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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology

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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 24 Feb 2021 at 01:43 Created: 

Microbial Ecology

Wikipedia: Microbial Ecology (or environmental microbiology) is the ecology of microorganisms: their relationship with one another and with their environment. It concerns the three major domains of life — Eukaryota, Archaea, and Bacteria — as well as viruses. Microorganisms, by their omnipresence, impact the entire biosphere. Microbial life plays a primary role in regulating biogeochemical systems in virtually all of our planet's environments, including some of the most extreme, from frozen environments and acidic lakes, to hydrothermal vents at the bottom of deepest oceans, and some of the most familiar, such as the human small intestine. As a consequence of the quantitative magnitude of microbial life (Whitman and coworkers calculated 5.0×1030 cells, eight orders of magnitude greater than the number of stars in the observable universe) microbes, by virtue of their biomass alone, constitute a significant carbon sink. Aside from carbon fixation, microorganisms' key collective metabolic processes (including nitrogen fixation, methane metabolism, and sulfur metabolism) control global biogeochemical cycling. The immensity of microorganisms' production is such that, even in the total absence of eukaryotic life, these processes would likely continue unchanged.

Created with PubMed® Query: "microbial ecology" NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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RevDate: 2021-02-22

Zwart MP, Blanc S, Johnson M, et al (2021)

Unresolved advantages of multipartitism in spatially structured environments.

Virus evolution, 7(1):veab004 pii:veab004.

Multipartite viruses have segmented genomes and package each of their genome segments individually into distinct virus particles. Multipartitism is common among plant viruses, but why this apparently costly genome organization and packaging has evolved remains unclear. Recently Zhang and colleagues developed network epidemiology models to study the epidemic spread of multipartite viruses and their distribution over plant and animal hosts (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2019, 123, 138101). In this short commentary, we call into question the relevance of these results because of key model assumptions. First, the model of plant hosts assumes virus transmission only occurs between adjacent plants. This assumption overlooks the basic but imperative fact that most multipartite viruses are transmitted over variable distances by mobile animal vectors, rendering the model results irrelevant to differences between plant and animal hosts. Second, when not all genome segments of a multipartite virus are transmitted to a host, the model assumes an incessant latent infection occurs. This is a bold assumption for which there is no evidence to date, making the relevance of these results to understanding multipartitism questionable.

RevDate: 2021-02-22

Gil J, Andrade-Martínez JS, J Duitama (2021)

Accurate, Efficient and User-Friendly Mutation Calling and Sample Identification for TILLING Experiments.

Frontiers in genetics, 12:624513.

TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) is a powerful reverse genetics method in plant functional genomics and breeding to identify mutagenized individuals with improved behavior for a trait of interest. Pooled high throughput sequencing (HTS) of the targeted genes allows efficient identification and sample assignment of variants within genes of interest in hundreds of individuals. Although TILLING has been used successfully in different crops and even applied to natural populations, one of the main issues for a successful TILLING experiment is that most currently available bioinformatics tools for variant detection are not designed to identify mutations with low frequencies in pooled samples or to perform sample identification from variants identified in overlapping pools. Our research group maintains the Next Generation Sequencing Experience Platform (NGSEP), an open source solution for analysis of HTS data. In this manuscript, we present three novel components within NGSEP to facilitate the design and analysis of TILLING experiments: a pooled variants detector, a sample identifier from variants detected in overlapping pools and a simulator of TILLING experiments. A new implementation of the NGSEP calling model for variant detection allows accurate detection of low frequency mutations within pools. The samples identifier implements the process to triangulate the mutations called within overlapping pools in order to assign mutations to single individuals whenever possible. Finally, we developed a complete simulator of TILLING experiments to enable benchmarking of different tools and to facilitate the design of experimental alternatives varying the number of pools and individuals per pool. Simulation experiments based on genes from the common bean genome indicate that NGSEP provides similar accuracy and better efficiency than other tools to perform pooled variants detection. To the best of our knowledge, NGSEP is currently the only tool that generates individual assignments of the mutations discovered from the pooled data. We expect that this development will be of great use for different groups implementing TILLING as an alternative for plant breeding and even to research groups performing pooled sequencing for other applications.

RevDate: 2021-02-22

Chang J, Sun Y, Tian L, et al (2021)

The Structure of Rhizosphere Fungal Communities of Wild and Domesticated Rice: Changes in Diversity and Co-occurrence Patterns.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:610823.

The rhizosphere fungal community affects the ability of crops to acquire nutrients and their susceptibility to pathogen invasion. However, the effects of rice domestication on the diversity and interactions of rhizosphere fungal community still remain largely unknown. Here, internal transcribed spacer amplicon sequencing was used to systematically analyze the structure of rhizosphere fungal communities of wild and domesticated rice. The results showed that domestication increased the alpha diversity indices of the rice rhizosphere fungal community. The changes of alpha diversity index may be associated with the enrichment of Acremonium, Lecythophora, and other specific rare taxa in the rhizosphere of domesticated rice. The co-occurrence network showed that the complexity of wild rice rhizosphere fungal community was higher than that of the domesticated rice rhizosphere fungal community. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and soilborne fungi were positively and negatively correlated with more fungi in the wild rice rhizosphere, respectively. For restructuring the rhizomicrobial community of domesticated crops, we hypothesize that microbes that hold positive connections with AMF and negative connections with soilborne fungi can be used as potential sources for bio-inoculation. Our findings provide a scientific basis for reshaping the structure of rhizomicrobial community and furthermore create potential for novel intelligent and sustainable agricultural solutions.

RevDate: 2021-02-22

Patin NV, Dietrich ZA, Stancil A, et al (2021)

Gulf of Mexico blue hole harbors high levels of novel microbial lineages.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Exploration of oxygen-depleted marine environments has consistently revealed novel microbial taxa and metabolic capabilities that expand our understanding of microbial evolution and ecology. Marine blue holes are shallow karst formations characterized by low oxygen and high organic matter content. They are logistically challenging to sample, and thus our understanding of their biogeochemistry and microbial ecology is limited. We present a metagenomic and geochemical characterization of Amberjack Hole on the Florida continental shelf (Gulf of Mexico). Dissolved oxygen became depleted at the hole's rim (32 m water depth), remained low but detectable in an intermediate hypoxic zone (40-75 m), and then increased to a secondary peak before falling below detection in the bottom layer (80-110 m), concomitant with increases in nutrients, dissolved iron, and a series of sequentially more reduced sulfur species. Microbial communities in the bottom layer contained heretofore undocumented levels of the recently discovered phylum Woesearchaeota (up to 58% of the community), along with lineages in the bacterial Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR). Thirty-one high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) showed extensive biochemical capabilities for sulfur and nitrogen cycling, as well as for resisting and respiring arsenic. One uncharacterized gene associated with a CPR lineage differentiated hypoxic from anoxic zone communities. Overall, microbial communities and geochemical profiles were stable across two sampling dates in the spring and fall of 2019. The blue hole habitat is a natural marine laboratory that provides opportunities for sampling taxa with under-characterized but potentially important roles in redox-stratified microbial processes.

RevDate: 2021-02-20

Green EA, Smedley SR, JL Klassen (2021)

North American Fireflies Host Low Bacterial Diversity.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Although there are numerous studies of firefly mating flashes, lantern bioluminescence, and anti-predation lucibufagin metabolites, almost nothing is known about their microbiome. We therefore used 16S rRNA community amplicon sequencing to characterize the gut and body microbiomes of four North American firefly taxa: Ellychnia corrusca, the Photuris versicolor species complex, Pyractomena borealis, and Pyropyga decipiens. These firefly microbiomes all have very low species diversity, often dominated by a single species, and each firefly type has a characteristic microbiome. Although the microbiomes of male and female fireflies did not differ from each other, Ph. versicolor gut and body microbiomes did, with their gut microbiomes being enriched in Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter. Ellychnia corrusca egg and adult microbiomes were unique except for a single egg microbiome that shared a community type with E. corrusca adults, which could suggest microbial transmission from mother to offspring. Mollicutes that had been previously isolated from fireflies were common in our firefly microbiomes. These results set the stage for further research concerning the function and transmission of these bacterial symbionts.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Tatsumi C, Azuma WA, Ogawa Y, et al (2021)

Nitrogen Availability and Microbial Communities of Canopy Soils in a Large Cercidiphyllum japonicum Tree of a Cool-Temperate Old Growth Forest.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Canopy soils on large trees are important for supporting the lives of many canopy plants, and thereby increasing regional biodiversity. However, because of the less accessibility to canopy soils, there is insufficient knowledge on how canopy soils produce available nitrogen (N) for canopy plants through the activity of canopy soil microbes. Canopy soils usually have different soil properties from ground soils, so we hypothesized that canopy soils would have unique microbial communities compared to ground soils, but still provide available N for canopy plants. Here, we compared soil N availability, including net N mineralization and nitrification rate, and microbial communities between canopy soils (organic soils) collected at various heights of a large Cercidiphyllum japonicum tree and ground soils (organic and mineral soils) in a cool-temperate old-growth forest of Japan. The canopy soils had significantly different N availability (mass-based higher but volume-based lower) and microbial communities from the ground mineral soils. Among organic soils, the height of the soil had an impact on the microbial communities but not on the N availability, which agreed with our hypothesis. Despite the decrease in fungal abundance in the higher soils, the increase in certain components of the cellulose-decomposing fungi and oligotrophic bacteria may contribute to the available N production. Also, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizers did not change with the height, which would be important for the nitrification rate. Our study implied canopy soils could provide N to canopy plants partly through the functional redundancy within different microbial communities and constant population of ammonia-oxidizers.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Dlamini ST, Jaiswal SK, Mohammed M, et al (2021)

Studies of Phylogeny, Symbiotic Functioning and Ecological Traits of Indigenous Microsymbionts Nodulating Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc) in Eswatini.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Rhizobial microsymbionts of grain legumes are ubiquitous in soils and exhibit a wide range of diversity with respect to colony morphology, genetic variability, biochemical characteristics, and phylogenetic relationships. This study assessed the phylogenetic positions of rhizobial microsymbionts of Bambara groundnut from Eswatini exhibiting variations in morpho-physiology, adaptive characteristics, and N2-fixing efficiency. The isolates' ERIC-PCR profiles revealed the presence of high genetic variation among them. These test isolates also exhibited differences in pH tolerance and IAA production. Multilocus sequence analysis based on the 16S rRNA, atpD, glnII, gyrB, and recA gene sequences of representative test isolates closely aligned them to the type strains of Bradyrhizobium arachidis, B. manausense, B. guangdongense, B. elkanii, and B. pachyrhizi. However, some isolates showed a high divergence from the known reference type strains, indicating that they may represent species yet to be properly characterized and described. Functional characterization in the glasshouse revealed that most of the isolates from the contrasting Agro-ecologies of Eswatini were efficient in N2 fixation, and therefore elicited greater stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rates in the homologous Bambara groundnut. Of the 75 isolates tested, 51% were more effective than the commercial Bradyrhizobium sp. strain CB756, with relative symbiotic effectiveness ranging from 138 to 308%. The findings of this study indicated that the analysis of housekeeping genes and functional traits of Bambara-nodulating microsymbionts can provide a clear view for understanding and predicting rhizobial community structure across environmental gradients.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Ritter CD, Forster D, Azevedo JAR, et al (2021)

Assessing Biotic and Abiotic Interactions of Microorganisms in Amazonia through Co-Occurrence Networks and DNA Metabarcoding.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Species may co-occur due to responses to similar environmental conditions, biological associations, or simply because of coincident geographical distributions. Disentangling patterns of co-occurrence and potential biotic and abiotic interactions is crucial to understand ecosystem function. Here, we used DNA metabarcoding data from litter and mineral soils collected from a longitudinal transect in Amazonia to explore patterns of co-occurrence. We compared data from different Amazonian habitat types, each with a characteristic biota and environmental conditions. These included non-flooded rainforests (terra-firme), forests seasonally flooded by fertile white waters (várzeas) or by unfertile black waters (igapós), and open areas associated with white sand soil (campinas). We ran co-occurrence network analyses based on null models and Spearman correlation for all samples and for each habitat separately. We found that one third of all operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were bacteria and two thirds were eukaryotes. The resulting networks were nevertheless mostly composed of bacteria, with fewer fungi, protists, and metazoans. Considering the functional traits of the OTUs, there is a combination of metabolism modes including respiration and fermentation for bacteria, and a high frequency of saprotrophic fungi (those that feed on dead organic matter), indicating a high turnover of organic material. The organic carbon and base saturation indices were important in the co-occurrences in Amazonian networks, whereas several other soil properties were important for the co-exclusion. Different habitats had similar network properties with some variation in terms of modularity, probably associated with flooding pulse. We show that Amazonian microorganism communities form highly interconnected co-occurrence and co-exclusion networks, which highlights the importance of complex biotic and abiotic interactions in explaining the outstanding biodiversity of the region.

RevDate: 2021-02-18

Verspecht T, Ghesquière J, Bernaerts K, et al (2021)

Evaluating the intrinsic capacity of oral bacteria to produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in liquid cultures: Interference by bacterial growth media.

Journal of microbiological methods pii:S0167-7012(21)00038-5 [Epub ahead of print].

This work highlights the issue of interference by growth media when measuring bacterial H2O2 production. H2O2 was shown to be stable in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) but not in growth media. The protocol used for evaluating the intrinsic capacity of oral streptococci to produce H2O2 was shown to be reliable.

RevDate: 2021-02-18

Nava-González B, Suazo-Ortuño I, López PB, et al (2021)

Inhibition of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection by Skin Bacterial Communities in Wild Amphibian Populations.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Skin-associated bacteria are known to inhibit infection by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibians. It has also been postulated that skin-associated bacterial community is related to Bd infection intensity. However, our understanding of host microbial dynamics and their importance in regulating Bd intensity is limited. We analyzed Bd infection and skin-associated bacteria from two amphibian species, the salamander Ambystoma rivulare and the frog Lithobates spectabilis that co-occurred in a tropical high-altitude site in central Mexico. Sixty-three percent of sampled salamander individuals and 80% of frog individuals tested positive for Bd. Overall, we registered 622 skin-associated bacterial genera, from which 73 are known to have Bd inhibitory effects. These inhibitory taxa represented a relative abundance of 50% in relation to total relative bacterial abundance. Our results indicated that, although sharing some bacterial taxa, bacterial community from the skin of both species was different in taxonomic composition and in relative abundance. Pseudomonas spp. and Stenotrophomonas spp. were among the five most abundant bacterial taxa of both species. Both bacterial taxa inhibit Bd infection. We detected that bacterial richness and relative abundance of inhibitory Bd bacteria were negatively related to intensity of Bd infection independent of species and seasons. Despite the high Bd prevalence in both host species, no dead or sick individuals were registered during field surveys. The relatively low levels of Bd load apparently do not compromise survival of host species. Therefore, our results suggested that individuals analyzed were able to survive and thrive under a dynamic relation with enzootic infections of Bd and their microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-02-18

Zhang W, Bahadur A, Sajjad W, et al (2021)

Seasonal Variation in Fungal Community Composition Associated with Tamarix chinensis Roots in the Coastal Saline Soil of Bohai Bay, China.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Coastal salinity typically alters the soil microbial communities, which subsequently affect the biogeochemical cycle of nutrients in the soil. The seasonal variation of the soil fungal communities in the coastal area, closely associated with plant population, is poorly understood. This study provides an insight into the fungal community's variations from autumn to winter and spring to summer at a well-populated area of salt-tolerant Tamarix chinensis and beach. The richness and diversity of fungal community were higher in the spring season and lower in the winter season, as showed by high throughput sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Ascomycota was the predominant phylum reported in all samples across the region, and higher difference was reported at order level across the seasonal variations. The redundancy analysis suggested that the abundance and diversity of fungal communities in different seasons are mainly correlated to total organic carbon and total nitrogen. Additionally, the saprotrophic and pathotrophic fungi decreased while symbiotic fungi increased in the autumn season. This study provides a pattern of seasonal variation in fungal community composition that further broadens our limited understanding of how the density of the salt-tolerant T. chinensis population of the coastal saline soil could respond to their seasonal variations.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Lyu W, Jia H, Deng C, et al (2021)

Zeolite-containing mixture alleviates microbial dysbiosis in dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis in mice.

Food science & nutrition, 9(2):772-780.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a multifactorial immunomodulatory disorder. In relative nosogenesis, gut microbiota has been the focus of research on IBD. In our previous study, we demonstrated the ameliorating effect of zeolite-containing mixture (Hydryeast®, HY) on dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis, through transcriptomics and proteomics. In the present study, we performed further investigation from the perspective of metagenomics using the gut microbiota. C57BL6 mice were provided an AIN-93G basal diet or a 0.8% HY-containing diet, and sterilized tap water for 11 days. Thereafter, colitis was induced by providing 1.5% (w/v) DSS-containing water for 9 days. DNA was extracted from the cecal contents and pooled into libraries in a single Illumina MiSeq run. The resulting sequences were analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME) software. According to the alterations in the relative abundance of certain bacteria, and the related gene and protein expressions, HY supplementation could improve the gut microbiota composition, ameliorate the degree of inflammation, inhibit the colonic mucosal microbial growth, and, to some extent, promote energy metabolism in the colon compared with the DSS treatment. Thus, we believe that HY may be a candidate to prevent and treat IBD.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Izabel-Shen D (2021)

Understanding response of microbial communities to saltwater intrusion through microcosms.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:929-933.

