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Bibliography on: Metagenomics

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

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 20 Jul 2024 at 01:31 Created: 

Metagenomics

While genomics is the study of DNA extracted from individuals — individual cells, tissues, or organisms — metagenomics is a more recent refinement that analyzes samples of pooled DNA taken from the environment, not from an individual. Like genomics, metagenomic methods have great potential in many areas of biology, but none so much as in providing access to the hitherto invisible world of unculturable microbes, often estimated to comprise 90% or more of bacterial species and, in some ecosystems, the bulk of the biomass. A recent describes how this new science of metagenomics is beginning to reveal the secrets of our microbial world: The opportunity that stands before microbiologists today is akin to a reinvention of the microscope in the expanse of research questions it opens to investigation. Metagenomics provides a new way of examining the microbial world that not only will transform modern microbiology but has the potential to revolutionize understanding of the entire living world. In metagenomics, the power of genomic analysis is applied to entire communities of microbes, bypassing the need to isolate and culture individual bacterial community members.

Created with PubMed® Query: ( metagenomic OR metagenomics OR metagenome ) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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RevDate: 2024-07-19

Mohapatra A, Trivedi S, Kolte AP, et al (2024)

Effect of Padina gymnospora biowaste inclusion on in vitro methane production, feed fermentation, and microbial diversity.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1431131.

In vitro studies were undertaken aiming to study the methane (CH4) mitigation potential of biowaste (BW) of Padina gymnospora at the graded inclusion of 0% (C), 2% (A2), 5% (A5), and 10% (A10) of the diet composed of straw and concentrate in 40:60 ratio. The chemical composition analysis revealed that the BW contained higher crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and ether extract (EE) than the PF (fresh seaweed, P. gymnospora). The concentration of cinnamic acid, sinapic acid, kaempferol, fisetin p-coumaric acid, ellagic acid, and luteolin in BW was 1.5-6-folds less than the PF. Inclusion of BW decreased (P < 0.0001) CH4 production by 34%, 38%, and 45% in A2, A5, and A10 treatments, respectively. A decrease (P < 0.0001) of 7.5%-8% in dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) digestibility was also recorded with the BW supplementation. The BW inclusion also decreased the numbers of total (P = 0.007), Entodinomorphs (P = 0.011), and Holotrichs (P = 0.004) protozoa. Metagenome data revealed the dominance of Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Fibrobacter microbial phyla. At the phylum level, Euryarchaeota dominated the archaeal community, whereas Methanobrevibacter was most abundant at the genus level. It can be concluded that the inclusion of BW in straw and concentrate based diet by affecting rumen fermentation, protozoal numbers, and compositional shift in the archaeal community significantly decreased CH4 production. Utilization of biowaste of P. gymnospora as a CH4 mitigating agent will ensure its efficient utilization rather than dumping, which shall cause environmental pollution and health hazards.

RevDate: 2024-07-19

Vasileva S, Yap CX, Whitehouse AJO, et al (2024)

Absence of association between maternal adverse events and long-term gut microbiome outcomes in the Australian autism biobank.

Brain, behavior, & immunity - health, 39:100814 pii:S2666-3546(24)00092-9.

INTRODUCTION: Maternal immune activation (MIA) and prenatal maternal stress (MatS) are well-studied risk factors for psychiatric conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. Animal studies have proposed the gut microbiome as a mechanism underlying this association and have found that risk factor-related gut microbiome alterations persist in the adult offspring. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed whether maternal immune activation and prenatal maternal stress were associated with long-term gut microbiome alterations in children using shotgun metagenomics.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study included children diagnosed with autism (N = 92), siblings without a diagnosis (N = 42), and unrelated children (N = 40) without a diagnosis who were recruited into the Australian Autism Biobank and provided a faecal sample. MIA exposure was inferred from self-reported data and included asthma/allergies, complications during pregnancy triggering an immune response, auto-immune conditions, and acute inflammation. Maternal stress included any of up to 9 stressful life events during pregnancy, such as divorce, job loss, and money problems. Data were analysed for a total of 174 children, of whom 63 (36%) were born to mothers with MIA and 84 (48%) were born to mothers who experienced maternal stress during pregnancy (where 33 [19%] experienced both). Gut microbiome data was assessed using shotgun metagenomic sequencing of the children's faecal samples.

RESULTS: In our cohort, MIA, but not MatS, was associated with ASD. Variance component analysis revealed no associations between any of the gut microbiome datasets and neither MIA nor MatS. After adjusting for age, sex, diet and autism diagnosis, there was no significant difference between groups for bacterial richness, α-diversity or β-diversity. We found no significant differences in species abundance in the main analyses. However, when stratifying the cohort by age, we found that Faecalibacterium prausnitzii E was significantly decreased in MIA children aged 11-17.

DISCUSSION: Consistent with previous findings, we found that children who were born to mothers with MIA were more likely to be diagnosed with autism. Unlike within animal studies, we found negligible microbiome differences associated with MIA and maternal stress. Given the current interest in the microbiome-gut-brain axis, researchers should exercise caution in translating microbiome findings from animal models to human contexts and the clinical setting.

RevDate: 2024-07-19

Uppal S, Waterworth SC, Nick A, et al (2024)

Repeated horizontal acquisition of lagriamide-producing symbionts in Lagriinae beetles.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.01.23.576914.

Microbial symbionts associate with multicellular organisms on a continuum from facultative associations to mutual codependency. In some of the oldest intracellular symbioses there is exclusive vertical symbiont transmission, and co-diversification of symbiotic partners over millions of years. Such symbionts often undergo genome reduction due to low effective population sizes, frequent population bottlenecks, and reduced purifying selection. Here, we describe multiple independent acquisition events of closely related defensive symbionts followed by genome erosion in a group of Lagriinae beetles. Previous work in Lagria villosa revealed the dominant genome-eroded symbiont of the genus Burkholderia produces the antifungal compound lagriamide and protects the beetle's eggs and larvae from antagonistic fungi. Here, we use metagenomics to assemble 11 additional genomes of lagriamide-producing symbionts from seven different host species within Lagriinae from five countries, to unravel the evolutionary history of this symbiotic relationship. In each host species, we detected one dominant genome-eroded Burkholderia symbiont encoding the lagriamide biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC). Surprisingly, however, we did not find evidence for host-symbiont co-diversification, or for a monophyly of the lagriamide-producing symbionts. Instead, our analyses support at least four independent acquisition events of lagriamide-encoding symbionts and subsequent genome erosion in each of these lineages. By contrast, a clade of plant-associated relatives retained large genomes but secondarily lost the lagriamide BGC. In conclusion, our results reveal a dynamic evolutionary history with multiple independent symbiont acquisitions characterized by high degree of specificity. They highlight the importance of the specialized metabolite lagriamide for the establishment and maintenance of this defensive symbiosis.

RevDate: 2024-07-19

Şapcı AOB, S Mirarab (2024)

Memory-bound k -mer selection for large and evolutionary diverse reference libraries.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.02.12.580015.

Using k -mers to find sequence matches is increasingly used in many bioinformatic applications, including metagenomic sequence classification. The accuracy of these down-stream applications relies on the density of the reference databases, which, luckily, are rapidly growing. While the increased density provides hope for dramatic improvements in accuracy, scalability is a concern. Reference k -mers are kept in the memory during the query time, and saving all k -mers of these ever-expanding databases is fast becoming impractical. Several strategies for subsampling have been proposed, including minimizers and finding taxon-specific k -mers. However, we contend that these strategies are inadequate, especially when reference sets are taxonomically imbalanced, as are most microbial libraries. In this paper, we explore approaches for selecting a fixed-size subset of k -mers present in an ultra-large dataset to include in a library such that the classification of reads suffers the least. Our experiments demonstrate the limitations of existing approaches, especially for novel and poorly sampled groups. We propose a library construction algorithm called KRANK (K-mer RANKer) that combines several components, including a hierarchical selection strategy with adaptive size restrictions and an equitable coverage strategy. We implement KRANK in highly optimized code and combine it with the locality-sensitive-hashing classifier CONSULT-II to build a taxonomic classification and profiling method. On several benchmarks, KRANK k -mer selection dramatically reduces memory consumption with minimal loss in classification accuracy. We show in extensive analyses based on CAMI benchmarks that KRANK outperforms k -mer-based alternatives in terms of taxonomic profiling and comes close to the best marker-based methods in terms of accuracy.

RevDate: 2024-07-19

Bashor L, Rawlinson JE, Kozakiewicz CP, et al (2024)

Impacts of Antiretroviral Therapy on the Oral Microbiome and Periodontal Health of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Positive Cats.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.07.10.602918.

UNLABELLED: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is the domestic cat analogue of HIV infection in humans. Both viruses induce oral disease in untreated individuals, with clinical signs that include gingivitis and periodontal lesions. Oral disease manifestations in HIV patients are abated by highly effective combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), though certain oral manifestations persist despite therapy. Microorganisms associated with oral cavity opportunistic infections in patients with HIV cause similar pathologies in cats. To further develop this model, we evaluated characteristics of feline oral health and oral microbiome during experimental FIV infection over an 8-month period following cART. Using 16S metagenomics sequencing, we evaluated gingival bacterial communities at four timepoints in uninfected and FIV-infected cats treated with cART or placebo. Comprehensive oral examinations were also conducted by a veterinary dental specialist over the experimental period. Gingival inflammation was higher in FIV-infected cats treated with placebo compared to cART-treated cats and controls at study endpoint. Oral microbiome alpha diversity increased in all groups, while beta diversity differed among treatment groups, documenting a significant effect of cART therapy on microbiome community composition. This finding has not previously been reported and indicates cART ameliorates immunodeficiency virus-associated oral disease via preservation of oral mucosal microbiota. Further, this study illustrates the value of the FIV animal model for investigations of mechanistic associations and therapeutic interventions for HIV oral manifestations.

IMPORTANCE: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is the viral analogue to HIV in humans, and both infections are associated with oral disease. Our study explored how antiretroviral treatment affects the oral health and microbiome of domestic cats infected with FIV. Cats treated with antiretroviral therapy had less gum inflammation and a different community of oral bacteria compared to untreated FIV-positive cats. This suggests that antiretroviral therapy not only helps in controlling FIV infection but also benefits feline oral health. These findings advance our understanding of antiretroviral treatment for lentiviral-associated oral disease and highlight FIV as a valuable experimental model for the similar condition in humans.

RevDate: 2024-07-18
CmpDate: 2024-07-18

Lee M, Kaul A, Ward JM, et al (2024)

House dust metagenome and pulmonary function in a US farming population.

Microbiome, 12(1):129.

BACKGROUND: Chronic exposure to microorganisms inside homes can impact respiratory health. Few studies have used advanced sequencing methods to examine adult respiratory outcomes, especially continuous measures. We aimed to identify metagenomic profiles in house dust related to the quantitative traits of pulmonary function and airway inflammation in adults. Microbial communities, 1264 species (389 genera), in vacuumed bedroom dust from 779 homes in a US cohort were characterized by whole metagenome shotgun sequencing. We examined two overall microbial diversity measures: richness (the number of individual microbial species) and Shannon index (reflecting both richness and relative abundance). To identify specific differentially abundant genera, we applied the Lasso estimator with high-dimensional inference methods, a novel framework for analyzing microbiome data in relation to continuous traits after accounting for all taxa examined together.

RESULTS: Pulmonary function measures (forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and FEV1/FVC ratio) were not associated with overall dust microbial diversity. However, many individual microbial genera were differentially abundant (p-value < 0.05 controlling for all other microbial taxa examined) in relation to FEV1, FVC, or FEV1/FVC. Similarly, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), a marker of airway inflammation, was unrelated to overall microbial diversity but associated with differential abundance for many individual genera. Several genera, including Limosilactobacillus, were associated with a pulmonary function measure and FeNO, while others, including Moraxella to FEV1/FVC and Stenotrophomonas to FeNO, were associated with a single trait.

CONCLUSIONS: Using state-of-the-art metagenomic sequencing, we identified specific microorganisms in indoor dust related to pulmonary function and airway inflammation. Some were previously associated with respiratory conditions; others were novel, suggesting specific environmental microbial components contribute to various respiratory outcomes. The methods used are applicable to studying microbiome in relation to other continuous outcomes. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2024-07-18
CmpDate: 2024-07-19

Jing Z, Zheng W, Jianwen S, et al (2024)

Gut microbes on the risk of advanced adenomas.

BMC microbiology, 24(1):264.

BACKGROUND: More than 90% of colorectal cancer (CRC) arises from advanced adenomas (AA) and gut microbes are closely associated with the initiation and progression of both AA and CRC.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the characteristic microbes in AA.

METHODS: Fecal samples were collected from 92 AA and 184 negative control (NC). Illumina HiSeq X sequencing platform was used for high-throughput sequencing of microbial populations. The sequencing results were annotated and compared with NCBI RefSeq database to find the microbial characteristics of AA. R-vegan package was used to analyze α diversity and β diversity. α diversity included box diagram, and β diversity included Principal Component Analysis (PCA), principal co-ordinates analysis (PCoA), and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS). The AA risk prediction models were constructed based on six kinds of machine learning algorithms. In addition, unsupervised clustering methods were used to classify bacteria and viruses. Finally, the characteristics of bacteria and viruses in different subtypes were analyzed.

RESULTS: The abundance of Prevotella sp900557255, Alistipes putredinis, and Megamonas funiformis were higher in AA, while the abundance of Lilyvirus, Felixounavirus, and Drulisvirus were also higher in AA. The Catboost based model for predicting the risk of AA has the highest accuracy (bacteria test set: 87.27%; virus test set: 83.33%). In addition, 4 subtypes (B1V1, B1V2, B2V1, and B2V2) were distinguished based on the abundance of gut bacteria and enteroviruses (EVs). Escherichia coli D, Prevotella sp900557255, CAG-180 sp000432435, Phocaeicola plebeiuA, Teseptimavirus, Svunavirus, Felixounavirus, and Jiaodavirus are the characteristic bacteria and viruses of 4 subtypes. The results of Catboost model indicated that the accuracy of prediction improved after incorporating subtypes. The accuracy of discovery sets was 100%, 96.34%, 100%, and 98.46% in 4 subtypes, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Prevotella sp900557255 and Felixounavirus have high value in early warning of AA. As promising non-invasive biomarkers, gut microbes can become potential diagnostic targets for AA, and the accuracy of predicting AA can be improved by typing.

RevDate: 2024-07-18
CmpDate: 2024-07-18

Liu Z, Chen H, Chen D, et al (2024)

Metagenomic next-generation sequencing for the diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.

Scientific reports, 14(1):16618.

Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in patients with diabetes mellitus has high incidence, especially in Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) for IPA in patients with T2DM. A total of 66 patients with T2DM were included, including 21 IPA and 45 non-IPA patients, from January 2022 to December 2022. The demographic characteristics, comorbidities, laboratory test results, antibiotic treatment response, and 30-day mortality rate of patients were analyzed. The diagnostic accuracy of mNGS and conventional methods was compared, including sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value. The sensitivity and specificity of mNGS were 66.7% and 100.0%, respectively, which were significantly higher than those of fluorescence staining (42.1% and 100%), serum 1,3-β-D-glucan detection (38.1% and 90.9%), serum galactomannan detection (14.3% and 94.9%) and BALF galactomannan detection (47.3% and 70.7%). Although the sensitivity of BALF culture (75.0%) was higher than that of mNGS (66.7%), the turnover time of mNGS was significantly shorter than that of traditional culture (1.6 days vs. 5.0 days). The sensitivity of mNGS combined with BALF culture reached 100.0%. In addition, mNGS has a stronger ability to detect co-pathogens with IPA. 47.6% of T2DM patients with IPA were adjusted the initial antimicrobial therapy according to the mNGS results. This is the first study to focus on the diagnostic performance of mNGS in IPA infection in T2DM patients. MNGS can be used as a supplement to conventional methods for the diagnosis of IPA in patients with T2DM.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Liu Y, Wu J, Wu R, et al (2024)

Nitrogen-doped activated carbon-based steel slag composite material as an accelerant for enhancing the resilience of flexible biogas production process against shock loads: Performance, mechanism and modified ADM1 modeling.

Journal of environmental management, 366:121874 pii:S0301-4797(24)01860-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Anaerobic digestion for flexible biogas production can lead to digestion inhibition under high shock loads. While steel slag addition has shown promise in enhancing system buffering, its limitations necessitate innovation. This study synthesized the nitrogen-doped activated carbon composite from steel slag to mitigate intermediate product accumulation during flexible biogas production. Material characterization preceded experiments introducing the composite into anaerobic digestion systems, evaluating its impact on methane production efficiency under hydraulic and concentration sudden shocks. Mechanistic insights were derived from microbial community and metagenomic analyses, facilitating the construction of the modified Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1 (ADM1) to quantitatively assess the material's effects. Results indicate superior resistance to concentration shocks with substantial increment of methane production rate up to 33.45% compared with control group, which is mediated by direct interspecies electron transfer, though diminishing with increasing shock intensity. This study contributes theoretical foundations for stable flexible biogas production and offers an effective predictive tool for conductor material reinforcement processes.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Tao Y, Du R, H Mao (2024)

Tropheryma whipplei pneumonia revealed by Metagenomic next-generation sequencing: Report of two cases.

Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease, 110(1):116427 pii:S0732-8893(24)00253-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Tropheryma whipplei is the causative agent of Whipple's disease, which is a rare multiorgan systemic disease. We report two cases of Tropheryma whipplei infection, all routine tests were negative and it was finally detected by mNGS. This may help clinicians increase awareness of the diagnosis and treatment of acute severe pneumonia and interstitial pneumonia caused by Tropheryma whipplei.

RevDate: 2024-07-19

Kosch TA, Torres-Sánchez M, Liedtke HC, et al (2024)

The Amphibian Genomics Consortium: advancing genomic and genetic resources for amphibian research and conservation.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Amphibians represent a diverse group of tetrapods, marked by deep divergence times between their three systematic orders and families. Studying amphibian biology through the genomics lens increases our understanding of the features of this animal class and that of other terrestrial vertebrates. The need for amphibian genomics resources is more urgent than ever due to the increasing threats to this group. Amphibians are one of the most imperiled taxonomic groups, with approximately 41% of species threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, changes in land use patterns, disease, climate change, and their synergistic effects. Amphibian genomics resources have provided a better understanding of ontogenetic diversity, tissue regeneration, diverse life history and reproductive modes, antipredator strategies, and resilience and adaptive responses. They also serve as critical models for understanding widespread genomic characteristics, including evolutionary genome expansions and contractions given they have the largest range in genome sizes of any animal taxon and multiple mechanisms of genetic sex determination. Despite these features, genome sequencing of amphibians has significantly lagged behind that of other vertebrates, primarily due to the challenges of assembling their large, repeat-rich genomes and the relative lack of societal support. The advent of long-read sequencing technologies, along with computational techniques that enhance scaffolding capabilities and streamline computational workload is now enabling the ability to overcome some of these challenges. To promote and accelerate the production and use of amphibian genomics research through international coordination and collaboration, we launched the Amphibian Genomics Consortium (AGC) in early 2023. This burgeoning community already has more than 282 members from 41 countries (6 in Africa, 131 in the Americas, 27 in Asia, 29 in Australasia, and 89 in Europe). The AGC aims to leverage the diverse capabilities of its members to advance genomic resources for amphibians and bridge the implementation gap between biologists, bioinformaticians, and conservation practitioners. Here we evaluate the state of the field of amphibian genomics, highlight previous studies, present challenges to overcome, and outline how the AGC can enable amphibian genomics research to "leap" to the next level.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Xu L, Wang L, Song Y, et al (2024)

Metagenomic next-generation sequencing assistance in identifying Mycobacterium iranicum pulmonary infection: A case report.

Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease, 110(1):116445 pii:S0732-8893(24)00271-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are important opportunistic pathogens in humans, mostly affecting the lungs, and potentially causing progressive disease in individuals with underlying diseases. The prevalence of NTM infections is increasing worldwide. However, Mycobacterium iranicum (M. iranicum) infections are less common. Here we report a 65-year-old female who developed pneumonia caused by Mycobacterium iranicum, which was detected in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) through metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS). The patient was treated with moxifloxacin, doxycycline, and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. Symptoms were relieved and lung abnormalities were shown to be partially absorbed on the follow-up chest computed tomography (CT) scans. As we know, this is the first case of Mycobacterium iranicum pulmonary infection identified by mNGS in BALF.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Chen L, Bao Y, Wang D, et al (2024)

Integrated omics analysis reveals the differentiation of intestinal microbiota and metabolites between Pekin ducks and Shaoxing ducks.

