns are similar to those reported for subtropical latitudes. The bacterial assemblages were characterized using Illumina deep-sequencing and metabolomic profiles using UHPLC-DAD-ELSD from five depths (ranging 9-28 m) across two seasons (spring and autumn). Diverse symbiotic communities, representing 24 phyla with a predominance of Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi, were found. Although several thousands of OTUs were determined, most of them belong to the rare biosphere and only 23 to a core community. There was a significant difference between the structure of the microbial communities in respect to season (autumn to spring), with a further significant difference between depths only in autumn. This was partially mirrored in the metabolome profile, where the overall metabolite composition did not differ between seasons, but a significant depth gradient was observed in autumn. At the phyla level, Cyanobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Spirochaete showed a mild-moderate correlation with the metabolome profile. The metabolomic profiles were mainly characterized by known brominated polyunsaturated fatty acids. This work presents findings about the composition and dynamics of the microbial assemblages of X. muta expanding and confirming current knowledge about its remarkable diversity and geographic variability as observed in this tropical marine biome.

RevDate: 2019-03-06
CmpDate: 2019-03-06

Morris JJ (2018)

What is the hologenome concept of evolution?.

F1000Research, 7:.

All multicellular organisms are colonized by microbes, but a gestalt study of the composition of microbiome communities and their influence on the ecology and evolution of their macroscopic hosts has only recently become possible. One approach to thinking about the topic is to view the host-microbiome ecosystem as a "holobiont". Because natural selection acts on an organism's realized phenotype, and the phenotype of a holobiont is the result of the integrated activities of both the host and all of its microbiome inhabitants, it is reasonable to think that evolution can act at the level of the holobiont and cause changes in the "hologenome", or the collective genomic content of all the individual bionts within the holobiont. This relatively simple assertion has nevertheless been controversial within the microbiome community. Here, I provide a review of recent work on the hologenome concept of evolution. I attempt to provide a clear definition of the concept and its implications and to clarify common points of disagreement.

RevDate: 2018-11-14

Backer R, Rokem JS, Ilangumaran G, et al (2018)

Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria: Context, Mechanisms of Action, and Roadmap to Commercialization of Biostimulants for Sustainable Agriculture.

Frontiers in plant science, 9:1473.

Microbes of the phytomicrobiome are associated with every plant tissue and, in combination with the plant form the holobiont. Plants regulate the composition and activity of their associated bacterial community carefully. These microbes provide a wide range of services and benefits to the plant; in return, the plant provides the microbial community with reduced carbon and other metabolites. Soils are generally a moist environment, rich in reduced carbon which supports extensive soil microbial communities. The rhizomicrobiome is of great importance to agriculture owing to the rich diversity of root exudates and plant cell debris that attract diverse and unique patterns of microbial colonization. Microbes of the rhizomicrobiome play key roles in nutrient acquisition and assimilation, improved soil texture, secreting, and modulating extracellular molecules such as hormones, secondary metabolites, antibiotics, and various signal compounds, all leading to enhancement of plant growth. The microbes and compounds they secrete constitute valuable biostimulants and play pivotal roles in modulating plant stress responses. Research has demonstrated that inoculating plants with plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) or treating plants with microbe-to-plant signal compounds can be an effective strategy to stimulate crop growth. Furthermore, these strategies can improve crop tolerance for the abiotic stresses (e.g., drought, heat, and salinity) likely to become more frequent as climate change conditions continue to develop. This discovery has resulted in multifunctional PGPR-based formulations for commercial agriculture, to minimize the use of synthetic fertilizers and agrochemicals. This review is an update about the role of PGPR in agriculture, from their collection to commercialization as low-cost commercial agricultural inputs. First, we introduce the concept and role of the phytomicrobiome and the agricultural context underlying food security in the 21st century. Next, mechanisms of plant growth promotion by PGPR are discussed, including signal exchange between plant roots and PGPR and how these relationships modulate plant abiotic stress responses via induced systemic resistance. On the application side, strategies are discussed to improve rhizosphere colonization by PGPR inoculants. The final sections of the paper describe the applications of PGPR in 21st century agriculture and the roadmap to commercialization of a PGPR-based technology.

RevDate: 2018-12-17

Pasquaretta C, Gómez-Moracho T, Heeb P, et al (2018)

Exploring Interactions between the Gut Microbiota and Social Behavior through Nutrition.

Genes, 9(11):.

Microbes influence a wide range of host social behaviors and vice versa. So far, however, the mechanisms underpinning these complex interactions remain poorly understood. In social animals, where individuals share microbes and interact around foods, the gut microbiota may have considerable consequences on host social interactions by acting upon the nutritional behavior of individual animals. Here we illustrate how conceptual advances in nutritional ecology can help the study of these processes and allow the formulation of new empirically testable predictions. First, we review key evidence showing that gut microbes influence the nutrition of individual animals, through modifications of their nutritional state and feeding decisions. Next, we describe how these microbial influences and their social consequences can be studied by modelling populations of hosts and their gut microbiota into a single conceptual framework derived from nutritional geometry. Our approach raises new perspectives for the study of holobiont nutrition and will facilitate theoretical and experimental research on the role of the gut microbiota in the mechanisms and evolution of social behavior.

RevDate: 2018-11-02

Sewell AK, Han M, B Qi (2018)

An unexpected benefit from E. coli: how enterobactin benefits host health.

Microbial cell (Graz, Austria), 5(10):469-471 pii:MIC0178E160.