A central pursuit of microbial ecology is to accurately describe and explain the shifts in microbial community composition and function that occur in response to environmental changes. This goal requires a thorough understanding of the individual responses of different species and of the processes guiding the assembly of microbial populations similar in their response traits and corresponding functional traits. These research topics are addressed and synthesized in this Highlights, in four studies applying a trait-based framework to assess how environmental change affected the composition and functional performance of bacterioplankton of natural origin in microcosm experiments. The salinity of many aquatic environments is currently changing, due to climate change and anthropogenic activities. The mechanisms by which salinity influences community assembly, functional redundancy and functional genes involved in nitrogen cycle, and how dispersal modifies community outcome are explored in the four studies. Together, the findings of these case studies demonstrate the feasibility of using novel experiments in combination with integrative analyses of 16S rRNA and meta-'omic' data to address ecological questions. This combined approach has the potential to elucidate both the processes contributing to bacterial community assembly and the possible links between the compositional and functional changes that occur under shifting environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Wahdan SFM, Heintz-Buschart A, Sansupa C, et al (2021)

Targeting the Active Rhizosphere Microbiome of Trifolium pratense in Grassland Evidences a Stronger-Than-Expected Belowground Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning Link.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:629169.

The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is a central issue in soil and microbial ecology. To date, most belowground BEF studies focus on the diversity of microbes analyzed by barcoding on total DNA, which targets both active and inactive microbes. This approach creates a bias as it mixes the part of the microbiome currently steering processes that provide actual ecosystem functions with the part not directly involved. Using experimental extensive grasslands under current and future climate, we used the bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) immunocapture technique combined with pair-end Illumina sequencing to characterize both total and active microbiomes (including both bacteria and fungi) in the rhizosphere of Trifolium pratense. Rhizosphere function was assessed by measuring the activity of three microbial extracellular enzymes (β-glucosidase, N-acetyl-glucosaminidase, and acid phosphatase), which play central roles in the C, N, and P acquisition. We showed that the richness of overall and specific functional groups of active microbes in rhizosphere soil significantly correlated with the measured enzyme activities, while total microbial richness did not. Active microbes of the rhizosphere represented 42.8 and 32.1% of the total bacterial and fungal taxa, respectively, and were taxonomically and functionally diverse. Nitrogen fixing bacteria were highly active in this system with 71% of the total operational taxonomic units (OTUs) assigned to this group detected as active. We found the total and active microbiomes to display different responses to variations in soil physicochemical factors in the grassland, but with some degree of resistance to a manipulation mimicking future climate. Our findings provide critical insights into the role of active microbes in defining soil ecosystem functions in a grassland ecosystem. We demonstrate that the relationship between biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in soil may be stronger than previously thought.

RevDate: 2021-02-18

Gupta S, Shariff M, Chaturvedi G, et al (2021)

Comparative analysis of the alveolar microbiome in COPD, ECOPD, Sarcoidosis, and ILD patients to identify respiratory illnesses specific microbial signatures.

Scientific reports, 11(1):3963.

Studying respiratory illness-specific microbial signatures and their interaction with other micro-residents could provide a better understanding of lung microbial ecology. Each respiratory illness has a specific disease etiology, however, so far no study has revealed disease-specific microbial markers. The present study was designed to determine disease-specific microbial features and their interactions with other residents in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (stable and exacerbated), sarcoidosis, and interstitial lung diseases. Broncho-alveolar lavage samples (n = 43) were analyzed by SSU rRNA gene sequencing to study the alveolar microbiome in these diseases. A predominance of Proteobacteria followed by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Fusobacteria was observed in all the disease subsets. Shannon diversity was significantly higher in stable COPD when compared to exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (ECOPD) (p = 0.0061), and ILD patient samples (p = 0.037). The lung microbiome of the patients with stable COPD was more diverse in comparison to ECOPD and ILD patients (p < 0.001). Lefse analysis identified 40 disease-differentiating microbial features (LDA score (log10) > 4). Species network analysis indicated a significant correlation (p < 0.05) of diseases specific microbial signature with other lung microbiome members. The current study strengthens the proposed hypothesis that each respiratory illness has unique microbial signatures. These microbial signatures could be used as diagnostic markers to differentiate among various respiratory illnesses.

RevDate: 2021-02-18

Keller CM, Kendra CG, Bruna RE, et al (2021)

Genetic Modification of Sodalis Species by DNA Transduction.

mSphere, 6(1):.

Bacteriophages (phages) are ubiquitous in nature. These viruses play a number of central roles in microbial ecology and evolution by, for instance, promoting horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among bacterial species. The ability of phages to mediate HGT through transduction has been widely exploited as an experimental tool for the genetic study of bacteria. As such, bacteriophage P1 represents a prototypical generalized transducing phage with a broad host range that has been extensively employed in the genetic manipulation of Escherichia coli and a number of other model bacterial species. Here we demonstrate that P1 is capable of infecting, lysogenizing, and promoting transduction in members of the bacterial genus Sodalis, including the maternally inherited insect endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius While establishing new tools for the genetic study of these bacterial species, our results suggest that P1 may be used to deliver DNA to many Gram-negative endosymbionts in their insect host, thereby circumventing a culturing requirement to genetically manipulate these organisms.IMPORTANCE A large number of economically important insects maintain intimate associations with maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria. Due to the inherent nature of these associations, insect endosymbionts cannot be usually isolated in pure culture or genetically manipulated. Here we use a broad-host-range bacteriophage to deliver exogenous DNA to an insect endosymbiont and a closely related free-living species. Our results suggest that broad-host-range bacteriophages can be used to genetically alter insect endosymbionts in their insect host and, as a result, bypass a culturing requirement to genetically alter these bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-02-17

Kleerebezem R, Stouten G, Koehorst J, et al (2021)

Experimental infrastructure requirements for quantitative research on microbial communities.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 67:158-165 pii:S0958-1669(21)00022-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Natural microbial communities are composed of a large diversity of interacting microorganisms, each with a specific role in the functional properties of the ecosystem. The objectives in microbial ecology research are related to identifying, understanding and exploring the role of these different microorganisms. Because of the rapidly increasing power of DNA sequencing and the rapid increase of genomic data, main attention of microbial ecology research shifted from cultivation-oriented studies towards metagenomic studies. Despite these efforts, the direct link between the molecular properties and the measurable changes in the functional performance of the ecosystem is often poorly documented. A quantitative understanding of functional properties in relation to the molecular changes requires effective integration, standardization, and parallelization of experiments. High-resolution functional characterization is a prerequisite for interpretation of changes in metagenomic properties, and will improve our understanding of microbial communities and facilitate their exploration for health and circular economy related objectives.

RevDate: 2021-02-17

Labrador MDM, Doña J, Serrano D, et al (2021)

Correction to: Quantitative Interspecific Approach to the Stylosphere: Patterns of Bacteria and Fungi Abundance on Passerine Bird Feathers.

RevDate: 2021-02-17

Katsoula A, Vasileiadis S, Karamanoli K, et al (2021)

Factors Structuring the Epiphytic Archaeal and Fungal Communities in a Semi-arid Mediterranean Ecosystem.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The phyllosphere microbiome exerts a strong effect on plants' productivity, and its composition is determined by various factors. To date, most phyllosphere studies have focused on bacteria, while fungi and especially archaea have been overlooked. We studied the effects of plant host and season on the abundance and diversity of the epiphytic archaeal and fungal communities in a typical semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem. We collected leaves in two largely contrasting seasons (summer and winter) from eight perennial species of varying attributes which could be grouped into the following: (i) high-canopy, evergreen sclerophyllοus shrubs with leathery leaves, and low-canopy, either semi-deciduous shrubs or non-woody perennials with non-leathery leaves, and (ii) aromatic and non-aromatic plants. We determined the abundance of epiphytic Crenarchaea, total fungi, Alternaria and Cladosporium (main airborne fungi) via q-PCR and the structure of the epiphytic archaeal and fungal communities via amplicon sequencing. We observed a strong seasonal effect with all microbial groups examined showing higher abundance in summer. Plant host and season were equally important determinants of the composition of the fungal community consisted mostly of Ascomycota, with Hypocreales dominating in winter and Capnodiales and Pleosporales in summer. In contrast, the archaeal community showed plant host driven patterns dominated by the Soil Crenarchaeotic Group (SCG) and Aenigmarchaeota. Plant habit and aromatic nature exhibited filtering effects only on the epiphytic fungal communities. Our study provides a first in-depth analysis of the key determinants shaping the phyllosphere archaeal and fungal communities of a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

Taş N, de Jong AE, Li Y, et al (2021)

Metagenomic tools in microbial ecology research.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 67:184-191 pii:S0958-1669(21)00024-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Ability to directly sequence DNA from the environment permanently changed microbial ecology. Here, we review the new insights to microbial life gleaned from the applications of metagenomics, as well as the extensive set of analytical tools that facilitate exploration of diversity and function of complex microbial communities. While metagenomics is shaping our understanding of microbial functions in ecosystems via gene-centric and genome-centric methods, annotating functions, metagenome assembly and binning in heterogeneous samples remains challenging. Development of new analysis and sequencing platforms generating high-throughput long-read sequences and functional screening opportunities will aid in harnessing metagenomes to increase our understanding of microbial taxonomy, function, ecology, and evolution in the environment.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

Luzzi G, Brinks E, Fritsche J, et al (2021)

Effect of reduction of sodium content on the microbial ecology of Edam cheese samples.

AMB Express, 11(1):28.

Sodium intake is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases. Consequently, reformulation of cheeses such as Edam to contain less sodium may contribute to lowering disease risk. However, sodium is essential for cheese manufacture, influencing starter culture bacteria activity and abundance during fermentation. This study aimed to assess the microbial diversity of reformulated Edam cheese samples with a reduced sodium content using culture-independent technique. The microbial diversity of samples produced using simple sodium reduction, as well as by substituting salt with a mineral salt compound containing potassium, were analysed in comparison to regular control Edam samples during manufacture and the subsequent 6-week ripening period using 16S rDNA metagenomics. In addition, a challenge test using Listeria (List.) innocua as a surrogate species for List. monocytogenes was performed. Reducing sodium content did not influence the microbiological composition of reformulated samples in comparison to that of regular samples. The starter culture bacteria dominated the microbial diversity and no increase in spoilage or potentially pathogenic bacterial growth was detected, including that of List. innocua. From a microbiological perspective, it can be concluded that lowering sodium content in Edam samples without affecting the microbial composition is achievable through simple sodium reduction and through implementation of a mineral salt replacement approach.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

Schorn MA, Verhoeven S, Ridder L, et al (2021)

A community resource for paired genomic and metabolomic data mining.

Nature chemical biology [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-02-16

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

Coral Probiotics: Premise, Promise, Prospects.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Zheng R, Wu M, Wang H, et al (2021)

Copper-induced sublethal effects in Bufo gargarizans tadpoles: growth, intestinal histology and microbial alternations.

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

Copper (Cu) is one of the environmental contaminations which can pose significant risks for organisms. The current study explores the effects of Cu exposure on the growth, intestinal histology and microbial ecology in Bufo gargarizans. The results revealed that 0.5-1 μM Cu exposure induced growth retardation (including reduction of total body length and wet weight) and intestinal histological injury (including disordered enterocyte, changes in the villi and vacuoles) of tadpoles. Also, high-throughput sequencing analysis showed that Cu exposure caused changes in richness, diversity and structure of intestinal microbiota. Moreover, the composition of intestinal microbiota was altered in tadpoles exposed to different concentrations of Cu. At the phylum level, we observed the abundance of proteobacteria was increased, while the abundance of fusobacteria was decreased in the intestinal microbiota of tadpoles exposed to 1 μM Cu. At the genus level, a reduced abundance of kluyvera and aeromonas was observed in the intestinal microbiota of tadpoles under the exposure of 0-0.5 μM Cu. Finally, functional predictions revealed that tadpoles exposed to copper may be at a higher risk of developing metabolic disorders or diseases. Above all, our results will develop a comprehensive view of the Cu exposure in amphibians and will yield a new consideration for sublethal effects of Cu on aquatic organisms.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

George SF, Fierer N, Levy JS, et al (2021)

Antarctic Water Tracks: Microbial Community Responses to Variation in Soil Moisture, pH, and Salinity.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:616730.

Ice-free soils in the McMurdo Dry Valleys select for taxa able to cope with challenging environmental conditions, including extreme chemical water activity gradients, freeze-thaw cycling, desiccation, and solar radiation regimes. The low biotic complexity of Dry Valley soils makes them well suited to investigate environmental and spatial influences on bacterial community structure. Water tracks are annually wetted habitats in the cold-arid soils of Antarctica that form briefly each summer with moisture sourced from snow melt, ground ice thaw, and atmospheric deposition via deliquescence and vapor flow into brines. Compared to neighboring arid soils, water tracks are highly saline and relatively moist habitats. They represent a considerable area (∼5-10 km2) of the Dry Valley terrestrial ecosystem, an area that is expected to increase with ongoing climate change. The goal of this study was to determine how variation in the environmental conditions of water tracks influences the composition and diversity of microbial communities. We found significant differences in microbial community composition between on- and off-water track samples, and across two distinct locations. Of the tested environmental variables, soil salinity was the best predictor of community composition, with members of the Bacteroidetes phylum being relatively more abundant at higher salinities and the Actinobacteria phylum showing the opposite pattern. There was also a significant, inverse relationship between salinity and bacterial diversity. Our results suggest water track formation significantly alters dry soil microbial communities, likely influencing subsequent ecosystem functioning. We highlight how Dry Valley water tracks could be a useful model system for understanding the potential habitability of transiently wetted environments found on the surface of Mars.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Walker AM, Leigh MB, SL Mincks (2021)

Patterns in Benthic Microbial Community Structure Across Environmental Gradients in the Beaufort Sea Shelf and Slope.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:581124.

The paradigm of tight pelagic-benthic coupling in the Arctic suggests that current and future fluctuations in sea ice, primary production, and riverine input resulting from global climate change will have major impacts on benthic ecosystems. To understand how these changes will affect benthic ecosystem function, we must characterize diversity, spatial distribution, and community composition for all faunal components. Bacteria and archaea link the biotic and abiotic realms, playing important roles in organic matter (OM) decomposition, biogeochemical cycling, and contaminant degradation, yet sediment microbial communities have rarely been examined in the North American Arctic. Shifts in microbial community structure and composition occur with shifts in OM inputs and contaminant exposure, with implications for shifts in ecological function. Furthermore, the characterization of benthic microbial communities provides a foundation from which to build focused experimental research. We assessed diversity and community structure of benthic prokaryotes in the upper 1 cm of sediments in the southern Beaufort Sea (United States and Canada), and investigated environmental correlates of prokaryotic community structure over a broad spatial scale (spanning 1,229 km) at depths ranging from 17 to 1,200 m. Based on hierarchical clustering, we identified four prokaryotic assemblages from the 85 samples analyzed. Two were largely delineated by the markedly different environmental conditions in shallow shelf vs. upper continental slope sediments. A third assemblage was mainly comprised of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) shared between the shallow shelf and upper slope assemblages. The fourth assemblage corresponded to sediments receiving heavier OM loading, likely resulting in a shallower anoxic layer. These sites may also harbor microbial mats and/or methane seeps. Substructure within these assemblages generally reflected turnover along a longitudinal gradient, which may be related to the quantity and composition of OM deposited to the seafloor; bathymetry and the Mackenzie River were the two major factors influencing prokaryote distribution on this scale. In a broader geographical context, differences in prokaryotic community structure between the Beaufort Sea and Norwegian Arctic suggest that benthic microbes may reflect regional differences in the hydrography, biogeochemistry, and bathymetry of Arctic shelf systems.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Rain-Franco A, de Moraes GP, S Beier (2020)

Cryopreservation and Resuscitation of Natural Aquatic Prokaryotic Communities.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:597653.