Poultry science, 103(9):103976 pii:S0032-5791(24)00555-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Pekin ducks and Shaoxing ducks are 2 Chinese local duck breeds, both domesticated from mallard, but after domestication and long-term artificial selection, the body weight of Pekin ducks is significantly higher than that of Shaoxing ducks. It is no debate that genetic factors are the main factors responsible for this difference, but whether intestinal microbiota contribute to this difference is yet unknown. Thus, we performed comparative intestinal metagenomics and metabolomics analysis between Pekin ducks and Shaoxing ducks. We found obvious differentiation of intestinal metagenome and metabolome between the 2 breeds. Four cecal microbial genera, including Fusobacterium, Methanobrevibacter, Butyricicoccus, and Anaerotignum showed higher abundance in Pekin ducks. Among them, Methanobrevibacter and Butyricicoccus may positively correlate with fat deposition and body weight. A total of 310 metabolites showed difference between the 2 breeds. Functions of these differential metabolites were mainly enriched in amino acid metabolism, including energy metabolism-related histidine metabolism. Integrated omics analysis showed that microbial changes were closely related to altered metabolites. Especially, Butyricicoccus showing higher abundance in Pekin ducks was significantly negatively correlated with D-glucosamine-6-phosphate, which has been reported to prevent body weight gains. These findings may contribute to further understand the difference in body weight between Pekin ducks and Shaoxing ducks.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Yang Y, Li H, Wang D, et al (2024)

Metagenomics of high-altitude groundwater reveal different health risks associated with antibiotic-resistant pathogens and bacterial resistome in the latitudinal gradient.

Water research, 262:122032 pii:S0043-1354(24)00932-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Groundwater on the Tibetan Plateau is a critical water resource to people in Asia. However, its prevalence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens (ARPs), bacterial resistome and their driving factors remain unknown. Using metagenomics analysis, a hotspot of antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) and last-resort ARGs (LARGs) with a total of 639 subtypes was identified in the groundwater. Importantly, 164 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) which possessed both ARGs and virulence factors (VFs) were assigned as potential ARPs, with the most abundant species being Acinetobacter johnsonii and Acinetobacter pittii. A total of 157 potential ARPs, involving Escherichia coli, were predicted as "natural" ARGs supercarriers. Thirty-six ARPs dominated by the genus Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas were found to harbour LARGs. Co-localizations of the ARG-mobile genetic elements (MGEs) showed that MGEs were significantly associated with ARGs in the ARPs, which suggests ARPs play a prominent role in ARG dissemination. Notably, latitudinal gradient is a driving factor in the occurrence of ARGs and ARPs. The average abundances of ARGs and ARP decreased as the latitude increased, with the highest abundance occurring in the region between 28.6[◦]N and 29.5[◦]N. MetaCompare further revealed health risks associated with the resistome decreased as the latitudes increased. These findings indicated different health risks associated with ARPs and bacterial resistome in latitudinal gradient groundwater. They raise the concerns of mitigating ARPs risk in groundwater on the Tibetan Plateau.

RevDate: 2024-07-18
CmpDate: 2024-07-18

Ravelo AD, Ferm P, Guo Y, et al (2024)

Using a multi-omics approach to explore potential associations with rumen content and serum of cows with different milk production levels based on genomic predicted transmitting ability for milk and phenotypic milk production.

PloS one, 19(7):e0305674 pii:PONE-D-23-41175.

This study aims to compare rumen microbiome and metabolites between second lactation dairy cows in the 75th percentile (n = 12; 57.2 ± 5.08 kg/d) of production according to genomic predicted transmitting ability for milk (GPTAM) and their counterparts in the 25th percentile (n = 12; 47.2 ± 8.61 kg/d). It was hypothesized that the metagenome and metabolome would differ between production levels. Cows were matched by days in milk (DIM), sire, occurrence of disease, and days open in previous lactation. For an additional comparison, the cows were also divided by phenotype into high (n = 6; 61.3 ± 2.8 kg/d), medium (n = 10; 55 ± 1.2 kg/d), and low (n = 8; 41.9 ± 5.6 kg/d) based on their milk production. Samples were collected 65 ± 14 DIM. Rumen content was collected using an oro-gastric tube and serum samples were collected from the coccygeal vessels. High-resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used for rumen and serum metabolite profiling. Shotgun metagenomics was used for rumen microbiome profiling. Microbiome sample richness and diversity were used to determine alpha and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity index was used to estimate beta diversity. Differences in metabolites were determined using t-tests or ANOVA. Pearson correlations were used to consider associations between serum metabolites and milk production. There was no evidence of a difference in rumen metabolites or microbial communities by GPTAM or phenotype. Cows in the phenotypic low group had greater serum acetate to propionate ratio and acetate proportion compared to the cows in the phenotypic medium group. Likewise, serum propionate proportion was greater in the medium compared to the low phenotypic group. Serum acetate, butyrate, and propionate concentrations had a weak positive correlation with milk production. When investigating associations between rumen environment and milk production, future studies must consider the impact of the ruminal epithelium absorption and post-absorption processes in relation to milk production.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Li Y, Zhang M, Li L, et al (2024)

Nutrient removal efficacy and microbial dynamics in constructed wetlands using Fe(III)-mineral substrates for low carbon-nitrogen ratio sewage treatment.

Bioprocess and biosystems engineering [Epub ahead of print].

This study evaluated the roles of two common sources of Fe(III)-minerals-volcanic rock (VR) and synthetic banded iron formations from waste iron tailings (BIF-W)-in vertical flow-constructed wetlands (VFCWs). The evaluation was conducted in the absence of critical environmental factors, including Fe(II), Fe(III), and soil organic matter (SOM), using metagenomic analysis and integrated correlation networks to predict nitrogen removal pathways. Our findings revealed that Fe(III)-minerals enhanced metabolic activities and cellular processes related to carbohydrate decomposition, thereby increasing the average COD removal rates by 10.7% for VR and 5.90% for BIF-W. Notably, VR improved nitrogen removal by 1.70% and 5.40% compared to BIF-W and the control, respectively. Fe(III)-mineral amendment in bioreactors also improved the retention of denitrification and nitrification bacteria (phylum Proteobacteria) and anammox bacteria (phylum Planctomycetes), with increases of 3.60% and 3.20% using VR compared to BIF-W. Metagenomic functional prediction indicated that the nitrogen removal mechanisms in VFCWs with low C/N ratios involve simultaneous partial nitrification, ANAMMOX, and denitrification (SNAD). Network-based analyses and correlation pathways further suggest that the advantages of Fe(III)-minerals are manifested in the enhancement of denitrification microorganisms. Microbial communities may be activated by the functional dissolution of Fe(III)-minerals, which improves the stability of SOM or the conversion of Fe(III)/Fe(II). This study provides new insights into the functional roles of Fe(III)-minerals in VFCWs at the microbial community level, and provides a foundation for developing Fe-based SNAD enhancement technologies.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

López-Beltrán A, Botelho J, J Iranzo (2024)

Dynamics of CRISPR-mediated virus-host interactions in the human gut microbiome.

The ISME journal pii:7716349 [Epub ahead of print].

Arms races between mobile genetic elements and prokaryotic hosts are major drivers of ecological and evolutionary change in microbial communities. Prokaryotic defense systems such as CRISPR-Cas have the potential to regulate microbiome composition by modifying the interactions among bacteria, plasmids, and phages. Here, we used longitudinal metagenomic data from 130 healthy and diseased individuals to study how the interplay of genetic parasites and CRISPR-Cas immunity reflects on the dynamics and composition of the human gut microbiome. Based on the coordinated study of 80 000 CRISPR-Cas loci and their targets, we show that CRISPR-Cas immunity effectively modulates bacteriophage abundances in the gut. Acquisition of CRISPR-Cas immunity typically leads to a decrease in the abundance of lytic phages but does not necessarily cause their complete disappearance. Much smaller effects are observed for lysogenic phages and plasmids. Conversely, phage-CRISPR interactions shape bacterial microdiversity by producing weak selective sweeps that benefit immune host lineages. We also show that distal (and chronologically older) regions of CRISPR arrays are enriched in spacers that are potentially functional and target crass-like phages and local prophages. This suggests that exposure to reactivated prophages and other endemic viruses is a major selective pressure in the gut microbiome that drives the maintenance of long-lasting immune memory.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Li L, Sun H, Tan L, et al (2024)

Miao sour soup alleviates DSS-induced colitis in mice: modulation of gut microbiota and intestinal barrier function.

Food & function [Epub ahead of print].

Miao sour soup (MSS), a daily fermented food in Guizhou, China, is rich in microorganisms with various beneficial activities, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. However, the therapeutic effects of MSS on IBD remain unexplored. This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of MSS against colitis in mice. In this study, we examined the microbial community structure of MSS by metagenomic sequencing and also explored the protective effect of MSS on DSS-induced colitis in mice. We investigated the effects of MSS on intestinal inflammatory response and intestinal barrier function in mice. Finally, the changes in intestinal flora were analyzed based on the 16S rRNA gene sequencing results. Significantly, the experiment result shows that MSS ameliorated the severity of DSS-induced disease in mice by mitigating colitis-associated weight loss, reducing the disease activity index of IBD, alleviating colonic hemorrhagic lesions, increasing colon length, and improving colonic tissue damage. Moreover, MSS preserved intestinal barrier integrity and restored intestinal epithelial function in mice. Additionally, MSS modulated the structure and composition of the intestinal flora. Furthermore, MSS downregulated pro-inflammatory factors and attenuated the NF-κB p65 expression, thereby mitigating the inflammatory response. These findings highlight the protective effect of MSS against DSS-induced colitis, providing substantial scientific support for potential applications of MSS as a functional food.

RevDate: 2024-07-18
CmpDate: 2024-07-18

Zhang P, Ma S, Guo R, et al (2024)

Metagenomic analysis of the gut virome in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Journal of medical virology, 96(7):e29802.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder, is recognized for its association with alterations in the gut microbiome and metabolome. This study delves into the largely unexplored domain of the gut virome in IBS patients. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of the fecal metagenomic data set from 277 IBS patients and 84 healthy controls to characterize the gut viral community. Our findings revealed a distinct gut virome in IBS patients compared to healthy individuals, marked by significant variances in between-sample diversity and altered abundances of 127 viral operational taxonomic units (vOTUs). Specifically, 111 vOTUs, predominantly belonging to crAss-like, Siphoviridae, Myoviridae, and Quimbyviridae families, were more abundant in IBS patients, whereas the healthy control group exhibited enrichment of 16 vOTUs from multiple families. We also investigated the interplay between the gut virome and bacteriome, identifying a correlation between IBS-enriched bacteria like Klebsiella pneumoniae, Fusobacterium varium, and Ruminococcus gnavus, and the IBS-associated vOTUs. Furthermore, we assessed the potential of gut viral signatures in predicting IBS, achieving a notable area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.834. These findings highlight significant shifts in the viral diversity, taxonomic distribution, and functional composition of the gut virome in IBS patients, suggesting the potential role of the gut virome in IBS pathogenesis and opening new avenues for diagnostic and therapeutic strategies targeting the gut virome in IBS management.

RevDate: 2024-07-18
CmpDate: 2024-07-18

Zhang WW, Gao SS, Li ML, et al (2024)

[Vertical Distribution Characteristics and Driving Factors of Bacterioplankton and Nitrogen Phosphorus Cycle Genes in Danjiangkou Reservoir].

Huan jing ke xue= Huanjing kexue, 45(7):3995-4005.

Danjiangkou Reservoir is a critical water source for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, which harbors a diverse bacterioplankton community with varying depths, and the understanding of its nitrogen and phosphorus cycle and associated driving factors remains limited. In this study, we selected five ecological sites within Danjiangkou Reservoir and conducted metagenomics analysis to investigate the vertical distribution of bacterioplankton communities in the surface, middle, and bottom layers. Furthermore, we analyzed and predicted the function of nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, along with their driving factors. Our findings revealed the dominance of Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Planctomycetes in the Danjiangkou Reservoir. Significant differences were observed in the structure of bacterioplankton communities across different depths, with temperature (T), oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), dissolved oxygen (DO), and Chla identified as primary factors influencing the bacterioplankton composition. Analysis of nitrogen cycle functional genes identified 39 genes, including gltB, glnA, gltD, gdhA, NRT, etc., which were involved in seven main pathways, encompassing nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction. Phosphorus cycle function gene analysis identified 54 genes, including pstS, ppx-gppA, glpQ, ppk1, etc., primarily participating in six main pathways, including organic P mineralization, inorganic P solubilization, and regulatory. Cluster analysis indicated that different depths were significant factors influencing the composition and abundance of nitrogen and phosphorus cycle functional genes. The composition and abundance of nitrogen and phosphorus cycle functional genes in the surface and bottom layers differed and were generally higher than those in the middle layer. Deinococcus, Hydrogenophaga, Limnohabitans, Clavibacter, and others were identified as key species involved in the nitrogen and phosphorus cycle. Additionally, we found significant correlations between nitrogen and phosphorus cycle functional genes and environmental factors such as DO, pH, T, total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC), and Chla. Furthermore, the content of these environmental factors exhibited depth-related changes in the Danjiangkou Reservoir, resulting in a distinct vertical distribution pattern of bacterioplankton nitrogen and phosphorus cycle functional genes. Overall, this study sheds light on the composition, function, and influencing factors of bacterioplankton communities across different layers of Danjiangkou Reservoir, offering valuable insights for the ecological function and diversity protection of bacterioplankton in this crucial reservoir ecosystem.

RevDate: 2024-07-18
CmpDate: 2024-07-18

Cui YW, Xin Y, Zhang YF, et al (2024)

[Occurrence and Distribution of Potential Dangerous Biological Agents in Beijing Suburban Rivers].

Huan jing ke xue= Huanjing kexue, 45(7):3941-3952.

Dangerous biological agents (DBAs) refer to microorganisms, toxins, and other biological substances that have the potential to cause significant harm to humans, animals, plants, and the environment. They are the primary target of the prevention and response in China's Biosafety Law, and it is of great importance to clarify the characteristics of DBAs in the Beijing suburban rivers for the insurance of the water safety in Beijing. The typical Beijing suburban rivers (Mangniu River, Chaohe River, and Baihe River) were selected, and the occurrence and distribution of DBAs concerning the molecular biology composition as the nucleic acid (antibiotic resistance genes, ARGs), nucleic acid and proteins (viruses), and intact cellular structures (pathogens) were determined based on the metagenomics. The results showed that there was a high abundance of multidrug-resistant ARGs in the water and substrates of the urban river; on average, they made up 74.11% ±6.82% of the total, and the abundance of aminoglycoside and MLS (macrolide-lincosamide-streptomycin)-resistant ARGs was the highest, but the predominant subtypes of ARGs were of low risk and had limited transmission potential. The viruses in the tributary mainly belonged to the phages, most of which were Kyanoviridae and Peduoviridae, with averages of 16.98% ±8.44% and 16.19% ±10.79%, respectively. Eukaryotic viral populations consisted mainly of members from the Mimiviridae and Phycodnaviridae families, with averages of 10.37% ±12.68% and 8.34% ±6.97%, respectively, whereas there were few viruses related to human and animal diseases. The pathogenic bacteria mainly contained Neisseria meningitidis, Brucella suis, Salmonella enterica, and Burkholderia pseudomalle, with averages of 19.17% ±3.63%, 12.76% ±2.88%, 11.22% ±1.95%, and 8.26% ±1.84%, respectively. The composition and abundance of pathogenic bacteria varied significantly among different tributaries and locations, possibly owing to water quality, pollution sources, environmental factors, and human activities. These findings can provide data support for the water safety management and biological risk control of Beijing suburban rivers.

RevDate: 2024-07-18
CmpDate: 2024-07-18

Piontek J, Hassenrück C, Zäncker B, et al (2024)

Environmental control and metabolic strategies of organic-matter-responsive bacterioplankton in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica).

Environmental microbiology, 26(7):e16675.

Heterotrophic microbial communities play a significant role in driving carbon fluxes in marine ecosystems. Despite their importance, these communities remain understudied in remote polar oceans, which are known for their substantial contribution to the biological drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Our research focused on understanding the environmental factors and genetic makeup of key bacterial players involved in carbon remineralization in the Weddell Sea, including its coastal polynyas. Our experiments demonstrated that the combination of labile organic matter supply and temperature increase synergistically boosted bacterial growth. This suggests that, besides low seawater temperature, carbon limitation also hinders heterotrophic bacterial activity. Through the analysis of metagenome-assembled genomes, we discovered distinct genomic adaptation strategies in Bacteroidia and Gammaproteobacteria, both of which respond to organic matter. Both natural phytoplankton blooms and experimental addition of organic matter favoured Bacteroidia, which possess a large number of gene copies and a wide range of functional membrane transporters, glycoside hydrolases, and aminopeptidases. In contrast, the genomes of organic-matter-responsive Gammaproteobacteria were characterized by high densities of transcriptional regulators and transporters. Our findings suggest that bacterioplankton in the Weddell Sea, which respond to organic matter, employ metabolic strategies similar to those of their counterparts in temperate oceans. These strategies enable efficient growth at extremely low seawater temperatures, provided that organic carbon limitation is alleviated.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Yang Y, Zhao Y, Xi X, et al (2024)

Coinfection of Cedecea lapagei and Aspergillus sydowii detected in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a patient with pulmonary infection using metagenomic next-generation sequencing: A case report.

Heliyon, 10(12):e33130.

BACKGROUND: Cedecea lapagei (C. lapagei), as a potential human pathogen, has been reported in limited cases of human infections in medical literature. However, the increasing frequency of isolating Cedecea lapagei from clinical specimens underscores its growing clinical significance that should not be underestimated. Aspergillus sydowii (A. sydowii), commonly isolated from various environments, serves as a pathogen of human cryptic aspergillosis. Clinical pathological changes caused by A. sydowii are not obvious, posing a significant challenge in clinical diagnosis. Consequently, metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) are required for precise differentiation and identification of pathogens.

CASE DESCRIPTION: Here we present a case demonstrating successful treatment outcome in a patient with pulmonary infection caused by coinfection of C. lapagei and A. sydowii, as identified through metagenomic next-generation sequencing. The patient, a 50-year-old male, presented with worsening cough, sputum production, and hemoptysis. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) analysis of the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) revealed the presence of both C. lapagei and A. sydowii. Subsequently, C. lapagei was also detected by culture in the same BALF sample, however while clinical fungal cultures and (1-3)-β-D glucan testing yielded negative results. Based on these findings along with imaging features and clinical symptoms of the patient, the final diagnosis was determined to be a co-infection of C. lapagei and A. sydowii.

CONCLUSION: The clinical manifestations of human infections caused by C. lapagei are not specific; patients with cryptic aspergillosis may have been previously overlooked due to improper specimen selection or negative routine tests. Therefore, precise identification of pathogens is crucial. This case report highlights the value of mNGS in detecting C. lapagei and A. sydowii in BALF, enabling timely diagnosis with coinfections.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Ding J, Liu F, Zeng J, et al (2024)

Homologous recombination and gene-specific selection co-shape the vertical nucleotide diversity of mangrove sediment microbial populations.

Ecology and evolution, 14(7):e70040.