Iron plays many critical roles in human biology, such as aiding the transport of oxygen and mediating redox reactions. Iron is essential for life, yet little is known about how iron is taken up into mitochondria to impact the labile iron pool. Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent human nutrient-deficiency diseases in the world and is a major cause of anemia that affects >25% of the world's population, but unfortunately the current treatment (oral iron supplementation) is inefficient and has many side effects. A greater understanding of iron uptake, and discovery of molecules that aid in this process, may lead to more effective treatments for iron deficiency. In this study, we uncovered a unique and surprising role for an Escherichia coli-produced siderophore enterobactin (Ent) that facilitates iron uptake by the host, observed in both C. elegans and mammalian cells. Although siderophores are well-known Fe+3 scavengers, this activity has previously been described to only benefit iron acquisition by bacteria, not the host. This unexpected function is dependent on the binding of Ent to the host's ATP synthase α-subunit but is independent of other subunits of the ATP synthase. This finding marks a major shift regarding the role of this siderophore in the "iron tug-of-war" paradigm, which is often used to describe the fight between the bacteria and the host for this essential micronutrient. Instead, this study presents E. coli as a commensal "friend" that provides a molecule that supports the host's iron homeostasis. This work reveals a novel, beneficial role of a bacteria-generated molecule in aiding the host's iron homeostasis, and points to surprising new benefits from commensal bacteria.

RevDate: 2019-04-12

Miller WB, Torday JS, F Baluška (2019)

Biological evolution as defense of 'self'.

Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, 142:54-74.

Although the origin of self-referential consciousness is unknown, it can be argued that the instantiation of self-reference was the commencement of the living state as phenomenal experientiality. As self-referential cognition is demonstrated by all living organisms, life can be equated with the sustenance of cellular homeostasis in the continuous defense of 'self'. It is proposed that the epicenter of 'self' is perpetually embodied within the basic cellular form in which it was instantiated. Cognition-Based Evolution argues that all of biological and evolutionary development represents the perpetual autopoietic defense of self-referential basal cellular states of homeostatic preference. The means by which these states are attained and maintained is through self-referential measurement of information and its communication. The multicellular forms, either as biofilms or holobionts, represent the cellular attempt to achieve maximum states of informational distinction and energy efficiency through individual and collective means. In this frame, consciousness, self-consciousness and intelligence can be identified as forms of collective cellular phenotype directed towards the defense of fundamental cellular self-reference.

RevDate: 2019-03-04
CmpDate: 2019-03-04

Thomashow LS, LeTourneau MK, Kwak YS, et al (2019)

The soil-borne legacy in the age of the holobiont.

Microbial biotechnology, 12(1):51-54.

Future efforts to increase agricultural productivity will focus on crops as functional units comprised of plants and their associated microflora in the context of the various environments in which they are grown. It is suggested that future efforts to increase agricultural productivity will focus on crops as functional units comprised of plants and their associated beneficial microorganisms in the context in which they are grown. Scientists, industry, and farmers must work closely together to develop, adapt, and apply new technologies to a wide range of cropping systems. Consumer education is needed help grow public awareness that 'plant probiotics' offer a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to dependence on the use of chemical pesticides.

RevDate: 2019-07-04
CmpDate: 2019-07-04

Leftwich PT, Hutchings MI, T Chapman (2018)

Diet, Gut Microbes and Host Mate Choice: Understanding the significance of microbiome effects on host mate choice requires a case by case evaluation.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 40(12):e1800053.

All organisms live in close association with microbes. However, not all such associations are meaningful in an evolutionary context. Current debate concerns whether hosts and microbes are best described as communities of individuals or as holobionts (selective units of hosts plus their microbes). Recent reports that assortative mating of hosts by diet can be mediated by commensal gut microbes have attracted interest as a potential route to host reproductive isolation (RI). Here, the authors discuss logical problems with this line of argument. The authors briefly review how microbes can affect host mating preferences and evaluate recent findings from fruitflies. Endosymbionts can potentially influence host RI given stable and recurrent co-association of hosts and microbes over evolutionary time. However, observations of co-occurrence of microbes and hosts are ripe for misinterpretation and such associations will rarely represent a meaningful holobiont. A framework in which hosts and their microbes are independent evolutionary units provides the only satisfactory explanation for the observed range of effects and associations.

RevDate: 2019-08-31
CmpDate: 2019-07-29

Cernava T, Aschenbrenner IA, Soh J, et al (2019)

Plasticity of a holobiont: desiccation induces fasting-like metabolism within the lichen microbiota.

The ISME journal, 13(2):547-556.

The role of host-associated microbiota in enduring dehydration and drought is largely unknown. We have used lichens to study this increasingly important problem because they are the organisms that are optimally adapted to reoccurring hydration/dehydration cycles, and they host a defined and persistent bacterial community. The analysis of metatranscriptomic datasets from bacterial communities of the lung lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm.), sampled under representative hydration stages, revealed significant structural shifts and functional specialization to host conditions. The hydrated samples showed upregulated transcription of transport systems, tRNA modification and various porins (Omp2b by Rhizobiales), whereas the desiccated samples showed different functions related to stress adaption prominently. Carbohydrate metabolism was activated under both conditions. Under dry conditions, upregulation of a specialized ketone metabolism indicated a switch to lipid-based nutrition. Several bacterial lineages were involved in a functional transition that was reminiscent of a 'fasting metaorganism'. Similar functional adaptions were assigned to taxonomically unrelated groups, indicating hydration-related specialization of the microbiota. We were able to show that host-associated bacterial communities are well adapted to dehydration by stress protection and changes of the metabolism. Moreover, our results indicate an intense interplay in holobiont functioning under drought stress.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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