Experimental reproducibility in aquatic microbial ecology is critical to predict the dynamics of microbial communities. However, controlling the initial composition of naturally occurring microbial communities that will be used as the inoculum in experimental setups is challenging, because a proper method for the preservation of those communities is lacking. To provide a feasible method for preservation and resuscitation of natural aquatic prokaryote assemblages, we developed a cryopreservation procedure applied to natural aquatic prokaryotic communities. We studied the impact of inoculum size, processing time, and storage time on the success of resuscitation. We further assessed the effect of different growth media supplemented with dissolved organic matter (DOM) prepared from naturally occurring microorganisms on the recovery of the initially cryopreserved communities obtained from two sites that have contrasting trophic status and environmental heterogeneity. Our results demonstrated that the variability of the resuscitation process among replicates decreased with increasing inoculum size. The degree of similarity between initial and resuscitated communities was influenced by both the growth medium and origin of the community. We further demonstrated that depending on the inoculum source, 45-72% of the abundant species in the initially natural microbial communities could be detected as viable cells after cryopreservation. Processing time and long-term storage up to 12 months did not significantly influence the community composition after resuscitation. However, based on our results, we recommend keeping handling time to a minimum and ensure identical incubation conditions for repeated resuscitations from cryo-preserved aliquots at different time points. Given our results, we recommend cryopreservation as a promising tool to advance experimental research in the field of microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Oyserman BO, Cordovez V, Flores SS, et al (2020)

Extracting the GEMs: Genotype, Environment, and Microbiome Interactions Shaping Host Phenotypes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:574053.

One of the fundamental tenets of biology is that the phenotype of an organism (Y) is determined by its genotype (G), the environment (E), and their interaction (GE). Quantitative phenotypes can then be modeled as Y = G + E + GE + e, where e is the biological variance. This simple and tractable model has long served as the basis for studies investigating the heritability of traits and decomposing the variability in fitness. The importance and contribution of microbe interactions to a given host phenotype is largely unclear, nor how this relates to the traditional GE model. Here we address this fundamental question and propose an expansion of the original model, referred to as GEM, which explicitly incorporates the contribution of the microbiome (M) to the host phenotype, while maintaining the simplicity and tractability of the original GE model. We show that by keeping host, environment, and microbiome as separate but interacting variables, the GEM model can capture the nuanced ecological interactions between these variables. Finally, we demonstrate with an in vitro experiment how the GEM model can be used to statistically disentangle the relative contributions of each component on specific host phenotypes.

RevDate: 2021-02-14

Petrin S, Orsini M, Mastrorilli E, et al (2021)

Identification and characterization of a spreadable IncI1 plasmid harbouring a blaCTX-M-15 gene in an Italian human isolate of Salmonella serovar Napoli.

Plasmid pii:S0147-619X(21)00013-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Napoli (S. Napoli) ranks among the top serovars causing human infections in Italy, although not common in other European countries. Isolates are generally pan-susceptible or resistant to aminoglycosides only, however data on antimicrobial resistance genes in strains of S. Napoli are limited. Recently an isolate encoding resistance to third generation cephalosporins was reported. This study aimed to characterize plasmid-encoded cephalosporin resistance due to the blaCTX-M-15 gene in a human S. Napoli isolate in Italy, and to investigate plasmid stability over time. S. Napoli 16/174478 was confirmed to be ESBL-producing. The blaCTX-M-15 gene was shown to be located on an IncI1α plasmid of 90,272 bp (50.03 GC%) encoding for 107 coding sequences (CDS). The plasmid was successfully transferred by conjugation to an E. coli 1816 recipient strain (conjugation frequency 3.9 × 10-2 transconjugants per donor). Transconjugants were confirmed to carry the IncI1α plasmid, and to be ESBL-producing strains as well. Moreover, transconjugant colonies maintained the plasmid for up to 10 passages. The identification of S. Napoli isolates able to produce ESBLs is of great concern, as this pathogen is frequently associated with invasive infections and a higher risk of bacteraemia, and its reservoir has not yet been clearly identified.

RevDate: 2021-02-13

Cordovez V, Rotoni C, Dini-Andreote F, et al (2021)

Successive plant growth amplifies genotype-specific assembly of the tomato rhizosphere microbiome.

The Science of the total environment, 772:144825 pii:S0048-9697(20)38358-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Plant microbiome assembly is a spatial and dynamic process driven by root exudates and influenced by soil type, plant developmental stage and genotype. Genotype-dependent microbiome assembly has been reported for different crop plant species. Despite the effect of plant genetics on microbiome assembly, the magnitude of host control over its root microbiome is relatively small or, for many plant species, still largely unknown. Here we cultivated modern and wild tomato genotypes for four successive cycles and showed that divergence in microbiome assembly between the two genotypes was significantly amplified over time. Also, we show that the composition of the rhizosphere microbiome of modern and wild plants became more dissimilar from the initial bulk soil and from each other. Co-occurrence analyses further identified amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) associated with early and late successions of the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. Among the members of the Late Successional Rhizosphere microbiome, we observed an enrichment of ASVs belonging to the genera Acidovorax, Massilia and Rhizobium in the wild tomato rhizosphere, whereas the modern tomato rhizosphere was enriched for an ASV belonging to the genus Pseudomonas. Collectively, our approach allowed us to study the dynamics of rhizosphere microbiome over successional cultivation as well as to categorize rhizobacterial taxa for their ability to form transient or long-term associations with their host plants.

RevDate: 2021-02-13

Liu W, Zhang X, Xu H, et al (2021)

Microbial community heterogeneity within colorectal neoplasia and its correlation with colorectal carcinogenesis.

Gastroenterology pii:S0016-5085(21)00407-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Gut microbial dysbiosis has pivotal involvement in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the intratumoural microbiota and its association with CRC progression remains elusive. Hence, we aimed to determine the microbial community architecture within a neoplasia (CRC or adenoma) and its contribution to colorectal carcinogenesis.

METHODS: We collected 436 tissue biopsies from patients with CRC (n = 36) or adenoma (n = 32) (2-6 biopsies from a neoplasia plus 2-5 biopsies from adjacent normal tissues per individual). Microbial profiling was performed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing with subsequent investigation of microbiota diversities and heterogeneity. The correlation between microbial dysbiosis and host genetic alterations (KRAS mutation and microsatellite instability (MSI)) in all neoplasia biopsies was also analysed.

RESULTS: We discovered that intra-neoplasia microbial communities are heterogeneous. Abundances of some CRC-associated pathobionts (Fusobacterium, Bacteroides, Parvimonas and Prevotella) were found to be highly varied within a single neoplasia. Correlation of such heterogeneity with CRC development revealed alteration in microbial communities involving microbes with high intra-neoplasia variation in abundance. Moreover, we found that the intra-neoplasia variation in abundance of individual microbes changed along the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. We further determined significant difference in intra-neoplasia microbiota between biopsies with and without KRAS mutation (P < 0.001) or MSI (P < 0.001) and illustrated the association of intratumoural microbial heterogeneity with genetic alteration.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that intra-neoplasia microbiota is heterogeneous and correlated with colorectal carcinogenesis. Our findings provide new insights on the contribution of gut microbiota heterogeneity to CRC progression.

RevDate: 2021-02-13

Lopes LD, Hao J, DP Schachtman (2021)

Alkaline soil pH affects bulk soil, rhizosphere and root endosphere microbiomes of plants growing in a Sandhills ecosystem.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:6134753 [Epub ahead of print].

Soil pH is a major factor shaping bulk soil microbial communities. However, it is unclear whether the belowground microbial habitats shaped by plants (e.g. rhizosphere and root endosphere) are also affected by soil pH. We investigated this question by comparing the microbial communities associated with plants growing in neutral and strongly alkaline soils in the Sandhills, which is the largest sand dune complex in the northern hemisphere. Bulk soil, rhizosphere and root endosphere DNA were extracted from multiple plant species and analyzed using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Results showed that rhizosphere, root endosphere and bulk soil microbiomes were different in the contrasting soil pH ranges. The strongest impact of plant species on the belowground microbiomes was in alkaline soils, suggesting a greater selective effect under alkali stress. Evaluation of soil chemical components showed that in addition to soil pH, cation exchange capacity also had a strong impact on shaping bulk soil microbial communities. This study extends our knowledge regarding the importance of pH to microbial ecology showing that root endosphere and rhizosphere microbial communities were also influenced by this soil component, and highlights the important role that plants play particularly in shaping the belowground microbiomes in alkaline soils.

RevDate: 2021-02-13

Kellogg JA, Reganold JP, Murphy KM, et al (2021)

A Plant-Fungus Bioassay Supports the Classification of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) as Inconsistently Mycorrhizal.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is becoming an increasingly important food crop. Understanding the microbiome of quinoa and its relationships with soil microorganisms may improve crop yield potential or nutrient use efficiency. Whether quinoa is a host or non-host of a key soil symbiont, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), is suddenly up for debate with recent field studies reporting root colonization and presence of arbuscules. This research seeks to add evidence to the mycorrhizal classification of quinoa as we investigated additional conditions not previously explored in quinoa that may affect root colonization. A greenhouse study used six AMF species, two AMF commercial inoculant products, and a diverse set of 10 quinoa genotypes. Results showed 0 to 3% quinoa root colonization by AMF when grown under greenhouse conditions. Across quinoa genotypes, AMF inoculant affected shoot dry weight (p = 0.066) and height (p = 0.031). Mykos Gold produced greater dry biomass than Claroideoglomus eutunicatum (27% increase), Rhizophagus clarus (26% increase), and within genotype CQ119, the control (21% increase). No treatment increased plant height compared to control, but Funneliformis mosseae increased height compared to C. eutunicatum (25% increase) and Rhizophagus intraradices (25% increase). Although quinoa plants were minimally colonized by AMF, plant growth responses fell along the mutualism-parasitism continuum. Individual AMF treatments increased leaf greenness in quinoa genotypes 49ALC and QQ87, while R. clarus decreased greenness in CQ119 compared to the control. Our research findings support the recommendation to classify quinoa as non-mycorrhizal when no companion plant is present and inconsistently mycorrhizal when conditional colonization occurs.

RevDate: 2021-02-13

He Y, Huang D, Li S, et al (2021)

Profiling of Microbial Communities in the Sediments of Jinsha River Watershed Exposed to Different Levels of Impacts by the Vanadium Industry, Panzhihua, China.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The mining, smelting, manufacturing, and disposal of vanadium (V) and associated products have caused serious environmental problems. Although the microbial ecology in V-contaminated soils has been intensively studied, the impacted watershed ecosystems have not been systematically investigated. In this study, geochemistry and microbial structure were analyzed along ~30 km of the Jinsha River and its two tributaries across the industrial areas in Panzhihua, one of the primary V mining and production cities in China. Geochemical analyses showed different levels of contamination by metals and metalloids in the sediments, with high degrees of contamination observed in one of the tributaries close to the industrial park. Analyses of the V4 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA genes of the microbial communities in the sediments showed significant decrease in microbial diversity and microbial structure in response to the environmental gradient (e.g., heavy metals, total sulfur, and total nitrogen). Strong association of the taxa (e.g., Thauera, Algoriphagus, Denitromonas, and Fontibacter species) with the metals suggested selection for these potential metal-resistant and/or metabolizing populations. Further co-occurrence network analysis showed that many identified potential metal-mediating species were among the keystone taxa that were closely associated in the same module, suggesting their strong inter-species interactions but relative independence from other microorganisms in the hydrodynamic ecosystems. This study provided new insight into the microbe-environment interactions in watershed ecosystems differently impacted by the V industries. Some of the phylotypes identified in the highly contaminated samples exhibited potential for bioremediation of toxic metals (e.g., V and Cr).

RevDate: 2021-02-13

Coban O, Rasigraf O, de Jong AEE, et al (2021)

Quantifying potential N turnover rates in hypersaline microbial mats by 15N tracer techniques.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.03118-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial mats, due to stratification of the redox zones, have a potential to include a complete N cycle, however an attempt to evaluate a complete N cycle in these ecosystems has not been yet made. In this study, occurrence and rates of major N cycle processes were evaluated in intact microbial mats from Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay, CA, USA, and Baja California Sur, Mexico under oxic and anoxic conditions using 15N-labeling techniques. All of the major N transformation pathways, with the exception of anammox, were detected in both microbial mats. Nitrification rates were found to be low at both sites for both seasons investigated. The highest rates of ammonium assimilation were measured in Elkhorn Slough mats in April and corresponded to high in situ ammonium concentration in the overlying water. Baja mats featured higher ammonification than ammonium assimilation rates and this, along with their higher affinity for nitrate compared to ammonium and low dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium rates, characterized their differences from Elkhorn Slough mats. Nitrogen fixation rates in Elkhorn Slough microbial mats were found to be low implying that other processes such as recycling and assimilation from water are main sources of N for these mats at the times sampled. Denitrification in all of the mats was incomplete with nitrous oxide as end product and not dinitrogen. Our findings highlight N cycling features not previously quantified in microbial mats and indicate a need of further investigations in these microbial ecosystems.Importance: Nitrogen is essential for life. The nitrogen cycle on Earth is mediated by microbial activity and has had a profound impact on both the atmosphere and the biosphere throughout geologic time. Microbial mats, present in many modern environments, have been regarded as living records of the organisms, genes, and phylogenies of microbes, as they are one of the most ancient ecosystems on Earth. While rates of major nitrogen metabolic pathways have been evaluated in a number of ecosystems, it remains elusive in microbial mats. In particular it is unclear what factors affect nitrogen cycling in these ecosystems and how morphological differences between mats impact nitrogen transformations. In this study we investigate nitrogen cycling in two microbial mats having morphological differences. Our findings provide insight for further understanding of biogeochemistry and microbial ecology of microbial mats.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Jiang C, Peces M, Andersen MH, et al (2021)

Characterizing the growing microorganisms at species level in 46 anaerobic digesters at Danish wastewater treatment plants: A six-year survey on microbial community structure and key drivers.

Water research, 193:116871 pii:S0043-1354(21)00069-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a key technology at many wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) for converting primary and surplus activated sludge to methane-rich biogas. However, the limited number of surveys and the lack of comprehensive datasets have hindered a deeper understanding of the characteristics and associations between key variables and the microbial community composition. Here, we present a six-year survey of 46 anaerobic digesters, located at 22 WWTPs in Denmark, which is the first and largest known study of the microbial ecology of AD at WWTPs at a regional scale. For three types of AD (mesophilic, mesophilic with thermal hydrolysis pretreatment, and thermophilic), we present the typical value range of 12 key parameters including operational variables and performance parameters. High-resolution bacterial and archaeal community analyses were carried out at species level using amplicon sequencing of >1,000 samples and the new ecosystem-specific MiDAS 3 reference database. We detected 42 phyla, 1,600 genera, and 3,584 species in the bacterial community, where 70% of the genera and 93% of the species represented environmental taxa that were only classified based on MiDAS 3 de novo placeholder taxonomy. More than 40% of the bacterial species were found not to grow in the mesophilic and thermophilic digesters and were only present due to immigration with the feed sludge. Ammonium concentration was the main driver shaping the bacterial community while temperature and pH were main drivers for the archaea in the three types of ADs. Sub-setting for the growing microbes improved significantly the correlation analyses and revealed the main drivers for the presence of specific species. Within mesophilic digesters, feed sludge composition and other key parameters (organic loading rate, biogas yield, and ammonium concentration) correlated with specific growing species. This survey provides a comprehensive insight into community structure at species level, providing a foundation for future studies of the ecological significance/characteristics and function of the many novel or poorly described taxa.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Pratscher J (2021)

Extraction of Microbial Cells from Environmental Samples for FISH Approaches.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2246:291-299.

Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) on environmental samples has become a standard technique to identify and enumerate microbial populations. However, visualization and quantification of cells in environmental samples with complex matrices is often challenging to impossible, and downstream protocols might also require the absence of organic and inorganic particles for analysis. Therefore, quite often microbial cells have to be detached and extracted from the sample matrix prior to use in FISH. Here, details are given for a routine protocol to extract intact microbial cells from environmental samples using density gradient centrifugation. This protocol is suitable and adaptable for a wide range of environmental samples.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Nielsen JL (2021)

Assigning Function to Phylogeny: MAR-FISH.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2246:225-236.

Microautoradiography (MAR) is a technique by which assimilated radioactive tracers incorporated into the biomass can be detected by a film emulsion. This allows for the testing of cellular preferences in electron donors and acceptors of individual cells in complex microbial assemblages, as well as the ability to take up substrates under diverse environmental exposures.Combination with staining techniques such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) can be used to identify the involved cells. Here, the practical aspects of a combined microautoradiography and fluorescence in situ hybridization (MAR-FISH) approach are described.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

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

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

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-02-13

Yang P, Tan C, Han M, et al (2020)

Correlation-Centric Network (CCN) representation for microbial co-occurrence patterns: new insights for microbial ecology.

NAR genomics and bioinformatics, 2(2):lqaa042.

Mainstream studies of microbial community focused on critical organisms and their physiology. Recent advances in large-scale metagenome analysis projects initiated new researches in the complex correlations between large microbial communities. Specifically, previous studies focused on the nodes (i.e. species) of the Species-Centric Networks (SCNs). However, little was understood about the change of correlation between network members (i.e. edges of the SCNs) when the network was disturbed. Here, we introduced a Correlation-Centric Network (CCN) to the microbial research based on the concept of edge networks. In CCN, each node represented a species-species correlation, and edge represented the species shared by two correlations. In this research, we investigated the CCNs and their corresponding SCNs on two large cohorts of microbiome. The results showed that CCNs not only retained the characteristics of SCNs, but also contained information that cannot be detected by SCNs. In addition, when the members of microbial communities were decreased (i.e. environmental disturbance), the CCNs fluctuated within a small range in terms of network connectivity. Therefore, by highlighting the important species correlations, CCNs could unveil new insights when studying not only the functions of target species, but also the stabilities of their residing microbial communities.