Mangrove sediments host a diverse array of microbial populations and are characterized by high heterogeneity along their vertical depths. However, the genetic diversity within these populations is largely unknown, hindering our understanding of their adaptive evolution across the sediment depths. To elucidate their genetic diversity, we utilized metagenome sequencing to identify 16 high-frequency microbial populations comprised of two archaea and 14 bacteria from mangrove sediment cores (0-100 cm, with 10 depths) in Qi'ao Island, China. Our analysis of the genome-wide genetic variation revealed extensive nucleotide diversity in the microbial populations. The genes involved in the transport and the energy metabolism displayed a high nucleotide diversity (HND; 0.0045-0.0195; an indicator of shared minor alleles with the microbial populations). By tracking the processes of homologous recombination, we found that each microbial population was subjected to different purification selection levels at different depths (44.12% genes). This selection resulted in significant differences in synonymous/non-synonymous mutation ratio between 0-20 and 20-100 cm layers, indicating the adaptive evolutionary process of microbial populations. Furthermore, our assessment of differentiation in the allele frequencies between these two layers showed that the functional genes involved in the metabolic processes of amino acids or cofactors were highly differential in more than half of them. Together, we showed that the nucleotide diversity of microbial populations was shaped by homologous recombination and gene-specific selection, finally resulting in the stratified differentiation occurring between 0-20 and 20-100 cm. These results enhance our cognition of the microbial adaptation mechanisms to vertical environmental changes during the sedimentation process of coastal blue carbon ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Minch B, Chakraborty M, Purkis S, et al (2024)

Active prokaryotic and eukaryotic viral ecology across spatial scale in a deep-sea brine pool.

ISME communications, 4(1):ycae084.

Deep-sea brine pools represent rare, extreme environments, providing unique insight into the limits of life on Earth, and by analogy, the plausibility of life beyond it. A distinguishing feature of many brine pools is presence of thick microbial mats that develop at the brine-seawater interface. While these bacterial and archaeal communities have received moderate attention, viruses and their host interactions in these environments remain underexplored. To bridge this knowledge gap, we leveraged metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data from three distinct zones within the NEOM brine pool system (Gulf of Aqaba) to reveal the active viral ecology around the pools. We report a remarkable diversity and activity of viruses infecting microbial hosts in this environment, including giant viruses, RNA viruses, jumbo phages, and Polinton-like viruses. Many of these form distinct clades-suggesting presence of untapped viral diversity in this ecosystem. Brine pool viral communities exhibit zone-specific differences in infection strategy-with lysogeny dominating the bacterial mat further away from the pool's center. We linked viruses to metabolically important prokaryotes-including association between a jumbo phage and a key manganese-oxidizing and arsenic-metabolizing bacterium. These foundational results illuminate the role of viruses in modulating brine pool microbial communities and biogeochemistry through revealing novel viral diversity, host associations, and spatial heterogeneity in viral dynamics.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Bhatt E, Gauba P, IP Sarethy (2024)

Assessing Recent Technologies for Addressing Microplastic Pollution and Pushing the Case of Bioremediation as an Attractive Approach.

Recent advances in food, nutrition & agriculture pii:RAFNA-EPUB-141697 [Epub ahead of print].

Microplastics are emerging sources of environmental pollutants that are increasingly of concern because of their harmful impacts on aquatic life and thereby humans. Their accumulation in the environment is in direct proportion to global plastic production; their being nondegradable, recalcitrant and of a persistent nature creates an urgent need to address this issue on a global scale. Recent reports have demonstrated the presence of microplastics in marine life, and directly becoming a part of the food chain when seafood is ingested by humans. The repercussions of these studies point to an even larger scale presence of microplastics across varied habitats, which are yet to be sampled. Bioremediation, using various microorganisms such as bacteria, algae and fungi, alone or as consortia or in biofilm form can be used as an effective remediation tool. Genetically modified microorganisms for focused removal of microplastics and metagenomics studies, providing taxonomic details of uncultured organisms, are also expected to provide an additional catalogue of technologies in this field. This review offers a comprehensive overview of microplastic sources, existing technologies for treating microplastics and an in-depth analysis of bioremediation mechanisms, its components, and the results from various studies which provide sufficient clues as to the directions to be chosen to address microplastics pollution and can facilitate and instruct researchers to further investigate the more practical approaches and create new and innovative strategies for advanced remediation of microplastic in the future.

RevDate: 2024-07-17
CmpDate: 2024-07-18

Duan JL, Li CY, Jiang Y, et al (2024)

Microbiological characteristics of the lower airway in adults with bronchiectasis: a prospective cohort study.

Respiratory research, 25(1):283.

BACKGROUND: Microbial infection and colonization are frequently associated with disease progression and poor clinical outcomes in bronchiectasis. Identification of pathogen spectrum is crucial for precision treatment at exacerbation of bronchiectasis.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study in patients with bronchiectasis exacerbation onset and stable state. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was collected for conventional microbiological tests (CMTs) and metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing (mNGS). Bronchiectasis patients were monitored for documenting the time to the next exacerbation during longitudinal follow-up.

RESULTS: We recruited 168 eligible participants in the exacerbation cohorts, and 38 bronchiectasis patients at stable state at longitudinal follow-up. 141 bronchiectasis patients at exacerbation onset had definite or probable pathogens via combining CMTs with mNGS reports. We identified that Pseudomonas aeruginosa, non-tuberculous mycobacteria, Haemophilus influenzae, Nocardia spp, and Staphylococcus aureus were the top 5 pathogens with a higher detection rate in our cohorts via combination of CMTs and mNGS analysis. We also observed strong correlations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Haemophilus influenzae, non-tuberculous mycobacteria with disease severity, including the disease duration, Bronchiectasis Severity Index, and lung function. Moreover, the adjusted pathogenic index of potential pathogenic microorganism negatively correlated (r = -0.7280, p < 0.001) with the time to the next exacerbation in bronchiectasis.

CONCLUSION: We have revealed the pathogenic microbial spectrum in lower airways and the negative correlation of PPM colonization with the time to the next exacerbation in bronchiectasis. These results suggested that pathogens contribute to the progression of bronchiectasis.

RevDate: 2024-07-17
CmpDate: 2024-07-17

Pérez-Prieto I, Vargas E, Salas-Espejo E, et al (2024)

Gut microbiome in endometriosis: a cohort study on 1000 individuals.

BMC medicine, 22(1):294.

BACKGROUND: Endometriosis, defined as the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside of the uterus, is one of the most prevalent gynecological disorders. Although different theories have been proposed, its pathogenesis is not clear. Novel studies indicate that the gut microbiome may be involved in the etiology of endometriosis; nevertheless, the connection between microbes, their dysbiosis, and the development of endometriosis is understudied. This case-control study analyzed the gut microbiome in women with and without endometriosis to identify microbial targets involved in the disease.

METHODS: A subsample of 1000 women from the Estonian Microbiome cohort, including 136 women with endometriosis and 864 control women, was analyzed. Microbial composition was determined by shotgun metagenomics and microbial functional pathways were annotated using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. Partitioning Around Medoids (PAM) algorithm was performed to cluster the microbial profile of the Estonian population. The alpha- and beta-diversity and differential abundance analyses were performed to assess the gut microbiome (species and KEGG orthologies (KO)) in both groups. Metagenomic reads were mapped to estrobolome-related enzymes' sequences to study potential microbiome-estrogen metabolism axis alterations in endometriosis.

RESULTS: Diversity analyses did not detect significant differences between women with and without endometriosis (alpha-diversity: all p-values > 0.05; beta-diversity: PERMANOVA, both R [2] < 0.0007, p-values > 0.05). No differential species or pathways were detected after multiple testing adjustment (all FDR p-values > 0.05). Sensitivity analysis excluding women at menopause (> 50 years) confirmed our results. Estrobolome-associated enzymes' sequence reads were not significantly different between groups (all FDR p-values > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings do not provide enough evidence to support the existence of a gut microbiome-dependent mechanism directly implicated in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest metagenome study on endometriosis conducted to date.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Song X, Fu X, Niu S, et al (2024)

Exploring the Effects of Saorilao-4 on the Gut Microbiota of Pulmonary Fibrosis Model Rats Based on 16S rRNA Sequencing.

Journal of applied microbiology pii:7716054 [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a progressive and incurable lung disease for which treatment options are limited. Here, we aimed to conduct an exploratory study on the effects of the Mongolian medicine Saorilao-4 (SRL) on the gut microbiota structure, species abundance, and diversity of a rat PF model as well as the mechanisms underlying such effects.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Rat fecal samples were analyzed using 16S rRNA sequencing technology. Bioinformatic and correlation analyses were performed on microbiota data to determine significant associations. SRL substantially attenuated the adverse effects exerted by PF on the structure and diversity of gut microbiota while regulating its alpha and beta diversities. Linear discriminant analysis effect size enabled the identification of 62 differentially abundant microbial taxa. Gut microbiota abundance analysis revealed that SRL significantly increased the relative abundance of bacterial phyla such as Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Moreover, SRL increased the proportion of beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteriales, decreased the proportion of pathogenic bacteria, such as Rikenellaceae, and balanced the gut microbiota by regulating metabolic pathways.

CONCLUSIONS: SRL may attenuate PF by regulating gut microbiota. This exploratory study establishes the groundwork for investigating the metagenomics of PF.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Xu S, Hu E, Cai Y, et al (2024)

Using clusterProfiler to characterize multiomics data.

Nature protocols [Epub ahead of print].

With the advent of multiomics, software capable of multidimensional enrichment analysis has become increasingly crucial for uncovering gene set variations in biological processes and disease pathways. This is essential for elucidating disease mechanisms and identifying potential therapeutic targets. clusterProfiler stands out for its comprehensive utilization of databases and advanced visualization features. Importantly, clusterProfiler supports various biological knowledge, including Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes, through performing over-representation and gene set enrichment analyses. A key feature is that clusterProfiler allows users to choose from various graphical outputs to visualize results, enhancing interpretability. This protocol describes innovative ways in which clusterProfiler has been used for integrating metabolomics and metagenomics analyses, identifying and characterizing transcription factors under stress conditions, and annotating cells in single-cell studies. In all cases, the computational steps can be completed within ~2 min. clusterProfiler is released through the Bioconductor project and can be accessed via https://bioconductor.org/packages/clusterProfiler/ .

RevDate: 2024-07-17
CmpDate: 2024-07-17

Dong Y, Chen R, Graham EB, et al (2024)

Eco-evolutionary strategies for relieving carbon limitation under salt stress differ across microbial clades.

Nature communications, 15(1):6013.

With the continuous expansion of saline soils under climate change, understanding the eco-evolutionary tradeoff between the microbial mitigation of carbon limitation and the maintenance of functional traits in saline soils represents a significant knowledge gap in predicting future soil health and ecological function. Through shotgun metagenomic sequencing of coastal soils along a salinity gradient, we show contrasting eco-evolutionary directions of soil bacteria and archaea that manifest in changes to genome size and the functional potential of the soil microbiome. In salt environments with high carbon requirements, bacteria exhibit reduced genome sizes associated with a depletion of metabolic genes, while archaea display larger genomes and enrichment of salt-resistance, metabolic, and carbon-acquisition genes. This suggests that bacteria conserve energy through genome streamlining when facing salt stress, while archaea invest in carbon-acquisition pathways to broaden their resource usage. These findings suggest divergent directions in eco-evolutionary adaptations to soil saline stress amongst microbial clades and serve as a foundation for understanding the response of soil microbiomes to escalating climate change.

RevDate: 2024-07-18

Minagawa M, Kirikae T, Tohya M, et al (2022)

Detection of Acinetobacter Baumannii and Staphylococcus Capitis in Bile from Two Patients with Chronic Xanthogranulomatous Cholecystitis: The Impact of Metagenomic Analysis.

Juntendo Iji zasshi = Juntendo medical journal, 68(3):282-288.

BACKGROUND: Escherichia coli is thought to cause xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis (XGC). However, it is unclear whether other pathogens are associated with the cause and progression of XGC.

CASE PRESENTATION: Patient 1 was a 55-year-old man with a previous surgical history of right lung cancer. He presented with abdominal pain and was diagnosed with acute cholecystitis. He underwent endoscopic nasogallbladder drainage (ENGBD), antimicrobial therapy, and endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST). He underwent cholecystectomy on day 59. The patient was pathologically diagnosed with chronic phase XGC. Acinetobacter baumannii was isolated from the bile sample during the operation. Patient 2 was a 58-year-old man with no previous medical history. He presented with abdominal pain and was diagnosed with acute cholecystitis. He underwent endoscopic retrograde biliary drainage (ERGBD) and antimicrobial therapy. His symptoms improved, but acute cholecystitis became exacerbated on day 53. The patient was treated with antimicrobial therapy. He underwent cholecystectomy on day 88. The patient was pathologically diagnosed with focal acute inflammatory phase XGC. Staphylococcus capitis was isolated from the bile during the operation. This study describes two patients with XGC, one infected with A. baumannii and the other with S. capitis, in their gallbladders, which was identified by bacterial culture. Metagenomic analysis revealed that the genera Acinetobacter and Staphylococcus predominated and that other genera, including Delftia and Anaerobacillus, were also present, suggesting that these bacteria play a significant role in the pathological changes associated with XGC.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of A. baumannii and S. capitis infections in patients with XGC.

RevDate: 2024-07-17
CmpDate: 2024-07-17

Dhariwal A, Rajar P, Salvadori G, et al (2024)

Prolonged hospitalization signature and early antibiotic effects on the nasopharyngeal resistome in preterm infants.

Nature communications, 15(1):6024.

Respiratory pathogens, commonly colonizing nasopharynx, are among the leading causes of death due to antimicrobial resistance. Yet, antibiotic resistance determinants within nasopharyngeal microbial communities remain poorly understood. In this prospective cohort study, we investigate the nasopharynx resistome development in preterm infants, assess early antibiotic impact on its trajectory, and explore its association with clinical covariates using shotgun metagenomics. Our findings reveal widespread nasopharyngeal carriage of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) with resistomes undergoing transient changes, including increased ARG diversity, abundance, and composition alterations due to early antibiotic exposure. ARGs associated with the critical nosocomial pathogen Serratia marcescens persist up to 8-10 months of age, representing a long-lasting hospitalization signature. The nasopharyngeal resistome strongly correlates with microbiome composition, with inter-individual differences and postnatal age explaining most of the variation. Our report on the collateral effects of antibiotics and prolonged hospitalization underscores the urgency of further studies focused on this relatively unexplored reservoir of pathogens and ARGs.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Ewere EE, White S, Mauleon R, et al (2024)

Soil microbial communities and degradation of pesticides in greenhouse effluent through a woodchip bioreactor.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(24)01275-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Pesticides, including insecticides and fungicides, are major contaminants in the effluent from intensive agricultural systems, such as greenhouses. Because of their constant use and persistence, some pesticides can accumulate in soil and/or run off into adjacent waterways. Microbial communities in soil can degrade some pesticides, and bioreactors with enhanced microbial communities have the potential to facilitate decontamination before the effluent is released into the environment. In this study, we sampled the soil along a gradient from immediately below greenhouses, into, through and below a bioreactor. Multi-analyte pesticide screening was undertaken along with shotgun metagenomic sequencing, to assess microbial community taxonomic profiles and metabolic pathway responses for functional analysis. Two insecticides (imidacloprid and fipronil) and nine fungicides were identified in the soil samples, with a general decrease in most pesticides with increasing distance from the greenhouses. Diversity indexes of taxonomic profiles show changes in the microbial community along the gradient. In particular, microbial communities were significantly different in the bioreactor, with lower Shannon diversity compared to immediately below the greenhouses, in the channels leading into the bioreactor and further downstream. Metabolic pathway analysis revealed significant changes in a wide range of core housekeeping genes such as protein/amino acid synthesis and lipid/fatty acid biosynthesis among the sampling sites. The result demonstrates that the composition and potential functional pathways of the microbial community shifted towards an increased tendency for phytol and contaminant degradation in the bioreactor, facilitated by high organic matter content. This highlights the potential to use enhanced microbial communities within bioreactors to reduce contamination by some pesticides in sediment receiving run-off from greenhouses.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Zhu Y, Yeo EN, Smith KM, et al (2024)

Aging modulates the effect of dietary glycemic index on gut microbiota composition in mice.

The Journal of nutrition pii:S0022-3166(24)00395-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Gut microbiome composition profoundly impacts host physiology and is modulated by several environmental factors, most prominently diet. The composition of gut microbiota changes over the lifespan, particularly during the earliest and latest stages. However, we know less about diet-aging interactions on the gut microbiome. We previously showed that diets with different glycemic indices, based on the ratio of rapidly-digested amylopectin to slowly-digested amylose, led to altered composition of gut microbiota in male C57BL/6J mice.

OBJECTIVE: Here, we examined the role of aging in influencing dietary effects on gut microbiota composition and to identify gut bacterial taxa that respond to diet and aging.

METHODS: We studied three age groups of male C57BL/6J wild-type mice: young (4 months), middle-aged (13.5 months), and old (22 months), all fed either high glycemic (HG) or low glycemic (LG) diets matched for caloric content and macronutrient composition. Fecal microbiome composition was determined by 16S rDNA metagenomic sequencing and was evaluated for changes in alpha and beta diversity and bacterial taxa that change by age, diet, or both.

RESULTS: Young mice displayed lower alpha diversity scores than middle-aged counterparts but exhibited more pronounced differences in beta diversity between diets. In contrast, old mice had slightly lower alpha diversity scores than middle-aged mice, with significantly higher beta diversity distances. Within-group variance was lowest in young, LG-fed mice and highest in old, HG-fed mice. Differential abundance analysis revealed taxa associated with both aging and diet. Most differential taxa demonstrated significant interactions between diet and aging. Notably, several members of the Lachnospiraceae family increased with aging and HG diet, while taxa from the Bacteroides_H genus increased with the LG diet. Akkermansia muciniphila decreased with aging.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings illustrate the complex interplay between diet and aging in shaping the gut microbiota, potentially contributing to age-related disease.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Fu F, Song J, Li X, et al (2024)

Parvimonas micra-induced prosthetic valve endocarditis: a challenging case report and literature review.

Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease, 110(1):116285 pii:S0732-8893(24)00114-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Parvimonas micra, a gram-positive anaerobic bacterium, has garnered increased attention due to its role in infective endocarditis. We present a challenging prosthetic valve endocarditis caused by Parvimonas micra in a patient with a complex cardiac history involving multiple surgeries. The case highlights the difficulties in diagnosis and treatment, emphasizing the importance of advanced diagnostic techniques, including metagenomics next-generation sequencing (mNGS). Additionally, it underscores the need for heightened vigilance regarding oral symptoms and the potential risk of bacteremia in post-valvular surgery patients. This report contributes to a better understanding of Parvimonas micra-associated endocarditis and its unique characteristics.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Delarbre D, Lavrard P, Elias A, et al (2024)

Bacterial DNA enrichment for low-inoculum fracture-related infection diagnostic using high-throughput sequencing.

Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease, 110(1):116411 pii:S0732-8893(24)00237-2 [Epub ahead of print].

One of the main barriers for the implementation of metagenomic sequencing in routine diagnosis of infectious diseases is the presence of host DNA. While several enrichment methods are likely to overcome this issue, their effectiveness for specimens such as bone in the case of chronic infections remains to be determined. We compared the relevance of two methods for bacterial DNA enrichment when compared to a reference protocol during pretreatment of bone samples from fracture-related infections before HTS by both Illumina Miseq and Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT). The bacterial/human DNA ratio was higher for either protocols than the reference technique (p = 0.00012), without any significant difference between them. HTS sensitivity over culture ranged from 21.7 % to 85 %. The ability of the studied protocols to improve the bacterial/human DNA ratio depends on the sequencing technique employed. In this context, there is room for improvement in enhancing the sensitivity of HTS for diagnostic purpose.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Knight ME, Webster G, Perry WB, et al (2024)

National-scale antimicrobial resistance surveillance in wastewater: A comparative analysis of HT qPCR and metagenomic approaches.

Water research, 262:121989 pii:S0043-1354(24)00882-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Wastewater serves as an important reservoir of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and its surveillance can provide insights into population-level trends in AMR to inform public health policy. This study compared two common high-throughput screening approaches, namely (i) high-throughput quantitative PCR (HT qPCR), targeting 73 antimicrobial resistance genes, and (ii) metagenomic sequencing. Weekly composite samples of wastewater influent were taken from 47 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) across Wales, as part of a national AMR surveillance programme, alongside 4 weeks of daily wastewater effluent samples from a large municipal hospital. Metagenomic analysis provided more comprehensive resistome coverage, detecting 545 genes compared to the targeted 73 genes by HT qPCR. It further provided contextual information critical to risk assessment (i.e. potential bacterial hosts). In contrast, HT qPCR exhibited higher sensitivity, quantifying all targeted genes including those of clinical relevance present at low abundance. When limited to the HT qPCR target genes, both methods were able to reflect the spatiotemporal dynamics of the complete metagenomic resistome, distinguishing that of the hospital and the WWTPs. Both approaches revealed correlations between resistome compositional shifts and environmental variables like ammonium wastewater concentration, though differed in their interpretation of some potential influencing factors. Overall, metagenomics provides more comprehensive resistome profiling, while qPCR permits sensitive quantification of genes significant to clinical resistance. We highlight the importance of selecting appropriate methodologies aligned to surveillance aims to guide the development of effective wastewater-based AMR monitoring programmes.

RevDate: 2024-07-17
CmpDate: 2024-07-17

Daddy Gaoh S, Alusta P, Lee YJ, et al (2024)

A Comparative Metagenomic Analysis of Specified Microorganisms in Groundwater for Non-Sterilized Pharmaceutical Products.

Current microbiology, 81(9):273.

In pharmaceutical manufacturing, ensuring product safety involves the detection and identification of microorganisms with human pathogenic potential, including Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC), Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium sporogenes, Candida albicans, and Mycoplasma spp., some of which may be missed or not identified by traditional culture-dependent methods. In this study, we employed a metagenomic approach to detect these taxa, avoiding the limitations of conventional cultivation methods. We assessed the groundwater microbiome's taxonomic and functional features from samples collected at two locations in the spring and summer. All datasets comprised 436-557 genera with Proteobacteria, Bacteroidota, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria accounting for > 95% of microbial DNA sequences. The aforementioned species constituted less than 18.3% of relative abundance. Escherichia and Salmonella were mainly detected in Hot Springs, relative to Jefferson, while Clostridium and Pseudomonas were mainly found in Jefferson relative to Hot Springs. Multidrug resistance efflux pumps and BlaR1 family regulatory sensor-transducer disambiguation dominated in Hot Springs and in Jefferson. These initial results provide insight into the detection of specified microorganisms and could constitute a framework for the establishment of comprehensive metagenomic analysis for the microbiological evaluation of pharmaceutical-grade water and other non-sterile pharmaceutical products, ensuring public safety.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Rashidi A, Pidala J, Hamilton BK, et al (2024)

Oral and gut microbiome alterations in oral chronic graft-versus-host disease: results from Close Assessment and Testing for Chronic GVHD (CATCH study).

Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research pii:746452 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Whether and how the oral microbiome and its changes in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) recipients may contribute to oral chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) pathogenesis is unknown. In addition, while the oral and colonic microbiota are distinct in healthy adults, whether oral microbes may ectopically colonize the gut in alloHCT patients is unknown.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: To address these knowledge gaps, longitudinal oral and fecal samples were collected prospectively in the multicenter CATCH Study (Close Assessment and Testing for Chronic GVHD; NCT04188912). Through shotgun metagenomic sequencing of the samples collected at baseline, oral cGVHD onset, first post-cGVHD onset visit, and 1-year post-HCT timepoints in patients with oral cGVHD (cases; N = 29) or without any cGVHD (controls; N = 51), we examined whether (i) oral and/or gut microbiomes and their longitudinal trajectories differ between cases and controls, and (ii) oral and gut microbiomes overlap in alloHCT recipients, especially those developing cGVHD.

RESULTS: A total of 195 samples were analyzed. The onset of oral cGVHD was characterized by an expansion of Streptococcus salivarius and Veillonella parvula in the oral microbiome. High levels of oral/gut microbiota overlap were observed, particularly in patients with oral cGVHD, suggesting ectopic colonization of the gut by oral bacteria.

CONCLUSIONS: The unusual coalescence of two distant niches in these patients may have short- or long-term consequences for the host, a novel avenue for future research. In addition, this study suggests a contribution of the oral microbiome to oral cGVHD pathogenesis.

RevDate: 2024-07-17
CmpDate: 2024-07-17

Fernández-Trapote E, Oliveira M, Cobo-Díaz JF, et al (2024)

The resistome of the food chain: A One Health perspective.

Microbial biotechnology, 17(7):e14530.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) represents a significant global health problem which challenges Sustainable Development Goal 3 of the United Nations, with growing concerns about the possibility of AMR transmission through the food chain. The indiscriminate use of antimicrobials for the treatment of food production animals and for agricultural crop improvement, in addition to the direct discharge of livestock farm residues to sewage and the use of animal manure in agriculture, are among the factors that can facilitate the selection and transmission of AMR throughout the food chain. The study of food microbiomes has been boosted by the advent of next-generation sequencing techniques, which have enabled gaining in-depth understanding of the diversity of antimicrobial resistance genes present in food and associated environments (the so-called resistome). The aim of this review is to provide an accurate and comprehensive overview of the knowledge currently available on the resistome of the most frequently consumed foods worldwide, from a One Health perspective. To this end, the different metagenomic studies which have been conducted to characterize the resistome of foods are compiled and critically discussed.

RevDate: 2024-07-17
CmpDate: 2024-07-17

Zhang P, Shi H, Guo R, et al (2024)

Metagenomic analysis reveals altered gut virome and diagnostic potential in pancreatic cancer.

Journal of medical virology, 96(7):e29809.

Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a highly aggressive malignancy with a poor prognosis, making early diagnosis crucial for improving patient outcomes. While the gut microbiome, including bacteria and viruses, is believed to be essential in cancer pathogenicity, the potential contribution of the gut virome to PC remains largely unexplored. In this study, we conducted a comparative analysis of the gut viral compositional and functional profiles between PC patients and healthy controls, based on fecal metagenomes from two publicly available data sets comprising a total of 101 patients and 82 healthy controls. Our results revealed a decreasing trend in the gut virome diversity of PC patients with disease severity. We identified significant alterations in the overall viral structure of PC patients, with a meta-analysis revealing 219 viral operational taxonomic units (vOTUs) showing significant differences in relative abundance between patients and healthy controls. Among these, 65 vOTUs were enriched in PC patients, and 154 were reduced. Host prediction revealed that PC-enriched vOTUs preferentially infected bacterial members of Veillonellaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, Fusobacteriaceae, and Streptococcaceae, while PC-reduced vOTUs were more likely to infect Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Clostridiaceae, Oscillospiraceae, and Peptostreptococcaceae. Furthermore, we constructed random forest models based on the PC-associated vOTUs, achieving an optimal average area under the curve (AUC) of up to 0.879 for distinguishing patients from controls. Through additional 10 public cohorts, we demonstrated the reproducibility and high specificity of these viral signatures. Our study suggests that the gut virome may play a role in PC development and could serve as a promising target for PC diagnosis and therapeutic intervention. Future studies should further explore the underlying mechanisms of gut virus-bacteria interactions and validate the diagnostic models in larger and more diverse populations.

RevDate: 2024-07-17
CmpDate: 2024-07-17

Bashir Z, Hugerth LW, Krog MC, et al (2024)

Investigations of microbiota composition and neuroactive pathways in association with symptoms of stress and depression in a cohort of healthy women.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 14:1324794.

BACKGROUND: Despite mounting evidence of gut-brain involvement in psychiatric conditions, functional data remain limited, and analyses of other microbial niches, such as the vaginal microbiota, are lacking in relation to mental health. This aim of this study was to investigate if the connections between the gut microbiome and mental health observed in populations with a clinical diagnosis of mental illness extend to healthy women experiencing stress and depressive symptoms. Additionally, this study examined the functional pathways of the gut microbiota according to the levels of psychological symptoms. Furthermore, the study aimed to explore potential correlations between the vaginal microbiome and mental health parameters in young women without psychiatric diagnoses.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 160 healthy Danish women (aged 18-40 years) filled out questionnaires with validated scales measuring symptoms of stress and depression and frequency of dietary intake. Fecal and vaginal microbiota samples were collected at the beginning of the menstrual cycle and vaginal samples were also collected at cycle day 8-12 and 18-22. Shotgun metagenomic profiling of the gut and vaginal microbiome was performed. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) was used for functional profiling and 56 Gut Brain Modules were analyzed in the fecal samples.

RESULTS: The relative abundance in the gut of the genera Escherichia, Parabacteroides, and Shigella was higher in women with elevated depressive symptoms. Women with high perceived stress showed a tendency of increased abundance of Escherichia, Shigella, and Blautia. Amongst others, the potentially pathogenic genera, Escherichia and Shigella correlate with alterations in the neuroactive pathways such as the glutamatergic, GABAeric, dopaminergic, and Kynurenine pathways. Vaginosis symptoms were more prevalent in women reporting high levels of stress and depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study support the concept of a microbiota-associated effect on the neuroactive pathways even in healthy young women. This suggest, that targeting the gut microbiome could be a promising approach for future psychiatric interventions.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Duggan DiDominic KL, Shapleigh JP, Walter MT, et al (2024)

Microbial diversity and gene abundance in denitrifying bioreactors: A comparison of the woodchip surface biofilm versus the interior wood matrix.

Journal of environmental quality [Epub ahead of print].

Excessive amounts of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) can lead to eutrophication in water sources. Woodchip bioreactors have shown success in removing N from agricultural runoff, but less is known regarding P removal. Woodchip bioreactors are subsurface basins filled with woodchips installed downgradient of agricultural land to collect and treat drainage runoff. Microorganisms use the woodchips as a carbon (C) source to transform N in the runoff, with unresolved biological impacts on P. This study aims to explore microbial communities present in the bioreactor and determine whether milling woodchips to probe the microbial communities within them reveals hidden microbial diversities or potential activities. Metagenomic sequencing and bioinformatic analyses were performed on six woodchip samples (i.e., three unmilled and three milled) collected from a 10-year-old woodchip bioreactor treating agricultural tile drainage. All samples had similar DNA purity, yield, quality, and microbial diversity regardless of milling. However, when sequences were aligned against various protein libraries, our results indicated greater relative abundance of denitrification and P transformation proteins on the outside of the woodchips (unmilled), while the interior of woodchips (milled) exhibited more functional gene abundance for carbohydrate breakdown. Thus, it may be important to characterize microbial communities both within woodchips, and on woodchip surfaces, to gain a more holistic understanding of coupled biogeochemical cycles on N, P, and C in woodchip bioreactors. Based on these findings, we advise that future microbial research on woodchips (and potentially other permeable organic materials) examine both the surface biofilm and the interior organic material during initial studies. Once researchers determine where specific proteins or enzymes of interest are most prevalent, subsequent studies may then focus on either one or both aspects, as needed.

RevDate: 2024-07-17

Mills M, Mollenkopf D, Wittum T, et al (2024)

One Health Threat of Treated Wastewater Discharge in Urban Ohio Rivers: Implications for Surface Water and Fish Gut Microbiome and Resistome.

Environmental science & technology [Epub ahead of print].

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are thought to be a major disseminating source of antibiotic resistance (AR) to the environment, establishing a crucial connection between human and environmental resistome. The objectives of this study were to determine how wastewater effluents impact microbiome and resistome of freshwater and fish, and identify potential AR-carrying clinically relevant pathogens in these matrices. We analyzed wastewater influent and effluent from four WWTPs in three metropolitan areas of Ohio, USA via shotgun metagenomic sequencing. We also sequenced river water and fish guts from three reaches (upstream, at the WWTP outfall, and downstream). Notably, we observed a decline in microbiome diversity and AR gene abundance from wastewater to the receiving river. We also found significant differences by reach and trophic level (diet) in beta-diversity of the fish gut microbiomes. SourceTracker revealed that 0.443 and 0.248 more of the of the fish gut microbiome was sourced from wastewater effluent in fish from the outfall and downstream locations, respectively, compared to upstream fish. Additionally, AR bacteria of public health concern were annotated in effluent and river water samples, indicating potential concern for human exposure. In summary, our findings show the continued role of wastewater as a significant AR reservoir and underscores the considerable impact of wastewater discharge on aquatic wildlife, which highlights the One Health nature of this issue.

RevDate: 2024-07-16
CmpDate: 2024-07-16

Darabi A, Sobhani S, Aghdam R, et al (2024)

AFITbin: a metagenomic contig binning method using aggregate l-mer frequency based on initial and terminal nucleotides.

BMC bioinformatics, 25(1):241.

BACKGROUND: Using next-generation sequencing technologies, scientists can sequence complex microbial communities directly from the environment. Significant insights into the structure, diversity, and ecology of microbial communities have resulted from the study of metagenomics. The assembly of reads into longer contigs, which are then binned into groups of contigs that correspond to different species in the metagenomic sample, is a crucial step in the analysis of metagenomics. It is necessary to organize these contigs into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) for further taxonomic profiling and functional analysis. For binning, which is synonymous with the clustering of OTUs, the tetra-nucleotide frequency (TNF) is typically utilized as a compositional feature for each OTU.

RESULTS: In this paper, we present AFIT, a new l-mer statistic vector for each contig, and AFITBin, a novel method for metagenomic binning based on AFIT and a matrix factorization method. To evaluate the performance of the AFIT vector, the t-SNE algorithm is used to compare species clustering based on AFIT and TNF information. In addition, the efficacy of AFITBin is demonstrated on both simulated and real datasets in comparison to state-of-the-art binning methods such as MetaBAT 2, MaxBin 2.0, CONCOT, MetaCon, SolidBin, BusyBee Web, and MetaBinner. To further analyze the performance of the purposed AFIT vector, we compare the barcodes of the AFIT vector and the TNF vector.

CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that AFITBin shows superior performance in taxonomic identification compared to existing methods, leveraging the AFIT vector for improved results in metagenomic binning. This approach holds promise for advancing the analysis of metagenomic data, providing more reliable insights into microbial community composition and function.

AVAILABILITY: A python package is available at: https://github.com/SayehSobhani/AFITBin .

RevDate: 2024-07-16

Griffin IS, Smith DJ, Annambhotla P, et al (2024)

Outcomes in solid organ transplant recipients receiving organs from a donor with Fusarium solani species complex meningitis.

Transplant infectious disease : an official journal of the Transplantation Society [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Five organs (heart, right lung, liver, right, and left kidneys) from a deceased patient were transplanted into five recipients in four US states; the deceased patient was identified as part of a healthcare-associated fungal meningitis outbreak among patients who underwent epidural anesthesia in Matamoros, Mexico.

METHODS: After transplant surgeries occurred, Fusarium solani species complex, a fungal pathogen with a high case-mortality rate, was identified in cerebrospinal fluid from the organ donor by metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) and fungal-specific polymerase chain reaction and in plasma by mNGS.

RESULTS: Four of five transplant recipients received recommended voriconazole prophylaxis; four were monitored weekly by serum (1-3)-β-d-glucan testing. All five were monitored for signs of infection for at least 3 months following transplantation. The liver recipient had graft failure, which was attributed to an etiology unrelated to fungal infection. No fungal DNA was identified in sections of the explanted liver, suggesting that F. solani species complex did not contribute to graft failure. The remaining recipients experienced no signs or symptoms suggestive of fusariosis.

CONCLUSION: Antifungal prophylaxis may be useful in preventing donor-derived infections in recipients of organs from donors that are found to have Fusarium meningitis.

RevDate: 2024-07-16

Salazar-Jaramillo L, de la Cuesta-Zuluaga J, Chica LA, et al (2024)

Gut microbiome diversity within Clostridia is negatively associated with human obesity.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Clostridia are abundant in the human gut and comprise families associated with host health such as Oscillospiraceae, which has been correlated with leanness. However, culturing bacteria within this family is challenging, leading to their detection primarily through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, which has a limited ability to unravel diversity at low taxonomic levels, or by shotgun metagenomics, which is hindered by its high costs and complexity. In this cross-sectional study involving 114 Colombian adults, we used an amplicon-based sequencing strategy with alternative markers-gyrase subunit B (gyrB) and DNA K chaperone heat protein 70 (dnaK)-that evolve faster than the 16S rRNA gene. Comparing the diversity and abundance observed with the three markers in our cohort, we found a reduction in the diversity of Clostridia, particularly within Lachnospiraceae and Oscillospiraceae among obese individuals [as measured by the body mass index (BMI)]. Within Lachnospiraceae, the diversity of Ruminococcus_A negatively correlated with BMI. Within Oscillospiraceae, the genera CAG-170 and Vescimonas also exhibited this negative correlation. In addition, the abundance of Vescimonas was negatively correlated with BMI. Leveraging shotgun metagenomic data, we conducted a phylogenetic and genomic characterization of 120 metagenome-assembled genomes from Vescimonas obtained from a larger sample of the same cohort. We identified 17 of the 72 reported species. The functional annotation of these genomes showed the presence of multiple carbohydrate-active enzymes, particularly glycosyl transferases and glycoside hydrolases, suggesting potential beneficial roles in fiber degradation, carbohydrate metabolism, and butyrate production.

IMPORTANCE: The gut microbiota is diverse across various taxonomic levels. At the intra-species level, it comprises multiple strains, some of which may be host-specific. However, our understanding of fine-grained diversity has been hindered by the use of the conserved 16S rRNA gene. While shotgun metagenomics offers higher resolution, it remains costly, may fail to identify specific microbes in complex samples, and requires extensive computational resources and expertise. To address this, we employed a simple and cost-effective analysis of alternative genetic markers to explore diversity within Clostridia, a crucial group within the human gut microbiota whose diversity may be underestimated. We found high intra-species diversity for certain groups and associations with obesity. Notably, we identified Vescimonas, an understudied group. Making use of metagenomic data, we inferred functionality, uncovering potential beneficial roles in dietary fiber and carbohydrate degradation, as well as in short-chain fatty acid production.

RevDate: 2024-07-16

Kim J, Murakami T, Toyoda A, et al (2024)

Metagenome-assembled genome sequence of Spiroplasma phoeniceum, assembled from the hindgut of Locusta migratoria, a migration grasshopper species.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Spiroplasma phoeniceum is a plant pathogen and a mesophilic microaerophile. Here, we report the metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) sequence of S. phoeniceum binned from hindgut contents of the wild-type male Locusta migratoria, a grasshopper species. The MAG sequence comprises 1,059,205 bp in 91 contigs with a 26.3% of GC content.

RevDate: 2024-07-16

Wu W-C, Pan Y-F, Zhou W-D, et al (2024)

Meta-transcriptomic analysis of companion animal infectomes reveals their diversity and potential roles in animal and human disease.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Companion animals such as cats and dogs harbor diverse microbial communities that can potentially impact human health due to close and frequent contact. To better characterize their total infectomes and assess zoonotic risks, we characterized the overall infectomes of companion animals (cats and dogs) and evaluated their potential zoonotic risks. Meta-transcriptomic analyses were performed on 239 samples from cats and dogs collected across China, identifying 24 viral species, 270 bacterial genera, and two fungal genera. Differences in the overall microbiome and infectome composition were compared across different animal species (cats or dogs), sampling sites (rectal or oropharyngeal), and health status (healthy or diseased). Diversity analyses revealed that viral abundance was generally higher in diseased animals compared to healthy ones, while differences in microbial composition were mainly driven by sampling site, followed by animal species and health status. Disease association analyses validated the pathogenicity of known pathogens and suggested potential pathogenic roles of previously undescribed bacteria and newly discovered viruses. Cross-species transmission analyses identified seven pathogens shared between cats and dogs, such as alphacoronavirus 1, which was detected in both oropharyngeal and rectal swabs albeit with differential pathogenicity. Further analyses showed that some viruses, like alphacoronavirus 1, harbored multiple lineages exhibiting distinct pathogenicity, tissue, or host preferences. Ultimately, a systematic evolutionary screening identified 27 potential zoonotic pathogens in this sample set, with far more bacterial than viral species, implying potential health threats to humans. Overall, our meta-transcriptomic analysis reveals a landscape of actively transcribing microorganisms in major companion animals, highlighting key pathogens, those with the potential for cross-species transmission, and possible zoonotic threats.

IMPORTANCE: This study provides a comprehensive characterization of the entire community of infectious microbes (viruses, bacteria, and fungi) in companion animals like cats and dogs, termed the "infectome." By analyzing hundreds of samples from across China, the researchers identified numerous known and novel pathogens, including 27 potential zoonotic agents that could pose health risks to both animals and humans. Notably, some of these zoonotic pathogens were detected even in apparently healthy pets, highlighting the importance of surveillance. The study also revealed key microbial factors associated with respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases in pets, as well as potential cross-species transmission events between cats and dogs. Overall, this work sheds light on the complex microbial landscapes of companion animals and their potential impacts on animal and human health, underscoring the need for monitoring and management of these infectious agents.