RevDate: 2021-02-11

Franco-Frías E, Mercado-Guajardo V, Merino-Mascorro A, et al (2021)

Analysis of Bacterial Communities by 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing in a Melon-Producing Agro-environment.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Cantaloupe melons, which have been responsible of an increasing number of foodborne disease outbreaks, may become contaminated with microbial pathogens during production. However, little information is available on the microbial populations in the cantaloupe farm environment. The purpose of this work was to characterize the bacterial communities present on cantaloupe farms. Fruit, soil, and harvester hand rinsates were collected from two Mexican cantaloupe farms, each visited three times. Microbiome analysis was performed by sequencing 16sRNA and analyzed using qiime2 software. Correlations were determined between sample type and microbial populations. The α and β diversity analysis identified 2777 sequences across all samples. The soil samples had the highest number and diversity of unique species (from 130 to 1329 OTUs); cantaloupe (from 112 to 205 OTUs), and hands (from 67 to 151 OTUs) had similar diversity. Collectively, Proteobacteria was the most abundant phyla (from 42 to 95%), followed by Firmicutes (1-47%), Actinobacteria (< 1 to 23%), and Bacteroidetes (< 1 to 4.8%). The most abundant genera were Acinetobacter (20-58%), Pseudomonas (14.5%), Erwinia (13%), and Exiguobacterium (6.3%). Genera with potential to be pathogenic included Bacillus (4%), Salmonella (0.85%), Escherichia-Shigella (0.38%), Staphylococcus (0.32%), Listeria (0.29%), Clostridium (0.28%), and Cronobacter (0.27%), which were found at lower frequencies. This study provides information on the cantaloupe production microbiome, which can inform future research into critical food safety issues such as antimicrobial resistance, virulence, and genomic epidemiology.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Aubry F, Jacobs S, Darmuzey M, et al (2021)

Recent African strains of Zika virus display higher transmissibility and fetal pathogenicity than Asian strains.

Nature communications, 12(1):916.

The global emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) revealed the unprecedented ability for a mosquito-borne virus to cause congenital birth defects. A puzzling aspect of ZIKV emergence is that all human outbreaks and birth defects to date have been exclusively associated with the Asian ZIKV lineage, despite a growing body of laboratory evidence pointing towards higher transmissibility and pathogenicity of the African ZIKV lineage. Whether this apparent paradox reflects the use of relatively old African ZIKV strains in most laboratory studies is unclear. Here, we experimentally compare seven low-passage ZIKV strains representing the recently circulating viral genetic diversity. We find that recent African ZIKV strains display higher transmissibility in mosquitoes and higher lethality in both adult and fetal mice than their Asian counterparts. We emphasize the high epidemic potential of African ZIKV strains and suggest that they could more easily go unnoticed by public health surveillance systems than Asian strains due to their propensity to cause fetal loss rather than birth defects.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Westhoff S, Kloosterman AM, van Hoesel SFA, et al (2021)

Competition Sensing Changes Antibiotic Production in Streptomyces.

mBio, 12(1):.

One of the most important ways that bacteria compete for resources and space is by producing antibiotics that inhibit competitors. Because antibiotic production is costly, the biosynthetic gene clusters coordinating their synthesis are under strict regulatory control and often require "elicitors" to induce expression, including cues from competing strains. Although these cues are common, they are not produced by all competitors, and so the phenotypes causing induction remain unknown. By studying interactions between 24 antibiotic-producing strains of streptomycetes, we show that strains commonly inhibit each other's growth and that this occurs more frequently if strains are closely related. Next, we show that antibiotic production is more likely to be induced by cues from strains that are closely related or that share secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). Unexpectedly, antibiotic production is less likely to be induced by competitors that inhibit the growth of a focal strain, indicating that cell damage is not a general cue for induction. In addition to induction, antibiotic production often decreases in the presence of a competitor, although this response was not associated with genetic relatedness or overlap in BGCs. Finally, we show that resource limitation increases the chance that antibiotic production declines during competition. Our results reveal the importance of social cues and resource availability in the dynamics of interference competition in streptomycetes.IMPORTANCE Bacteria secrete antibiotics to inhibit their competitors, but the presence of competitors can determine whether these toxins are produced. Here, we study the role of the competitive and resource environment on antibiotic production in Streptomyces, bacteria renowned for their production of antibiotics. We show that Streptomyces cells are more likely to produce antibiotics when grown with competitors that are closely related or that share biosynthetic pathways for secondary metabolites, but not when they are threatened by competitor's toxins, in contrast to predictions of the competition sensing hypothesis. Streptomyces cells also often reduce their output of antibiotics when grown with competitors, especially under nutrient limitation. Our findings highlight that interactions between the social and resource environments strongly regulate antibiotic production in these medicinally important bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Otwell AE, Carr AV, Majumder ELW, et al (2021)

Sulfur Metabolites Play Key System-Level Roles in Modulating Denitrification.

mSystems, 6(1):.

Competition between nitrate-reducing bacteria (NRB) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) for resources in anoxic environments is generally thought to be governed largely by thermodynamics. It is now recognized that intermediates of nitrogen and sulfur cycling (e.g., hydrogen sulfide, nitrite, etc.) can also directly impact NRB and SRB activities in freshwater, wastewater, and sediment and therefore may play important roles in competitive interactions. Here, through comparative transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses, we have uncovered mechanisms of hydrogen sulfide- and cysteine-mediated inhibition of nitrate respiratory growth for the NRB Intrasporangium calvum C5. Specifically, the systems analysis predicted that cysteine and hydrogen sulfide inhibit growth of I. calvum C5 by disrupting distinct steps across multiple pathways, including branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) biosynthesis, utilization of specific carbon sources, and cofactor metabolism. We have validated these predictions by demonstrating that complementation with BCAAs and specific carbon sources relieves the growth inhibitory effects of cysteine and hydrogen sulfide. We discuss how these mechanistic insights give new context to the interplay and stratification of NRB and SRB in diverse environments.IMPORTANCE Nitrate-reducing bacteria (NRB) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) colonize diverse anoxic environments, including soil subsurface, groundwater, and wastewater. NRB and SRB compete for resources, and their interplay has major implications on the global cycling of nitrogen and sulfur species, with undesirable outcomes in some contexts. For instance, the removal of reactive nitrogen species by NRB is desirable for wastewater treatment, but in agricultural soils, NRB can drive the conversion of nitrates from fertilizers into nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Similarly, the hydrogen sulfide produced by SRB can help sequester and immobilize toxic heavy metals but is undesirable in oil wells where competition between SRB and NRB has been exploited to suppress hydrogen sulfide production. By characterizing how reduced sulfur compounds inhibit growth and activity of NRB, we have gained systems-level and mechanistic insight into the interplay of these two important groups of organisms and drivers of their stratification in diverse environments.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

de la Cuesta-Zuluaga J, Spector TD, Youngblut ND, et al (2021)

Genomic Insights into Adaptations of Trimethylamine-Utilizing Methanogens to Diverse Habitats, Including the Human Gut.

mSystems, 6(1):.

Archaea of the order Methanomassiliicoccales use methylated amines such as trimethylamine as the substrates for methanogenesis. They form two large phylogenetic clades and reside in diverse environments, from soil to the human gut. Two genera, one from each clade, inhabit the human gut: Methanomassiliicoccus, which has one cultured representative, and "Candidatus Methanomethylophilus," which has none. Questions remain regarding their distribution across biomes and human populations, their association with other taxa in the gut, and whether host genetics correlate with their abundance. To gain insight into the Methanomassiliicoccales clade, particularly its human-associated members, we performed a genomic comparison of 72 Methanomassiliicoccales genomes and assessed their presence in metagenomes derived from the human gut (n = 4,472, representing 22 populations), nonhuman animal gut (n = 145), and nonhost environments (n = 160). Our analyses showed that all taxa are generalists; they were detected in animal gut and environmental samples. We confirmed two large clades, one enriched in the gut and the other enriched in the environment, with notable exceptions. Genomic adaptations to the gut include genome reduction and genes involved in the shikimate pathway and bile resistance. Genomic adaptations differed by clade, not habitat preference, indicating convergent evolution between the clades. In the human gut, the relative abundance of Methanomassiliicoccales spp. correlated with trimethylamine-producing bacteria and was unrelated to host genotype. Our results shed light on the microbial ecology of this group and may help guide Methanomassiliicoccales-based strategies for trimethylamine mitigation in cardiovascular disease.IMPORTANCEMethanomassiliicoccales are less-known members of the human gut archaeome. Members of this order use methylated amines, including trimethylamine, in methane production. This group has only one cultured representative; how its members adapted to inhabit the mammalian gut and how they interact with other microbes is largely unknown. Using bioinformatics methods applied to DNA from a wide range of samples, we profiled the abundances of these Archaea spp. in environmental and host-associated microbial communities. We observed two groups of Methanomassiliicoccales, one largely host associated and one largely found in environmental samples, with some exceptions. When host associated, these Archaea have smaller genomes and possess genes related to bile resistance and aromatic amino acid precursors. We did not detect Methanomassiliicoccales in all human populations tested, but when present, they were correlated with bacteria known to produce trimethylamine. Due to their metabolism of trimethylamine, these intriguing Archaea may form the basis of novel therapies for cardiovascular disease.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Maillet A, Denojean P, Bouju-Albert A, et al (2021)

Characterization of Bacterial Communities of Cold-Smoked Salmon during Storage.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 10(2): pii:foods10020362.

Cold-smoked salmon is a widely consumed ready-to-eat seafood product that is a fragile commodity with a long shelf-life. The microbial ecology of cold-smoked salmon during its shelf-life is well known. However, to our knowledge, no study on the microbial ecology of cold-smoked salmon using next-generation sequencing has yet been undertaken. In this study, cold-smoked salmon microbiotas were investigated using a polyphasic approach composed of cultivable methods, V3-V4 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding and chemical analyses. Forty-five cold-smoked salmon products processed in three different factories were analyzed. The metabarcoding approach highlighted 12 dominant genera previously reported as fish spoilers: Firmicutes Staphylococcus, Carnobacterium, Lactobacillus, β-Proteobacteria Photobacterium, Vibrio, Aliivibrio, Salinivibrio, Enterobacteriaceae Serratia,Pantoea, γ-Proteobacteria Psychrobacter, Shewanella and Pseudomonas. Specific operational taxonomic units were identified during the 28-day storage study period. Operational taxonomic units specific to the processing environment were also identified. Although the 45 cold-smoked salmon products shared a core microbiota, a processing plant signature was found. This suggest that the bacterial communities of cold-smoked salmon products are impacted by the processing environment, and this environment could have a negative effect on product quality. The use of a polyphasic approach for seafood products and food processing environments could provide better insights into residential bacteria dynamics and their impact on food safety and quality.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Szczypta A, Talaga-Ćwiertnia K, Kielar M, et al (2021)

Investigation of Acinetobacter baumannii Activity in Vascular Surgery Units through Epidemiological Management Based on the Analysis of Antimicrobial Resistance, Biofilm Formation and Genotyping.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4): pii:ijerph18041563.

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The genus Acinetobacter demonstrates resistance to antibiotics and has been shown to spread in the hospital environment causing epidemic outbreaks among hospitalized patients. The objectives of the present study was to investigate the antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation, and clonality among Acinetobacter baumannii strains.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study involved 6 (I Outbreak) and 3 (II Outbreak) A. baumannii strains isolated from patients hospitalized in vascular surgery unit.

RESULTS: All tested A. baumannii strains were extensively drug resistant (XDR) and all the isolates were carbapenem-resistant and among them, all carried the blaOXA-51 gene, the blaOXA-24 gene, as well as the blaOXA-23 gene. All of the investigated strains had the ability to form a biofilm, but all of them produced less biofilm than the reference strain. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) showed that all strains belonged to the ST2 clone. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) divided the tested outbreak strains into two clones (A and B).

CONCLUSION: This study shows a nosocomial spread of XDR A. baumannii ST2 having the blaOXA-51 gene, the blaOXA-24 gene, as well as the blaOXA-23 gene, low biofilm formers, that was prevalent in the vascular surgery unit. To identify the current situation of vascular surgery departments targeted epidemiological investigation was needed. Effective implementation of infection control prevented the spread of the epidemic outbreaks.

RevDate: 2021-02-11

Higgins P, Grace CA, Lee SA, et al (2021)

Whole-genome sequencing from the New Zealand Saccharomyces cerevisiae population reveals the genomic impacts of novel microbial range expansion.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 11(1):.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is extensively utilized for commercial fermentation, and is also an important biological model; however, its ecology has only recently begun to be understood. Through the use of whole-genome sequencing, the species has been characterized into a number of distinct subpopulations, defined by geographical ranges and industrial uses. Here, the whole-genome sequences of 104 New Zealand (NZ) S. cerevisiae strains, including 52 novel genomes, are analyzed alongside 450 published sequences derived from various global locations. The impact of S. cerevisiae novel range expansion into NZ was investigated and these analyses reveal the positioning of NZ strains as a subgroup to the predominantly European/wine clade. A number of genomic differences with the European group correlate with range expansion into NZ, including 18 highly enriched single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) and novel Ty1/2 insertions. While it is not possible to categorically determine if any genetic differences are due to stochastic process or the operations of natural selection, we suggest that the observation of NZ-specific copy number increases of four sugar transporter genes in the HXT family may reasonably represent an adaptation in the NZ S. cerevisiae subpopulation, and this correlates with the observations of copy number changes during adaptation in small-scale experimental evolution studies.

RevDate: 2021-02-09

Ayyasamy A, Kempraj V, KJ Pagadala Damodaram (2021)

Endosymbiotic Bacteria Aid to Overcome Temperature Induced Stress in the Oriental Fruit Fly, Bactrocera dorsalis.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiotic microbiota are known to have an enormous impact on their host, influencing its physiology, behavior, fitness, and various other aspects. The present study hypothesizes that certain bacterial symbionts aid the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis in its adaptation to survive thermal stress encountered in the environment. Investigative studies on the change in gut and reproductive tract microbiota diversity of male and female B. dorsalis revealed that certain genera of Acinetobacter, Brevibacillus, Bacillus, Enterobacter, Enterococcus, Pseudomonas, and Staphylococcus were involved in the adaptation of B. dorsalis to temperature stresses. The intestinal and reproductive tract bacterial community of B. dorsalis varied depending on the temperature the insects were reared at. We hypothesized that the microbiota present in B. dorsalis' gut helped it endure temperature stresses over prolonged periods. Out of 54 bacterial isolates, 25, 15, and 14 isolates were obtained from flies reared at 27 °C, 18 °C, and 35 °C, respectively. A 16S rDNA analysis revealed that the bacterial isolates (reared at different temperatures) belonged to different genera. The flies were supplemented with antibiotics to suppress the existing gut microbiota and subsequently fed with bacterial isolates from flies reared at 18 °C, 27 °C (control) or 35 °C separately. When these flies were placed in incubators pre-set at the above temperatures, the survival rate exhibited by the flies differed significantly. The flies fed with bacterial isolates from 18 °C could survive only in incubators pre-set at 18 °C, while flies fed with bacterial isolates from 35 °C could survive only at 35 °C and not vice versa. The microbiota supplementation assay established that the presence of specific bacterial isolates aided the flies' survival under varied thermal stresses.

RevDate: 2021-02-09

Joshi S, Robles A, Aguiar S, et al (2021)

The occurrence and ecology of microbial chain elongation of carboxylates in soils.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Chain elongation is a growth-dependent anaerobic metabolism that combines acetate and ethanol into butyrate, hexanoate, and octanoate. While the model microorganism for chain elongation, Clostridium kluyveri, was isolated from a saturated soil sample in the 1940s, chain elongation has remained unexplored in soil environments. During soil fermentative events, simple carboxylates and alcohols can transiently accumulate up to low mM concentrations, suggesting in situ possibility of microbial chain elongation. Here, we examined the occurrence and microbial ecology of chain elongation in four soil types in microcosms and enrichments amended with chain elongation substrates. All soils showed evidence of chain elongation activity with several days of incubation at high (100 mM) and environmentally relevant (2.5 mM) concentrations of acetate and ethanol. Three soils showed substantial activity in soil microcosms with high substrate concentrations, converting 58% or more of the added carbon as acetate and ethanol to butyrate, butanol, and hexanoate. Semi-batch enrichment yielded hexanoate and octanoate as the most elongated products and microbial communities predominated by C. kluyveri and other Firmicutes genera not known to undergo chain elongation. Collectively, these results strongly suggest a niche for chain elongation in anaerobic soils that should not be overlooked in soil microbial ecology studies.