RevDate: 2024-07-16

Li X, Lippens G, Parrou J-L, et al (2024)

Biochemical characterization of a SusD-like protein involved in β-1,3-glucan utilization by an uncultured cow rumen Bacteroides.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

In ruminants, the rumen is a specialized stomach that is adapted to the breakdown of plant-derived complex polysaccharides through the coordinated activities of a diverse microbial community. Bacteroidota is a major phylum in this bovine rumen microbiota. They contain several clusters of genes called polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) that encode proteins working in concert to capture, degrade, and transport polysaccharides. Despite the critical role of SusD-like proteins for efficient substrate transport, they remain largely unexplored. Here, we present the biochemical characterization of a SusD-like protein encoded by a β-glucan utilization locus from an Escherichia coli metagenomic clone previously isolated by functional screening of the bovine rumen microbiome. In this study, we show that clone 41O1 can grow on laminaritriose, cellotriose, and a mixture of cellobiosyl-cellobiose and glucosyl-cellotriose as sole carbon sources. Based on this, we used various in vitro analyses to investigate the binding ability of 41O1_SusD-like towards these oligosaccharides and the corresponding polysaccharides. We observed a clear binding affinity for β-1,6 branched β-1,3-glucans (laminarins, yeast β-glucan) and laminaritriose. Comparison of the AlphaFold2 model of 41O1_SusD-like with its closest structural homologs highlights a similar pattern of substrate recognition. In particular, three tryptophan residues are shown to be crucial for laminarin recognition. In the context of the cow rumen, we discuss the possible substrates targeted by the 41O1_PUL, such as the (1,3;1,4)-β-d-glucans present in cereal grains or the β-1,3- and (1,3;1,6)-β-d-glucans that are components of the cell wall of ruminal yeasts.IMPORTANCEThe rumen microbiota can majorly impact overall animal health, feed efficiency, and release of harmful substances into the environment. This microbiota is involved in the fermentation of organic matter to provide the host with valuable and assimilable nutrients. Bacteroidota efficiently captures, breaks down, and imports complex polysaccharides through the concerted action of proteins encoded by polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs). Within this system, SusD-like protein has proven necessary for the active internalization of the substrate. Nevertheless, the vast majority of SusD-like proteins characterized to date originate from cultured bacteria. With regard to the diversity and importance of uncultured bacteria in the rumen, further studies are required to better understand the role of polysaccharide utilization loci in ruminal polysaccharide degradation. Our detailed characterization of the 41O1_SusD-like therefore contributes to a better understanding of the carbohydrate metabolism of an uncultured Bacteroides from the cow rumen.

RevDate: 2024-07-16
CmpDate: 2024-07-16

Lv H, Liao S, Shi Z, et al (2024)

Application of metagenomic next-generation sequencing for rapid molecular identification in spinal infection diagnosis.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 14:1382635.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) for detecting pathogens in spinal infections and to identify the differences in the diagnostic performance between mNGS and targeted next-generation sequencing (tNGS).

METHODS: A total of 76 consecutive patients with suspected spinal infections who underwent mNGS, culture, and histopathological examinations were retrospectively studied. The final diagnosis of the patient was determined by combining the clinical treatment results, pathological examinations, imaging changes and laboratory indicators. The sensitivity and specificity of mNGS and culture were determined.

RESULTS: The difference between the two detection rates was statistically significant (p < 0.001), with mNGS exhibiting a significantly higher detection rate (77.6% versus 18.4%). The average diagnosis time of mNGS was significantly shorter than that of bacterial culture (p < 0.001, 1.65 versus 3.07 days). The sensitivity and accuracy of mNGS were significantly higher than that of the culture group (p < 0.001, 82.3% versus 17.5%; 75% versus 27.6%), whereas the specificity of mNGS (42.9%) was lower than that of the culture group (p > 0.05, 42.9% versus 76.9%). The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and positive predictive value (PPV) of pus were higher than those of tissue samples for mNGS, whereas for culture, the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and PPV of tissue samples were higher than those of pus. tNGS demonstrated higher sensitivity and accuracy in diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) than mNGS (80% versus 50%; 87.5% versus 68.8%).

CONCLUSION: mNGS for spinal infection demonstrated better diagnostic value in developing an antibiotic regimen earlier, and it is recommended to prioritize pus samples for testing through mNGS. Moreover, tNGS outperformed other methods for diagnosing spinal TB and identifying antibiotic-resistance genes in drug-resistant TB.

RevDate: 2024-07-16

Chen J, Wang J, Deng Z, et al (2024)

Compare Clinical Characteristics of Psittacosis Pneumonia in 35 Patients and of Non Psittacosis Bacterial Pneumonia in 46 Patients.

Infection and drug resistance, 17:2913-2921.

BACKGROUND: We aimed to describe the difference between Chlamydia psittaci pneumonia group and non C. psittaci bacterial pneumonia group in community acquired pneumonia in this single-center clinical study.

METHODS: We collected the data of 35 patients with C. psittaci pneumonia cases and 46 patients with non C. psittaci bacterial pneumonia cases diagnosed with metagenomic next-generation sequencing assays from February 2019 to December 2021 in Huaihua First People's Hospital in China.

RESULTS: In the C. psittaci pneumonia group, 35 patients (100%) had a chance of exposure to poultry or birds, and their body temperature was greater than or equal to 39.0°C. The other common symptoms were a slow pulse (68.6%), cough (65.7%), expectoration (54.3%), chills (51.4%) and a shortness of breath (37.1%). Laboratory tests showed that >90% of the cases had markedly elevated infection indicators, and 97.1% of the cases had markedly declined calcium. The most common imaging finding was patchy shadows (94.3%), pleural effusion (68.6%), bilateral in 54.3% (n = 19) and unilateral in 45.7% (n = 16) participants, and 51.4% (n = 18) of cases met the criteria for severe pneumonia. In the non C. psittaci bacterial pneumonia group, 18 patients (39.1%) had a chance of exposure to poultry or birds, and 11 patients (23.9%) body temperature was greater than or equal to 39.0°C. Laboratory tests showed that >67% of cases had a mildly elevated infection indicators, and mildly declined serum albumin.

CONCLUSION: The following characteristics are more likely to help distinguish C. psittaci pneumonia from non C. psittaci bacterial pneumonia. Including had a chance of exposure to poultry or birds, high fever, exhibit chills, expectoration, relatively slow pulse, and progress into severe pneumonia. Percentage of neutrophils, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, lactate dehydrogenase, and myoglobin levels are higher. Blood calcium and corrected calcium are lower. Chest CT showed pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, and mediastinal lymphadenopathy.

RevDate: 2024-07-16

Dagar J, Maurya S, Antil S, et al (2024)

Symbionts of Ciliates and Ciliates as Symbionts.

Indian journal of microbiology, 64(2):304-317.

Endosymbiotic relationships between ciliates and others are critical for their ecological roles, physiological adaptations, and evolutionary implications. These can be obligate and facultative. Symbionts often provide essential nutrients, contribute to the ciliate's metabolism, aid in digestion, and offer protection against predators or environmental stressors. In turn, ciliates provide a protected environment and resources for their symbionts, facilitating their survival and proliferation. Ultrastructural and full-cycle rRNA approaches are utilized to identify these endosymbionts. Fluorescence in situ hybridization using "species- and group-specific probes" which are complementary to the genetic material (DNA or RNA) of a particular species or group of interest represent convenient tools for their detection directly in the environment. A systematic survey of these endosymbionts has been conducted using both traditional and metagenomic approaches. Ciliophora and other protists have a wide range of prokaryotic symbionts, which may contain potentially pathogenic bacteria. Ciliates can establish symbiotic relationships with a variety of hosts also, ranging from protists to metazoans. Understanding ciliate symbiosis can provide useful insights into the complex relationships that drive microbial communities and ecosystems in general.

RevDate: 2024-07-16

Aydin Ö, Wahlström A, de Jonge PA, et al (2024)

An integrated analysis of bile acid metabolism in humans with severe obesity.

Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) pii:01515467-990000000-00889 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Bile acids (BA) are vital regulators of metabolism. BAs are AQ6 secreted in the small intestine, reabsorbed, and transported back to the liver, where they can modulate metabolic functions. There is a paucity of data regarding the portal BA composition in humans. This study aimed to address this knowledge gap by investigating portal BA composition and the relation with peripheral and fecal BA dynamics in conjunction with the gut microbiome.

APPROACH AND RESULTS: Thirty-three individuals from the BARIA cohort were included. Portal plasma, peripheral plasma, and feces were collected. BA and C4 levels were measured employing mass spectrometry. FGF19 was measured using ELISA. Gut microbiota composition was determined through metagenomics analysis on stool samples. Considerable diversity in the portal BA composition was observed. The majority (n = 26) of individuals had a 9-fold higher portal than peripheral BA concentration. In contrast, 8 individuals showed lower portal BA concentration compared with peripheral and had higher levels of unconjugated and secondary BA in this compartment, suggesting more distal origin. The altered portal BA profile was associated with altered gut microbiota composition. In particular, taxa within Bacteroides were reduced in abundance in the feces of these individuals.

CONCLUSIONS: Characterization of the portal BA composition in relation to peripheral and fecal BA increased insight into the dynamics of BA metabolism in individuals with obesity. Peripheral BA composition was much more diverse due to microbial metabolism. About 24% of the portal samples was surprisingly low in total BA; the underlying mechanism requires further exploration.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-16

Chang T, Gavelis GS, Brown JM, et al (2024)

Genomic representativeness and chimerism in large collections of SAGs and MAGs of marine prokaryoplankton.

Microbiome, 12(1):126.

BACKGROUND: Single amplified genomes (SAGs) and metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) are the predominant sources of information about the coding potential of uncultured microbial lineages, but their strengths and limitations remain poorly understood. Here, we performed a direct comparison of two previously published collections of thousands of SAGs and MAGs obtained from the same, global environment.

RESULTS: We found that SAGs were less prone to chimerism and more accurately reflected the relative abundance and the pangenome content of microbial lineages inhabiting the epipelagic of the tropical and subtropical ocean, as compared to MAGs. SAGs were also better suited to link genome information with taxa discovered through 16S rRNA amplicon analyses. Meanwhile, MAGs had the advantage of more readily recovering genomes of rare lineages.

CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses revealed the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two most commonly used genome recovery approaches in environmental microbiology. These considerations, as well as the need for better tools for genome quality assessment, should be taken into account when designing studies and interpreting data that involve SAGs or MAGs. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-15

Takeda M, Y Doki (2024)

[The Power of the Gut Microbiome: Exploring New Perspectives in Colorectal Cancer Therapy].

Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy, 51(6):608-612.

The gut microbiome is involved in host physiology, including nutrition, metabolism, and immunity. It was recently known that dysbiosis of the gut microbiome has been implicated in several human diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. It is altered by environmental factors such as diet, habit and lifestyle and has been directly and indirectly linked to the development and progression of colorectal cancer(CRC). Fusobacterium(F.)nucleatum, which causes periodontal disease, has been shown to play an important role in the initiation and development of CRC, although not as clearly as Helicobacter(H.) pylori in gastric cancer. Therefore, gut bacteria hold promise as a potential therapeutic approach to prevent or treat CRC. Although its clinical usefulness has not yet been demonstrated, future research such as metagenomics may open new avenues for CRC treatment with gut bacteria. Here, we reviewed the role of the gut microbial community in the development, progression, and prevention of colorectal carcinogenesis.

RevDate: 2024-07-15

Yin G, Yin Y, Guo Y, et al (2024)

Clinical Impact of Plasma Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing on Infection Diagnosis and Antimicrobial Therapy in Immunocompromised Patients.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:7713875 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Clinical impact of plasma metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) on infection diagnosis and antimicrobial therapy in immunocompromised patients with suspected infection remains unclear.

METHODS: Between March and December 2022, 424 cases with fever, infection history, mechanical ventilation, or imaging abnormalities underwent plasma mNGS testing at a single center. Eleven patients have received solid organ transplantation, and the remaining patients were categorised into febrile neutropenia (FN), non-neutropenia (NN), and non-haematologic disease (NTHD) groups based on immunosuppression severity. The diagnostic rate of infection and the utilisation of antimicrobial agents based on mNGS were assessed.

RESULTS: The use of mNGS significantly improved the diagnostic rates for fungi in the FN (56.1%, P = 0.003) and NN (58.8%, P = 0.008) groups versus the NHD group (33.3%). Positive impacts associated with therapy were significantly greater than negative impacts across all three groups (all P < 0.001), and the utilisation of escalation therapy was significantly more frequent in the FN group than in the NN groups (P = 0.006). Over 70% of cases with negative mNGS results across the three groups underwent de-escalation therapy, with >1/3 being discontinued, preventing antimicrobial overuse.

CONCLUSIONS: Plasma mNGS has a clinically confirmed positive impact in immunocompromised patients with neutropenia, improving the diagnosis of fungal infections and antimicrobial therapy.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-15

Núñez-Muñoz LA, Sánchez-García ME, Calderón-Pérez B, et al (2024)

Metagenomic Analysis of Rhizospheric Bacterial Community of Citrus Trees Expressing Phloem-Directed Antimicrobials.

Microbial ecology, 87(1):93.

Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening, is currently the most devastating citrus disease with limited success in prevention and mitigation. A promising strategy for Huanglongbing control is the use of antimicrobials fused to a carrier protein (phloem protein of 16 kDa or PP16) that targets vascular tissues. This study investigated the effects of genetically modified citrus trees expressing Citrus sinensis PP16 (CsPP16) fused to human lysozyme and β-defensin-2 on the soil microbiome diversity using 16S amplicon analysis. The results indicated that there were no significant alterations in alpha diversity, beta diversity, phylogenetic diversity, differential abundance, or functional prediction between the antimicrobial phloem-overexpressing plants and the control group, suggesting minimal impact on microbial community structure. However, microbiota diversity analysis revealed distinct bacterial assemblages between the rhizosphere soil and root environments. This study helps to understand the ecological implications of crops expressing phloem-targeted antimicrobials for vascular disease management, with minimal impact on soil microbiota.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-15

Nilsen M, Nygaard UC, Brodin P, et al (2024)

Gut bacteria at 6 months of age are associated with immune cell status in 1-year-old children.

Scandinavian journal of immunology, 99(4):e13346.

Age-related gut bacterial changes during infancy have been widely studied, but it remains still unknown how these changes are associated with immune cell composition. This study's aim was to explore if the temporal development of gut bacteria during infancy prospectively affects immune cell composition. Faecal bacteria and short-chain fatty acids were analysed from 67 PreventADALL study participants at four timepoints (birth to 12 months) using reduced metagenome sequencing and gas chromatography. Immune cell frequencies were assessed using mass cytometry in whole blood samples at 12 months. The infants clustered into four groups based on immune cell composition: clusters 1 and 2 showed a high relative abundance of naïve cells, cluster 3 exhibited increased abundance of classical- and non-classical monocytes and clusters 3 and 4 had elevated neutrophil levels. At all age groups, we did observe significant associations between the gut microbiota and immune cell clusters; however, these were generally from low abundant species. Only at 6 months of age we observed significant associations between abundant (>8%) species and immune cell clusters. Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Porphyromonadaceae are associated with cluster 1, while Bacteroides fragilis and Bifidobacterium longum are associated with clusters 3 and 4 respectively. These species have been linked to T-cell polarization and maturation. No significant correlations were found between short-chain fatty acids and immune cell composition. Our findings suggest that abundant gut bacteria at 6 months may influence immune cell frequencies at 12 months, highlighting the potential role of gut microbiota in shaping later immune cell composition.

RevDate: 2024-07-15

Hsu D, Flynn JR, Schuler CJ, et al (2024)

Isolation and genomic analysis of "Metallumcola ferriviriculae" MK1, a Gram-positive, Fe(III)-reducing bacterium from the Soudan Underground Mine, an iron-rich Martian analog site.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The Soudan Underground Mine State Park, found in the Vermilion Iron Range in northern Minnesota, provides access to a ~ 2.7 billion-year-old banded iron formation. Exploratory boreholes drilled between 1958 and 1962 on the 27th level (713 m underground) of the mine intersect calcium and iron-rich brines that have recently been subject to metagenomic analysis and microbial enrichments. Using concentrated brine samples pumped from a borehole depth of up to 55 m, a novel Gram-positive bacterium was enriched under anaerobic, acetate-oxidizing, and Fe(III) citrate-reducing conditions. The isolated bacterium, designated strain MK1, is non-motile, rod-shaped, spore-forming, anaerobic, and mesophilic, with a growth range between 24°C and 30°C. The complete circular MK1 genome was found to be 3,720,236 bp and encodes 25 putative multiheme cytochromes, including homologs to inner membrane cytochromes in the Gram-negative bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens and cytoplasmic membrane and periplasmic cytochromes in the Gram-positive bacterium Thermincola potens. However, MK1 does not encode homologs of the peptidoglycan (CwcA) and cell surface-associated (OcwA) multiheme cytochromes proposed to be required by T. potens to perform extracellular electron transfer. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of MK1 indicates that its closest related isolate is Desulfitibacter alkalitolerans strain sk.kt5 (91% sequence identity), which places MK1 in a novel genus within the Desulfitibacteraceae family and Moorellales order. Within the Moorellales order, only Calderihabitans maritimus strain KKC1 has been reported to reduce Fe(III), and only D. alkalitolerans can also grow in temperatures below 40°C. Thus, MK1 represents a novel species within a novel genus, for which we propose the name "Metallumcola ferriviriculae" strain MK1, and provides a unique opportunity to study a cytochrome-rich, mesophilic, Gram-positive, spore-forming Fe(III)-reducing bacterium.IMPORTANCEThe Soudan Underground Mine State Park gives access to understudied regions of the deep terrestrial subsurface that potentially predate the Great Oxidation Event. Studying organisms that have been relatively unperturbed by surface conditions for as long as 2.7 billion years may give us a window into ancient life before oxygen dominated the planet. Additionally, studying microbes from anoxic and iron-rich environments can help us better understand the requirements of life in analogous environments, such as on Mars. The isolation and characterization of "Metallumcola ferriviriculae" strain MK1 give us insights into a novel genus and species that is distinct both from its closest related isolates and from iron reducers characterized to date. "M. ferriviriculae" strain MK1 may also act as a model organism to study how the processes of sporulation and germination are affected by insoluble extracellular acceptors, as well as the impact of spores in the deep terrestrial biosphere.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-15

Jain S, SE Safo (2024)

DeepIDA-GRU: a deep learning pipeline for integrative discriminant analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal multiview data with applications to inflammatory bowel disease classification.

Briefings in bioinformatics, 25(4):.

Biomedical research now commonly integrates diverse data types or views from the same individuals to better understand the pathobiology of complex diseases, but the challenge lies in meaningfully integrating these diverse views. Existing methods often require the same type of data from all views (cross-sectional data only or longitudinal data only) or do not consider any class outcome in the integration method, which presents limitations. To overcome these limitations, we have developed a pipeline that harnesses the power of statistical and deep learning methods to integrate cross-sectional and longitudinal data from multiple sources. In addition, it identifies key variables that contribute to the association between views and the separation between classes, providing deeper biological insights. This pipeline includes variable selection/ranking using linear and nonlinear methods, feature extraction using functional principal component analysis and Euler characteristics, and joint integration and classification using dense feed-forward networks for cross-sectional data and recurrent neural networks for longitudinal data. We applied this pipeline to cross-sectional and longitudinal multiomics data (metagenomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics) from an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) study and identified microbial pathways, metabolites and genes that discriminate by IBD status, providing information on the etiology of IBD. We conducted simulations to compare the two feature extraction methods.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-15

Zhang G, Wang H, Zhang Z, et al (2024)

Highly accurate classification and discovery of microbial protein-coding gene functions using FunGeneTyper: an extensible deep learning framework.

Briefings in bioinformatics, 25(4):.

High-throughput DNA sequencing technologies decode tremendous amounts of microbial protein-coding gene sequences. However, accurately assigning protein functions to novel gene sequences remain a challenge. To this end, we developed FunGeneTyper, an extensible framework with two new deep learning models (i.e., FunTrans and FunRep), structured databases, and supporting resources for achieving highly accurate (Accuracy > 0.99, F1-score > 0.97) and fine-grained classification of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and virulence factor genes. Using an experimentally confirmed dataset of ARGs comprising remote homologous sequences as the test set, our framework achieves by-far-the-best performance in the discovery of new ARGs from human gut (F1-score: 0.6948), wastewater (0.6072), and soil (0.5445) microbiomes, beating the state-of-the-art bioinformatics tools and sequence alignment-based (F1-score: 0.0556-0.5065) and domain-based (F1-score: 0.2630-0.5224) annotation approaches. Furthermore, our framework is implemented as a lightweight, privacy-preserving, and plug-and-play neural network module, facilitating its versatility and accessibility to developers and users worldwide. We anticipate widespread utilization of FunGeneTyper (https://github.com/emblab-westlake/FunGeneTyper) for precise classification of protein-coding gene functions and the discovery of numerous valuable enzymes. This advancement will have a significant impact on various fields, including microbiome research, biotechnology, metagenomics, and bioinformatics.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-15

Zhang Y, Li Y, Qi L, et al (2024)

Discovery and characterization of BRBV-sheep virus in nasal swabs from domestic sheep in China.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 14:1380708.

INTRODUCTION: The escalating occurrence of infectious disease outbreaks in humans and animals necessitates innovative, effective, and integrated research to better comprehend their transmission and dynamics. Viral infection in livestock has led to profound economic losses globally. Pneumonia is the prevalent cause of death in sheep. However, very few studies exist regarding virus-related pathogens in sheep. Metagenomics sequencing technologies in livestock research hold significant potential to elucidate these contingencies and enhance our understanding.

METHODS: Therefore, this study aims to characterize respiratory viromes in paired nasal swabs from Inner Mongolian feedlot sheep in China using metaviromic sequencing. Through deep sequencing, de novo assembly, and similarity searches using translated protein sequences, several previously uncharacterized and known viruses were identified in this study.

RESULTS: Among these discoveries, a novel Bovine Rhinitis B Virus (BRBV) (BRBV-sheep) strain was serendipitously detected in the nasal swabs of domestic sheep (Ovis aries). To facilitate further molecular epidemiological studies, the entire genome of BRBV-sheep was also determined. Owing to the unique sequence characteristics and phylogenetic position of BRBV-sheep, genetically distinct lineages of BRBV in sheep may exist. A TaqMan-based qRT-PCR assay targeting the 3D polymerase gene was developed and used to screen 592 clinical sheep specimens. The results showed that 44.59% of the samples (264/592) were positive. These findings suggest that BRBV sheep are widespread among Inner Mongolian herds.

CONCLUSION: This discovery marks the initial identification of BRBV in sheep within Inner Mongolia, China. These findings contribute to our understanding of the epidemiology and genetic evolution of BRBV. Recognizing the presence of BRBV in sheep informs strategies for disease management and surveillance and the potential development of targeted interventions to control its spread.

RevDate: 2024-07-15

Yang S, He Z, Zhang N, et al (2024)

A Case of Rapidly Diagnosed Mycobacterium intracellulare in a Frail Geriatric Patient With Multimorbidity.

Cureus, 16(6):e62313.

The prevalence of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections has been on the rise in recent years, especially among the elderly population and other immunocompromised groups. Risk factors for NTM infections include advanced age, preexisting pulmonary diseases, and low body mass index. This study presents a case of NTM pulmonary disease attributed to Mycobacterium intracellulare, which was rapidly identified using metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS). An 82-year-old male presented with persistent fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Initial assessments revealed an elevated white blood cell count and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, with chest CT showing newly formed nodular shadows and cavity formation. Sputum tests confirmed NTM infection through positive acid-fast staining and mNGS, which rapidly identified M. intracellulare within 48 hours. Subsequent sputum samples confirmed the diagnosis using traditional methods. The patient had a complex medical history, including pulmonary tuberculosis, chronic pancreatitis, chronic hepatitis B, diabetes, and malnutrition. The patient was treated with a combination of cefotaxime, moxifloxacin, clarithromycin, and acetylcysteine, in addition to receiving nutritional support. After the treatment, there was an improvement in symptoms, normalization of body temperature, and a decrease in cough and sputum production. This case highlights the significance of mNGS in promptly diagnosing and treating NTM pulmonary disease, especially in elderly patients with various underlying health conditions. The collaborative effort among different medical specialties enabled more thorough patient care, ultimately leading to better outcomes. Incorporating cutting-edge diagnostic techniques such as mNGS alongside a holistic treatment approach is crucial for the successful management of NTM infections in at-risk populations.

RevDate: 2024-07-15

Lee CS, Lin CR, Chua HH, et al (2024)

Gut Bifidobacterium longum is associated with better native liver survival in patients with biliary atresia.

JHEP reports : innovation in hepatology, 6(7):101090.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The gut microbiome plays an important role in liver diseases, but its specific impact on biliary atresia (BA) remains to be explored. We aimed to investigate the microbial signature in the early life of patients with BA and to analyze its influence on long-term outcomes.

METHODS: Fecal samples (n = 42) were collected from infants with BA before and after Kasai portoenterostomy (KPE). The stool microbiota was analyzed using 16S rRNA next-generation sequencing and compared with that of age-matched healthy controls (HCs). Shotgun metagenomic sequencing analysis was employed to confirm the bacterial composition in 10 fecal samples before KPE. The correlation of the microbiome signature with liver function and long-term outcomes was assessed.

RESULTS: In the 16S rRNA next-generation sequencing analysis of fecal microbiota, the alpha and beta diversity analyses revealed significant differences between HCs and patients with BA before and after KPE. The difference in microbial composition analyzed by linear discriminant analysis and random forest classification revealed that the abundance of Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum) was significantly lower in patients before and after KPE than in HCs. The abundance of B. longum was negatively correlated with the gamma-glutamyltransferase level after KPE (p <0.05). Patients with early detectable B. longum had significantly lower total and direct bilirubin 3 months after KPE (p <0.005) and had a significantly lower liver transplantation rate (hazard ratio: 0.16, 95% CI 0.03-0.83, p = 0.029). Shotgun metagenomic sequencing also revealed that patients with BA and detectable B. longum had reduced total and direct bilirubin after KPE.

CONCLUSION: The gut microbiome of patients with BA differed from that of HCs, with a notable abundance of B. longum in early infancy correlating with better long-term outcomes.

IMPACT AND IMPLICATIONS: Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum) is a beneficial bacterium commonly found in the human gut. It has been studied for its potential impacts on various health conditions. In patients with biliary atresia, we found that a greater abundance of B. longum in the fecal microbiome is associated with improved clinical outcomes. This suggests that early colonization and increasing B. longum levels in the gut could be a therapeutic strategy to improve the prognosis of patients with biliary atresia.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-15

Enagbonma BJ, Fadiji AE, OO Babalola (2024)

Anthropogenic fertilization influences a shift in barley rhizosphere microbial communities.

PeerJ, 12:e17303.

BACKGROUND: Anthropogenic mediations contribute a significant role in stimulating positive reactions in soil-plant interactions; however, methodical reports on how anthropogenic activities impact soil microorganism-induced properties and soil health are still inadequate. In this study, we evaluated the influence of anthropogenic fertilization of farmland soil on barley rhizosphere microbial community structure and diversity, and the significant impacts on agro-ecosystem productivity. This will help validate the premise that soil amendment with prolonged synthetic fertilizers can lead to a significant reduction in bacterial abundance and diversity, while soils amended with organic fertilizers elicit the succession of the native soil microbial community and favor the growth of copiotrophic bacteria.

METHODS: The total metagenomic DNA was extracted from soils obtained from the barley rhizosphere under chemical fertilization (CB), organic fertilization (OB), and bulk soil (NB). Subsequently, these samples were sequenced using an amplicon-based sequencing approach, and the raw sequence dataset was examined using a metagenomic rast server (MG-RAST).

RESULTS: Our findings showed that all environments (CB, OB, and NB) shared numerous soil bacterial phyla but with different compositions. However, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria predominated in the barley rhizosphere under chemical fertilization, organic fertilization, and bulk soils, respectively. Alpha and beta diversity analysis showed that the diversity of bacteria under organic barley rhizosphere was significantly higher and more evenly distributed than bacteria under chemical fertilization and bulk soil.

CONCLUSION: Understanding the impact of conventional and organic fertilizers on the structure, composition, and diversity of the rhizosphere microbiome will assist in soil engineering to enhance microbial diversity in the agroecosystem.

RevDate: 2024-07-15
CmpDate: 2024-07-15

Zhai J, Wang Y, Tang B, et al (2024)

A comparison of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile genetic elements in wild and captive Himalayan vultures.

PeerJ, 12:e17710.

As the most widely distributed scavenger birds on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Himalayan vultures (Gyps himalayensis) feed on the carcasses of various wild and domestic animals, facing the dual selection pressure of pathogens and antibiotics and are suitable biological sentinel species for monitoring antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). This study used metagenomic sequencing to comparatively investigate the ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) of wild and captive Himalayan vultures. Overall, the resistome of Himalayan vultures contained 414 ARG subtypes resistant to 20 ARG types, with abundances ranging from 0.01 to 1,493.60 ppm. The most abundant resistance type was beta-lactam (175 subtypes), followed by multidrug resistance genes with 68 subtypes. Decreases in the abundance of macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin (MLS) resistance genes were observed in the wild group compared with the zoo group. A total of 75 genera (five phyla) of bacteria were predicted to be the hosts of ARGs in Himalayan vultures, and the clinical (102 ARGs) and high-risk ARGs (35 Rank I and 56 Rank II ARGs) were also analyzed. Among these ARGs, twenty-two clinical ARGs, nine Rank I ARG subtypes, sixteen Rank II ARG subtypes were found to differ significantly between the two groups. Five types of MGEs (128 subtypes) were found in Himalayan vultures. Plasmids (62 subtypes) and transposases (44 subtypes) were found to be the main MGE types. Efflux pump and antibiotic deactivation were the main resistance mechanisms of ARGs in Himalayan vultures. Decreases in the abundance of cellular protection were identified in wild Himalayan vultures compared with the captive Himalayan vultures. Procrustes analysis and the co-occurrence networks analysis revealed different patterns of correlations among gut microbes, ARGs, and MGEs in wild and captive Himalayan vultures. This study is the first step in describing the characterization of the ARGs in the gut of Himalayan vultures and highlights the need to pay more attention to scavenging birds.

RevDate: 2024-07-15

McReynolds E, Elshahed MS, NH Youssef (2024)

An ecological-evolutionary perspective on the genomic diversity and habitat preferences of the Acidobacteriota.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Members of the phylum Acidobacteriota inhabit a wide range of ecosystems including soils. We analyzed the global patterns of distribution and habitat preferences of various Acidobacteriota lineages across major ecosystems (soil, engineered, host-associated, marine, non-marine saline and alkaline, and terrestrial non-soil ecosystem) in 248,559 publicly available metagenomic datasets. Classes Terriglobia, Vicinamibacteria, Blastocatellia, and Thermoanaerobaculia were highly ubiquitous and showed clear preference to soil over non-soil habitats, class Polarisedimenticolia showed comparable ubiquity and preference between soil and non-soil habitats, while classes Aminicenantia and Holophagae showed preferences to non-soil habitats. However, while specific preferences were observed, most Acidobacteriota lineages were habitat generalists rather than specialists, with genomic and/or metagenomic fragments recovered from soil and non-soil habitats at various levels of taxonomic resolution. Comparative analysis of 1930 genomes strongly indicates that phylogenetic affiliation plays a more important role than the habitat from which the genome was recovered in shaping the genomic characteristics and metabolic capacities of the Acidobacteriota . The observed lack of strong habitat specialization and habitat transition driven lineage evolution in the Acidobacteriota suggest ready cross colonization between soil and non-soil habitats. We posit that such capacity is key to the successful establishment of Acidobacteriota as a major component in soil microbiomes post ecosystem disturbance events or during pedogenesis.

RevDate: 2024-07-15

Kananen K, Veseli IA, Quiles Perez CJ, et al (2024)

Adaptive adjustment of significance thresholds produces large gains in microbial gene annotations and metabolic insights.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.07.03.601779.

Gene function annotations enable microbial ecologists to make inferences about metabolic potential from genomes and metagenomes. However, even tools that use the same database and general approach can differ markedly in the annotations they recover. We compare three popular methods for identifying KEGG Orthologs, applying them to genomes drawn from a range of bacterial families that occupy different host-associated and free-living biomes. Our results show that by adaptively tuning sequence similarity thresholds, sensitivity can be substantially improved while maintaining accuracy. We observe the largest improvements when few reference sequences exist for a given protein family, and when annotating genomes from non-model organisms (such as gut-dwelling Lachnospiraceae). Our results suggest that straightforward heuristic adjustments can broadly improve microbial metabolic predictions.

RevDate: 2024-07-15

Arzamasov AA, Rodionov DA, Hibberd MC, et al (2024)

Integrative genomic reconstruction of carbohydrate utilization networks in bifidobacteria: global trends, local variability, and dietary adaptation.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.07.06.602360.

Bifidobacteria are among the earliest colonizers of the human gut, conferring numerous health benefits. While multiple Bifidobacterium strains are used as probiotics, accumulating evidence suggests that the individual responses to probiotic supplementation may vary, likely due to a variety of factors, including strain type(s), gut community composition, dietary habits of the consumer, and other health/lifestyle conditions. Given the saccharolytic nature of bifidobacteria, the carbohydrate composition of the diet is one of the primary factors dictating the colonization efficiency of Bifidobacterium strains. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of bifidobacterial glycan metabolism at the strain level is necessary to rationally design probiotic or synbiotic formulations that combine bacterial strains with glycans that match their nutrient preferences. In this study, we systematically reconstructed 66 pathways involved in the utilization of mono-, di-, oligo-, and polysaccharides by analyzing the representation of 565 curated metabolic functional roles (catabolic enzymes, transporters, transcriptional regulators) in 2973 non-redundant cultured Bifidobacterium isolates and metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs). Our analysis uncovered substantial heterogeneity in the predicted glycan utilization capabilities at the species and strain level and revealed the presence of a yet undescribed phenotypically distinct subspecies-level clade within the Bifidobacterium longum species. We also identified Bangladeshi isolates harboring unique gene clusters tentatively implicated in the breakdown of xyloglucan and human milk oligosaccharides. Predicted carbohydrate utilization phenotypes were experimentally characterized and validated. Our large-scale genomic analysis considerably expands the knowledge of carbohydrate metabolism in bifidobacteria and provides a foundation for rationally designing single- or multi-strain probiotic formulations of a given bifidobacterial species as well as synbiotic combinations of bifidobacterial strains matched with their preferred carbohydrate substrates.

RevDate: 2024-07-14
CmpDate: 2024-07-14

Kang L, Song Y, Mackelprang R, et al (2024)

Metagenomic insights into microbial community structure and metabolism in alpine permafrost on the Tibetan Plateau.

Nature communications, 15(1):5920.

Permafrost, characterized by its frozen soil, serves as a unique habitat for diverse microorganisms. Understanding these microbial communities is crucial for predicting the response of permafrost ecosystems to climate change. However, large-scale evidence regarding stratigraphic variations in microbial profiles remains limited. Here, we analyze microbial community structure and functional potential based on 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and metagenomic data obtained from an ∼1000 km permafrost transect on the Tibetan Plateau. We find that microbial alpha diversity declines but beta diversity increases down the soil profile. Microbial assemblages are primarily governed by dispersal limitation and drift, with the importance of drift decreasing but that of dispersal limitation increasing with soil depth. Moreover, genes related to reduction reactions (e.g., ferric iron reduction, dissimilatory nitrate reduction, and denitrification) are enriched in the subsurface and permafrost layers. In addition, microbial groups involved in alternative electron accepting processes are more diverse and contribute highly to community-level metabolic profiles in the subsurface and permafrost layers, likely reflecting the lower redox potential and more complicated trophic strategies for microorganisms in deeper soils. Overall, these findings provide comprehensive insights into large-scale stratigraphic profiles of microbial community structure and functional potentials in permafrost regions.

RevDate: 2024-07-14

Tischer M, C Bleidorn (2024)

Further evidence of low infection frequencies of Wolbachia in soil arthropod communities.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases pii:S1567-1348(24)00092-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiotic Alphaproteobacteria of the genus Wolbachia are exclusively transferred maternally from mother to offspring, but horizontal transfer across species boundaries seems to be frequent as well. However, the (ecological) mechanisms of how these bacteria are transferred between distantly related arthropod hosts remain unclear. Based on the observation that species that are part of the same ecological community often also share similar Wolbachia strains, host ecology has been hypothesized as an important factor enabling transmission and a key factor in explaining the global distribution of Wolbachia lineages. In this study, we focus on the diversity and abundance of Wolbachia strains in soil arthropods, a so far rather neglected community. We screened 82 arthropod morphotypes collected in the beech forest (dominated by Fagus sp.) soil in the area of Göttingen in central Germany for the presence of Wolbachia. By performing a PCR screen with Wolbachia-MLST markers (coxA, dnaA, fbpA, ftsZ, gatB, and hcpA), we found a rather low infection frequency of 12,2%. Additionally, we performed metagenomic screening of pooled individuals from the same sampling site and could not find evidence that this low infection frequency is an artefact due to PCR-primer bias. Phylogenetic analyses of the recovered Wolbachia strains grouped them in three known supergroups (A, B, and E), with the first report of Wolbachia in Protura (Hexapoda). Moreover, Wolbachia sequences from the pseudoscorpion Neobisium carcinoides cluster outside the currently known supergroup diversity. Our screening supports results from previous studies that the prevalence of Wolbachia infections seems to be lower in soil habitats than in above-ground terrestrial habitats. The reasons for this pattern are not completely understood but might stem from the low opportunity of physical contact and the prevalence of supergroups that are less suited for horizontal transfer.

RevDate: 2024-07-14

Feng S, Yang P, Ren M, et al (2024)

Identification and molecular characterization of Wanghe virus: A novel member of the Solinviviridae family from mosquitoes, China.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(24)00204-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Arboviruses have always been a significant public health concern. Metagenomic surveillance has expanded the number of novel, often unclassified arboviruses, especially mosquito-borne and mosquito-specific viruses. This report presents the first description of a novel single-stranded RNA virus, Wanghe virus, identified from mosquitoes that were collected in Shandong Province in 2022. In this study, a total of 4,795 mosquitoes were collected and then divided into 105 pools according to location and species. QRT-PCR and nested PCR were performed to confirm the presence of Wanghe virus, and its genomic features and phylogenetic relationships were further analyzed. Our results revealed that Wanghe virus was detected in 9 out of the 105 mosquito pools, resulting in a minimum infection rate (MIR) of 0.19% (9/4,795). One complete genome sequence and three viral partial sequences were obtained from the Wanghe virus-positive pools. Pairwise distance analysis indicated that these amplified sequences shared high nucleotide identity. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that Wanghe virus is most closely related to Guiyang Solinvi-like virus 3, which belongs to Solinviviridae. Further analyses indicated that Wanghe virus is a new, unclassified member of Solinviviridae.

RevDate: 2024-07-14
CmpDate: 2024-07-14

Yu R, Huang Z, Lam TYC, et al (2024)

Utilizing profile hidden Markov model databases for discovering viruses from metagenomic data: a comprehensive review.

Briefings in bioinformatics, 25(4):.

Profile hidden Markov models (pHMMs) are able to achieve high sensitivity in remote homology search, making them popular choices for detecting novel or highly diverged viruses in metagenomic data. However, many existing pHMM databases have different design focuses, making it difficult for users to decide the proper one to use. In this review, we provide a thorough evaluation and comparison for multiple commonly used profile HMM databases for viral sequence discovery in metagenomic data. We characterized the databases by comparing their sizes, their taxonomic coverage, and the properties of their models using quantitative metrics. Subsequently, we assessed their performance in virus identification across multiple application scenarios, utilizing both simulated and real metagenomic data. We aim to offer researchers a thorough and critical assessment of the strengths and limitations of different databases. Furthermore, based on the experimental results obtained from the simulated and real metagenomic data, we provided practical suggestions for users to optimize their use of pHMM databases, thus enhancing the quality and reliability of their findings in the field of viral metagenomics.