RevDate: 2021-02-08

Dou W, Miao Y, Xiao J, et al (2021)

Association of Wolbachia with Gene Expression in Drosophila Testes.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a genus of intracellular symbiotic bacteria that are widely distributed in arthropods and nematodes. These maternally inherited bacteria regulate host reproductive systems in various ways to facilitate their vertical transmission. Since the identification of Wolbachia in many insects, the relationship between Wolbachia and the host has attracted great interest. Numerous studies have indicated that Wolbachia modifies a variety of biological processes in the host. Previous studies in Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster) have demonstrated that Wolbachia can affect spermatid differentiation, chromosome deposition, and sperm activity in the early stages of spermatogenesis, leading to sperm dysfunction. Here, we explored the putative effect of Wolbachia in sperm maturation using transcriptomic approaches to compare gene expression in Wolbachia-infected and Wolbachia-free D. melanogaster adult testes. Our findings show that Wolbachia affects many biological processes in D. melanogaster adult testes, and most of the differentially expressed genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, lysosomal degradation, proteolysis, lipid metabolism, and immune response were upregulated in the presence of Wolbachia. In contrast, some genes that are putatively associated with cutin and wax biosynthesis and peroxisome pathways were downregulated. We did not find any differentially expressed genes that are predicted to be related to spermatogenesis in the datasets. This work provides additional information for understanding the Wolbachia-host intracellular relationships.

RevDate: 2021-02-08

Grzesiak J, Woltyńska A, Zdanowski MK, et al (2021)

Metabolic fingerprinting of the Antarctic cyanolichen Leptogium puberulum-associated bacterial community (Western Shore of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctica).

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Lichens are presently regarded as stable biotopes, small ecosystems providing a safe haven for the development of a diverse and numerous microbiome. In this study, we conducted a functional diversity assessment of the microbial community residing on the surface and within the thalli of Leptogium puberulum, a eurytopic cyanolichen endemic to Antarctica, employing the widely used Biolog EcoPlates which test the catabolism of 31 carbon compounds in a colorimetric respiration assay. Lichen thalli occupying moraine ridges of differing age within a proglacial chronosequence, as well as those growing in sites of contrasting nutrient concentrations, were procured from the diverse landscape of the western shore of Admiralty Bay in Maritime Antarctica. The L. puberulum bacterial community catabolized photobiont- (glucose-containing carbohydrates) and mycobiont-specific carbon compounds (D-Mannitol). The bacteria also had the ability to process degradation products of lichen thalli components (D-cellobiose and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine). Lichen thalli growth site characteristics had an impact on metabolic diversity and respiration intensity of the bacterial communities. While high nutrient contents in lichen specimens from "young" proglacial locations and in those from nitrogen enriched sites stimulated bacterial catabolic activity, in old proglacial locations and in nutrient-lacking sites, a metabolic activity restriction was apparent, presumably due to lichen-specific microbial control mechanisms.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Yang Q, Zou P, Cao Z, et al (2020)

QseC Inhibition as a Novel Antivirulence Strategy for the Prevention of Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND)-Causing Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:594652.

Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus resulted in great economic losses in global shrimp aquaculture. There is an urgent need for development of novel strategies to combat AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus (VpAHPND), given that one of the greatest challenges currently is the widespread use of antibiotics and subsequent emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Here, we proposed a broad-spectrum antivirulence approach targeting a conserved histidine kinase, QseC, which has been demonstrated to activate virulence expression in several Gram-negative pathogens. Our results showed that QseC mediated the catecholamine stimulated effects on growth and flagellar motility of VpAHPND. Transcriptome analysis revealed that QseC was involved in the global regulation of the virulence of VpAHPND as the ΔqseC mutant exhibited a decreased expression of genes related to type IV pilin, flagellar motility, and biofilm formation, while an overexpression of type VI secretion system and cell wall biosynthesis. Subsequently, the bacterial catecholamine receptor antagonist LED209 not only neutralized the stimulatory effects of host catecholamines on the growth and motility of VpAHPNDin vitro, but also attenuated the virulence of VpAHPND towards brine shrimp larvae and white shrimp in vivo. Additionally, LED209 presented no interference with pathogen growth, nor the toxicity to the experimental animals. These results suggest that QseC can be an attractive antivirulence therapy target, and LED209 is a promising candidate for development of broad-spectrum antivirulence agents. This is the first study that demonstrated the role of QseC in the global regulation of VpAHPND infection and demonstrated the antivirulence potential of LED209, which provides insight into the use of an antivirulence approach for targeting not only VpAHPND, but also a much larger collection of pathogenic bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Bovio-Winkler P, Cabezas A, C Etchebehere (2020)

Database Mining to Unravel the Ecology of the Phylum Chloroflexi in Methanogenic Full Scale Bioreactors.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:603234.

Although microbial communities of anaerobic bioreactors have been extensively studied using DNA-based tools, there are still several knowledge gaps regarding the microbiology of the process, in particular integration of all generated data is still limited. One understudied core phylum within anaerobic bioreactors is the phylum Chloroflexi, despite being one of the most abundant groups in anaerobic reactors. In order to address the abundance, diversity and phylogeny of this group in full-scale methanogenic reactors globally distributed, a compilation of 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequence data from 62 full-scale methanogenic reactors studied worldwide, fed either with wastewater treatment anaerobic reactors (WTARs) or solid-waste treatment anaerobic reactors (STARs), was performed. One of the barriers to overcome was comparing data generated using different primer sets and different sequencing platforms. The sequence analysis revealed that the average abundance of Chloroflexi in WTARs was higher than in STARs. Four genera belonging to the Anaerolineae class dominated both WTARs and STARs but the core populations were different. According to the phylogenetic analysis, most of the sequences formed clusters with no cultured representatives. The Anaerolineae class was more abundant in reactors with granular biomass than in reactors with disperse biomass supporting the hypothesis that Anaerolineae play an important role in granule formation and structure due to their filamentous morphology. Cross-study comparisons can be fruitfully used to understand the complexity of the anaerobic digestion process. However, more efforts are needed to standardize protocols and report metadata information.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

García-Ulloa MI, Escalante AE, Moreno-Letelier A, et al (2020)

Evolutionary Rescue of an Environmental Pseudomonas otitidis in Response to Anthropogenic Perturbation.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:563885.

Anthropogenic perturbations introduce novel selective pressures to natural environments, impacting the genomic variability of organisms and thus altering the evolutionary trajectory of populations. Water overexploitation for agricultural purposes and defective policies in Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila, Mexico, have strongly impacted its water reservoir, pushing entire hydrological systems to the brink of extinction along with their native populations. Here, we studied the effects of continuous water overexploitation on an environmental aquatic lineage of Pseudomonas otitidis over a 13-year period which encompasses three desiccation events. By comparing the genomes of a population sample from 2003 (original state) and 2015 (perturbed state), we analyzed the demographic history and evolutionary response to perturbation of this lineage. Through coalescent simulations, we obtained a demographic model of contraction-expansion-contraction which points to the occurrence of an evolutionary rescue event. Loss of genomic and nucleotide variation alongside an increment in mean and variance of Tajima's D, characteristic of sudden population expansions, support this observation. In addition, a significant increase in recombination rate (R/θ) was observed, pointing to horizontal gene transfer playing a role in population recovery. Furthermore, the gain of phosphorylation, DNA recombination, small-molecule metabolism and transport and loss of biosynthetic and regulatory genes suggest a functional shift in response to the environmental perturbation. Despite subsequent sampling events in the studied site, no pseudomonad was found until the lagoon completely dried in 2017. We speculate about the causes of P. otitidis final decline or possible extinction. Overall our results are evidence of adaptive responses at the genomic level of bacterial populations in a heavily exploited aquifer.

RevDate: 2021-02-08

Lemos LN, Mendes LW, Baldrian P, et al (2021)

Genome-Resolved Metagenomics Is Essential for Unlocking the Microbial Black Box of the Soil.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(21)00015-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite several efforts to unravel the microbial diversity of soil, most microbes are still unknown. A recent large-scale effort based on genome-resolved metagenomics by Nayfach et al. has demonstrated how this approach can expand our understanding of novel bacterial lineages, including those from soils. Genomic catalogs of soil microbiomes are now enabling a deeper investigation of the evolutionary and functional role of high-complex soil microbiomes, promoting new knowledge from the reuse and sharing of multi-omics data.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Lesiczka PM, Hrazdilová K, Majerová K, et al (2021)

The Role of Peridomestic Animals in the Eco-Epidemiology of Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an important tick-borne zoonotic agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA). In Europe, the Ixodes ticks are the main vector responsible for A. phagocytophilum transmission. A wide range of wild animals is involved in the circulation of this pathogen in the environment. Changes in populations of vertebrates living in different ecosystems impact the ecology of ticks and the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases. In this study, we investigated four species, Western European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), northern white-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus roumanicus), Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), and the common blackbird (Turdus merula), to describe their role in the circulation of A. phagocytophilum in urban and periurban ecosystems. Ten different tissues were collected from cadavers of the four species, and blood and ear/skin samples from live blackbirds and hedgehogs. Using qPCR, we detected a high rate of A. phagocytophilum: Western European hedgehogs (96.4%), northern white-breasted hedgehogs (92.9%), Eurasian red squirrels (60%), and common blackbirds (33.8%). In the groEL gene, we found nine genotypes belonging to three ecotypes; seven of the genotypes are associated with HGA symptoms. Our findings underline the role of peridomestic animals in the ecology of A. phagocytophilum and indicate that cadavers are an important source of material for monitoring zoonotic pathogens. Concerning the high prevalence rate, all investigated species play an important role in the circulation of A. phagocytophilum in municipal areas; however, hedgehogs present the greatest anaplasmosis risk for humans. Common blackbirds and squirrels carry different A. phagocytophilum variants some of which are responsible for HGA.

RevDate: 2021-02-05

Wei H, X Lin (2021)

Shifts in the relative abundance and potential rates of sediment ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria along environmental gradients of an urban river-estuary-adjacent sea continuum.

The Science of the total environment, 771:144824 pii:S0048-9697(20)38357-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) play important roles in N cycling in sediments globally. However, little is known about their ammonia oxidation rates along a river-estuary-sea continuum. In this study, we investigated how the potential ammonia oxidation rates (PARs) of AOA and AOB changed spatially along a continuum comprising three habitats: the Shanghai urban river network, the Yangtze Estuary, and the adjacent East China Sea, in summer and winter. The AOA and AOB PARs (0.53 ± 0.49 and 0.72 ± 0.69 μg N g-1 d-1, mean ± SD, respectively) and their amoA gene abundance (0.47 ± 0.85 × 106 and 2.4 ± 3.54 × 106 copies g-1, respectively) decreased along the continuum, particularly from the urban river to the estuary, driven by decreasing sediment total organic C and N and other correlated inorganic nutrients (e.g., NH4+) along the gradient of anthropogenic influences. These spatial patterns were consistent between the seasons. The urban river network, where the anthropogenic influences were strongest, saw the largest seasonal differences, as both AOA and AOB had higher PARs and abundance in summer than in winter. The ratios between AOA and AOB PARs (~0.87 ± 0.51) and gene abundances (~0.25 ± 0.24), however, were predominantly <1, indicating an AOB-dominated community. Comparing the different NH4+ consumption pathways, total aerobic oxidation accounted for 12-26% of the total consumption, with the largest proportion in the estuary, where the system was well oxygenated, and the lowest in the adjacent sea, where inorganic N was highly depleted. This study revealed the spatiotemporal patterns of AOA and AOB potential rates and gene abundance along gradients of human influences and identified organic matter and nutrients as key environmental factors that shaped the variation of AOA and AOB along the continuum.

RevDate: 2021-02-07

Meale SJ, Popova M, Saro C, et al (2021)

Early life dietary intervention in dairy calves results in a long-term reduction in methane emissions.

Scientific reports, 11(1):3003.

Recent evidence suggests that changes in microbial colonization of the rumen prior to weaning may imprint the rumen microbiome and impact phenotypes later in life. We investigated how dietary manipulation from birth influences growth, methane production, and gastrointestinal microbial ecology. At birth, 18 female Holstein and Montbéliarde calves were randomly assigned to either treatment or control (CONT). Treatment was 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP), an investigational anti-methanogenic compound that was administered daily from birth until three weeks post-weaning (week 14). Samples of rumen fluid and faecal content were collected at weeks 1, 4, 11, 14, 23, and 60 of life. Calves were tested for methane emissions using the GreenFeed system during the post-weaning period (week 11-23 and week 56-60 of life). Calf physiological parameters (BW, ADG and individual VFA) were similar across groups throughout the trial. Treated calves showed a persistent reduction in methane emissions (g CH4/d) throughout the post-weaning period up to at least 1 year of life, despite treatment ceasing three weeks post-weaning. Similarly, despite variability in the abundance of individual taxa across weeks, the rumen bacterial, archaeal and fungal structure differed between CONT and 3-NOP calves across all weeks, as visualised using sparse-PLS-DA. Similar separation was also observed in the faecal bacterial community. Interestingly, despite modest modifications to the abundance of rumen microbes, the reductive effect of 3-NOP on methane production persisted following cessation of the treatment period, perhaps indicating a differentiation of the ruminal microbial ecosystem or a host response triggered by the treatment in the early development phase.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Grum-Grzhimaylo AA, Bastiaans E, van den Heuvel J, et al (2021)

Somatic deficiency causes reproductive parasitism in a fungus.

Nature communications, 12(1):783.

Some multicellular organisms can fuse because mergers potentially provide mutual benefits. However, experimental evolution in the fungus Neurospora crassa has demonstrated that free fusion of mycelia favours cheater lineages, but the mechanism and evolutionary dynamics of this exploitation are unknown. Here we show, paradoxically, that all convergently evolved cheater lineages have similar fusion deficiencies. These mutants are unable to initiate fusion but retain access to wild-type mycelia that fuse with them. This asymmetry reduces cheater-mutant contributions to somatic substrate-bound hyphal networks, but increases representation of their nuclei in the aerial reproductive hyphae. Cheaters only benefit when relatively rare and likely impose genetic load reminiscent of germline senescence. We show that the consequences of somatic fusion can be unequally distributed among fusion partners, with the passive non-fusing partner profiting more. We discuss how our findings may relate to the extensive variation in fusion frequency of fungi found in nature.

RevDate: 2021-02-04

Fernandes MF, Lopes LD, PD Richard (2021)

Microbial dynamics associated with the decomposition of coconut and maize residues in a microcosm experiment with tropical soils under two nitrogen fertilization levels.

Journal of applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: The microbial dynamics associated with the decomposition of maize (Zea mays) and coconut (Cocos nucifera) residues were investigated in order to assess the feasibility of using them as mulch in tropical soils.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Phospholipid fatty-acid (PLFA) profiling, microbial biomass (MB-C), basal respiration, C-cycle enzyme activities and inorganic N dynamics were monitored in a microcosm experiment incubating soil samples with plant residues for 425 days. Maize stover (MS) showed a higher decomposition, respiration rate, MB-C, enzymes activities and shift in microbial community structure than coconut husk (CH), which was barely changed. In MS, the lower N level increased C losses and decreased N mineralization compared to the higher N level.

CONCLUSIONS: Maize stover is suitable for mulching and has a high potential of increasing soil quality if the proper N fertilization level is used, avoiding excessive C mineralization and N immobilization. Coconut husk decomposition was mostly impaired, indicating that a pre-processing is necessary to improve the benefits of this residue.

Tropical soils are prone to degradation. Mulching can promote soil conservation, but depends on residue type and soil chemistry. Our study showed that MS managed under the recommended N fertilization level is suitable for mulching, while CH is highly inaccessible for microbial degradation.

RevDate: 2021-02-04

Lyautey E, Billard E, Tissot N, et al (2021)

Seasonal Dynamics of Abundance, Structure, and Diversity of Methanogens and Methanotrophs in Lake Sediments.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding temporal and spatial microbial community abundance and diversity variations is necessary to assess the functional roles played by microbial actors in the environment. In this study, we investigated spatial variability and temporal dynamics of two functional microbial sediment communities, methanogenic Archaea and methanotrophic bacteria, in Lake Bourget, France. Microbial communities were studied from 3 sites sampled 4 times over a year, with one core sampled at each site and date, and 5 sediment layers per core were considered. Microbial abundance in the sediment were determined using flow cytometry. Methanogens and methanotrophs community structures, diversity, and abundance were assessed using T-RFLP, sequencing, and real-time PCR targeting mcrA and pmoA genes, respectively. Changes both in structure and abundance were detected mainly at the water-sediment interface in relation to the lake seasonal oxygenation dynamics. Methanogen diversity was dominated by Methanomicrobiales (mainly Methanoregula) members, followed by Methanosarcinales and Methanobacteriales. For methanotrophs, diversity was dominated by Methylobacter in the deeper area and by Methylococcus in the shallow area. Organic matter appeared to be the main environmental parameter controlling methanogens, while oxygen availability influenced both the structure and abundance of the methanotrophic community.

RevDate: 2021-02-04

Ruiz-González C, Rodellas V, J Garcia-Orellana (2021)

The microbial dimension of submarine groundwater discharge: current challenges and future directions.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:6128669 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite the relevance of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) for ocean biogeochemistry, the microbial dimension of SGD remains poorly understood. SGD can influence marine microbial communities through supplying chemical compounds and microorganisms, and in turn, microbes at the land-ocean transition zone determine the chemistry of the groundwater reaching the ocean. However, compared to inland groundwater, little is known about microbial communities in coastal aquifers. Here we review the state-of-the-art of the microbial dimension of SGD, with emphasis on prokaryotes, and identify current challenges and future directions. Main challenges include improving the diversity description of groundwater microbiota, characterized by ultra-small, inactive and novel taxa, and by high ratios of sediment-attached versus free-living cells. Studies should explore microbial dynamics and their role in chemical cycles in coastal aquifers, the bidirectional dispersal of groundwater and seawater microorganisms, and marine bacterioplankton responses to SGD. This will require combining sequencing methods, visualization, and linking taxonomy to activity, but also considering the entire groundwater-marine continuum. Interactions between traditionally independent disciplines (e.g., hydrogeology, microbial ecology) are needed to frame the study of terrestrial and aquatic microorganisms beyond the limits of their presumed habitats, and to foster our understanding of SGD processes and their influence in coastal biogeochemical cycles.

RevDate: 2021-02-04

Hennebique A, Peyroux J, Brunet C, et al (2021)

Amoebae can promote the survival of Francisella species in the aquatic environment.

Emerging microbes & infections [Epub ahead of print].

Francisella tularensis, a tier 1 select agent, is the causative bacterium of tularemia, a zoonosis with a large animal reservoir. However, F. tularensis, like many other Francisella species (including F. novicida and F. philomiragia), is assumed to have an aquatic reservoir. The mechanisms of Francisella species persistence in surface water remain poorly characterized. In this study, we deeply investigated the long-term interactions of the tularemia agent F. tularensis subsp. holarctica, F. novicida or F. philomiragia with amoebae of the Acanthamoeba species. In amoeba plate screening tests, all the Francisella species tested resisted the attack by amoebae. In in vitro infection models, intra-amoebic growth of Francisella varied according to the involved bacterial species and strains, but also the amoeba culture medium used. In co-culture models, the amoebae favoured Francisella survival over 16 days. Such enhanced survival was likely dependent on direct contact between bacteria and amoebae for F. novicida and on amoeba-excreted compounds for F. novicida and for F. tularensis. In a spring water co-culture model, amoebae again enhanced F. novicida survival and preserved bacterial morphology. Overall, our results demonstrate that amoebae likely promote Francisella survival in aquatic environments, including the tularemia agent F. tularensis. However, bacteria-amoebae interactions are complex and depend on the Francisella species considered.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Salek MM, Fernandez V, D'souza G, et al (2021)

An interdisciplinary and application-oriented approach to teach microfluidics.

Biomicrofluidics, 15(1):014104.

Microfluidics is a relatively novel interdisciplinary research area with broad applications in chemistry, physics, material science, and biology. Despite the rapid growth of the field, students' exposure to microfluidic technologies is still limited and often insufficient to appreciate the advantages over other commonly used technologies. To this end, we designed a five-day course, "Microfluidics for microbial ecology," in which students with very different backgrounds learn the basics of microfluidic technologies and sample a range of applications in microbial ecology. The course was created for Master and Ph.D. students interested in applying microfluidics to their research and, therefore, followed an application-oriented approach. The presentation of critical aspects of fluid flow phenomena at the microscale and an outline of the advantages and constraints of the technology provide students with the background to design and perform microfluidics-based experiments. In order to improve the effectiveness of learning in a class with diverse interests and backgrounds, two active learning exercises were implemented. The first comprised the design of an individualized microfluidics experiment in parallel with the lectures: students were guided to apply each module to their personalized application and discuss it in groups. The second was a group experimental activity, in which students jointly set up, performed, analyzed, and presented a microfluidics-based experiment. Given the multidisciplinary teaching context, the course was able to foster common conceptual ground and promote discussion among students. This application-oriented approach built upon experimental activities and in-class discussion is well suited to promote learning in a technology-related subject such as microfluidics.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Haber M, Burgsdorf I, Handley KM, et al (2020)

Genomic Insights Into the Lifestyles of Thaumarchaeota Inside Sponges.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:622824.

Sponges are among the oldest metazoans and their success is partly due to their abundant and diverse microbial symbionts. They are one of the few animals that have Thaumarchaeota symbionts. Here we compare genomes of 11 Thaumarchaeota sponge symbionts, including three new genomes, to free-living ones. Like their free-living counterparts, sponge-associated Thaumarchaeota can oxidize ammonia, fix carbon, and produce several vitamins. Adaptions to life inside the sponge host include enrichment in transposases, toxin-antitoxin systems and restriction modifications systems, enrichments previously reported also from bacterial sponge symbionts. Most thaumarchaeal sponge symbionts lost the ability to synthesize rhamnose, which likely alters their cell surface and allows them to evade digestion by the host. All but one archaeal sponge symbiont encoded a high-affinity, branched-chain amino acid transporter system that was absent from the analyzed free-living thaumarchaeota suggesting a mixotrophic lifestyle for the sponge symbionts. Most of the other unique features found in sponge-associated Thaumarchaeota, were limited to only a few specific symbionts. These features included the presence of exopolyphosphatases and a glycine cleavage system found in the novel genomes. Thaumarchaeota have thus likely highly specific interactions with their sponge host, which is supported by the limited number of host sponge species to which each of these symbionts is restricted.

RevDate: 2021-02-04

Zakem EJ, Cael BB, NM Levine (2021)

A unified theory for organic matter accumulation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(6):.

Organic matter constitutes a key reservoir in global elemental cycles. However, our understanding of the dynamics of organic matter and its accumulation remains incomplete. Seemingly disparate hypotheses have been proposed to explain organic matter accumulation: the slow degradation of intrinsically recalcitrant substrates, the depletion to concentrations that inhibit microbial consumption, and a dependency on the consumption capabilities of nearby microbial populations. Here, using a mechanistic model, we develop a theoretical framework that explains how organic matter predictably accumulates in natural environments due to biochemical, ecological, and environmental factors. Our framework subsumes the previous hypotheses. Changes in the microbial community or the environment can move a class of organic matter from a state of functional recalcitrance to a state of depletion by microbial consumers. The model explains the vertical profile of dissolved organic carbon in the ocean and connects microbial activity at subannual timescales to organic matter turnover at millennial timescales. The threshold behavior of the model implies that organic matter accumulation may respond nonlinearly to changes in temperature and other factors, providing hypotheses for the observed correlations between organic carbon reservoirs and temperature in past earth climates.

RevDate: 2021-02-08

Rubbens P, Props R, Kerckhof FM, et al (2021)

PhenoGMM: Gaussian Mixture Modeling of Cytometry Data Quantifies Changes in Microbial Community Structure.

mSphere, 6(1):.

Microbial flow cytometry can rapidly characterize the status of microbial communities. Upon measurement, large amounts of quantitative single-cell data are generated, which need to be analyzed appropriately. Cytometric fingerprinting approaches are often used for this purpose. Traditional approaches either require a manual annotation of regions of interest, do not fully consider the multivariate characteristics of the data, or result in many community-describing variables. To address these shortcomings, we propose an automated model-based fingerprinting approach based on Gaussian mixture models, which we call PhenoGMM. The method successfully quantifies changes in microbial community structure based on flow cytometry data, which can be expressed in terms of cytometric diversity. We evaluate the performance of PhenoGMM using data sets from both synthetic and natural ecosystems and compare the method with a generic binning fingerprinting approach. PhenoGMM supports the rapid and quantitative screening of microbial community structure and dynamics.IMPORTANCE Microorganisms are vital components in various ecosystems on Earth. In order to investigate the microbial diversity, researchers have largely relied on the analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences from DNA. Flow cytometry has been proposed as an alternative technology to characterize microbial community diversity and dynamics. The technology enables a fast measurement of optical properties of individual cells. So-called fingerprinting techniques are needed in order to describe microbial community diversity and dynamics based on flow cytometry data. In this work, we propose a more advanced fingerprinting strategy based on Gaussian mixture models. We evaluated our workflow on data sets from both synthetic and natural ecosystems, illustrating its general applicability for the analysis of microbial flow cytometry data. PhenoGMM supports a rapid and quantitative analysis of microbial community structure using flow cytometry.

RevDate: 2021-02-04

M'hir S, Filannino P, Mejri A, et al (2021)

Functional Exploitation of Carob, Oat Flour, and Whey Permeate as Substrates for a Novel Kefir-Like Fermented Beverage: An Optimized Formulation.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 10(2): pii:foods10020294.

This study investigated the fortification of a carob-based kefir-like beverage (KLB) with whey permeate (WP) and oat flour (OF). The response surface method was used to show the effect of WP and OF concentrations on lactic acid bacteria and yeast cell densities, pH, total titratable acidity (TTA), total phenolics content (TCP), DPPH radical scavenging activity, and overall acceptability (OA) in KLB. The statistical design provided thirteen formulations where OF concentration varied from 3% to 5% and WP from 10% to 15%. The enrichment of carob pods decoction with WP and OF had a positive effect on biomass production. Overall fermentation was shown to increase TPC of KLB. Furthermore, OF supplementation led to the higher levels of TPC and antiradical activity. WP negatively affected OA at linear and quadratic levels, whereas no effect of OF was observed at the linear level. The optimum point was found by using WP at 11.51% and OF at 4.77%. Optimized KLB resulted in an enrichment of bioavailable phenolics derivatives and highly digestible proteins.

RevDate: 2021-02-04

Bourigault Y, Chane A, Barbey C, et al (2021)

Biosensors Used for Epifluorescence and Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopies to Study Dickeya and Pectobacterium Virulence and Biocontrol.

Microorganisms, 9(2): pii:microorganisms9020295.

Promoter-probe vectors carrying fluorescent protein-reporter genes are powerful tools used to study microbial ecology, epidemiology, and etiology. In addition, they provide direct visual evidence of molecular interactions related to cell physiology and metabolism. Knowledge and advances carried out thanks to the construction of soft-rot Pectobacteriaceae biosensors, often inoculated in potato Solanum tuberosum, are discussed in this review. Under epifluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopies, Dickeya and Pectobacterium-tagged strains managed to monitor in situ bacterial viability, microcolony and biofilm formation, and colonization of infected plant organs, as well as disease symptoms, such as cell-wall lysis and their suppression by biocontrol antagonists. The use of dual-colored reporters encoding the first fluorophore expressed from a constitutive promoter as a cell tag, while a second was used as a regulator-based reporter system, was also used to simultaneously visualize bacterial spread and activity. This revealed the chronology of events leading to tuber maceration and quorum-sensing communication, in addition to the disruption of the latter by biocontrol agents. The promising potential of these fluorescent biosensors should make it possible to apprehend other activities, such as subcellular localization of key proteins involved in bacterial virulence in planta, in the near future.

RevDate: 2021-02-03

Min D, Doxey AC, JD Neufeld (2021)

AXIOME3: Automation, eXtension, and Integration Of Microbial Ecology.

GigaScience, 10(2):.

BACKGROUND: Advances in high-throughput sequencing accessibility have democratized small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequence data collection, coincident with an increasing availability of computational tools for sequence data processing, multivariate statistics, and data visualization. However, existing tools often require programming ability and frequent user intervention that may not be suitable for fast-paced and large-scale data analysis by end user microbiologists who are unfamiliar with the Linux command line environment or who prefer interactions with a GUI. Here we present AXIOME3, which is a completely redeveloped AXIOME pipeline that streamlines small subunit ribosomal RNA data analysis by managing QIIME2, R, and Python-associated analyses through an interactive web interface.

FINDINGS: AXIOME3 comes with web GUI to improve usability by simplifying configuration processes and task status tracking. Internally, it uses an automated pipeline that is wrapped around QIIME2 to generate a range of outputs including amplicon sequence variant tables, taxonomic classifications, phylogenetic trees, biodiversity metrics, and ordinations. The extension module for AXIOME3 provides advanced data visualization tools such as principal coordinate analysis, bubble plots, and triplot ordinations that can be used to visualize interactions between a distance matrix, amplicon sequence variant taxonomy, and sample metadata.

CONCLUSIONS: Because repeat analysis of small subunit ribosomal RNA amplicon sequence data is challenging for those who have limited experience in command line environments, AXIOME3 now offers rapid and user-friendly options within an automated pipeline, with advanced data visualization tools and the ability for users to incorporate additional analyses easily through extension. AXIOME3 is completely open source (https://github.com/neufeld/AXIOME3, https://github.com/neufeld/AXIOME3-GUI), and researchers are encouraged to modify and redistribute the package.

RevDate: 2021-02-03

Caillon F, Besemer K, Peduzzi P, et al (2021)

Soil microbial inoculation during flood events shapes headwater stream microbial communities and diversity.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Flood events are now recognized as potentially important occasions for the transfer of soil microbes to stream ecosystems. Yet, little is known about these "dynamic pulses of microbial life" for stream bacterial community composition (BCC) and diversity. In this study, we explored the potential alteration of stream BCC by soil inoculation during high flow events in six pre-alpine first order streams and the larger Oberer Seebach. During 1 year, we compared variations of BCC in soil water, stream water and in benthic biofilms at different flow conditions (low to intermediate flows versus high flow). Bacterial diversity was lowest in biofilms, followed by soils and highest in headwater streams and the Oberer Seebach. In headwater streams, bacterial diversity was significantly higher during high flow, as compared to low flow (Shannon diversity: 7.6 versus 7.9 at low versus high flow, respectively, p < 0.001). Approximately 70% of the bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from streams and stream biofilms were the same as in soil water, while in the latter one third of the OTUs were specific to high flow conditions. These soil high-flow OTUs were also found in streams and biofilms at other times of the year. These results demonstrate the relevance of floods in generating short and reoccurring inoculation events for flowing waters. Moreover, they show that soil microbial inoculation during high flow enhances microbial diversity and shapes fluvial BCC even during low flow. Hence, soil microbial inoculation during floods could act as a previously overlooked driver of microbial diversity in headwater streams.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Jeon JS, Carreno-Quintero N, van Eekelen HDLM, et al (2021)

Impact of root-associated strains of three Paraburkholderia species on primary and secondary metabolism of Brassica oleracea.

Scientific reports, 11(1):2781.

Several root-colonizing bacterial species can simultaneously promote plant growth and induce systemic resistance. How these rhizobacteria modulate plant metabolism to accommodate the carbon and energy demand from these two competing processes is largely unknown. Here, we show that strains of three Paraburkholderia species, P. graminis PHS1 (Pbg), P. hospita mHSR1 (Pbh), and P. terricola mHS1 (Pbt), upon colonization of the roots of two Broccoli cultivars led to cultivar-dependent increases in biomass, changes in primary and secondary metabolism and induced resistance against the bacterial leaf pathogen Xanthomonas campestris. Strains that promoted growth led to greater accumulation of soluble sugars in the shoot and particularly fructose levels showed an increase of up to 280-fold relative to the non-treated control plants. Similarly, a number of secondary metabolites constituting chemical and structural defense, including flavonoids, hydroxycinnamates, stilbenoids, coumarins and lignins, showed greater accumulation while other resource-competing metabolite pathways were depleted. High soluble sugar generation, efficient sugar utilization, and suppression or remobilization of resource-competing metabolites potentially contributed to curb the tradeoff between the carbon and energy demanding processes induced by Paraburkholderia-Broccoli interaction. Collectively, our results provide a comprehensive and integrated view of the temporal changes in plant metabolome associated with rhizobacteria-mediated plant growth promotion and induced resistance.

RevDate: 2021-02-13

Cazares D, Cazares A, Figueroa W, et al (2021)

A Novel Group of Promiscuous Podophages Infecting Diverse Gammaproteobacteria from River Communities Exhibits Dynamic Intergenus Host Adaptation.

mSystems, 6(1):.

Phages are generally described as species specific or even strain specific, implying an inherent limitation for some to be maintained and spread in diverse bacterial communities. Moreover, phage isolation and host range determination rarely consider the phage ecological context, likely biasing our notion on phage specificity. Here we isolated and characterized a novel group of six promiscuous phages, named Atoyac, existing in rivers and sewage by using a diverse collection of over 600 bacteria retrieved from the same environments as potential hosts. These podophages isolated from different regions in Mexico display a remarkably broad host range, infecting bacteria from six genera: Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, Yersinia, Hafnia, Escherichia, and Serratia Atoyac phage genomes are ∼42 kb long and highly similar to each other, but not to those currently available in genome and metagenome public databases. Detailed comparison of the phages' efficiency of plating (EOP) revealed variation among bacterial genera, implying a cost associated with infection of distant hosts, and between phages, despite their sequence similarity. We show, through experimental evolution in single or alternate hosts of different genera, that efficiency of plaque production is highly dynamic and tends toward optimization in hosts rendering low plaque formation. However, adaptation to distinct hosts differed between similar phages; whereas one phage optimized its EOP in all tested hosts, the other reduced plaque production in one host, suggesting that propagation in multiple bacteria may be key to maintain promiscuity in some viruses. Our study expands our knowledge of the virosphere and uncovers bacterium-phage interactions overlooked in natural systems.IMPORTANCE In natural environments, phages coexist and interact with a broad variety of bacteria, posing a conundrum for narrow-host-range phage maintenance in diverse communities. This context is rarely considered in the study of host-phage interactions, typically focused on narrow-host-range viruses and their infectivity in target bacteria isolated from sources distinct to where the phages were retrieved from. By studying phage-host interactions in bacteria and viruses isolated from river microbial communities, we show that novel phages with promiscuous host range encompassing multiple bacterial genera can be found in the environment. Assessment of hundreds of interactions in diverse hosts revealed that similar phages exhibit different infection efficiency and adaptation patterns. Understanding host range is fundamental in our knowledge of bacterium-phage interactions and their impact on microbial communities. The dynamic nature of phage promiscuity revealed in our study has implications in different aspects of phage research such as horizontal gene transfer or phage therapy.