RevDate: 2024-07-13
CmpDate: 2024-07-13

Das BK, Chakraborty HJ, Kumar V, et al (2024)

Comparative metagenomic analysis from Sundarbans ecosystems advances our understanding of microbial communities and their functional roles.

Scientific reports, 14(1):16218.

The Sundarbans mangrove, located at the mouth of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers, is the world's largest tidal mangrove forest. These mangroves are also one of the most striking sources of microbial diversity, essential in productivity, conservation, nutrient cycling, and rehabilitation. Hence, the main objective of this study was to use metagenome analysis and provide detailed insight into microbial communities and their functional roles in the Sundarbans mangrove ecosystem. A comparative analysis was also done with a non-mangrove region of the Sundarbans ecosystem to assess the capability of the environmental parameters to explain the variation in microbial community composition. The study found several dominant bacteria, viz., Alphaproteobacteria, Actinomycetota, Bacilli, Clostridia, Desulfobacterota, Gammaproteobacteria, and Nitrospira, from the mangrove region. The mangrove sampling site reports several salt-tolerant bacteria like Alkalibacillus haloalkaliphilus, Halomonas anticariensis, and Salinivibrio socompensis. We found some probiotic species, viz., Bacillus clausii, Lactobacillus curvatus, Vibrio mediterranei and Vibrio fluvialis, from the Sundarbans mangrove. Nitrifying bacteria in Sundarbans soils were Nitrococcus mobilis, Nitrosococcus oceani, Nitrosomonas halophila, Nitrospirade fluvii, and others. Methanogenic archaea, viz., Methanoculleus marisnigri, Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii, and Methanolacinia petrolearia, were highly abundant in the mangroves as compared to the non-mangrove soils. The identified methanotrophic bacterial species, viz., Methylobacter tundripaludum, Methylococcus capsulatus, Methylophaga thiooxydans, and Methylosarcina lacus are expected to play a significant role in the degradation of methane in mangrove soil. Among the bioremediation bacterial species identified, Pseudomonas alcaligenes, Pseudomonas mendocina, Paracoccus denitrificans, and Shewanella putrefaciens play a significant role in the remediation of environmental pollution. Overall, our study shows for the first time that the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove ecosystem in the world, has a wide range of methanogenic archaea, methanotrophs, pathogenic, salt-tolerant, probiotic, nitrifying, and bioremediation bacteria.

RevDate: 2024-07-13
CmpDate: 2024-07-13

Knjaz M, Baricevic A, Tankovic MS, et al (2024)

First regional reference database of northern Adriatic diatom transcriptomes.

Scientific reports, 14(1):16209.

Marine microbial communities form the basis for the functioning of marine ecosystems and the conservation of biodiversity. With the application of metagenomics and metatranscriptomics in marine environmental studies, significant progress has been made in analysing the functioning of microbial communities as a whole. These molecular techniques are highly dependent on reliable, well-characterised, comprehensive and taxonomically diverse sequenced reference transcriptomes of microbial organisms. Here we present a set of 12 individual transcriptome assemblies derived from 6 representative diatom species from the northern Adriatic Sea grown under 2 environmentally relevant growth conditions (phosphate replete vs. phosphate deprived). After filtering the reads and assembly, an average number of 64,932 transcripts per assembly was obtained, of which an average of 8856 were assigned to functionally known proteins. Of all assigned transcripts, an average of 6483 proteins were taxonomically assigned to diatoms (Bacillariophyta). On average, a higher number of assigned proteins was detected in the transcriptome assemblies of diatoms grown under replete media condition. On average, 50% of the mapped proteins were shared between the two growth conditions. All recorded proteins in the dataset were classified into 24 COG categories, with approximately 25% belonging to the unknown function and the remaining 75% belonging to all other categories. The resulting diatom reference database for the northern Adriatic, focussing on the response to nutrient limitation as characteristic for the region and predicted for the future world oceans, provides a valuable resource for analysing environmental metatranscriptome and metagenome data. Each northern Adriatic transcriptome can also be used by itself as a reference database for the (meta)transcriptomes and gene expression studies of the associated species that will be generated in the future.

RevDate: 2024-07-13
CmpDate: 2024-07-13

Meng Q, Zhang Y, He D, et al (2025)

Metagenomic perspectives on antibiotic resistance genes in tap water: The environmental characteristic, potential mobility and health threat.

Journal of environmental sciences (China), 147:582-596.

As an emerging environmental contaminant, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in tap water have attracted great attention. Although studies have provided ARG profiles in tap water, research on their abundance levels, composition characteristics, and potential threat is still insufficient. Here, 9 household tap water samples were collected from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) in China. Additionally, 75 sets of environmental sample data (9 types) were downloaded from the public database. Metagenomics was then performed to explore the differences in the abundance and composition of ARGs. 221 ARG subtypes consisting of 17 types were detected in tap water. Although the ARG abundance in tap water was not significantly different from that found in drinking water plants and reservoirs, their composition varied. In tap water samples, the three most abundant classes of resistance genes were multidrug, fosfomycin and MLS (macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin) ARGs, and their corresponding subtypes ompR, fosX and macB were also the most abundant ARG subtypes. Regarding the potential mobility, vanS had the highest abundance on plasmids and viruses, but the absence of key genes rendered resistance to vancomycin ineffective. Generally, the majority of ARGs present in tap water were those that have not been assessed and are currently not listed as high-threat level ARG families based on the World Health Organization Guideline. Although the current potential threat to human health posed by ARGs in tap water is limited, with persistent transfer and accumulation, especially in pathogens, the potential danger to human health posed by ARGs should not be ignored.

RevDate: 2024-07-13
CmpDate: 2024-07-13

Hu X, Liu X, Zhang S, et al (2025)

Nitrogen-cycling processes under long-term compound heavy metal(loids) pressure around a gold mine: Stimulation of nitrite reduction.

Journal of environmental sciences (China), 147:571-581.

Mining and tailings deposition can cause serious heavy metal(loids) pollution to the surrounding soil environment. Soil microorganisms adapt their metabolism to such conditions, driving alterations in soil function. This study aims to elucidate the response patterns of nitrogen-cycling microorganisms under long-term heavy metal(loids) exposure. The results showed that the diversity and abundance of nitrogen-cycling microorganisms showed negative feedback to heavy metal(loids) concentrations. Denitrifying microorganisms were shown to be the dominant microorganisms with over 60% of relative abundance and a complex community structure including 27 phyla. Further, the key bacterial species in the denitrification process were calculated using a random forest model, where the top three key species (Pseudomonas stutzei, Sphingobium japonicum and Leifsonia rubra) were found to play a prominent role in nitrite reduction. Functional gene analysis and qPCR revealed that nirK, which is involved in nitrite reduction, significantly accumulated in the most metal-rich soil with the increase of absolute abundance of 63.86%. The experimental results confirmed that the activity of nitrite reductase (Nir) encoded by nirK in the soil was increased at high concentrations of heavy metal(loids). Partial least squares-path model identified three potential modes of nitrite reduction processes being stimulated by heavy metal(loids), the most prominent of which contributed to enhanced nirK abundance and soil Nir activity through positive stimulation of key species. The results provide new insights and preliminary evidence on the stimulation of nitrite reduction processes by heavy metal(loids).

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Singh DP, Kumar A, Prajapati J, et al (2024)

Sexual dimorphism in neurobehavioural phenotype and gut microbial composition upon long-term exposure to structural analogues of bisphenol-A.

Journal of hazardous materials, 476:135178 pii:S0304-3894(24)01757-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol F (BPF), the analogues of the legacy endocrine disrupting chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA) are ubiquitous in the environment and present in various consumer goods, and potentially neurotoxic. Here, we studied sex-specific responses of bisphenols on behavioural phenotypes, including their association with pro-inflammatory biomarkers and altered neurotransmitters levels, and the key gut microbial abundances. Neurobehavioural changes, using standard test battery, biochemical and molecular estimations for inflammatory cytokines, neurotransmitters, and oxido-nitrosative stress markers, gene expression analysis using qRT-PCR, H&E based histological investigations, gut permeability assays and Oxford Nanopore-based 16S-rRNA metagenomics sequencing for the gut microbial abundance estimations were performed. Bisphenol(s) exposure induces anxiety and depression-like behaviours, particularly in the male mice, with heightened pro-inflammatory cytokines levels and systemic endotoxemia, altered monoamine neurotransmitters levels/turnovers and hippocampal neuronal degeneration and inflammatory responses in the brain. They also increased gut permeability and altered microbial diversity, particularly in males. Present study provides evidence for sex-specific discrepancies in neurobehavioural phenotypes and gut microbiota, which necessitate a nuanced understanding of sex-dependent responses to bisphenols. The study contributes to ongoing discussions on the multifaceted implications of bisphenols exposure and underscores the need for tailored regulatory measures to mitigate potential health risks associated with them.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Zeng H, Wang Y, Zhao Z, et al (2024)

Travertine deposition rather than tourism activity is the primary contributor to the microplastic risks in alpine karst lakes.

Journal of hazardous materials, 476:135192 pii:S0304-3894(24)01771-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Microplastics (MPs) are emerging as anthropogenic vectors to form plastisphere, facilitating microbiome colonization and pathogenic dissemination, thus contributing to environmental and health crises across various ecosystems. However, a knowledge gap persists regarding MPs risks and their driving factors in certain unique and vulnerable ecosystems, such as Karst travertine lakes, some of which are renowned World Natural Heritage Sites under ever-increasing tourism pressure. We hypothesized that tourism activities serve as the most important factor of MPs pollution, whereas intrinsic features, including travertine deposition can exacerbate potential environmental risks. Thus, metagenomic approaches were employed to investigate the geographical distribution of the microbiome, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), virulence factor genes (VFGs), and their combined environmental risks in Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, two famous tourism destinations in Southwest China. The plastisphere risks were higher in Huanglong, contradicting our hypothesis that Jiuzhaigou would face more crucial antibiotic risks due to its higher tourist activities. Specifically, the levels of Lipopolysaccharide Lewis and fosD increased by sevenfold and 20-fold, respectively, from upstream to downstream in Huanglong, whereas in Jiuzhaigou, no significant accrual was observed. Structural equation modeling results showed that travertine deposition was the primary contributor to MPs risks in alpine karstic lakes. Our findings suggest that tourism has low impact on MPs risks, possibly because of proper management, and that travertine deposition might act as an MPs hotspot, emphasizing the importance of considering the unique aspects of travertine lakes in mitigating MPs pollution and promoting the sustainable development of World Natural Heritage Sites.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Lai KP, Boncan DAT, Qin X, et al (2024)

Roles and occurrences of microbiota in the osmoregulatory organs, gills and gut, in marine medaka upon hypotonic stress.

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part D, Genomics & proteomics, 52:101285 pii:S1744-117X(24)00098-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Gills and gut are the two primary osmoregulatory organs in fish. Recently, studies have expanded beyond the osmoregulatory mechanisms of these organs to explore the microbiota communities inhabiting them. It is now known that microbial communities in both organs shift in response to osmotic stress. However, there are limited studies identifying the major contributors and co-occurrence among these microbiota in both organs under seawater and freshwater transfer conditions. The current data mining report performed a bioinformatics analysis on two previous published datasets from our group, aiming to provide insights into host-bacteria relationships under osmotic stress. We divided the samples into four groups: control seawater gills (LSW); control seawater gut (TSW); freshwater transfer gills (LFW); and freshwater transfer gut (TFW). Our results showed that LSW had higher diversities, richness, and evenness compared to TSW. However, both the LFW and LSW did not show any significant differences after the freshwater transfer experiment. We further applied co-occurrence network analysis and, for the first time, reported on the interactions of taxa shaping the community structure in these two organs. Moreover, we identified enriched ectoine biosynthesis in seawater samples, suggesting its potential role in seawater environments. Increased mRNA expression levels of Na[+]/K[+]-atpase, and cftr, were observed in gills after 6 h of ectoine treatment. These findings provide a foundation for future studies on host-bacteria interactions under osmotic stress.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Bai X, Zhong H, Cui X, et al (2024)

Metagenomic profiling uncovers microbiota and antibiotic resistance patterns across human, chicken, pig fecal, and soil environments.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)04883-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The ongoing and progressive evolution of antibiotic resistance presents escalating challenges for the clinical management and prevention of bacterial infections. Understanding the makeup of resistance genomes and accurately quantifying the current abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are crucial for assessing the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to public health. This comprehensive study investigated the distribution and diversity of bacterial community composition, ARGs, and virulence factors (VFs) across human, chicken, pig fecal, and soil microbiomes in various provinces of China. As a result, multidrug resistance was identified across all samples. Core ARGs primarily related to multidrug, MLS (Macrolides-Lincosamide-Streptogramins), and tetracycline resistance were characterized. A significant correlation between ARGs and bacterial taxa was observed, especially in soil samples. Probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus harbored ARGs, potentially contributing to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance. We screened subsets of ARGs from samples from different sources as indicators to assess the level of ARGs contamination in samples, with high accuracy. These results underline the complex relationship between microbial communities, resistance mechanisms, and environmental factors, emphasizing the importance of continued research and monitoring to better understand these dynamics.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Wyler E, Lauber C, Manukyan A, et al (2024)

Pathogen dynamics and discovery of novel viruses and enzymes by deep nucleic acid sequencing of wastewater.

Environment international, 190:108875 pii:S0160-4120(24)00461-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Wastewater contains an extensive reservoir of genetic information, yet largely unexplored. Here, we analyzed by high-throughput sequencing total nucleic acids extracted from wastewater samples collected during a 17 month-period in Berlin, Germany. By integrating global wastewater datasets and applying a novel computational approach to accurately identify viral strains within sewage RNA-sequencing data, we demonstrated the emergence and global dissemination of a specific astrovirus strain. Astrovirus abundance and sequence variation mirrored temporal and spatial patterns of infection, potentially serving as footprints of specific timeframes and geographical locations. Additionally, we revealed more than 100,000 sequence contigs likely originating from novel viral species, exhibiting distinct profiles in total RNA and DNA datasets and including undescribed bunyaviruses and parvoviruses. Finally, we identified thousands of new CRISPR-associated protein sequences, including Transposase B (TnpB), a class of compact, RNA-guided DNA editing enzymes. Collectively, our findings underscore the potential of high-throughput sequencing of total nucleic acids derived from wastewater for a broad range of applications.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Zhu J, Yu Z, He L, et al (2024)

Phycosphere bacterial composition and function in colony and solitary Phaeocystis globosa strains providing novel insights into the algal blooms.

Marine pollution bulletin, 206:116700 pii:S0025-326X(24)00677-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Phycosphere bacteria can regulate the dynamics of different algal blooms that impact marine ecosystems. Phaeocystis globosa can alternate between solitary free-living cells and colonies and the latter morphotype is dominate during blooms. The mechanisms underlying the formation of these blooms have received much attention. High throughput sequencing results showed that the bacterial community composition differed significantly between colony and solitary strains in bacterial composition and function. It was found that the genera SM1A02 and Haliea were detected only among the colony strains and contribute to ammonium accumulation in colonies, and the genus Sulfitobacter was abundant among the colony strains that were excellent at producing DMS. In addition, the bacterial communities of the two colony strains exhibited stronger abilities for carbon and sulfur metabolism, energy metabolism, vitamin B synthesis, and signal transduction, providing inorganic and organic nutrients and facilitating tight communication with the host algae, thereby promoting growth and bloom development.

RevDate: 2024-07-13
CmpDate: 2024-07-13

Min M, Egli C, RK Sivamani (2024)

The Gut and Skin Microbiome and Its Association with Aging Clocks.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(13): pii:ijms25137471.

Aging clocks are predictive models of biological age derived from age-related changes, such as epigenetic changes, blood biomarkers, and, more recently, the microbiome. Gut and skin microbiota regulate more than barrier and immune function. Recent studies have shown that human microbiomes may predict aging. In this narrative review, we aim to discuss how the gut and skin microbiomes influence aging clocks as well as clarify the distinction between chronological and biological age. A literature search was performed on PubMed/MEDLINE databases with the following keywords: "skin microbiome" OR "gut microbiome" AND "aging clock" OR "epigenetic". Gut and skin microbiomes may be utilized to create aging clocks based on taxonomy, biodiversity, and functionality. The top contributing microbiota or metabolic pathways in these aging clocks may influence aging clock predictions and biological age. Furthermore, gut and skin microbiota may directly and indirectly influence aging clocks through the regulation of clock genes and the production of metabolites that serve as substrates or enzymatic regulators. Microbiome-based aging clock models may have therapeutic potential. However, more research is needed to advance our understanding of the role of microbiota in aging clocks.

RevDate: 2024-07-13
CmpDate: 2024-07-13

Liu Y, Kou C, Chen J, et al (2024)

The Response of the Gut Physiological Function and Microbiome of a Wild Freshwater Fish (Megalobrama terminalis) to Alterations in Reproductive Behavior.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(13): pii:ijms25137425.

The fish gut microbiome is well known for its role in degrading nutrients to improve the host's digestion and absorption efficiency. In this study, we focused on the core physiological adaptability during the various reproductive stages of the black Amur bream (Megalobrama terminalis) to explore the interaction mechanisms among the fish host gut mucosal structure, gut enzyme activity, and gut microbial metabolism in the course of the host's reproductive cycle. Our findings showed that M. terminalis exhibited locomotion metabolic type (aids in sporting) in the reproductive stage, and a change to visceral metabolic type (aids in digestion) during non-reproductive and post-reproductive stage phases. The impact of metabolic type selection and energy demand during various reproductive stages on fish nutrition strategy and digestive function was substantial. Our resulted showed that mitochondria in intestinal epithelial cells of reproductive M. terminalis appeared autophagy phenomenon, and the digestive enzyme activities in the intestines of reproductive M. terminalis were lower than those in the non-reproductive and post-reproductive individuals. Moreover, these differences in nutrition strategy have a prominent impact on the gut microbiome of reproductive M. terminalis, compared to non-reproductive and post-reproductive samples. Our findings showed that reproductive females had lower levels of alpha diversity compared to non-reproductive and post-reproductive females. Our results also showed a greater functional variety and an increase in functional genes related to carbohydrate, lipid, amino acid, cofactors, and vitamin metabolic pathways in the NRS and PRS group. It is noteworthy that an enrichment of genes encoding putative enzymes implicated in the metabolism of taurine and hypotaurine was observed in the RS samples. Our findings illustrated that the stability and resilience of the gut bacterial community could be shaped in the wild fish host-microbiome interactions during reproductive life history.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Li L, Huang H, Jin Z, et al (2024)

Strawberry Yield Improvement by Hydrogen-Based Irrigation Is Functionally Linked to Altered Rhizosphere Microbial Communities.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 13(13): pii:plants13131723.

Molecular hydrogen (H2) is crucial for agricultural microbial systems. However, the mechanisms underlying its influence on crop yields is yet to be fully elucidated. This study observed that H2-based irrigation significantly increased strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) yield with/without nutrient fertilization. The reduction in soil available nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and organic matter was consistent with the increased expression levels of N/P/K-absorption-related genes in root tissues at the fruiting stage. Metagenomics profiling showed the alterations in rhizosphere microbial community composition achieved by H2, particularly under the conditions without fertilizers. These included the enrichment of plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria, such as Burkholderia, Pseudomonas, and Cupriavidus genera. Rhizobacteria with the capability to oxidize H2 (group 2a [NiFe] hydrogenase) were also enriched. Consistently, genes related to soil carbon (C) fixation (i.e., rbcL, porD, frdAB, etc.), dissimilar nitrate reduction (i.e., napAB and nrfAH), and P solublization, mineralization, and transportation (i.e., ppx-gppA, appA, and ugpABCE) exhibited higher abundance. Contrary tendencies were observed in the soil C degradation and N denitrification genes. Together, these results clearly indicate that microbe-mediated soil C, N, and P cycles might be functionally altered by H2, thus increasing plant nutrient uptake capacity and horticultural crop yield.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

de Carvalho Alves J, de Souza CO, de Matos Santos L, et al (2024)

Licuri Kernel (Syagrus coronata (Martius) Beccari): A Promising Matrix for the Development of Fermented Plant-Based Kefir Beverages.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 13(13): pii:foods13132056.