RevDate: 2021-02-03

Lalaouna D, Fochesato S, Harir M, et al (2021)

Amplifying and Fine-Tuning Rsm sRNAs Expression and Stability to Optimize the Survival of Pseudomonas brassicacerum in Nutrient-Poor Environments.

Microorganisms, 9(2): pii:microorganisms9020250.

In the beneficial plant root-associated Pseudomonas brassicacearum strain NFM421, the GacS/GacA two-component system positively controls biofilm formation and the production of secondary metabolites through the synthesis of rsmX, rsmY and rsmZ. Here, we evidenced the genetic amplification of Rsm sRNAs by the discovery of a novel 110-nt long sRNA encoding gene, rsmX-2, generated by the duplication of rsmX-1 (formerly rsmX). Like the others rsm genes, its overexpression overrides the gacA mutation. We explored the expression and the stability of rsmX-1, rsmX-2, rsmY and rsmZ encoding genes under rich or nutrient-poor conditions, and showed that their amount is fine-tuned at the transcriptional and more interestingly at the post-transcriptional level. Unlike rsmY and rsmZ, we noticed that the expression of rsmX-1 and rsmX-2 genes was exclusively GacA-dependent. The highest expression level and longest half-life for each sRNA were correlated with the highest ppGpp and cyclic-di-GMP levels and were recorded under nutrient-poor conditions. Together, these data support the view that the Rsm system in P. brassicacearum is likely linked to the stringent response, and seems to be required for bacterial adaptation to nutritional stress.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Masetti R, Zama D, Leardini D, et al (2021)

Microbiome-Derived Metabolites in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(3):.

The gut microbiome has emerged as a major character in the context of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The biology underpinning this relationship is still to be defined. Recently, mounting evidence has suggested a role for microbiome-derived metabolites in mediating crosstalk between intestinal microbial communities and the host. Some of these metabolites, such as fiber-derived short-chain fatty acids or amino acid-derived compounds, were found to have a role also in the transplant setting. New interesting data have been published on this topic, posing a new intriguing perspective on comprehension and treatment. This review provides an updated comprehensive overview of the available evidence in the field of gut microbiome-derived metabolites and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

RevDate: 2021-02-03

Fiedler G, Herbstmann AD, Doll E, et al (2021)

Taxonomic Evaluation of the Heyndrickxia (Basonym Bacillus) sporothermodurans Group (H.sporothermodurans, H.vini, H. oleronia) Based on Whole Genome Sequences.

Microorganisms, 9(2): pii:microorganisms9020246.

The genetic heterogeneity of Heyndrickxia sporothermodurans (formerly Bacillussporothermodurans) was evaluated using whole genome sequencing. The genomes of 29 previously identified Heyndrickxiasporothermodurans and two Heyndrickxia vini strains isolated from ultra-high-temperature (UHT)-treated milk were sequenced by short-read (Illumina) sequencing. After sequence analysis, the two H. vini strains could be reclassified as H. sporothermodurans. In addition, the genomes of the H.sporothermodurans type strain (DSM 10599T) and the closest phylogenetic neighbors Heyndrickxiaoleronia (DSM 9356T) and Heyndrickxia vini (JCM 19841T) were also sequenced using both long (MinION) and short-read (Illumina) sequencing. By hybrid sequence assembly, the genome of the H. sporothermodurans type strain was enlarged by 15% relative to the short-read assembly. This noticeable increase was probably due to numerous mobile elements in the genome that are presumptively related to spore heat tolerance. Phylogenetic studies based on 16S rDNA gene sequence, core genome, single-nucleotide polymorphisms and ANI/dDDH, showed that H. vini is highly related to H. sporothermodurans. When examining the genome sequences of all H.sporothermodurans strains from this study, together with 4 H. sporothermodurans genomes available in the GenBank database, the majority of the 36 strains examined occurred in a clonal lineage with less than 100 SNPs. These data substantiate previous reports on the existence and spread of a genetically highly homogenous and heat resistant spore clone, i.e., the HRS-clone.

RevDate: 2021-02-15

Candry P, R Ganigué (2021)

Chain elongators, friends, and foes.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 67:99-110 pii:S0958-1669(21)00010-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Bioproduction of medium chain carboxylic acids has recently emerged as an alternative strategy to valorize low-value organic waste and side-streams. Key to this route is chain elongation, an anaerobic microbial process driven by ethanol, lactic acid, or carbohydrates. Because these technologies use wastes as feedstocks, mixed microbial communities are often considered as biocatalysts. Understanding and steering these microbiomes is key to optimize bioprocess performance. From a meta-analysis of publicly available sequencing data, we (i) explore how the current collection of isolated chain elongators compares to microbiome members, (ii) discuss the main beneficial and antagonistic interactions with community partners, and (iii) identify the key research gaps and needs to help understand chain elongation microbiomes, and design/steer these novel bioproduction processes.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Miantezila Basilua J, Mesia Kahunu G, Pochart P, et al (2021)

Overview of HIV treatment failure in Africa using the WHO Pharmacovigilance data.

Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the factors associated with HIV treatment failure (HIVTF) from reported pharmacovigilance data in Africa.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is an observational pharmacovigilance analysis of the safety data of HIVTF available in the WHO International Pharmacovigilance database "VigiBase®". We used the Standardized MedDRA Queries (SMQ) to identify all the terms corresponding to HIVTF. To identify all relevant molecules and classes of antiretroviral therapy, we used the Anatomic, Therapeutic, and Chemical classification. We presented results as a percentage or an adjusted Reporting Odds Ratio (aROR) with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI).

RESULTS: HIVTF was more reported in Africa compared to the rest of the world with 19.1% (18.1% - 20.1%) corresponding to 1206 of all 6304 HIVTF reports. Among all the 37 WHO country members in Africa, South Africa was the main source of origin for these HIVTF reports with 86.8% (84.9% - 88.7%). Compared to adults, children and adolescents were the most population groups affected by HIVTF, aROR = 2.7, (95% CI) 1.7 - 4.2 and aROR = 7.9, (95% CI) 4.5 - 13.9, respectively.

CONCLUSION: South Africa was the leading country of the reporting of HIVTF in Africa. The proportion of HIVTF was higher in both HIV-infected children and adolescents than in adults. There is a need for the improvement of medical care for children and adolescents with HIV infection in Africa.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Din GMU, Du Z, Zhang H, et al (2021)

Effects of Tilletia foetida on Microbial Communities in the Rhizosphere Soil of Wheat Seeds Coated with Different Concentrations of Jianzhuang.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Tilletia foetida (syn. T. laevis) leads to wheat common bunt, a worldwide disease that can lead to 80% yield loss and even total loss of production, together with degrading the quality of grains and flour by producing a rotten fish smell. To explore the potential microbial community that may contribute to the control of soil- and seed-borne pathogens, in this study, we analyzed the effects of the plant pathogenic fungus T. foetida on rhizosphere soil microorganisms in wheat seeds coated with different concentrations of a fungicide (Jianzhuang) used to control the disease. To analyze the bacterial and fungal abundance in T. foetida-infected and mock-infected plants, the microorganisms were sequenced using high-throughput HiSeq 2500 gene sequencing. The results showed that bacterial communities, including Verrucomicrobia, Patescibacteria, Armatimonadetes, Nitrospirae, Fibrobacteres, Chlamydiae, and Hydrogenedentes, and fungal communities, including Basidiomycota and Ciliophora, were more prevalent in the mock group than in the T. foetida-infected group, which may contribute to the control of wheat common bunt. Moreover, cluster and PCoA analysis revealed that replicates of the same samples were clustered together, and these results were also found in the distance index within-group analysis for bacterial and fungal communities in the T. foetida-infected and mock groups.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Weisskopf L, Schulz S, P Garbeva (2021)

Microbial volatile organic compounds in intra-kingdom and inter-kingdom interactions.

Nature reviews. Microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms produce and excrete a versatile array of metabolites with different physico-chemical properties and biological activities. However, the ability of microorganisms to release volatile compounds has only attracted research attention in the past decade. Recent research has revealed that microbial volatiles are chemically very diverse and have important roles in distant interactions and communication. Microbial volatiles can diffuse fast in both gas and water phases, and thus can mediate swift chemical interactions. As well as constitutively emitted volatiles, microorganisms can emit induced volatiles that are triggered by biological interactions or environmental cues. In this Review, we highlight recent discoveries concerning microbial volatile compounds and their roles in intra-kingdom microbial interactions and inter-kingdom interactions with plants and insects. Furthermore, we indicate the potential biotechnological applications of microbial volatiles and discuss challenges and perspectives in this emerging research field.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Che Y, Yang Y, Xu X, et al (2021)

Conjugative plasmids interact with insertion sequences to shape the horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(6):.

It is well established that plasmids play an important role in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes; however, little is known about the role of the underlying interactions between different plasmid categories and other mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in shaping the promiscuous spread of AMR genes. Here, we developed a tool designed for plasmid classification, AMR gene annotation, and plasmid visualization and found that most plasmid-borne AMR genes, including those localized on class 1 integrons, are enriched in conjugative plasmids. Notably, we report the discovery and characterization of a massive insertion sequence (IS)-associated AMR gene transfer network (245 combinations covering 59 AMR gene subtypes and 53 ISs) linking conjugative plasmids and phylogenetically distant pathogens, suggesting a general evolutionary mechanism for the horizontal transfer of AMR genes mediated by the interaction between conjugative plasmids and ISs. Moreover, our experimental results confirmed the importance of the observed interactions in aiding the horizontal transfer and expanding the genetic range of AMR genes within complex microbial communities.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Brandenburg KM, Krock B, Klip HCL, et al (2021)

Intraspecific variation in multiple trait responses of Alexandrium ostenfeldii towards elevated pCO2.

Harmful algae, 101:101970.

Dissolved oceanic CO2 concentrations are rising as result of increasing atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), which has large consequences for phytoplankton. To test how higher CO2 availability affects different traits of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii, we exposed three strains of the same population to 400 and 1,000 µatm CO2, and measured traits including growth rate, cell volume, elemental composition, 13C fractionation, toxin content, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Strains largely increased their growth rates and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen production with higher pCO2 and showed significant changes in their VOC profile. One strain showed a significant decrease in both PSP and cyclic imine content and thereby in cellular toxicity. Fractionation against 13C increased in response to elevated pCO2, which may point towards enhanced CO2 acquisition and/or a downscaling of the carbon concentrating mechanisms. Besides consistent responses in some traits, other traits showed large variation in both direction and strength of responses towards elevated pCO2. The observed intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity of important functional traits within the same population may help A. ostenfeldii to negate the effects of immediate environmental fluctuations and allow populations to adapt more quickly to changing environments.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Dada N, Jupatanakul N, Minard G, et al (2021)

Considerations for mosquito microbiome research from the Mosquito Microbiome Consortium.

Microbiome, 9(1):36.

In the past decade, there has been increasing interest in mosquito microbiome research, leading to large amounts of data on different mosquito species, with various underlying physiological characteristics, and from diverse geographical locations. However, guidelines and standardized methods for conducting mosquito microbiome research are lacking. To streamline methods in mosquito microbiome research and optimize data quality, reproducibility, and comparability, as well as facilitate data curation in a centralized location, we are establishing the Mosquito Microbiome Consortium, a collaborative initiative for the advancement of mosquito microbiome research. Our overall goal is to collectively work on unraveling the role of the mosquito microbiome in mosquito biology, while critically evaluating its potential for mosquito-borne disease control. This perspective serves to introduce the consortium and invite broader participation. It highlights the issues we view as most pressing to the community and proposes guidelines for conducting mosquito microbiome research. We focus on four broad areas in this piece: (1) sampling/experimental design for field, semi-field, or laboratory studies; (2) metadata collection; (3) sample processing, sequencing, and use of appropriate controls; and (4) data handling and analysis. We finally summarize current challenges and highlight future directions in mosquito microbiome research. We hope that this piece will spark discussions around this area of disease vector biology, as well as encourage careful considerations in the design and implementation of mosquito microbiome research. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Uroosa , Kazmi SSUH, Rahman MS, et al (2021)

Use of biological trait analysis of periphytic protozoan assemblages for evaluating effects of harmful algal blooms on ecological quality status in marine ecosystem.

Marine pollution bulletin, 164:112083 pii:S0025-326X(21)00117-X [Epub ahead of print].

The effects of two harmful algal bloom (HAB) species Alexandrium tamarense and Gymnodinium catenatum on ecological quality status were studied using 14-day protozoan samples as test organisms. A fuzzy coding system with four traits and 11 categories of the test organisms was used for biological trait analysis. Five treatments were designed following the concentrations of 100, 102, 103, 104 and 105 cell ml-1 of each algal species. The community-weighted means were used to summarize the functioning process of the test organism assemblages. The community functioning of the protozoa showed a significant change in the treatments with high algal concentrations (104 and 105 cell ml-1). The functional richness of the test organisms showed continuous increasing trend from 102 to 104 cell ml-1, and sharply dropped. These findings suggest that the BTA may be used as a useful tool for assessing the effects of HABs on ecological quality status in marine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Keet JH, Ellis AG, Hui C, et al (2021)

Impacts of Invasive Australian Acacias on Soil Bacterial Community Composition, Microbial Enzymatic Activities, and Nutrient Availability in Fynbos Soils.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive plants often impact soil conditions, notably through changes in soil chemistry and microbial community composition, potentially leading to altered soil functionality. We determine the impacts of invasive nitrogen-fixing Australian Acacia trees on soil chemistry and function (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling) in South Africa's Core Cape Subregion, and whether any differences in soil function are linked to differences in soil chemical properties and bacterial community composition between neighbouring acacia-invaded and uninvaded sites. We do so by using Illumina MiSeq sequencing data together with soil chemistry and soil enzyme activity profiles. Acacias significantly increased levels of soil nitrogen (NO3-, NH4+, and total N), C, and pH. Although we did not find evidence that acacias affected soil bacterial community diversity, we did find them to alter bacterial community composition. Acacias also significantly elevated microbial phosphatase activity, but not β-glucosidase, whilst having contrasting effects on urease. Changes in soil chemical properties under acacia invasion were found to correlate with changes in enzyme activities for urease and phosphatase. Similarly, changes in soil bacterial community composition were correlated to changes in phosphatase enzymatic activity levels under acacia invasion. Whilst we found evidence for acacias altering soil function by changing soil chemical properties and bacterial community composition, these impacts appear to be specific to local site conditions.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Cureau N, Threlfall R, Savin M, et al (2021)

Year, Location, and Variety Impact on Grape-, Soil-, and Leaf-Associated Fungal Microbiota of Arkansas-Grown Table Grapes.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

With the recent advancement of next-generation sequencing methods, there has been an increase in studies on identification of vineyard microbiota, winery-associated microbiota, and microbiota in wine fermentation. However, there have been few studies investigating the fungal microbiota of table grapes which present distinct spoilage and food safety challenges. The aims of this study were to identify and compare the impact of year, variety, and vineyard location on grape, leaf, and soil fungal communities of two varieties of table grapes, Faith and Gratitude, grown in two open-air vineyards and one high tunnel vineyard. The grape, leaf, and soil mycobiota were analyzed using high throughput amplicon sequencing of the ITS region. The sampling year and location of table grapes had an impact on grape, leaf, and soil mycobiota. Fungal diversity of grape, leaf, and soil was greater in 2017 than in 2016. Grape and leaf samples presented strong similarities in fungal communities with abundance of Sporidiobolaceae and Filobasidium in two vineyards and Cladosporium in another one. The high tunnel structure had distinct grape and leaf fungal communities compared to the two other vineyard locations. Mortierella was the predominant genus (27%) in soil samples for the three locations; however, genera of lower abundance varied between locations. These results provide extensive description of fungal communities in less-studied table grape vineyards and high tunnels, providing useful insight of potential threats and preventive strategies to help improve the production and marketability of table grapes.