New licuri-based kefir beverages were obtained using water kefir grains as fermentation inoculum (1, 2.5, and 5%) under different fermentation times (24 and 48 h). Metagenomic sequencing of the kefir grains adapted to the aqueous licuri extract revealed Lactobacillus hilgardii and Brettanomyces bruxellensis to be predominant in this inoculum. The excellent adaptation of the kefir grains to the licuri extract raised the possibility of prebiotic action of these almonds. The beverages showed acidity values between 0.33 ± 0.00 and 0.88 ± 0.00 mg lactic acid/100 mL and pH between 3.52 ± 0.01 and 4.29 ± 0.04. The viability of lactic acid bacteria in the fermented beverages was equal to or greater than 10[8] CFU/mL, while yeasts were between 10[4] and 10[5] CFU/mL. There were significant differences (p < 0.05) in the proximate composition of the formulations, especially in the protein (1.37 ± 0.33-2.16 ± 0.84) and carbohydrate (5.86 ± 0.19-11.51 ± 1.26) contents. In addition, all the samples showed good stability in terms of acidity, pH, and viability for LAB and yeasts during 28 days of storage (4 °C). Overall, the beverages showed a dominant yellow-green color, non-Newtonian pseudoplastic behavior, and high mean scores in the sensory evaluation. This study provided evidence of the emerging potential of licuri in the plant-based beverage industry.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Touceda-Suárez A, Touceda-Suárez M, Arboleya JC, et al (2024)

Harnessing Bacillus amyloliquefaciens for Amazake Production: Comparison with Aspergillus oryzae Amazake for Metabolomic Characteristics, Microbial Diversity, and Sensory Profile.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 13(13): pii:foods13132012.

Amazake is a traditional, sweet, non-alcoholic Japanese beverage typically produced through koji fermentation by the fungus Aspergillus oryzae. However, alternative microorganisms such as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens offer potential advantages and novel possibilities for producing similar fermented beverages. This study aimed to replicate the ancestral beverage of amazake by replacing A. oryzae (W-20) with B. amyloliquefaciens (NCIMB 12077) and comparing their fermentation processes and resulting products. Our results show that the production of amazake with B. amyloliquefaciens (ABA) is not only possible but also results in a beverage that is otherwise distinct from traditional amazake (AAO). Saccharification was achievable in ABA at higher temperatures than in AAO, albeit with lower reducing sugar and enzymatic activity values. Amino acids and organic acids were more abundant in AAO, with cysteine being uniquely present in AAO and shikimic acid only being present in ABA. The volatile aroma compound profiles differed between the two beverages, with AAO exhibiting a greater abundance of aldehydes, and ABA a greater abundance of ketones and alcohols. Interestingly, despite these compositional differences, the two beverages showed similar consumer panel acceptance rates. An analysis of their microbial communities revealed pronounced differences between the amazakes, as well as temporal changes in ABA but not in AAO. This study provides promising insights into harnessing the potential of B. amyloliquefaciens as the primary microorganism in the fermentation process of amazake-like beverages, marking an important advancement in the field of fermented low-alcohol beverage production, with possible applications in other fermented foods.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Harakawa K, Kawarai S, Kryukov K, et al (2024)

Buccal Swab Samples from Japanese Brown Cattle Fed with Limonite Reveal Altered Rumen Microbiome.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 14(13): pii:ani14131968.

The areas of the Mount Aso grasslands in Kumamoto, Japan, are the primary location for the breeding of the Kumamoto strain of Japanese Brown cattle (JBRK). Although Aso limonite, deposited by volcanic ash and magma, has been commonly fed to pregnant JBRK in this area, the mechanisms of its salutary effects on pregnant JBRK have not yet been elucidated. Approximately 100 days before the expected day of calf delivery, seven JBRK (four supplemented with limonite and three controls without limonite) were assigned to this study, from which a buccal swab was collected at the highest rumination every 30 days for 90 days. DNA extracted from these swabs was then analyzed using a 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequence analysis. Statistically significant differences between the two groups were discovered through beta-diversity analysis, though results from alpha-diversity analysis were inconclusive. The microbiota identified were classified into six clusters, and three of the main clusters were core-rumen bacteria, primarily cellulose digestion in cluster 1, oral bacteria in cluster 2, and non-core-rumen bacteria in cluster 3. In the limonite group, core-rumen bacteria decreased while non-core-rumen bacteria increased, suggesting that limonite feeding alters rumen microbiota, particularly activation of non-core-rumen microbiota.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Kerek Á, Román IL, Szabó Á, et al (2024)

Comprehensive Metagenomic Analysis of Veterinary Probiotics in Broiler Chickens.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 14(13): pii:ani14131927.

Probiotics are widely used in broiler chickens to support the gut microbiome, gut health, and to reduce the amount of antibiotics used. Despite their benefits, there is concern over their ability to carry and spread antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs), posing a significant public health risk. This study utilized next-generation sequencing to investigate ARGs in probiotics approved for poultry, focusing on their potential to be transferred via mobile genetic elements such as plasmids and phages. We examined the gut microbiome and resistome changes in 60 broiler chickens over their rearing period, correlating these changes with different probiotic treatments. Specific resistance mechanisms against critically important antibiotics were identified, including genes related to fluoroquinolone resistance and peptide antibiotic resistance. We also found genes with significant relevance to public health (aadK, AAC(6')-Ii) and multiple drug-resistance genes (vmlR, ykkC, ykkD, msrC, clbA, eatAv). Only one phage-encoded gene (dfrA43) was detected, with no evidence of plasmid or mobile genetic element transmission. Additionally, metagenomic analysis of fecal samples showed no significant changes corresponding to time or diet across groups. Our findings highlight the potential risks associated with the use of probiotics in poultry, particularly regarding the carriage of ARGs. It is crucial to conduct further research into the molecular genetics of probiotics to develop strategies that mitigate the risk of resistance gene transfer in agriculture, ensuring the safe and effective use of probiotics in animal husbandry.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Guo Y, Garber PA, Yang Y, et al (2024)

The Conservation Implications of the Gut Microbiome for Protecting the Critically Endangered Gray Snub-Nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi).

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 14(13): pii:ani14131917.

The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in regulating energy metabolism, facilitating nutrient absorption, and supporting immune function, thereby assisting the host in adapting to seasonal dietary changes. Here, we compare the gut microbiome composition of wild gray snub-nosed monkeys during winter (from October to December) and spring (from January to March) to understand differences in seasonal nutrient intake patterns. Snub-nosed monkeys are foregut fermenters and consume difficult-to-digest carbohydrates and lichen. To examine the digestive adaptations of gray snub-nosed monkeys, we collected 14 fresh fecal samples for DNA analysis during the winter and spring. Based on 16S rRNA sequencing, metagenomic sequencing, and functional metagenomic analyses, we identified that Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Bacteroidetes constitute a keystone bacterial group in the gut microbiota during winter and spring and are responsible for degrading cellulose. Moreover, the transition in dietary composition from winter to spring was accompanied by changes in gut microbiota composition, demonstrating adaptive responses to varying food sources and availability. In winter, the bacterial species of the genera Streptococcus were found in higher abundance. At the functional level, these bacteria are involved in fructose and mannose metabolism and galactose metabolism c-related pathways, which facilitate the breakdown of glycogen, starch, and fiber found in fruits, seeds, and mature leaves. During spring, there was an increased abundance of bacteria species from the Prevotella and Lactobacillus genera, which aid the digestion of protein-rich buds. Combined, these findings reveal how the gut microbiota adjusts to fluctuations in energy balance and nutrient intake across different seasons in this critically endangered species. Moreover, we also identified Pseudomonas in two samples; the presence of potential pathogens within the gut could pose a risk to other troop members. Our findings highlight the necessity of a conservation plan that focuses on protecting vegetation and implementing measures to prevent disease transmission for this critically endangered species.

RevDate: 2024-07-12
CmpDate: 2024-07-13

Sun Y, Gan Z, Wang X, et al (2024)

Integrative metagenomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analysis reveal the microbiota-host interplay in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma among non-smokers.

Journal of translational medicine, 22(1):652.

BACKGROUND: The incidence of early-stage lung adenocarcinoma (ES-LUAD) is steadily increasing among non-smokers. Previous research has identified dysbiosis in the gut microbiota of patients with lung cancer. However, the local microbial profile of non-smokers with ES-LUAD remains largely unknown. In this study, we systematically characterized the local microbial community and its associated features to enable early intervention.

METHODS: A prospective collection of ES-LUAD samples (46 cases) and their corresponding normal tissues adjacent to the tumor (41 cases), along with normal lung tissue samples adjacent to pulmonary bullae in patients with spontaneous pneumothorax (42 cases), were subjected to ultra-deep metagenomic sequencing, host transcriptomic sequencing, and proteomic sequencing. The obtained omics data were subjected to both individual and integrated analysis using Spearman correlation coefficients.

RESULTS: We concurrently detected the presence of bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the lung tissues. The microbial profile of ES-LUAD exhibited similarities to NAT but demonstrated significant differences from the healthy controls (HCs), characterized by an overall reduction in species diversity. Patients with ES-LUAD exhibited local microbial dysbiosis, suggesting the potential pathogenicity of certain microbial species. Through multi-omics correlations, intricate local crosstalk between the host and local microbial communities was observed. Additionally, we identified a significant positive correlation (rho > 0.6) between Methyloversatilis discipulorum and GOLM1 at both the transcriptional and protein levels using multi-omics data. This correlated axis may be associated with prognosis. Finally, a diagnostic model composed of six bacterial markers successfully achieved precise differentiation between patients with ES-LUAD and HCs.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study depicts the microbial spectrum in patients with ES-LUAD and provides evidence of alterations in lung microbiota and their interplay with the host, enhancing comprehension of the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie ES-LUAD. The specific model incorporating lung microbiota can serve as a potential diagnostic tool for distinguishing between ES-LUAD and HCs.

RevDate: 2024-07-12
CmpDate: 2024-07-12

Zhang Z, Liu T, Ming M, et al (2024)

Metagenomic next-generation sequencing promotes diagnosis and treatment of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in non-HIV infected children: a retrospective study.

BMC pulmonary medicine, 24(1):338.

BACKGROUND: Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) excels in diagnosis of infection pathogens. We aimed to evaluate the performance of mNGS for the diagnosis of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) in non-HIV infected children.

METHODS: Totally 36 PJP children and 61 non-PJP children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit from March 2018 to December 2021 were retrospectively enrolled. Clinical features of PJP children were summarized. 1,3-β-D glucan (BDG) test and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) mNGS were used for evaluation of PJP diagnostic performance. Antimicrobial management modifications for PJP children after the mNGS results were also reviewed.

RESULTS: Pneumocystis jirovecii was detected in all PJP children by mNGS (36/36), and the sensitivity of mNGS was 100% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 90.26-100%). The sensitivity of BDG was 57.58% (95% CI: 39.22-74.52%). Of the 26 (72.2%) PJP patients with mixed infection, twenty-four (66.7%) were detected by BALF-mNGS. Thirteen patients (36.1%) had their antimicrobial management adjusted according to the mNGS results. Thirty-six PJP children included 17 (47.2%) primary immunodeficiency and 19 (52.8%) secondary immunodeficiency, of whom 19 (52.8%) survived and 17 (47.2%) died. Compared to survival subgroup, non-survival subgroup had a higher rate of primary immunodeficiency (64.7% vs. 31.6%, P = 0.047), younger age (7 months vs. 39 months, P = 0.011), lower body weight (8.0 kg vs. 12.0 kg, P = 0.022), and lower T lymphocyte counts.

CONCLUSIONS: The mortality rate of PJP in immunosuppressed children without HIV infection is high and early diagnosis is challenging. BALF-mNGS could help identify PJP and guide clinical management.

RevDate: 2024-07-12
CmpDate: 2024-07-12

Philip M, Rudi K, Ormaasen I, et al (2024)

METASEED: a novel approach to full-length 16S rRNA gene reconstruction from short read data.

BMC bioinformatics, 25(1):237.

BACKGROUND: With the emergence of Oxford Nanopore technology, now the on-site sequencing of 16S rRNA from environments is available. Due to the error level and structure, the analysis of such data demands some database of reference sequences. However, many taxa from complex and diverse environments, have poor representation in publicly available databases. In this paper, we propose the METASEED pipeline for the reconstruction of full-length 16S sequences from such environments, in order to improve the reference for the subsequent use of on-site sequencing.

RESULTS: We show that combining high-precision short-read sequencing of both 16S and full metagenome from the same samples allow us to reconstruct high-quality 16S sequences from the more abundant taxa. A significant novelty is the carefully designed collection of metagenome reads that matches the 16S amplicons, based on a combination of uniqueness and abundance. Compared to alternative approaches this produces superior results.

CONCLUSION: Our pipeline will facilitate numerous studies associated with various unknown microorganisms, thus allowing the comprehension of the diverse environments. The pipeline is a potential tool in generating a full length 16S rRNA gene database for any environment.

RevDate: 2024-07-12
CmpDate: 2024-07-12

He C, Fucich D, Sosa A, et al (2024)

Deep metagenomic sequencing unveils novel SAR202 lineages and their vertical adaptation in the ocean.

Communications biology, 7(1):853.

SAR202 bacteria in the Chloroflexota phylum are abundant and widely distributed in the ocean. Their genome coding capacities indicate their potential roles in degrading complex and recalcitrant organic compounds in the ocean. However, our understanding of their genomic diversity, vertical distribution, and depth-related metabolisms is still limited by the number of assembled SAR202 genomes. In this study, we apply deep metagenomic sequencing (180 Gb per sample) to investigate microbial communities collected from six representative depths at the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series (BATS) station. We obtain 173 SAR202 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs). Intriguingly, 154 new species and 104 new genera are found based on these 173 SAR202 genomes. We add 12 new subgroups to the current SAR202 lineages. The vertical distribution of 20 SAR202 subgroups shows their niche partitioning in the euphotic, mesopelagic, and bathypelagic oceans, respectively. Deep-ocean SAR202 bacteria contain more genes and exhibit more metabolic potential for degrading complex organic substrates than those from the euphotic zone. With deep metagenomic sequencing, we uncover many new lineages of SAR202 bacteria and their potential functions which greatly deepen our understanding of their diversity, vertical profile, and contribution to the ocean's carbon cycling, especially in the deep ocean.

RevDate: 2024-07-12
CmpDate: 2024-07-12

Su X, Huang X, Zhang Y, et al (2024)

Nitrifying niche in estuaries is expanded by the plastisphere.

Nature communications, 15(1):5866.

The estuarine plastisphere, a novel ecological habitat in the Anthropocene, has garnered global concerns. Recent geochemical evidence has pointed out its potential role in influencing nitrogen biogeochemistry. However, the biogeochemical significance of the plastisphere and its mechanisms regulating nitrogen cycling remain elusive. Using [15]N- and [13]C-labelling coupled with metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, here we unveil that the plastisphere likely acts as an underappreciated nitrifying niche in estuarine ecosystems, exhibiting a 0.9 ~ 12-fold higher activity of bacteria-mediated nitrification compared to surrounding seawater and other biofilms (stone, wood and glass biofilms). The shift of active nitrifiers from O2-sensitive nitrifiers in the seawater to nitrifiers with versatile metabolisms in the plastisphere, combined with the potential interspecific cooperation of nitrifying substrate exchange observed among the plastisphere nitrifiers, collectively results in the unique nitrifying niche. Our findings highlight the plastisphere as an emerging nitrifying niche in estuarine environment, and deepen the mechanistic understanding of its contribution to marine biogeochemistry.

RevDate: 2024-07-13

Satta A, Ghiotto G, Santinello D, et al (2024)

Synergistic functional activity of a landfill microbial consortium in a microplastic-enriched environment.

The Science of the total environment, 947:174696 pii:S0048-9697(24)04845-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Plastic pollution of the soil is a global issue of increasing concern, with far-reaching impact on the environment and human health. To fully understand the medium- and long-term impact of plastic dispersal in the environment, it is necessary to define its interaction with the residing microbial communities and the biochemical routes of its degradation and metabolization. However, despite recent attention on this problem, research has largely focussed on microbial functional potential, failing to clearly identify collective adaptation strategies of these communities. Our study combines genome-centric metagenomics and metatranscriptomics to characterise soil microbial communities adapting to high polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate concentration. The microbiota were sampled from a landfill subject to decades-old plastic contamination and enriched through prolonged cultivation using these microplastics as the only carbon source. This approach aimed to select the microorganisms that best adapt to these specific substrates. As a result, we obtained simplified communities where multiple plastic metabolization pathways are widespread across abundant and rare microbial taxa. Major differences were found in terms of expression, which on average was higher in planktonic microbes than those firmly adhered to plastic, indicating complementary metabolic roles in potential microplastic assimilation. Moreover, metatranscriptomic patterns indicate a high transcriptional level of numerous genes in emerging taxa characterised by a marked accumulation of genomic variants, supporting the hypothesis that plastic metabolization requires an extensive rewiring in energy metabolism and thus provides a strong selective pressure. Altogether, our results provide an improved characterisation of the impact of microplastics derived from common plastics types on terrestrial microbial communities and suggest biotic responses investing contaminated sites as well as potential biotechnological targets for cooperative plastic upcycling.

RevDate: 2024-07-12

Lu J, Yu P, Zhang J, et al (2024)

Biotic/abiotic transformation mechanisms of phenanthrene in iron-rich constructed wetland under redox fluctuation.

Water research, 261:122033 pii:S0043-1354(24)00933-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Iron-rich constructed wetlands (CWs) could promote phenanthrene bioremediation efficiently through biotic and abiotic pathways, which have gained increasing attention. However, the biotic/abiotic transformation mechanisms of trace organic contaminants in iron-rich CW are still ambiguous. Herein, three CWs (i.e., CW-A: Control; CW-B: Iron-rich CW, CW-C: Iron-rich CW + tidal flow) were constructed to investigate the transformation mechanisms of phenanthrene through Mössbauer spectroscopy and metagenomics. Results demonstrated CW-C achieved the highest phenanthrene removal (94.0 %) and bacterial toxicity reduction (92.1 %) due to the optimized degradation pathway, and subsequently achieved the safe transformation of phenanthrene. Surface-bound/low-crystalline iron regulated hydroxyl radical (·OH) production predominantly, and its utilization was promoted in CW-C, which also improved electron transfer capacity. The enhanced electron transfer capacity led to the enrichment of PAH-degrading microorganisms (e.g., Thauera) and keystone species (Sphingobacteriales bacterium 46-32) in CW-C. Additionally, the abundances of phenanthrene transformation (e.g., EC:1.14.12.-) and tricarboxylic-acid-cycle (e.g., EC:2.3.3.1) enzyme were up-regulated in CW-C. Further analysis indicated that the safe transformation of phenanthrene was mainly attributed to the combined effect of abiotic (·OH and surface-bound/low-crystalline iron) and biotic (microbial community and diversity) mechanisms in CW-C, which contributed similarly. Our study revealed the essential role of active iron in the safe transformation of phenanthrene, and was beneficial for enhanced performance of iron-rich CW.

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RJR Experience and Expertise

Researcher

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

Educator

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

Administrator

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

Technologist

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

Publisher

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

Speaker

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

Facilitator

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

Designer

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

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Although we can't usually see them, microbes are essential for every part of human life—indeed all life on Earth. The emerging field of metagenomics offers a new way of exploring the microbial world that will transform modern microbiology and lead to practical applications in medicine, agriculture, alternative energy, environmental remediation, and many others areas. Metagenomics allows researchers to look at the genomes of all of the microbes in an environment at once, providing a "meta" view of the whole microbial community and the complex interactions within it. It's a quantum leap beyond traditional research techniques that rely on studying—one at a time—the few microbes that can be grown in the laboratory. At the request of the National Science Foundation, five Institutes of the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy, the National Research Council organized a committee to address the current state of metagenomics and identify obstacles current researchers are facing in order to determine how to best support the field and encourage its success. The New Science of Metagenomics recommends the establishment of a "Global Metagenomics Initiative" comprising a small number of large-scale metagenomics projects as well as many medium- and small-scale projects to advance the technology and develop the standard practices needed to advance the field. The report also addresses database needs, methodological challenges, and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in supporting this new field.

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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

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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