RevDate: 2021-01-29

Adhikari P, Jain R, Sharma A, et al (2021)

Plant Growth Promotion at Low Temperature by Phosphate-Solubilizing Pseudomonas Spp. Isolated from High-Altitude Himalayan Soil.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Scarcity of arable land, limited soil nutrient availability, and low-temperature conditions in the Himalayan regions need to be smartly managed using sustainable approaches for better crop yields. Microorganisms, able to efficiently solubilize phosphate at low temperatures, provide an opportunity to promote plant growth in an ecofriendly way. In this study, we have investigated the ability of psychrotolerant Pseudomonas spp., isolated from high altitudes of Indian Himalaya to solubilize P at low temperature. Quantitative estimation of phosphate solubilization and production of relevant enzymes at two different temperatures (15 and 25 °C) was performed for 4 out of 11 selected isolates, namely, GBPI_506 (Pseudomonas sp.), GBPI_508 (Pseudomonas palleroniana), GBPI_Hb61 (Pseudomonas proteolytica), and GBPI_CDB143 (Pseudomonas azotoformans). Among all, isolate GBPI_CDB143 showed highest efficiency to solubilize tri-calcium phosphate (110.50 ± 3.44 μg/mL) at 25 °C after 6 days while the culture supernatants of isolate GBPI_506 displayed the highest phytase activity (15.91 ± 0.35 U/mL) at 15 °C and alkaline phosphatase (3.09 ± 0.07 U/mL) at 25 °C in 6 and 9 days, respectively. Out of five different organic acids quantified, oxalic acid and malic acid were produced in maximum quantity by all four isolates. With the exception of GBPI_508, inoculation of bacteria promoted overall growth (rosette diameter, leaf area, and biomass) of Arabidopsis thaliana plants as compared to uninoculated control plants in growth chamber conditions. The plant growth promotion by each bacterial isolate was further validated by monitoring root colonization in the inoculated plants. These bacterial isolates with low-temperature phosphate solubilization potential along with phosphatases and phytase activity at low temperature could be harnessed for sustainable crop production in P-deficient agricultural soils under mountain ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Shaffer JP, Marotz C, Belda-Ferre P, et al (2021)

A comparison of DNA/RNA extraction protocols for high-throughput sequencing of microbial communities.

BioTechniques [Epub ahead of print].

One goal of microbial ecology researchers is to capture the maximum amount of information from all organisms in a sample. The recent COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the RNA virus SARS-CoV-2, has highlighted a gap in traditional DNA-based protocols, including the high-throughput methods the authors previously established as field standards. To enable simultaneous SARS-CoV-2 and microbial community profiling, the authors compared the relative performance of two total nucleic acid extraction protocols with the authors' previously benchmarked protocol. The authors included a diverse panel of environmental and host-associated sample types, including body sites commonly swabbed for COVID-19 testing. Here the authors present results comparing the cost, processing time, DNA and RNA yield, microbial community composition, limit of detection and well-to-well contamination between these protocols.

RevDate: 2021-01-29

Sabino-Pinto J, Bletz MC, Islam MM, et al (2021)

Correction to: Composition of the Cutaneous Bacterial Community in Japanese Amphibians: Effects of Captivity, Host Species, and Body Region.

RevDate: 2021-01-29

Cao C, Tao S, Cui Z, et al (2021)

Response of Soil Properties and Microbial Communities to Increasing Salinization in the Meadow Grassland of Northeast China.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Secondary salinization is a serious environmental issue and a major threat to the sustainable use of grasslands. Information about the response of microbial communities and soil properties in already saline soils to increasing salinity is lacking. We investigated soil properties and the structures of soil bacterial and fungal communities across a gradient of salinization in the Horqin Grassland, China. Three sites with relatively lightly (average soluble salt content = 0.11%), relatively moderately (average soluble salt content = 0.44%), and heavily (average soluble salt content = 1.07%) degraded grassland, were selected as experimental sites. We examined variations in the composition and structure of the soil bacterial and fungal communities by using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes, respectively. We found degrading effects of salinization on soil properties, i.e., decreased soil moisture, organic matter, total N, NH4-N, and NO3-N and increased soil bulk density, pH, and electrical conductivity. The bacterial and fungal community structures changed with increasing salinity. However, dominant microbial taxa (including phylum, genus, and operational taxonomic unit levels) were similar among experimental sites, indicating that increasing salinization slightly affected the basic compositions of microbial communities in already saline grasslands. Furthermore, the relative abundances of most dominant taxa sensitively responded to the soil salt content. Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, RB4, Rubrobacter, Blastocatella, H16, Glomeromycota, and Aspergillus linearly increased with increasing salinization, suggesting that they could be used as bioindicators for salt-tolerant communities. Overall, the changes in the structures of soil bacterial and fungal communities were determined by the relative quantities of dominant taxa rather than community composition. The structures of soil bacterial and fungal communities were linked to soil properties and vegetation. Increasing soil salt content, and thereby varied pH and organic matter, were likely the direct influencing factors of microbial communities in these saline grasslands.

RevDate: 2021-01-29

Lu XM, XP Liu (2021)

Distribution of Metal Resistance Genes in Estuarine Sediments and Associated Key Impact Factors.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Currently, little is known about the distribution of metal resistance genes (MRGs) in estuarine sediments. In this study, we used the high-throughput quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (HT-qPCR) to determine the distribution of MRGs in the sediments of an estuary system and the associated key impact factors. The relative abundance of the detected MRGs showed a decreasing trend from the river inlet toward the sea and a decrease from the middle area of the estuary to the near-shore areas on both sides; these decreases were higher in the summer than in the winter. In the estuary system during the summer, the abundance of Zn- and Cu-MRGs from the river inlet to the sea decreased by 99.5% and 93.6%, whereas those of Hg- and Cd-Zn-Co-MRGs increased by 51.5% and 16.7%, respectively. Moreover, the abundance of Zn- and Cu-MRGs in the winter decreased by 88.6% and 97.7%, respectively, whereas that of Cd-Bi-Zn-Pb-MRGs increased by 729.6%. Furthermore, the abundances of MRGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) were significantly positively correlated with the levels of antibiotic residues and heavy metals as well as with the particle size and total organic carbon content of the sediment; however, they were significantly negatively correlated with seawater salinity and the oxidation and reduction potential (Eh) and pH of the sediment. The abundance of MGEs was significantly positively correlated with the abundance of MRGs in the sediment. Our findings suggest that antibiotic residues facilitated the proliferation and propagation of MRGs by promoting MGEs in estuarine sediments.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Callewaert C, Knödlseder N, Karoglan A, et al (2021)

Skin microbiome transplantation and manipulation: Current state of the art.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:624-631.

Many skin conditions are associated with an imbalance in the skin microbiome. In recent years, the skin microbiome has become a hot topic, for both therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. The possibility of manipulating the human skin microbiome to address skin conditions has opened exciting new paths for therapy. Here we review the skin microbiome manipulation strategies, ranging from skin microbiome transplantation, over skin bacteriotherapy to the use of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics. We summarize all efforts undertaken to exchange, manipulate, transplant or selectively apply the skin microbiome to date. Multiple microbial groups have been targeted, since they have been proven to be beneficial for skin health. We focus on the most common skin disorders and their associated skin microbiome dysbiosis and we review the existing scientific data and clinical trials undertaken to combat these skin conditions. The skin microbiome represents a novel platform for therapy. Transplantation of a complete microbiome or application of single strains has demonstrated beneficial therapeutic application.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Favero VO, Carvalho RH, Motta VM, et al (2020)

Bradyrhizobium as the Only Rhizobial Inhabitant of Mung Bean (Vigna radiata) Nodules in Tropical Soils: A Strategy Based on Microbiome for Improving Biological Nitrogen Fixation Using Bio-Products.

Frontiers in plant science, 11:602645.

The mung bean has a great potential under tropical conditions given its high content of grain protein. Additionally, its ability to benefit from biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) through association with native rhizobia inhabiting nodule microbiome provides most of the nitrogen independence on fertilizers. Soil microbial communities which are influenced by biogeographical factors and soil properties, represent a source of rhizobacteria capable of stimulating plant growth. The objective of this study is to support selection of beneficial bacteria that form positive interactions with mung bean plants cultivated in tropical soils, as part of a seed inoculation program for increasing grain yield based on the BNF and other mechanisms. Two mung bean genotypes (Camaleão and Esmeralda) were cultivated in 10 soil samples. Nodule microbiome was characterized by next-generation sequencing using Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA. More than 99% of nodule sequences showed similarity with Bradyrhizobium genus, the only rhizobial present in nodules in our study. Higher bacterial diversity of soil samples collected in agribusiness areas (MW_MT-I, II or III) was associated with Esmeralda genotype, while an organic agroecosystem soil sample (SE_RJ-V) showed the highest bacterial diversity independent of genotype. Furthermore, OTUs close to Bradyrhizobium elkanii have dominated in all soil samples, except in the sample from the organic agroecosystem, where just B. japonicum was present. Bacterial community of mung bean nodules is mainly influenced by soil pH, K, Ca, and P. Besides a difference on nodule colonization by OTU sequences close to the Pseudomonas genus regarding the two genotypes was detected too. Although representing a small rate, around 0.1% of the total, Pseudomonas OTUs were only retrieved from nodules of Esmeralda genotype, suggesting a different trait regarding specificity between macro- and micro-symbionts. The microbiome analysis will guide the next steps in the development of an inoculant for mung bean aiming to promote plant growth and grain yield, composed either by an efficient Bradyrhizobium strain on its own or co-inoculated with a Pseudomonas strain. Considering the results achieved, the assessment of microbial ecology parameters is a potent coadjuvant capable to accelerate the inoculant development process and to improve the benefits to the crop by soil microorganisms.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Rachek S, Nikpoor N, Gómez Del Pulgar EM, et al (2021)

Complete Genome Sequence of Phascolarctobacterium faecium G 104, Isolated from the Stools of a Healthy Lean Donor.

Microbiology resource announcements, 10(4):.

Phascolarctobacterium faecium is a strict anaerobe belonging to the Firmicutes phylum that is found abundantly in the human gastrointestinal tract. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of P. faecium G 104, a strain isolated from a fresh stool sample from a healthy lean donor.

RevDate: 2021-02-08
CmpDate: 2021-02-08

Babaahmadifooladi M, Jacxsens L, Van de Wiele T, et al (2021)

Assessment of bioaccessible and dialyzable fractions of nickel in food products and their impact on the chronic exposure of Belgian population to nickel.

Food chemistry, 342:128210.

This study aimed to investigate bioaccessible/dialyzable fractions of nickel in selected foods and to clarify the impact of the food digestion/absorption on the final exposure of consumers to nickel. In vitro gastrointestinal incubation experiments were conducted to estimate the bioaccessibility of nickel in different foods. For estimation of a dialyzable fraction, dialysis filtration was conducted. Highest bioaccessibility (99.6%) was observed for wheat-based breakfast cereals. Lowest bioaccessibilities was observed for dried-fruits (on average 20.4%). Highest (61.5%) and lowest (24.5%) dialyzable fractions were observed for wheat-based breakfast cereal and chocolate respectively. Bioaccessible/dialyzable fractions based exposure assessments were highlighted the overestimation of exposures calculated based on total nickel concentrations in foods. This is particularly important when exposure values were compared with toxicological thresholds in a risk characterization study. When threshold values have been obtained through animal studies in which nickel was dosed at 100% accessibility/availability, e.g. nickel salts this is even more important.

RevDate: 2021-02-01

Durán J, Rodríguez A, Fangueiro D, et al (2021)

In-situ soil greenhouse gas fluxes under different cryptogamic covers in maritime Antarctica.

The Science of the total environment, 770:144557 pii:S0048-9697(20)38088-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Soils can influence climate by sequestering or emitting greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). We are far from understanding the direct influence of cryptogamic covers on soil GHG fluxes, particularly in areas free of potential anthropogenic confounding factors. We assessed the role of well-developed cryptogamic covers in soil attributes, as well as in the in-situ exchange of GHG between Antarctic soils and the atmosphere during the austral summer. We found lower values of soil organic matter, total organic carbon, and total nitrogen in bare areas than in soils covered by mosses and, particularly, lichens. These differences, together with concomitant decreases and increases in soil temperature and moisture, respectively, resulted in increases in in-situ CO2 emission (i.e. ecosystem respiration) and decreases in CH4 uptake but no significant changes in N2O fluxes. We found consistent linear positive and negative relationships between soil attributes (i.e. soil organic matter, total organic carbon and total nitrogen) and CO2 emissions and CH4 uptake, respectively, and polynomial relationships between these soil attributes and net N2O fluxes. Our results indicate that any increase in the area occupied by cryptogams in terrestrial Antarctic ecosystems (due to increased growing season and increasingly warming conditions) will likely result in parallel increases in soil fertility as well as in an enhanced capacity to emit CO2 and a decreased capacity to uptake CH4. Such changes, unless offset by parallel C uptake processes, would represent a paradigmatic example of a positive climate change feedback. Further, we show that the fate of these terrestrial ecosystems under future climate scenarios, as well as their capacity to exchange GHG with the atmosphere might depend on the relative ability of different aboveground cryptogams to thrive under the new conditions.

RevDate: 2021-01-28

Del Moral Á, Garrido-Benavent I, Durán J, et al (2021)

Are recently deglaciated areas at both poles colonised by the same bacteria?.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:6122588 [Epub ahead of print].

Polar glacier forefields offer an unprecedented framework for studying community assembly processes in regions that are geographically and climatically isolated. Through amplicon sequence variant (ASV) inference, we compared the composition and structure of soil bacterial communities from glacier forefields in Iceland and Antarctica to assess overlap between communities and the impact of established cryptogamic covers on the uniqueness of their taxa. These pioneer microbial communities were found to share only 8% of ASVs and each taxonomic group's contribution to the shared ASV data subset was heterogeneous and independent of their relative abundance. Although the presence of ASVs specific to one glacier forefield and/or different cryptogam cover values confirms the existence of habitat specialist bacteria, our data show that the influence of cryptogams on the edaphic bacterial community structure also varied also depending on the taxonomic group. Hence, the establishment of distinct cryptogamic covers is probably not the only factor driving the uniqueness of bacterial communities at both poles. The structure of bacterial communities colonising deglaciated areas seems also conditioned by lineage-specific limitations in their dispersal capacity and/or their establishment and persistence in these isolated and hostile regions.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Chica Cardenas LA, Clavijo V, Vives M, et al (2021)

Bacterial meta-analysis of chicken cecal microbiota.

PeerJ, 9:e10571.

Poultry production is an industry that generates 90,000 metric tons of chicken meat worldwide. Thus, optimizing chicken growth and sustainable production is of great importance. A central factor determining not only production parameters, but also stability of the immune system and chicken health, is the diversity and variability of the microbiota present throughout the gastrointestinal tract. To date, several studies have investigated the relationship between bacterial communities and the gut microbiome, with limited data to compare. This study aims to create a bacterial meta-analysis based on studies using amplicon sequencing with Illumina sequencing technologies in order to build a baseline for comparison in future analyses of the cecal bacterial composition in chicken. A systematic literature review was performed (SYRF ID: e84f0468-e418-4eec-9da4-b517f1b4809d. Full project URL: https://app.syrf.org.uk/projects/e84f0468-e418-4eec-9da4-b517f1b4809d/detail). From all the available and analyzed manuscripts only nine contained full raw-sequence data available and the corresponding metadata. A total of 324 samples, comprising three different regions within the 16S rRNA gene, were analyzed. Due to the heterogeneity of the data, each region was analyzed independently and an effort for a joint analysis was performed as well. Taxonomic profiling revealed 11 phyla, with Firmicutes as the most prevalent phylum, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. At genus level, 109 genera were found. Shannon metric for alpha diversity showed that factors like type of chickens (Commercial or experimental) and 16S rRNA gene subregion have negligible effect on diversity. Despite the large number of parameters that were taken into account, the identification of common bacteria showed five genera to be common for all sets in at least 50% of the samples. These genera are highly associated to cellulose degradation and short chain fatty acids synthesis. In general, it was possible to identify some commonalities in the bacterial cecal microbial community despite the extensive variability and factors differing from one study to another.

RevDate: 2021-01-30

Shen G, Wu J, Ye BC, et al (2021)

Gut Microbiota-Derived Metabolites in the Development of Diseases.

The Canadian journal of infectious diseases & medical microbiology = Journal canadien des maladies infectieuses et de la microbiologie medicale, 2021:6658674.

Gut microbiota is increasingly recognized as a metabolic organ essential for human health. Compelling evidences show a variety set of links between diets and gut microbial homeostasis. Changes in gut microbial flora would probably contribute to the development of certain diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, allergy, and psychiatric diseases. In addition to the composition of gut microbiota, the metabolites derived from gut microbiota have emerged as a pivotal regulator in diseases development. Since high-fat and high-protein diets substantially affect the gut microbial ecology and human health, the current review summarizes the gut microbiota-derived metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), amino acids, and their derivatives and highlights the mechanisms underlying the host responses to these bioactive substances.

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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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This book covers the ecological activities of microbes in the biosphere with an emphasis on microbial interactions within their environments and communities In thirteen concise and timely chapters, Microbial Ecology presents a broad overview of this rapidly growing field, explaining the basic principles in an easy-to-follow manner. Using an integrative approach, it comprehensively covers traditional issues in ecology as well as cutting-edge content at the intersection of ecology, microbiology,

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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.

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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